Colorado Senator Michael Bennet recently proposed several farm bill amendments, joining with Idaho Senator Mike Crapo and Montana Senator Max Baucus, which would reform current conservation easement programs by merging them into a new unified Agricultural Lands Easement program.
With the farm bill finally reaching the Senate floor for debate, many Senators are taking this opportunity to add their input to the final product in order to better protect their constituents.
Bennet portrayed his amendments as deeply important to Colorado farmers. “Over the last two years, I traveled across the state to hear from Coloradans about how the Farm Bill can work better for them,” Bennet said. “Farmers and ranchers routinely said that conservation of their land and natural resources is a priority. These amendments will help allow them preserve their farm and ranchland for years to come.”
Bennet’s amendment would streamline the conservation easement process, combining several programs and eliminating redundancy. The new ALE program, for example, would merge the Farm and Ranch Land Protection program with the Grassland Reserve program. The ALE program would make it easier for farmers to purchase conservation easements.
Bennet has announced that he hopes these amendments will help spread conservation easements across the west, benefitting both farmers and the environment.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer