Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Closer Examination of Skinwalkers in Indian Country, HIGH UINTA MOON by RanDee RedWillow

by Mike Raccoon Eyes Kinney

I know many of you here in Indian Country have been waiting for my review of Ute author RanDee RedWillow's novel: 'HIGH UINTA MOON' about Skinwalkers on the Ute reservation in the 21st Century. 'HIGH UINTA MOON is the first novel in Ms. RedWillow's series of the Moon Fire Sagas. Words to describe this novel are spelling-binding, powerful, stunning ,savage and masterfully crafted to say the least. This powerful novel is highly accurate in the traditional cultural and spiritual aspects of the belief and value system of how in Indian Country views the Skinwalker phenomena. 

The simplest definition that I might give as having investigated skinwalkers for years is as follows: the ability to wear animal skins of North American wildlife such as Bear, Wolf, Coyote or Cougar as example, while still retaining the power of human mind and physical transform from a physical human being into the actually physical animal of whose skins they wear or the ability to create a three dimensional hologram of the physical animal.

Skinwalkers themselves are very much real human beings, who in many cases are negative Native doctors who have incredible paranormal,spiritual gifts and powers that are used to create chaos, mayhem, killing and murder. These individuals in some cases are actually paid and retained for these deadly, evil skills and abilities to inflict on Native individuals, families or some cases entire Native communities.

Skinwalkers have always been among us here in Indian Country since the dawn of time. On the Colorado Plateau in the states of Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico there are over 100,000 known Meso-American sites of the pre-historic Publeo peoples with their awesome cities found in locations like Canyon de Chelly, Chaco, and Mesa Verde and through out the valleys and Mountains of the Southwest can be found numerous petroglyphs and pictograms in these ancient cities of skinwalker activities then and in some cases ceremonies that had been done in these cities of the Ancient Ones to contain and control skinwalker activities.

...Through out Indian Country there are hundreds of killings, murders and homicides of Native people go unexplained and are not solved each year. However many Indian Country law-enforcement jurisdictions now believe that many of these crime scenes are due to skinwalker activities. As an example, the elite Navajo Nation Rangers have been trained professionally for some years now in both paranormal and spiritual investigations not only involving skinwalkers but Howlers, Bigfoot, the Dogman and other entities that may in effect be responsible for killings, murder and homicides that occur there on the Navajo Big Rez.

So with that backdrop, we come to RanDee RedWillow's novel: 'HIGH UINTA MOON', about skinwalkers on the Ute reservation in the 21st century. In her bone-chilling novel such a law-enforcement jurisdiction exists in the 21st century on the Ute reservation at Uinta and Ouray. The lead character is a young 19 year old Ute woman named Kai Moon, a gifted and talented student who graduated from high school at the age of 16 and completed her university and police academy in both criminology and law enforcement, as well had focused on Native America cultures and beliefs. Upon returning home to Fort Duchesene, Kai has been accepted and appointed as both a state and federal law enforcement agent and tribal cop on the Ute reservation. She starts investigations of the many defiled Ute archaeological sites where human remains were to be found,and other stranger disturbances at these Ute sacred sites .

Soon the trail leads Kai to skinwalkers who have killed and murdered two local high school basketball players .Now everyone is counting on Kai to hunt down the skinwalkers...

California environmentalist shakes up Florida race

A California billionaire environmentalist is pouring millions of dollars into the Florida governor's race to buy television ads attacking Gov. Rick Scott as a friend of polluters and utility companies, giving the campaign of Democratic front-runner Charlie Crist a boost as polls show a tightening race. Former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer has put both Scott and the Florida Republican Party on the defensive, prompting them to hit back with their own ads attacking Steyer as a hypocrite. They have also sent letters threatening television stations with lawsuits if they carry the ads, which Scott's lawyers say are misleading and defamatory. So far, one Fort Myers station has stopped running them. Steyer's so-called "super PAC," NextGen Climate, set off the blitz of attack ads more than a week ago. One ad targeted Scott's environmental record, including campaign contributions of $200,000 from oil interests that profited from permits to drill in Florida. Another ad criticized Scott over a state law that allowed Duke Energy to charge customers for nuclear power projects that have since been cancelled. While they don't mention him by name, the ads benefit Crist, who is getting in effect millions of dollars in donations. A spokesman for Crist said that the former governor has met with Steyer and welcomes his support. Polls show Crist and Scott in a tight race...more

Water in the West: Water breathes life into Western Slope economies

Nathan Fey’s passion for kayaking led him to a passionate career in river conservation and water quality issues. As the Colorado stewardship director for American Whitewater, a nonprofit that works to conserve and restore American whitewater resources, he’s watching carefully as the state progresses through its water planning process. There are some major conflicts the state needs to address as it creates the Colorado Water Plan, he said. “Sure, our population is focused on the Front Range, but the reason we all live here is because recreation is a way of life for us here in Colorado,” Fey said. “I think there’s a big disconnect for people in our urban areas about where their water comes from. They don’t understand that if they grow green grass, there’s less water in the river when they’re fishing.” With a state population expected to double by 2050, and water resources already struggling to meet demands, Fey and American Whitewater are focused on the big picture of water in Colorado, which includes stream health, conservation and, of course, recreation. Recreation along the Colorado River and its tributaries is a $9.6 billion industry, and that’s just within the state of Colorado. According to a 2012 study for Protect The Flows, done by the consulting firm Southwick Associates, which specializes in recreation economics, the Colorado River would rank as the 19th largest employer on the 2011 Fortune 500 list based on the jobs it generates...more

Man vs. trout vs. drought

In the turf war between man and trout, man inevitably wins. And the Southern California steelhead trout – an endangered species with a population a tenth of its former size – is suffering greatly as people destroy its habitat. Engineers armor streams, casting concrete channels on them to contain flooding. Home developers suck streams dry to water lawns. Builders raise dams to collect water and irrigate precious farmland, inevitably blocking fish from their upstream spawning grounds. But in the Santa Ana Mountains, the fish – with a powerful ally – have struck back. In 2012, the U.S. Forest Service launched its Southern California steelhead recovery program. Toward that end, the agency started tearing down dams across the region that block the steelhead trout from historic and potential future spawning grounds. Next month, the Forest Service is scheduled to dismantle four dams in Holy Jim Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains, according to the fire chief there, though Forest Service officials say the precise timing is still undetermined. The dams – small rock walls less than 15 feet tall – block stream flow and create pools of water above and below. The steelhead, if they return as hoped, wouldn’t be able to get upstream...more

Taking water from agriculture industry will do irreparable harm to Colorado

Denver Water — on behalf of the Bureau of Reclamation and the respective water districts from Arizona, California and Nevada — recently developed a drought management pilot program for the Upper Colorado River System to send more water downstream. Other than Denver Water, the water districts involved in this program represent the states known as the Lower Basin states. The proposal addresses several concerns, which can be summed up as the Lower Basin states cannot satisfy their current water demand. Unfortunately, when the drafters of this pilot program looked upstream for more water, it seems Colorado's agriculture industry became their target for relief. In order to send more water to these Lower Basin states, the pilot program suggests farmers could fallow more land, employ deficit irrigation techniques and plant crops that use less water. But let us explain why these ideas will greatly damage our agriculture industry. First, fallowing, a term for intentionally leaving a portion of a field vacant, is strategically used by farmers to let soils recover from a harvest. Fallowing can improve yields in future years, but because a farmer is choosing not to plant in a portion of the field, no crops are produced. Secondly, changing to deficit irrigation methods can be very difficult and result in lower crop yields. And lastly, crops are soil-, location-, elevation- and climate-specific, and each requires an enormous investment in equipment specific to that crop. Additionally, crop selection is based on market prices, demand and cost of harvest. Requiring farmers to plant different crops can be costly, and in some cases, not viable. On top of the burdens proposed in this program is the current Colorado drought, which reduced agricultural production by 25 percent last year alone. Yet despite this drastic drop in production, Colorado's agriculture industry still contributed more than $2 billion to our state's economy. Asking Colorado farmers to plant less, reduce their yield and even switch crops will have devastating impacts on our agriculture industry and ultimately our state's economy...more

