Friday, November 04, 2005


Justice Department Not Appealing Cell Phone Surveillance Cases

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) has told the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that it will not appeal a New York decision that forcefully rejected its request to track a cell phone user without first showing probable cause of a crime. It also appears that DOJ will not appeal a similar opinion recently issued in Texas. Last week in the Eastern District of New York, Federal Magistrate Judge James Orenstein, in a scathing opinion, rejected DOJ's request to track a cell phone without a warrant, agreeing with a brief EFF filed in the case. Describing the government's justifications for the tracking request as "unsupported," "misleading," and "contrived," Orenstein ruled that tracking cell phone users in real time required a showing of probable cause that a crime is being committed. Earlier this month, another federal magistrate judge in the Southern District of Texas published his own opinion denying another government application for a cell phone tracking order. DOJ has failed to file timely objections with the District Court in that case, too. Although DOJ may still decide to appeal that case to the Fifth Circuit, its choice not to appeal the nearly identical opinion in the New York case makes that seem unlikely. "The government's decision not to appeal either of these cases is disappointing," explained EFF staff attorney Kevin Bankston. "The magistrate judge in New York explicitly encouraged the government to appeal the decision so that he and his fellow judges around the country could get some guidance from the higher courts. The very important question of when the government can track your cell phone remains an open question that should be argued openly in the appeals court, not litigated piece-meal in lower-court proceedings where the government is secretly presenting cell phone tracking requests." An October 28 story in the Washington Post reported that, when questioned about the court decisions, "Justice Department officials countered that courts around the country have granted many such orders in the past without requiring probable cause." "The Justice Department has been arguing for warrantless cell phone tracking in secret proceedings with magistrate judges across the country, probably for years," said Bankston. "My biggest fear is that DOJ intends to continue these illegal surveillance orders in secret, while avoiding scrutiny from higher courts." You can read the full text of Judge Orenstein's opinion, and the similar Texas opinion, at


We're proud to announce a major breakthrough in the long battle to curb the abuses of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). The Congressional Research Service (CRS), an arm of the U.S. Congress, has issued a memo telling the world what we've always said that ATF "experts" use arbitrary, made-up standards when they bring charges against gun owners and testify against us in court. You can read the CRS report here: YOUR work was instrumental, too, if you were one of the many Americans who asked their representatives to get a copy of the ATF's testing procedures manual. No such ATF manual exists. One after one, at gun owners' urging, congressmen asked the CRS to get the manual. The CRS asked the ATF to produce the manual. And they hit a wall. Then something ominous happened. For several weeks, the CRS, urged on by a frantic Justice Department, planned to bury this information. Why? Because these revelations could potentially overturn hundreds, even thousands, of criminal prosecutions of innocent gun owners, going back decades. Finally the CRS had no choice but to reveal the truth: the ATF simply "makes it up as they go along." The CRS memo changes nothing by itself. It has no legal force. But it is the first light Congress has shone on the ATF in 23 years. It is a _beginning_. It is a tool concerned gun owners -- and defense attorneys -- can use....

Bipartisan Call for Modest Reforms Rejected by Congressional Negotiators, "Freedom to Read" Amendment Would Have Fixed Some Patriot Act Problems

Negotiators reconciling differences between the House and Senate bills to fund the Justice Department today dropped the "Freedom to Read" amendment, which was passed by a bipartisan majority in the House. The American Civil Liberties Union today expressed its disappointment that conferees dropped the provision authored by Rep. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), which would have denied funding for the FBI to access library and bookstore records under section 215 of the Patriot Act. The Sanders amendment had been adopted on a vote of 238-187 this summer. The Patriot Act expanded the power of the federal government to obtain any record or tangible thing in an intelligence investigation and eliminated the requirement that federal agents demonstrate that there are facts connecting the records sought to a suspected foreign terrorist. The Bush Administration opposed the bipartisan amendment to exempt library and book records from these secret search powers and threatened to veto the funding bill if it were included....

Detainee Policy Sharply Divides Bush Officials

The Bush administration is embroiled in a sharp internal debate over whether a new set of Defense Department standards for handling terror suspects should adopt language from the Geneva Conventions prohibiting "cruel," "humiliating" and "degrading" treatment, administration officials say. Advocates of that approach, who include some Defense and State Department officials and senior military lawyers, contend that moving the military's detention policies closer to international law would prevent further abuses and build support overseas for the fight against Islamic extremists, officials said. Their opponents, who include aides to Vice President Dick Cheney and some senior Pentagon officials, have argued strongly that the proposed language is vague, would tie the government's hands in combating terrorists and still would not satisfy America's critics, officials said. The debate has delayed the publication of a second major Pentagon directive on interrogations, along with a new Army interrogations manual that was largely completed months ago, military officials said. It also underscores a broader struggle among senior officials over whether to scale back detention policies that have drawn strong opposition even from close American allies. The document under discussion, known as Department of Defense Directive 23.10, would provide broad guidance from Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld; while it would not spell out specific detention and interrogation techniques, officials said, those procedures would have to conform to its standards. It would not cover the treatment of detainees held by the Central Intelligence Agency. The behind-the-scenes debate over the Pentagon directive comes more than three years after President Bush decided that the Geneva Conventions did not apply to the fight against terrorism. It mirrors a public battle between the Bush administration and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, who is pressing a separate legislative effort to ban the "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of any detainee in United States custody. After a 90-to-9 vote in the Senate last month in favor of Mr. McCain's amendment to a $445 billion defense spending bill, the White House moved to exempt clandestine C.I.A. activities from the provision. A House-Senate conference committee is expected to consider the issue this week....

CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons

The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement. The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents. The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions. The existence and locations of the facilities -- referred to as "black sites" in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and congressional documents -- are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country. The CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held. Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long....

Department of Energy: Preliminary Information on the Potential for Columbia River Contamination from the Hanford Site. GAO-06-77R, November 4.

