Waters of the US

Quick reminder to landowners, WOTUS (Waters of the US) is a land grab by the Feds. PLEASE comment! Comments are due this month. You can turn in as many as you want. We are hoping for 30,000 comments from WA. The NCBA has a format that makes commenting easy. 
http://cqrcengage.com/beefusa/water

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Wolf Shot in Whitman County

On Sunday, October 12, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) Officers received reports from Whitman County that a wolf had been shot southwest of Pullman. When our officers reached the scene, they determined that the wolf had been shot by a farmer who had pursued the animal for several miles in his vehicle after seeing it near his farm.

The incident occurred west of U.S. Highway 195. This area is in the Eastern Washington recovery zone, where wolves are delisted under federal law but remain listed as endangered under state rule.

WDFW Officers contacted the farmer, and a witness who believed a possible poaching incident had occurred. The shooting does not appear to have been associated with a defense-of-life action, nor did it take place under the statutory authority to shoot and kill a wolf that is caught in the act of attacking livestock in the Eastern Washington recovery zone.

We are actively investigating this incident and are in contact with Whitman County law enforcement officials and the county commissioners. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be sent to the Whitman County Prosecutor’s office for a charging decision.

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Lawsuit against Yakima Valley dairies expands


yakimaherald.com
A lawsuit alleging groundwater pollution by four Lower Valley dairies has expanded potential liability beyond the dairy corporations to related entities and individuals owning property used by the dairies. A federal judge Friday allowed environmentalists to add one individual and several companies as defendants in the case that accuses the dairies of allowing cow manure to contaminate groundwater with nitrates, phosphorus, heavy metals and pharmaceuticals.

The dairies’ attorneys argued that the environmental groups waited too long to add new defendants and risked delaying the trial, but the judge disagreed, according to court documents.

“It is a bit frustrating that plaintiffs – particularly at this late stage of the proceedings – are continuing to make procedural moves that unnecessarily cause delay and increase costs,” Debora Kristensen, the Boise, Idaho, attorney who represents the dairies, said in an emailed response to questions Monday afternoon.

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The Farm Bureau Legal Foundation

The Farm Bureau Legal Foundation is another board that I sit on. It is made up of great people dedicated to the preservation of agriculture. Right now with everything that agriculture is facing, it is a hard job.

Here are a couple of pictures I received from a friend when I spoke at Mid-Year. Pictured with me is Elizabeth Howard, an attorney from Oregon.

Mid-Year Conference

The Mid-Year Conference was excellent. My speech was well received and I had the opportunity to get a picture with my long time mentor, Mary Burke. Mary currently lives in OR but has been my mentor for many years. She was the first, and so far only, female Washington Cattlemen’s President, and is a self taught water historian. Aunt Mary has always encouraged me to pursue my dreams and to become an attorney.

Toni and Mary

Wills and Estate Planning

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Estate planning is for everyone. While most people do not like to think about death, it is a reality and typically unplanned. It is a lot easier on everyone, especially if you have a spouse, children and/or any relatives, if you draw up your own will and testament. I have been posted lots of information on estate planning, they should answer most of your questions. When you are ready to plan your estate give me a call and we will get started.

Laws on Probate in Washington State

Don’t put your head in the sand, get your estate planned.

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Washington law does NOT require a probate proceeding to be filed following death, regardless of whether the Decedent died with or without a Will (ie testate or intestate, respectively).  Probate in Washington is entirely discretionary, and probably only a few percent of deaths in Washington result in a probate being filed.  In Washington, if a probate is filed, it is because someone wants it to be filed, NOT because the law requires it.  By far, the most common reason for probate is that the Decedent died holding:

  1.     Any real property titled in his or her own name, or
  2.    Personal property (usually a cash or securities account) titled in his or her own name whose value exceeds $100,000.
  3.    There are other reasons, but the two listed above are the main ones.

Washington law, however, does require any last Will of a Washington resident Decedent to be filed promptly following death.  RCW 11.20.010 requires any person having the custody or control of any will to file said will within thirty days after he or she shall have received knowledge of the death of the testator.

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