ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES COMMITTEE
17-Resolution passed in 2017
16-Resolution passed in 2016
15-Resolution passed in 2015
 
 
CLEAN WATER - 17 (EI)
WHEREAS, the NDSA believes that clean water is essential to the health and well-being of the nation; and
 
WHEREAS, local, state and federal regulations for concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and animal feeding operations (AFOs) may force unnecessary and costly restrictions on animal agriculture; and
 
WHEREAS, voluntary, incentive-based conservation is a proven, effective method.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports a voluntary, incentive-based and locally controlled approach to clean water.
 
 
 
ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT RISK ASSESSMENTS - 17 (EI)
WHEREAS, activist groups have targeted agricultural pesticides and rodenticides by filing lawsuits and claiming a breech in risk assessment requirements.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports a federal legislative solution that clearly establishes the primacy of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act for pesticide regulation in the United States and an amendment to the Endangered Species Act to exempt the Environmental Protection Agency’s pesticide reviews from Section 7 of the act if those reviews are conducted under a system agreed upon by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service.
 
 
PREDATOR CONTROL - 17 (EI)
WHEREAS, predator populations are increasing very rapidly, creating problems in the livestock industry and wildlife populations.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports the reclassification of mountain lions and coyotes from furbearer to predator.
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NDSA supports continued state and federal funding for predator control.
 
 
 
SPECIES RECOVERY - 17 (EI)
WHEREAS, the Endangered Species Act (ESA) does not provide proper incentives for species recovery and, in many instances, limits and/or intrudes on the property rights of private landowners for the purpose of species habitat preservation; and
 
WHEREAS, these limitations and intrusions on the free use of private property often restrict economic use of land and, in some cases, diminish property value; and
 
WHEREAS, non-regulatory solutions, based on a proactive species conservation partnership, should be found to ease the burden of the ESA on public and private land ranchers; and
 
WHEREAS, the NDSA believes that recovery using voluntary incentives and, ultimately, delisting of species covered by the ESA should be the highest priority of the ESA.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA promotes recovery as an avenue of reform to the ESA, and that federal funding for the ESA should be prioritized to reflect this priority.
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NDSA insists that scientific data be presented and/or studies be conducted that conclusively demonstrate what the species’ historic range was and how the demographic of that present-day historic range has changed and if it is still suitable for the species in question.
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NDSA urges federal agencies to work with states and landowner stakeholders in developing realistic goals for species.
 
 
 
WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES - 17 (EI)
WHEREAS, there have been several legislative and regulatory attempts to expand the definition of the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in reference to the Clean Water Act of 1972 over recent years; and
 
WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a WOTUS rule that exceeds statutory authority, imposes burdensome regulations on farmers and ranchers, allows for third-party litigation and citizen lawsuits that could incentivize activists, was finalized in violation of mandatory procedural requirements and is otherwise unlawful; and
 
WHEREAS, the EPA is taking additional comments on the rule and seeking feedback on how to proceed.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA opposes the existing WOTUS rule and related efforts that ignore private water stewardship practices, undermine state and local authority and subject producers to costly and time-consumptive permits and potential lawsuits.
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NDSA work with EPA and other decision-makers to ensure that any new definition of WOTUS is done in a way that protects water quality while promoting economic growth, minimizing regulation and respecting private property rights and the roles of Congress and the states under the U.S. Constitution.
 
 
 
STATE WATER RIGHTS - 17 (EI)
WHEREAS, the federal government, through the Reed Amendment in 1993, attempted to override North Dakota state water laws, as well as that of several other western states.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA urges our Congressional delegation and governor to vigorously oppose any future attempts by the federal government to diminish North Dakota's right to allocate state water rights.
 
THEREFORE BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NDSA opposes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers attempting to take control over the right to the natural flows that belong with the state of North Dakota.
 
