Ag Today March 22, 2019

Newsom to declare California wildfire emergency. Here are some details on his plan [Los Angeles Times]

Gov. Gavin Newsom plans to declare a state of emergency in California on Friday and waive environmental regulations to expedite nearly three dozen local forest management projects to protect communities from the deadly wildfires that have decimated communities up and down the state. A preview of the governor’s order, obtained by The Times, shows that Newsom plans to suspend environmental laws and rules that would otherwise apply to the projects….Critics voiced concern about the governor’s decision to suspend guidelines put in place to protect the environment and the precedent his executive order might set.


Nunes, Costa, Cox collide on climate change, yet they represent the same Fresno County region [Fresno Bee]

…Three California congressional districts – the 16th, the 21st and the 22nd – meet at Lone Star. More than 2.2 million people are governed based on their home’s relation to this area, and their leaders have starkly different plans to curb climate change….Leadership from the Valley’s congressional delegation is only one slice of perhaps the area’s most complex issue, the environment, but farmers, scientists and interested citizens have one eye fixed on how local representatives help shape the national conversation on climate change.


Ventura County agricultural workers slam pesticide oversight process in light of new report [Ventura County Star]

With a new report alleging lack of pesticide oversight in California, agricultural workers and advocates gathered outside the Ventura County Government Center on Thursday to call attention to the issue. Pesticide regulation has long been a point of contention in Ventura County, and those at Thursday morning’s gathering wanted raise awareness of the UCLA research and urge the county agricultural commissioner’s office to evaluate safer alternatives to pesticides. The research, released Wednesday by the university, alleged a systemic lack of oversight by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and county agricultural commissioners when it comes to pesticide application permits.


Neighbors criticize SD egg ranch over chicken carcasses, flies and stench [KGTV, San Diego]

Piles of chicken carcasses, swarms of flies, and a horrendous stench are what neighbors around a Ramona egg ranch say they’re struggling with daily. However, the County of San Diego told Team 10 that the ranch has fixed the problems. Yet neighbors say that’s not true and if anything, it’s gotten worse. The family that owns the ranch claims it’s always working to ensure it’s in full-compliance with the County’s requirements.


Editorial: The drought’s over? Sure. But our hydrological bank account is still drained [Los Angeles Times]

…The word “drought” doesn’t really work in California or the rest of the arid West, where we sometimes go years without much precipitation but can manage a sustainable water supply if we recycle wastewater and capture the few raindrops that do fall, so we can use each gallon many times over. We think of “drought” as a shortage of the stuff that falls from the sky, but that misleads us into thinking that the rain alone is our salvation or destruction. We should think instead of our hydrological bank account — and do more to sustain a healthy level of water assets, regardless of how much rain the water year brings.


Opinion: What rural America has to teach us [New York Times]

Everybody says rural America is collapsing. But I keep going to places with more moral coherence and social commitment than we have in booming urban areas….Farm life inculcates an insane work ethic, which gets carried into community life….Constantly they are thinking: Does this help my town or hurt it? And when you tell them that this pervasive civic mind-set is an unusual way to be, they look at you blankly because they can’t fathom any other.