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AUTHENTICATED 
U.S. GOVERNMENT 
INFORMATION ^ 


MORMON CRICKET INFESTA- 
TION IN THE GREAT BASIN OF 
THE UNITED STATES 


OVERSIGHT HEARING 

BEFORE THE 

SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, RECREATION, 
AND PUBLIC LANDS 

OF THE 

COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES 
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

ONE HUNDRED SEVENTH CONGRESS 

FIRST SESSION 
July 19, 2001 


Serial No. 107-51 


Printed for the use of the Committee on Resources 



Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/house 

or 

Committee address: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov 


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COMMITTEE ON RESOURCES 

JAMES V. HANSEN, Utah, Chairman 
NICK J. RAHALL II, West Virginia, Ranking Democrat Member 


Don Young, Alaska, 

Vice Chairman 

W.J. “Billy” Tauzin, Louisiana 

Jim Saxton, New Jersey 

Elton Gallegly, California 

John J. Duncan, Jr., Tennessee 

Joel Hefley, Colorado 

Wayne T. Gilchrest, Maryland 

Ken Calvert, California 

Scott Mclnnis, Colorado 

Richard W. Pombo, California 

Barbara Cubin, Wyoming 

George Radanovich, California 

Walter B. Jones, Jr., North Carolina 

Mac Thornberry, Texas 

Chris Cannon, Utah 

John E. Peterson, Pennsylvania 

Bob Schaffer, Colorado 

Jim Gibbons, Nevada 

Mark E. Souder, Indiana 

Greg Walden, Oregon 

Michael K. Simpson, Idaho 

Thomas G. Tancredo, Colorado 

J.D. Hayworth, Arizona 

C.L. “Butch” Otter, Idaho 

Tom Osborne, Nebraska 

Jeff Flake, Arizona 

Dennis R. Rehberg, Montana 


George Miller, California 

Edward J. Markey, Massachusetts 

Dale E. Kildee, Michigan 

Peter A. DeFazio, Oregon 

Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, American Samoa 

Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii 

Solomon P. Ortiz, Texas 

Frank Pallone, Jr., New Jersey 

Calvin M. Dooley, California 

Robert A. Underwood, Guam 

Adam Smith, Washington 

Donna M. Christensen, Virgin Islands 

Ron Kind, Wisconsin 

Jay Inslee, Washington 

Grace F. Napolitano, California 

Tom Udall, New Mexico 

Mark Udall, Colorado 

Rush D. Holt, New Jersey 

James P. McGovern, Massachusetts 

Anibal Acevedo-Vila, Puerto Rico 

Hilda L. Solis, California 

Brad Carson, Oklahoma 

Betty McCollum, Minnesota 


Allen D. Freemyer, Chief of Staff 
Lisa Pittman, Chief Counsel 
Michael S. Twinchek, Chief Clerk 
James H. Zoia, Democrat Staff Director 
Jeff Petrich, Democrat Chief Counsel 


SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, RECREATION, 
AND PUBLIC LANDS 

JOEL HEFLEY, Colorado, Chairman 
DONNA M. CHRISTENSEN, Virgin Islands Ranking Democrat Member 


Elton Gallegly, California 
John J. Duncan, Jr., Tennessee 
Wayne T. Gilchrest, Maryland 
George Radanovich, California 
Walter B. Jones, Jr., North Carolina, 
Vice Chairman 
Mac Thornberry, Texas 
Chris Cannon, Utah 
Bob Schaffer, Colorado 
Jim Gibbons, Nevada 
Mark E. Souder, Indiana 
Michael K. Simpson, Idaho 
Thomas G. Tancredo, Colorado 


Dale E. Kildee, Michigan 

Eni F.H. Faleomavaega, American Samoa 

Frank Pallone, Jr., New Jersey 

Tom Udall, New Mexico 

Mark Udall, Colorado 

Rush D. Holt, New Jersey 

James P. McGovern, Massachusetts 

Anibal Acevedo-Vila, Puerto Rico 

Hilda L. Solis, California 

Betty McCollum, Minnesota 


(II) 



CONTENTS 


Page 

Hearing held on July 19, 2001 1 

Statement of Members: 

Bennett, Hon. Robert, a United States Senator from the State of Utah 6 

Prepared statement of 8 

Cannon, Hon. Chris, a Representative in Congress from the State of 

Utah, Prepared statement of 40 

Christensen, Hon. Donna M., a Delegate in Congress from the Virgin 

Islands 4 

Gibbons, Hon. Jim, a Representative in Congress from the State of 

Nevada 5 

Gilchrest, Hon. Wayne T., a Representative in Congress from the State 

of Maryland 6 

Hansen, Hon. James V., a Representative in Congress from the State 

of Utah 1 

Prepared statement of 3 

Hefley, Hon. Joel, a Representative in Congress from the State of 

Colorado 3 

Prepared statement of 4 

Statement of Witnesses: 

Anderson, Hon. Michael, Mayor, Oak City, Utah 26 

Prepared statement of 27 

Dunkle, Dr. Richard, Deputy Administrator for Plant Protection and 
Quarantine, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, U.S. 

Department of Agriculture, Washington, DC 14 

Prepared statement of 16 

Hatfield, Nina Rose, Acting Director, Bureau of Land Management, U.S. 

Department of the Interior, Washington, DC 12 

Prepared statement of 13 

Johnson, Darrell, Rancher, Tooele County, State of Utah 32 

Prepared statement of 33 

Peterson, Carey, Commissioner, Utah Department of Agriculture and 

Food, State of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 18 

Prepared statement of 19 


(III) 




OVERSIGHT HEARING ON MORMON CRICKET 
INFESTATION IN THE GREAT BASIN OF THE 
UNITED STATES 


Thursday, July 19, 2001 
U.S. House of Representatives 

Subcommittee on National Parks, Recreation, and Public Lands 
Committee on Resources 
Washington, DC 


The Subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:04 a.m., in 
Room 1334, Longworth House Office Building, Hon. Joel Hefley, 
[Chairman of the Subcommittee] presiding. 

Mr. Hefley. The Committee will come to order. 

As you just heard, we have a vote on now. I would like to forego 
the opening statement at this point and let Mr. Hansen go because 
he has some other commitments, and I am not sure he will be able 
to get back to this. 

Mr. Hansen, if you would like to do that, we will try to get — I 
hesitate to use the expression “get you out of the way.” 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Hefley. But we will get you out of the way, and then we 
will suspend and go vote and come back. 

STATEMENT OF HON. JAMES V. HANSEN, A REPRESENTATIVE 
IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF UTAH 

The Chairman. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I really appreciate 
this opportunity because I have some other commitments, and this 
is a very important piece of legislation. I don’t think the people in 
the East recognize the problems we have out in the West at this 
particular time. You know, years ago when the pioneers first came 
to the valley, they proposed the same, wipe them out, these crickets 
that we have in front of us. Fortunately, the people then were very 
conservative, and worked a lot harder and knew what they were 
supposed to do. But my friend Mr. Johnson here tells me they are 
finally resurrecting their calling, and they are doing a little better 
out in his area in Skull Valley. I think that is very important be- 
cause, you see, the Mormon cricket is kind of an ugly thing. 

Mr. Chairman, I know there are going to be a lot of facts and 
statistics brought out today regarding what they are doing, but let 
me make the point that probably has been made, and that is the 
analogy between this and payment in lieu of taxes. 

(l) 



2 


The Federal Government owns a big share of Utah. They have 
the Forest Service. They have the BLM. They have reclamation. 
They have Indian tribes. They have military reservations. And 
years ago, they said, look, if we are going to live out there, we have 
got to pay our share, and our share for living there is so much 
money. So they came up with payment in lieu of taxes. Folks sit- 
ting here from Nevada and Colorado and Utah agree, if you are 
going to live there, you have got to pay your share. People come 
out and they use that ground and they recreate on it, they start 
fires, they litter, and if they break a leg, our people have to pick 
them up. But here in our counties, here they are sitting there with 
a minor, minor tax base. But the Federal Government hasn’t been 
paying their share. Instead of paying that 25 cents an acre that 
they are supposed to pay, they just kind of ignored it. We have au- 
thorized it, and somehow we can’t get the money appropriated. 

Well, I have an analogy here where we have got our people in 
the State, Director of Agriculture Cary Peterson is with us and Mr. 
Wallentine from the Farm Bureau with us, we have ranchers with 
us and other people, mayors with us who are going to testify. But 
I am talking more about Federal people here. Your share on this 
one is these crickets come up right next to our State and our pri- 
vate property, and leave the Federal area and come over and ruin 
everything we have got, as well as what you have got. So it just 
seems to me that it is only fair that the Feds pay their share on 
this one, also. It is part of their problem. They helped create it. 
Someone has got to move in and take care of this. We could wipe 
out agriculture in some of our areas if we are not up to taking care 
of this particular issue. 

Up in the northern end of the State, I was talking to a rancher 
up there, and he said they were even eating the stucco off of his 
house. It is like one of these movies that you see where these 
things come in and they just take over an entire area and you can’t 
do much about it. So it is a problem of strain. It is a problem of 
predators, whatever you can use to take care of this thing. 

I really appreciate, Mr. Chairman, you holding this meeting. I 
think it is something that many of our Eastern friends don’t real- 
ize. The enormity of it, the problems that we have are things they 
don’t consider, and I would hope that we can take care of some of 
these things to stop this invasion, which I guess is the worst we 
have had in a while, in 60, 70 years. It is a very serious problem, 
and it is going to require something to wipe this out in this part 
of the century. 

Now, we sit in these hearings. We hear it from Florida. We hear 
it from the Midwest. We hear it from other areas. Everyone has got 
a problem and we react. It is about time we react to our friends 
out in the Western areas of the States that many of us sitting here 
are living in. 

I appreciate the opportunity to be here, and I would ask unani- 
mous consent that my written statement, whatever it says, be put 
in the record. 

Mr. Hefley. Without objection, and, Mr. Hansen, one thing you 
left out. I understand they taste like chicken. 

Is that true? 

[Laughter.] 



3 


The Chairman. If you would like to eat one, there is a live one 
back here, and you can report to the full Committee. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Hansen follows:] 

Statement of The Honorable James V. Hansen, Chairman, Committee on 

Resources 

I am very pleased that Mr. Hefley has agreed to hold this oversight hearing on 
behalf of the farmers and ranchers in Utah and throughout the Great Basin states 
that are dealing with the devastating outbreaks of Mormon Crickets and Grass- 
hoppers. This outbreak, now under Declaration of Emergency by the Governor of 
Utah, is considered to be the worst in over 60 years, spreading to over 1.5 million 
acres in Utah alone. These insects, who breed undisturbed and untreated on the 
vast tracts of BLM and Forest Service land and then spread to neighboring state 
and private land, are devouring the crops and rangeland to the tune of what is ex- 
pected to be at least $25 million dollars worth of damage. I believe where the fed- 
eral government owns land it has an obligation to take care of it and to ensure that 
it does not have a negative impact upon its neighbor’s land. I understand that we 
will hear today from our State Agriculture Commissioner Cary Peterson, Mayor An- 
derson of Oak City, and Darrell Johnson, a fifth generation rancher from Rush Val- 
ley regarding the very real impact of these infestations. I am pleased to have them 
here and look forward to hearing their testimony. I know timely and adequate fund- 
ing has been a continual issue of concern for us as we have tried to fight these crick- 
ets over the last couple of years and I remain committed to working with the appro- 
priate committees and the Departments of Agriculture and Interior to secure fund- 
ing. 


Mr. Hefley. The Committee will stand in recess while we go 
vote, and we will come right back. 

[Recess.] 

Mr. Hefley. The Committee will come back to order. 

I have just been reminded that this is the first in a series of 
seven hearings on biblical pestilence. We are starting with crickets. 
We are going to do frogs for my friend down here, and we are going 
to work through the seven. 

We want to welcome everybody to the oversight hearing. We do 
have a number of witnesses today, so I will try to keep my opening 
remarks brief. 

STATEMENT OF HON. JOEL HEFLEY, A REPRESENTATIVE IN 
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF COLORADO 

Mr. Hefley. We are going to focus on an incredible and disas- 
trous infestation of Mormon crickets and other destructive grass- 
hoppers that have literally taken over many parts of the West this 
year. Mormon crickets have long been part of the Great Basin area 
and have been a nuisance to agriculture-related activities for much 
of that time. As the crickets’ natural population cycle has fluc- 
tuated, so has their impact. The Animal and Plant Health Inspec- 
tion Service has historically been responsible for conducting a num- 
ber of activities like insect population surveys, implementing coop- 
erative programs, preparing cost-share agreements, and obtaining 
sufficient pesticides and pesticide delivery equipment to control in- 
sect outbreaks on public lands. 

Until 1994, treatment of Mormon crickets was a line item in the 
agriculture appropriations bill through which APHIS received fund- 
ing. However, because the grasshopper infestations were less se- 
vere during the early 1990’s, appropriations were reduced and the 
program was no longer funded. Someone must have told the grass- 
hoppers that the appropriations were stopped because they have 



4 


reached epidemic proportions in the last few years as the money 
to control them has been eliminated. 

We are meeting today to learn more about this problem and to 
learn what steps need to be taken to assure that this type of infes- 
tation is not allowed to occur next year and in years to come. 

I want to thank Chairman Hansen for bringing this issue to the 
Committee’s attention and for pushing for this hearing today. 

I also would like to thank all the witnesses for coming today, es- 
pecially those who had long distances to travel, and I look forward 
to their testimony. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Hefley follows:] 

Statement of The Honorable Joel Hefley, Chairman, Subcommittee on 
National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands 

Good morning everyone and welcome to the oversight hearing. We have many wit- 
nesses testifying today so my opening remarks will be brief. 

The hearing today will focus on the incredible and disastrous infestation of Mor- 
mon crickets and other destructive grasshoppers that have literally taken over many 
parts of the west this year. 

Mormon crickets have long been a part of the Great Basin area and have been 
a nuisance to agriculturally related activities for much of that time. As the crickets” 
natural population cycle has fluctuated, so has their impact. The Animal and Plant 
Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has historically been responsible for conducting 
a number of activities like insect population surveys, implementing cooperative pro- 
grams, preparing cost-share agreements, and obtaining sufficient pesticides and pes- 
ticide delivery equipment to control insect outbreaks on Public Lands. 

Until 1994, treatment of Mormon crickets was a line item in the Agriculture Ap- 
propriations bill through which APHIS received funding. However, because the 
grasshopper infestations were less severe during the early 1990’s, appropriations 
were reduced and the program was no longer funded. Someone must have told the 
grasshoppers that the appropriations were stopped because they have reached epi- 
demic proportions the last few years as the money to control them has been elimi- 
nated. 

