Incidentally, I am associated with the Cattlemen’s Associations in AZ, NM and TX. As a general observation, Arizona is a great deal more aggressive about such matters than the other two. You New Mexico and Texas guys need to punch up your associations to turn up the pressure. — jtl
Once again the bright lights are shown on the caricature of the federal government regulating everything from cradle to grave – only this time it is from stock pond to ditch.
With the Environmental Protection Agency’s new rule to expand the definition of the “Waters of the United States” to the stock ponds on our ranches and to the ditches on our farms by removing the word “navigable” from these Clean Water Act regulations, we experience Big Brother’s appetite for controlling everything – from your smartphone texts, to your Internet service – to our stock ponds.
Arizona’s cattle ranching families rely on clean sources of water for our animals and to nurture our land. In fact, we support efforts to keep our water clean and we spend a great deal of time and resources working to enhance our water resources.
This flawed EPA rule will only hamper our efforts by demanding and increasing permit requirements from a system that already has a backlog of thousands of permits. The EPA’s insatiable appetite to control everything in our lives is beginning to make it another 3-letter acronym associated with failure and abuse – like the IRS.
Given our interest in “Clean Water,” we asked the EPA to withdraw this rule and convene a stakeholder process to develop a workable solution and clarity to the process so it did not expose our stock ponds, ditches and other areas, where water might collect on our ranches, to an expensive and inefficient federal permitting system. They did not. Instead we just got a retread of a previously flawed regulatory process. This is unfortunate.
Maybe the greatest failure of this new rule is: It eviscerates the cooperative federalism concept which is the crux of the original Clean Water Act – usurping Arizona’s rights to regulate its own water. As citizens we should demand a better process, as taxpayers we should demand a more acceptable program and as Arizonans we should demand our voice to be heard…. Because for sure – we all demand clean water!
U.S. REP. MCSALLY STATEMENT ON FINAL “WATERS OF THE U.S.” RULE
May 28, 2015
TUCSON – U.S. Representative Martha McSally today released the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized sweeping new rules redefining what are considered “waters” of the United States:
“Our top focus needs to be on growing our economy and creating more opportunity for Southern Arizonans, and there’s no doubt that a safe, abundant water supply is critical to that. However, I’m concerned that this rule fails to take into account Southern Arizona’s unique environmental features-like the many washes that crisscross our desert landscape-and would hurt growth while doing nothing to protect our water supply,” said Rep. McSally. “The federal government needs to be working with local communities to promote growth and environmental sustainability, not imposing one-size-fits-all mandates from Washington. As the impacts of this rule are analyzed, I’ll continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to encourage collaboration with local stakeholders to ensure we’re protecting our waterways without unnecessarily restricting growth.”
“This expanded definition the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers has made will hurt job creation, the economy and Tucson’s families. This is just another example of how the EPA is running afoul of Congress and making laws on its own,” said Michael Varney, President and CEO of the Tucson Metro Chamber. “In an area of the country that sees significant rainfall in shorts periods of time, under this ruling small business may have to apply for permits for the standing water in their parking lots. You can’t say puddles are a tributary to our nation’s waterways.”
“We are deeply disappointed that the EPA administrator did not follow through on her statement to pull the rule and address the concerns of the ranching and farming community,” said Dan Bell, President of the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. “Instead they have issued a rule that appears to have not addressed any of our concerns and threatens our way of life in the southwest.”
“We are very disappointed in the final rule and have significant concerns about its adverse impact on land development and the home-building industry,” said David Godlewski, President of the Southern Arizona Home Builders Association.”We urge Congress and the Administration to work together on a better solution that won’t restrict economic development in Southern Arizona.”
On May 12, 2015, Rep. McSally voted in favor of H.R. 1732, the Regulatory Integrity Protection Act, legislation to require EPA withdraw their rule expanding the definition of “waters of the United States” and develop a new proposal that takes into consideration the over one million public comments on the rule, economic analysis of the rule, and discussions with state and local governments. That bill passed the House 261-155 with 24 Democrats voting in favor of the legislation.
Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers. Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.