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OFCO Joins 122 Conservation Groups to Oppose Forest Provisions in Farm Bill – Bill Fails

The Wilderness Society (TWS) led the effort to oppose the forest provisions in the Forestry Title of the Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2), known as “the House Farm Bill that aimed at deconstructing decades of conservation work for our federal forests.” See some of the attempted rollback of environmental protections here.

The bill failed passage in the House (yeas 198 to 213 nays). According to TWS, the takeaway: This version failed because of its radical departure from the past more bipartisan efforts. The Senate will be taking up some version of the farm bill. The regressive goals of the bill likely will come back in other forms; for now, they have failed. They include:

  • Repealing the Conservation Stewardship Program and incorporating parts of the program into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program;
  • Revising the requirements and process for the Environmental Protection Agency pesticide registration program;
  • Requiring farmers to make a one-time election to obtain either price loss coverage or agricultural risk coverage for the 2019–2023 crop years; and
  • Expanding the categorical exclusions that exempt certain forest management activities from requirements under the National Environmental Policy Act to prepare an environmental assessment or an environmental impact statement.

(excerpted from the Congressional Research Service bill summary)

See the conservation letter here.

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