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Oregon Cattlemen’s Association applauds Secretary Zinke for touring Siskiyou National Monument

cattle, Dept. of INTERIOR, Federal gov & land grabs, Zinke - DOI Sec 2017

July 17, 2017

Oregon Cattlemen’s Association

Secretary Of The Interior Ryan Zinke, “Glad To Be Back In Oregon” For Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument Review

Announcing on twitter that he was “Glad to be back in Oregon! Here for a monument review…” the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association applauds Secretary Zinke for touring with OCA President John O’Keeffe and for hearing both sides of the issues of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

On April 26th, President Trump signed an Executive Order for the review of monument designations made under the Antiquities Act by previous Presidents. As many Oregon ranchers hoped, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, as designated by President Trump, made a trip to the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument on July 15th, 2017, where he conducted a thorough and precise preview.

“Secretary Zinke’s trip to the Cascade-Siskiyou monument area is encouraging for all-natural resource industries,” said Jerome Rosa, OCA Executive Director. “The gross misuse of the Antiquities Act by prior administration will hopefully be overturned.”

Secretary Zinke met with members of Oregon’s Bureau of Land Management where he hiked through the monument, hearing all sides for his report. Meeting with various other industries such as the snowmobile industry, the timber industry and the ranching industry, it is reassuring that his attention to detail is precise to find the true impacts that a monument of this size can cause to the economy of our state.

OCA President John O’Keeffe spent the afternoon with Secretary Zinke and a few select others which included Lee Bradshaw, a rancher within the allotment, and Representative Greg Walden. O’Keeffe commended Secretary Zinke for the quality questions that he asked and his genuine concerns for all parties involved.

“He seems to be really interested and generally concerned with the issues that the monument raises,” said John O’Keeffe.

Overall, the monument review seemed to go well but there was no indication as to a timeline for what comes next or what Secretary Zinke’s final verdict will be. For now, the cattle ranchers will continue to wait. However, we are hopeful that, after researching and hearing about the negative impacts the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument has had on outdoor enthusiasts, ranchers, and timber industries alike, that the right decision will be made.

http://naturalresourcereport.com/2017/07/oregon-cattlemens-association-applauds-secretary-zinke-for-touring-siskiyou-national-monument/

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Why some Californians aren’t thrilled about wolf pack discovery

cattle, Wolves

Sac Bee.com

July 6, 2017

It was a moment worth celebrating – the discovery of a rare wolf pack in rural Northern California, including three pups.

But if you raise cattle – or maybe you’re a beef eater sympathetic to ranchers – it was reason for anxiety and resentment.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife’s detection of a small wolf pack in Lassen County, announced Wednesday, set off another round of debate and finger-pointing between ranchers and environmentalists over the presence of wild predators in rural areas.

Ranchers such as Dave Cowley, who encountered a different wolf pack circling his herd of heifers in Siskiyou County two years ago, said Thursday that environmentalists and urban Californians don’t grasp the threat posed by wolves to their livelihoods.

“It’s a lifetime of work,” said Cowley, who was able to pull the heifers away from the wolves. “To have a wolf pack come in and destroy it, and to have environmentalists cheer, it’s disappointing.” He said he fears that the wolf population will continue to grow.

Fish and Wildlife announced that it fitted a tracking collar onto a 75-pound adult female wolf June 30, and confirmed that the wolf and her mate produced at least three pups this year. Officials have been searching for the adults since last summer, when they were first spotted on camera.

The so-called Lassen Pack is the second known family of wolves found in Northern California in 90 years, following the discovery of the Shasta Pack in 2015. Of special significance is that the father of the Lassen Pack pups is the son of OR7, the lone wolf who became an international media sensation when he crossed from Oregon into Northern California in 2011 and wandered for years before returning to Oregon. OR7 was the first wolf seen in California in decades.

“It’s a big deal because these wolves are making their way home,” said Pamela Flick of the environmental group Defenders of Wildlife. “This is natural habitat for them.”

Ranchers say this is no homecoming, however. In a case filed by Sacramento’s Pacific Legal Foundation, the California Cattlemen’s Association and California Farm Bureau sued the California Fish and Game Commission earlier this year, challenging its decision to list the gray wolf as endangered under the state’s Endangered Species Act.

