Thursday, June 08, 2006


Sharon and I will leave for Casper, Wyo. today to attend the College National Finals Rodeo.

I will have my trusty laptop and will blog as much as possible; both news and reports on the rodeo.

Wish us luck.

National Standings

16. Mens's Team

4. Womens's Team

Grand Canyon Region

2. Men's Team

1. Women's Team

Men's All Around

3. Daniel Etsitty
6. Jake Greenwood
8. Lonnie Allsup
10. Kevin Lozares

Women's All Around

1. Bailey Gow
2. Krista Norell
4. Julie Etchegaray
5. Megan Corey

Saddle Bronc Riding

1. Clint Philllips
7. Daniel Etsitty
8. Chance Van Winkle
10. Jake Greenwood

Bareback Riding

1. Daniel Etsitty
2. Jake Greenwood
6. Clay Houston

Bull Riding

2. Daren Albrecht
6. Jake Greenwood

Tie Down Roping

1. Wacey Walraven
2. Lonnie Allsup
4. Kevin Lozares
4. Clay Acuna (tie)
6. Garrett Baker

Steer Wrestling

1. J.W. Nicholson
5. Lucas Vaughan
8. Frank Krentz
9. Tanner Robinson

Team Roping Header

3. Victor Perez
6. Ty Trammell
9. Monte Topmiller
10. Sterling Walker

Team Roping Heeler

1. Matt Garza
5. Chance Van Winkle
7. Aaron Moyers
8. Kevin Lozares
9. Nate Mortensen

Barrell Racing

2. Casey Talbot
3. Callie Rios
5. Krista Norell
6. Whitney Robinson
8. Lacey Wilson

Breakaway Roping

2. Bailey Gow
4. Megan Wilkerson
7. Krista Norell
10. Julie Etchegaray

Goat Tying

1. Megan Corey
2. Julie Etchegaray
3. Brittany Striegel
4. Kayla Lange
5. Bailey Gow
6. Krista Norell

Wednesday, June 07, 2006


Counterterror exemption proposed for Privacy Act A little-noticed proposal from the Senate intelligence committee would exempt federal agencies from important provisions of the Privacy Act in the name of the war on terrorism. The committee's annual authorization bill, which was sent to the Senate last month after a unanimous vote, would initiate a three-year pilot program, during which U.S. intelligence agencies would be able to access personal information about Americans held by other federal departments or agencies if it is thought to be relevant to counterterrorism or counterproliferation. In the wake of revelations about the administration's use of data mining and warrantless surveillance of telephone and Internet communications in pursuit of the nation's terrorist enemies, the provision could cause a furor. "If this is enacted, the Privacy Act will look like Swiss cheese," American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) legislative counsel Tim Sparapani said. Mr. Sparapani said he was not reassured by the role that the law envisages for the president's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, which would monitor the program and report to Congress as the three-year sunset approached. "The board is stacked four [Republicans] to one [Democrat]," he said. "It is not truly independent" because it is inside the president's own office, which puts it "under the thumb of the president and his advisers." The board's chairwoman, Texas lawyer Carol Dinkins, did not respond to a request for comment yesterday afternoon. A Democratic committee staffer defended the proposal, saying the exemptions were "narrowly drawn to address the kinds of problems we found during our September 11 inquiry" when U.S. agencies failed to pool information about known al Qaeda militants, who were, thus, able to slip into the country....
Big Brother's new toy Last week, a fire ignited at the Akron Airdock that once housed a fleet of Goodyear blimps. Firemen rushed to the 211-foot-tall structure and quickly doused the flames. Reporters and photographers descended on the landmark. Many were surprised to learn the blimps were no longer being stored there. Turns out Lockheed Martin -- the company that gave us the Trident intercontinental ballistic missile -- was renovating the site for an upcoming project when the fire started. It's being turned into a hangar for a prototype airship. The prototype is called the High Altitude Airship, or HAA. Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems & Sensors in Akron won the $40 million contract from the Missile Defense Agency to build HAA in 2003. It is essentially another blimp. A giant one. Seventeen times the size of the Goodyear dirigible. It's designed to float 12 miles above the earth, far above planes and weather systems. It will be powered by solar energy, and will stay in a geocentric orbit for up to a year, undetectable by ground-based radar. You can't see it from the ground. But it can see you. "The possibilities are endless for homeland security," says Kate Dunlap, a Lockheed Martin spokesperson. "It could house cameras, and other surveillance equipment. It would be an eye in the sky." According to a summary released by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, the HAA can watch over a circle of countryside 600 miles in diameter. That's everything between Toledo and New York City. And they want to build 11. With high-res cameras, that could mean constant surveillance of every square inch of American soil. "If you had a fleet of them, this could be used for border surveillance," suggests Dunlap....
Back to the Bunker On Monday, June 19, about 4,000 government workers representing more than 50 federal agencies from the State Department to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission will say goodbye to their families and set off for dozens of classified emergency facilities stretching from the Maryland and Virginia suburbs to the foothills of the Alleghenies. They will take to the bunkers in an "evacuation" that my sources describe as the largest "continuity of government" exercise ever conducted, a drill intended to prepare the U.S. government for an event even more catastrophic than the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The exercise is the latest manifestation of an obsession with government survival that has been a hallmark of the Bush administration since 9/11, a focus of enormous and often absurd time, money and effort that has come to echo the worst follies of the Cold War. The vast secret operation has updated the duck-and-cover scenarios of the 1950s with state-of-the-art technology -- alerts and updates delivered by pager and PDA, wireless priority service, video teleconferencing, remote backups -- to ensure that "essential" government functions continue undisrupted should a terrorist's nuclear bomb go off in downtown Washington. But for all the BlackBerry culture, the outcome is still old-fashioned black and white: We've spent hundreds of millions of dollars on alternate facilities, data warehouses and communications, yet no one can really foretell what would happen to the leadership and functioning of the federal government in a catastrophe. After 9/11, The Washington Post reported that President Bush had set up a shadow government of about 100 senior civilian managers to live and work outside Washington on a rotating basis to ensure the continuity of national security. Since then, a program once focused on presidential succession and civilian control of U.S. nuclear weapons has been expanded to encompass the entire government. From the Department of Education to the Small Business Administration to the National Archives, every department and agency is now required to plan for continuity outside Washington. Yet according to scores of documents I've obtained and interviews with half a dozen sources, there's no greater confidence today that essential services would be maintained in a disaster. And no one really knows how an evacuation would even be physically possible....
Bar group will review Bush's legal challenges The board of governors of the American Bar Association voted unanimously yesterday to investigate whether President Bush has exceeded his constitutional authority in reserving the right to ignore more than 750 laws that have been enacted since he took office. Meeting in New Orleans, the board of governors for the world's largest association of legal professionals approved the creation of an all-star legal panel with a number of members from both political parties. They include a former federal appeals court chief judge, a former FBI director, and several prominent scholars -- to evaluate Bush's assertions that he has the power to ignore laws that conflict with his interpretation of the Constitution. Bush has appended statements to new laws when he signs them, noting which provisions he believes interfere with his powers. Among the laws Bush has challenged are the ban on torturing detainees, oversight provisions in the USA Patriot Act, and ``whistle-blower" protections for federal employees. The challenges also have included safeguards against political interference in taxpayer-funded research. Bush has challenged more laws than all previous presidents combined. The ABA's president, Michael Greco, said in an interview that he proposed the task force because he believes the scope and aggressiveness of Bush's signing statements may raise serious constitutional concerns. He said the ABA, which has more than 400,000 members, has a duty to speak out about such legal issues to the public, the courts, and Congress....
Overtime cap curbs patrolling on border Some of the U.S. Border Patrol's most specialized and experienced agents in Arizona are running into an overtime cap that is limiting their ability to arrest undocumented immigrants and interdict drugs. A growing number of Border Patrol agents assigned to search-and-rescue and canine-handling squads are spending less time out in the field because they are restricted from earning more than $35,000 in overtime during a single year. The overtime-cap woes were growing even as the first batch of National Guard troops arrived Saturday near Yuma as part of a $1.9 billion push by the Bush administration to gain control at the southern border. The overtime situation has frustrated Border Patrol field agents and union members, who say many seasoned patrolmen are forced to either quietly work hours of overtime for free or to walk away in the middle of tracking groups of undocumented immigrants or from using dogs to check for contraband at checkpoints. "This restricts their ability to work when and where they're needed," said T.J Bonner, president of the National Border Patrol Council, the agents union. "The administration is essentially saying we care so little about border security and so much about saving what amounts to a few pennies that we're willing to compromise the accomplishments of the mission."....
Border Patrol re-energized about mission With immigration reform and security of the U.S.-Mexico border emerging as among the most impassioned--and divisive--of domestic issues, McKeon and her co-workers in green uniforms are poised to possibly surpass the FBI as the largest force of federal law agents in the land. When President Bush pledged last month to send National Guardsmen to the border, he threw some clout behind the Border Patrol's long-term plan to grow to 18,000 agents by 2008, from 11,466 agents as of April 29. There were 12,556 FBI agents as of May 31, a spokesman said. The 6,000 National Guardsmen dispatched by the president, according to plans, would eventually be relieved by 6,000 new Border Patrol agents hired over the next two years, patrol spokesman Todd Fraser said. It's up to Congress, however, to fund such hiring, he said. Here on the border, such a possible turn of events makes agents like McKeon, 34, feel energized about their agency's growing stature, she said. Her husband is also a Border Patrol agent. "You feel you're making a difference," McKeon said as she escorted a reporter and a photographer during a recent ride along the banks of the Rio Grande....
SAF Files Complaint Against New Orleans Police Chief's Plan To Grab Guns The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is calling upon U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to investigate New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley over his announcement last week that police in his city would once again confiscate privately-owned firearms in the event of another catastrophic storm like Hurricane Katrina. During a live interview with a New Orleans radio station, Riley acknowledged that citizens may, under state law, carry firearms. He said, however, that police will confiscate firearms, and may arrest people, arguing that "During an exigent circumstance like that, we cannot allow people to walk the street carrying guns." Last summer, SAF was joined by the National Rifle Association in a federal lawsuit against post-Hurricane Katrina gun seizures. That successful lawsuit in federal district court resulted in a restraining order, and subsequent injunction. "We believe Riley's decision is a flagrant disregard of the federal court action, Louisiana state law and both the Louisiana and federal constitutional protections of the right to keep and bear arms," Gottlieb said in his letter to Gonzales. "We're writing to General Gonzales in an effort to prevent Riley and officers under his command from committing the same egregious civil rights violations they did last year," Gottlieb explained. "It is outrageous that Riley would plan such actions when he knows they violate both state law and the state and federal constitutions. His claim that 'exigent circumstances' would allow such confiscations is preposterous....
Obituary for E. Wayne Hage

