The following may be attributed to Zippy Duvall, President, American Farm Bureau Federation: “Today’s release of a new draft Clean Water Rule is a major step toward fair and understandable water regulation on America’s farms and ranches and other working lands. The previous rule would have treated much of the landscape as though it were water itself. That wasn’t just confusing, but also illegal, which is why so many federal courts blocked its implementation.
“We haven’t yet examined every word of today’s proposal, but even a quick look shows many of the previous rule’s worst problems are on their way out. We will examine this rule in further detail in the coming days and look forward to a thorough discussion over the next few months.
“Until then, farmers and ranchers continue to work hard every day to preserve the world around us. Agriculture Department data shows farmers and ranchers are devoting more of their land to conservation than ever before, thanks to USDA programs that let them do well while doing good. Just one example: Duck populations have recovered strongly from previous lows in the upper Midwest’s Prairie Pothole Region, where they now number 17 percent above long-term averages: https://www.fb.org/market-intel/wetlands-farmers-just-ducky. We are proud of the progress farmers and ranchers have made in their fields and ranges, and we look forward to making even more progress with fair, clear and reasonable rules.”