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Ag alarmed over dangers in omnibus water bill

October 31, 2010 --

Ag Groups Warn Senators on Overreaching Cardin Bay Bill
National Association of Wheat Growers

Forty major agricultural groups including NAWG wrote all Senators this week strongly urging them to oppose any effort to insert language from Sen. Ben Cardin’s (D-Md.) Chesapeake Bay bill, S. 1816, into other legislation in the lame duck session. In recent days, the groups have learned the bill could be attached to “must pass” legislation or an omnibus water bill that brings together several non-regulatory and non-controversial water-related measures.

In a letter, they urged Senators against going along with this tactic and outlined their extensive concerns with the bill’s requirements and its regulatory overreach.

Though the bill’s title may suggest it would only affect the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the groups emphasized to Senators that the Cardin bill would have national implications, the scope of which represent some of the most fundamental amendments to the Clean Water Act since it was approved in 1972.

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Lame Duck Session may pass biodiesel tax credit

October 30, 2010 --

ASA Thanks Sec. Vilsack for Biofuels Support, Urges Congress to Pass Biodiesel Tax Incentive During Lame Duck Session
American Soybean Association

October 21, 2010…Saint Louis, Missouri… The American Soybean Association (ASA) appreciates comments made today by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack on the importance of continuing to develop and expand our domestic renewable biofuels industry, including support for the extension of the biodiesel tax credit and implementation of the Section 9005 Bioenergy Program for Advanced Biofuels.

“ASA applauds efforts by USDA to promote biofuels use and invest in the facilities and infrastructure needed to incorporate more biofuels,” said ASA President Rob Joslin, a soybean producer from Sidney, Ohio. “The United States needs to promote production of fuel from renewable sources like soybeans.”

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Quarter million sheep killed by wolves

October 29, 2010 --

By American Farm Bureau Federation,

In the late 1970s, the American Farm Bureau Federation produced a television documentary called The Lost Sheep. It was about coyote predation of America’s sheep population. The producer of the film, the late Jack Angell, a former NBC newsman, hoped to change the public’s attitude about predator control. Many if not most Americans viewed the coyote sympathetically as a symbol of the Old West.

Sheep producers, on the other hand, knew the coyote far more intimately – as a cunning, persistent killer. “Meek as a lamb” is a true saying. Sheep are defenseless against predators and no one understands this any better than the coyote.

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Metro Landowner Alert: LCDC land redesignation

October 28, 2010 --

By Oregonians In Action

Rural property owners in Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah Counties recently received some disturbing news from the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). If you are a rural property owners in one of these counties, pay attention.

In 2007, the Oregon Legislature approved a bill directing Metro and the three Portland-area counties to map and designate urban and rural reserves in each county. Areas mapped as urban reserves would be given first priority to be included in the urban growth boundary when the boundary expanded.

Conversely, areas mapped as rural reserves would not be brought inside the urban growth boundary for the next 50 years. However, as the legislature pointed out, the uses on property that was designated rural reserve would not change, meaning rural property owners would still be able to do all of the same things they could do with their property except for having that property brought inside the urban growth boundary.

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New Oregon-BPA agreement protects Willamette habitat

October 27, 2010 --

New Oregon-BPA agreement protects Willamette habitat
By Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

STATE OF OREGON – BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION

PORTLAND – Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski and Steve Wright, administrator of the Bonneville Power Administration, today signed a landmark agreement to jointly protect nearly 20,000 acres of Willamette Basin wildlife habitat – more than twice the area of Oregon’s largest state park.

The agreement dedicates stable funding from electric ratepayers for 15 years to cost-effectively safeguard Willamette habitat for many native species such as Oregon’s state bird, the western meadowlark. It supports the governor’s Willamette River Legacy and fulfills BPA’s responsibility under the Northwest Power Act to offset the impacts of federal flood control and hydropower dams.

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Merkley lauds Obama’s new mileage standards

October 26, 2010 --

Obama Administration Announces New Gas Mileage Standards for Heavy-duty Vehicles
“Proposed Standards Consistent with Proposal in Merkley Oil Independence Plan”
By Oregon U.S. Jeff Merkley

Portland, OR – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation today announced the first national gas mileage and greenhouse gas emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses, set to start in 2014. According to the EPA, the new standards are projected to save 500 million barrels of oil over the lives of vehicles produced within the program’s first five years, and produce $41 billion in net economic benefits.

“Better gas mileage is going to be a major part of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and strengthening national security,” Merkley said. “Any business that depends on vehicles,

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$27M Oregon farm rental program

October 25, 2010 --

Oregon producers participate in many voluntary programs
By Oregon Department of Agriculture

If government rental payments to Oregon landowners currently enrolled in the federal Conservation Reserve Program were an agricultural crop, its value of nearly $27 million would make it the state’s 25th ranked commodity. However, there is no crop grown on that land, which is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. CRP, as it is known, voluntarily takes environmentally sensitive land out of production and enhances it through resource-conserving cover crops while providing participants with rental payments. It’s a fair and popular exchange in Oregon, and one of many examples that show farmers and ranchers care about the state’s natural resources.

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How to pass an ICE audit

October 24, 2010 --

Natural Resource News Note: An ICE audit is one of those critical events so important that no business actually prepares for.  Below is a highlight from an article by AG Careers.  Please read.

The Top Things You Must Know to Successfully Pass an ICE Audit
by Brenda J. Smith, J.D.
AG Careers

As an agriculture employer, you have many certain things to think about. The last thing you want to be worried about is whether your employees are legal, and whether you will be subject to a government audit of your paperwork.

Over ther past 18 months, there has been an increased focus by Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) on enforcing immigration laws against employers. This focus represents a shift in immigration policy, and it has huge implications to you as an a agriculture employer. Since July of 2009, over 3,500 employers have received Notices of Inspection (NOI) and subsequently have been subject to a government audit of the I-9 and immigration documentation. Last week the agency announced another 500 Notices of Inspections and audits of employers all over the United States, including companies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2010/09/20/daily8.html

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NASCAR using ethanol in their racecars

October 23, 2010 --

NASCAR using ethanol in their racecars in 2010

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ODFW seeks candidates for Fish Passage Task Force

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ODFW seeks candidates for Fish Passage Task Force
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

SALEM – The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is seeking three members to represent water users, fishing and conservation interests and the public-at-large on the state’s Fish Passage Task Force. The Task Force advises the Director and the Department on fish passage matters in Oregon, including cost sharing and priority setting. The nine volunteer members of the Fish Passage Task Force are appointed by the ODFW Director and are eligible to serve two four-year consecutive terms. Task Force members represent water users, fisheries and conservation interests, and the general public.

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