Their argument: The Endangered Species Act only applies to native species, not visitors from other states. Listing them as endangered makes it harder for ranchers to protect their livestock, the suit added.

“You can’t harass them, you can’t shoot them,” said rancher Pam Giacomini, who owns about 1,700 head of cattle in Lassen and Shasta counties. “We’re probably OK managing around them, but if somebody becomes a killer, nobody has an answer.”

Wolves lived in California until they were eradicated about a century ago, but a Department of Fish and Wildlife report says it’s hard to determine how large the population was. “Their historical abundance and distribution are poorly understood and not verifiable,” the report said. “While there are many anecdotal reports of wolves in California, specimens were rarely preserved.  Wolves were likely killed to control predation on other animals. Other factors, including hunting, may also have contributed to their extirpation from California.”

The wolves’ presence feeds rural Californians’ frustration with state government, which they believe has little regard for their economic problems and way of life. Such resentments have helped fuel the State of Jefferson movement, which calls for Republican-leaning counties of Northern California to form their own state.

Commenting on The Sacramento Bee’s first story about the Lassen Pack discovery, one Facebook user wrote, “I know I could use a nice rug.” Two wrote, “SSS,” which is shorthand for “Shoot, shovel, shut up.”

Cowley, the rancher from Siskiyou County, said he thinks someone is deliberately planting the wolves in Northern California. He doesn’t know who.

Read more here:

http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/environment/article159930244.html#storylink=cpy

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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California Cattleman’s Assoc. led charge to stop Wild & Scenic Rivers expansion

Agriculture - California, cattle, State gov

CCA Defeats Legislation to Expand Wild & Scenic Rivers

CCA and a diverse coalition of agricultural and business groups held legislation in the California State Assembly late Thursday night that sought to expand protections for rivers designated as wild and scenic under the California Wild & Scenic Rivers Act. Specifically, AB 975 by Assembly member Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), which proposed to increase designated  areas currently confined to the river to also include land 1/4 mile on each side of the river. Land use activities such as grazing and permitted water rights within the 1/4 mile could have been severely impacted.

CCA’s and the coalition’s strong opposition to the bill blocked the author from obtaining the 41 votes necessary to advance the legislation to the Senate. Today is the last day for Assembly bills to be sent to the Senate and Senate bills to be sent to the Assembly or otherwise be ineligible to be heard for the rest of the calendar year. The Assembly will not meet again until Monday and therefore the legislation is effectively dead for 2017.

CCA appreciates all those members of the Assembly who held firm in their opposition to AB 975. CCA also appreciates ranchers who responded to the two CCA action alerts issued over the last two weeks to contact their Assembly members to oppose the legislation – it made a difference. Don’t hesitate to contact Justin Oldfield in the CCA office for more information.

Elizabeth Nielsen

Natural Resources Policy Specialist

County of Siskiyou

1312 Fairlane

Yreka, CA 96097

o: (530) 842-8012

c: (530) 598-2776

 

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Rip the Veil of Secrecy from the Bundy Case

Bundy Battle - Nevada, Bureau of Land Management, cattle, Constitution, CORRUPTION, Courts, CRIMINAL, Federal gov & land grabs

Redoubt News.com

Much of the evidence in the high-profile case remains cloaked in secrecy due to a blanket court protective order.

Rip the veil of secrecy from the Bundy case

Rip the veil of secrecy from the Bundy case

BY THOMAS MITCHELL
MAY 18, 2017

(Mesquite Local News) – Justice must not only be done, but it must be seen to be done.

The wheels of justice continue to grind in the federal criminal case against Cliven Bundy, four of his sons and a dozen co-defendants over the April 2014 armed standoff with federal agents trying to confiscate Bundy’s cattle at his Bunkerville ranch. All of the defendants have been jailed for more than a year.

The standoff occurred after armed Bureau of Land Management agents attempted to roundup Bundy’s cattle after he had refused for 20 years to pay grazing fees in the Gold Butte area. The BLM said he owed $1 million in fees and penalties.

Faced with armed protesters the BLM agents eventually released the cattle and left to avoid potential bloodshed.

Much of the evidence in the high-profile case remains cloaked in secrecy due to a blanket court protective order that requires just about everything filed in the case must be filed under seal.

