Category Archives: Regulations

ESA Working Group Releases Findings

The Endangered Species Act Congressional Working Group, chaired by Rep. Doc Hastings, has released its final report on its Findings and Recommendations.

The report recommends constructive changes to the ESA in the following four categories:

  1. Ensuring Greater Transparency and Prioritization of ESA with a Focus on Species Recovery and Delisting
  2. Reducing ESA Litigation and Encouraging Settlement Reform
  3. States, Tribes, Local Governments and Private Landowners on ESA Decisions Affecting Them and Their Property
  4. Requiring More Transparency and Accountability of ESA Data and Science

This report is a must read!

BLM “Community Listening Session” for Western Oregon Resource Management Plans

The BLM is hosting what they refer to as a “Community Listening Session” to talk about some of the key issues facing western Oregon’s land management project. (See press release here.)

The BLM is required by law to get public input on their Resource Management Plans (RMP). The purpose of this session is to get public input on key issues like timber production and forest management, endangered species conservation and recovery, protection of older forests, and providing clean water. They’re also going to update us on the RMP project team’s analysis of the current management situation and opportunities in Western Oregon and the planning criteria and guidance they’ve established for developing preliminary alternatives.

The environmentalists are well organized and will be there in force presenting the preservationist point of view, so it’s vitally important to have as many people there as possible representing resource industries and pro-resource utilization perspectives.

The “Listening Session” will be on Tuesday, December 10, from 4:00-7:00 PM, at the Jackson County Fairgrounds, Padgham Pavillion, at 1 Penninger Rd in Central Point. Please plan to be there and bring as many people with you as you can.

They’re requesting people to RSVP to reserve a space. RSVP to blm_or_rmps_westernoregon@blm.gov, with the Subject line “Medford Meeting RSVP” and include your name and address in the body of the e-mail.

    What: Public Input on BLM’s new Resource Management Plan
    When: Tuesday, December 10
    4:00-7:00 PM
    Where: Jackson County Fairgrounds
    Padgham Pavillion
    1 Penninger Rd, Central Point
    RSVP blm_or_rmps_westernoregon@blm.gov

DEQ Seeks Public Comment on New Suction Dredge Restrictions

The DEQ is seeking public input on new restrictions on small suction dredges and non-motorized in-water mining activities.

“A representative from the Calif. Dept of Fish and Wildlife, Mark Stopher, will provide an update on the California moratorium on dredge mining and will accept comments on how California’s experience may inform the Oregon process.”

    What: DEQ Public Comment on new Suction Dredging Restrictions
    When: Thursday, Marc 7
    6:30 PM
    Where: Jackson County Public Library
    205 South Central Ave, Medford

Please attend this important meeting and give the DEQ your input on eleven new proposed permit conditions, ten proposed findings, and four proposed strategies for reducing environmental impacts of suction dredging.

Please see this document for details of the new restrictions, conditions, findings, and strategies proposed.

Doc Hasting’s response to State of the Union

The following is House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings’ respondse to President Obama’s State of the Union Address:

“During tonight’s State of the Union address, the President once again spoke about job creation and economic growth, but continued to ignore the economic opportunities that exist through energy production on federal lands and the responsible management of our Nation’s natural resources. Tonight’s speech was further indication that during his second term, President Obama will ensure his Administration is more aggressive in its unilateral pursuit of new regulations and policies that will impede economic recovery. By circumventing Congress through administrative fiat, the Obama Administration has the ability to lock up large swaths of public land from multiple use economic activity, slow federal energy production even further, and impose burdensome new layers of red tape that will destroy job creation potential for millions of American’s still looking for work.

“The President may continue to talk about the need for all-of-the-above energy, but we have learned over the last four years that actions speak louder than words. The Obama Administration has closed off millions of acres of public lands and waters to American energy production, offered the fewest offshore lease sales in the history of the program, and caused energy production on federal lands to significantly decline. Meanwhile, the private sector and individual states—not President Obama and the federal government—can take credit for America’s recent increase in oil and natural gas production. It’s simply difficult to take President Obama seriously when he talks about job creation while flatly ignoring one of America’s largest potentials for job creation.”

