This week, Representatives John Curtis (R-UT) and Joe Neguse (D-CO), members of the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced legislation to initiate a study on the state of soil health on public lands.
The Study on Improving Lands (SOIL) Act will direct the National Academies of Science to study the impacts on soil health on our public lands and the role that strong soil health can play in carbon capture and sequestration.
“As we look at ways to improve the state of our environment and ensure its sustainability for future generations, we must rely on science to guide our decisions,” said Curtis. “I am proud to introduce the bipartisan SOIL Act with my friend Representative Neguse, to study the importance of soil health to sequester carbon and be responsible stewards of our federal lands. I am confident the results of this study will help guide land managers and policymakers as we continue to work to find solutions to environmental challenges.”
“Our nation’s public lands have an untapped potential to combat climate change and that starts with soil health. Healthy soil and sustainable farming practices play a vital role in carbon sequestration,” said Neguse. “This bill is a great first step in ensuring we have the necessary scientific evidence to inform future legislation. Along with investment in new technologies, we must also invest in the health of our planet’s natural carbon sinks. It is our duty to explore all possible solutions to the climate crisis.”
Statement of Support:
Dr. Dale McCall, President of the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union:
“Rocky Mountain Farmers Union’s grassroots policy supports the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices that enhance environmental quality, and make the most efficient use of nonrenewable and on-farm resources. Our members also prioritize actions to sustain the economic viability of farm operations, enhance the quality of life for farmers and society, and where appropriate, integrate natural biological cycles and controls to protect the resource base on which agriculture depends. RMFU encourages long-term research, development and advancement in production methods focused on soil health.”
Currently, there is little data on the health of the soil that covers nearly 640 million acres of public land across the United States. The Study on Improving Lands (SOIL) Act seeks to rectify this by providing Congress with the sufficient scientific data needed to make informed decisions and draft impactful legislation.