Right now, members of Congress are working out the final details of the 2013 Farm Bill, and the stakes for conservation are huge. In addition to ensuring America’s farmers are able to provide food to hundreds of millions of Americans and many others around the world, the Farm Bill plays a critical role in conserving America's grasslands, protecting native species, and preserving a rural way of life.
It’s important that the final version of Farm Bill include robust conservation programs, reduce the amount of federal subsidies a farmer can receive if native grassland is converted to cropland, and ensure that farmers who do accept federal farm subsidies agree to basic soil and wetlands conservation measures. Without those measures, we risk losing much of one of the last four intact grasslands in the world.
If Congress passes a Farm Bill that does not include a National Sodsaver provision and a measure that requires soil and wetlands conservation in return for agricultural subsidies, Americans risk losing: