In June 1979, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the President’s Council on Environmental Quality agreed to sponsor an inter-agency study of the availability of the nation’s agricultural lands, the extent and causes of their conversion to other uses, and ways in which these lands might be retained for agricultural purposes.
This effort, the National Agricultural Lands Study, was charged with:
- Determining the nature, rate, extent, and causes of conversion of agricultural land to nonagricultural uses.
- Evaluating the economic, environmental, and social consequences of agricultural land conversion and methods used to attempt to restrain and retard conversion.
- Recommending administrative and legislative actions, if found necessary, to reduce potential losses to the nation that might result from continued conversion of agricultural land to nonagricultural uses.
- Presenting a final report on findings and recommendations in January 1981.