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Ag Conservation & LWCF Letters -- Have Your Senators Signed?

Advocates Alert: March 26, 2012

UPDATE: Both letters are now complete and have been sent to the Appropriations Committee. Scroll down for links to the final letters.

As Congress debates even tighter budget caps for Fiscal Year 2013, the next few days are critical to demonstrating Senate support for the conservation programs you rely on. Conservation champions in the Senate are currently circulating two important letters to the Appropriations Committee -- please pick the programs that most directly support your work and urge your Senators to sign-on today.


Option #1: Support Farm Bill Conservation Programs

UPDATE: The final letter has been sent. Click here for a copy.

The Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP) and Grassland Reserve Program (GRP) are the largest sources of federal funding for the purchase of conservation easements by land trusts. Last year, Congress reduced these programs by about $75 million, 25% below the mandatory funding levels promised in the Farm Bill. In total, the appropriations committees have reduced Farm Bill conservation programs by $4.4 billion over the past decade (read more).

We need your Senators' help to reverse this trend:

  1. Call each of your Senators (Switchboard: 202-224-3121) and ask to speak with the staff member who handles agriculture issues
  2. Tell them how Farm Bill Conservation Programs support your work and urge them to sign the Coons/Bennet letter in support of robust conservation funding next agriculture appropriations bill
  3. To sign, ask the staffer to contact Lisa Hummon in Senator Coons' office at 4-8257 by the morning of Friday, March 30.
  4. Ask for the staffer's email address and send a copy of the letter

This here's the latest list of signers:

  • Senator Chris Coons (D-DE)
  • Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO)
  • Senator Mark Udall (D-CO)
  • Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA)
  • Senator Tom Carper (D-DE)
  • Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA)
  • Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL)
  • Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA)
  • Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD)
  • Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD)
  • Senator Jon Tester (D-MT)
  • Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
  • Senator Kristen Gillibrand (D-NY)
  • Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY)
  • Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
  • Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR)
  • Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD)
  • Senator Pat Leahy (D-VT)
  • Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)


Option #2: Support LWCF and Forest Legacy Funding

UPDATE: The final letter has been sent. Click here for a copy.
A few weeks ago, the Senate voted 76 to 22 to approve a Transportation Bill amendment that would dedicate $700 million to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) in each of the next two years. That's an unprecedented show of support, but the Transportation Bill itself remains in limbo, so we still need to work on next year's appropriations process.

A record 152 representatives signed the House LWCF/Forest Legacy letter. Now it's the Senate's turn -- and we need all those amendment supporters to sign the letter!

  1. Call each of your Senators (Switchboard: 202-224-3121) and ask to speak with the staff member who handles conservation issues
  2. Tell them how LWCF program support your work and urge them to sign the Leahy/Shaheen/Burr/Snowe letter seeking increased funding for these programs next year
  3. To sign, ask the staffer to contact Adrienne Wojciechowski in Senator Leahy's office at 4-2593 by mid-day on Thursday, March 29
  4. Ask for the staffer's email address and send a copy of the letter

Click here to see if your senators have signed-on to this letter or similar letters in the past.

Thanks for helping!

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