Bob Larson Ecology to Review Best Ag Management Practices Pt 2
by Bob Larson, click here for bio

Program: Washington State Farm Bureau Report
Date: February 21, 2017

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I’m Bob Larson. The Department of Ecology’s Spring get-together to catalogue “Best Management Practices” for maintaining water quality is drawing concerns.

The Washington Farm Bureau’s Evan Sheffels says it seems redundant since there are pretty strict practices already in place …

EVAN SHEFFELS … “So, we’re hopeful, but we’re very nervous. It’s not clear to us why we need new BMPs. We’ve already got NRCS, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, at the federal level has an extensive list of best management practices. Those are conservation practices farmers and ranchers have been putting in use for decades, working with their local conservation districts. And that seems to be kind of what Ecology is talking about doing so we don’t really see the need to duplicate that.”

Sheffels says Ecology is talking about scientific assessments that the NRCS already does …

EVAN SHEFFELS … “They’ve done, what they call, conservation practice physical effects testing to make sure they know what the outcome is going to be for water quality and also for ag viability. And so, we’re looking that Ecology aligns this process with that and we’re afraid of getting surprises at the end of the day because frankly we’ve seen a number of times, a number of decisions, where Ecology’s messaging is good, but then at the last minute it gets taken out of the hands of the director and a different decision gets imposed by folks above the director’s pay-grade. So that’s why we’re nervous about this process.”

Sheffels says they’re worried, as always, about added regulations.

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