Friday, April 24, 2009

Some see EPA's climate proposal prodding Interior on ESA

Environmental groups that have been trying through a series of lawsuits to force U.S. regulation of greenhouse gases to protect endangered species say they have been given a valuable legal weapon in a new U.S. EPA proposal that calls such emissions a threat to public health. The Center for Biological Diversity, the Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups tried using lawsuits citing global warming to force the Bush administration to protect the polar bear and several other species, only to be thwarted by the Interior Department's posting of a rule that explicitly exempted greenhouse gases from Endangered Species Act regulation. Now, some of those groups see EPA's proposed "endangerment finding" -- which could lead to regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act -- as a tool to prod the Obama administration to reverse that rule. Brendan Cummings, an attorney for the center, said EPA's proposal is "recognition that existing law can and should be used to address the climate crisis." "We don't need to wait for Congress or an international agreement," Cummings said. For now, the decision rests with Obama's Interior secretary, Ken Salazar. Congress has given him authority to strike the greenhouse gas exemption and other Bush-era changes to the Endangered Species Act. He must act by May 10...NY Times

We all saw this coming, the minute George Bush listed the polar bear.

Will California Shuck Corn Ethanol?

The California Environmental Protection Agency apparently has concluded that corn ethanol would not help the state implement Executive Order S-1-07. The order, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Jan. 18, 2007, mandated a 10% reduction in the carbon intensity of the state's fuels by 2020. Fuels deemed to have low carbon intensity earn credits toward that goal. With 20-20 hindsight, the California EPA, by dropping ethanol for now as a cure-all for climate change, is doing the right thing for the wrong reason. "Ethanol is a good fuel, but how it is produced is problematic," Dimitri Stanich, public information officer for the California EPA, said in an interview with World Net Daily. "The corn ethanol industry has to figure out another way to process corn into ethanol that is not so corn-intensive." Ethanol is in fact not a good fuel. According to the Hoover Institution's Henry Miller and Prof. Colin Carter of the University of California at Davis, "ethanol yields about 30% less energy per gallon of gasoline, so miles per gallon in internal combustion engines drop significantly." It generates less than two units of energy for every unit of energy used to produce it. It takes about 1,700 gallons of water to produce one gallon of ethanol. Each acre of corn requires about 130 pounds of nitrogen and 55 pounds of phosphorous. Increased acreage means increased agricultural runoff, which is creating aquatic "dead zones" in our rivers, bays and coastal areas. The California EPA now opposes corn ethanol in part because of the environmental damage it says growing the corn does. "Converting land that is now a 'carbon sink' to farmland producing ethanol," says Stanich, "also defeats the purpose of the regulations, because land now absorbing carbon dioxide would be cleared to produce corn."...IBD

The Case Against Local Environmentalism

In Massachusetts, the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound has led the fight against providing alternative energy with a wind farm off of Cape Cod. Greenpeace declares that “nuclear power is unsafe, uneconomical and unnecessary.” In Canada, the Sierra Club fights against the development of hydroelectric power, fearing “toxic mercury increases in fish.” In these cases, groups are putting local environmental concerns first and the planet second. Wind farms, nuclear power plants and hydroelectric dams are ways of providing clean energy, which would reduce carbon emissions and the threat of global warming. The old mantra “think globally, act locally,” is pretty silly. Local environmentalism is often bad environmentalism, because keeping one’s backyard pristine can make the planet worse off. Preventing wind farms leaves Cape Cod’s views untouched, but increases carbon emissions...NYTimes

Environmental group pulls out of Klamath talks

A prominent environmental group has backed out of negotiations over a deal meant to help fish, farmers, tribes and others in the Klamath Basin. The California-based Northcoast Environmental Center said the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement would threaten salmon and other fish and the basin and won't speed the removal of four dams on the Klamath River, which the center supports. The agreement, they said, doesn't do enough to ensure flows for fish runs while guaranteeing water deliveries to farms that rely on irrigation water diverted from the river. "We understand and sympathize with the plight of upriver farmers, who need water for their crops," said Greg King, the NEC's Klamath campaign coordinator. "The farmers require water to avoid dry fields. But the salmon need that same water to avoid extinction."...Oregonian

Stimulus money will speed Elwha dam removal

The long-awaited demolition of two dams blocking the Olympic Peninsula's Elwha River will happen a year sooner than expected, courtesy of federal stimulus money. Olympic National Park, where the dams stand, will get $54 million to accelerate related projects, pushing the start of removal work from 2012 to 2011, the U.S. Interior Department said Wednesday. That's welcome news to the National Park Service, the nearby Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe and U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Bremerton, who has worked for years to see the dams come down. This is just the sort of thing that should get money from the $787 billion stimulus package, Dicks said...Seattle Times

Human rights vs. animal rights

Animal rights fanatics are obscuring legitimate cases of abuse against animals. Earlier this week, the FBI put animal rights activist Daniel San Diego on its Most Wanted Terrorists list -- the first time someone suspected of domestic terrorism has been listed. San Diego is wanted in connection with the bombings of two Bay Area businesses. He's also thought to be a leader, if only by example, of a movement that has grown increasingly violent and unhinged in attacks on humans. The same day San Diego made the terrorist list, two animal rights protesters were indicted in Los Angeles in connection with their harassment and threats against UCLA researchers who use animals in their labs. The two also allegedly threatened a company that makes pomegranate juice and uses animals in experiments to see if the juice helps men with impotence problems. Last year, our community was stunned when animal rights protesters attacked a UC Santa Cruz professor and her family at home. Four people, including two former UCSC students, have been indicted in connection with the attack. Lawyers for the suspects say they were just exercising their free-speech rights in an attempt to let the public know about the use of animals in lab experiments. That attack was followed by two fire bombings, also aimed at researchers. No suspects have been charged in that case...Santa Cruz Sentinel

US agrees to postpone duty hikes in beef hormone row

Washington agreed Wednesday to postpone for two weeks introducing additional duties on a number of EU products in a long-running row over beef hormones, the European Commission said Wednesday. The new duties, including a crippling 300-percent import duty on France's Roquefort cheese, were supposed to take effect on Thursday, but the two sides agreed instead to seek a negotiated solution. "We have agreed today that our senior officials will hold further talks with a view to finding a negotiated solution to the long-running dispute," EU trade chief Catherine Ashton said after a phone call with US counterpart Ron Kirk. "We are both aware that this is a difficult issue that affects businesses and consumers in both the European Union and the United States," she said in a statement. "We want to overcome those difficulties, and we believe that a solution is within reach that will benefit both sides." In the final days of George W. Bush's presidency, Washington decided to impose the new tariffs on European products in retaliation for an EU ban on US hormone-treated beef...AFP

NORTH DAKOTA: Livestock losses expected to top 90,000

Doug Bichler, of rural Linton, is counting his neighbors' dead livestock by day and his own by night. Bichler is the Emmons County extension agent, whose unhappy job it is this spring to take calls from ranchers who've lost livestock. He has added his own 14 dead calves — 10 percent of his entire calf "crop" — to the running tally he's keeping. Across the state, livestock deaths from a harsh winter followed by record flooding are adding up. The Farm Service Agency and county emergency boards estimate more than 90,000 calves and adult cattle have died so far due to weather conditions. Additionally, an estimated 180 horses and nearly 3,000 head of other livestock have perished...Bismarck Tribune

Polo Ponies: Pharmacy Says it Erred in Medication Prep

An official at a Florida pharmacy said Thursday the business incorrectly prepared a supplement given to 21 polo horses that died over the weekend while preparing to play in a championship match. Jennifer Beckett of Franck's Pharmacy in Ocala, Fla., told The Associated Press in a statement that the business conducted an internal investigation that found "the strength of an ingredient in the medication was incorrect." The statement did not say what the ingredient was. Beckett, who's the pharmacy's chief operating officer, said the pharmacy is cooperating with an investigation by state authorities and the Food and Drug Administration. The horses from the Venezuelan-owned Lechuza polo team began crumpling to the ground shortly before Sunday's U.S. Open match was supposed to begin, shocking a crowd of well-heeled spectators at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington...The Horse

Reminder: Cowboy Dinner & Dance

April 25, 2009

Lincoln County Fairgrounds - Capitan, NM

The Gila Livestock Growers Association (GLGA) and the Americans for the Preservation of Western Environment (APWE) are sponsoring a Cowboy Dinner and Dance at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Capitan, New Mexico on April 25, 2009. Dinner starts at 6:00 pm and the dance at 8:00 pm.

Music by Joe Delk, Bucky Allred and The Delk Band featuring Neal, Mark and Byron Delk, Robert Flowers, Roswell; Roy Garcia, Las Cruces; Dee Ford, Alma; Ty Martin, Silver City; Michael Dean, Muleshoe, TX and a special appearance by Jacy Yarbrough, Winston, NM.

