FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Whitney Forman-Cook
CONGRESS REINTRODUCES LEGISLATION
TO CUT RED TAPE FOR CONSERVATIONISTS
WASHINGTON, Feb. 16, 2017 – The National Association of Conservation Districts is pleased to support legislation introduced this week in both the Senate and House to exempt America’s conservationists from unnecessary and burdensome reporting requirements.
“Farm bill and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs help American producers provide our nation with clean water and healthy soils; and yet they are made to jump through hoops to use them,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “Farmers have enough to worry about taking care of their operations without having to complete arbitrary requirements that were never meant for them in the first place.”
Current law requires all incorporated business entities – including many farms, ranches, and forest operations – to register with the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM) and obtain a Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number to receive financial assistance from federal agencies like NRCS. Mandating that farmers and ranchers comply with these time-consuming requirements complicates conservation delivery and can discourage landowners from participating in NRCS cost-share programs.
“These are the producers trying to do the right thing by seeking out assistance to put conservation practices on the ground,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “We should be making it easier for them to do so, not piling on regulations.”
Senate Agriculture Committee members Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Boozman, R-Ark., introduced their Improving Access to Farm Conservation Act (S. 364) on Monday, Feb 13. House Agriculture Committee members Ann Kuster, D-N.H., and Rick Crawford, R-Ark., introduced the House companion bill (H.R. 1163) today.
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state associations and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 70 years, local conservation districts have worked with cooperating landowners and managers of private working lands to help them plan and apply effective conservation practices. For more information about NACD, visit: www.nacdnet.org.