The farm bill, first enacted in 1933 to address hunger, soil erosion, and unfair export practices, is also an important piece of land-conservation legislation. It provides funding for farmers to set aside more than 32 million acres with sensitive habitats. Currently, however, there are more applications for land than there is funding. "If we remove that support or the farm bill doesn't pass, farmers will be forced to get the highest short-term return they can – intensively cultivating every inch of land," says M. Sanjayan, lead scientist at the Nature Conservancy. Sanjayan and other environmental scientists want more funding for these programs, as do hunters, including the American Sportfishing Association and Ducks Unlimited.
Mint Images/ Paul Edmondson
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