Just wanted to get a quick update off to you�
Farm Bill Timing
It appears that both the Senate and House Ag Committees are committed to getting a five year Farm Bill passed this summer.
- Senate: The Senate Ag Committee just announced its intention
to hear its bill May 14th.
off the press: The Senate has even
suggested they will take up the bill on the floor next week!
- House: House Ag will markup the following day on May 15th.
and staff will be presenting their drafts to their respective committees
for amendments and �mark-up� on these dates. I will be tracking both very
closely to ensure our land trust priorities are not forgotten, and will
let you know what I learn.
Trust Priorities: It is
my most devout hope that lobbying to increase the cost share flexibility
has borne fruit and that it will be considered in both versions of the
bill. Having these committees agree on the same language provides a
unified approach to our proposed change from the 2012 draft. This should
serve us well when they go to conference after both bills are passed out
of chamber. For those of you with members on either committee; keep up
the pressure! Your outreach is having an inspirational impact!
there is still a significant divide regarding reported cuts that both sides are
considering. So we have a ways to go before we get there; remember that it
wasn�t conservation that stalled the Farm Bill last year. We continue to
strongly advocate that the conservation programs have suffered enough!
Exciting new resource to better serve land trust interests:
I wanted you to be the first to
know that Dave White, former Chief of NRCS, has agreed to serve as the
Alliance�s strategic consultant for our Farm Bill efforts
before it�s officially announced on Monday�s National Legislative Update
Conference Call (more info to come). As I mentioned last week, we have been considering
ways to increase awareness about your work and I am happy to report that help
as a past Montana state conservationist and a detailee to the Senate Ag
Committee, Dave has helped shape the conservation title for the past two Farm
Bills. He has been a potent advocate for the conservation easement programs and
understands how they should function from the ground up. Dave�s involvement in
our efforts will provide even greater depth to our Farm Bill lobbying
ability. He will be working with me
providing outreach, advocacy, and advice to strengthen the Land Trust
community�s ability to reach our farm bill goals and position us as an even
stronger leader in the conservation community.
can�t express how thrilled I am at the opportunity to continue working with him
on the things that you and I care deeply about: preserving productive
landscapes all across the country.
keep you posted regarding next steps; things are moving quickly!
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Western Policy Manager | Land Trust Alliance
55810 ME Road | Collbran, CO 81624
970-487-9924 | Email