Friday, November 13, 2009

NMSU rodeo team competes in first rodeo of the season

Margaret Kovar

The New Mexico State University rodeo team started the season strongly at National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeos at Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, N.M., Sept. 18-19, and Cochise College in Douglas, Ariz., Sept. 25-26.

“These were great rodeos to start our season. We are a very young team, but I am confident we will be bringing home plenty of championships this year,” said Jim Dewey Brown, NMSU rodeo coach.

During the Mesalands Community College rodeo, the men’s team finished third overall out of eight teams, and the women’s team placed third out of five teams.

For the men’s team, Steve Hacker, of Battle Mountain, Nev., won first in the saddle bronc riding event, with teammate Thorsen Dusenberry, of Desert Hills, Ariz., placing third.

Dusty Thornton, of Calhan, Colo., placed second in the bull riding.

Las Cruces, N.M., native Bo Simpson won first in the tie-down roping. JoDan Mirabal, of Grants, N.M., received second.

The team of Clinton Hiett, header, of El Paso, Texas, and Jared Sharp, heeler, of Dayton, Ore., placed third in the team roping event.

In the breakaway roping event, Carleigh Marr, of Belen, N.M., tied for first place. Jessica Silva, of Tularosa, N.M., placed second in the goat tying and also was named the women’s all-around champion for the rodeo.

The women’s team placed first overall at the Cochise College rodeo.

“The girls really stepped it up for this rodeo. They are all tough competitors and proved it this weekend,” said Megan Corey Albrecht, NMSU rodeo assistant coach.

In the saddle bronc riding event, Hacker, Dusenberry and Garrison DeWitt, of Rio Rico, Ariz., placed first, second and third, respectively.

In the bull riding, Cheyne Olney, of Toppenish, Wash., placed third.

Simpson placed third in the tie-down roping.

The team of Tyler Dietering, header, of Central Arizona College, and Corban Livingston, heeler, of El Paso, Texas, received third.

Fallon, Nev., native Marisa Julian received second in the breakaway roping, with Silva receiving third.

Jordan Bassett, of Dewey, Ariz., placed third in the barrel racing event.

Katie Waybourn, of Aztec, N.M., won first in the goat tying. Waybourn also was named the women’s all-around champion for the rodeo.

The next NIRA rodeo will be held at Dine College in Tsaile, Ariz., Oct. 9-10.

NMSU rodeo team competes in third rodeo of the season

Margaret Kovar

The New Mexico State University rodeo team continued to hold their own against the competition during the Dine College National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeo Oct. 9-10 in Tsaile, Ariz.

“The Dine College hosted a great rodeo this year. We are starting to get in our groove and team scores are climbing. We just need to keep it up as we go into our final rodeo of the season here in Las Cruces,” said Jim Dewey Brown, NMSU rodeo coach.

The men’s team placed third and the women’s team finished second during the rodeo.

Steve Hacker, of Battle Mountain, Nev., won first in the saddle bronc riding event.

JoDan Mirabal, of Grants, N.M., and Johnny Salvo, of Horse Springs, N.M., placed first and second, respectively, in the tie-down roping.

In the team roping, Mirabal, header, and Grayln Elkins, heeler, of New Mexico Highlands University, received third.

Mirabal also was named the men’s all-around champion for the weekend.

Capitan, N.M., native Staci Stanbrough placed third in breakaway roping and second in barrel racing.

“We did well this last rodeo, but we need to stay focused and really hit the practice pen before the next rodeo, especially since it is a home rodeo,” said Megan Corey Albrecht, NMSU rodeo assistant coach.

The next NIRA rodeo will be held at NMSU in Las Cruces Oct. 31.

NMSU rodeo team competes in final rodeo of the semester

Margaret Kovar

The New Mexico State University men’s rodeo team ended the fall season on top during the NMSU National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeo Oct. 31 in Las Cruces.

The men’s team won first and the women’s team won second during the last rodeo of the semester. Both teams are ranked first in the NIRA’s Grand Canyon region.

“This rodeo was a great end to the fall season. The teams really shined this weekend and pulled ahead of the competition to claim the top spot in the region,” said Jim Dewey Brown, NMSU rodeo coach.

Trevor Haught, of Payson, Ariz., won first in the bareback event.

Thorsen Dusenberry, of Desert Hills, Ariz., and Steve Hacker, of Battle Mountain, Nev., won first and second, respectively, in the saddle bronc riding.

Johnny Salvo, of Horse Springs, N.M., won first in the tie-down roping. Bo Simpson, of Las Cruces, N.M., received second.

In the team roping, Donny DeForest, header, of Yuma, Ariz., and Tyler Findley, heeler, of Silver City, N.M., placed first. Simpson and Garrison DeWitt, of Rio Rico, Ariz., finished second.

For the women’s team, Carleigh Marr, of Belen, N.M., received second in the breakaway roping. Teammate Staci Stanbrough, of Capitan, N.M., placed third.

Dewey, Ariz., native Jordan Bassett placed third in the barrel racing event.

Stanbrough was named the women’s all-around champion for the rodeo.

Climate Bill Likely on the Shelf For Rest of the Year

Key Senate Democrats Tuesday said it is unlikely there will be any more major committee action on climate-change legislation this year, the strongest indication yet that a comprehensive bill to cut greenhouse-gas emissions won't be voted on until at least next year. Although the Senate Environment Committee last week approved a version of the bill, the proposal will face strong revisions from moderate Democrats, particularly from senators on the Finance and Agriculture committees. "It's common understanding that climate-change legislation will not be brought up on the Senate floor and pass the Senate this year," Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus said on the sidelines of a caucus lunch. Mr. Baucus, a Montana Democrat, said he planned to hold a number of hearings on climate legislation and eventually mark up a bill in his panel. "But I don't know that I can get a bill put together by this year, as important as climate-change legislation is," he said. Mr. Baucus was the lone dissenting Democratic vote on the Environment Panel last week because he wanted weaker emission-reduction targets and stronger provisions to protect energy-intensive industries and encourage clean-coal technologies. "I wouldn't want to bet my paycheck that all the relevant committees will report out legislation by the end of this year," said Sen. Thomas Carper (D., Del.) more

Why did Apple & Nike quit the U.S Chamber?

The Cascade Policy Institute has "the rest of the story":

As it happens, Al Gore is a member of the board of Apple, and Apple’s Chief Operating Officer, Tim Cook, sits on the board of Nike. So it should be fairly obvious why Nike and Apple are supporting cap-and-trade. Nike’s and Apple’s manufacturing bases also lie mostly outside the United States and would be unaffected by a cap-and-trade program. Thus, both Nike and Apple can project a “green” image for their young, environmentally conscious consumers and gain a market advantage by supporting a program that could hinder their U.S.-based competitors. Other companies, like Exelon, are simply waiting to feed from the government-imposed cap-and-trade money trough. Exelon is the biggest nuclear power operator in the country, and Exelon’s CEO John Rowe is endorsing cap-and-trade in order to cash in on the numerous subsidies and market manipulations currently written into the Senate climate bill, which could boost Exelon’s profits by $1.1 billion (39 percent). Apparently, it’s easy being “green,” when “green” means government-guaranteed profiteering and rent-seeking...

Religion’s Role in the Climate Challenge

A remarkable conclave of leading figures from nine of the world’s major religions is under way at Windsor Castle in Britain, under the auspices of Prince Philip and the United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon. Called “Many Heavens, One Earth,” the meeting is intended to generate commitments for actions by religious organizations, congregants and countries that could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases or otherwise limit the human impact on the environment. Much of the discourse over climate has been focused on gigatons of gases, megawatt hours of electricity, miles per gallon or details of diplomatic accords or legislation. But Olav Kjorven, an assistant secretary general at the United Nations involved with the meeting, spent the last year visiting religious orders around the world to see what faiths could bring to the climate table. The answer, Mr. Kjorven told me, is a lot, and not simply in prayer. Religions, he explained, run more than half the world’s schools, so tweaking a curriculum to include more on the environment can have a big impact. Their vast financial holdings provide leverage and capital for investments with environmental or social benefits. At the conference, which ends on Wednesday, many faiths will be announcing long-term plans to make more of an impact in an arena that has not tended to be a top more

Church bells to ring out warning on climate change

The World Council of Churches on Thursday called on churches around the world to ring their bells 350 times during the Copenhagen climate change summit on December 13 as a call to action on global warming. The leading council of Christian and Orthodox churches also invited places of worship for other faiths to join a symbolic "chain of chimes and prayers" stretching around the world from the international date line in the South Pacific. "On that Sunday, midway through the UN summit, the WCC invites churches around the world to use their bells, drums, gongs or whatever their tradition offers to call people to prayer and action in the face of climate change," the council said in a statement. "By sounding their bells or other instruments 350 times, participating churches will symbolise the 350 parts per million that mark the safe upper limit for CO2 (carbon dioxide) in the atmosphere according to many scientists," it more

Well hell's bells.

