Farm Bill compromise contains wins for wildlife

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Bill agreed to by House-Senate conferees includes key conservation objectives

WASHINGTON (January 28, 2014) – Farm Bill conferees have released a conference report that includes several major victories for wildlife and natural resource conservation efforts. Environmentalists are touting the bill as a dramatic improvement over the previous House version. The compromise bill is expected to be brought to the House floor this week.

Statement from Noah Matson, Vice President of Landscape Conservation & Climate Adaptation:

“After a years-long process, the Farm Bill conference report finally shows some progress on the side of conservation. The bill will require farmers to comply with basic soil and water conservation measures in order to receive taxpayer-subsidized crop insurance. This marks an important shift toward limiting taxpayer dollars that contribute to unsustainable farming practices, and should have a profoundly positive impact on the health of vital soil, wetlands and sensitive wildlife habitat.

“There is no doubt it is hard to swallow a $6 billion cut to programs that conserve wildlife and habitat on private lands. However, Chairwoman Stabenow’s leadership ensured that key changes to the bill help soften the blow of that loss. The rejection of special interest waivers to fundamental environmental laws that protect clean water, land and endangered wildlife, and the inclusion of safeguards for soil and water resource conservation make the compromise bill one that the conservation community can more readily embrace. ”

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Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With more than 1 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit www.defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

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