Ag Today August 22,2019
Environmental groups sue Trump administration for weakening Endangered Species Act [San Francisco Chronicle]
Several big-name environmental groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Wednesday challenging the Trump administration’s recent rollback of the Endangered Species Act. The groups, which include the Sierra Club, the National Parks Conservation Association and five others, allege that the administration’s move is at odds with the 45-year-old conservation law and threatens the survival of untold numbers of plants and animals….California Attorney General Xavier Becerra also has threatened to sue over the Trump administration’s changes to the Endangered Species Act, though his office is yet to follow through.
Ag today August 21, 2019
A report shows Trump’s water plan would hurt California salmon. The government hid it [Los Angeles Times]
Federal officials suppressed a lengthy environmental document that details how one of California’s unique salmon runs would be imperiled by Trump administration plans to deliver more water to Central Valley farms….Had the opinion been adopted and released, it would have interfered with efforts to ramp up irrigation deliveries to powerful California farm interests with ties to the Trump administration….Paul Souza, the regional U.S. Fish and Wildlife director who is coordinating work on the salmon opinion and a separate one for delta smelt that his...
Ag Today August 20, 2019
Wildfire acreage way down in California this year _ so far [Associated Press]
…Acreage burned through Sunday is down 90% compared to the average over the past five years and down 95% from last year, according to statistics from the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The stats are good news for a state that has seen terrifyingly destructive and deadly blazes the past two years, but the worst of those fires occurred in the fall. The precipitous drop could be due to the amount of precipitation the state received during a winter of near-record snowfall and cooler-than-average temperatures — so far.
Ag Today, August 19, 2019
The latest casualty of Trump’s trade war with China? California wine [Los Angeles Times]
…Since April 2018, in response to U.S. tariffs, China has slapped retaliatory taxes on $110 billion in U.S. imports — products as varied as electronics and soybeans. For wine, taxes and tariffs now amount to a 93% surcharge on every U.S. bottle….“China was our fastest-growing export market,” said Honore Comfort, vice president for international marketing at the Wine Institute, a San Francisco trade group….But U.S. wine exports to China were down by 33% in the first half of this year compared with the same period in 2017.
Ag Today August 15, 2019
Trump defended a pesticide linked to developmental disorders. California will ban it [Los Angeles Times]
California regulators on Wednesday took formal legal steps to ban a widely used pesticide that had been rescued from elimination by the Trump administration. The move by the state Environmental Protection Agency is all but certain to draw legal challenges from Corteva Agriscience (formerly Dow AgroSciences), which has pushed back at attempts by environmentalists to ban the chemical, chlorpyrifos, on a federal level….The ban is the first time the state has unilaterally barred an actively used pesticide, and will take effect in 15 days unless opposing...
Ag Today August 14, 2019
Joshua trees, monarch butterflies among species that may be impacted by Endangered Species Act change [Palm Springs Desert Sun]
Petitions seeking federal protections for the Joshua tree, the California spotted owl, the monarch butterfly, the Siskiyou Mountains Salamander, the San Joaquin Valley giant flower-loving fly and the Western bumble bee are among those that could be affected by changes announced by the Trump administration this week to "improve" implementation of the Endangered Species Act. At least 39 species of flora and fauna in the Golden State are among the 147 active petitions pending before the federal government, including the gray...
Ag Today August 13, 2019
‘We’re ready to fight’: Wildlife activists vow to protect Endangered Species Act from Trump [Sacramento Bee]
Wildlife advocacy groups and two state attorneys general vowed to fight the Trump administration’s proposed regulatory change to the Endangered Species Act, arguing that it could threaten species ranging from the California condor to the monarch butterfly and the northern spotted owl....The Trump administration says it’s a necessary change to balance economic considerations with the law’s intent to protect endangered wildlife....California Attorney General Xavier Becerra joined Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey in signaling they’d sue the Trump administration over the change.
Opinion: Right-wingers again demonize the...
Ag Today August 12, 2019
U.S. Significantly Weakens Endangered Species Act [New York Times]
The Trump administration on Monday announced that it would change the way the Endangered Species Act is applied, significantly weakening the nation’s bedrock conservation law credited with rescuing the bald eagle, the grizzly bear and the American alligator from extinction….Republicans have long sought to narrow the scope of the law, saying that it burdens landowners, hampers industry and hinders economic growth. They also make the case that the law is not reasonable because species are rarely removed from the list….One of the most controversial changes removes longstanding language that prohibits the consideration...
Ag Today August 8, 2019
How California is leading the food security fight [KCRA TV, Sacramento]
...California has become a leader in agriculture practices that work to produce food while slowing the pace of climate change. The programs in place, experts said, could translate nationally and internationally....Ross: The practices that we are starting to see being embraced here can happen on a global basis. We are working here in California....Houlton: Our farmers are the most innovative you’ll find anywhere in the planet, and they’re working to conserve water using drones and sensors.
Opinion: Farmers don’t need to read the science. We are living it. [New York Times]
Ag Today August 8, 2019
UN climate report: Change land use to avoid a hungry future [Associated Press]
Human-caused climate change is dramatically degrading the Earth’s land and the way people use the land is making global warming worse, a new United Nations scientific report says. That creates a vicious cycle which is already making food more expensive, scarcer and less nutritious….But if people change the way they eat, grow food and manage forests, it could help save the planet from a far warmer future, scientists said.
US-China trade war is hurting farmers, but they’re sticking with Trump [CNBC]
…Farmers are one of the most visible casualties of...