 
 
PRAIRIE DOGS - 16 (EI)
WHEREAS, the prairie dog is a nuisance rodent that destroys grasses, leaving the soil vulnerable to erosion and invasion by noxious weeds, and is a known host to vectors that carry Bubonic Plague that is threatening to humans; and
 
WHEREAS, they exist throughout the West in numbers well above endangered levels.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA opposes any listing of the prairie dog as a threatened or endangered species.
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NDSA urges the North Dakota Department of Agriculture to declare the prairie dog a pest and the proper authorities to enforce its control.
 
 
 
WETLANDS - 16 (EI)
WHEREAS, the federal government's current policy on wetlands affects the use, value and private property rights on millions of acres of privately owned agricultural land; and
 
WHEREAS, the federal government's official method of defining wetlands is gravely flawed and leads to wetlands delineation of ranch and farm land which should not be considered wetlands; and
 
WHEREAS, cattle grazing is a beneficial maintenance use of wet areas and thereby protects natural wetland values; and
 
WHEREAS, surface inundation exists for a significant portion of the growing season of every year under normal precipitation.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA opposes any federal wetlands regulatory authority over all man-made wet areas.
 
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the NDSA pursues changes to benefit the livestock industry in the federal wetlands policy.
 
 
 
CLEAN AIR - 15 (EI)
WHEREAS, the NDSA believes air quality is essential to the health and well-being of the nation; and
 
WHEREAS, the Environmental Protection Agency rule that addresses the National Air Quality Standard is not based on credible scientific evidence that particulate matter emissions cause adverse health effects; and
 
WHEREAS, these standards will be impossible and cost-prohibitive for agriculture to comply with.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA supports a legislative effort or companion rules that would give agriculture an exclusion from the coarse particulate matter standards.
 
 
 
CLIMATE CHANGE - 15 (EI)
WHEREAS, cattle producers are ardent stewards of all natural resources including land, livestock, water and air; and
 
WHEREAS, agriculture makes positive contributions to the environment; and
 
WHEREAS, pending climate change legislation would put the United States at a large trade disadvantage in comparison to other countries; and
 
WHEREAS, the pending legislation would result in large energy-cost increases, particularly for those in agriculture.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA works to reduce or eliminate efforts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act, related climate change legislation or promulgated rules.
 
 
 
NOXIOUS WEEDS - 15 (EI)
WHEREAS, cattlemen recognize the need for government cutbacks in spending and that priorities need to be determined.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA feels that noxious weed control is a high priority and that these programs should be fully funded.
 
 
 
WATER APPROPRIATION - 15 (EI)
WHEREAS, recreational needs are growing at a rapid pace, creating more demand on the waters of the state; and
 
WHEREAS, this increased pressure on water resources may lead to attempts to change the priority ranking for water allocation.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA opposes any attempt to diminish agriculture’s and livestock’s priority ranking for the waters of the state under the jurisdiction of the State Water Commission.
 
 
 
WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES - 15 (EI) 
WHEREAS, there have been several legislative and regulatory attempts to expand the definition of the “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) in reference to the Clean Water Act of 1972 over recent years; and
 
WHEREAS, the most recent effort, the Environmental Protection Agency’s and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ WOTUS rule, represents a significant expansion of federal jurisdiction over water beyond current practices and the limitations affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court; and
 
WHEREAS, the WOTUS rule usurps and ignores state and local efforts to protect these waters; and   
          
WHEREAS, the WOTUS rule will have major implications for all Clean Water Act programs, broadening their scope and creating additional obligations for livestock producers and other water users; and
 
WHEREAS, the WOTUS rule allows for third-party litigation and citizen suits, which will incentivize activists even when agencies decline to assert jurisdiction over activities or features on a particular site.
 
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the NDSA opposes the WOTUS rule and related efforts that ignore private water stewardship practices, undermine state and local authority and subject producers to costly and time-consumptive permits and potential lawsuits.
 
  
  
 
North Dakota Stockmen's Association * 407 S. 2nd St. * Bismarck, ND 58504 * 701-223-2522 * ndsa@ndstockmen.org