Written by Katie Roberti, Associate Editor
In our Spring 2015 issue of Ag Circle, I wrote an article called Ranching in a State of Regulation. This article discussed the fight California livestock producers were in to prevent the State Water Resources Control Board’s statewide Grazing Regulatory Action Project (GRAP) from passing. Many farmers and ranchers believed if passed, this would be another costly and unneeded regulation. Below is an article from the California Cattlemen’s Association discussing the recent resolution passed to drop GRAP.
At its meeting in Sacramento this Wednesday, the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) officially adopted a resolution discontinuing “discussions regarding a statewide approach to addressing water quality impacts from livestock grazing,” which has the effect of ending the SWRCB’s statewide Grazing Regulatory Action Project (GRAP). The resolution can be read in its draft form here.
The resolution to discontinue GRAP is a testament to the strength of CCA and all those that participated in opposing GRAP. At regional listening sessions held earlier in the year, ranchers filled the rooms to capacity, delivering a unified message to the SWRCB to “scrap GRAP.”
In written comments submitted to the SWRCB earlier this month, and in verbal comments addressed to the Board on Wednesday, CCA supported adoption of the Draft Resolution while reiterating the many unresolved concerns that we have addressed to the SWRCB over the past year, and made clear CCA members will not merely acquiesce to similar regulation on a region-by-region basis.
While the SWRCB’s resolution has the positive effect of putting an end to GRAP, comments made by members of the SWRCB made it clear the Board will continue to consider grazing impacts on water quality, and the Board directed SWRCB staff to report in a year on the progress of efforts intended to protect water quality-including ranch water quality management plans, existing cooperative programs with state and federal agencies or individual voluntary efforts by ranchers.
For any further information on issues of grazing and water quality, please contact Kirk Wilbur in the CCA office. Office contact information can be found at http://www.calcattlemen.org.