New Army Corps Policy Forces Project Designers to Consider Rising Seas

The Army Corps of Engineers must consider the effects of climate change as it draws up plans for flood control, navigation and other water projects under a new agency policy. The idea is to keep rising seas from swamping major federal investments. In some cases, extra up-front investment could armor projects against worst-case scenarios, the policy's authors say. In others, the corps could leave room for future adjustments. "If you look at something like a levee in the Sacramento area and say we're going to design it to a certain height, well, if we get a higher sea-level rise, then a levee won't provide 100-year protection anymore," said Kevin Knuuti, engineering chief in the Sacramento district and the lead technical author of the policy. "We can either build it extra-high now, which is expensive and will cost more to design, or maybe we can do things that will make it easier to modify the project in the future, if the need arises." Planning for future changes in the case of the Sacramento levee, Knuuti said, might mean purchasing extra land to accommodate future widening. Officials said existing projects also will be evaluated with rising seas in more

What a surprise. Global warming will result in the feds gobbling up more private land.

River gets its bends back

Along the Truckee River east of Sparks, experts are laboring to correct well-intended mistakes of the past. The $7.8 million restoration of the river at Mustang Ranch, the former site of Nevada's first legal bordello, is the latest project in an ambitious effort to restore much of the lower part of a river that runs 116 miles from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. Among the changes planned will be a return of the natural, meandering twists that historically characterized the river channel. It's one of several similar multimillion-dollar efforts around the country. In Florida, Texas and Utah, costly projects are under way to return rivers altered by people to a state more closely mirroring nature's more

Giant New Utah Wind Farm Will Power Los Angeles

The largest wind farm in Utah and one of the largest in the western United States was commissioned with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday at the project site near the small town of Milford. First Wind, an independent North American wind power company based in Boston, celebrated the completion of the first phase of its Milford Wind Corridor project in the presence of Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell, officials with the federal Bureau of Land Management, state and local officials. The power generated by the wind farm will be sent south to serve Southern California, so representatives of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the cities of Burbank and Pasadena, and the Southern California Public Power Authority attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Featuring 97 wind turbines, the first phase of the project has the capacity to generate 203 megawatts of wind energy, enough to power about 45,000 homes per year, Gaynor says. The Milford Wind Corridor is the first wind energy facility permitted under the Bureau of Land Management's Wind Energy Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for western more

Fast-Tracked Solar Project Could Speed Mojave Desert's Demise

The federal government's determination that a 400-megawatt solar thermal power plant will not cause significant harm to a pristine strip of the Mojave Desert is a victory for those who want to place dozens of solar arrays on federal land in Southern California. But a closer look at a federal draft environmental impact statement released last week reveals that even with extensive mitigation, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System project would destroy rare plants and permanently alter prized views from the nearby Mojave National Preserve. It would also annually consume an estimated 32 million gallons of groundwater in a region where water is scarce. Such findings concern environmentalists who are almost certain to challenge the project. They also add to mounting criticism that the Obama administration is rushing to permit utility-scale renewable energy projects without considering the projects' effects on pristine public lands and the rare plants and animals that inhabit more

What the ‘frack?’

Sublette County residents want oil and gas companies to disclose what chemicals are being used in their hydraulic fracking process — a technique used to break up rock or coal formations in the earth, allowing oil and gas to flow more easy to wells. Fluid made up of water and chemicals is pumped into the rock, creating pressure and causing it to break or fracture. Currently companies do not have to tell what chemicals they use. The problem with that lack of information is not knowing how to properly treat energy industry workers injured by the chemicals while placing medical personnel in danger when treating them. Another concern is the risk of those potentially toxic chemicals seeping into drinking water systems, as some of the fluids remain underground after the fracking more

Domestic crimes may be considered ‘terrorist’ acts

Radical environmentalists may not see themselves as terrorists, but asked whether a terrorism enhancement applies to their sentences for destroying government property, the Seventh Circuit found the issue clear cut. On Nov. 9, the court affirmed application of U.S.S.G. 3A1.4 to members of the Earth Liberation Front who destroyed several research projects at a U.S. Forest Service facility in Rhinelander. In 2000, the defendants, Katherine Christianson and Bryan Rivera, and two others entered the facility and damaged or destroyed more than 500 trees that were part of a genetic engineering experiment, either by cutting them down or girdling them. (“Girdling” consists of removing a strip of bark from around a tree’s entire circumstance, causing eventual death.) Before addressing the merits, Judge Manion cautioned, “ELF and its members are not to be confused with the typical environmental protestor denouncing and peacefully demonstrating against such things as nuclear power, strip coal mining, cutting old-growth timber, offshore drilling, damming wild rivers, and so on.” Instead, Manion observed, “ELF’s members take their activism to unconscionable levels: since ELF’s inception in 1987, its members have been responsible for bombings, arson, vandalism, and a host of other crimes. In fact, between 2000 and 2005, 43 of the 57 reported terrorist attacks committed on American soil were done by ELF members or their sister organization, the Animal Liberation Front. ELF’s terror attacks have caused over fifty million dollars in damage to public and private property.” The guideline defines a terrorist act as a crime involving or intended to promote a federal crime of terrorism, as defined at 18. U.S.C. 2332b(g) more

Man missing in Gila spotted by rescuers

A Houston man who has been missing since Tuesday in the Gila Wilderness Area was spotted late Thursday afternoon by National Guard Search and Rescue crew members aboard an HO 58 helicopter. Ross Mason, 44, went into the Gila on about Nov. 5, and planned to do a solo hike of the Big Bear Loop, an approximately 25-mile round trip. But when he didn't check in with his friend, William Lidwell, back in Houston by noon on Tuesday, Mason's college buddy knew something was wrong. Gonzales said the region is so rugged that the only place to search was on the trails. The search team had dogs but didn't have a scent for the dogs to go on because it had been too long and they had no scent item to give the dogs. And, federal law prevents a helicopter from landing in the wilderness. At approximately 4 p.m. Thursday, Mason was spotted by members of the search and rescue team aboard the National Guard helicopter. A Forest Service employee had joined the team in the chopper to show them where the trails were. "They flew over White Creek Cabin, about 21 miles from the Cliff Dwellings up the West Fork," Gonzales said. Mason had spelled out S.O.S. in colored clothing on the ground and was spotted by the more

Seven Reasons Why Congress Should Repeal, Not Fix, the Death Tax

The House and Senate may soon begin debate on what to do with the federal estate tax. If Congress fails to act before January 1, 2010, current law calls for death taxes to disappear entirely for one year before returning in 2011 at a top rate of 55 percent and a $1 million exemption of taxable estate.[1] The 2009 tax rate is 45 percent, and the exemption stands at $3.5 million per taxpayer. What should Congress do? Some Members want to permanently "fix" the death tax by reducing the top rate to 35 percent, which some pro-death tax policymakers suggest is a rate wealthy taxpayers could "afford." However, this would be the wrong move for Congress to make. Instead, policymakers should do what their voters want them to do, as revealed in poll after poll: They should repeal this tax and kill it, once and forever. Americans of all walks of life sense the deep injustice of federal death taxes and the fundamental immorality of bedrock public policies that tell people one thing and do another. Policymakers say, on the one hand, that that if you work hard, save your money, and generally do the right things in your daily life, you will succeed in the U.S. economy. On the other hand, however, these same policymakers support the federal death tax, which has the power to nearly confiscate these hard won economic gains once success is more

Smokejumping trailblazer Earl Cooley dies at age 98

Pioneer smokejumper Earl Cooley once told a newspaper reporter the only bad part of parachuting into a forest fire was the walk home. Considering that his chute nearly failed to open and he landed 140 feet up a spruce on the Forest Service's first-ever jump on a wildfire, it's fair to wonder why the practice of smokejumping ever got a second chance. But Cooley and fellow jumper Rufus Robinson had their fire under control by the next day when a team of ground-pounders finally arrived. Then they all hiked the 28 miles back to the ranger station. Sixty-nine years after he made that historic jump into the Nez Perce National Forest on July 12, 1940, Cooley died in Missoula on Monday at the age of 98. He left behind plenty of "silk stories" from his days as a smokejumper, U.S. Forest Service district ranger and Missoula real estate broker. "There wasn't the safety consciousness there is today," author John Maclean recalled of the man his father, Norman Maclean, interviewed extensively for the book "Young Men and Fire." "You took the risks, and nobody paid attention to that anyway until Mann Gulch. Smokejumping didn't need to be sold because it worked. There were lots and lots of fires you couldn't get to and you had to get to." more

Feinstein Proposes 'Office of Humane Slaughter'

Reports out of Washington, D.C., are that Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is planning to propose legislation to create an Office of Humane Slaughter within USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service. Feinstein sent a letter to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, citing the recent Humane Society of the United States video of inhumane treatment of veal calves at a packing plant in Vermont. The facility involved was Bushways Packing Co., in Grande Isle, Vt., which was shut down. According to Feinstein, the planned legislation would authorize new funding to hire additional FSIS inspectors, as well as close any loopholes that allow downed calves to be slaughtered. It would also direct USDA to develop standards for treating and transporting calves to be sold as bob more

Song Of The Day #179

Ranch Radio will continue the week of old time country music with the East Texas Serenaders and their recording of Babe.

