Sunday, March 29, 2015

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Hard-stoppin’ win

by Julie Carter

Cowboy stories are shared over and over and usually last through several generations. As a rule, they either impart a lesson, offer simple entertainment value or sometimes the stories are an opening overture for a new friendship.

Cowboys value humor almost as much as they value grass and a gifted storyteller will find himself in demand at about every gathering in the county.  When strangers move into an area, the storyteller is certain to show up to give them his welcome. His real mission is to make them the beneficiary of the wildest of his stories in his repertoire since there is no way for the newcomers to determine any lack of truth.

Such is the story of Rocky and Gene which are fictitious names to protect the liars but the story telling is true.

Rocky just moved to the county, bought a nice little place, put few cattle out on grass to make it look right, tuned up his fishing pole, built a new roping arena and proceeded to move into what he liked to think of as semi-retirement.

Gene dropped by one day to help Rocky out with the Coors Lite inventory in the saddle house icebox. With the big W’s on his Wrangler pockets settled onto an upside down five-gallon bucket, Gene opened the conversation.

“Rocky, you ever rope any calves?”

Recognizing this as an intro to a story, Rocky allowed that he had roped a few, way back when.

There followed a Navajo length of silence just to make sure Rocky didn’t want to tell a story first, then Gene began his story about how he won the buckle at the big rodeo.

“I had been calf roping pretty steady for a good while, but I was always coming in fourth when they were paying three places or eighty-fourth when they paid eighty-three places,” lamented Gene.

He went on to say he had figured out, after giving it considerable thought, that what he needed to win was a calf horse with a real good stop on him.  He put out the word and not long after he got a call from a fellow he knew. This guy claimed he had just the horse Gene was looking for and assured him that he had a real good stop. In fact, he had named him Stop Hard.

The trade was made over the phone and arrangements were detailed to meet at the big rodeo with the horse. Gene was entered up in the calf roping and when they called his name, he backed his new horse into the roping box.

When everything was just right, he nodded and made a clean break from the barrier. He stood up in his stirrups and threw his best catch’em-fast loop.

That was the horse’s signal and he planted his backside in dirt like he’d been pole axed.  This launched Gene straight between ole Stop Hard’s ears.

In an effort to save his life, Gene grabbed the rope on the way to the ground and slid down it like a handrail until he got to the calf.  He knocked the calf over with his head and while he was in the neighborhood, he tied up three of the calf’s legs and threw up his hands.

Turned out that was the fastest time of the day. He won the event, got his buckle and almost enough money to cover the entry fee. He was a happy man albeit a little crippled up from the crash landing.

Out back behind the chutes, when the rodeo was over and all the other ropers came by to congratulate him and admire the buckle, he managed to swap off that “calf horse with the real good stop.”  That made him an even happier man.

And Rocky was real happy he wasn’t in need of a hard stoppin’ calf horse.

