THE 1990 FARM BILL
WHEREAS: Discussions and analysis are underway on potential conservation provisions in the 1990 Farm Bill, and within the conservation and environmental communities; and
WHEREAS: Concerns are mounting that Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres planted to grass cover will be returned to crop productions when the 10 year rental payments end and studies indicate that approximately 90 percent of acres planted to trees would not be returned to crop production; and
WHEREAS: These concerns, coupled with concerns about global climate change, water quality and biodiversity, lend support to a strengthened role for tree planting in the 1990 Farm Bill; and
WHEREAS: While CRP has been concentrated in the South, numerous opportunities exist for stronger tree planting participation in the Plains States, the West and the Northeast where shelterbelts, windbreaks, filter strips and bottomland hardwoods plantings have lagged behind; and
WHEREAS: NASF can play an important role in gaining support for a strong forestry component in the 1990 Farm Bill, and to broaden participation in tree planting nationally;
NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the NASF Executive Committee identify sponsors on both the House and Senate side to support tree planting associated with the following legislation in the 1990 Farm Bill to sustain and enhance a strong natural resource base for the Nation:
- To minimize the adverse effects of soil erosion on the Nation's soil and water resources.
- To sustain the supply of water, both ground and surface, to meet the long run multiple use needs of society.
- To increase the potential wildlife benefits on lands in existing programs and on new lands added through the 1990 Farm Bill.
- To provide an adequate supply of timber to meet national wood products needs at reasonable prices for consumers.
- To provide a diversity of recreation opportunities within the reach of large numbers of people affording consumptive and nonconsumptive uses through tree planting and wildlife planting.
- To protect, maintain and restore wetland habitat and achieve a "No Net Loss" of wetlands.
- To provide a sustainable diversity of plant and animal species to ensure a strong genetic pool of natural resources to benefit current and future generations.
AND, FURTHER BE IT RESOLVED that the NASF Executive Committee provide testimony to House and Senate Agriculture Committees advocating the following for the 1990 Farm Bill:
- Including erodible marginal pastureland and poorly drained cropland and pastureland for tree and shrub planting.
- Allowing continuous signups for tree planting.
- Allowing cost sharing for tree planting or wildlife planting on existing CRP acres planted to grass.
- Extending contracts to 15 years for the planting of windbreaks, shelterbelts and hardwoods.
- Cost-sharing for cultivation, herbicides and other practices necessary to establish trees during the first 4 years of the CRP.
- Allowing USDA more discretion in raising the 25% cap at the county level, and more flexibility in determining cropping history as it relates to eligibility requirements.
- Permitting planting of 10 or more acres to extend over three years to help spread out costs incurred in the first year and minimize risk to the farmer.
- Offering a bonus for tree planting, windbreaks, shelterbelts and wildlife habitat.
- Increasing the cost-sharing rate to 75% for windbreaks, shelterbelts and wildlife plantings.
- Allowing windbreaks and shelterbelts to be planted on any land as long as they protect highly erodible cropland.