But the press — specifically the Las Vegas daily newspaper, this newspaper and The Associated Press — continue to fight for openness. Just this past week attorney Maggie McLetchie filed a writ with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals asking that the veil of secrecy be lifted, because it “is anathema to the First Amendment” and longstanding court precedent from the 9th Circuit itself.

McLetchie argues, among other things, that much of the rationale for keeping material secret is merely to protect government agents from legitimate criticism of their conduct. She also says the protective order is  based on “speculation and scaremongering” supported almost entirely by a series of years-old online social media posts.

Since the arrests of most of the defendants back in February 2016, things have not gone swimmingly for the government.

Two of Bundy’s sons, who had been arrested on separate but similar charges of illegally occupying an Oregon wildlife refuge to protest the jailing of father and son ranchers under a terrrorism law for letting fires get out of control and burn a few acres of federal public land, were acquitted of those charges this past fall by a jury, along with their co-defendants.

In April, the first of three scheduled trials for the Bunkerville defendants — charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy, extortion, assault and impeding federal officers — ended in a mistrial. The jury found only two of six people on trial guilty of some charges but deadlocked on the others. The jurors agreed to convict on only 10 of the 60 charges brought. None of the conspiracy charges stuck.

In January, the Interior Department’s Inspector General released a 16-page investigative report outlining misconduct and ethical violations by the BLM agent who supervised the Bundy cattle roundup. The report never named the agent but said he abused his powers by obtaining preferential treatment for family and friends at the 2015 Burning Man event on BLM land, misused BLM personnel and equipment, improperly intervened in hiring a BLM agent and attempted to influence an employee’s testimony during the Inspector General’s investigation of him.

Congressional records identify the agent as Dan Love.

McLetchie noted that the misconduct allegations add fuel to the “general public’s concern that the government mishandled the investigation in this case.”

Her writ quotes from a 9th Circuit ruling from 1983 in which The Associated Press sought information about a criminal case. The court stated there “can be little dispute that the press and public have historically had a common law right of access to most pretrial documents. … Moreover, pretrial documents, such as those dealing with the question whether [a defendant] should be incarcerated prior to trial and those containing allegations by [a defendant] of government misconduct, are often important to a full understanding of the way in which ‘the judicial process and the government as a whole are functioning.’”

Seems on point for the Bundy case.

The defendants from the first Bundy trial are to be retried in late June on the same day Cliven Bundy, his sons and others were scheduled for trial. The court has yet to say what the schedule will be for the long-jailed remaining defendants.

The court needs to shine more light on this case so the public can see whether justice is being done. — TM

Rip the Veil of Secrecy from the Bundy Case

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Trump orders review of monuments—

Bureau of Land Management, cattle, Dept. of INTERIOR, PRES. TRUMP

May 1, 2017

Western Livestock Journal

Power returning to states with report due in 120 days

“Today I’m signing a new executive order to end another egregious abuse of federal power and to give that power back to the states and to the people, where it belongs.”

These were the words of President Donald Trump on April 26 as he prepared to sign the “Presidential executive order on the review of designations under the Antiquities Act.” Flanked by Vice

President Mike Pence and Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke, he made his remarks before a gathering of senators, representatives and governors representing rural America.

“The previous administration used a 100-year-old law known as the Antiquities Act to unilaterally put millions of acres of land and water under strict federal control—have you heard about that?—eliminating the ability of the people who actually live in those states to decide how best to use that land,” Trump continued.

“Today, we are putting the states back in charge. It’s a big thing.”

He specifically mentioned former President Barack Obama’s designation of the Bear Ears National Monument in December of last year. That 1.35-millionacre designation was done in spite of “the profound objections of the citizens of Utah,” Trump said.

Order details

The executive order consists of two sections. Section 1 explains that “designations that result from a lack of public outreach and proper coordination with state, tribal, and local officials and other relevant stakeholders” can “create barriers to achieving energy independence, restrict public access to and use of federal lands, burden state, tribal, and local governments, and otherwise curtail economic growth.”

“Designations should be made in accordance with the requirements and original objectives of the Act,” it states, “and appropriately balance the protection of landmarks, structures, and objects against the appropriate use of federal lands and the effects on surrounding lands and communities.”

