Thursday, August 28, 2014

Author D.H. Lawrence's ranch near Taos reopens to visitors

British author D.H. Lawrence described his connection to New Mexico as "the greatest experience I ever had from the outside world. It certainly changed me forever." The rustic ranch northwest of Taos where he spent a brief part of his life during the 1920s recently reopened to visitors. How did the author of "Women in Love" and "Lady Chatterley's Lover" wind up in the Land of Enchantment? He had been invited by socialite Mabel Dodge Luhan, a woman who counted Georgia O'Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz and Ansel Adams among her circle. It was Luhan who subsequently gave the Lawrences the 160-acre ranch that sits at 8,500 feet in elevation, according to a University of New Mexico ranch history. (It's also known as the Kiowa Ranch, named for the Native Americans who once lived there.) Of three buildings that remain at the site, the couple moved into what's called the Homesteader's Cabin. It was a simple but rundown three-room affair, the history says. Lawrence worked to fix it up with the help of locals. He wrote beneath a large pine tree at the front of the house that O'Keeffe would make famous in her painting aptly called "The Lawrence Tree." Now the University of New Mexico, the D.H. Lawrence Ranch Alliance and the Taos Community Foundation have reopened the site for the first time since 2010. Buildings and features at the ranch have been restored, including a memorial shrine to Lawrence, who died in 1930...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1280

"Country Classics" Week brings Carl Smith performing Hey Joe.  The tune was recorded in Nashville on May 19, 1953 and released on the Columbia record label.

Blueprint for water ‘control’? Pol says EPA made secret maps for new regulatory push

A top House Republican is charging that the Environmental Protection Agency secretly drafted highly detailed maps of U.S. waterways to set the stage for a controversial plan to expand regulatory power over streams and wetlands, a claim the EPA strongly denies. Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, chairman of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, released those maps on Wednesday, while firing off a letter to EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy voicing concerns over why they were created in the first place. "These maps show the EPA's plan: to control a huge amount of private property across the country. Given the astonishing picture they paint, I understand the EPA's desire to minimize the importance of these maps," he wrote, in the letter obtained by But an EPA spokeswoman said the maps, from the U.S. Geological Survey and Fish and Wildlife Service, do not depict which waters are subject to EPA control. "Let us be very clear -- these maps have nothing to do with EPA's proposed rule or any other regulatory purpose," Liz Purchia said, noting they were initially created years ago and subsequently updated. At issue is a proposal that Smith and fellow Republicans, as well as farmers and other groups, say could endanger private property rights by giving the EPA a say over temporary waterways like seasonal streams, under the Clean Water Act. That the agency had highly detailed maps drawn up has raised suspicion about their purpose. "While the Agency marches forward with a rule that could fundamentally re-define Americans' private property rights, the EPA kept these maps hidden," Smith wrote in his letter. "Serious questions remain regarding the EPA's underlying motivations for creating such highly detailed maps."  He added: "The EPA's job is to regulate. The maps must have been created with this purpose in mind." The high-resolution maps of each state depict a dense and veiny web of intertwining waterways. They're color-coded to distinguish everything from canals and ditches to reservoirs to marshes to various types of streams. The maps show permanent streams, but also those that contain water for only part of the year...more

Judge denies TRO to stop releases for salmon

A federal judge today denied a request by agricultural water providers in California's Central Valley to stop the newly approved releases of extra water intended to help salmon in the Klamath Basin survive the drought. "The Court concludes that, even though Plaintiffs are likely to (and in all likelihood soon will) succeed on the merits of at least one of their claims against Reclamation in connection with the 2013 FARs (Flow Augmentation releases), the balance of the harms does not warrant an injunction at this time," Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill wrote. "Even if the Court were prepared immediately to issue a final ruling on the merits in favor of Plaintiffs, an injunction would not be automatic." A long-standing lawsuit over last year's releases in the Trinity to help salmon is nearing a ruling. O'Neill wrote that he expected to issue a ruling on the injunction request by Thursday. The petition for a temporary injunction against this month's releases was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in Fresno by Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, which supply farmers...more