We are meeting today to learn more about this problem and to learn what steps 
need to be taken to ensure that this type of infestation is not allowed to occur next 
year or in years to come. 

I want to thank Chairman Hansen for bringing this issue to the Committee’s at- 
tention and for being here with us today. I would also like to thank all of our wit- 
nesses for coming today as well, especially those who had long distances to travel 
and I look forward to their testimony. 


Mr. Hefley. At this time, I would like to ask unanimous consent 
that Senator Bennett be permitted to sit on the dais following his 
statement if he would like to. Without objection, so ordered. 

Now I yield to our ranking member, Mrs. Christensen. 

STATEMENT OF HON. DONNA M. CHRISTIAN-CHRISTENSEN, A 
DELEGATE IN CONGRESS FROM THE VIRGIN ISLANDS 

Mrs. Christensen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am going to be 
brief today so that we can hear the testimony regarding the serious 
problem that is plaguing many of our Western States. 

For those who live in urban areas or whose livelihood is not de- 
pendent on agriculture or ranching, it is easy to underestimate the 
threat posed by pests like the Mormon cricket. However, for West- 
ern farmers and ranchers, this and other species of grasshoppers 
can be a devastating problem. Mormon crickets feed on more than 
400 species of plants and can destroy millions of acres of crops dur- 
ing a serious infestation. Such destruction can bankrupt farmers 
and destroy rangeland used for cattle grazing. Clearly, given the 



5 


amount of federally owned land in the West, any strategy to com- 
bat these pests must involve cooperation between the public and 
the private land managers. In addition, Federal funding allocated 
to address this problem must be adequate. 

I want to also welcome those who have come to testify today, and 
I look forward to hearing your testimony. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Hefley. Mr. Gibbons, did you have a statement? 

STATEMENT OF HON. JIM GIBBONS, A REPRESENTATIVE IN 
CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF NEVADA 

Mr. Gibbons. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. 

Representing the 2nd Congressional District of Nevada, which is 
99.8 percent of the State, an area of about 110,000 square miles 
directly adjacent to the State of Utah, this infestation of Mormon 
crickets affects Nevada as well. And we have it all across the 
northern part of Nevada, from north of Reno and the Red Rock 
area in Washoe County all the way through Elko and Elko County, 
which abuts up to Utah. 

The State of Nevada, of course, relies heavily on the Federal 
Government inasmuch as that 90 percent of the State of Nevada 
is federally managed. In addition to that, the State director of the 
Bureau of Land Management indicated to me in a conversation 
that the amount of money that he has to address this problem is 
about $66,000. Now, $66,000, Mr. Chairman, is woefully inad- 
equate to cover 110,000 square miles of area. 

Many times we have heard over the course of our discussions in 
this Committee the sensitivity that this Committee has to species 
of animals that roam freely in the West, including the wild horse, 
in addition to cattle grazing and crop farming that we have also 
become acutely aware of the impact. 

But when you look at the ecosystem for a lot of wild species of 
animals that we pride ourselves in and treasure, this insect is 
going to have a devastating impact on those animals. 

What frightens me on the far end of the spectrum, Mr. Chair- 
man, is the fact that we don’t want to go to the extreme of making 
this insect an endangered insect species. But we do need to get it 
under control. As you will be able to tell from some of these photo- 
graphs here, it not only is a nuisance but it is a danger — a danger 
to the ecosystem for a lot of our wildlife, a lot of our farm produc- 
tion and ranch production in the State of Nevada. We depend, as 
I said earlier, that the Federal Government have — on the re- 
sources. The State of Nevada depends on the Federal Government 
as well for programs and assistance to address this, and we cer- 
tainly hope that this Committee and the members of this Com- 
mittee will see to it that we handle this in the same fashion as we 
would a crisis of the magnitude that affects other areas of this 
country, whether it is a hurricane in the Southeast affecting farm- 
ers in the Southeast or fires that we have out West, or in the South 
this year due to drought systems. 

This insect is creating a serious problem, and I would hope that 
this Committee and the people who are going to address this issue 
understand the fact that we are seriously interested in finding a 



6 


solution, and maybe we can direct our Federal Government to pro- 
viding the necessary resources to help out. 

I thank the Chairman. 

Mr. Hefley. Any other Committee member who has a statement 
they would like to make? 

STATEMENT OF HON. WAYNE T. GILCHREST, A REPRESENTA- 
TIVE IN CONGRESS FROM THE STATE OF MARYLAND 

Mr. Gilchrest. I recognize the seriousness of the problem, and 
I appreciate the statement of the gentleman from Nevada, Mr. Gib- 
bons. 

Before I came here, Mr. Chairman, I was a school teacher, and 
I always teach a unit on American Indians. And American Indians, 
when their food source ran low, would eat grasshoppers. I don’t 
know if they were Mormon crickets, but I guess maybe if they were 
out in that region — and we found out that crickets and grass- 
hoppers ounce for ounce have 10 times the amount of protein as 
beef. While not recommending a new change in agriculture for a 
food source — and they don’t taste very good, either, so that prob- 
ably wouldn’t catch on. But I hope we can find out from this hear- 
ing that there are things that we can do in a reasonable way to 
protect the livelihood of people in the West and manage this eco- 
system with some appropriateness and scientific understanding of 
how it all works. 

I yield back. Thank you. 

Mr. Hefley. Senator Bennett will be our first panel. Senator, we 
had a discussion with Congressman Hansen before you arrived as 
to whether or not they taste like chicken. Maybe you can help clear 
that up for us in light of what Mr. Gilchrest has just suggested 
that you do out there, that you raise them as a crop rather than 
try to get rid of them. 

Senator Bennett? 

STATEMENT OF HON. ROBERT BENNETT, A UNITED STATES 
SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF UTAH 

Senator Bennett. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I can- 
not from personal experience give you any testimony with respect 
to the taste or nutrients of — 

Mr. Hefley. Well, what good are you then? 

[Laughter.] 

Senator Bennett. I can share with you a story that came from 
one of my colleagues, and I hope this will demonstrate that I am 
of some value. 

We were debating an issue and I shall not disclose which issue 
it was, but one of my colleagues, Senator Lauch Faircloth, from 
North Carolina, who is very well known for his somewhat salty vo- 
cabulary, described this particular bill. He says, “It is just like a 
June bug.” He says, “When you are driving down the street on a 
motorcycle and your mouth is open and the June bug flies in your 
mouth, you just swallow it and keep on going. But if you take that 
sucker home and put it in a Mason jar and look at it for a couple 
of weeks, there is no way in the world you can get it down.” 

Now, he was talking about a particular bill, which he said that 
the more we looked at it, the uglier it became. But I think that par- 



7 


ticular metaphor would apply to someone who would be attempting 
to make a meal out of Mormon crickets. They are about the size 
of my thumb. They are not small insects. And they climb up stocks 
of wheat — yes, you have one there, good. They climb up stocks of 
wheat, bite off the head, which causes the wheat to fall, and thus 
makes it a little more efficient in the way they can devastate crops 
than just staying there and eating them themselves. They can go 
through in a true carpet of devastation and wipe out crops with in- 
credible and frightening efficiency. 

I appreciate your holding the hearing this morning to talk about 
this because it is a crisis that the people of Utah are facing, and 
it has significant implications for large portions of the State. 

I would like to thank right up front Mayor Anderson of Oak City 
and Darrell Johnson of Rush Valley and Utah’s Commissioner of 
Agriculture, Cary Peterson, who will be appearing on subsequent 
panels. I want to thank them for coming all the way to Washington 
to share their experiences. Maybe one of them could tell you what 
a cricket would taste like, but I wouldn’t put a lot of money on 
that. 

Right now, the numbers, which you may already have seen but 
that I will repeat for emphasis, 1.5 million acres of land in 18 of 
Utah’s 29 counties are being impacted by this year’s infestation of 
crickets, and most of the impact is a severe one. It is estimated this 
is the worst infestation since the 1940’s, and damage to crops and 
property will reach $25 million. 

Thousands upon thousands of acres of crops in the past year 
have been decimated by these insects. They are capable of con- 
suming 38 pounds of vegetation each over their life span. So as you 
look at that little plastic-encased bug, you can understand how effi- 
cient they are in terms of destroying things. 

Not only are they physically destructive to crops, they have a 
psychological impact on the people of Utah. Children are afraid to 
go out and play in areas where there are crickets. People are con- 
cerned about health and safety, and the Utah Department of 
Transportation has been requested to determine if the crickets and 
grasshoppers are creating traffic problems on the roads. 

Now, we have reached the stage in this year in the life cycle of 
these insects where they have begun to lay eggs, and at this point, 
it seems all we can do is hope for a very long cold winter that kills 
most of the eggs in the ground. We can also hope for that because 
it would be a good thing for the Olympics. But we like to get two 
benefits from one effect. 

Now, there is something that Federal land management agencies 
can do to prepare for next year besides pray for snow. In the past, 
a lack of funding has been blamed, and rightly so, for limiting the 
control efforts of APHIS, BLM, and the U.S. Forest Service. This 
last Tuesday, I was able to convince my fellow Senators to appro- 
priate $4 million for APHIS to combat this problem next year in 
Utah and other affected areas, so we hope the funding problem will 
go away. 

I would like the U.S. Forest Service and the BLM, for whom I 
have great respect and with whom my office has a wonderful work- 
ing relationship, to understand my expectations for next year going 
along with the money that has been appropriated to fulfill those ex- 



8 


pectations. I believe that some of the land management agencies 
were caught flat-footed and not prepared for what was coming. So 
I would hope that we would look not only to solve the problem this 
year but be prepared to deal with what looks as if it will come next 
year. 

I am disappointed that there are threats of lawsuits by some 
groups headquartered outside of the State of Utah who have no 
real understanding of the impact of this, and I would hope that 
those lawsuits would, in fact, not materialize. 

So, in summary, Mr. Chairman, I believe that the BLM and the 
Forest Service should begin as soon as possible to lay down any 
necessary environmental documentation, have the required public 
participation necessary to establish control measures against the 
crickets and the grasshoppers. We cannot have a repeat of 2001. 
I consider that simply unacceptable, which is why I pushed for the 
appropriation that has now been established. 

With that, Mr. Chairman, I thank you and the Committee for 
holding the hearings and for your interest in this issue, which, 
while admittedly is parochial, is nonetheless very severe. 

[The prepared statement of Senator Bennett follows:] 

Statement of The Honorable Robert F. Bennett, a U.S. Senator from the 

State of Utah 

Good Morning. I thank the Chairman for holding this critically important hearing 
today on the current crisis the people of Utah are facing from the infestation of Mor- 
mon crickets and grasshoppers throughout significant portions of the state. I appre- 
ciate the committee giving me the opportunity to speak on this issue. I also would 
like to thank Mayor Anderson of Oak City and his wife , Darrell Johnson of Rush 
Valley, and Utah’s Commissioner of Food and Agriculture Cary Peterson for trav- 
eling to Washington to share their experiences and insights with the Congress on 
this grave situation. 

Approximately 1.5 million acres of land in 18 counties are being impacted by this 
year’s infestation of crickets and grasshoppers, most of them severely. It is esti- 
mated that this will be the worst infestation since the 1940’s and damage to crops 
and property will reach $25 million. Thousands upon thousands of acres of crops 
and pasture have been decimated by these two inch long insects which are capable 
of consuming 38 pounds of vegetation over their limited life span. Not only are the 
crickets physically destructive they are also having a psychological impact on the 
residents of Utah. Children are afraid to go out and play and people are concerned 
about public health and safety. The Utah Department of Transportation has even 
been requested to determine if the crickets and grasshoppers are creating a problem 
on the roads. 

Unfortunately, we are reaching the stage in the life cycle of these insects when 
they have begun to lay their eggs. At this point, it seems all we can do is to pray 
for a very long cold winter that will hopefully kill most of the eggs in the ground. 
There is, however, something the federal land management agencies can do to pre- 
pare for next year. In past years, a lack of funding has been blamed, and rightly 
so, for limiting the control efforts of APHIS, BLM, and the USFS. This past Tues- 
day, I secured $4 million for APHIS to combat this problem next year in Utah and 
other affected states. I fully expect that this money will be released to APHIS in 
a timely manner so that it will be able to prepare for spring and summer 2002 dur- 
ing autumn and winter 2001. Additionally, I would like the USFS and the BLM, 
whom I have great respect for and a very solid working relationship with, to under- 
stand my expectations for next year. I believe Utah’s land management agencies 
were caught flat-footed this year. I am greatly disappointed with their response to 
threatened lawsuits by some of Utah’s out-of-touch environmental groups. I believe 
the BLM and USFS should begin as soon as practicable any environmental docu- 
mentation and the required public participation necessary to take appropriate con- 
trol measures against crickets and grasshoppers. We cannot have a repeat of 2001, 
it is simply unacceptable. 

Again, I thank the chairman and Committee on Resources for holding today’s 
hearings. 



9 


Mr. Hefley. Thank you, Senator. 

Senator, on the issue in Colorado, where I life, we don’t have the 
Mormon crickets. We do on a cyclical basis have plagues of grass- 
hoppers, and they sometimes come — it almost looks like a thunder- 
storm cloud moving across the land. And when they have eaten ev- 
erything green that they can find, you will find them eating fence- 
posts, which sounds outrageous. It is hard to imagine. But we find 
that. 

How would you compare this infestation to what I have just de- 
scribed? 

Senator Bennett. The Mormon crickets have historically had the 
capacity to do that, but they don’t fly. They come down over the 
land like a black carpet, devastating everything in its way in the 
manner that you described. 

Now, I have not heard of any eating fenceposts, but they are vo- 
racious eaters, and anything that is in their way is problematical. 
And, of course, the reason they are named Mormon crickets is be- 
cause this particular pest threatened the survival of the first Mor- 
mon pioneers when they came into the valley, and they were im- 
mune at that time to any kind of available human intervention. 
The Mormon pioneers beat them with shovels, dug trenches and 
filled the trenches with water, and pushed them into the water to 
drown them. When they felt the field was gone and nothing could 
be saved, they set fire to the field in an effort to eradicate the 
crickets. 

