Senate Passes Farm Bill

Statement of Julie Sibbing

Senior Program Manager for Agriculture Policy

National Wildlife Federation

Washington D.C. (December 14, 2007)"The National Wildlife Federation is pleased to see the Senate pass the Farm bill and we hope for a speedy conference with the House of Representatives.Two very successful conservation programs, The Wetlands Reserve Program and the Grasslands Reserve Program will not continue without a new bill.

"However, the bill is a mixed bag for wildlife.While we are excited to see improvements to certain conservation programs, we are disappointed that such a critical program as the Grassland Reserve Program would see a cut from the 2002 Farm Bill - meaning even less resources to protect one of America's fastest declining ecosystems.

"One key area of improvement is in the working lands conservation programs.The bill makes important strides in streamlining, focusing and adequately funding the Conservation Security Program.

The National Wildlife Federation is also pleased to see a priority focus on 'next generation' biomass energy in energy title of the bill.Thanks to a last minute compromise between Senators Wyden, Harkin and Chambliss, added protections for wildlife and native habitats were included to the Biomass Crop Transition Program.

"But clearly we have a lot of work to do in the conference.Farm Bill conservation programs provide wildlife habitat on over 40 million acres of land across the United States, and we cannot afford to retreat from investments in conservation or subsidize unsustainable bioenergy projects that harm wildlife or the environment."

The National Wildlife Federation is America's conservation organization protecting wildlife for our children's future.