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty

The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress. In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path. “If you want a deal that includes all the major emitters, including the U.S., you cannot realistically pursue a legally binding treaty at this time,” said Paul Bledsoe, a top climate change official in the Clinton administration who works closely with the Obama White House on international climate change policy. Lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future, especially in a political environment where many Republican lawmakers remain skeptical of the established science of human-caused global warming. “There’s a strong understanding of the difficulties of the U.S. situation, and a willingness to work with the U.S. to get out of this impasse,” said Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for climate change to the United Nations. “There is an implicit understanding that this not require ratification by the Senate.” American negotiators are instead homing in on a hybrid agreement — a proposal to blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification. Countries would be legally required to enact domestic climate change policies — but would voluntarily pledge to specific levels of emissions cuts and to channel money to poor countries to help them adapt to climate change. Countries might then be legally obligated to report their progress toward meeting those pledges at meetings held to identify those nations that did not meet their cuts...more

Climate plan spooks Dems

President Obama’s election-year plan to win a new international climate change accord is making vulnerable Democrats nervous. The administration is in talks at the United Nations about a deal that would seek to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by “naming and shaming” governments that fail to take significant action. The State Department on Wednesday denied a report in The New York Times that the plan is to come up with a treaty that would not require Senate confirmation, but that appeared to provide cold comfort to Democrats worried the issue will revive GOP cries about an imperial Obama presidency. One Democratic strategist said the proposal would put swing-state candidates who are critical to the party keeping its Senate majority “in front of the firing squad.” “You're ... making it more difficult for them to win and certainty putting them in a position to lose,” the strategist said. Several vulnerable Senate Democrats kept mum on the issue. Sens. Mark Begich (Alaska) and Mark Udall (Colo.), along with a handful of House Democrats, either declined to comment or didn’t respond to interview requests. Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (La.) cautiously signaled support for the oil and gas industry that is important to her state, without commenting on the plan to sidestep the Senate. “It is important that all nations do what they can to reduce carbon in the atmosphere,” she said. “But the president should not take any action that undermines the American energy revolution currently underway that is creating thousands of high-paying jobs for middle class families in Louisiana and across the country.” spokesman for Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.), who heads a House climate task force, said it was premature to comment on a plan with so few details...more

Water districts ask judge to stop Klamath Basin water releases meant to help salmon

Agricultural water providers in the Central Valley of California asked a federal judge to stop releases of extra water intended to help salmon in the Klamath Basin survive the drought. The petition for a temporary injunction was filed late Monday in U.S. District Court in Fresno by Westlands Water District and the San Luis & Delta-Mendota Water Authority, which supply farmers. At issue is water held in a reservoir on the Trinity River, which has been divided between the Trinity and Sacramento river basins for more than 50 years. To prevent a repeat of a 2002 fish kill that left tens of thousands of Klamath River salmon dead, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation started increasing flows into the Trinity River on Saturday. The flows are intended to prevent the spread of disease and get adult salmon to start moving upstream. The fish are a source of commercial and subsistence fisheries by Klamath Basin tribes and sport fishing by the public. The water districts argued that the releases for salmon are not authorized by laws governing the apportionment of Trinity River water, and that releasing extra water for salmon will cause harm to the districts...more