It's available on their 24 track CD Complete Recorded Works 1927-1937 on Document Records.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CMAs and ACMs are country cousins

Even the most die-hard country music fans have a tough time explaining the difference between the Country Music Assn. (CMA), which handed out awards Wednesday night, and the Academy of Country Music (ACM), which passes out honors every May. The only differences besides the dates are network affiliation and geography -- the CMA Awards air on ABC from Nashville while the ACM Awards are doled out on CBS from Las Vegas. Both awards are bestowed by industry organizations with many of the same voters and -- no surprise -- many of the same winners. In the 45-year history of the ACM Awards, just 23 men and 24 women have won the vocalist prizes. And only 21 different acts have been named entertainer of the year. The CMAs are no different, with many of the champs there having won first at the ACM Awards or vice versa. Over 43 years, the CMA Awards have seen 23 men and 24 women take top vocal honors while 29 different acts have ranked as entertainer of the more

EPA: Toxic chemicals in freshwater fish widespread

Nearly half of lakes and reservoirs nationwide contain fish with potentially harmful levels of the toxic metal mercury, according to a federal study released Tuesday. The Environmental Protection Agency found mercury — a pollutant primarily released from coal-fired power plants — and polychlorinated biphenyls in all fish samples it collected from 500 lakes and reservoirs from 2000-2003. At 49 percent of those lakes and reservoirs, mercury concentrations exceeded levels that the EPA says are safe for people eating average amounts of fish. Mercury consumed by eating fish can damage the nervous system and cause learning disabilities in developing fetuses and young children. Fewer lakes and reservoirs — 17 percent — had fish containing polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, above recommended levels. PCBs were widely used as coolants and lubricants until they were banned in the late 1970s, but because they last in the environment for long periods of time, they can still be found in fish. PCBs have been linked to cancer and other health more

Bennet tells the Army to drop Pinon Canyon appeal

Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., wants the Army to drop its appeal of a federal court decision in September that rejected an environmental study the Army needs to go forward in sending more troops, more often to train at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. Army lawyers filed their appeal Monday of U.S. District Judge Richard Matsch's decision. The judge said the 2007 environmental study was severely flawed and inadequate, based on the Army's own past reports of damage to the range following training operations at the 238,000-acre training ground northeast of Trinidad. In a letter to new Army Secretary John McHugh sent Tuesday, Bennet said the appeal would only deepen the conflict between the Army and Southeastern Colorado residents over the expansion of Pinon Canyon. Saying Matsch's ruling was clear on the inadequacy of the environmental report, Bennet said the Army's best choice if it wanted to improve its relationship with area residents would be to drop the appeal. "Yet the Army's decision to move forward with more litigation sends a hostile message to the farmers and ranchers in Southern Colorado: The Army is more concerned about winning than repairing this relationship over the long-term," the letter said. "It's time to put an end to the adversarial relationship between these Colorado residents - my constituents - and the Army. The first thing you should do on that front is drop this lawsuit." more

Wyoming makes argument for managing gray wolves

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's rejection of Wyoming's management plan for gray wolves was an "arbitrary and capricious" decision, the state claims, and a federal court should order the agency to transfer wolf management to Wyoming. Wyoming made the argument Monday in a brief filed in U.S. District Court in Cheyenne. The state filed suit in June after the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reversed course and decided to leave gray wolves in Wyoming on the endangered species list while delisting them in Idaho and Montana. The agency's main reason for rejecting Wyoming's wolf management was the state's plan to classify wolves as a trophy game species for licensed hunters in the state's northwest corner -- the bulk of the animals' range -- while classifying them as a predator species in the rest of the state, meaning anybody could shoot them at any time. The agency said Wyoming needs to manage wolves as trophy game statewide to assure that wolves survive. In its Monday filing, the state argued that the service's position is not biologically defensible. The best scientific information available proves that the predator classification wouldn't prevent the state from maintaining its share of a recovered population, the state more

Wolves Will Thrive Despite Recent Hunts

Those opposed to the wolf "recovery program" rejoiced when the hunting season finally was announced, but many believe it will barely begin to address the exploding wolf population that is decimating deer, elk, and moose populations, as well as causing havoc with cattle and sheep herds. They point out that wolf population estimates by fish and wildlife officials are notorious for undercounting (i.e., there actually are far more wolves than officially admitted), and even if hunters fill all of the tag quotas, wolf populations will continue to soar. According to the Idaho Department of Fish & Game's Wolf Harvest Status Report web page (for November 9, 2009), 92 wolves have been taken thus far, out of the statewide harvest limit of 220 set by the IDFG. Eleven of the 12 wolf zones in the state remain open, with only the Upper Snake Wolf Zone (on the eastern side of the state, bordering Montana, and Wyoming) having closed, due to filled limits. The other zones will remain open until December 31, or until zone limits are filled. Montana Fish, Wildlife, and Parks (MFWP) officials closed wolf hunting in Wolf Management Unit 2 — which encompasses most of the southern half of the state — on October 26, after 14 wolves were reported killed, two over the 12-wolf limit for that unit. According to the MFWP web site, by November 9, fifty-eight of the statewide quota of seventy-seven had been more

Hunters aren't the worst threat to wolves' survival

Well, they are hunting wolves out West this fall, and many people think it's a shame. The wolf is barely off the federal endangered species list in Montana and Idaho, and right away these states are allowing public hunting. But not everyone thinks hunting wolves is bad, and not just ranchers and sportsmen who believe the wolf conflicts with their own interests. Many of the folks who see public wolf hunting as a positive development actually are pro-wolf. They notice that wolf populations that only 20 years ago were almost nonexistent in the West have now recovered so much that the populations can afford regulated harvesting like their fellow large carnivores -- mountain lions and bears. These folks view the wolf's new status as a state-managed species as helping to secure a more normal and healthy standing for the wolf in the West's wildlife community. Regulated hunting of wolves will not endanger the species again. But habitat loss, especially the loss of large contiguous tracts of wild land, will. That, rather than the human-caused deaths of individual wolves, will be the big concern of those folks who now decry state management of the species. To paraphrase Henry David Thoreau, "In wilderness is the preservation of the wolf." more

$11,000 offered for information on grizzly poaching

State and federal authorities have raised the reward for information leading to the conviction of shooters responsible for illegally killing a huge grizzly bear west of Dupuyer to $11,800. That's a higher than usual reward for information about the killing of a grizzly but this bear — which weighed approximately 800 pounds — wasn't an average bear. "It was a popular bear and that's why people contributed money for it," said Brian Lakes, a special agent with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The size of the reward has grown with interest in prosecuting the person or people responsible for the shooting, said Ron Aasheim, a state Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman in Helena. Defenders of Wildlife, private individuals, area ranchers, FWP and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have come together to offer the increased reward, which initially was set at $3,000 before groups came forward to assist, Aasheim said. The large grizzly was found dead Aug. 12 near Swift Dam along the Rocky Mountain Front. It was the second largest bear ever captured by wildlife managers in Montana. Bear managers nicknamed the bruin "Maximus." Twenty reward posters are being distributed in communities along the Front by the Fish and Wildlife Service office in Great Falls, Lakes more

U.S. Interior Dept. changes stance on climate

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar issued an order coordinating Interior Department efforts on climate change and forming a Climate Change Response Council to bring global warming concerns into policy making. The order represents a sharp break from the Bush years, when both science and climate change were deemphasized. In the Great Basin area, one of the results of Salazar’s order will be augmentation of federal efforts to stamp out nuisance weeds that have been choking out native plants, causing wildfires, damaging grazing land and generating carbon dioxide—cheatgrass, in particular. Centers in the eight Interior Department regions will serve as headquarters, but this will apparently not result in the creation of new bureaucracy or buildings. Centers already in place in the U.S. Geological Survey will become department-wide centers. The Salazar order states as policy that departmental action will seek to encourage on the public’s land not just traditional industries like oil and gas, ranching and agriculture, but also rising new economic activities like “environmentally responsible renewable energy development.” “Sun, wind, biomass, and geothermal energy from our public and tribal lands is creating new jobs and will power millions of American homes and electric vehicles,” the order reads. The order also directs department officials to incorporate climate change concerns into operations and policies: “Each bureau and office of the Department must consider and analyze potential climate change impacts when undertaking long-range planning exercises, setting priorities for scientific research and investigations, developing multi-year management plans, and making major decisions regarding potential use of resources under the Department’s purview.” more

