Friday, August 26, 2016

National Park Service Turns 100, With Billions Needed for Repair Backlog

The National Park Service turned 100 on Thursday, but ongoing funding challenges have created a maintenance backlog that threatens to tarnish what famed documentarian Ken Burns calls "America's best idea." The National Park Service currently oversees 409 sites, 60 "wild and scenic" rivers and 23 national trails — all of which combined to establish a record attendance last year with about 307 million total visitors. Unlike other government agencies, the National Park Service also enjoys general public support. But despite the seeming bipartisan support, funding for the National Park Service has fluctuated in recent years: the Obama administration's request for $860 million in funding for 2017 — the service's centennial year — has yet to be approved by Congress. The maintenance backlog is also piling up, with the total cost of necessary repairs and improvements a hair beneath $12 billion. Many of the roads in Yellowstone National Park have not been upgraded since the 1930s and 1940s. It would cost between $800 million and $1.2 billion to make the necessary repairs. The pipeline that brings water into Grand Canyon National Park needs replacing — it's 20 years past its prime. The cost to replace it: $150 million. The park's annual budget is $20 million. In addition to infrastructure costs, day-to-day operations also require increased funding. NPR produced a segment earlier this year about how staff cuts at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have led to sanitation issues, as workers struggle to empty trashcans and keep toilets clean. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who oversees the park service, addressed the backlog in a speech earlier this year. She warned that budget crunches "have left our national parks and public lands understaffed and struggling to keep up with day-to-day operations."...more

Interior secretary: ‘What do the next 100 years look like?’

Glacier National Park’s disappearing glaciers provide a great way to alert the nation to the effects of climate change, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said Thursday while visiting here as part of her tour for the National Park Service’s centennial birthday. Jewell met with park representatives at Logan Pass to hike the Hidden Lake Overlook trail and discuss the effects of climate change both within the park as well as on a global scale. “I’ve been going all around the country to celebrate the breadth and depth of the national parks,” Jewell said. “Their biggest threat is how do we fulfill our obligation given to us 100 years ago without impairing them? What do the next 100 years look like? Right now, we’re doing a good job impairing them with climate change.” Dr. Dan Fagre, research ecologist and climate change research coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey, pointed along the ridgelines surrounding Logan Pass to express the severity of climate change. When the park was first established, there were 150 active glaciers. Today, there are only 25. “Glacier is a model,” Jewell said. “I think the fact that this is Glacier National Park, and it may not have glaciers anymore is an incredible opportunity to tell the story. This provides not only a great opportunity for scientific research, but a chance to tell a story that captivates the nation. That is exactly what needs to be done.” Interpretive ranger Teagan Tomlin sees Glacier as an opportunity to reach out to the public about warming climates and the trickle-down effects. More than 50 percent of research done within the park relates in some way to climate change...more

National monument designation triggers clashing political reactions

President’s Obama’s creation of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument drew passionate responses on all sides Wednesday from political leaders in Maine. Two members of the state’s congressional delegation, Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree and independent Sen. Angus King, expressed support for Obama’s designation of about 87,600 acres in the Katahdin region as the latest national monument. Roxanne Quimby, the co-founder of Burt’s Bees who has amassed considerable land holdings in Maine’s North Woods, recently donated the land to the federal government and it became part of this week’s 100th anniversary celebration of the National Park Service. Critics of Quimby’s proposal have often expressed concerns about the loss of access to land for hunting, snowmobiling and ATV riding, as well as potential ramifications for the region’s forest products industry. King had joined Maine’s two Republican delegation members, Sen. Susan Collins and Rep. Bruce Poliquin, in expressing strong reservations last year about a potential monument designation in a letter to federal officials. King subsequently helped organize a visit to the region by National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, but had not publicly endorsed the monument proposal. On Wednesday, however, King said he believes the designation “will be a significant benefit to Maine and the region” based on the binding commitments built into the deed transfer from Quimby. Poliquin, a monument opponent whose 2nd District includes the Katahdin region, cited non-binding votes in several Katahdin region towns as well as the state Legislature opposing the national monument. But he urged the Obama administration to work to support the state’s forestry industry and pledged to work with federal officials on job creation. “While opposed to a unilateral decision, ignoring the votes in the local towns, the Maine Legislature, and Congress, I will continue to work with everyone to move this project forward...Similarly, Collins charged that the president had bypassed Congress, adding, “He should not have used his executive authority given the objection lodged by the Maine Legislature, the lack of consensus among Mainers who live in the area, and the absence of congressional approval.” “These questions and many more will have to be addressed over the months and years ahead. This is typical of designations under the Antiquities Act, and is one of the reasons I have twice voted to express my concern with this unchecked presidential authority,” Collins said in a written statement...more

