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Alert--Congress May Eliminate Funds for Key Sustainable Agriculture Program

From National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture <http://www.sustainableagriculture.net

ALERT!!!

FIGHT FOR FULL FUNDING FOR CSP!

The Conservation Security Program (CSP) was the single biggest win for sustainable agriculture in the 2002 Farm Bill. CSP is a huge and innovative step forward in our nation's approach to conservation, and holds great promise for rewarding farmers based on how they protect and improve the environment.

BUT FUNDING FOR CSP HAS BEEN UNDER CONSTANT ATTACK.

Full, uncapped funding, as required in the CSP legislation, has never been
implemented. And in November 2004, Congress took $3 billion from the CSP budget authorization to fund agricultural disaster assistance, and the money has not been returned.

NOW CSP IS IN MORE DANGER!

Congress is looking for ways to cut spending in the FY 2006 budget, and CSP is an "easy" target.

--Next Wednesday and Thursday, the House and Senate are scheduled to vote on their FY 2006 Budget Resolutions.

--Then they will depart for their home districts over the spring recess, March 19-April 4.

--When they return to Washington, DC, they will vote to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions of the Budget. This BUDGET RECONCILIATION will set the GUIDELINES for the appropriations process which follows.

TWO IMPORTANT STEPS YOU CAN TAKE NOW TO PROTECT CSP!

1. SIGN YOUR ORGANIZATION ONTO OUR NATIONAL CAMPAIGN LETTER supporting CSP, and help us obtain signatures from your member organizations and allies, as soon as possible.

The CSP Sign-On Letter can be found at: http://www.agmatters.net/Stewardship/CSP_SignOnLetter_FinalMarch_05.doc

Sign on by emailing me at: pam@sustainableagriculture.net.

2. CALL YOUR CONGRESSPERSON'S HOME DISTRICT OFFICE NOW and make an appointment to visit with your Congressperson over the spring recess. We will help you with talking points, fact sheets, and whatever you need!

Or arrange to have your Congressperson visit a farm or an event, and arrange publicity.

Or write a letter to your local paper in support of CSP. (We can help you with this too - just contact me.)

As the budget process continues to unfold, we'll learn how Senate Ag Committee Chairman Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) wants to cut the Ag budget. For more information, see: http://www.agweb.com/get_article.asp?pageid=116080 NEXT WEEK, I'LL BE BACK IN TOUCH WITH YOU WITH SPECIFIC MESSAGES TO TAKE TO YOUR SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVE.

In the meantime, please sign your organizations onto our letter!

Thanks!

~Pam

~~~~~~~~~
Pam Browning Policy Coordinator
National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture 110 Maryland Avenue, Suite 306 Washington, DC 20002
Phone: 202-544-5466 pam@sustainableagriculture.net http://www.sustainableagriculture.net