Put water deal on hold

Until recently, Utah negotiators may have felt they were in a weak position when it came to working out a deal with Nevada over the future of Snake Valley water. It was assumed that Nevada could simply pump right up to its border, which was why Utah fought to get a federal bill to include a provision that Utah and Nevada would reach an agreement on the water before any of it could be pumped. That position has now changed. In a ruling handed down last month, Judge Norman Robinson of Nevada's 7th Judicial District said the Nevada state engineer "abused his discretion" by granting water rights to the Southern Nevada Water Authority in three valleys on the Nevada side of the area. Specifically, the judge said the decision was made without considering how downstream users would be impacted and without using sound science. The consequences to people downstream, he said, could be "oppressive." It can be assumed that people living on the Utah side of the area are just as much downstream as those in Nevada. "Oppressive" would be a good word to describe how many ranchers in Utah, and even Nevada, feel about the proposal to pump water from beneath their land to sustain growth in Las more

National Cutting Horse Assoc. Membership At All-Time High

In a “down” economy, some things are still on the way up. Membership in the National Cutting Horse Association reached an all-time record high of 20,255, on November 4, 2009, according to NCHA Executive Director Jeff Hooper. “We are especially pleased to have reached this milestone in 2009, during a stressful year for the national and world economy,” Hooper said. “And with recent reports of economic growth and recovery, we expect to surpass this new record in 2010.” Cutting horse competition is the world’s richest equine arena sport. In 2009, NCHA purses exceeded $43 million, earned by members across 50 states and from 21 foreign countries. The NCHA oversees over 2,200 cutting horse events each year around the globe. For an example of the size of scope of NCHA’s major events, the “Triple Crown of Cutting” (The NCHA Futurity, Super Stakes and Summer Spectacular) will distribute over $10 million in prize money in 2009. For comparison, the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred racing (the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes) distributed $4 million in purse money this more

Vet broke horses for Army

A few months shy of his 90th birthday, Ed Bieganski of Chadron can still fit into his military uniform. In fact, he still does it when called upon to serve. While much of the nation’s focus has been on “The Greatest Generation” — veterans of World War II — Bieganski’s service began even before then. He served in the Remount Detachment Unit at Fort Robinson, enlisting in 1938 at age 18. At the time of his enlistment, Fort Robinson had approximately 120 soldiers. But during World War II more than 400 soldiers and 8,000 to 10,000 horses made their way to the station. The fort served as a supply point for horses, which were still used in warfare, and Bieganski’s duties involved classifying and riding the horses until they were reasonably broke — with an emphasis on reasonably. “Sometimes the horses were still pretty wild,” Bieganski said with a laugh. The Remount Division was supplied with mares from ranchers from Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado, and stallions were purchased from racetracks. Often the stallions were leased to area ranchers and then the fort would purchase the offspring. The Remount Division was particular about using only bay or sorrel horses and straying away from gray, white and black horses to avoid drawing attention to the soldiers. Classifying the horses required documentation, such as pedigree, height and weight, and every horse and its file were numbered, and the horses were branded with their file number for identification. Toward the end of the war, horses were no longer needed. They were auctioned off in 1947 before the closing of the fort in more

Book celebrates life of the Florida cowboy

Hidden between the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines, amid 7 million acres of this state's interior, is the world of the Florida cowboy. Outshone by tourist attractions and hundreds of miles of beaches, the state's cattle industry manages 1.75 million head of beef on one-fifth of the peninsula, yet remains virtually invisible. It's an insular world of foggy morning pastures penetrated by cracking whips, cows and bulls chased through razor-sharp saw palmetto and howling cattle dogs keeping herds in check. It's a world photographer Carlton Ward Jr. explores in his new book, "Florida Cowboys: Keepers of the Last Frontier" (University Press of Florida, $45). The 234-page book, full of dramatic depictions of life on the range and testimonials by still-living pioneers, reads like a love letter to the cowboy life. An exhibition of Ward's photographs is featured at the Tampa Bay History Center in downtown Tampa through December. Ward is somewhat of an insider. His family's Carlton "C" brand has been registered since the 1850s in Hillsborough more

Song Of The Day #178

The Westerner and Ranch Radio were interrupted on Veteran's Day and weren't able to bring you our selection for that special day.

Here it is, with Carson Robison singing Remember Pearl Harbor. You will quickly see that country music wasn't as "politically correct" then as it is today.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Music and passing gas

I was in the restaurant yesterday when I suddenly realized I desperately needed to pass gas. The music was really, really loud, so I timed my gas with the beat of the music.

After a couple of songs, I started to feel better. I finished my coffee, and noticed that everybody was staring at me....

Then I suddenly remembered that I was listening to my iPod.

Navajo Code Talkers Launch Final Mission

Lloyd Oliver perfected his sniper skills shooting prairie dogs as a boy on the reservation. But it was his native tongue as a Navajo that made him a war hero. Now 87, and long deaf from years of exposure to enemy fire, Oliver helped develop the secret, encrypted language that was used by the Navajo code talkers, an elite unit of the U.S. Marines who helped defeat the Japanese in World War II. Only about 50 of the 400 men are still alive today, mostly living on the Navajo Nation reservation that straddles Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. Their average age is 84. In red Garrison caps and gold-colored uniform shirts dotted with medals and bolo ties of indigenous turquoise, 13 of them reunited this week on what may be their last mission: to raise $50 million for a museum dedicated to preserving their language and their more

EPA C02 endangerment finding to White House

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has sent its final proposal on whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions pose a danger to human health and welfare to the White House for review, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told Reuters on Monday. The EPA's final finding, if it follows the agency's earlier assessment and is approved by the Office of Management and Budget, would allow the EPA to issue rules later to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, even if Congress fails to pass legislation to cut U.S. emissions of the heat-trapping gases that contribute to global warming. "We sent the final proposal over to OMB on Friday," Jackson said in an interview at her EPA headquarters' office. She said the OMB has up to 90 days to review the proposal, but the EPA would like a quicker more

EPA Warns 2 Staff Lawyers Over Video Criticizing Climate Policy

The Environmental Protection Agency has directed two of its lawyers to makes changes to a YouTube video they posted that is critical of the Obama administration’s climate change policy. The agency, citing federal policies, told the two lawyers, Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel, who are married and based in San Francisco, that they could mention their E.P.A. affiliation only once; must remove language specifying Mr. Zabel’s expertise and their years of employment with the agency; and must remove an image of the agency’s office in San Francisco. They have been told that if they do not edit the video to comply with the policy, they could face disciplinary action. The video, titled “The Huge Mistake,” was produced and posted in September. But the agency did not issue its warning until The Washington Post published a widely cited opinion article by the couple on Oct. 31 that raised concerns, echoing those in the video, about cap-and-trade legislation that the Obama administration supports. Ms. Williams and Mr. Zabel say cap and trade, in which the government sets a limit on gases that contribute to global warming and then lets companies trade permits to meet it, can be easily gamed by industry and fail to reduce the emissions linked to global more

Brazil Lists US Goods Eyed In WTO Cotton Ruling

Brazil's government Monday published a list of 222 U.S. products that may be subject to tariff increases as a result of a World Trade Organization ruling earlier this year condemning U.S. subsidies to its cotton industry. The government said the list would be made available for public consultation until Nov. 30 before it begins a final decision-making process on retaliations. According to the government announcement published in its federal register, items on the list could be subject to tariff increases of up to 100 percentage points. In addition to cotton and other agricultural and textile products, the list includes other goods such as motor vehicle products, electronics, cosmetics, medical equipment and pharmaceutical products. Speaking at the announcement of foreign trade results Monday, Brazil's Foreign Trade Secretary Lytha Spindola said the list represented about 11% of Brazilian imports from the U.S. "If the subsidies aren't removed, we will exercise our right to retaliation," said more