‘Big Green’ Lobby Wants to Cut 2 of 3 Forestry Branches

Pay your protection money. Do the secret handshake. And, kiss the ring. Otherwise, forget having green activists attach their environmental seal of approval to the wood products harvested from your forest. That’s essentially the message organizations such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, Friends of the Earth, and Greenpeace will be in a position to transmit if the U.S. timber industry submits to a monopoly in forest certification, free market economists argue. The “Big Green” lobby—mainly the organizations listed above plus the World Wildlife Fund, Rainforest Action Network, and a few others—wants a relatively new player to assume monopoly control of the market. Today, three share the action: the Sustainable Forest Initiative, seen as the closest to the forest industry of the three, the American Tree Forest System, and the new guys — the Forest Stewardship Council. The concept of forest certification initially gained traction during the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, when it was adopted as part of a “smart growth” strategy known as “sustainable development.” If the Forest Stewardship Council takes over all forest certifications, it would mean higher prices, more jobs lost, and reduced economic output, according to a study last year from George Mason University’s EconoSTATS program...more

Neil Young, Willie Nelson concert set in path of Keystone XL Pipeline

Tickets go on sale Wednesday for Neil Young and Willie Nelson in a benefit concert Sept. 27 on a farm near Neligh that is in the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The concert was announced Monday by Jane Kleeb, the leader of the “Bold Nebraska” anti-pipeline movement. Proceeds from the "Harvest the Hope" concert will go to Bold Nebraska as well as the Indigenous Environmental Network and the Cowboy and Indian Alliance, to fund the ongoing fight against the pipeline, which would carry tar sands oil from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Kleeb said a number of small, community-based clean energy projects on farms and tribal lands will also benefit. The outdoor concert will also feature Nebraska musicians and a Native American rapper. It will begin at 1 p.m. in a farm field owned by the Tanderup family, who are among the Nebraska landowners who refuse to sell their land to the TransCanada corporation for the Keystone XL pipeline. Art and Helen Tanderup are also part of the “Cowboy & Indian Alliance," a group of farmers, ranchers and tribal members that demonstrated in Washington, D.C. in April against the Keystone XL pipeline. This spring, the Ponca tribe of Oklahoma partnered with the alliance to hand-plant several acres of sacred Ponca corn on the Tanderup farm — the tribe's ancestral homeland — where it will be harvested in Nebraska this fall for the first time since the Ponca people were forced to go to Oklahoma 137 years ago...more

Program builds minority interest in conservation

...Okwu, who is African-American, is among 26 students from a variety of backgrounds who took part in a program at the University of Washington this summer aimed at broadening the diversity of students who choose careers in conservation and ecology. The concern: More than 80 percent of people in conservation jobs — like the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and private groups such as the Nature Conservancy — are white, and come from similar socioeconomic backgrounds. Students who go into conservation jobs often have a passion for nature and a mind for science, said Sean Watts, director of the summer program called Conservation Scholars. But they may lack people skills or the flexibility to consider an issue from different policy and social perspectives. And because few conservation workers come from diverse backgrounds, they may approach a problem with a limited understanding of how different communities are affected by the potential solutions, he said. The program drew nearly 400 applicants, and Watts said the students were carefully chosen from a range of ethnic and racial backgrounds — white, black, Asian American, Native American, Latino. Five were white; nine were multiracial. Some had parents who never graduated from high school, and others came from families where both parents went to graduate school...more

On the record with… Greenpeace activist Peter Willcox

You can't call what Peter Willcox does country club activism. In his 40 years of environmental work, he's seen a colleague die at the hands of a foreign power, and—a year ago—spent weeks inside a Russian jail for his commitment to his causes. In late July, Willcox, 61, was relaxing on the island with his wife, Maggy, enjoying a few weeks of down time before returning to his work with the international environmental activist group Greenpeace. Willcox captains Greenpeace's Rainbow Warrior vessel. A native of Norwalk, Conn., he found himself in 1973 with a draft number as high as they get—No. 1—as the Vietnam War and draft continued, meaning he would get called up in the next round. A registered conscientious objector, he signed on to work on the Clearwater, the famed sloop that raised awareness about pollution on the Hudson River. The late folksinger Pete Seeger often worked and sang on the boat. Willcox and Maggy met on the Clearwater; he became captain in 1975 and she joined as cook. But it was only a few years ago that they married. After six years of sailing up and down the river, he wanted a change and joined Greenpeace in 1981. Rainbow Warrior landed at a Russian oil platform in the Arctic on Sept. 19, 2013 and the crew climbed onto the rig and hung banners. Russian officials arrested them and charged them with piracy, holding them in jail for two months. The Working Waterfront sat down with him in the couple's cozy island home...more

American Farm Bureau to Court: Stop EPA Privacy Abuses

The Environmental Protection Agency’s public release of farmers’ and ranchers’ personal information violates basic tenets of federal law, the American Farm Bureau Federation told a Minnesota federal court late Friday. The EPA surprised the farming and ranching community in early 2013 when it publicly released a massive database of personal information about tens of thousands of livestock and poultry farmers, ranchers and their families in 29 states. The information was distributed to three environmental groups that had filed requests under the Freedom of Information Act. The database included the names of farmers, ranchers and sometimes other family members, home addresses, GPS coordinates, telephone numbers and emails. AFBF’s court filing argues that privacy interests are particularly strong for farming and ranching families, who typically have multiple generations living and working on the farm. The lawsuit cites a Freedom of Information Act exemption aimed at preventing federal agencies from publicly releasing personal information held in agency files. “We wholeheartedly support government transparency, but we insist on protecting the privacy of farm and ranch families,” Stallman said. AFBF, joined by the National Pork Producers Council, filed the lawsuit last July to block EPA from responding to new FOIA requests seeking information about farmers and ranchers in six additional states. EPA agreed not to release further information pending the court’s decision in this lawsuit...more

Viral disease spreads rapidly in Colorado, forcing ranch quarantines

Shiners Dun Juan is decked neck to tail in mesh to protect the champion reining horse from black flies buzzing around his stable. Owner Janiejill Tointon has sprayed the horse with insecticide and spread diatomaceous earth around his stable to keep the stinging pests away. But she can only hope that her six-figure purse winner won't get sick. The flies are believed responsible for the rapid spread of vesicular stomatitis, or VS, which has sickened more than 200 horses and cows in Colorado and put more than 130 farm and ranch properties under quarantine. Out in the pasture at Tointon's Diamond Double T Ranch west of Niwot is Mia, a chestnut mare whose muzzle is spotted white with healed VS sores. Though Mia and two other horses that contracted the virus are well, the ranch will stay quarantined for about three more weeks — unless more of Tointon's 45 horses show symptoms. Infected animals — usually horses and cattle but sometimes sheep, goats, alpaca and swine — mostly get blisters on the mouth, tongue and sometimes hooves, though dairy cows can get sores on their udders. Though rarely fatal, the virus makes eating and drinking tough, so the animals lose weight. In serious cases, horses can slough off skin and even hooves, or need feeding tubes and IVs. Treatment can cost owners thousands of dollars. Tointon, a breeder, said the shutdown is costing her money and customers...more

'Journey of Death' route on El Camino Real trail sees new life

El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro, the 1500 mile Royal Road of the Interior Land, served as the main route between Mexico and New Mexico for about 300 years. The Jornada del Muerto a ninety-mile stretch of the trail in south-central New Mexico that challenged travelers as they faced a virtually waterless desert basin. KOB Eyewitness News' Richard Estrada visited this Journey of Death to see what exists today. "I've driven the road, which more or less parallels the trail - that was in my air-conditioned Jeep, and it was still pretty brutal," Chris Hanson of the El Camino Real Historic Trail Site said. Hanson administers the El Camino Real Historic Trail Site near the Jornada del Muerto. "The El Camino Real historic Site tells the fascinating story of the Spanish Royal Road that had its origins in prehistoric trails," Hanson said. Today the desert remains fairly desolate. Ranchers raise their cattle and the railroad pretty much parallels the historic trail. Spaceport America calls the Jornada home with the promise of sending a new kind of traveler and explorer into space. Ted Turner's Armanderis Ranch covers a good area of the Joranda del Muerto. But a unique use of the desert is growing in popularity - the growing of grapes for sparkling wine. "My grandfather was looking to expand out of France, and he always wanted to live the American Dream. So he looked at many states: California, Washington, Oregon, Texas, New York," Sofian Himeur of Gruet Winery said. 25 years ago, Himeur's grandfather from France started with an experimental ten acres in the Jornada near Engle. The soil and the climate proved to be excellent. "The great thing about where we're at in Engle is it is 4300 feet in elevation on a plateau, and so you have hot days and cool nights - a thirty degree swing - so it is really good for the grapes and the acidity…it is literally a gold mine for growing grapes," Himeur said. The Spanish brought the first grapes to the southwest over El Camino Real...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1272

