Recognizing that stakeholder input was key in developing this strategy, the Executive Order also directed the Secretary of Agriculture to collect input from Tribes, farmers, ranchers, forest owners, conservation groups, and other communities. Accordingly, the USDA published a Federal Register Notice to collect input on how to best develop and implement CSAF strategies. The Food and Agriculture Climate Alliance (FACA), which the Arizona Farm Bureau is a member of, submitted comments with recommendations about how efforts to combat the climate crisis should be voluntary, incentive-based, and data-driven.
After 90 days of deliberation, the USDA published a report on May 20 with recommendations for a CSAF strategy. USDA notes that a successful CSAF strategy will rely on a multistage approach and that this report is the beginning. Below are seven recommended elements of a CSAF strategy:
- Prepare USDA to quantify, track, and report the benefits of CSAF activities.
- Develop a CSAF strategy that works for all farmers, ranchers, forest landowners, and communities.
- Leverage existing USDA programs to support CSAF strategies.
- Strengthen education, training, and technical assistance for CSAF practices.
- Support new and better markets for agriculture and forestry products generated through CSAF practices.
- Develop a forest and wildfire resilience strategy.
- Improve research.
Arizona Farm Bureau will continue to work with the USDA as they work to implement the CSAF strategy.
To read the report, click here.