Okla. conservation districts concerned over fees

Ponca City Now - December 13, 2013 6:57 am

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Oklahoma conservation districts are expressing concern over federal fees for basic conservation assistance for farmers and ranchers that are being proposed in the federal budget agreement.

Kim Farber, president of the Oklahoma Association of Conservation Districts, says the proposal amounts to a step backward in the effort to protect natural resources.

Farber says language in the federal budget deal includes a provision for the collection of fees from landowners for conservation planning by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Farber says the fee could be imposed on any agriculture producer who applies for federal assistance under any conservation program administered by the agency.

He says technical assistance has always been provided to participating landowners to keep the cost low enough that producers could take part in them.

 

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