Worms and Flowers

U.S. Forest Service Receiving Illegal Farm Subsidy

Posted in Current Events/History by Lzyjo on December 24, 2008

A lawsuit filed this week by Forest Service Workers For Environmental Ethics accuses the U.S. Forest Service of illegally enrolling to receive farm subsidies on 2,000 acres of corn and soybean crops grown in the Land Between the Lake National Recreation Area. The Forest Service is also using chemical fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides on the crops without an environmental impact statement. These chemicals all have detrimental effects on the numerous aquatic species and invertebrates that inhabit the park.

U.S. Forest Service is an agency of the Department of Agriculture, the same division who distributes farm subsidies, so the Forest Service is not a “farm owner” eligible to participate in the farm subsidy program. According to Wikipedia, 90% of U.S. Farm Subsidies go to four crops, corn, wheat, soybeans, and rice; leaving farmers of unsubsidized crops shut-out. It is not surprising that the Forest Service chose two of the most financially rewarding crops to grow.

The Land Between the Rivers became the Land Between the Lakes when the Cumberland River and Tennessee River were dammed in the 1930s and 40s. The 170,000 acre site boasts the largest inland shoreline and was designated as a National Recreation Area in 1963 by JFK. Today the site is managed by the TVA; there is a planetarium at the Golden Pond Observatory, horse trails, biking, hiking, hunting, campgrounds, and back country camping.


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