Capital press. (Salem, OR) 19??-current, November 01, 2019, Page 7, Image 7

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    Friday, November 1, 2019
Wildlife Services sued
over killing mammals
Capital Press
The Center for Biological Diversity has fur-
thered its campaign against USDA’s Wildlife
Services by suing to block the agency from kill-
ing mammals in Washington.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Seat-
tle, seeks to halt the lethal control of animals
such as bears, bobcats, beavers and coyotes
until the agency reassesses the environmental
Wildlife Services is operating under an out-
dated 1997 assessment, said Sophia Ressler, an
attorney for the center. “We’re just asking for
a pause until an updated environmental assess-
ment is done,” she said.
The suit is the latest in a series of court
actions brought by conservation groups against
Wildlife Services in the West. Most suits have
had a narrower focus, targeting specific tactics,
species or regions.
Wildlife Services reported euthanizing more
than 2.6 million animals nationwide in the most
recent federal fiscal year. Efforts to reach the
agency for comment were unsuccessful.
In Washington, the agency reported kill-
ing 116,433 mammals, birds and fish in fiscal
year 2018. Starlings, pigeons and crows were
among the most commonly killed creatures.
Other mammals killed by the agency included
porcupines, raccoons and wild pigs.
The lawsuit does not seek to curb lethal con-
trol by the state Department of Fish and Wild-
life or ranchers. Cattle Producers of Washing-
ton President Scott Nielsen said the federal
agency, however, is better at it.
“They’re effective and that’s why we like
them and they (environmental groups) don’t,”
he said. “It’s damaging to us if Wildlife Ser-
vices can’t do it. And from the environmen-
tal groups’ point of view, it’s smart to go after
Fish and Wildlife, the state agency, rarely
removes nuisance wildlife, according to a
spokeswoman. Fish and Wildlife refers calls
from the public to Wildlife Services or another
animal-control agency.
Fish and Wildlife will remove deer or elk
causing crop damage. The department also
removes bears and cougars that threaten the
public, according to the spokeswoman.
Conservation groups won a lawsuit in 2015
to prevent Wildlife Services from shooting
wolves in Washington. Since then, Fish and
Wildlife has had to handle the job.
The new suit seeks to broaden the prohi-
bition to all mammals, though not birds or
fish. The suit claims Wildlife Services’ tac-
tics are environmentally destructive and
The agency reported that 49% of the time it
euthanized animals in Washington was to protect
property. Another 38% was to protect agricul-
ture. The agency also removed animals for safety
and to prevent damage to natural resources.
duplicate field,
export conditions
Capital Press
A national company has
shared the results of a trial of
its hay preservative, finding
that it helps bales with higher
moisture levels maintain their
Agri-King Inc. stored large
square hay bales with three
levels of moisture — a control
with normal moisture, some
bales with slightly higher
moisture and other bales with
a moisture level 5% to 7%
higher than normal.
For farmers, “Many times,
moisture can become their
nemesis,” said Dave Spangler,
director of research and devel-
opment for Agri-King Inc. of
Fulton, Ill.
Farmers need moisture to
retain leaves, digestibility and
overall nutrition of the hay. If
it becomes too dry, Spangler
said, the leaves shatter and a
lot of nutrition is left in the
field when the hay is baled.
But high moisture in hay
can increase the risk of heat-
ing and mold.
The company’s Silo-King
treatment helps farmers bale
wetter hay. It’s a food-grade
granulated product with anti-
oxidants and mold and yeast
inhibitors that’s added during
“We are showing and tell-
ing a little bit more about what
the product can do ... making
a little bit higher moisture than
the producer typically thought
he was comfortable with,”
Spangler said. “A better hay
that’s more nutritious, that’s
more profitable to them.”
Anna Foley, Grandview,
Wash., nutritionist for Agri-
King, ran the trial on a farm
through an export company
in Burbank, Wash. Ag West
International in Pasco, Wash.,
pressed the hay for the trial.
The company announced
the results of the trial Oct.
23-24 and is looking for
feedback from industry
Jeff VanOosten, Silo-King
sales support representative,
said the company wants to see
how the product might work
for the industry.
They also visited hay
export companies to see what
problems they were having.
“There’s a lot of things that
are affected by moisture,” he
The company wanted to
replicate field and export con-
ditions, applying the treatment
to hay in the field, waiting 30
days, and then pressing it and
putting it into three containers
— the control, mid-moisture
and high-moisture.
They recorded tempera-
tures hourly while storing
the bale in the containers for
another 30 days.