Not too long ago, Saturday-night dances were a common occurrence at many rural locations throughout New Mexico. Families, friends and neighbors coming together to share a meal, visit with one another and enjoy an evening of dancing. We can certainly refer to those days as “the good ole days” and we want to show our younger generation what it was like and allow our older generation to remember the way it was.

There will be no admission charge for the Cowboy Dinner and Dance. All are welcome. However, this is a fundraising event and we ask that you contribute what you can. All monies raised in this effort will be utilized to help end the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program and preserve our rural heritage.

The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program has evolved into an assault on our rural way-of-life by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) with the help and support of extremist environmental groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, Wildearth Guardians and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

Today, the people and communities in and around the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, which encompasses the Gila and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, are bearing the brunt of the devastating impact the wolf reintroduction program is having on the people and communities that are forced to live with wolves on their ranches, in their yards and in their communities.

The FWS operates under federal law that requires them to work with local government to insure that federal programs are not in violation of local laws or local custom and culture. Federal law requires the FWS to consult with, cooperate with and be consistent with the laws and rights of local government that represents the people. FWS is either not aware of these federal laws or they just plain don’t care because they will run over local elected officials who may feel threatened or intimidated by the actions of federal agencies.

The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program has been grossly mismanaged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local residents are paying the price. The program is a bust. Ranches have been lost, local businesses are suffering, elk hunting in the Gila will never be what it once was and families are being put in danger every day.

Help us to stop the injustice in the Gila and Apache National Forests before it spreads to other areas of New Mexico.

So, put on your dancin’ boots, saddle up and come to the Cowboy Dinner and Dance in Capitan on April 25th because we’re figurin’ on having an old fashioned good time!

For contributions, please make checks payable to Gila Livestock Grower’s Association for “Preserving our Rural Heritage”. Bring your check to the Cowboy Dinner and Dance or mail to Gila Livestock Grower’s Association (GLGA), HC64, Box 30, Magdalena, NM 87825. Credit Card contributions can be made at

Joe Delk (575) 644-3082~~~~Laura Schneberger (575) 772-5753

Song Of The Day #025


Kneeling L to R: Roy Garcia, Mark Delk, Neal Delk
Standing L to R: Byron Delk, Robert Flowers, Joe Delk, Michael Dean

The Delk Band has never been in the recording studio, but here is Mark Delk singing "Playboy."

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Note to readers

Looks like my computer is dead, and I'll be struggling with this old laptop for awhile. The Westerner may look a little different, fewer images, etc. till the new computer arrives and I once again have access to all my documents.

Obama’s Climate Change Envoy Urges Global Warming Treaty

President Barack Obama’s special envoy for climate change told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday that the United States urgently needs to sign a new international treaty to control global carbon emissions in the name of fighting global warming. However, other than indicating that the administration is committed to imposing a cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions within the United States, he gave few specifics about the sort of international agreement the administration is seeking...CNS News

What we need is an international treaty to ban all international treaties.

Administration Stops Short of Endorsing Climate Bill

Obama administration officials said Wednesday that an ambitious energy and climate-change proposal sponsored by House Democrats could help create jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but they stopped short of endorsing it. Steven Chu, the secretary of energy, and Lisa P. Jackson, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, told a House committee considering the measure that they believed it could help accomplish President Obama’s goals of moderating climate change, spurring clean-energy technology and reducing dependence on foreign oil. Yet both said they were still studying the details of the 648-page draft, unveiled late last month by two Democratic lawmakers, Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts. In fact, Dr. Chu and Ms. Jackson said that they had not read the entire draft and that the administration had not given its blessings to the bill. They said they would work closely with Congress to help fashion acceptable legislation. The House measure, the most far-reaching piece of energy and environmental legislation to come before Congress in years, would require large changes in the way the United States generates electricity, manufactures products, heats and lights its homes and offices, and moves people and goods...NY Times

Free Markets Better for Earth

Deep in southern Siberia not far from Russia’s border with Mongolia is the “Blue Eye of Siberia” … the deepest and largest (by volume) fresh water lake in the world. Formed in an ancient rift valley, Lake Baikal is home to more than 1,700 species of plant and animals, two thirds of which can be found nowhere else in the world. Despite its 25 million year age, Baikal’s life sustaining beauty almost did not survive communist rule. Russian scientists believed that Baikal’s pure water would help produce better rayon cord for airplane tires. The scientists turned out to be wrong and the aviation industry switched from rayon cord to metallic cord in tire production. In a free market system, the plant would have closed and resources would have been allocated elsewhere. But under communism, jobs were the number one priority, and the factory supported 3,500 of them. So it continued polluting the lake for decades unabated. Big government’s failure to balance environmental quality with other economic goods is not limited to communist Russia. Throughout history big government has a well established track record of tolerating and even perpetuating environmental degradation. The left knows this, which is why they have tried so hard to drape their latest big government plans in free market rhetoric. The problem is there is nothing free market about carbon cap and trading. New Zealand Climate Science Coalition chair Bryan Leyland explains why: So, to my knowledge, carbon trading is the only commodity trading where it is impossible to establish with reasonable accuracy how much is being bought and sold, where the commodity that is traded is invisible and can perform no useful purpose for the purchaser, and where both parties benefit if the quantities traded have been exaggerated. … It is, therefore, an open invitation to fraud and that is exactly what is happening all over the world....The Foundry

A Decline in ‘Green Guilt’

According to a new survey commissioned by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation, a non-profit group formed by the rechargeable battery industry to promote battery recycling, just 12 percent of Americans now feel guilty that they’re not doing everything they can for the environment. That’s down from 22 percent in last year’s survey...But other evidence suggests a different reason for the overall decline in “green guilt”: When the economy is bad, concern for the environment evaporates. A recent Gallup poll, for example, found that, for the first time in 25 years, a majority of Americans think economic growth should be given priority over protecting the environment. Another poll, from the Pew Research Center, found that for Americans surveyed, the environment ranked 16th among a group of 20 national priorities, and global warming ranked dead last. The economy, meanwhile, was No. 1...NY Times

From Carbon Footprints to Water Footprints

Raisio, a Finnish food company, this week added a label to packages of its Elovena oat flakes to show how much water was used to make the product. Over the last couple of years, the idea of reporting carbon footprints for various products, as a way of allowing consumers to make informed choices about the items they buy, has gained wider acceptance. Now there are signs that other indicators — including water-use footprints — appear to be coming into the mix. The label used by Raisio indicates the water that the plant uses for growth and production, as well as what’s discarded as wastewater. The company said it was “the world’s first food company to add an H2O label to product packaging” and that it had developed its own calculation model because no internationally established formula and product label yet exists. Proponents of water footprints caution that more work is still needed to ensure that consumers have comparable information from product to product. Ms. Mestre said a group called the Alliance for Water Stewardship, which includes her organization, the World Wildlife Fund and the Pacific Institute, was focused on developing such a formula...NYTimes

Partisan discord weighs down energy policy

Democrats and Republicans share some common goals in terms of energy policy--both parties want a diversified energy portfolio and a lower dependence on foreign oil. With different motives for achieving those goals, however, as well as opposing views on how to accomplish them, partisan politicians in Congress could stall the ambitious energy and climate change legislation currently up for debate. If the House cap-and-trade bill or the comprehensive energy legislation currently under works in the Senate are delayed, it will certainly not be for a lack of discussion. The House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday began three full days of hearings on climate change legislation, sponsored by Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), which calls for national mandates for renewable energy and energy efficiency. Wrapping up with testimony from former Vice President Al Gore and former Republican Senator John Warner on Friday, the committee will hear from a total 54 witnesses. There have already been eight hearings this year within the full committee and its subcommittees relating to energy and climate change, and Waxman hopes to move the bill to the full House before the Congress breaks for Memorial Day recess. All 23 Republicans on the committee, however, signed a letter sent Tuesday to Waxman and Markey asking for more hearings...CNET News

All this partisanhip is a bunch of outhouse soup. What they need to do is get out of the way and let our producers and consumers make their choices in the market place. All these Politically Superior Ones are doing is wasting their time and our money.

