Page 1

NCA 2009 President’s Award Recipient


IN THIS ISSUE 3

NCA - Roundup

28

Look Up

8

BLM

29

American Lands

10

Nevada Water Law

30

BCI Pregnancy App

11

Diamond Valley Water Mgmtt

32

NV Farm Bureau

14

Eye on the Outside

36

SRM

16

Checkoff News

38

GBWN

18

Fumes From the Farm

40

Perennial Pepperweed

20

NDA

44

Guinn Overview

25

Sage-Grouse Protection

45

NV Budget 101

26

Amodei and Heller

46

Testimony: Species Act

The Progressive Rancher Owner/Editor/Publisher – Leana Litten Carey progressiverancher@elko.net

Graphic Design/Layout/Production – Joshua Rinard Josh@LifeSpringDesign.com

Cover Photo by: Leana L. Carey

Nevada Budget 101 Western Governor’s Association News

“Bull Sale Day” Published 9 times each year, The Progressive Rancher is mailed to more than 7,000 approved addresses, and has digital and print readership reaching more than 30,000. The Progressive Rancher is published monthly. The views and opinions expressed by writers of articles appearing in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor. Letters of opinion are welcomed by The Progressive Rancher. Rates for advertising are available upon request. Advertising in The Progressive Rancher does not necessarily imply editorial endorsement. Liability for any errors or omissions in advertisements shall not exceed the cost of the space occupied by the error or omission. The Progressive Rancher is free to people working and active in the livestock industry. The Progressive Rancher is donated to the agricultural industry. If you are not currently receiving this magazine on a regular basis, and would like to be a part of The Progressive Rancher family, contact us by e-mail at progressiverancher@elko. net, today, so we can include you on our mailing list. If you have moved or changed addresses, please notify us, by e-mail, so we can keep you informed. All requests for the magazine must be made by e-mail. © The Progressive Rancher Magazine. All rights reserved.

Leana Litten Carey, Owner/Editor

1188 Court St., #81, Elko, NV 89801 (208) 358-2487 • progressiverancher@elko.net

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 2 March 2017

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51st Fallon Bull Sale A Success!

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By Kaley Sproul, Sale Secretary

allon, NV. February 18, 2017 – Even with cold temperatures and winter weather across much of the west, it did not keep cattlemen from attending the 51st Annual Fallon All Breeds Bull Sale held at the Fallon Livestock Exchange. This year’s sale featured bulls ranging from 14-25 months of age. Cattlemen from California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah attended the sale looking to buy their range-ready bulls for the year. The Sale Average for the top 75 bulls sold comes to $3,696.67. Breed Averages included: Angus for $3,681.45; Balancer for $3,150; Charolais for $3,408.33; Herefords for $3,246.15; and Red Angus for $3,500. Each year, the consignors continue to bring high quality bulls. Because of the high quality of bulls and dedicated support to the sale, the sale continues to be a success and reach out to many of the western states. The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and Fallon Bull Sale Committee thank you for your participation and congratulate this year’s award recipients. The Top Range Bull Award and the Angus Best of Breed was awarded to Mitch Cain of Wild West Angus for lot #49. It was sold to Maureen Weishaupt for $4,700. Thank you to both parties for you for your participation and support of the Fallon All Breeds Bull Sale. The High Selling Bull was from Jackson Mtn. Angus for lot #78. This was sold to Jon Wilker of the UNR Gund Ranch, Cresent Valley, NV for $5,600. The Balancer Best of Breed was awarded to Cardey Ranches for lot #2. It was sold to Joe Sceirine of Yerington, NV for $3,200. The Charolais Best of Breed was awarded to Jerry and Sherry Maltby of the Broken Box Ranch for lot #15. It was sold to Pete Delmue of Pioche, NV for $3,200. The Red Angus Best of Breed was awarded to Merle Eakin of the Lazy J Red Angus Ranch for lot #137. It was sold to Ira Renner of Jiggs, NV for $3,500. The Hereford Best of Breed was awarded to Daniels Hereford Ranch for lot #30 selling for $3,000 to Alton Anker.

Tom Armstrong Sale Manager & Jerry Maltby “Best of Charolais”

Kaley Sproul, NCA Executive Director Hereford Best of Breed was presented to Danielson Herefords

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 3 


Happy Consignors

Kaley Sproul and Friends

This year’s recipient of the volume buyer jacket is Andrea Jackson of the Jackson Ranch. A special thank you to our volume buyer and all of our buyers. Whether you bought one bull or eleven, your continued support of the Bull Sale is greatly appreciated. Along with the dedicated group of buyers and consignors that participate in the sale each year, there are several sponsors who help make the sale possible year after year and they include: Pinenut Livestock, (awards for Best of Breed, Top Overall Range Bull, and ear tags for the sale); Fallon Convention Center (grant for advertising); Hoof Beat Gates and Corrals for donating the panels for the FFA raffle; and Great Basin Ranch of Southern Nevada Water Authority (for donating the “Raffle Calf ”, proceeds go to benefit Churchill FFA and the NCA Scholarship Fund). Also, each year Gayle Hybarger organizes the Stock Dog Trials and Auction, Dave Stix Jr & Chris Gansberg

Sale Day

 4 March 2017

The Progressive Rancher

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“Cowbell of the Year Betty Kieber “

Lined up to Feast

proceeds go to benefit a family in need of help in the livestock industry. Along with these dedicated sponsors we would also like to thank Stix Cattle Company, Robison Ranch and Demar Dahl for contributing a donation calf. Without the support of these great sponsors, the Fallon Bull Sale would not be possible. Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Fallon Bull Sale Committee would like to send a thank you to everyone for support and assistance in making the Sale a success each year! Lastly, thank you to the crew at the Fallon Livestock Exchange, the Churchill County FFA, the Churchill County Cowbelles and the Fallon Bull Sale Committee members. Your hard work is greatly appreciated.

Sam Mori 1st NCA Vice President NV BLM Director John Ruhs

Top Range Bull Award and the Angus Best of Breed was awarded to Mitch Cain www.progressiverancher.com

The Progressive Rancher

NCA Sale Dog

More Feasting March 2017 5 


“Huge Victory:” Cattlemen Hail U.S. House Passage of Resolution to Repeal BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule

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Contact Ed Frank and Shawna Newsome

ASHINGTON (Feb. 7, 2017) – The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) today hailed U.S. House passage of a resolution that would repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Planning 2.0 Rule, calling it a “huge victory” for America’s ranchers. If the U.S. Senate also quickly passes the resolution, it would go to the White House for President Trump’s signature. “For years, the Obama Administration ignored the concerns of ranchers and local officials and instead rammed through this massive regulatory overreach as they were being shown the door,” said Ethan Lane, Executive Director of PLC and NCBA Federal Lands. “This is a huge victory for America’s cattle producers and a sign that some common sense is finally being restored in Washington.” “Planning processes are critical to the ability of grazing permittees to operate in the West,” Lane continued.  “The final rule’s shift away from multiple use, as well as its disregard for both local input and economic analysis, make it unworkable for the more than 18,000 ranchers operating on BLM-managed lands.” NCBA and PLC have long expressed concerns about BLM’s Planning 2.0 Rule, which would represent a wholesale shift in management focus at BLM by prioritizing “social and environmental change” over ensuring multiple use of public lands, and by eliminating stakeholder and local input into the planning process. The Obama Administration finalized the BLM Planning 2.0 Rule in December. Under the Congressional Review Act, the U.S. House and Senate have up to 60 legislative days after a new rule becomes final to approve a joint resolution of disapproval, which will fully repeal the final rule if and when the resolution becomes law. “Congressman Liz Cheney of Wyoming deserves a great deal of credit for her leadership on this issue, and we call on the Senate to follow suit and approve Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) companion resolution as soon as possible,” Lane said.  

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 6 March 2017

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A part of the Farm Credit System. Equal Opportunity Lender.

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 7 


BLM Nevada News - For the Rancher's File

Key to Fire Rehabilitation Efforts in Shoshone Field Office Important wildlife habitat being restored across land ownership boundaries By Heather Tiel-Nelson

T

WIN FALLS, ID -- Through a partnership agreement between Pheasants Forever and the Twin Falls District Bureau of Land Management, 75,000 sagebrush seedlings were planted on 3,400 acres within the Shoshone Field Office, Craters of the Moon National Monument last fall. Of those seedlings, 36,000 were grown and nurtured through an agreement with the Institute for Applied Ecology (IAE) and the Idaho State Correctional Center (ISCC). The seed was collected locally in the Shoshone Field Office in 2015, and then grown at the correctional facility in 2016. This planting effort capped the final phase of a much larger restoration effort for this area. The shrub planting was part of a long-term rehabilitation plan to improve habitat which had burned in the 2012 Flat Top 2 fire. Now, just a little over four years post-fire, perennial forbs and grasses are abundant in the area and shrubs seeded directly after the fire are also establishing. The hand planting of shrubs could almost be considered the icing on the cake. As the plants grow and mature, they will ultimately provide habitat diversity and connectivity for mule deer, sage-grouse, and other sagebrush obligate species.  Idaho Department of Fish and Game, Idaho Department of Lands, and  the Governor’s Office on Species Conservation also planted a neighboring State section impacted by the 2012 fire, in coordination with the BLM and Pheasants Forever work. Twin Falls District BLM provided technical assistance and planning coordination.  Crews worked feverishly to plant the seedlings --planting 24,000 in one day, and completing the project in just four days. “These partnership agreements really go a long way to help us accomplish our objective to have a landscape level effect on the ground – to improve the habitat that supports sage-grouse, mule deer and elk,” said Twin Falls District Natural Resource Specialist Danelle Nance.  The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million

acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to manage and conserve the public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations under our mandate of multiple-use and sustained yield. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.

A perfectly planted sagebrush

Lofty goals of planting over 20,000 sagebrush seedlings in a day jump start these Pheasant Forever crews to start early.

It doesn’t take long for the crews to spread out and cover hundreds of acres in a day!  8 March 2017

The Progressive Rancher

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36th Annual Bull and Female Sale Monday, March 13th, 2017 at Spring Cove Ranch, Bliss, Idaho 1:00 pm MDT

Selling: 40 Hereford bulls 10 Red Angus Bulls 26 Open & Bred Hereford Heifers

3 Marb+.78 Rib+1.02 1 $F+115.64 $B+180.89

JBB/AL 0152 DOMINO 6037 reg 43686692 Sire:C 860U Domino 0152 ET

CED-1.7 BEPD+4.6 WEPD+62 YEPD+102 Milk+28 M&G+59 SC+1.1 CW+71 Rib+.32 Marb+0.10 CHB+$29

BHAR PINNACLE 6008 reg 354633 Sire:KCC PINNACLE 949-109

CED+8 BEPD-2.0 WEPD+62 YEPD+93 Milk+23 Marb+.69 YG+.11 CW+22 REA-.09

JBB/AL MS 1101 ABOUT TIME 5129 reg P43637055 SHE SELLS BRED TO CALVE FALL 2017 Sire: C GOHR 9158 ABOUT TIME 1101

CED+3.2 BEPD+1.5 WEPD+55 YEPD+83 Milk+27 M&G+55 SC+.50 CW+65 Rib+.43 Marb+0.15 CHB+$27

JBB/AL Y1334 REDEMPTION 6033 Sire:BROWN JYJ REDEMPTION Y1334

CED+7 BEPD-1.8 WEPD+78 YEPD+124 Milk+16 Marb+.66 YG+.15 CW+41 REA+.05

Selling progeny of : Schu-Lar Red Bull 18X reg 43084009

JBB MS JUICY 5130

SHE SELLS BRED TO CALVE FALL 2017 Sire:MPH 10H JUICE BOX Z3

Sire:R Puckster 2013 Dam by: Feltons Legend 242 CED+8.5 BEPD-.2 WEPD+57 YEPD+96 SC+.80 M&G+49 Rib+.41 Marb-.03 CHB+$29

CED+4.6 BEPD+1.9 WEPD+60 YEPD+92 Milk+33 M&G+63 SC+1.2 CW+66 Rib+.39 Marb+0.16 CHB+$31

For Sale Catalogs call: 208-280-1505

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The Progressive Rancher

JBB/AL Herefords James & Dawn Anderson/ Bev Bryan James: 208-280-1505 Skeeter: 208-280-1964 1998 S 1500 E Gooding, Idaho 83330 jbbalherefords@hotmail.com Find us on Facebook

March 2017 9 


Presented By: Robert W. Marshall, Esq. Bruce Scott, PE, WRS

Gregory Morrison, Esq. Resource Concepts, Inc.

EFFECT OF DESIGNATION AS A CRITICAL MANAGEMENT AREA

I

n 2011, the Nevada legislature enacted NRS 534.037 through AB 419. This legislation, among other things, provided for designation by the State Engineer of a basin as a “critical management area” where withdrawals of groundwater consistently exceed the perennial yield of the basin. NRS 534.037 outlined a process for proposing a groundwater management plan to the State Engineer by a “majority of the holders of permits or certificates to appropriate water in the basin.” The newly-enacted law further outlined certain criteria to be considered by the State Engineer in determining whether or not to approve the proposed plan. These criteria were to be considered “without limitation.” NRS 534.037(2). There follows in NRS 534.037 the outline of a procedure for holding a public hearing, notice, etc., including appeal of the decision of the State Engineer to the District Court. Vested rights are excluded from the process. Unfortunately, the Legislature left multiple questions unanswered in NRS 534.037: •

NRS 534.037 does not define what is meant by “a majority of the holders of permits or certificates.” It could mean “a majority of individuals or companies holding water rights” or it could mean “the holders of a majority of the permitted quantity of water rights.”

NRS 534.037 does not specifically require priority as a criteria to be considered as part of the proposed groundwater management plan.

Parsons Behle & Latimer

Any groundwater management plan which diminishes the value of valid water rights by ignoring those senior in priority, in favor of junior rights, will constitute an unconstitutional taking of property, unless such plan: •

right holders with the plan will be essential to assure that a constitutionally sound legal basis is created to frame and support the critical resource benefits resulting from the implementation of a groundwater management plan.

PRIORITY IS ONE OF THE BASIC

a. provides for a fair and constitutionally supTENETS OF NEVADA WATER LAW portable valuation system for various priorities Recognition of priority as a fundamental compoinvolved, and nent of a water right was built into Nevada’s water law. Reading various provisions of the water law, which is • b. provides for compensation to the holders contained in NRS 533 and 534, confirms the fact that of senior water rights to the extent that such “first in time, first in right” has been the basis of Nevada’s rights are impaired, detrimentally impacted, water law for over 100 years. or diminished by the proposed plan. • NRS 533.370(2) requires the State Engineer to reject an application for a permit if it would In Diamond Valley, a proposed groundwater conflict with existing rights. Grounds for rejecmanagement plan has been circulated and informally tion of such an application also include “no submitted to the State Engineer, for his review. To be unappropriated water” and “not be detrimental effective and legally sustainable, the groundwater manto the public interest.” agement plan must recognize the relative values of early priority senior water rights under Nevada law. To the NRS 533.371 provides that the State Engineer must extent such a plan diminishes the value of a senior water reject an application for a permit to appropriate water for right holder’s groundwater rights, compensation, proteca specific period if granting the application and issuing a tion from loss in value, or agreement of the senior water permit would conflict with existing rights.

Surely, any groundwater management plan, to pass constitutional muster, must be based on priority of right, unless the holders of all affected permits would agree to an abridgment of their priority rights.  10 March 2017

The Progressive Rancher

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NRS 533.430(1) and (2) state that all permits granted to use water from an adjudicated (as to vested rights) or unadjudicated stream are issued subject to existing rights.

NRS 534.020 provides that underground waters can be appropriated “subject to existing rights to the use thereof.” NRS 534.080 requires the date of priority be shown for each well.

NRS 534.110(5) allows reasonable lowering of the water level in an aquifer due to pumping by a junior appropriator, but only so long as the rights of the holders of existing senior appropriations can be satisfied.

Diamond Valley Water Management?? Letter to the Editor

Every water right permit issued by the State Engineer for the last 100 years contains language that the permit is issued subject to prior or existing rights.

VESTED-SENIOR WATER RIGHTS IN JEOPARDY. THE MIS-MANAGEMENT OF WATER RIGHTS

Water law jurisprudence from the Nevada Su- preme Court has consistently confirmed that priority is an essential ingredient of every wa- ter permit issued by the State Engineer. •

The Court first recognized the concept of “first in time, first in right” 150 years ago when, in Lobdell v. Simpson, 2 Nev. 274 (1866), the Court found that “The first appropriator of the water of a stream has undoubtedly a right ... to the quantity of water actually appropriated by him as against any one subsequently appropriating any of the water of the same stream.” The Court reaffirmed the doctrine of prior appropriation in Jones v. Adams, 19 Nev. 78 (1885) and Reno Smelting, Milling & Reduction Works v. C. C. Stevenson, 20 Nev. 269, (1889). The Court continues to apply the “first in time, first in right” doctrine through its decisions interpreting NRS 533.370 and 533.371. Eureka County v. State Engineer, 131 Nev. Adv. Op. 84 (2015).

