Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Clean Water Land Grab

Cattlemen’s Capitol Concerns: Land Grab, Death Tax, Food Safety

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) and the Public Lands Council (PLC) are actively working to prevent passage of the Clean Water Restoration Act (CWRA). The bill, which is scheduled for markup in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on May 7th, would significantly expand federal jurisdiction over private farms and ranches.

"This bill is a dangerous infringement on private property rights and amounts to nothing less than a giant land grab on the part of the federal government," said Tamara Thies, NCBA chief environmental counsel.

Currently, waters under the jurisdiction of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) are defined as "navigable waters of the United States." Other waters are subject to regulation by individual states, which are better equipped to manage their own unique geographical concerns. The Clean Water Restoration Act would remove the word "navigable" from the definition, expanding federal regulatory control to unprecedented levels- putting road ditches, drainage ditches, and other wet areas on private farms and ranches under the regulatory strong-arm of the federal government. Farmers and ranchers could be required to obtain permits for common, everyday operations, like driving a tractor near an irrigation ditch or grazing cattle near a mud hole. Read More

This bill is being described by some as the biggest land grab in the history of our country. Waters on private property would be controlled by the federal government if this passes. Besides the taking of the land that the water is on, they will also dictate how you utilize the surrounding land. If your land ever has a mud puddle on it, you will be affected. Contact your elected officials in Washington DC and let them know how this bill will affect your ability to produce the food and fiber our country depends on.

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