Section 2 calls upon Zinke to perform a review of every monument designated since 1996 that covers more than 100,000 acres or that was made or expanded “without adequate public outreach and coordination with relevant stakeholders…” The order directs the secretary to consider the following points:

  • The requirements and original objectives of the Act, including the Act’s requirement that reservations of land not exceed “the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected;”

  • Whether designated lands are appropriately classified under the Act as “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, [or] other objects of historic or scientific interest;”

  • The effects of a designation on the available uses of designated federal lands, including consideration of the multiple-use policy of … the Federal Land Policy and Management Act …, as well as the effects on the available uses of federal lands beyond the monument boundaries;

  • The effects of a designation on the use and enjoyment of non-federal lands within or beyond monument boundaries;

  • Concerns of state, tribal, and local governments affected by a designation including the economic development and fiscal condition of affected states, tribes, and localities;

  • The availability of federal resources to properly manage designated areas; and

  • Such other factors as the secretary deems appropriate.

The order goes on to direct Zinke to consult and coordinate with the governors and local officials of the affected states and localities.

Within 120 days of the order (late August), Zinke is to provide the president a final report summarizing the findings of his review. The report is to include “recommendations for such presidential actions, legislative proposals, or other actions consistent with law as the secretary may consider appropriate…”

An “interim report” will be provided to the president within 45 days, or in mid- June.

Livestock industry support

The order has been hailed by groups such as PLC (Public Lands Council) and NCBA (National Cattlemen’s Beef Association), which issued a press release stating that the Obama administration alone “[locked] up 256 million acres of land and water in 30 separate designations.”

The groups pointed to two specific monuments that could be affected by the order. One was the 1.9-millionacre Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah, designated by President Bill Clinton in 1996. Livestock grazing on the monument has since been reduced from 106,000 Animal Unit Months (AUMs) to just 35,000 AUMs, according to PLC and NCBA.

The groups also mentioned the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, located in Oregon and Northern California. It was initially created by Clinton and amounted to 53,000 acres—until Obama expanded it by another 48,000 acres in his final weeks in office.

“This expansion will effectively prohibit logging on approximately 35,000 acres, adding to the risk of wildfire as fuel loads increase, and negatively affecting the economy of multiple counties within the monument,” the groups asserted. It has also had negative impacts on grazing.

PLC and NCBA added that, while the order is an important first step, Congress must act to bring the Antiquities Act back to its original intent. They pointed specifically to a bill introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), S. 33, the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act. It would require congressional approval of new designations.

Words from Zinke

Zinke issued a press release following the President’s signing.

“Part of being a good steward is being a good neighbor and being a good listener,” he said. “In the Trump administration, we listen and then we act. For years, the people of Utah and other rural communities have voiced concern and opposition to some monument designations. But too often in recent history, exiting presidents make designations despite those concerns.”

Under Trump’s leadership, Zinke promised, he will work with local, state and tribal governments to review monument designations made over the past 20 years and “make sure they work for the local communities.”

— Theodora Johnson, WLJ Correspondent 

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Water squeeze in Oregon’s Klamath Basin pits ranchers against tribes, both with strong ties to the land

Agriculture, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Lawsuits, Water rights

PNP comment: This is a fairly good background article on the lawsuit and eventual settlement in favor of the Klamath Tribes being allowed to take other water right users’ water allotments away. — Editor Liz Bowen

Oregon Live.com

By Scott Learn, The Oregonian
Follow on Twitter
on July 06, 2013 at 12:00 PM, updated July 08, 2013 at 6:30 AM

SPRAGUE RIVER — A summer evening on Jim and Caren Goold’s  front porch. The river meanders through their cow pasture, a curly blue ribbon framed by foothills dotted with ponderosa pine. And, yes, the cattle are lowing.

It’s about as pastoral as a scene gets. But the upper Klamath Basin, already three months into a drought emergency, is far from peaceful this summer.

Two parties with strong ties to the land, the upper basin ranchers and The Klamath Tribes, are pitted against each other for limited water, the latest skirmish in one of the nation’s most persistent water wars. And deep historical divisions stand in the way of compromise.

In late June, a state watermaster handed Jim Goold a yellow card ordering him to shut off irrigation for the first time in his 40 years on the 617-acre ranch.

“It’s beyond frustrating,” Caren Goold says. “We have all this wonderful water going by and we can’t touch any of it.”

The Goolds worry they’ll lose pasture for 300-plus cows, their income and their ranch, where Jim’s parents are buried out back. They see a future land grab through the Bureau of Indian Affairs, with land values falling as irrigation water evaporates.

