Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet received a commitment from Jason Weller, chief of the Natural Resources Conservation Service at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, that the agency will work with Colorado’s farmers and ranchers to ensure conservation programs are being implemented efficiently and not creating additional burdens. In a Senate Agriculture hearing, Bennet raised concerns he’s heard from rural Colorado communities that new conservation programs like the Agricultural Land Easement program are not being implemented as Congress intended.
“We have heard very severe concerns in Colorado about NRCS’ implementation of the new Agricultural Land Easement program. Farmers and ranchers in Colorado rightly believe that they had a huge hand in writing these provisions to begin with because they did. Now they have the sense that their will and the will of this committee is being diluted by legal interpretation and bureaucracy at USDA.”