Management Practices for Agricultural Nonpoint Sources - Best Management Practices misleading, subjective

(Note: This is textbook point/counterpoint language deception, using the 'conflict management' approach that leaves the reader scratching his head and saying, 'What'd they say???' That's the point: if you don't know what they said -- and their deliberate confusing verbiage and rambling discourse fulfills that intent -- how can you dispute it? Please, read with care! 'Outreach agents' are change agents, nothing more. Their agenda is not to cherish farming and farmers, but their name sounds innocent. It isn't.)

For many pollutants, a number of generally effective management practices (termed best management practices or BMPs) for addressing agricultural nonpoint sources have been developed.

Many of these "BMPs" are now incorporated into the technological baseline of modern American agriculture and are so broadly implemented that they are taken for granted by the public as part of the agricultural landscape.

These include basic measures for soil and water conservation, pesticide and nutrient application, handling of livestock wastes, and grazing management.

Additional BMPs beyond this baseline are also used to varying degrees by growers, ranchers and forest landowners in the watersheds draining to the Sanctuary.

The term "BMP" is misleading, however.

It cannot be said that any so-called BMP will be the most effective option in any particular circumstance.

Experience, professional judgment, and experimentation are always required for the successful implementation of appropriate pollution controls on a site-specific basis.

For this reason, the term "management practices" is generally used in this document rather than BMP.

Such generally effective "Best Management Practices" are described in detail in a variety of other documents resulting from a wide range of research, management studies and plans.

These include the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the California Coastal Commission's Management Measures to Address Sources of Nonpoint Pollution affecting California Waters, the NRCS Field Office Technical Guide, Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and UCCE publications, and the watershed-specific plans cited in the bibliography.

Examples of these agricultural practices discussed in this document are not meant to imply that a prescriptive menu of "one size fits all" preferred practices be established for the watersheds draining to the Sanctuary.

Identification of the most appropriate controls for site- and crop-specific conditions is best made by the landowner/operator relying on technical sources of expertise such as NRCS, UCCE, Agricultural Commissioners, private professional consultants, private agricultural industry associations, and local outreach agents such as the Resource Conservation Districts (RCDs) and Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF).

The WQPP recognizes the importance of supporting the continued evolution of improved agricultural management practices through public and private initiatives, utilizing economically sound adaptive management practices.