What’s Happening in Washington, District of Criminals

Courtesy of the Arizona Cattle Growers Association

From the Desk of Patrick Bray, Executive VP

The legislature officially opened its doors for business on Monday, January 12th with the usual ceremonies of swearing in and celebrations. Governor Doug Ducey took the podium that afternoon to deliver the State of the State. This was his time to shine and really lay out a path of where we would be going as a state. The focus was mostly on balancing the state budget and even more emphasis on education. During the first wave of budget cuts a few years ago, the Legislature was not funding the inflationary rate to education which was voted on and passed by the citizens. The court is now telling the legislature they must restore that funding and back pay schools forcing the state to be in a billion dollar deficit this coming year. The state budget will be the greatest focus of this legislative cycle and ACGA is planning to play defense to protect the services that allow for you to conduct commerce.

The government is in a transition phase and ACGA is working closely with the Governor’s office to get favorable directors into key agencies like Agriculture, State Lands and Water Resources. It may be weeks before we have agencies back on the right track but we are working with them and the Executive staff to assist in any way we can. As we get information we will pass it along to you.  Here are somepress releases from the Governor about agency personnel he has kept or appointed.

ACGA’s focus this session will be to monitor and engage on the budget discussions.  In addition, The ACA will be pursuing and supporting legislation which:

  1. Removes the caps on attorney fees for challenges to County Assessors.  Current cost recovery fees are capped at an 18 year old standard and such a low compensation rate encourages County assessors to challenge and drag out litigation when they are questioned by property tax payers.  House Ways and Means Chairman, Representative Darin Mitchell is sponsoring the legislation.  *Note: There is continuing discussion regarding the use of “state or federal grazing leases” in valuing grazing lands.
  2. Establishes a $250,000 Mexican Grey Wolf litigation fund for the State of Arizona (Game and Fish Department and Attorney General’s Office) to challenge the failings of the US Fish and Wildlife Mexican Grey Wolf Recovery Plan.  Senate Water and Environment Chair, Senator Gail Griffin is sponsoring the legislation.
  3. Establishes a “Mexican Grey Wolf Compensation Fund” in which the USFWS must contribute funds to compensate owners of livestock when they are killed by Mexican Grey Wolves.  Representative Bob Thorpe is sponsoring this legislation.
  4. Prohibits the importation of Endangered Species into the State of Arizona.  Senate Natural Resources Committee Chairman, Senator Steve Pierce is sponsoring this legislation.

As always, ACGA will also be working on legislation dealing with animal rights and public lands. It is still early in the session, but I believe there will be far less bills this session as the focus will be on the budget and it will not be an easy process. Below are some bills that have been filed that we are watching.

-PB

Bill Tracking

H2429: LIVESTOCK; POULTRY; ANIMAL CRUELTY; VIOLATION – SUPPORT

This bill is the animal cruelty legislation we worked on last year.  It has some minor changes but is on track with our policy.  Animal cruelty will be one of our major issues at the legislature this session.

S1050: ANIMAL ABUSE; PROHIBITED ANIMAL OWNERSHIP – OPPOSE

A person who is convicted of specified animal cruelty related crimes is prohibited from adopting, owning or otherwise having care or custody of any animal in the person’s household. Violations are a class 1 misdemeanor. Within 90 days after conviction of specified animal cruelty related crimes, the person must transfer all animals to another person who is not in the same household. After two years, the person may apply to the sentencing court to have their right to possess an animal restored, unless the person was convicted of a subsequent violation.

H2318: TRANSFER OF PUBLIC LANDS COMPACT – SUPPORT

This is legislation for the transfer of public lands to the state by the end of 2016.

H2175: PUBLIC RIGHTS-OF-WAY; CLAIMS – Monitoring

The State of Arizona asserts and claims rights-of-way across public lands under the federal Mining Act of 1866, acquired from and after its effective date through October 21, 1976, the date of its repeal. These rights-of-way may have been acquired in any manner authorized by law, including specified methods. The state does not recognize or consent to the exchange, waiver or abandonment of any revised statute 2477 right-of-way across public lands unless by formal, written official action that was taken by the state or a political subdivision and recorded in the office of the county recorder.

Wolf Update

Mexican Gray Wolf Update

ACGA is in the process of reviewing all the information in the final rule this week.  ACGA is also working closely with Norm James to develop options for litigation.  As we get more information we will disseminate it to the membership.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized the revised rule under which Mexican wolves are reintroduced in Arizona and New Mexico.   The final rule forRevision to the Regulations for the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) implements the decision made by the Service following completion of a final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).  Additionally, the Service has issued a final rule listing the Mexican wolf (Canis lupus baileyi) as an endangered subspecies under the Endangered Species Act.

Below are both final rules and the Final Record of Decision for the EIS. Also below is the News Release and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).   All of these documents are also available on the Mexican Wolf Recovery Program website.

Final Rule ROD

Final Rule to OFR

Final Rule 10j

Press release

FAQ

 

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About Land & Livestock Interntional, Inc.

Land and Livestock International, Inc. is a leading agribusiness management firm providing a complete line of services to the range livestock industry. We believe that private property is the foundation of America. Private property and free markets go hand in hand—without property there is no freedom. We also believe that free markets, not government intervention, hold the key to natural resource conservation and environmental preservation. No government bureaucrat can (or will) understand and treat the land with as much respect as its owner. The bureaucrat simply does not have the same motives as does the owner of a capital interest in the property. Our specialty is the working livestock ranch simply because there are so many very good reasons for owning such a property. We provide educational, management and consulting services with a focus on ecologically and financially sustainable land management that will enhance natural processes (water and mineral cycles, energy flow and community dynamics) while enhancing profits and steadily building wealth.
This entry was posted in Animal Rights, Government Interventionism, Mexican Wolf, Public Lands, Uncategorized, Wolves and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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