|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2022
NACD Applauds Strong Conservation Investments in Federal Spending Bill
WASHINGTON, DC – NACD applauds Congress for passing a Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 federal spending agreement that supports voluntary, locally-led conservation efforts across the country by providing strong funding for critical conservation programs and initiatives. The spending package includes:
- No cuts to mandatory spending for USDA farm bill conservation programs, such as EQIP, CSP, RCPP, and CRP;
- $941 million for NRCS Conservation Operations, including more than $800 million for Conservation Technical Assistance – a $40 million increase compared to FY 2022 funding. This funding supports the work of conservation districts and other local partners to help producers assess resource needs, develop conservation plans, and implement effective conservation practices;
- More than $337 million for the U.S. Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry Program – a more than $20 million increase compared to FY 2022 funding;
- $12.5 million for the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Stewardship Program – a $500,000 increase compared to FY 2022 funding;
- $182 million for EPA’s Nonpoint Source Management Program – a $4 million increase compared to FY 2022 funding;
- $925 million for NRCS’ Emergency Watershed Protection Program, $75 million for Watershed Protection and Flood Prevention Operations Programs, and $2 million for the Watershed Rehabilitation Program.
The agreement also includes a revised version of the bipartisan Growing Climate Solutions Act. The bill will help farmers, ranchers, and private forestland owners access voluntary environmental credit markets by authorizing USDA to establish a registry list for farm technical advisers and verification services. The agreement also includes the SUSTAINS Act, which will facilitate USDA accepting private funds to support the agency’s efforts to address climate change, sequester carbon, improve wildlife habitat, and enhance water quality.
Notably, the bill also includes $3.7 billion for USDA’s Emergency Relief Program to assist producers who suffered losses due to natural disasters this year.
“NACD applauds Congress for passing a strong federal spending bill that supports our producers and critical, locally-led conservation efforts across the country,” said NACD President Michael Crowder. “It is now more important than ever that we provide producers and local conservation partners with the resources and tools they need to feed the world and be great stewards of our country’s working lands.”
The spending bill will now be sent to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law. This legislation is a clear commitment to producers and will support and empower local partners to help them enhance their operations and protect the nation’s natural resources.
About the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD)
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the nonprofit organization that represents the nearly 3,000 conservation districts across the United States, their state and territory associations, and the 17,000 men and women who serve on their governing boards. For more than 75 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.