March 29, 2024

Newsletter for March 29, 2024

This Issue:

  • Farm Bureau Busy At Bee Conference
  • Welcome Aboard Robin Futch
  • First Ag In The Classroom Event For 2024 Kicks Off In Winnemucca
  • Make Your Plans To Join BLM Sage Grouse Public Meetings
  • Those Interested In Being Part Of Nevada Division of Water Resources Humboldt River Stakeholders 
  • Scholarship Opportunities 
  • Clark County Fair and Rodeo Member Discount 
Nevada Farm Bureau Website

Farm Bureau Busy At Bee Conference

Last weekend Nevada Farm Bureau wrapped up its involvement with the University of Nevada Reno Extension series of conferences for March.  Farm Bureau was involved with Extension in the Urban Agriculture Conference held in North Las Vegas, in the Small Farm Conference in Fallon and in the Bee and Garden Conference in Gardnerville.  The exhibit presented at the Bee and Garden Conference included Agriculture In The Classroom materials that are used to promote educational sessions for students.  The new feature of this material are a crop of bee squishes promoting the message to “Bee A Member.”  We also have a new beehive box with new materials on the role bees play in our world.

Welcome Aboard Robin Futch

We’re pleased to welcome our newest team member to the Nevada Farm Bureau team.  Robin Futch of Gardnerville has been selected to serve as the organization’s Director of Agriculture Education.  She will be responsible for coordinating the Nevada Farm Bureau’s Agriculture In The Classroom program and will also be working with county Farm Bureaus along the northern section of the state.

Robin’s background in education, including serving as a vocational agriculture teacher and FFA advisor, provides an outstanding background for taking the Agriculture In The Classroom and Agricultural Literacy forward.

First Ag In The Classroom Event For 2024 Kicks Off In Winnemucca

The first Agriculture In The Classroom session, involving third graders from Humboldt County, launched this year’s schedule of activities in Winnemucca.  Students visited 15 different stations, including the Nevada Farm Bureau Ag Wagon.  Congratulations to the leadership team, led by Sharon Barton, who organized and conducted this year’s Humboldt County Agriculture In The Classroom program.  Thank you also for the number of volunteers who set up and operated their respective presentation areas, covering everything from beef to dairy, from horses to goats, from bees to seed…

Make Your Plans To Join BLM Sage Grouse Public Meetings

Over the past several weeks we’ve shared the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) new federal plan. Since that original announcement, we’ve had the opportunity to begin the process of digging into what the agency has to say about their proposed plans. The 90-day comment period for the Draft Resource Management Plan Amendment and the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) will end on June 13, 2024. More information on how to comment on this draft connect with this link. In addition, BLM is concurrently offering a 60-day comment period for consideration of the designation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).  The ACECs would be incorporated into two of the six alternatives being considered and basically would prohibit all types of use and activities. 

The BLM will hold two virtual public meetings and 11 public meetings to answer questions and take further comments on the draft alternatives and analysis.  The first meeting will be a virtual meeting on Tuesday, April 9th.  It starts at 1 p.m. Mountain Daylight Savings Time (Noon our time here in Nevada).  Pre-register here.

On Tuesday, April 16th a public meeting will be held in person at the Sparks, NV Nugget and Casino.  This meeting is scheduled to take place from 6-8 p.m. in the Cascade Room of the Sparks, Nugget and Casino.

As the series of meetings wind up around the western region, another virtual meeting will be held virtually, Thursday, April 25, starting at 6 p.m. Mountain Daylight Savings Time.  Pre-register here.

As we have reported, the six alternatives include:

Alternative 1:  BLM would re-adopt the applicable Greater Sage Grouse habitat management area boundaries, goals, objectives and actions that they offered in their 2015 Records of Decision.  This proposal got shut down by a court injunction and brought about the adoption of the 2019 version.  In particular this option would allow the agency to return to their management of Sagebrush Focal Areas with the recommendation of using this designation to withdraw mineral location and entry under the Mining Law of 1872.  It would also allow for prioritization of other activities to vegetative treatments like livestock grazing and wild horses & burros.