Julie can be reached for comment at

The EPA - Jack Boots Cometh

Fear of the almighty (not the Almighty)
Jack Boots Cometh
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            The notice announced the agency will solicit more feedback from farmers, Ag companies, and academics before moving ahead with a first-of-its-kind plan to curb the spreadof corn rootworms that can damage insect resistant GMO corn and survive. The presiding feds also forewarned that they may need to impose requirements that disallow year to year corn rotation in some areas.
            Of course, the fear of this almighty (not the Almighty) has set the stage for producers, seed companies, and Constitutionalists to wring their hands yet again and add worry to the fear of limitations imposed on American farmers to make their own business decisions. The expected industry reaction was accompanied by the expected default suggestion that some academics say the step is long overdue to maintain the GMO corn’s effectiveness.
            The agency in question is not the USDA which used to focus on all matters of American agriculture production. No, that agency has set its own evolutionary path toward expanding its role in engineering social welfare programs and rural community organizing matters. The agency setting course for its self directed and assumed calling of ruling the entire environmental universe is none other than … the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
            From Nixon’s hand
            Before we set the stage to cast further aspersions on the character of one Dick Nixon, the matter of public comments must be addressed. To those who loyally take the call for comments to heart and expend honest effort in objective responses for the creation of rules and regulations, the best case outcome has been woefully disappointing. There is little expectation that the adopted rules will be crafted in the best interest of those who actually face the directed assaults. The best case scenario for that citizenry has become recognition by the courts in order to sue in the aftermath of implementation.
            That theoretically still keeps the citizenry in the framework of the debate if, of course, they have the wherewithal to pony up the greenbacks.
            The truth is, power accrual in the implementation of the law is always the goal. Comments are just window dressing. The agenda of the power structure is the driving force and the affected citizenry is at best secondary. That is why Washington systematically doesn’t work.
             Nixon proposed the creation of EPA for the purpose of writing and enforcing regulations based on various laws, but most specifically the National Environmental Policy Act passed by Congress in 1969. Nixon was also the presidential signer of that historic act.
The EPA began operation in 1970 following another of the Nixon actions in the form of an executive order authorizing its creation.  To this day, the EPA is still not a Cabinet level department even though its administrator is normally given cabinet rank.
            It is a state within itself although it doesn’t have an official governor or dog catcher. The current agency has just over 15,000 employees and engages an unknown number of contractors. Its 2015 budget is $7.9 billion which happens to be $1.6 billion more than the annual budget of my home state of New Mexico.
            From an historical perspective, the agency rides shotgun over the big three natural resources that provide the foundation for our existence. That, of course, is air, water, and soil, or, as the official description implies … land.
            The number of environmental laws its tentacles have ensnared is fairly impressive. In the matter of air, there are 10 primary ones. From water, there are another 13 pieces of legislation, and from land there are 11.
             The horizons were expanded beyond foundational resource protections when the next two environmental materfamilias were cast into causes. Those grandiose bifurcations were endangered species and hazardous wastes. Another 15 laws required the agency’s diligent regulatory creation. Seemingly, the role of saving the environmental universe was nowhere near half life.
Not to be lax in saving the known environment, though, the agency ventured off into the energy sector in 1992. That was joined by pesticides, detergents, fuel economy, oil pollution, water use efficiency, radiation protection, and potable water supplies. The latter inspired the urge to venture off shore, so, in 2004 the OSV Bold, a Stalwart class ocean surveillance ship, was commissioned to go forth and monitor anything that might be dumped into the ocean. In 2013, the agency sold the boat to Seattle Central Community College for five grand for students to set up shop and determine the highest and best use of environmental surveillance.
With such conquests, the question must be asked … will imagination be the next frontier of entry for this agency’s regulatory quest?
            Global warming and water
            Before we get to imagination, two professionalized and induced moral assaults remain. That would be global warming and the attempt to alter the Clean Water Act (CWA).
First, there is the nebulous danger to mankind …global warming.
            The matter of global warming (or climate change) has never been codified in law. Although, there is a gang within congressional ranks who are fully vested in the notion, there has never been a congressional directive. It has been the agencies, led by EPA and started by a Bush era administrator, Stephen L. Johnson, that have seized authority in the matter.
            In 2007, Johnson approved a draft document that declared man-made climate change imperiled public welfare. It was not accepted by the Bush Oval Office. Johnson resigned in protest, but the machine was ready for action. The agency set a course for regulatory controls anyway.
            The CWA bolstered the authority of the EPA dramatically. It was passed on the premise to protect the primary responsibilities and rights of the Statesand … to consult with the (EPA) Administrator in the exercise of his authority under this Act, but, like most legislative outcomes, those words became largely convenient filler. The current battle rages over the agency’s decision to rewrite the law through regulatory fiat by simply dropping the word ‘navigable’ from the reference of waters of the United States. That simple change alters the authority of the administrator from defined parameters to every puddle of water as well as inland and coastal waterways.
Congressional committees have been convened to counter the action, but nobody has yet threatened the agency with a budget cut that would stifle their unbridled nonsense and unlawful quest for authority.
            That brings us back to the matter of imagination.
            A quick search reveals the agency is assuming greater conformity to 1930 era jack boot outreach paradigms for the mushy, malleable minds of academia (MMMA). The money is coming from the agency’s National StudentDesign Competition Focus on People, Prosperity, and the Planet.
In southern California, a grant has been given to UC Riverside to conceptualize and convert into practice methods to capture toxins released in the process of backyard grilling. Since the MMMA crew’s latitude is undefined, the assumption is they are free to go to the ends of the earth to come up with novel ways to police the lawless grillers. That will be particularly important in the particulate output generated from choice rather than select marbling characteristics of beef since it is increasingly monitored and controlled from all aspects of the regulatory spectrum.
            Another program in the pipeline harkens back to abusive uses of water. Control is forthcoming through the auspices of Urban Water Planning. One project is to monitor the amount of water hotel guests use while showering. The data will identify and track excessive users. It will also clarify what is acceptable per showering experience. With such intrusion of privacy, one can only surmise how the bathers will be identified.
            The bottom line is the imagination of the regulatory almighty is becoming incalculable, and … it will remain so as long as we, the policed subjects, dutifully pay our taxes.
             Real imagination
            As long as the go-along-to-get-along, flimflamming elite and want-a-be conservatives concede on every budget negotiation, there will be no change in the growing tyranny. The abuse the American taxpayer has taken is simply staggering. Americans are sick of the antics of confusion and breach of oath witnessed each day in Washington. Rather than strengthening any measure of resistance, Congress creates confusion and chaos.
            The real imagination is demonstrated in the heartland. It comes from the constant belt tightening and restructuring that tax payers must accomplish to accommodate the assault on their lives and freedoms.
            Half of the answer lies in defunding rogue agencies. There is neither self policing nor are there bounds regarding regulatory fiat in the face of the ineffective oversight. Control must start with the EPA and … it must continue through every expanding agency fiefdom.

