A study of land use in the U.S. done in 1980 revealed that millions of acres of farmland were being converted to nonagricultural uses—mostly to facilitate urban sprawl. Congress decided to enact legislation that would protect farmland and combat urban sprawl at the same time. In 1981, Congress passed the Farmland Protection Policy Act (FPPA) to protect farmland and restrict its conversion to nonagricultural uses.
Land protected by FPPA includes farmland, prime farmland, unique farmland, and land of statewide and local importance. FPPA also protects land not currently used for cropland, such as forest or pasture lands. A few examples of the types of activities that FPPA restricts on farmland are the construction of highways, airport systems, railroads, reservoirs, hydroelectric facilities, and telephone lines.
What are the consequences of waiving FPPA to expedite the building of a border wall? Yuma County, which abuts the border with Mexico, produces about 90 per cent of all leafy vegetables grown in the U.S. from November to March. The gross economic return of agriculture in Yuma County is about $3.2 billion dollars a year. This amounts to about one third of Arizona’s total economy of $9.2 billion per year. Waiving FPPA means that farms in our borderlands will neither be protected nor safeguarded against the arbitrary conversion of their lands to the activities listed above. Grabbing farmland to construct a border wall could put the number one industry in Yuma County at risk. Click here for a list of all 48 federal laws waived for construction of a border wall.
Please contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives (https://www.govtrack.us/congress/members) and let them know that you oppose waiving The Farmland Protection Policy Act to expedite construction of a border wall. Click here if you would like to make a donation to help us fight the border wall.