Bales can ordinarily be
stored in containers for 21 to
30 days, and for as long as 45
During the presentation,
the company representatives
opened the bale containers
and presented their data.
“Anna’s had so many
questions, comments, curios-
ity about running this trial,”
Spangler said. “I think a lot of
people want to know the out-
come of it.”
The company saw signifi-
cantly higher relative feed
value and protein retention
and lower mold and lower
temperatures in the treated
bales, Spangler said.
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Dan Wheat
Capital Press
Farmworker housing push continues
New farmworker housing
built by the farm labor associa-
tion Wafla and the Washington
Growers League isn’t always
full but the need for it from
May through October contin-
ues to grow, and the associ-
ations are planning to build
The League and Wafla have
collectively spent close to $30
million, mostly from state
grants, to provide 1,062 farm-
worker beds in Central Wash-
ington in the last 10 years.
Individual tree fruit com-
panies, growers and housing
authorities have spent millions
more on farmworker housing.
The need is driven by the
increased use of H-2A-visa
foreign guestworkers and a
federal requirement that grow-
ers provide housing for them.
“My anticipation is the
growth rate in H-2A will start
declining a bit because the
immediate need is being met,”
said Mike Gempler, execu-
tive director of the Growers
But more domestic work-
ers are leaving agriculture for
other occupations because of
a good economy so the need
for foreign workers will con-
tinue, Gempler said. And more
housing will be needed even if
the H-2A program changes, he
“Have you looked at the
Wenatchee and Mattawa hous-
ing markets? There are no
places to live,” Gempler said.
Dan Fazio, director of
Wafla, recently announced
the association is beginning a
housing investment fund, set-
ting aside an initial $500,000
and with a goal of adding 50%
of its net income annually.
Wafla opened its $5 mil-
lion, 160-bed Riverview
Meadows farmworker hous-
ing in Okanogan on June 1.
Occupancy peaked at 80 ten-
ants during the summer at $12
per night per occupant.
Fazio expects it to fill next
season at $10 per night but
acknowledges the 45 miles
from Oroville is too great a
distance for growers there to
economically use. He’s not
worried, saying there’s plenty
of need within a 25-mile radius
of Okanogan.
Riverview Meadows has
10 units of 16 beds each,
each with its own kitchen and
It was built with a $3 mil-
Company tests hay preservative
19 th Annual
Luis Guitron,
manager of
Meadows Wafla
housing, in
Wash., Oct. 7.
The 10 units of
16 beds each
opened June 1.
More units are
Capital Press
lion state grant and private
Wafla plans to break ground
on another 160-bed facility in
Chelan next year with a $3 mil-
lion state grant, $1 million in
possible federal funding, $1
million in Wafla money and a
bank loan.
It will be year-round for
seasonal orchard workers and
full-time packing house work-
ers and be located near Chelan
Fruit Cooperative’s packing
Wafla also invested more
than $500,000 in 800-bed Fair-
Bridge Inn farmworker hous-
ing in Yakima that opened a
year ago. Other investors, led
by Valicoff Fruit Co., of Wap-
ato, bought the hotel for $4
million and spent $800,000 to
$1 million on repairs. It peaked
at 600 farmworkers this sea-
son, Fazio said, while Walfa’s
96-bed Ringold housing, built
in Mesa in 2010, was full and
not expandable.
Wafla’s plan to build hous-
ing in Cashmere, west of
Wenatchee, didn’t work out
but it is looking for possibili-
ties in the Tri-Cities and Ore-
gon, Fazio said.
He said he thinks the state
of Washington will keep sea-
sonal housing at the Wenatchee
River County Park at Monitor.
The Growers League
opened a new $6 million, 200-
bed migrant farmworker hous-
ing facility, Brender Creek, in
Cashmere, in May 2015 with
private and state funding. It
operates the 270-bed Sage
Bluff facility near Malaga,
south of Wenatchee, that it
built in 2010 for $6.2 million.
The League opened the
144-bed first phase of Mattawa
Slope in May 2018 and 192-
bed second phase in spring of
2019. Each phase was about
$4.5 million, each with $3
million state grant and rest in
League debt. The League has
another $3 million state grant
for a 96-bed third and final
phase that will be built when
more funding is secured.
All the League facilities
are open year-round but only
for seasonal occupancy.
“Winter time is real down
real low. We need more peo-
ple to make cash flow,” Gem-
pler said. “That’s why seasonal
housing is hard, because it’s
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