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Category: State Agencies

Miller and Busch receive Horse Council Awards; Governor signs Western MD Sunday Hunting Bills

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch were presented with the Maryland Horse Council’s 2014 Leadership Awards in Annapolis at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. MHC President Jane Seigler and Legislative Committee Chair Steuart Pittman presented the awards in front of over 50 horse people during the Horse Council’s quarterly meeting. The awards were given in appreciation of President Miller’s and Speaker Busch’s leadership in the Maryland General Assembly, and their willingness to give a thoughtful ear and respectful consideration to all of the issues presented to them by Horse Council, most notably in this session the issue of expanded Sunday deer hunting. With the help of senate and house leadership and lobbyist Frank Boston, MHC was successful in defeating efforts that would have increased the number of Sundays for deer hunting in Southern Maryland.  Unfortunately, efforts failed to stop the expansion elsewhere, and yesterday Governor Martin O’Malley signed the two bills authorizing expanded Sunday hunting in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett Counties. While there has been a steady march of additional Sunday deer hunting on private land hither and thither throughout Maryland since 2003, this is the first time Sunday hunting has been expanded to include public lands. Meanwhile, representatives from the Department of Natural Resources continue to insist that these laws will help them control excessive numbers of white-tailed deer, and...

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Protecting the Privacy of Nutrient Management Plans

From the Maryland Farm Bureau On Monday, May 5th the Maryland Court of Appeals heard arguments in the case concerning the release of Nutrient Management plan information that dates back to 2008. Maryland Farm Bureau has been involved in this litigation on behalf of our members in an effort to preserve the intent of the confidentiality provisions of the 1998 Water Quality Improvement Act. The 1998 law was the result of compromise on all sides. Our side compromised by agreeing to bring all farmers under the nutrient management requirement, rather than just target livestock operations, as is the case in other states. In return, the legislature agreed that the program would be regulated by the Maryland Department of Agriculture rather than Environment and that nutrient management plans that are submitted to MDA would be kept confidential. In 2008, the Waterkeeper Alliance filed a Public Information Act request with MDA to gain access to NMPs. Maryland Farm Bureau intervened in court to prevent the release of identifying information. The court ruled that farmer data was confidential. In 2010, the Waterkeeper Alliance filed a follow-up PIA demanding the NMPs and requested the Court hold the Secretary in contempt for not releasing the documents. Farm Bureau went back to court, won a temporary injunction, and argued the finer points of the PIA and NM laws. The Circuit Court and the Court of...

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New Marketing Opportunity for Equine Events

If you organize an equine-related spectator event in Maryland, then you will appreciate the relationship that the Maryland Horse Industry Board has established with the Maryland Office of Tourism. The result of this partnership is a special section on visitmaryland.org for promoting horse events. It is easy to include your event on the site! First go to visitmaryland.org.   Select “Find Events” (see illustration)                     Search on “horse” to narrow the type of events; and then select “Add Events.”           Last step: create an account! (Don’t worry, there is not cost to set up an account.)  After that, enter as many events as you would like!  ...

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