Groups urge tighter rules for sage grouse

Several conservation organizations contend that a recently completed plan for sage grouse management in Wyoming does not bode well for similar plans throughout the West. Because of a court-ordered settlement, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has until September 2015 to decide whether to add greater sage grouse to the endangered species list. Doing so could result in tight restrictions being placed on development and livestock grazing on sage grouse habitat throughout the West. The pending deadline has prompted the BLM and U.S. Forest Service to update land-use plans to better conserve sage grouse and preclude listing the species. The BLM has divided sage grouse range into 15 planning areas across 11 Western states. Final resource management plans for each area are expected to be released over the next few months. One of those is a plan for Idaho and southwestern Montana. A draft plan was released in November and a final plan is scheduled for release this fall. The first finalized plan to include new measures to address sage-grouse protection was for west-central Wyoming, and was released by the BLM’s Lander Field Office on June 26. “The Lander plan utterly fails to do what’s needed to stem the decline of sage grouse in this part of Wyoming, making it more likely that these birds will require the protection of the Endangered Species Act,” said Travis Bruner, executive director of Western Watersheds Project. The Hailey-based organization was one of six conservation groups that on Aug. 18 submitted to the federal Interior and Agriculture departments a 32-point checklist of measures they consider necessary to be undertaken on federal land to protect sage grouse. The checklist has specific direction related to habitat identification, vegetation management, livestock grazing and mineral and gas development...more

 So what are they recommending for livestock grazing?  Is it reasonable?  Take a look and decide:

The groups proposed that grazing regulations require at least 7 inches average grass height in nesting and brood-rearing habitat, leave a four-mile buffer around breeding leks, prohibit grazing during breeding and nesting, and seasonally remove livestock from late brood-rearing habitat to allow regrowth of native grasses. The checklist states that limited winter grazing may be appropriate as long as it leaves enough residual grass height prior to the next breeding season.

This explains why there is no longer a need for "No More Moo by '92" or "Cattle Free by '93".  They don't need long as they have the Endangered Species Act, liberal judges and a Senate which won't even consider minor administrative changes to the Act.

Swapper in Chief - State land commissioner gets little publicity, lots of power

The last time candidates jockeyed to take over the office of New Mexico commissioner of public lands, a contentious swap overwhelmed a crowded race for the usually quiet public job. The down-ballot race is heating up for the November general election, and the topic lingers...Though a relatively unknown public office, the land commissioner holds a great deal of unchecked power. The office is charged with the balancing act of managing and generating revenue from 9 million acres of surface and 13 million acres of subsurface state trust land across New Mexico. Land commissioners do this all without having to answer to the state Legislature or governor...Dunn, who is trying to unseat Powell before he takes on what would be his fourth four-year term, argues that Powell hasn’t leveraged the office’s full potential to generate revenue and jobs for the state. Dunn strongly opposes the recent designation of the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, which is poised to turn just under 80,000 acres of state trust land in southern New Mexico over to the federal Bureau of Land Management. Powell favors the federal designation, adding that the land has “intrinsic biological value” and will be exchanged for land better suited for development. Dunn, on the other hand, criticizes the designation as a land grab that will kill revenue-generating uses for that area, including what he characterizes as putting 40 current grazing leases of state trust land in jeopardy. “The land commissioner is tasked with not creating state parks but creating state revenue,” Dunn says. But Powell maintains that grazing will still continue when the land gets transferred to BLM. He adds that his office is negotiating a swap as part of the designation to acquire BLM land west of Las Cruces that’s primed to be used for renewable energy projects. He expects a swap process to begin at the start of next year. Powell’s current term also benefited enormously from a recent boom in the oil and gas industry, which makes up 97.5 percent of the royalties that go to the Permanent Fund. This, plus Powell’s incumbency status and name recognition, give him an advantage going into November. But Dunn, the son of former Democratic state Sen. Aubrey Dunn Sr., is no stranger to politics. He ran both for US Congress in the state’s second district in 2008 and state senator against Democrat Phil Griego in 2012, but lost both efforts. So far, he’s outraised his opponent by collecting $175,000 in donations as of late June compared to Powell’s $66,000...more