None of these things worked. The only reason they were saved 
is because the California gull, which is the Utah State bird, inter- 
estingly, so named as the Utah State bird because of this experi- 
ence, the California gulls showed up in massive numbers, harking 
to the comment you made about almost darkening the sky, and set- 
tled on the fields. The pioneers thought, okay, we are done for for 
good because whatever grain the crickets don’t eat, the gulls will. 
And then they discovered that the gulls were not eating grain, they 
were eating crickets. And the gulls would gorge themselves on 
crickets, fly to the shores of the Great Salt Lake, regurgitate every- 
thing they had eaten, fly back, and feast on the crickets again. It 
took about 2 weeks of this kind of massive non-human intervention 
to rid the Salt Lake Valley of crickets and literally save the lives 
of those early pioneers. 

So that is why they are called Mormon crickets because it was 
the Mormons who had the first real experience with them. What 
we need obviously now are more sea gulls, but in the absence of 
that, we will take the money. 

Mr. Hefley. Do they still have the sea gulls coming in to do 
this? 

Senator Bennett. The sea gull is a protected bird in Utah. As 
I say, it is the State bird. And it is illegal for you to shoot a sea 
gull in Utah. But, no, we do not have the herds of sea gulls. There 
are still sea gulls around Great Salt Lake, around other water bod- 
ies, but given the rise of cities and other population centers, the 
flocks of sea gulls are not as huge as they once were. 

Mr. Hefley. Mrs. Christensen? 

Mrs. Christensen. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I don’t have any 
questions of the Senator. I just want to welcome you. It is always 



10 


great to have one of our colleagues from the other side of the Cap- 
itol here. 

And as I said in my opening statement, given the amount of fed- 
erally owned land in Utah, we agree that the Federal Government 
should make sure that the funding is adequate to assist in this 
problem that has been so devastating to the ranchers and farmers. 

Senator Bennett. Thank you very much. I appreciate your con- 
cern, and thank you for your welcome. 

Mr. Hefley. Does the Committee have any additional questions? 
Mr. Gilchrest? 

Mr. Gilchrest. Senator, you just relayed to us a fascinating 
story, especially about the gulls showing up. I would assume that 
this Mormon cricket is indigenous to that area of the West, has 
been around for eons of time. But I also assume that the gull that 
showed up in that historical story you relayed to us is also indige- 
nous to that region of the West. I ask the question because I live 
on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. If you go back less than 20 
years, we didn’t have any osprey, and we basically didn’t have any 
bald eagles. We also lost the Baltimore oriole — it just never showed 
up anymore because it lost its habitat — and a number of other 
near-tropical birds. 

Certainly what we have done in the last decade or two was to 
re-establish their habitat. Now we have not swarms of osprey, but 
wherever you go, you can see osprey. The bald eagle population has 
just mushroomed in the area, and the Baltimore orioles are coming 
back and so on. 

Now, I recognize that it is important for us to establish appro- 
priations to deal with this issue as fast as we can. Is there any un- 
derstanding or perspective or movement to bring back that natural 
gull population? And if you did, could it come back in any numbers 
to be effective to this cricket? 

Senator Bennett. I am going beyond my area of expertise, but 
what understanding I have of it, the gulls are around the Great 
Salt Lake, which is a body of salt water. And the original infesta- 
tion of crickets that I have described that the gulls intervened on 
and saved the lives of the early Mormon pioneers took place in the 
Salt Lake Valley, which is relatively close to the Great Salt Lake 
and the gull’s natural habitat. The infestation of crickets that we 
are talking about now is in other places, so that we can’t really en- 
list the gulls. 

Yes, the population of sea gulls in Utah is still quite large. Many 
a motorist complains a little about finding a reminder of the pres- 
ence of sea gulls overhead on his car in the morning. But we do 
what we can to see to it that that habitat is preserved. 

As I say, the experience is part of our State lore, and the Cali- 
fornia gull is the Utah State bird and is honored and protected. So 
we don’t take lightly the question of hanging onto the habitat for 
the gull. 

Mr. Gilchrest. Thank you, Senator. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Hefley. Further questions? Yes? 

Ms. McCollum. Mr. Chair, Senator, this is more of a comment 
than a question. I have eaten grasshoppers, but they were 



11 


chocolate-covered. So if you do try a Mormon cricket, I suggest real- 
ly premium chocolate. 

Senator Bennett. It would take quite a quantity to tempt me. 

Ms. McCollum. But Minnesota, where I come from, even though 
I am from the Twin Cities area, we are not a very large State. We 
are very, very interdependent on mining, our Twin Cities indus- 
tries, and our farming industry. And I served on the Resources Ag- 
ricultural Finance Committee for a while, and we dealt with many 
infestations for our wheat farmers in the North Dakota-Minnesota 
Red River Valley. And I hope that we can come up with a multi- 
faceted solution, one to take care of your short-term needs now, but 
also one that will address long-term environmental sustainability 
needs in the future. 

I learn something new every day being on this Committee, Mr. 
Chair, and I look forward to learning more how to help my fellow 
States, and that research will in turn help my State in the future. 

Senator Bennett. Thank you very much. We would invite you to 
come to Utah and get a flavor of the environmental efforts that are 
going on out there. Many times we don’t get credit for it outside 
our own borders among people who don’t understand the unique 
circumstance that we face. 

Mr. Hefley. Senator Bennett, thank you for your testimony, and 
before you arrived, we did make it permissible for you to sit at the 
dais if you would like to. If you have time, we would be glad for 
you to participate in the hearing. If you don’t have time, we thank 
you for coming over. 

Senator Bennett. Thank you for your courtesy, Mr. Chairman, 
and normally I would accept your invitation. I now have to go 
make a quorum in order to confirm some of President Bush’s nomi- 
nees. That is our principal role in the minority these days, to make 
a quorum. 

Mr. Hefley. You better get over there and do that, then. 

Senator Bennett. Thank you. 

Mr. Hefley. Thank you very much. 

Mr. Hefley. The second panel will be composed of Nina Rose 
Hatfield, who is Acting Director of the Bureau of Land Manage- 
ment for the Department of Interior; Dr. Richard Dunkle, Deputy 
Administrator, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service for the 
USDA; Mr. Cary Peterson, Commissioner, Utah Department of 
Agriculture and Food, the State of Utah; the Honorable Michael 
Anderson, who is the mayor of Oak City, Utah; and Darrell 
Johnson, who is a rancher, Tooele County, State of Utah. 

And, Commissioner, I understand you would like to show us a 
video to start with. Is that correct? 

Mr. Peterson. Yes. 

[Videotape played.] 

Mr. Peterson. With your permission, Mr. Chairman, these are 
news clips from national news networks who came to look at the 
crickets in our State this year. Not only U.S. news companies but 
the BBC and a German news company were very interested in the 
cricket population, as was the New York Times. 

Mr. Johnson. I would like to say we live about 60 miles from 
Salt Lake, and we had a news crew come out, do a video filming, 



12 


and they were sending the tape to Germany because of the interest 
that was created on some of our national networks. 

Mr. Hefley. Boy, that truly is a plague. 

Ms. Hatfield, would you like to begin? 

STATEMENT OF NINA ROSE HATFIELD, ACTING DIRECTOR, 

BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE 

INTERIOR, WASHINGTON, D.C. 

Ms. Hatfield. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the 
Subcommittee. I appreciate the opportunity to appear before you 
today on the subject of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers and 
their effects on the public land. The Bureau of Land Management 
certainly looks forward to working with the Committee on this im- 
portant issue. 

BLM recognizes that the widespread outbreak of rangeland 
grasshoppers can affect millions of acres. This year in Nevada, we 
estimate that about 62,000 acres have been infested, while Utah 
estimates that last year over 1.5 million acres of land were in- 
fested. 

In addition to denuding the land of grasses, forage, and shrubs, 
the crickets and grasshoppers can graze rangelands or fire rehabili- 
tation projects all the way to the ground. This precludes the use 
of the land by other animals, endangers the success of our new re- 
habilitation projects, and paves the way for additional invasive spe- 
cies. 

I have a couple of pictures here that will demonstrate the size 
of some of the infestation. This particular picture was taken in 
Idaho, and then here is an example of how the grasshoppers and 
crickets can actually eat the vegetation all the way to the ground. 

Now, while we are certainly concerned about the impact of the 
Mormon crickets and grasshoppers on the public lands themselves, 
we are equally troubled by the fact that the crickets and the grass- 
hoppers do traverse the public lands and impact privately owned 
croplands and lawns. We have the mayor of Oak City here, but 
these are some photographs taken in Oak City where you can see 
the heavy infestation of the crickets right on the shrubs and 
around the homes in Oak City. 

Now, over the last 15 years, BLM has worked with our partners, 
including the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 
or APHIS, to control both Mormon crickets and grasshoppers. And 
our partnership with APHIS is certainly critical to the Federal ap- 
proach to try to control the cricket and grasshopper infestation. 

Our recent emphasis has been on treating public lands that are 
adjacent to private croplands or rangelands so that we might be a 
better neighbor. Last year, Congress appropriated a supplemental 
$1.5 million to BLM to address this project. And over the last 2 
years, we have spent about $685,000 in planning and surveying 
and trying to respond to emergency outbreaks. But certainly, as 
has been noted earlier, to be effective these control treatments re- 
quire timeliness. Treating too late in the life cycle is certainly not 
biologically effective. And so we on the Federal side have to be 
proactive in completing early egg counts, preparing the environ- 
mental assessments that are necessary before we do the treat- 
ments, and doing the treatments themselves. 



13 


In BLM, we are continuing to look at new products and new 
ways of using the products to assure a timely and affordable way 
of controlling the Mormon cricket and grasshopper. We certainly 
look forward to working with both our public and private partners 
and this Committee to try to bring this infestation into a level that 
can be considered to be controlled. 

Mr. Chairman, that would conclude my opening remarks, and we 
would be glad to answer any questions. And I believe you have my 
prepared remarks for the record. 

[The prepared statement of Ms. Hatfield follows:] 

Statement of Nina Rose Hatfield, Acting Director, Bureau of Land 
Management, U.S. Department of the Interior 

Mr. Chairman, members of the subcommittee, I appreciate having the opportunity 
to appear before you on the subject of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers and their 
effects on public lands. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) welcomes Congres- 
sional interest on this issue and we look forward to working with the Committee’s 
members on this important subject. 

Mormon crickets and grasshoppers are members of the Class Insecta, Order Or- 
thoptera, which contains several hundred species, although only about 35 species 
are perennial pests. As we have seen this year, Mormon crickets and grasshoppers 
have the potential for sudden and explosive population increases, which can be so 
extreme that all vegetation is consumed. The economic effects of extreme infesta- 
tions affect us all, whether we live on a farm or ranch, in the suburbs, or in the 
city. Severe infestations threaten the productivity of rangelands, wildlife habitat, 
and adjacent agricultural land. When outbreaks occur they can also pose health haz- 
ards to both humans and grazing animals. 

Consider the following effects of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers on various re- 
gions of the country: 

• The Nevada Department of Agriculture is preparing to make an “Emergency 
Declaration” as a result of the Mormon cricket infestation. The state will be 
using Carbaryl bait as needed to keep these insects away from private resi- 
dences and off of public roads and highways, as a matter of private property 
protection and public safety. It estimates that 62,000 acres are infested, includ- 
ing over 17,000 acres of BLM-managed lands. 

• The Utah Department of Agriculture estimated that in the year 2000, there 
were over 1.5 million acres of public and private lands infested with Mormon 
crickets and grasshoppers. During 2001, in Oak City, children have been afraid 
to go outside because infestations of Mormon crickets have numbered as high 
as 400-500 in some locations, such as on garage walls and crawling up the sides 
of homes and across lawns. Some Mormon crickets have died in the city’s water 
supply, thereby making it a health and safety concern to local residents, be- 
cause of pathogens that these insects can carry. As a result of the severity and 
impacts of these pests, Governor Leavitt has recently declared the Mormon 
cricket infestation to be an Agricultural Emergency-the third in the past three 
years. 

• Thus far during 2001, the Utah Department of Agriculture estimates that grass- 
hoppers in Utah have infested an estimated 600,000 acres across 24 counties. 
Grasshoppers have also grazed several of BLM’s fire rehabilitation project sites 
to the point where they are unusable by ranchers. BLM is considering replant- 
ing these fire rehabilitation projects. The cost of doing so is estimated at $50.00 
per acre. 

A few examples that illustrate the harmful impacts of Mormon cricket and grass- 
hopper infestations on public lands include: 

• Economic effects: Mormon crickets and grasshoppers can diminish yields by 25 
to 40 percent on range and croplands. The Utah Department of Agriculture also 
estimates that as of June, 2001, the agricultural losses from Mormon crickets 
and grasshoppers in Utah have been estimated at over $25 million. 

• Native plant communities: Mormon crickets, grasshoppers, and drought often 
cause additional stress to native plant communities. Noxious weeds may in- 
crease in numbers because of the competitive advantage they are given due to 
the preferential grazing of native plants by these pests. 

• Wildlife habitat: Even while functioning as a prey base for some species such 
as sea gulls, large infestations of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers can have 
a dramatic impact on the plants that grazing animals eat. These pests can dev- 



14 


astate the habitat of wildlife species including rabbits, deer, elk, and wild 
horses. 

• Ecosystem function: Where the local impacts of the Mormon cricket and grass- 
hopper infestations are large, the stage is set for invasive plants such as cheat- 
grass or knapweeds to increase their hold on the ecosystem. 

To be fully successful in the fight against Mormon crickets and grasshoppers, any 
effort must bring together a complex group of stakeholders that includes govern- 
ment agencies, private landowners, and industry. BLM has a very good working re- 
lationship with State Departments of Agriculture and our sister federal agencies 
such as the Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the U. S. Fish and 
Wildlife Service, and the U.S. Forest Service. 

To cite several examples of such cooperation: 

• In the BLM Carson City and Winnemucca Field Offices, personnel are proc- 
essing Pesticide Use Proposals that would allow treatment by private citizens 
of Mormon cricket bands on public lands adjacent to private lands at risk. 

• The BLM’s Spokane, Washington District has cooperated with APHIS, on suc- 
cessfully detecting and controlling Mormon cricket egg beds, resulting in a sig- 
nificant reduction in the cricket population. 

In an effort to combat the spread of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers on BLM 
and adjacent private lands, the BLM spent over $685,000 during 1999 and 2000 for 
planning, surveying and responding to emergency outbreaks. 

Available resources for this effort in 2001 have been directed toward the following 
two areas: 

• Early Detection - In Nevada and Idaho, BLM has joined with State Departments 
of Agriculture and APHIS in preseason inventories. 

• Control Treatments - BLM has supplied the products necessary for treatment, 
where and when environmental constraints have been met in Idaho, Nevada 
and Utah. 

