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Judge Michael Simon rules on Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinion (BiOp) lawsuit

5/9/2016

On May 1, Judge Michael Simon of the United States District Court issued his ruling on the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) Biological Opinion (BiOp) lawsuit. While Judge Simon left the current BiOp in place, he found that the federal agencies must produce an updated Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and deliver a new Biological Opinion by March 1, 2018.
The diverse membership of the Pacific Northwest Waterways Association (PNWA) has recognized the Administration's BiOp as representing the best available science and the best course for salmon recovery. Decades of growing partnership among the federal agencies, states, and tribes have produced significant increases in salmon populations.

Judge Simon's opinion does not order dam breaching. Rather, the Judge's ruling requires the federal agencies to analyze and evaluate all options when performing the updated environmental assessment and producing a new EIS and BiOp. 

Back to back years of record breaking adult returns demonstrate that the Columbia and Snake Rivers can be managed in a balanced way that preserves clean, renewable hydropower, efficient barge transportation, water for crops, lifesaving flood control, and conditions which enhance salmon recovery. As the nation's number one wheat export gateway, use of the locks and dams on the Columbia and Snake River is vital to our nation's economic well-being. PNWA and its members will continue to support efforts to maintain the environmental and economic health of the river and the region.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
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Growers’ help needed to improve crop insurance
Sprout damage from heavy rains in southern and eastern Idaho at the end of the 2014 growing season made evident the inadequacy of current crop insurance for wheat growers, which is based on yields and not quality.

USDA’s Risk Management Agency has expressed a willingness to make changes to the quality standard for wheat by addressing the low falling number scale, but the agency wants to address the issue nationwide and needs strong data to support any changes.
Growers can assist the effort by providing multiple years of settlement data, at least the last six years but preferable the last 10 to 12.

RMA does not need and would prefer not to receive growers’ names, addresses and tax ID numbers.

The data must contain: the year; county and state where the crop was grown (not sold/delivered); quality of production; gross price received; net payment (gross less any dockage, but not considering any storage or shipping fees); test weight; and protein.

In addition, the agency needs at least one of the following: DON/VOM; falling number; or other quality spec of interest.
Growers are asked to send info to Blaine Jacobson at blaine@idahowheat.org.