WASHINGTON (B)--The pace of soil erosion and the conversion of farmland into suburban housing tracts has increased significantly in recent years in the U.S., according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture natural resources report released Dec. 7. The report details trends in U.S. land management from 1992-97 and compares results to a similar study conducted from 1982-1992.

Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, speaking at the agency's National Conservation Summit in Ames, IA, said, "This report demonstrates that we must redouble our efforts to preserve farm and forest land, reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and protect wetlands."

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