by Jesse Bussard
Is the government intentionally trying to run our nation’s farming and ranching families out of business?
Maybe, maybe not. It sure seems that way to me.
Between EPA’s Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and now a recent highway bill with a possible amendment that could fund even more government land acquisition, I don’t know which is worse.
The highway bill I referred to was recently approved by the U.S. Senate. The $109 billion bill will provide funding for two years to transportation and transit projects across our nation. Whether the House will approve it or not has yet to be seen. The latest news is that the House and Senate have agreed to a temporary bill to extend Highway funds for 90 days. President Obama signed that bill.
So how might this transportation bill affect farming and ranching families? It all stems from the possible addition of an amendment from Montana Senator Max Baucus. Baucus’ amendment funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), providing $1.4 billion for the fiscal years of 2013 and 2014. That’s a massive increase from the annual $323 million that the LWCF currently receives.
For an interesting look at percentages of land that is federally owned see the graph below.