Dec. 21, 1936 – June 5, 2006


(MONITOR VALLEY, NV) On Monday, June 5, Wayne Hage passed away in peace, at age 69, at his home at Pine Creek Ranch in Monitor Valley Nevada. He was the husband of two beautiful wives. Jean Nichols Hage, the mother of his five children, preceded him in death in 1996. He is survived by his wife Helen Chenoweth Hage who he married in 1999. The things he cherished most in life were his family and friends. The motivating force in his life was to serve his Lord Jesus Christ.

Wayne won a very public fight for freedom over property. He won a very private fight for eternal freedom June 5th. He a courageous man with a sustaining faith in God and a hope so real to him that he did not flinch, both in life and in death. He won. He went home to be with his Lord in heaven.

Born December 21, 1936, in Elko Nevada, Wayne was the youngest of five children to the parents of Reinert and Grace Hage. His father was a geologist, and his mother a school teacher. At age 15, he left home to buckaroo for a number of large open range outfits in Nevada and southern Idaho, such as the Moffitt and PX, forming a life-long passion for the range livestock industry. He worked with some of the finest cow men in the country, ran mustangs on the Owyhee desert for his uncle, Earl Prunty, broke teams on buck rakes and mowing machines. He lived in a unique time in history with values and freedoms which he always sought to preserve.

After fulfilling his draft requirements in the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command, he finished his GED and earned a master’s degree in biological science from the University of Nevada, Reno.

Wayne and his wife Jean, whom he married in 1963, purchased her family ranch in Sierra Valley, California. They lived there fifteen years, where all of their five children born. While in California, Wayne served as chairman of the Agricultural Land Use Committee of the California State Chamber of Commerce, and was actively involved in the California Cattlemen’s Association, and the California Farm Bureau.

In 1978, he fulfilled his life-long dream when he and his wife Jean, purchased an open-range cattle ranch in Monitor Valley Nevada, known as Pine Creek Ranch. Immediately, however, they came under attack from the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, denying them access to their vested water rights and range in an attempt to break them economically to create a National Park and wilderness area of the ranch.

Wayne met these attacks on his lifestyle and property by authoring his book, “Storm Over Rangelands: Private Rights in Federal Lands”, which for the first time articulated the privately owned vested water rights, forage rights and rights-of-ways arising on federal lands.

In 1991, the federal government’s attacks on the Hage’s property came to a head when the federal government confiscated over 100 head of cattle at gun point. In response, Hage filed a Fifth Amendment of the Constitution “takings” case in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. In a landmark victory, in 2002, the Court ruled in its Final Opinion and Finding of Fact that Hage had title to his vested water rights and the “fee lands” within the boundaries of his range allotments.

Wayne was actively involved in starting several property rights organizations including the National Federal Lands Conference, Stewards of the Range, and the Nevada Live Stock Association. He also served on the executive board of Mountain States Legal Foundation, as a trustee of the University of Nevada Foundation, and Nevada Agricultural Foundation, and acted as a consultant to financial institutions.

Wayne, and his wife Helen, sharing each others passion for property rights and freedom, spent much of their time together speaking to ranching and property rights groups, to share with their fellow ranchers the tremendous property rights victory in Hage v. U.S. Wayne was proud to leave a legacy to his family of a ranch with clear and full title, from boundary to boundary, to which the federal government could no longer impose a grazing permit. Cattle are now running freely on the entire ranch fulfilling Wayne’s vision.

Not by choice, the cause of Wayne’s life was to defend the property rights of his fellow rancher and property owners. His life’s work is perhaps best described by friend by Idaho attorney, John Runft. “Let me also echo those many who knew Wayne to be a truly great man. I treasure the times we spent together discussing not only the legal intricacies of real property law which he pioneered as well as the cutting edge legal proceedings he fearlessly pursued against overbearing government bureaucracies but also the broader ethics and codes of conducting one’s life. Wayne was Socratic to the core. He knew himself well and therefore had no difficulty encountering with an open mind new ideas and concepts about which he would engage in lively debate. Accordingly, he had no fear of taking action if the circumstances merited action. He lived his life a legacy of thoughtful deliberation and fearless action. He embodied the legend of the West in every respect. He will be sorely missed, but his life is greatly celebrated.”

Services will begin at noon on Saturday, June 10, at noon at Pine Creek Ranch in Monitor Valley, Nevada. He is survived by his wife Helen and children, Ramona Morrison, Ruthe Agee, Margaret Byfield, Laura Perkins and Wayne Hage, as well as his children by marriage: Mike Chenoweth (Diana) and Meg Keenan. He is also survived by his brother David Hage (Nancy) and sisters Faye Tewell (John) and Alice Hage. He will also be remembered fondly by his four son-in-laws and daughter-in-law: Jeff Morrison, Jace Agee, Dan Byfield, David Perkins, and Yelena Hage. His legacy live on in his grandchildren: John and Kristin Morrison; Tyler, Jacob and Katelyn Agee; David, Harrison and Charlton Perkins; McKenzy Byfield; and Bryan Hage.

