Ag Today October 22, 2018

Trump wants to cut red tape, hasten water projects in West [Associated Press]

President Donald Trump on Friday ordered the government to speed up environmental reviews and streamline regulations that he says are hindering work on major water projects in California and other Western states. Trump signed a memorandum aimed at helping the Central Valley Project and the California State Water Project in California, the Klamath Irrigation Project in Oregon and California and the Columbia River Basin system in the Pacific Northwest….The announcement is a boost for endangered Republican lawmakers in California’s Central Valley facing tough challenges from Democrats looking to take control of the U.S. House….But it is likely to inflame an ongoing battle in California over divvying up water between cities, farms and environmental needs like the protection of fish.


Editorial: Trump’s California water relief [Wall Street Journal]

Donald Trump ran as a champion of the forgotten man, and few have been forgotten more by the political class than California’s parched farmers. On Friday the President made good on a campaign promise to deliver more water to more people….Enter President Trump, who has ordered the Departments of Commerce and Interior by 2019 to review their sloppy science and revise the fish biological opinions. His Friday executive order also directs the agencies to streamline regulatory reviews for western water projects.


Proposition 12: Cage-free eggs, more room for farm animals on ballot [Bay Area News Group]

…Proposition 12 would tighten California’s laws on cages for farm animals, requiring more space than many large farms currently provide….Farm groups oppose the measure, which would go further than farm welfare rules in other states. They say it will raise costs for farmers and, as a result, raise food prices. “All Proposition 12 does is allow trial lawyers to file predatory lawsuits against egg farmers, who provide some of the healthiest food on the planet,” said Jamie Johansson, president of the California Farm Bureau Federation.


Marin inches toward adopting local coastal plan [Marin Independent Journal]

Marin County has made some progress in the seemingly interminable slog to update its Local Coastal Program, the general plan governing Marin’s coastal areas, which has been in the works for nearly a decade now….Another speaker, Sam Dolcini, a West Marin resident and past president of the Marin County Farm Bureau, said all but two members of the Planning Commission had left since he started participating in the update process….Many of the sticking points that resulted in the amendments being rejected by county supervisors in April involved arcane definitions of key terms such as “ongoing agriculture” “legally established,” “legal lot,” “shoreline protective device” and “existing structure.” The precise definition of these terms is crucial to ranchers and residents living in the coastal zone because if their operations or houses fail to meet the definitions they could be subject to challenge and required to go through the long and costly process of obtaining a development permit from the commission.