Here’s where history’s twists come in. Much of the upper basin, including the Goolds’ ranch, was once The Klamath Tribes‘ reservation land. The federal government “terminated” the tribes in 1954, a move that included cash payouts, but is widely seen as a tribal disaster.

This year, fortunes sharply changed. The state of Oregon ruled that the tribes’ “time immemorial” water rights on the former reservation remain intact, giving the tribes a firm upper hand. Last month, tribal leaders called their water rights to sustain their hunting and fishing grounds, triggering the shutoffs.

Twenty miles down Sprague River Road, at the tribes’ offices in Chiloquin, Perry Chocktoot  talks about his own attachment to the land, too. He grew up hunting and fishing here. His grandmother taught him how to smoke and can fish –110 minutes, 15 pounds of pressure.

Chocktoot, the tribes’ cultural and heritage director, says court cases and water rights decisions should have warned the ranchers what was coming. But too many of them view Indians as “drunken idiots,” he says. “And, guess what, we’re not.”

“We’re here by the gift of our creator to help the community,” he says. “That mindset has never been reciprocal. They had a chance to effectively work with the tribes, but they said not just no, but hell no.”

Dry times

Absent a judicial reprieve or a settlement, the water rights decision means irrigation with river water will be shut off to hundreds of ranchers this summer, shriveling pasture for 70,000 to 100,000 cattle.

GS.10025953A_GR.KLAMATHFALLS-02.jpgView full size

So far, state watermasters have shut off water to roughly 300 irrigators on the Sprague and Williamson rivers, with more tributaries of Upper Klamath Lake still to be evaluated.

It’s an echo of Klamath water fiasco a decade ago.

In 2001, the U.S. government cut off water to irrigators who tap Upper Klamath Lake as part of the century-old federal reclamation project. The shutoff stemmed from Endangered Species Act listings of coho salmon and two species of suckers and strict ESA requirements on federal projects.

The next year, with intervention from Dick Cheney, the farmers got water instead, and 30,000 chinook salmon died in the lower Klamath River.

That crisis pushed project farmers to negotiate with the tribes, federal and state governments and others to share water and restore riverside habitat. The 2008 Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement was coupled with a plan to remove four PacifiCorp dams on the Klamath River by 2020, which would be the largest dam removal in U.S. history.

But this year is different. Cattle ranchers above the lake, outside the reclamation project, were free to irrigate despite the ESA listings — until this year’s water rights decision.

Many of the ranchers are still fighting, in court and on the streets. On Monday, they rallied in Klamath Falls, driving cattle trucks down Main Street.

They also have challenged the water rights decisions in Klamath County circuit court, asking for a stay this summer. They say the state gave the tribes more water than they need to support hunting and fishing habitat.

The tribes’ water calls would reduce irrigation even in normal water years, the ranchers argue. State officials figure tribal rights fall well below normal streamflows, but the ranchers think the state’s flow estimates are too high.

Roger Nicholson, who leads two ranching groups, raises cattle on 3,000 acres near Fort Klamath. Some of that land came from tribal members, he says, but most has been in his family since the 1890s.

The tribes’ water calls affect his draw even on streams outside the former reservation, he says, since those flows are needed to meet the water rights the tribes won downstream.

The water rights decisions were “a travesty of justice,” Nicholson says, and the shutoffs are “an economic catastrophe beyond compare.” Affected ranches cover more than 100,000 acres, ranching groups estimate.

“It’s bankrupting a whole community,” Nicholson says.

http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2013/07/water_squeeze_in_oregons_klama.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Klamath Tribes terminate water compact, potentially devastating ranchers, farmers

Agriculture, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Tribes, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Free Range Report.com

April 24, 2017

In April 2014, ranchers and the Tribes signed the Upper Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The ranchers agreed to retire 18,000 acres of land or 30,000 acre feet of water and do riparian repair work on the rivers in exchange for an allotment of water each year…

At the end of February, the Tribes indicated to the ranchers they wanted to terminate the agreement…

Gerry O’Brien

Herald and News

Tribes issue water claim, ranchers fear the worst

There are few options for the Upper Klamath Basin ranchers who are now under a call for water from the Klamath Tribes, just as irrigation season is fast approaching.

