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Anyone ready for one more phone call?

Title: Anyone ready for one more phone call?
This time just to your U.S. Representative's office.  Today.

The U.S. Senate has passed its version of the new Farm Bill (Don't quit reading : D  This is really about prairies!), which provides local governments and land trusts $1.75 billion in matching grants to purchase conservation easements on farmland, including tallgrass prairie used for hay production.  Yea!

A handful of members from the House and Senate Agriculture Committees are now working out the differences between their two versions of the bill. The House bill, unfortunately, provides only $250 million for these farmland protection grants.  That sounds like a lot of money, but it works out to an average of only $1 million per state per year. We could definitely use more than that.

What You Can Do:

The best way we can influence this process is to call the office of our own US Representative and leave a message that you would like that representative to personally speak to the Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Representative Charles Combest (R-TX), or to the Ranking Minority  Member of that committee, Charles Stenholm (D-TX), to urge them to increase funding for the Farmland Protection Program.  

This isn't a time for letters.  And at this stage, where the final decisions are made, influence is personal.  You want your Representative to ask a favor of another, person to person.

Numbers for both the local and DC offices are posted at http://www.congress.org/ -- type in your
zip code and you get our Representative's name -- click on "info" and you get phone numbers for all their offices.  Ask to speak to the aide working on agriculture bills.

Thank you for the work you do!

Lee Stone

P.S.  Most of this message was originally written/sent by Russell Shay, Director of Public Policy for the Land Trust Alliance, of which the Native Prairies Association is a member.

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