Let's have anther "Hank Week", and we'll start with Hank Penny & His Radio Cowboys performing No Muss No Fuss No Bother


Artist Biography by Jason Ankeny
While he never achieved the kind of success enjoyed by fellow bandleaders like Bob Wills or Spade Cooley, during the late '40s and early '50s Hank Penny ranked as one of the foremost practitioners of the Western swing sound. Born Herbert Clayton Penny on September 18, 1918, in Birmingham, AL, his father was a disabled coal miner who inspired young Hank with his skills as a guitarist, poet, and magician before his death in 1928. By the age of 15, Penny was performing professionally on local radio; in 1936, he moved to New Orleans, where he first fell under the sway of Western swing pioneers like Wills and Milton Brown. A friendship with steel virtuoso Noel Boggs only served to further his enthusiasm for the swing form. After a few years with New Orleans' WWL as a solo performer, Penny returned to Birmingham, where he formed the group the Radio Cowboys, which featured guitarist Julian Akins, steel guitarist Sammy Forsmark, tenor banjo player Louis Damont, bassist Carl Stewart, and vocalist, guitarist, and fiddler Sheldon Bennett. In 1938, the group (minus Akins) first entered the studio under the guidance of legendary producer Art Satherly to record numbers like "When I Take My Sugar to Tea" and Penny's own "Flamin' Mamie." After the Radio Cowboys joined the cast of the Atlanta-based program Crossroad Follies, Forsmark left the group, to be replaced by Noel Boggs; at the same time, they also welcomed a new fiddle player by the name of Boudleaux Bryant. After turning down offers to take over vocal chores for both Pee Wee King's Golden West Cowboys and the Light Crust Doughboys, Penny moved the group to Nashville in 1939, where they again recorded with Satherley. Shortly after, Boggs left the group to join Jimmy Wakely and was replaced by Eddie Duncan. After recording songs like "Tobacco State Swing" and "Peach Tree Shuffle" in Chicago in mid-1940, the band was forced to dissolve after most of its members were drafted...

Read complete bio at http://www.allmusic.com/artist/hank-penny-mn0000559554/biography

Monday, August 18, 2014

Putting names with migrants’ bodies is Texas examiner’s macabre mission

LAREDO — The body on the steel table was a Hispanic woman, probably in her 20s, found on an isolated Texas ranch. In the light of a large bay window overlooking scrub brush and mesquite in the shimmering heat, Dr. Corinne Stern quickly determined that the cause of death was exposure. The medical examiner’s next quest was harder: Who is she? After photographing a silver-rimmed tooth, the woman’s blue-and-green striped shirt and an earlobe with three earrings, Stern searched the clothing. She found a wallet-sized photo of a young girl and a scrap of paper with several phone numbers. Wasting no time, Stern left the autopsy suite and summoned one of her Spanish-speaking investigators. She punched a number into her office phone; a man answered, “Bueno.” “I have a young lady in my office and we found your telephone number,” she said. “Are you missing a relative or do you know someone who may have been carrying your phone number?” As the medical examiner for Webb County, a 3,400-square-mile jurisdiction of 262,000 residents in South Texas, Stern works in a grim corner of the national debate over illegal immigration — identifying the dead. Her struggle to put names to the bodies offers a glimpse into how intractable the border crisis is as it strains the services of South Texas counties. Stern, who estimates that the task takes up 25 percent of her office’s resources, is dealing with migrants from at least six countries, confronting bureaucratic and linguistic hurdles all along the way. She has conducted at least 400 autopsies of immigrants since becoming Webb’s medical examiner in 2006. On any given day, Stern plays the role of forensic expert, homicide detective or even diplomat, asking the governments of Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala and other nations for help in naming the dead and getting their remains home...more

Kids 'forced to swim Rio Grande as diversion'

In an effort to divert Border Patrol from their smuggling, Mexican drug cartels are forcing children and other illegal immigrants from Central America to swim across the Rio Grande, at the risk of drowning, rather than cross a bridge and surrender to U.S. authorities, according to a veteran Border Patrol agent. “The Rio Grande is getting more dangerous every day,” said Chris Cabrera, an agent for nearly 13 years and a vice president in the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307. Cabrera also told WND that Mexicans on the south side of the border were firing weapons now on a daily basis at Border Patrol agents patrolling the Rio Grande in boats. “U.S. law enforcement doesn’t matter to them,” he said. The intent of the gunfire isn’t necessarily to hit the agents, Cabrera explained, but to clear the area so the smugglers can run their cargo across without getting apprehended. “That seems to be happening more and more all the time,” he said. Cabrera said agents suspect .50 caliber rounds are being fired at Border Patrol on the river from Mexico...more

Militias complicate situation on Texas border

On a recent moonlit night, Border Patrol agents began rounding up eight immigrants hiding in and around a canal near the Rio Grande. A state trooper soon arrived to help. Then out of the darkness emerged seven more armed men in fatigues. Agents assumed the camouflaged crew that joined in pulling the immigrants from the canal's milky green waters was a tactical unit from the Texas Department of Public Safety. Only later did they learn that the men belonged to the Texas Militia, a group that dresses like a SWAT team and carries weapons but has no law-enforcement training or authority of any kind. The situation ended peacefully with the immigrants getting arrested and the Border Patrol advising the militia members "to properly and promptly" identify themselves anytime they encounter law-enforcement officers. But the episode was unsettling enough for the Border Patrol to circulate an "issue paper" warning other agents. The presence of armed militia members working on their own in a region known for human smuggling, drug smuggling and illegal immigration has added one more variable to an already complex and tense situation...more

Water in the West, Part 1: Getting thirstier as water supplies dwindle

With changes in climate, population and water resources upon us, there’s a sense among those working toward drafting the state water plan that the potential for a Colorado water catastrophe is real. That catastrophe could come in many forms, but the most feared is a curtailment of the Colorado River Compact of 1922. Seven states — Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada — form the United States portion of the Colorado River Basin. Those seven states separated the basin into upper and lower regions under the compact, apportioning the water and mandating minimum average flows at the border that divides the Upper and Lower basins in Lee Ferry, Arizona. When the compact was signed in 1922, the flow of the river was estimated to be at least 17 million acre-feet, so 7.5 million acre-feet was apportioned to both the Upper and Lower basins, with the Lower Basin also getting the right to an additional 1 million acre-feet. The remaining 1.5 million acre-feet are apportioned to Mexico. The river flows were based on flows 1899 to 1920, an exceptionally wet period. (An acre-foot is the volume of water that would cover one acre to a depth of one foot.) But none of the states want to go back and draft new laws based on the realistic flows, except for maybe California, said Glenn Porzak, a water attorney based in Boulder who represents water entities and municipalities in both Summit and Eagle counties, as well as Vail Resorts.. “If you go back and say, ‘We made a mistake when we negotiated, we thought there was 17 million acre-feet.’ If you renegotiate, (Colorado’s) going to lose,” he said. “All water is political.” The 10-year rolling average flow at Lee Ferry cannot fall below 75 million acre-feet under the compact. That 10-year average over the last three years has been around 90 million acre-feet, according to U.S. Geological Survey data. In the early 2000s, the average was just more than 100 million acre-feet. Lake Powell in the Upper Basin and Lake Mead in the Lower Basin are the river system’s two main storage reservoirs, and both are approaching critically low levels. Inflows to Lake Powell over the last decade provide evidence of a sustained drought — in fact, according to climate data including the U.S. Drought Monitor and the National Climatic Data Center, the last 13 years have been the driest period in more than 1,000 years in the American West...more

