Congress Recesses for Summer, Time to Connect with your Representative

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have departed for their August recess leaving reauthorization or extension of the Farm Bill still unresolved. They reconvene on September 10. Take advantage of the summer recess to reach out to your members of Congress and educate them about the economic and environmental value of urban and community forests. And encourage them to take action on the 2012 Farm Bill.

Congress has an impending deadline of September 30, 2012 to extend or reauthorize the 2008 Farm Bill.  The Senate appears committed to completing the Farm Bill in this session. The House may propose a one year extension to the Farm Bill which would leave the job of negotiating and passing a new Farm Bill to the next Congress.

If movement in the House proves unsuccessful, the House is responsible for proposing a Continuing Resolution (CR) because the current Farm Bill expires at the end of September 2012.  A CR will allow funding to continue and will move the responsibility of a new Farm Bill to the next Congress, post 2012 elections.

Take action now to schedule a personal meeting with your local representative to share your successes and concerns.  Be sure the importance of passing a five-year Farm Bill in 2012 is on the agenda. Farm Bill appropriations fund regional, state, and local municipal foresters and their programs, and it’s through these channels that many local urban forestry organizations receive resources. Check out ACTrees 2012 Farm Bill Information Sheet and Talking Points to guide your conversation (see Related Resources).

Related Resources:
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
You Spoke Up and Saved Urban & Community Forestry in the Farm Bill
ACTrees Advocacy Agenda – Farm Bill Re-Authorization
2012 Farm Bill Re-Authorization Recommendations Webcast