–GID holds informational meeting on July 24
Torrington, July 26, 2019–“The only thing we have to live on is optimism and we are running on a get ‘er done attitude,” Goshen County Farmer and Goshen Irrigation District Board President Bob Coxbill told fellow farmers at a July 24th Goshen Irrigation District informational meeting. The meeting provided an update regarding efforts to restore the canal to service following the July 17th tunnel collapse that has left 107,000 acres (52,000 in Wyoming and 55,000 in Nebraska) without irrigation water during a critical time in the growing season. (more…)
July 19, 2019--According to a Goshen Irrigation District news release, during the early morning hours on July 17, an apparent collapse in a tunnel on the Fort Laramie Canal, about one and a half miles south of the town of Fort Laramie, caused water to back up and breach the canal bank upstream of the tunnel. The Fort Laramie Canal provides irrigation water to approximately 107,000 acres in Wyoming and Nebraska served by the Goshen and Gering-Fort Laramie Irrigation Districts and the Wright and Murphey Ditch Company.
Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Vice President/Goshen County Farmer Cole Coxbill says the magnitude of the tunnel collapse is devastating. “In 13 miles, the water in the canal rose by four feet in just a half hour,” he explained. “It just went from bad to worse as the severity of the washout and tunnel collapse was discovered. The crew’s quick action and response to get the canal shut down as soon as they did saved additional destruction.” (more…)
WASHINGTON, July 16, 2019 – “The Administration has moved its effort to repeal the 2015 Waters of the United States rule to the Office of Management and Budget, the last step before formal issuance. This is good news and welcome news,” said American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall. (more…)
Laramie-The Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation recently awarded $5,500 in college scholarships to young Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation members. (more…)
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), welcomed Todd Fornstrom, president of the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, to the committee. Fornstrom was testifying before the committee at a hearing titled “A Review of Waters of the U.S. Regulations: Their Impact on States and the American People.” Click here to watch Mr. Fornstrom’s testimony. (more…)
The EPA’s latest proposal to define which waters can be regulated by the federal government and which by state and local authorities is a vast improvement over previous efforts, Wyoming Farm Bureau President Todd Fornstrom told the Senate Subcommittee on Fisheries, Waters, and Wildlife today. (more…)
Students from across Wyoming learned more about agriculture again this year and were recently recognized for their participation in the 2019 Wyoming Farm Bureau (WyFB) “Ag Books for Kids” contests. The 2019 contests included: Coloring Contest for kindergarten and first grade; Poster Contest for second and third graders; and a Creative Writing Contest for fourth and fifth graders. (more…)
With appreciation for devoting her time, talent and dedication to the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation, we thank McKenzi Digby for serving the organization as the Office Manager and Creative Director since May 2, 2016. Digby’s last day with WyFB will be May 24. (more…)
By Randy Dwyer
“If not us, who? If not now, when?” These questions have been posed by many over the years in an attempt to draw attention to causes both large and small. For Farm Bureau farmer and rancher members, the answers to these questions should hold more meaning today than ever before. (more…)
By Cyndie Shearing, American Farm Bureau Federation
“Whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights” has long been attributed to Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence and our nation’s third president. When he wrote those words in 1789, Jefferson could not have imagined how true they would ring more than 200 years later, when the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers proposed an overreaching “waters of the U.S.” rule in 2015 that was more about controlling land than protecting water.
Fortunately, at the end of 2018, after years of litigation and controversy, the agencies proposed a new rule that provides farmers and ranchers with Clean Water and Clear Rules. Now EPA and the Corps want to hear directly from members of the public – including farmers, ranchers, landowners and others who may be subject to regulation – to make sure the new Clean Water Rule provides clear and easily understood guidelines. But with the comment period on the proposed new rule closing on April 15, there’s no time to lose. To have a voice in this process, it’s important to submit your comments online now at www.fb.org/cleanwater.
EPA’s administrator has stated he wants the new Clean Water Rule to work for agriculture and all of America. Below are some key reasons to be optimistic about it:
- The proposed new rule provides clarity, regulatory certainty and protects water resources, while respecting the federal-state balance that Congress struck in the Clean Water Act. It alleviates unpredictable and inconsistent case-by-case determinations of which waters fall under the agencies’ jurisdiction. It also brings an end to the decades-long trend of persistent federal government overreach that cannot be reconciled with either congressional intent or judicial precedent.
- This proposed new “waters of the U.S.” definition is grounded in the Clean Water Act. It’s also consistent with Supreme Court precedent. And it helps correct past agency practice, guidance and interpretations that improperly expanded the scope of federal authority under the CWA.
- The proposed rule eliminates much of the uncertainty, ambiguity and inconsistency that characterized previous definitions related to the scope of EPA and the Corps’ jurisdiction. The proposal also appropriately places the burden on the government, not landowners, to show jurisdiction in cases where historic evidence is needed.
- The proposal appropriately defines tributaries to include only those streams that contribute perennial or intermittent (as opposed to occasional or ephemeral) flows to a traditional navigable water. The focus on the well-understood concepts of ephemeral, intermittent and perennial flow allows landowners and regulators to more readily identify tributaries subject to CWA jurisdiction.
- Under the proposed rule, wetlands adjacent to other jurisdictional waters (traditional navigable waters, tributaries, ditches, lakes, ponds and impoundments) would fall under EPA jurisdiction. With this “adjacent wetlands” definition in place, agencies asserting jurisdiction over isolated, intrastate, non-navigable waters is no longer a possibility.
- The proposal reaffirms the “prior converted cropland” exclusion, which grandfathered in many acres of cropland and exempted them from federal jurisdiction.
Farmers and ranchers want Clean Water and Clear Rules. Don’t miss this chance to let your voice be heard. Submit your comments online today at www.fb.org/cleanwater.
Cyndie Shearing is director of internal communications at the American Farm Bureau Federation.