Development of Citrus Canker Task Force

As you may be aware, our firm has developed a Citrus Canker Task Force to assist citrus growers in addressing the legal issues involved when canker is detected. As a service to our clients, our Task Force has begun compiling and disseminating pertinent information to those affected often before it hits the newsstand. As one of our clients having to deal with the canker protocol, we thought you might appreciate receiving these updates.

Attached are two recent articles that accurately summarizes what has been stated publicly to the press. This morning’s article from the Post reveals that a de facto moratorium on pushing and burning trees in the 1900′ presumed infected zone has been initiated until a decision is made about the future of the program. It will take legislation to modify the current protocol and we have been told the new protocol will be ready within 10-14 days. Note the comment about the funding for tree removal of $200M only covering claims submitted through mid-July 2005. The total price tag is probably greater than $1B now.

We are advising clients that are undertaking to perform their own clearing to cease until the new protocol is decided. In the meantime, effort should be made to confirm that all appropriate steps have been taken to preserve one’s claim for compensation for trees taken to date for which there is not coverage or adequate compensation under the USDA Compensation program.

We will endeavor to provide you with the up to date information as we receive it. If you prefer that we not provide this service to you, please send me an e-mail and we will take you off the distribution list and you will not be charged for the time invested in preparing these updates. While this update has been sent to you at no cost, if you elect to continue receiving these updates, I will allocate the time invested among all of our Citrus Canker clients, which will result in each incurring a small percentage of the time invested in reviewing the materials we receive and the preparation of the information.

Best Regards,

Michael Minton, Chair Citrus Canker Task Force