By Sarah Fielder
Circuit Court Strikes Down Montgomery County Pesticide Ban Late last week, the Circuit Court in Montgomery County struck down the county’s ban on cosmetic uses of pesticides on lawns. The judge saw the ban as conflicting with existing federal and state laws meant to regulate pesticide uses. The ban did not impact farms, golf courses, or gardens and did not ban the sale of any pesticides in the county. The county is looking at its options to appeal the ruling. To read more about the ruling, click here http://wapo.st/2vbx8LW.
Tax Court Rules Landowner Not a Qualified Farmer The U.S. Tax Court ruled this week two brothers both farming in Maryland and Delaware could not deduct 100% of a charitable donation of a conservation easement on a farm. The tax code only allows qualified farmers to deduct 100% of a charitable donation of a conservation easement in the year it is donated if the landowner qualifies as a qualified farmer, or one that gets 50% of gross income from farming. In this case, the brothers sold the farmer shortly after donating the easement and the tax court counted that income as non-farm income making them ineligible for the donation. To read more about the ruling, click here http://bit.ly/2vg7DHP.
New Toxic Waste Fear: Illegal Pot Farms Reuters published an interesting article looking at the amount of toxic waste found in illegal pot farms in California. The fields contained banned or restricted pesticides and is becoming a large problem in federal and state owned forests. To read more about this problem, click here http://reut.rs/2wCnbW0.
TPP Pull Out Angers Rural America Politico Magazine published an article this week focused on rural America’s reaction to the Trump administration’s pullout of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The story focuses on the potential markets that agricultural producers could be shut out of and the lost trade with developing markets. To read the article, click here http://politi.co/2vhXfj2.
Disney Pays at Least $177 Million to Settle “Pink Slime” Lawsuit According to Disney’s most recent quarterly report, Disney paid at least $177 million to settle the defamation case filed against ABC News by BPI for alleged defamation. The lawsuit stemmed from a report ABC News on BPI by using the term “pink slime” and other errors and omissions in reporting. To read more about this settlement, see here http://reut.rs/2vpwg54.
Penalty Phase of Duarte To Start Next Week Next week, a trial will begin in federal district court in California to determine the penalty for a nursery owner accused of destroying wetlands covered by the Clean Water Act. The case has gained national attention with even the Secretary of Agriculture recently making comments on it. To learn more about the upcoming trial, see a recent story on Agri-Pulse, http://bit.ly/2usAJmf
Understanding Hunting Liability and Resources Webinar: On August 17th ALEI will be hosting a webinar on hunting liability. With hunting season around the corner many landowners may be preparing to allow friends and family to hunt or charging third parties to hunt. However, before letting others hunt on your land it is important to fully understand hunting liability and what steps to take to reduce exposure to liability. The webinar will feature recent changes to Maryland law pertaining to landowner liability for hunting. To register please visit: https://go.umd.edu/cvh.