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Notwithstanding the recent ruling by the Supreme Court, if the spirit of a law is changed through the crafting of agenda driven regulations, that is the creation of law without representation.”

Do biofuel policies seek to cut emissions by cutting food?

A study published today in the journal Science found that government biofuel policies rely on reductions in food consumption to generate greenhouse gas savings. Shrinking the amount of food that people and livestock eat decreases the amount of carbon dioxide that they breathe out or excrete as waste. The reduction in food available for consumption, rather than any inherent fuel efficiency, drives the decline in carbon dioxide emissions in government models, the researchers found. "Without reduced food consumption, each of the models would estimate that biofuels generate more emissions than gasoline," said Timothy Searchinger, first author on the paper and a research scholar at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy. The study looked at three models used by U.S. and European agencies, and found that all three estimate that some of the crops diverted from food to biofuels are not replaced by planting crops elsewhere. About 20 percent to 50 percent of the net calories diverted to make ethanol are not replaced through the planting of additional crops, the study found. Both the models used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board indicate that ethanol made from corn and wheat generates modestly fewer emissions than gasoline. The fact that these lowered emissions come from reductions in food production is buried in the methodology and not explicitly stated, the study found. The European Commission's model found an even greater reduction in emissions. It includes reductions in both quantity and overall food quality due to the replacement of oils and vegetables by corn and wheat, which are of lesser nutritional value. "Without these reductions in food quantity and quality, the [European] model would estimate that wheat ethanol generates 46% higher emissions than gasoline and corn ethanol 68% higher emissions," Searching said...more

Governments would actually deceive us to justify their political agenda?

And we're the lucky ones who pay the salaries of these modelers, who pay for the subsidies going to the biofuels industry and who pay more at the pump for fuel.  Say "thank you" to the DC Deep Thinkers in both political parties.

