Farm Bill Victory: Senate Closes Loophole to Protect Wetlands, Soil and Wildlife Habitat

Much-improved ag bill advances in Senate with key conservation measure included

06-20-2012 // Aislinn Maestas

The Senate is expected to soon pass its version of the 2012 Farm Bill, which now includes a provision sponsored by Senator Chambliss (R-GA) to close a loophole that would have eliminated vital conservation safeguards on farmlands.

Amendment #2438, which re-attaches basic soil and water conservation measures to premium subsidies for federal crop insurance, was accepted by a vote of 52-47. The amendment was supported by more than a hundred sportsmen, conservationist and farm groups from across the country.

Julie Sibbing, Director of Agriculture and Forestry Programs at the National Wildlife Federation, said today:

Attaching basic conservation measures to federal subsidies for crop insurance is good for taxpayers, good for wildlife and good for the long term health of America’s farmlands. We are gratified that the U.S. Senate has voted to continue the longstanding conservation compact between farmers and taxpayers.

“The Senate managed to create a strong bill in a tough budget climate. We thank the Senate for working to meet the needs of hunters, anglers and those who value clean water and abundant wildlife.

“National Wildlife Federation thanks Senator Chambliss and Senators Cardin, Lieberman and Franken, who introduced an identical amendment, for fighting to make this farm bill wildlife-friendly. We also thank Chairwoman Stabenow and Ranking Member Roberts for moving this bill forward. We now look to our champions in the House to maintain what we achieved today.”

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