Ranchers appeal grazing ban, invite judge to tour grass

Lander County ranchers filed an appeal Monday regarding grazing closures on nine of 20 areas on the Argenta Allotment. In a review done by the Department of the Interior’s Office of Hearings and Appeals, Administrative Law Judge James Heffernan ruled Aug. 18 that the Bureau of Land Management had the authority to issue closures due to drought. Representing affected ranching families, attorney Alan Schroeder filed an appeal, which included a petition for stay on the ruling and a motion inviting the judge to visit the allotment. Due to severe drought, the Bureau of Land Management told permittees that if triggers in specific monitoring spots were met, livestock had to be removed. In late July, the BLM informed permittees closures were necessary in nine areas. Drought triggers, Schroeder argued, were never included as terms of the grazing permits, and monitored locations were too small in size to be representative of the whole. “BLM’s claims are driven by utilization ‘triggers’ in certain, small, riparian zones within some of the nine Use Areas, making up less than 6-acres of the approximate 92,000 acres at issue within the nine Use Areas,” the appeal states...more

U.S. Government releases predators against its own people

by Marita Noon

Many times the sound of howling and yelping coyotes awake me from a sound and cozy slumber. I sit bolt upright in my bed as my sleep-filled brain tries to calculate where my critters are and whether or not they are safe. The dogs on the floor beside me, the cat on the foot of the bed, I roll over and go back to sleep.

In the years that I’ve lived in the mountains outside Albuquerque, I’ve lost three cats and three ducks to coyotes. I know they are natural predators and if my pets are outside, there is a chance they’ll fall prey. I hear the coyotes, but I hardly see them. They don’t generally come close to humans. They are after the squirrels and rabbits—and an occasional cat or duck.

But that could all change due to a new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) plan to expand the area for the Mexican grey wolf reintroduction. The current plan calls for virtually all the southern half of New Mexico to become wolf habitat—but wolf advocates at a hearing about the plan, held in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, on Wednesday, August 13, repeatedly declared that Southern New Mexico wasn’t enough. They want the wolf introduced north of I-40—which would include Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Some called for wolves to be released in the Grand Canyon and the Four Corners area.

Wolves are master predators—and they are enemies of coyotes. Wolves attack bigger prey: deer and elk, horses and cattle—but are known to carry off a dog or cat as well. The wolves that are a part of the reintroduction program are not afraid of people and will come right up to a house if they are hungry.

Supporters of the expanded plan, plead for people to “open their eyes and hearts to wolves, to remove boundaries.” One claimed: “The big bad wolf isn’t so bad after all,” and added, “there’s no proof a wolf has ever harmed a human.”  “Wolves are demonized” and “wolves don’t hurt humans” were reoccurring themes throughout the evening hearing—where 70 people spoke (48 for the expanded plan, 22 against). Not everyone who wanted to be heard was given the opportunity. The hearing was conducted with precision—cutting people off midsentence at the two-minute mark—and ended promptly at 9:00PM.

Most of the 22 against the plan live in the areas already impacted by the current wolf reintroduction—the Gila National Forest on the New Mexico/Arizona border.

One woman told of growing up on her family’s ranch. She remembers being able to play by the stream without fear. But now, with wolves around, it is a different story for her grandchildren. They came to visit one day. They brought their new puppy. As they bounded out of the car, toward the house, two wolves emerged from the creek and snatched the puppy as the shocked children helplessly watched. They are now afraid to go to grandma’s house. They have nightmares.

Another told how she felt when a wolf was spotted less than 35 feet from her children. Her husband was away. She grabbed the children and, along with the dogs, stayed locked in the house—only to see the wolf on the front porch with its nose pressed against the window pane. She has reported on the incident: “Throughout the evening my border collie whimpered at the front door, aggressively trying to get out. Both dogs paced on high alert all night.” The next day wolf tracks were found all around the house—including the children’s play yard. The wolf was euthanized on private property within 150 yards of the house. She concludes her story: “It’s difficult to describe the terror of a predator so fearless and eager to get into my home.”

Others told similar stories. Children, waiting for the school bus, have to be caged to be protected from the wolves. Nine ranches in the current habitat area along the New Mexico/Arizona border, have been sold due to wolf predation—too many cattle are killed and ranchers are forced off the land.