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Army appeals Pinon Canyon court ruling

he Army is appealing a federal district court ruling in September that rejected its environmental study of the impact of training more soldiers at the Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site. The appeal was filed Monday with the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. In September, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Matsch ruled a 2007 environmental study the Army did as a prerequisite to building more infrastructure at the 238,000-acre training range was insufficient. As a result, Matsch vacated the Army's formal decision to increase the training schedule at Pinon Canyon. The lawsuit was brought by the Not 1 More Acre! group of ranchers, which is opposed to the Army's planned expansion of Pinon Canyon. Matsch sided with the ranchers' argument that the Army's owns records showed past training exercises had done extensive environmental damage to the training range. Matsch ruled the Army's claim that it could increase the training schedule and numbers of soldiers training at Pinon Canyon without doing more harm was "irreconcilable" with its own more

US, Mexico, Canada To Cooperate on Wilderness Conservation

The United States, Mexico and Canada for the first time formally agreed to cooperate on wilderness conservation measures across the continent. Mexican President Felipe Calderon announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Cooperation for Wilderness Conservation at the opening ceremony of the 9th World Wilderness Congress in Merida, Mexico on Friday. "This Agreement will facilitate the sharing of successful experiences, monitoring, and training of human resources, as well as the financing of projects that will protect and recover wild areas," Calderon said. The MOU provisions address ecosystems, migratory wildlife, and natural resources that cross geographical boundaries. The MOU also encourages cooperative efforts to conduct and share scientific research. The agreement also recognizes the importance of wilderness conservation in climate change adaptation and mitigation and monitoring for climate change more

Senators look past Barbara Boxer's climate bill

While Sen. Barbara Boxer was celebrating her committee’s passage of a sweeping climate change bill Thursday, other Democrats and Republicans were already looking for a Plan B. Rank-and-file members from both parties dismissed the Boxer bill, coal-state senators were unhappy and many said Boxer’s move to approve the bill without any Republicans even in the committee room had poisoned the process. “It dooms that particular legislation. The question is what comes next,” said Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. “We will see what Plan B is.” Moderates are looking to Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) to come up with that Plan B, which may include more incentives for nuclear power, renewable fuels and maybe even domestic drilling to draw support of moderate Democrats and some Republicans. Key Democrats said the Boxer legislation was moving too fast for some coal and manufacturing more

Cap-and-trade mirage

What guarantees failure of the proposed climate bills, however, are their provisions for carbon offsets, a concept not used in the acid rain program. Both bills allow all required greenhouse-gas reductions for almost 20 years to be met with carbon offsets rather than actual reductions in use of the capped sources. Offsets -- considered indispensable to keeping cap-and-trade affordable -- are supposed to be "additional" reductions beyond what is legally required. But experience with offsets in Europe and California has shown that ensuring real "additionality" is not an achievable goal. Suppose, for example, that a landowner is paid not to cut his forest so that it can continue capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Purchasing this offset allows owners of a coal-fired power plant to burn extra coal, above the cap. But if the landowner wasn't planning to cut his forest, he just received a bonus for doing what he would have done anyway. Even if he was planning to cut his forest and doesn't, demand for wood isn't reduced. A different forest will be cut. Either way, there is no net reduction in production of greenhouse gases. The result of this carbon "offset" is not a decrease but an increase -- coal burning above the cap at the power plant. Or consider the refrigerant HCFC-22, the manufacture of which creates an extremely powerful greenhouse gas as a byproduct. This byproduct is relatively easy and cheap to destroy, and governments could require refrigerant manufacturers to do just that. But offset investors have persuaded regulators to approve destruction of the byproduct as a carbon offset, making it twice as profitable to sell byproduct destruction as it was to sell the refrigerant. Some have even fought to keep release of this byproduct legal because, otherwise, destruction of the byproduct would no longer produce offsets as it would no longer be "additional." The situation also creates incentive for some to make unneeded refrigerant to profit from byproduct more

Algae as a fuel could skew corn's role

The corncob could be losing its special place in the nation's energy future. The 2007 energy bill required that refiners start using biofuels made from cobs, wheat straw, grasses and other sources of plant cellulose by 2010, with the mandate growing annually to reach 16 billion gallons by 2022. But now there is an effort in Congress to expand that mandate to include fuels made from algae and microorganisms. A climate bill the Senate is considering would replace the requirement for use of cellulosic biofuels with a broader mandate for "advanced green biofuels." The change could encourage investors to put more money into developing algae fuels. Until now, companies focused on turning cellulose into ethanol have had the mandate, and the powerful investment incentive it represents, all to themselves. Kevin Book, an analyst with ClearView Energy Partners, said the new definition could hurt cellulosic developers while aiding the algae sector. The fact that the Senate bill includes the expanded definition shows there is growing support for expanding the 2007 mandate beyond cellulosic fuels, he more

What Big Government giveth Big Government can taketh away.

Judge affirms plan to restore Kaibab National Forest

A federal judge this week struck down a lawsuit contending the U.S. Forest Service unlawfully approved a plan to reduce forest fuels and plant trees on a northern Arizona forest. The Warm Fire Recovery Project called for harvesting fire-killed trees on 9,000 acres of the Kaibab National Forest and replanting conifer trees on about 10,000 acres. A 60,000-acre natural fire that grew out of control swept through the area where recovery efforts are planned in 2006. The Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and WildEarth Guardians sued over the plan, claiming it violated several environmental more

Federal judge asked to end Yellowstone bison kills

A coalition of environmental and American Indian groups sued two federal agencies today to stop the mass slaughter of bison that migrate outside Yellowstone National Park in search of food. During the last decade, federal agencies working with the state of Montana have captured and shipped to slaughter more than 3,300 bison to prevent the spread of an animal disease to cattle. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court, asks for the National Park Service and Forest Service to be barred from participating in the slaughter program. The plaintiffs contend the two federal agencies are ignoring their responsibility to preserve the animals. It also says claims the threat of the disease, brucellosis, has been more

Top agencies to work for in the federal government

Writing in the Washingtonian Magazine, James Michael Causey notes "don't look now, but working for the federal government is cool again." As the eldest son of FederalNewsRadio's Senior Correspondent Mike Causey, he brings a unique perspective to the magazine's "Fifty Great Places to Work". Five of the top 50 are federal entities. "I think if you could distill it down to one element," Causey told FederalNewsRadio, "it's the fact that if the individual employee feels like they're making a difference, everything trickles down from that." The Washingtonian and FederalNewsRadio conducted a survey of more than 13,000 federal employees this past August. After pouring over the results, Causey said he feels the reason the Internal Revenue Service made the grade was not the pay and benefits. Causey told the Federal Drive about another example, cut from the article for space, about the Offices of the Chief Administrative Officer of the U.S. House of Representatives. The remaining three federal agencies on the list (in no particular order) are the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Nuclear Regulatory more

Amphibians role as indicator species disputed by new study

Amphibians such as frogs, long considered a leading indicator of environmental health, are not so susceptible to pollution, according to an analysis to be published in an influential academic journal. Researchers from Washington State University, the University of South Dakota and Yale University reviewed more than 28,000 toxicological tests in studying whether amphibians are as vulnerable as most people think. "The very simple message is that for most of the classes of chemical compounds we looked at, frogs range from being moderately susceptible to being bullet-proof," said David Skelly, professor of ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and a member of the research team. "There are lots of other kinds of environmental threats that have led to their decline, including habitat conversion, harvesting for food and the global spread of the Chytrid fungus, which is mowing down these species in its path." more

Bloomfield Refinery to close; 100 workers laid off

At least 100 employees at the Bloomfield refinery will be laid off by mid-December after Western Refining, Inc. announced plans Monday to cut costs by transferring all Bloomfield operations to its Gallup facility. The El Paso, Texas-based company said the consolidation of its Four Corners refineries will save Western Refining at least $25 million each year. "The decision to idle the Bloomfield refinery does not come easily. Actions that negatively impact employees are always difficult," Western Refining CEO Paul Foster said. "Western appreciates the dedication of our employees and is committed to treating them fairly and with respect as we work through this transition." More than 120 people are employed at the Bloomfield refinery. Due to a shortage in affordable crude supplies in the region, Western Refining had cut collective production at the Bloomfield and Gallup refineries from 40,000 barrels daily to 25,000 barrels, according to the company. Transferring the Bloomfield refining operations to Gallup allows Western Refining to continue producing an average 25,000 barrels of oil per day while only paying operation costs at one refinery, the CEO more

Sheep attacked by mountain lion in Fremont's Morrison Canyon

Bob Garcia is no stranger to mountain lion sightings or attacks. Living in Morrison Canyon for more than three decades, the 56-year-old retired teacher has lost a fair share of his livestock to the wild animals. But late Friday night or early Saturday, he lost yet another sheep — his third in a week — to what he thinks was a mountain lion. Now that Garcia has "shut off the (mountain lion's) food supply" by moving his three dozen remaining sheep indoors, he fears that the animal may be heading to residential areas and thinks that residents should be warned. "People need to know about this," he said. Fremont police have investigated the matter and have posted signs in the Morrison Canyon area alerting those walking, hiking or biking in the hills that animals such as mountain lions roam there, said Sgt John Dauzat, who heads the Tri-City Animal more