The Tip of the Climate Spending Iceberg

by Paul Driessen

Lockheed Martin, a recent Washington Post article notes, is getting into renewable energy, nuclear fusion, “sustainability” and even fish farming projects, to augment its reduced defense profits. The company plans to forge new ties with Defense Department and other Obama initiatives, based on a shared belief in manmade climate change as a critical security and planetary threat. It is charging ahead where other defense contractors have failed, confident that its expertise, lobbying skills and “socially responsible” commitment to preventing climate chaos will land it plentiful contracts and subsidies.

As with its polar counterparts, 90% of the titanic climate funding iceberg is invisible to most citizens, businessmen and politicians. The Lockheed action is the mere tip of the icy mountaintop.

The multi-billion-dollar agenda reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to using climate change to radically transform America. It reflects a determination to make the climate crisis industry so enormous that no one will be able to tear it down, even as computer models and disaster claims become less and less credible – and even if Republicans control Congress and the White House after 2016. Lockheed is merely the latest in a long list of regulators, researchers, universities, businesses, manufacturers, pressure groups, journalists and politicians with such strong monetary, reputational and authority interests in alarmism that they will defend its tenets and largesse tooth and nail.

Above all, it reflects a conviction that alarmists have a right to control our energy use, lives, livelihoods and living standards, with no transparency and no accountability for mistakes they make or damage they inflict on disfavored industries and families...

But Climate Crisis, Inc. is using our tax and consumer dollars to advance six simultaneous strategies...

Driessens' conclusions are similar to Wilmeth's:

States must refuse to play the climate crisis game. Through lawsuits, hearings, investigations and other actions, governors, legislators, AGs and other officials can delay EPA diktats, educate citizens about solar and other natural forces, and explain the huge costs and trifling benefits of these draconian regulations. 

Congress should hold hearings, demand an accounting of agency expenditures, require solid evidence for every climate claim and regulation, and cross-examine Administration officials on details. It should slash EPA and other agency budgets, so they cannot keep giving billions to pressure groups, propagandists and attack dogs. Honesty, transparency, accountability and a much shorter leash are long overdue.

Proposed federal changes for foreign ag workers could affect Montana sheepherder

A proposal by the U.S. Department of Labor to change policies governing foreign agricultural workers – including sheepherders – has left the Montana Department of Labor and Industry busy answering questions from state ranchers. This week, western Montana rancher John Stahl voiced concern that a proposed federal policy change would jeopardize his sheep grazing project on Missoula’s open space and cost his hired hand – Enrique Marquez Banda – his job. Some ranchers, like Stahl, fear the changes would no longer allow them to pay their workers a monthly salary. Rather, they'd be required to pay their foreign workers $8.05 an hour when on the job, which runs 24 hours a day. Stahl and other Montana ranchers have also expressed concern over a second proposed change that would require foreign workers to live in homes with a fixed foundation. That would preclude them from living in wagons or trailers, which is common among sheepherders. Harris said the proposed change applies to foreign agricultural workers, though it will likely include an exemption for sheepherders. “It’s our understanding that sheepherders would receive an exemption for that, but it’s all just a proposal right now,” Harris said. “Our offices in Missoula, Hamilton and Helena have been receiving calls on this all day. They’re concerned about the changes.”...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1401

This song goes out to the family of Sara Cox Hopkins.  My heart goes out to you.  Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad - I Bowed On My Knees And Cried Holy.  The tune is on their 2008 CD Pickin' Praisin' & Singin' Hymns From The Mountains.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

School District Losing Thousands in School Lunch Sales

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C. -- Thousands of students have now stopped buying lunch each week in Buncombe County cafeterias. The district says it all started when schools were forced to implement the USDA's Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act. It was part of first lady Michelle Obama's "Let's Move" initiative to get kids to eat healthier. All of a sudden, kids are pitching pounds of food in the garbage. The 2010 Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act slapped strict salt regulations on schools saying nothing but whole grains, and now fruit and veggies must be on the tray. It they're not on there, the cashier must put them there for students. Hundreds of kids have now dropped out of the lunch program. Over the last two years, Buncombe County says they've lost about $1.2 million in sales. It's downsized its staff, equipment is getting old and the current menu has less options...more

Jobs gone, loss of income, fewer options...just another Obama this case the War on Meat.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Special forces set to swarm Southwest and operate undetected among civilians in massive military exercise

Seven Southwestern states will soon be infiltrated by 1,200 military special ops personnel as part of a controversial domestic military training in which some of the elite soldiers will operate undetected among civilians. Operation Jade Helm begins in July and will last for eight weeks. Soldiers will operate in and around towns in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado where some of them wil drop from planes while carrying weapons loaded with blanks in what military officials have dubbed Realistic Military Training. But with residents of the entire states of Texas and Utah dubbed 'hostile' for the purposes of the exercises, Jade Helm has some concerned the drills are too realistic. 
The Houston Chronicle reports that, among the planned exercises, soldiers will attempt to operate undetected among civilian populations. Residents, in turn, will be asked to report suspicious activity in order to gauge the effectiveness of the soldiers. Military officials say they've gotten the go ahead for the operations from local authorities such as mayors and county commissions. 'The size and scope of Jade Helm sets this one apart. To stay ahead of the environmental challenges faced overseas, Jade Helm will take place across seven states,' the USASOC wrote in a March 24 release. 'The diverse terrain in these states replicates areas Special Operations Soldiers regularly find themselves operating in overseas.' The military has also reacted to widespread fear of the operation by calling some ultra-conservative coverage of the 'martial law' drills alarmist and inaccurate...more

High Hopes - Willie Nelson Is Launching His Own Brand of Weed

There will be branded bongs and stores, too, as Willie gets out ahead of big industry in states where pot is legal.

by James Joiner

Willie Nelson takes a hit of the cigarette-sized vaporizer in his gnarled hand, exhaling a small cloud, before placing it on the foldout table in front of us. We’re seated in the cool enclave of his tour bus, at the entrance to his sprawling property just outside Austin, Texas, which he has dubbed the town of Luck. Up a hill and around a corner, people are rocking out at Willie’s own Heartbreaker Banquet, an annual fundraiser/music festival held concurrently with SXSW.

Now 81, Willie is biding his time before joining the festivities, and we’re talking about why he puts on the event every year. In the process, he lets slip that he has something else in the works: a new brand of weed, called, naturally, Willie’s Reserve.

Pressed on this, he’s either dismissive or coy, though he does indicate that the smoking implement he has again picked up is a part of the line. The PR person promises to connect me with Michael Bowman, a veteran hemp and pot lobbyist who serves as the fledgling brand’s spokesperson. Two days later, much colder, much more sober, and back in my native New England, Bowman and I connect by phone.

The discussion is below, but the rub is that the marijuana world is about to get its first connoisseur brand, edging it farther from an illegal substance and closer to the realm of fine wines.

Gimme that dang land!

by Steve Sebelius

It’s the map that galls them. The map of Nevada, painted mostly red to depict how much of the state is owned or managed by the federal government. That scarlet is an indignity that they see every day on the windswept plains of their state.

They’re the ranchers, outdoorsmen, hunters, trappers and public officials who’ve been trying for decades to wrest the 81 percent of Nevada’s lands held by “the feds” into state, local or private hands.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, the Sagebrush Rebellion saw Western officials try to gain more control over federal lands in their states. Nevada — considered the heart of the rebellion — had been chafing under federal land ownership for decades before that.

In 1955, the Nevada Legislature sought to repeal a section in the ordinance portion of the state constitution that “forever disclaim(ed) all right and title to the unappropriated public lands lying within said territory, and that the same shall be and remain at the sole and entire disposition of the United States.” It was a legally meaningless act, however.

