Obama’s Department of Agriculture has published a rule to extend more subsidies to public land ranchers.
EQIP Extended to Public Lands – National Cattleman’s Beef Association
On Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a final rule authorizing the use of Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) funds for conservation efforts on public lands. The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), the Public Lands Council (PLC), and other conservation and ranching groups had requested this language in comments submitted to USDA in March.
EQIP is a federal agricultural subsidy :
EQIP provides payments up to 75 percent of the incurred costs and income foregone of certain conservation (sic) practices and activities.
“Conservation practices” is a tricky term. In practice, these federal dollars are often spent subsidizing the construction of agricultural developments like the materials and labor to build fences and to dig wells to pump water on private land. The new rule expands the subsidy to provide federal cost-sharing for practices which include fences and water developments for livestock production on federal public lands.
Limit per individual or entity is not to exceed $300,000 in 6 year timeframes.
According to the USDA, from 1997 to 2008, over $100 million in EQIP dollars were distributed to subsidize livestock grazing in the country.