North Dakota Oil Pipeline Battle: Who’s Fighting and Why

This week, an impassioned fight over a 1,170-mile oil pipeline moved from the prairies of North Dakota to a federal courtroom in Washington. The Standing Rock Sioux tribe, whose reservation lies just south of the pipeline’s charted path across ranches and under the Missouri River, has asked a judge to halt construction. The American Indian tribe argues that a leak or spill could be ruinous. It may take until Sept. 9 for a federal judge to decide whether to allow the Dakota Access pipeline to move ahead, or grant an injunction that would press the pause button on construction. Here is a look at how the battle over the pipeline has become an environmental and cultural flash point, stirring passion across the Plains and drawing hundreds of protesters to camp out in rural North Dakota. American Indians have been gathering since April outside Cannon Ball, a town in south central North Dakota near the South Dakota border, to protest the Dakota Access pipeline as construction commences. Starting with members of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, the protest has since grown to several hundred people — estimates vary — most of them from tribes across the country. The protesters have encamped in a field belonging to the United States Army Corps of Engineers. Each day, they march a mile up a highway to a construction site where preparatory work is being done for the pipeline. While the protesters say they are peaceful, there have been reports of heated confrontations with law enforcement officers and construction workers, and 20 people have been arrested. Construction on a road to the pipeline has stopped for the moment. The pipeline company, Energy Transfer Partners, has sued several protesters, claiming they have threatened and intimidated contractors and were blocking work at the site...more

NAU Team Finds Endangered Jumping Mouse In Arizona, New Mexico

A research team from Northern Arizona University confirmed the presence of the endangered New Mexico meadow jumping mouse in parts of Arizona and New Mexico. It’s the first regional survey in a decade, and the team is using ink to find the mice. They’re using what’s called a “track plate.” It’s a box with an inkpad in the entrance. The mice leave distinct long-toed footprints when they enter the box to eat the bait. “Because the species are listed as endangered, we are very concerned about the population sizes and we’re looking hard this summer to try to find the animals in as many locations as possible,” said Wildlife ecologist Carol Chambers, who leads the projectt. The NAU team found jumping mice in the Santa Fe and Apache Sitgreaves national forests. The mouse lives near riparian areas and hibernates most of the year. It was listed as endangered in 2014. The new data will be used to develop a model of the mouse’s preferred habitat, which will inform land management decisions. The U.S. Forest Service has tried fencing off some sensitive riparian areas to keep cattle and elk out. Earlier this year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service designated 14,000 acres in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado as critical habitat for the speciesKJZZ