Water in the West: Conservation measures take center stage

The agriculture industry in Colorado has a bull’s-eye on it as the state creates its Water Plan. Municipalities want to buy up senior agriculture water rights to secure supplies that can meet the demands of population growth — it’s known as “buy and dry” — and being that the agriculture industry uses more water than any other, it has found itself at the center of the discussion. At a recent Colorado River Basin Roundtable meeting, Bumgarner and others brought up the consumptive use point time and time again. The agriculture representatives at the roundtable want to be sure there’s more clarification in the Colorado Basin Implementation Plan before it’s sent off to the state. Six themes have emerged from the first draft of the basin’s plan, one of which is to “sustain agriculture.” That’s the million dollar question. When senior agriculture water rights are private property rights, meaning the owners can do whatever they want with their property — including buy, sell and transfer their water rights. If a Front Range municipality wants to come in a buy the rights, and the farmer or rancher wants to sell, there’s not much anyone can do to stop it. “If you’re making money, it’s sustainable. If you’re not making money, it’s not sustainable,” Bumgarner said. “Do I want my neighbor to sell out? No. Do I want the ability to sell out? Yes.” But the level of conservation that irrigation efficiencies could create is debatable. Much of the water lost through irrigation inefficiencies returns to the river or groundwater system for use by downstream water diverters, according to a 2008 Colorado Agricultural Water Alliance study “Meeting Colorado’s Future Water Supply Needs.” “Increased agricultural water conservation could potentially result in a voluntary reduction in the diversion of water to the farm, creating benefits such as improved water quality, allowing more water to remain in the streams, reduced waterlogging of soils, and reducing energy costs for pumping, but may not result in water that can be legally transferred to other uses,” according to the study. “If the use of water conservation measures can improve water supply availability without causing injury to downstream users or the environment, then the result may be improved water supplies for agriculture and other uses.”...more

Board of Supervisors says no to expanding Mexican wolf territory

The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors will take a second shot at Mexican wolves Monday. The board previously opposed the expansion of the endangered wolves' territory into Yavapai County, and now that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking a second round of comments, the board is reiterating its stance. "These wolves would pose a serious threat to wildlife, private property and especially the livestock that our ranchers depend on for their livelihood," a draft board letter states. The board prefers to see the state manage the wolves. Monday's meeting starts at 9 a.m. at the county offices at 10 South 6th St. in Cottonwood. Fish and Wildlife reviewed last year's public comments and came up with a revised proposal to help the wolf population recover. Both the old and new proposal envision expanding the wolves' range into more of Arizona and New Mexico, including Yavapai County, The new proposal would also allow the release of certain wolves in this region. And it would expand the cases in which people could kill the wolves...more

Congressman concerned grazing dispute could lead to widespread closure decisions

A dispute that on the surface appeared to have pitted a few Lander County ranchers against a lone BLM district manager could balloon into policy detrimental to grazing, according to U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev. The Nevada congressman was in Elko on Thursday and, while in town, met with local representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service to discuss public land management issues. On his way to Elko, Amodei met with Battle Mountain District Manager Doug Furtado, who has come under fire this year from ranchers after the Argenta allotment was closed due to ongoing drought. Ranchers who use the allotment were told in May the health of the range on Mount Lewis was threatened because of extremely dry conditions and cattle could not be turned out, as outlined in the district’s drought management plan. The decision sparked outrage from the permittees, some of whom said they had nowhere else to run their livestock. In response, Elko County Commissioner Grant Gerber led a “Grass March” horse ride from Elko to Carson City to deliver a petition to the governor’s office demanding Furtado be removed from his position. As a compromise, the BLM allowed grazing until “drought triggers” were met. “In retrospect from an enforcement perspective it would have been preferable for BLM to issue a straight forward closure order, because the Decision on appeal herein does implicate a number of legal and factual issues requiring adjudication and briefing, including, in particular, the issue of the content of drought-related triggers,” wrote James H. Heffernan, administrative law judge, in an order filed Wednesday in the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals. After a cursory read, Amodei said the order “scares the bejesus” out of him because of the wide-scale implications it could have on ranching operations. He said he intended to review it more thoroughly soon...more

California Drought: Access to Water Proves Key Factor in Farmland Value

With drought adding new constraints on the state's water supplies and farmers and ranchers increasingly turning to groundwater to sustain food production, lawmakers now are contemplating bills requiring changes to how groundwater basins are managed. If adopted, opponents said, the bills have the potential to undermine food production, reduce agricultural land values and hamper the overall economy. Two pieces of legislation were each amended twice last week and now have identical language, requiring assessment of impacts on local ecosystems from groundwater pumping. The measures will be heard in their respective Appropriations Committees this week. The California Farm Bureau Federation and other agricultural and water organizations oppose both measures. Jack Rice, CFBF associate counsel, warned of unintended consequences from laws that are hastily passed and implemented. "Figuring out how to improve groundwater management in California requires figuring out the best possible solution for a highly complex problem," Rice said. "That doesn't mean throwing legislation together and passing it before people even have a chance to understand the implications of how a new groundwater management framework will operate. Poorly conceived and executed changes to groundwater management would be very disruptive." Among the issues hanging in the balance, he said, are farm and ranch land values, which depend on property rights for access to groundwater supplies, particularly when surface water supplies are unreliable due to drought, plus regulatory and water-system constraints...more

Federal tribal easement proposal raises some concerns in N.M.

George Gomez, like thousands of other people in the Pojoaque Valley, is bracing for higher electricity bills in coming years under new agreements Jemez Mountains Electric Cooperative has signed to run its power lines through tribal lands. The co-op, which provides electricity to some 31,000 customers in five Northern New Mexico Counties, has already inked deals with five pueblos and is negotiating with two more pueblos and two tribes. The deals, hammered out through often tense negotiations, have up to now led to modest increases for co-op customers. But now, Gomez and other co-op customers are worried that proposed changes to a federal rule could open the door for the pueblos and other tribes to sharply increase the fees they charge electrical providers, railroads and other companies to go through their lands. Thousands of miles of utility, telecommunication and sewer lines, as well as railroad tracks and public roads, crisscross tribal lands throughout the United States. Federal law allows tribes and pueblos to negotiate rights-of-way leases and prices. For decades, tribal leaders say, the easement deals favored utilities and companies, not the tribes. But over the last decade, tribes have taken a stronger stance in renegotiating deals. Under proposed changes to the federal rule, the tribes would be allowed to charge what they want for easements without a review by the Bureau of Indian Affairs as required by the current rule, according to an analysis by the law firm Modrall and Sperling. Tribes currently have no limit on how much they charge for easements, but the bureau can reject the deals. The new proposal would also allow the tribes to expand the menu of things they charge for, including lost property value around power lines or electrical substations...more

Desert tarantulas on the move in Lincoln County

Dave Tremblay recently took pictures of this tarantula in Lincoln County. "The desert tarantula is one of the most misunderstood creatures in the arid Southwest," Tremblay said. "Despite its fearsome appearance, this fascinating arachnid is docile, reclusive, and nearly harmless." The Desert Tarantula is one of about 50 species of terrestrial tarantulas native to the southwestern and central United States. "What makes tarantulas look hairy is the thousands of hair-like filaments or fine bristles that cover much of their bodies," Tremblay said. "The main function of these hairs (called setae) is to help the spider, which has very poor eyesight, sense the presence of prey, determine wind direction, identify chemical signatures (such as pheromones), and assess other vital elements of its environment." Tarantulas will be on the move in southern New Mexico when mating season is underway in September. You may see more of them running around your routine hiking trail. "Tarantulas are mostly harmless to humans," said Woods Houghton, Eddy County Extension Service agriculture agent. "Some people can have an allergic reaction to the mild venom they produce, but that's about it." Mating season for tarantulas usually begins around September and October. However, "mating for the spiders heavily depends on the amount of rain in the southern New Mexico area," Houghton said. "Out here we noticed that it depends a lot on how early rainfall comes," Houghton said. "If we get rainfall, it happens more quickly." Mating could begin as early as July in the area, Houghton said. Females usually burrow in the ground and use their legs to send vibrations to attract male tarantulas, Houghton said. More than 500 eggs can hatch after the female tarantula seals them, according to the National Geographic website...more