The BLM is working with other federal, state, local, and tribal governments and 
with private landowners to help treat and, when possible, manage serious infesta- 
tions of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers. Future generations of Americans de- 
serve to inherit ecologically healthy and productive public lands, not vast landscapes 
denuded and infested witb Mormon crickets and grasshoppers that make the public 
and private lands unfit for people, livestock, and wildlife. We must be committed 
to developing partnerships to address the infestation of Mormon crickets and grass- 
hoppers so that the spread of these pests can be prevented or controlled. For that 
reason, we welcome the increasing awareness and understanding of this problem by 
legislators at the national level. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would be happy to answer any questions. 


Mr. Hefley. Thank you very much. 

Dr. Dunkle? 

STATEMENT OF RICHARD DUNKLE, DEPUTY ADMINISTRATOR 
FOR PLANT PROTECTION AND QUARANTINE, ANIMAL AND 
PLANT HEALTH INSPECTION SERVICES, U.S. DEPARTMENT 
OF AGRICULTURE, WASHINGTON, D.C., ACCOMPANIED BY 
CHRISTOPHER PYRON, DEPUTY REGIONAL FORESTER, 
INTERMOUNTAIN REGION, U.S. FOREST SERVICE 

Mr. Dunkle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Dr. Richard 
Dunkle, and I am the Deputy Administrator for Plant Protection 
and Quarantine of the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
with the United States Department of Agriculture. 

Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I want to 
thank you for this opportunity to testify on behalf of the United 
States Department of Agriculture, focusing on the history of the ac- 
tivities that USDA has conducted for Mormon crickets and other 
grasshoppers in the Great Basin, and also our efforts to combat 
current and future grasshopper and Mormon cricket outbreaks in 
this area. Accompanying me today is Mr. Christopher Pyron, Dep- 
uty Regional Forester for the Intermountain Region of the Forest 
Service as well. 



15 


Grasshoppers and Mormon crickets have caused widespread dev- 
astation throughout the Great Basin. Although several other state- 
ments have included these figures, let me do so again. In Utah 
alone, Mormon crickets and grasshoppers have infested more tan 
1.5 million acres and an estimated $25 million in crop damage may 
occur. In fact, Mormon crickets can feed on more than 400 species 
of plants, and a single Mormon cricket can consume an amount of 
rangeland forage equal to 38 pounds of dry weight per acre. 

Throughout the Western United States, there is excellent co- 
operation between the USD A, other Federal agencies, State agen- 
cies, local governments, and private landowners in combating Mor- 
mon cricket and grasshopper outbreaks. This year, stressed finan- 
cial resources have been used to their fullest extent. The ominous 
fact is that each female Mormon cricket can lay about 86 eggs in 
the round and, if natural conditions favor hatching next spring 
when treatment would be most effective, the Mormon cricket out- 
breaks in 2002 could be even more widespread, severe, and de- 
structive. 

During the mid-1980’s, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspec- 
tion Service, which we call APHIS, took a lead role in monitoring 
and suppressing grasshoppers and Mormon crickets. In 1986, Con- 
gress, in response to destructive grasshopper outbreaks, appro- 
priated $18 million to APHIS for a grasshopper suppression pro- 
gram. In addition, Congress created no-year funding for continued 
grasshopper suppression programs by stipulating that $16 million 
remain available until expended. This funding mechanism provided 
APHIS with immediate access to resources for suppressing eco- 
nomically significant grasshopper populations. From 1987 through 
1992, Congress appropriated $5 million annually for the no-year 
grasshopper reserve fund. 

As the lead Federal agency, APHIS conducted population sur- 
veys, implemented cooperative programs with States and other co- 
operating organizations, prepared cost-share agreements and es- 
crow accounts, recruited and trained seasonal staff, and obtained 
sufficient equipment and materials, such as vehicles, pesticides, 
and pesticide storage facilities. In addition, APHIS provided the es- 
sential environmental assessment documentation for the suppres- 
sion program. 

In 1990, APHIS received an emergency supplemental appropria- 
tion of $6.8 million to cooperate with States and individuals to sup- 
press grasshoppers on CRP — Conservation Reserve Program — and 
other lands. The grasshopper populations during this time were 
kept under control, so the no-year grasshopper reserve exceeded 
$16 million in 1993. 

Since 1994, no new appropriations have been provided for the 
grasshopper and Mormon cricket program. Since then, all grass- 
hopper-related activities, including survey and suppression, have 
been funded from the accumulated no-year reserve, which was ex- 
hausted in fiscal year 1999, and additional funds from the appro- 
priated reserve for contingencies. 

In an attempt to conserve the use of funds, APHIS has conducted 
only crop protection activities since 1995. The goal of crop protec- 
tion programs is to protect high-value crops by treating strips of 
Federal rangelands where these lands border the crop. Such pro- 



16 


grams provide short-term, immediate suppression of grasshopper 
populations migrating from Federal lands onto cropland. Crop pro- 
tection programs do not include any long-term rangeland manage- 
ment. However, since 1999, only the APHIS contingency fund, 
which must also cover other emergencies in APHIS, has been avail- 
able to cover grasshopper and Mormon cricket suppression. 

For example, in fiscal year 2000, the agency, using APHIS’ con- 
tingency funds, prepared to conduct traditional surveys and ear- 
marked funds for grasshopper and Mormon cricket suppression. 
However, the populations were not as high as projected, and most 
of the suppression dollars were returned to the contingency fund. 

In fiscal year 2001, APHIS has taken $300,000 from this fund to 
carry out grasshopper and Mormon cricket surveys and other pro- 
gram planning activities. However, due to other high-priority 
needs, no additional APHIS money will be available for grass- 
hopper and Mormon cricket suppression. Accordingly, funding for 
suppression on public lands to protect rangeland will require re- 
sources from the responsible Federal land management agencies, 
such as BLM, Forest Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

The new Plant Protection Act requires the Secretary of Agri- 
culture to pay 100 percent of the cost of grasshopper or Mormon 
cricket control on Federal lands to protect rangeland out of funds 
specifically appropriated for grasshopper control or transferred 
from the Department of the Interior under section 417 of the act. 
Our current policy is that all program costs, including surveys, 
site-specific environment assessments, and treatments, will be paid 
by the Federal land management agency. As a result, Federal land 
management agencies will be required to do the site-specific project 
level work, including environmental assessments that would tier to 
the programmatic EIS currently being prepared by APHIS. I 
should note that current Forest Service policy requires that the 
Forest Service personnel participate in the development of all pes- 
ticide-use plans and direct those activities on National Forest Sys- 
tem lands. 

Thank you for this opportunity to testify, and I will be happy to 
take any questions that you may have. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Dunkle follows:] 

Statement of Dr. Richard Dunkle, Deputy Administrator for Plant 

Protection and Quarantine, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, 

U.S. Department of Agriculture 

Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee, I thank you for this oppor- 
tunity to testify on behalf of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on the his- 
tory of the activities that USDA has conducted for Mormon crickets and other grass- 
hoppers in the Great Basin, and our efforts to combat current and future grass- 
hopper and Mormon cricket outbreaks in this area. Accompanying me today is 
Christopher Pyron, Deputy Regional Forester for the Intermountain Region of the 
Forest Service. 

Grasshoppers and Mormon crickets have caused widespread devastation through- 
out the Great Basin. In Utah alone, Mormon crickets and grasshoppers have in- 
fested more than 1.5 million acres and an estimated $25 million in crop damage 
may occur. In fact, Mormon crickets can feed on more than 400 species of plants, 
and a single Mormon cricket can consume an amount of rangeland forage equal to 
38 pounds dry weight per acre. 

Throughout the western United States, there is excellent cooperation between 
USDA, other Federal agencies, State agencies, local governments, and private land- 
owners in combating Mormon cricket and grasshopper outbreaks. This year, 
stressed financial resources have been used to their fullest extent. The ominous fact 



17 


is that each female Mormon cricket can lay about 86 eggs in the ground, and, if 
natural conditions favor hatching next spring when treatment would be most effec- 
tive, the Mormon cricket outbreaks in 2002 could be even more widespread, severe, 
and destructive. 

During the mid-1980’s, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service 
(APHIS) took a lead role in monitoring and suppressing grasshoppers and Mormon 
crickets. In 1986, Congress, in response to destructive grasshopper outbreaks, ap- 
propriated $18 million to APHIS for a grasshopper suppression program. In addi- 
tion, Congress created no-year funding for continued grasshopper suppression pro- 
grams by stipulating that $16 million remain available until expended. This funding 
mechanism provided APHIS with immediate access to resources for suppressing eco- 
nomically significant grasshopper populations. From 1987-1992, Congress appro- 
priated $5 million annually for the no-year grasshopper reserve fund. 

As the lead Federal agency, APHIS conducted population surveys, implemented 
cooperative programs with States and other cooperating organizations, prepared 
cost-share agreements and escrow accounts, recruited and trained seasonal staff, 
and obtained sufficient equipment and materials, such as vehicles, pesticides, and 
pesticide storage facilities. In addition, APHIS provided the essential environmental 
assessment documentation for the suppression program. 

In 1990, APHIS received an emergency supplemental appropriation of $6.8 million 
to cooperate with States and individuals to suppress grasshoppers on Conservation 
Reserve Program (CRP) and other lands. The grasshopper populations during this 
time were kept under control, so the no-year grasshopper reserve exceeded $16.5 
million in 1993. 

Since 1994, no new appropriations have been provided for the grasshopper and 
Mormon cricket program. Since then, all grasshopper related activities, including 
survey and suppression, have been funded from the accumulated no-year reserve, 
which was exhausted in fiscal year 1999, and additional funds from the appro- 
priated reserve for contingencies. 

In an attempt to conserve the use of funds, APHIS has conducted only crop pro- 
tection activities since 1995. The goal of crop protection programs is to protect high- 
value crops by treating strips of Federal range lands where these lands border the 
crop. Such programs provide short-term, immediate suppression of grasshopper pop- 
ulations migrating from Federal lands onto cropland. Crop protection programs do 
not include any long-term rangeland management. However, since 1999, only the 
APHIS contingency fund, which must also cover other emergencies in APHIS, has 
been available to cover grasshopper and Mormon cricket suppression. 

For example, in fiscal year 2000, the Agency, using APHIS” contingency funds, 
prepared to conduct traditional surveys and earmarked funds for grasshopper and 
Mormon cricket suppression programs. However, the populations were not as high 
as projected and most of the suppression dollars were returned to APHIS” contin- 
gency fund at the end of the fiscal year. 

In fiscal year 2001, APHIS has taken $300,000 from the contingency fund to carry 
out grasshopper and Mormon cricket surveys and other program planning activities. 
However, due to other high priority needs, no additional APHIS money will be avail- 
able for grasshopper and Mormon cricket suppression. Accordingly, funding for sup- 
pression on public lands to protect rangeland will require resources from the respon- 
sible Federal land management agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management, 
Forest Service, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. 

The Plant Protection Act requires the Secretary of Agriculture to pay 100 percent 
of the cost of grasshopper or Mormon cricket control on Federal lands to protect 
rangeland out of funds specifically appropriated for grasshopper control or trans- 
ferred from the Department of the Interior under section 417 of the Act. Current 
APHIS policy is that all program costs, including surveys, site specific environ- 
mental assessments, and treatments, will be paid by the Federal land management 
agency. As a result, Federal land management agencies, such as the Department 
of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and USDA’s Forest Service, would be 
required to do site specific project level work, including environmental assessments 
that would tier to the programmatic EIS currently being prepared by APHIS. I 
should note that current Forest Service policy requires that Forest Service personnel 
participate in the development of all pesticide-use plans and direct those activities 
on National Forest System lands. 

Thank you again for this opportunity to testify. I would be happy to take any 
questions that you may have. 



18 


Mr. Hefley. Thank you very much. Let me just ask a real quick 
question. Does a grasshopper plague and a cricket plague tend to 
go together? 

Mr. Dunkle. From what I understand, normally when we have 
Mormon cricket outbreaks, oftentimes there are also grasshopper 
outbreaks. And the weather conditions seem to favor both. 

Mr. Hefley. I see. 

Mr. Peterson? 

STATEMENT OF CARY G. PETERSON, COMMISSIONER, UTAH 

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND FOOD, STATE OF 

UTAH, SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH 

Mr. Peterson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the 
Committee, for the opportunity to discuss this issue with you. I am 
Cary Peterson, Utah’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Food. My 
family and I have been in the livestock and farming business all 
of our lives, into the fourth generation. 

I am here on behalf of the people of Utah to request that Con- 
gress appropriately fund USDA APHIS and their insect control pro- 
gram. That program exhausted its funds in 1999, and as a result, 
there is very little or ineffective program in effect today to take 
care of the millions of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers from mi- 
grating from their hatching grounds, primarily on Federal grounds, 
onto private croplands and populated areas. 

Public health and safety is now threatened, as subsequent speak- 
ers will talk about. Governor Mike Leavitt formed a subcabinet 
task force made up of our department, Health, Environment, and 
Transparency to investigate the human health and safety risks of 
this infestation. 

The infestation triggered an emergency declaration June 4th of 
2001 by our Governor. Following that action, with the authority of 
Utah law, I activated a Decision and Action Committee comprised 
of Federal, State, local, and private interests to address the infesta- 
tion. 

I draw your attention today, members of the Committee, to U.S. 
Code, Title 7, Section 148f paragraph (d). It established a frame- 
work for the transfer of funds to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture 
for Mormon cricket and grasshopper control. According to the pro- 
visions of the act, requested by the affected State, I quote, “...the 
Secretary of Agriculture shall immediately treat Federal, State or 
private lands that are infested by grasshoppers or Mormon crickets 
at levels of economic infestation...” And that is a level of eight or 
more per square yard. I have included the text of the entire section 
of that code for your information. 

Currently, there are more than 1.5 million acres infested with 
crickets and grasshoppers in the State of Utah. That represents 
2,400 square miles, and that is more than the size of the State of 
Delaware. Estimated crop damage this year will exceed $25 mil- 
lion. 

Without a consistent and systematic approach to the problem, we 
cannot control this. I draw your attention to the large photographs 
that we have here and that are in the Committee room. In many 
areas, there are acres upon acres, mile upon mile, where the den- 
sity is more than 40 or 50 crickets per square yard. 



19 


The State Department of Transportation of the State of Utah ac- 
knowledges that this is a safety health hazard on our highways. 

The insects also destroy valuable forage which is available for 
wildlife and our livestock operations in the State of Utah. 

