Target: United States House of Representatives
Goal: Hold farmers responsible for their impact on the environment
More than half of the “prairie pothole wetlands” in the Great Plains have been drained for the purpose of agricultural development, resulting in the destruction of the habitat of the Northern Pintail ducks. The prairie pothole wetlands are where the Northern Pintail ducks raise their young each year. It is too late to save the wetlands that have already been destroyed, but there is still hope for the Northern Pintails if farmers begin protecting the wetlands that remain on their lands.
Until now, the in-progress federal Farm Bill has included “conservation provisions” that would encourage farmers to protect wetlands on their land. Unfortunately, a recently-proposed version of the bill includes a damaging loophole that would essentially reward farmers for destroying wetland habitats at the expense of the Northern Pintail ducks and the various other wildlife that lives there.
It is essential that we help in protecting the Northern Pintail ducks. Send a message to your U.S. representatives indicating that you demand that protections for wetlands be included in the Farm Bill.
Dear United States House of Representatives,
As you work on finalizing the Farm Bill of 2013, I ask that you consider supporting the proposed provisions in the bill that promote the conservation of wetlands. All across the nation, environmentally-conscious farmers are protecting the valuable wetlands on their property by controlling soil erosion and reducing polluted runoff. Unfortunately, the Farm Bill may threaten the progress and gains that these farmers have made.
While I recognize that it is very important that the five-year farm bill passes before the year is up, it has come to my attention that the current House version is in need of several critical improvements, including the need for both requirements for farmers to abstain from draining wetlands and incentives for practicing conservation on the highly unstable land, such as “taxpayer-funded crop insurance subsidies.”
Failure to make conservation compliance a prerequisite for receiving crop insurance subsidies would open a frightening loophole that could allow many farmers to receive generous federal subsidies without meeting even the most basic conservation requirements that have been in place since 1985. I implore you to support the Thompson-Fortenberry amendment on the Farm Bill to ensure that farmers cannot receive subsidies without complying with conservation standards.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Jannes Pockele via Wikimedia commons