2001 Scorecard Vote
Farming and ranching operations occupy more than half the land in the 48 contiguous United States. Conserving this land is vital to keeping our water clean, preserving our open spaces, maintaining local sources of nutritious food, and protecting wildlife habitat. To advance these efforts, the U.S. Department of Agriculture administers several conservation incentive programs that encourage agricultural landowners to voluntarily preserve open space, farmland, and forested lands; improve water quality; protect public health; and protect and enhance wildlife habitat. While these programs are popular with landowners, most farmers and ranchers who seek to enroll in them are turned away due to a lack of funding.
During consideration of the House farm bill, H.R. 2646, Representatives Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY), Ron Kind (D-WI), Wayne Gilchrest (R-MD), and John Dingell (D-MI) introduced an amendment to provide $5.4 billion a year for agricultural conservation programs over the next 10 years.
On October 4, 2001, the House narrowly rejected the amendment by a 200-226 vote (House roll call vote 366). YES is the pro-environment vote. The next day, the House approved H.R. 2646. At press time, a Senate version of the farm bill had yet to be approved.