The State Legislature of Utah has allocated additional funds to 
control State and private land infestations. However, three out of 
every four acres in Utah are federally owned and managed. Most 
of the infestation is on Federal lands or the hatching occurs. As the 
lands dry up after the spring, the migration is to the croplands, to 
the private lands, and to our communities. 

Our State’s Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee heard 
powerful testimony just 2 weeks ago regarding the human health 
and safety issues of the types of infestations we are seeing, as well 
as the economic losses. The Committee asked our attorney general 
to look at recouping some of the costs in actions against the U.S. 
Government. That is not our preferred choice. 

Mr. Chairman, I recommend the following to Congress: that 
funds for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s APHIS and their in- 
sect control program be appropriated at the level of $8.7 million for 
2002. Action was taken in the Senate this week that would give 
that agency $4 million. I think that is a one-time contingency fund. 
Of that $8.7 million, $3.7 million would be an ongoing base for in- 
frastructure and operating expenses, and $5 million would go into 
a no-year fund for emergencies in Western States for APHIS to do 
immediate insect assessment and control and for the completion of 
the environmental assessments. The age-old adage that an ounce 
of prevention is worth not a pound but a ton of cure. If we take 
care of these infestations at the hatching beds, we prevent that $25 
million of devastating economic impact. 

I thank you very much for this opportunity and would be pleased 
to answer any questions. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Peterson follows:] 

Statement of Cary G. Peterson, Utah Commissioner of Agriculture and 

Food 

Thank you for the opportunity to address this committee Mr. Chairman. 

I am Cary Peterson, the State of Utah’s Commissioner of Agriculture and Food. 

My family and I have been in the cattle business all our lives, and I am a former 
Utah legislator. 

I am here on behalf of the people of Utah to request that Congress appropriately 
fund USDA APHIS’s insect control program. 

That program exhausted its funds in 1999, and as a result there is no program 
in place to prevent the millions of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers from migrat- 
ing from their hatching grounds on federal land onto valuable croplands and into 
populated areas. 

Public heath and safety are now threatened, as the previous witnesses have ex- 
plained. Utah Governor Michael Leavitt formed a subcabinet-level Task Force of 
State Health, Environment and Transportation Departments to investigate the 
health and human safety risks of this infestation. 

The need for your help is great. 

The infestation triggered a declaration of Agricultural Emergency on June 4th, 
2001, by Governor Leavitt. Following that action — and with the authority of Utah 
law — (4-35-3 UCA) I activated a Decision and Action Committee comprised of fed- 
eral, state, local, and private interests to address the infestation. 

I draw your attention to U.S. Code, Title 7, Section 148f paragraph (d). It estab- 
lishes a framework for the transfer of funds to the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture for 
Mormon cricket and grasshopper control. 

According to a provision of that act; after receiving a request by an affected state, 



20 


“...the Secretary of Agriculture shall immediately treat Federal, State or 
private lands that are infested by grasshoppers or Mormon crickets at lev- 
els of economic infestation...” 

I have included the text of that entire section in the packet I gave you. 

We’ve had crickets and grasshopper infestations in the past, but not to this ex- 
treme. 

Currently there are more than 1.5 million acres infested with crickets and grass- 
hoppers. That represents nearly 2,400 square miles. That’s larger than the state of 
Deleware. We estimate that crop damage this year will approach $25 million in 
Utah alone. 

Without consistent and systematic treatment, the problem cannot be controlled. 

I draw your attention to these large photographs we have here. At times our high- 
ways are thick with crickets, posing a traction problem for vehicles. In many areas 
there are acre-upon-acre — mile-upon-mile — where there are 40 to 50 crickets or 
grasshoppers per square yard. 

Our State Department of Transportation acknowledges the potential safety haz- 
ard associated with the high number of crickets and grasshoppers on our roads. 

The insects also destroy valuable forage used by wildlife as well as livestock. 

The Utah Legislature has allocated additional funding to our department for in- 
sect control on State and private lands. But 3 out of every 4 acres in Utah are feder- 
ally owned. And most of the insects hatch on federal land. 

Our State’s Natural Resources and Agriculture Committee heard powerful testi- 
mony recently regarding the health and human safety aspects of the infestations, 
as well as the economic losses. 

The committee instructed our Attorney General’s office to investigate any legal ac- 
tion against the USDA to recoup losses caused by the insects. 

Mr. Chairman, I recommend the following: That congress fund the U.S. Depart- 
ment of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s insect control 
program (APHIS) at $8.7 million for fiscal year 2002. Of that figure, $3.7 million 
would be an on-going base for infrastructure and annual operating expenses. And 
$5 million would go into a “no-year” fund for emergencies for Western states. 

I also seek $100,000 from fiscal year 2001 funds for each of the Utah offices of 
the BLM, USFS and USDA-AHPHIS. These funds would be used immediately for 
insect assessment and control as well as for the completion of environmental assess- 
ments. The old adage, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” fits well 
here. 

For every dollar we spend in prevention, we save American tax payers many 
times that amount in federal disaster payments to farmers and ranchers. 

I would like to conclude by playing a video-tape of the crickets in our state. This 
video was taken by news crews for the NBC Today Show and for ABC’s World News 
Tonight programs. 

Since our outbreak several weeks ago, we have received world-wide attention. In- 
cluding; The BBC in London, England; GMTV in London, England; The German 
News Service; German Televison; as well as the New York Times. 

Public awareness of this issue is very high in Utah, and we look to you for leader- 
ship in finding a solution. 

Thank you for your time. 

I would be happy to answer any questions you might have. 

Attachments: 

• USDA-APHIS Grasshopper Infestation Acreage 

• USDA-APHIS Mormon Cricket Infestation Acreage 

• State of Utah Synopsis of insect infestation year 1997-2000 

• U.S. Code Title 7 Sec. 148f 


[Attachments to Mr. Peterson’s statement follow:] 



21 


APHISAJSDA 


APH3S-.USDA 

I860 W. Alexander SL Phone: (801) 975-3310 

Suite 3 FAX: <801)975-3313 

W. Valley, UT MISS eraaih G.CAbbott@tEsda.gov 


UTAH FOUR YEAR GRASSHOPPER MORMON CRICKET SURVEY 


GRASSHOPPPER 

COUNTY INFESTED ACERAGE 



1997 

1998 

1999 


2000 

Beaver 

500 

50,000 

50,000 


11,000 

Box Elder 


100,000 

100,000 


55,000 

Cache 





19,000 

Carbon 


5,000 

1,000 


12,300 

Daggett 


1,000 



600 

Davis 


10,000 

10,000 

— 


Duchesne 


5,000 

5,000 


1,300 

Emery 



2,500 


3,500 

Garfield 

3,000 




6,800 

Iron 

11,000 

10,000 

10,000 


7,000 

Juab 


15,000 

20,000 


33,000 

Kane 


15,000 

15,000 


10,300 

Millard 

800 

40,000 

50,000 


52,500 

Morgan 


2,000 

2,000 


19,000 

Piute 





21,000 

Sanpete 

800 

25,000 

150,000 


157,000 

San Juan 





23,000 

Sevier 


5,000 

5,000 


58,000 

Summit 





10,000 

Tooele 

4,500 

30,000 

55,000 


5,700 

Utah 

1,500 

3,000 

5,000 


29,000 

Uintah 


5,000 

5,000 


36,000 

Wasatch 





3,000 

Wayne 





2,000 

Weber 





17,000 

Washington 


1,000 

5,000 



Total 

22,100 

322,000 

490,500 


593,000 



22 


APHISrUSDA 


APHISrUSDA 

1860 w. Alexander St. Phone:(801)975-3310 

Suite B FAX: (801)975-3313 

W. Valley, UT 84199 email: G.C.Abbott@usda.gov 


MORMON CRICKET 


COUNTY 


INFESTED ACERAGE 





1997 

1998 

1999 


2000 

Beaver 





6,000 

Juab 


5,000 

268,000 


116,000 

Millard 

300 

3,000 

50,000 


190,000 

Sanpete 



3,000 



San Juan 

400 

1,000 

1,000 

— 


Sevier 

180 

800 

1,000 



Tooele 


490,000 

430,000 


346,000 

Utah 


10,000 

5,000 


500 

Uintah 

300 





Total 

1,180 

509,800 

758,000 


658,500 


23 



State of Utah 

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE & FOOD 


Michael O. Leavitt 

Governor 
Cary G, Peterson 
Commissioner 
Van Burgess 

Deputy Commissioner 


350 North Redwood Road 

P.O. Box 146500 

Salt Uke City, Utah 84114-6500 

(801) 538-7100 

(801) 538-7126 FAX 


SYNOPSIS OF RANGELAND GRASSHOPPER AND MORMON CRICKET 
POPULATIONS FOR YEARS 1997-2000 

GRASSHOPPER 

1997 

Surveys in 1997 estimated grasshopper infested acreage at 22,100 for the Statejjf Utah. Farms and 
rangeland in Iron County were hardest hit with infestations. 1 1 ,000 acres were estimated with Si- 
grasshoppers per square yard. Tooele County ranked second in the state for acres infested with 4,500 
which would be comparatively small in relation to what would happen in the next two years. The south 
west comer of the state (Iron County), was the geographic center for 1 997 grasshopper infestations. 

All infestations in 1997 occurred in the western half of the state. 

1998 

Statewide grasshopper infestations exploded from 22,100 acres in 1997, to 322,000 acres in 1998. 

The population increased statewide with four large area infestations in the western half of the state. 
Boxelder County, which had no infestation in 1997, was the hardest hit with 100,000 acres infested in 
1998. The infested acreage for Beaver County in 1998 was 50,000. This was a dramatic increase from 
the previous year that was estimated at 500 acres. Tooele County had 30,000 acres infested in 1998 
an increase of 25,500 acres from the previous year. Millard County had a significant increase from 800 
acres in 1997 to 40,000 acres in 1998. Overall 1998 marked the beginning of a trend in which 
statewide grasshopper infestations would continue to increase, subsequently causing economic 
damage to ranchers and growers in the State of Utah. 

1999 

Grasshopper infestations in 1999 had a statewide increase of 168,500 acres. Total infested acres for 
Utah in 1999 were 490,500. Sanpete County had the largest increase in infested acres from 25,000 in 
1998 to 150,000 acres in 1999. Tooele County residents had to deal with an increase of 25,000 acres 
infested in 1999 that particularly affected new residential developments on historic farmland. Cattle 
operations were also greatly affected in the SkuH Valley area. The large area infestations generally 
occurred in the western half of the state, With the epicenter occurring in the Sanpete County area. 

With increased grasshopper populations, Utah residents began to request assistance from Federal, 
State, and County Governments. Commissioner Cary Peterson formed the Utah Grasshopper Mormon 
Cricket Decision and Action Committee under the State of Utah Emergency Insect Act, to find ways to 
deal with the increasing impact of the grasshopper and Mormon cricket populations. 

2000 

In 2000, statewide grasshopper infestations were at a four year high with 593,000 acres infested- The 
geographic epicenter occurring in a four county area comprised of Juab, Millard, Sanpete, and Sevier 
Counties. Infestation totals for this area were 301 ,000 acres. For the second year in a row Sanpete 
County residents were the hardest hit with approximately 1 50,000 acres infested in FY2000. This was 
an increase of approximately 100,000 grasshopper infested acres statewide from the previous year. 
Utah growers and ranchers suffered significant crop damage, due to the loss of forage grasses on 
rangeland. 


Renos Matsuura Michael R. Marshall 
Adm. Services Animal Industry 


David H. Clark 
Chemistry Labs 


Randy Parker 

Marketing/Consetvation 


G. Richard Wilson 
Plant Industry 


Kyfe Stephens 
Regulatory Services 



24 


TITLE 7 - -AGRICULTURE 

CHAPTER 7 --INSECT PESTS GENERALLY 

Sec. 148f. Control of grasshoppers and Mormon Crickets on 
Federal lands 


(a) Authority of Secretary of Agriculturell carry out a program to 

control grasshoppers and Mormon Crickets on all Federal lands . 

(b) Funds for lands subject to jurisdiction of Federal Government or 

Federal lands subject to jurisdiction of Secretary of the 
Interior; prompt requests for transferred funds and for 
replenishing appropriations 

(1) Subject to paragraph (2) , the Secretary of Agriculture shall 
expend or transfer, and upon request, the Secretary of the Interior 
shall transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture, from any no-year 
appropriations, funds for the prevention, suppression, and control of 
actual or potential grasshopper and Mormon Cricket outbreaks on lands 
under the jurisdiction of the Federal Government . 

(2) (A) Appropriated funds made available to the Secretary of the 
Interior shall be available for the payment of obligations incurred on 
Federal lands subject to the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the 
Interior . 

(B) Funds transferred pursuant to this paragraph shall be requested 
as promptly as possible by the Secretary of Agriculture. 

(C) Funds transferred pursuant to this section shall be replenished 
by supplemental or regular appropriations which shall be requested as 
promptly as possible. 

(c) Exhaustion of contingency grasshopper emergency funds before 

availability of transferred funds for control of outbreaks on 
Federal lands subject to jurisdiction of Secretary of the 
Interior 

(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) , from any funds made 
available to the Department of the Interior until expended, moneys shall 
be made available for the transfer by the Secretary of the Interior to 
the Secretary of Agriculture for the prevention, suppression, and 
control of grasshoppers and Mormon Cricket outbreaks on Federal lands 
under the jurisdiction of the Secretary of the Interior. 

(2) No funds shall be made available under this authority^ until 
contingency funds specifically available to the Animal and "Plant Health 
Inspection Service for grasshopper emergencies have been exhausted. 

(d> Time for treatment of lands dependent on determination of economic 
damage •** 

On request of the administering agency or the Department of 
Agriculture of an affected State, the Secretary of Agriculture shall 
immediately treat Federal, State, or private lands that are infested by 
grasshoppers or Mormon Crickets at levels of economic infestation-, 
unless the Secretary determines that delaying treatment will opS^Lradze 
biological control and not cause greater economic damage to adj'acent 
landowners . 

(e) Amount of payments for costs of control on Federal, State, and 
private lands; interrelated participation efforts 

The Secretary of Agriculture shall-- 


1 of 2 



25 


(1) pay out of appropriated funds made available to the 
Secretary or transferred to the Secretary by the Secretary of the 
Interior--100 percent of the cost of grasshopper or Mormon Cricket 
control on Federal lands ; 

(2) pay out of appropriated funds made available to the 
Secretary- - 

(A) 50 percent of the cost of such control on State lands; 

and 

(B) 33.3 percent of the cost of such control on private 
rangelands; and 

(3) participate in prevention, control, or suppression programs 
for grasshoppers and Mormon Crickets in conjunction v/ith other 
Federal, State and private prevention, control or suppression 
efforts. 