Controversy at Henry's Creek community fire meeting

There was some controversy at the Henry's Creek community fire meeting Thursday night. Some local ranchers expressed concern over how the Bureau of Land Management is fighting the more than 52,000 acre fire. It's an argument that's been brewing on social media the past few days. Some believe the fire would be out if it wasn't for jurisdiction issues. "My frustration is that we're not working together as a team. The BLM says they have their rules. Idaho Falls says they have their rules. Each division has their own rules instead of banding together to get the job done," said local rancher Bart Stolworthy. "It's the same politics every time there's a fire up there." He claims the BLM sent multiple fire crews home when the fire first started. However, BLM officials said that isn't true. "Obviously everyone is upset when you have such a disastrous fire and it affects your livelihood and your way of living.," said Joel Gosswiller with the Idaho Falls BLM. The BLM said there's been significant improvement when it comes to fighting fires with land owners. On Thursday night, officials said one way to better those relations is rangeland fire protection associations. "Rangeland fire protection associations are when a group of private landowners with concerns over land with fire protection on those lands," said Gosswiller. A group of private landowners can become part of a rangeland fire protection association. The BLM and other agencies provide training that allows landowners to help them fight fires safely. Officials said there are grants available for landowners who chose to create a rangeland fire protection association...more

Coyote America--How These Small Western Wolves Have Adopted and Survived

Dan Flores, author of ten books on western U.S. history, calls coyotes "an American original," having evolved in North America over five million years ago. Many people tried to kill them off as late as the 1960s, but they have bounced back and are now found in all states except Delaware and Hawaii. Flores' new book is "Coyote America; A Natural and Supernatural History." (Basic Books) The author told us that the wily small wolves survived over mammoths, mastodons and saber-toothed cats. Fifteen-thousand years ago when the first people crossed over into North American, he says they were intrigued with the animals and impressed that the coyotes were shrewd enough and adoptable to survive. "To the Indians, the coyotes were elevated to deity status, an avatar for human beings and their stand-in for the natural world," Flores told Charity. "Later, European-Americans were also surprised to encounter the small wolves, in fact in 1804 William Clark (of Lewis and Clark) thought at first that it was a type of new fox, but he later called them Prairie Wolves." We also learned from the author that most of the American public called coyotes "prairie wolves" until about 1915. From that point on, the animals faced a very difficult time as major eradication efforts began, often using poison, because farmers and ranchers believe that coyotes killed livestock...more

Can wolves and ranchers coexist in Washington state?

After a series of attacks on livestock, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) authorized state officials to cull the wolf pack responsible – a decision that has prompted backlash from conservation groups throughout the state. The WDFW has linked six cattle deaths to the Profanity Peak pack, a group of 11 gray wolves near Kettle Falls. State wildlife officials had shot two pack members earlier this month, but suspended removal efforts after livestock killings ceased. The dispute is just one of many that pit cattlemen against conservationists in the Pacific Northwest. But there are compromises which could satisfy officials, ranchers, and environmentalists alike. In Washington, the Profanity Peak pack is one of just eight packs with successful breeding pairs. There are fewer than 20 total wolf packs in the state, and a total of 90 individuals. Conservationists aim to preserve these populations, which play an important role in both national heritage and local ecosystem flow. But to cattlemen, the gray wolf is a menace. Many of these livestock owners have used the same business practices for generations – practices that didn’t account for wolves, which were virtually nonexistent at the time. Now, wolf populations are growing and brushing up against open range ranchers. The resulting attacks are financially devastating, as cattle can cost up to $2,000 per individual. And since only federal officials are allowed to kill wolves legally, many livestock owners feel that their livelihoods are not adequately protected...more

Thieves caught in Coquihalla cattle corral caper

A trio of thieves were caught red-handed Wednesday (Aug. 24) after a string of thefts along the Coquihalla Highway had ranchers at a local cattle company shaking their heads. Six cattle corrals on Coquihalla Cattle Company land had been taken down and the boards stolen since Aug. 21. More than 1,000 wooden boards have been taken, said Marilyn Cooke, owner of the ranch. “We realized one corral was done Sunday. Yesterday, my husband was driving home and the next underpass was taken. This morning, he drives the Coquihalla and the third underpass was all gone, so they worked all night last night taking it,” she said on Aug. 24. With the police notified about the theft, Sgt. Norm Flemming and the Merritt RCMP began to hatch a plan to catch the thieves on Wednesday afternoon. Anticipating that the men might return during the night or early morning hours, police set out to set up security cameras in the afternoon ahead of the planned sting. Only it turned out the sting wasn’t necessary. “Yesterday around two o’clock, one of constables was driving out there to set up some cameras, and lo and behold, they were there cleaning that lumber up,” said Flemming. “We quickly set up a perimeter and a couple of them attempted to dash up hill and hide in the trees, but that became problematic… So they pretty much gave themselves up without any incident.” Three men were arrested on scene, all around their late forties to early fifties, said Flemming, adding that all three men were from Surrey and known to the RCMP in the Lower Mainland. The thefts represent not only a major headache for the ranchers, but also a potential safety hazard for motorists along the highway, as without the corrals, the cattle could find their way onto the road...more