Transatlantic partners agree to antibiotic resistance task force

U.S. and European leaders meeting in Washington on Nov. 3 for a TransAtlantic summit on key issues agreed to include a new initiative to study antibiotic resistance. In a joint declaration issued by White House and the EU, summit leaders agreed to "establish a transatlantic task force on urgent antimicrobial resistance issues focused on appropriate therapeutic use of antimicrobial drugs in the medical and veterinary communities, prevention of both healthcare- and community-associated drug-resistant infections, and strategies for improving the pipeline of new antimicrobial drugs, which could be better addressed by intensified cooperation between us." The antibiotic resistance issue was among several other major topics addressed at the summit including climate change, nuclear proliferation, Middle East peace and development aid to address global more

Livestock care initiative passis in Ohio

Issue 2 -- the Ohio ballot initiative that called for the establishment of a board on livestock care standards -- was adopted by voters in the state yesterday, with almost two-thirds of voters approving the concept late last night. The measure establishes a 13-member Ohio Livestock Care Standards Board that will set standards for the care, treatment and welfare of livestock and poultry raised in Ohio based on ethics and science. The measure takes the form of an amendment to the Ohio State Constitution. Ohio has several similar regulatory boards established by the state's constitution. The board is intended to head off efforts by activist groups outside the state to impose their agendas on the state's livestock and poultry production, such as did the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) in California last year when it successfully carried to the ballot an initiative that dictates housing standards for laying hens, swine and veal calves. Nevertheless, HSUS chief executive officer and president Wayne Pacelle clearly implied last night that the group may seek to counter the board with its own ballot initiative in Ohio elections next year in the form of a constitutional amendment that would contain Prop 2-like language. (A second constitutional amendment on the same matter would have precedent over the board.) "We haven't made a final decision," he said, "but it's very likely." more

It's All Trew: Exactly how narrow does a niche have to be?

Down through the years, I have known or heard of several people who found their niche in life even though it was narrow and limited in scope. I once interviewed an old man, a grandfather of a friend, who told of his niche when he was growing up in Arkansas. It seems the community held a barn dance once a month in a large barn with a rough plank floor. As most of the crowd were young folks who danced barefooted occasionally, they picked up a splinter or two. The young boy kept a sharp-pointed knife and homemade tweezers ready for use. When the need arose, he sat with tools in hand, removed the splinter and applied a disinfectant containing mostly moonshine. For this service, he charged a penny. His services as a "splinter-picker" earned him free admission to the monthly barn dances. A man named Mr. Street arrived on main street in early McLean, Texas, each Saturday morning. Both pants and coat pockets were filled with refurbished, repaired and sharpened used pocketknives. He tried to trade knives with every man he met that day, always insisting on a nickel or a dime "to boot." It was a needed service and earned him a bit of spending money during the hard times of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl. His personal niche was the fact he was a well-known "wart rubber." Mothers brought their children plagued with warts to Mr. Street for the "cure." He rubbed the warts, and within a few days the warts went away. For this service, he did not charge, but I imagine it sold a lot of more

Song Of The Day #177

Ranch Radio will stick with old time country music for the rest of the week. Today's offering is Shout Lula recorded in 1927 by Grayson & Whitter.

G.B. Grayson, fiddler/singer was from North Carolina and Henry Whitter, guitarist/singer was from Virginia. They were only together for 3 years but recorded 40 songs. Their Handsome Molly sold 50,000 copies and became a standard. Other songs of theirs which becames standards were Tom Dooley, Cluck Old Hen and Lee Highway Blues. Grayson was killed in 1930 in a car accident while hitchhiking.

Today's tune is available on their 22 track CD Complete Recorded Works in Chronological Order, Vol. 1: 1927-1928.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Gore: 'Civil disobedience has a role to play'

Gore's new book, Our Choice: A Plan To Solve The Climate Crisis, gives global warming deniers short shrift, and shows little concern for displays of political bipartisanship: he likens the doubters to the "birthers" intent on proving that Obama is a Kenyan – not just mavericks, but fantasists who inhabit a different version of reality. "The golden thread of reason that used to be stretched taut to mark the boundary between the known and the unknown is now routinely disrespected," he writes, in a typically Goreish sentence, immediately prior to quoting Theodor Adorno, King Solomon and Aesop. Primarily, though, Our Choice is a sumptuously illustrated coffee-table book of potential solutions, explaining both Gore's favourites (geothermal energy, biochar, "smart" electrical grids) and those about which he's deeply sceptical (nuclear power, carbon capture and pumping sulphur dioxide into the stratosphere, a plan he describes as "insane"). Importantly, it seeks to enlist readers as political advocates for the cause, rather than just urging them to turn down the heating. "It's important to change lightbulbs," he says, in a well-burnished soundbite, "but more important to change policies and laws." Or perhaps to break laws instead: peaceful occupations of the kind witnessed recently in the UK, he predicts, are only going to become more widespread. "Civil disobedience has an honourable history, and when the urgency and moral clarity cross a certain threshold, then I think that civil disobedience is quite understandable, and it has a role to play. And I expect that it will increase, no question about it." more

Penry puts principle first on Pinon Canyon

Recently, U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman opined in the Colorado Statesman that Republican gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry is “anti-military" for being against the U.S. Army’s proposed Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site expansion. I realize that the game for cronies in Congress, Republicans and Democrats alike, is to cover for each other, and former U.S. Rep. Scott McInnis is Josh Penry’s biggest GOP rival in the upcoming election for governor. However, Rep. Coffman’s remarks were overboard, inaccurate, and more like one of the political stratagems of his opposition. I like Mike. He is a Facebook friend and fellow veteran, but he is dead wrong. I have two sons in harms’ way in the now-undeclared global war on terrorism. I am also a VA-rated 70 percent disabled Vietnam veteran and a member in good standing of the Special Forces Association, Special Operations Association, DAV, VFW, American Legion and Military Writers Society of America. There is no way in the world that I would ever support anybody for any office who is anti-military in any way, shape or form. I am very proud that I am also the campaign manager for Josh Penry in Fremont more

Quail Unlimited faces bleak financial outlook

Quail Unlimited, the nation's largest conservation group devoted to bobwhite quail, has shut its doors, furloughed its 24 remaining employees and put its national headquarters in Edgefield, S.C., up for sale to resolve what board members say are catastrophic financial problems. "It is bleak," said Bill Bowles, a member of the organization's national board of directors and an officer on the board's executive committee for financial matters." On Oct. 27th we realized we couldn't make payroll for the 31st. How do you ask someone to stay when you can't pay them?" The organization, founded in 1981, has about 30,000 members and an annual budget just shy of $6 million that is generated from sponsors, banquets and fundraising programs nationwide. Although conservation groups everywhere are struggling with declining membership and the impacts of an economic downturn, the problems at Quail Unlimited were compounded by internal strife and a lack of communication with the volunteer board of directors, which meets just twice a year, Bowles said. "The financial position of the organization was in a steady decline," he said. "We were reaching critical mass and it is hard for a board of very, very smart businessmen to give guidance and leadership to a nonprofit conservation organization if the board is not shown accurate financial data." more

Oil, gas permit fees jump 62 percent

The fee to process federal oil and gas applications for permits to drill increased this month from $4,000 per application to $6,500. The fee hike was part of the 2010 Department of Interior appropriations bill enacted into law on Oct. 30. The fee took effect Nov. 2. Bureau of Land Management officials said money generated by fees for applications for permits to drill constitutes a reimbursement to the U.S. Treasury for the estimated cost of processing the applications. The fees were first established in 2005, set at $4,000. Bruce Hinchey, president of the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, said he spoke with one oil and gas producer who submitted several applications to the BLM last week and was shocked to hear that the fee had increased. "It doesn't take very many of those to add up. It's pretty costly," Hinchey said. [link]

Federal dollars used to bankroll environmental lawsuits

According to research by a Wyoming-based law firm, over the last 15 years a small number of environmental organizations have filed at least 1,596 lawsuits against the federal government. Based on the information we've seen, it appears that many environmental groups have created a virtual litigation industry using this government-funded program to bankroll their lawsuits against the federal government. Under the guise of "public interest," some environmental organizations are abusing the congressional intent of EAJA. Over the years, these groups have been able to force the federal government to pay out billions of dollars for attorney fees and costs. Lawsuits filed by these groups target the livelihood of hardworking Americans who are forced to pay for both sides of the ensuing legal dispute. Costly as it is, a rancher must intervene on the side of federal agencies to defend his or her way of life against the attack of the initial suit. That same rancher (and every other unsuspecting taxpayer) is then forced to support the environmentalist agenda and the litigation industry with tax dollars. It appears increasingly likely that this act, intended to give all Americans the ability to seek redress from their government, has been co-opted as a vehicle for some environmental organizations and their teams of lawyers to target natural-resource agencies, public lands and public-land users. Most importantly, the families and small businesses who represent the heritage and traditions of the true pioneer spirit are clearly in the cross more

