Call or write to your Representative and tell them that the 2023 Farm Bill must include support for regenerative practices and programs for all farmers and ranchers!
Share Your Farm Bill Feedback with the House Agriculture Committee
Through June 9th 2023, the House Agriculture Committee is accepting public feedback on the 2023 Farm Bill. We’ve made it easy to share our top proposals that will ensure farmers and ranchers are supported in transitioning towards more regenerative practices, so click the button below and tell the Committee that you want a more regenerative and just Farm Bill this year!
Just copy and paste to share these key proposals with the Committee or view the fact sheet for more info:
Conservation, Title II – Advance conservation programs, education and technical assistance.
- Provide NRCS staff and TSPs with the latest knowledge, tools, and innovations to help producers build soil health via a new training program.
- Streamline Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) conservation practice standards to better support producers in adopting conservation practices.
- Establish a Soil Health Equipment Grant program to increase producers’ capacity to adopt conservation practice.
Credit, Title V – Increase producer access to flexible capital.
- Producers should be able to defer payments on Farm Service Agency (FSA) loans for investing in soil health systems.
- Support Alternative Lenders who serve underserved producers to increase access to FSA loan guarantee programs.
Research (Title VII) – Increase research on soil health and regenerative agriculture.
- USDA must conduct research relating to measurement, monitoring, reporting, and verification of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration in soil.
Crop Insurance (Title XI) – Remove barriers and recognize the risk reduction benefits of soil health in crop insurance.
- Pass the COVER Act to provide a $5/acre insurance premium subsidy to farmers who plant cover crops.
Help Amherst, Shutesbury and Pelham residents preserve acres of forest slated for massive solar arrays: visit Smart Solar Western Mass
Tell Maura Healey your thoughts about a healthy climate: visit SHARE YOUR IDEAS
Looking back– 2022 archive
Rally & Hearing in Greenfield about Northfield Solar Project
NORTHFIELD 76 ACRE PRIME FARMLAND SOLAR SPECIAL PERMIT APPEAL
Rally at 8:30 am, Hearing at 9:00 on Monday, November 28, 2022, in Greenfield at the Franklin County Court House, 425 Main St.
The court will hear arguments about a special permit for solar arrays in Northfield on Pine Meadow Road. Northfield Planning Board granted the permit for three arrays on 76 acres.
The rally calls attention to the loss of farmland for the sake of solar development, as well as ratepayer funding for “dual use” solar. This project is right near the Connecticut River in the “Northfield Farms” area, considered some of the richest farmland in the world. It has been continuously used for farming for thousands of years. This proposal is being funded by the MA solar SMART program.
Please attend, bring signs, spread the word. Here is an article from the Greenfield Recorder about the scope of the project.
State Land Designations Under Review–time for your input
The 2022 DCR Landscape Designation events are underway. Comments are due September 28th!
Climate Action Now, with Save Massachusetts Forests, RESTORE: The North Woods, Elders Climate Action and others groups encourage you to tell the DCR that all state properties, including the watersheds, should be designated “parks” or “reserves.” Land management in them would be similar to our National Parks, preserving intact ecosystems and protecting them from logging or other active management. This level of protection now exists for only 1% of the state’s land base. Here is the link to submit online.
View the info session Calling for Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands: Serving the Public Interest ~ September 6, 2022.
Introductory remarks by Representative Lindsay Sabadosa. Speakers: climate scientist Dr. Bill Moomaw, Michael Kellett, Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods, and biologist Bill Stubblefield, Ph.D.
While we are disappointed that the legislature did not take action on H.912 and H.1002, we now can say the same things to the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) during its 10 year review of how our state parks and forests are managed.
Click here for the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation Designations and Management Guidelines 10 year review website. The current DCR plan, written in 2012, is here.
Your written comments will become part of the record and will be available for others to see on the DCR website. Written comments are due September 28th.
Here is a sign on letter with a simple message:
We, the undersigned, call for state-owned lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, including all woodlands, reserves, watersheds, and undeveloped parklands, to be designated and permanently protected as Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves. These Reserves would protect intact ecosystems, which are influenced primarily by natural processes, with only minimal human interference. Limited management activities would be allowed if proven to be necessary to protect public safety, endangered species, or the environment.
The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) also regularly cuts trees for logging on public lands. Check out their plans for 2022 here.
Eversource proposes massive tree cutting along transmission power lines!
Eversource wants to cut all trees within 100 feet of transmission power lines running from the Northfield Substation, through the towns of Erving, Wendell, Montague, Leverett, Shutesbury, Pelham, Belchertown, Amherst and Granby, to the Ludlow Substation in Ludlow, crossing two Environmental Justice communities: Wendell and Amherst.
Eversource has filed with MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office) in order to move forward with its plan to cut over 370 acres of trees along the transmission power line corridor.
Send a comment to MEPA! Go HERE for an action guide which will give you all the info you need. Please share with family and friends.
The MEPA comment deadline was extended to September 23, 2022.
Check out this video of a meeting with Eversource called by Senator Jo Comerford