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The Farmland Protection Policy Act of 1981 (FPPA) (amended in 1987) gives specific criteria for projects which attempt to convert viable agricultural land to non-agricultural purposes. The impetus is the protection of a potential food source for an expanding population. The federal government can halt any project if a Section 1006 score is near 160 (out of 260 points). On the other hand, environmentalists endeavor to ensure that natural lands are afforded the same stringent protection.

Review the FPPA in Chapter Sixteen of Environmental Impact Assessment: A Practical Guide. Is it significant to give a special section for protecting farmland in the NEPA regulations? Does it appear that such two purposes contradict one other by protecting open farmland and potentially disrupting natural lands? Describe your answer. 

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