Landowners stand up for rights Scores of North Coast and North County ranchers tromped into San Luis Obispo on Tuesday and told supervisors to keep the government's hands off their property. The ranchers brought along an L.A. lawyer to underscore their point. They warned the county Board of Supervisors to junk a plan that would regulate development on the ridges visible from Highway 1 and in the "Cayucos Fringe" -- 53 square miles of rugged canyon and ranchland north and east of Highway 1 from Morro Bay to Cambria. More than 100 people filled the often sparsely populated supervisors' chambers. Many of them said their pioneering San Luis Obispo County ancestors have owned land here since the 1800s. They complained that the ridgetop regulation plan would take away their rights in order to satisfy "the fleeting visual pleasure of the general public," as rancher Dawn Dunlap put it. They said they had worked the land for generations and wanted to pass it on to their children. They also use their property as collateral on loans, and some said the ordinance would create bankruptcies....
Cattle hunt postponed for Hilo ranchers The state has postponed open hunting of cattle in the Hilo watershed area until next week to give ranchers time to recover animals that might have trespassed in forest reserves. The Department of Land and Natural Resources had originally scheduled the eradication effort to begin tomorrow. The hunt will now start Nov. 11 and target feral and trespass cattle found above the city each weekend and state holiday through Nov. 26. The state has worked with ranchers on the Big Island to fix their fences and remove wandering cattle from state forest reserves. But the estimated 400 cows in the area that stretches north from Saddle Road and along the slopes of Mauna Kea to Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge are sufficient to warrant a public hunt, according to the department....
Wildlife Service reduces land area intended to protect frog The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reduced by more than 80 percent the habitat it originally said was needed to protect the threatened California red-legged frog, the species believed to be the inspiration for the famous Gold Rush-era tale by Mark Twain. The agency last year proposed setting aside more than 4 million acres as critical habitat for the frog, including parts of 28 of the state's 58 counties. It would have been the largest critical habitat designation in California and one of the largest in the nation. The designation released Thursday would set aside 737,912 acres in 23 counties. The Fish and Wildlife Service said updated information about the frogs' habitat needs and better maps allowed it to exclude areas such as homes and roads, reducing the area needed for protection....
Habitats May Shrink by Leaps, Bounds The House of Representatives has passed a bill that would eliminate federally protected critical habitat on 150 million acres of largely undeveloped public and private land. The Senate could act on the legislation by year's end. But even without legislative action, the Bush administration is eliminating critical-habitat designations around the country. Administration officials say that habitat protections cost landowners billions and that voluntary plans work better for landowners and wildlife. In numerous cases, Interior Secretary Gale Norton and her top deputies, citing their own cost estimates, have agreed with builders and property owners that the financial burden of habit protections outweighed any benefit to species. The frog is a case in point, they said. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released a study that showed nearly $500 million in costs to homebuilders for protecting the frog's habitat....
Illegal kills dominate grizzly deaths The highest number of illegal kills in seven years accounted for nearly half the 24 grizzly bear deaths so far this year in the Northern Continental Divide Ecosystem. The 2005 tally of 11 illegal kills represents a continuing increase in the number of grizzly bears that are misidentified by hunters or simply shot by poachers, said Chris Servheen, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services grizzly bear recovery coordinator. The biggest problem is this illegal mortality, Servheen said, adding that his office will soon announce a substantial increase in the reward available for people who provide information leading to the arrest of those responsible for illegal kills. Servheen said this years total of known human-caused bear deaths includes the 11 that were illegally killed; seven that were destroyed by bear managers because of conflicts with people; four that died due to management handling; one killed in self-defense and one killed by a car....
Utah bear likes toothpaste Forget the honey. Bears apparently like toothpaste, and Troy Larsgard learned that the hard way. The 26-year-old Brigham Young University student was camping with his younger brother in Rock Canyon Park two weeks ago when a bear slashed through his tent and pawed at a bag containing toothpaste and other toiletries before taking a swipe at his leg. The bear was trying to reach for a bag containing the toothpaste, but couldn't get it through the mesh. After a few tries, Larsgard said the bear simply ripped through the screen window. Seemingly encouraged by the first hole, the bear made a giant swipe and created a large opening, which he climbed through, entering the tent. The bear sniffed Larsgard's brother — who was lying motionless in his sleeping bag — then turned to Larsgard, who had made a small sound as he curled up into a ball in his sleeping bag. Perhaps startled or maybe just curious, the bear swiped at Larsgard's leg. Then, for some reason, the bear seemed to lose interest in the two figures in sleeping bags and backed out of the tent....
Editorial: Now the fight is over dead trees This country's policy on dead trees is rotten. The government spends many months and millions of dollars writing salvage plans after wildfires and windstorms, and then environmental groups fight those plans until most of the trees decay and topple over. There must be a better way. Congressmen Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Brian Baird, D-Wash., on Thursday introduced legislation that generally looks like a more sensible approach to salvage logging and reforestation. Their bill would accelerate planning after fires and other catastrophes strike forests, and allow for more timely salvage of dead trees and reforestation of damaged areas. Environmental groups started attacking the Walden-Baird bill long before they read a word of the legislation. In Oregon, where the Biscuit fire and other blazes have left hundreds of thousands of acres burned, fire salvage has become one of the most bitter disputes on the national forests....
Panel gets earful about river access Under Montana law, the state owns most rivers and streams and the public can access them as long as they stay below the normal high-water mark. That means boaters can float a river and anglers can fish any stream regardless of whether it flows through public or private land. At issue Thursday was what happens when a public bridge crosses a steam. In 2000, then-Attorney General Joe Mazurek issued a formal opinion saying that when a public road crosses a stream, the public can access the stream from the bridge without ever trespassing onto private property. Attorney general decisions carry the weight of law until the Legislature enacts its own laws or a court overturns them. In this case, the Legislature has remained silent on the issue. Many people who spoke at Thursday's meeting said it's time for that to change....
Senate sends $100 billion food and farm spending bill to Bush The Senate on Thursday sent a $100 billion food and farm spending bill to President Bush that includes a two-year delay on labels telling grocery shoppers where their meat comes from. In a separate action, the Senate voted to continue allowing big farms to collect millions of dollars from the government to subsidize their operations. Approved on an 81-18 vote, the food and farm spending bill would postpone mandatory meat labeling until 2008. Originally sought by Western ranchers and required by law in 2004, country-of-origin labeling has stalled under pressure from meatpackers and supermarkets who call it a record-keeping nightmare. The measure also unravels a court ruling on whether products labeled "USDA Organic" can contain small amounts of non-organic substances. Earlier this year, an appeals court ruled that non-organic substances such as vitamins or baking powder can't be in food bearing the round, green seal. More than 200 companies and trade groups said the ingredients are processing aids needed for making organic yogurt and many other products, and congressional negotiators agreed....


Thursday, November 03, 2005

NEPA Task Force To Scrutinize Lawsuit Trend

The Task Force on Updating the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) will hold a hearing on NEPA Litigation: The Causes, Effects and Solutions Thursday, Nov. 10 at 10:00 a.m. in 1324 Longworth House Office Building. “Lengthy litigation has become a standard delay and obstruction tactic in the NEPA process, as we learned from witnesses throughout the past six months,” said Task Force Chairwoman Cathy McMorris (R-WA). “Agencies and communities not only face a complicated process and tough decisions, but sometimes they are met with endless litigation and troubling consequences when considering certain projects. The Task Force will evaluate the use of litigation, its impact on the NEPA process and the way it can redefine NEPA requirements.” In the course of conducting five field hearings, the Task Force members heard that litigation was the primary cause for delays as well as the best method for enforcing NEPA. It was also clear that certain groups and individuals opposed to a project will litigate, using NEPA claims, to stall or stop a project entirely. The Task Force hearing will study the causes and effects of litigation through two case studies. The first case study will focus on the 1977 lawsuit filed in New Orleans against construction of flood barriers. The second study will examine the numerous lawsuits across the West filed over the issuance of grazing permits on public lands.

KELO---Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005

Hastert Applauds Passage of Private Property Rights Protection Act

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 4128, the Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005. The bill passed 376-38. "In recent months, we have heard from thousands of constituents questioning the Kelo decision. Many of these landowners are families trying to raise their children or senior citizens who have lived in the same home most of their adult lives. Private property owners are angry and worried -- and rightly so. They don't deserve to live under a cloud of uncertainty. People own their property. Eminent domain should be rare. This legislation restores homeowner rights and protects these landowners from the whims of city officials seeking more tax revenue." Note: This summer, in a 5-4, far reaching decision, the Supreme Court ruled that local governments can take private property simply because they think someone else can put it to a more lucrative commercial development use. The case is Kelo v. City of New London.

Here are the key provisions of the bill as approved by the House Judiciary Committee. I do not know if it was amended on the floor.


(a) In General- No State or political subdivision of a State shall exercise its power of eminent domain, or allow the exercise of such power by any person or entity to which such power has been delegated, over property to be used for economic development or over property that is subsequently used for economic development, if that State or political subdivision receives Federal economic development funds during any fiscal year in which it does so.

(b) Ineligibility for Federal Funds- A violation of subsection (a) by a State or political subdivision shall render such State or political subdivision ineligible for any Federal economic development funds for a period of 2 fiscal years following a final judgment on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction that such subsection has been violated, and any Federal agency charged with distributing those funds shall withhold them for such 2-year period, and any such funds distributed to such State or political subdivision shall be returned or reimbursed by such State or political subdivision to the appropriate Federal agency or authority of the Federal Government, or component thereof.

(c) Opportunity to Cure Violation- A State or political subdivision shall not be ineligible for any Federal economic development funds under subsection (b) if such State or political subdivision returns all real property the taking of which was found by a court of competent jurisdiction to have constituted a violation of subsection (a) and replaces any other property destroyed and repairs any other property damaged as a result of such violation.


The Federal Government or any authority of the Federal Government shall not exercise its power of eminent domain to be used for economic development.


(a) Cause of Action- Any owner of private property who suffers injury as a result of a violation of any provision of this Act may bring an action to enforce any provision of this Act in the appropriate Federal or State court, and a State shall not be immune under the eleventh amendment to the Constitution of the United States from any such action in a Federal or State court of competent jurisdiction. Any such property owner may also seek any appropriate relief through a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order.

(b) Limitation on Bringing Action- An action brought under this Act may be brought if the property is used for economic development following the conclusion of any condemnation proceedings condemning the private property of such property owner, but shall not be brought later than seven years following the conclusion of any such proceedings and the subsequent use of such condemned property for economic development.

(c) Attorneys' Fee and Other Costs- In any action or proceeding under this Act, the court shall allow a prevailing plaintiff a reasonable attorneys' fee as part of the costs, and include expert fees as part of the attorneys' fee.


(a) Findings- The Congress finds the following:

(1) The founders realized the fundamental importance of property rights when they codified the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires that private property shall not be taken `for public use, without just compensation'.

(2) Rural lands are unique in that they are not traditionally considered high tax revenue-generating properties for State and local governments. In addition, farmland and forest land owners need to have long-term certainty regarding their property rights in order to make the investment decisions to commit land to these uses.

(3) Ownership rights in rural land are fundamental building blocks for our Nation's agriculture industry, which continues to be one of the most important economic sectors of our economy.

(4) In the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Kelo v. City of New London, abuse of eminent domain is a threat to the property rights of all private property owners, including rural land owners.

(b) Sense of Congress- It is the sense of Congress that the use of eminent domain for the purpose of economic development is a threat to agricultural and other property in rural America and that the Congress should protect the property rights of Americans, including those who reside in rural areas. Property rights are central to liberty in this country and to our economy. The use of eminent domain to take farmland and other rural property for economic development threatens liberty, rural economies, and the economy of the United States. Americans should not have to fear the government's taking their homes, farms, or businesses to give to other persons. Governments should not abuse the power of eminent domain to force rural property owners from their land in order to develop rural land into industrial and commercial property. Congress has a duty to protect the property rights of rural Americans in the face of eminent domain abuse.

For a complete copy of the bill go here and enter H.R. 4128.