Immigrant Lawyers Say Detained Children in Artesia Aren't Getting Proper Medical Care

People from across New Mexico gathered at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in Artesia Sunday to protest the detention of hundreds of Central American women and children. Women and children who’ve been detained by the federal government for entering the US illegally waved and cheered from behind a barbed wire fence as attorney María Andrade addressed a crowd of around three hundred marchers Sunday afternoon. She read from a letter her client had given her. "I am here with my 11 year old daughter. She has lost 15 pounds here," the letter read. "There is no medicine here, they treat us very badly, and the children are suffering." Andrade and other lawyers say many of the women complain of a lack of medication and healthy food for their kids. They can’t afford bonds when they’re offered, and some sick kids have waited days to see a doctor. Attorney Christina Brown shows me a folded sheet of notebook paper covered in a child’s handwriting and says lawyers have about 15 letters from women and children who are being held. "This is from the child of this mother, and she talks about mostly how sick all these kids are, and how they can’t get medicine in there," Brown said, adding that the detainees slipped the letters to the lawyers clandestinely...more

Taos debates legacy of Kit Carson, hero and villain of the Southwest

Colorado liberally honors the mountain man, scout, and army leader Kit Carson. We have a 14,000-foot peak, a county, and a town all named after him. Carson spent his final months in Colorado, at a hamlet east of Pueblo called Boggsville. He died there in 1868. A few years before, he had reluctantly but vigorously prosecuted the U.S. war against the Navajo Indians in the Southwest. The brute strength of the U.S. Army prevailed, and in what is remembered as the Long March, the Navajo were forced to a reservation in southeastern New Mexico. That military campaign and the march in which so many Navajos died continue to be remembered, bitterly so. In New Mexico, elected officials in Taos in June removed Carson’s name from the 19-acre park where he and his third and final wife, Josefa Jaramillo Carson, are buried. In its place, the councilors chose Red Willow Park, using the English translation of the Pueblo word for Taos. The Taos Pueblo objected, claiming proprietary use of the Red Willow name. So, in July, the council restored Carson’s name while pledging to consider nominations. As the (Santa Fe) New Mexican pointed out in June, New Mexico remains deeply conflicted about its history. Several statues honor the Spanish conquistadors, or professional soldiers, of the 1500s and 1600s. But the statue of Don Juan de Oñate, a colonial governor, and others have been vandalized and in some cases spray-painted with the words “murderer” and “killer.”...more
Not everybody in Taos agrees with deletion of Carson’s name. “The big backlash that I’m getting from this community is ‘Don’t we have bigger fish to fry beyond the renaming of the park?’” Councilman Andrew Gonzales told The Taos News.
And even one councilman who supported a new name conceded it’s unlikely to resolve underlying problems. “The problem we have with bigotry or intolerance or any of these issues or conflicts between cultures is not going to be settled by the naming of the park,” Fred Peralta told the same newspaper.
- See more at: http://mountaintownnews.net/2014/08/17/remember-kit-carson/#sthash.aNx56qEM.dpuf

Geronimo the Motivational Murderer

Football coach and now biographer Mike Leach thinks the Apache warrior can teach us a lot about leadership, but he has to overlook a lot of unsavory details to make his case. Born in 1829 near the Gila River in what is now Arizona, the legendary Indian warrior Geronimo was a Chiracahua Apache. The Chiracahua in the 19th century were a nomadic people who lived by raiding, trading, and a bit of hardscrabble farming in the mountainous lands of northern Mexico, and in the Arizona and New Mexico territories. It was against the forces of Mexico, not the United States, that Geronimo made his initial reputation as a frustratingly elusive warrior-raider-outlaw who struck terror and dread into the hearts of thousands of ordinary Mexican settlers, as well as other Indian bands. Later, American settlers came to feel just the same way about this fierce Apache. Driven by a thirst for vengeance over the killing of his wife and three young children in 1851 in a horrific act of brutality by Mexican troops, and later by other myriad betrayals—or perceived betrayals—by U.S. authorities, he wreaked no end of havoc over a wide swath of the Southwest. No question about it: Geronimo was a master of ambush, hit-and-run attack, deception, evasion, and all the other tactics we associate with guerrilla warfare. Atrocities of a quite grizzly sort were part and parcel of many of his “engagements.” Leather tough, squat and muscular, with deep-set piercing eyes, Geronimo was capable of feats of exceptional endurance and martial skill even by the standards of the Chiracahua—and that’s saying a great deal, for they were truly Indian Spartans, groomed for war from childhood in some of the most unforgiving terrain in North America. He had that indefinable sixth sense that distinguishes gifted warriors from good ones. He could read subtle signs of an enemy’s presence on the hard Apache landscape with uncommon precision. And he could kill without compunction, using whatever implement was at hand, whether it was a knife, bow and arrow, a Winchester rifle, or simply a pair of hands. The Marines, who know a great deal more than most of us about such things, would call him (approvingly) a “hard-charging, trained killer.”...more

Jesse James wrap up: Repackaging Jesse

Jesse James’ name will not be forgotten anytime soon. There have been too many movies and songs, too many comic books, too many books of all kinds, poems, and video games with him (or at least his name) at their center for his memory to be easily erased, should anyone ever be so foolish as to attempt that formidable task. As I learned very quickly when I began my research on America’s favorite bandit, he keeps popping up everywhere, long after you think you’ve surely exhausted all that’s been said, written, and produced about him. Time may eventually erode his story and legend, but it hasn’t done so yet, and it’s been almost a century and a half since Bob Ford killed him in cold blood. One reason Jesse won’t disappear is that every generation he continues to have new offspring. To name only a few, over several decades: 1930’s tough-guys like Tom Powers (Jimmy Cagney) in the gangster film The Public Enemy (1931) owe a great deal to the Jesse legend. So does Humphrey Bogart’s ill-fated bad guy Roy Earle a decade later in High Sierra (1941)...Jesse’s fame manifests itself in in other worldly ways as well. Rumors that the gang stashed loot from its robberies in caves or buried it underground and then either forgot about it or never had a chance to get back to it have been around since Jesse was still alive. Just find the now long-hidden treasure and you’ll be rich! This is the idea behind Ronald J. Pastore’s book, Jesse James’ Secret: Codes, Cover-ups & Hidden Treasure (2010) and his TV documentary Jesse James’ Hidden Treasure. But before you get eager to go on the hunt, check out Eric James, where you will find “Stray Leaves,” The James Preservation Fund website. The Trust keeps a lookout for spurious claims about James family history and bogus claims of being related to Jesse. There are plenty of such claims...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1271

Its Swingin' Monday and here are Luke Wills' Rhythm Busters with Texas Special.  He was Bob Wills' younger brother and a short bio follows the video.


 Luther J. "Luke" Wills was born Sept. 10, 1920, on a farm near Memphis, Hall County, Texas. Luke was the younger brother of Bob Wills and the seventh of the Wills’ family children. He was rated so differently from the rest of the family that it was a family joke that his mother had picked up the wrong baby, after one of the many social dances held in the area.  Like Johnnie Lee, Luke learned to play tenor banjo and made his musical debut in 1937 when he was 17, doing his first show with Bob's band in Cain's Academy in Tulsa. Luke even signed his first Social Security card in the office at Cain's. Luke then continued his career, now as a bass player in the second Wills’ band, led by elder brother Johnnie Lee Wills, called the Rhythmaires. In the early 1940's, when Bob left for Hollywood to make western movies, he took Luke and several other Texas Playboys with him. Together, they made several theatrical shorts and features while Johnnie Lee took over the Cain's broadcasts and dances.  In 1943, he joined the US Navy during WW II. After service, he led Bob's second band and covered the dance circuit of northern and central California, appearing first as Luke Wills And the Texas Playboys Number 2 but to avoid confusion this soon became Luke Wills’ Rhythm Busters. He recorded for King and RCA-Victor in the late 1940's, adopting a similar style of comments and interjections as Bob though not in a high pitched voice.  In 1948, the Rhythm Busters were disbanded and he worked with Bob until 1950, when he reformed his own band and took over in Oklahoma City for a standing job at the Trianon Ballroom, when Bob returned to Texas to his new dancehall. He rejoined Bob in 1952 and played and sang with the Playboys, often fronting the band in Bob's absence, until they disbanded in 1964. He then worked outside of the music industry in Las Vegas, as among other things, a casino security guard. http://www.texasplayboys.net/Biographies/luke_wills.htm

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Horse trading jargon

by Julie Carter

There is an entire dictionary's worth of phrases, sayings and quotes you can pin to the horse trading business.

