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SARL Members and Alumni

Florida Announces 1.6 Million for Support Projects in Rural Communities

Governor Scott announced that more than $1.6 million has been awarded to support projects in rural communities across the state. This grant funding was provided through the Rural Infrastructure Fund to help with the planning, preparation and financing of infrastructure projects in rural communities. These projects will result in job creation, capital investment and the strengthening and diversification of Florida’s rural economies. During Gov. Scott’s time in office, every county has had a decrease in unemployment and every region in Florida has experienced job growth.

Virginia regulators accuse Mountain Valley Pipeline of erosion violations

Virginia regulators have accused the builder of the Mountain Valley Pipeline of environmental violations punishable by fines and repair mandates, saying the company’s failure to install and maintain erosion-control devices has fouled 8,800 feet of streams in six locations.The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality gave Robert Cooper, project manager for EQT Corp. in Pittsburgh, a nine-page notice of violations on Monday.

North Dakota sues Dakota Access over farmland ownership

North Dakota's attorney general is suing the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline over agricultural land the company owns in violation of a state law banning large corporations from owning farmland. Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem filed a civil complaint in state district court against Dakota Access LLC, a company formed by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners to build the $3.8 billion pipeline to move North Dakota oil through South Dakota and Iowa to a shipping point in Illinois. The pipeline began operating a year ago.

Alliance releases report from 2018 Animal Rights National Conference

The Animal Agriculture Alliance released a report detailing observations from the Animal Rights National Conference, held June 28 through July 1 in Los Angeles, Ca. The event was organized by the Farm Animal Rights Movement and sponsored by Mercy for Animals, The Save Movement, Compassion Over Killing and The Humane League, along with other animal rights extremist groups.

Colorado oil and gas ballot initiative would bar extraction on more than 80 percent of non-federal land, state regulators say

 More than 4 of every 5 acres of non-federal land in Colorado would be off-limits to new oil and gas drilling if voters this fall approve a proposed ballot measure that aims to significantly widen the distance wells have to be from occupied buildings and water sources, according to an analysis released this month by state energy regulators.The report, which doesn’t directly address the initiative’s potential economic impact, comes at the fever pitch of a yearslong dispute over how and where companies access mineral rights.

Columnists Adam Hinds and SARL President Stephen Kulik: A rural strategy for economic growth

Massachusetts, like the rest of the country, is experiencing growing disparity between rural and urban centers.To reverse this trend, Massachusetts requires a rural strategy for economic growth. We must do more to attract investment that retains and expands existing jobs, stimulates the creation of new jobs and attracts new business and industry in these parts of the commonwealth. Between 2010 and 2017, the nation’s population grew by some 17 million people.

Hundreds rally in support of N.C. hog farmers

The recent award of $25 million in damages to residents who sued a Smithfield hog farm prompted a rally this week in support of hog farmers, and proposals that could restrict such lawsuits are moving through the state legislature. Several hundred people gathered in Duplin County, N.C., to support hog farmers across the state that could become targets of what the protesters called nuisance lawsuits over the disposal of hog waste or other environmental impacts.

Minnesota sweetens the pot to shift cropland into Conservation

New program pays up to 90 percent of land value.Under the program, landowners enroll land in the federal Conservation Reserve Program for 15 years. But they also sign up for the Reinvest in Minnesota program, and agree to a permanent easement, a legal document stipulating the land must always be managed for conservation.The federal program protects land for 10 or 15 years, opening the door for the land to be plowed under again.

Food Stamp Work Requirements Would Force States to Provide Job Training. Many Aren’t Ready

The House version of the food-stamp-to-work program Congress is considering this week would require recipients to enroll in job training programs if they can’t find work — but in many states, those programs won’t be fully available for at least another decade. This will have a big impact on the people who depend on food stamps, some 42 million in 2017. The average beneficiary receives about $125 a month, and a family of four must have an annual income of about $25,000 or less to qualify.

NM Land Commissioner Sues NM State Engineer Over Water Permits

The Land Commissioner is charged with jurisdiction over state trust lands to generate support for public schools and other state institutions.  In the Complaint, filed in the First Judicial District Court, the Commissioner asserts that he has “an interest in the appropriation of water on and off of state trust lands because the use of water in connection with activities on state trust lands often is essential to the lands’ highest and best use.”  The State Engineer is vested with authority to manage the state’s water resources, including issuing permits for groundwater wells.

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