Senate Backs Drilling in Alaska Refuge

Senate opponents to drilling in an Alaska wildlife refuge failed Thursday to strip the measure from a massive budget package as supporters of exploration argued that the oil is needed to help break America of its import habit. Environmentalists, who believe strongly the refuge should continue to be off limits to oil companies to protect the area's wildlife, had acknowledged that it was a long shot to get the provision killed and now are concentrating on defeating the overall budget bill. A vote on the budget measure, which includes a myriad of spending cuts from food stamps to welfare funds, was expected later in the day. An amendment offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., that would have removed drilling authority for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), was defeated 51-48. She called the drilling proposal a gimmick that will have little impact on oil or gasoline prices, or U.S. energy security. Later the Senate in an 86-13 vote, required that none of the oil from ANWR can be exported. Otherwise "there is no assurance that even one drop of Alaskan oil will get to hurting Americans," said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., a drilling opponent who nevertheless sponsored the no- export provision. Drilling supporters, including President Bush, who has made opening the refuge a top energy priority, argued that the country needs the estimated 10.5 billion barrels of oil that lies beneath the coastal plain. The oil represents a key to improving the country's energy security, they said....


I've started the fall fundraising campaign. Please help me assist these outstanding student athletes by clicking here for the donation form.

You can go here for news about the student athletes.


Frank DuBois


Conservation groups say new forest off road vehicle regulations not tough enough A national coalition of conservation interests today said the U.S. Forest Service’s new off-road vehicle regulations fail to adequately address urgent threats and pressed the agency to halt the continued creation and use of unauthorized, renegade routes in America’s forests. While welcoming the Forest Service’s recognition of the serious problem, the Natural Trails and Waters Coalition said threats from these unplanned routes made by ATVs, dirt bikes, jeeps and other off-road vehicles will not be controlled under the new regulations. Such routes damage wildlife habitat, create conflicts with other forest users, and facilitate trespass onto adjacent lands. In fact, the regulations weaken the agency’s authority granted by President Nixon’s Executive Order requiring off-road vehicle use to be "controlled and directed . . . to protect the resources of (public) lands . . . and to minimize conflicts" with other forest users, like hikers, hunters and ranchers....
Governor gets primed for water dispute A potential water dispute pitting residents of Utah's West Desert against Las Vegas water officials has gotten the attention of Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. Huntsman traveled by plane and automobile Tuesday to meet with residents of Callao, Trout Creek, Partoun and Eskdale, who oppose a proposal by the Southern Nevada Water Authority to pump groundwater from the Snake Valley just over the state line in Nevada to meet the rapidly growing water needs of Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County. Residents fear that the plan to take 25,000 acre-feet annually out of the valley and its aquifer - both of which sprawl into Utah - will deplete their water resources and dry up the area's ranch and farm lands. Because Utah's groundwater supply could be impacted by the project, the state has congressionally backed veto power over the proposal. Huntsman has taken no official position on the Southern Nevada plan, which is still early in the environmental study process. But he told a town hall-style gathering at West Desert High School that he would not approve any project that would compromise peoples' lives and livelihoods....
Governor seeks to restore "roadless-rule" protections Gov. Christine Gregoire has formally asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture to revive protections for roadless national-forest land in Washington that were scrapped by the Bush administration earlier this year. Gregoire's request Wednesday is her first clear indication of how she wants to treat 2 million acres of federal land in Washington that have been untouched by roads. It allies her with environmental groups that embraced the sweeping Clinton-era "roadless rule" barring road building for logging, mining and other work on 58 million acres in national forests nationwide. But the request also is likely to set up a confrontation with the U.S. Forest Service. A similar request last week by Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski was swiftly rejected by Agriculture Undersecretary Marc Rey. Elliot Marks, an environmental adviser to Gregoire, predicted the same fate for her request....
Editorial: A roadless exercise in futility Like so many empty exercises in that irony-free zone known as American politics, the great roadless-area states-rights parade is proceeding apace toward no conceivable useful end. The current chapter in the decades-long debate over whether wilderness land on federal property should be protected from development started at the tail end of the Clinton administration, when the president signed the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule preventing the construction of roads on 58.5 million acres of federal wild lands. The move was applauded by conservationists, but they and the president and everybody else knew that the rule could be easily overturned by the incoming Republican president, George W. Bush. Sure enough, Bush did just that earlier this year, opening the land to logging, mining and other possible uses. As part of this process, the Bush administration gave governors the option to petition the Agriculture Department to recommend how roadless areas in their states should be managed. And why would the federal government want input from the states, which generally lack the money, expertise or interest to provide it, rather than from the Forest Service professionals who are supposed to be managing the land? One can only suppose that administration officials had visions of a bunch of sagebrush rebels giving their policies a political boost. Of course, it hasn’t turned out that way, especially in the several western states with Democratic governors....
Ex-Interior Deputy Testifies Lobbyist Offered Him Job The former No. 2 official at the Interior Department acknowledged to Congressional investigators on Wednesday that he had received a job offer while at the department from the lobbyist Jack Abramoff and that he had other contacts with Mr. Abramoff, the focus of a corruption inquiry. The official, former Deputy Secretary J. Steven Griles, insisted in testimony to a hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee that there was nothing improper in his ties to Mr. Abramoff and that he had immediately reported the job offer, in 2003, to ethics officials in the department. It can be a crime for federal officials to open job negotiations while working for the government. Mr. Griles, who left the department to set up his lobbying firm, acknowledged the offer after being confronted by the committee chairman, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, with an e-mail message from Sept. 9, 2003, by Mr. Abramoff. In it, Mr. Abramoff told his lobbying colleagues that he had met with Mr. Griles that evening, that Mr. Griles was "ready to leave Interior and will most likely be coming to join us" and that "I expect he will be with us in 90-120 days." Despite the job offer and other e-mail messages that showed contacts between the lobbyist and Mr. Griles, the former official insisted he did not have a special relationship with Mr. Abramoff. "I don't recall intervening on behalf of Mr. Abramoff's clients ever," he said....
Bill would speed up salvage logging and tree planting after wildfires in national forests Two Northwest congressmen are preparing a bill to speed up logging dead timber and planting new trees after storms and wildfires, but environmentalists fear it will harm forests more than help them. Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore., and Brian Baird, D-Wash., were expected to introduce their Forest Emergency Recovery and Research Act on Thursday in an effort to do for salvage logging what was done for forest thinning with the 2003 Healthy Forests Restoration Act: streamline environmental analyses and challenges from the public. With the size and severity of wildfires increasing, the bill demands that areas hit by fires, storms and insect infestations greater than 1,000 acres be restored quickly. It seeks to establish standardized approaches to restoring forests, taking into account differences in ecosystems, arguing that both wildlife habitat and timber production would benefit. It also promotes research....
States submit plans to keep threatened species off endangered list Utah last month submitted a wildlife action plan to the Interior Department that charts a future course for species and habitat protection and restoration. Now, so has everybody else. Interior Secretary Gale Norton announced Wednesday that wildlife agencies from all 50 states and six territories have finalized similar plans to establish a national framework for species protection. The goals: to enhance habitats, and in doing so, keep at-risk wildlife off the federally managed Endangered Species List. "We all recognize that the federal government can't do this alone; it can't conserve and protect everything that needs to be protected," Norton said during a morning news conference. "If we're going to succeed, it must be by working hand-in-hand with partners. Today, we're creating a new conservation legacy." The action plans were required by the Interior Department for states to continue receiving funds from the State Wildlife Grant Program, which has doled out $400 million for state conservation efforts since 2001. Just over $63 million will be distributed next year....
Editorial: Parks vs. profits In August, the Interior Department proposed new rules that would have defined livestock grazing and mining as legitimate uses of national parks, even those as important to this nation's heritage and tourism as Yellowstone. The rules also would have allowed liberal use of noisy, polluting off-road vehicles and snowmobiles in the parks. The plan's author, Paul Hoffman, deputy assistant Interior secretary, advocated greater use of snowmobiles in Yellowstone in his former job as director of the Chamber of Commerce in Cody, Wyo. The revised proposal removes the cows and the chickens, but it still smells of goat. It does not openly allow mining or grazing, but it would weaken standards on air quality and noise pollution in the parks. More important, it would change an important policy dating to 1918 that said conservation must take priority over recreation when there is a clash between the two. That's simply sound stewardship; without conservation, parks would become so dilapidated by overuse that there would be little left for future generations to enjoy....
Judge hears arguments in wilderness mine case State officials put Montanans’ constitutional rights at risk by granting a permit for a proposed copper and silver mine beneath the Cabinet Mountains Wilderness, lawyers for an environmental group said in court Wednesday. Lawyers for the Montana Environmental Information Center and the Montana Department of Environmental Quality presented arguments in a case challenging a water-discharge permit granted for the Rock Creek mine, planned by Revett Minerals Inc. of Spokane, Wash. In its court case, MEIC said the mine threatens Montanans’ right to a clean and healthful environment, a right set forth in the state constitution. The organization also said DEQ’s approval of the permit violates a state law intended to control water pollution. Arsenic contamination is among the concerns, said Matt Clifford, representing MEIC. He told District Judge Jeffrey Sherlock that water discharged from the mine site would require treatment ‘‘in perpetuity,’’ to protect the environment. DEQ lawyer Claudia Massman said the agency’s issuance of a permit was based on an analysis that spanned 14 years and took into account more than 6,000 comments from the public. There is no evidence the agency acted arbitrarily, as MEIC contended, Massman said....
Minnow listed as endangered species A minnow native to the Southwest was listed Wednesday as an endangered species by federal wildlife officials. The Gila chub has been under consideration for federal protection for years and has been the subject of ongoing litigation by environmentalists, but on Wednesday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added it to the endangered species list and designated critical habitat to help protect the fish from further decline. The chub, a small-finned dark-colored minnow, was once the most abundant fish in the Gila River drainage in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico. "Over a long period of time, our activities in the Southwest have brought the decline of the chub," said Jeff Humphrey, a spokesman for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Overgrazing and the damming and diversion of waterways left the chub in only 15 percent of the habitat it historically occupied, said Humphrey. The fish, more recently hurt by drought and wildfires that sent suffocating ash into creeks and waterways, now live in only 29 isolated pockets....
BLM gets thumbs down on Missouri Breaks In a national review, the Bureau of Land Management received poor to failing grades from The Wilderness Society for its management of the Upper Missouri River Breaks National Monument in north-central Montana. Although the agency "strongly disagrees with the Wilderness Society study," said Celia Boddington, a Washington, D.C., BLM spokeswoman, she noted that the National Landscape Conservation System is still a work in progress. "We've come a long way and continue to move forward," she said. "We're working with national and local partners to make still further improvements to the system." The study's release came in the same week that the BLM's Lewistown field office unveiled its draft resource management plan for the Missouri Breaks, which is already drawing fire from local conservation groups....
As bear film debuts, some worry about its message The troubled life and death of bear activist Tim Treadwell finally makes its way to the silver screen in Missoula this week. The film “Grizzly Man,” directed and narrated by German filmmaker Werner Herzog opens at the Carmike 10 on Friday. But accompanying the film's Missoula debut will be a panel of bear experts concerned about the message Treadwell's behavior in the film seems to promote. “Tim's behavior makes it seem like a good idea to get up close and personal with brown bears,” said Chuck Bartlebaugh, of the Missoula-based Center for Wildlife Information. “He wanted to depict bears as this cuddly species that we could all get out there and pet. That's just so wrong.” Herzog's film depicts Treadwell as a psychologically complex figure, a former drug abuser who still suffered mental instability in his quest to “protect” bears. Treadwell was grandiose and naive in his effort to integrate his life with those of bears, but he was also a fierce advocate for the bruins. Bear experts like Bartlebaugh didn't begrudge Treadwell his sense of connection with bears and his willingness to work on their behalf, but his methods were beyond troubling. And ultimately, his methods cast his entire operation in a troubling light....
Experts Worry About Colorado River Estimates Some Colorado River experts worry a new federal process aimed at figuring out how to operate Lake Mead and Lake Powell in times of drought is being overly generous in its assumptions of how much water is available. They caution the overestimate could cause problems in the future, echoing the mistake the West's water honchos made in the early 1920s when they divided up the river's water during a time of plenty. Years after the 1922 Colorado River Compact, the document that divided the water among seven western states, officials discovered the allocation was much higher than the river's historical flow. The result was a serious water deficit that left water lawyers in the 21st century to figure out the mess....
Code of the West is the backbone of cowboy movies Last year Turner Classic Movies called inviting me to be part of a month of shows featuring old Western movies. First I declined, explaining that although I enjoyed them, I was not an authority on the subject. I suggested they try some of the veteran Western actors that were still around such as Buck Taylor or Jerry Potter. No, what they wanted was me to elaborate on what real cowboys thought of the old Western movies. I agreed to do it with the caveat that I actually knew some real cowboys. Among the observations I made were that Western movies actually put some real cowboys such as Ben Johnson, Richard Farnsworth and Slim Pickins, to work. Also it was kinda like home movies in that it is always fun to try and guess where they were filmed. If there were Saguaro cactus, it was not the Dodge City they claimed! But to me the most important part of old Westerns was that they portrayed The Code of the West, as it still exists today. In a nutshell, "doin' the right thing." Recently, James P. Owen, an investment consultant, wrote a book called, "Cowboy Ethics: What Wall Street Can Learn From the Code of the West." He boiled the cowboy ethics down to 10 principles:....


