U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) issued the following statement on the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) publishing its final rule today updating conservation provisions for highly erodible land and wetlands:

“Although there is more work to be done, Secretary Perdue and Acting Chief Norton are making important improvements to the department’s previously published rule, no doubt influenced by our producers when they met with agency leaders last spring on a fact finding tour of North Dakota. I appreciate their collaboration and outreach, and I encourage our stakeholders to continue working with the agency on these issues.”

Senator Cramer spoke with NRCS Acting Chief Kevin Norton last night in advance of today’s announcement. The senator worked with stakeholders in North Dakota to offer feedback on USDA’s interim rule, which was published in December of 2018.

NRCS Acting Chief Norton announced the changes today.

“Feedback is a very important resource, and we appreciate all of those who help us improve how determinations are made,” said Acting Chief Norton. “Highly erodible land and wetland determinations are the gateway to USDA programs, and we strive to provide the highest quality technical assistance to inform decision-making by farmers and ranchers.”