WASHINGTON -- The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) has released a new guide to water quality that will aid cattle producers as they work to protect and maintain the clean water on their family farms and ranches, NCBA said.
The Cattleman's Information Guide to Water Quality encourages cattle producers to get even more involved with water quality management on their operations, within their watersheds, and in the policy formation and legal arenas. The guide was released at the Cattle Industry Annual Convention held last week in Charlotte, N.C. and is part of a larger effort by NCBA to develop a voluntary environmental enhancement program for cattle producers.
"Environmental guidelines for water quality protection must be established at the most local level possible in order to recognize the uniqueness of resource sites," said Brice Lee, a cattle producer from Hesperus, Colo. and a vice- chairman of the NCBA Property Rights and Environmental Management Committee.
The diversity of range and pasture resources and types of livestock operations in the United States make it impossible to set specific standards and specifications for water quality management at the national, regional, or even state level, Lee said.
The guide is an information resource for producers so they can tailor water quality management to their own needs in order to best protect water resources.
"Cattlemen, as land and resource managers, are in the best position to determine how to manage to meet the required goals and standards set by laws and regulations," Lee said. "Understanding of water quality issues is vitally important to address the growing national emphasis on the control and reduction of both point-source and nonpoint sources of pollution."
The guide also provides information on water quality policies and laws, and it lists resources for technical, financial, and legal assistance.
A grant from the Environmental Protection Agency partially supported the preparation and publication of the guide. It is available on the beef.org website in the reference area of the policy section at http://hill.beef.org/_cgwq/intro.htm.
The National Cattlemen's Beef Association is the marketing organization and trade association for America's one million cattle farmers and ranchers. With offices in Denver, Chicago, and Washington, D.C., NCBA is a consumer-focused, producer-directed organization representing the largest segment of the nation's food and fiber industry.
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