CHARLESTON, W.Va. – U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) applauded the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) recent announcement of the final rule for its Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP). The rule makes updates to the popular conservation program as directed by the 2018 Farm Bill and integrates agricultural producers and others.
In April 2018, Senator Capito, along with a bipartisan group of senators, sent a letter to the Senate Agriculture Committee urging the inclusion of the Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act of 2017—legislation Senator Capito introduced in 2017—in the Farm Bill. This legislation increases mandatory funding available to the Bay, strengthens the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), and provides more opportunities for effective conservation efforts. It also builds on the historic funding obtained in the 2008 Farm Bill to help farmers and protect the Bay. The legislation was adapted into the RCPP reforms in the final Farm Bill.
“The Chesapeake Bay headwaters in West Virginia sustain important ecosystems and play a vital role in our state’s economy,” Senator Capito said. “The Chesapeake Bay Farm Bill Enhancements Act of 2017 was designed to provide essential grant funding for West Virginia and other states, which will provide more opportunities for effective conservation efforts. I’m glad our legislation was adapted into the RCPP reforms. Doing so will go a long way in continuing our efforts to support the bay’s restoration and care, ensuring that it remains a vibrant natural resource for future generations.”
CSP is offered in all 50 states and the Pacific and Caribbean areas through continuous signups. The program provides many benefits, including increased crop yields, decreased inputs, wildlife habitat improvements, and increased resilience to adverse weather. CSP is for working lands, including cropland, pastureland, rangeland, nonindustrial private forest land, and agricultural land under Indian tribe jurisdiction.
Learn more about USDA’s announcement here.
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