The best advice for the horse buyer is to carefully discern the words they hear and try to decipher what those terms and phrases may actually define. Hidden meaning is the trademark of a seasoned horse trader.

For example, when the trader tells you, "This horse will let you do all the thinking," it really means he is big, dumb and heavy-footed and needs constant guidance. If he says, "For this one you just need to start a little sooner or cut across," he means the horse has two speeds, slow and left behind.

When the trader tells you "he'll watch a cow," he could mean that he'll actually have the instincts to keep his eye on the cattle and have some quick responsive action. However, it could also mean he'll stand in the gate and watch them go by.

A buyer should always look beyond the obvious. "This horse doesn't let much get past him" usually doesn't mean he is alert and attentive. It more likely is that the horse will booger at a shadow or a bird flying overhead at a thousand feet. Riding uneventfully through rolling tumbleweeds and blowing dust will never be an option.

The horse described as having "a nice little cowboy lope" is one that is so rough to ride he will loosen your teeth fillings at a trot and, if you can ever get him in a lope, he'll jar your hemorrhoids up to your tonsils. This type of horse can be described as having the ability to give a woodpecker a headache. I can attest to that, having owned at least one.

The age of a horse is often disputed, especially if the horse has no registration papers for proof of age or origin. The ability to "mouth a horse" and read their age by the stage and condition of their teeth is a real benefit to the buyer.

But the die-hard trader will always justify a smooth-mouthed old horse with the line, "He's been in a sandy pasture and his teeth may look a little older from that sand grinding at his teeth." Anything over the age of 20 will be declared to be 13.

Buyers beware when you hear things like, "He doesn't buck very often." Or, “he’s a little cold backed but he’ll be fine once you warm him up.” My suggestion would be that even if you don't mind an occasional bucker, if the trader can't tell you exactly when he does buck, keep shopping.

Other things to listen for are the brilliant statements like, "When his nose quits running and his eyes clear up he'll be just fine," or "I usually don't have to hobble him to saddle him but he just looks better when I do." “He had that knot on his leg when I bought him and it’s never bothered him.”

Traders just can’t help themselves. They actually say those things even to people who know better.  Horse traders come in all sizes, shapes and classes much like used car salesmen. Some you can't trust and others you shouldn't trust.

Having a horse for sale and being called a horse trader is much like being a writer and being labeled a journalist. It is just not all that flattering.

Julie can be reached for comment at jcarternm@gmail.com.

Enemies at our Gates

Agency Blitzkrieg
Enemies at our Gates
Congressional emasculation
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            On a recent drive across our neighboring ranch, the Corralitos, four vehicles were parked along the asphalt road providing access to the FAA radar site on Magdalena Peak. Each had at least one occupant puttering around within a hefty rock throw from the road shoulder. The first fellow was looking for hognose snakes. The second fellow was seeking Sonoran box turtles. A third person was looking for a particular primrose, and the fourth … well, the fourth wasn’t interested in talking to a rancher.
            When asked why and what they were seeking, their answers were all vaguely connected. Each individual had a hobby of seeking a particular species. Only one of the vehicles was from New Mexico. Since it was early morning, it was obvious that those vehicles from Arizona hadn’t just arrived. These hobbyists or their support mechanism were spending money pursuing their interests. A hobbyist seeking specific and esoteric species indicators isn’t the run of the mill Joe Taxpayer. With their hydration packs, REI sourced hiking shoes, and sunbonnets, these folks were on a mission.
            Is there a soul out there who will be surprised if and when the next endangered species is suddenly discovered on the Corralitos?
            From Rachel’s perusals this week
            Notwithstanding the Federal Register announcements of planned taxpayer assaults coming to a woodlot nearest you this week, the federal agency blitzkrieg on local customs and culture was operating at feverish pitch. Doc Hastings and Rob Bishop and their House Natural Resources Committee were grilling another set of agency mouthpieces in an attempt to rein in environmental terror that has submersed the West.
            No longer, though, is it just the Forest Service, Park Service, BLM, or USFWS that is lying to those elected sages. The EPA has made it to the show. This week they were on the hot seat along with the Army Corps of Engineers trying to explain why their administrators thought they had the authority to write regulations allowing the EPA to expand its authority over Corps dams nationwide. The dustup came from another closed door settlement with a group that favors the removal of all dams, The Columbia River Keeper. Mutt (EPA) and Jeff (ACE) even agreed to pay the attorney fees for the plaintiffs in the blacked out agreement.
Joe Taxpayer got hung with another $140,000 for the honor of being hosed in two directions. He is going to have to pay for replenishing the war chest of the Keepers to come at him from another angle, and he is going to have to face the music of higher electric bills, less irrigation service, less flood control assurance and more regulatory burden for inland navigation allowances.
The behind the doors settlements have, in themselves, become a proxy for legislative actions. Dovetailed with executive orders, the Administration is doubling down on agenda demands and the proliferation of liberal causes. Endangered species protection has long been a showcase feature. With a 98% failure rate and no caps on the expense of dereliction, ESA has become a fully intact Trojan horse. It is the go-to-tool to destroy western heritage industries and it is succeeding. The Mexican Wolf recovery is a primary example.
On August 11 and again on August 13, citizens in the crosshairs of this rural cleansing debacle faithfully attended wolf hearings in Pinetop, Arizona and T or C, New Mexico. They were there to defend their investments and their heritage in the undeterred USFWS expansion of the wolf recovery program. Set forth as a public hearing, each of the gatherings was no public hearing. They were sessions whereby USFWS told the rural subjects what was going to take place. Regardless of what was offered or demanded by citizenry affected by the wolf-dog hybrid program, marching orders have already been set in concrete. The agency has until January 12, 2015 to comply with the backroom writ set forth by the Center for Biological Diversity on what form the recovery plan will take. The meetings were simply done to document procedures. USFWS is going to expand the wolf recovery regardless of any objection by the public or the few state agencies that are starting to act like grownups. Marching orders have been served and the power brokers do not sit in Congress.
Some 15 state Attorney Generals met in Iowa challenging the EPA on the manipulation of more regulatory expansion. At issue was the narrowing of exemptions to Agriculture through the Clean Water Act. The vehicle is to demand DOA NRCS project standards for all future private and public lands conservation practices. That means that before a water gap can be rebuilt across an arroyo after being washed out by a summer rain, the reconstruction must pass muster for NRCS standards. Since the water gap spans flood waters that leave the landowner’s premises, that citizen must submit his actions to federal specs.
There are at least 56 exemptions for Agriculture that will impacted by this regulatory rewrite.
“Some mistakenly think that this means additional federal standards, but that is wrong,” contended EPA administrator, Gina McCarty.
“Conservation practices are not federal regs,” she continued. “They just provide a roadmap to make sure they squeeze all they can out of the (conservation) practices.”
Burn, Baby, burn
While the Obama juggernaut is intent on regulating carbon based energies out of existence, an interesting Stanford study has surfaced.
With horrors of horrors, it has been discovered that wildfires are bigger contributors to climate change than previously admitted. In fact, they contribute at least 1.7 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. Whether that impacts global warming or not time will tell, but Stanford research does estimate that 250,000 deaths each year are attributable to the smoke, soot, and free carbon released in these conflagrations.
Who is responsible for this annual debacle?
Take a guess, but first a hint. The burn rates on federal lands now rivals the monstrous burn years of 1911 and 1912 when nearly 40% of the continental United States burned. Over the last half of the 20th Century, the agencies, led by the Forest Service, began a ludicrous environmental miscalculation of no logging, no control burns of consequence, no thinning, no cattle, no herbicides, no mechanical removal, and no complexity of grazing. The result is the once productive national forests and public lands are on a glide path toward oblivion.
And, now we know the agency is killing people along with trees.
The latter can be measured. Aspen, once considered a keystone species of our western forests, is supremely important to the system. In parts of the northwest, the trees once covered 40% of the forested areas. That has declined fully 60% (Arizona has experienced a whopping 90% decline). A new study now reveals that the lack of fire and the encroachment of conifers is the culprit. The study fails to suggest or acknowledge that weakened stands of trees are highly susceptible to killing wildfires.
The Forest Service, in its allegiance to all things environmental, is destroying wildlife and a once healthy ecosystem. It and they … are a debacle of epic proportions.
Leadership vacuum
Meanwhile, the House chairs are droning on and on about the Administration’s agenda and back room dealing with the environmental brokers. Those green interceders control the strings and the short hairs, and … we sit out here in the hail storm and take the thrust of the outcome.
The Senate, with its gift of the Nevada magi, Harry Reid, fans the fires of western polarization. They remain impervious to the tyranny they foster and dispense, and … we sit out here in the hail storm and take the thrust of the outcome.
The suggestion that these people need to go is worn and blasé.
There are only 24 members of both chambers of Congress who should receive our thanks and continued support in the attempt to rein in this crisis. They are the 2014 elected members with marks of 80 and above when graded on the basis of adherence to "the constitutional principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, national sovereignty, and a traditional foreign policy of avoiding foreign entanglements." No longer is a C an acceptable grade. There are only nine honor students that grade 90 and above and they are the only folks that should be considered for higher office. Their names are McClintock, Broun, Cruz, Huelskamp, Paul, Massie, Stockman, Lee, and Amash.
The rest are what they are … politically franchised, frivolous, and replaceable fixtures. They are, at best, position occupiers, and, at worst, destroyers of the fabric of our lives and the pillars of our foundation. We cannot trust their oaths nor condone their fraudulent leadership incapacity. They are incapable of altering the actions of agencies that are destroying our customs and culture, as … we sit out here in the hail storm and take the thrust of the outcome.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from New Mexico. 

