House Defeats Anti-Environmental Farm Bill

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Negative impacts on water, lands and wildlife draw bipartisan criticism

 

The following is a statement from Tim Male, vice president of conservation policy at Defenders of Wildlife:

“Wildlife and the people who care about it can breathe a sigh of relief now that the House has defeated the anti-environmental farm bill produced by the House Agriculture Committee. The bill was an affront to our shared natural resources in numerous ways, not the least of which was a crippling cut of $4.8 billion to voluntary wildlife and soil conservation programs. The bill also took aim at our clean water supplies and endangered species by severely limiting the Environmental Protection Agency’s oversight of harmful pesticide applications, it would have damaged our national forests by encouraging unnecessary thinning projects in remote areas under the guise of fire control, and it would have blocked on-going efforts by states to control the spread of invasive species across their borders. Moreover, the bill’s inclusion of significantly more generous crop insurance subsidies without asking for basic environmental commitments in return from farmers would have meant increased destruction of native prairie, wetlands and other fragile ecosystems.

“The bipartisan vote against the Farm Bill today happened in part because the numerous attacks on the environment contained in the bill have no place in such legislation. The Committee’s gross disregard for the environment came with a cost, and the Farm Bill debate will continue on in the months ahead. The House should learn a lesson from this defeat and produce true reform that does not involve sacrificing the air, water, and natural places that support us all.”

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Contact: Courtney Sexton, csexton@defenders.org, (202) 772-0253

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.organd follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.

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