Friday, July 29, 2016

Utah Governor calls tribal monument proposal a 'political tomahawk'

Both sides in the Bears Ears fight have called for compromise. But it increasingly looks unlikely they’ll find middle ground following a rowdy U.S. Senate field hearing Wednesday in Blanding. Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, hosted the field hearing at San Juan High School. He backs legislation as the best means of conserving eastern Utah’s landscape, traditions and archeology. Lee knocked the Obama Administration for skipping Wednesday’s hearing, as well as the tribal coalition behind the monument proposal. “We hope that the Bears Ears Coalition will reconsider,” he said in an opening statement, “and will meet with us to discuss how best to preserve Bears Ears.” Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, gathered stakeholder input over three years for his Public Lands Initiative, or PLI, and used that as the foundation for the legislation. But critics say it allows too much development and too little protection -- even though the legislation includes national conservation areas. Gov. Gary Herbert praised the PLI for having local buy-in. But, because it relies on the Obama Administration to declare a new national monument that the tribes would help manage, the governor criticized the tribal coalition’s proposal. “If this is not some kind of political tomahawk to be used, no pun intended,” he began, “if this really is about the Bears Ears region, protecting, conserving the land, the PLI is by far the superior way to go about doing it.”...more

Opponents of Utah monument dominate hearing

Hundreds of people who oppose the proposed Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah showed up at a Senate field hearing to voice their displeasure for the plan that Gov. Gary Herbert called a "political tomahawk." San Juan County residents shouted "doodah" and wore shirts and stickers with the Navajo word that means no, the Deseret News reports. Navajos said they're worried they'll lose their ability to do sacred ceremonies and gather medicinal herbs. Ranchers expressed concerns about losing grazing rights. Farmers say they would lose their lands. Willie Grayeyes, chairman of a tribal coalition pushing the proposal called Utah Diné Bikéyah, said in a statement the hearing was a "thinly veiled effort to make it appear that there is more opposition than truly exists." U.S. Sen. Mike Lee, a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said monument proponents and federal officials declined his invitation to participate in the hearing, which he said proves he didn't purposely set up a one-sided hearing...more

The enviros will participate in public hearings where they can control the agenda and even bus people in for dramatic effect.  But an official Senate hearing where they would testify for the record and be subject to questioning?  Forget it.

Finicum, Bundy supporters discuss aftermath of Oregon standoff

The Bundys and Robert “LaVoy” Finicum were once again the center of focus when a group of people gathered at the Best Western Abbey Inn of St. George on Thursday for “The Feds Versus The Ranchers.” The night’s event, hosted by the Dixie Republican Forum, was held to update the public on what has taken place since LaVoy had been shot and killed on Jan. 26 and rancher Cliven Bundy was arrested. In attendance was Jeanette Finicum, LaVoy’s widow, and Kanab resident Shawna Cox, who was in the back seat of LaVoy’s vehicle when he was shot. The women discussed the event’s leading up to the Oregon standoff, starting with the 2014 armed confrontation with federal land managers near Bundy’s Bunkerville home. This was the incident that led to the arrests of Bundy and several family members. Now the death of her husband has led Finicum to have her own independent investigation done. “That’s the only way I’m going to be able to believe the evidence coming my way,” said Finicum, adding, “I have no faith or trust in the federal government, in the FBI or Oregon State Police.” According to Finicum, she has begun the proceedings of a lawsuit and has started by filing a notice of claim. From there she plans to gather and request evidence under the Freedom of Information Act...more

U.S. Chamber spends big to defeat conservative

Less than a week before the Republican primary in Kansas’ 1st Congressional District, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has thrown its support behind physician Roger Marshall in his bid to defeat Rep. Tim Huelskamp. The chamber’s political arm is spending $200,000 on ads to support Marshall and another $200,000 on ads to oppose Huelskamp. Huelskamp, first elected in the tea party wave of 2010, is a rare Republican whom the chamber is working to defeat. “I can’t think of an example where we have actively and aggressively opposed a Republican incumbent in Congress,” said Rob Engstrom, the chamber’s national political director. Tuesday’s “Big First” race is one of the most competitive primaries in the country. The candidates are in a virtual tie when it comes to polls and fundraising...more

 So why would the U.S. Chamber of Commerce oppose an incumbent Republican  in the primary?  Is he a big spending liberal who wants to grow the size of government?  Not hardly.

