Ag Today November 6, 2018

California voters consider $9 billion for water projects [Associated Press]

Voters will decide Tuesday whether California borrows nearly $9 billion for water infrastructure projects in the state where its scarcity often pits city dwellers, farmers, anglers and environmentalists against one another. Proposition 3 would devote the money to storage and dam repairs, watershed and fisheries improvements, and habitat protection and restoration….The measure is backed by agricultural and water associations and those devoted to conserving wetlands, fish and wildlife….Sierra Club California and the League of Women Voters of California are among opponents who say the measure benefits special interests while siphoning money from other programs with little oversight.


Opinion: Buying a myth on California water impedes real-world solutions [San Francisco Chronicle]

…The discussion is not whether someone is for or against the environment. Responsible public water agencies support a healthy environment and restoring the bay-delta’s ecosystem….The adversarial regulatory process establishes a zero-sum outcome that ultimately hurts everyone involved. Sadly, this is what we face through the current draft amendment by the State Water Board to the Bay-Delta Plan update, which is viewed by many as a rigid, binary, either/or decision with absolutely no room for collaboration.


California considers making cage-free eggs a state law [Associated Press]

California voters are considering a measure Tuesday that requires all eggs sold in the state to come from cage-free hens by 2022. Dubbed the Prevention of Cruelty to Farm Animals Act, Proposition 12 would set minimum requirements on the size of cages or pens housing breeding pigs and calves raised for veal. It also would ban the sale of veal or pork in California from farms that don’t comply….Farm groups that oppose the measure, including the National Pork Producers Council, say it will raise the costs for farmers and, as a result, raise food prices.


Point Reyes tule elk might face culling effort [Marin Independent Journal]

The National Park Service is asking the public to weigh in on a controversial proposal that could potentially allow the Point Reyes National Seashore to relocate or use lethal means to manage tule elk herds. The park is also considering extending the leases for existing historic ranches and dairies within the park….Ranchers say the park needs the extra tools to prevent recurring conflicts with the elk herds. Environmental groups say the proposal favors commercial interests over protection of public lands and the wildlife within them.


Redding rancher and BLM tussle over road: ‘We’re not going to submit to the culture of intimidation’ [Redding Record Searchlight]

For decades Arnold Sargent and his family used Simmons Road to get to and from their ranch west of Redding….But things began changing for Sargent this year after he received a phone call and a letter from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management telling him he had to apply for a permit to cross over the agency’s property to get to the family ranch….But Sargent said he doesn’t need to get a right-of-way from the BLM because the road has been used for more than 100 years and qualifies for an exemption under a federal rule called “R.S. 2477.”


Court takes whole-grain cereals off the hook for cancer warnings [San Francisco Chronicle]

…The state Supreme Court last week denied review of a suit that sought to require cereal-makers Post, General Mills and Kellogg to add warnings to their labels under Proposition 65, the 1986 ballot measure that requires businesses to notify the public when their products contain ingredients that have been shown to cause cancer or birth defects…The cereals contain acrylamide, a chemical that has been identified as a potential cause of cancer by both federal and state agencies….But in response to a suit seeking the same labels for whole-grain cereals with acrylamide, the Second District Court of Appeal in Los Angeles agreed with federal health officials who said that such warnings would cause more harm than good.