Wildlife blamed for bacteria growth To the surprise of many, a bacteria-source study conducted in Smith River shows that birds and small mammals contribute the most fecal matter to the watershed. The usual suspects — cows and humans — appeared as blips on the radar screen compared to the zeppelin of birds, small animals, deer and elk. “What they found out was, most of it is wildlife,” said Bill Town, chairman of the Smith River Watershed Bacteria Source Tracking Study and an alternate on the Smith River Watershed Council. Dogs and cats were no small contributors, but ranchers and residents along Smith River say those contributions can be easily mitigated as long as septic tanks and cattle aren’t doing all the dirty work. “If there isn’t a problem, then we can smile at ourselves and say, ‘We’ve been doing a pretty damn good job of protecting our watersheds,’” Town said. Smith River residents hope the independent DNA study, conducted by CH2M Hill, based in Denver, will persuade the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to redirect some heat from their livestock as the river’s main contaminators....
Judge: Ranchers have stake in elk feedgrounds Ranchers in northwest Wyoming have a "substantial economic and private property interest" in preserving the state's system of elk feedgrounds, a federal judge says. As a result, U.S. District Judge Alan Johnson ruled that the Wyoming Stock Growers Association may intervene as a matter of right in a lawsuit over western Wyoming’s elk feedgrounds. The Friday decision allows the livestock industry group to participate in a lawsuit that was filed in federal court by the environmental law firm Earthjustice on behalf of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Jackson Hole Conservation Alliance and the Wyoming Outdoor Council. The lawsuit was filed in February against the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, challenging the authorization of state-run elk feedgrounds on federal lands in western Wyoming. The groups seek to have the federal agencies study a range of alternatives to the feedgrounds in wake of disease transmission issues. The lawsuit also targets facilities built to capture elk at the Muddy Creek feedground in Sublette County as part of a program to test the animals for brucellosis and kill those that test positive....
A Closer Look Smokey Bear was created in 1944, after the release of Walt Disney's "Bambi." Disney agreed to let the forest fire prevention campaign use Bambi's image on a poster, which proved using an animal as a fire prevention symbol was successful. However, Bambi's image was only on loan from Disney for one year, and the Forest Service would need to find another animal for their campaign. Thus, it was decided the nation's number one firefighter would be a bear. It was August 9, 1944, when the first poster of Smokey Bear was created. It showed a bear pouring a bucket of water on a campfire. In 1952, an act of Congress took Smokey out of the public domain and placed him under the control of the Secretary of Agriculture. The Act provided for the use of collected royalties and fees for continued education on preventing forest fires. Smokey's image is protected by US Federal Law and is administered by the USDA Forest Service, the National Association of State Foresters, and the Ad Council. Smokey became very popular and his message is the longest running public service campaign in U.S. history. Smokey is often depicted as a bear wearing blue jeans and a flat-brimmed hat, like park rangers wear. A cartoon was designed by Richard Scarry for Little Golden Books, and Smokey received so much fan mail he was assigned his own zip code. It was in the spring of 1950 when the "real" Smokey Bear would emerge. A little black bear cub was caught in the Capitan Gap wildfire in the mountains of New Mexico. The cub had climbed a tree to escape the fire, but his paws and hind legs had been burned. Firefighters rescued the cub, and a rancher who had helped fight the fire, agreed to take the cub home. A New Mexico Department of Game and Fish Ranger heard about the cub at the fire camp and drove to the rancher's home to get the bear. The cub needed veterinary aid and was flown to Santa Fe where his burns were treated. Soon the media picked up the story and broadcast it nationwide. Many people wrote or called to inquire about the cub's health. He was first called "Hotfoot Teddy" but was later renamed "Smokey" after the fire service mascot....
Land battle to culminate in federal court Walker County resident Gregory Colson finally will have his day in federal court Monday in a battle for rights concerning 19 acres of family owned land off FM 1374. The old Colson homestead still stands, and the land remained untouched for more than 70 years until the mid 1990s when Colson decided to erect a gate. The question of land ownership surrounds one piece of that 19 acres that is being tagged a “road” by the U.S. government, but Colson’s lawyers at Moak & Moak argue any semblance of a designated roadway. “The area in question is claimed by the United States to be an old wagon trail that went from Huntsville to Montgomery,” attorney J. Paxton Adams said in December. “Today, however, nobody that views the property would recognize any road or even the remnants of a road. We don’t believe it ever was the road that the United States now claims it to be.”....
Wisconsin wolf population keeps increasing, DNR says Wisconsin's wolf population continues a slow increase, with the state's annual winter survey showing somewhere between 465 to 502 animals. That's up about 7 percent from last year's count of 435 to 467, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday. Biologists have conducted annual wolf population surveys since the winter of 1979, when the number of wolves began increasing after the animal was extinct for decades in the state. The survey doesn't include pups born this spring. Wisconsin now has far more wolves than called for in the federal wolf recovery plan for the region, and the federal government is in the process of removing wolves from the Endangered Species List in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan and nearby states. That effort could be complete next year, pending any legal action....
New Protections Proposed for Mussels In response to a lawsuit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed designating 1,200 miles of rivers and streams in Alabama, Florida and Georgia as critical habitat for seven federally protected mussel species. The waterways include portions of Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint River system in all three states, the Ochlocknee River in Georgia and Florida and the Econfina Creek and Suwannee River in Florida. Some scientists rank mussels as the nation's most threatened natural resource. Of the 300 species found in the United States, most live in the Southeast. American Indians ate them and used them to make tools and jewelry, and their shells were a major source of buttons from about 1890 until plastic buttons came along in the 1950s. The critical habitat designation is proposed for five endangered mussels _ the fat threeridge, the shinyrayed pocketbook, the Gulf moccasinshell, the Ochlocknee moccasinshell and the oval pigtoe _ and two threatened mussels, the Chipola slabshell and purple bankclimber....
U.S. Government Sued for Allowing Imports of Peruvian Mahogany Doubly illegal, mahogany from the Peruvian Amazon is being imported into the United States for deluxe furniture under the noses of three federal agencies, according to a lawsuit filed today by two Peruvian indigenous groups and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a U.S. conservation organization. The suit was filed in the U.S. Court of International Trade in New York City. Nearly all of Peru’s mahogany exports are logged illegally, the groups say. Importing it into the United States is illegal because it violates the U.S. Endangered Species Act and a major international treaty, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), the lawsuit charges. More than 80 percent of illegally logged Peruvian mahogany ends up in the United States....
Conservation groups sue to save rare plant in gas fields Two conservation groups filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to protect a rare plant found only in a small area in the gas fields of northwestern Colorado. The groups' lawsuit asks the court to force the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to decide whether to place the DeBeque milkvetch on the endangered species list. The wildflower, about a foot tall with white sweet-pea-like flowers, is found only within 30 miles of the town of DeBeque. Erin Robertson, a biologist with the Denver-based Center for Native Ecosystems, said the plant grows on the area's high-desert knolls and at the bottom of the Roan Plateau near Rifle. The rate of natural gas drilling in the area is on the rise. The Bureau of Land Management is considering a plan to open much of the federal land on the Roan Plateau to energy development....
New road to Roan kicks up dust A new road being built to the top of the Roan Plateau has some seeing plenty of dust near Parachute. The road is being blasted into the Roan Cliffs for Petroleum Development Corp. (PDC) to gain access to 16,000 acres of private land slated for extensive natural gas development. The two-lane private road, under construction since last summer about eight miles north of Parachute, is being built in Garden Gulch and above Parachute Creek to prevent trucks from having to drive through DeBeque to reach the Roan Plateau via Logan's Wash, cutting off more than an hour of travel time. Dewey Gerdom, PDC vice president of exploration, said the "very expensive" road will provide year-round access to private land atop the Roan Plateau for PDC and its partner drilling companies, whose names Gerdom would not disclose. Gas companies not in the partnership will not be allowed to use the road. With the blasting spewing plumes of dust in the air, the view from Sid Lindauer's home is sometimes a bit hazy these days. Lindauer, who lives about a mile north of Parachute, said the blasting was so intense recently "that the whole valley filled up with dust," obscuring views of Battlement Mesa and the surrounding area. "My wife was shocked when she heard that blast go off," he said....
Private land owners declare ‘Keep off!’ Some landowners believe the county is encouraging trespassing with the development of its new trails system map. Landowners in Ophir and Soldier Canyons came together for a meeting with county leaders May 23 and left with a proposal in place. The plan fell apart when some landowners refused to sign on, says landowner Leo Ault. Ault, whose family owns between 6-7,000 acres of wilderness in Ophir Canyon — according to his best estimation — says they are trying to organize another meeting this weekend with only landowners in attendance. In response to landowners’ frustrations, Richard Clark, former leader of the county trails committee, says defining what roads are public is a complicated matter. “Public-private road issues in Utah are controversial and the legal issues surrounding them are not clear, at least to me,” Clark said. “I think it’s premature for anyone to say any road up there is public or any road is private.” But some landowners are pointedly informing everyone to keep off private land. This is their land and some don’t intend to share it. “It’s getting to be out of hand,” Ault said. “It’s my private property. Would someone want me to go riding through their backyard. There’s not a bit of difference.”...
Park Service: Raft in fatal accident hit downed tree A Snake River rafting accident that killed three people occurred when the raft hit the root end of a tree that had lodged in a channel, Grand Teton National Park officials said Tuesday. The accident Friday killed Elizabeth Rizas, 58, and John Rizas, 63, both of Beaufort, S.C., and Linda Clark, 69, of Shreveport, La. Nine others plus the boatman also fell into the water. Park spokeswoman Joan Anzelmo said it is not uncommon for trees to wash down the Snake River during the spring. She said the tree that caught the raft had washed away by Saturday....
Historic guns stolen from Fort Davis recovered National Park Service agents have recovered several 19th century weapons that were stolen from Fort Davis National Historical Site two months ago. Site Superintendent Chuck Hunt said the artifacts _ including several pistols, five revolvers and a knife dating to the 1880s _ were recovered Tuesday. The National Park Service is now offering $10,000 for information that leads to the arrest of the people who stole the weapons. "The case is progressing quickly," said Dave Sandbakken, a special agent with the park service....
Search continues for missing U.S., Canadian climbers on Alaska's Denali Park Clouds prevented two U.S. army helicopters from reaching the summit of Alaska's 5,304-metre Mount Foraker in the search for two missing climbers Tuesday. "Clouds shut them down at 16,000 feet," said Denali National Park and Preserve spokeswoman Kris Fister. It was the sixth day of searching for Sue Nott, 36, of Vail, Colo., and Karen McNeill, 37, of Canmore, Alta. Searchers will try again Wednesday to reach the summit after footprints were found Monday near the mountain top. "That's our highest priority area because of finding the tracks at 16,400 feet," she said. She said searchers theorize the two climbers may have purposely burrowed themselves into a sheltered spot, such as a crevasse, to reduce their exposure to the wind and cold....
