The 2018 Farm Bill should further strengthen the historic, successful Swampbuster provisions.
WASHINGTON—As Congress works on passing a Farm Bill, a new short report from the National Wildlife Federation and Izaak Walton League of America highlights how the Swampbuster provisions have effectively protected wetlands for three decades—and details a few ways Congress could make these provisions even stronger.
“Swampbuster is a classic, common-sense compact between farmers and taxpayers and it has proved its worth many times over,” said Julie Sibbing, the National Wildlife Federation’s associate vice president of land stewardship. “Swampbuster protects the wetlands that purify drinking water, reduce flooding, and provide outdoor recreational opportunities for millions of people in America. Congress should reject any efforts to weaken these provisions, which have done much to protect waterfowl and wildlife in the United States.”
The conservation compliance provisions known as Swampbuster were originally created in the 1985 Farm Bill. It is a pact between farmers and the American public—in exchange for publicly-funded subsidies on commodities, crop insurance premiums, farm loans and conservation programs, agriculture producers agree to keep the wetlands on their properties intact.
Among the findings in Wetland Conservation in the Farm Bill: The Importance of Swampbuster:
“Our nation has lost more than half of its wetlands and those that remain are mostly on private property. That’s why these provisions are so critical,” said Duane Hovorka, Izaak Walton League’s agriculture program director. “Swampbuster is good for farmers, good for taxpayers and good for wildlife. Congress should use the 2018 Farm Bill as an opportunity to make this historic conservation effort even stronger and more effective.”
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