Homo Sapiens, Get Lost

...Over the last few hundred years in the West, the moral foundations of society were profoundly pro-human. Judeo-Christian moral philosophy and secular humanism both promoted human flourishing and the protection of individual rights as primary purposes of society. But in recent years we have witnessed a rebellion against “human exceptionalism” — the view that ultimate moral value comes with being a member of the human species. Spain, for example, has passed the Great Ape Project into law, declaring that chimpanzees and gorillas are part of the “community of equals” with people. Switzerland has declared that individual plants have “intrinsic dignity” and that “decapitating” wildflowers is a great moral wrong. Ecuador’s new constitution provides for “rights of nature” that are equal to those of Homo sapiens. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has a website called “Planet Slayer” aimed at children. It features “Dr. Schpinkee’s Greenhouse Calculator,” which helps kids add up their carbon score, a game that ends with a “carbon hog” bloodily exploding. Above its remains a legend appears, telling the respondent how much longer he can live before he will have used up his “share of the planet.” Here and abroad, environmentalism itself seems to be evolving from a movement dedicated to conserving resources, preserving pristine areas, and protecting endangered species into an anti-humanistic ideology that increasingly disdains humankind as a scourge that literally threatens the existence of “the planet.” This subversion of environmentalism was conceived and gestated in the Deep Ecology movement, inspired by Norwegian philosopher Arne Næss in the 1970s. Næss promoted an “environmental egalitarianism” based on the belief that nature and its constituent parts should be given equal consideration with human beings. Once flora and fauna were elevated to the level of human importance, it didn’t take long to brand human exceptionalism as arrogant and harmful to nature...NRO

Rivers shrinking: Flow of many rivers in decline

The flow of water in the world's largest rivers has declined over the past half-century, with significant changes found in about a third of the big rivers. An analysis of 925 major rivers from 1948 to 2004 showed an overall decline in total discharge. The reduction in inflow to the Pacific Ocean alone was about equal to shutting off the Mississippi River, according to the new study appearing in the May 15 edition of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate. The only area showing a significant increase in flow was the Arctic, where warming conditions are increasing the snow and ice melt, said researchers led by Aiguo Dai of the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo. "Freshwater resources will likely decline in the coming decades over many densely populated areas at mid- to low latitudes, largely due to climate changes, Dai said. "Rapid disappearing mountain glaciers in the Tibetan plateau and other places will make matters worse."...AP

GOP grapples with climate confusion

Ask 15 Republicans about climate change, and you’ll get 20 different answers. In March, Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told a national conservative radio program that the Earth is “cooling,” not warming. Last week, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin said global warming is real and hurting her state, acknowledging that “many believe” an international effort to reduce greenhouse gases is necessary. And on Sunday, Republican leader John Boehner dismissed as “almost comical” the idea that carbon dioxide is “a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment,” arguing that it must be safe because humans “exhale” it and cows deposit it. An EPA spokesman called Boehner’s comments “erroneous,” noting that whether a gas is a carcinogen doesn’t have anything to do with whether it causes global warming. The GOP’s scattershot messaging on climate change threatens to distract from the party’s primary attack on the Democrats’ global warming plan: that the cap-and-trade system will dramatically raise prices on business and consumers...POLITICO

The EPA Is Choking Democracy

One of the most important events of our lifetimes may have just transpired. A federal agency has decided that it has the power to regulate everything, including the air you breathe. Nominally, the Environmental Protection Agency's announcement last Friday only applies to new-car emissions. But pretty much everyone agrees that the ruling opens the door to regulating, well, everything. According to the EPA, greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide -- the gas you exhale -- as well as methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride. It is literally impossible to imagine a significant economic or human activity that does not involve the production of one of these gases. Don't think just of the gas and electricity bills. Cow flatulence is a serious concern of the EPA's already. What next? Perhaps an EPA mandarin will pick up a copy of "The Greenpeace Guide to Environmentally Friendly Sex" and go after the root causes of global warming...So the government bureaucracy is on its way to strong-arming the economy in ways Congress never imagined when it passed the Clean Air Act in 1970. Or the president has suddenly gained sweeping new powers over American life, in ways never imagined by Congress or the founders, and despite the fact that these new powers were never put before the voters. This is not a sudden development. Vast swaths of the state have been on autopilot for years, effectively immune to democratic influence...Townhall

'Nazi Cows' Roam English Countryside

Through the misty early morning sunlight dappling a Devon field, a vision from the primeval past lumbers into view. The beast with its shaggy, russet-tinged coat, powerful shoulders and lyre-shaped horns could have stepped straight from a prehistoric cave painting. The vision is a creature of which even Julius Caesar was in awe: Bos primigenius, the aurochs, fearsome wild ancestor of all today’s domestic cattle, immortalized tens of thousands of years ago in ochre and charcoal in the Great Hall of the Bulls at Lascaux in southwest France. But this herd of 13 bulls, cows and calves known as Heck cattle is the product of Nazi genetic engineering, an attempt to reintroduce the extinct aurochs, the last of which died of old age in a Polish forest nearly four centuries ago. The herd has Hermann Goering, the head of Hitler's Luftwaffe, to thank for its existence. Goering hoped to recreate a primeval Aryan wilderness in the conquered territories of Eastern Europe. Two zoologist brothers, Lutz and Heinz Heck, took on the task of scouring Europe for the most primitive breeds of cattle they could find in the belief that by "back breeding" they could resurrect the extinct species...London Times

I see the Nazi's were pro wilderness. I guess we imported more than just their rocket scientists.

Endangered Rattlesnakes

The Western Prairie Rattler is one of only two types of rattlesnakes currently considered endangered. The other is the masaqua, smaller snake. This means it is against the law to kill a either of the twoi species unless the snake is actually attacking an individual. In other words, if you see one in the back yard where your kids play regularly, you cannot kill it unless it is actually attacking. The law apparently considers the snake more endangered than your kids playing and sharing space with one of the pesky varmints in the backyard. That is plain bovine effluvia. While one should not traipse in the woods to kill where there are no humans in peril there is a definite danger of one in the back yard whether or not it is attacking at the time. I suppose one could go over and provoke the snake to coil and threaten to invoke its natural form of protection, but that is not a wise move. In some such cases the snake has been known to win. One of the most erroneous and dangerous misconceptions about rattlesnakes is that they always give audible warning before striking. If that was true, rattlesnakes would starve to death, since most animals that make up the diet for the snakes have an inherent knowledge of the danger involved when they hear a rattler shaking its tail. Often when the snake gets around to rattling, the damage has been done. Law or no law, if there is a rattlesnake in my yard, attacking or not, it is not only endangered but dead...Beauregard Daily News

For Ranchers, Earth Day is Every Day

Earth Day comes on the calendar just once a year. Today, people all across the country are taking a look at their lifestyles and what they can do to make the world a little greener. But for some in North Dakota, it`s not just today that they live a green lifestyle. It`s every day of the year. Farmers and ranchers depend on the land every day. Many producers across the state are moving their operations in an earth-friendly direction. "It`s our piece of the world, the piece that we do," says Doug Hille, a Morton County rancher. When Hille plans how he`s going to run his ranch, he`s not actively thinking about climate change, global warming, or his carbon footprint. "Every day is earth day," Hille says. "We take sunshine and soil and with it we make food, fuel, and fiber for the world." His philosophy is to leave his land in better shape than it was when he bought it 20 years ago...KFYR-TV

Dead polo horses had hemorrhaging lungs

With the necropsies on the 21 horses that died in Wellington on Sunday nearly complete, the Florida Department of Agriculture confirmed today that the horses suffered from hemorrhaging of the lungs. "The thing that is consistent with all the horses is hemorrhaging and pulmonary edema," said Mark Fagan, spokesman for the agricultural department. "That's consistent through all the necropsies so far, and we certainly expect that with the remaining few necropsies." Fagan said that an official cause of death wouldn't be released until the toxicology reports are completed - those results aren't expected until the end of the week, at the earliest. Fagan said that investigators are following a report in the La Nacion newspaper of Buenos Aires where a captain of the Lechuza Caracas polo team said the horses were injected with a vitamin supplement called Biodyl that is not approved for use in the United States, Fagan said. "I will tell you certainly screening for Biodyl will be done, and we're trying to get some answers about Biodyl," Fagan said...Palm Beach Post

FDA moves ahead on feed ban

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association criticized a decision by the Food and Drug Administration to proceed with implementation of a new feed ban on April 27, despite numerous objections from farmers, ranchers, states and members of Congress. “This decision is extremely disappointing,” says Elizabeth Parker, chief veterinarian for NCBA. “By going ahead with implementation of this unnecessary ban, the FDA is ignoring the substantial costs and environmental burdens it imposes on America’s cattle producers.” For years, the livestock industry has made it clear to FDA and the administration that this rule would exacerbate the problems producers are already facing regarding carcass disposal. In fact, as early as December 2008, NCBA and producers across the country began voicing concerns about increased costs and disposal issues as many renderers discontinued their services in anticipation of this ban. “Unless FDA provides solutions for these problems, delaying the compliance date is an empty gesture,” Parker says. FDA is establishing a compliance date of Oct. 26, to give renderers additional time to comply with the new regulations and allow producers more time to identify appropriate methods of disposal. However, they have not provided any means to resolve the disposal issues created by the rule...Drovers Journal

Song Of The Day #024

This morning we want to remind everyone of The Cowboy Dinner And Dance this Saturday night at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Capitan, NM and continue to thank Joe Delk and his family for all they've done and are doing to protect our rural heritage.