Nevada’s surface and artesian flowing water are governed pursuant to comprehensive legislation passed by the Legislature and approved by the Governor in 1913. The balance of groundwater is governed under a water law first enacted in 1939. The right to continue using water that had been placed to beneficial use prior to the effective dates of Nevada’s water laws was protected as a “vested right.” All Nevada water laws recognize priority of use as an important component of water rights.

WATER RIGHTS ARE REAL PROPERTY AND MAY NOT BE TAKEN WITHOUT DUE PROCESS AND JUST COMPENSATION

Water rights in Nevada are a property right, (Application of Filippini, 66 Nev. 17, (1949); Hage v. U.S., 51 Fed Cl. 570 (2002)), and are regarded and protected as property. A perfected water right has value, and ordinarily cannot be taken, including for a public purpose, without payment of compensation. International Paper Co. v. U.S., 282 U.S. 399 (1931) (federal government’s use of plaintiff’s water constituted denial of right, requiring just compensation). The general rule is stated as: “Under the appropriation doctrine governing water law, the right to use water is considered a property right...Specifically, the right of an appropriator to the use of the water...is a property right of which he or she cannot be deprived without compensation....” 78 AM. JUR. 2d Waters § 370. In Nevada, “Private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation having been first paid....” Nev. Const., Article 1, § 8.6. Additionally, the U.S. Constitution states in Amendment V that “no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” In Amendment XIV, the U.S. Constitution states, “. . . nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law . . .” As noted above, the priority of a water right under Nevada law is one of the most important incidents of ownership included in the right. If the priority of a senior water right is to be ignored or diminished in favor of protecting junior water users, without consent or agreement of the senior water right holder, compensation must be paid to the owner of the senior right.

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By Doug Frazer , Daniel Venturacci and Roger Allen. Diamond Valley senior and Junior water right holders.

A

s owners of senior rights in Diamond Valley, we have a different perspective from what was expressed in the article “Diamond Valley Water Management” in the February, 2017 issue of this magazine. The majority of vested (established before 1905) senior water rights in Diamond Valley are owned by a handful of ranches on the edges of the playa at the north end of the Valley. These ranches were established in the 1860’s and were built on spring flow that provided water to thousands of acres of meadows and pastures. For thousands of years, water flowed into the aquifer and out along the playa, primarily through these springs. The water picture changed in the late 1950’s when the State Engineer began allowing farmers to settle the Southern part of the Valley and supply their crops with water pumped from wells. The new farmers depended on water from the same aquifer that supplied the springs and soon were pumping many times what the springs had produced. Nevada water law is founded on a ranking of rights (priority) of when the water right was first put to use; in case of conflict, those who settled their farms first have priority over those who come later. To maintain priority, new water rights can only be granted if they do not impact higher priority (senior) rights. The creation of tens of thousands of acres of new farmland, in a basin with a limited supply of groundwater, meant that the original vested spring rights were no longer protected and Nevada Water Law was set aside. Ironically, because the State Engineer granted so many new rights, the farmers with junior rights soon greatly outnumbered the senior farmers. The political power of those with junior rights meant the State Engineer would protect junior rights at the expense of those with more-senior vested rights. Although these new farmers came to the scene a hundred years after the original settlers, the enforcement of priority was turned upside down. By January of 1961, 87,000 acre-feet of permits had been issued when the perennial yield (an estimate of how much pumping an aquifer could sustain), was estimated to be between 20,000 and

The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 11 


25,000 acre-feet. The State Engineer did recognize that far too many groundwater permits had been issued and closed the Diamond Valley to additional agricultural settlement. This decision was later rescinded (or ignored) as permits continued to be issued well into the 1970’s. In 1968, the USGS, at the request of the Water Division , published a report which detailed the magnitude of the over-appropriation problem and how the new groundwater pumping would eventually impact the spring-fed ranches around the playa. The issuance of this USGS report would have been another excellent time for the State Engineer or owners of junior rights to begin addressing the over-appropriation problem, but no action was taken. In the late 1970’s, Milt Thompson, who owned the Thompson Ranch and its vested rights on the east side of the Valley, noticed declining flow in the springs that supported his ranch. By 1982, he decided the loss of flow was too great to be ignored. Mr. Thompson contacted the State Engineer, Pete Morros, and asked for help. In response, that year Mr. Morros held two hearings in Diamond Valley to discuss the problem. At the second hearing Mr. Morros explained the dilemma: “The only way you can maintain the flow of any spring in any ground water basin would be to never allow any pumpage at all. The minute you turn on one single pump, you are going to have some effect on those surface waters, however minute it might be.” With that statement, he validated Mr. Thompson’s concerns. Yet the junior water right holders still vehemently denied the loss of spring flow could be the result of their pumping. Eighty three farmers signed a petition addressed to the State Engineer which stated they were “…opposed to restricting the flow and usage of water by the Diamond Valley irrigators”. The Eureka County Commissioners passed a resolution also asking that the State Engineer not intervene. It was Mr. Thompson on his own against a much larger community and County government. Mr. Morros went with the wishes of the majority and decided to let groundwater pumping continue without any restrictions. After the hearings, Mr. Thompson became alienated from the community, his springs eventually stopped flowing and he lost his ranch. By 2011, springs on the Romano, Brown, Bailey and Sadler ranches had also either stopped flowing or were flowing at a small fraction of their historical output. Hundreds of acres of ponds and wetlands surrounding the playa, and the wildlife that depended on them also had disappeared.

Comments on “Diamond Valley Water Management” The article “Diamond Valley Water Management” did not discuss the impact pumping at the junior farms have had on the economy of the original ranches; how water that used to flow from the springs of the older ranches is now being pumped at farms with junior rights. It also did not discuss the many opportunities that the State Engineer and farmers have had over the last sixty years to address the problem. The article argues that any cessation of pumping must be slow to allow the farming community to adjust, but this argument is less convincing after six decades of no action. The article lists “Do not impair vested rights” as agoal of the groundwater management plan. Yet, at the same time, it acknowledges that continued pumping is causing groundwater levels to drop 2 feet per year. Every decline in the water table becomes permanent because there is not enough inflow to replace it; continued pumping causes permanent harm to vested rights. While the best way to fix the overdraft problem may be through a groundwater management plan developed by the community, the current draft stretches a reduction in pumping over 30 years. It would result in water levels dropping another 50 feet. Fifty more feet of drawdown will create additional pumping costs for any water users that remain, including domestic well owners. Those costs will be carried forward forever.

 12 March 2017

Ironically, while the article claims that curtailment will impact domestic and municipal wells, it fails to mention that not curtailing will cause many of these wells to go permanently dry as water tables drop. It also creates a problem that doesn’t exist. There is no reason for domestic and municipal wells to be shut off as the result of curtailing excessive pumping. Water could instead be traded between senior and domestic users. Alternatively, the State Engineer already has the power to exempt domestic and municipal wells from curtailment by designating them as preferred uses [Farmers Against Curtailment Order v. State Engineer, Case No. 15-CV-1397]. The farmers and Eureka County have taken the position that priority shouldn’t apply to Diamond Valley because it hasn’t been adhered to from the start and now there isn’t enough water to go around. This argument makes no sense. Prior appropriation laws were established so that when there is a shortage, all parties know upfront how it should be resolved (senior rights have priority over junior rights). Every water right in Diamond Valley has a priority ranking. Now that it is clear that pumping must be reduced, junior water right holders want the rules changed. Nevada water law should not be weakened to suit the needs of the moment. Once the tradition of priority is disregarded, established ranches both in and out of Diamond Valley will have to worry that the water, which is the foundation of their enterprise, is no longer guaranteed. In Diamond Valley, the State Engineer has historically avoided enforcing the law of priority, and let the community regulate itself. The Eureka County government has remained steadfast in their promotion of junior rights over senior (despite the fact they have no business preferring one farmer over another). Not surprisingly, Diamond Valley farmers have decided to continue to pump without restriction. In 1982 the State issued an order requiring water meters to be installed on all irrigation wells. Thirty five years later, the State continues to neglect enforcement of this minor, but important step towards solving the overpumping problem. Nor has the State Engineer provided the farmers with an incentive (positive or negative) to reduce pumping. All Diamond Valley water users must pay an annual assessment to support the activities of the State Engineer, yet it’s unclear what value decades of funding the agency has provided if priority is not followed and water resources can be permanently mined out. Vested water right holders have had to resort to the courts to get relief and have filed lawsuits against the State Engineer to protect their water rights. Litigation has been a slow and very expensive process that shouldn’t be necessary; the State Engineer should be an advocate of senior rights, not an opponent. However, the Court has affirmed that the law does support senior rights and has ruled in favor of vested water right holders. The author of the article suggests that the State Engineer needs more flexibility to help the farmers in Diamond Valley. However it is clear that the only thing that can protect senior rights is the law--not the agency in charge of protecting them. Granting wiggle room to the State Engineer would require weakening the statute and the ability of senior water right holders to use the courts as a last resort. The State Engineer has plenty of tools available within existing law to protect water rights as the statute intended—he just needs to use them. The State Engineer has proposed changes to the water law in Senate Bill 73, which is currently being evaluated by the legislature. One change proposed is to give the State Engineer the latitude to decide how to define “sustainable”. If the goal of a groundwater management plan is to achieve “sustainable” pumping, then the term needs to be precisely defined in the statute. Because the stakes of the groundwater management plan are so high, the State Engineer will be under enormous political pressure to continue to allow as much pumping as possible. There will need to be clear language in the statute to direct him towards protection of senior water rights. We deserve unambiguous laws supporting our attempts at protecting our senior rights if we need to go back to court. As it is currently written, Senate Bill 73 transfers control of our water rights to the State Engineer and should not go forward. Finally, what the draft groundwater management plan doesn’t do is mitigate the water loss, economic loss, emotional impacts to the families, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars spent by senior right holders to protect and reclaim what the law says is already theirs.

The Progressive Rancher

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 13 


By Joseph Guild

Trade 100,000 Years Latter

I

always thought trade was a good thing especially for American Agriculture. I thought we humans developed trade for mutually beneficial reasons. In fact, after we had evolved enough to domesticate plants and animals some ten thousand years ago, the next thing we did within a couple of thousand years after that was start trading with each other. There is evidence significant trading occurred among humans even before cities came into being. Imagine you are a pretty good fisherman at the delta created by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers 6,000 years ago in what is now Kuwait. You eat well and the occasional bird you kill with a sling and rock gives you variety to your diet. It is easy to build shelter with swamp reeds and the larger animals you are able to kill and skin once in a while help to provide the little clothing you need. Then think about being a farmer a few hundred miles to the north in a valley along one of the same rivers. You raise cotton and wheat and supplement your diet with a few vegetables and small animals and birds you kill when you have some free time. There is also a man living between the two others who makes really accurate, light weight spears which he uses to kill all sorts of game. He wears skins all year even in the hot desert summers and he spends all his days either hunting or making hunting implements. There is something lacking in each of these person’s lives although they don’t know what that might be. Now imagine the farmer and hunter meet and exchange wheat and cotton cloth for a spear and a skin. The hunter travels far to the south after this and exchanges the cloth for some fish which provides a welcome variety to the hunter’s diet. The fisherman fashions a net from the cloth and catches a week’s worth of fish in little time which frees him up to sit and think. He travels north trades some dried fish for cotton thread and improves on his net idea which enables him to catch even more fish with less work. Now all three men are meeting each other regularly and exchanging goods and food with each other but they find that takes too much time so they hire a fourth man to travel between them and exchange their specialty products for a fee. This allows the broker to work from a central location, employ others to be transporters and account for the transactions. This is a fanciful and condensed look at how we might have evolved into the trad 14 March 2017

ing species we actually are. The world we live in today cannot function without significant shared economic activity. This is being written on a Japanese computer that I purchased from a store in California and which was taken home in a truck assembled in Mexico from parts which were manufactured in the United States, Europe and Asia. Do you like strawberries in January in Minnesota? If you do you can buy them in a grocery store owned by a German company importing the fruit from a Mexican farm owned by a family from California. Do you raise beef in Idaho? If you do you want a premium for that product. The way to get a premium is to have as much of the meat from your animal be sold as primal muscle cuts and as little used for ground beef. So imported grass fed beef is added to the less valuable cuts from your animal and packaged as an inexpensive product the consumer loves for quality in taste and safety in consumption. In this last election there was a concerted effort on the part of both candidates for president to diminish the value of trade agreements with promises to make better deals for the American public. I hope those deals can be made but in the process I think our leaders should be espousing the value of economic alignments which benefit all parties. Are there some inequities in trade agreements? Certainly there are including the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). However, I would argue the benefits outweigh the negatives. In buying the truck described above I am certain it would have been much more expensive had it been completely manufactured in this country. Because a Mexican worker put it together, that worker was paid an historically higher wage than otherwise would have been possible without that Mexican manufacturing job. Which country is the second biggest market for exported American beef? Why it is Mexico, and I‘ll bet that south of the border auto worker eats some of our beef. And this is despite the fact that there is no trilateral agreement between Mexico, Canada and the US under NAFTA. Canada does enjoy a trade surplus advantage on agricultural exports to the US and Mexico. It is America’s biggest trading partner overall so the US has a net surplus in its trade with Canada. Recently the American President and the Canadian Prime Minister met and reaffirmed the significant trading partnership we have with our northern neighbor. The Progressive Rancher

There were pledges of continued cooperation and an acknowledgement we are each other’s most important exporter. This was a hopeful sign to me of an understanding of the value of trade between nations. There is a significant surplus of American beef. We now raise more pounds of product with fewer cows than we ever have before. We raise so much we cannot eat all of the meat by ourselves. In order for the American Cattle Industry to thrive we must have access to foreign markets. The most fertile ground to plow is in Asia with an increasing middle class hungering for more and better protein. We have to have trade agreements with our Asian partners. I have written about this before so it is no news to those who raise animals for human consumption. There are significant millions of hectares in this world that can only be utilized by grazing animals. Also, we have perfected the humane finishing of cattle in this country utilizing crops that do not compete with plants that humans can eat that is the envy of the world. American farmers and ranchers raise the tastiest, most nutritious, safest and most inexpensive protein in the world. Give these folks access to other markets and watch the economic engines fire up. Trade issues are very complex and unfortunately one cannot characterize international trade in black and white terms. As I have said, our own nation’s experience with NAFTA is a great example. The treaty imposes a zero tariff on all goods except agricultural commodities traded between Canada, the United States and Mexico. But the few illustrations above show just how complicated these trade agreements are. Critics claim NAFTA has resulted in the loss of U.S. factory jobs and this is somewhat true but more jobs have been lost to robots than cross border moves of factories according to a recent Washington Post article. That same article discussed the complexity I have tried to show here in much more detail. The simple fact is the horse is out of the barn on many of our trade deals. If the new president wants to get a better deal he should start by not trying to overturn existing agreements but work to improve them and create new ones. But he should do so recognizing trade is not a bad thing. We have been doing it for thousands of years and it is necessary for economic viability. Furthermore trade is complicated and complex and trade issues are not able to be solved with black and white answers. I’ll see you soon. www.progressiverancher.com


Carey Hawkins

Jack Payne

Cell: 208-724-6712

Cell:775-217-9273 Alt: 775-225-8889

OFFICE: 775-423-7760

Full-Service Cattle Sales & Marketing serving the Fallon, Nevada and Outlying Areas. Seller

City

#

Desc

Type

Weight

Price CWT

Scott Gooch

Jordan Valley

9

MIX

STR

337

$184.00

James & B Thompson

Winnemucca

24

MIX

STR

399

$175.50

Jake & L Dempsey

Winnemucca

4

MIX

STR

421

$165.00

Ken & B Conley

Eureka

4

MIX

STR

423

$170.00

Clint & L Fillmore

Jordan Valley

5

BLK

STR

427

$167.00

Bob & H Corbari

Jordan Valley

14

BLK

STR

451

$178.50

Ken & B Conley

Eureka

8

BLK

STR

479

$163.50

Scott Gooch

Jordan Valley

4

MIX

STR

488

$158.00

Lazy D Livestock

Pioche

18

MIX

STR

557

$149.00

Ingle

Winnemucca

24

BLK

STR

622

$136.00

Lazy D Livestock

Pioche

48

MIX

STR

646

$138.50

Amanda Casey

Fields

1

MIX

STR

654

$134.00

Pete Casey

Fields

10

MIX

STR

654

$134.00

Triple D Ranches

Dyer

16

MIX

STR

664

$135.50

Giovanni Giordano

Winnemucca

5

MIX

STR

666

$128.00

Robert & D Depaoli

Lovelock

24

BLK

STR

718

$129.75

Deanna Porter

Orovada

3

MIX

STR

778

$118.50

Coyote Creek Ranch

Imlay

3

BLK

STR

780

$118.75

Selmi Bros. L.

