Friday, April 8, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Budget Discussions Roil in DC While Life Elsewhere Moves On
While many eyes were focused on the breakdown of the Fiscal Year 2011 continuing resolution negotiations and the looming Federal government shutdown, hearings continued on Capitol Hill this week on the President's proposed budget for the 2012 Fiscal Year, which begins in less than six months, on October 1 and the House Budget Committee passed Rep. Paul Ryan's 2012 budget plan.  The budget news for both fiscal years is outlined in the "Federal Budget" section, below.  But lest we forget the rest of the happenings in and out of the River Basin that impacts water resources, it's been a busy week in that regard.


Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week:  


Agriculture -
  • Washington Post editorial board: "case for direct federal subsidies of agriculture has never been weaker" http://wapo.st/g39QQa
  • US drought monitor forecast represents consensus of federal & academic scientists (regional & state predictions too) http://bit.ly/29RL7k
  • USDA ERS State Fact Sheets Provide Agricultural Economic and Conservation Information http://bit.ly/hkXV5Q
  • RT @DonEWG: Insightful @JournalStarNews analysis of challenges facing Conservation Reserve http://bit.ly/fSTjMh #farmbill
  • House Budget Committee Chair Ryan: Reducing spending includes reforming agricultural subsidies http://on.wsj.com/dLdE9u
  • Production of Bioenergy Crops in the Midwest report looks at economics of perennial grass biofuel production http://bit.ly/fejX42
  • Higher grain prices put pressure on farm Conservation Reserve Program http://bit.ly/hKAl5m
  • House Ag Committee Chair: members of his Committee will write next farm bill, GOP budget proposals just suggestions http://1.usa.gov/emBtg1
Water Quality-
  • US District judge allows environmental groups to continue lawsuits vs WV coal operators re: selenium mine discharges http://bit.ly/hUwqEm
  • USGS National Water Quality Assessment Program Quarterly Highlights, April 2011 http://bit.ly/gSlaRt
  • Congressional USGS briefing on high urban lake PAH levels; April 14, 10:30 AM; H137 Capitol Bld, DC (background: http://1.usa.gov/hdHrEX)
  • U of MI ecologist studies why biologically diverse streams are better at cleaning up pollutants http://bit.ly/eWwYQm
  • Water Environment Federation releases first edition of "The Stormwater Report" with stormwater tech news http://bit.ly/dQSKGx 
In the States -
  • WI Supreme Court: state does not have authority to determine if state-issued wastewater permits comply with federal law http://bit.ly/eFDZiO
  • Move to put Iowa agriculture dept in charge of DNR key water quality programs sparks intense debate http://bit.ly/h8T1ZA
  • MN state wild rice pollution & other bills reflect fundamental shift in legislature's environmental philosophy http://bit.ly/gKpDve
  • Bills to limit CAFO liability in pig odor lawsuits; give CAFOs "permanent nuisance" status move to MO Senate http://bit.ly/eQfTbo
  • EPA awards $343,200 to AR to participate in National Ecoregion Monitoring Program (Wetlands Survey Project) http://1.usa.gov/eNqaQR
Flooding, Floodplains, Dams and Navigation -
  • Upper Mississippi River shipping season now underway http://bit.ly/i0SkF6
  • Recap and prognosis on flooding and flood coverage in the Upper Midwest on River Life blog: http://bit.ly/fD3Fvf
  • Nat Research Council's Army Corps of Engineers Water Resources Science, Engineering & Planning meeting today http://bit.ly/ib5lpe
  • Army Corps Missouri River rehabilitation offers opportunities for U of Nebraska at Omaha grads http://bit.ly/hneTus
Federal Budget -
2011
  • Senate Budget Comm Chair Conrad urges Obama & congressional leaders not to cut farm prog funding in spending bills http://1.usa.gov/ehrp8s
  • Senate Maj Leader Reid: Dems will not accept riders in House GOP spending bill that block EPA from implementing rules http://bit.ly/hQhLIe
  • Federal budget talks take turn for the worse as accusations fly between Democrats & Republicans http://politi.co/gE9Upm
  • House GOP leaders decide to try soon to implement two-year congressional budget process http://bit.ly/hJMSyt
  • Disagreement on Changes in Mandatory Programs (cuts-some to farm conservation programs) holding up Federal budget deal http://wapo.st/dUa2ud
  • Wondering what the fuss is about CHIMPS, the Federal budget debate & the 2012 Farm Bill? See here: http://bit.ly/fqas2C
  • Obama: no budget deal has been reached but he expects "an answer in the morning" http://bit.ly/eIDugX
  • Senate Majority Leader Reid: Environmental cutbacks at heart of Hill shutdown drama http://1.usa.gov/fyzo5I
2012
Events - 
  • Celebrate 100 years with the St. Croix River Association; April 14; Phipps Center, Hudson, WI http://bit.ly/gOkNPW
  • Aldo Leopold and His Almanac, 2-part class, April 21 & May 26; Cable & Barnes, WI http://bit.ly/hg2w8y
  • Community-based Green Infrastructure free webinar; Watershed Management Group; Wed, April 27, 4:00 pm PDT http://bit.ly/hDJVpv
  • Minnesota Ground Water Association√≠s spring conference; May 4; University of Minnesota, St Paul http://bit.ly/gPMXH2
  • Congressional USGS briefing on high urban lake PAH levels; April 14, 10:30 AM; H137 Capitol Bld, DC (background: http://1.usa.gov/hdHrEX
Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -
  • Minneapolis city leaders want Federal and state funding to prevent Asian Carp invasion http://bit.ly/exB4v1
  • Weed management associations protest Obama-proposed Aquatic Plant Control Research Program elimination http://bit.ly/dSnA1f
Other news-
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison limnologist Stephen Carpenter awarded 2011 Stockholm Water Prize http://bit.ly/gqRr53
  • Pew Research Center poll: 43% of US adults know John Boehner is House Speaker; 38% aware that GOP has House majority http://bit.ly/g1Xugh
  • RT @troutheadwaters: Alternatives to Riprap - Biotechnical stabilization is not a new concept: http://wp.me/pF7Va-9I
  • Gallup poll: widest margin in nearly 30 years in US prioritizing economic growth (54%) over environment (36%) http://bit.ly/giKlFd
  • UC Davis Integrated Regional Water Management paper presents comprehensive discussion of theory behind IRWM http://bit.ly/hvadIe
  • Oklahoma sees driest 4 months since Dust Bowl http://bit.ly/eSs6Qk
  • New House bills take aim at EPA coal ash rules http://bit.ly/gU7D4C
Political Scene - 
  • US House seat Iowa redistricting plan will probably gain enough support to pass state legislature http://bit.ly/hWp5CP
Last word 
With the clock ticking toward a possible Federal government shutdown at midnight tonight (and for a much-needed "mental coffee break" for everyone), here is a wonderful version of "Time," by Pink Floyd, in a live performance at Earls Court, London, from 1994.  Enjoy and have a good weekend!

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