Wyoming Farm Bureau

Melodie Edwards

Several advocacy groups were vindicated this week when a federal appeals court ruled Wyoming’s data trespass laws unconstitutional. Now, a lower court will reconsider the statutes, which forbid people from trespassing in order to take pictures or data samples from public lands. The laws also restrict agencies from using data they receive from people who got it by crossing private lands.

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According to a federal appeals court, Wyoming’s data-trespass laws are unconstitutional. The two laws made it illegal for people to cross private land in order to collect data or take photos on public land. 

Last week, a judge in North Dakota ruled against an EPA decision that would have imposed stricter water quality regulations for streams and tributaries around the U.S. Wyoming and 12 other Western states sued the federal government over the rule, known as the Waters of the United States rule. Supporters say it would help states comply with the Clean Water Act by protecting wetlands and stopping industrial dumping. But a federal judge sided with those states, agreeing it would place too heavy a burden on the agriculture industry.

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The Wyoming Farm Bureau is looking to the January legislative session as an entry-point to address issues surrounding trespassing, liability, and transportation.

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A cool, wet spring has Wyoming’s growing season off to a sluggish start.  Ken Hamilton with the Wyoming Farm Bureau says some crops—like corn and sugar beets—were planted as much as three weeks later than usual.  He says hay production has also been hurt by all the precipitation.

The Wyoming Farm Bureau says as Congress puts final touches on the Farm Bill it has good things for Wyoming.

If signed into law, the bill would continue the Environmental Program Incentive Program, which is funding that provides incentives for farmers and ranchers to implement sound conservation practices and help protect resources. 

The bill would also provide disaster relief to agricultural producers who have been impacted by severe weather, such as loss of stock from blizzards. 

The University of Wisconsin

Wyoming’s new energy policy places a central focus on requiring oil and gas developers to conduct baseline groundwater testing, and the Wyoming Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has been tasked with drafting the new rules for the testing.

 The Gov. Matt Mead’s Natural Resource Policy Advisor, Jerimiah Rieman, told the legislature’s Joint Minerals Committee today that the initiative is like a cheap insurance policy for industry.