R-CALF USA’s Attorneys Seek Quick End to Beef Checkoff Lawsuit

In response to the government’s August motion to dismiss or stay the lawsuit R-CALF USA filed against the national beef checkoff program (Beef Checkoff) in May, late yesterday R-CALF USA’s attorneys asked the court to award R-CALF USA summary judgment and immediately end the program’s unconstitutional taxation of ranchers. The group’s lawsuit alleges the government, represented by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), is operating the Beef Checkoff in a manner that violates the U.S. Constitution. According to the lawsuit, the Beef Checkoff, which compels producers to pay $1 per head every time cattle are sold, is a federal tax that funds the private speech of the Montana Beef Council. The group states that the council’s private speech is objectionable because it promotes the message that there is no difference between domestic beef produced under U.S. food safety laws and beef produced in foreign countries. Compelling citizens to subsidize private speech violates the First Amendment, the group says. In its August motion, the government barely contested R-CALF USA’s claim that the checkoff had been an unconstitutional, compelled subsidy. Instead, USDA argued the subsidy was no longer compelled because the agency is currently promulgating a new rule that would allow producers in most states to petition their respective state beef councils to redirect checkoff dollars away from those private state councils and to the federal Beef Checkoff program, which is operated under the direct supervision of the USDA. Citing the proposed rule, the government moved to either dismiss or to stay the case, saying it believes the disputed tax distribution will be resolved through its rulemaking process. In R-CALF USA’s motion it states that the government’s proposed solution is woefully inadequate. The group asserts that a violation of the Constitution cannot be remedied by imposing an additional burden on independent cattle producers though an opt-out scheme. Instead, the Constitution requires the government first obtain the affirmative consent from those who are required to pay the federal cattle tax before it can use those taxes to fund private speech...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1687

 A little bluegrass today with Bill Clifton & The Dixie Mountain Boys performing Are You Alone.  The tune is on his CD The Early Years 1957-1958.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Attorney named to spearhead Finicum, Bundy lawsuits

Southern California attorney who has gained national recognition as a legal analyst for media outlets announced this week that he will represent the family of slain Arizona Strip rancher R. LaVoy Finicum and imprisoned Southern Nevada rancher Ryan Bundy in anticipated civil rights lawsuits against law enforcement officers involved in ending an Oregon wildlife refuge standoff earlier this year. Brian Claypool, the owner and managing partner of Pasadena’s Claypool Law Firm, was hired by LaVoy’s widow Jeanette and her 12 children to pursue the lawsuit Jeanette has previously said will redress what she calls the “murder” of her husband during a standoff with state police and federal officers near the refuge Jan. 26. Claypool will also represent Ryan Bundy in a similar lawsuit stemming from the gunshot wound Bundy received, allegedly by law enforcement officers, minutes before Finicum’s death. And Claypool will reportedly serve as co-counsel in defending Bundy against criminal charges arising from the alleged conspiracy to defy federal authorities in an armed occupation of the Malheur National Forest refuge during the month preceding Bundy’s arrest. In addition to his legal work, Claypool is known as a “TV, legal, social and entertainment commentator,” according to his website. This month, he has made appearances on Fox News and CNN to discuss a number of legal cases as well as controversy surrounding Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte’s arrest in Brazil...more