Had I been allowed to speak—and I did sign up, I would have addressed the lunacy of the plan. After huge amounts of effort and resources have been invested to save the sand dune lizard and the lesser prairie chicken in and around the oil patch of southeastern New Mexico, they now want to introduce a master predator that will gobble up the other endangered species? After all, as many proponents pointed out, “wolves don’t have maps.” They don’t stay within the boundaries on the FWS maps, they go where the food is—just ask the families living in the current range.

As I listened to the presenters, I wondered: “Why do they do this?” People and their property need to be protected. Instead, supporters whined that capturing wolves and moving them away from communities “traumatizes” them. What about the harm to humans; the traumatized children? Does human blood need to be shed to consider that they have been harmed?

Perhaps the answer to “why?” came from one wolf supporter who opened with this: “I am from New York. I don’t know anything about ranching or wolves.” And then added: “Ranching will be outdated in 10-15 years. We can’t keep eating meat.”

State Senator Bill Soules, from Las Cruces, supports the new, expanded plan. He said: “I’ve had many people contact me wanting wolves protected. I’ve had no one contact me with the opposing view”—perhaps that is because neither phone number listed on his New Mexico Legislature webpage takes you to a person or voicemail.

Calls to our elected officials do matter. Contact yours and tell him/her that you want people protected, that humans shouldn’t be harmed by an expanded wolf reintroduction territory.

I wrote a short version of my experience at the hearing for the Albuquerque Journal because I wanted people there to be aware of the plan to introduce wolves into close proximity to the Albuquerque area. My op-ed in the local paper generated a vitriolic dialogue on the website—with more than 90 comments at the time of this writing. Many said things like this one, supposedly from a woman in Concord, New Hampshire: “If you don’t like it move to the city it is their home and you moved into it so either deal with it and stop your whining or move back to the city.” Yeah, that will work really well for the ranchers who earn their living and feed America by raising livestock.

This story is about New Mexico, Arizona and the Mexican grey wolf. But similar stories can easily be found in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana where the Canadian grey wolf was reintroduced nearly two decades ago. The wolf population has grown so rapidly that they have been known to aggressively kill livestock and cause millions of dollars of loss to ranching families—with the Idaho record being 176 sheep killed in one night. In Wyoming, the Wolf has been removed from the endangered species list and ranchers can now kill the wolf and protect their herds without fear of punishment from our government. Even the U.S. FWS is removing and euthanizing the wolves that were intentionally introduced into the region. As recently as August 21, 2014, wolves are wreaking havoc, killing sheep just 50 miles outside of Spokane, Washington—where the U.S. FWS has authorized a rancher to kill the wolves and, much to the dismay of environmental groups, state wildlife agents are killing wolves to protect people and property.

Environmental groups have been pushing to bring the wolf back to Colorado through the Rocky Mountain National Park.

While the public hearing regarding the expanded introduction of the Mexican Grey Wolf is over, the U.S. FWS is accepting written comments on the proposed revision to the Nonessential Experimental Population of the Mexican Wolf through September 23. Please add to the discussion—though they don’t make it easy as to be accepted, comments must be substantive, related to the proposed alternatives, or scientifically valid, and something not yet considered.

People shouldn’t lie awake in fear for their families and property because our own government introduces a predator amongst us.

The author of Energy Freedom, Marita Noon serves as the executive director for Energy Makes America Great Inc. and the companion educational organization, the Citizens’ Alliance for Responsible Energy (CARE).