On Tuesday's Song Of The Day I gave some background on Forrest Delk and posted two songs recorded in 1949. The selections for today were recorded in 1963 at the studios of radio Station KHEY in El Paso, Texas and are a good example of the kind of dance music this band played. The musicians on these cuts are: Forrest Delk - Fiddle, Robbie Arnspiger - Mandolin, Mutt Johnson - Steel Guitar, Bob Kasten - Drums, and Buzz Wetzel - Guitar. Later in the 60's Forrest was joined by daughter Lynda, and his two sons, Jimmie & Joe.

I might add here I was at a People For Preserving Our Western Heritage meeting this week and was told that Forrest was a heck of an athlete and was an all-conference end for WNMU, back when WNMU used to play UCLA.

Please enjoy "Redskin Rag" and "Mormon Schottische" by Forrest Delk & His Gully Jumpers.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Army back to square one on Pinon Canyon

Keith Eastin, the Army assistant secretary for installations, is retiring from his job next week after having failed to expand the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site over the past three years. Colorado Reps. John Salazar and Betsy Markey, both Democrats, announced Eastin's departure Tuesday afternoon after Eastin briefed them and staff from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform about the stalled effort to expand the 238,000-acre training site northeast of Trinidad. The Army still wants to acquire 100,000 acres directly south of Pinon Canyon, but Eastin told the committee staff Tuesday they have no offers to buy or lease land and are pursuing none at this time. Ranchers and other opponents have fought the Army's expansion plans since early 2006, both in Congress and the General Assembly in Denver. "This is great news today," Markey said in a telephone press conference after the meeting. She requested the House oversight panel intervene in the Pinon Canyon dispute in March after The Chieftain reported the Army intended to announce a lease agreement with Denver businessman Craig Walker for his 70,000 acres south of the training area. Salazar, whose 3rd Congressional District includes Pinon Canyon, said he will join with Markey in asking the House Armed Service Committee for legislation this year that would permanently block any expansion at Pinon Canyon in the future...Pueblo Chieftain

A permanent block is the way to go. Otherwise, the acquisition will be hanging over the heads of the landowners for years to come. It would short circuit what will surely be additional attemps in the future to acquire all or parts of the property. Congress would then have to amend the law to allow acquisition, rather than the other way around. It will be interesting to see if Salazar can get this done. Landowners should keep the pressure on, and not relax because the immediate threat is gone. The feds never sleep.

The Environment

Every year Steven Hayward, a scholar at the Pacific Research Institute and the American Enterprise Institute, compiles his Index of Leading Environmental Indicators. And every year, his findings contradict the alarmists' warnings that the world is on the edge of environmental cataclysm. From evidence "that tropical rain forests may now be expanding faster than they are being cut down" to the improving health of U.S. ocean fisheries to better outdoor air quality in American cities with the worst air pollution, Hayward shows there's more to be optimistic about than there is to be troubled about. The Environmental Protection Agency has also published its own Report on the environment. Last year's report, the most recent, indicates outdoor air quality has improved, there's been a net gain in wetland acreage, public-source drinking-water problems are uncommon and forest land is expanding after declining for a century. Americans are actually generating no more trash per-capita than they were in 1990, our production of hazardous waste has fallen from 36 million tons in 1999 to 28 million tons in 2005, and lead levels in our blood have shown "a steady decline since the 1980s."...IBD

The Late Great Planet Girth

Over the past decade, as the earth cooled, the sun grew quiet and snow fell in Malibu, the disconnect between the computer models of Al Gore and the warm-mongers grew more apparent than ever. So much so that they started talking about "climate change" instead of "global warming." That way, everything from drought to floods was covered, even record cold winters and snowfalls. Even that's not working on an ever more skeptical public, according to a recent Rasmussen Reports national survey showing that just one of three voters — a new low — now believe that global warming is caused by human activity. Nearly half (48%) believe the cause is naturally occurring planetary trends. Just a year ago, only 34% said warming was a natural phenomenon, while 47% said human activity was placing the planet at risk of disastrous climate change. That's a huge shift. Interestingly, a growing number of Americans (58%) say we need to build more nuclear power plants, with 63% saying that finding additional sources of energy is more important than reducing the amount of energy Americans currently consume. They recognize that a growing economy requires more energy, not less, and that nukes are a pollution-free way of getting it. Not everyone is skeptical about human-caused climate change, however. On Monday, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine blamed obesity for climate change...IBD

Warming could spur water crisis

Colorado River water users will experience frequent shortages in the coming years as warmer, drier conditions squeeze an already overburdened resource, scientists said Monday. Even without the effects of climate change, the scientists warned that the river may not produce as much water from mountain snowmelt as it did when the flow was divided among seven states in the early 1900s, some of the wettest years in centuries. The result in either case would be tough choices among water agencies about who gets water and who gives it up. In the new study, researchers found that if climate change reduces runoff into the river by as little as 10 percent, promised water deliveries to users, mostly water providers who then distribute supplies to consumers, could be missed 60 percent of the time by 2050, a failure rate that climbs to 80 percent if runoff falls further. The study was intended to provoke action among the seven states, not simply paint a doom-and-gloom scenario, said Tim Barnett, a marine physicist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego and co-author of the report...Arizona Republic

Court sides with EPA in power plant case

A federal appeals court has sided with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, denying requests by environmentalists and the Arizona Public Service Co. to review a plan that limits certain emissions from a coal-fired power plant in northwestern New Mexico. The utility, which operates the 2,040-megawatt Four Corners Power Plant, argued that the federal implementation plan finalized by EPA in 2007 was too restrictive. Environmentalists complained the plan did not take into account the region's air quality and that greater restrictions were needed to limit emissions. The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver issued a 31-page ruling last week that found the EPA followed proper procedures in establishing the implementation plan...AP

Feds hunt 2 wolves that killed calf

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to kill two wolves that are believed to have killed a yearling calf in the Laramie Mountains southeast of Casper. Mike Jimenez, the service's wolf coordinator for Wyoming, says a rancher in the area of the Deer Creek drainage reported the depredation last week. Wildlife Services agents conducted a necropsy and confirmed the calf was killed by wolves. Jimenez says it's common for wolves to disperse around the state during the winter, but this is the farthest east that wolves have been spotted in Wyoming. Jimenez says the two black wolves apparently paired up southeast of Casper and are not collared. While wolves are protected as endangered species, Wildlife Services routinely kills wolves that attack livestock...AP

It may be done "routinely" in Wyoming, but not so in New Mexico. The same federal agency here goes to extreme tactics to keep from protecting the livestock industry.

Pressure mounts to resolve tariff dispute with Mexico

Mexico says the tariff is in retaliation for Congress' termination of a program that allowed Mexican truckers to ferry goods across the border and deep into the U.S.Texas Agriculture Commissioner Todd Staples said the tariffs would affect roughly $10 million worth of agriculture exports in his state, striking a particularly severe blow to growers of onions, peanuts and potatoes. "With Texas farmers and ranchers working hard to overcome severe drought and hurricane damage, it is unconscionable to add to their hardships by putting up roadblocks and interfering with free trade that has benefited both countries," Staples said. The Obama administration faces growing pressure to settle the dispute. A coalition of 140 agriculture, business, food and manufacturing groups sent Obama a letter last week urging him to resolve the matter...Gannett

And you can thank the teamsters for that law.

NM management areas battle noxious, costly weeds

Rio Arriba County rancher Delfin Quintana remembers buying hay for his cattle several years ago. It wasn't long before the 80-year-old realized he got more than he had bargained for with those bundles. Noxious weeds started popping up on the range where his family has ranched for more than a century. "That's where it all started. Then the seeds spread and you're dispersing it when you're putting (the hay) out for the cattle," Quintana said. "The problem, it's bad. ... The weeds are very dominant and aggressive. They take over other plants." Soil and water conservation districts have teamed up with federal, state and local land management agencies to create noxious weed management areas throughout New Mexico. Currently, 14 cooperative weed management areas have been created in 17 counties. Management areas are sprouting as quickly as the weeds they're working to battle. Three years ago, the state had only four noxious weed management areas. By the end of this summer, the number will increase to around 17, said Jim Wanstall, Los Lunas-based state noxious weed coordinator for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture...AP

Song Of The Day #23

Today we'll move into the modern era of the Delks.

I asked Joe Delk for some background on The Delk Band, and here's what he provided:

"My dad, Forrest Delk started playing for dances in 1934 and this year, 2009, makes it 75 years that our family has had the honor of playing for country dances here in New Mexico. My mother tells me that I went to my first dance when I was two weeks old.

My sister, Linda, brother, Jimmy and I grew up going to school during the week, working cattle on the weekend and going to dances on Saturday night. As I look back now, playing for dances was something my dad did not only for his enjoyment but because it was what he did for our community. . .a way of life. Now at 61 years, I am trying to carrying on the tradition that my dad started.

My brother and I started playing with my dad when I was twelve years old and we played for dances throughout southwestern New Mexico.