Carson City

51

MIX

STR

833

$120.50

Michael & M Gottschalk

Lovelock

7

BLK

STR

841

$121.00

Pete Casey

Fields

3

BLK

STR

863

$124.00

Michael Laca

Fallon

12

MIX

STR

946

$115.25

Tyson Torvik

Fallon

4

CHAR

STR

355

$154.00

Grace McErquiaga

Orovada

5

MIX

STR

459

$167.00

Steve Felton

Fallon

6

MIX

STR

472

$162.50

Joe Tibbals

Yearington

5

BLK

STR

549

$146.00

Frank & T McGuire

Doyle

2

BLK

STR

560

$144.00

Coyote Creek Ranch

Imlay

12

BLK

STR

576

$140.00

Garrett Payne

Fallon

1

CHAR

STR

619

$130.00

Deanna Porter

Orovada

5

MIX

STR

646

$129.00

Lester Debraga

Fallon

1

BLK

STR

650

$123.00

Bryson Masini

Yearington

7

MIX

STR

651

$120.00

Arlemont Ranch Co.

Dyer

5

MIX

STR

658

$122.00

Sales Results from February 16th, 2017 Feeder Sale

NEXT Feeder SALE March 16th 2017 Starting at 11:30am

Mark your calendar early for

April 20th 2017 Feeder Sale starting at 11:30am

200 HEAD OF FRESH CORRIENTE HEIFERS AND STEERS WILL BE AT THE APRIL SALE -GOOD ROPING CATTLE-

It’s calving time and branding is around the corner. Let us help you get ready!

Nevada Livestock Vet Supply LLC 131 Industrial Way Fallon NV 89406

Store Hours M-F 8:00 til 5:00 Store # 775-423-3038 After hours # 775-624-4996

www.progressiverancher.com

The Progressive Rancher

Seller

City

#

Desc

Type

Weight

Price CWT

Lee Hutchings JR Todd Weagant Harriman & Son Double Hshoe LLC Edwin Depaoli Dan & L Witmore William Gandolfo Phillip Amos

Fallon Orovada Fallon Winn Fallon Tonapah Austin Fallon

30 5 1 2 1 3 24 4

WF RED BRDL BLK BLK MIX MIX MIX

STR STR STR STR STR STR STR STR

678 719 745 748 805 328 420 444

$124.50

OX Yoke Ranch LLC Giovanni Giordano William Gandolfo JT White Tomasa Lee Bruce Kent James Talbott James & B Thompson Scott Gooch Clint & L Fillmore

J Valley Winn Austin J Valley Fallon Fallon S Springs Winn J Valley J Valley

3 4 44 41 3 4 13 10 47 15

BLK MIX BLK MIX MIX MIX MIX BLK MIX BLK

STR STR STR STR STR STR STR HFR HFR HFR

475 478 500 509 600 629 595 339 432 463

$157.50

Bob & Helen Corbari Jesse Nuttall Edwin Depaoli

J Valley Fallon Fallon

11 20 2

MIX

HFR HFR HFR

466 695 908

$147.00

Steve Felton RLS Cattle Co. LLC Jake & Lydia Dempsey Grace McErquiaga Mendes Family Trust Frank & T McGuire D & Susan Fowler Les Northcutt Kylie Amos Donald Quintero OX Yoke Ranch LLC JT White Garrett Payne RLS Cattle Co. LLC Jason Storm Gene Heckman Michael McNinch Ingle

Fallon Princeton Winn Orovada Reno Doyle Coleville Malin Fallon Schurz J Valley J Valley Fallon Princeton Fallon Winn Winn Winn

20 4 5 4 16 3 4 6 2 1 3 43 6 2 2 5 4 9

MIX BLK MIX MIX MIX BLK BLK MIX BLK BBF BBF MIX MIX BLK BLK MIX MIX MIX/ BRKN MTH. MAR/ APR CALVER

HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR HFR B/C B/C B/C B/C B/C BRED COW

908 393 415 436 462 555 571 919 350 430 477 479 201 475 480 524 639 1278

$112.00 $134.00 $139.00 $148.00 $141.00 $119.00 $116.00 $110.00 $150.00 $120.00 $130.00 $131.00 $222.00 $137.00 $130.00 $120.00 $114.50 $880.00/ HD

BLK MIX

$121.00 $111.00 $110.00 $120.25 $132.00 $145.00 $151.00 $159.00 $151.50 $154.50 $121.00 $122.00 $132.50 $167.00 $150.00 $144.00 $120.00 $112.00

Consign Early - Call Jack Payne 775-225-8889 Carey Hawkins 208-724-6712

March 2017 15 


CHECKOFF NEWS: Selling Wholesome U.S. Beef on a Global Scale

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The following information provided by the national Beef Checkoff Program

ou know that the beef produced in the United States is delicious, nutritious and safe to eat. But did you know that consumers in more than 80 countries worldwide know that, too, thanks in part to your beef-checkoff investments? Foreign marketing of U.S. beef makes sense when you know that 95 percent of the global population – and 80 percent of the global buying power – is outside of U.S. borders. With the global population projected to nearly double by 2050, it’s easy to see that exports of U.S. beef represent a growth opportunity for U.S. beef producers. In fiscal 2017, the Beef Checkoff Program is investing $7.2 million of national checkoff dollars in foreign marketing and education. Our current domestic marketplace is a good example of why the volunteer producer leaders of the checkoff program have made global marketing a priority. The historic rapid rebuilding of the domestic herd during the past year has resulted in a dramatic increase in U.S. beef production. Add to that similar increases in U.S. pork and poultry production and you get stiff competition for consumers’ taste buds. But the global marketplace offers tremendous options for selling that expanded beef supply at strong prices. One of our key markets is Japan, which imported more than 425 million pounds of U.S. beef, valued at $1.12 billion, during the first 10 months of 2016 alone! That represented an 11 percent increase in value and a 20 percent increase in the volume of U.S. beef that we sent to Japan during the same period in 2015. During those same 10 months, the U.S. sold another 270.5 million pounds of U.S. beef, valued at more than $715 million, to South Korea, up 17 percent from 2015 and on pace to break the 2014 full-year value record of $847.4 million. In the more than 80 countries where the checkoff helps promote U.S. beef, it works to see that consumers worldwide understand our product, trust our industry and know how U.S. beef can benefit them. There’s lots of competition for interna-

tional business, and our checkoff helps make sure that we’re in the running for it. All told, the U.S. exported 2.1 billion pounds of U.S. beef, valued at $5.1  billion  during the first 10 months of 2016. What’s more, those sales – and the checkoff-funded programs that support them – add more than $250 in value to each head.

Online BQA Certification Now Free, 24/7 You read the headline right. The checkoff ’s Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) certification is now always FREE online! It’s a new interactive online experience that beef and dairy producers can sign up for and complete at their convenience. Simply visit www.bqa.org to register and get started. BQA helps tell consumers that you have a commitment to delivering a product that is backed by science-based standards. Certification also addresses many questions that consumers have about beef production. BQA ensures consumers that cattle producers are committed to responsibly raising, safe, wholesome, high quality beef. “It only takes a few hours of watching modules and answering questions, but serves as a checklist for producers to make sure they are using the latest management practices,” says Josh White, Executive Director of Producer Education for the beef checkoff. “We have seen time and time again how consumer confidence is positively affected when BQA standards are followed, and producers have shown their commitment to producing quality beef by being BQA-certified.” For more information about your beef checkoff investment, visit MyBeefCheckoff.com. The Beef Checkoff Program was established as part of the 1985 Farm Bill. The checkoff assesses $1 per head on the sale of live domestic and imported cattle, in addition to a comparable assessment on imported beef and beef products. States retain up to 50 cents on the dollar and forward the other 50 cents per head to the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, which administers the national checkoff program, subject to USDA approval.

For more about the Nevada Beef Council, visit www.nevadabeef.org.  16 March 2017

The Progressive Rancher

www.progressiverancher.com


RUSTIC CORNED BEEF AND POTATO BAKE

From James Winstead, RDN, Director of Food and Nutrition Outreach for the Nevada Beef Council

Who needs St. Patrick’s Day to make a delicious corned beef and cabbage dinner? We could go for that any time of the year! And when you’re looking for something to do with the leftovers, consider this savory and comforting corned beef and potato bake. For more great beef recipes, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com. Ingredients - Makes 4 servings • 12 ounces Corned Beef Brisket, coarsely chopped • 1 tablespoon butter • 1/2 cup chopped onions • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme • 2 tablespoons reserved horseradish-butter mixture (see below) • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese • 2 cups reserved potato halves Horseradish Butter Ingredients and Instructions This makes a terrific marinade for your corned beef and cabbage dish. This recipe yields enough to use for your corned beef and cabbage, with 2 tablespoons leftover for this dish. Reductions are noted in parentheses if you are just making for the rustic corned beef and potato bake. • 6 tablespoons butter (or 2 tablespoons if just using for bake) • 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, including white and green parts (or 1/3 cup) • 1/2 cup horseradish (or 1/8 cup) • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or pinch of pepper) • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or pinch of salt) Place butter, green onions, horseradish, ground pepper and salt in glass measuring cup. Microwave on HIGH 30 seconds to 1 minute or until butter melts; mix well. Reserve two tablespoons for this dish, using the rest to drizzle over corned beef and cabbage.

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 17 


FUMES FROM THE FARM By Hank Vogler

I

t has been some time since we had an abundance of snow pack. As per usual it is not a perfect world. I was in Twin Falls Idaho getting a herder and glasses for Leo and the never-ending Costco run when we could not return to the need more on Highway ninety-three. I wound up going through Salt Lake City to get home. The huge chunks of ice and the debris choking off bridges reminded me of an event that happened in the old country, “Harney County Oregon”. One particular winter we had an early thaw after a cold start to winter, The ice on the West fork of the Silvies River was very thick and the willows and other brush was frozen in the river ice. This was not terribly unusual but the rapid rise in the river with the warm weather uprooted miles of debris and huge chunks of ice hooked together by the willows had been set adrift. To set the story one must know that it was nine air miles to my grandfather’s headquarters on the Island Ranch from Burns Oregon but only eighteen inches difference in elevation. So when you did get a runoff it spread all over the valley. We were feeding cattle in a field called the Little Reddess. This name was given to an area that the government deemed as swampland for settlement. A red “S” was placed on the map open for settlement under the Swamp Act. Rather than the usual one hundred sixty acres you could get a larger portion due to the capital it would take to “drain the swamp”. So on my grandfather’s ranch there was the Big Reddess, South Little Reddess and the Little Reddess and the Reddess siding at the railroad siding. The designation of this land was a little shaky as the picture of the people rowing a boat from Wrights Point to the Narrows was a little slice of trick photography. The picture does show the land mark of Wrights Point in the background and the prominent pioneer settlers in a boat; but the people swearing they rowed from there to the Narrows was not quite true, later it was disclosed that the boat was in the back of a wagon. We were going to have to move the cattle very quickly as the cattle were being forced to grease wood islands to get out of the water. Keep in mind there was not a torrent of water just a steady inch by inch raise in the level of the water. From the seat of the tractor the neighbor was high and dry. How could this be? His field should be sharing in the wealth. Henry, Stanley, and Orman Ausmus had developed the neighboring property. A few years later the son in law John Trainer had operated the ranch and now, it belonged to some investors that had a new foreman that Fast Freddy Curry had nicknamed “Box O Chris”. After further investigation Box “O” Chris had not pulled the boards out of his dam. The four by twelve fifteen foot long planks, in four sections, were best removed long before irrigation season and were easier to put in just before you needed to back up the water for irrigation. Now  18 March 2017

Torrent of Water the dam had miles of debris behind the planks and the planks frozen in the ice. Four of us managed to remove a few of the water soaked planks from the dam but hardly a drop of water ran through the structure as the trash was hooked together in a giant web. I went to share my problem with cowboy Bob McDonald who was a great mentor as long as no sweat would form on his brow, he usually could figure out the path of least resistance. Bob’s answer was Jim Palmer. Jim knew how to blow things up. He had been a gas station owner in Drewsey, Oregon and now was doing construction jobs around Burns. He liked to joke, have fun and he liked a cocktail of an evening, which I suffer from those same failings, so Jim and I were friends and setting up the scenario was done at the Elks Lodge over some drinks. His experience rating was excellent and everybody but the hospital administrator held him high regard. He once dug up the main water line in the street behind the Elks lodge and had placed the backhoe bucket over the artesian flow and retired to the Elks. He had blown lava rock out at the hospital for the expansion of the hospital and had blown a huge rock in the air which went through the administrator, Dave Fox’s pickup canopy and through the bed of the pickup. He then placed a sheet of plywood over his blast holes and placed his backhoe on top of the plywood and set off the charge. The plywood and blast blew out most of the windows in the hospital and flipped his backhoe upside down. A perfect match for my problem and cowboy Bob had assisted him in his past episodes and had graciously volunteered to supervise the ice jam removal. We could easily have sold tickets to the event but thought better of it. We put the bags of fertilizer in the cattle truck along with some copper wire and duct tape and a twentyfoot lodge pole. Jim followed in his pickup with his assistant, “nephew”; with the blasting caps and some stuff that was in a sausage tube and looked like grey play dough. AKA, According to Jim was C4? Dynamite sales always went up in a dry year so we were in uncharted waters. The nephew tied a sack of fertilizer around the lodge pole. In the sack was the cap, the play The Progressive Rancher

dough and the cap was hooked to the wires. This entire concoction was put in a garbage sack. The garbage sack was sealed with duct tape. The wires went to a wooden box with a plunger. It looked like something out of a John Wayne movie. BOOM!!!!! Jim grunted that it made a little splash but not even much of a snow cone. Bob got nervous when Jim tied two sacks to the lodge pole and the same ingredients went into the plastic garbage sack BIG BOOM!!!!!! Well, the trash dam did kind of buckle. Jim then went for the brass ring. All four remaining sacks were tied to the much shorter lodge pole Hooked to the much shorter wires and to the much closer plunger. Some how in the excitement Jim asked me if I would like to push the plunger. WOW!!! What an honor this would be. I screamed “FIRE IN THE HOLE”, saw that in a movie. The plunger went down and the blast knocked me flat on my back. I opened my eyes and here was a chunk of ice the sizeh of a bed sheet coming down at me out of the sky. I rolled over under the cattle truck and there was Jim and Bob and the nephew. Jim looked at me and said, “I was afraid that might happen”. The plunger was destroyed. The lodge pole, the wire and part of the dam were in splinters. The rest of the day was spent guiding the trash through what was left of the dam and trying to hear again. Hang and Rattle! Hank Vogler

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 19 


Nevada Department of Agriculture hosts March 28 Native Seed Forum in Winnemucca to facilitate streamlined statewide strategy By Russell Wilhelm, Nevada Department of Agriculture Seed program manager

D

ue to the continued need for restoration and rehabilitation projects on public and private land, demand for Nevada seed is increasing. Yet, a dilemma has arisen because much of the seed stock is imported. Historically the native seed market in Nevada has faced instability due to the lack of market consistency – it’s a risk many producers are not willing to take. As a result, regional supply of native seed has been limited for decades in Nevada.

unsuccessful in Nevada’s sometimes-harsh climate. On public land, the federal land management agencies like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Forest Service (FS), National Park Service (NPS) and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) are moving toward using seed mixes with higher percentage of native species.

Cultivating seeds of native species from within specific climatic zones here in Nevada would result in higher success rates for the many restoration and rehabilitation projects, fighting the spread of invasive and noxious species and improving the landscape for Nevada’s many land users.

What is native seed? “Native seed” refers to seeds of plant species native to Nevada landscapes, cultivated in this climate. Therefore, they are adapted to Nevada’s unique landscapes, increasing the plants chance of survival. Native seed: another tool in the toolbox of land restoration and rehabilitation Success of restoration and rehabilitation activities on public and private land depends on successful reseeding efforts. Currently, much of the seed purchased in Nevada is imported and not native to Nevada – sometimes from similar climates in Idaho, California, Utah and Washington. More often, seeds are imported other areas with drastically different climate and seed zones than Nevada’s. Restoration and rehabilitation efforts using imported seed are often less successful or

Native seeds from Antelope Bitterbrush (purshia tridentata)

Seeds are gathered from Wyoming Big Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)  20 March 2017

Native seeds can be collected off of public land with a permit. The Progressive Rancher

www.progressiverancher.com


Native seed provides Nevada producers opportunity to diversify In today’s agricultural climate, diversification is the key to long-term stability, and the native seed market is just one more opportunity for producers to diversify their operations. Through this new strategy, the federal land management agencies hope to create a more stable market for native seed producers. Additionally, the development of seed warehouses across the west has increased the capacity for proper seed storage. National native seed strategy being implemented at home The vision for seeding efforts nationwide is planting the right seed at the right place at the right time. Through a streamlined strategy, federal partners hope to ensure the availability of genetically appropriate

forum is to bring stakeholders together to start asking questions that will prompt the development of a local strategy to enable a more predictable marketplace and stimulate statewide production efforts. The forum will address: • Current status of native seed production in Nevada • Issues impacting the industry and how to deal with them • Native seed collection protocol • Native seed market evolution

The need for native seed in Nevada and production flow • Possible connections between research efforts and industry efforts • General logistics like seed storage The Nevada Native Seed Forum, a daylong workshop, will be held on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office at the Winnemucca Fairgrounds, 1085 Fairgrounds Rd. in Winnemucca, Nev.

