Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, January 11, 2019, Image 1

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

Friday, January 11, 2019
Volume 92, Number 2
By Capital Press
he three Northwest legislatures go to work this month, address-
ing a wide variety of issues that will impact their state’s farm-
ers and ranchers. In Oregon and Washington, the changing
climate tops the governors’ legislative agendas. Oregon Gov.
Kate Brown and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee hope to help
stanch global climate change by capping carbon production in their states.
Though both proposals would exempt farmers and ranchers directly, the
Northwest political party control by state
prospect of higher costs for fuel, energy and fertilizers caused by the caps
poses a concern for agriculture. Meanwhile, in Idaho, legislators and new
Gov. Brad Little must fi nd a way to pay for a voter-mandated expansion
of Medicaid coverage for Idaho residents even as tax revenues sink lower
than originally forecast.
See Issues, Page 9
*As of July, 2018
Population: 4.19 million *
Population: 7.54 million *
Population: 1.75 million *
Gov.: Kate Brown (D)
Gov.: Jay Inslee (D)
Gov.: Brad Little (R)
House: 38 Democrats,
22 Republicans
House: 57 Democrats,
41 Republicans
House: 56 Republicans,
14 Democrats
Senate: 18 Democrats,
12 Republicans
Senate: 28 Democrats,
21 Republicans
Senate: 28 Republicans,
7 Democrats
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau; Capital Press research
Capital Press graphic
• Oregon: Carbon cap, pesticide restrictions
• Washington: Climate, higher taxes
• Idaho: Tight revenue, initiative cloud picture
Oregon Gov.
Kate Brown
Washington Gov.
Jay Inslee
Idaho Gov.
Brad Little
Klamath refuge management attacked from all sides
Environmentalists, farm groups argue
with federal government in court battle
Capital Press
Holly Dillemuth/For the Capital Press
Standing grain is left for migrating birds as
part of the Walking Wetlands Program in the
Klamath Basin. Environmental groups and
agricultural organizations are suing over
management of the Klamath Basin National
Wildlife Refuge Complex.
MEDFORD, Ore. — The
federal government has been
defending its management of six
national wildlife refuges against
legal challenges from both
farmers and environmentalists.
The U.S. Interior Depart-
ment is facing three lawsuits
fi led by three environmen-
tal groups who allege its plans
for the 200,000-acre Klamath
Basin National Wildlife Ref-
uge Complex along the Ore-
gon-California border violates
several federal laws.
A fourth complaint from six
farms and agricultural groups
alleges the agency has unlaw-
fully exceeded its authority by
restricting leases of refuge land
for agricultural purposes.
The agricultural plaintiffs
—Tulelake Irrigation District,
Klamath Water Users Associ-
ation, Tally Ho Farms Partner-
ship, Four H Organics, Wood-
house Farming and Seed Co.
and Tulelake Growers Associa-
tion — claim a comprehensive
conservation plan adopted in
2017 will substantially reduce
acreage available for farming
within the refuge complex.
“Agriculture is a purpose of
this lease land. It has been for
114 years. It’s never been used
for anything else,” said Paul
Simmons, attorney for the Tule-
lake Irrigation District and asso-
ciated plaintiffs, during oral
arguments Jan. 8.
Under the plan, certain new
agricultural leases will be sub-
ject to “special use permits” that
include new requirements for
“compatibility” between agri-
culture and waterfowl habitat.
These “stipulations” include
fl ooding fi elds after harvest,
limiting tillage in the autumn,
prohibiting the planting of
genetically engineered crops
and disallowing the hazing of
waterfowl during the fi rst four
months of the year.
According to the farm plain-
tiffs, these restrictions will ren-
der agriculture less productive
and undermine its future via-
bility in the area by reduc-
ing revenues and creating
See Klamath, Page 9
Environmental groups pull out of Oregon Wolf Plan talks
Revision to go before
ODFW Commission
in March
Capital Press
— The Oregon Department
of Fish and Wildlife is forg-
ing ahead with a long-overdue
update of the state’s Wolf Con-
servation and Management
Plan, even as four environ-
mental groups withdrew from
mediation and announced they
will oppose it.
In a Jan. 4 letter to Gov.
Kate Brown, representa-
tives for Oregon Wild, Cas-
cadia Wildlands, Defenders
Three environmental groups have pulled out of
discussions over the revision of Oregon’s wolf plan.
of Wildlife and the Cen-
ter for Biological Diversity
said they will no longer par-
ticipate in meetings hosted
by ODFW to fi nd common
ground on wolf management
with hunters and ranchers.
Wolf advocates criticized
the negotiations, describing
the process as fl awed and
skewed in favor of killing
wolves to protect livestock,
rather than prioritizing
non-lethal forms of deter-
rence. The groups slammed
ODFW staff for “leading
us to a seemingly predeter-
mined outcome,” despite the
agency paying more than
$100,000 to hire a profes-
sional mediator.
On Jan. 8, the Wolf Plan
work group — or what was
left of it — met for the fi nal
time in Clackamas, Ore.,
with remaining members
from the Oregon Cattle-
men’s Association, Oregon
Farm Bureau, Oregon Hunt-
ers Association and Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation.
Shannon Hurn, deputy
director of fi sh and wild-
life programs for ODFW,
said the group’s input and
feedback helped inform
revisions to the Wolf Plan,
which staff will present to
the Oregon Fish and Wild-
life Commission on March
16 in Salem.
Though they did not
reach a consensus on the
plan, Hurn said she felt the
meetings were worth the
time and investment.
“This is probably our
most contentious wildlife
subject,” she said. “We did
hear what was important
to folks, and where there is
some agreement.”
Ranchers argue they
need lethal control of prob-
lem wolves to protect their
See Wolf, Page 3