(f) Funding of personnel training program 

From appropriated funds made available or transferred by the 
Secretary of the Interior to the Secretary of Agriculture for such 
purposes, the Secretary of Agriculture shall provide adequate funding 
for a program to train personnel to effectively accomplish the objective 
of this section. 

(Pub. 3L. 99-198, title XVII, Sec. 1773, Dec. 23, 1985, 99 Stat. 1658.) 


of2 

Mr. Hefley. Thank you, Commissioner. 
Mayor Anderson? 



26 


STATEMENT OF MICHAEL J. ANDERSON, MAYOR, 

OAK CITY, UTAH 

Mr. Anderson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Michael 
J. Anderson. I am the mayor of the town of Oak City. Our popu- 
lation is roughly 750 people. We are located in western Millard 
County. I am employed at the Intermountain Power Plant, and I 
am also a dairyman by virtue of our family business. I appreciate 
you holding this meeting on our behalf. 

Cricket and grasshopper damage in our area is hitting us eco- 
nomically and physically. To quote one of our citizens from town, 
she says, “Mormon crickets in Millard County have not only gotten 
into our town, but also into our houses and into our lives.” They 
are severely impacting our everyday living and our quality of life. 
In our town, our children won’t even dare go outside or sleep in 
their rooms for fear of the big, black creatures that are outside in 
the flowerbeds and the gardens and sidewalks, on the eaves of 
their house. 

The situation also illustrated by the pictures before you, one of 
those pictures that BLM has showed you, those trees that they are 
climbing on comes from the houses on the outskirts of our town. 
You can see it looks like a beehive. 

Our children and others have been so mentally traumatized by 
these creatures that they dominate almost everything we try to do. 
Nearby forest campgrounds are no place of refuge. They are all 
over the trees, the campgrounds, the roads. They are totally dev- 
astated. You have the spit, the feces from it, and everything else 
that comes with those creatures are all over the tables. 

We recently had a religious girls camp up there, about 400 indi- 
viduals, and it turned into a real nightmare for them. The leaders 
of the campground ended up crying, going into the trailers and cry- 
ing, so they could go back out and be leaders over the girls. But 
they did stick it out, and we have to commend them for that. 

For the first time, crickets and grasshoppers have become a pub- 
lic health threat. Just like us, many Western States border or are 
adjacent to Federal lands. We have had crickets in Forest Service 
lands in our area for years, but this is the first time that they have 
ever come into the town, and they come into town in waves, as you 
heard the testimony today. They just cover and eat everything 
ahead of them. They force people on the south and east ends of 
town to even go as far as burning their shade and fruit trees. Those 
trees that are in the pictures were burned in an effort for these 
people to try and keep these things from crossing into their prop- 
erty. 

We have also got a creek down the south side of town, which you 
would think would slow them down. But they just climb up the wil- 
lows until their sheer weight bends the willows down, and they 
crawl over each other and cross this water and continue into town. 

Our town recently finished a drinking water system upgrade 
with sealed collection boxes on nearby Forest Service land. After 
the upgrade, our water superintendent and I inspected the water 
collection boxes at the spring head. To our amazement, we found 
handfuls of dead and rotting crickets inside the collection boxes. 
Our townspeople were very concerned when they heard this, as you 
can imagine, without knowing what diseases these creatures carry 



27 


or, who knows, what we are exposed to. It kind of leaves us hang- 
ing out there. This newly discovered public health threat has 
prompted our Governor to appoint a task force to find out and help 
develop a remedy for this. You can imagine how our citizens feel 
about the Federal Government not doing anything at all on this 
land to prevent these things from infesting our town. 

Our water storage tanks have also been vented, and we are using 
the smallest screens possible. There is also a chlorination house, 
and all have been penetrated by the creatures. They climb up on 
the tanks in the afternoons to catch the last rays of sun, and if you 
look at our water tanks, it looks just like those trees in those pic- 
tures that you have before you. 

Unless they are controlled in the adjacent Forest Service land 
where their egg-laying and hatching beds are, we have found noth- 
ing that can keep these creatures out of our facilities. As I said, 
our watershed is on Forest Service land, and under current Forest 
Service policy, there can be no insect control within 500 feet of the 
springs. Without control on the Forest Service land above that 
point — which was not done this year — how can we assure the safe- 
ty and reliability of our water system when crickets and grass- 
hoppers infest the hillsides and valleys of our watershed? We really 
have no alternative water source. 

Officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS report 
that several Western States are experiencing heavy cricket and 
grasshopper damage this year, with the heaviest Utah infestation 
in over 60 years. Also, according to the Utah Department of Agri- 
culture and Food, with the heavy egg-lay now underway, the pros- 
pect looms for an even heavier devastation next year, with these 
repulsive crickets and grasshoppers laying eggs right in our town. 
Only a severe winter would reduce the numbers by killing some of 
the eggs. 

The State of Utah is doing all it can by cost-sharing with private 
agriculture landowners on bait and aerial spray where it can be le- 
gally used, but no assistance has been available within the borders 
of our town. As we contemplated next year’s invasion, with eggs 
laid right at our doorsteps, we feel like the little Dutch boy. We are 
holding our finger in the dike while the dike is overflowing all 
around our head. It seems kind of pointless. 

We are here to appeal to this Committee to urge the Congress 
to provide the means for public land agencies to be better neigh- 
bors and use the proven, effective methods to control crickets and 
grasshoppers on Forest Service and BLM land. 

Thank you for your consideration of this request. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Anderson follows:] 

Statement of The Honorable Michael J. Anderson, Mayor, Oak City, 
Millard County, Utah 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. 

My name is Michael J. Anderson. I am the Mayor of Oak City, a town of approxi- 
mately 850 residents in western Millard County, Utah. I am employed at the Inter- 
mountain Power Plant and I am also a Dairyman. 

Thank you for holding this hearing. Cricket and grasshopper damage in our area 
is hitting us hard economically and physically. To quote a statement from one of 
our citizens, “Mormon crickets in Millard County have not only gotten into our 
town, but into our houses and into our lives”. They are severely impacting our ev- 
eryday living and our quality of life. In our town our children don’t even dare to 



28 


go outside or sleep in their own rooms for fear of the big, black creatures they see 
all over their lawns, sidewalks, flowerbeds and gardens. The situation illustrated by 
the pictures before you and attached to my written statement, brings to mind bib- 
lical plagues. Our children and others have been so mentally traumatized by these 
creatures that they dominate almost everything we try to do. Nearby Forest service 
campgrounds are no place of refuge either. Campground tables and restrooms are 
covered with crickets, cricket feces and saliva from the crickets. A recent church 
girls camp became a miserable experience for 400 local girls due to the crick- 
ets. (Show crickets) 

For the first time, crickets and grasshoppers have become a public health threat. 
Just like us, many western towns are surrounded by or are adjacent to federal 
lands. We have had crickets in Forest Service lands in our area for years, but this 
is the first year they have descended on our town in unbelievable waves, taking 
every almost living thing in their path, forcing people on the south and east sides 
of town to burn their shade and fruit trees in an unsuccessful effort to keep the 
creatures out of their homes and yards. A creek near town should have stopped 
them, but they just go up the willows until their weight bends them down and they 
cross over each other and move on into town. 

Our town recently finished a drinking water system upgrade with sealed collec- 
tion boxes in a nearby canyon on Forest Service land. After the upgrade, our Water 
Superintendent and I inspected the water collection boxes at the spring head. To 
our amazement we found handfuls of dead and rotting crickets in the water inside 
the collection boxes. Our townspeople are very concerned. What diseases do these 
creatures carry? What are our citizens exposed to? This newly discovered public 
health threat has prompted our Governor to appoint a task force to find out, and 
to help develop a remedy. Imagine how our citizens feel about the federal govern- 
ment’s failure to control crickets on adjacent public lands! 

Our water storage tanks have to be vented and we are using the smallest screens 
possible. There is also a chlorination house. All have been penetrated by the crea- 
tures. Unless they can be controlled on the adjacent Forest Service land where their 
egg-laying and hatching beds are, we have found nothing that can keep these crea- 
tures out of these facilities. As I said, our watershed is on Forest Service land. And 
under current Forest Service policy, there can be no insect control within 500 feet 
of the springs. Without control on the Forest Service land above that point (which 
was not done this year) how can we assure the safety and reliability of our water 
supply when crickets and grasshoppers infest the hillsides and valleys of our water- 
shed ? We really have no alternative to these water sources. 

Officials of the U.S. Department of Agriculture APHIS report that several western 
states are experiencing heavy cricket and grasshopper damage this year, with the 
heaviest Utah infestation of crickets in at least 60 years. According to the Utah De- 
partment of Agriculture and Food, with the heavy egg-lay now underway, the pros- 
pect looms of an even heavier devastation next year, with these repulsive crickets 
and grasshoppers laying eggs right in our town. Only a very severe winter would 
reduce the numbers by killing some of the eggs. 

The State of Utah is doing all it can by cost-sharing with private agriculture land- 
owners on bait and aerial spray where it can be legally used but no such assistance 
has been available within the borders of our town. As we contemplate next year’s 
invasion, with eggs laid right on our doorsteps, we feel like the little Dutch boy 
holding his finger in the dike while the dike is overflowing. Without control on adja- 
cent public land, it is a losing battle. We are here to appeal to this committee to 
urge the congress to provide the means for public land agencies to be better neigh- 
bors and use the proven, effective methods to control crickets and grasshopper on 
Forest Service and BLM land. 

Thank you for your consideration of our request 

Attachments: 

1. Photographs of typical cricket infestation in Oak City, Utah 

2. Written statement by Mrs. Janet Lindquist, Oak City, Utah resident 

3. Written statement by Bruce Lovell, former Oak City Mayor and Millard County 
Commissioner 


The attachments to Mr. Anderson’s statement follow: 



29 




30 


Written Statement by Mrs. Janet Lindquist, resident, Oak City, Utah 
Presented to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on 
National Parks, Recreation and Public Lands 
July 19, 2001 


Mormon Crickets in Millard County have not only gotten into our towns, but into our 
houses and into our lives. They are traveling in groups of a quarter mile long and one 
hundred and fifty yards deep, where you can't even throw a dime between them. They are 
coming out of the forests, coming into our towns and crawling up under our houses, on our 
roofs, on our eaves, when you go in the house, they drop on you and come in with you. If 
you walk out in the yard, of course you are going to step on them, you don't want to bring that 
into your home. Your kids can't piay outside, you don’t want to barbeque or picnic. The 
juices that they spit at this particular point in their lives are dripping down the side of the brick 
on my house. I went out yesterday, and I thought I could scrub it off, I couldn’t even scrub it 
off with a bleach solution. So I’m stuck with that stain on there until I figure out what to do 
with it. Their fecal material is ail over the place. It is worse than any I have seen 

And there is another picture in here that shows that kind of matter all over my porch, 
that was 2 weeks ago when they were really bad. I can hose it off everyday, but it is really 
bad, all over the place. They crawl up in the trees and drop down onto you. The cost of bait 
at the beginning of the season is forty dollars, and I went to the two places in the county that 
sell bait, Steve Regan and IFA, and now it is between 60 and 72 dollars a bag. Now you are 
starting to penalize the people that are already victims that have the problems. When we 
start putting the bait out, because we are trying to take care of our property, we have a new 
problem, and I have chickens. And I am killing crickets, but I don't want to eat those eggs, 
because my chickens were eating those crickets. So not only are we not eating the eggs, but 
we're not sure if it is going to be safe to eat the chickens. So now what are we going to do 
with them. 

The cow and horse troughs are getting so full of crickets that they have to scoop the 
crickets out, or else just leave the water running constantly so there is just an overflow to get 
rid of them. The crickets down there have been in the forest area now for many years, but 
why have they gotten so out of control? I think it is the lack of really cold winters. They come 
out of the mountains, and are laying eggs in our towns, so now they are going to start at our 
property next year. They go up to a mile a day, up to E0 miles in a season, and that is a very 
long way to travel. In our National Forest, I had talked to Mr. Robert Gardner, and he told me 
that he didn’t realize that this was such a problem. But our county just had 400 girls and their 
leaders go up on Oak City Canyon, this last weekend, and you can’t talk to one of them that 
didn't tell you what a horrible story it was. They paid 1200 dollars to rent those campgrounds, 
and they had to duct tape the ankles of their pants so that they could walk around in there. 
The crickets went up their pant tegs and they fell out of the trees onto their clothing. They 
were so thick on the lavatory restroom walls that when the girls went to use the lavatory, they 
go clumps of crickets on them. Now you have people afraid to use the restrooms in the 
National Forest. The stuff they spit was all over the tables, the grills, and they were dropping 
out of the trees onto the food they were preparing. It was a pretty bad thing. 

They said that they filled up three large lawn trash bags in an hour with the dead 
crickets they were killing. That is a lot of crickets. They were in their tents, you had women 
going in there" bawling. They were up there for four days, and didn’t come back because they 
.were responsible for the group, girls that couldn't leave thought that this was the most 
horrible thing, you know, just crying their eyes out everyday. And the ForesFService should 
have warned us that that was going on up there. They knew there were crickets, everyone in 
our county knows there are crickets. They don’t realize how bad it is up Oak Creek Canyon. 

I went up Oak Creek Canyon last night with my family, and we put on gloves and as soon as I 
. saw the river of these things crawling, we stepped the car and got out with this jar in the 
middle of us, and we picked them up one by one and stuck them in this jar, and we filled it up 
in a couple of minutes, no time at all. But our gloves were dripping with the juices that they 
spit. It is amazing how much they can spit at this time in their lives. You know, they travel 
fast, and they travel far, and I shutter to think what will happen when they get to these 
warmer climates, where they don’t get winters cold enough to kill them. 



31 


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32 


Mr. Hefley. Thank you very much. 

Darrell Johnson, the rancher. 

STATEMENT OF DARRELL JOHNSON, RANCHER, 

RUSH VALLEY, TOOELE COUNTY, STATE OF UTAH 

Mr. Johnson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the 
Committee. I am Darrell Johnson. Along with my wife Carol, I own 
and operate the Johnson Ranch in Rush Valley, Tooele County, 
Utah. My sons, Ed and Brian, and their wives and my parents, 
who were the former owners, also have a significant interest in our 
nearly 7,000 acres of all private, deeded, and leased ranch land. We 
are cow-calf operators, running about 250 head of cows year-round. 
Ours is a ranch with a pioneer family heritage running back to 
1856 when Luke S. Johnson was the first settler in our valley, after 
having arrived in Utah with the earliest Mormon pioneers. His 
dugout for a home on 40 acres of land has been developed by suc- 
ceeding generations into a ranch that I am proud to say was recog- 
nized last year as the Region 6 National Stewardship Award win- 
ner from the National Cattlemens Association. 

