Agriculture

Saturday Morning Live for Apr. 22, 2017

Host Kris Halterman interviews Paul Driessen, co-author of “Cracking Big Green,” on Earth Day and Science Week. What is Earth Day really about? What’s behind the March for Science, Peoples Climate Movement, and Green Energy Poverty? The EPA has recently added the Rusty Patched Bumblebee to the endangered species list. What does that mean for plans to Making America Great Again? And, was this a positive move for America and the Rusty Patched Bumblebee?

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It’s Earth Day! WWYD?

  So here comes another “Earth Day” or for those of us who remember “Arbor Day.” What are you going to do for this roundish ball we live on that floats in the galaxy? Plant a tree? Weed your flower bed? Pick up trash? Or, take a walk through a forested park? On the farms and ranches of the USA we celebrate Earth Day 24/7, 365 days a year, and have been for centuries. From our indigenous people who cross-pollinated to create sturdier and healthier crops, to the farmers and ranchers who sustain us today; it is a full-time effort to treat our environment kindly with a look towards feeding people in the future. Here are just some of the developments that have happened during my life in the agriculture industry. Crop rotation has been a concept on small irrigated farm land since I was a wee girl. Many days were spent rolling, wet hay bales so that they could dry out after a rain. While that hay crop was never a big money-maker, it put nitrogen back in the soil for our beet and corn crops. Each year the landscape changed with each rotation of crop sites, which then …

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Rusty Patched Bumblebee ~ A Pandora’s Box for Property Development

Off to a bumbling start at Interior If this is the kind of housecleaning and swamp draining we’re going to get, we’re in real trouble. ~ Paul Driessen Was it because there were too few senior Trump Administration officials in place to catch and stop it? Or because Department of the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke was new on the job, and had so much on his plate, that this decision just slipped right past him? Maybe it was because the new Administration faces so many battles with environmental activists already that it didn’t want another one?  Or perhaps Interior was intimidated by environmentalist lawsuits challenging President Trump’s 60-day delay of newly-issued Obama Administration regulations? Whatever the reason, Trump’s Interior Department opened a real can of worms when it let the Obama Administration’s last-minute endangered species designation for the rusty patched bumblebee (RPB) take effect March 21 – exactly 60 days after President Trump issued his regulatory Executive Order. The designation has serious adverse implications for Mr. Trump’s ambitious plans for infrastructure improvements, economic growth, job creation, and reining in regulatory abuse and overreach. Already, officials in the Minneapolis area have delayed a road construction project – purportedly near a patch of …

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Saturday Morning Live for Apr. 1, 2017

42nd District Representatives Luanne VanWerven and Vincent Buys, join host Kris Halterman, to share an update on what’s happening in Olympia this session. What has or is likely to pass? Will they pass a budget that resolves the McCleary decision? What are the details for changing local property tax levies to state property tax levies, to comply with the McCleary decision? Will the Hirst Fix be realized this session?  

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Privacy Rights get a Victory – Thanks to Farmers!

It is great to see conflicts being resolved without further court battles. It is great to see citizens privacy being respected. And I love that part of the settlement where the EPA has to take training on the Freedom of Information Act.  Hope you are heartened by this also. ` Lorraine Newman March 28, 2017 Farm Bureau applauds settlement agreement to protect farmers’ privacy The American Farm Bureau Federation and the National Pork Producers Council have closed the final chapter of their lawsuit challenging EPA’s release of farmer and rancher personal information, when a federal judge approved a settlement that secures the private information of thousands of livestock and poultry farmers in 36 states. “This lawsuit has won a major victory for personal privacy,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. “Months ago, we won a court decision that vindicates the rights of farmers and all Americans to protect their personal information from dissemination by the government. This settlement is the final step, requiring that EPA scrub all personal information from the records involved and train its staff on the proper handling of personal information.” AFBF and NPPC filed the lawsuit in 2013 after EPA released a vast compilation …

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The Hirst Fix – 40th Dist. Representative Kristine Lytton Denies Support for SB 5239