Federal land closures trample social fabric

American human species are threatened, and attacks against our habitats of survival, which historically have supported American families, are at crisis level, in this “land of the free.” Astoundingly, our tax dollars fund much of the war against our cultures and our families. In a time of deep recession, a time in which millions of jobless Americans frantically seek ways to feed their families, this land grab will force Americans into confined spaces — all in the name of environmentalism. It matters not that billions of dollars, generated by the outdoor industry, will disappear. Yeah. Let’s close these forests and desert areas. This is really a good time in our history to be brainless. Those fighting the “Travel Management Plan” implementation say more than two-thirds of America’s back country roads are registered for closure. Vacationing families will be funneled into confined camp spaces, manned by toll gates, just like in Yosemite National Park. When the campgrounds are full, the overflow will be sent on their way. Watch this group. Citizens for Multiple Land Use and Access ( was formed three years ago to take on Goliath. Its web site gives important background and maps. Note the roads to be closed that are in black ink, samples of the nationwide more

Earning an Eagle by stopping cattle

When Hunter Hassell of Bend was a fifth-grader at Lava Ridge Elementary, his teacher, Ryan Shaffer, taught the class about the importance of watersheds and clean water. So when it came time for Hunter, now 13 and a seventh-grader at Sky View Middle School, to earn his Eagle Scout Badge, “I didn't want to do something that's just sort of ordinary, like putting up a flagpole,” he said Tuesday. Recalling Shaffer's lessons, he decided he wanted to earn his badge doing something water-related. Hunter called Trout Unlimited and learned about a remote natural spring near Mitchell, located northeast of Prineville. “Basically, cattle had been getting into this spring and making the water dirty with their fecal material, and they'd been punching holes in the bottom of the spring by stepping in it,” he explains. The spring is located about 50 feet from the headwaters of Jackson Creek, which feeds into Deep Creek, a tributary of the North Fork Crooked River. The holes around the spring caused the water temperature to creep upward, affecting the ability of redband trout to spawn there, “so it's also making it harder for them,” he adds. Hunter planned the project, which entailed placing a box over the spring and running a pipe to a large trough, with the help of Paul Smith and Bob Lightley of the Paulina Ranger District of the Ochoco National more

Indian reservation land used for pot farms

Drug cartels are increasingly using Indian lands across the United States to cultivate marijuana, authorities say. Illegal marijuana farms, mostly operated by gangs with ties to Mexico, are spreading quickly, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The U.S. Forest Service found farms in 61 national forests across 16 states this year -- up from 49 farms in 10 states last year, the newspaper said. Pot farms have sprung up on public land in Alabama, Virginia , Michigan and Colorado, officials said. In Washington state, tribal police confiscated more than 233,000 pot plants on Indian land last year, almost 10 times as much as in 2006. Police are discovering marijuana farms on reservations from California to South Dakota. "These criminal organizations are growing in Indian country at an alarming rate. The growers on our reservation were sent directly from Mexico," Warm Springs, Ore., Police Chief Carmen Smith more

Navajo artisans hit by recession at annual sale

William Whitehair, a Navajo weaver, usually sells out of his intricately designed rugs each fall during the Navajo Rug Show at Deer Valley Resort. But not this year. He still had several rugs for sale in his booth Sunday afternoon. "It has been real slow," said Whitehair, who lives in the small Navajo community called Big Mountain. The worst economic downturn since the Great Depression affected sales of the handmade rugs, as well as jewelry and crafts at the 20th annual show Sunday. Fewer people are willing to pay from $100 to as much as $15,000 for a hand-woven piece of art, artisans said. While the show itself was crowded much of the weekend, crafts people said actual sales -- especially of higher-priced items -- were markedly down from previous more

Adobe is his passion, tool for preservation

Adobe buildings tell David Yubeta their stories … and he listens. Yubeta is the adobe whisperer (aka historic preservation specialist) at Tumacacori National Historical Park near Tubac. Stabilizing and preserving the church is part of Yubeta's job, but when he talks about adobe, it's clear it is his passion. Catch Yubeta in his element — inside the mission at the park. He explains that the perfect mix for adobe is 25 percent clay and 75 percent sand. He talks about the different types of adobe, sun dried and fired. He touches the walls reverently and points to different areas in the church. His words move beyond the realm of interpretive talk into poetry. "Adobe is a noble material. It needs to twist, to move and to dance," Yubeta says. An adobe building needs to breathe, he says, and patching it with cement or glue inhibits that natural more

Fight in Dog Canyon cost Fort Bliss 3 troopers

Back during the early days, when Fort Bliss was Downtown, word arrived that Apaches had stolen several head of cattle plus three mules from San Elizario. So on Jan. 31, 1859, Lt. Henry M. Lazelle and 30 men from Company D left Fort Bliss. After riding 20 miles to San Elizario, they were joined by a guide and an interpreter. The Indians now had a three-day start, heading north on what was known during those days as the "Old Salt Trail." But riding hard, they covered 165 miles in seven days, finally arriving at the entrance of Dog Canyon, 12 miles south of present-day Ala mo gordo. Here the soldiers cocked their wea pons, spurred their horses, and rode a little quicker. For 2 miles, Company D followed a winding, rock-strewn trail, a narrow and treacherous pathway oftentimes forcing the soldiers to dismount, and at other times to squeeze by single file while remaining on horseback. Before long, every man at the ready, the troopers emerged onto a broad plain surrounded by high mountains. Facing them were 30 armed Apaches, the Indians raising a white flag and asking to talk. All discussions were fruitless, however, so later that night Lazelle led 22 men to where he could see the Indian encampment, and perhaps devise a strategy for attack. That was the good news. The bad news was that the Apaches not only outnumbered the troopers 3-1, they also had control of the high more

Song Of The Day #176

Ranch Radio is aware of the reports that Americans aren't saving enough, and is very aware of Congress's profligate spending. Everyone could take a lesson from Dave Bennett, especially the politicians. Here is Uncle Eck Dunford telling you about The Savingest Man On Earth.

The recording is availabe on the 4 disc collection of various artists titled Serenade in the Mountains.

After listening you will understand why my chewing tobacco is always Grade 2 - Sharon insists on having the first crack at it.

Stimulus spending causes irritated bowel syndrome

Harold Harmon is a very wise and funny man. He writes:

Today, class, we will discuss the success of the $787 BILLION stimulus bill. This bill is our government's gift to all of us to jerk our economy off the bottom-feeder list. First, a little perspective. A billion is a bunch of dollars. Therefore, $787 billion is 787 times as many dollars. Second, we need to fully understand the meaning of stimulus. The dictionary defines stimulus as: a goad, sting, torment, pang, spur, incentive: 1 — something that rouses or incites to action or increased action; incentive: 2 — any action or agent that causes or changes an activity in an organism, organ, or part, as something that excites an end organ, starts a nerve impulse, activates a muscle, etc. What we have, then, is a bunch of money intended to do good things and help people. Tremendous in theory, not so much in reality. IF YOU READ or watch the news, you probably know about the list of projects financed by the stimulus spending. If you know about it, we’ll pause here while you puke. If you somehow don’t know about it, read on. These items are a matter of public record...

Mr. Harmon does propose a stimulus project of his own, and as it turns out, it is one I can wholeheartedly endorse:

An industrial-strength cattle prod judiciously applied to sensitive areas of the government goons who dreamed up this stimulus spending.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

A prickly situation

By Julie Carter

There he was, standing in all his glory, and his underwear, with his glow-in-the-dark white skin glaring in the late afternoon sun.

His spindly cowboy legs were still in his boots and his hat and sunglasses were in their places.

He was holding his clothes in his right hand and a set of broken bridle reins in the other.

His wife had been doing chores at home. That was the deal.

With 23 head of horses on the place, give or take a few depending if anyone had hauled any off to the sale, or drug a few home, there was never any shortage of work to be done - feeding or riding.

Each afternoon she takes on the feeding duty while he saddles up a young, green horse to put some miles on before sunset.

It is a good life for them, but it also keeps any dull moments from finding their way to the ranch.