Antelope Bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata) is native to mountainous areas in western states like Nevada.

seed reserves to restore viable and productive plant communities and sustainable ecosystems. Nevada is poised to implement this because Ely is home to a national seed warehouse and native seed growers are already active in the state. The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) has recently reopened its seed lab and is currently re-launching the native seed certification program, ensuring the species purity of wild-collected and agriculturally-produced native seeds.

Nevada Native Seed Forum: a first step in discovering the possibilities

The NDA aims to bring together federal partners, state partners, current seed producers, potential seed producers, conservation groups and seed buyers to start the conversation around a new strategy for production of native seed in Nevada. The goal of the

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 21 


NDA announces new Animal Industry division administrator

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By Rebecca Allured

PARKS, Nev. – The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) recently announced Doug Farris as its new Animal Industry division administrator. Farris is Nevada Police Officers Standards and Training (POST) certified and has served as a Nevada state trooper since 2009, providing public safety, emergency response, protection of people and property, and enforcement of motor vehicle and criminal law. “As a state trooper, Doug is experienced in investigation, reporting and training, which will be a huge asset to our Animal Industry services,” NDA Director Jim Barbee said. “We are happy to have Doug continue his public service, and his service to the state here at the NDA.” Prior to his state trooper position, Farris enforced Lyon County policies and ordinances as an inspector for Lyon County Utilities. He attended Lassen Community College to study agriculture business and was the co-owner of Farris Cattle Company, where he managed a 200-head cow/calf operation and 450 acres of pasture and alfalfa hay.

Nevada Doubles Statewide School Breakfast Participation

Students who eat breakfast succeed academically

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By Rebecca Allured

ENO, Nev. – Nevada had the highest percentage increase in school breakfast participation according to the annual School Breakfast Scorecard released yesterday by the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), a national anti-hunger advocacy group. The scorecard ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on participation of low-income children in the School Breakfast Program. This increase is due in large part to the “Breakfast After the Bell” bill, which was signed into law by Governor Brian Sandoval on June 12, 2015. The bill mandates all Nevada schools with 70 percent or greater free/reduced lunch eligibility implement an option for students to have access to breakfast after the start of school each day. The bill also set aside $2 million in grant money to assist in implementation. The Nevada Department of Agriculture reports breakfast participation among those qualifying schools in Nevada has doubled, increasing from 20 percent in the 2014-2015 school year to 44 percent in 2015-2016. “This good news is the accumulation of all the hard work and determination school districts across Nevada have shown,” Catrina Peters, the NDA’s school nutrition services manager, said. “Every student deserves to have a healthy breakfast in the morning, ensuring they are ready to learn.” The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) promotes a business climate that is fair, economically viable and encourages a sustainable environment that serves to protect food, fiber and human health and safety through effective service and education. NDA includes the divisions of Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition and Plant Industry.  22 March 2017

The Progressive Rancher

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Dozens of Horses Statewide With Reported Disease Exposure By Rebecca Allured

State veterinarian recommends against travelin with horses to high school rodeo in Moapa Valley

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PARKS, Nev. – In February, the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) began receiving accounts of horses exposed to equine herpes virus type 4 (EHV-4) and Streptococcus equi bacterial infection (also known as strangles or equine distemper). Both diseases are highly contagious among horses, and strangles is listed on the National List of Reportable Animal Diseases. The NDA’s state veterinarian, Dr. JJ Goicoechea, DVM, recommended postponing the high school rodeo in Moapa Valley because some horses present at the high school rodeo in Boulder City were also showing signs of disease. “Horses that were exposed at the high school rodeo in Boulder City may not exhibit clinical signs for several weeks, and we run the risk of exposing additional horses at shows or sporting events,” Dr. Goicoechea said. “We may be issuing quarantine orders once confirmed. Our primary focus is stopping the spread and protecting our equine population.” EHV-4 and strangles are both upper respiratory diseases that can cause lifelong illness in infected animals. There are accounts of diseased horses from earlier this winter, but no reports were made to the NDA. The NDA is working with local veterinarians, Nevada equestrian event associations and industry associations in an attempt to minimize exposure and slow the spread of disease. “All horse owners should consult with their veterinarian to ensure vaccinations are current,” Goicoechea added. “If you suspect your horse may be exhibiting signs of illness, contact your veterinarian and do not allow contact with other horses.” Per Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 571.160, any animal owner or practicing veterinarian who has knowledge of an infected animal, shall immediately notify the state quarantine officer (NDA Director Jim Barbee). A list of reportable diseases can be found at agri.nv.gov. The Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) promotes a business climate that is fair, economically viable and encourages a sustainable environment that serves to protect food, fiber and human health and safety through effective service and education. NDA includes the divisions of Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition and Plant Industry. Dr. JJ. Goicoechea

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 23 


Agricultural Literacy: We’re all in this Together

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By Amber Smyer, agriculture literacy coordinator

icture a beautiful, warm morning at a Nevada county fair. Although the setting is rural, a large number of people coming past the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA) booth are urban dwellers and the experience is new for them. The NDA’s booth is packed with materials and programming to engage youth and visitors in agricultural literacy activities, promote the Buy Nevada program and provide resources the public might be interested in. As the staff interacts with hundreds of people coming by, members of the public repeat the same exclamations dozens of times. “I had no idea we had so many food and agriculture companies in Nevada!” It’s often followed by a comment about how they’ve purchased or seen some of the brands in their grocery stores and are now excited to purchase and support a Nevada business. When staff engages with children, it’s not uncommon to have youth make statements about chocolate milk coming from brown cows or food just magically appearing at the grocery store. These types of exclamations are concerning because they demonstrate the disconnect between the food and agriculture supply chain and the consumer. As a result, people are more likely to be swayed by inaccurate marketing campaigns or policies that can be detrimental to the food and agriculture industry.

Informed consumer and voters

As an industry, we have a vested interest in helping those around us understand the source and value of agriculture as it affects our quality of life. Frequently as agriculturalists, we look at agricultural literacy activities, such as having a station in an elementary school ag day, as fun outreach events we might participate in once a year. Yet, in today’s political and media climate, it’s probably more important than ever to consider agricultural literacy efforts an important part of our business plans.

studies and nutrition education with relevant instructional resources linked to Common Core Standards. • American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture’s Accurate Ag Book Listing – www.agfoundation.org/recommended-pubs A list of publications that accurately depict and explain modern agriculture practices.

Partner on agricultural literacy activities

There’s fantastic agricultural literacy activities happening across the state in schools, at county fairs, at community events, etc. Get involved; volunteer to help! If you’re not seeing activities in your community, identify partners to help get something going. It can be as small as going into a classroom to read an agriculture book and do an activity with the students on National Ag Day, March 21, 2017. Or you can hold a full blown event like an elementary ag day for students to rotate through stations on a variety of food and agriculture topics. Don’t forget to complete the NDA’s agricultural literacy resources request form to distribute Nevada materials at your events. The NDA would love to highlight agricultural literacy activities across the state, email photos and results to asmyer@agri.nv.gov.

Tell your story

Share information with the others who may not have an agriculture background so they can understand your industry. You can do this through social media, at the store, at a fair or in a classroom! There are plenty of consumers out there willing to listen.

Here are some ways you can get involved in ag literacy

Inform educators about resources

Educators are an important component of agricultural literacy. They impact thousands of students learning throughout their careers and can be some of our greatest advocates. We can all take on the role of exposing teachers to the opportunity to use food and agriculture as the topic for teaching core curriculum. Share these great websites with teachers in your community. • NDA’s Agricultural Literacy Resources – agri.nv.gov/aglit/

Check out the free, Nevada-specific materials from posters to student activity sheets. All resources have been aligned to Nevada Academic Content Standards for use in the classroom. You can also request resources or presentations. National Agriculture in the Classroom Curriculum Matrix – www.agclassroom.org

An online, searchable and standards-based curriculum map for K-12 teachers. The matrix contextualizes national education standards in science, social  24 March 2017

The NDA seeks agribusiness partner to test-pilot virtual fieldtrips

The NDA would like to facilitate an opportunity for Nevada classrooms to virtually connect to an agriculture operation in the coming year in hopes of developing a model that could replicated by interested parties across the state. Agriculturalists armed with a phone or tablet would connect to a classroom via the Internet, provide a tour of their operation and answer student and teacher questions. If you’re interested in seeing if this might be a good opportunity for your operation, please contact Amber Smyer at asmyer@agri.nv.gov or 775-353-3769.

The Progressive Rancher

www.progressiverancher.com


Ag in the Classroom Funding Available

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gain for 2017, the Nevada Agricultural Foundation has received funding for Ag in the Classroom (AITC) programs through a USDA Risk Management Agency Grant coordinated by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. In order to receive these funds local or county AITC events or programs must submit a letter explaining the amount of funds requested detailing how and when the funds will be utilized. Letters should be submitted to the Nevada Agricultural Foundation at P.O. Box 8089; Reno, NV 89507 no later than May 15, 2017. The original grant indicates that the funding be distributed to at least six events or programs. Each AITC coordinator may apply for funding up to $750 based on event or program needs. A follow up report will be required with the number of people involved in organizing and presenting information and how many students were reached through the event or program. Each event or program is required to provide safety or risk management education by providing information about current crop and livestock insurance products available to Nevada agricultural producers. If you have questions, contact Sue Hoffman at 775/673-2468.

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The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 25 


Amodei Introduces Bill to Spur

Economic Growth in Pershing County

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ASHINGTON, D.C – Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) today released the following statement after introducing the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act (H.R. 1107), a bipartisan initiative to jump-start economic development throughout Pershing County while promoting conservation. This bill is the first in a series of public lands legislation to be introduced in the coming weeks.  “I’m excited to be starting out with the Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act with support from Senator Heller in the U.S. Senate,” said Congressman Amodei. “This legislation represents a decade of grassroots efforts by the people of Pershing County – including residents, ranchers, miners, conservationists, and Commissioners – to resolve areas designated as suitable for transfer, checkerboard lands along I-80, and areas with wilderness

 26 March 2017

By Logan Ramsey characteristics within Pershing County. “My office plans to continue conducting public outreach in Pershing County over the course of the 115th Congress. This legislation follows suit with Nevada’s long historical succession of county lands bills, which in the past, have also enjoyed bipartisan support. I look forward to seeing this effort through the legislative process and what that brings.” Background: For more than a decade, Pershing County and its citizens have worked to resolve land issues within the county. Seventy-five percent of Pershing County is owned by the federal government, with much of this ownership being a checkerboard pattern of lands – hamstringing the community’s ability to expand opportunities for growth.   The Pershing County Economic Development and Conservation Act (H.R. 1107) was developed through an exhaustive public process that included input from local stakeholders, industries, and support from Pershing County officials and residents. Proceeds

The Progressive Rancher

Feb 16th 2017 from the sale of these federal lands will be shared between the State, Pershing County, and the BLM for the benefit of the State of Nevada’s general public education, wildfire pre-suppression and restoration, habitat conservation and restoration for greater sagehen, and projects to address drought and other needs. The bill includes several important measures such as: • Disposing and conveying BLM lands in the county for economic and public purposes; •

Designating certain wilderness areas on BLM land in the County; and

Releasing selected wilderness study areas back into multiple-use. Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-01) is an original cosponsor of this bill and companion legislation has been introduced by Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) in the U.S. Senate.

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Western Senators Introduce Greater Sage-Grouse Protection and Recovery Act

Nevada Ranchers Caretakers of our

Bill would allow states to implement conservation and management plans based on their community specific needs

Rangelands

Cowboys and sheepherders produce food and fiber for the nation. Growing food on Open range is a natural biological process. Grazing actually benefits the land with hoof action and natural fertilization. Plants are healthier and regenerate faster after the herds move to a new range. Antelope and other game animals and birds take advantage of the improvements

Grazing cattle and sheep coexist peacefully with native wildlife and, in fact, make a friendlier habitat for many species.

Sheep often graze on steep terrain and can control cheatgrass, a major fuel for wildfires. Nevada Rangeland Resources Commission was created by the State of Nevada to promote responsible public land grazing. Representatives come from Nevada state grazing boards, Nevada Woolgrowers, Nevada Farm Bureau, and Nevada Cattlemen’s Association.

4780 East Idaho Steet, Elko, NV 89801 • 775-738-4082 WWW.NEVADARANGELANDS.ORG

This ad is funded through the NRRC’s assessment of 10 cents an AUM paid by public land ranchers.

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ashington, D.C. – Recently, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (RNV) teamed up with his western colleagues to introduce the Greater Sage-Grouse Protection and Recovery Act of 2017, legislation allowing states to implement their own specific conservation and management plans to protect greater sage-grouse populations and their habitats. This legislation, sponsored by Senator Jim Risch (R-ID), was also supported by U.S. Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Steve Daines (R-MT). “The current heavy-handed sage-grouse plans needlessly impose restrictions on millions acres of land in Nevada alone, threatening our western way of life while doing little to improve habitat. Our legislation allows western states the flexibility to choose the proper methods to improve the sage-grouse population while keeping Nevada’s economic stability and community needs in mind,” said Senator Heller. “Senator Risch and I strongly support the collaborative work undergone in Idaho, other state governments and a broad range of impacted stakeholders to conserve habitat for the sage grouse,” said Senator Crapo.  “This legislation will provide states the ability to implement locally-based land management plans that were developed and will be managed by those who know the local conditions and needs best.” “If the federal government shares our concerns and goals, it will allow the states to implement their own plans to protect the sage-grouse while at the same time meeting their individual community’s needs,” said Senator Risch. “For years, state leaders have worked tirelessly to develop and implement careful, pragmatic plans to protect the Greater Sage-grouse and its habitat,” said Senator Hatch. “These efforts have paid off tremendously, producing laudable results in the continued conservation and recovery of the species. This legislation will empower the states to continue their good work in conserving the species while simultaneously protecting our lands and jobs from federal overreach.” “No one knows how to take care of Utah better than Utahns,” Senator Lee said. “Our state has spent millions of dollars restoring half a million acres of sage grouse habitat, but despite this success, the federal government has forced its own plan on us. This bill will restore the proper state-federal sage grouse management balance.” Background: Sage-grouse habitat is spread out over more than a quarter million square miles. Currently, the Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service manage federal lands with sage-grouse habitat under nearly 100 separate land use plans affecting tens of millions of acres. The Greater Sage-Grouse Protection and Recovery Act would allow states to choose between implementing their own conservation and management plan based on their community specific needs or deferring to federal agencies for greater sage-grouse protection. Further, this legislation would prohibit the Secretary of Interior from conducting large scale mineral withdrawals for the protection of greater sage-grouse. A companion measure to this legislation was introduced in the House on January 13, 2017, with eleven original sponsors from seven western states. More about the bill: • For 10 years, the current status of the bird under the Endangered Species Act will be maintained, which the Fish and Wildlife Service has determined does not warrant ESA protection. • The BLM and Forest Service will be required to report annually to Congress on the status of the species on federal lands under their jurisdictions. • The bill also prevents litigation aimed at upending this carefully crafted compromise that gives state plans a chance to work in response to data on population trends compiled by the federal agencies. 

The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 27 


If you decided to ask the Lord into your heart and life, give us a call and we would be happy to pray with you and help get you started in your life of freedom. So cinch your riggin’ tight, set your spurs and get ready for the ride of your life with Jesus Christ; a life of liberty. Read Matthew 5:1-12, Isaiah 52:13 – 53:12, and Acts 10:48. Happy Thanksgiving to all from everyone at Harmony Ranch Ministry. Happy trails. May God richly bless you. We love you and would love to hear from you. If you would like someone to pray with, or just have a question, please give us a call at (775) 867-3100. ‘Til next time….