As many of the readers of Liberty Road know, we’ve advocated for personal property rights, most importantly water rights, since we began covering property rights issues in 2012. The Washington State Senate recently passed  SB 5239, to address the moratoriums put in place to address the Washington State Supreme Court (WSSC) ruling on the “Hirst, Harris, Stalheim, Brakke, Melious, and Futurewise,” lawsuit that has upended rural properties across this state. That bill is now in the State House, and has a lot of support from the 42nd District Representatives. Our 40th District Representatives have failed to help move this legislation forward to bring it to the floor for a vote. Specifically, Rep. Kristine Lytton, 40th Dist., is not representing you. Why? Is it because she is using this water issue as leverage to get tax increases passed for the McCleary Public Education case? McCleary, is another of the WSSC’s judicial overreach that is going to cost the tax paying citizens of Washington State “billions” of dollars in increased spending. Did you get your 2017 Property Tax bill? How much did your public education portion of your property tax bill increase for 2017? Are you willing to gamble your water rights on another property …

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Saturday Morning Live for Feb. 18, 2017

Part One: Host Kris Halterman interviews Steve McLaughlin (former candidate for Public Lands Commissioner) about the proposal to re-introduce the Grizzly bear into Washington State. Part Two: Host Kris Halterman discusses the numerous Exempt-Well bills being proposed, to resolve the Hirst lawsuit, as they work their way through the legislative processes in Olympia.

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Whatcom County Health Dept. Seeks Change in Septic Inspection Ordinance

Attention all septic owners in Whatcom County, your ability to self-inspect is in jeopardy. The Whatcom County Health Department is seeking a change in county ordinances regarding your septic systems. The change would disallow any self-inspections of your septic system. Why? Because they claim some people are cheating on their inspections. Who? That’s up for debate as they have not disclosed that to the Whatcom County Council. When? This will be up for discussion on Tuesday, Jan. 24th, 2017, at the 1:00 PM Public Works, Health and Safety Committee Meeting (chair Barbara Brenner) and likely introduced at the Whatcom County Council’s evening meeting on the same day, at 7:00 PM, in the Council Chambers. The County’s Health Department is taking the State Supreme Courts questioning in their Hirst decision, that the public should not be allowed to responsibly and skillfully inspect their own private septic systems. What does this mean to all septic systems in Whatcom County? Increased costs, regulatory compliance reporting, and more invasion of your private property rights. The Health Department should be asked to prove that there are people cheating on their inspections and then ask why these people are not being fined for their actions? The vast majority …

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Dairy Farmers to Request Help from Conservation District to Pay Lummi Tribe – $150k

Update on today’s story Gerald Baron has requested some corrections and clarifications to this posting, so I have posted this with Mr. Baron’s approval: The grant request to the Whatcom Conservation District board meeting tonight, comes from the Lummi Indian Business Council The grant request amount is for $150,000.00, not $180,000.00 The grant request will be used to fulfill a portion of the remaining $539,700.00 from the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), signed on Jan. 6th, 2017, for the purpose to establish a Portage Bay Recovery Fund, as a joint effort to raise additional funds from mostly public sources, to compensate shellfish harvesters harmed by the closures, and to aid in recovering shellfish beds None of the $150,000.00 will be paid to the original 7 Farmers who signed the MOA Request of the grant funds to come from this state program: Conservation District Board Members will be asked Thursday evening, Jan. 12th to vote in favor of the Conservation District giving the 7 Farmers who signed the Agreement with the Lummi Tribe, a GRANT of $150,000.00 to help pay for the $450,000.00 GOOD FAITH payment due the Lummi Tribe upon signing the agreement.  Taxpaying citizens of Whatcom County and Washington State that …

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Is This the Beginning or the End of Dairy Farms in Whatcom County?

JAN. 8, 2017 Update: Received this comment on the points we posted and questioned on here, from Ann Appel, and wish to thank her for these points of correction. Ann Appel I appreciate your concern for the farming community. We are obviously concerned as well! A lot of work still needs to happen to make this agreement succeed. On that note, I’d like to provide a few clarifications. The initial money, 450,000, was raised by the Dairy community. A Portage Bay Shellfish Recovery Fund will be established and additional funds will be raised by both entities. There will be 2 mutually agreed upon experts from both sides who will, alongside the farmer, develop Water Quality Improvement Plans customized for each farm. The experts can only come at a mutually agreed upon time. “Mutually agreed upon” are the keywords here. As long as everyone is working in good faith towards clean water, no litigation. Those involved did their best and had lawyers looking at the wording of the agreement to protect farmers and their farms. No one knows for sure how it will all turn out but we are hopeful. On Thursday, January 5th, 2017, Rich Appel of Whatcom Family Farmers and …

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