Wednesday, November 02, 2005


For background on this issue go here and here.

November 1, 2005 Certified Mail#7005 1160 0003 1174 3865

Elaine Zieroth
United States Forest Service Supervisor
P.O. Box 640
Springerville, Arizona 85938

Dear Elaine Zieroth:

I received your letter of extortion today, November 1, 2005. I would be happy to pay for the damages as soon as you can provide me with the evidence:
1. That there is a condition precedent for the demand for lawful assessment.
2. You provide the document where Daniel Gabino Martinez consented to you, United States Forest Service employees and their agents to enter my private property and take chattels without compensation or a warrant.
3. Produce a COURT ORDER, obtained on notice and opportunity to be heard that authorized you to violate the law.

If the United States Forest Service, its agents cannot produce the evidence/documents, then show contrition for your crimes by returning my cattle to my property, and perhaps that will mitigate your sentences in the event you are tried and convicted of rustling, armed robbery, grand theft, breaking and entering and all the other felonies you have committed.

I would also like to point out there is a prior chattel mortgage, a prior lien hold interest in the chattels, and no one is authorized to sign off as mine or the lien holders agent in order to transfer title.

Please provide the authority to circumvent state law as it applies to property. Please provide the authority for you or the United States Forest Service to violate Federal Statutes, Arizona Statues and your charter the United States Constitution.


Daniel Gabino Martinez/Victim/Arizona citizen

November 3, 2005

Donald Butler
Arizona Dept. of Agriculture
1688 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, Arizona
Notice to Principal is Notice to Agent
Notice to Agent is Notice to Principal


Dear Don Butler:

Pursuant to ARS 13-108 Territorial Applicability you as an officer of the state of Arizona has jurisdiction in these matters. ARS 13-108 (A) (4) an omission to perform a duty imposed by the law of this state constitutes an offense. ARS 13-201 Requirements for criminal liability includes the omission to perform a duty imposed by law which the person is physically capable of performing.

Pursuant to ARS 3-1372 I am claiming my livestock branded 07 on the left hip. Brand certificate attached. Bill of Sale attached. If my livestock are not redeemed to me as per Arizona statutes, I expect full compliance to the law. I expect compliance with ARS 3-1377 and ARS 3-1372 (C) you notice it is clear “to the persons entitles there to under the judgment of the court.”

Any attempt to transport these cattle without my consent or a valid court order will be in violation of ARS 3-134. You have been noticed. ARS 13-204 Justification is not a defense. (A) Ignorance or a mistaken belief as to a matter of fact does not relieve a person of criminal liability. Any transportation of these cattle without my consent is a violation of ARS 3-1341. I have given no consent or authorization for anyone to handle my livestock as per ARS 3-1334. Let me remind you of your Oath of Office and the provision in ARS 3-1331 and Title 13 Livestock Officers…………….shall pursue and arrest on probable cause any person who violated any provision of this title or Title 13 relating to livestock.

Keep in mind since I have filed my claim and without an acknowledged bill of sale as provided by ARS 3-1291 this is prima facie evident of illegal possession as per ARS 3-1308.

Mr. Don Butler since you have been noticed you or your assigns will be liable to me the owner for damages three times the value of such animals as provided for in ARS 3-1307.

The USFS and the Daryl Binghams have intentionally driven my cattle off its range without a Court Order and without my permission. These persons are guilty of a class 5 felony as per ARS 3-1303. They are also in violation of ARS 13-1802 Theft (A)(1) controls property of another with the intent to deprive the other person of such property. (E) Theft of property or services with a value of $25,000 or more as in a class 2 Felony.

Attached for your reference is a letter dated October 28, 2005 and one dated November 1, 2005 from USFS employee Elaine Zieroth. These are clearly letter of extortion. This is in violation of ARS 13-1804 Theft by extortion. This is a class 2 felony. The sentencing guidelines for a class 2 Felony is 5 years as per ARS 13-701.

My cattle were on my property “lawfully, owned or possessed” owned in Fee, pre-emption by the Acts of Congress and the Laws and Customs of the state as defined in ARS 3-1298 (B).

If the USFS has a valid lien they may perfect the lien as required by ARS 3-1295 by filing an action in either Superior Court or Justice Court in the Jurisdiction of Greenlee County. Without a Court Order perfecting the amount of the lien any attempt to circumvent the law would be criminal.

Mr. Butler, pursuant to ARS 3-1203 I am reporting these crimes to you so that you may report them to the central investigation group to investigate these crimes.

As per the definitions in ARS 3-1201 my cattle are not strays and to call them such would be stretching one part of the ARS beyond its legislative
Intent. My cattle are on my range. These are “Range Livestock.”

Please notify me so that I can properly claim my cattle as per the law of the State of Arizona.


Daniel Gabino Martinez
Santa Fe, NM 87501


I've started the fall fundraising campaign. Please help me assist these outstanding student athletes by clicking here for the donation form.

