|Until recently, Steve Kandra owned and farmed much of the land behind him. Near Klamath Falls, OR.|
In between the environmental and political forces are farmers, who must eek out a living in a volatile regulatory environment. Farming is difficult enough (many professionals have likened it to gambling your life saving every year) without additional uncertainty. Many people in urban areas criticize farming interests as subsidized and wealthy. I have no problem with rational subsidies, because I believe a domestic food supply is a national resource, as is the culture and economy that come with it. Which would you rather see, almond trees or gated communities?
In addition: Over the past 5 years I've been following these issues, ALL of the most significant innovations in environmental restoration and water conservation that I've seen were implemented by farmers or ranchers (albeit often in partnership with government agencies or universities). They truly are on the front lines of this issue.