WCA News & Updates
Read below for information on WCA's ESA petition, NCBA updates, Wildland Fire, and much more!
WCA's petition to Department of Interior regarding the Endangered Species act has moved forward!
There is still work to do, at some point public comments will be needed, so stay tuned.
E&E News - "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed a potentially drastic change to the way the agency implements the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The highly technical proposal, titled 'Removal of Blanket Section 4(d) Rule,' is believed to eliminate a rule that effectively treats species categorized as 'threatened' the same as those categorized as 'endangered.' The 4(d) rule has been in place since 1978, extending endangered 'take' prohibitions to threatened species as well. Since going on the books, 4(d) has drawn praise from environmentalists and criticism from private-property advocates. The proposed rule, first discovered by the Center for Biological Diversity, has been submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review, but has not yet been made available to the public..." Click here to read more (sub req'd).
What's in the House Farm Bill for Cattlemen and Women?
To put it simply:
Lots of good stuff. That's why NCBA and the Public Lands Council expressed their support for the bill in a letter to the leaders of the House Agriculture Committee. Here are a few of the highlights noted in the letter:
- Livestock Health. H.R. 2 establishes a National Animal Health Vaccine Bank that would prioritize foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) preparedness. The bill also prioritizes agricultural research related to the Cattle Fever Tick.
- Conservation. The bill consolidates the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) into the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). It also proposes improvements and additional resources for the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP).
- Trade. The bill combines two USDA trade promotion programs into the new International Market Development Program. This will protect and bolster funding for important trade promotion and market development activities.
Looking for more info on the House version of the Farm Bill? Check out the resources on the House Agriculture Committee page.
NCBA Lays Out Principles for Regulating
Fake Meat Products
Three pages. 715 words. That's what NCBA needed to lay out guiding principles for regulating fake meat in comments to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). To protect producers and consumers from fake meat, NCBA requested two actions from USDA:
1.Work with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to enforce existing labeling laws for plant-based protein products. Current legislation gives FDA the power to take action, but the agency has historically been lax on enforcement.
2.Assert regulatory jurisdiction over lab-grown fake meat products.
USDA is the agency in the best position to ensure fair and accurate labeling and the safety of lab-grown products for consumers.
NCBA's comments come in response to USDA Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) Petition 18-01, which asks USDA to create "standards of identity" for beef and meat.
NCBA agrees that producers and consumers need to be protected from fake meat and misleading labels. But NCBA is not supportive of Petition 18-01. The reason is simple: Implementing the proposals in the petition would fail to provide sufficient protection for beef and put cattlemen and women at a disadvantage (more on why below).
NCBA Searching for a Permanent Solution to ELDs and Hours of Service
On Thursday (3/29) NCBA launched a new call-to-action for members, urging them to tell Congress about industry concerns with the implementation of electronic logging devices (ELD) and Hours of Service (HOS) rules.
Last week Congress provided livestock haulers regulatory relief from ELD/HOS rules until September 30, 2018. Now NCBA and affiliates are working with Congress to find a permanent solution that provides haulers with the flexibility they need to protect animal welfare.
In the meantime, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released guidance on documentation truckers need to have on-hand in case they are stopped by local law enforcement. Click here to view that guidance and access the documentation.
DNR Strategic Fire Protection Plan
We are thrilled to have received nearly 700 responses to the Wildland Fire Protection Strategic Plan Survey. Thank you for your feedback!
Remember to RSVP for the Wildland Fire Workshops
We hope to see you at the upcoming Wildland Fire Workshops. You can register for a workshop in Spokane or Wenatchee at the links below. Please also feel free to forward this information to your networks. Registration will close the Friday before each workshop. There is no cost to attend.
- RSVP for Spokane (April 24): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/washington-wildland-fire-workshop-spokane-tickets-44681590841
- Note that discounted room rates are available through Friday, April 13 at the Mirabeau Hotel & Convention Center, where the workshop will be held. Please call the hotel at (509) 924-9000 and ask for the rate for the Wildland Fire Workshop.
- RSVP for Wenatchee (May 1): https://www.eventbrite.com/e/washington-wildland-fire-workshop-wenatchee-tickets-44681988029
NEW: Public Open Houses on Wildland Fire
Two public open houses will be held in Spokane and Wenatchee to provide an opportunity for community members to learn more about the strategic plan, meet the project team, and provide feedback to inform the development of the strategic plan. For more information, please see the links below. We also encourage you to forward these links to those who would be interested in attending the open houses.
- Spokane Open House on Monday, April 23 | 4-7 PM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-house-on-washington-wildland-fire-spokane-tickets-44852183087
- Wenatchee Open House on Monday, April 30 | 4-7 PM: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/open-house-on-washington-wildland-fire-wenatchee-tickets-44852387699
If you have questions or feedback about the strategic planning process:
- Visit: dnr.wa.gov/StrategicFireProtection
- View: Factsheet
- Email: WildfirePlan@dnr.wa.gov
- Call: (360) 902-1011 to reach Loren Torgerson, Wildfire Policy Advisor with DNR
If you were forwarded this email, you can also sign up for future email updates at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WildfirePlanList.
Thank you for your interest and participation in the Washington Wildland Fire Protection Strategic Plan. We hope to see you at a workshop or other event this spring and encourage you to share this announcement with your networks.
Washington Wildland Fire Protection Strategic Plan Team
CRITICAL AREAS MONITORING AND ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT WORKSHOPS - 2018
The Department of Commerce, the Department of Ecology and WDFW will be conducting a series of workshops around the state in early 2018 to provide tools for and get feedback from counties and cities on how to build local and state monitoring and adaptive management programs for protecting critical areas. A Department of Commerce survey revealed that many local governments don't have systematic ways to follow through on implementation of their permit processes and the on-the-ground results of critical areas regulation. It also showed many have an interest in building adaptive management programs but have limited resources. These workshops will review a new draft chapter in the Critical Areas Handbook, show how state High Resolution Change Detection Data can help local governments, share local approaches, and explore challenges and solutions to implementing such a program. Please see the project web site for the draft chapter and updates on the workshop details.
Hold the Dates:
Eastern Planners Forum, Moses Lake April 25, 2018
For more information, please contact Heather Ballash or Scott Kuhta at the Department of Commerce.