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Lawmakers Reach Deal on Farm Bill

Conservationists were relieved after federal lawmakers agreed on Jan. 2 to extend the "Farm Bill," legislation crucial to conservation, for nine months.

The Farm Bill authorizes and funds many of the major federal private lands conservation programs. More than 50 million acres of wildlife habitat depend on these Farm Bill programs, which provide a critical source of conservation funding in the United States.

About 9 percent of the $300 billion in funds from the 2008 Farm Bill went toward conservation efforts.

The extension provides critical funding to programs such as the Conservation Reserve Program, the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and access programs for hunting. Funding also supports jobs in rural America.

This summer, a new Farm Bill passed the Senate and the House Agriculture Committee with bipartisan support, but stalled in the House of Representatives.



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