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Ag Today November 15, 2018

Feds to Butte County: ‘You’re not going to be able to rebuild Paradise the way it was’ [Sacramento Bee] Backing away from President Donald Trump’s blistering criticisms of California’s forest and fire management, top federal officials pledged a unified effort to help Paradise heal from the devastating Camp Fire, but also warned that the Butte County town is years away from full recovery….The press briefing, at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, was noteworthy for the absence of rancor between Brown and the Trump administration officials….Zinke refused to endorse Trump’s claim that California’s forest-management practices are the cause of the state’s...

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Ag Today November 14, 2018

Trump and Brown stir up rhetoric on wildfires but overlook pressing problems [Los Angeles Times] President Trump took to Twitter to blame bad forest management. Gov. Jerry Brown pointed to climate change. Their arguments about the cause of disastrous wildfires roaring across the state have turned a California catastrophe into the latest political cudgel in the ongoing slugfest between Washington and Sacramento….The Trump-Brown exchange ignores what many experts consider core reasons for fire’s escalating toll: Humans keep sparking them, and Californians keep building in high-fire zones prone to the fierce winds that inevitably drive the state’s most calamitous blazes. http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-fire-policy-trump-brown-20181114-story.html   Lake, Mendocino grape...

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Ag Today November 13, 2018

Trump renews attacks on NATO and trade imbalances [New York Times] President Trump, fresh off an international display of unity among global leaders to mark the end of World War I, renewed his attacks on America’s longtime allies on Monday, and demanded fair treatment for the United States. In a trio of Twitter posts, Mr. Trump said that the United States pays “for LARGE portions” of other countries’ military protection and loses money on trade with those same countries. Mr. Trump has frequently criticized what he asserts are the unbalanced costs of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the military alliance whose...

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Ag Today November 12, 2018

Gov. Brown: Killer firestorms are ‘the new abnormal,’ while Woolsey blaze 15% contained [Southern California Newspaper Group] Killer firestorms devouring homes and devastating lives represent a  “new abnormal” for California, a state stricken by drought, climate change and wind, Gov. Jerry Brown warned late Sunday. As forecasts of continued high winds and low humidity filled firefighters with foreboding, Brown called for the state to pull together. “This is the new abnormal and this abnormal will continue for the next 20 years,” said the outgoing governor. “We have a real challenge threatening our way of life.” Brown’s warning came amid a glimmer...

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Ag Today November 8, 2018

Board agrees to Newsom-Brown request to delay decision on water plan [Modesto Bee] The State Water Resources Control Board honored a request by Gov. Jerry Brown and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom for 34 days to work out voluntary settlements with irrigation districts in the Northern San Joaquin Valley, which are under pressure to divert less water so salmon populations can rebound in rivers. Wednesday, the state board voted 3-0 to postpone approval of a water quality control update for the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta that’s fiercely opposed by water districts, agricultural interests and communities that rely on water from the Tuolumne, Stanislaus and...

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Ag Today November 7, 2018

Brown, Newsom send State Water Board letter requesting to delay Wednesday’s vote [Modesto Bee] Those who depend on the Stanislaus, Tuolumne and Merced rivers for agriculture and drinking water may have received a reprieve Tuesday night. The State Water Resources Control Board was set to adopt a proposal to double the amount of water allowed to flow unimpeded down the rivers and out to the Sacramento-San Joaquin delta on Wednesday. Instead, the board received a written request from Gov. Jerry Brown’s office and Governor-elect Gavin Newsom to postpone the vote until Dec. 12. Assuming they grant that request, that 35-day delay...

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Ag Today November 6, 2018

California voters consider $9 billion for water projects [Associated Press] Voters will decide Tuesday whether California borrows nearly $9 billion for water infrastructure projects in the state where its scarcity often pits city dwellers, farmers, anglers and environmentalists against one another. Proposition 3 would devote the money to storage and dam repairs, watershed and fisheries improvements, and habitat protection and restoration....The measure is backed by agricultural and water associations and those devoted to conserving wetlands, fish and wildlife....Sierra Club California and the League of Women Voters of California are among opponents who say the measure benefits special interests while siphoning money...

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Ag Today November 5, 2018

Water sustains everything in California farm country. It may also save this House Republican. [Washington Post] …For decades, farmers in the Central Valley have found themselves knotted in a tug-of-war with coastal residents over how much of California’s finite water supply should be divided among sating city dwellers, supplying habitat for river critters and cultivating crops….With California’s state government firmly controlled by urban Democrats, California’s almond, walnut, dairy and grape producers have increasingly turned to the federal government for help after Republicans took the White House in 2017….With Republicans holding about a half-dozen vulnerable seats in California, according to the Cook...

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Ag Today November 2, 2018

In this California House race, water is 'lifeblood.' Will an edge on the issue give Republican Rep. Denham a boost? [Los Angeles Times] Jake Wenger grows walnuts on land where early settlers arrived in search of gold and instead found rich soil. His orchards just west of Modesto stretch 700 acres and supply a nut company that has remained in his family for four generations. Like other farmers in this congressional district at the northern end of the San Joaquin Valley, Wenger, 34, said he fears his livelihood is under siege by a state plan to reduce the waters diverted from...

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Ag Today November 1, 2018

Bullet train project scores possible victory in civil suit seeking to block bond money [Los Angeles Times] The California bullet train appears to have fended off a civil suit attempting to stop the project, inching the high-speed rail line toward what could be another in a series of legal victories. A case brought by opponents seeking to stanch the flow of bond dollars to the project was dealt a blow in a tentative ruling Thursday by Sacramento County Superior Court Judge Richard K. Sueyoshi, though arguments Friday put off a final ruling. A final decision could take three months. The case,...

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