Vitter tells Interior to ‘back off’ on oil rig

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) called on the Obama administration to leave a sunken oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico. “The development of marine reefs with significant biodiversity is an unintended benefit of many of the idle rigs remaining in the Gulf of Mexico,” Vitter said. “The Administration should back off and allow it to prosper.” In a letter to Interior Secretary Sally Jewell sent Monday, Vitter said the rig is acting as an artificial reef that has benefited the ecosystem. “Artificial reefs are becoming an indispensable resource for our Gulf fisheries,” Vitter wrote. “While this particular site has yet to obtain official status as an artificial reef site, the ecosystem that it has created and supported around it is already playing an important role in growing and sustaining our Gulf fisheries. Currently, the administration is expected to remove the Ewing Banks 947A structure, despite Louisiana requesting an exemption...more

U.S. court rules for groups defending historic site from coal mining

A U.S. appeals court ruled Tuesday in favor of environmental groups fighting to protect the site of a historic 1920s-era labor battle between miners and companies in West Virginia from being destroyed by modern-day coal mining. The Sierra Club and a coalition of local historical associations sued the government for removing the Blair Mountain Battlefield in southern West Virginia from the National Register of Historic Places in 2009, a move the group said would open up the area to large-scale surface mining. The mountain was the scene of a five-day clash in September 1921 between more than 5,000 West Virginia coal miners and around 3,000 men backed by the coal companies, the largest armed labor conflict in the nation's history. President Warren Harding had to send in federal troops to quell the violence. In a 2-1 ruling, a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit overturned a lower court's 2012 ruling throwing out the Sierra Club's claim against the Department of the Interior and the National Park Service. The appeals court found the groups had a right to challenge the government's delisting of the site since their members - including descendants of veterans who fought in the battle - would be harmed if it is altered by mining...more

I AM FARMLAND campaign announced

U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA) is launching a new campaign titled I AM FARMLAND geared to help support the expanded distribution of FARMLAND, a new feature length documentary about the lives of young farmers and ranchers. Funds raised by the I AM FARMLAND effort will be used to bring the film to high school classrooms, college campuses, in addition to communities all across the country.

USFRA invites others in agriculture to help spread the message that FARMLAND accurately depicts life as an American farmer and rancher. I AM FARMLAND is a group of friends of the film working to reach broader audiences and wider distribution.

“Farmers and ranchers owe it to ourselves to help ensure this film is seen by young people in an effort to curb the criticisms and lack of understanding consumers have for food production,” said USFRA board member and Minnesota farmer Gene Stoel. “Consumers are generations removed from agriculture today and they don’t know the people growing and raising our food. This is the first authentic representation of modern agriculture on this scale and the agriculture industry needs to step up and support it in a big way.”

USFRA will use the funds raised in this campaign to continue to heighten the energy of FARMLAND by offering screenings on college campuses, a curriculum-based program for high schools, and screening kits for farmers and ranchers who would like to conduct outreach in their local communities.

“If you have seen the film, you realize that it’s something everyone in America should see,” said Randy Krotz USFRA CEO. “Initial distribution of FARMLAND has been successful but limited. Now that we know the positive impact viewing the film has on non-ag audiences, we owe it to interested consumers to get the film in front of them. We need agriculture’s support to help more people around the country view this amazing film.”

If you would like to contribute to help expand the distribution of the film, please go to


Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1279

Another "Country Classic":  Little Jimmy Dickens - A Sleepin' At The Foot Of The Bed (1949).

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

NMCOG seeking DNA from historic Mexican Wolves


Dear members,

We are looking for individuals who might still possess historic Mexican Wolf hides/skulls from any wolf killed in New Mexico prior to the current re-introduction period.  These wolves might have been killed or found by your grandparents/great grandparents and are perhaps still displayed in your trophy room or gathering dust in a barn somewhere.

NMCOG is attempting to gather DNA from historic Mexican Wolves in order to further scientific research to prove that Mexican Wolves and Gray Wolves are of the same lineage and therefore, should not be classified as two different species within the Endangered Species Act.

As most of you are well aware, the USFWS is currently attempting to expand the range and protections of the Mexican Wolf.  NMCOG is fighting this expansion.  An expansion of this nature will undoubtedly put NM and AZ on the path to becoming the wolf predation mess that is currently being experienced in WY, ID, and MT.  With the USFWS proposing an increase to between 300 and 1000 wolves the ungulate populations of NM simply can not sustain an additional predator pressure of that size.

