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NFC: Fw: Action needed! Calls for USDA Conservation Programs
Calls Needed to Protect Funding Increase for USDA Conservation
House-Senate Conference on the Buduget for Next Year (FY'02 Budget
Resolution) Expected Wednesday
The first major step Congress takes in deciding how much money to
spend on which programs is a budget outline called the Budget
Resolution. This year, the Senate budget outline included an
increase in $1.65 billion for agricultural conservation programs.
That is enough money to fund vast increases in:
* the restoration of wetlands,
* programs to protect grasslands and forests,
* thousands of miles of stream buffers
* thousands of acres of easements to protect farmland and
forests from sprawl
* major water quality improvements
* increased research for sustainable agriculture.
The House budget, however, included no increased money for
conservation, and its outline would even phase out funding for the
Wetland Reserve Program, which over the last decade has restored
almost 1 million acres of wetlands.
Key legislators from the Senate and House are planning to negotiate a
joint budget this week. At this time, our sources indicate that the
Chairmen of the budget committees are planning to keep this funding
in a final deal.
We have identified several Senators and House members as having
significant potential to influence the final budget. If you are a
constituent of one of the following Members of Congress, PLEASE call
on or before Wednesday and urge them to keep the $1.65 billion
increase for agriculture conservation programs in the final Budget
Resolution. Please encourage others to do the same. We have included
the names of key staff. Some names indicated are supporters of these
funds, but how hard they push will probably depend on how much they
hear from you.
Supporters of this funding whom we believe can influence a final
Lincoln Chaffee (R-RI), (202) 224-2921
Susan Collins (R-ME), (202) 224-2523
Jim Jeffords (R-VT), (202) 224-5141
Gordon Smith (R-OR), (202) 224-3753
Olympia Snowe (R-ME), (202) 224-5344
Michael Crapo (R-ID), (202) 224-6142
Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), (202) 224-4524
Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), (202) 225-3665
Other Important Legislators because of their importance on the Budget
Peter Domenici (R-NM), (202) 224-6621
Ernest Hollings (D-SC), (202) 224-6121
Kent Conrad (D-ND), (202) 224-2043
Jim Nussle (R-IA), (202) 225-2911
Pete Hoekstra (R-MI), (202) 225-4401
John Sununu (R-NH), (202) 225-5456
Charles Bass (R-NH), (202) 225-5206
Gil Gutnecht (R-MN), (202) 225-2472
John Spratt (D-SC), (202) 225-5501
Jim McDermott (D-WA), (202) 225-3106
Ken Bentsen (D-TX), (202) 225-7508
Jim Davis (D-FL), (202) 225-3376
1. Federal farm spending has greatly increasd in recent years but
not for conservation.
2. Increased conservation spending is critical to helpinig to sovle
a huge range of problems, from improving water quality, to stopping
sprawl to saving endangered species. DESCRIBE WHAT THE SPENDING CAN
DO IN YOUR AREA.
3. The increased conservation spending in the Senate budget is the
only net increase in conservation spending in the entire Senate
4. Conservation spending can help large nubmers of farmers who do not
benefit from traditional farm programs that only pay farmers who grow
commodities. Protecting this increase for USDA conservation programs
is especially important given that President Bush's budget proposal
would eliminate or seriously curtail funding for programs such as the
Wetlands Reserve Program, Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program, and
Farmland Protection Program, among others.
Thank you robertrice at juno_com for helping to protect and
restore America's rivers.
To contact American Rivers, send an email to Rebecca
Sherman at outreach at amrivers_org or call 202-347-7550.
Join the nation's online river community at
www.americanrivers.org for free online resources, toolkits,
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