The wife looked up from her work when a pretty bay Hancock filly came in a high lope up the road, still wearing a saddle but without the reins on the headstall and worse yet, without her rider.

Trying not to let fear overcome her, the wife ignored the alarms going off in her heart and in her head. She and the ever-present dog jumped on the Polaris Ranger and zoomed off to find the missing cowboy on the mountain.

Calling his name as she searched the hillsides, she soon heard him holler back at her. As she drove up on the scene, her first words were, "What in the hell are you doing?"

This, by the way, is a phrase of standard dialogue if you are married to a cowboy and one that both parties will use with wild abandon.

There is no good answer to that question in a situation like this, but the cowboy gave it his best effort.

"The filly spooked and when she jumped, I hung a spur in her accidentally," he said "She really went to bucking, and was really getting with it. Then all of a sudden, a rein snapped."

"I tried to pull her around with the other rein to get her stopped," he said. "But it broke, too. Then she was really getting with it and well, she just flat bucked me off."

His wife was obviously concerned for him, as he wasn't a kid anymore and those hard landings take their toll. However, she was somewhat more concerned about why he was standing there on the hillside half naked.

Asking about the obvious seemed called for. "So why are you walking home naked?"

"She bucked me off in a prickly pear cactus," he said as he turned to reveal millions of cactus spears sticking in the backside of his body.

It took his wife and daughter the better part of six hours to tweeze the cactus spines out of his back, arm, leg, head and other assorted assaulted spots.

The pain finally did subside.

However, the humiliation of his plight over those broken bridle reins will last for as long as anyone remembers the story. I'm just doing my part.

Julie can be reached for comment at

Joe Delk Is Everywhere

All year he's been using his fiddle to spread the word and raise money for good causes. All those Cowboy Dinner & Dances to protect our rural way of life and, of course, The Cowboys For Cancer Research. Here's one you may not know about: He was invited to play The Star Bangled Banner at the final performance of the PRCA Turquoise Circuit Finals. Just Joe solo on his fiddle. It was a beautiful, patriotic rendering that really stirred the crowd.

Song Of The Day #175

Today's Gospel tune is Wonderful, Beautiful Place by Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver. It's available on their The Gospel Collection CD.

Can Prosecutors Be Sued By People They Framed?

Do prosecutors have total immunity from lawsuits for anything they do, including framing someone for murder? That is the question the justices of the Supreme Court face Wednesday. On one side of the case being argued are Iowa prosecutors who contend "there is no freestanding right not to be framed." They are backed by the Obama administration, 28 states and every major prosecutors organization in the country. On the other side are two black men — Terry Harrington and Curtis McGhee — men who served 25 years in prison before evidence long hidden in police files resulted in them being freed. Harrington struck up a friendship with the prison barber, who petitioned for the police records in his case. According to defense lawyers, those records not only disclosed how police and prosecutors had coached Hughes until his story matched the facts, and how other witnesses were coerced into lying, but that the records also showed that police and prosecutors had withheld evidence that pointed to another suspect. But even after 25 years in prison, Harrington never gave up. In 2003, armed with the newly disclosed police records, he petitioned the Iowa Supreme Court, which overturned his conviction as well as McGhee's, and concluded that the star witness was a "liar and perjurer." Since then, all the witnesses have more

Putting a forcefield around green ideas

He’s a staple of office life: the penny-pincher checking that colleagues aren’t using too much paper or drinking more than their fair share of instant coffee. Now, anyone who shows open contempt for a colleague who does these things in the name of upholding ‘sustainable office practices’ or caring for the environment can be deemed prejudicial, and green workers can take their bosses to court if they feel they’ve been discriminated against because of their environmental convictions. A British court ruling this week by Mr Justice Michael Burton stated that ‘a belief in man-made climate change… is capable, if genuinely held, of being a philosophical belief for the purpose of the 2003 Religion and Belief Regulations Act’. This signals that discrimination on the basis of green views is as unacceptable as sexism, racism or religious prejudice. How long before we see the term ‘envirophobia’ to describe people who dislike greens? more

Woman Sues Facebook for Privacy Violations

The 25-year-old homemaker from Dallas County, Texas, said she made the discovery last year when she rented the 1985 adventure film "The Jewel of the Nile," starring Kathleen Turner, Michael Douglas and Danny DeVito. She said an alert appeared on her Facebook profile detailing the transaction. As a result, Harris filed two lawsuits — one against Blockbuster last year and one against Facebook last month. The suits claim a partnership between the two companies allowed Blockbuster to send Harris' movie-renting habits to Facebook without fair opportunity to opt out. At the heart of the suit is Facebook's controversial Beacon system, essentially a tracking flag that follows you across a network of sites and reports back to Facebook on your activity. For consumers, it's a way to share more information about your daily activity; for advertisers, it's a way to learn a great deal more about an individual. Following public outcry over the system in late 2007, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg publicly apologized for the Beacon system, noting that "the problem with our initial approach of making it an opt-out system instead of opt-in was that if someone forgot to decline to share something, Beacon still went ahead and shared it with their friends." Facebook's policy has been changed, but Harris' lawsuit alleges that whether a consumer opts in or out, Beacon is a violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act. That piece of law prevents a company from disclosing information about a customer's rental habits without their knowledge; the suit alleges that Beacon still transfers information, it just doesn't display more

Fed’s Search of Twittering Anarchist Upheld

Federal authorities can resume combing through the notebooks, memory cards and computers of a twittering anarchist being investigated for violating an anti-rioting law, a federal judge in Brooklyn ruled Monday. U.S. district court judge Dora L. Irizzary found no reason to throw out the government’s search of the home of a 41-year old social worker who used the micro-publishing service Twitter to help anti-globalization protestors at the recent G-20 convention, clearing the way for the feds to look through the evidence they collected. Madison and his attorney sought to have his possessions returned unexamined, on the grounds the search violated his constitutional rights to free speech. The Joint Terrorism Task Force raided Elliott Madison’s house in a dawn raid on October 1, seizing myriad computers, unpublished manuscripts, phones and books from the social worker, his urban planner wife and his housemates. The materials were seized as evidence in a federal grand jury investigation of whether Madison violated a rarely-used federal statute that makes it a crime to help more

Ammo sales, prices skyrocket

U.S. firearms owners have bought an estimated 12 billion rounds of ammunition during the past year, gun industry analysts said. The figure far outstrips the 7 billion to 10 billion rounds sold in a typical year, The Washington Post reported Monday. The spike in sales began when people started to take seriously warnings from the gun lobby that with Democrats controlling the White House and Congress there would be new restrictions on gun ownership, the newspaper said. As consumers stepped up purchases, supplies tightened, prices went up and a shortage developed. The shortage has begun to ebb and gun-control advocates are expressing concern about the record amount of stockpiled ammunition, the Post more

Elderly woman scares off home invader with gun

Law enforcement officials suspect a home invasion in Leon County is connected to a serial rapist who has been terrorizing elderly women in rural areas of Texas for months. On Saturday, police say a man broke into the home of an 81-year-old woman. The woman had a handgun and managed to fire several shots, scaring the man away. The burglar got away with some cash and other items, but the woman was not hurt. Investigators believe this incident may be connected to a series of sexual assaults on elderly women across four Central Texas counties, including Bell County. At least seven women have been attacked since January. All are over 60, widows and live alone in rural more

Pregnant woman shoots would-be burglar

Houston police say a pregnant woman shot and killed a man trying to break into her car. The shooting happened on Pinemont near Alabonson in northwest Houston last night. Investigators say a woman who is eight months pregnant saw a group of men breaking into a neighbor's car and then the crooks turned toward her vehicle. "She looked out the window. She watched them break in to one car. And then, she watched as the males went over to her car. That's when she retrieved the gun and fired one shot at them," said Sgt C.D. Howard with the Houston Police Department. The woman hit one of the men, killing him instantly. The others got away. The case is expected to be referred to a grand jury without charges. ABC

GUNPAL, Inc.: The First Serious Competitor for PayPal Inc.

"GUNPAL, Inc. is a transaction-neutral online payment platform with a philanthropic spirit," announces Founder/CEO Ben Cannon. "It is also the first serious competitor for PayPal Inc." A percentage of each transaction is donated to a selected charity at no additional cost to the user. The initial list of organizations includes the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society, and the Supercomputing Disease Research Center. Users can also suggest charities for consideration. An avid supporter of constitutional rights, Cannon created a discrimination-free online payment application, starting with the recognition of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. Prohibited by PayPal's "Acceptable Use Policy", the $3 billion firearms and accessories industry has adopted GUNPAL as the payment platform of choice. An estimated one hundred million firearm owners nationwide now have a platform with which they can trade ammunition, scopes, and other accessories securely and more