My wife, Diane and I married in 1968 and were blessed with three sons, Neal, Mark and Byron. Needless to say, the boys started going to dances with us at a very early age. I made sure that there were instruments around so the boys were exposed to fiddles and guitars early on.

Neal picked up the guitar, Mark the drums and Byron the bass guitar and with me on the fiddle, we had a band and we named it simply “The Delk Band”. The first dance we played for was in Truth or Consequences, N.M. in July, 1984. I will never forget that night.

Here I was with three boys ages 12, 11 and 9, about to play the first tune we ever played at a dance. The tune I selected to start with was Maiden’s Prayer. As I looked at the crowd waiting for us to begin, I looked at the boys and I wondered to myself, what in the heck do I think I’m doing? I was so nervous that my hands were shaking almost uncontrollably. But, I had to get started because our crowd was eagerly waiting for us to begin.

I placed the fiddle under my chin, looked around to make sure Mark was ready and I drew the bow across the “D” string playing the first note of the song. My right hand was shaking so bad that the bow started bouncing on the string and I could not get it to stop. But I had no choice but to keep going. I played the first several bars of Maiden’s Prayer with the bow bouncing all over the place. It was pretty bad.

Gib and Johnnie Jo Bartlett were the first people on the dance floor. I will be forever grateful.

Thankfully my boys helped me get through that first song and we went on and played for those folks in Truth or Consequences for the next ten years.

My dad could not have been more proud of his grandsons especially when he would get on stage and play with them. The boys and I will celebrate 25 years of playing for dances this coming July."

A great story, and a great family. A story that will be continued this Saturday at the "Cowboy Dinner & Dance" in Capitan, NM. For particulars, go here.

The Delk Band, as a unit, has never cut a cd, but Mark Delk has recorded an excellent album with 13 great tunes. The liner notes to the album state "Dedicated To The Memory Of My Grandfather, Forrest Delk." In the notes Mark says, "I will be forever grateful for the love and encouragement I've received from each of my grandparents, but especially from 'Grandpa Delk'who instilled in me the love of 'good dance music.' It is with a happy heart that I dedicate this CD to his memory."

I really like Mark's up tempo rendition of "Bummin' Around", but FileFactory didn't. I could never get it to sound just right, and rather than risk Mark coming over here and tipping me over in my wheelchair, I'm going with "Milk Cow Blues."

Mark's CD is distributed by Bootheel Productions, PO Box 879, Mesilla Park, NM 88047 (575) 524-1233.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Interior staff's top seats in limbo

The Interior Department's Web site links to a page highlighting key officials. It's blank. The department, which manages millions of acres of public lands, including large swaths of Utah, is still waiting for most of its top people. At the moment, Secretary Ken Salazar is the only official who has been confirmed by the Senate to serve at the department under President Barack Obama and several others are awaiting hearings or votes. Part of the holdup stems from a clash with Utah's two senators and part with a slowdown of the vetting process to appoint new political designees for the department. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee gave its nod to Hayes' nomination, though Bennett's hold means it won't move on the Senate floor. A similar hold has been placed on Tom Strickland, who was named assistant secretary for Fish and Wildlife, though Bennett denies he's blocking that one. When it returns to session today, the Senate is expected to start tackling nominations of several other departments, though it's unclear when some of the Interior designees will get hearings. The Obama administration, too, has yet to name some positions, including the director of the Bureau of Land Management...Salt Lake Tribune

Obama's federal appointees share a green streak

When Ned Farquhar was appointed to a key position in the Interior Department on April 7, the nation's biggest environmental group, the Sierra Club, seemed ecstatic. The agency has immense power over environmental policies in the West, managing 500 million acres of federal land, endangered species programs, mining and drilling leases. As the deputy assistant secretary for land and minerals, Farquhar will be "an environmental champion," gushed Sierra Clubber Matt Kirby in the Lay of the Land blog. Farquhar has proved his green mettle: He worked several years for the Natural Resources Defense Council and advocated for clean energy around the West from his base in Albuquerque. Before that, he advised New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson on such issues. The selection of Farquhar points to an emerging pattern. So far, at least 10 people with ties to environmental groups or other conservation efforts have been named to fill senior positions. They include: David Hayes, a former senior fellow at the World Wildlife Fund and chairman of the board of American Rivers, is the new deputy Interior secretary (the agency's #2 job). Tom Strickland, who helped create the Great Outdoors Colorado program (using lottery revenues for open space and wildlife habitat), is Interior's new assistant secretary for fish, wildlife and parks...High Country News

Desert clash in West over solar potential, water

A westward dash to power electricity-hungry cities by cashing in on the desert's most abundant resource — sunshine — is clashing with efforts to protect the tiny pupfish and desert tortoise and stinginess over the region's rarest resource: water. Water is the cooling agent for what traditionally has been the most cost-efficient type of large-scale solar plants. To some solar companies answering Washington's push for renewable energy on vast government lands, it's also an environmental thorn. The unusual collision pits natural resources protections against President Barack Obama's plans to produce more environmentally friendly energy. The solar hopefuls are encountering overtaxed aquifers and a legendary legacy of Western water wars and legal and regulatory scuffles. Some are moving to more costly air-cooled technology — which uses 90 percent less water — for solar plants that will employ miles of sun-reflecting mirrors across the Western deserts. Others see market advantages in solar dish or photovoltaic technologies that don't require steam engines and cooling water and that are becoming more economically competitive...AP

Park Service Protests Big Solar Expansion in Nevada Desert

The National Park Service is sounding an alarm about plans for scores of big solar power plants in Southern Nevada, according to an inter-agency memo posted today by Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). NPS predicts harm to national parks in the region due to water scarcity, habitat disturbance, air pollution, sound pollution and light pollution lightening night skies. The February 9, 2009 memo from NPS Pacific Regional Director Jon Jarvis to the Acting Nevada U.S. Bureau of Land Management Director Amy Leuders details concerns about 63 utility-scale solar projects slated for BLM lands in southern Nevada. Jarvis cites potential negative impacts for Lake Mead National Recreation Area, Mojave National Preserve, and the Devils Hole section of Death Valley National Park. Above all, Jarvis stressed the lack of water to operate the solar facilities...Common Dreams

Drilling requires water permits

In a decision that brings some natural-gas operations under state water law and bolsters private-property rights, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled Monday that coal-bed methane gas wells must get water-well permits. The ruling means energy companies must prove to the state engineer that their drilling is not impinging upon senior water rights. If the methane wells do affect neighboring water supplies, companies must provide a plan for increasing those supplies. "In Colorado, water is just as important as gas, and this ruling protects water from drilling," said Bill Vance, an Archuleta County rancher who was a plaintiff in the lawsuit. The ruling comes three weeks after the legislature passed a comprehensive set of oil and gas operating rules. "They are all part of an effort to strike a balance for property owners," said Sarah Klahn, Vance's attorney. The Colorado Oil and Gas Association said the ruling will "just add more fuel to the fire of uncertainty affecting the oil and gas business in Colorado."...Denver Post

As Wild Horses Breed, a Voice for Contraception

The long-simmering controversy over what to do with America’s wild horses has come to a boil again. Last summer federal officials said they had so many wild horses in captivity — about 34,000 and growing — that they wanted authority to euthanize them, and some states are considering slaughter. It costs $27 million a year to care for the animals, according to the Bureau of Land Management, which oversees the wild horse program. In February, Representatives Nick J. Rahall, Democrat of West Virginia, and Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Democrat of Arizona, introduced federal legislation to prevent slaughter. The real answer, according to Jay F. Kirkpatrick, director of the nonprofit science and conservation center at ZooMontana in Billings, is an immunocontraceptive called P.Z.P. “There’s more than 30,000 wild horses on the range out there, and they are reproducing,” Dr. Kirkpatrick said. “The real problem isn’t what to do with excess horses, it’s reproduction. What do you with excess dogs and cats? You spay and neuter.” Dr. Kirkpatrick, 69, has been using the birth control drug porcine zona pellucida, or P.Z.P., since 1988 to control horse and deer populations. He has been promoting its use for the federal government’s wild horses of the West for almost as long, with no luck yet...NY Times

Pulitzers recognize the public watchdogs

A five-part Los Angeles Times series on the futility of government efforts to quell the growing threat of wildfires won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday, and the New York Times claimed five of journalism's highest awards in a year that recognized the watchdog function of the press even as newspapers struggle to survive. In their wildfire articles, reporters Bettina Boxall and Julie Cart reported that costly aerial drops of water and retardant often were ordered against firefighters' better judgment because they "make good television" and helped win political points for local officials. The series took 15 months from conception until publication last summer. It took seven months alone to get the results of a Freedom of Information Act request to the U.S. Forest Service that provided details on the effort to quell the so-called Zaca fire. The 2007 blaze burned a quarter-million acres in the Los Padres National Forest outside Santa Barbara. The details ranged from the innocuous -- the lip balm used by the firefighters -- to the costs of aerial drops. The tab for one day of firefighting was more than $2.5 million. Despite such expenses, the series showed, fire protection policies were not working, and bigger, deadlier fires were raging...LA Times

