January 20, 2022

Newsletter for January 20, 2022

This Issue:

  • NDOW Rural “Public Meetings” Have Few “Public”
  • Farm Bureau Joins With Others To File Suit Against New WOTUS Rule
  • USDA Proposes Ear Tag Rule
  • Nevada Farm Bureau Presents Congressman Amodei With Friend Of Farm Bureau Award
  • AFBF Tips On Building Working Relationship With Your Representatives In D.C.
  • Great Work
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NDOW Rural “Public Meetings” Have Few “Public”

Thank you to the several Farm Bureau members who took action on the message from last week’s special issue of this newsletter to attend the “Public Meetings” that the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) held this past week in Winnemucca, Elko and Ely.  Nevada Farm Bureau attended the meeting in Winnemucca where there was only one person attending who wasn’t getting a paycheck to be there as part of their job.  Reports from Elko and Ely also indicated few people who weren’t associated with some state or federal government agency.  These reports also shared that comments were raised at each of the meetings on how there wasn’t any notice provided by NDOW to let any “public” know about meetings being held.  Evidently all of the agencies got their notices, because most of those participating came from some state or federal agency.

The slide show that presented the purpose for NDOW’s Sagebrush Habitat Plan, being initiated as the result of a Governor Steve Sisolak Executive Order (2021-018), shared that the Plan will be “developed collaboratively with counties, federal land management and state agencies and other stakeholders.”  Based on the actual actions taken; NDOW intends for “collaboratively” to mean:

  •  huddling up with other government agencies to design their planning process 
  •  hold “public meetings” to get input (explained as being “scoping meetings) – without letting the public know about the meetings
  • take this “input” back to draft the plan they will develop and put it out for “public review” sometime the fall of 2023
  •  final draft the winter of 2023

There will be an additional “public meeting” in Las Vegas at the NDOW office (3373 Pepper Ln, Las Vegas) on January 31st from 5 to 7 p.m.

What the Plan will be is still to be determined (or at least explained as what it will be), but the general concept seems to be development of a Nevada centric map and or mapping toolsets based on values and threats to help prioritize conservation actions across the various land management/ownership.  Among other things intended for this Plan, is that it will be “broadly used by all agencies, landowners, work groups, etc. to inform habitat conservation work.

One of the notations for what the Plan is not – the last thing on the list of five items – is it won’t require “mandatory participation.”  What isn’t mentioned is that federal land management agencies who make the determination to “voluntarily participate” in using the map or mapping toolsets, might have their own ideas to implement management actions which could seem somewhat “mandatory.”

Nevada Farm Bureau currently is determining next steps that we will pursue and will likely include an official, written comment to be provided to NDOW and other officials.

Farm Bureau Joins With Others To File Suit Against New WOTUS Rule

The Biden Administration’s Waters of the United States (WOTUS) has officially been published in the January 18thFederal Register, kicking off the 60-day path to implementation.  This step also triggered the lawsuit which the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) joined with 17 other organizations in opposing the proposed rule.  It is hoped that the judicial process will once again hold the federal agencies (Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corp. of Engineers) at bay in moving forward with their new scheme to over-regulate and control beyond their authorities.

USDA Proposes Ear Tag Rule

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has released a proposed rule that will deem Electronic Identification Ear tags (EID) as the official identification for cattle and bison. Their news release provides a link to acquire a copy of the proposed rules, published in the Federal Register.

This begins the public 60-day comment period which has a March 22, 2023 deadline.

Along with this, the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is proposing to amend their animal disease traceability regulations to require both visually and electronically readable ear tags for interstate movement of cattle and bison (over the age of 18 months). The APHIS proposed rule is also proposing to clarify the record retention requirements as well as revising requirements for cattle and bison in the slaughter channel.

Nevada Farm Bureau Presents Congressman Amodei With Friend Of Farm Bureau Award

Scheduling became something of a challenge to set up the meeting to present Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei with this “Friend of Farm Bureau” Award for the just concluded 116th Session of Congress, but that has been marked as accomplished when Nevada Farm Bureau Executive Vice President Doug Busselman met with Nevada’s 2nd District Congressman on January 18th.  This award is based on official voting record results compiled by the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).

Congressman Amodei scored an 86 percent voting record, agreeing with the Farm Bureau positions during the 2021-2022 Congressional session.  He has earned this award for each of the sessions he has served as a U.S. Congressman.

“We’re very fortunate to have a representative like Congressman Amodei who hears what Farm Bureau policy urges and is so willing to work with our organization in considering our views on the issues being debated in the nation’s Capital.” Busselman said.  “We’ve had a very good working relationship with Mark going back to his service in the Nevada Legislature.”

AFBF Tips On Building Working Relationship With Your Representatives In D.C.

It is very important for citizens to stay in touch with their elected representatives in Washington, D.C.  Advocacy isn’t just relying on Farm Bureau lobbyists to carry your messages to elected Representatives and Senators.  The organization’s effectiveness in getting things done is directly linked to Farm Bureau members who make it a priority to communicate with their representative in the U.S. House and their U.S. Senators.  The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) advocacy staff have been providing very useful information pieces to not only encourage Farm Bureau member engagement, but also to help members understand the best practices to use in connecting with your representatives.  

Cody Lyon, AFBF’s Managing Director, Advocacy and Political Affairs, recently offered this thoughtful piece to get you started or brush up your skills if you’re already in the practice of contacting your member of Congress.

Great Work

Congratulations Sarah Stallard of Clark County for representing the Nevada Farm Bureau at the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) Annual Meeting. Sarah competed in the Young Farmers and Ranchers (YF&R) Discussion Meet that took place during the convention in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It was a competitive competition and although she did not place, her dedication and hard work showed in tough competition. We congratulate her on a job well done.

We look forward to the coming year and seeing the next round of YF&R Discussion meet participants. 

Have a great weekend!

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