Skip to comments.Grange Takes Stand on Environmental Regulations
Posted on 11/16/2001 1:19:56 PM PST by farmfriend
Grange Takes Stand on Environmental Regulations
Cedar Rapids, Iowa, (November 13, 2001) - Delegates to the 135th annual convention of the National Grange drew a line in the sand today with several tough resolutions regarding environmental regulations affecting Grange members.
In an unprecedented move, delegates moved to authorize the Grange to initiate appropriate legal action against the Federal government over the cut off of irrigation to the Northern California/Southern Oregon Kalamath Falls Basin. Last spring, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation denied irrigation water to 1500 farmers in order to protect the endangered suckerfish. The Bureau explained that it had no other option under the Endangered Species Act, which gives precedent to endangered species over humans regarding water use. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the action.
The Grange became active on the issue with prominent Executive Committee members participating in peaceful demonstrations at the irrigation site and several Grange farmers from Kalamath visiting Washington, D.C. to plead with their Congressmen for relief. The growing season passed with no action from the Federal government. "The shut off of these irrigation waters is the zealous pursuit of unrealistic environmental goals. We will not accept that Americans must sacrifice their prosperity or surrender their constitutional rights in order to preserve our environment. Responsible stewardship recognizes a balance between use and conservation. We are going to stay the course on this issue," declared National Master (President) Kermit Richardson.
Delegates further stiffened the stand by passing resolutions calling for the Grange to organize a nationwide effort to oppose federal government agencies' taking of individual water and water rights, supporting legislation limiting eminent domain to public facilities, opposing further designation of federal lands as "roadless" or "cattle free," and reiterating its decade-old position that the Endangered Species Act be reformed so that it no longer takes total precedence over property rights, energy development and fire suspension.
"Our official name is The Order of the Patrons of Husbandry." Richardson stated. "Our people have treated this nation's lands, waters and forests with knowledge and care since 1867. We must not be denied the right to use that land for the benefit of all citizens."
Founded in 1867, the National Grange is this nation's oldest general farm and rural public interest organization. The National Grange currently represents approximately 300,000 members affiliated with 3,400 local, county and state Grange chapters across the nation. The National Grange will hold its 135th Annual Convention at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cedar Rapids, IA November 12-18, 2001. At that time, Grange delegates from across the nation will adopt grassroots policy positions related to the next Farm Bill and other rural issues.
Thanks for the ping. :)
The Grange is not just for farmers any more. It is for everyone who wishes to be political and have a real effect on legislation.
Hey, I work in the Legislative Dept. I leave that cow stuff to others as well.