Court fights, state laws and other legal maneuverings didn’t do much to change the color on that irksome map, either. “I don’t want to say we’ve lost,” says state Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka. “But we certainly haven’t won.”

Now, led by Goicoechea — whose district stretches from the Idaho border all the way south to Primm — the state is advancing the ideals of the Sagebrush Rebellion on a new front: A formal resolution requesting the government turn over just 7.2 million acres — around 10 percent of federal holdings in Nevada — to state management.

Senate Joint Resolution 1, sponsored by Goicoechea and state Sen. Don Gustavson, R-Sparks, along with a handful of conservative Assembly members, is based on the work of the Nevada Land Management Task Force, authorized by the 2013 Legislature under a bill Goicoechea fought hard to pass.

The task force, headed by Elko County Commissioner Demar Dahl, met every month between June 2013 and August 2014 to study the idea of federal transfer of land to the state, and made several reports to an interim legislative committee. (A final report was not heard after the committee’s chairman, now-former Assemblyman Paul Aizley, D-Las Vegas, declined to hold a vote. As a result, Goicoechea introduced the resolution in this session of the Legislature.)

The 130-page report is heavy on details and promises: The state would gain title to certain lands, mostly designated for disposal already, excluding wilderness areas, National Conservation Areas, land controlled by federal agencies such as the Energy Department, Defense Department and environmentally sensitive land.

Assembly bill continues Bundy saga

Outspoken Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy told the Desert Valley Times Wednesday he plans to be at the front of a contingent of Nevadans planning to rally at the Capitol in Carson City Tuesday to show support for AB408, a bill that “reclaims” rights to Nevada land from the federal government. The Legislative Counsel says section 3 of AB408, which was sponsored by GOP Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, “prohibits the federal government from owning or administrating any land or resources in the state that it has not acquired with the consent of the Nevada Legislature and upon which it has not erected forts, magazines, arsenals, dockyards or other needful buildings.” The bill prohibits the federal government from owning any Nevada water rights; requires that state land registration of grazing, logging, mineral development or any other beneficial use rights on public lands “including land to which the federal government claims ownership or ships. The registrar must award such rights to the first person who puts the land to those beneficial uses, and hold an auction to sell permits to use. County commissioners can impose a tax on the unit sold through the beneficial use of public lands.” “We feel like we’ve got a good bill that represents ‘we the people,’” Bundy said of AB408. “This bill is promoting the U.S. Constitution; the state sovereignty and law, and county government. We feel like we’re in tune with ‘we the people.’”...more

Elko legislators not supporting Bundy bill

ELKO – A land grab bill backed by embattled rancher Cliven Bundy is failing to garner support from local officials. Assembly Bill 408, sponsored by Republican Assemblywoman Michelle Fiore, states that except in special cases, the federal government “shall not own rights to use land or water” and the state would take over management of most public land in Nevada. Bundy and his supporters plan to attend a hearing next week in Carson City when the bill will go before committee, according to the Associated Press. But Assemblyman John Ellison, R-Elko, despite signing on initially as a co-sponsor, said he could no longer support it after a more thorough review. “That’s a bad bill,” he said. Sen. Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka, agreed. “The intent is fine but the language in the bill is horrible,” he said, adding that he thought it would be harmful to the ranching industry. The bill specifies that the State Land Registrar would sell grazing permits and require county commissions to tax profits from resource use. Elko County Commissioner Demar Dahl said AB 408 takes the opposite approach of Senate Joint Resolution 1, a measure he’s backed, which asks Congress to transfer an initial 7.2 million acres to the state and opens up more land transfers in subsequent phases...more

American billionaires on welfare: Cliven Bundy, Ted Turner and other ranchers stealing your tax dollars

The typical, strident, left-wing attack on federal lands ranching, with the added hook of listing 12 "billionaires" who graze on federal land.  Published in Salon, here is the list:

Some of America’s biggest welfare ranchers:

David and Charles Koch (Koch Industries)
The brothers hold a half-dozen grazing permits on public land in Montana to go with its 300,000-acre Matador Ranch there. The brothers are tied for fourth place on Forbes 2014 400 Richest People in America list (net worth: $ 42 billion each). The Koch family ($ 89 billion) is #2 on Forbes Richest Families list; Koch Industries is #2 on Forbes America’s Largest Private Companies list, ($ 115 billion in sales).

