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Feds Attack Klamath Basin Ranchers and Farmers With the ESA

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W.R. McAfee Sr. (c) copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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On April 7, 2001, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ignored state and federal law in the name of the ESA and stopped water to more than 200,000 acres and some 1,400 canal-irrigated family farms near Klamath Falls, Ore., plunging the community toward bankruptcy and devastating families.

Why? Because the bureau said two species of bottom-feeding suckerfish and a Coho salmon, in a reservoir the farmers depended upon, might be “affected” if water was released during the current drought.

The ESA had already been used to cut off water to a group of California farmers, causing their crops to dry up.

In Colorado, the forest service threatened another agricultural operation with a by-pass flow that would have resulted in an 80-percent loss of the dry-year water supply from a key reservoir, with a direct economic loss of between $5 and $17 million.

They also attempted to impose a “by-pass flow” that would have taken some 50 percent of the dry-year water supply provided from a Colorado municipal water storage facility.

In Idaho, a federal permittee was told he would have to bypass water to protect aquatic species or obtain an alternate source of water at a cost of $120,000.

In Arizona, where state law requires water rights be held by the person making the beneficial use of the water, the regional forester had demanded that water rights owned by grazing permittees be transferred to the feds – rights long established under state law for livestock purposes.

Federal agencies nationwide are using the ESA to try to override established water rights, state laws and the McCarran Act. More

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ADT ~~ ANIMAL DISEASE TRACEABILITY

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“In Zanesville, Ohio, Sec. Vilsack held a political meeting and allowed questions. He was asked, “With over 90% of livestock producers opposed to NAIS in the listening sessions, how large would the percentage have to be to abandon the whole thing?” Answer political mumble, mumble……… Could it be 95% for ADT? Send in your opposition today and encourage others to quickly comment. Thanks for helping protect the US cattle producer from useless enforcements.”

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On February 5, 2010, USDA Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced that the opposition was so great, the ill-fated NAIS brain child of the US government was now ended. The cost, complications, record keeping time, and potential enforcement fines made the whole thing stink to ranchers of the USA. In listening sessions held to “hear the voice of the people” it had unearthed over 90% opposition to NAIS from cattle people.
 
For a period of time February, ranchers relaxed. Many were still skeptical, and rightfully so.
 
The battle was extremely lopsided. USDA had millions of dollars of taxpayer money — over $140 million to be precise — to develop and promote NAIS and to persuade state departments of agriculture and cattle industry trade associations to recruit as many independent cattle producers as possible into the unwanted NAIS program.
 
To not labor-on with this continuing burden of government versus people, NAIS is back, now called Animal Disease Traceability (ADT) and with the same diminutive text – government gobbledygook. With more federal and state veterinarians than any time in history and less livestock disease — those hired to terminate disease, have minimal disease to terminate. Cattle numbers are reducing and government employees are increasing.
 
The other talking point for ADT is US exports. Well, go jump in the lake! The USA hasn’t produced enough beef to feed the nation in 40 years and the amount being produced is declining. Yet, as the USA imported 16% of their beef last year, ADT, somehow needs to become mandatory to increase exports. It doesn’t take a Bernie Madoff to find a chuckle in that concept. More

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