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Vermont’s Small Farmers Face Tough Water Rules, Inspections

Vermont’s approximately 7,000 small farmers will soon be receiving visitors from the state’s Agency for Agriculture on a regular basis as part of the agency’s effort to enforce the state’s law designed to reduce agricultural pollution of waterways. The state’s Clean Water Act, Act 64, has been on the books for years, but many of its provisions have not been regularly enforced. This is about to change, with regular farm inspections set to get underway in 2017. In addition to stepped-up...

Federal Judge Strikes Down Prairie Chicken Designation

Judge Robert Junell of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas struck down a federal protection for the lesser prairie chicken (LPC), a species found in southern Great Plains states. Junell’s September 1 ruling overturns a 2014 decision by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to list the species, found in Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas, as threatened under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Although in the long term the court’s decision could influence...

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