House Passes Larsen Bill to Develop Comprehensive Conservation Strategies for Farms in the Puget Sound Watershed

Jul 30, 2007

Washington, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) to create a competitive grant program providing $25 million to help farms in the Puget Sound watershed develop comprehensive conservation strategies to improve water quality, protect wildlife and keep farmland in production. The bill passed the House by voice vote today and must also pass the Senate before the President can sign it into law.

“Ag producers in Washington state have an important role to play in protecting the health of Puget Sound – and they are more than willing to do their part,” said Larsen. “This legislation will invest in comprehensive strategies that work so we can protect the health of Puget Sound and keep Washington’s family farms strong for generations to come.”

The legislation authorizes the Department of Agriculture to award $5 million in grants per year for five years to develop comprehensive conservation strategies for local agriculture producers.  States, local jurisdictions, tribes and non-profits are eligible for these competitive grants to help Washington state agriculture use the best possible practices to improve water quality. Similar projects for comprehensive conservation planning are currently underway in other parts of the country.