Dear Bryan,Update: Some copies of this email did not contain the actual vote count of the Farm Bill. This email has been amended to show the vote totals. We apologize for the error.
In a 66-27 vote, the Senate just passed
its 2013 Farm Bill (S. 954
This bill contains important victories for land trusts. Despite significant cuts to other parts of the bill, the easement programs retain the same good funding they had in last year’s bill. Thanks to the persistence of Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO), Colorado land trusts and the Alliance, we’re also one step closer to a final Farm Bill that allows landowners to donate more easement value as match in the newly created Agriculture Land Easement (ALE) program, helping land trusts to conserve more land in more places.
Senator Bennet has been a tireless champion for land trusts and for conservation throughout the process. He was able to add a waiver of the cash cost-share requirements
for land trusts participating in easement purchases, which has been a key goal for us. In the final negotiation, he had to agree to remove the guarantee that farm and ranch land easements would receive at least 40% of the total funding going to those easements and to the Wetland Reserve Program, but we believe that to be a good trade, and are confident we can continue to receive at least that much of the total.Because of your tireless outreach
, ALE is on the way to being generously funded and made into law--if your senators voted for this
, please give them a call and say thanks!But we’re not done yet; we still have the House bill (H.R. 1947) to get through. Rumor has it that they will take up their bill the week of June 17. Continue to check our Farm Bill page for the most recent updates.
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Onto the House!