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Frank DuBois


Editorial: Only the eco-cowboys will survive A simplistic argument that grazing cattle on public land is something that needs to be universally preserved, eliminated or even made to pay for itself does not tell us how public lands throughout the West should be managed. The good news is that forces of the free market and responsible stewardship are increasingly aligning, notably in Utah and Arizona, in ways that could encourage intelligent, case-by-case decisions about how many cattle can be run on what land for how long. These are decisions that, made properly, will take into account both the economic and environmental sustainability of grazing on particular areas. Such decisions should be made clear-eyed, with a minimum of the emotional baggage that longs for either the preservation of a rancher's way of life or the banishment of humanity from large stretches of the West. Leading the way in this intelligent husbandry are such outfits as The Grand Canyon Trust and the Conservation Fund, which together have bought the Kane and Two Mile ranches on the Utah-Arizona border, as well as grazing permits there and on other large swaths of federal land in such places as the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument....
Idaho wilderness promoters take views to Capitol Hill A sizeable contingent of Gem State residents descended on the nation's capital to weigh in on Rep. Mike Simpson's effort to designate wilderness and simultaneously precipitate economic development in and around the Boulder and White Cloud mountains. If any one point was clear, based on their comments and opinions, it was that generalizations will hardly suffice to summarize their varying positions. Idaho residents who did not testify at a hearing of the House Resources Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health on Thursday, Oct. 27, spent their time lobbying on behalf of, or against, Simpson's bill, called the Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act. The far-reaching bill proposes 300,011 acres of wilderness in the Boulder and White Cloud mountains, and to give federally owned lands to Custer and Blaine counties, as well as to the cities of Challis, Mackay and Stanley. It would also lock in motorized access in parts of the White Clouds and designate wheelchair accessible trails. The hearing Thursday was the bill's first....
Column: Camels and Cheetahs in Arizona? When Paul Martin looked across the desert landscape near the University of Arizona he saw a very different world, at least in his mind's eye. As an expert on the end of the Pleistocene epoch, which ended around 13,000 years ago, he saw a land awash with animals that are no longer here. He saw elephants, and camels, and cheetahs, and horses, roaming freely across the continent. These native animals disappeared either long before humans arrived, or just as the first Americans entered the scene. Martin, now retired from Arizona, began talking with friends about what it would be like to restore some of that magic to a land that has lost some of the great beasts that once dominated the landscape. He went so far as to propose that some effort be made to reintroduce some of those extinct animals, or at least their closest-living relatives. "The idea did not attract much attention," says Harry Greene, professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Cornell University. But sometime later Greene was discussing Martin's vision with one of his graduate students, Josh Donlan, now a doctoral candidate at Cornell. That discussion led to a meeting at a New Mexico ranch of experts from across the country, including Martin, to discuss what may be one of the boldest proposals to come out of the environmental movement in decades....
Column: Land trusts start to shape up Over the past several years, conservation easements have come under increasing scrutiny. Critics have argued that these private agreements -- designed to forever protect open space on private land from development -- have resulted in widespread abuses, such as giving too much money in tax breaks or other advantages to the wealthy and powerful. These concerns prompted an investigation by the Senate Finance Committee, which looked into the conservation practices of the nation's 1,500 land trusts. Land trusts typically "hold" conservation easements, and are responsible for making sure that landowners comply with easement restrictions. Reforms have been promised by the Senate committee, but so far, none have emerged. Some of the reforms talked about include cutting easement deductions to one-third of their current level and prohibiting easement donors from living on the conserved property. The latter notion is a terrible idea, since farmers and ranchers granting easements typically live on their land....
Plan to limit off-road vehicles The Forest Service will propose restricting many off-road vehicles to designated roads and trails in federal forests and grasslands in an effort to curb environmental damage and ease conflict between visitors. Under the proposal, which Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth is to announce today, all 155 national forests and 20 grasslands would work with the public to identify routes, trails and other areas suitable for off-road vehicles. An environmental analysis would be required on each site to determine potential environmental effects. The plan is intended to halt the proliferation of roads and trails - many of them illegal - that have sprouted in public forests nationwide....
Governor: Regular forest process may be best Gov. Dave Freudenthal told supervisors of Wyoming's eight national forests that he remains doubtful of the merits of the Bush administration's plan allowing states to petition the Forest Service to change the use of roadless areas. Under federal rules issued in May, governors may submit petitions to halt road-building in national forest areas where it is now permitted or request that new forest management plans allow roads in areas where they are off-limits. During a meeting Tuesday in his office, Freudenthal offered the scenario of the Forest Service holding a hearing on a state roadless petition and a few days later holding another hearing on the same issue as part of overall forest plan revisions. The governor noted that management plans for two of the state's larger forests, the Shoshone and the Bridger-Teton, are just beginning. Because both the state and local governments are given "cooperating agency" status in conventional forest planning, the state might be better off sticking with that process, Freudenthal said....
Freudenthal vents grizzly frustration Gov. Dave Freudenthal told supervisors who manage 9 million acres of national forest land in Wyoming that he will keep pressing for removal of federal protection for grizzly bears and better monitoring of air quality in areas affected by natural gas development. Tuesday's meeting with eight forest supervisors and other U.S. Forest Service officials was cordial, although Freudenthal repeatedly reminded them of the need to work with local and state officials in forest planning. His frustration over the fact that grizzlies have not yet been removed from Endangered Species Act protection surfaced during a discussion with Becky Aus, supervisor of the Shoshone National Forest. "I'm not gonna fund the Wyoming side of bear management much longer," he said, adding that he's at least the third governor in the state to whom the federal government has promised delisting would occur. "We're spending a couple million bucks a year managing a species that's not ours," he said....
Cuts to firefighting funds for Katrina aid assailed Trying to make up for the cost of Hurricane Katrina, the White House has proposed eliminating a $500 million reserve fund to fight fires in heavy wildfire years. Environmentalists and Western Democrats criticized the plan Tuesday as shortsighted and risky. "It is absurd to pay for (Hurricane) Katrina by cutting the already too scarce funds for forest preservation and forest firefighting in the United States," said Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano through spokeswoman Pati Urias. "There are other places to cut, beginning with the pork barrel earmarks in the federal transportation bill. Paying for one emergency by cutting funds for another emergency is shortsighted and unwise." The proposal is part of a $2.3 billion package of cuts the administration proposed last Friday that includes reductions to other programs across government agencies, among them a fund for water projects and a prison literacy program....
Carter Mountain fares well after logging, geologist says Located east of the South Fork of the Shoshone River, Carter Mountain has long been a popular outdoor recreation spot and favored hunting ground, but since 2002 a bark beetle infestation has dramatically affected the area. "More than 90 percent of the Englemann spruce trees and many other conifers on Carter Mountain have been killed by bark beetles," Wegweiser said. The good news from her study of Carter Mountain logging activities is that Forest Service goals for environmental impact were mostly met by timber companies. "They took a lot of logs out of there," she said. "But the data shows the environmental assessment was pretty much complied with."....
Editorial: Civil rights violation? Get real They have a dream, those Friends of the Bitterroot. Freedom! From every mountainside, let freedom ring. And when this happens, we will be able to speed up that day when environmentalists and loggers, rednecks and hippies, bureaucrats and gadflies will be able to join hands and sing, “Trees that last! Trees that last! Thank God Almighty, we have trees that last!” Oh, pardon us. We just couldn't resist lampooning that organization and three of its members who filed a lawsuit in federal court in Missoula on Monday claiming their civil rights were violated Sept. 22 because they weren't allowed to attend a press conference organized by the U.S. Forest Service to discuss management plans for an area up the Bitterroot National Forest's East Fork drainage.
The plaintiffs allege their First Amendment rights to free speech, freedom of association, freedom to peaceably assemble and right to petition the government to redress grievances “were violated by being barred from the press conference.” The right to attend press conferences is missing from our copy of the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights appears similarly deficient....
Schweitzer: Backcountry has enough roads Gov. Brian Schweitzer maintains Montana’s federal backcountry does not need more roads and says any county commissions that find otherwise should give him their road proposals by Jan. 1. Schweitzer also has told commissioners he wants to meet with them at the Capitol on Nov. 28 for roadless discussions that, for many, will be a follow up to county visits he made in recent months. The timeframe for proposals and the meeting invitation are in a letter the governor sent last week to commissioners of all 56 Montana counties. Earlier this year, the Bush administration moved to allow logging or other commercial activity on millions of roadless acres in the nation’s forests. Governors have until late 2006 to petition the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which includes the Forest Service, on the status of roadless federal lands in their states. Montana has 6.3 million acres of roadless land, about two-thirds of it at issue in land-management debates. Schweitzer said the Forest Service reports a $588 million backlog in maintenance of existing Montana roads the agency manages....
Editorial: Oil drilling an insult to Valle Vidal legacy There are plenty of good, living reasons to save New Mexico's Valle Vidal - which translates as the valley of life - from the damaging intrusion of oil and gas drilling and other mineral exploration. The reasons include its great trout streams, mule deer and elk herds, wild turkeys and human beings, who value all of the above and don't want to lose yet another great natural area in exchange for a bit more energy to fuel the nation's insatiable appetite. As Tribune Reporter Kate Nash reported last week (in "Abundant Valley," Oct. 24), thousands of New Mexicans and Americans enjoy these wild treasures every year, and many worry about their future. As Oscar Simpson, spokesman for the Coalition for the Valle Vidal, told Tribune readers, "There are some places that just shouldn't be destroyed." Valle Vidal is one of these. It is time to be thoughtful and to conserve what's left of the great American natural landscape, including in New Mexico, by putting such valuable tracts off-limits to drillers....