J.R. Simplot Corp.
The largest U.S. public lands ranching entity (with an estimated 2 to 3 million acres of allotments in CA, ID, NV, OR and UT) is #63 on Forbes 2014 list of America’s Largest Private Companies ($ 5.8 billion in sales). In 2014, the family was #29 on Forbes list of America’s Richest Families (net worth: $ 8 billion).
Bruce McCaw (McCaw Cellular)

McCaw was #382 on Forbes 400 list of America’s Richest People in 2005 (net worth: $ 925 million). Through his 9 sprawling ranches, he controls a significant number of public grazing leases in ID and possibly NV. One of them (Camas Creek ranch) includes 272,000 acres of Federal grazing allotments in Idaho’s Camas Prairie. Grazing permitted to his other ranches could easily double or triple that to a million acres or more.

Barrick Gold
The Canadian mining company is one of the two largest public lands ranchers in NV, ranking 771st on Forbes Global 2000 list of the World’s Biggest Public Companies in 2014, (sales: $ 12.56 billion). Like many other large public lands ranchers, Barrick buys ranches to secure water rights.

Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA)
The supplier of drinking water to Las Vegas is a large NV public lands rancher with an estimated 1 million acres of public grazing allotments. Like Barrick Gold, it, buys up private ranches to gain their water rights.

W. Barron Hilton (Hilton Hotels)
The hotel heir dropped off Forbes Billionaires list (ranked #459 in 2011) as well as its list of the 400 Richest Americans (#144 in 2010), with a net worth of $ 2.5 billion. He died in 2013.
Though records are hard to pin down, Hilton’s heirs inherited a ranching operation in the CA-NV border area, which has been known to have vast public lands grazing allotments permitted to it.

Mary Hewlett-Jaffe (Hewlett-Packard)
Jaffe holds the largest BLM public lands grazing permit in central ID and is among the top 15 public lands ranchers in the state (estimated at under 200,000 acres that are said to be in extremely degraded condition, according to sources).

James Barta (
Barta is not on any Forbes rich lists, but owns one of the largest cattle ranching operations in the U.S., according to his attorneys. Barta holds grazing permits to nearly 900,000 acres of public grazing allotments in connection with two properties: White Horse Ranch (in OR) and Soldier Meadows (in NV). Barta may have additional NV grazing leases through two other ranches in NV, according to Jon Marvel, founder of Western Watersheds Project.

T. Wright Dickinson
Though not on any Forbes list, the Dickinson family is a large public lands rancher, with  grazing permits estimated at more than a half million acres of CO, UT and WY public lands under its LLC, Vermillion Ranches. Dickinson is a former County commissioner and proponent of county efforts to gain control of federal lands, according to the Denver Post.

Stan Kroenke (Kroenke Group) & Ann Walton Kroenke (Walmart)
With just two of his ranches (in MT and WY) totaling 664,000 acres (not including public grazing allotments), Kroenke is one of the ten top land owners in the U.S. In 2014, he ranked #89 on Forbes list of the 400 Richest Americans, #247 on its Billionaires list, and #5 on its list of Richest American Sports Team Owners (net worth: $ 5.8 billion). His wife, Ann Walton Kroenke (net worth: $ 5.6 billion), was #261 on Forbes Billionaires list and #11 on its list of America’s Richest Women.

Family of Robert Earl Holding (Sinclair Oil and hotels)
Forbes ranks the family #87 on its 2014 list of America’s Richest Families (net worth: $ 2.7 billion). With 400,000 acres of land, the family is the 19th largest private land owner in the US, according to the 2014 Land Report 100. This includes land that Forbes reported “may be the largest ranching operation in the Rocky Mountains.” Public grazing leases are associated with some of the family’s WY and possibly MT holdings, according to Jon Marvel, founder of Western Watersheds.

