NEW GAO REPORT HIGHLIGHTS NEEDED AREAS OF IMPROVEMENT FOR USDA CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
December 13, 2006

CONTACT:

MARC MORANO 202-224-5762
marc_morano@epw.senate.gov

MATT DEMPSEY 202-224-9797
matthew_dempsey@epw.senate.gov 


WASHINGTON, DC – Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Chairman of the Environment & Public Works Committee welcomed a new report issued today by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) titled “USDA Conservation Programs, Stakeholder Views on Participation and Coordination to Benefit Threatened and Endangered Species and Their Habitats.” The report, requested by Senator Inhofe, discusses the incentives and disincentives to participating in USDA programs that benefit threatened and endangered species. The GAO report serves as an important resource as Congress considers reauthorization of these programs in next year’s Farm Bill.

“The GAO report released today clearly shows the need for Congress to take a closer look at many of the USDA conservation programs to be reauthorized in next year’s Farm Bill,” Senator Inhofe said.
“Specifically, the report outlines several reasons why landowners do not participate in these programs including: fears about increased federal regulation, paperwork burdens and participation requirements, as well as concerns that participation will hinder current or future agriculture production.

“As a Senator from Oklahoma, one of our country’s leading agricultural states, I look forward to working with my colleagues on the Senate Agriculture Committee and the full Senate to address these disincentives as we work toward passing the Farm Bill next year.”

The GAO report can be found at:
http://www.gao.gov/

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