The ranchers believe their livelihood is at stake and so may be much of the economy for the county. The issue affects some 300,000 acres of land and 1,000 or more ranchers north and east of Klamath Falls.

Two weeks ago, the Tribes called on its water rights for “flood plain” water on the Sprague and Williamson Rivers, which are running high due to spring runoff. The Wood River is under the same call, which is expected to take effect Monday, experts predict. All three feed into Upper Klamath Lake.

The Tribes have primary water rights, which supersede any secondary rights of the ranchers and irrigators.

The Herald and News was unable to get a comment from the tribal chairman for this story, but Chairman Don Gentry has said in the past the call was necessary now to benefit fish habitat in high water zones, basically flushing out the river to allow for new growth. That will help endangered fish, such as Lost River and short-nosed suckers, downstream.

The ranchers say that by June or July, pastures will be turning brown and those without underground wells and adequate stock water for cattle will be forced to ship cattle elsewhere for forage, an expensive proposition.

Options are limited

Ranchers hope to get the Tribes to either remove the call, or return to the bargaining table and hammer out a deal that would benefit both sides. Also, the state could join the negotiations or Congress could step in to help by pushing legislation to resolve the issue.

Those who have their water shut off, may file an appeal with the watermaster, which would put a hold on the shutoff unless the state rules otherwise. That could buy some time for the ranchers and the upper Basin irrigators are exploring that avenue.

Any federal appeal, such as seeking an injunction to the call, would be a costly proposition, experts say.

“This would not have happened if the unprecedented agreement (KBRA) produced by tribes, irrigators and conservationists had not been blocked. I stand ready to put in the work again to resolve this longstanding issue with an agreement that addresses the long-term needs of all the parties,” said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., in an email.

(One reason the bill failed was it was tied to removal of four hydroelectric dams on the Klamath River. Congressmen in Northern California were opposed to the dam removal).

Andrew Malcolm, spokesman for Rep. Greg Walden, said, “This shows the continued need for a long-lasting solution in the Basin. Greg’s been working on these issues a long time, and continues to work with stakeholders to find a solution that has the needed support with the public and in Congress.”

What the call means

A few of the ranchers and irrigators met with the Herald and News editorial board last week to lay out their concerns.

In April 2014, ranchers and the Tribes signed the Upper Basin Comprehensive Agreement. The ranchers agreed to retire 18,000 acres of land or 30,000 acre feet of water and do riparian repair work on the rivers in exchange for an allotment of water each year. That pact was linked to the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) for the lower basin that eventually failed to gain congressional approval. Without it, the agreements had no money to be carried out.

At the end of February, the Tribes indicated to the ranchers they wanted to terminate the agreement, but have yet to file formal notice of termination with the Interior Department.

“Last year, we worked under the agreement and there was no call,” said Larry Nicholson, a fourth-generation Forth Klamath rancher. He’s also a member of the Klamath Tribes. “Now there is no communication with the Tribes, and everything just fell apart. We have nothing else to give.”

The way the call works is: Any amount of water flowing above 2,190 cfs can be called on by the tribes; When flows get down to 2,190 cfs, the call ends and irrigators will be able to irrigate again. When flows hit 1,440 cfs the water is shut off for the summer.

So, once ranchers are able to turn the water back on, nearly all of them will begin irrigating as fast and as much as possible. Some experts say that could be a short window of just a couple of days to a couple of weeks.

“On the Wood, this a straight up call to shut the whole Wood River down for the summer,” said Larry Nicholson. “Unless we can come up with an agreement, it will be like a domino effect and the Wood River will be the first one to fall.”

Economic fallout

Roger Nicholson, a cousin of Larry’s, also has a longtime family ranch in the valley.

“It is going to start hurting shortly. These are Draconian instream flow levels. What adjudication has meant for us is a taking of our water,” he said. “We’re the whipping boy now.”

The economic impacts could be “a $1 billion hit” Roger Nicholson predicts. Not only will Klamath County suffer, the region will suffer, he said.

“We send cattle to the San Joaquin Valley for feed; we send them to the state of Washington as feeders and for the packing industry. I send 7,000 head alone. All that could go away,” Nicholson said. Plus, the ripple effects will be felt across the county, he warned.

