NCBA President Kevin Kester Talks Frankly About Environmental Issues Affecting Modern ProducersWed, 25 Jul 2018 12:23:00 CDT
The Trump Administration announced recently that it will be working to pass through some new revisions and updates for the Endangered Species Act, which could potentially hold some positive outcomes for American beef producers across the country who are at times faced with limitations in their operations due to restrictions within this legislation. According to Kevin Kester, a rancher from California and president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, with just a few minor changes, the ESA could be brought up to speed with our modern times in a way that truly benefits both the natural and business environment of America. He shared those thoughts with Radio Oklahoma Ag Network Farm Director Ron Hays during his recent visit to attend the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association’s 66th Annual Convention and Trade Show.
“NCBA has been working behind the scenes for many, many months now on the modernization and introduction of legislation to modernize the Endangered Species Act. It’s been woefully behind the times for 20 years now with no action on it,” Kester said. “So, we’re very strongly behind the efforts of the Senate, Senator Barrasso, as well as the administration to get this thing over the finish line sometime here in the future.”
Kester contends that the changes being proposed will essentially be injecting a little common sense into the law that has unnecessarily hindered producers for years. Many of the species still under the Act’s protection have recovered since they first appeared on the list and deserve to be removed. Doing that would reduce the body of restrictions being enforced. As this process moves forward, though, Kester warns that there will likely be some pushback from radical environmental groups armed with false claims that any changes made will bring the ultimate destruction to a fragile environment.
“Nothing could be farther from the truth and I hope people won’t be fooled by the rhetoric that comes out of some groups saying differently,” he said, while also mentioning his intention to continue working on other environmental issues with the EPA’s new Acting Administrator, Andrew Wheeler, who took office after Scott Pruitt resigned recently. “We were sorry to see Scott Pruitt step down - however, Acting Administrator Wheeler, we think, is going to do a great job and we want to continue working with EPA to make sure we keep working on things like the Waters of the US rule. We’re going to make sure the things that Scott Pruitt started are finished out.”
Listen to Kester and Hays discuss these issues at length in their complete interview, featured on today’s Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network and is a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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