Fish Lawsuit & Declining Farm Income
Continued hot, dry conditions across the west will affect farm incomes this year and of course, when farmers suffer, others in rural areas can suffer as well.Warren Preston is a senior economist with the Department of Ag and he says it's a trickle down effect.
PRESTON: The declining farm incomes will put pressure on farm communities and on input suppliers in particular. The businesses that depend on that will obviously be hurt and so there will be pressure on rural communities from this declining farm income picture.
Three years ago thousand of salmon farmed in net pens in Puget Sound were infect with the Infectious Haematopoietic Necrosis or IHN virus. Right now, the EPA and NOAA consider fish farms to have essentially no negative effect on wild fish. Now, the Wild Fish Conservancy intends to sue the EPA and NOAA if action is not taken to develop stricter rules governing large net pens. They feel that the government is not taking the risks of fish farms seriously. WFC argues that the net pens endanger critical habitat after millions of tax dollars have been spent to rehabilitate habitat across Puget Sound. The EPA and NOAA have 60 days to respond before WFC plans to take legal action.
That's today's Northwest Report. I'm Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network of the West.