WASHINGTON DC (December 20, 2019) — Congress approved two funding packages for Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations on Thursday, December 19, which will improve conservation delivery across the United States.
“NACD applauds Congress for their work to strengthen funding for conservation programs,” NACD President Tim Palmer said. “These bills allocate additional funding needed across the country to provide both the staff and financial assistance essential to the nation’s nearly 3,000 conservation districts and the landowners and operators they support.”
The two spending-bills improve funding-levels for Conservation Operations at $829 million — a $10 million increase from last year — which includes funding for conservation technical-assistance programs. The bills maintain full funding levels for farm bill conservation programs like the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP).
The bills also increase funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s 319 grants at $172 million and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service’s State and Private Forestry programs at $346 million. The fiscal year 2020 spending packages include $175 million for watershed protection and flood prevention (PL-566) programs, an increase from FY19 levels, and $10 million for dam rehabilitation.
“Not only do these increases in programmatic funding enable more capacity across America’s vast landscapes, but they also help to improve our nation’s watershed infrastructure,” Palmer said. “We look forward to seeing the results of these implemented programs across the nation.”