The Oregon Natural Resources Report - Agricultural News from Oregon


EPA tries land grab with water rule

May 30, 2014 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers’ proposed definition of “Waters of the U.S.” has raised grave concern from cattle producers across the country. Today, Jack Field, cattle rancher and Washington Cattlemen’s Association executive vice president, testified before the House of Representatives Small Business Committee to discuss the overregulation and impeding impacts of the rule for rural America.

“First and foremost, the cattle industry prides itself on being good stewards of our country’s natural resources,” said Field, who owns and operates a cattle operation in Washington. “We maintain open spaces, healthy rangelands, preserve wildlife habitat, and provide the country with the juicy ribeyes we all love to throw on the grill. However, to provide all these important functions, cattlemen must be able to operate without excessive federal burdens.”

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Wolf OR7 may have found a mate

May 29, 2014 --

Wolf OR7 may have found a mate

OR 7By Oregon Dept of Fish & Wildlife

OR7, a wolf originally from northeast Oregon, may have found a mate in southwest Oregon’s Cascade Mountains.

In early May, remote cameras on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest captured several images of what appears to be a black female wolf in the same area where OR7 is currently located. The images were found by wildlife biologists when they checked cameras on May 7.

The remote cameras were set up by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) as part of ongoing cooperative wolf monitoring efforts.  New images of OR7 were also captured on the same cameras and can be accessed and viewed at ODFW’s wolf photo gallery (see first three images).

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Is new GMO law “Just the Beginning”?

May 27, 2014 --


By Cindy
National Corn Growers Association

“This is just the beginning,” says Rebecca Spector with the Center for Food Safety about new laws passed this week in two Oregon counties banning the cultivation of genetically engineered (GE) crops.

And that is a scary thought. We’re talking about making laws telling farmers they cannot grow perfectly legal crops. The initiatives in both Josephine County and Jackson County passed overwhelmingly – by a whopping 32% in one of them! These counties border California and produce mainly fruit, potatoes and livestock.

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Congress passes Water Reform Act

May 23, 2014 --

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

Congress passed the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which will become law with the President’s signature. Importantly for members of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, this bill contains a provision that will ease the burden of the EPA’s Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure rule.

The current EPA SPCC rule for farms requires compliance if an operation has 1,320 gallons, or more, of aboveground fuel storage and allows self-certification up to 10,000 gallons. This not only includes fuel storage but requires aboveground feed storage to be included in the total if it meets the broad definition of “oil” which includes the base of many liquid cattle feeds.

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GMO ballot measures passing

May 20, 2014 --

Early returns show that both county measures to limit genetically modified crops appear to be passing by margins of 58-66%.

OPB reports.

Separate measures to restrict genetically-modified crops in two Oregon counties won strong support in a first batch of election results on Tuesday.A Jackson County ordinance to ban growth of GMO crops had 66 percent “yes” votes to 34 percent “no” in early returns….A Josephine County ordinance to limit GMOs had 58 percent “yes” votes to 42 percent “no” in early returns. However, state law has designated Jackson County as the only county allowed to ban these crops.

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Anger over government survey of GMO ballot measure


Natural Resource News Note:

The state’s most watched ballot measure is the center of a controversy over a state survey. The Secretary of State mailed 24,000 voters in Jackson County questions over the GMO ballot measure 15-119 and also 15-121. Here is the Medford Mail Tribune reporting

“The timing of this ‘voter survey’ just days before an election is outrageous, confusing and unnecessary,” Good Neighbor Farmers, a political action committee opposed to Measure 15-119, said in a release.The survey is a research follow-up to a Citizens’ Initiative Review of Measure 15-119 conducted in April. The survey asks voters whether they agree with statements ranging from “We should embrace the use of genetically modified foods even if they involve a small amount of scientific uncertainty” to “The prosperity of local farmers is more important than the rights of corporations to grow genetically engineered crops.”

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New GMO-measure Ad about Property Rights

May 19, 2014 --

No On Measure 15-119

A group of major agricultural organizations representing farmers and ranchers across Oregon and in Jackson County announced their opposition to Measure 15-119, Jackson County’s proposed crop ban. The groups – the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Oregon Farm Bureau, Oregon Seed Council, Oregon Wheat Growers League and Oregon Women for Agriculture – called on Jackson County residents to vote NO on Measure 15-119.

Casey Moore of Eagle Point – who represented the Cattlemen’s Association at yesterday’s event – said he’s concerned about the negative consequences that Measure 15-119 will have on Jackson County. In this new video, Casey says says Jackson County law enforcement should be focused on stopping criminals, not policing farmers.

We agree. Watch the video:

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10 facts on Congress & Ag spending

May 16, 2014 --

By American Farm Bureau Federation

By Melissa George Kessler

It’s time once again for Congress to decide how the government is going to spend its – meaning your – money. Wondering what that really means for farming and agriculture? Below are the top 10 things you should know.

10. Congress’ power to allocate funds is written into the Constitution. Legislators can decide to give agencies like the Agriculture Department some leeway, but good and bad money decisions ultimately rest with the 535 voting members on Capitol Hill.

9. Members of Congress give direction to government agencies in two ways, through authorizations and appropriations. Authorizations are laws that establish specific policy, while appropriations are laws that actually fund these activities. Both are necessary for any action to be taken. This is just like ordering at a restaurant: you can tell the waitress what you want, but without paying at some point, you won’t get anything.

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Newly passed Renewable Bill = Greenwashing

May 14, 2014 --

Oregon Cascade Policy Institute
By William Newell

In February, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 4126. This bill would allow utilities to purchase renewable energy certificates, or RECs, to meet Oregon’s renewable portfolio standards, rather than actually purchasing electricity produced by renewable sources.

The bill is simply “greenwashing.” “Greenwashing” is a tactic for companies, in this case large data centers, to burnish their environmental credentials without actually being any “greener.”

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State clarifies role over GM crops

May 13, 2014 --

State clarifies role over GM crops
Natural Resource News Note:

The Oregon Department of Agriculture said this week that they are limited on their regulatory authority over GM farms. The discussion was featured in the Capitol Press this week.

For biotech crops that remain regulated by the federal government, the Oregon Department of Agriculture can designate “control areas” for field testing, said Katy Coba, the agency’s director.The agency has used this authority to protect grass seed farms in the Willamette Valley by establishing a control area in Central Oregon for genetically engineered bentgrass, she said.

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