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Oregon to revisit landowner rights along waterway

August 31, 2010 --

More push to get legislation giving the public the right to recreate on privately-owned banks and uplands along non-navigable waterways
By Bill Moshofsky
Oregonians In Action,

During the 2010 special session of the legislature, Senator Alan Bates of Jackson County introduced a  bill that gave the public (1) the right to use the privately owned banks of non-navigable, but “floatable” waterways for recreation (swimming, fishing, camping, picnicking, etc.), and (2) rights to use privately owned uplands (land about the “ordinary high water” line, including pastures, wooded areas, crop fields, and yards).

The bill was defeated, but Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown (a member of the State Land Board) has formed a River Users Work Group in an effort to come up with compromise legislation that could pass in the next regular session.   Because of the threat to the property rights of  many landowners all across the state, Oregonians In Action is participating in the Work Group.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Senator Atkinson speaks against dredge mining

August 30, 2010 --

By State Senator Jason Atkinson,

Last year, California ended the practice of dredge mining in its rivers. With the ban in effect, out-of-state miners have flooded into southern Oregon rivers armed with $25 permits issued by the state.

I’ve a long history with “The New 49’ers,” the miners association that organizes equipment and permits for dredge miners. I’ve seen what its members have done to some of the great rivers in the West. Dredge miners dump all the material they remove from a river bottom downstream, changing the entire structure and hydraulics of streams and their fish habitat. They squat on public land, not in campgrounds. They live next to their rigs the entire season. The responsibility to make them move on falls on local law enforcement. As someone who has represented two large southern Oregon counties for more than a decade of meager public safety funding, I’ll tell you that our sheriff’s officers don’t need this chore.

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Senate approves mandatory price reporting

August 28, 2010 --

NCBA Applauds Senate Approval of Mandatory Price Reporting
— NCBA Calls for House to Support Transparency in the Marketplace
National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

WASHINGTON (Aug. 6, 2010) – Well into the evening yesterday, Aug. 5, 2010, the U.S. Senate reauthorized by unanimous consent the Livestock Mandatory Price Reporting Act (LMPR), which was set to expire Sept. 30 of this year. Colin Woodall, vice president of government affairs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), said the reauthorization will continue to encourage transparency in the marketplace. He said producers have come to rely on the information provided by the LMPR to aid in their negotiation of sales prices for cattle and meat products.

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Arkansas embroiled in farm aid controversy

August 27, 2010 --

Wall Street Journal Editorial:
8/27/10

Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal Editorial on Arkansas Senator Blanche Lincoln farm aid problems…

Last year heavy rain damaged cotton and rice crops across the South. The 2008 farm bill, passed by a Democratic Congress, created the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE) to aid farmers hit by such weather-related disasters. The admirable intent was to stop farm-state Senators from looting the Treasury after every early frost or the like. To qualify for SURE funds, farmers are now required to buy crop insurance (federally subsidized to the tune of about $6 billion a year) and to have lost more than 30% of their crop value.

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Virus kills 20 deer in Corvallis

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Virus kills deer in Corvallis neighborhood
By Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Adenovirus Hemorrhagic Disease (AHD) is the likely cause of death in as many as 20 black-tailed deer in a Corvallis neighborhood over the past month, according to pathology tests conducted by state veterinarians. Since July 23, veterinarians from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and Oregon State University have confirmed AHD as the cause of death in two deer carcasses recovered in the Timberhill area of Corvallis. Several other carcasses collected in the Timberhill area also have signs consistent with AHD, according to Dr. Julia Burco, ODFW district wildlife veterinarian.

Timberhill is located in northeast Corvallis next to OSU’s McDonald-Dunn Research Forest.

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Mexico truck blowback burns U.S. Agriculture

August 26, 2010 --

U.S. Agriculture Paying Price for Inaction on Mexican Trucks
By American Farm Bureau Federation,

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 19, 2010 – Mexico’s trade retaliation against the United States is expanding in size and scope due to the U.S. government not meeting obligations to allow Mexican trucks to operate in the United States. Due to this inaction, America’s farmers and ranchers are paying a steep price and the American Farm Bureau Federation is calling for immediate action to correct the matter. The updated retaliation list published by Mexico includes tariffs that take effect today against U.S. pork, certain types of U.S. cheese, pistachios, a wide range of U.S. fruits and vegetables and other farm and non-farm goods. “Mexico is one of our best trading partners and allowing this retaliation to continue for a provision we are obligated to meet is simply unacceptable,” said AFBF President Bob Stallman. “The economic impact from this growing list will be significant to many farmers and ranchers.”

