by Cate Moore on July 11, 2016

The EPA WOTUS Rule is still hung up in the Sixth Circuit, but even if the Court ultimately rules against the EPA, they won’t give up seeking to put themselves in the middle of anything you do on your land.

How are we to defend ourselves?

We have just created a toolkit of legal cases to reference if you run into problems with the EPA over your land.  Check it out.



Federal Assistance for Biomass is Back

by Cate Moore on June 16, 2015

Release No. 0159.15
Isabel Benemelis (202)720-7809
USDA Announces Restart of Biomass Crop Assistance Program for Renewable Energy
WASHINGTON, June 1, 2015 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced that incentives will resume this summer for farmers, ranchers and forest landowners interested in growing and harvesting biomass for renewable energy. The support comes through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), which was reauthorized by the 2014 Farm Bill. BCAP provides financial assistance to establish and maintain new crops of energy biomass, or who harvest and deliver forest or agricultural residues to a qualifying energy facility.

Financial assistance is available through BCAP for costs associated with harvesting and transporting agriculture or forest residues to facilities that convert biomass crops into energy. Eligible crops may include corn residue, diseased or insect infested wood materials, or orchard waste. The energy facility must first be approved by USDA to accept the biomass crop. Facilities can apply for, or renew, their BCAP qualification status beginning today. $11.5 million of federal funds will be allocated to support the delivery of biomass materials through December 2015. Last year, more than 200,000 tons of dead or diseased trees from National Forests and Bureau of Land Management lands were removed and used to produce renewable energy, while reducing the risk of forest fire. Nineteen energy facilities in 10 states participated in the program.

Farmers, ranchers and forest landowners can also receive financial assistance to grow biomass crops that will be converted into energy in selected BCAP project areas. New BCAP project area proposals will be solicited beginning this summer and accepted through fall 2015, with new project area announcements and enrollments taking place in early spring 2016. The extended proposal submission period allows project sponsors time to complete any needed environmental assessments and allows producers enough lead time to make informed decisions on whether or not to pursue the BCAP project area enrollment opportunity. This fiscal year USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will allocate up to $8 million for producer enrollment to expand and enhance existing BCAP project areas. Additionally, in accordance with the 2014 Farm Bill, underserved farmers are eligible for a higher establishment cost share. BCAP projects have supported over 50,000 acres across 74 counties in 11 different project areas.

BCAP was made possible by the 2014 Farm Bill, which builds on historic economic gains in rural America over the past six years, while achieving meaningful reform and billions of dollars in savings for taxpayers. Since enactment, USDA has made significant progress to implement each provision of this critical legislation, including providing disaster relief to farmers and ranchers; strengthening risk management tools; expanding access to rural credit; funding critical research; establishing innovative public-private conservation partnerships; developing new markets for rural-made products; and investing in infrastructure, housing, and community facilities to help improve quality of life in rural America. For more information, visit  www.usda.gov/farmbill.


USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410 or call (866) 632-9992 (Toll-free Customer Service), (800) 877-8339 (Local or Federal relay), (866) 377-8642 (Relay voice users).


Environmentalists must show direct harm to sue

by Cate Moore on February 3, 2015

Summers v Earth Island Institute – a case for forestry’s legal toolkit

In a September 2009 PLF newsletter, PLF summarizes the case as follows:

“The court restricted environmental organizations from challenging forest cleanup plans when the environmentalists cannot show they suffered direct harm.  Said PLF Litigation Director Jim Burling: This ruling makes it harder for environmental groups with an ideological agenda to block responsible forest-management plans to clear away dead and rotting timber.”



Can you be fined for violating an unrecorded easement? Breinig v. Martin County

November 10, 2014

Pacific Legal Foundation has taken on a Florida case that asks the question: is an unrecorded conservation easement enforceable? Robert and Anita Breinig own the Flash Beach Grille in Martin County, Florida.  Unknown to them, a previous owner had set aside a portion of the property under a conservation easement to obtain a county permit. […]

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Succession Planning Part 4: Succession, California Style, or How Prop 13 Affects Everything

October 23, 2014

When people work on their succession planning, estate taxes loom large in their minds.  We all worry that paying the estate tax will break the business and try to plan accordingly.  This may be the least of our problems, at least in California.  An estate tax is a one-time deal; but a change in property […]

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Upcoming Events

October 16, 2014

The calendar now has three new events: Monterey Air Board Prescribed Burn Workshop – October 22, 2014 10:30 am to 1:00 pm Air District Office 24580 Silver Cloud Court Monterey, CA 93940 Exotic Phytophthora Sepcies in Native Plant Nurseries, Restoration Plantings and Wildlands – December 2, 2014 8:30 am-4:30 pm Location: Log Cabin, 1299 Storey Ave, […]

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New Plant Disease Found in California Nurseries Affects Native Plants

October 10, 2014

Phytophthora tentaculata is a plant pathogen that causes root and stalk rot.  It was first isolated in Germany and was thought to be restricted to Europe, but it was found in a Monterey County nursery in 2012 (http://apsjournals.apsnet.org/doi/abs/10.1094/PDIS-09-13-1002-PDN) and has since been found in nursery stock in Alameda, Butte, Placer and Santa Cruz Counties and […]

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Obtaining Redwood Seedlings

October 9, 2014

There was a time when tree seedlings could be obtained from state-run nurseries.  State budget difficulties led to the closure of the nurseries and forestry has been forced to seek other solutions. If you are looking for seedlings for coastal ecosystems, check with the Green Diamond Nursery in Korbel.  Contact the nursery manager, Glen Lahar, […]

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Succession Part 3: Assembling a Rough Inventory of Your Possessions

August 12, 2014

We’re finally getting into the nuts and bolts of succession planning.  One of the first concrete steps you need to take is to get a handle on what you own and what it’s worth.  This inventory includes all of your possessions, not just your land.  Successful strategies depend on knowing what your assets are and […]

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Prospects in Federal Tax Legislation

June 16, 2014

CCFA has more than enough work to do keeping up with California state legislation, but that does not mean that the federal arena can be neglected. There has been a lot of rumbling recently about reforming taxes.  Several of the forestry associations (Forest Landowners Association, American Forest Foundation) who do track federal legislation have been […]

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