U.S. LAWS AND POLICIES
While U.S. farmers, ranchers and foresters work to exceed regulatory requirement, U.S. laws and policies provide a robust framework, developed over many years, to ensure and promote the sustainability of the crop, livestock, seafood and forestry sectors. The policies look to immediate impacts on the environment and beyond to cover topics from employment to biodiversity to endangered species. The following pages provide context and an introduction to key federal legislation.
U.S. CONSERVATION PROGRAMS
Focused on conservation and environmental stewardship, the USDA, working with The Natural Resources Conservation Service on technical assessment and the Farm Service Agency for enforcement, uses grant management to deliver best practice. A particular focus is on protecting erodible lands and wetlands, with ‘sodbuster’ and ‘swampbuster’ rules denying farm program benefits to producers who cultivate or convert them without a conservation plan. One result of such policies is that soil loss has been halved since 1982.
U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY LAWS
The U.S. recognizes that sustainability has many facets and action is required in explicit areas.
This has resulted in the enactment of a wide range of laws, from the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act to the Endangered Species Act and the Lacey Act with its focus on the illegal trafficking of plants, fish, and animals.