Alternative 2:  This is suggested to be the agency’s “No-Action” Alternative, operating under the applicable decisions from the 2019 Record of Decision (except for areas in the Montana/Dakotas).  It is being considered as the “No-Action” Alternative because it reflects management currently in BLM’s Resource Management Areas.  This option also most closely follows the Sage Grouse plans that were developed by the states.

Alternative 3:  In their own words, this alternative “includes the most restrictive measures to protect and preserve Greater Sage Grouse and its habitat.”  Armed with the ACEC’s (covering over 11 million acres) that the agency would like to include, this proposal would make all habitat management to the level of priority habitat management and exclude all uses, including livestock grazing.  It even suggests that BLM would pull all Wild Horses and Burros from the designated areas.

Alternative 4:  This proposal updates the habitat management areas and associated management based on new information and science that has become available since the 2015 and 2019 versions of BLM’s top-down requirements.  In Wyoming it dings new oil and gas leases and puts into place the potential of compensatory mitigation to be used in specific conditions.  It would allow for more opportunities for consideration of local habitat characteristics when applying mitigation exceptions but still requires functional habitat prior to granting the exception.  Lastly, this alternative would treat the previously identified Sage Grouse Focal Areas to be managed as Priority Habitat Management Areas with removal of the withdrawal from mineral entry recommendations and prioritization strategies.

Alternative 5:  This proposal has been identified as BLM’s “preferred alternative.”  State Sage Grouse management areas have been updated in this version of possible management.  It is also considered to be the option with fewer restrictions and more flexibility, using higher degrees of compensatory mitigation to offset impacts on Sage Grouse and their habitat.  For wind, solar and major rights-of-ways projects (top priority BLM objectives) have less direct avoidance and provides more opportunities for considering compensatory mitigation to offset the impacts on the birds as well as their habitat.

Alternative 6:  This alternative is proposed to be similar to Alternative 5 with the exception that it includes the addition of ACECs to follow the restrictions found in Alternative 3.  Supposedly the ACEC scheme in Alternative 6 is going to seek less restrictions in comparison with the plans for Alternative 3. 

Those Interested In Being Part Of Nevada Division of Water Resources Humboldt River Stakeholders 

In last week’s newsletter, we shared the opportunity for those who are interested to be considered for a stakeholder group in addressing the issues regarding the Humboldt River corridor.

The working group would have representatives of a number of different categories.  These categories would be balanced between areas of the northern reach of the Humboldt and down-stream area with the Palisade Gage as the divider between the two areas.  The identified categories include:

  • 2 county representatives
  • 2 municipal supply representatives
  • 2 industrial representatives
  • 2 mining representatives
  • 2 underground irrigation representatives
  • 2 surface irrigation representatives
  • 2 at large representatives
  • 1 environmental representative
  • 2 legal representatives
  • 1 water rights technical representative
  • 2 hydrogeology representatives
  • 1 economics technical representative

Stakeholders can be nominated (with a limit that no more than one person can be nominated by each participating entity) – or the representatives can self-nominate themselves to be considered.  The nominations need to be sent to Levi Kryder of the Nevada Division of Water Resources by 5 p.m. on April 16th.

Scholarship Opportunities 

We have two exciting scholarship opportunities accepting applications. We have the Dave Fulstone Scholarship open to any student graduating from a Nevada high school this year, who is furthering their education in a course of study pertaining to agriculture. We also have the Trade School Scholarship that is open to any student graduating from a Nevada high school and going into a trade to support agriculture or students already pursuing a trade to support agriculture. 

The deadline to apply for both applications is April 1st.

The Dave Fulstone Scholarship Application can be found at this link

The Trade School Scholarship Application can be found at this link

Clark County Fair and Rodeo Member Discount 

We are excited to announce we have a special discount for Nevada Farm Bureau members to the Clark County Fair and Rodeo. The Clark County Fair and Rodeo is April 10th through the 14th

Members receive:

20% off Daily Fair Admissions 

20% off Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday Rodeo / Fair Tickets 

Tickets must be purchased online or over the phone by April 5, 2024. 

Phone: 1-888-876-FAIR

Online: Click here 

Enter promo code WRCCF24 for discount. Ticket fees are only charged on online orders

Have A Happy Easter!