Last year, Huelskamp voted against reauthorizing the Export-Import Bank, a federal credit agency that helps U.S. companies export their goods overseas. Conservatives call it a form of “crony capitalism” that props up large companies such as Boeing. He was one of 65 Republicans to oppose the FAST Act, the first long-term transportation reauthorization bill in a decade. Republican Reps. Mike Pompeo of Wichita and Kevin Yoder of Overland Park also voted against it. Huelskamp also opposed budget and spending bills the chamber supported. He opposes a comprehensive immigration overhaul that includes a path to citizenship for those who are in the U.S. illegally.

No, they're going after a tea party type Republican who voted against subsidies for big business like the Export-Import Bank and against huge new spending proposals like the transportation bill (see U.S. Chamber Plans $100 Million Campaign Against Conservatives). The chamber is pushing hard for the big spending establishment.

Judge in Taunton casino case: 'This is not a close call'

In a major blow to Taunton casino supporters, a U.S. District Court judge Thursday ruled that the federal government overstepped its authority when it took land into trust for the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe. “[Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell] lacked the authority to acquire land in trust for the Mashpees,” Judge William G. Young wrote in his 22-page ruling siding with a group of East Taunton residents opposed to construction of the tribal casino in their neighborhood. At issue in the case, the judge said, is whether the Mashpees legally qualify as “Indians” as defined by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. If not, the Bureau of Indian Affairs would lack the authority to take land into trust on their behalf, according to the judge’s ruling. The judge said the “plain meaning” of the law is that the Mashpees would have had to have been recognized by the federal government at the time the law was enacted in 1934 for the Bureau to have the authority to take land into trust on their behalf. The tribe was officially recognized in 2007 by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. “With respect, this is not a close call: to find ambiguity here would be to find it everywhere,” Young wrote in his ruling. The tribe broke ground on the Taunton casino in April...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1670

Webb Pierce & Wilburn Brothers - Sparkling Brown Eyes is our selection today.  The tune was recorded in Nashville  on Feb. 23, 1954 for the Decca label.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wolf Species Are Part Coyote

Gray wolves, pushed to near extinction in the 1960s, have roamed North America alongside two other wolf species—the red wolf in the southeastern U.S. and the Eastern wolf in the area surrounding the Great Lakes. But an analysis of their genomes has revealed a surprise: they are all actually one type of wolf, with varying amounts of coyote DNA, a study reported this week (July 27) in Science Advances. “Wolf biologists and others have been waiting for this sort of definitive analysis for years,” says Susan Haig, a wildlife ecologist at the US Geological Survey in Corvallis, Oregon, told Science. Robert Wayne, a geneticist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues
analyzed the genomes of 12 gray wolves, six Eastern wolves, three red wolves, and three coyotes, plus those of dogs and wolves from Asia, The New York Times reported. The team found a surprising amount of coyote DNA in purported wolves: the Eastern wolf was about 25 percent to 50 percent coyote, and the red wolf, 75 percent coyote.  Even the gray wolf itself wasn’t purebred—it had traces of coyote genes, Science News reported. The analysis also revealed that coyotes and the gray wolf diverged far more recently than experts previously believed—around 50,000 years ago...more

Are Some Wolves in Danger of Losing Protected Status?

To the casual observer, one wolf might look the same as another but to those in the know, there are crucial differences between the various species of wolf. A recent study, however, suggests eastern and red wolves—previously thought to have different ancestry from other gray wolves—might be hybrids of gray wolves and coyotes. The potential hybrid nature of the wolves could pose a problem for how they are viewed by the Endangered Species Act (1973). It could also be the justification for keeping gray wolves on the protected list. Researchers from Princeton studied the genomes of a variety of wolves and coyotes. They found that eastern wolves are 3/4 gray wolf and ¼ coyote, while red wolves are a ¼ gray wolf and ¾ coyote. The study, funded by the National Science Foundation and National Institutes of Health, suggests that eastern wolves and red wolves are not separate from gray wolves as previously thought. The study also casts concern about the Endangered Species Act, which does not protect hybrid species. That’s because when it was passed, interbreeding wasn’t thought to be as common as it is now known to be. Although the results of this study contradict previous studies, the primary issue centers on the lack of protection of hybrid species. The red wolf, previously protected because it was thought to be a different species, could lose its protection. Or, if both the eastern and red hybrids are recognized and protected as gray wolves, their small numbers could help keep the overall gray wolf numbers low, which would ensure the gray wolf remains protected...more