A Life of Liberty by Pastor Diana Gonzalez There seem to be no greater free spirits than that of free ranging cowboys. When I lived at the Roaring Springs Ranch in Frenchglen Oregon, you could see the cowboys come and go. From Roaring Springs to the ZX, to the YP, to the TS, to the MC and around again, maybe adding a few new ranches in between; a life of liberty. Now some of these free spirits actually grew up and became cattlemen. Many took on other occupations such as horse trainers, saddle makers, truck drivers, tire salesmen, builders of houses, teachers, miners, even farmers, to name a few. They married and raised families instead of hell, becoming pillars of the community. They learned hard lessons such as – if you want your kid’s 4H steer to put on weight and gentle down, you shouldn’t use him for roping practice. And no matter how happy they are now, with their families, homes, nice trucks and gentle horses, you can bet that they look back at the footloose and fancy free days with joy in their hearts. Long days, heat, frost bit and rope burned hands all forgotten. A life of liberty. Well folks, we can still lead a life of liberty, no matter where we are or what we’re doing, it’s up to us. Jesus said in John 10:10, “I came that they (us) may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)”. (Amplified Bible) Glory to God! A life of liberty! Webster’s dictionary says that liberty is freedom from slavery, freedom from captivity, a particular right, freedom, not confined. God so loved us that He gave His Son (John 3:16). Jesus came and laid down His life for us (John 10:15, John 15:13). Why? To set us free, to liberate us, to free us from our own sin nature. Jesus said in Luke 4:18-19, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me (Luke 3:22) to preach the Gospel (the good news) to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release (liberty) to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free (liberate) those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord (year of Jubilee).” See Leviticus 25:8-55. Yes, Jesus set us free. Free from the captivity of the devil, free from the slavery of sin. Christians are a particular people with particular rights and freedoms. We’re not confined to the world, we are in this world but not of this world; we’re free. We’re free to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute and despitefully use us. (Matthew 5:43-46) We are free to be blessed and be a blessing to others. We are not led by our emotions, but by every Word of God. (Refer to Matthew 4:34, Deuteronomy 8:3.) We are free to do the right thing just because it’s right. We are free to read the Bible and make God’s word the final authority in our lives. You can do that even if you’re sitting in prison. Yes, you can be free in prison if you have made Jesus the Lord of your life. So how do we do that? In Romans 10:8-10 it says, “The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart – that is, the Word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved; for with the heart man believes resulting in righteousness and with the mouth he confesses resulting in salvation. Verse 13 says, “Whoever will call upon The Name of the Lord will be saved. (NAS) Hallelujah! Confess with your mouth and believe in your heart and you shall be saved, liberated, free to live a life of liberty through Christ Jesus and all He died to give us.  28 March 2017

STATE MEDICAL EXAMINERS LAUNCH

NEW WEBSITE

CARSON CITY, NV

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FEBRUARY 15, 2017

he Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners is excited to announce its launch of a new website, knowyourpainmeds.com, designed to assist Nevada consumers in understanding the impact of using opioidbased medications. The website, http://www.knowyourpainmeds.com, also serves as a portal for consumers to file a complaint if they feel their medical provider is not prescribing medications appropriately. “The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners understands the impact of the opioid epidemic and the tragic effect on the citizens of Nevada. We feel that the launch of this new informational tool clearly demonstrates the Board’s commitment to creating awareness and our efforts to address this problem,” said Edward O. Cousineau, J. D., Executive Director. Opioids killed more than 28,000 people in the U.S. in 2014, more than any other year on record, and at least half of those deaths were attributed to prescription pills, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Closer to home the CDC reports that Clark County has a mortality from drug overdoses and opioid poisonings that were 50 and 70 percent higher than comparable national rates, respectively, from 2012 to 2014. The objective in developing http://www.knowyourpainmeds.com is to increase awareness of opioid medications and the potential health impacts when these powerful medications are prescribed. The site provides information on Nevada’s Prescription Monitoring Program, opioid antagonists (medications that can counteract an opioid overdose) and alternatives to opioids for sufferers of chronic pain. The Medical Board worked with the Nevada State Board of Pharmacy, Nevada State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, Nevada State Board of Nursing and Nevada State Board of Dental Examiners to develop the site. The launch is being supported by social media along with radio and television advertisements. All healthcare providers who prescribe controlled substances and medications are required to be licensed by a State of Nevada licensing board. These licensing boards are empowered to protect Nevada citizens. If you feel that your medical provider is not acting appropriately relative to the prescribing of medications, you can file a complaint through http://www.knowyourpainmeds.com. The Nevada State Board of Medical Examiners serves the state of Nevada by ensuring that only well-qualified, competent physicians, physician assistants, respiratory therapists and perfusionists receive licenses to practice in Nevada. The Board responds with expediency to complaints against our licensees by conducting fair, complete investigations that result in appropriate action. In all Board activities, the Board will place the interests of the public before the interests of the medical profession and encourage public input and involvement to help educate the public as we improve the quality of medical practice in Nevada. http://www.facebook.com/knowyourpainmeds/

The Progressive Rancher

www.progressiverancher.com


Quiet Waters: Silencing Montana’s People Too?

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ast year, a group calling itself Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA) submitted the “Quiet Waters Initiative” petition to Montana’s Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission (FWP Commission).Couched in terms of avoiding future conflict, the BHA portrayed its petition as being “proactive” and forward thinking, attempting to regulate a future that hasn’t yet come to fruition. At its core, though, it equates to another “lock-itup” land grab from the political left, this time on public waters instead of public lands. The proposal is based on conjecture rather than evidence. Hundreds of concerned outdoor enthusiasts have flooded the Commission’s hearing rooms to voice opposition. Unfortunately, Commission members are appointed by the Governor, not elected by the people. As such their level of accountability to the people is nothing like that of an elected representative. Regardless of the extent of public comment against it (as well as the fact that the terms of several Commissioners have currently expired), the Quiet Waters Initiative is still very much on the table and the Commission may still make it a miserable reality. (The public comment period ends on February 12, 2017.)

Drastic Restrictions Unwarranted, According to FWP

Back in May 2016, the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) recommended that the Commission should not approve the BHA petition. In reviewing it they said: BHA presents recommendations to drastically restrict waterways without demonstrating any necessity to protect public health, public safety, public welfare, or to protect property and public resources. A common theme throughout the petition is the recommendation for no personal watercraft or motorized watercraft claiming “potential safety issues”. Safe operation of the personal watercraft, motorboats, or any vessel is addressed in law. A person may not operate a personal watercraft, motorboat, or vessel in a reckless or negligent manner. Montana Code Annotated §§23-2-523 and 23-2-531. When the Department of FWP was queried during the May hearing, they stated there were no documented incidents in the affected districts to warrant this initiative, and the agency recommended that the Quiet Waters Initiative be denied. It seemed strange that the Commission was compelled to vote unanimously in favor of the BHA petition anyway. Richard Stuker, Vice Chairman of the Commission, was present at the public forum held in Great Falls on January 11, and according to news quotes, Stuker now says that he would vote differently: That is one of the things we were told originally there was a lot of safety issues and maybe there are on certain streams, little streams, little sections…If that was what we were voting on, I think it would be a totally different vote.

This is Democracy?

In an interview with the Daily Interlake, the statewide chair of the BHA bizarrely represented the organization’s Quiet Waters effort (e.g. of utilizing unelected commissioners to impose a statewide rule) as “the most democratic way” for government to act. John Sullivan is quoted as saying: I don’t want to see a legislator who has no rights to legislate how Fish, Wildlife and Parks manages the land tell them what to do… That’s the most democratic way, really [The Quiet Waters Initiative], so everybody has the right to voice their opinion about it and the commission will enact what they feel is in the best interest of the public. (emphasis added) The view that an unelected Commission is somehow more “democratic” than bringing the issue before the individuals who were duly elected by the people of Montana is www.progressiverancher.com

about as backward as you can get. Maybe Sullivan should retake Civics 101 and pay attention to the part about the role of elected representation. Attendees of the public forums and numerous articles written by citizens and elected representatives throughout the state clearly are at odds with that view. Flathead County Commissioner Pam Holmquist (an elected representative of the people) wrote: As with many initiatives, they are not fully vetted for the impact they would have on communities, not to mention the bureaucracy that would be needed to enforce these new regulations. The Backcountry Hunters and Anglers make some assumptions about the effects of motorized use on public waterways in their proposal, but do not back those statements up with any scientific documentation. The determination that this amendment would “not significantly and directly impact small businesses” is simply not true. In fact, if adopted, this would have a detrimental effect on many local and regional businesses.

Something Smells Very Fishy

A deeper look reveals all of this is beyond mere coincidence: it smacks of yet another occasion where powerful special interest groups are attempting to advance a nefarious agenda through the backdoor — in this case, the FWP Commission. There are five members on the commission, but three whose terms expired on January 2, 2017. One of the five commission seats has been vacant since last year. One Commissioner, Gary Wolfe, was hired as the Executive Director of the Cinnabar Foundation in March of 2015; he was a member of the FWP Commission at the time. In his position with Cinnabar, Wolf awards grants to Green Decoy groups, including the BHA. Wolfe receives a salary and expense reimbursement from the Foundation. According to Wolfe’s disclosure in the May 12, 2016 hearing, the Cinnabar Foundation gave BHA a financial grant ($3,000 – an amount undisclosed during the hearing) to implement the Quiet Waters Initiative! Montana Trout Unlimited, also a supporter of Quiet Waters, was awarded $5,000 for a “Montana Water Project”. Here’s where it gets really slippery… The Chair of the Cinnabar Foundation where Wolfe is Executive Director is none other than Robin Tawney. Not coincidentally, her son is the infamous Land Tawney, also of BHA notoriety and the Chair of “Sportsmen for Obama”, and is one of the left’s most shadowy political operatives. Tawney was instrumental in the election of Governor Steve Bullock: yes, the same Governor who appointed Wolfe to the FWP Commission. gdss.jpg In an article about secretly funded “sportsmens” groups, Tawney told High Country News: “If you help get a champion elected… that’s when the true power starts to come.” In an attempt to avoid legal issues, Wolfe mentioned his “non-conflict of interest” during that May 12 meeting of the FWP Commission. FWP attorney/rules reviewer, Rebecca Dockter (hired by the Governor Bullock administration), declared that Wolfe met the “non-conflict of interest” threshold. Surely conflict of interest laws are intended to attempt to ensure that motivations are not skewed in the wrong way – why would we bother otherwise? Yet Commissioner Wolfe clearly does have a conflict, and the Commission has thus enabled an entanglement of special interest groups like BHA with its agenda.

Dangerous Precedent

Perhaps most worrisome for Montanans is the dangerous precedent established by the Quiet Waters Initiative, and the way Governor Bullock’s hand-picked FWP Commission is operating. The governor ran his campaign on the pretense of being the guy who would protect access to public land and waters. In this case, financially co-mingled special interests and the FWP Commission have engaged in an attempt to widely control the use of Montana’s waters, without the inconvenience of an open legislative process and debate. In May 2016, the FWP Commissioners “quietly” voted to begin the rules process on the Quiet Waters Initiative. Public hearings did not begin until after the governor’s re-election. Even with the guise of “public meetings” and allowing public comment, in the end the Commissioners are under no obligation to follow the people’s directive. Not surprisingly, a growing number of Montana sportsmen and women are alarmed and outraged. When it comes to Montana’s public lands and waters, Bullock and his allies are self-proclaimed saviors, but in reality they thrive in the lucrative, shadowy back currents of the “Lock It Up” movement.

The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 29 


BCI Pregnancy Analytics App: How is the data used?

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By Dr. Bob Larson

he BCI Pregnancy Analytics App was released in the fall of 2016 and is being used by veterinarians and beef producers to enhance monitoring and evaluating cowherd breeding season success. Veterinarians know that being able to visualize the percentage of a cowherd that becomes pregnant each 21-days of the breeding season can provide important information to identify the contributing causes for situations when a lower than desired percentage of the hterd becomes pregnant, or to identify areas for improved reproductive efficiency. Until now, collecting and evaluating that information while at the chute during preg-checking has been difficult. Data entry for the BCI Pregnancy Analytics App is even easier than using a paper-and-pen method and has the benefit of data analysis that is as powerful as a chuteside computer. Beef cow reproduction is limited by two key factors, the first being a relatively long period of infertility following calving and the second being that only 60% to 70% of successful matings between a fertile bull and fertile cow will result in a viable pregnancy at the time pregnancy status is determined a mid-pregnancy. We know that approximately 30% to 40% of fertile matings result in either failure of fertilization or death of the early embryo, but in most situations, the cow will express heat and ovulate a fertile egg about 21 days after her last heat and have another 60 to 70% probability of conceiving and maintaining a pregnancy. Fertile cows that have three opportunities to be bred by a fertile bull in a breeding season (each with a 65% probability of a successful pregnancy) will have a 96% probability of being pregnant at the time of a preg-check about one-half way through pregnancy. If nearly all the cows in a herd calved early enough so that they have resumed fertile cycles by the start of the next breeding season, and the bulls are fertile and able to successfully mate, then the ideal pregnancy pattern would have about 60% to 65% pregnant in the first 21 days of the breeding season, 85% to 90% pregnant by the 42nd day of breeding, and about 95% pregnant after 63 days of breeding. Herds that only have 50% of cows cycling by the end of the first 21-days of the breeding season are expected to have no more than 30 to 35% of the herd become pregnant in the first 21 days (60 to 70% pregnancy success from the mating of fertile cows to fertile bulls) and the pattern will be flatter and longer than the ideal pregnancy pattern. The magnitude of non-pregnant cows at the end of the breeding season will depend on the length of the breeding season. Even if the breeding season is limited to 63 days, at least 80% of the cows are expected to be pregnant if the problem is confined to issues of cows resuming fertile estrous cycling during the breeding season. A magnitude of non-pregnant cows that exceeds 20% of the herd is not likely due to cow-problems alone and either bull problems or a combination of cow-problems and bull-problems should be investigated. Poor pregnancy success due to bull problems can often be  30 March 2017

detected at the time of preg-check by using the pattern to identify a substantial decrease in the pregnancy success by 21-day periods. Because previously fertile cows rarely become infertile over a short period of time, but bulls can suddenly

Pregnancy distribution goal for a 63-day breeding season.

become less fertile due to testicular, penis, or leg problems, any time that reproductive efficiency suddenly decreases during a breeding season, bull problems should be considered likely. Pregnancy pattern of a herd that has good cow and bull fertility at the start

Typical pregnancy pattern for a herd with 50% of cows cycling by the end of the first 21 days of the breeding season.

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Pregnancy pattern of a herd that has good cow and bull fertility at the start of the breeding season but a sudden onset of bull infertility occurs toward the end of the first 21 days of the breeding season (such as injury, disease, etc.) that is then followed by a period of partial recovery.

of the breeding season but a sudden onset of bull infertility occurs toward the end of the first 21 days of the breeding season (such as injury, disease, etc.) that is then followed by a period of partial recovery. The only data required by the Pregnancy Analytics App is the dates for the start and end of the breeding season and an estimate of the fetal age for each cow’s pregnancy. Additional information such as cow id, cow age, body condition score, and breed (or other descriptor) can be added to enhance the value of the preg-check information. The veterinarian and producer can decide whether to share the cow data with BCI or not. No herd identifiers are available to BCI – so even if you share the data we can’t identify any person with the herd. If you agree to share the data, BCI will have access to the cow information (% pregnant, % with each BCS, starting date for breeding season, etc.), but not the producer or veterinarian information. By submitting the data, the herd’s data is compared to a benchmark created from all the submitted herds or a benchmark of the herds submitted by that veterinarian/clinic. If you choose not to submit the data to BCI, the app works the same, but there is no benchmark for comparison. After preg-check data is entered, projected calving dates are generated and graphs are created to display the distribution of the upcoming calving season. These pregnancy patterns can help identify the most likely contributing factors when investigating herds with lower than desired percent pregnant. The BCI Pregnancy Analytics App can serve as a valuable tool to assist veterinarians and producers improve reproductive efficiency of beef herds. By the start of 2017, the Pregnancy Analytics App has been downloaded nearly 800 times and over 250 herds with nearly 7,000 cows have already been entered and permission given to be uploaded into the BCI database. The BCI Benchmark is calculated to illustrate the level of reproductive success needed to be in the top one-third of the database. At this time, the Benchmark indicates that to be in the top third of herds, 63% of cows become pregnant during the first 21 days of breeding, 19% become pregnant in the second 21 days, 9% become pregnant during the third 21 days, 3.5% become pregnant in the fourth or greater 21 day periods, and 5.5% of the cows in the herd are open. www.progressiverancher.com

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March 2017 31 


N Farm Bureau Nevada evada Farm Bureau

Bringing Agriculture in the Classroom By: Brittney Pericoli, Director of Communications

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eaching students about agriculture is often a difficult task. Charles Mann said, “There is a about a three generation gap separating students knowledge and agriculture itself.” Mann had realized this generation gap when he was volunteering at a younger age at the Nevada State Fair in the Nevada Farm Bureau Petting Zoo. A parent had approached him who was stating that the rabbit he was holding was a chicken. Mann quickly realized that there was disconnect with our popula-

Charles Mann tion on where their food comes from. Currently Mann is the agriculture science teacher at Carson High in Carson City in which he’s been teaching there now for four years. Mann noted that the demographics of his class were wide spread. Being he teaches in the middle of an urban community, most of his students first come into class not knowing anything about agriculture. He has students ranging from freshmen to seniors and from poverty to middle class all the way to upper class homes. Throughout the school year Mann is responsible to teach up to four different kinds of ag classes at a time. Classes ranging from advanced agriculture to intermediate vet science to soil identification. No doubt, Mann has quite the plate full. Mann did note though that he wouldn’t have it any other way. “It’s almost a bigger satisfaction teaching kids who don’t have an agriculture background and watch them grow and develop and understand what agriculture does for them.”  32 March 2017

Mann is also a Nevada Farm Bureau Young Farmer & Rancher member. Mann is the current state winner of the YF&R discussion Meet and then went on and competed for the national title at the annual Farm Bureau convention. Mann represented Nevada well through the preliminary rounds of competition in Phoenix. The opportunity to compete at a national level is one that Mann says he will never forget, but realized the competition is intense at the national level with competitors who had been prepping themselves for years to get to that stage. “Being a teacher helped me understand and talk about these topics discussed at the national competition,” Mann Said. “It also reminded me of how important it is for students to have a better knowledge and understanding about these agricultural issues.” Mann also noted, “It was a pleasure to go to Phoenix with other Nevada Farm Bureau members as a group and get to branch out and meet other representatives from states all over the country. I made friends with Apple growers from New Hampshire and goat farmers from Arkansas. The networking alone, in being able to talk with other farmers in other states was worth attending the convention in itself.” Mann did notice the disconnect between the western US ag and the eastern US ag at the convention, he said, “It was interesting to see and hear people issues and how agriculture on the eastern side of the US works as compared to the west. Our issues are completely The Progressive Rancher

different. Back there it almost seems as if they are all battling the same issues and very rarely have to deal with the government in their operations. Whereas back here in the west where federal lands make up the majority of the space in the west our agriculture producers deal with the federal government on a daily basis. It almost seemed harder as a westerner to be at the convention, as most people I visited with didn’t have a clue of what issues we face out west.” Agriculture has always been a part of Mann’s life since he grew up in Smith Valley, Nev. He keeps his flock of sheep at his parents ranch still. He wishes he could keep his sheep at his high school but the facilities there are not set up for such a thing. He hopes to see that change as he continues to build the ag program at Carson High. Mann’s ag program grows more and more every year as he continues to grow his class sizes. Now, that he has taught at Carson High School for four years he has incorporated a grow area where students can grow lettuce, bell peppers, tomatoes and other fresh foods that some might not be able to get otherwise as some of his students are on food stamps. Mann also is the coordinator for the two FFA chapters in his area. His dedication to ag literacy and ag education is exemplary. Mann is also a very proud family man. He and his wife Kali have a son Charlie and another on the way. In his free time, Charles enjoys spending time with his family and being very active in his church. Mann is excited to work with FFA students not only his chapters but all over the state, bridging the gap between FFA and YF&R. Showing his own examples of what YF&R has to offer to young people in agriculture.