Trampling on Coal Country Families

by Paul Driessen

Between 1989 and 2010, Congress rejected nearly 700 cap-tax-and-trade and similar bills that their proponents claimed would control Earth’s perpetually fickle climate and weather. So even as real world crises erupt, President Obama is using executive fiats and regulations to impose his anti-hydrocarbon agenda, slash America’s fossil fuel use, bankrupt coal and utility companies, make electricity prices skyrocket, and “fundamentally transform” our economic, social, legal and constitutional system.

Citing climate concerns, he has refused to permit construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, and blocked or delayed Alaskan, western state and offshore oil and gas leasing and drilling. He’s proud that US oil production has climbed 58% and natural gas output has risen 21% since 2008. But he doesn’t mention that this is due to hydraulic fracturing on state and private lands; production has actually fallen in areas controlled by the federal government, and radical environmentalists oppose fracking all over the USA.

Above all, the President’s war on hydrocarbons is a war on Coal Country families. For 21 states that still rely on coal to produce 40-96% of their electricity, it is a war on people’s livelihoods and living standards – on the very survival of small businesses and entire communities. The price of electricity has already risen 1-2 cents per kilowatt-hour in those states, from as little as 5.6 cents/kWh in 2009. If it soars to the 14.6 to 15.7 cents/kWh paid in “job-mecca states” like California and New York – which rely on coal for less than 3% of their electricity – the impacts will churn through coal-dependant states like a tsunami.

Yet that is where rates are headed, as the Obama EPA’s carbon dioxide and other restrictions kick in. Hundreds of baseload coal-fired power plants (some 180 gigawatts of electric generation capacity) will be forced into premature retirement between 2010 and 2020. That’s more than 15% of the United States’ total installed capacity – enough electricity to power nearly 90 million average homes or small businesses. EPA assumes it can be replaced by expensive, unreliable, habitat-gobbling wind and solar power. It can’t.

...So how do the EPA, IPCC, Michael Mann, Al Gore and other Climate Armageddonites deal with all these inconvenient truths, questions and skeptical researchers?

They hide their data and computer codes. Complain that they are being picked on. Refuse to debate “dangerous manmade global warming” skeptics. Harass and vilify contrarian experts, and boot them off university committees. Refuse to attend conferences where they might have to defend their manipulated data, junk science and absurd assertions. Al Gore won’t even take questions that he has not preapproved.

They have no cojones. They hide behind their sinecures the way Hamas terrorists hide behind children.

EPA won’t even hold hearings in Coal Country or states that will be hardest hit by soaring electricity costs. It hosts dog-and-pony shows and “listening sessions” in big cities like Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington, DC and Pittsburgh – where it knows passionate lefty students and eco-activists will dominate. People who will be grievously impacted by the draconian job-killing regulations must travel long distances and pay for expensive hotels and meals … or remain silent and ignored.

This is a powerful column, please read in its entirety.

DuBois Column

My column this month covers wolves, Smokey the water bandit, Michelle Obama, food stamps and toilet bowls

Wolves, Mexican and otherwise
Mexican authorities have announced that a litter of Mexican wolves has been born in the wild for the first time in over thirty years.  Mexico has been raising breeding pairs in captivity and releasing them into the mountains of western Mexico.

A pair released in December of 2013 has been monitored by officials and a June sighting confirmed five wolf pups in good health.  A spokesman for the recovery effort says this is an "important step in the reintroduction program."

Back in the U.S, the Draft EIS on the revised Mexican Wolf and 10j rule are supposed to be published on July 25 and a public hearing on the proposed revisions will be held in T or C, New Mexico on August 13.  We can probably count on the recovery area to be expanded in the north and south, and that any wolves found south of I-10 will have the full protection of the Endangered Species Act.

If that indeed occurs, all we’ll have to worry about is unaccompanied, minor wolves entering from Mexico.

Finally, we have a Congressman calling for “Wolf Safety Zones” around Yellowstone National Park.  An Oregon rep has asked Interior Secretary Sally Jewell to work with Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho officials to develop a "wolf safety zone" around Yellowstone National Park, saying without one the health of the park's wolf populations will suffer.

Think of the precedent that would set.  Consider all the parks, monuments, wildlife refuges and wilderness areas in New Mexico and then apply the safety zone concept to your favorite species.

Maybe, just maybe, someday a Congressman will propose “Rancher Safety Zones”.  I’ve got some great ideas for that.

Smokey is thirsty

What is it about the Forest Service and water?

Last month we wrote about the Forest Service fencing cattle off water in the Lincoln National Forest to protect the meadow jumping mouse.  Now the issue has moved north to the Santa Fe National Forest where they are proposing to fence cattle off around 230 acres so far.  An allotment owner, Mike Lucero says “its very frustrating because we don't know where we stand, and we're going to have to spend money in litigation just to fight for our rights," and “we're fighting our own tax dollars. They're using my tax money to put me out of business."  Lucero sums it up by saying, “That's ridiculous, and it's sad."  Yes Mike, its both and now there are reports they want to do the same on nearly 200 miles along streams and wetlands in a dozen counties in three states.  And just to make sure that or worse happens, the Wild Earth Guardians has notified the Forest Service it will be suing for greater protections of the mouse's streamside habitat, saying grazing authorized by the agency is a threat to the mouse's existence.

I’m afraid to ask, but is there a Mexican meadow jumping mouse?

Here comes the Forest Service again, with a Proposed Directive on Groundwater Resource Management which has the Western Governor’s Association (WGA) and certain members of Congress upset.

In a letter to Ag Secretary Vilsack signed by 40 members of Congress (including Steve Pearce of NM) the lawmakers claim the proposed directive would initiate U.S. Forest Service authority over state-managed groundwater resources.  The Congressional letter says the directive would claim that surface water and groundwater are “hydraulically interconnected” and allow the agency to object to state-regulated projects on “adjacent” land that might harm groundwater.  

The Western Governors have also written Vilsack saying, “Western states are the exclusive authority for allocating, administering, protecting and developing groundwater resources, and they are responsible for water supply planning within their boundaries. That authority was recognized by Congress in the Desert Land Act of 1877 and reasserted in a 1935 Supreme Court ruling.”