Please contact the Council if you know of anywhere that we might be able to find the DNA that we are looking for.  Feel free to forward this email to anyone that you know might have historic Mexican Wolf DNA. 

Thanks for your help!

Kerrie C. Romero
Executive Director (
51 Bogan Rd Stanley, NM 87056

Governor calls EPA 'enemy of agriculture'

Gov. Dave Heineman on Monday called the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency the “enemy of agriculture” and said the federal agency is the biggest regulatory issue facing Nebraska producers. “The federal government, particularly under the Obama administration, has been overly aggressive with regulation,” Heineman said during a conference call with reporters. “We all support clean air, clean water and appropriate regulations. But it is the EPA that is the enemy of agriculture.” A series of proposals and disagreements in recent years -- from proposed regulation of farm dust to considering a reduction in the amount of ethanol required to be blended into gasoline -- have strained the relationship between producers and the EPA. Farmers and ranchers argue they know how to best care for the land they rely on to survive. Nebraska Department of Agriculture Director Greg Ibach, on the same conference call with the governor, summed it up. “Whether it has been the EPA’s past clandestine flights over Nebraska to spy on livestock feeding operations, or their move to try and regulate individual farmer’s properties now through Waters of the U.S., or their foolish move earlier this year to try to change the RFS (Renewable Fuels Standard), the EPA is the biggest regulation problem that Nebraska farmers and ranchers face.”...more

PLF to forest service: stop coveting private water rights

Last Friday Pacific Legal Foundation filed this comment letter with the United States Forest Service, in opposition to a proposed policy that would prevent the owners of private water rights from transferring them under state law from existing uses to other more economical uses. The American West has an interesting history of privately held rights to use water on federal lands. The United States adopted an active policy for settling its new territories through the Homestead Act, which led to private ownership of most land between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains, as well as on the West Coast.  But in the Great Basin and other Western high desert regions (generally the area between the Cascade and Sierra Mountains on the West and the Rockies on the East), there were relatively few takers for homesteads.  This region is generally arid; only those limited areas with adequate surface water supplies were ultimately homesteaded. That doesn’t mean that the rest of the land lay unproductive.  By federal policy, most of the remaining public land in the West remained open for cattle grazing, timber production, and mining.  Section 9 of the Mining Act of 1866 explicitly deferred to state law on the question of whether and how these miners, ranchers, and others established water rights on the public lands they were using.  By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the result was a patchwork, in which the federal government owned most of the land, while private parties owned extensive water rights for stockwatering and mining and milling, as well as for farming in those areas with enough water for irrigation...more

Hired hunter kills wolf in Washington

One wolf has been killed by a hunter hired by Washington, a state where the animals have been regaining a foothold in recent years after being hunted to extinction in the early 1900s. The state Department of Fish and Wildlife said hunters were back out Monday, targeting three more wolves in the Huckleberry Pack to protect sheep in rural southern Stevens County. Wolves from the Huckleberry Pack this month have killed 22 sheep and injured three more, despite preventive measures, the agency said. Environmental groups oppose the hunt...more

Guard dogs continue to frighten hikers on high mountain trails

Judy Graham has been hiking in the San Juan Mountains near Silverton for more than three decades. But recently the 68-year-old has added something to the hiking sticks, water bottle, rain jacket and sketching supplies she always takes along — a loaded Glock. Graham is arming herself because she fears the large, white Akbash dogs that guard sheep herds around Silverton and other high-mountain towns, particularly along the popular Colorado and Continental Divide trails. The aggressive dogs have continued to be a controversial backcountry problem in spite of efforts to lessen encounters between the dogs and recreationists. "I have been hiking these mountains for a long time, but I won't go out anymore without a gun," said Graham, a painter who spends a lot of time in the backcountry to catalog scenes for her art. Matt Janowiak, district ranger for the Columbine District of the San Juan National Forest, said he wishes more of those complaints would make it to his office so he can do something about the problem. His office has received only one in the past two years. He said contracts with ranchers who have grazing permits now specify that the herds need to be at least a quarter-mile from the Colorado and Continental Divide trails. If animals are closer, the U.S. Forest Service can take away ranchers' permits. The problems with the Akbash first came to public attention in 2009 when a woman was bitten while riding her bike near Vail...more

