Ag Today March 3, 2017
Farmers and fishermen weigh in on Trump's Clean Water Act order
Sarah Moore , KXTV 12:30 PM. PST March 03, 2017
Northern California farmers and growers associations welcome a do-over of Clean Water Act rules enacted under Obama, but conservation groups say the rules are important to protecting and preserving one of the nation's most vital natural resources.
An executive order by President Trump this week directing the EPA to review the Waters of the United States rule, which was a key part of President Obama’s environmental legacy, drew strong, mixed reactions.
The 1972 Clean Water Act authorized the federal government to regulate the discharge of pollutants...
Ag Today March 1, 2017
Isadore Hall one step closer to confirmation on ag labor board amid farmer opposition
BY TARYN LUNA
Despite opposition from farmers, the Senate Rules Committee approved the appointment of former state Sen. Isadore Hall to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board Wednesday with a 3-0 vote.
Hall’s appointment moves on to the full Senate, which must confirm him through a majority vote. The five-member board considers cases related to unfair labor practices and oversees collective bargaining rights for the industry.
The Western Growers Association and other organizations representing farmers opposed Hall’s appointment. The farmers have called Hall a “staunch” supporter of the United Farm Workers...
Ag Today March 1, 2017
Trump orders review of Obama rule protecting small streams
Posted Feb 28, 2017 at 6:24 PMUpdated Feb 28, 2017 at 6:24 PM
By Staff and wire reports
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has signed an executive order mandating a review of an Obama-era rule aimed at protecting small streams and wetlands from development and pollution, fulfilling a campaign promise while earning the ire of environmental groups.
The order, signed at the White House on Tuesday, instructs the Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers to review a rule that redefined "waters of the United States" protected under the Clean Water Act to include smaller creeks and wetlands.
The rule was strongly opposed by farmers...
Ag Today February 27, 2017
Troubled waters: Solutions sought for man-made flooding in Lamont
BY JAMES BURGER firstname.lastname@example.org
Feb 25, 2017 Updated 4 hrs ago
Lamont Elementary School District Superintendent Ricardo Robles is out on Saturday, Feb. 18, at the intersection of Weedpatch Highway and Mountain View Road where once again, water from Caliente Creek flows west on Mountain View Road to the intersection where Mountain View Middle School is located. His crew knows what to do: pump water to a field across the highway to protect the school from flood damage.
The intersection of Weedpatch Highway and Mountain View Road is flooded with water flowing down...
Ag Today February 24, 2017
Fearing Trump, California lawmakers move to safeguard environmental rules
By Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle
Updated 7:40 pm, Thursday, February 23, 2017
SACRAMENTO — Concerned about threats by the Trump administration to weaken environmental and whistle-blower protection laws, California lawmakers introduced three bills Thursday to try to keep federal standards as they are — at least in this state.
Senate Democrats unveiled the bills a week after Scott Pruitt — a climate change skeptic — was sworn in to run the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
While California’s policies on the environment typically go beyond what federal regulations require, state lawmakers said there are areas in which California policies rely on the...
Ag Today February 23, 2017
As local farmers contend with endless flooding, Rep. McNerney seeks solutions
Posted: Wednesday, February 22, 2017 11:34 pm
By Christina Cornejo/News-Sentinel Staff Writer
During a break in the storms, Congressman Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, was invited out to Kautz Farms in Thornton on Wednesday to observe the flood damage off of New Hope Road. Approximately 1,000 acres of farmland was under water.
From above the water’s surface you could just barely see the bare top branches of young almond trees.
“Right now the trees should be blooming,” said Joe Valente, vineyard and orchard manager of Kautz Farms. “They’re not going to make it.”
A field of Pinot Noir...
Ag Today February 22, 2017
Levee system battered by record rainfall from 'atmospheric river'
As the latest major storm to saturate California got in its final licks Tuesday, the state deployed all the weapons in its flood-control arsenal — including farm tractors, pontoon boats and controlled releases from mountain reservoirs.
By nightfall, as the storm weakened over Northern California, it appeared that the region — so far — had successfully navigated its way through another “atmospheric river,” as meteorologists now call the intense, Pacific-born storm systems once known as the Pineapple Express.
To ease pressure on the Don Pedro Dam — a facility in Mother Lode Country that...
Ag Today February 21, 2017
Trump to roll back Obama’s climate, water rules through executive action
By Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson February 20 at 6:43 PM
President Trump is preparing executive orders aimed at curtailing Obama-era policies on climate and water pollution, according to individuals briefed on the measures.
While both directives will take time to implement, they will send an unmistakable signal that the new administration is determined to promote fossil-fuel production and economic activity even when those activities collide with some environmental safeguards. Individuals familiar with the proposals asked for anonymity to describe them in advance of their announcement, which could come as soon as this week.
One executive order —...
Ag Today February 17, 2017
Why Ditching NAFTA Could Hurt America's Farmers More Than Mexico's
Garland Reiter is one of the people behind the rise in imported food from Mexico.
His family has been growing strawberries in California for generations and selling them under the name Driscoll's. Today, it's the biggest berry producer in the world.
In the early 1990s, the Reiter family started growing strawberries and raspberries in Mexico, in addition to California. It found regions in Mexico where the climate allowed them to grow the fruit — especially raspberries — during seasons of the year when it hadn't been feasible back home. "Our move really was...
Ag Today February 16, 2017
The Endangered Species Act may be heading for the threatened list. This hearing confirmed it.
By Darryl Fears February 15 at 4:05 PM
A Senate hearing to “modernize the Endangered Species Act” unfolded Wednesday just as supporters of the law had feared, with round after round of criticism from Republican lawmakers who said the federal effort to keep species from going extinct encroaches on states’ rights, is unfair to landowners and stymies efforts by mining companies to extract resources and create jobs.
The two-hour meeting of the Environment and Public Works Committee was led by Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), who said last month that his...