NorCal legal group sues government over bald eagle protections A Northern California legal group teamed up with a Minnesota resident to sue the federal government over the bald eagles' continued listing as an endangered species, arguing that a bird's nest on his property made it impossible to build on the land. The conservative Pacific Legal Foundation of Sacramento, Calif. joined Edmund Contoski, who owns lakefront property in Morrison County, Minn., to file the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis on Tuesday. At issue is a 1999 proposal by the Clinton administration to take the bald eagle off the protected list. That proposal is still pending, despite a law calling for a final determination to be made within one year of agency proposals. Contoski, who lives in Minneapolis, wanted to subdivide his land and sell it, according to the lawsuit. But the presence of a bald eagle's nest, combined with wetlands on the property, prevented him from building anywhere on his land, the lawsuit says....
Column: Gun-Toting Toad Killers When Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated, Democrats worried that he was willing to overturn the Endangered Species Act. Now they're warning that Samuel Alito, President Bush's latest Supreme Court pick, is hostile to federal gun control. Together, presumably, Roberts and Alito would bring us two votes closer to an America where Congress is powerless to prevent the machine-gunning of arroyo toads. I wish. Both men have expressed doubts about the idea that Congress may pass whatever legislation it pleases under the pretext of regulating interstate commerce. But a closer look at their positions suggests neither is inclined to enforce serious limits on congressional power....
Hunter kills grizzly that charged him A hunter killed a charging grizzly bear last Thursday in the Scapegoat Wilderness along the Rocky Mountain Front, the Department of Fish, Wildlife & Parks announced Tuesday. "The nonresident was with a guide when he was charged by an adult male grizzly," said game warden Tom Flowers of Montana FWP. "The hunter shot the bear at 15 paces with a .300 Weatherby magnum rifle" Flowers said. Flowers did not identify either the hunter or the guide, saying the incident was still under investigation. The incident took place off Halfmoon Creek, which runs into Straight Creek south of Benchmark, west of Augusta. Flowers said FWP did not cite the hunter and will be turning the case over to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which investigates the deaths of all grizzly bears because they are a federally protected species under the Endangered Species Act.
For Pombo, success draws heat U.S. Rep. Richard Pombo has pushed to open coastal areas and the Arctic wilderness for oil drilling and wants to rewrite the Endangered Species Act. The Tracy Republican, using his power as chairman of the House Resources Committee, proposed selling 15 national parks and other federal land — along with underlying mineral rights — to mining and timber companies. He has, in the words of Rodger Schlickeisen, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, become "the most anti-conservation congressman of the 535 in Congress." Now environmentalists and even some newspaper editorial boards are pushing back. On Tuesday, the wildlife fund launched a television and Internet campaign to educate Pombo's constituents of his efforts to "eviscerate America's landmark conservation laws." This fall, the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named the seven-term congressman one of the 13 most corrupt politicians in Congress....
Critical Habitat Proposed for Rare North Pacific Right Whales NOAA Fisheries is proposing to protect 36,750 square miles of critical habitat in the Bering Sea and the Gulf of Alaska for one of the world's rarest whales - the North Pacific Right Whale. But even after decades of legal and illegal whaling that nearly wiped out the species, it took a court order to get habitat protection. In a ruling dated June 14, 2005, federal Judge William Alsup in the Northern District of California ordered the NOAA Fisheries to either propose designation of an area in the North Pacific ocean as critical habitat for right whales under the Endangered Species Act or explain why such designation should not occur due to "more paramount statutory considerations." NOAA Fisheries, also known as the National Marine Fisheries Service, met the judge's October 28 deadline by announcing that it proposes to revise the critical habitat for endangered northern right whales, Eubalaena glacialis, in the Gulf of Alaska and the Bering Sea....
Conservancy gets piece of prairie After a decade of working with private and public landowners to protect and restore South Sound native prairie lands, The Nature Conservancy of Washington has its own piece of prairie to continue that work. The conservation group last month purchased 125 acres of native prairie next to Fort Lewis west of Rainier, providing a long-term home for several imperiled plants and animals that rely on the rapidly vanishing habitat. It represents the only privately owned prairie preserve in Western Washington. Only about 3 percent of the historic South Sound prairie lands remain intact after decades of habitat loss to development, farming and invasive species. And only about half of the 3 percent is protected, said Nature Conservancy prairie restorationist Eric Delvin. "We're tremendously excited about this purchase," said Pat Dunn, the Conservancy's South Puget Sound program manager. "Our goal is to restore the property to high quality, native prairie." The first task is to remove the Douglas fir trees and Scotch broom plants that are advancing out into the prairie property from Military Road, Delvin said. Over time, thousands of native grass and flower seeds and seedlings will be planted to add to the native camas, buttercup, Oregon sunshine and other species already there....
Idaho: the new caviar hot spot With the federal government's ban on beluga caviar from the Black Sea basin taking effect just before the busy holiday season, all eyes are turning to, Idaho? The state's burgeoning aquaculture industry is hoping its farm-raised white sturgeon caviar will help fill the gap left by beluga on upscale menus. Several Idaho caviar farmers are starting their first commercial harvest this week. "It really comes at a good time for us," said Linda Lemmon, secretary of the Idaho Aquaculture Association and owner of Blind Canyon Aquaranch, a trout and sturgeon farm near Hagerman....
Sheep moved away from the crowds Over the noise of traffic along Interstate 15 comes the thumping sound of helicopter blades cutting through the air. More than a dozen people lounging around at the former rest area of the Virgin River Recreation Area stand up and get ready for action. In a minute, the helicopter has touched down and a desert bighorn sheep has been unloaded and placed on a special stretcher. The 4-year-old ewe is the 21st sheep captured this day, and it is quickly checked out by various volunteer veterinarians, Arizona Game and Fish officials and Bureau of Land Management Arizona Strip employees, assisted by volunteers from the Arizona Desert Bighorn Sheep Society. The helicopter quickly takes off and within 10 minutes, the sheep has been given shots, oxygen, ringer's lactate, had blood drawn, her temperature taken and a radio collar put on before being loaded into a transport trailer. Bob Price, field supervisor for the Arizona Game and Fish, cracks a quick smile. "They haven't all been that easy," Price said....
Sen. Hatch says nuke site not possible without BLM approval U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, says the federal government can't issue a license for a controversial proposed nuclear waste storage project in Utah until land management officials sign off on it. Under the National Historic Preservation Act, all relevant agencies must sign a memorandum of agreement on a proposed project before a license is granted, Hatch said. The Bureau of Land Management still has not signed the agreement. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission in September approved a license to Minnesota-based Private Fuel Storage LLC for the proposed Skull Valley project to store 44,000 tons of highly radioactive spent fuel from commercial power reactors near Dugway. "This has jammed the NRC, and the BLM has sent a clear signal of more obstacles to come," Hatch said. He contends the NRC can't issue a license until the BLM signs off on the agreement....
Northern Cheyenne settles BLM lawsuit The Northern Cheyenne Indian tribe has reached a settlement with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that would allow coal-bed methane production to continue at a southern Montana project site but require surveying the area for resources considered culturally significant to the tribe. The agreement, signed last month by attorneys for both sides and an intervening energy development firm, Fidelity Exploration & Production Co., applies to Fidelity’s Tongue River-Badger Hills project, near Decker. It must be approved by a judge. The deal would settle a lawsuit filed by the tribe in 2004 over BLM’s approval of the project. The tribe claimed, among other things, that BLM didn’t sufficiently consult with them about how the project might affect resources they considered significant....
Crow offer buffalo hunts to raise cash The Crow Nation will take a leading role next summer in Clark on the Yellowstone, the National Heritage Lewis and Clark Bicentennial event scheduled for July 22-25 at Pompeys Pillar. At a meeting earlier this week with Yellowstone County officials, Tribal Chairman Carl Venne agreed to offer 10 guided bison hunts on the Crow buffalo pasture as part of the fundraising package, county Commissioner John Ostlund said. Venne has also agreed to be a keynote speaker at the July 25 Day of Honor, the highlight of the four-day commemoration. A major component of Clark on the Yellowstone' will be an American Indian encampment, featuring traditions of Montana tribes who had contact with the explorers on their journeys through Montana in 1805 and 1806. The Montana Tribal Tourism Alliance also plans to play a significant part in putting the event together. The Crow Nation will participate as the homeland host tribe....
Thomas, other senators don't like park plans Republican senators joined Democrats in telling the National Park Service on Tuesday to back off proposed new guidelines that could allow Segway scooters and more cell phones, noise and air pollution in the national parks. Instead, members of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources' national parks subcommittee urged Park Service officials to undertake more modest changes to their overall plan for managing a 388-park system. "It's very controversial, and it (the Park Service) put the wrong emphasis on it," Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., the panel's chairman, said after a two-hour hearing. "I don't think we're satisfied yet." Other Republicans and Democrats were more pointed in their assessment of the Park Service's draft guidance to supervisors. Nearly 300 million people visited the U.S. parks last year, which cover 132,000 square miles....
After Wildfires, To Log Or Not? The 2005 wildfire season was declared officially over here the other day. Rain and snow in the mountains have dampened the timber, and the sound of firefighting helicopters and trucks has been replaced by the rifle fire of deer and elk hunters. But the rhetorical heat and smoke of battle continues over how to manage forestland to prevent catastrophic fire - and perhaps more pointedly, what to do with those lands once they've burned. The timber industry and the Bush administration say postfire salvage logging is best for forest restoration. It's not unusual in the mountain West these days to see trucks stacked with charred logs headed toward saw mills. "Common sense and a century of practical examples of successful salvage and reforestation show that the science of forestry works," says Chris West, vice president of the American Forest Resource Council, a timber industry group in Portland, Ore. "Private, state, and tribal forest managers know that it works and restores ecosystems for future generations."....