The private grazing land on our ranch is very productive after 
years of chaining and burning brush and seeding with carefully se- 
lected grasses that on some areas now produce over 1,4000 pounds 
of forage per acre. We have abundant wildlife on our land, and we 
have a large spring that provides irrigation for about 1,500 acres 
in our community. We are continually working to improve our place 
for future generations. 

I say all of this to help you understand how devastating the 
cricket and grasshopper infestation is to my operation and those of 
neighboring ranchers and farmers. For several years, we have had 
damage from crickets and grasshoppers in our area and in much 
of Utah, but our most severe damage began last year. In my area, 
private land owners are mostly surrounded on several sides by For- 
est Service and BLM land. Last year, crickets moved from Federal 
land in Skull Valley over Johnson Pass to about 2,000 acres of our 
deeded grazing land, which we use for summer feed. After the dam- 
age on that land, they laid eggs there and on other nearby Federal 
land where they hatched and brought us this year’s terrible infes- 
tation, the worst I have ever seen. 

I started trying to control the crickets on my land this April, lo- 
cating the most dense concentrations and circling them with ap- 
proved bait. It soon became futile. The crickets, now being followed 
by grasshoppers, ate our alfalfa to the ground and virtually every 
leaf off the crested wheat grass. There was no way I or my neigh- 
bors could stop them. The crickets do their damage and move on 
in literal waves to another area and again take almost everything 
in their path, followed now by grasshoppers from adjacent public 
land. 

Our best estimate at this time is that these insects have de- 
stroyed at least 75 percent of our forage. So if we are to stay in 
business, our only choice is to buy hate to replace this feed. To be 
conservative, I am going to say that my total loss of private forage 
will be 60 percent of my normal yields. That converts to at least 
$15,000 in hay that I will have to buy this year that I would not 
have purchased in any normal year. 



33 


Even worse, last year I put down seed on about 370 acres of 
deeded rangeland that would have been a high producer of feed 
this coming year. The crickets have eaten all those plants right 
into the dirt. If those seedlings don’t recover, it will cost nearly 
$13,000 to seed it again, not counting the fact that I will have to 
wait another 2 years for any meaningful production on that area. 
I have attached a partial list of cricket damage in an adjacent area 
prepared by the Grantee Spring Water Company. 

Mr. Chairman, my story is repeated again and again on Utah 
farms and ranches. We in the West know we must contend with 
drought, variable markets, and a heavy layer of government regu- 
lations. But this insect infestation, coming in large measure from 
uncontrolled or inadequately controlled populations on adjacent 
public land, is an element that we alone cannot overcome. We ap- 
preciate the efforts of our Utah Department of Agriculture and 
Food to reduce cricket populations on State-owned land and some 
cost-share money for bait or spray on private land. But, again, an 
army of insects, hatched and grown to traveling size on public land, 
is more tan we can deal with unless Federal land managers can 
control them before they move onto our land. So I add my voice of 
that to others who are appealing to Congress to give our neigh- 
boring public land managers the tools to be good neighbors. 

I would just like to add that we have received some help from 
the sea gull population. They were a little late in coming, but for 
about 3 weeks we have had huge flocks of sea gulls in there. We 
are about 35 miles from the Great Salt Lake, and they are starting 
to do their share. We need a lot more of them. 

I thank you for listening. We hope that you can help. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Johnson follows:] 

Statement of Darrell Johnson, Rush Valley, Utah 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I am Darrell Johnson. Along with my wife Carol, I 
own and operate the Johnson Ranch in Rush Valley, Tooele County, Utah. My sons 
Ed and Brian and their wives and my parents, who were the former owners, also 
have a significant interest in our nearly 7,000 acres of all-private, deeded and leased 
ranch land. We are cow-calf operators, running about 250 cows year-round. Ours is 
a ranch with a pioneer family heritage running back to 1856 when Luke S. Johnson 
was the first settler in our valley, after having arrived in Utah with the earliest 
Mormon pioneers. His dugout for a home on 40 acres of land has been developed 
by succeeding generations into a ranch that I’m proud to say was recognized last 
year as the Region 6 National Stewardship Award winner from the National Cattle- 
men’s Beef Association. 

The private grazing land on our ranch is very productive after years of chaining 
and burning brush and seeding with carefully selected grasses that on some areas 
now produce over 1,400 pounds of forage per acre. We have abundant wildlife on 
our land and we have a large spring that provides irrigation for about 1,500 acres 
in our community. We are continually working to improve our place for future gen- 
erations. 

I say all this to help you understand how devastating the cricket and grasshopper 
infestation is to my operation and those of my neighboring ranchers and farmers. 
For several years we have had damage from crickets and grasshoppers in our area 
and in much of Utah, but our most severe damage began last year. In my area pri- 
vate land owners are mostly surrounded on several sides by Forest Service and 
BLM land. Last year crickets moved from federal land in Skull Valley over Johnson 
Pass to about 2,000 acres of our deeded grazing land, which we use for summer 
feed. After the damage on that land, they laid eggs there and on other nearby fed- 
eral land where they hatched and brought us this year’s terrible infestation; the 
worst I’ve ever seen. 

I started trying to control the crickets on my land this April, locating the most 
dense concentrations and circling them with approved bait. It soon became futile. 



34 


The crickets, now being followed by grasshoppers, ate our alfalfa to the ground and 
virtually every leaf off the crested wheat grass. There was no way I, or my neigh- 
bors, could stop them. The crickets do their damage and move on in literal waves 
to another area and again take almost everything in their path, followed now by 
grasshoppers from adjacent public land. 

Our best estimate at this time is that these insects have destroyed at least 75 
percent of our forage. So if we are to stay in business, our only choice is to buy hay 
to replace this feed. To be conservative, I am going to say that my total loss of pri- 
vate forage will be 60 percent of my normal yields. That converts to at least $15,000 
in hay that I will have to buy this year that I would not have purchased in any 
normal year. 

Even worse, last year I put down new seed on about 370 acres of deeded range 
land that would have been a high producer of feed this coming year. The crickets 
have eaten all those plants into the dirt. If those seedlings don’t recover, it will cost 
nearly $13,000 to seed it again, not counting the fact that I’ll have about two years 
to wait for any meaningful production on that area. I have attached a partial list 
of cricket damage in an adjacent area prepared by the Grantee Spring Water Com- 
pany. 

Mr. Chairman, my story is repeated again and again on Utah’s farms and 
ranches. We in the West know we must contend with drought, variable markets and 
a heavy layer of government regulations. But this insect infestation, coming in large 
measure from uncontrolled or inadequately-controlled populations on adjacent public 
land, is an element that we alone cannot overcome. We appreciate the efforts of our 
Utah Department of Agriculture & Food to reduce cricket populations on state- 
owned land and some cost-share money for bait or spray on private land. But again, 
an army of insects, hatched and grown to traveling size on public land is more than 
we can deal with unless federal land managers can control them before they move 
onto our land. So I add my voice to that of others who are appealing to congress 
to give our neighboring public land managers the tools to be good neighbors. 

Thank you for listening. We hope you can help. 


[An attachment to Mr. Johnson’s statement follows:] 



35 


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36 


Mr. Hefley. Boy, you are an outstanding group of witnesses, and 
you certainly paint the picture for us, and it is a very bleak and 
ugly and sad picture that you paint, particularly if you are trying 
to make a living on the land, as our last witness is. 

Let me ask you, are there some crickets every year and some 
grasshoppers every year, but in a cyclical fashion you have these 
plagues every so many years, depending on the weather and so 
forth? Is that the way it works? 

Mr. Peterson. Yes, Mr. Chairman. There will always be crickets 
and grasshoppers in abundance for the wildlife and the other spe- 
cies that prey upon them — sage grouse, the gulls, and others. And 
following this kind of an infestation and that kind of feed for preda- 
tors, we get an increase of fox, we get an increase of coyotes, we 
get an increase of moles and other rodents that will do well on 
these kind of insect populations. 

And so we get another plague following this because of the abun- 
dance of feed that these predators have that prey upon the crickets 
and grasshoppers. But there are always pockets of those. We 
haven’t seen this type of infestation and the excessive migration 
that we are seeing this year. 

Mr. Hefley. You do have other predators, though, besides the 
sea gulls who do feed on them? They just can’t keep up with it? 

Mr. Peterson. That is right. 

Mr. Hefley. Yes, yes. Is there anything that can really control 
the problem? It is a little hard for me to tell from — there are a lot 
of things you are doing, but is there anything that can really con- 
trol the problem? Mr. Dunkle? 

Mr. Dunkle. Yes, I think there is. Our environmental impact 
statement that we are preparing now will lay out all of the primary 
mitigations. 

First of all, it is very important, as Mr. Peterson has stated, that 
we do the proper surveys, because we do egg mass surveys in the 
fall and then we do similar surveys in the spring. And the purpose 
is to locate these pockets and then to try to guesstimate the poten- 
tial size of the population that we are going to deal with next year 
and where this population will begin to migrate, and to try to keep 
that within a manageable limit. 

And then there are certain chemical alternatives, the newest one 
now being a compound called Demolin, which is an environ- 
mentally friendly compound. It does not eradicate these popu- 
lations, but it does significantly lower them so that there is mini- 
mal effect on wildlife, on other predators, and so forth. 

So we do have the control tactics, we do have the surveying 
methods, and then when we are looking at management on public 
lands, the other Federal agencies have additional management op- 
tions that they will use on rangeland and so forth that will tier into 
this whole program. 

Mr. Hefley. Do you have environmental extremist groups — I 
think Senator Bennett mentioned that there are threats of law- 
suits, but do you have environmental extremist groups throwing 
their bodies in front of the sprayers or whatever they do, trying to 
keep you from doing anything? Or is most everybody in agreement 
something needs to be done? 



37 


Ms. Hatfield. Mr. Chairman, at least in BLM’s case, we have 
been challenged about the use of some of these substances in 
Idaho. And at least there we are not using the Demolin until 
APHIS can complete their EIS and we can tier off of their environ- 
mental impact statement. But certainly there has been some con- 
cern by some groups about the impact of the use of some of these 
insecticides on other animals in the system. 

But, for the most part, we are using Demolin in other States, and 
we are also using some other insecticides that have proved to be 
useful and helpful in the control of the pests. But it is a balance, 
and we do have to do the environmental reviews before we can take 
care of the problem. 

Mr. Johnson. Mr. Chairman, may I add that one of the members 
of the environmental group made a comment to the local paper 
that farmers out there should know better than to be farming next 
to BLM land. My family was there before there was a BLM in 
1856, and I am the fifth generation that has been there. It isn’t, 
you know, by choice that we would choose not to farm there. It is 
because that is where the resources are to be able to farm and do 
what we do. 

Mr. Hefley. You know, Mr. Johnson, that does show the com- 
plete lack of understanding that some of these groups and some of 
these people have. When they opened up the West, they opened it 
up for homesteading, and the BLM land was the land that was left 
over, land that no one wanted because it didn’t have the resources 
to do a productive farming operation on. So what do you do? I 
mean, if you pick the productive land, that is what is left over. It 
just shows a complete lack of understanding. 

Mr. Gibbons? 

Mr. Gibbons. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Indeed, as 
we have heard today, this is a dramatic and a desperate problem 
for many people, whether you are a rancher, farmer, or apparently 
a person inside a community, in a city, and a home and a family. 

My question is either to the Department of Agriculture or the 
Department of Interior: How long is your EIS going to take before 
you can address this problem? 

Mr. Dunkle. We have been working on our EIS. We are going 
to be publishing it as a proposal in August, receive public comment 
through September. We are hoping to have our environmental im- 
pact statement completed by the 1st of January of 2002 at the lat- 
est. 

Mr. Gibbons. And then how long after that would you be able 
to address the problem? As I heard from your testimony, once the 
cricket lays eggs in the soil, you do these surveys in the fall and 
the spring and determine what the outbreak is going to be. What 
type of action can you take once the infestation of this magnitude 
covers such a large area — 1.5 million acres in Utah, 65,000 in Ne- 
vada and growing? How many dollars is it going to take? How 
many man-hours? What is the magnitude of the problem you face 
at that point? 

Mr. Dunkle. First of all, I think our goal is to focus on timely 
survey to locate these populations and these pockets of critters and 
to predict where they will go and how big these migrations will be 
so that we can time our treatments to prevent the massive out- 



38 


breaks that you are seeing pictures of here today. And if we can 
get this back down to a manageable program, then the magnitudes 
that we have been working with in the past from some of the testi- 
mony I gave earlier in regard to the no-year fund and so forth, it 
is about a $5 to $8 million a year program. And this keeps it over- 
all under pretty good — I am talking Federal funds now, but keep- 
ing this under a very good management protocol throughout the 
Western United States. 

Mr. Gibbons. So you are talking of annual funding of about $8 
million, which hasn’t been funded since 1994. 

Mr. Dunkle. That is correct. 

Mr. Gibbons. Is it the obligation of the Federal Government to 
address this infestation on private property as well as public prop- 
erty? 

Mr. Dunkle. You know, as has come out, there is a relationship 
between private and public lands when it comes to managing this 
population holistically. What we try to do is focus on tactics that 
minimize the impact of these crickets and grasshoppers onto pri- 
vate lands. The migrations, the populations build up predominantly 
on public sector property, and then they boil out and they migrate 
into private properties and so forth. And so the tactics that we do 
on the Federal sector have a direct benefit to managing these popu- 
lations on the private sector. 

Mr. Gibbons. Well, Dr. Dunkle, let me say that I have read Mr. 
Peterson’s testimony, and he cites the U.S. Code in here, Title 7, 
Section 148f, paragraph (d), which establishes the framework for 
funding for fighting the Mormon cricket. And obviously it quotes, 
“...the Secretary of Agriculture shall immediately treat Federal, 
State or private lands that are infested by grasshoppers or Mormon 
crickets at levels of economic infestation...” So obviously the law 
has been created to require you to address the problem on Mr. 
Johnson’s ranch as well as the BLM. So it is not just simply — or 
public land, excuse me, Federal land. So it is not just the benefit 
flowing over to those private lands. It requires the U.S. Govern- 
ment to address the infestation on private lands. 

That, I would hope, is the direction that you also consider your 
responsibility to be in as well. 