Ammon Bundy Jury Pool - 90-Plus Potential Jurors Already Eliminated; Evidence discussed

More than 90 potential jurors for the upcoming trial of rancher Ammon Bundy for his alleged role in the 41-day occupation of an Oregon bird sanctuary have been excluded from the jury pool, leaving prosecutors and defense lawyers with about 200 more to assess until 12 are selected to serve on the jury. 1,500 juror questionnaires were sent out and 350 were received back ahead of the Sept. 7 trial. About 25 percent of the people who filled them out were eliminated from the jury pool due to alleged bias or hardship, according to The Oregonian. Bundy, of Emmett, Idaho, will face trial with seven other defendants who wanted the federal government to relinquish control of Western public land and free two imprisoned ranchers. The eight are charged with conspiring to impede Interior Department employees from doing their jobs during the group’s bird sanctuary occupation. Some of those excluded wrote on their questionnaires that they thought Bundy and the others were guilty, while one wrote of thinking about “joining them … or a state or national militia group.” Besides jury selection, Monday also included the first of what are expected to be days of pretrial conferences to determine what evidence will be allowed. Prosecutors said they plan to call seven Interior Department employees to testify. Defense lawyers argued that prosecutors should not be allowed to discuss an April 2014 armed standoff between Bundy followers and federal officers over grazing rights on public land near Ammon Bundy’s father’s ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada. In the Oregon case, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel defended being allowed to introduce evidence about the Bunkerville standoff, saying details would provide the jury with context about why the Bundy brothers and their co-defendants took over the Oregon refuge. Prosecutors plan to use statements from defendant Pete Santilli referring to the Oregon refuge occupation as “another Bunkerville,” Gabriel said. Defense attorney Matthew Schindler argued that the Bunkerville standoff should not be mentioned and that hundreds of prosecution exhibits on guns and ammunition should be reduced to weapon exhibits that can be tied to each defendant...more

Nevadans, not DC bureaucrats, should regulate our backyard

by Rex Steninger 

The op-ed by Brian Sexton ("One View: Keep public lands in public hands," Aug. 8) demands a response. I, too, was at the recent Interim Legislative Committee on Public Lands held in Elko and can’t begin to understand how Mr. Sexton could have been “appalled” at how the federal land managers were treated. They were treated with the utmost respect and I am sure that the Nevada Legislature has transcripts for those who want to check for themselves.

The main cause for concern at the hearing was the exploding number of horses on the public lands. Several grazing allotments in Elko County currently have 10 times the number of horses deemed the appropriate management levels by the BLM. Several ranchers have been forced to take “nonuse” on their allotment because the horses have consumed all the forage. Some allotments haven’t been used by cattle for 10 years and the lack of forage also affects wildlife.

On top of that, there is no immediate plan to address the problem and the horse herds typically double every four years. The allotments currently hold more than 4,000 horses and, with no action, that number will double to 8,000 in four years. The ranchers will be forced off the range and the wildlife and horses will die horrible deaths from starvation and thirst.

Those are cold, hard facts, not “half-truths” or “political rhetoric directed at making the BLM and USFS seem incompetent” as Mr. Sexton charged. The forest service did come under criticism from the committee because it still had not determined the appropriate management levels on the public lands it administers, even though Congress had ordered it to do so 40 years ago. It is easy to see how that criticism makes the agency seem incompetent, but that certainly isn’t the fault of the legislative committee.

Why Yellowstone runs low on water


The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department closed the Yellowstone River to all water-borne recreation in response to a growing epidemic that has killed thousands of fish. The culprit is proliferative kidney disease, which can cause up to 100 percent mortality.

The disease is exacerbated by low water flows and high temperatures.

...Neither FWP nor the governor are willing to name the major factor creating low flows or “do everything” to stop the disease. There is a sacred cow they are afraid to name. In naming low flows and high temperatures, they are ignoring the ultimate cause of low water and high temperatures — which throughout Montana and the rest of the West is livestock production.

