Happy Friday to everyone! There were lots of interesting ag law stories in the news this week. Let’s take a look.
* Mexico Complies with Rio Grande Treaty Obligations. You may remember from this prior post the long running dispute between Texas and Mexico regarding water owed to the US under the 1944 Rio Grande Treaty. For several years, Mexico had been behind on the required water delivery. As of January 25, the International Boundary and Water Commission confirmed that Texas had delivered all water owed under the Treaty. [Read article here.]
* New Mexico Passes Right to Farm Amendment. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez signed an amendment to the state’s Right to Farm Act last week. The amendment provides that someone owning, leasing, or occupying neighboring property cannot file a nuisance suit against an agricultural operation unless the operation has changed in both scope and nature. [Read article here.] A full blog post on the Right to Farm Act and this amendment will be up on Monday.
* Lawsuit Filed to Remove Cattle from California Seashore. Last month, environmental groups filed suit over cattle grazing on the Point Reyes National Seashore, north of San Francisco. The lawsuit claims that the cattle are causing erosion, polluting waterways, harming endangered species, and blocking public access to the park. [View Complaint here.] The cattle are owned by 15 families who have grazing leases on about 18,000 acres. These leases go back generations, and the ranchers claim the cattle are an important part of the history of the area. This is not the first time agriculture has been challenged in the park. Most recently, an oyster farm’s lease was revoked. [View article here.]
* Avoiding Common Causes of Family Estate Arguments. Investopedia recently published an article aimed at helping people avoid family fights over an estate. The article lists the following four causes of disputes and offers tips on how to avoid problems. The causes are: uncertainty, giving control of the estate to one person, perceived unfair distributions, and disinheritances. The key, according to the article, is communication! [View article here.]
* Agricultural Lease Programs Scheduled. Lastly, we have finalized dates for a series of agricultural lease workshops in Texas and Oklahoma. These workshops will offer information on grazing, hunting, and livestock leases. We will discuss legal aspects of leasing, landowner liability, what terms should be included in leases, and provide a handbook containing sample checklists and forms for these types of lease agreements. The best part? The programs will be free of charge! Save the date now: Stillwater, OK will be June 1; Ft. Worth, TX will be June 3; and Amarillo, TX will be June 23!