Mr. Dunkle. I have to make a point in regard to that particular 
piece of testimony, because I think it now conflicts with the new 
Plant Protection Act. And I may need some of my staff to confirm 
this, but the way the Plant Protection Act now reads, when all of 
the authorities of the USDA APHIS were consolidated, I think the 
only authority that we have is to focus on public rangeland. And 
so what our tactic has been over the past years, in particular since 
1994, has been to treat public rangeland in strips that adjoin pri- 
vate sector to keep these migrations from moving over into the pri- 
vate sector. 

Mr. Gibbons. Would you mind providing this Committee with a 
legal assessment with regard to the combination of your respon- 
sibilities with regard to Section 148f, Title 7 of the U.S. Code for 
this Committee? 

Mr. Dunkle. Yes, sir. I would be glad to. 

Mr. Gibbons. Let me also say, Mr. Chairman, it appears that we 
have a dual-fold funding responsibility here. One, of course, is the 



39 


economic damage that has taken place due to the current and ex- 
isting infestations that we haven’t been able to address, causing 
substantial economic harm to many of these individuals, much as 
would a flood, a fire, or any other natural disaster. So that is part 
of it. 

But we also have this ongoing requirement and responsibility to 
adequately fund the effect of addressing this infestation funding in 
years at the $8 million level. I certainly hope that we can convince 
our colleagues to join us in this effort. I look forward to working 
with the Committee. 

I want to thank the members of this panel for taking time out 
of their busy lives. Many of you have had to travel a long way, and 
I know you seem to think that there are only three of us up here 
that you are talking to. But we hear you and the record will ade- 
quately reflect your comments and your concerns, and we will do 
our utmost to convince and work with our other colleagues on the 
seriousness of this issue. 

I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman, for this opportunity. 

Mr. Hefley. Mr. Peterson? 

Mr. Peterson. Mr. Chairman, may I make a comment to the 
Congressman’s point? 

Mr. Hefley. Sure. 

Mr. Peterson. Weather would be the best help we could have to 
break this cycle for next year. 

Mr. Gibbons. Mr. Peterson, we are very powerful here in Con- 
gress, but we are not that powerful. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Peterson. If you would regulate or legislate the weather to 
break that pattern and then after that, when find and locate those 
very intense hatching beds, if we can do the control work while 
they are in the nymph stage in those heavy infested areas, we can 
control this extreme migration that we have seen. Absent that abil- 
ity, both financially and with the environmental threats — you touch 
them and we will take you to court — we have lived with that kind 
of threat. Not so much the laying down in front of the spray truck, 
but the threat of going to court if you carry out the EA. And I think 
we have to be above and beyond that for the reasons that you have 
heard. 

The Bureau of Land Management and APHIS have been tremen- 
dous partners in this effort this year. I recognize that and thank 
them for that. 

Mr. Gibbons. My question would be on these eggs, Mr. Peterson, 
that we talk about, where the eggs were laid. Not always are they 
on public land. They are oftentimes on private land and have come 
over from public land to infest private land. So the combination of 
trying to address this issue must also — and that is the point I was 
trying to make — must also include addressing the infestations that 
are in that nymph stage on private lands; otherwise, we are never 
going to get a hold of this issue. 

Mr. Peterson. Exactly. 

Mr. Hefley. We will, however, tell Chairman Hansen that you 
would like us to do something about the weather, and he tells us 
he is all-powerful. So I think maybe we can get something done. 

[Laughter.] 



40 


Mr. Hefley. Mr. Cannon? 

Mr. Cannon. You know, I was going to say that we only have 
three people up here, but we are the smartest three because we 
know we can’t legislate and get the result that we would want. 

Mr. Chairman, I would ask unanimous consent that my opening 
statement be included in the record. 

Mr. Hefley. Without objection. 

Mr. Cannon. Thank you. 

[The prepared statement of Mr. Cannon follows:] 

Statement of The Honorable Chris Cannon, a Representative in Congress 
from the State of Utah 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this hearing to examine solutions to the 
worst infestation of Mormon crickets experienced by Utah in 60 years. The devasta- 
tion caused by the crickets has worried many of my constituents and has caused 
financial hardships to others. IN the 1980’s, Congress was effective in addressing 
this problem. This year, however, the Federal Government has been slow to act. 

This problem cannot be controlled by the people of Utah because the crickets 
hatch on federal lands and then they hop to farmland. Last year over 590,000 acres 
in Utah were infested with cricket population in excess of eight insects per square 
yard, and 24 of Utah’s 29 counties were affected. In addition to destroying crops 
these insects contaminate local water supplies once they die. 

The infestation of crickets is predictable based on regional climate. This Feb- 
ruary’s edition of The Utah Farm Bureau News issued a warning of the upcoming 
infestation of crickets, predicting possible the worst in 60 years. Due to the string 
of mild winters in the past few years, the catastrophic infestation we are experi- 
encing was predicted months in advance. The prediction parallels the reality facing 
farmers and residents of Utah as they deal with the nearly 2 million acres currently 
infested by the crickets. This predictability should allow us to solve the problem be- 
fore it reaches crisis proportions. 

These pests are most easily controlled during the early stages of their life cycle. 
This year, in an attempt to thwart the destruction of the crickets, officials at the 
Utah Department of Agriculture and Food distributed a limited amount of bait used 
to control the infestation. However, this bait was in short supply compared to the 
large population of crickets. 

Since the crickets come from federal land, the federal government must be a part- 
ner in controlling them. This hearing will help to begin the process of finding solu- 
tions to alleviate the problems associated with the Mormon crickets. I would espe- 
cially like to thank Booth Wallentine for the work he has done to bring this issue 
before this body. I look forward to hearing from our witnesses. 


Mr. Cannon. And I would like to thank our great folks from 
Utah for coming out, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Anderson, and Commis- 
sioner Peterson, our Commissioner of Agriculture. He has done an 
incredible job over the last several years in the State of Utah. We 
appreciate your being here. And also Mr. Dunkle and my dear 
friend, Nina Rose Hatfield, who has been through the battles with 
me in the ancient past — not too ancient. You are much younger 
than — 

Ms. Hatfield. I was going to say, not too ancient, sir. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Cannon. I take it, Ms. Hatfield, that you support the APHIS 
request for $8.7 million? 

Ms. Hatfield. Well, we certainly think that the memorandum of 
understanding that we have with APHIS makes a workable system 
and one that really makes sense for the Federal partners in that 
they have an environmental impact statement that we can tier off 
of so it is less expensive for us to do the environmental planning 
that we need to do. And at the same time, they have the expertise 



41 


to actually have the people doing the surveying and doing the 
treatment, and that allows, I think, a reasonable system in terms 
of delivering, in terms of trying to deal with this infestation. And 
certainly the cog in the wheel here needs to be that they have ade- 
quate funding to carry out their part of the overall system. 

I think the BLM, you know, feels that we have money to support, 
but they actually are the leaders in terms of carrying out the pro- 
gram, and they need to be adequately funded. 

Mr. Cannon. In the case of Mr. Johnson, he has spent $15,000, 
$20,000, something like that, $15,000 just in incremental hay costs. 
Is there any Federal pocket out there that is responsible to com- 
pensate him for the damage that resulted from our failures at the 
Federal level? 

Ms. Hatfield. If there is, I am unaware of it, sir, but I will cer- 
tainly be glad to look at it, unless it would be something like the 
Tort Claims Act, and I don’t think this — I think this would be a 
difficulty under that act. 

Mr. Cannon. I might just point out that the Federal Government 
has immunity from lawsuits, and so we actually have a Committee 
that deals with both immigration and claims — odd combination. 
That is, when American citizens are hurt and have a claim, there 
is a way legislatively to solve that problem. And that ought to be 
considered since this is such a widespread and painful problem 
there. 

We talked earlier about litigation over these issues, and you 
mentioned, Mr. Dunkle, that there is some litigation in Idaho. Are 
you aware of the Utah Environmental Congress lawsuit to halt 
spraying on Forest Service lands in the Uintah Basin — the Uintah 
National Forest, that is? 

Mr. Dunkle. I am personally not aware of it. 

Mr. Pyron. I am Chris Pyron, the Deputy Regional Forester from 
Utah, and my understanding of the situation is that we were told 
that if we tried to go forward with a categorical exclusion so we 
could take suppression actions on Forest Service lands, that we 
would be challenged in court. We checked with our office of general 
counsel, and they confirmed that we were on shaky ground on 
using the categorical exclusion. That is why we were not able to 
treat Forest Service grounds in the Uintah National Forest this 
year. 

We have corrected that problem for next year. We have set aside 
money to make sure that we could do the appropriate environ- 
mental analysis, and we will have that in place to compare it to 
the APHIS EIS. 

Mr. Cannon. And would you describe what a categorical exclu- 
sion means? 

Mr. Pyron. A categorical exclusion provides for not having to go 
through certain documentation in support of the management deci- 
sion that you would have to do if you did an environmental assess- 
ment or environmental impact statement. In fact, it just cuts down 
the time that it takes to process the action by quite a bit. When 
we discovered that we would have to go through an EA, an envi- 
ronmental analysis, we simply did not have time to get that proc- 
ess completed before the window had expired for treating the Mor- 
mon cricket or grasshopper this year. 



42 


Mr. Cannon. Thank you very much for that. 

Could I just ask, Dr. Dunkle, could you explain — Mr. Peterson 
mentioned the nymph stage. When are these beasts vulnerable, 
and what happens if you don’t do it in a timely fashion? 

Mr. Dunkle. I think the most vulnerable period of their life cycle 
is when the eggs are hatching and when these insects are in their 
early stages of development, the nymphal stage, when they are 
probably about an inch or less. 

Mr. Cannon. And above that, are they just less resistant — I am 
sorry, more resistant to the chemicals? 

Mr. Dunkle. Yes. 

Mr. Cannon. So then you have to have chickens or sea gulls or 
something like that. 

Mr. Dunkle. Right, right. And so they are very vulnerable when 
they are very young and when there is not all that much forage out 
and so forth, so the treatments are much more effective. 

Mr. Cannon. Thank you. 

I yield back, Mr. Chairman. 

Mr. Hefley. Thank you very much. 

What is the life cycle? I don’t know if we have talked about that. 
Both the life cycle of the infestation when it comes like this, and 
the life cycle of the individual critter. Does it live for a month or 
a week or — 

Mr. Dunkle. As I understand it — and I have some of my staff 
here in case I drift into areas that I shouldn’t be talking about. But 
my general understanding is that the eggs hatch in the early 
spring and the insect can pretty much stay alive through late sum- 
mer, early fall. And so what they are doing is they are rapidly eat- 
ing forage and growing and they are developing their capacity for 
egg laying and reproduction. Then as they consumer the forage, 
then they begin to really lay their eggs again and start the life 
cycle over. So it is sort of a one-generation-per-year thing. This is 
pretty much I think what happens. 

Mr. Hefley. About a month or a month and a half or something 
would be an individual’s life span probably, is that correct? 

Mr. Dunkle. Well, they are coming out in March and April. 

Mr. Hefley. So a lot more than that. 

Mr. Dunkle. Those in that jar emerged in March and April, and 
so they are still — 

Mr. Hefley. Yes. 

Mr. Johnson. From my observation, we had crickets hatching in 
late March, the last 2 weeks in March. It was a rather warm 
spring, a warm winter, and they were hatching in March. And we 
still have the large adult crickets which are laying eggs now this 
last week in July. The first crickets that we saw last year came up 
from Skull Valley off of the Federal land in the first week of July. 
They were large and that is when they started laying their eggs. 
They were gone, basically starting to die, by the first week in Au- 
gust. And it seemed like the later in the life stage, they eat less. 
It was in April and May as they were sub-adults, that they were 
really devastating on our rangeland as new growth was coming on. 
That is when we saw the most damage from the crickets, was quite 
early on in their life cycle. 



43 


Mr. Hefley. Well, I think you have been a wonderful group of 
witnesses, and I think you have been very, very convincing to this 
Committee. And I think the weight of this Committee will be 
thrown behind doing whatever we can to get you some help to not 
only get this under control but to make sure that it doesn’t happen 
again. 

You notice that the three of us here are Westerners, and don’t 
take it that the rest of the Committee doesn’t have an interest or 
won’t pay attention to it, because we will see that they certainly 
do. But we do have as Westerners oftentimes trouble getting the 
representatives from the East to understand some of our special 
problems that we have in the West that are very different from the 
East, and there is where you get 8 inches of rainfall a year com- 
pared to 100 inches in some places in the East. They don’t under- 
stand some of these things, and it is hard to get us to do it. And 
I am wondering, Jim, if we should release a breeding population of 
these things here on the East Coast so that they would understand. 

[Laughter.] 

Mr. Hefley. Do you think at all that would help the situation? 
If you don’t get the money, you would like to do it, I am sure. You 
don’t have to answer that. 

Jim, did you have a comment? 

Mr. Gibbons. Mr. Chairman, that was going to be my suggestion 
as a way of introducing and educating some of our members on the 
Committee who aren’t familiar with Western heritage issues. Just 
take this bottle right here and, oh, maybe five or six in each one 
of their offices would give them a quick understanding of just the 
problems we are dealing with. 

Mr. Hefley. Well, it is a very unique kind of special problem 
that we have in certain areas of the West, and, unfortunately, we 
have great populations of things like the Mormon crickets in the 
West. We don’t have great populations of Representatives to Con- 
gress from the West. Most of them are up and down the East Coast 
and in California. So it is a little difficult to convince them. But 
you have presented a very graphic, fact-based picture of what the 
situation is. I think I have a much better understanding — I would 
guess all of us do — of the problem you are facing, and we will do 
what we can to be helpful. 

Your trip I hope has not been in vain. At least it has not been 
with this Committee, and we will see what we can do to be helpful. 

Yes, sir, Commissioner? 

Mr. Peterson. Could I answer, I think it was Congressman Can- 
non’s question, about what kind of help is there for a devastated 
rancher. The Governor declared this a disaster in our State, and 
then with documentation of those losses through the Farm Service 
Agency Committees in our county, then claims could come forward 
for disaster relief through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And 
I think Secretary Veneman has some resources that could in small 
part compensate for that damage. 

Mr. Cannon. Mr. Chairman, I would be happy to sit with the 
Commissioner after this session and chat about what those possi- 
bilities are. 

Mr. Hefley. Okay. Panel, do you have any other comments be- 
fore we close? 



44 


[No response.] 

Mr. Hefley. Well, then, thank you very, very much for being 
here. You have been very helpful. 

The Committee stands adjourned. 

[Whereupon, at 11:45 a.m., the Subcommittee was adjourned.] 

o