America's Cattle Farmers and Ranchers Support Wildlife, Ecosystems

New survey data show that America's cattle farmers and ranchers are raising a lot more than just cattle on their ranches. From endangered species to native trees and grasses, America's farms and ranches are hosting, and often actively supporting wildlife, natural ecosystems and the environment. Eighty-eight percent of cattle farmers and ranchers surveyed said their land includes areas that support wildlife. More than half report wildlife populations on their land have increased in the past 10 years. That's important because approximately 73 percent of land in the United States is privately owned, and the majority of the country's natural wildlife habitats are found on those lands, according to information cited by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. In fact, the land managed by America's farmers and ranchers supports migratory birds, fish and other wildlife, including many threatened and endangered species ranging from whooping cranes in Nebraska to gopher tortoises thriving on a cattle ranch in Florida. Nationally, rangelands and pastures currently provide food and habitat for many types of wildlife, including deer, pronghorn antelope, elk and prairie chickens. During the past several years, 46,000 acres of private land, mostly on working farms and ranches, were re-established to benefit the grizzly bear, and approximately 120,000 acres of similar private lands were restored to benefit the bald eagle. In fact, in the Eastern and Central United States, wildlife is almost entirely dependent on ranch, farm and other private lands. And because 85 percent of U.S. grazing lands are unsuitable for producing crops, grazing animals more than doubles the area that can be used to produce food...PRWeb

Opinions differ on whether location of Four Corners is wrong

Thousands have trekked to the middle of nowhere just to be in the only place in America where you can step foot in four states at once. Well, it turns out they may not have. Tourists who think they're putting a hand or foot in each of four states at the Four Corners area may be missing the mark - by about 2.5 miles. According to a report being distributed by the Associated Press, the National Geodetic Survey says the Four Corners marker showing the intersection of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah is about 2.5 miles west of where it should be. According to The Associated Press, the intended location was 109 degrees west longitude and 37 degrees north latitude. But, because of surveying errors, the popular tourist spot is actually just a bit off. The experts said Monday the accurate location lies to the east of U.S. 160 in Colorado and northeast of the San Juan River as it flows into New Mexico. "That's a long ways to be off," said David Bronson, surveyor of San Juan County, Utah. Still, he said the monument's present location is the accepted one. The only place in the United States where four state boundaries come together was first surveyed by the U.S. government in 1868 during the initial survey of Colorado's southern boundary line...9News

Legislation Introduced to Protect Livestock from Greenhouse Regulations

Former Secretary of Agriculture Senator Mike Johanns, R-Neb., has co-sponsored legislation that would protect animal agriculture from any greenhouse gas regulations put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. Last Friday, EPA announced it had determined that greenhouse gases may endanger public health or welfare. The ruling faces a 60-day public comment period. Johanns says this EPA proposal could have devastating consequences to the livestock sector. "This 'cow tax' could cost farmers and ranchers tens of thousands of dollars per farm per year," he said. The proposed legislation would amend the Clean Air Act to preclude regulation of naturally occurring livestock emissions, including methane and carbon dioxide. If the EPA definition of air pollutants includes methane, USDA estimated that any agricultural operation of more than 25 dairy cows, 50 beef cattle, 200 hogs or 500 acres of corn would be subject to emission fees...Farm Futures

Twenty-one polo horses die in Florida

Officials are still trying to determine what caused the death of 21 polo horses in South Florida Sunday. The animals, owned by a team from Caracas, Venezuela, had just arrived at the U.S. Polo Tournament in Wellington when 14 of them collapsed. Another seven were disoriented and staggering. Dr. Scott Swerdlin of the Palm Beach Equine Club, International Polo's consulting veterinarian group says 14 died at the grounds, one was euthanized and the others died within 45 minutes at the Venezuelan team’s barn. Swerdlin believes the deaths were due to feed or shots. He does not believe it was intentional. The horses suffered pulmonary edema, which means fluid accumulated in their lungs, and cardiogenic shock. Officials say whatever killed the horses was not airborne or contagious. Necropsies will be conducted on the horses with the preliminary findings expected late Monday or Tuesday...Brownfield

Cowboy Dinner and Dance - Honoring Rural Families, Rural Traditions and our Rural Heritage

April 25, 2009

Lincoln County Fairgrounds - Capitan, NM

The Gila Livestock Growers Association (GLGA) and the Americans for the Preservation of Western Environment (APWE) are sponsoring a Cowboy Dinner and Dance at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in Capitan, New Mexico on April 25, 2009. Dinner starts at 6:00 pm and the dance at 8:00 pm.

Music by Joe Delk, Bucky Allred and The Delk Band featuring Neal, Mark and Byron Delk, Robert Flowers, Roswell; Roy Garcia, Las Cruces; Dee Ford, Alma; Ty Martin, Silver City; Michael Dean, Muleshoe, TX and a special appearance by Jacy Yarbrough, Winston, NM.

Not too long ago, Saturday-night dances were a common occurrence at many rural locations throughout New Mexico. Families, friends and neighbors coming together to share a meal, visit with one another and enjoy an evening of dancing. We can certainly refer to those days as “the good ole days” and we want to show our younger generation what it was like and allow our older generation to remember the way it was.

There will be no admission charge for the Cowboy Dinner and Dance. All are welcome. However, this is a fundraising event and we ask that you contribute what you can. All monies raised in this effort will be utilized to help end the Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program and preserve our rural heritage.

The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program has evolved into an assault on our rural way-of-life by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) with the help and support of extremist environmental groups like the Center for Biological Diversity, Wildearth Guardians and the New Mexico Wilderness Alliance.

Today, the people and communities in and around the Blue Range Wolf Recovery Area, which encompasses the Gila and Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, are bearing the brunt of the devastating impact the wolf reintroduction program is having on the people and communities that are forced to live with wolves on their ranches, in their yards and in their communities.

The FWS operates under federal law that requires them to work with local government to insure that federal programs are not in violation of local laws or local custom and culture. Federal law requires the FWS to consult with, cooperate with and be consistent with the laws and rights of local government that represents the people. FWS is either not aware of these federal laws or they just plain don’t care because they will run over local elected officials who may feel threatened or intimidated by the actions of federal agencies.

The Mexican Wolf Reintroduction Program has been grossly mismanaged by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and local residents are paying the price. The program is a bust. Ranches have been lost, local businesses are suffering, elk hunting in the Gila will never be what it once was and families are being put in danger every day.

Help us to stop the injustice in the Gila and Apache National Forests before it spreads to other areas of New Mexico.

So, put on your dancin’ boots, saddle up and come to the Cowboy Dinner and Dance in Capitan on April 25th because we’re figurin’ on having an old fashioned good time!

For contributions, please make checks payable to Gila Livestock Grower’s Association for “Preserving our Rural Heritage”. Bring your check to the Cowboy Dinner and Dance or mail to Gila Livestock Grower’s Association (GLGA), HC64, Box 30, Magdalena, NM 87825. Credit Card contributions can be made at

Joe Delk (575) 644-3082~~~~Laura Schneberger (575) 772-5753

Song Of The Day #021, #022

Joe Delk has been playing great, traditional, danceable country music for more years than I care to think about (we graduated high school the same year). And, as can be seen from the previous post, through his music and other activities, he is working hard at promoting and preserving our western way of life. So The Westerner will be honoring the Delk family this week for all of their contributions to our musical heritage and to our ranching & rural heritage.

The man who started it all was Joe's father, Forrest Delk (1917-1996), who learned to play the fiddle at age 7. In 1934 he was asked to play for a dance at Apache Grove, Arizona and after he and his musician friends arrived it came a hard rain, all the creeks ran full and nobody could get to the dance. Going home the next day they had to cross all the creeks which had washed out, and from that day on his band was known as "The Gully Jumpers." Take a gander at the OLD TIMER record label I've posted and you will see they are listed as "Fiddlin' Forrest Delk And His Gully Jumpers." They played for dances for over 60 years.

When it came to picking today's selection I just couldn't make up my mind. I have listened to Forrest's recording of "Ragged Annie" over and over and I find something new and exciting each time I hear it. But "Wagner" is such a different fiddle tune and offers an excellent example of Forrest's fiddling skills, making it hard to pass over. So to hell with it, today you'll get a "Double Dose of Delk", and in both instances hear some grand fiddling.

