Fed ruling favors farmers

— A Jan. 9 U.S. Supreme Court ruling could detour the right of the federal government to claim protection on isolated wetlands because they are an area for migratory birds.

The ruling stated that the Army Corps of Engineers cannot rely on the "migratory bird rule" to assert jurisdiction over isolated wetlands.

The court sided with the assertion filed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, the North Dakota Farm Bureau and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, saying that the Corps' jurisdiction was without authority under the Clean Water Act.

"The Corps' decision to claim jurisdiction over isolated ponds and wetlands because of a presence of a few migratory birds was clearly an unauthorized, unwarranted expansion of the Clean Water Act," American Farm Bureau Federation President Bob Stallman said in a prepared statement.

He claimed that the ruling will save millions of acres of agricultural land from falling under the Corps' "regulatory thumb."

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