New Luxury High Sierra Camp Set to Debut July 3 in California's Scenic Sequoia National Monument Outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy the getting-close-to-nature aspects of a camping experience -- without sacrificing creature comforts such as steaming hot showers, gourmet cuisine, plush linens and feather-top beds -- are the target demographic for a brand-new backcountry tent hotel located in Sequoia National Monument, California. The Sequoia High Sierra Camp will officially open on July 3 and remain in operation until mid-September for the 2006 season. The luxury wilderness retreat is privately owned, and will be operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts, the hospitality management company providing visitor services in nearby Sequoia National Park, under contract with the National Park Service. Located in a secluded forest area within Sequoia National Monument, Sequoia High Sierra Camp consists of 36 luxury canvas bungalows with upscale guest amenities to include Tuscan-inspired architectural design with classic teak wood furnishings, plush-top king sized beds, down feather pillows, triple-sheeted linens, deluxe private comfort stations and hot shower facilities. Three daily California-cuisine style meals, with an emphasis on healthful, fresh and seasonal ingredients, are included in the overnight rates. Each cabin, measuring approximately 330 square feet, is nestled amidst lush Red Fir and Lodgepole Pines and features a private sitting area replete with Adirondack chairs from which to enjoy the expansive views....
Column: Who are big oil’s best friends? Environmentalists Other industries, particularly those in the energy sector, have similarly sidestepped antitrust laws with the help of the environmental movement, of all things. Environmentalist organizations are their “labor unions.” Consider the extraordinary success the environmental movement has enjoyed over the past 35 years in stopping oil exploration on the outer-continental shelves off both coasts, as well as in vast regions of Alaska, where there are known to be huge oil reserves. Domestic oil production might well be double (or more) of what it currently is without this anti-energy movement, and gas prices would be a small fraction of what they are. No nuclear power plants have been built in decades thanks to the Dr. Frankenstein-style hysteria drummed up by the environmental movement. It may take well over a decade to procure all the governmental licenses to begin construction of a nuclear plant, and even then the government reserves the right to deny a building permit. This, too, makes energy scarcer and more expensive. Hydroelectric power has also been stifled by litigation and legislation, and the same can be said of coal-fired power plants....
U.S. Science Panel Sees Big Problems if Indian Point Reactors Are Closed Closing the Indian Point nuclear reactors would make electricity more expensive, leave New York more vulnerable to natural gas shortages and add to pollution that causes global warming, according to a report released on Tuesday by a committee of the National Academy of Sciences. The committee said that there were no insurmountable technical obstacles to closing the plant. But it asserted that electric demand was growing so fast in the region, and building power plants was so difficult, that simply meeting power needs during peak periods would be a challenge even if the reactors stayed in operation. Congress provided $1 million for the study, under a bill sponsored by Nita M. Lowey, a Westchester Democrat who says the reactors should be closed because of the risk of a release of radiation through accident or terrorist attack....
Napolitano vetoes property rights bill on slum clearance Gov. Janet Napolitano on Tuesday vetoed a bill to impose new restrictions on municipalities’ use of eminent domain to clear slum areas. The bill (HB2675) would have prohibited using eminent domain to boost tax revenue if the planned new use doesn’t have an additional public purpose. It also would prohibit condemnation of non-blighted property within a declared slum area and set a new legal standard that local governments must clear before designating areas as blighted. Additionally, it would have given property owners the right to improve conditions to avoid inclusion in designated slum or blighted areas, impose new disclosures before local governments can make the designations and shorten the length to five years from ten. The legislation was supported by groups representing property rights advocates, small businesses and home builders and opposed by the League of Arizona Cities and Towns and individual cities and towns as well as groups representing planners and environmentalists....
AgInfoLink USA Announces the Release of Meat Inventory Tracking System AgInfoLink USA, a privately-held food traceability information solutions provider, has announced the release of their Meat Inventory Tracking System (MITS) 2.0. The MITS software program was developed to enable custom meat packing plants to identify live animals, link them to individual cuts of meat through to point of sale, and to help plants better manage their meat inventory. The initial MITS 2.0 product installation was just completed at Western Prime Meats in Weyburn, SK. MITS, an affordable and easy-to-use carcass-to-cut traceability system for small to medium size packing plants is in high demand because of today's changing marketplace. "Being able to help our customers tackle the challenges associated with regulatory compliance, new export requirements, supporting branded meat label claims, and day-to-day inventory management has been very rewarding. Traceability, combined with added efficiencies in processes and better management of information, will continue to be an important part of the meat business, and we're making it easier for our customers to meet these challenges and remain competitive," said Lee Curkendall, Vice President of Business Development for AgInfoLink.
Australian Cattle Traceback System Upgraded; Big Growth An Australian cattle traceback system, which the industry regards as a key component in holding and building shares in premium beef exports markets, has been upgraded amid a sharp increase in usage. The National Livestock Identification System, or NLIS, is a key component in a system that allows beef to be traced back to individual animals. More than 143,000 farms and 38 million electronic devices are registered on the database of the NLIS, with usage quadrupling since July 1, 2005, when the system became mandatory, according to a statement issued late Monday by system manager Meat & Livestock Australia Ltd. The NLIS database records an average of 41,000 cattle movements a day and has recorded up to 96,000 cattle movements in a single day. The system processes 98% of all transactions in well under one hour, with 71% processed in under a minute, MLA reported. Changes to the NLIS will improve the navigation and usability of the system's database, it said. Key industry participants believe traceback of beef to cattle is the foundation of the food industry, which depends on the trust of consumers for its future. Australia exports about two-thirds of beef production, with more than 90% of exports going to three major markets - Japan, the U.S. and South Korea....
Farmers' goods showcased in restaurant When several North Dakota farmers asked a consulting firm to help them figure out how to make more money on their products, they got a simple answer: Open an upscale restaurant. The farmers, members of the North Dakota Farmers Union, ran with the advice, and Wednesday they are in Washington opening what they hope is the first of many restaurants that feature their goods. The producers, many of whom have had trouble making ends meet, will now sell their fresh beef, vegetables and specialty crops directly to lawyers, lobbyists and tourists in the nation's capital for $20 to $30 an entree. The unusual restaurant is called Agraria, nestled beside the Potomac River in the prime real estate of Georgetown's Washington Harbor. About 90 percent of the restaurant's investors are farmers from around the country, and the food comes from farms in 25 states. About a third of the food is expected to come from North Dakota, where the idea originated....
Agent of compromise Bob Budd has driven his state-owned pickup 6,000 miles in the last three months, putting in dawn-to-dusk workdays to get a close look at two of his passions -- Wyoming's wild places, and the people who care for and about them. As executive director of the state's new Wildlife and Natural Resource Trust Board, Budd is helping lead a first-of-its-kind effort to direct some of Wyoming's vast mineral wealth toward preserving the state's animals and their habitat. It's a job for which he doesn't mind putting in extra hours. "As exhausting as it is has been, it's also been invigorating for me," said Budd, who has been on the job for eight months. "I've gotten to see what the people are doing on the land, and the commitment they have to the things we all value in this state." Budd has met with landowners, conservation groups, government employees and others who hope to get shares of the proceeds from the state's new $40 million wildlife trust fund, established by the Legislature and the governor last year. Budd and the nine volunteer members of the trust fund board in recent weeks have been "ground-truthing" 38 applications for the first-ever distribution of trust fund proceeds by visiting the areas eyed for protection or improvement. The board is scheduled to decide on the grants when it meets Thursday in Gillette....
Ranchers file appeal in Canada beef import case In its latest attempt to halt the importation of Canadian beef and cattle, the U.S. rancher group R-CALF USA said on Tuesday it has filed a notice of appeal to a U.S. District Court decision in April that allowed such imports to continue. "We remain frustrated that there has never been full consideration of the merits of our case," R-CALF President Chuck Kiker said in a statement. "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July 2005 that USDA should be given deference in this matter, but there's never been an evaluation of all of the evidence." R-CALF has argued that Canadian cattle pose a risk of mad cow disease, which is formally known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), to the U.S. cattle herd. "R-CALF wants the opportunity not only to make certain that USDA's decision-making on this Final Rule gets a thorough review because the agency has continued to make inconsistent statements about BSE risks, but also to make certain that we have the chance to lay out scientific evidence by nationally recognized experts and government agencies," Kiker said....
Wayne Hage, Nevada rancher and sagebrush rebel, dies Wayne Hage, who battled the federal government for decades over public lands and private property rights, has died. Hage, who came to epitomize Nevada's Sagebrush Rebellion, had been ill and died Monday at his Pine Creek Ranch near Tonopah, friends said. He was in his 60s.
"He actually successfully beat cancer a number of years ago," said Bob St. Louis, and longtime friend and fellow rancher. "In the past couple weeks, it came back in really aggressive form." A memorial service is planned Saturday at the Hage ranch in Monitor Valley. Hage, who married former Republican U.S. Rep. Helen Chenoweth of Idaho in 1999, had battled the government since the Forest Service started scaling back the number of cattle allowed to graze on national forest land in the early 1980s. In 2002, U.S. Claims Court Judge Loren Smith ruled in Washington D.C., that Hage had a right to let his cattle use the water and forage on at least some of the federal land where he formerly held a federal grazing permit north of Tonopah, in central Nevada.
A longtime state's rights activist and author of "Storm Over Rangelands," Hage filed a claim seeking $28 million in damages in 1991 after Forest Service officials suspended his grazing permits on parts of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, saying overgrazing was causing ecological damage on the high-desert range....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Mexico creates border nature reserve that could help discourage illegal crossings Mexico is creating an environmental reserve about 30 feet wide and 600 miles long on the Texas border, a "green wall" to protect the Rio Grande from the roads and staging areas that smugglers use to ferry drugs and migrants across the frontier. Much of this border zone is remote and inhospitable - generally too rough to hike through unless you’re a black bear or a pronghorn sheep, species that have flourished in the area’s deserts and mountains. And that’s the way Mexico wants to keep it. While the proposed Rio Bravo del Norte Natural Monument is only about 30 feet wide, it will connect two large protected areas south of the river. When a third nature reserve, known as Ocampo, is created this year, the protected areas in Mexico will form a "wall" of millions of acres of wilderness, matching Texas’ Big Bend parks foot-by-foot along the border....
Eyes in the West Are on Federal Land Sale Its mild climate, stunning scenery and proximity to several national parks have helped make Washington County one of the five fastest-growing counties in the nation. But like many rural Western counties, it has little room to expand: 87% of its land is owned by the federal government. Now, Utah's congressional delegation has a plan to remedy the problem, one that is being closely watched by nearly a dozen Western counties with similar growing pains. The plan is also being scrutinized by conservationists who warn that it would set a dangerous precedent, making thousands of acres of public land available for private development as well as offering a windfall for local agencies and special deals for politically influential officials and property owners. The proposed Washington County Growth and Conservation Act would sell up to 40 square miles of federal land and use the proceeds to finance a multimillion-dollar water pipeline and other local projects. Utah Republican Sen. Robert F. Bennett and Democratic Rep. Jim Matheson are expected to introduce the bill in coming weeks. Waiting in the wings are nearly a dozen similar bills for counties in Utah, Idaho, Nevada and New Mexico where population pressure is fueling the demand for more developable land. The Washington County plan and others like it highlight the growing tension between growth advocates and others who fear that the West's unique legacy of protected public land is in jeopardy along with the wildlife, clean air and water that go with it....
