Wyoming Game and Fish Commission Seeks Public Comments on Revised Wolf Management Plan, Public Meetings Scheduled – Aug. 8, 2011

           Cheyenne-The Wyoming Game and Fish Commission is seeking public comments on its revised Gray Wolf Management Plan. The comment period will be open from August 8 through September 9. The revised plan is available for public review on the WGFD website at http://gf.state.wy.us/. The department will also host eight public meetings around the state to present the revised plan and to collect public comments.

            Changes to the plan reflect a recent agreement between Wyoming Governor Matt Mead and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. After the public comment period, the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission will consider the plan at a special commission meeting, September 14 at 11:00 at the Parkway Plaza Hotel in Casper.  Read full story for public meeting information, flex line map and fact sheet.

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Lummis: Vehicle Miles Traveled Tax Would Be Unfair to Rural Americans – July 25, 2011

By U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis

With gas prices hovering near $4 a gallon, families are taking common-sense measures to tighten their belts. Carpooling, cutting back on driving and buying more fuel-efficient vehicles are among the solutions many Americans are using to deal with the pain at the pump and the havoc it is creating on their finances.

But as Americans cut back on filling up, the federal gasoline tax is no longer filling up the Highway Trust Fund’s tank. Since the 1980s, the trust fund has been funded through a national gas tax, which has remained static at 18.4 cents per gallon since 1993.

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AFBF News Release-Report Confirms Flaws in Government Chesapeake Bay Analyses – July 27, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 27, 2011 – An updated report on the science surrounding Chesapeake Bay water quality confirms that serious and significant differences exist between the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Bay Model” and the model authored by the Agriculture Department. Left unchanged these differences could lead to farmers in the watershed paying a steep price for nutrients and sediments that have been mistakenly attributed to them, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

The analysis, conducted by LimnoTech and commissioned by the Agricultural Nutrient Policy Council, shows there are vast differences between the EPA and USDA Chesapeake Bay models in the areas of land use, total acreage of the Bay watershed and data and assumptions about farmer adoption of conservation and farming practices.  Read full article for link to analysis.

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Interesting blog on safe food

Read this blog post from CAST about “how to try really hard not to get food poisoning.”  Tips like washing your hands and not eating rotten fruit are common sense, but the author expands on other research points.  The blog post also includes links to credible information regarding the production of safe and abundant food.

AFBF Outlines Steps to Ease Regulatory Nightmare

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 14, 2011 – Congress must help alleviate the burden of an ever-increasing array of federal environmental regulations on agriculture, according to Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers, who testified today before a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Representing the American Farm Bureau Federation, Rogers told the Subcommittee on Environment and the Economy that the breadth and extent of the regulatory challenges facing U.S. agriculture are tremendous.

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Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation Statement regarding Preble’s ruling – July 2011

A recent decision by a federal judge in Denver to restore Endangered Species Act (ESA) protection for the Preble’s meadow jumping mouse in Wyoming is disappointing and points to the need to amend the ESA, according to the Wyoming Farm Bureau Federation.  “We are disappointed in the ruling,” Ken Hamilton, WyFB executive vice president, said.  “I don’t think we were in danger of having the mouse go extinct here in Wyoming.”

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AFBF’s response to EPA’s TMDL take-over

AFBF’s lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Total Maximum Daily Load in the Chesapeake Bay seeks to rein in EPA’s overreaching and to preserve the primary responsibility for water quality and land use planning that the Clean Water Act expressly reserved for state and local authorities.  The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, and a half-dozen other agricultural trade associations have filed a lawsuit challenging EPA.

Court action to rein in EPA’s over-reaching is necessary now.  Beyond its unlawful Chesapeake Bay TMDL, EPA is already laying the groundwork for similar action across the Mississippi River watershed – an area encompassing nearly 40% of the continental United States. Read full article for a fact sheet with AFBF’s response to EPA’s TMDL take-over.

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Draft ‘Waters of the U.S.” Guidance Comments due July 31

—Deadline extended to July 31; Grassroots comments encouraged

 Grassroots comments are being sought by July 31 regarding the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) proposed draft guidance expanding EPA’s Clean Water Act (CWA) regulatory authority.

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, this new guidance provides agency field staff with an expanded menu of options to establish federal jurisdiction and control of any given water body on private land.  As a result, Farm Bureau members will be subject to federal enforcement and onerous permitting requirements that will require a substantial expenditure of time and money.  Even where jurisdiction is in question, the federal agencies have shifted the burden to landowners and permit applicants to establish that jurisdiction is not appropriate.

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Comments sought on federal guidance related to Agricultural Transportation

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is requesting public comments on Regulatory Guidance: Applicability of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to Operators of Certain Farm Vehicles and Off-Road Agricultural Equipment.  Comments are due to the agency on June 30, 2011.

No one cares more about the safety of farm and ranch vehicles and machinery than farmers and ranchers.  Our families and friends share the rural roads that are most used for agricultural transportation.  We gladly shoulder our responsibility to keep our vehicles and machinery in safe working order to protect our loved ones, our communities and ourselves.

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Help needed for Arizona ranchers affected by fires

–Looking for pasture availability

The record breaking forest fire in the state of Arizona has ranchers seeking pasture availability.  According to Arizona Farm Bureau President Kevin Rogers, the fire in the Northeast section of the state has charred over 500,000 acres as of June 23.  Rogers says that fire along with three other fires going are taking a toll on the ranching community.

“Ranchers in these areas have asked me to contact your state for some help,” Rogers said.  “If ranchers in your state have any pasture available please contact our office.  We will serve as a clearing house of opportunity for our burned out ranchers to contact and negotiate for pasture this summer and possibly into 2012.”

If you have pasture available, please contact Liz Foster at the Arizona Farm Bureau.  Her email is [email protected] and phone is 480.635.3611.

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