A few weeks ago, local radio host Dillon Honcoop, assisted in posing the question, Why does our local Whatcom Transit Authority (WTA) have billboard advertising on them that falsely accuses farmers and farming, for polluting the land? By exposing the actions of the WTA, local people and a local farming organization, Save Family Farming, dug deeper into the issue and discovered that our tax dollars were being granted to an organization named What’s Upstream.
Environmental activists hue and cry that when we allow cows access to a stream it pollutes the water and that it is bad for the environment…
…yet say nothing about the pollutants which occur from wildlife like: elk, geese, ducks, and our over-population of local deer.
The actions of the EPA, the lies spread by the non-profit organizations who comprise What’s Upstream, who falsely claim that farmers and farming have not been regulated enough and are currently polluting our waters, has caught the attention of numerous federal congressional representatives. The Federal Government frowns upon any agency, like the EPA, to grant tax payer dollars that will then be used for political lobbying purposes. The What’s Upstream propaganda not only lied about farmers and farmers, but asked people to pressure their federal congress people to support farm killing legislation. The EPA has publicly announced that they should not have granted funds for this purpose..
The Environmental Protection Agency today reversed course and said EPA funds should not have been used to finance What’s Upstream, a media campaign to arouse public support in Washington state for stricter regulations on agriculture.
The campaign, a collaboration between a tribe and environmental groups, raised the ire of farm groups and drew a rebuke Monday from Senate Agriculture Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan.
A day after Roberts criticized EPA’s involvement, the agency, which had not previously commented on the campaign’s substance, condemned the use of federal funds.
“The tone and content of this outside campaign does not represent the views of the EPA,” an agency spokesman said in a written statement.
EPA originally awarded the grant to the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, a consortium of 20 tribes. The commission passed the money through to the Swinomish Tribe in northwestern Washington.
In its statement today, EPA specifically addressed Roberts’ complaint directed at What’s Upstream billboards put up in Olympia and Bellingham.
“The grant being used to fund the billboard(s) was awarded to a consortium to be directed at endangered salmon recovery efforts,” the EPA spokesman said. “The consortium made a sub-award for a campaign which should not be using EPA funds. We are in the process of correcting that.”
But the damage has been done and the Whats Up Stream group continues to spread their lies on billboards and their website.
Last Friday, April 22nd, 2016, Gerald Baron of Whatcom Family Farmers, discussed this issue further on the local KGMI Morning Show with Dillon Honcoop. Mr. Baron spoke of the movement to prevent future illegal use of and waste of our tax dollars in Congress, and to hold the EPA accountable for breaking the law, but our own Washington State Senator’s, Patti Murray and Marie Cantwell, our own Washington State Congressperson, Rick Larsen, are all mute on this subject. Currently, U.S. Congressional Dist. 1 Representative, Susan Delbene, commented that, “she’s concerned about this issue and will be looking into it.” Washington State receives a huge benefit from our friends in agriculture and our U.S. Senators Murray and Cantwell have nothing to say about this? Our U.S. Congressional Representative Rick Larsen, has nothing to say about this? Our other U.S. Congressional Representative, Susan Delbene, is looking into it? As the proof stares them in the face the joke remains to be on us. Will we standby and watch our political defenders fiddle around this issue while our biggest, family-friendly industry, Washington State Agriculture ‘s, economic flame smolders?
04/22/2016 podcast interview on KGMI’s Morning Show with Dillon Honcoop and Gerald Baron: