Golf Course Management

SEP 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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36 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 09.14 GCSAA belongs to coalitions in order to amplify its voice at the national level. Coali - tions are usually organized to handle a partic- ular issue, most often the subject of a proposed law or regulation. If there are groups that share positions on an issue, a coalition can be formed. Coalitions are useful for sharing infor - mation, dividing up tasks and sharing the costs of a legislative or regulatory effort. Coalitions can also be very infuential with lawmakers. They show that there is widespread interest in an issue. GCSAA belongs to the National Alliance for Accessible Golf, which brings together peo - ple with and without disabilities. GCSAA is also a member of the Essential Worker Immi - gration Coalition and H-2B Workforce Coa- lition working to push for passage of compre- hensive immigration reform legislation and the preservation of the H-2B visa program. In the area of pesticides, GCSAA belongs to the Pesticide Policy Coalition, whose mis - sion is to ensure the availability of safe, afford- able pest-management tools. PPC supports development and implementation of public policies and laws that use the best available sci - ence and technology in assuring protection of human health and the environment. During 2014, the coalition has been focused on sev - eral issues. Pollinator protection. On June 20, the White House ordered the EPA, USDA and other federal agencies to establish a national strategy on pollinator health over the next 180 days. President Obama's memorandum estab - lished the Pollinator Health Task Force to de- velop the federal government's strategy on un- derstanding, preventing and recovering from pollinator population declines, fostering pub - lic-private partnerships on pollinator health and educating the public on pollinator issues. The president's June 20 memorandum "Creat - ing a Federal Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and other Pollinators" identifes several stressors that are affecting pollinator health, including pathogens, parasites such as the Varroa mite, lack of genetic diversity, poor bee nutrition resulting from shrinking polli - nator habitat, and exposure to pesticides. The memo directs federal agencies, as appropriate, to take immediate steps to support pollinators, including identifcation of existing and new methods and best practices to reduce pollina - tor exposure to pesticides and new cost-effec- tive ways to control bee pests and diseases. Endangered Species Act (ESA) litigation. On June 6, EPA announced a proposed lawsuit set - tlement agreement to reinstitute streamside no- spray buffer zones to protect Pacifc salmon and steelhead in California, Oregon and Washing - ton listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA. This action would implement no- spray buffers of 300 feet for aerial applications and 60 feet for ground applications of carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, malathion and metho - myl that are not part of those products' FIFRA labels. The limitations are in the form of a pro - posed settlement to litigation brought against EPA by the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides and others in the U.S. District Court in Washington. The injunction would remain in place until EPA completes national EPA consultations with the National Marine Fisheries Service. NMFS has agreed to com - plete the consultations by 2018. These dates are intended to correspond with EPA's FIFRA Registration Review schedule for these pesti - cides, and the no-spray buffers would remain in place at least through then. The fve pesti - cides included in the proposed NCAP agree- ment are the frst to undergo nationwide inter- agency consultation under a new consultation process the administration released last year in response to advice from the National Academy of Sciences. The proposed settlement would not change any enforceable label requirements on the affected products at this time, but the eventual consultation between EPA and the NMFS could result in signifcant label changes in the future. "Waters of t e U.S." On March 25, EPA and the Corps of Engineers proposed for public comment a rule to "clarify" several Supreme Court decisions on the defnition of "waters of the U.S." and simplify regulatory determina - tions of what water bodies and other convey- ances are jurisdictional under the Clean Water Strength in numbers (Advocacy) Act. The House Appropriations Committee passed a bill on June 18 prohibiting the Corps from working on the rule. The Western Gov - ernors Association, 46 senators and represen- tatives of Western Caucus states, the Western States Water Council, and numerous others have sent letters to the Administration criticiz - ing the rule, complaining that states as co-reg- ulators have not been consulted, or asking that the rule be withdrawn. Congress continues to question the agency action in numerous hear - ings and letters, and hundreds of lawmakers, spanning both chambers and parties have pub - licly opposed the rule. GCSAA is also opposed to the rule as proposed and will weigh in with public comment alone and in conjunction with PPC by the Oct. 20 deadline. Other issues PPC has monitored and/or ac - tively engaged in during 2014 include pesticide spray drift, pesticide National Pollutant Dis - charge Elimination System permits and Chesa- peake Bay TMDL cleanup. GCSAA will continue to align itself with coalitions that align with its Priority Issues Agenda. Doing so will allow the association to continue to broaden its base of support and stretch resources. There is strength in numbers. Chava McKeel is GCSAA's associate director, government relations. Chava McKeel twitter: @GCSAA GCSAA's partnership with various coalitions gives the association a voice on a national level. Photo by Chava McKeel

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