The governors are also miffed that the directive only identifies states as “potentially affected parties”.

In addition, the governors ask some important questions, such as:

Given the legislative and legal context, what is the legal basis for the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and USFS assertion of federal authority in the context of the Proposed Directive?
How will USFS ensure that the Proposed Directive will not infringe upon, abrogate, or in any way interfere with states' exclusive authority to allocate and administer rights to the use of groundwater?

The governors requested the Forest Service seek an "authentic partnership" with the states on this issue. Sorry, but I don’t know what that means and I wonder which governor wanted that wimpy language in the letter.  Have they entered into “inauthentic partnerships” with the Forest Service in the past?  Come to think of it, I know many ranchers who’ve had that experience.

Barack barbeque?

Michelle Obama continues to lobby for “reform” of the School Lunch Program.  Speaking to a room full of children at the third annual Kids State Dinner, she blasted Congress for “undoing” some of the program and urged them to become advocates of reform despite the opposition of some “grownups”.  There was also a healthy recipe contest, judged by White House chef Sam Kass and others.  Some of the over 1,500 submissions included such things as “Grilling Veggie Style”, a black bean burger with a side of carrot salad, and “Barack-oli and Mich-room Obama-let”, made with goat cheese and mushrooms.  The latter even included “carMALIAized” onions, named for sixteen year-old Malia Obama.

I’m sorry to report that nowhere in the submissions could we find a plate of “Barack Barbeque” with a side of “Malia Mashed Potatoes” and all washed down with a sparkling bottle of “Michelle Mountain Dew”.

Do you need a “nudge” from the feds?

The DC Deep Thinkers are at it again.  In an effort to get food stamp recipients and others to make healthier food choices, the USDA assembled a panel of “experts” who have issued an eighty page report on the matter.

Their six preferred strategies are:  discount coupons, rebates of up to $60 for healthy food purchases on EBT cards, a buy on get one free deals for folks in the program, a targeted marketing plan to promote healthy food; a USDA loyalty card; and new specialized shopping carts.

I'm sure you noticed this gov't plan to fight obesity, with its discount coupons, rebates and buy one get one free deals, will enable folks to BUY MORE FOOD! 

Then there's those "specialized shopping carts", which one publication describes this way:  

The “MyCart grocery cart” would provide dividers for shoppers to make sure they are selecting enough items in each “MyPlate” category, the USDA’s food icon. The cart would be color-coded, physically divided, and have a system installed so that when the shopping cart reaches its healthy “threshold” it would congratulate the customer.  “The algorithm would group the purchases to classify them using the MyPlate designations and to provide consumers with a message of support or encouragement (e.g., “You achieved a MyCart healthy shopping basket!”),” the report said.

Sorry, but my research says that all these free deals and loyalty cards, along with your shopping cart screaming at you, will definitely cause folks to be…constipated.

But never fear, your friend is here, and I’ve got a brand new apparatus.

Let's call it the USDA, Grade A, MyFart Toilet Bowl.  It too will be "color-coded", be able to provide "a message of support or encouragement", and have a system installed so that when the bowl reaches its "healthy threshold" it will "congratulate" you.  Kind of a Happy Turd Day from the DC Deep Stinkers.
And folks, my study will cost much less than the one you just paid $999,891 for. 

Till next time, be a nuisance to the devil and don’t forget to check that cinch.

Frank DuBois was the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003, is the author of a blog: The Westerner (www.thewesterner.blogspot.com) and is the founder of The DuBois Rodeo Scholarship (http://www.nmsu.edu/~duboisrodeo/).

Versions of this article appeared in the August editions of New Mexico Stockman and Livestock Market Digest.

Baxter Black: A happy day in the milking barn

When someone tells me they grew up on a dairy farm, I say, “You have paid your dues, my son.”

The offspring of a dairyman that follows in his father’s footstep is as scarce as a second generation Nobel Prize winner, bomb dismanteler or president of North Korea! So it is with pleasure that I congratulate those dairymen who are havin’ a heyday this year.

They, like all farmers and ranchers, have had ups and downs. I remember 1973-74. I have bad dreams about it. I was running an animal health/grain mill store in Idaho at a time when dairymen were beginning to move north from California. Record high prices for grain and low milk prices sank the milk/feed ration to 1.5. I had heartbreaking conversations with desperate dairymen asking me for one more load of feed on credit.

In 2009 another national dairy wreck devastated the industry sinking the index to a 1.6 ration. But this year, the ratio hit a record 2.55! The price for milk Cooperatives Working Together (CWT) is twice what it was 10 years ago!

The beef cattle business recognizes the impact that the dairy business has on cattle prices. Last year’s president of the National Cattlemen’s Association was a dairyman!

The crossover began in the feedlots when they found an expanding market for Holstein steers, animals whose carcass rarely reaches Choice. Fast food burgers and taco meat has bolstered the price of the dairy breeds, since half of their offspring are male and there is a place to go with old cows. In Idaho I worked for a company that fed potato waste. One of the products was a slurry that was high in energy but 90 percent moisture. The final ration was soupy but nutritious. I remember calculating the as-fed consumption in a pen of 1,000-pound Holstein steers; 119 pound a day!

They were not very popular with the cowboys. As Dr. Eng said, “It’s hard to be a cowboy when the steers are following you around!”

In spite of Dr. Spock’s recommendation that we all become vegetarians and that no human at any age should drink cow’s milk, the 99 percent of us homo sapiens who are born omnivores kindly refuse to revert to the drudgery in which herbivores live their lives...

EDITORIAL: Foiled by Fish & Wildlife

It’s not easy for a radical to stand out in the Obama administration, but the bureaucrats at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are trying. Under their latest scheme, revealed in a leaked memo, the fishy people will ban certain safe pesticides and genetically modified crops by 2016 on the millions of acres in the national wildlife refuges. This goes athwart the established policy of the administration — and against the facts, which demonstrate that both the chemicals and crops are safe.

The language used by scientists is partly to blame for fear of the new. “Genetically modified” sounds scary, conjuring images of Dr. Frankenstein and his laboratory, but agronomists have been creating hybrid plants since Gregor Mendel, an Augustinian friar, cracked the genetic code in the 19th century with his experiments with peas.

The fishy people have blamed a shortage of bees, necessary for the pollination of plants, on an insecticide derived from a synthetic form of nicotine called neonicotinoids, which are absorbed by plants and become a part of their natural defense against certain pests. This targeted system of pest control, less toxic than other chemicals to humans, animals and certain insects, has revolutionized farming. But it’s the scary language that lends it to attacks by the toxic left.

This isn’t the first time the Fish and Wildlife Service has tied itself in knots to make sense of a political ideology. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell incurred the cold wrath of Alaskans last year when she proposed a sensible land swap that should have pleased everybody, even the dedicated naysayers on the left. Approved by Congress in 2009, the land exchange would have traded 56,000 acres of state and tribal land for 206 acres in the Izembek National Wildlife Refuge to enable construction of a highway connecting a remote Aleutian fishing village to an airstrip, offering the village access to medical care.

The naysayers complained that the road would upset birds in the refuge. “Are birds really more important than people?” asked the borough mayor. “It seems so hard to believe that the federal government finds it impossible to accommodate both wildlife and human beings. Is the Obama administration turning its back on Native Americans?”

Manufactured hysteria prevailed. Several environmental groups — Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility — crowed that it was their relentless lawsuits that won the day. Their success looked more the result of a stacked deck. Bureaucrats of the Fish and Wildlife Service are members of one of the groups that sued the service. “One of the litigants, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), includes [employees], some of whom work for Fish and Wildlife Service,” noted Delta Farm Press.

“The PEER Web site describes a PEER member as a government employee ‘who is working to change his or her agency for the better,’ to reform it and to make it more accountable to the public. Employees can safely and effectively become anonymous activists for environmental protection.’ In other words, they can use their PEER membership to sue their own boss if they don’t like what he’s doing.”

Some of the bees are still missing, though not in the numbers claimed earlier. The White House has appointed a bee czar and a task force on pollinators and promised a decision by December. The czar is expected to take counsel with science rather than with his fears. But with a czar, you never know.

Washington Times