Charles Mann www.progressiverancher.com


N Farm Bureau Nevada evada Farm Bureau

Nevada Legislative By Brittney Pericoli, Director of Communications

Getting Involved, It Matters By Hank Combs, President, Nevada Farm Bureau Federation

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ith the start of the 2017 Legislative session it is important to understand the importance of becoming involved in the legislative process. While Nevada Farm Bureau sends a full-time lobbyist to represent the organization’s policy every day of the 120-day session, it is important to understand the impact you can have being an involved Farm Bureau member. To be effective it is important to understand the bills being presented to the Assembly and Nevada Senate, and how these bills can affect agriculture and your business industry in Nevada. Getting involved is easy. A couple of helpful ways to make your voice heard is by visiting the Nevada Farm Bureau website (nvfb.org), or by visiting the Nevada Legislature’s website at www.leg.state.nv.us. If you choose to contact your local legislators through the Nevada Farm Bureau website you can click on the, “take action” tab of the Home Page. • After selecting the take action tab you enter your zip code. • Once your zip code is entered you fill in your mailing address. • After filling in your mailing address you select the person you would like to contact and click the compose message box. • This is a simple and easy way to have your voice heard with direct contact to your local legislator. The Legislature’s webpage is another great way to get involved. This tool not only allows you to get in contact with your local legislator, but also gives you the opportunity to watch the legislative process. Live videos are streamed throughout the day, while also having the opportunity to read the bills that are being put upon the floor for a vote. Nevada legislators are citizen friendly and you have the ability to interact. Something important to remember in considering your strength is that as a constituent are able to vote for your legislator. A legislator is more likely to listen to his constituents if enough voices are heard, because you have the power of the vote. Water will be a huge topic this legislative session and it is important to understand bills of this type that will be coming before legislative committees. Stay in touch with Nevada Farm Bureau through our weekly newsletter, Grassroots and don’t hesitate to call your Farm Bureau lobbyist. Another important date to remember is April 25th, Ag Day at the Nevada Legislature. This will be an interactive day where you as an agriculture producer in Nevada can sit down and meet with your legislatures. This is a perfect day to discuss issues that may affect your operation and how the bills presented could hurt, or benefit you. Take a stance, voice a message, and make a difference. As a Farm Bureau member you can deliver to make Farm Bureau policy happen.

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hank you to all the Nevada Farm Bureau members who were able to attend the American Farm Bureau (AFBF) Annual Convention in Phoenix in early January. The AFBF Annual convention is a great opportunity for Farm Bureau members from across the nation to come together as one and discuss important issues. As Reno was receiving record rain and floods, we were all in an opposite climate zone with sunny weather peaking in the 70s in Phoenix. This year’s convention was a success and my wife Jill and I got to personally meet the two guest speakers Archie and Peyton Manning, which was a memory that we will never forget. I would like to thank the AFBF leaders and professional staff for once again putting on a very successful convention and that it was a pleasure for myself and Bevan Lister to represent Nevada as State Delegates in the Voting Session. I would also like to thank Charles Mann for representing Nevada in the YF&R Discussion meet at the national level. Mann showed his dedication to our YF&R program at a very challenging competition. On another note, the Nevada Legislative Session is starting February 6th. It is a very important time for Nevada Farm Bureau members to become involved and make sure to stay up to date with what is happening this legislative session. Our State Senate and Assembly both changed control as a result of this last election year and there are some hot topics that will be presented. Water is the most important topic that is crucial to our everyday lives as well as our everyday operations. As AFBF President Zippy Duvall is constantly reminding us, we need to unite as agriculturists, its time we took a stand for what we believe in and what we are willing to fight for. Nevada is a small state and this offers the chance to connect with your local legislatures that is a unique privilege that most individuals in other states don’t have the option of. This is not something to take lightly. Take advantage of writing your elected representatives at the state and national level. One way to connect is by visiting the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation website (nvfb.org), or by visiting www.leg.state.nv.us. Both of these options have been set up to be easy to navigate and put you in direct contact with your local legislators. Remember that we voted these legislators in and if enough of us come together and contact them about the bills being presented that affect our communities, we can influence they way they vote and the overall outcome of these bills being passed into law. As Farm Bureau members we must unite to protect the future of Nevada agriculture.

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March 2017 33 


NNevada Farm Bureau evada Farm Bureau

Minimum Wage Proposals Brought Forward In 2017 Legislative Session

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By Doug Busselman

roposals in both the Nevada Assembly and the Nevada Senate have been offered to accomplish the priority outcome sought by the majority leadership for mandating an increase in the minimum wage required to be paid by Nevada private sector employers. Each bill seeks to ratchet up the current level of $8.25 per hour or $7.25 per hour if the employee is provided with a qualifying health insurance benefit by the employer. This formula is spelled out in the Nevada Constitution and was last increased in 2010. The Assembly Bill (AB 175) was introduced by Assemblyman William McCurdy II of District 6 in Clark County. He was joined in co-sponsorship of the legislative proposal by Assemblyman Edgar Flores of District 28 in Clark County, Assemblyman Richard Carrillo of District 18 in Clark County, Assemblyman Chris Brooks of District 10 in Clark County, Assemblywoman Olivia Diaz of District 11 in Clark County, Assemblywoman Amber Joiner of District 24 in Washoe County, and Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno of District 1 in Clark County. AB 175 proposes to require the Nevada Labor Commissioner to increase the hourly minimum wage by $1.25 per hour each year until the level would be increased to $15 per hour for employees who are not receiving qualified employer-paid insurance or $14 per hour if they are. Senate Bill (SB 106) is introduced by the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy. It follows the same concept of annual increases as the Assembly measure, but only applies 75-cents per year increases until reaching $12 per hour minimum wages for non-health insured employees and $11 per hour if the employer provides at the employer’s expense this type of benefit. Concerns over the impacts of changes in the state’s minimum wages have been in the past somewhat quelled with most agricultural employers. Provisions in state law and by federal labor regulations offer exemptions of agricultural employers from government-required minimum wage levels under specific criteria. Each of these exemptions (state law and federal), relinquish the requirement for paying minimum wages for… “Employees engaged in an agricultural pursuit for an employer who did not use more than 500 days of agricultural labor in any calendar quarter of the preceding calendar year.” In spite of the language in the state law and in the federal exemption, there are questions circulating whether the provisions still are maintained, given the changes approved in the 2006 final approval for changes to the Nevada Constitution. While most employers are paying minimum wages in only certain situations, the forced increase by changes in state law – especially for jumps to $15 per hour and the potential loss of the agricultural wage exemption – could have significant challenges for maintaining the ability to afford labor costs for agricultural employers (along with other small business enterprises). Earlier session legislative hearings have been held on both bills, but at the time of this writing neither the Assembly Committee on Commerce and Labor, chaired by Assemblywoman Irene Bustamante-Adams of District 42 in Clark County, or the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy, chaired by Senator Kelvin Atkinson of Senate District 4 of Clark County have taken actions. Nevada Farm Bureau has taken a position of opposition to the proposed minimum wage increase bills. Contacts with your respective legislative representatives are important to share your thoughts and input.  34 March 2017

Nevada Farm Bureau Welcomes Brittney Pericoli as

New Director of Communications

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rittney is a recent graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno. Her degree is in Journalism with an emphasis in Strategic Communications. She moved to Minden, Nevada when she was thirteen. After completing high school she wanted to pursue her passion for strategic communications here in her local state, thus attending the University of Nevada, Reno. One of Brittney’s true passions is being in the great outdoors. Although, she has never directly been involved with the farm industry she has a passion for learning new things and most importantly agriculture literacy. Brittney will bring a new perspective to the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, while communicating the importance of agricultural growth here in Nevada. Brittney is dedicated to increasing membership at the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation, while also keeping current members actively participating and interested. Brittney looks forward to working with the Nevada Farm Bureau Federation and the Farm Bureau members to conBrittney Pericoli tinue growing their success.

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March 2017 35 


Challenges in Restoring and Rehabilitating Arid Lands

By Jay Davison

Alternative Crops and Forage Specialist, University Nevada Cooperative Extension Authors are Rangeland Scientist and Agricultural Research Science Technician, USDA-ARS Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit, 920 Valley Road, Reno, NV 89512 charlie.clements@ars.usda.gov

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ow elevation lands within the Nevada are now subject to an increasing level of disturbances. These disturbances include wildfires made possible by the invasion of annual grasses such as cheatgrass, red brome and medusahead. Increases in urban populations bring increased recreational impacts associated with the proliferation of off highway vehicle use. Finally, competition for scarce water supplies is resulting in large scale water purchases from the agricultural sector, with the water being transferred from irrigation of farmlands to environmental or developmental uses. Arid lands as discussed in this article are defined as those lands receiving less than eight inches of precipitation annually. As more of these lands are disturbed, problems with wind erosion and blowing dust are becoming serious issues for neighboring property owners subject to wind-blown soil deposits on their properties as well as State officials concerned with air pollution from the dust particles. Another serious problem with many of these lands is the proliferation of noxious or injurious weeds which invade the bare areas when precipitation or flooding is adequate to allow the weeds to proliferate. The weed populations facilitate more frequent rangeland fires and insure that the desirable native species are never able to colonize the disturbed areas due to competition from the weeds for nutrients, light and water. Natural or passive restoration of these lands is slow to nonexistent for a host of reasons. The primary reason is the lack of adequate precipitation which occurs during active plant growth periods. While most people know that Nevada is “dry” few realize just how little precipitation most of Nevada receives (Figure 1). The precipitation amounts shown demonstrate that a majority of the southern and western portions of Nevada only average about 5” of precipitation annually and most of the other areas average around 10”. In fact, the actual amount of precipitation that can be expected in any one area may normally be significantly less than the average (Figure 2). In the case of the Lahontan Valley, although the average annual precipitation is nearly 5”, in 25 of the past 36 years the annual precipitation  36 March 2017

amounts were less than 5”, and in many years the precipitation was significantly less than 5”. This pattern is repeated in a majority of the arid portions of Nevada. There are numerous shrub species commonly used in reclamation projects in the more arid regions of Nevada (Figure 3). All of these shrubs typically require at least 6” of annual precipitation to survive, although 8” is strongly preferred. It is very obvious when viewing precipitation data that in the past 36 years, there is very little chance of successfully seeding these rangelands. In only four of the past 36 years did the annual precipitation exceed the amount recommended by reclamation specialists for successful seeding of arid land shrub species. Grasses adapted to seeding arid lands have very similar precipitation requirements, but due to a shallower rooting system they perish more quickly under successive dry years. For that reason, most of the extremely arid lands are dominated by shrubs rather than grasses. Another important point related to natural precipitation is that the majority of the precipitation in most of Nevada occurs during the winter months when almost all plant growth has ceased. Very little precipitation occurs during the summer months and often newly seeded plants desiccate and die due to a lack of moisture during the

summer months. Therefore, supplemental irrigation is almost always necessary when undertaking a reclamation project on these arid lands. Recent research in Nevada has demonstrated that an additional 12” of irrigation water applied in the spring and early summer of the first and second year is adequate to insure that the seeded plants survive. A second major challenge to successfully reclaiming these lands is the fact that when supplemental irrigation is applied or above normal precipitation amounts occur during the seeding year, competition from weeds will normally prevent the seeded species from becoming established. Winter annual weeds such as cheatgrass, red brome, tumble mustard, flix weed etc. compete very effectively for nutrients, space and light with the seeded species. Because they occur in such great densities, emerge earlier and grow faster, the planted species have little chance of success regardless of the amount of water available. Summer annual species including kochia, Russian thistle, lambsquarter, Mexican lovegrass and others grow throughout the summertime and thrive even after the irrigation water is discontinued and soon dominate the planted area and the seeding fails.

Figure 1. Notice the severe aridity of more than have of the major cities in Nevada. The Progressive Rancher

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Several weed management techniques can be used to help alleviate this problem. The most common method is to use herbicides to reduce the weed populations. Unfortunately, herbicide use is not without problems. A common method used in reclamation seedings is to apply a non-selective material such as Glyphoste in the fall to newly emerged winter annual weeds followed by a late fall planting. Glyphosate has no soil activity and will not damage the seeded species. However, because it has no soil activity any weed seeds that had not germinated before the treatment are unaffected and can effectively compete as mentioned before. Several newer selective herbicides that kill broadleaved plants but not grasses can be very effective in grass dominated seedings but their effect on many native shrub seedlings is unknown or can damage them when applied post-emergence to a seeding. This Figure 2. This graph illustrates just how arid Nevada is and the difficulties this lack of amount and periodicity of is a major problem as the seeded precipitation pose on reclamation/rehabilitation/restoration efforts. grasses will not persist long-term in these arid regions. There is a current need to screen all of the newer selective herbicides on our most common shrub and forb species used in reclamation seeding efforts on areas receiving less than 8� of annual precipitation. Another technique commonly recommended is mechanical, usually repeated mowing. Mowing has limited effect on weedy grasses and can damage many of the planted shrubs used in reclamation plantings. It is also expensive and not practical on large scale projects. Biological control techniques such as grazing have potential if Figure 3. Even these arid land tolerant shrub species demand precipitation levels that are often not met, which limits any chance of success. they are closely monitored and applied at the appropriate times. Fall gested as a technique to compete with the weedy species. after irrigation is discontinued while the deeper rooted grazing of cheatgrass has been demonstrated to improve Typically, a cover crop is established using irrigation shrub species persist. Unfortunately, research conducted perennial grass survival on fire damaged rangelands in and selective herbicides applied to remove broad leaved in northern Nevada has indicated that cover crops act Northern Nevada and several other weed species are weeds. The reclamation species are then seeded or trans- in much the same way as weeds. Shrub survival is typisusceptible to properly implanted grazing management planted into the existing cover crops with irrigation cally less when planted in the cover crops as compared programs. The planting of temporary cover crops such continuing for one season. The cover crops begin to die to non-cover crop areas. as annual grains and perennial grasses has been sugwww.progressiverancher.com

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March 2017 37 


A third major challenge in restoring arid lands in Nevada is economics. Reclamation activities on areas requiring planting, irrigation, weed control, etc. are typically very expensive, multiyear effort with no financial return. Governmental funding for reclamation activities and research has historically been minimal. Private land owners are reluctant to expend their funds to reclaim an area that has limited utility from a recreation or economic standpoint. Unless the private lands are near developed areas and have development potential there is no way to recoup the expended funds. On farmlands where the water has been transferred, the value of the land immediately drops precipitously. In the Lahontan Valley, quality, irrigated farmland is currently valued between $6000.00 -$8000.00 per acre. The same land without water is worth less than half that amount. A current research project in the Walker Basin is evaluating the use of shrubs transplanted in “islands” on farmlands where the water has been withdrawn. Based on past research, when weather conditions are right, seeds from these shrubs will spread and grow over time. The establishment costs shrubs can get very expensive; transplant = $2.50, grow tube and stake = $4.50, 4’ x 4’ weed barrier = $1.54, labor 10 minutes/ plant @ $12.00 per hour = $2.00/ plant, which totals $10.54 per plant. That cost does not include the cost to supply irrigation water to the plants. The cost of reclamation could exceed the value of the land depending on the number of shrubs planted per acre. HowevFigure 4a and 4b. Fallon dump reclamation site 2004 (4a) prior to transplanting efforts. By 2008 er, the cost of doing nothing can ground cover and transplanting success has significantly reduced erosion concerns. also be significant if these lands are occupied by noxious weeds or existing irrigation infrastructure until the land is 7) Grass species are relatively easy to establish but remain barren and act as a source of severe dust pollureclaimed. will not persist long term. tion as the current owners are responsible for controlling 4) Attempting to seed or transplant desirable species 8) Shrub transplants are typically more successful these items under current laws (Figure 4a and 4b). on lands receiving less than eight inches of precipitathan seeding shrubs. There are no easy, cheap, solutions when it comes to tion annually without supplemental irrigation will 9) Successful reclamation of these lands is a slow reclaiming arid lands in Nevada. Current observations normally be unsuccessful. process but will usually succeed if some shrub esbased on 20 years’ experience include; 5) On any reclamation project using supplemental tablishment occurs initially. 1) Do not disturb any existing, desirable, vegetation irrigation a weed management program must be 10) Utilization of successfully reclaimed lands unnecessarily. implemented over at least two years. should be minimal. 2) Any vegetation is better than no vegetation. 6) Reclamation is more successful when undertaken 3) If water is transferred off farmlands maintain as soon as possible after the disturbance occurs.  38 March 2017

