Friday, October 28, 2011

Mississippi River Basin Water Resource News for the Week

Congressional Briefing: "Using Science to Improve Flood Management"
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) is hosting a congressional briefing entitled "Using Science to Improve Flood Management," on November 2, 2011 at 2 PM (Eastern) in room 2253 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, DC. You can read more details and find RSVP information here.

Mississippi River Water Quality Monitoring Framework Announced
Ann Mills, Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and the Environment for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the formation of a Federal Mississippi River Water Quality Monitoring Framework on October 25 at The Horinko Group's Second Annual Water Resources Summit. 

While indicating that a more formal announcement and additional details would follow, 
Mills stated that a major purpose of the Framework would be to evaluate the effectiveness of conservation measures targeted for high-priority watersheds through the USDA's Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative (known as MRBI). More details about the new Framework can be seen here.

Notable @UpperMiss Twitter Postings for the Week

Agriculture -
  • NSAC: Senate's 2012 agriculture spending bill cuts farm bill mandatory conservation program spending 12%
  • Biofuel industry to continue some subsidies & financial assistance that it got in last farm bill
  • Walz (D-MN), Fortenberry (R-NE) in House & Senator Harkin to introduce Beginning Farmer & Rancher Opportunity Act
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (R-ME) plans to introduce local farm and food bill this week
Farm Bill-
  • American Farm Bureau sends letter to Congress describing down sides of ‘shallow loss’ Farm Bill safety net proposals
  • Farm lobbyists working with some lawmakers to draft grower subsidy plan that could sidestep Congressional debates
  • Boston Herald & Washington Post editorial boards come out for deep cuts to farm subsidies
  • Senate & House agri committee staff expected to work through weekend to complete supercommittee farm bill proposal
  • House Ag Chairman Lucas: possibility of getting farm bill to Super Committee by Nov 1 deadline ‘about fifty-fifty'
  • Potential loss of direct payments causes concern among conservationists
  • Conservative groups trying to stop agriculture committees from getting new farm bill included in deficit-reduction plan
  • Oregon Rep. Earl Blumenauer in new proposal demands that direct subsidies to farmers be eliminated
Water Quality -
  • Hydrological separation of Great Lakes & Mississippi basins would stop carp; could also alter IL River water quality
  • EPA Proposes to Collect Information about Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations
  • Mississippi River Water Quality Monitoring Framework announced by USDA
  • Hydrological separation of Great Lakes & Mississippi basins would stop carp but could also alter water quality
  • EPA Primer on Using Biological Assessment to Support Water Quality Management now available
Water Resource Management (Floodplains, Dams, Navigation, Flooding, etc.) -

In the States -

Biodiversity, Wildlife and Invasives -

Federal Budget -
  • NSAC: Senate's 2012 agriculture spending bill cuts farm bill mandatory conservation program spending 12%
  • Federal spending bills lag & another temporary spending bill likely to keep government open through Christmas
  • Federal Budget cuts threaten conservation push in 'America's Dairyland' (Wisconsin)
  • House Minority Whip Hoyer (D-MD) casts doubt on supercommittee’s ability to reach agreement before its Nov. 23 deadline
  • House GOP leadership: EPA to be curbed by riders or no spending bill passage
Resource extraction -

Events -

  • Congressional Briefing: "Using Science to Improve Flood Management" November 2; 2 PM in Washington, DC
  • Levees & Beyond: Making Wise Choices, National Nonstructural Floodproofing Conference; Sacramento, CA; Nov 28 – Dec 1
  • International Conference on Sustainability, Transition, and Culture Change; Nov. 10-14; Bellaire, MI
  • Webinar online to view: Global Climate Change: Water Quality Impacts, Ecological Impacts & Nonlinear Responses

Other news-

Political Scene -
  • Saturday: Louisiana Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal won a second term, avoiding a November run-off
  • Non-partisan Congressional Management Foundation grades 112th Congress' member/committee web site usage
  • Poll: Former Wisconsin Gov. Thompson leads pack for GOP WI Senate nomination
  • Field of contenders for Rep. Costello’s soon-to-be-open IL US House seat growing
  • Ann Wagner definitively rules out switching to US Senate bid, will run for Congress in MO's 2nd district
  • Kentucky Democrat Chandler May Have Advantage in hi US House Rematch
Last Word -  "The mountains used to be white. Now, the mountains don't seem so white. It's all rocks." - Namdu Sherpa, a 75-year-old great-grandmother who operates a small trading post in Nepal's Khumbu Valley.

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