Summary: S.2488 — 96th Congress (1979-1980)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.2488. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Introduced in Senate (03/27/1980)

Special Areas Soil Conservation Act of 1980 - Directs the Secretary of Agriculture to formulate and implement a program for the conservation of soil, water, and related resources in special areas designated pursuant to this Act by providing technical and financial assistance to owners and operators of non-Federal agricultural land. Limits such assistance on State, county, and other non-Federal public land to those lands that are an integral part of a private farm operating unit and under the control of the private landowners or operators.

Authorizes the Secretary to enter into contracts with such owners and operators to assist them to: (1) make changes in their cropping systems or land uses to conserve, protect, or properly utilize such resources of their agricultural and other lands necessary to protect agricultural lands; and (2) install the soil and water conservation treatment needed under such systems and uses.

Requires such landowners and operators to furnish the Secretary a plan of conservation operations and land use developed in cooperation with and approved by the soil and water conservation district in which the lands are situated.

Sets forth the terms to which landowners and owners must agree and in return for which the Secretary shall agree to share an appropriate portion of the costs of conservation treatment. Authorizes the Secretary: (1) to terminate or modify such contracts in the public interest; or (2) to enter into further contracts to maintain such treatment.

Directs the Secretary to provide assistance to special areas described in this Act and to such additional special areas as the Secretary designates as having chronic soil, water, and related resources conservation problems. Directs the Secretary to develop and implement a plan for each designated special area, taking into consideration relevant Federal, State, and local programs.

Allows such special areas to be designated during the ten years following the passage of this Act. Allows such contracts to be entered into during the ten years following the designation of the special area to which they relate. Limits such contracts to ten years in duration and to amounts not in excess of appropriations provided for such purpose.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) submit special area plans to the appropriate committees of Congress; and (2) enter into such contracts only after such committees have passed resolutions approving the designated special areas described in such plans.

Authorizes the Secretary to: (1) utilize specified services and facilities in carrying out this Act; (2) expend funds for research in developing new technology to control resource problems in designated areas; and (3) provide grants to States within designated areas to evaluate and analyze the impact of local and State taxes on the conservation treatment needed for an effective program.

Authorizes appropriations to carry out this Act.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) report to Congress annually for the first five years of the program; and (2) protect program participants from disqualifications, discrimination, eligibility reduction or forfeiture, or penalty under other agricultural programs for participating in the program authorized by this Act.