Mark Udall said he was encouraged that his colleagues rejected a proposal today that would have irresponsibly struck down the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Conservation Stewardship Program. The voluntary programs assist farmers and ranchers and other land and resource management entities to promote good stewardship of our natural resources by improving the quality of our soil, water, air and wildlife habitat.
"Farmers and ranchers are among Colorado's strongest stewards of the land," Udall said. "I am encouraged that my colleagues understand the relationship between agriculture and protecting the land, water and air - the natural resources that make Colorado so great, create jobs and are the very reasons for our high quality of life."
The Senate rejected the proposed amendment by a margin of 15-84.
These programs have been used for a variety of projects in Colorado, including improving water salinity levels in the Colorado River Basin, which has improved crop yields and expanded the variety of crops that can be planted. On the Eastern Plains, these programs have been used to increase water quality through incentives to improve irrigation and planting practices that have promoted water savings helping to recharge our aquifers.