Fish Kill Averted - Department of Interior Agrees to Release Water Into Klamath River

After weeks of lobbying by tribes and experts monitoring water levels and temperature in the Klamath River, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has authorized the release of water from its largest tributary to avert a fish kill. With California suffering from prolonged drought, the Hoopa Valley, Karuk and Yurok tribes have been pressing officials to release water from Trinity River dams to prevent disease from starting and spreading among fish. Conditions, they said, had been dangerously close to those that killed tens of thousands of fish in 2002, compromising fisheries and traditional ways of life for years. On August 22 the Bureau of Reclamation announced it will reverse a June 30 decision not to release water and will instead take water from Trinity Reservoir “to supplement flows in the lower Klamath River to help protect the returning run of adult Chinook salmon,” according to a statement. “We have determined that unprecedented conditions over the past few weeks in the lower Klamath River require us to take emergency measures to help reduce the potential for a large-scale fish die-off,” said Mid-Pacific Regional Director David Murillo in the statement. “This decision was made based on science and after consultation with Tribes, water and power users, federal and state fish regulatory agencies, and others.”...more

Funny how that science changed in just 60 days.  Gov't mgt = Political mgt, not scientific mgt. 

Texas' historic bison herd has more roaming room

The state's historic bison herd just got more room to roam in a West Texas park. About 100 bison descended from the Southern Plains herd now have access to 10,000 acres in Caprock Canyons State Park. Park staff last week opened the acres up to the animals that are members of the Official Texas State Bison Herd. The expansion is a big step in a program that started widening the animals' access starting in 2010. The Texas herd was started in the 1870s with five bison calves captured by Charles Goodnight, one of the most prosperous cattlemen in the American West, with more than 1 million acres of ranch land and 100,000 head of cattle at his peak. His wife urged him to save the bison, also known as buffalos, because hunters were killing them by the hundreds of thousands for their hides and meat and to crush American Indian tribes who depended on the animals for food and clothing. The herd was donated to the state in 1997 and moved to 330 acres of the state park, which was once part of Goodnight's JA Ranch between Lubbock and Amarillo. When the Transcontinental Railroad was built across the United States in the 1800s, the bison - which are believed to have numbered in the tens of millions - were split into what was known as the Northern and the Southern herds...more

Mammoth Skeleton Discovered In North Texas

The skeleton of a mammoth has been discovered in North Texas – and the enormous find is being donated to the Perot Museum in Dallas. The remains of the prehistoric creature were found on a ranch in Ellis County, and researchers say the skeleton is about 85% complete. Navarro College Professor Tom Vance has been in on the dig since the discovery earlier this year. The first pieces uncovered were portions of a tusk and front arm bone, “But we did not have enough (bones) at that time as far as it’s identification,” said Vance. “We eventually found the cranium of the animal, and were able to determine that this was a Mammoth not a Mastadon.” Dr. Ron Tykosky with the Perot Museum says that the skeleton was discovered by accident – when a rancher was digging a hole with a backhoe to sell gravel and sand to the highway department. “This is a Columbian Mammoth, a different species from the Woolly Mammoth that most people think of” says Dr. Tykosky “it’s bigger than Woolly Mammoths and probably less hairy.” The 40,000-year old beast as been named “Ellie May” according to Professor Vance because it was discovered in Ellis County in the month of May...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1278

This will be a "Country Classics" week and we'll play some tunes that have been on Ranch Radio before, but not since we've been on YouTube.  First up will be Eddy Arnold - Anytime.  The tune was recorded in New York City on August 20, 1947 and released in 1948 on the RCA Victor label.