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A move for so-called ‘common-sense’ gun laws heads to the states. Plus, will Trump judges decide a decade of civil rights? (Broadcaster Note: Our 6-min. newscast now has an optional outcue at 3 minutes: “This is PNS.”)

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More Funding to Help Farmers 'Reap' Benefits of Conservation

July 2, 2007

We all know it pays to protect the environment, but soon, more Colorado farmers and ranchers will be 'reaping' those rewards directly. Congress recently restored funding to the "Conservation Security Program," which means more producers can be compensated for their environmental stewardship efforts. Dollie Gonzales works with the program in Colorado, and she describes it as "rewarding."

"Basically, it's a way of rewarding the producers, both farmers and ranchers, for protecting our soil and water, air, energy, and plant and animal life."

Traci Bruckner with the Center for Rural Affairs adds the program can help bring stability to smaller farms.

"It focuses on what the farmers and ranchers are doing out on the land, rather than just paying them for what, and how much, they produce. We think that's essential to really help establish and support small and mid-size family farms."

About 20,000 farms are currently involved in the program nationwide, including 281 in Colorado, with more than $4 million in payments to Colorado farmers and ranchers. Bruckner points out that farmers get paid for a variety of environmental efforts.

"They're doing better soil management. They're also improving wildlife habitat, doing some energy efficiency things, and all those things that benefit our natural resources."

The additional funding will make the program available to more farmers in southeastern Colorado.

Eric Mack, Public News Service - CO