Standing up against onerous regulation
During 2014, Farm Bureau:
- Opposed expansion of federal authority over farmland by seeking withdrawal of the “waters of the United States” rule proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
- Maintained support for water users in an ongoing court case involving efforts by the state Department of Fish and Wildlife to require farmers and ranchers to obtain a permit before exercising their water rights.
- Renewed a recommendation for water-right holders to pay an annual “fee” under protest while Farm Bureau pursues a court case to have the charge invalidated as an unconstitutional tax.
- Prevented the imposition of overly restrictive notification and buffer requirements for certain pesticide applications.
- Joined with a coalition to support a Fresno-based farm in a legal dispute with the state Agricultural Labor Relations Board regarding mandatory mediation and conciliation, including efforts by the ALRB to impose a labor contract on the farm.
- Protested proposed federal rules expanding requirements for critical-habitat designations under the federal Endangered Species Act
- Advocated against protection of the gray wolf under the state Endangered Species Act; represented livestock producers on a group advising state officials on a wolf-management plan for California.
- Testified against protecting tricolored blackbirds under the state ESA; worked actively with other organizations to find ways to benefit the birds without harming dairies where they have chosen to nest.
- Maintained opposition to proposed federal protection for the yellow-legged frog and Yosemite toad, providing comments on critical habitat and on a biological opinion that could affect grazing in national forests.
- Worked to educate state and regional water boards about the impacts of their plan to impose a statewide regulatory plan affecting grazing.
- While continuing to oppose a fire-prevention “fee” as an illegal tax, supported measures to make the charge less onerous by removing a late penalty, exempting damaged structures and making other changes.
- Successfully advocated for amendment of a restrictive regulation that would have prevented veterinarians from carrying some medications to a farm or ranch.
- Worked to prevent state legislation that would cause unnecessary or unforeseen effects on livestock producers who treat their animals with antibiotics.
- Represented farmers in both legal and administrative challenges to the legality of regional water quality regulations.
- Advocated with state fish and wildlife agencies to continue practices to control predators.