THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Vice President
For Immediate Release
|| January 7,
VICE PRESIDENT GORE ANNOUNCES ADMINISTRATION
WILL SEEK OVER $1 BILLION TO MAKE CONSERVATION PAYMENTS TO FARMERS AND PROTECT
Washington, DC -- Vice President Al Gore announced today that the
Administration will seek nearly $1.3 billion in the FY 2001 budget for
conservation programs that help family farmers take steps to protect water
quality and the environment and to preserve farmland pressured by sprawl. This
conservation package is part of a larger Administration budget proposal to
strengthen the farm safety net.
Farmers are among the most important stewards of our land
and water. Despite the accomplishments made in recent years in stopping soil
erosion and protecting water quality, agriculture's environmental
challenges are multiplying. The initiatives that I am announcing today will
provide needed financial support to our family farmers as well as tremendous
environmental benefits for the American people.
The centerpiece of the proposal is a new $600 million program
providing additional income to family farmers who voluntarily adopt
comprehensive plans to curb erosion and protect water supplies from pesticide
and nutrient runoff.
An additional $125 million will be used to provide additional
opportunities for farmers to benefit through USDA's Conservation Reserve
Program (CRP) for farmers to establish buffer strips along waterways to improve
water quality. The proposal also asks Congress to expand CRP so that an
additional 4 million acres of farmland (for a total of 40 million acres) may be
enrolled in the program.
An additional $550 million will be used to strengthen several
other USDA programs to assist farmers with conservation and environmental
efforts. These programs include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program,
Wetlands Reserve Program, and Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program. This funding
also will be used to expand technical assistance for farmers and ranchers for
conservation efforts and expand the Farmland Protection Program.
For more specifics on the President's
Farm Safety Net proposal, click here.
Click here to return to the
Overview of the President's FY 2001 Environmental Budget Priorities