July 18, 2014 Weekly Round Up

This week we have an interesting mix of ag law in the news.

*Augustin Plains Ranch LLC Files Another Water Use Application in New Mexico.  Augustin Plains Ranch LLC has filed another application to drill 37 wells and pipe 17 million gallons of water per year from rural western New Mexico to the Bernalillo County.  A similar proposal was rejected by the State Engineer in 2012 finding it too broad and too vague.  Numerous ranchers, landowners, environmental groups, and irrigation districts opposed the application in 2012–one of the most contested applications in New Mexico history–fearing that if granted the aquifer would be depleted.  [Read article here.]

* Texas Water Exchange Discussed in Article.  The River Report recently published an article on the Texas Water Exchange, a new company focused on trading of groundwater rights in Texas, a company seeking to facilitate water rights trading by individuals on a free-market basis.  [Read article here.]

* How Could the Hobby Lobby Opinion Impact Food Law?  This blog post looks at the impact that the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Burwell v.  Hobby Lobby (which held that a closely-held, for profit coprporation is protected by the RFRA from laws of general applicability that burden religion) might have on food law, including slaughter methods and labeling.  [Read blog post here.]

Photo via Judd Gardner, Combest, Sell & Associates, Washington, DC

*  40,000 New Yorkers Support Horse and Carriage Drivers.  Months after Mayor de Blasio vowed to ban horse-drawn carriages in New York’s Central Park, supporters of the industry collected and delivered 40,000 signatures in favor of the carriages.  [Read article here.]

*  5 Estate Planning Documents Every Young Professional Should Have.  Last week, I shared 5 financial steps for young workers.  This week, the National Law Review published an article outlining 5 estate planning documents that every young professional should have.  The list includes:  (1) durable financial power of attorney; (2) healthcare power of attorney; (3) will; (4) beneficiary designation; and (5) beneficiary deed.  Estate planning is not something that twenty and thirty somethings think about when they first enter the “real world,” but these documents are extremely important and should be considered.  [Read article here.]

Sheep Make Good Landscapers at Solar Farm.  Although not law related, I enjoyed this article on “sheep power” used to landscape around a Texas solar farm.  [Read article here.]

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