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


For background on this issue go here.

October 31, 2005 Certified Mail# 7005 0390 0001 6039 9314

Elaine Zieroth
P.O. Box 640
Springerville, Arizona 85938


Notice to Agent is Notice to Principal
Notice to Principal is Notice to Agent

Dear Elaine Zieroth,

The criminal activity going on in Greenlee County Arizona i.e. the theft of my property, my cattle by you and your fellow United States Forest Service co-workers and their agents the Daryl Binghams are operating outside of Federal Territory and authority. Any government or its agency operating outside its territory and authority loses its sovereign immunity. You have been warned previously that USFS, its employee’s and agents, Arizona Dept. of Agriculture, Greenlee County Arizona and its public officials and employees have all acted outside their authority and jurisdiction. Every person is responsible for his or her own actions. As such every person who commits or aids in the commitment of these acts are individually liable to me Daniel Gabino Martinez for damages that result from their unlawful acts. This is a direct violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Arizona Constitution. The CFR’S you quote give you no authority. These rules are for Federal employees and I am not a federal employee or an employee of one of its political subdivisions.

I have warned you and expect you to honor your Oath of Office and to return my cattle to my property.


Daniel Gabino Martinez/Victim/Non-Federal Citizen


I, Daniel Gabino Martinez, certify that on October 31, 2005 I served copies of the Attached letter herein after documents; by placing said documents properly enclosed in a sealed wrapped, postage prepaid, in a letterbox of the U.S. Post Office in the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico a depository under the exclusive care and custody of the United States Post Office Department, addressed to the following addresses listed below:

Mike Johanns
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Rm. 200A Whitten Bld.
Washington, DC 20250

Mark Rey
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave. SW
Rm 200A Whitten Bld.
Washington, DC 20250

etc., etc.

October 31, 2005 Certified Mail# 7005 0390 0001 6039 9321

Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530-0001

Dear Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General:

Subject: Notice of Criminal Activity
1. Theft of my property without a Court Order.
2. Violation of 5th and 14th Amendment Deprivation of Life, Liberty and Property without due process of law.
3. Deprivation of rights without delegation of authority.
4. Deprivation of rights under Color of Law.

You are here by put on NOTICE pursuant to Title 18 USC Sec. 4

Congress has enacted specific mandatory protections to prevent the unlawful imposition of CFR”S.
1. All information gathering forms must have an approved form number
2. The form number must display an approved and active OMB Control number;
3. The OMB number must identify the CFR part which is specific;
4. The regulation must enforce the specific statute of Title 36.

Daniel Gabino Martinez is not engaged in federally regulated activities, events or commodities. Greenlee county Arizona is not a Federal Territory. My ranch is not in the Federal Zone. Arizona has not ceded jurisdiction either exclusive or partial jurisdiction as required by 40 USC Sec. 3111 and 3112 and previous 40 USC Sec. 255.

It is clear from the actions of the Arizona Dept. of Agriculture and the United States Forest Service federal government officials, employee’s agents, and public officers, the Greenlee County Sheriff, The Greenlee County Attorney and the Greenlee County Board of Supervisors that they have acted above and beyond their scope of authority.

Daniel Gabino Martinez hereby makes demand on you, Alberto Gonzales, United States Attorney General to investigate the above government officials, employees, agents and public officers for the theft of my property, my cattle, without authority jurisdiction and without a COURT ORDER as required by law and the constitutions of both Arizona and the United States. Investigate the damages caused by these agents, officers and employees acting recklessly and intentionally in excess of statutory provisions and regulatory provisions.

I hereby Demand that you honor your Oath of Office to defend and support the Constitution for the de jure united States of America. In so doing, I DEMAND that you investigate the illegal acts of the above officials and cause to issue indictments and prosecute all suspected parties involved in this criminal activity. Also, investigate, indict, and prosecute all Unites States officials, employees, agents and public officers concerning their attempts to coerce me into relinquishing my unalienable rights from God.

I, Daniel Gabino Martinez declare under penalties of perjury under the laws of the united States of America that the foregoing is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, is made in good faith.

Daniel Gabino Martinez/Victim, Witness/ Arizona citizen

Exhibits Attached hereto:

1. Notice to impound dated: July 25, 2005
2. Memorandum of Understanding dated: October 3, 2005
3. Extortion demand dated: October 20, 2005
4. Extortion demand dated: October 31, 2005