Feds put finishing touch on 50-year timber harvest plan Federal wildlife officials gave their blessing Monday to a 50-year forestry plan aimed at saving Washington state's salmon runs while shielding timber companies from costly Endangered Species Act lawsuits. The sweeping deal, which covers about 9.3 million acres of private forestland and more than 60,000 miles of streams, is believed the biggest of its kind in the country. It requires wider buffers of trees along streams and rivers, reduces the amount of logging on unstable slopes, and establishes new rules for logging roads to reduce the amount of sediment runoff. In return, foresters who follow its provisions are assured by federal fish and wildlife managers that they are not violating endangered species protections for fish and other species. The blueprint, known formally as a Habitat Conservation Plan, and its organizers were praised by officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service....
Hottest technology deployed in fight against wildfires As firefighters brace for the worst wildfire season in six years, they're hoping satellites and digital technology will keep them ahead of the blazes. A wildfire technology consultant says crews across the nation will be watching to see whether these cutting-edge tools, being tested in the West, give firefighters a leg up this season. One team in Moreno Valley, Calif., has been using handheld personal digital assistants in the field and satellite-linked computers in their fire engines since spring to fight fires for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. The combination allows the team to track a fire's movement, pinpoint firefighters on the scene and predict how a fire spreads, fire management officer Ron Woychak said. "It allows us to make better decisions on the ground and safe decisions," Woychak said. "To me, that's the bottom line." With the start of wildfire season this month in the West, the new tools come at a critical time for firefighters nationwide....
Driller seeks OK to share groundwater Fidelity Exploration & Production Co. is seeking state permission to share its coalbed methane water with others to use for watering cattle or suppressing dust. Although Montana water law calls the practice "water marketing," Fidelity is not selling the water, said Bruce Williams, Fidelity's vice president of operations in Sheridan, Wyo. "We understand the word 'marketing' normally implies a sale," Williams said. "However ... we do not receive payment for this water from any user nor do we intend to receive payment in the future." Rumors have been circulating in southeastern Montana, where Fidelity is pumping gas from coal seams, that the company was trying to sell water it is producing, Williams said. "We wanted to make it real public that in fact that's not the intention and that's not what's happening," he said Monday....
Judge gives approval for pre-drilling seismic survey A federal judge has ruled that a controversial oil and gas seismic survey project will be allowed to proceed in the Adobe Town area of southwest Wyoming's scenic Red Desert. Conservationists and Bureau of Land Management officials said a recent ruling by an administrative appeals judge lifted a previous halt of the Cherokee West 3D seismic survey project. Tom Foertsch, a physical scientist with the Bureau of Land Management's Rawlins Field Office, said Monday that the agency is pleased with the ruling. "We're happy. ... All the issues were resolved to our satisfaction," he said. But conservationists decried the decision and said the project could threaten fragile desert landscapes. "We'll be examining all the legal options to get a better solution to the problems posed by this project," said Erik Molvar, a wildlife biologist with the Laramie-based Biodiversity Conservation Alliance. The project was proposed by Kerr McGee Corp. along with contractor Veritas DGC Land Inc. in March 2005....
New Mexico's Chaco Canyon: A Place of Kings and Palaces? Kings living in palaces may have ruled New Mexico's Chaco Canyon a thousand years ago, causing Pueblo people to reject the brawny, top-down politics in the centuries that followed, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder archaeologist. University of Colorado Museum anthropology Curator Steve Lekson, who has studied Chaco Canyon for several decades, said one argument for royalty comes from the rich, crypt-style burials of two men discovered deep in a Chaco Canyon "great house" known as Pueblo Bonito several decades ago. They were interred about A.D. 1050 with a wealth of burial goods in Pueblo Bonito, a 600-room, four-story structure that was considered to be the center of the Chaco world, he said. Archaeologists have long been in awe of the manpower required to build Chaco's elaborate structures and road systems, which required laborious masonry work, extended excavation and the transport of staggering amounts of lumber from forests 50 miles distant, he said. The scale of the architecture and backbreaking work undertaken for several centuries suggests a powerful centralized authority, said Lekson, curator of anthropology at the University of Colorado Museum. "I don't think Chaco was a big happy barn-raising," said Lekson, chief editor of "The Archaeology of Chaco Canyon: An Eleventh Century Pueblo Regional Center," published in April 2006 by the School of American Research Press in Santa Fe, N.M. "Things were probably quite a bit grimmer than some have imagined." "Kingship" developed in Mesoamerica about 2,000 years before Chaco, Lekson said, and kings quickly became a constant on the political landscape. "It's not remarkable that there were small-scale kings and states at Chaco in A.D. 1100," he said. "What is remarkable is that it took the Southwest so long to get around to it."....
Debate Over Wind Power Creates Environmental Rift Dan Boone has no doubt that his crusade against wind energy is the right way to protect the Allegheny highlands he loves. Let other environmentalists call him deluded at best, traitorous at worst. He remains undeterred. For four years or more, Mr. Boone has traveled across the mid-Atlantic to make every argument he can muster against local wind-power projects: they kill birds and bats; they are too noisy; they are inefficient, making no more than a symbolic contribution to energy needs. Wind farms on the empty prairies of North Dakota? Fine. But not, Mr. Boone insists, in the mountainous terrain of southwestern Pennsylvania, western Maryland or West Virginia, areas where 15 new projects have been proposed. If all were built, 750 to 1,000 giant turbines would line the hilltops, most producing, on average, enough electricity to power 600 homes. Wind projects are in the midst of a huge growth spurt in many parts of the country, driven by government incentives to promote alternatives to fossil fuels. But Mr. Boone, who wields a botanist's trowel and a debater's knife with equal ease, wants to slow them down with community activism, regulatory action and legal challenges....
`Biopharmed' Rice Reaps Resistance In its quest to genetically engineer rice with human genes to produce a treatment for childhood diarrhea, tiny Ventria Bioscience has made an astonishing number of powerful enemies spanning the political spectrum. Ventria, with 16 employees, practices "biopharming," the most contentious segment of agricultural biotechnology because its adherents essentially operate open-air drug factories by splicing human genes into crops to produce proteins that can be turned into medicines. Ventria's rice produces two human proteins — found in mother's milk, saliva and tears — which help people hydrate and lessen the severity and duration of diarrhea attacks, a top killer of children in developing countries. But farmers, environmentalists and others fear that such medicinal crops could cross-pollinate with conventional crops, making them unsafe to eat....
To Stem Widespread Extinction, Scientists Airlift Frogs in Carry-On Bags Of all the things airport security screeners have discovered as they rifle through travelers' luggage, the suitcases full of frogs were a first. In a race to save amphibians threatened by an encroaching, lethal fungus, two conservationists from Atlanta recently packed their carry-ons with frogs rescued from a Central American rain forest — squeezing some 150 to a suitcase — and requested permission from airlines to travel with them in the cabin of the plane. The frogs, snuggly swaddled in damp moss in vented plastic deli containers big enough for a small fruit salad, were perhaps the last of their kind, collected from a pristine national park that fills the bowl of El Valle, an inactive volcano in Panama. In many parts of the world, habitat loss is thought to be the biggest driver of amphibian extinctions, but the frogs in El Valle are facing a more insidious threat. A waterborne form of chytrid fungus is marching down the spine of the mountain range where they live. Scientists aren't exactly sure how the fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, kills, but it seems to break down a protein in the skin called keratin that may be important for respiration. The skin of infected animals sloughs off in layers, and within two weeks, they die....
Conn. City Leaders OK Riverfront Evictions City officials voted to evict two homeowners at the center of an eminent domain battle who refuse to leave their riverfront homes, even after the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling that the city can seize the property for a private development project. The City Council voted 5-2 in favor of eviction Monday. An attorney for the residents said they are considering continuing to fight. "You are a disgrace to the city, the state and the nation," one of the residents, Michael Cristofaro, told council members who voted to evict. The city has been trying for a decade to redevelop the once-vibrant neighborhood at the point where the Thames River joins the sea. Seven homeowners challenged the city's plans to seize the property and build a hotel, convention center and upscale condominiums, saying eminent domain can't be used to make way for private development. But the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 last year to uphold the city's right to take the homes, saying municipalities have broad power to do so in favor of private development to generate tax revenue. Since then, five of the homeowners have settled with the city and agreed to leave. Two holdouts, Cristofaro and Susette Kelo, the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit, still refuse to sell. The vote came five days after a settlement deadline. One resident agreed to a settlement just minutes before Monday's meeting began, The Day of New London reported....
Ranchers round up horses to make way for development For 20 years, Claude Miller and Dick Blue have leased 11,000 acres in central Washington's Colockum hills for grazing land for their 250 to 300 horses, which are used in youth camps and resorts across Washington state. The horses might still travel, but their home base will change beginning this week, as scores of volunteers gathered to help Miller and Blue round up their horses from the open land south of Wenatchee to make room for possible housing developments. "It's kind of a sad day," Blue said. "There aren't many of these kinds of places, grazing ranches, like this anymore. They're hard to find. This is the end of cowboying as we know it." Miller-Blue Outfitters opened for business as a small operation in 1970. Today, Miller-Blue partners with at least 12 different youth groups, resorts and churches throughout Washington. "Over the years, I guess we've seen about 1.5 million children ride our horses and by the summer, we'll have about 1,000 children a day on one of our horses," Blue said....
Sheep industry dwindling For the past 80 years, four generations of Allisons have overseen the spring shearing at their 35,000-acre ranch among the rocky arroyos of Terrell County, 140 miles southwest of San Angelo. On his recent 61st birthday, Robert Allison of San Angelo made a dark prediction: "I don't believe we'll be shearing sheep here in 20 years." While he spoke in the shade of his great metal barn, six stocky Mexicans from south of Del Rio — each with green cards identifying them as resident aliens — zipped the heavy woolen fleeces from Allison's 500 Rambouillet ewes. Every four minutes, the shearers neatly delivered fine, heavy coats for shipment to the wool warehouse in Mertzon, about 25 miles west of San Angelo. Top hands can shear 100 sheep a day. The gray-haired Allison recalled younger days when 3,000 Angora goats would occupy shearers for three days or more. Historically, the Edwards Plateau has furnished 90 percent of the nation's mohair and 20 percent of the nation's wool. ..
Putting on a "testicle festival" in Utah's Mormon country takes a lot of ... guts The Lord does indeed work in mysterious ways. Take, for instance, the genesis of Utah's own testicle festival. Kalon Downing was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Phoenix, his mind wandering back home to the high country of Utah's northeast corner. Wouldn't it be a ball, he and a companion from Rock Springs, Wyo., dreamed, to get together some ranching friends, fry up some Rocky Mountain oysters and listen to some good country musicians? "I had too much time on my hands, sitting in meetings," recalled the matter-of-fact cowboy, wearing a dusty felt hat, red plaid shirt, jeans and spurs on his boots. Downing came home from Arizona in December 2000, and late the next spring, after he and other Rich County ranchers were finished branding and turning their cattle onto summer range, the first Black Gold Cattle Co. Testicle Festival was born. The 2006 testicle festival, which wound up here Saturday night, has always revolved around the ribald — and old — cowboy practice of eating the testicles of calves that have been neutered and bulls that have been put out to permanent pasture....
Ode to Wayne Hage, Sr.