Klamath Tribes terminate water compact, potentially devastating ranchers, farmers

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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Klamath Tribe wants all the water

Agriculture, Agriculture - California, Air, Climate & Weather, cattle, Klamath Tribe, Water rights, Water, Resources & Quality

Herald and News.com

Ranchers in the Upper Basin react

Tribal water call: ‘Devastating’

The call on water by the Klamath Tribes will be devastating economically for the cattlemen in the Upper Basin, affected ranchers said Tuesday.

The Tribes made the call last week. A water call puts the rest of the secondary water users on notice that the Tribes intend to use its water allocation in the Williamson, Sprague and possibly the Wood rivers for the benefit of fish habitat over irrigation for farming and cattle operations.

“This call is potentially devastating to both irrigators and the Tribes,” said Becky Hyde, a member of a long-time cattle ranching family in the Upper Basin above Upper Klamath Lake. “Our ag communities want what is best for the fish as well, but this puts a tremendous strain on our relationship with the Tribes.”

 While the call focuses on the current high water flows in the rivers — and if they fall to a certain level, irrigators can actually irrigate — there is still the concern that the irrigation window will be short-lived.

This is the first time the regulations have taken effect with spring runoff, which could run to June 1 or end sooner.

Water agreement

Hyde and several other ranchers spent years hammering out an Upper Basin agreement over water use with the Tribes. That agreement is still on the books, but has no funding behind it, hence is moot. The agreement would retire some 18,000 acres of land from use to put water back into the streams. In turn, there will be water security for ranchers.

Larry Nicholson, whose family also has historic cattle ranches on the Wood River, said the economic impact will be huge. A water call has not been made on the Wood, but Nicholson expects it.

“There are some 30,000 head of cattle that are moved into the area from ranches in California,” Nicholson said. “The grass in the Fort Klamath area is highly nutritious, but it is only good in the summer as it’s too cold to keep cattle there in the winter. Most ranches are not setup for stock water. If there is no water, the cattle will be kept in California, crowding out those ranch resources.”

After that …

“We have yearlings who need to grow all summer on grass,” Hyde said. “It’s a scramble to find alternative grazing. If you multiply that across the region, the water call a big deal,” she said. “We will be OK in the spring thanks to the early moisture and growing grasses. After that, it could be devastating.”

A couple of years back, Hyde shipped some cattle out after water supplies dwindled.

“This will be worse. There will be no water,” Hyde said.

Randall Kiser, who is a fifth-generation rancher on the Sprague and Wood, said, “When you have a snowpack at 138 of average and there is still a call for water, something is wrong.” Kiser, too, worked on the water pact with the tribes. Some 150 large and small ranches on the Sprague will be affected by the call.

“It’s a serious situation,” Kizer said.

“It would be nice if we could negotiate a settlement, finalize it and keep moving” he said. “This call affects everybody in the Upper Basin. When we last met in February, the Tribes told us they were ‘settlement-minded.’”

Fisheries status

Tribal Chairman Don Gentry said of the call Monday, “I understand the concerns for the agricultural community, but there needs to be concerns for the status of our fisheries.”

Both Hyde and Nicholson point out that the agreements work both ways. The idea was to have cattlemen build fences to keep cattle out of the rivers so fish habitat could grow.

“If you don’t have fences, it stands to reason the cattle will be drinking from the river,” Nicholson said, damaging habitat and eroding banks.

“Just having water doesn’t restore habitat,” Hyde said. “That’s where everyone loses. The Klamath Tribes have a powerful card that they are playing, but that doesn’t, mean they win in the end.”

READ it here

http://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/ranchers-in-the-upper-basin-react-to-water-call/article_2e958a6e-14be-5def-bd13-7f69b6db4517.html

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

 

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R-CALF USA Statement on Renewed Beef Access to China

Agriculture, cattle, PRES. TRUMP

April 10, 2017

Billings, Mont. – R-CALF USA CEO Bill Bullard issued the following statement following the Financial Times report that President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping reached an agreement over the weekend to allow US. beef into China.

“While we welcome the news that China intends to reopen its market to U.S. beef, steps must be taken to ensure the benefits from this expanded market flow all the way back to the farmers and ranchers who comprise the U.S. live cattle supply chain, and are not captured by the multinational meatpackers who will actually export the beef.

“Because the dangerous foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) is endemic in China, we need assurances from the Secretary of Agriculture that we are not entering a quid pro quo with China as we did with Brazil, with which we agreed to relax our FMD restrictions in return for renewed access to the Brazilian market.  Doing this also with China would expose our domestic cattle herd to an unacceptable risk.

