May 10, 2024

Newsletter for May 10, 2024

This Issue:

  • Agenda For Interim Joint Natural Resources Committee
  • Nevada Farm Bureau Water Policy Will Need Attention In Policy Development Process
  • House Committee Expresses Their Frustration Over Lack Of Transparency Over 30 x 30
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Take Action On Moving Forward With Raven Control
  • Reminder For Upcoming Western Law Conference…
Nevada Farm Bureau Website

Agenda For Interim Joint Natural Resources Committee

For our early readers, who open the newsletter email before 9 a.m. on May 10thhere is the link for the meeting agenda.  Because of the delays that the committee has in making their agenda public, we weren’t able to get you this information before now.

There are a number of important presentations that we’ll be watching closely.  Nevada Farm Bureau will be offering support for the Nevada Shared Stewardship program, which will be one of the early topics in the committee’s session.  The Nevada Shared Stewardship agreement is a working collaborative group  that started a couple of years ago through the initiative of the Nevada Legislature to establish a partnership with state and federal agencies to work on proactive wildfire efforts.  This program has evolved to include not only federal and state agencies but also engagement with counties, Tribes, conservation districts, fire protection districts and private landowners.

The topics on different water matters will be especially important for attention.  Several of the presentations will touch on possible legislative activities that might evolve in the 2025 Nevada Legislature.  We’ll be reporting on these details when they become part of the public domain as they are presented to the committee.  Look for this information in the next issue of this newsletter next week.

Nevada Farm Bureau Water Policy Will Need Attention In Policy Development Process

As we indicated in last week’s newsletter, there is a strong likelihood that there will be several legislative proposals for the 2025 Session.  Based on our preview information about the topics to be covered in the Interim Joint Natural Resources Committee meeting on May 10th, we are expecting a need for a complete tune-up of Nevada Farm Bureau’s water policy section.  

There will be more details following the May 10th interim legislative committee meeting, but Farm Bureau members need to be prepared for responding with input and reactions to the ideas that will be covered in greater depth next week.

House Committee Expresses Their Frustration Over Lack Of Transparency Over 30 x 30

Earlier in May, the Department of Interior provided their update on the progress being made with 30 x 30, the Biden Administration’s initiative to “conserve” 30 percent of the land and water in the United States by 2030.  In one of the news briefs from the America The Beautiful newsletter it was noted, “With more than 41 million acres already conserved, President Biden is on track to conserve more lands and waters than any president in history.”

When the 30 x 30 program was announced and was initiated by Executive Order, there were a lot of questions over what exactly “conserving” 30 percent of the land and water in the U.S. actually meant.  There were many concerns over how this would be dealt with and if there were intentions of classifying “conservation” by implementing “preservation” or non-use of natural resources.  

There were assurances that this wasn’t the case and that “working lands” would also be maintained.  The actual approach would suggest otherwise…

As time has gone on, the reality of the program clearly indicates that to be counted as “conservation” a designation is necessary.  The May America The Beautiful newsletter unmistakably indicates by their coverage of expanded National Monuments (dictated by Presidential decree), expansion of U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Preserves and the celebration of finalization of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Conservation and Landscape Health Rule that “conservation” involves restrictions and limitations on productive use of lands under the federal government’s control.

Oversight of the Administration’s efforts to lock away lands and water seem to be a developing issue that deserves greater attention.  The House Natural Resources Committee recently shared their frustrations over the manner in which their request for information has been playing out.

On top of the 30 x 30 program to lock away land and water, recent news accounts have shared that the Biden Administration plans to protect and restore eight million acres of wetlands over the next six years.  This new development comes on the heals of the Administration not liking the outcome of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling over what constitutes a wetland that falls under the jurisdiction of federal regulations.  They maintain that now over 60 percent of the wetlands that they would like to regulate and no longer within their reach, using their interpretation of the Clean Water Act.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Take Action On Moving Forward With Raven Control

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has announced that they intend to adopt the Environmental Assessment (EA) to support the permit decisions for depredation permit applications for the annual take of up to 19,042 ravens in the State of Nevada.  This decision, covered in the agency’s Fining of No Significant Impact (FONSI) adopts the maximum take alternative that Nevada Farm Bureau had supported in our comments through the public comment period to the EA. 

The scope of this proposed action and the preferred alternative is limited to applications for depredation, scientific collection, and special purpose permits for ravens in Nevada to alleviate human health and safety concerns, protect sensitive wildlife, protect livestock, and reduce damage to property. The USFWS may also issue permits to take ravens if there is convincing evidence that ravens are adversely affecting species of high conservation concern or rare and declining plant communities at a local scale.

Reminder For Upcoming Western Law Conference…

The Second Annual Western Agricultural & Environmental Law Conference is scheduled for June 13-14 at the University of Nevada, Reno. “We’re very excited about this year’s program and hope we’ll see you there,” Harrison Pittman, Director of the National Agricultural Law Center said.  He added that they hope that “you can help spread the word about the program with others you think may be interested.” 

The agricultural industry in the western U.S. is uniquely impacted by changes and developments in state, federal and international laws and policies.  Additionally, many of those unique issues – water rights, ag. labor and immigration, California Propositions and many more – often more broadly impact the agricultural industry throughout the country.

This conference focuses on legal and policy issues directly relevant to the ag industry in western states, and is designed for attorneys, students, and other ag professionals who work in the western ag industry. It’s a unique learning and networking opportunity.  Conference agenda, registration, and other information can be found by clicking this link.

Have A Great Weekend!