New Mexico state engineer on dealing with Mighty Mouse

As if being the man in charge of water resources in one of the nation’s driest states were not a0l employees are fencing off areas, such as stretches in the Jemez Mountains in the Santa Fe National Forest, to protect the mouse’s habitat from intrusion by cattle on adjacent federal grazing allotments. “They are fencing off streams that were available to livestock,” Blaine said during a presentation Wednesday morning to business leaders at an Economic Forum meeting at Hotel Albuquerque. “That places me in the middle. The ranchers want me to remove the fences. But that’s not in my playing field. I have no authority to move fences to make that water available to ranchers who are grazing the land. And ranching is a huge industry in New Mexico.” Blaine said that what he can do is pipe water from fenced-off streams to places where the water is accessible to livestock, an effort that was not necessary before the mouse was listed as endangered. “I can make sure the ranchers get the water,” he said. “But environmental issues are becoming more and more constraining on projects. It takes longer and longer to get things done.”...more

Talking with Bill King, one of the newest Cattlemen's Beef Board (CBB) members

Bill King presides over the Bill King Ranch near Albuquerque, New Mexico, a place he's enjoyed for 45 years. He's a fourth generation cattleman with a fifth and sixth waiting in the wings. "My grandmother's parents settled here in 1908; my granddad's parents arrived in 1917. We've been raising beef cattle and farming in New Mexico for over 100 years," he said. "It's a family business." I asked about the history behind the ranch. “My grandparents started dryland farming and raising cattle. In the 1950s we drilled irrigation wells. I farm about 4,000 acres now, with irrigated crops under pivots. We run about 900 registered cows of three different breeds - 350 registered Hereford cows, 350 Angus cows and 200 Charolais on 40,000 acres." His three daughters work alongside him in the family business. Becky and her husband, Tom Spindle, help him with cattle breeding while Jenny and Stacy keep records and books. Bill's grandchildren are also following in the family tradition through 4-H, FFA and college ag studies. King's ranch includes a cow-calf operation and feedlot. "We have 1,200 to 1,500 stockers and 1000 cows. We raise bulls and breeding cattle," he said. "We grow corn, hay and wheat on 4,000 acres, too." "My first CBB meeting was in March and I was appointed to the Innovation Committee," he said. "I was delighted about that. I think our industry is in a good place. We're a very sustainable business - turning grass into good, nutritious meat. We take products that grow naturally and give people something good to eat. “Beef needs to be in the forefront," he said. "We need to develop new products that appeal to consumers. We need to match new products to the needs of the new consumers.”...more

Stone is NM CowBelles' 'Man of the Year'

Preston Stone, of Capitan, New Mexico, was named the New Mexico CowBelles’ 2016 Man of the Year at the group’s recent mid-year meeting in Ruidoso. “We are pleased to honor Preston with this much-deserved award,” said NMCB President Anita Hand, of Datil, New Mexico. “His dedication to agriculture, the beef industry, and the New Mexico CowBelles, is much appreciated.” Stone, a long-time Capitan area rancher, was nominated for the award by the Corriente CowBelles. His nomination recognizes his willingness to stand up and advocate for rural residents and agriculture, both locally and across the state. He has also helped the Corriente CowBelles with countless fundraisers, service activities and educational programs. “He is a true champion for our industry and lifestyle,” the group concluded. Stone serves on the Lincoln County Commission, and over the years has served the community on many boards including the Upper Hondo Soil and Water Conservation District, the Otero County Electric Cooperative and the Capitan Municipal School Board...more

And he was key to helping the Cibola ranchers who were arbitrarily kicked off the forest.  Congratulations Preston!

Floyd Traynor - I Wonder

This was written in the late 1960's, but still applies today...FT

I Wonder 

I wonder what a man would think
Of America today,
If he came from days gone by
Through history someway?

If Jefferson was on the scene
And saw our plight today,
Would he still pen those words so great
That set us on our way?

If Washington was still around
I wonder if he'd stay
Across the sea in Vietnam
Or turn the other way?

If Lincoln saw the blood that's shed
And newly mounded graves,
I wonder id he'd fight a war
To try and free the slaves?

Now, men are men, and it's a fact
The world keeps turning 'round
I wonder if our Fathers loathe
This land they helped to found?

Written and copyrighted 1968 by Floyd Traynor.

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1669

Our selection today is  Gene Autry - I'll Be True While You're Gone.  The tune was recorded in Hollywood on July 28, 1941 for the Okeh label.