In response to the House Committee on Agriculture’s passage of H.R. 2, the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018, World Wildlife Fund released the following statement from Dr. Melinda Cep, senior director of policy for its Markets and Food program.
“The Committee missed an opportunity to strengthen H.R. 2. for wildlife, their habitats, and America’s farmers and ranchers. The farm bill affects all of us and is the single greatest source of federal funding for conservation on private lands. As currently written, this bill misses the mark, and it is critical that Congress get it right.
“There’s still a chance for bipartisan improvements to the bill on the House floor. Amending the bill to improve the programs and funding in the conservation title, better align commodity and crop insurance programs with conservation, and remove provisions that would roll back existing environmental protections will only make it stronger.
“Specifically, Congress should:
- Remove the dangerous environmental riders that undermine the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and National Environmental Policy Act;
- Restore nearly $800 million to the conservation title;
- Continue to support comprehensive voluntary working land conservation by maintaining support for practices and enhancements now funded by the Conservation Stewardship Program and Environmental Quality Incentives Program; and
- Expand Sodsaver nationwide and strengthen it by closing the ‘alfalfa loophole.’”