Ted Turner
He’s the second largest U.S. land owner (2 million acres in 6 states), is estimated to hold grazing leases in MT and NM (estimated at as much as 300,000 acres), and owns the world’s largest bison herd. Forbes ranked him #296 on its 2014 list of the 400 Richest Americans and #818 on its global Billionaires list (net worth: $ 2.2 billion).

Senate makes statement on WOTUS

The Senate made a strong statement against the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed waters of the U.S. definition by approving an amendment as part of its budget resolution. Nearly reaching the 60 vote threshold, a total of 59 senators voted in favor of the amendment which will “establish bright lines for Federal jurisdiction, and to create clear and unambiguous exemptions for features” the EPA administrator or Army Corps of Engineers secretary claims they are not seeking to regulate. “The Administration claims it has no intention of using this rule to regulate things like drainage ditches and isolated ponds. My amendment simply holds the Administration to their word. This will give our farmers, ranchers and small business owners the certainty and peace of mind they deserve,” said Sen. Johan Barrasso (R., Wyo.) who introduced the amendment. Barrasso’s amendment #347 establishes a spending-neutral reserve fund to ensure federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act is focused on water quality, which may include limiting federal jurisdiction based on certain criteria. The amendment specifically limits how the Environmental Protection Agency or the Army Corps of Engineers determine what is connected to the waters of the United States. It also prevents the agencies on making a determination based on the movement of birds, mammals and insects. It also prevents determinations based on the movement of water through the ground – or the movement of rain water, or snow melt, over the land outside of a channel. Finally it prohibits the Water Pollution Control Act from extending to things like puddles, isolated ponds, roadside ditches, and wastewater systems...more

Newhouse introduces bill to make federal lands sales easier

Freshman U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse introduced his first bill Thursday, a reauthorization of a program that enables federal agencies to sell surplus federal lands. The bill gives the Bureau of Land Management the ability to sell public lands that have been approved for sale to states, local governments or private owners who can put the lands to economic use. Proceeds from the sales are then available to fund the purchase of other lands that provide conservation or recreation benefits near national parks, forests or wildlife areas. The program also provides the funding for the agency to appraise and sell land. The Federal Land Transaction and Facilitation Act was first passed by Congress in 2000 but expired in 2011. During the years the act was in place, the BLM sold about 27,000 acres of surplus lands, and the proceeds were used to buy 18,000 acres to add to national forests, recreation and conservation areas, according to the news release from Newhouse...more

BLM abandoning Nevada mustang roundup for now

The federal government has abandoned plans — at least for now — to round up more than 300 wild horses in northern Nevada after a U.S. judge temporarily blocked the effort last month for fear of harm to the mustangs. The agency won’t move forward with the roundup in the Pine Nut Range southeast of Carson City until it completes another review of potential environmental effects, lawyers for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said in papers filed in federal court in Reno. Judge Larry Hicks had granted a restraining order sought by horse advocates preventing the roundup until he could hear further arguments from both sides on the merits of the case. Opponents say the Bureau of Land Management was relying on a nearly five-year-old environmental analysis that ignores the latest scientific evidence about the dangers posed by injecting female horses with a fertility drug that keeps them from reproducing for two years. The Bureau of Land Management maintains there are nearly twice as many horse in the Pine Nut Range as the high desert habitat can support without causing ecological damage, some of which could hurt the imperiled sage grouse.The Bureau of Land Management maintains there are nearly twice as many horse in the Pine Nut Range as the high desert habitat can support without causing ecological damage, some of which could hurt the imperiled sage grouse...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1400

Recorded in Nashville on July 13, 1955:  Faron Young - It's A Great Life (If You Don't Weaken)