Both cuts were recorded in 1949 in Los Angeles, Ca. for Coast Records. They are taken from the original 78s and are on the 2 cd collection "The Recordings Of Forrest Delk & His Gully Jumpers", available from Joe Delk (575) 644-3082.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Report: Judge wants dam removal as an option for salmon

A federal judge weighing the federal government's salmon plan for the Columbia Basin wants the breaching of four dams on the Snake River included as a possible option should salmon runs in that river face extinction. The NW Fishletter reports that was one message U.S. District Court Judge James Redden gave in an April 2 closed door meeting with litigants involved in a lawsuit challenging the plan, called a biological opinion. "The judge wants NOAA Fisheries to add language to the BiOp that would provide a breaching 'off-ramp' in case the Snake runs collapse. That could take some fancy legal footwork, since the feds had recently announced they were not going to reopen the 2008 BiOp for consultation," the Fishletter says...The Oregonian

Stimulus money pays for Klamath dam removal study

A study on the feasibility of removing dams on the Klamath River to help struggling salmon runs is being paid for with federal stimulus money. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation regional office in Sacramento, Calif., said Friday that it has received $4 million to contract the work. The study is due by 2012. It will give the Secretary of Interior the information he needs to decide whether the benefits of removing the four aging hydroelectric dams outweigh the drawbacks. Issues include an engineering analysis of removing the concrete structures, and what happens to the sediment that has built up behind them during the past century...AP

How foolish of me to think this money was to stimulate the economy, when it was really meant to stimulate wildlife populations.

Salmon Si, Gente No.

Stay slim to save the planet

Overweight people eat more than thin people and are more likely to travel by car, making excess body weight doubly bad for the environment, according to a study from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. "When it comes to food consumption, moving about in a heavy body is like driving around in a gas guzzler," and food production is a major source of greenhouse gases, researchers Phil Edwards and Ian Roberts wrote in their study, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. "We need to be doing a lot more to reverse the global trend toward fatness, and recognize it as a key factor in the battle to reduce (carbon) emissions and slow climate change," the British scientists said. They estimated that each fat person is responsible for about one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions a year more on average than each thin person, adding up to an extra one billion tonnes of CO2 a year in a population of one billion overweight people...Reuters

This is why they haven't closed Gitmo. Us hefty ones will be declared an "environmental combatant" and shipped off to Cuba.

Japanese Report Disputes Human Cause for Global Warming

The Japanese Society of Energy and Resources (JSER) has published a new study on the causes of Global Warming. Entitled, "Global warming: What is the scientific truth?”, the report highlights the differing views of five prominent Japanese scientists. All but one of the scientists disagreed that global warming is the result of human activity. While all the researchers agreed with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) statement that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal", four of the five disagreed with the claim that the primary cause of the increase was due to anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases. The only researcher to agree with the IPCC's assertion was Emori, who is himself a member of the IPCC. Akasofu countered with the statement, "CO2 emissions have been increasing, but the rise in air temperature stopped around 2001. Climate change is due in large part to naturally occurring oscillations". Akasofu says the earth's warming trend began prior to the industrial age, and believes much of the warming seen may simply be a natural recovery from the so-called Little Ice Age, that ended in the 17th century...Daily Tech

Appeals Court Cancels Offshore Drilling Program

A program to expand oil and gas drilling off the Alaska coast has been canceled by a federal appeals court because of environmental concerns. A three-judge panel in the District of Columbia says the Bush administration's Interior Department failed to consider the offshore environmental impact and marine life before approving an oil and gas leasing program in the Beaufort, Bering, and Chukchi seas. The seas are home to wildlife including polar bears, whales, seals, walruses and seabirds. The appeals court ordered the Interior Department, now run by appointees of President Barack Obama, to analyze the areas to determine environmental damage risks before moving ahead with the program. AP

The Ethanol Bubble Pops in Iowa

In September, ethanol giant VeraSun Energy opened a refinery on the outskirts of this eastern Iowa community. Among the largest biofuels facilities in the country, the Dyersville plant could process 39 million bushels of corn and produce 110 million gallons of ethanol annually. VeraSun boasted the plant could run 24 hours a day, seven days a week to meet the demand for home-grown energy. But the only thing happening 24-7 at the Dyersville plant these days is nothing at all. Its doors are shut and corn deliveries are turned away. Touring the facility recently, I saw dozens of rail cars sitting idle. They've been there through the long, bleak winter. Two months after Dyersville opened, VeraSun filed for bankruptcy, closing many of its 14 plants and laying off hundreds of employees. VeraSun lost $476 million in the third quarter last year. In the fourth quarter of 2008, Aventine Renewable Energy, a large ethanol producer, lost $37 million despite selling a company record 278 million gallons of the biofuel. Last week it filed for bankruptcy. California's Pacific Ethanol lost $146 million last year and has defaulted on $250 million in loans. It recently told regulators that it will likely run out of cash by April 30. How could this be? The federal government gives ethanol producers a generous 51-cent-a-gallon tax credit and mandates that a massive amount of their fuel be blended into the nation's gasoline supplies. And those mandates increase every year. This year the mandate is 11 billion gallons and is on its way to 36 billion gallons in 2022...WSJ

Biden's Puppy Breeder: "Never, Never, Never Again"

Fifteen minutes of fame turned into four months of bitter remorse for the Chester County woman who sold the Bidens their adorable little German shepherd puppy. Linda Brown's been investigated, scorned and had her life threatened. "I thought when Joe Biden bought a puppy from me, what an honor," Brown told the Daily Local News. "Out of millions of breeders in the country, in the world, he picked me." That was December. When the story got out, Brown faced backlash from pet lovers who thought the Bidens should have opted for a shelter over a breeder to find their new puppy. PETA seized the moment as an opportunity to blame the killing of shelter animals on people who buy from breeders. The organization's TV commercial, "Buy One, Get One Killed" ran in Delaware after the Biden puppy story made headlines. Dog wardens from the state showed up at Brown's Wolf Den kennel, repeatedly, for inspections. "I was cited for a piece of kibble on the floor and five strands of dog hair. They took a picture of that, they walked around, snapped pictures and don't tell you why," Brown told the newspaper. She was found "not guilty" for each citation, but hiring a lawyer for the court hearings has cost her $4,000 so far in legal fees...NBC Local

‘Pig Book’: Congressional ‘pork’ hits $19.6 billion in 2009

Capitol Hill lawmakers added 10,160 pet projects – aka “pork barrel” projects – to this year’s government spending, fewer than in the previous budget cycle but at a higher total cost. That’s the bottom line from the Pig Book, a list of member projects inserted in annual spending bills, released Tuesday by Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW). The watchdog group, which has issued the Pig Book each year since 1991, calls it “the book Washington doesn’t want you to read.” For the record: The 10,160 projects – valued at $19.6 billion – represent a 14 percent increase in the cost to taxpayers over last year’s spending on “pork.” That’s even though the number of projects went down 12.5 percent during the same period. Of the 10,160 projects is this year’s Pig Book, CAGW identified 221 earmarks worth $7.8 billion that were funded in violation of Congress’s own transparency rules...Christian Science Monitor

West Texas ranch makes no apologies for name

Mack Stark figures cattle raisers can appreciate the name of his west central Texas ranch and makes no apologies for the words in big black letters on the steel arch over the dirt and gravel driveway. The name's not exactly fit to print, but let's just say "Deep Droppings Cattle Co." or "Deep Excrement Cattle Co." wouldn't have the same effect. "That has a ring to it," the 75-year-old rancher said. A ring of truth, Lavon Stark, his wife of almost 45 years, chimes in. "If you've ever been in the cattle business, you know," she added. After all, it's why cowboy boots go up almost to your knees. That comes in handy in this part of the state, where manure runs deep and cars are outnumbered by cattle haulers rumbling along Texas Highway 36 in and out of Comanche, about 10 miles to the west of the Starks' 140-acre ranch. And thus the name Mack Stark gave to his operation "six or eight years ago" after a tough day of herding and moving cattle and, naturally, stepping in it...AP

Trio depart Beijing on epic horse ride to London

A middle-aged British woman and two Chinese companions on Saturday set off on an epic horse ride that will see them cross China, Central Asia and Europe -- and arrive in London for the 2012 Olympics. Megan Lewis, a 60-year-old British pony breeder and head of the expedition, said the three-year trek from Beijing to London was a lifelong dream. But the former geography teacher, who is raising money for charity, admitted the more than 5,000-mile (8,200-kilometre) journey was as much a test of the horses as the riders. "You know you're going to get lameness and all sorts of things with the horses, that's just part of what goes with it," she said. "But we've got a couple of nice little horses and we've got support from everyone." The first section of the trip will take the three-man team to Inner Mongolia, along the north of China, to end up at the Jiayu Pass in Gansu province in August -- the end of the Great Wall. From there, they will ride across China's westernmost region of Xinjiang, Central Asia and Europe, to eventually end up in London in time for the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in 2012...AFP

Song Of The Day #020

Charles Levi Walker, Jr., was born in Copeville, Texas, on November 2, 1926 and died in 2008. At age 17 he got his first professional gig singing in a Dallas honky tonk. Not long afterword he became a vocalist with Bill Boyd's western swing band The Cowboy Ramblers. He recorded for Decca in the 50's and then became a very popular country dj in San Antonio. He had his first big hit in 1962 on Columbia with the Harlan Howard tune "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down." Other big songs for him were "Don't Squeeze My Sharmon," "Little Ole Wine Drinker Me," "Truck Driving Man," "Close All the Honky-Tonks," and "Who Will Buy the Wine?" among many others. He released over 30 albums and joined The Grand Ole Opry in 1967.

