On paper, I appear to be the picture perfect stereotype of an east coast liberal: I’ve been working at environmental nonprofits for over 20 years, I’m an Ivy League grad, and I live in the “bluest” county in Virginia. When it comes to first impressions in the world of agriculture, I’ve been met countless times with skepticism and even contempt.
The reality is that I spend nearly every waking hour of my career collaborating with farmers – exploring ways to implement on-the-ground practices that help producers save money and protect yields while also reducing impacts to water and air. After years of building relationships, I’m proud of the diverse and unlikely partnerships I’ve formed. Many of my closest friends and allies would be labeled as “big ag.”
But I’m worried that today’s political divisions will roll back the decades of progress reducing nutrient runoff across the Corn Belt and beyond. I don’t want to see doors closed because of assumptions on either side of the political divide that now dominate the country. Read More
Posted in Partnerships, Sustainable Agriculture Also tagged bipartisan, collaboration, common ground, conservation, Endangered Species Act, EPA, ESA, farm income, rural America, Waters of the U.S., WOTUS
© Dwight Nadig
Taking aim at government regulation is a favorite pastime in Washington, but the Trump Administration and the 115th Congress have upped the ante.
In the course of a few weeks, the House of Representatives voted down a measure to curb methane leaks from oil and gas rigs on public and tribal lands. It also voted to overturn a common-sense rule to prevent coal companies from polluting local streams. Meanwhile, the president signed an executive order requiring the arbitrary removal of two existing regulations for every new one created.
Next in their sights: gutting Environmental Protection Agency programs and possibly repealing the Endangered Species Act.
There’s no question we can improve how we go about implementing environmental laws to ensure they deliver the biggest bang for the buck for people and nature. But as an advocate for the environment and a former policy director at the U.S. Department of Commerce, I find the rhetoric-driven rush to rescind these protections short-sighted – even dangerous. Read More
Posted in Ecosystems, Habitat, Sustainable Agriculture, Water Also tagged bipartisan, clean air, clean water, Congress, economy, Endangered Species Act, environmental protections, EPA, ESA, Interior department, regulation, Trump Administration, wildlife