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March 2017 39 


HUMBOLDT WATERSHED COOPERATIVE Weed Management Area Providing land managers, owners and local weed control groups assistance through funding, agency and weed group coordination, communication and cooperation

Perennial Pepperweed Submitted By: Brad Schultz, Extension Educator, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, Winnemucca, Nevada

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erennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium germination and growth of the more desirable plants. velop shoots that emerge above-ground. These shoots L.) is commonly called tall whitetop and Basics of Plant Biology is a long-lived perennial weed native to Reproduction occurs from two sources: 1) the enable the perennial pepperEurasia. This weed was brought to North aforementioned buds on the roots, with as many as one weed plant to compete with the deAmerica as an ornamental plant and bud per inch of root; and 2) from seed. When perennial sired vegetation for all of the resources subsequently spread throughout the western states pepperweed seed germinates and seedlings emerge, the needed for plant growth (e.g., sunlight, water to inhabit many different environmental settings. plant develops a tap root that grows downward deep and nutrients). Seedlings initially develop a rosette of leaves on into the soil (Figures 1a and 1b). This root can reach a Perennial pepperweed generally inhabits areas where the root crown. After six to eight leaves have developed depth of almost 3 feet in less than 90 days. The majorthe soil remains damp to wet for most of the growing the root system starts to develop buds and the plant beity of the root system is found in the top two feet of season. These types of areas include irrigated or subcomes perennial. The buds on the roots and root crown the soil, but in deep soils perennial pepperweed roots irrigated meadows and pastures, stream banks and are what allow the plant to regrow the next growing can penetrate to over 10 feet deep, often tapping into associated riparian areas, irrigation ditches, marshes, season. Once root buds have developed, elimination a shallow water table. The root system usually has an floodplains, shorelines, exposed lakebeds, irrigated of the plant requires killing the buds. Only then is extensive network of lateral roots with growth rates cropland, and areas that receive abundant run-on regrowth not possible. reaching 10 feet per year. Root biomass often exceeds moisture (e.g., roadsides and seasonal streams). Each spring, existing plants develop new shoots The adverse effects exhibited by perennial pepper- shoot biomass; thus, large amounts of stored energy from buds on the established root system. These shoots weed are numerous. A solitary plant can rapidly develop (carbohydrate reserves) are available for regrowth. The become a rosette of leaves. The leaves in the rosette proa large root system that contains many buds, each of stored energy reserves provide several important func- duce many carbohydrates, which the plant reinvests into which can develop into one or more shoots. A single tions for perennial pepperweed: 1) they keep the buds further growth, largely in the form of stems (tillers) that plant can develop into a large dense stand of perennial alive during long dormant periods, 2) stored energy is grow upward from the rosette. Most rosettes, particupepperweed that displaces more desired vegetation, ulti- used to initiate regrowth after dormancy or following larly when growing conditions are good, typically demately decreasing the land’s value for livestock grazing, a disturbance that breaks the large roots into small velop a high density of erect stems. The tip of each stem segments, and 3) energy reserves are used to develop field crops, and wildlife. has a terminal growing point called the apical meristem. Perennial pepperweed’s root system is large but the first few leaves that emerge in the spring. After the When the primary stem(s) begin to flower the terminal not dense; thus, it does a poor job of holding the soil first few leaves develop the plant has enough leaf area growing point loses its dominance over plant growth. together. Patches of perennial pepperweed that are for photosynthesis to meet the energy (carbohydrates) This permits other buds on the upper one-third of the regularly exposed to flowing water have a relatively high needs of the plant for additional growth and develop- stem to become active and develop relatively short lateral risk of severe erosion, particularly during flood events. ment. The maximum translocation of carbohydrates to stems. The short lateral stems initially develop many Furthermore, flooding and erosion break perennial pep- the roots (i.e., energy storage) typically occurs between leaves, followed by a panicle of flowers that is largely perweed’s large roots into small pieces. Root segments as flowering and seed production. New plants can establish on small patches of bare located above the leaves. By the time flowering occurs, short as one inch long and one-tenth of an inch in diammost of the leaves on a perennial pepperweed plant are eter can contain a bud capable of developing into a new ground, in otherwise well-vegetated meadows and located in the upper one-third of the plant canopy. The plant. New infestations are common immediately after pastures, and develop lateral roots that extend far into carbohydrates produced by these “upper leaves” are a flood because root segments are deposited downstream the areas vegetated with desired perennial grasses. At largely moved upward by the plant to produce flowers and reside on or just below the surface of newly depos- least some of the buds on these lateral roots will de- and developing seed, not downward as ited sediment. Moist sediment deposits are an optimal growing site for perennial pepperweed. Established perennial pepperweed plants also have roots that can grow deeper than most of our native plants and they can extract many salts from these depths. As these salts accumulate on the soil’s surface they can change Figures 1a and 1b. Perennial pepperweed seedlings at 4-6 weeks of age (Figure 1a) and a one year-old plant (Figure 1b). the soil’s chemistry, The seedlings have developed a tap root but have not become perennial. The yearling plant has developed a lateral root which can reduce the

from which a new shoot has developed. Additional buds are present throughout the root system of the yearling plant.

 40 March 2017

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perennial (6-8 leaf stage of development) stored energy reserves in the root system. and unsuccessful on mature plants with esMost of the carbohydrates used to develop and hichtheenhanced for maximum tablished root systems. Mature plants have sustain buds onthe thepotential roots originate from herbicide contact, uptake and movement to a large number of buds on their extensive the leaves found in the lower part of the plant. the site of action in the plants. root system and have large amount of stored As the plant matures the development of the The work at Chimney Dam showed energy. This permits rapid regrowth followupperthat leaves and the flowers creates a physical perennial pepperweed up to two years ing tillage, hand-pulling and other types of barrier placement of an herbicide the oldforcould be successfully treatedon with physical disturbance. Tillage and cultivalowerCimaronÂŽMax leaves. Placement of an herbicide on the provided their leaves were tion treatments typically increase the weed lowerreadily leaves typically provides better movement accessible to the herbicide. Complete problem because they move root fragments of thedocumentation chemical to of thethegrowing points in the effort to control perenbeyond established infestations, and very roots,nial which must be killed for effective weed peppewweed at Chimney Dam Reservoir small root segments can develop into new control to occur. Perennial pepperweed has can be found in two publications available on plants. exceptionally high seed production, reaching the internet at the URL addresses found at the Mowing typically stimulates estabvaluesend of of3,000 seeds Two per additional inflorescence and 16 this article. papers focus Figure 2a perennial pepperweed treatments lished plants to develop new shoots. Mowing billiononseed per acre. Up to 14 percentand of the of native grassseedheads hay meadows or other treatments (e.g., fire) that remove seed response may remain in the intoalong Dethe The Humboldt River. thisinstudy, control of old top growth, however, can improve accember. retention of In seed the seedheads mature perennialofpepperweed with chemicals cess to the lower leaves, where herbicide reduces the amount seed lost to insects, soil that did not burial adversely creeping that wilplacement tends to have the best results. In pathogens, deep andaffect othertheprocesses drye resulted in a three to four-fold increase in California, mowing perennial pepperweed typically reduce the number of viable seeds (of canopy cover fromHigh the meadow grass one year plants at the bud growth stage and applying any species) on a site. seedhead retention, aftermay treatment. an herbicide to the regrowth at the flowerhowever, improve the efficacy of using fire use provided of herbicide in this paper bud stage dramatically improved overall to destroyThe seeds, thenames site can be safely does not imply any recommendation from the control, particularly with glyphosate. On a burned before seed dispersal. University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. research plot in Nevada (An Extension pubSeed production is highest when perenPerennial pepperweed can be treated successfully lication is in peer review), mowing followed nial pepperweed grows in moist, non-saline soil. with a number of herbicides and any applicator by herbicide application to the regrowth Seed should production substantially know thedeclines benefits and constraints ofwhen each provided enhanced control (but often not soils remain saturated and/or have high salinity. herbicide and make their selection based upon much) for some, but not all herbicides. In Up totheir 95 percent of the seed crop is viable and specific circumstances. Figure 2b this study, a single application of chlorsulnon-dormant, and can germinate immediately if furon (Telar), with or without any mowing it falls onto moist soil and temperature conditreatment, resulted in complete absence of tions are adequate for germination. Seed can perennial pepperweed in mid-July of the remain submerged for at least 12 to 18 months following growing season. and still remain viable. The highest germination Cattle, sheep and goats will graze rates are for seed buried less than four-tenths perennial pepperweed, particularly at the of an inch deep in moist soil (75 percent water rosette growth stage. As the plant matures holding capacity). Almost no seedlings emerge coarse stems arise and the leaves often defrom seed buried deeper than one inch. This sugvelop waxy coatings. At this growth stage, gests that recently flooded areas with abundant sheep and goats are more likely than cattle bare-ground and slow drying soil are an optimal to select the plant for feed. Goats generally germination and establishment site. They should will select a greater portion of their total be included for periodic scouting as part of an diet as perennial pepperweed, than will the early detection rapid response program. other livestock species. The ability of perennial pepperweed to Grazing typically suppresses perennial produce carbohydrates declines substantially pepperweed but does not reduce its spatial when soils are saturated. After only three days of Figure 2c extent. Once grazing animals are removed saturation, plants can reduce their carbohydrate Figures 2a-c. Figure 2a shows a perennial pepperfrom a pasture perennial pepperweed tends output by as much as 62 percent. This dramatiweed infestation treated with Imazapic in late July 2005 to regrow rather quickly, due to the large cally reduces the translocation of carbohydrates (a wet year) at to shortly after peak flowering. Treatamount of stored energy in the roots and to the roots, which probably reduces herbicide ment occurred with an ATV, with the boom located belarge number of buds capable of producing transport to the buds on the roots. Mature plants low the flowers. When the boom passed through the new shoots An important consideration that keep some leaves above the water have the ability to tolerate and survive flooding quite well infestation it pulled the perennial pepperweed plants over and anytime a grazing animal is used to control weeds, is how the timing, duration, and but grow poorly during the high water period. exposed the lower leaves to the herbicide. Figure 2c intensity of defoliation used to control the Systemic herbicides applied under these condishows the same location as Figure 2a one year aftargeted weed will affect the desired herbations are unlikely to result in substantial control ter treatment. Only a couple of perennial pepperceous species you want to inhabit the site. of the weed because there will be poor movement weed plants were present one year after treatment. Treatment of the weed should not result in of the active ingredient to the buds. HWCWMA P.O. Boxon570 Elko, NV 89803-0570 a permanent adverse effect the desired species because some other weed will Control Methods hwcwma@gmail.com www.HumboldtWeedFree.org eventually occupy the ground left vacant by any decline of the desired species. There are no known biological controls for perennial pepperweed. pepperweed can store more energy in its roots than most, if not all, peaporreca@humboldtweedfree.org The success of mechanical or physical control techniques depends upon Perennial rennial grasses; therefore, it can withstand heavy prolonged use plant age. These approaches are most successful on seedlings before they become www.progressiverancher.com

The Progressive Rancher

March 2017 41 


better than the desired perennial grasses. Flooding can be used in areas where water depth can be controlled for long periods. This approach seems to work best when the entire plant is submerged for at least several months and perhaps as long as six months. There is a new approach applicable to small areas upon which an herbicide cannot be applied. It involves the sequential combination of mowing, tillage and tarping. The mowing and tillage components effectively kill the aboveground biomass and break the upper roots into small pieces. Each root segment can produce a new plant but their small size limits the amount of stored energy available to support the new plant. The tarp prevents sunlight from reaching any regrowth and the new shoots eventually deplete their stored energy and die. It may take some additional time to deplete the energy reserves of the large intact roots that reside below the tillage zone. The desired residual vegetation, as one would expect, also would die, and the site would have to be revegetated with desired species to reduce the risk of reinfestation by either perennial pepperweed or another weed. Weed management is about reducing the risk of a weed rapidly invading a site. The best management approach to reduce the risk of perennial pepperweed rapidly invading a site is to promote a dense stand of vigorous perennial grasses with very little bare ground. When bare ground is largely absent, there are very few sites upon which a viable seed can eventually fall, subsequently germinate, and if it germinates, survive long enough to establish a root system. Tall, dense, vigorous perennial grasses with deep roots and a large root biomass will extract and use most of the resources (water, nutrients and sunlight) a seed needs to germinate, and a seedling needs to grow and eventually reproduce. Similarly, all sites that see a drastic reduction in perennial pepperweed density will have an increase in bare ground. The desired residual vegetation must be managed differently than before the infestation occurred if it is to rapidly increase and occupy the vacant areas. In some situations, the site may need to be seeded with desired perennial herbaceous plants. For wildland settings, perennial grasses usually are the desired vegetation type because: 1) their thick sod or large root crowns, and large root biomass provide the best opportunity to reduce the risk of perennial pepperweed or other weeds from becoming established, and 2) most perennial grasses are tolerant to most of the herbicides

used to control perennial pepperweed. There are numerous herbicides used to control of perennial pepperweed (Table 1). Most have a lengthy soil residual which helps control seedlings the following growing season. A number of research studies have shown 2,4-D and glyphosate provide less long-term control than most of the other herbicides. These two herbicides, however, may have a very appropriate role in some situations. Every infestation is unique, as are all management operations, and all tools need to be evaluated accordingly. Chlorsulfuron, and metsulfuron have proven very effective on numerous sites in Nevada. The key to achieving the best potential success with any herbicide treatment is placing the herbicide Figure 3a on the plant’s lower leaves, which improves translocation to the buds (sites of action) on the roots (Figures 2 and 3). This should occur when the plant will be actively growing with high photosynthetic rates for several weeks. The long growth period improves the potential for moving the herbicide deep into the root system and potentially killing more buds. If the treatment area has desired vegetation that needs to increase following the herbicide application it is important to use a chemical that will not harm those plants. Herbicide selection should always consider the effectiveness of the chemical on the weed and its effects on nontarget species. Any weed control and management program for perennial pepperweed should consider using an integrated approach that Figure 3b applies two or more methods of weed control. Figures 3a and 3b. A stand of mature perennial pepVery seldom does a single approach work longperweed treated with an aerial application of metterm. Furthermore, all approaches, except the sulfuron, dicamba, and 2,4-D (Cimarron® Max) in purposeful management of an area for bareearly June 2007 (Figure 3a) and one year later (Figground, must consider how to increase the ure 3b). The application occurred near peak desired species that inhabit an infested site. A flowering and during a very dry year. The result was very litdense, vigorous stand of desired herbaceous tle control the following year. Physical protection of the lowspecies, particularly perennial grasses, is the best risk management strategy to prevent a er leaves from an herbicide application located well above the flowers and poor growing conditions contributed to an sudden large scale establishment event or the unsuccessful treatment. Subsequent aerial treatrapid spread of perennial pepperweed should a ments of this site when growing conditions were few plants take root.

Table 1. Active ingredients and their representative products known to control perennial pepperweed.

Active Ingredient

Representative Products

Selective

Soil Residual

Growth Stage

Chlorsulfuron

Telar and numerous others

Yes

Yes

Seedlings, or flower bud to flowering stage on mature plants

Metsulfuron

Escort, Cimarron

Yes

Some

Seedlings, or flower bud to flowering stage on mature plants

Imazapic

Plateau and others

Yes

Yes

Seedlings, or bud to later flowering stage on mature plants

Many

Yes

No

Best at flower bud to flowering stage

Roundup and many others

No

No

Seedlings, or flower bud to flowering stage on mature plants

Habitat, Arsenal

Only at low rates

Yes

Seedlings, or bud to later flowering on mature plants

2,4-D Glyphosate Imazapyr

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better resulted in much better success.

