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Opportunity to voice concerns over high speed rail, WOTUS

In early 2018, the US Army Corps of Engineers announced a public comment period for a 404 Permit requested by Texas Central Railway pertaining to Waters of the U.S., or WOTUS. Through the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), several elected officials requested public meetings to be a part of that public comment period. These meetings have now been scheduled for Aug. 27, Aug. 30 and Sept. 6, and landowners again have the opportunity to express concerns about the Dallas Houston HSR project. Those concerns do not have to be limited to Waters of the US, but if you have a river, creek, gully, lake, pond, tank or ditch that could be impacted by this project, this is your opportunity to voice concerns. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Aug 15, 2018

Hoping to stave off federal action, Texas rewrites lizard plan

Aiming to reform a troubled state program designed to stave off federal habitat protections for a rare lizard species in the petroleum-rich Permian Basin, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is asking the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to approve a new version, meant to address what Hegar’s office called the plan’s “systemic problems.” The proposal, the latest turn over how to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard amid a threat of federal action, eliminates scientifically unsupported conservation options and defines ways for companies to avoid lizard habitat, enacts fees from some companies operating in the lizard habitat to support conservation efforts to offset habitat disturbances and includes incentives to focus industrial activities in degraded or nonhabitat areas. -Austin American Statesman Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Aug 14, 2018

Cattle industry secures 45-day agreement to reinstate spray boxes

Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association (TSCRA), Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA), Texas Farm Bureau (TFB), Livestock Marketing Association of Texas (LMAT), Independent Cattlemen’s Association of Texas (ICA) and South Texans’ Property Rights Association (STPRA) attended a meeting with Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller Tuesday in Austin. The purpose of the meeting was to urge the Texas Department of Agriculture (TDA) to protect the cattle industry by allowing producers to continue utilizing spray boxes as part of their cattle fever tick eradication efforts. The producers and staff that attended the meeting on behalf of industry were able to reach a temporary compromise with TDA that will ensure our ability to protect the health and well-being of our cattle for the next 45 days. Read more…

General Discussion, Animal Health, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Aug 09, 2018

TSCRA Govt Affairs Roundup: Spray box shutdown, industry meetings and farm bill

TSCRA government affairs staff are continuing to work diligently to resolve a serious cattle health issue created by Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s shuttering of fever tick spray boxes operated by the Texas Animal Health Commission and USDA–Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. TSCRA staff and leaders are also attending the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Summer Meeting in Denver and the 2018 West Texas Legislative Summit in San Angelo. Read more…

General Discussion, Animal Health, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Aug 03, 2018

Cattle raisers refute cattle fever tick spray box concerns

Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller announced this week his department is shutting down the use of cattle spray boxes to treat cattle fever ticks in South Texas. The Texas Animal Health Commission and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers refute the reasons Miller has cited for the shut-down and maintain that portable spray boxes have been utilized for decades and have proven very effective in fever tick containment and eradication efforts. Read more…

General Discussion, Animal Health, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Aug 01, 2018

Changes proposed to endangered species act to allow for economic and business factors

This week, the U.S. Department of Interior released proposed rule changes for the Endangered Species Act. Right now, the process used to protect species under the act requires only a scientific assessment of whether there’s a risk of extinction. The rule change would allow regulators to also consider economic and business factors. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy, General Discussion, Wildlife Read more... Jul 24, 2018

TSCRA Govt Affairs Roundup: Endangered Species Act amendments, tariff talks and farm bill

This week, TSCRA joined fellow cattle industry groups in signing a letter of support for the Endangered Species Act Amendments Act of 2018. Staff is also continuing to follow ongoing trade and tariff issues, 2018 Farm Bill progress and how the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court could benefit agriculture. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Jul 13, 2018

TSCRA Government Affairs Roundup: Tariffs, trade and changes at the EPA

TSCRA government affairs staff continues to monitor a number of issues arising out of Washington, D.C., including tariffs imposed by China and Canada on U.S. beef and changes at the EPA. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Jul 06, 2018

TSCRA Govt Affairs Roundup: Farm bill, groundwater policy and working to improve ag disaster response

TSCRA Government and Public Affairs staff are continuing to monitor farm bill progress in Washington. The House recently passed its version of the farm bill and the Senate passed its version Thursday. It now goes to a conference committee where the two chambers will work out the differences between the two versions of the bill. Staff also met with House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rep. Lyle Larson about groundwater policy; and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to discuss issues important to cattle raisers. This week also saw participation in the Governor’s Commission to Rehabilitate Texas to collaborate with government response agencies about improving ag response to natural disasters. Read more…

General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Jun 29, 2018

TSCRA Govt and Public Affairs Roundup: Summer intern intros, farm bill, Marfa, and comments

This week in TSCRA’s Government and Public Affairs Update, meet the Austin office summer intern, hear about movement in the farm bill, get an update on what happened at the Summer Meeting in Marfa, and read comments the association submitted on several issues. Read more…

General Discussion, General Discussion, Issues & Policy Read more... Jun 22, 2018