U.S. Reps. Dan Newhouse (R-Wash.) and Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) introduced the Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act of 2023, a bipartisan and bicameral bill that would enable partnerships between land-grant institutions and local farmers to increase voluntary conservation and innovative climate practices. Companion legislation was also introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Todd Young (R-Ind.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).
CRES understands that encouraging farmers and ranchers to adopt climate-smart practices—without federal mandates—is an effective way to combat the impacts of climate change, from water shortages and drought to increased natural disasters and resiliency measures. To do so, this bill would:
- Allocate funding for land-grant institutions to partner with local farmers to boost conservation and innovative climate practices.
- Allow farmers to voluntarily adopt practices that suit their individualized needs.
- Promote projects to support farming communities, including workshops, digital materials, and tests to measure the effectiveness of conservation and innovative climate practices.
- Provide $13 million for 4-year grants.
CRES was proud to endorse the legislation:
“Our farmers are some of the best stewards of our lands, and despite decades of innovative land and water conservation efforts, they have only recently been brought into the climate conversation,” said CRES President Heather Reams. “The Conservation and Innovative Climate Partnership Act will help connect farmers and ranchers with the tools they need to continue utilizing climate-smart practices, reducing carbon emissions and creating resilient environments. CRES applauds this bipartisan, bicameral effort to promote natural climate solutions that will mitigate the impacts of climate change and ensure agriculture producers have a seat at the table.”