Sage Grouse Bill, ESA Legislation & Drought Declaration
Washington's Governor Jay Inslee on Friday declared a statewide drought.
INSLEE: We are already seeing severe impacts in several areas of the state and conditions are expected to worsen over time.
Washington Department of Ecology Director Maia Bellon said drinking water was not in jeopardy and that some farmers were volunteering to back off of some crops this year.
BELLON: One of our highest priorities has been finding ways to get water to farmers in the Yakima Basin. It's our richest agricultural region and our highest "at-risk" area for this drought.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a bill that would prohibit the Administration from declaring the sage grouse as an endangered species for 10 years. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden from Oregon is a strong supporter of the bill.
WALDEN: This bill is excellent news for farmers and ranchers. A premature listing of the sage grouse could severely impact jobs in rural communities, so a delay would give states the breathing room to implement local conservation plans without the heavy hand of the federal government getting in the way.
Finally Rep. Dan Newhouse and other members of the House Endangered Species Act Working Group, introduced H.R. 2352, the State, Tribal, and Local Species Transparency and Recovery Act which would require the federal government to disclose to affected states all data used prior to any ESA listing decisions and require that the "best available scientific and commercial data" used by the federal government include data provided by affected states, tribes, and local governments.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.