Wildlife officials kill 9 wolves in southwest Montana Federal wildlife managers killed nine wolves in just over a month for attacking or killing livestock in southwest Montana, including one that a state wolf official says was shot by mistake. A wolf advocate says she's concerned about the recent kills and believes the state should focus more efforts on trying to control wolves without killing them. But a cattle industry official said the effectiveness of nonlethal measures is debatable and notes the cost to ranchers. "How would you feel if every week I went up and took $500 to $600 from your billfold?" asked Steve Pilcher, executive vice president of the Montana Stockgrowers Association. The wolves were killed between Labor Day and the middle of October on the orders of state wildlife officials, who this year assumed primary control of wolf management in Montana from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Wolves were blamed for seriously injuring two dogs that were guarding sheep in the Gravelly Mountains and for killing several cattle in southwestern Montana. The wolves killed were members of the Freezeout pack and an apparently new group, west of Jackson, said Carolyn Sime, the state's wolf program coordinator. Sime said the response was aggressive but warranted....
Ranchers unite to save the land for cattle, wildlife, way of life he image of the lone rancher punching cows and cursing environmentalists has gone by the wayside — at least for the Malpai Borderlands Group. With Malpai, ranchers run a nonprofit cooperative dedicated to conserving rangeland and preserving a ranching way of life. They work with scientists, an assortment of government agencies and even environmental groups. They don’t see cattle in competition with wildlife. For Malpai members, improving the range for one works to the benefit of the other. The Malpai group could be just the tip of an expanding iceberg. Cooperative conservation has become something of a buzzword in recent years. The White House hosted a cooperative conservation conference in St. Louis in August 2004. More than 1,000 people attended. In a group like that, a lone rancher would be hard to find. Malpai area ranches cover 800,000 acres of rangeland stretching from the San Bernardino Valley in southeastern Arizona across the state line into New Mexico’s Peloncillo Mountains. To date, 13 ranchers have signed on with the group. Its formation dates back to the early 1990s. At the time, neighboring ranchers would gather at Warner and Wendy Glenn’s Malpai Ranch....
Buyers back out of deals to buy BLM horses The federal government is looking for homes for 427 wild horses after buyers pulled out of revised contracts imposing criminal penalties for selling animals to slaughter. Twenty individuals and two tribes canceled contracts after the Bureau of Land Management in April suspended its sale program amid reports of horse slaughter, according to interviews with BLM officials and records obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal through a Freedom of Information Act request. Some people completed paperwork, and some sent checks paying for their animals, but backed out before completing the purchases, BLM spokesman Tom Gorey said. The BLM declined to identify individuals who canceled contracts and those who bought about 1,500 wild horses as of Sept. 30, citing privacy rights afforded people who do business with the government. At least one Indian tribe, the Three Affiliated Tribes of North Dakota, pulled out after receiving 277 of the 400 horses it requested, according to BLM records....
Report: Public lands grazing costs $123 million a year Federal agencies lose at least $123 million a year keeping public lands open to livestock grazing, according to a government report that environmentalists say bolsters their argument that grazing should be limited. "If we are going to allow grazing on our public lands, the very least we should be doing is we should be recovering the costs," said Greta Anderson, a Tucson, Ariz.-based botanist and range restoration campaign coordinator for the Center for Biological Diversity. But Jim Hughes, deputy director of the Bureau of Land Management -- which, with the Forest Service, manages 98 percent of grazing permits -- said the agency charges a fee set by law and is not advocating a change or an increase. Ranching on the millions of acres of public lands has been a mainstay of Western life for more than a century. Ranchers pay a fee to the government often based on the amount of grass and other vegetation their cattle will eat. The agencies spend the money managing permits and leases, building fences and developing water projects, among other activities. But the arrangement increasingly has caused friction as more demands are put on Western lands. Most livestock is raised on private land. Environmentalists and others question whether taxpayers should subsidize grazing on public lands. Ranchers who hold public lands grazing permits pay as little as $1.43 per animal unit month -- the amount of forage a cow and her calf can eat in a month. But the BLM and Forest Service would have had to charge $7.64 and $12.26 per unit respectively to cover their expenses, according to the GAO....That's right folks, let's raise the grazing fees and never even consider lowering the managemnt costs. Having been there, I can tell you the grazing program subsidizes other BLM programs, especially wildlife and archaeology....
Age-old land fight Two of the most lucrative and fastest-growing industries in northern Colorado — land development and oil and gas extraction — are butting heads as they fight for access to the same pieces of land. The three largest oil and gas extraction companies in Colorado are proposing a state rule change in oil production in Northern Colorado to accommodate more wells on existing sites, which would give them more access to untapped reserves. Lawyers representing major developers, however, are countering the proposal, calling for more limited access and less land displacement, and less cost to surface land owners....
FOB sues over exclusion from press conference Friends of the Bitterroot and three of it's members filed a lawsuit Monday against the Bitterroot National Forest and Supervisor Dave Bull, claiming the agency recently violated their civil rights. The suit is based on events surrounding a Forest Service press conference Sept. 22 to announce the final environmental impact statement for the Middle East Fork Fuels Reduction Project. Jim Miller, Larry Campbell and Stewart Brandborg, all members of the Friends of the Bitterroot, were kept from attending the press conference. The complaint outlines the circumstances before the conference, which was held at the Bitterroot National Forest supervisor's office in Hamilton. Campbell arrived first and told the receptionist at the front desk that he was there for the press conference. She waived him to the back room, but Forest Service public affairs officer Dixie Dies stopped him and told him that he wasn't invited and would not be able to attend. Brandborg and Miller were also prohibited from attending the press conference in similar fashion, according to the complaint....
White House proposes cutting $500 M firefighting fund Trying to make up for Katrina costs, the White House has proposed eliminating a $500 million reserve fund to fight fires in heavy wildfire years. Western-state Democrats criticized the plan Monday as shortsighted and risky. "This fund - developed on a bipartisan basis - ensured that fire fighting costs could be met," said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., adding that the loss of funds might force officials to scale back fire prevention efforts as well. "If this fire season is worse than normal, the Forest Service will have to cancel other projects like the removal of dead and dying trees infested by bark beetles in order to pay for firefighting costs," she said. The proposal is part of a $2.3 billion package of cuts the administration proposed Friday that includes reductions to other programs championed by Democrats and environmentalists, among them a fund for water projects. The administration also would shift $17.1 billion from Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief accounts into such hurricane needs as rebuilding damaged highways, repairing levees and fixing government buildings....
Two lynx killed in one week Last Wednesday, a postal worker was collecting the usual batch of mail from a drop slot at the Silverton post office when he came across something unusual. There among the letters was a radio-telemetry collar - the same fitted on lynx recently reintroduced in Colorado. All released lynx wear these collars that transmit information about the cat's physical condition and whereabouts via satellite, and finding a collar without its cat wasn't a good sign. It belonged to a male lynx that had been released in southwest Colorado in 2004. Now, with clipped collar in hand, Colorado Division of Wildlife officials can only assume the lynx was killed illegally....
State presents rights-of-way maps to BLM The Utah Attorney General's Office has provided the Bureau of Land Management documentation it says proves that six roads the state has claimed under an agreement with the BLM are valid county rights of way. The state last week provided the agency copies of six general highway maps dating back to 1950, plus additional information about the roads in Beaver, Daggett, Millard and Iron counties in response to environmental critics who had challenged the claims because of what they said was skimpy documentation. "These maps, along with the strong evidence already provided, demonstrate that the state of Utah and the counties owned and controlled these rights of way for decades prior to 1976," Attorney General Mark Shurtleff said in a statement. Congress in 1976 repealed an old mining law that guaranteed rights of way across public lands, but grandfathered in roads that existed prior to that....
Coeur plans to buy BLM land, turn it into a landfill and rock quarry A vote in a U.S. congressional committee has brought an Idaho-based mining company closer to buying federal land in northern Nevada's Pershing County, where the company wants to turn one of its dwindling silver mines into a supplier of rock for roadbuilding - and a landfill. Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. would pay about $3.5 million, or $500 an acre, for some 7,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management public land that's the site of Coeur's Rochester mine, according to legislation approved by the House Resources Committee. The legislation is part of a broader budget appropriations bill still pending in Congress. Nevada and Pershing County would get $600,000 from the sale, with the rest going to the U.S. Treasury. After yielding more than 100 million ounces of silver and one million ounces of gold over the last two decades, the Rochester operation is about played out, Coeur mining engineers said....
Park Service plans meet opposition U.S. Sen. Craig Thomas leads a hearing this morning in Washington, D.C., largely focused on controversial language and ideas from another Wyoming figure -- Paul Hoffman, an assistant Interior Department secretary and former director of the Cody Chamber of Commerce. Park Service draft 2006 management policies released last month have been roundly criticized by conservation groups. They say key language appears to be written by Hoffman to diminish park protection while boosting commercial interests in and around the parks. Thomas, R-Wyo., is chairman of the parks subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “Our purpose for this hearing is to review the National Park Service’s proposed management policies including potential impact of the policies on park operations, park resources, interaction with gateway communities, solicitation and collection of donations, and revised manager hiring practices,” Thomas said in an opening statement released Monday by his office....
Wyoming Sheep Ranchers Try to Keep Sheepherders in Grass, Not Oil Fields The sheep industry has been a longstanding yarn in Wyoming’s economic fabric. In the late 1800s, the sheepwagon was invented in Rawlins as shelter for sheepherders tending immense flocks on Wyoming’s plains. (In Wyoming, they’re called sheepherders not shepherds.) Today, Wyoming is ranked second in the United States in wool production and is exceeded only by California and Texas in the country in sheep numbers — making sheepherders a valuable, but woefully undervalued, labor pool. But according to sad tales from sheep ranchers, it has become difficult to find and keep sheepherders. They are tempted to leave their posts in the grass fields for better paying jobs in the oil and gas fields. So the Wyoming Wool Growers Association has decided to create a baaa-tle (sorry) over sheepherders who abandon ship (or sheepwagons, as the case may be). If a proposal backed by the Wyoming Joint Agriculture, Public Lands and Water Resources Interim Committee passes next year’s legislative session, anyone who entices a sheepherder off the range with a better paying job will be committing a crime punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $20,000. If the Wyoming legislature approves the bill, fines will be imposed for knowingly and willfully aiding or abetting such hiring. The bill also boosts the penalty for sheepherders who abandon their flocks....
Hispanic farmers represent a growing sector of U.S. agriculture Hispanic-operated farms comprised more than 20.8 million acres of farmland throughout the United States in 2002, up 23.8 percent from 16.8 million acres five years earlier. Farmers of Hispanic origin are a significant and growing part of U.S. agriculture, according to data from the 2002 Census of Agriculture. The 2002 census revealed major increases not only in the number of U.S. farms operated by Hispanics, but in the value of the products produced on those farms, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). The number of farms with Hispanic principal operators grew 51.2 percent between 1997 and 2002, from 33,450 to 50,592. Of those farms, Hispanic women, the largest group of minority women principal operators, operated 10 percent....
Wis. to Require Livestock Registration Wisconsin becomes the first state in the nation Tuesday to require registration of all places where livestock are kept. Federal and state agriculture officials said the registration will help them respond more quickly to animal disease outbreaks. In fact, the livestock location system is the first of three steps planned in many states and nationwide, said Dore Mobley, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Inspection Service. The next will be to register all animals and the third is to track animals throughout their lives, she said. The Wisconsin Premises Registration Act requires all who board livestock to register their premises, regardless of the kind and size of the operation. Numerous animals are covered under the law including cattle, llamas, deer, horses, goats, pheasants, exotic birds, chickens, turkeys, geese, ostriches, sheep and swine. Wisconsin received a $2.75 million, three-year grant from the USDA to develop the system, which 35 other states are also moving toward adopting, said Leanne Ketterhagen, spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Livestock Identification Consortium....
Snow polo rides to Rio Grande This year's World Snow Polo Championships will have to settle for Rio Grande Park after three years of competition at the higher-profile Wagner Park in downtown Aspen. Frustrated organizers of the event have been told polo is a no-go at Wagner - a decision of the Aspen Parks Department. Barry Stout, a New Castle rancher and the event's director, pleaded again during Wednesday's meeting of the city's Special Events Committee for permission to use Wagner for the December tournament. "Rio is what you're being offered," said Steve Slack, parks supervisor. For the past three years, players from around the country and abroad have played a round-robin tournament at Wagner Park. Spectators line the park to watch the unusual action for free. The polo tournament will be sanctioned this year for the first time by the U.S. Polo Association. It's the first snow polo event the organization has ever sanctioned, Stout said....
It's All Trew: Incubator a valuable antique in today's world An elderly reader recalls that as a little girl her job was to feed the poultry, then hide in the barn loft and peep through cracks to watch setting hens and turkey hens go to their hidden nests. The reason for this chore was outlying nests of eggs were subject to bad weather, predators and calamity, reducing the live hatch. If the nest could be found, mother and eggs could be placed under housing, hopefully increasing the live hatch and providing more prosperity for the farm. Artificially hatching eggs began in 1847 with the invention of a crude but practical incubator. In 1887, a much improved incubator became available with warnings the user must fully understand the essential conditions needed to successfully hatch eggs. Some early models often caught fire, but new safety features soon prevented that disaster. In 1896, W.P. Hall of New York invented and placed on the market a mammoth commercial incubator capable of hatching 5,700 eggs at one setting. This device gave birth to the huge commercial hatcheries of today. Millions of baby chicks from about 26 breeds plus other poultry and wild game bird chicks were as close as the nearest post office....