B Dec. 21, 1936 D June 05, 2006

From Table Mountain comes a cry and wail,
As Pine Creek Ranch releases a sail,
Of a spirit tall as Nye County tale,
Died a man who was neither weak nor frail.

Wayne was a giant among boys and men,
Example true for all to comprehend,
Half his life he devoted to this end,
That all may be free to own their own land.

Property rights to us a concept clear,
How many get this so confused we fear,
The next generation would be so near
To a socialist state hawking free beer.

From the Toiyabe to the High Chaparral
From Ogallala to Red River Val’
From the southeastern ‘Glades to Klamath Fall
Landowners unite for the good of all.

We band together to fight the good fight
We know the reason is for the true right
To control the land we bought; what a fright
If the Feds claim our property, good night!

Standing together we will all now be
A formidable barrier you see
To the evil takers of property
To those who think they will get it for free.

We grieve this sad hour with Hage’s our friends
Reinforce our resolve, never to bend
The truth will multiply all our good ends
We rally our troops, on that you depend.

As the next generation starts to buy
Property we stewards of land did tie
To our rights guaranteed so clearly by
The Constitution we cherish till we die.

Wayne Hage’s sixty nine years high do stand
A testament to the truth of our land
And to the Republic for which we band
Liberty, Justice forever demand.

Donald Lloyd Ranck
Verdant View Farm B&B
Paradise, PA USA

Pennsylvania Landowners/Defenders of Property Rights

June 05, 2006

Monday, June 05, 2006


Julie Kay Smithson of has provided the following personal note, links and memorial information:

The high country of central Nevada has lost the earthly presence of its best friend and champion. It is my hope that everyone reading this will take a moment to reflect on the greatness of spirit unmatched, the courage and the will that made a home in the most rural of places, and the faith in God that guided Wayne to leave his beloved home and travel extensively to help others fight for their property rights. Digger may now get to come in the house, but he, too, will know that the mighty physical presence has gone, though the almost tangible spirit lives on at seven thousand feet. May the pines spread the word of his passing to the cattle he raised. May Table Mountain and the Toiyabe keep his private side private as the seasons change and the years pass. May his grandchildren know the ranch he loved and choose to fight for it as his children have. May his two special wives know peace as they knew his love -- quiet and strong and always there, encircling them. Dick Carver, his friend and fellow property rights warrior, has welcomed him Home!

Wayne's book, Storm Over Rangelands:

Cards may be sent to Pine Creek Ranch, P.O. Box 115, Tonopah, NV 89049

Wayne Hage Memorial

Noon Saturday, June 10th, at Pine Creek Ranch

Monitor Valley

Tonopah, Nevada

Please bring pies, cakes, fruits, vegetables, etc.

Call Juanita Colvin for details: 775-485-6366 between 4:30 and 9 pm Pacific time.

Stewards of the Range

June 5, 2006

Dear Members,

I am sorry to deliver this news to you, but early this afternoon, my good friend and the great man we all admired and supported, Wayne Hage, passed away peacefully at his home on Pine Creek Ranch.

A few weeks ago, Margaret showed him the many letters and notes all of you had sent to him, and he was overwhelmed at the warm thoughts and prayers that were within these. They gave him great comfort in his final days. The family wanted to make sure you knew how much these were appreciated by him.

Funeral arrangements are being made by the family now and we will let you know when the service will occur.

God Bless Wayne Hage.


Frank T. Duran

To all who cherish liberty, we have lost a great man.

It was my great pleasure to have worked with Wayne for many years, primarily on grazing and property rights issues.

His mind was top notch, usually many steps ahead of all those around him. Not only was he brilliant, he also had the courage of his convictions. The many transgressions against him and his family by Federal officials never once resulted in a step backwards or an inclination to relinquish his rights.

Wayne was also an educator. He did not seek to keep his knowledge to himself, but chose to share it with all who had similar interests.

Many who do not even realize it owe a great debt to Wayne Hage. He has cleared a path for all owners of property, all grazing permittees and all proponents of limited government. That path was cleared with moral courage, legal finesse and a gentleman's demeanor.

Lord how I wish he had lived to see the fruition of his property claims in court.

I will never forget him, or the many things he taught me, or his constant fight for liberty.

