USDA Extends ECP Application Deadline for Severe Storm Recovery to October 13
On Friday, the California State Office of the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that it has “extended the deadline for accepting Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) applications from California agricultural producers who need assistance to address damages from severe storms” until October 13.
ECP funding may provide up to 75% of the eligible cost of practices necessary to “restore the farmland to pre-disaster conditions,” not to exceed $500,000. Approved practices include debris removal, fence restoration, grading, restoring conservation structures and shaping and leveling. Eligible producers must apply for assistance before beginning repair work.
ECP sign-ups are currently available for producers impacted by severe winter storms in every county except Lake, Lassen, Mono, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
For additional details, see FSA’s announcement, here. To apply, contact your county FSA office (you can find your county office’s contact information here).
Comments Due Wednesday for USDA APHIS Animal Disease Traceability Rule
On January 19, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released a Proposed Rule regarding the “Use of Electronic Identification Eartags as Official Identification in Cattle and Bison.” The Proposed Rule would require that eartags “be both visually and electronically readable in order to be recognized for use as official eartags for interstate movement of cattle and bison” and would apply to all sexually intact cattle 18 months of age or older, all dairy cattle (as defined) and all cattle used in rodeo or other recreational events. Public comments on the Proposed Rule are due by 8:59pm Pacific this Wednesday, April 19. Comments can be submitted via Regulations.gov.
For more information, see the January 23 edition of Legislative Bulletin or listen to Season 3 Episode 3 of the Sorting Pen podcast featuring Dr. Tom Talbot.
State, Feds Respond to Winter Storm Disaster
At the request of Governor Gavin Newsom, President Joe Biden earlier this month declared “that a major disaster exists in” Kern, Mariposa, Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz, Tulare and Tuolumne counties “and ordered Federal aid to supplement State, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe winter storms, straight-line winds, flooding, landslides, and mudslides beginning on February 21, 2023, and continuing.” Additionally, Governor Newsom has proclaimed a state of emergency to exist in 47 counties and has issued an executive order to support Tulare Lake Basin flood response. For additional information on state and federal responses to this winter’s devastating storms, see last week’s edition of Legislative Bulletin.
BLM Releases Proposed Rule on “Conservation and Landscape Health”
Earlier this month, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a Proposed Rule, titled “Conservation and Landscape Health,” which makes significant changes to the agency’s authority under the Federal Land Management and Policy Act (FLPMA). Of concern to CCA, the Proposed Rule would clarify that conservation of land is a “use” within the meaning of FLPMA’s multiple-use mandate and would ramp up identification and designation of Areas of Critical Environmental Concern – both of which could have impacts on permitted grazing. The Proposed Rule may also have a benefit for permittees, though, as it would apply land health standards currently only utilized to evaluate grazing permits to all uses of BLM lands. BLM is accepting comments through June 20; for additional details, see the April 3 edition of Legislative Bulletin.
SWRCB Extends Scott River Watershed Curtailment Suspensions Through May 2
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) announced Friday that it has extended suspensions of curtailments within the Scott River watershed through at least May 2 so long as minimum flows of 150 cubic feet per second (cfs) are maintained at the Fort Jones gage. Shasta River watershed curtailments remain suspended through the end of this month so long as minimum flows of 70 cfs are maintained at the Yreka gage. The SWRCB has also suspended its prohibition against “inefficient livestock watering” within the Scott and Shasta River watersheds provided certain conditions are met.
As reported last week, the SWRCB has fully rescinded curtailment orders for the Russian River and Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta watersheds.
New Episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattleman Podcast
Tune into this week’s episode of Sorting Pen: The California Cattlemen’s Podcast. In this episode Katie visits American River College to chat with Audubon California’s Pelayo Alvarez, the Director of the Conservation Ranching Program in Sacramento. This episode is a conversation on what Audubon California’s Conservation Ranching Program is and how Audubon California working with ranchers.To listen to the episode, click here.
CBCIA + CAA Tour
The California Beef Cattle Improvement Association and the California Angus Association Industry Tour is taking place May 16-18. Participants will visit the Central Valley and have the opportunity to tour an array of livestock operations, local agricultural businesses and hear from industry leaders. Limited space is available and spots are on a first come first serve basis. To view the agenda and register for the tour click here.