Mathison Testifies Before Congress Part 2

Mathison Testifies Before Congress Part 2

Mathison Testifies Before Congress part 2. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Fruit Grower Report.

On Friday we began a look at Stemilt Growers’ West Mathison who recently testified before a joint congressional hearing on the ESA and pesticides and salmon and the consultation process.

MATHISON: I want to affirm the motivation to have reasonable regulation. I strongly urge your support to remedy the dysfunctional process underway between the services and the EPA regarding ESA consultation and the development of of BiOps for protection of listed salmon.

He told the committee that with the first series of BiOps, they face losing their ability to manage large sections of farms in Washington.

MATHISON: If not remedied, this precedent will endanger the future use of all pesticides which EPA believes may affect endangered or threatened species, both for conventional and organic farming practices. I am deeply concerned that it will put my business and others in agriculture into great jeopardy if implemented.

Mathison adds that this would destroy jobs and hurt many rural communities around the nation.

MATHISON: The proposed mitigation includes 100, 500 and 1,000 foot no-spray buffers around all conveyances of water, including ditches of any size and seasonal streams. This would have a devastating impact on existing farms. A map is from the Washington State Department of Agriculture for two counties in the state and shows that mitigation measures would prevent the use of some pesticides on up to 75 to 85 percent of the farmland.

We’ll finish up tomorrow. That’s today’s Fruit Grower Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.

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