“We further call on the Administration to close the loophole that allows multinational meatpackers to circumvent the U.S. live cattle supply chain by sourcing live cattle from Canada and Mexico and exporting the resulting beef as if it was a product of the United States.  If the rule of origin that allows this deception is not changed, then multination meatpackers can capture the benefits of any new market without sharing those benefits with U.S. cattle producers.  This is because the faulty rule of origin allows meatpackers to bypass the U.S. live cattle supply chain.

“Also, the Administration must limit the multinational meatpackers’ ability to exercise their unprecedented buying power to reduce competition in the domestic cattle market If the meatpackers continue using their tremendous buying power to leverage down domestic cattle prices in the face of rising beef demand, then they will capture the beef profits that a competitive market should be allocating to upstream cattle producers, which is what the meatpackers did to cause the market collapse of 2015.”

# # #

R-CALF USA (Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America) is the largest producer-only cattle trade association in the United States. It is a national, nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring the continued profitability and viability of the U.S. cattle industry. For more information, visit www.r-calfusa.com or, call 406-252-2516.  

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Judge dismisses lawsuit against grazing on eight Oregon allotments

Agriculture, cattle, Courts, Endangered Species Act, Lawsuits, Liberty

PNP comment: Finally, a judge that makes some sense from outrageous claims — the claims are just plain wrong! — Editor Liz Bowen

A federal judge has rejected arguments that cattle grazing hurts endangered sucker fish in violation of forest management law.

Capital Press

Mateusz Perkowski

Published on March 11, 2017 2:39PM

A federal judge has rejected environmentalist arguments that cattle grazing has unlawfully harmed endangered sucker fish in Oregon’s Fremont-Winema National Forest.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark Clarke has thrown out a lawsuit by three environmental groups — Oregon Wild, Friends of Living Oregon Waters and the Western Watersheds Project — which claimed that grazing was unlawfully authorized on eight allotments in the Lost River watershed.

The plaintiffs accused the U.S. Forest Service of “ignoring widespread evidence of riparian problems” that adversely affected the Lost River sucker and shortnose sucker, which are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act.

However, the judge has ruled that plaintiffs failed to prove that grazing degraded streams in violation of the National Forest Management Act.

Conditions have improved in many riparians areas despite continued grazing while recovery trends are “not significantly different” among sites that are grazed and those that are not, Clarke said.

“This would tend to indicate grazing is not the reason for any failure to attain (riparian management objectives) in streams found on the challenged allotments,” he said.

While the environmental groups have pointed to evidence of deterioration along portions of some creeks, they haven’t shown “watershed level” and “landscape-scale” failures to live up to fish-recovery objectives, Clarke said.

The “creek-specific observations” by environmental groups aren’t enough to “successfully rebut” the Forest Service’s interpretation of the data, he said.

“Finally, many of the creek assessments plaintiffs point to as evidence of a failure to attain (riparian management objectives) actually show improving or stable trends,” the judge said.

The Forest Service’s decision to authorize grazing on the eight allotments was based on “reasonably gathered and evaluated data” related to fish recovery strategies mandated under the National Forest Management Act, he said.

Clarke also dismissed the plaintiffs’ Endangered Species Act arguments, ruling they were moot because future grazing approvals will rely on a new consultation among federal agencies on the two fish species.

The environmental groups’ claims of National Environmental Policy Act violations were likewise dismissed because the plaintiffs hadn’t fully “exhausted” administrative challenges against grazing plans, the ruling said.

New information that’s emerged about threats to the fish and their critical habitat doesn’t rise to the level of requiring additional environmental analysis of grazing, Clarke said.

For example, although the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has reached the “alarming” conclusion that shortnose suckers face a “high degree of threat of extinction,” this finding doesn’t influence the Forest Service’s assessment of grazing, he said.

“While FWS concluded that significant threats to shortnose suckers’ viability remain and thus that their chance of extinction is high, it did not identify grazing as one of those threats; in fact, it made no mention of grazing at all,” the judge said.

http://www.capitalpress.com/Oregon/20170311/judge-dismisses-lawsuit-against-grazing-on-eight-oregon-allotments

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, any copyrighted material herein is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

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