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» September 30, 2005 «
Calling it a "historic step," the state's largest farm organization praised a congressional vote to modernize the federal Endangered Species Act. The House of Representatives approved the bill yesterday (Thursday). California Farm Bureau President Bill Pauli says the bill will protect species while it benefits private landowners, by making partners of landowners who want to help species recover. The bill now goes to the Senate.
A Southern California wildfire scorched a poultry farm and killed an estimated 80,000 chickens. The fire started near the ranch, in San Timoteo Canyon near Moreno Valley, and damaged three chicken barns. Cause of the fire is not yet known. Firefighters said the fire was about 25 percent contained as of late yesterday. It has burned 1,300 acres.
An infamous agricultural pest, the Mediterranean fruit fly, has been found in a Southern California residential area. Authorities say two mated female Medflies were trapped in Rancho Cucamonga last week. California Department of Food and Agriculture officials say they will establish a quarantine zone governing fruit movement from the area. The location is north of Ontario International Airport, in an area with no commercial farms nearby.
A pest never before found in California has turned up in Newport Beach. The "diaprepes root weevil" feeds on the leaves and roots of some 270 different plant species. The weevil originates in Caribbean countries and has also infested Florida and one location in Texas. About 15 of the weevils have been found in Orange County. A scientific panel will advise state authorities about how to battle the new pest.
On the Calendar:
Loomis hosts its annual Eggplant Festival tomorrow (Saturday), Manteca hosts a Pumpkin Fair, there's a Harvest Festival in Elk Grove, and locally grown food is the focus of the annual Hoes Down Harvest Celebration in the Capay Valley.