Joint release: Western agricultural, conservation groups form new coalition
» March 6, 2012 «
Representatives from agricultural and conservation groups have formed a coalition to advocate for balanced management of resources in the Western United States. Known as the Western Agriculture and Conservation Coalition, the new group will focus initially on advocating for measures in the federal farm bill conservation title.
Steering committee members include the California Farm Bureau Federation, Trout Unlimited, Wyoming Stock Growers Association, The Nature Conservancy, Arizona Public Lands Council, Environmental Defense Fund, Family Farm Alliance, Public Lands Council and the Irrigation Association.
The goals of the coalition are to support the common interests of agriculture and conservation through education, advocacy and outreach, and to engage decision makers and resource managers in the spirit of collaboration to further a shared vision for a rural West that is economically and environmentally sustainable.
In farm bill discussions, the coalition will advocate to maintain funding for priority programs such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Agricultural Water Enhancement Program and Grasslands Reserve Program, among others.
Although the current farm bill debate is the priority of the coalition, members of the Western Agriculture and Conservation Coalition said they look forward to potentially expanding its focus to include other areas of importance to Western agricultural production and conservation efforts.
"Livestock producers look forward to the opportunity to show the inextricable connection between their ability to stay in business and the health of the economies and natural resources of the West," said Public Lands Council President John Falen, who is a rancher from Nevada. "Through wise resource use over generations, and through clear private property rights, ranchers have proven themselves diligent stewards of the land."
"Successful conservation depends on collaboration," Chris Wood, President and CEO of Trout Unlimited, said. "In the West, many of our conservation projects wouldn't happen without two things: agricultural producer partners and farm bill support. We urge Congress to act quickly to ensure a farm bill that continues to provide vital tools for private land stewardship."
For further information, contact:
Public Lands Council, Dustin Van Liew, (202) 879-9126
Trout Unlimited, Russ Schnitzer, (307) 438-1365
California Farm Bureau, Dave Kranz, (916) 561-5550
Family Farm Alliance, Dan Keppen, (541) 892-6244
The Nature Conservancy, Sean McMahon, (515) 244-5044
Arizona Public Lands Council, Dave Cook, (928) 701-3021
Environmental Defense Fund, Dan Grossman, (303) 447-7213
Wyoming Stock Growers, Jim Magagna, (307) 638-3942
Irrigation Association, John Farner, (703) 536-7080
Permission for use is granted, however, credit must be made to the California Farm Bureau Federation when reprinting this item.Top