Livestock trample the riparian areas along streams which are the sponges that hold and release water, especially late season flows. Throughout the West, especially on public lands, cattle grazing is the No. 1 cause of riparian damage.

All those green hay fields one sees along the Yellowstone River? Well, that’s the river spread over those fields. Throughout the West, those green patches of exotic water-thirsty grasses are only possible by degrading our rivers through water withdrawals.

Irrigation causes stream dewatering and it's the reason many stream segments fail to meet state water quality standards.

When fish are crowded together, it increases competition for food and resting habitat and thus is a factor in stress. Low flows also mean any pools of water heat faster contributing to higher temperatures. Furthermore, even if the water diverted from a stream or river is subsequently returned to the stream, it is typically much warmer, which is another factor in high temperatures.

But here’s the catch. The water in Montana rivers, as well as the rest of the West, does not belong to ranchers. It is owned by the citizens of the state. Any use, including the removal of water, is subject to citizen approval. A water “right” is really a water privilege. We, the people of Montana, allow ranchers to use our water for their private profit. But this is subject to our approval.

Ranchers Must Have Veterinary Directive For Medicated Cattle Feeds

Beginning the first of the year, cattlemen who regularly use medicated feed for performance enhancement will be limited. That’s the “meat” of the message from Dr. Michael Apley, professor of clinical sciences at the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine, Manhattan. More than 170 ranchers were informed at the Beef Producers Information Seminar, hosted by WIBW and coordinated by longtime farm director Kelly Lenz. Apley discussed meaning of the Food and Drug Administration’s new Veterinary Feed Directive as highlight of a two-part seminar kicking off the Flint Hills Beef Fest at Emporia. Tracy Brunner, Ramona rancher who serves as president of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, also reviewed activities of that group on behalf of Flint Hills ranchers’ profitability. The Veterinary Feed Directive, or VFD, was originally enacted under the existing Animal Drug Availability Act of 1996. It labeled certain drugs as Veterinary Feed Directive Drugs, which are antibiotics that are also used to treat human illnesses. The VFD is enforced by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and only applies to feed grade antibiotics, medicines administered to animals in or on feed, and will ultimately rule out its use in growth promotion and feed efficiency. “The biggest change is you’re going to have to work with a veterinarian before feeding these medicated feeds,” Apley said...more

State decides to kill entire wolf pack in northeast Wash.

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State wildlife officials say an entire wolf pack in Ferry County will be killed after two calf carcasses and an injured calf were found. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife says it has confirmed a wolf attack on the injured calf and that the dead calves were probably killed by wolves. The wolves have killed or injured six cows or maybe five others since mid-July. Jim Unsworth, director of the Department of Fish and Wildlife, authorized field staff to remove the remaining members of the Profanity Peak wolf pack to prevent additional attacks on cattle between Republic and Kettle Falls. State wildlife officials shot two pack members Aug. 5, but ended the kills after two weeks passed without any more attacks on cattle, "At that time, we said we would restart this operation if there was another wolf attack, and now we have three," said Donny Martorello, department wolf policy lead. "The department is committed to wolf recovery, but we also have a shared responsibility to protect livestock from repeated depredation by wolves."...more

Taking a Stand at Standing Rock

Near Cannon Ball, N.D. — It is a spectacular sight: thousands of Indians camped on the banks of the Cannonball River, on the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. Our elders of the Seven Council Fires, as the Oceti Sakowin, or Great Sioux Nation, is known, sit in deliberation and prayer, awaiting a federal court decision on whether construction of a $3.7 billion oil pipeline from the Bakken region to Southern Illinois will be halted. The Sioux tribes have come together to oppose this project, which was approved by the State of North Dakota and the United States Army Corps of Engineers. The nearly 1,200-mile pipeline, owned by a Texas oil company named Energy Transfer Partners, would snake across our treaty lands and through our ancestral burial grounds. Just a half-mile from our reservation boundary, the proposed route crosses the Missouri River, which provides drinking water for millions of Americans and irrigation water for thousands of acres of farming and ranching lands. Our tribe has opposed the Dakota Access pipeline since we first learned about it in 2014. Although federal law requires the Corps of Engineers to consult with the tribe about its sovereign interests, permits for the project were approved and construction began without meaningful consultation...more

A Bad Day?