Today's selection is his 1954 recording of "Tell Her Lies And Feed Her Candy" which is available on the Pick Me Up On Your Way Down box set.

Please note I've created a Label section on this blog. Look over to right column, scroll down to Labels, then click on the Song Of The Day folder. There you will be able to play all twenty of the songs posted so far, and future ones will be added.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Around town from a gentler time

by Julie Carter

Mr. and Mrs. Lyle Linton motored to town on Sunday to spend the day with Mr. Linton's ailing parents. They were met at the elder Linton's home by friends Zelda and Frank Cook, and they shared an evening meal of roast pork, potatoes and fresh garden vegetables.

A delicious lemon pie and coffee for dessert complemented the evening.

If the paragraph above brought back any memories of simpler times, it is because it is typical of the news collections from small towns and communities that were printed in the local paper 50-100 years ago.

People loved to read it and the fact is, they still do.

Our own Lincoln queen, Rosalie Dunlap, writes that very kind of everyday news about comings and goings of the people in her community. When a child is born or baptized, a wedding takes place, someone gets a new porch built, a birthday is celebrated, a dog is lost or meetings of all kinds are held, it's news.

Her reports endear her to her fans.

I gleaned the following from my Colorado hometown paper that runs a section called Peaks of the Past.

The following was published exactly this way 100 years ago:

We hear it talked that Silver Cliff has two candidates for mayor. The regularly nominated one should be re-elected.

L.C. Atkinson, president of the Geyser Silver Mining Co., was an arrival from the east Tuesday, on visit to the property.

Laundry business must be flourishing. Lew Key has just bought the lot adjoining his premises on the east of Silver Cliff.

Plowed patches of ground up and down the Valley indicate that the farmers are preparing rapidly for their spring planting.

Our friend Burke of the Maverick Billiard Hall says he drank salt in his coffee last Thursday morning, and then it dawned upon him that it was the first day of April.

The opening of Edman and Clancy's last Saturday was well attended by the ladies from the towns and surrounding country. The fairer sex is all fitted out now for the Easter show.

We humans still have a basic need to stay connected to the people and events around us on an almost personal level.

Today's writing style has changed to catch the eye of a attention-deficit generation and give enough information in the first sentence to beg the patience for a paragraph.

The buzzwords and catch phrases change as fast as we can run the remote control through 300 channels and the acronyms are nearing a complete language of their own, something akin to hieroglyphics.

However, with a quiet moment and a thought, I can go to the time when a little matronly woman in a floral dress, hair in a tight bun, is sitting at lace tablecloth-covered table putting notes on a tablet with a sharpened pencil.

Thelma stood before her wall phone and gave it one quick crank.

Myrtle, down at the telephone office, answered. Thelma greeted her heartily with a "Mornin' Myrtle," and then asked to be connected to 511.

This happened only after Myrtle inquired about the family.

Thelma assured her all was well except for that touch of arthritis that hitches her git-along from time to time.

Thelma spent the afternoon sipping tea and contacting her regulars for the week's news. Who hosted Thanksgiving dinner and with whom, what kind of cake was served at the Sherry Harper baby shower, and where did the card and domino players gather this week?

Thelma could make news out of no news.

When the readers finally got a glimpse at Thelma's story, they felt like they had a visit from those mentioned throughout.

With a warm feeling in their hearts, they went back to their daily lives that didn't include an iPod, flat screen TV, computers, faxes, scanners and cell phones.

They might even have sat on the porch that evening, recalling those events they hadn't attended and those people they hadn't seen.

With all their lack of technology, I believe they were more connected to life's important things than we are today.

To connect, we may have to disconnect all those electronics of which I own, at least, one of each.

Be right back, my phones are ringing.

Julie can be reached by phone, two of them, fax, email at the website , or, if you must, a note card

It’s The Pitts

Rubbed The Wrong Way

By Lee Pitts

My wife looked at me, as if for the first time, and said, “I think there is something really wrong with you.”

“You’ve lived with me for 35 years and you’re just now figuring that out?” I sarcastically replied. “What do you think is wrong with me this time?”

“I think you are an anthropophobiac!”

“That sounds serious. You’ve been watching Oprah again haven’t you? What does it mean and how long do I have to live?”

“You aren’t going to die, silly. It won’t kill you, it just means you are afraid of people. You haven’t been to town for two weeks, haven’t shaved in five days and you’re getting a little seedy. You’re turning into a hermit right before my eyes.”

“Its not that I don’t like people, it’s just that I don’t like them in big bunches,” I explained. “The last time I went to town there were three other people in the hardware store, including one in the same aisle as I was! It gave me the heebie jeebies!”

“You are sick. I think you need to see a shrink or a support group.”

“Too many people in a support group,” I replied. “It’s just that I prefer the company of cows to people. Now what would Oprah call that condition Miss Big Words?”

“Sick! Really sick! That’s what! People need people, haven’t you ever heard that Streisand melody,” my wife said as she sang off key, “People needing other people...”

“If you think I’m sick you should read the article I found on the Internet about frotteurs,” I said. “According to the article, frotteurs are creeps who get their sexual jollies by rubbing up against other people, especially in elevators. Just the thought of frotteurs coexisting with me on the same planet is enough to make my flesh crawl. Has Oprah ever had any of those people on her show?”

“Not that I know of,” said my wife.

“Well, those are the kinds of people you find in town, or at least you would if our town had an elevator. Which it doesn’t.”

“How long have you felt this way about crowds?” asked my wife.

“Ever since the first time I went to a really big city. I was 18 years old when I went to Washington D.C. for an FFA leadership conference. The whole town seemed to be filled with pickpockets and perverts. And that was just the politicians. The other residents freaked me out too. I saw things there that I’d never seen before, like subways and transvestites. Men dressed in dresses I tell you!!! I’d never seen such a thing! It was the 1960’s and I was wearing my FFA jacket and had real short hair. Those people gave me the strangest looks, as if I was the weird one.”

“They’d probably never seen an FFA’er before,” suggested my wife.

“Maybe not, but ever since then I’ve avoided any town that showed symptoms of civilization, like sewers instead of septic tanks, parking meters and elevators. You won’t catch me at a football game with 100,000 people in the stands crowded arm pit to arm pit. I’ll barely go to a local game and that’s only because the visiting strangers sit on the opposite side of the field where I can keep my eye on them.”

“This is unhealthy for you to feel this way,” said my wife. “Oprah says people like you need to be desensitized. We’ll start off slow by taking you to the auction market where you can be amongst people of your own kind. Then we’ll slowly build up your courage by taking you to bigger and bigger towns until we eventually find one with an elevator. As a final test you can enter the elevator with other strange people.”

“I don’t know why you want to punish me like this, but I’ll tell you right now... if I get on that elevator and some-body rubs up against me she’d better be good looking and wearing a dress.” I paused, “and be a real woman!”

Horse Processing Legislation

By an overwhelming 44-5 majority, Montana senators voted on April 16 to reject Gov. Brian Schweitzer’s amendments to HB 418, the controversial bill to permit horse processing and restrict court appeals seeking to halt construction of a slaughter plant. Other legislative measures regarding horse processing are on the table in 13 other states, including North Dakota and Arkansas. Montana senators agreed with their colleagues in the House of Representatives, who voted on April 8 to send the measure back to Gov. Schweitzer in its original form. In a news conference April 3 to announce the partial veto, Gov. Schweitzer said he recognized the need for horse processing, and would be willing to look at modifying the state's regulatory structure if a company wanted to build a plant in the state. However, he objected to the provisions in HB 418 that would limit environmental appeals, saying no other business in Montana received such protections. The measure, sponsored by Rep. Ed Butcher (R-Winifred), seeks to encourage construction of a processing plant by preventing Montana courts from issuing an injunction stopping or delaying the construction of an equine-processing facility. It also would have required anyone who challenges a facility's environmental permit to post a substantial bond. When it reaches his desk, Gov. Schweitzer has 10 days to either sign or veto the measure. If he takes no action, it automatically passes into law. The Governor has not made his intentions public. In North Dakota, House lawmakers on April 16 passed HB 1496, which authorizes a $50,000 study to evaluate the construction of a slaughter plant in their state, and identify legal roadblocks. The North Dakota Senate approved its version of the measure in March. Gov. John Hoeven must now decide whether to sign HB 1496 into law. He is expected to take action next week. In Arkansas, a resolution urging Congress to support equine processing has passed both the House and Senate. The measure, HCR 1004, now awaits Gov. Mike Beebe’s signature...Quarter Horse News

Hat Tip: Sue Wallis & United Horsemen's Front