Frank DuBois

Alaska man runs into grizzly while on morning run, gets mauled Mike Mungoven had two thoughts as he stumbled into a large grizzly on his morning run Sunday. "I looked up at this huge bear standing just two feet in front of me, the sun shining off its golden-brown fur," Mungoven said. "I remember thinking, 'Wow, that's just beautiful.' And then, 'Oh boy, this is going to hurt."' Mungoven was on his regular run Sunday morning, the same path he has taken every morning for several years. "The bear got me across the shoulder first, then took a couple more swipes at me," he said. "I went down and curled up into a fetal position." It was a move that Mungoven had been taught many times, and possibly what saved his life. Mungoven said he was unsure the number of stitches he received during his 11 hours of surgery, but said he knew there were several puncture wounds that doctors had to cut open to clean out....
Homeowner shoots bear inside house A large black bear broke into an Anchorage home early this morning, rummaged around like a burglar and feasted on a box of chocolates before the homeowner shot him dead with a Glock. The bear entered the two-story Stuckagain Heights house on the Anchorage hillside around 2:30 a.m., according to police. Stan Knowlton, who lives next door to the house, said his son and daughter-in-law own the place that was ransacked. They were asleep in their bedroom with their Rottweiller, Baby, when the dog started barking wildly, he said. The bedroom door was closed. Outside, the couple could hear things being knocked over. Police spokesman Lt. Paul Honeman said the owners initially thought the bear was a burglar. They could not be reached for comment. Knowlton said his son quickly determined the real identity of the intruder....
One of grizzly pair shot, killed One of the two young grizzly bear siblings that have roamed the Farmers Loop area for the past week was shot and killed at the edge of a horse corral Sunday night near the Fairbanks Golf & Country Club golf course. Officials with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game say it was a legitimate defense of life and property shooting. They are trying to trap or shoot the other bear, which is starting to get more brazen, said state wildlife biologist Don Young. The lone remaining bear was reported getting into some empty garbage cans and a fenced dog yard in the past few days, the biologist said. "It's showing more and more tendencies that it's getting habituated to people," Young said. "The longer it's here, the more likely it is that we'll have to kill it. "Hopefully the bear will leave town but we're not optimistic," he said. Following the shooting, Young left the dead bear where it lay and set up a barrel trap baited with a "rank concoction" of blood and animal parts, as well as an old king salmon head. "It came back but it didn't go in the barrel trap," Young said....
Animals out of control in Colorado They stalk the landscape by night, tusked behemoths that devour crops and critters alike. "A real nightmare," farmer Burl Scherler calls them. Reservoirs of disease. Rural vandals on four fat, super-powered legs. A few county roads west, rancher Art Fox loves 'em. Likes to watch them sneak through the brush. Sets out grain so they don't go hungry. Hunts them. Eats them. Roasts them on holidays and serves them up to eager neighbors. Feral hogs - nasty, hyperadaptable, eating, rooting, wrecking machines - are Colorado's newest invaders. They've set up shop in southeastern Colorado's Kiowa County in recent years, numbering from a few dozen to a few hundred, depending on whose count you accept. No one knows for sure. Here, they survive on massive swaths of private land, off-limits to wildlife managers, wallowing in the muddy trickles of Big Sandy Creek by day and venturing into farm fields, quail nests and ranch land by night, wreaking their own kind of environmental havoc along the way....
Coyotes' presence growing in state South Floridians are used to living in a land full of critters and big reptiles. But some might be surprised by how coyotes have gradually established themselves here, even wandering through urban pockets to the east. The elusive and, yes, wily coyote has come all the way from the West and been spotted everywhere in Florida but the Florida Keys, according to experts. Most surprisingly to local environmental officials, one was recorded on a wildlife camera set up by the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management at the Winding Waters Natural Area near West Palm Beach, which is in an urbanized area. That same camera also caught a bobcat in action. The coyote made its entry to Florida through the Panhandle in the late 1960s and early 1970s, eventually migrating south over the following decades and increasing in population, said Martin Main, a University of Florida professor and wildlife ecologist. There is no good estimate on the coyote's numbers because coyote research has been deemed a low priority, said Main, a coyote expert....
Oil and gas companies, federal and state agencies, ranchers form partnership to improve rangelands It's often said that the wheels of government turn slowly. But one federal agency in Eddy County has shown that working in partnership with private industry and state government, amazing things can be accomplished in a relatively short period of time. A pilot program started in 2005 to restore abandoned oil and gas sites, and improve rangelands on federal leases is nearing completion, and the results are already showing. Companies such as Devon, Marbob and Marathon Oil are partnering with the Bureau of Land Management, area ranchers, the Natural Resource Conservation Service and the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts to restore rangelands, where cattle have grazed and wells have been drilled and later abandoned. Where once mesquite bushes choked out the natural grasses, and where abandoned oil and gas sites were an eyesore and a threat to the habitats of the lesser prairie chicken and sand dune lizard, the land -- through the restorative efforts -- appears to be healthy and thriving. Range conservationists, wildlife biologists, ranchers, and oil and gas industry officials are smiling a lot more these days as they see the fruits of their labor. The program, they say, has done well in chemically killing the mesquite bushes and restoring the land to its natural vegetative state while at the same time, protecting the wildlife habitat....
Column: New era for Yellowstone It's time to think differently about the future of one of our most treasured natural landmarks, Yellowstone National Park. This venerable wonder, which is often taken for granted, remains a symbol and an inspiration, a model for the creation of hundreds of national parks around the world. "As goes Yellowstone, so go the parks of the world" would be a fair statement. More so than ever before, as we confront the reality of climate change, the question is, where is Yellowstone going? This is not a rhetorical question, but a literal one: As the global climate shifts, driven largely by human activities, just about everything in Yellowstone - its elk, wolves, grizzly bears, quaking aspen groves and all - will move as well. Scientists expect species to shift ranges poleward in latitude and up in altitude, non-native species may invade new areas, and once-common species may go extinct while once-rare species may become common. Whether humans - including conservationists, business owners, policymakers and the people who live near Yellowstone - foster or inhibit that movement of species and natural communities may well signal the future of Earth's wild places....
Energy corridors across the West raise concerns Under orders from Congress to move quickly, the Department of Energy and the Bureau of Land Management will approve thousands of miles of new power line and pipeline corridors on federal lands across the West in the next 14 months. The energy corridors are likely to cross national parks, forests and military bases as well as other public land. Environmentalists and land managers worry about the risk of pipeline explosions and permanent scarring of habitat and scenery from pylons and trenches. Military officials have expressed concern that the installations could interfere with wartime training. But energy industry lobbyists and congressional policymakers said quick approvals for new corridors are vital to moving adequate power from coal beds, oil fields and wind farms in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho to the booming population centers of the Southwest. In California, ExxonMobil, Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric and others have proposed corridors across Death Valley, Joshua Tree and Lassen Volcanic national parks as well as the Mojave National Preserve, several military bases, Anza Borrego Desert State Park and seven national forests. Corridors also are proposed for Canyonlands National Park in Utah and Lake Mead National Recreation Area near Las Vegas. Routes near the Cascade Mountains and the Rocky Mountains also have been proposed, some as much as five miles wide and 2,000 miles long. Once the Western lands project is complete, Congress has ordered it to be replicated across the rest of the contiguous U.S. by 2009....
Critics on both sides say Ariz., N.M. wolf-recovery effort is failing A program designed to bring back the wild Mexican gray wolf population to Southern New Mexico and Southeastern Arizona has been shrinking, not growing as planned. In 1996, the Fish and Wildlife Service set population goals for the wolf program — 15 breeding pairs and 83 wolves in the wild by the end of 2005 and 18 breeding pairs and 102 wolves in the wild by the end of this year, the Albuquerque Journal reported Sunday in a copyright story. Program managers put the count for the end of 2005 at five breeding pairs and 35-49 wolves in the wild. The current count is 31-45 adults plus an unknown number of pups. Wolf recovery program manager John Morgart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service calls the numbers "an absolute minimum count." He and ranchers, who don't want wolves near their cows, say there likely are twice as many wolves on the ground. But environmentalists say Morgart's numbers fall on the high end and indicate the program is failing. Ranchers and environmentalists agree on one thing: the wolf reintroduction program is not healthy. Almost an entire wolf pack died in late May and a separate lone wolf was shot by the reintroduction team last week....
Builders, rescuers join to relocate owls Arizona burrowing owls and developers have one thing in common. They both like flat, treeless plains. Predictably, conflicts arise as each lays claim to its property. On the developers' side is market demand for housing and commercial development. On the birds' is the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act, which provides fines up to $10,000 and up to six months in jail for anyone who kills the owls. Such immutable forces can add up to high drama, as demonstrated in the recent Hollywood movie Hoot, where a kid faces off against greedy developers to save the owl. However, in Arizona, where the pace of development and owl population both outstrip Florida's, the story lacks a plotline. The owl, which lives in other animals' burrows, is losing ground in Arizona but has found help among builders and developers in the form of labor and cash. "Builders have been amazingly good, but we try to make it painless for them," said Sam Fox, who with her husband, Bob, operates Wild at Heart, a Cave Creek sanctuary for birds of prey that is the main rescuer of burrowing owls in the state, according the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, which issues the $100 permit required to trap the birds. The Foxes remove owls from construction areas and introduce them to artificial habitats. Land owners pay Bob a fee to remove the birds and $300 per bird to temporarily shelter them in the sanctuary until artificial burrows are built in a different area....
Mustangs join Marine Corps Color Guard Three wild Nevada mustangs gentled and tamed by prison inmates were handed over to the U.S. Marine Corps Mounted Color Guard on Saturday. The ceremony at the Warm Springs Correctional Facility in Carson City was followed by a public auction of 15 other horses and a burro. All of the horses were found on public lands, got necessary veterinary care and were taken to the prison for a four-month training program. Inmates working with horses must have a good record while incarcerated. This was the first time the Marines have adopted horses trained at a prison, Gunnery Sgt. Ivan Collazo Sanchez said. The federal Bureau of Land Management suggested it to the Marines. "They're behaving great, excellent," said Sanchez, who is based out of Barstow, Calif., as he rode one of the horses. "We're very impressed."....