Animal rights activists to protest NM rodeo

ALAMOGORDO – Local animal rights advocates with the help from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) will be peacefully protesting the Otero County rodeo events today. A Village of Tularosa resident and animal rights advocate, Katherine Reiser, will be organizing a peaceful demonstration outside the rodeo entrance at the Otero County Fairgrounds to educate rodeo goers on what Reiser and her group believe is the unethical treatment of animals at rodeos. “We’re just going to be holding up some signs. We’ll have some literature to pass out for anyone who is willing to take it. It exploits the cruelty at what happens at rodeos,” Reiser said. “We’re not trying to cause any confrontation with the public whatsoever. The goal is strictly education. We just want to have a presence out there.” Reiser, who used to reside in New York, said she has been a resident of Tularosa for a couple of years now but she never realized the county fair also featured a live rodeo. She said when she found out through a radio commercial then her radar went up and she wanted to raise awareness on animal cruelty...more

Ranchers put skills to the test during 3rd Range Days Ranch Rodeo

It's a chance for those usually behind the scenes in the horse community to get a chance to shine.
Merritt says, "There's people that can rope calves and steers; this is an all-around showcase of what you do every day. There's a rodeo community and a ranching community, and they don't always overlap. This is a good excuse to get the ranching community involved." The goal is speed for teams of ranchers putting their day-to-day tasks to the test during the 3rd Range Days Ranch Rodeo at the Central States Fair. Rodeo organizer Kevin Schmidt says, "The winner of the CSF Ranch Rodeo is seeded to the final performance to the night of the 2017 BHSS. It's tough to make the qualifying round because we usually have 80 teams." And it's a unique style of rodeo that's growing.
Contestant Sergio Mirelas says, "It's blooming. It's getting bigger and bigger."...more

NM rally calls for government to protect Grand Canyon

On Wednesday, Roth and Neuhaus joined fellow Environment New Mexico organizers Sarah Lukins and Hannah Perkins and Environment New Mexico state director Sanders Moore in urging President Obama to protect Grand Canyon National Park from uranium mining by creating a national monument out of 1.7 million acres around the park. Supporters of the proposed national monument maintain that old mines around and inside Grand Canyon National Park have contaminated water in the area and that new mines could do more harm to the Colorado River, which provides drinking water to more than 25 million people downstream. Mining is not permitted within Grand Canyon National Park itself, and a 20-year moratorium, initiated by the Obama administration in 2012, prohibits new mining in the area outside the park. But Environment New Mexico said recent increases in uranium prices has mining companies working for the abolishment of the moratorium. Moore likened the threats posed to the Grand Canyon by uranium mining to potential damages caused by the proposed extraction of oil and gas near New Mexico’s Chaco Culture National Historical Park. Environment New Mexico; its parent organization, Environment America, and other state affiliates are citizen-funded groups whose mission is a cleaner, greener future. The organization chose this week to push the proposal because today is the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. The Grand Canyon is the country’s 15th-oldest national park. More than 50 organizers focused campaign efforts in Albuquerque and eight other cities in New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. Roth said efforts in Albuquerque had resulted in 600 petition signatures and 100 calls to the White House. When added to numbers generated in other cities, Environment America said the push produced 4,350 petition signatures and 1,300 phone calls. “We’ve seen this week how thousands of young people want President Obama to say, ‘Yes We Canyon,’ and create this national monument,” Perkins said...more

Which will come first, Arizona or Utah?  
Will they be designated before or after election day?

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1686

We like country here at Ranch Radio and you don't get much more country than Jimmy Work - When She Said You All.  The tune is on the CD Dot Hillbilly Vol. 1.