National Association of Conservation Districts expresses extreme concern about anti-farmer campaign to EPA Administrator McCarthy

5/27/2016On May 10, Lee McDaniel, President of the National Association of Conservation Districts wrote to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The letter expresses “extreme concern” over the EPA funding of the “What’s Upstream Campaign,” stating that “the campaign ignores collaborative, voluntary conservation work, is counterproductive to the work of farmers, and is an inaccurate portrayal of the success that has been realized through locally-led conservation efforts.

It goes on to state:

Conservation districts, working in close partnership with other government partners, use EPA grant programs to support cooperative water quality activities. Districts use these grants to more effectively work with landowners to cooperatively and voluntarily improve water quality.
Conservation districts in the state of Washington and across the country are proud of the relationships that have been built with tribal communities. The Washington Association of Conservation Districts has created a Tribal Outreach Task Force for the sole purpose of establishing an avenue for the tribal communities to work directly with local conservation districts to promote voluntary conservation on the ground and regularly recognizes individual tribes and conservation districts who have worked together towards those efforts.

The nation’s 3000 conservation districts are on the front line of environmental protection and conservation efforts. In Washington state, for example, farmers work with their local conservation district to access the best scientific knowledge and practices to farm responsibly. Through the conservation districts, family farmers in our state have created over 800 miles of buffer. This is only one of many ways farmers help protect our water and environment.

Read the entire letter on the EPA Funding Documents page.