January 31,2020
Newsletter for January 31, 2020
This Issue:
  • Priority On Engagement With BLM On Changes To Grazing Regulations
  • Farm Bureau Pleased With President’s Signature Of USMCA Agreement
  • AFBF Lobbyist Offers Thoughts And Background On H-2A Wage System
  • Thanks For Those Attending Jan. 28th Fallon Meeting On Navy’s Expansion Final EIS
  • Farm Bureau Comments To The Interim Federal Hemp Regulations
  • UNR Journalist Is Seeking Interviews To Gain Views On Climate Change
  • Nevada Farm Conference Dates Set For Fallon’s Convention Center – Feb. 20 – 22
Priority On Engagement With BLM On Changes To Grazing Regulations
As we shared last week, The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published in the January 21  Federal Register  the notice of their plans to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to consider proposed revisions to the agency’s grazing regulations. The agency’s stated intentions for the proposed revisions is to update, modernize and streamline the grazing regulations and provide greater flexibility for land and resource management. 

Through this rulemaking, the BLM seeks to improve existing land-use planning and grazing permitting procedures, while simultaneously promoting public lands conservation. The BLM hopes to improve its stewardship of the nation’s rangeland resources by strengthening controls to prevent unauthorized grazing, enhancing environmental protections across various non-grazing land-use programs, and improving public input opportunities.

The current phase of the full EIS process is known as “scoping” which seeks to determine relevant issues and alternatives to be considered in the environmental analysis.  

Nevada Farm Bureau is working to prepare our organization’s input for scoping and we also strongly encourage a strong turnout of interested members to attend the public scoping meeting that will be held…

February 18 from 4:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Elko Convention Center, 700 Moren Way
Elko, NV

There will also be three meetings other similar meetings to be held in Miles, Montana; Las Cruces, New Mexico; and Casper, Wyoming.

The deadline for Scoping is  March 6, 2020.  Meeting information, announcements, instructions on how to provide comments, and pertinent documents can be found at the BLM website at this link .

In preparing Farm Bureau’s scoping input, we have found it to be very useful to use this scoping guide which offers good insight on how to form your scoping input to be effective.

We’ve also been focusing our comments to follow the specific questions that BLM has included in the Federal Register Notice.  These specific topics include:

  • Requesting input on responding with regulations to address the Government Accountability Offices’ issue of BLM dealing with “Unauthorized Grazing – Actions Needed To Improve Tracking and Deterrence Efforts”
  • Updating and modernizing regulations including revision of definitions
  • Improving permit efficiency 
  • Changes to how BLM issues decisions on various matters like crossing permits, temporary nonrenewable permits and authorizing grazing to reduce wildfire risk
  • Promoting land health
  • Public Participation

For more information, contact Seth Flanigan, BLM Project Manager, at 208-384-3450 or  sflanigan@blm.gov .
Farm Bureau Pleased With President’s Signature Of USMCA Agreement
On January 29 th  U.S. President Donald Trump signed the United States – Mexico – Canada trade agreement.  Farm Bureau has been a long supporter of moving forward with this trade agreement and went on the record over the final approval by the United States.  Canada is the only country of the three nations who haven’t completed their approval process and that step is expected to be carried out in the near future.  Completing the agreement of the three countries is part of recent successes in gaining trade agreements with China and also with Japan.
AFBF Lobbyist Offers Thoughts And Background On H-2A Wage System
In a recently published piece , American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF)  lobbyist, Allison Crittenden provided an in-depth report on the adverse wage system used for determining the pay requirements that agricultural employers must follow in compensation of H-2A workers.  The approach taken in the recently passed House version of an agricultural labor bill was one of the reasons that AFBF didn’t come out in support of the bill.  Work is underway in the US Senate to develop that legislative body’s version of an H-2A reform proposal.
Thanks For Those Attending Jan. 28 th  Fallon Meeting On Navy’s Expansion Final EIS
Nevada Farm Bureau was represented at the January 28 th  Navy public meeting in Fallon and we greatly appreciate the number of persons attending to learn the latest and offer public comments, if they wished.  Comments on the final Environmental Impact Statement have to be submitted by February 10 th .  Nevada Farm Bureau and others who are interested in addressing the process for how impacted grazing allotment owners will be compensated for the closing (partial or in whole) of these allotments are working with Nevada’s Congressional delegation for the next phase of the overall withdrawal process.
Farm Bureau Comments To The Interim Federal Hemp Regulations
January 29 th   was the deadline for public comments to be submitted to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in regard to the agency’s final Interim Federal Hemp Regulations.  Farm Bureau provided a number of organizational letters of comments. The American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) submitted these comments based on the organization’s policy positions adopted at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Austin, TX.  Nevada Farm Bureau also participated in  a group comment letter with Western State Farm Bureaus.
UNR Journalist Is Seeking Interviews To Gain Views On Climate Change
Nevada Farm Bureau has been contacted from a journalist connected with the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) who is looking to interview persons who live between Reno and Winnemucca, Monday, February 3. This is about a study about northern Nevadans perceptions of climate change.  The persons who are interviewed would remain anonymous but would be interviewed about their perceptions of climate change and where (if at all) they get their information about the topic.

When contacted, Nevada Farm Bureau said that we are not able to share contacts of our membership, but that we would post this type of an article in our newsletter and members who are interested in being contacted could make contact with the reporter – or let us know (contact  doug@nvfb.org ) if they would approve of our giving their contact phone number with the reporter.

For those who would be willing, contact: 

 
Kathleen Masterson
Director of the Hitchcock Project for Visualizing Science
Reynolds School of Journalism
office:  775-682-7500
mobile:  775-476-6694
Nevada Farm Conference Dates Set For Fallon’s Convention Center – Feb. 20 – 22
The Nevada Farm Conference is being planned for Feb. 20 – 22 and will be held at the Fallon Convention Center.  Along with getting the dates on your calendar, it might be a good idea to get yourself registered . For those who have not previously participated, this annual conference is one of the major annual gatherings where several educational tracts are offered to assist exploring agricultural production subjects that you might be inclined to consider.  The sessions have also provided a great opportunity for working to enhance building the community of fellow producers. 
Have a great weekend!