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White House Slashes Farm Conservation Programs

BUSH ADMINSTRATION SLASHES FARM CONSERVATION PROGRAMS

Posted 12/30/04

Though Congress heralded the passage of the 2002 farm bill as a
milestone in conservation, on December 8, the President signed an
omnibus appropriations bill that created substantial cuts in farm
conservation programs. The Sustainable Agriculture Coalition has
compiled a table summarizing funding levels for a wide array of
Farm Bill programs and the picture is not pretty. (contact
sac@msawg.org to be added to their mailing list). The Wildlife
Habitat Incentives Program took the biggest percent cut:
authorized to receive $85 million in 2005, will actually receive only
55% of that amount, or $47 million. The Wetlands Reserve
Program will be capped at 154,500 acres, or 62% of the authorized
250,000 acres. The Conservation Security Program, estimated to
require $282 million if it were operated as an uncapped program,
will receive $202 million. The Environmental Quality Incentives
Program took the biggest dollar cut, $182 million, but is still
receiving $1.017 billion in 2005. The Farm and Ranchland
Protection Program will be funded at $112 million, or 90% of
authorized levels, and the Grassland Reserve Program will not have
a funding limitation.

The final appropriations bill is available at
http://thomas.loc.gov/home/approp/app05.html