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E-M:/ Farmland Protection Funding






LandWorks
Action Alert
November 28, 2001

This Action Alert will also be posted on the LandWorks Web site
<http://www.farmland.org/landworks.html>


SUPPORT INCREASED FUNDING FOR THE FARMLAND PROTECTION PROGRAM!

How You Can Help

Contact your Senators TODAY by fax, phone or e-mail and ask them to
support increased FPP funding in the Senate bill. You may use the
following text or draft your own, but please do not mail letters because
of the rapid pace of farm bill negotiations and the closure of many
Capitol mailrooms. However you contact them, make sure your Senators
know that you want a strong Farmland Protection Program!

How to Contact Your Senators

To locate information on your Senators please visit
http://www.congress.org. This site has your delegations e-mail
addresses, phone and fax numbers. If you already know who your Senators
are and would like to call them, the number to the Congressional
Switchboard is 202-224-3121.

Suggested Message Text

Dear Senator _____:

I encourage you to please support a Senate farm bill that will provide
an annual funding level for the Farmland Protection Program (FPP) of
$250 million per year.  This figure is supported by both a growing
demand for program funds as well as by its inclusion in legislation
currently being considered in the Senate.

In regard to current legislation, the new farm bill reported out of the
Senate Agriculture Committee (S.1628) includes an average of $170
million per year for FPP over the next five years.  The Conservation
Assistance and Regional Equity Act of 2001, introduced by Senators Leahy
and Reid in an effort to increase total conservation spending, includes
$440 million in average annual FPP funding.

Demand for this successful agricultural conservation program is large
and growing.  The $250 million annually for FPP that I urge you to
support would meet the current backlog of applications for funding that
totals $255 million.  Applications are projected to continue to grow in
the coming years, likely exceeding $250 million per year as farmers
continue to learn more about the benefits of the federal FPP and the
state and local purchase of development rights (PDR) programs it
supports with matching funds.

State and local PDR programs and the federal FPP are win-win solutions
to the dual problems of farmland loss and sprawling development.  These
programs negotiate voluntary agreements that result in an exchange of
the landowners right to develop agricultural land into non-agricultural
uses in return for a check representing a percentage of the lands
development value.  Participating farmers are fairly compensated for
keeping their land in production and are then able to re-invest the
proceeds into their operations, making them more economically viable in
the long term.

I hope that you see the utility of this free market conservation model
and that you can support a federal FPP program funded at $250 million
annually.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  Should you have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

[Your name]
[Your phone number or e-mail address]


This Action Alert will also be posted on the LandWorks Web site
<http://www.farmland.org/landworks.html>