Amendments to the act are here: https://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/19%20Regular/Amendments_In_Context/HB0204.pdf
The amendments seem to emasculate the act by removing details of carbon sequestration and sustainable practices that define what healthy soil is. But according to Jeff Goebel of the Climate Consensus Institute, removing the practices but keeping the principles listed on p. 3 above the section that is lined out made it possible to achieve consensus, namely the support of the NM Cattlegrowers Association and the NM Farm and Livestock Bureau. The principles are:
(1) keeping soil covered;
(2) minimizing soil disturbance on cropland and minimizing external inputs;
(3) maximizing biodiversity;
(4) maintaining a living root; or
(5) integrating animals into land management, including grazing animals, birds, beneficial insects or keystone species, such as earthworms
Without an advisory board, funding, or practices, I’m not sure how seriously NM ag will take the act, but the principles are a start.
3.4.19 HB 204 Passed in House Appropriations Committee today and is heading to the House Floor, then to the Senate, and finally, if all goes well, to the Governor
Your voices were heard! The Healthy Soil Act passed the Ag&Water Committee this morning with bi-partisan support.
Thank you for your calls and emails, and a very special thank you to those who showed up today, undaunted by winter storms.
We’ll keep you updated about next steps, in the meantime:
Now is a good time to contact your local representatives (House and Senate) and ask them to support the Healthy Soil Act (HB 204).
Contact your legislator:
Your personal story is always best, or here are some talking points:
Healthy soils provide financial benefits for farmers and ranchers (less cost and greater production), and environmental benefits that affect all of us.
The Healthy Soil Act supports farmers and ranchers in voluntary soil health stewardship, offering education, technical assistance and financial incentives.
The Healthy Soil Act empowers local soil and water conservation districts, tribes, pueblos and acequias to work with land managers to implement soil health stewardship.
The Healthy Soil Act leverages federal funds, providing a match for NRCS and other new grant opportunities in the 2018 farm bill.