Hopes run dry in Northern Colorado Glen Kobobel stands in a 420-acre field of corn, knowing that in a few weeks the light-green stalks will turn brown. Kobobel's crops will soon die because emergency well water that he and about 200 other northern Colorado farmers were counting on isn't available and may never be available again. "It's depressing," Kobobel said. "There's a doom- and-gloom atmosphere." The farmers' last hope for an emergency supply of water was dashed Friday when three cities and about 375 farmers who use the river for irrigation rejected an emergency plan to bring water from the Western Slope. "It's just a disaster situation for these farmers," said Greg Hertzke, water acquisitions manager for the Central Colorado Water Conservancy District, which represents the well users. "We're kind of out of options at this point." Hertzke said the district might seek federal disaster relief. The towns of Boulder, Highlands Ranch and Sterling said in a letter that the emergency plan offered no assurance the farmers whose wells pump water from an aquifer and draw down the South Platte River would replace enough of that water....
Fairfax Case Draws Line on Easements With no fanfare, an Alexandria real estate company in 1999 gave Fairfax County what the company would later describe as a tax-deductible $3.1 million donation: a promise not to overdevelop scenic land once owned by George Washington. The wooded tract, down the road from the first president's home at Mount Vernon, was the largest undeveloped plot in the southern part of the county. But developers then clear-cut acres of trees on the property and erected 29 sprawling homes that preservationists today deride as "McMansions." The towering houses, though not in violation of the terms of the easement, border Washington Grist Mill state park and are visible from the Woodlawn Plantation historic site. The U.S. Tax Court ruled last month that the company's donation had no value as a tax deduction because it "did not protect open space or a historically important land area." Chief Judge Joel Gerber rejected $342,000 in initial deductions claimed by company manager and local lawyer James D. Turner and his wife. The judge also assessed the couple $56,000 in penalties. Tax specialists said it appeared to be the first time a court had thrown out such a write-off, known as a conservation easement deduction. The action has broad national implications for both the conservation movement and for wealthy investors, who are increasingly pursuing such deductions....
Cattle enter state illegally The illegal importation of about 920 head of cattle from central Utah into Sublette County last week has put local cattle producers on edge, with demands that the action have severe repercussions. Acting on a tip to authorities, Wyoming Livestock Board law enforcement investigator Kim Clark said in an interview, Daniel brand inspector Bob Beard confirmed that 16 loads of central Utah cattle with paperwork calling for a Woodruff, Utah, destination had actually been delivered to two Sublette County ranches instead. Having the Woodruff destination on the Utah brand inspection allowed the animals to get through the Evanston port of entry without health inspections required for delivery into Wyoming. When a Utah brand inspector asked why the animals were going to Woodruff, Clark said, the inspector was told it was none of his business. Because the 15-month-old cattle were not confirmed to have been vaccinated as calves for brucellosis and had not been spayed, Wyoming animal health officials would not have allowed the animals to be imported under state rules. Brucellosis is a bacterial-based disease that can cause abortion outbreaks in cattle. It affects the reproductive tract, so there are tight animal health requirements on sexually mature cattle in the state as Wyoming attempts to have its brucellosis-free status restored by federal animal health officials. Clark said his investigation revealed that two Sublette County ranches had been leased by parties not implicated in the case. These parties had contacted a cattle broker from Woodruff, who arranged to have cattle delivered for summer grazing. The cattle are actually owned by two individuals in Utah who are also not implicated in the case....
The Grass-Fed Revolution Until he saw the light, Jon Taggart--6 ft. 5 in., jeans, white cowboy hat, Texas twang--was a rancher like any other in the southern Great Plains. He crowded his cattle onto pasture sprayed with weed killers and fertilizers. When they were half grown, he shipped them in diesel-fueled trucks to huge feedlots. There they were stuffed with corn and soy--pesticide treated, of course--and implanted with synthetic hormones to make them grow faster. To prevent disease, they were given antibiotics. They were trucked again to slaughterhouses, butchered and shrink-wrapped for far-flung supermarkets. "It was the chemical solution to everything," Taggart recalls. Today his 500 steers stay home on the range. And they're in the forefront of a back-to-the-future movement: 100% grass-fed beef. In the seven years since Taggart began to "pay attention to Mother Nature," as he puts it, he has restored his 1,350 acres in Grandview, Texas, to native tallgrass prairie, thus eliminating the need for irrigation and chemicals. He rotates his cattle every few days among different fields to allow the grass to reach its nutritional peak. And when the steers have gained enough weight, he has them slaughtered just down the road. Finally, he and his wife Wendy dry-age and butcher the meat in their store, Burgundy Boucherie. Twice weekly, they deliver it to customers in Fort Worth and Dallas happy to pay a premium for what the Taggarts call "beef with integrity--straight from pasture to dinner plate." Ranchers like the Taggarts are part of a growing revolt against industrial agriculture. With more consumers questioning how their food is grown and organic fruits and vegetables exploding into a multibillion-dollar market, grass-finished meat and dairy look like the next food frontier....
Eatons' Ranch A cloud of dust rises from the sagebrush-covered prairie as Jeff Way and five other seasoned riders lead 140 horses across northern Wyoming toward Eatons' Ranch, the nation's original dude ranch. "They move fast the first day, after being fenced in a pasture all winter,” says Way, 38, of the spirited horses. "Cattle you drive from behind, but horses are followers, so I put all my riders except one up front.” Over three days in May, the horses and riders travel 100 miles before arriving at the foot of the Bighorn Mountains, where five generations of the Eaton family have introduced thousands of people to the Western ranching lifestyle over the past century. "The ranch is our family livelihood, but it's also a way of life that we're preserving,” says Way, general manager of Eatons' Ranch near Wolf, Wyo. "If I ever forget that, there are plenty of dudes who will remind me.” The first Eatons to host guests were Way's great-great-grandfather Alden, and Alden's brothers Howard and Willis. Originally from Pittsburgh, the brothers traveled west individually beginning in 1868. They reunited in Dakota Territory, started a ranch near present-day Medora, N.D., and in 1882 accepted payment from their first dude, Bert Rumsey of Buffalo, N.Y. Other visitors followed and, when the three brothers relocated to Wyoming's Bighorn Mountains in 1904, their dudes weren't far behind....
Johnson Ranch cowboys find relief in rodeo For one ranch competing in the 19th annual Coors Ranch Rodeo, the two-day event came as a little more than a relief from the daily grind of operating a cattle ranch. Cowboys from the Johnson Ranch, which has won the Ranch Rodeo three times, have spent much of the last three months recovering from the wildfires that burned 907,000 acres in the Panhandle. The ranch, a cow-calf operation that ran about 3,500 cattle, was one of the ranches most affected by the March wildfires. "We lost about 20,000 acres in the fire," Graham Johnson, a fifth-generation rancher, said. "We're headquartered out of Amarillo, basically, but we're up by Borger, Alanreed and Dumas. We lost about 5,000 acres by Dumas and probably about 16,000 by Alanreed.'' The loss affected far more than the grazing land. "We haven't finished with a direct head count," Johnson said. "But we lost seven horses and we're still figuring out how many cattle we lost." During the fire, cowboys from the ranch were pitching in wherever possible, Johnson said, assisting fire crews however they could, and having to deal with livestock that weren't going to survive the blaze....
Sports-museum tug of war The ProRodeo Hall of Fame and Museum of the American Cowboy attracts 30,000 visitors annually and is the 15th most popular tourist attraction here. In February, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson declared that his state had lassoed the cowboy shrine and its more than 300 exhibits. Richardson dangled $17 million in taxpayer incentives to lure the museum and the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association, a trade group based in Colorado Springs, to Albuquerque. "This move will have a major positive impact, not just on rodeo in New Mexico, but on New Mexico's economy as well," Richardson said at the time. But Colorado Springs put up a fight, offering an incentive package of its own. For now, the attraction is staying in Colorado Springs, but the chairman of the PRCA board says all options are being reviewed. Bidding for sports museums is happening elsewhere, driven by a hunt for "heritage" tourists, a willingness to spend millions in public money and the perceived prestige of hosting a hall of fame. Colorado Springs has already lost the headquarters of a sports organization. In September, Pueblo roped the Professional Bull Riders headquarters from Colorado Springs with a $7 million incentive package....
Who was that masked man? Clarence L. "Gunplay" Maxwell and a partner robbed the Springville Bank late in May 1898. Townsmen peddled word of the startling crime through the quiet Utah Valley town via bicycle, and soon a sizeable posse mounted horses and cut to the chase. Less than two hours after Gunplay scooped up the last of the bank's hard money and stuffed the final roll of its bills into his pocket, the Springville avengers had cornered and captured the two criminals near the mouth of Hobble Creek Canyon. Ironically, George Packard and several of his colleagues took Gunplay prisoner without firing a shot, but Maxwell's partner went down shooting. Joseph Allan stopped him with a well-aimed shot to the chest after the crook, with a blast from his Colt .45, had pruned Allan's left limb out from under him. After a preliminary hearing in Springville, Sheriff George A. Storrs transferred Maxwell to the Utah County Jail in Provo. Lawmen and local officials soon found Gunplay to be a witty and affable person. One of Maxwell's friends later claimed the outlaw possessed the energy and good qualities that, if channeled in the right direction, could have made him a valuable member of society. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, when Maxwell was sober, he "was almost charming." That newspaper also described him physically: "He was lithe and limber and quick as a flash in his every movement." Gunplay Maxwell's criminal tendencies did not likely result from a deprived upbringing. Who was this enigmatic masked man, and how did he become an outlaw? Utah State Prison records show Maxwell's true name was James Otis Bliss, although during his life he became a man of several aliases -- Johnson, Dick Carr, John Carter, Catamount, William H. Seaman, Thomas Bliss and, of course, Clarence L. Maxwell....
Abiquiú tale one of murder, greed In its 400 years of history, New Mexico has accumulated an extraordinary number of folk tales. In an earlier day, such tales were kept alive by storytellers who spun their enchanting yarns around a blazing corner fireplace during long, cold winters. Some of the tales were pure fantasy. Others, however, were grounded in truth, that is, they were based upon actual events that had occurred in the distant past, but were dressed up a bit to please listeners. One example of this type dates from the late colonial period and deals with a wealthy man named Señor Fulano. He resided on a spacious ranch in the Chama Valley above Abiquiú with his eldest son and his manager, Ramón. This remained a highly dangerous area for some 150 years. Navajos living on mesa-top strongholds in the vicinity of the San Juan River regularly raided down the Chama, looting and burning. They stole vast numbers of sheep and seized women and children as captives....
Horse Power Horse: How the Horse Has Shaped Civilizations. J. Edward Chamberlin. BlueBridge. $24.95. 288 pp. Dogs and cats grace our houses, our yards and our cultures. But J. Edward Chamberlin makes a strong case that horses, too, have been an intimate part of our collective life. "Horses have had more influence on the rise and fall of civilizations than any other factor," he states in this absorbing study. It's a big claim, but he gallops to prove it -- through ancient Egypt and India, Greece and Rome, Europe and the Middle East. As a literature professor at the University of Toronto, he brings a sweeping historical and cultural viewpoint. As the grandson of a rancher, he has been around horses much of his life. The result is a book both scholarly and personal. Horses have always embodied contrasts, Chamberlin says. We first hunted them, then used them to hunt other animals. Horses helped us plow fields and gather in towns. Yet they've also aided the human urge to wander, explore and wage war....