Listing a commercial herbicide does not imply an endorsement by the authors, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension or its personnel. Product names were used only for ease of reading, not endorsement. Herbicides should be selected for use based upon the active ingredient and the specific bio-environmental situation. The University of Nevada, Reno is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, age, creed, national origin, veteran status, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or genetic information in any program or activity it operates. The University of Nevada employs only United States citizens and aliens lawfully authorized to work in the United States. www.progressiverancher.com


HUMBOLDT WATERSHED COOPERATIVE Weed Management Area Importance of Early Detection and Rapid Response

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reventing the introduction of invasive species is the first line of defense against invasions. However, even the best prevention efforts will not stop all invasive species introductions. Early detection and rapid response (EDRR) efforts increase the likelihood that invasions will be addressed successfully while populations are still localized and population levels are not beyond that which can be contained and eradicated. Once populations are widely established, all that might be possible is the partial mitigation of negative impacts. In addition, the costs associated with EDRR efforts are typically far less than those of long-term invasive species management programs. The Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) defines a noxious weed as “any species of plant which is, or likely to be, detrimental or destructive and difficult to control or eradicate.” Per NRS 555.130 “The State Quarantine Officer may declare by regulation the weeds of the state that are noxious weeds, but a weed must not be designated as noxious which is already introduced and established in the State to such an extent as to make its control or eradication impracticable in the judgment of the State Quarantine Officer.” All noxious weeds are regulated by the Nevada Department of Agriculture. The HWCWMA works toward prevention through the noxious weed quarantine and EDRR projects. Program staff use a weed risk assessment process with the Nevada Department of Agriculture to list species on the State Noxious Weed List. Priority listed species, “A”, “B” and “C” Categories (highest to least priority) designated weeds of limited distribution in the state, are the primary EDRR targets. •

Priority species are incorporated into presentation and outreach activities to increase awareness.

Pest alerts and educational materials are distributed in an effort to find new infestations. Survey for early detection is conducted.

Rapid response projects are imple-

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mented for eradication or containment. •

Statewide management plans for “A, B and C” weeds are updated annually to identify priorities.

The HWCWMA works with state and federal cooperators, Conservation Districts and private landowners to implement EDRR projects or provide assistance through grant funding.

Noxious Weeds Awareness In recent years, there has been a growing awareness that introduced invasive species are having significant and increasing impacts on the U.S. economy, ecosystems, native species, and human health. With tremendous biome-level diversity and a large inventory of relatively intact ecosystems, the United States is particularly vulnerable to biological invasions. Until recently, biological invasions were not much of a threat due to the relative isolation of the North American continent from other biogeographical realms. However, increased global trade and travel have created many new pathways for intentional and incidental spread of exotic species and have significantly increased the threat of new and recurring biological invasions. Increased international trade in ornamental plants (including seeds) is a special concern because many of the currently known exotic invasive plants in the United States were originally imported as ornamentals. Increased trade in ornamental plants with biologically diverse countries, such as China and South Africa, will likely increase this problem. While the majority of introduced plant species are not harmful to the American economy or the environment, a small percentage of them are very damaging and need to be eradicated as soon as they are detected. Once established, invasive plant species frequently have long lag times before they begin to have dramatic effects. Introduced species that initially escaped many decades ago are only now The Progressive Rancher

being recognized as invasive. Introduced as an ornamental to south Florida in the early 1900s, Melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia)—an Australian paper bark tree—was not recognized as a serious threat to the Everglades and other wetlands for many decades. Due to a lack of attention to freeliving exotic species, exotic plants now comprise a growing percentage of the flora of all States (e.g., Hawaii 43 percent, New York 36 percent, Missouri 25 percent, California 18 percent, and Texas 10 percent) (Rejmanek and Randall 1994). With continual introductions over the past 100 years, it can be expected some exotics that are not currently identified as invasive will become significant problems in the future. Therefore, there is an urgent need to document and address species that were introduced in past years, as well as the potentially invasive species that are being introduced today. Without a coordinated national system for early detection and rapid response, integrated with general vegetation surveys, some free-living exotic plants will continue to incubate until they become the invasive plants of tomorrow–the major weeds of the 21st century and beyond.

EDRR Noxious Weeds Target Species for Northern Nevada Please notify the HWCWMA if you see noxious weeds growing within the Humboldt River Watershed - especially species that are not currently highly established in this region. We have an opportunity to stop extremely invasive species from spreading if we act quickly. Our staff can provide the property owner or appropriate public agency with site-specific treatment options for these plants. The HWCWMA also maps and monitors heavily infested sites in the watershed which allows the HWCWMA the ability to provide educational and financial assistance to land owners and groups in their management efforts, ultimately improving all of the qualities of the land and water in our watershed. March 2017 43 


Guinn Center Releases Overview of Proposed Budget

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By Megan K. Rauch, Director of Policy Outreach and Public Engagement

as Vegas – The Kenny Guinn Center for Policy Priorities has released a new policy brief, “Nevada Budget 101: A Primer for the 2015-2017 Biennium,” along with a set of companion infographics in both English and Spanish. Governor Brian Sandoval released his Executive Budget in January of 2017, as required by State law. The 79th (2017) Session of the Nevada Legislature convened shortly thereafter, on February 6, 2017, for its biennial 120-day regular session. During the session, legislators must approve a budget to finance the operations of the State for the upcoming biennium (2017-2019). The differences between the Governor’s proposed expenditures and legislators’ decisions regarding programmatic and administrative spending will be reconciled over the

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course of the session, culminating in five budget implementation bills. This policy brief explains Nevada’s budget process and provides both a broad-based overview of budgetary sources and spending and a detailed account of revenues and proposed expenditures. It closes with a discussion of some of the uncertainties confronting the State Legislature as they make budgetary decisions, particularly the status of the Medicaid expansion and that of marijuana legalization.

Highlights include the following •

The Governor’s Recommended Budget for the 2017-2019 biennium amounts to approximately $26.1 billion, an increase of roughly 10 percent over the Legislatively Approved Budget for the previous

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• • •

biennium. The General Fund, which is the State’s major operating fund, comprises 30 percent of the total budget, at more than $7.9 billion for the 2017-2019 biennium, reflecting a roughly 9 percent increase over the previous biennium. Sales and Use Taxes ($2.5 billion) make up the largest share (30 percent) of the General Fund. Federal dollars account for more than onethird of total 2017-2019 revenues. At over $11.1 billion, the Department of Health and Human Services is the largest department, per proposed expenditures; its share of total revenue is 42.6 percent. Education accounts for more the one-quarter of the budget—17.8 percent for the Department of Education (K-12) and 7.3 percent for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). • More than twothirds (67 percent) of the General Fund finances two departments: Department of Health and Human Services (31.2 percent) and the Department of Education (35.8 percent). However, the Department of Health and Human Services’ primary funding source is the Federal Fund (62.0 percent). The Guinn Center for Policy Priorities is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, independent research center that provides independent and data-driven analysis of critical policy issues facing Nevada and the Intermountain West.

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 Nevada Budget 101 A Primer for the 2017-2019 Biennium Executive Summary

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overnor Brian Sandoval released his Executive Budget in January of 2017, as required by State law. The 79th (2017) Session of the Nevada Legislature convened shortly thereafter, on February 6, 2017, for its biennial 120-day regular session. During the session, legislators must approve a budget to finance the operations of the State for the upcoming biennium (2017-2019). The differences between the Governor’s proposed expenditures and legislators’ decisions regarding programmatic and administrative spending will be reconciled over the course of the session, culminating in five budget implementation bills. This policy brief explains Nevada’s budget process—such as the role of the Economic Forum—and provides both a broad-based overview of budgetary sources and spending and a detailed account of revenues and proposed expenditures. It closes with a discussion of some of the uncertainties confronting the State Legislature as they make budgetary decisions, particularly the status of the Medicaid expansion and that of marijuana legalization.

Highlights include the following: •

• • •

The Governor’s Recommended Budget for the 2017-2019 biennium amounts to approximately $26.1 billion, an increase of roughly 10 percent over the Legislatively Approved Budget for the previous biennium. The General Fund, which is the State’s major operating fund, comprises 30 percent of the total budget, at more than $7.9 billion for the 2017-2019 biennium, reflecting a roughly 9 percent increase over the previous biennium. Sales and Use Taxes ($2.5 billion) make up the largest share (30 percent) of the General Fund. Federal dollars account for more than onethird of total 2017-2019 revenues. At over $11.1 billion, the Department of Health and Human Services is the largest department, per proposed expenditures; its share of total revenue is 42.6 percent. Education accounts for more the one-quarter of the budget—17.8 percent for the Department of Education (K-12) and 7.3 percent for the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). More than two-thirds (67 percent) of the General Fund finances two departments: the Department of Health and Human Services (31.2 percent) and the Department of Education (35.8 percent). However, the Department of Health and Human Services’ primary fund-

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ing source is the Federal Fund (62.0 percent). The Medicaid expansion following the Affordable Care Act implementation and underway for several years, and the legalization of marijuana, which went into effect on January 1, 2017, have unclear budgetary implications. For Medicaid, there could be a shortfall of funds if the Affordable Care Act of 2010 is amended. Regarding marijuana legalization, questions center on the accuracy of revenue estimates for the fledgling program and whether the federal government will take a different position on enforcement than it has in recent years.

Introduction

The Nevada Legislature meets biennially for a 120day regular session in the calendar year following the election of members of the Assembly. With Assembly members having been elected at the General Election on November 8, 2016, the 79th (2017) Session convened on February 6, 2017.1 Among its many responsibilities, which include “generating, revising, and occasionally repealing the laws of the State,” the Legislature is required to “appropriate the funds collected for the support of public institutions and the administration of State government.”2 Put simply, legislators must approve a budget to finance the operations of the State for the upcoming biennium (2017-2019). The budget operates on a two-year cycle that encompasses two fiscal years. Legislators approve budget bills during the 120-day session held during oddnumbered years and in advance of the first fiscal year of the biennium. Legislatively-approved funds for the biennium are effectuated on the first day of the fiscal year (July 1) of each odd-numbered year. The 2017-2019 biennium covers two fiscal years (FY), FY 2018 and FY 2019. FY 2018 begins on July 1, 2017, and goes through June 30, 2018, and FY 2019 begins on July 1, 2018, and goes through June 30, 2019. Budgeting for the expenditure of public funds is often described as difficult to understand and complex in nature. The objectives of this primer are twofold: (1) to describe the State budget process; and (2) to examine the prospects and possibilities for spending in the 20172019 biennium. The report will proceed as follows: Section One will be devoted to a high-level overview of budgetary sources and spending, as well as the budget process itself; Section Two will focus more closely on sources of revenue; Section Three will consider proposed spending; and Section Four will conclude with a brief assessment of the uncertainties facing the State Legislature. Budgetary Sources and Spending Nevada’s combined revenue is directed into six funding sources that finance the State’s operations. Note that no single source is dedicated to funding any one The Progressive Rancher

State agency (department): • General Fund: The General Fund is a governmental fund “...used to receive all revenues and account for all expenditures not otherwise provided by law to be accounted for in any other fund.”3 The General Fund includes collections by the State in the form of taxes, certain licenses/fees, and use of money and property. The General Fund is the State’s major operating fund, and there is flexibility in how its deposits may be appropriated.4 (In contrast, some of the other funds described below are more restricted in use insofar as they are to be directed to specific purposes.);5 • Federal Fund: Money provided by the federal government, such as categorical grants to help finance certain programs (e.g., Medicaid). Some federal funds require state appropriation of matching funds, such as the Low Income Housing Trust Fund for federal housing programs and the Intergovernmental Transfer (IGT) account for Medicaid expenditures, amongst others;6 • State Highway Fund: Money received from motor fuels gasoline taxes, special fuels taxes, motor vehicle fees and taxes, federal aid reimbursement, and other miscellaneous revenues and receipts (e.g., Department of Motor Vehicles authorized revenue, Department of Public Safety authorized revenue, etc.).7 Motor fuels gasoline taxes constituted the largest projected share of the State Highway Fund’s state user revenue in the previous (2015-2017) biennium at 42.6 percent; • Interagency Transfers; • Other Money: Net of Interagency Transfers; • Balance Forward: Unexpended amounts from the previous year.

Budget Process

On January 17, 2017, Governor Brian Sandoval established his spending priorities for the 20172019 biennium when he delivered his State of the State Address and concurrently transmitted his Recommended Budget to the State Legislature.13 While this suggests that the State budget process is triggered by the Governor’s delivery of his proposals to the Legislative Branch, budgeting for State spending, in fact, begins in the year preceding that in which the new Legislature will be seated (i.e., an even-numbered year).14

View the entire article on www.progressiverancher.com March 2017 45 


TESTIMONY: Modernization of the Endangered Species Act

Feb. 15, 2017

Testimony of James D. Ogsbury Executive Director Western Governors’ Association

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Before the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works Oversight: Modernization of the Endangered Species Act

hairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper, and members of the Committee, Western Governors appreciate the opportunity to provide written testimony on the issue of species conservation and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). These remarks are presented by the Western Governors’ Association (WGA), an independent, non-partisan organization representing the Governors of 19 western states and three U.S.-flag islands.

Background

Western Governors applaud the principles and intent of the ESA. Since its enactment in 1973, the ESA has helped prevent the extinction and assisted the recovery of threatened and endangered species, while providing ancillary benefits to other species.  We believe that there is much to learn from both the successes and the failures of the Act. Western states are particularly and uniquely affected by the ESA, and they contain the vast majority of ESA critical habitat designations made by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service (Services). The economic benefits derived from tourism and recreation supported by healthy species and ecosystems redound largely to states. At the same time, species listings and the associated prohibitions can negatively affect western states’ ability to promote economic development, accommodate population growth, and maintain and expand infrastructure. The economic costs of ESA compliance can fall disproportionately on western states and local communities. The ESA is premised on a strong state-federal- partnership. Section 6(a) of the ESA states that, “in carrying out the program authorized by the Act, the Secretary shall cooperate to the maximum extent practicable with the States.” Western Governors submit that such cooperation should involve full and authentic partnership between the states and Services with respect to species listing, critical habitat designations, establishment of recovery goals and delisting decisions.   Through decades of work by staff and contractors, states have developed extensive science, expertise and knowledge of species within their borders. In many cases, state wildlife agencies often possess the best available science on species and retain primary management authority over most fish and wildlife within their borders. Experts, observers and wildlife managers acknowledge that, in the 44 years since the passage of the ESA,

 46 March 2017

changes to the Act are warranted. Regardless, proposed amendments to the Act are frequently opposed on the basis that any change represents a first step toward dismantling the ESA. Through the Species Conservation and ESA Initiative (Initiative), Western Governors have taken a significant step towards changing that narrative and will continue to advance common-sense reforms in the years to come. As former Chairman of WGA, Wyoming Governor Matt Mead launched the Initiative in June 2015. This multi-faceted effort has included numerous public workshops, focused work sessions, webinars and survey instruments to collect the best ideas, recommendations and thoughts of a wide variety of stakeholders. Principal goals of this effort are to create a mechanism for states to share best practices in species management, promote the role of states in species conservation and explore options for improving the efficacy of the ESA. The Initiative has also focused on how to avoid the need to list species in the first place, through establishment of institutional frameworks that encourage collaborative voluntary conservation.

Western Governors’ Association Policy

WGA’s successful effort to manage an inclusive and bipartisan dialogue in the first year of the Initiative culminated in the adoption of WGA Policy Resolution 2016-08: Species Conservation and the Endangered Species Act. We hope the principles that Western Governors have embraced on a bipartisan basis will help to inform your own deliberations on possible changes to the ESA. In this resolution, Western Governors suggest seven broad goals as a basis for any bipartisan reform effort. We would stress that these goals must be achieved in a manner that maintains the Act’s integrity and original intent to protect listed species. Implementation of these goals will improve the efficacy of the ESA by making it The Progressive Rancher

more workable and understandable. As directed by the resolution, the Initiative is continuing with a series of in-depth work sessions and webinars. Work sessions are primarily constructed to refine the Governors’ policy recommendations and address challenges identified in the first year of the Initiative. We would like to highlight the Western Governors’ Species Conservation and ESA Initiative Year Two Work Plan as further evidence of Governors’ ongoing commitment to implementing their ESA-related recommendations. WGA would also like to highlight the efforts Western Governors have made to promote positive administrative changes to the ESA regulatory process. Western Governors have provided comments on several recent rulemakings, and I am pleased to submit such comments as concern: • Revisions to the Regulations for Petitions • Endangered Species Act Compensatory Mitigation Policy • FWS Methodology for Prioritizing Status Reviews • Proposed Changes to Critical Habitat Designation (encompassing two rules and one policy) Western Governors recognize the value of the Services’ engagement in the Initiative.  Governors are hopeful that this positive engagement will help ensure that state considerations are reflected in federal agency rulemaking and policies. Governors also recognize the limitations of regulatory reform. Regulations are not statutes and do not provide the certainty and consistency that statutory changes would produce.  

Conclusion

Western Governors appreciate this opportunity to discuss species conservation, the role of states in this endeavor, and the impact the ESA has on state conservation efforts. Having worked diligently for many years on species conservation on a bipartisan basis, most recently through the Initiative, Western Governors recognize that much can be accomplished by collaborating with the Services to enact administrative changes to the Act. Further, we assert that the ESA should be reauthorized through bipartisan legislation that maintains the intent of the ESA to conserve and recover imperiled species. Western Governors hope that their contributions will help improve the Act’s operation and its outcomes for imperiled species. Thank you.

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The Progressive Rancher March 2017  
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