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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2018
NACD Applauds Conservation Measures
in Omnibus Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 omnibus appropriations package that will improve conservation delivery across the United States.
“NACD is encouraged by the strong support for conservation programs in the omnibus,” NACD President Brent Van Dyke said. “These provisions provide both the staff and financial assistance essential to conservationists, and we hope to see similar funding in FY 2019 appropriations this fall.”
The omnibus includes strong funding levels for Conservation Operations at $874 million, including conservation technical assistance, and maintains full funding levels for farm bill conservation programs. Additionally, the System for Award Management (SAM) and Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) requirements to participate in conservation programs were eliminated.
“NACD has supported eliminating these requirements for years,” NACD CEO Jeremy Peters said. “Removing the burdensome task of SAM/DUNS reporting allows landowners and operators to prioritize conservation program participation without hindrance.”
The omnibus maintains funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s 319 grants and provides continued financial support for the Watershed Operations and Watershed Rehabilitation programs. The package also includes $335 million for the USDA Forest Service State and Private Forestry programs, which is an increase from FY 2017’s levels, with $28 million dedicated to urban forestry efforts.
“From rural to urban lands, conservation matters on every acre,” Peters said. “These increases in programmatic funding, as well as the permanent wildfire funding fix laid out in the bill, enable natural disaster mitigation on a variety of landscapes.”
“Federal support for these programs is a significant win for landowners nationwide,” said Van Dyke. “There is still work to be done, but these funding levels provide conservationists with increased resources to deliver the best technical assistance possible.”
About the National Association of Conservation Districts:
The National Association of Conservation Districts is the non-profit organization that represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, their state and territory 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.