How Your Tax Dollars Fund the Environmental Movement

The federal government has defended more than 570 Endangered Species Act (ESA)-related lawsuits in the last four years alone, costing U.S. taxpayers more than $15 million in attorney fees. This chart shows the top litigants. You will probably recognize some of these names. (Click image for larger view.)

The Equal Access to Justice Act requires the federal government to reimburse legal fees for the prevailing party in lawsuits against the federal government. Environmental organizations are making millions of dollars by filing endless ESA-related lawsuits. When they lose, it costs very little because their attorneys work on spec. When they win, they can claim up to $500 an hour in attorney fees.

For more information, visit the House Natural Resources Committee site. Chairman Doc Hastings and the House Natural Resources Committee are fighting to end this abuse, and save the millions of dollars we pay to these environmental organizations every year to prevent the productive and responsible use of our natural resources.

Opening on Natural Resource Coordinating Committee

IMPORTANT!  There's an opening for a representative from the agricultural community on the Natural Resource Coordinating Committee.

Federal law requires the BLM and Forest Service to coordinate with local government on any decisions affecting federal land in the local region, providing that the local government has an established Natural Resources plan.

This is the committe that is drafting that plan for Josephine County. Once the plan is in place, federal agencies must comply with the plan and coordinate with the county on any decisions affecting public land within our county.

In the current makeup of the committee, the preservationists slightly outnumber those who advocate the responsible utilization of our natural resources. This opening gives us an opportunity to bring more balance to the committee, and prevent our county coordination plan from being slanted toward preservationism.

If you're concerned about losing the rights to use our pubic natural resources in Josephine County, and want to have a real impact on the future of our county, please apply for this postiion!

The application is available online in either MS Word or PDF format.

Print the application, fill it out, and drop it off at the Commissioners’ office at the County Courthouse on 6th St between A & B Sts.

The deadline is June 23, so don’t put it off. Please apply NOW.

Agenda 21 and our Public Land

What: Agenda 21 and our Public Land (sponsored by JaxCo AFP)
Who: Lt. Robert Powel
When: Tuesday, June 14
6:30 PM
Where: Medford Public Library
205 S Central Ave
Medford
Cost: Free

Americans for Prosperity is holding a meeting on Tuesday, June 14, at the Medford library. The speaker is Lt. Robert Powel, who comes very highly recommended by the Cascade Policy Institute. He will be speaking on the Agenda 21 theory, and what it means to all of us. The meeting will start at 6:30 PM. If you believe in the Agenda 21 theory, or have questions about it, you may want to attend this meeting. Some feel that Agenda 21 is behind the taking of public land by the government and the environmentalists. Lt. Powel has done in depth studies of this theory, and it should be a very informative meeting.

DEQ Takes Aim at Farmers

Urgent Action Alert from Oregon Farm Bureau:

What: Public Hearing for Proposed Water Quality Standards
When: Wednesday, February 2, @ 6:00 PM
Where: DEQ Medford Office
221 Stewart Ave., Suite 201
Medford
Farm Bureau contact: Jennifer Shmikler, 503-399-1701 ext. 308

Oregon DEQ is revising the water quality standards regulation. To justify raising water quality standards, DEQ is arbitrarily raising the Oregon “fish consumption rate” from 6 grams of fish per day to 175 grams per day! The new rate equates to two servings of fish per day, per person, for 365 days a year.

DEQ is proposing “Total Maximum Daily Loads” that will require designation of Best Management Practices for “nonpoint sources of pollution” (agriculture). DEQ seeks to enforce these proposed Best Management Practices, even if the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture will not. This will have a significant and costly impact on Oregon farmers and ranchers, which will ultimately impact consumer prices for all food grown in Oregon.

Concerned citizens should submit written comments and attend a public hearing to provide oral comments. There will be a public hearing in Medford on February 2. If you are able to attend, please contact Jennifer Shmikler at the Oregonm Farm Bureau office at 503-399-1701 ext. 308, or by e-mail at Jennifer@oregonfb.org. The Oregon Farm Bureau will host a conference call for all citizens interested in submitting comments.