Saturday, February 8, 2014
The 2014 Farm Bill has passed through Congress and President Obama signed it into law last Friday. The national news, which has focused on reductions to food stamps, has not heavily covered one component of the bill that will be of interest to land use types: a dramatic restructuring of conservation programs. Here is the beginning of a great summary from Outdoor Life, a hunting and fishing magazine and blog:
The bill consolidates 23 conservation programs into 13, and trims $6 billion over a 10-year span in conservation-related spending compared to the 2008 bill, and includes a controversial $35 million, five-year expenditure -- $7 million a year -- to vaccinate wildlife, primarily elk and bison to address bovine brucellosis and bovine tuberculosis and “other zoonotic disease” in the Greater Yellowstone Area.
Despite this, for the first time since the original omnibus farm bill was adopted in 1933, funding devoted to conservation ($56 billion) in the 2014 Farm Bill exceeds expenditures earmarked for commodity subsidies ($44.4 billion).
View the full 2014 Farm Bill, as enacted, here.
Stephen R. Miller