Read the full article and discuss it »

Noxious weed re-emerges in Oregon

August 25, 2010 --

Tansy ragwort re-emerges in Oregon, but still controllable
Biocontrol should keep the noxious weed in check
By Oregon Department of Agriculture

Farmers and ranchers in Western Oregon this summer are noticing patches of the telltale bright yellow flowers of tansy ragwort- a noxious weed once the scourge of the 1970s. But the experts at the Oregon Department of Agriculture say it’s no cause for alarm as successful biological control agents should keep the plant from making an unwelcome comeback to prior levels.

The equation is simple- as the tansy ragwort population grows, so do the populations of flea beetles and cinnabar moths that feed off the weed. It’s all part of a natural cycle, and ODA’s Noxious Weed Control Program believes the good insects will maintain the upper hand.

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Senator Kerry Energy Tax Bill Helps Energy Storage Companies

August 24, 2010 --

Sen. Kerry’s Energy Tax Bill Would Help Energy Storage Technologies
by Chad Marriott
Stoell Rives, LLP
NW Law Firm

On August 5, 2010, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced S.3738—the Clean Energy Technology Leadership Act of 2010—which would have some impact on the growth of energy storage technologies in the United States.

Among other things, the bill would provide for an extension and modification of the Advanced Energy Manufacturing Tax Credit (the “MTC”), a credit authorized under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act aimed at stimulating and expanding the domestic manufacturing industry for clean energy technologies.  The MTC is also referred to as Section 48C of the Internal Revenue Code (the “IRC”). The proposed modifications would extend the MTC to “statutory advanced energy property,” the definition of which includes property used exclusively to manufacture or fabricate fuel cell power plants and systems for the electrochemical storage of electricity (other than lead-acid batteries) for use in connection with electric grids.

Also noteworthy is that S.3738 is similar to the STORAGE 2010 Act, introduced by Sens. Bingaman (D-NM), Wyden (D-OR), and Shaheen (D-NH) in July. Click here for more on that bill. Both bills amend Section 54C of the IRC to allow grid-connected energy storage systems to qualify for Clean Renewable Energy Bonds (“CREBs”). In addition to including energy storage technology in the CREBs program, S.3738 would expand the program by increasing the national new clean renewable bond limitation by $3.5 billion in 2010; sixty percent (60%) of that amount must be allocated by the Department of the Treasury to public power providers, and forty percent (40%) must be allocated to electric cooperatives.

A major distinction between Sen. Kerry’s bill and the STORAGE 2010 Act is that Sen. Kerry’s bill does not add energy storage devices to the list of technologies eligible for the federal investment tax credit.  The full text of the bill can be found here.

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Timber update: Western Oregon Task Force, Defazio and BLM

August 23, 2010 --


By American Forest Resource Council

Items in this newsletter
1. Task Force Report Disappoints
2. DeFazio Convenes BLM Meeting
3. FS/BLM Budget
4. DNR Timber Report
…more

Task Force Report Disappoints

On July 22, the Administration released the Final Report of the Western Oregon Task Force. The Task Force visited Oregon in January of this year and interviewed various stakeholders interested in BLM land management policies. The report is far from providing a way for the BLM to move forward with timber management in the absence of the Western Oregon Plan Revisions (WOPR), which was withdrawn by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar on July 16, 2009.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Is beef making a comeback as brain food?

August 22, 2010 --

By Cindy
National Corn Grower’s Association

A recent story by National Public Radio (NPR) about meat and the evolution of the human brain has devolved into a fight between meatheads and pea brains.

The story, posted on the NPR website on August 2, now has some 280 comments – many of them of the “Are too! Am not!” variety. The basic premise of the story is that our brains evolved when primitive man switched from a raw plant-based diet to a cooked meat-based diet. “What we think is that this dietary change around 2.3 million years ago was one of the major significant factors in the evolution of our own species,” the story quotes anthropologist Leslie Aiello.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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