Saturday, March 06, 2010

TEC Third Round Results

In December, Josh Peek of Pueblo, Colo. won the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo all-around title in Las Vegas, thanks in part to finishing fifth in the average in the tie-down roping and the steer wrestling.

In Saturday afternoon's third go-round of the Wrangler Timed Event Championship of the World, Peek posted the fast run of the round in the tie-down with a 10.7-second effort and the fastest run in the go in steer wreslting with a 4.8-second toss at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie. Those runs highlighted a round in which he not only worked five head in 49.6 seconds but moved to the lead in the average with 190.8 seconds on 15 runs.

The third go steer wrestling Saturday afternoon had a major impact on the leaderboard. Kyle Lockett of Visalia, Calif., the 2005 WTEC Champion, and Daniel Green of Oakdale, Calif., the 2002 and 2008 WTEC Champion, were the top two respectively not only after the first two rounds but also after 13 head. However on the 14th run, which is the third go steer wrestling, Lockett took a 60-second time. A 60 is used instead of a no-time at the WTEC. And, Green was 44.9 seconds in the steer wrestling.

So, not only did Peek go from sixth after two rounds to the lead after three rounds, but Trevor Brazile of Decatur, Texas, the six-time WTEC Champion, vaulted from seventh to second in the average. Brazile, an 11-time PRCA World Champion, worked five head in 50.8 seconds in the third go for 195.0 on 15 head.

Brazile, who won the All-Around and the Tie-Down World Champion titles in 2009, currently leads both those races in the PRCA world standings while Peek is currently second in the PRCA All-Around race.

While Peek and Brazile are the top two after three rounds, K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyo., a four-time WTEC champion, is third with 199.2 on 15 runs, Chance Kelton of Mayer, Ariz., is fourth with 203.0 on 15 runs and Paul Tierney of Oral, S.D., a four-time WTEC Champion, is fifth with 214.1 seconds on 15.

WRANGLER TIMED EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD Leaders after the 3rd Go-Round, Saturday afternoon at the LAZY E ARENA, Guthrie, Okla.

Average: 1. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 190.8 on 15 runs; 2. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 195.0 on 15; 3. K.C. Jones, Burlington, wyo., 199.2 on 15; 4. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 203.0 on 15; 5. Paul Tierney, Oral, S.D., 214.1 on 15.

Fast rounds: 1. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 48.0 on five (2nd go); 2. Josh Peek, Pueblo, Colo., 49.6 on five (3rd go); 3. Trevor Brazile, Decatur, Texas, 50.8 on five (3rd go); 4. Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif., 51.3 on five (2nd go); 3. Kyle Lockett, 52.8 on 5 (1st go).

20 top cowboys to compete at Timed Event Championship

The "Iron Man” contest of rodeo begins today at the Lazy E Arena near Guthrie. Perhaps the most unique event in professional rodeo, the annual Timed Event Championship features 20 of the world’s best cowboys who get into the field by invitation only. The Lazy E Arena started the event in 1985 as a way to determine the best timed event cowboy. Most cowboys in professional rodeo specialize in just one event. A few will compete in two or more timed events, but no one competes in all five. Except at the Timed Event Championship. Each cowboy will compete in all five timed events in rodeo: tie down roping, steer roping, heading, heeling and steer wrestling. By the time it has ended Sunday, each cowboy will have roped and bulldoggeda a total of 25 head of cattle. The one with the top overall time wins $50,000...read more

TEC Second Round

Two of the four Californians in this year's field of the 26th Annual Wrangler Timed Event Championship of the World are former champions of the event. After two rounds, those two title holders are in the top two spots in the average.

Kyle Lockett of Visalia, Calif., the 2005 WTEC Champion, leads the average with 104.1 on 10 head while Daniel Green of Oakdale, Calif, the 2002 and 2008 WTEC Champion, is second at 118.5 on 10 following Friday's two rounds at the Lazy E Arena.

The 26th Annual Wrangler Timed Event Championship of the World takes 20 of the world's toughest cowboys to ever battle the clock and tests their talents in a marathon of team roping - heading and heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping each round for five rounds.

Waiting at the end is a total purse of $150,000, including a staggering $50,000 to the winner of the average after 25 runs.

Action continues through Sunday at the Lazy E Arena.

Lockett never stubbed his toe Friday. After posting 52.8 seconds on five in the first go, he handled the next five in 51.3 seconds. Friday night he not only opened strong but finished that way with the third fastest steer wrestling run of the second go, a 5.9, and the fifth fastest steer roping effort, 13.9 seconds.

Green went into the second go in second after a 56.7 in the opening round. He had the third fastest heeling run of the second go, stopping the clock in 8.1 seconds, and posted the fastest steer wrestling run of the day, tossing his draw in 5.7 seconds. Green was 26.7 in the steer roping, but held to second in the average after two.

Chance Kelton of Mayer, Ariz. was 11th after the first go, but worked his second five head in 48.0 seconds for 127.6 on 10 and third in the average after two rounds.

Jimmie Cooper of Monument, N.M. who won his first of three WTEC Titles in 1988, is fourth at 132.7 seconds on 10 head while K.C. Jones of Burlington, Wyo., a four-time WTEC Champion, is fifth at 135.5 seconds on 10 runs.

WRANGLER TIMED EVENT CHAMPIONSHIP OF THE WORLD Leaders after the 2nd Go-Round, Friday night at the LAZY E ARENA, Guthrie, Okla.

Average: 1. Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif,, 104.1 on 10 runs; 2. Daniel Green, Oakdale, Calif., 118.5 on 10; 3. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 127.6 on 10; 4. Jimmie Cooper, Monument, N.M. 132.7 on 10; 5. K.C. Jones, Burlington, Wyo., 135.5 on 10.

Fast rounds: 1. Chance Kelton, Mayer, Ariz., 48.0 on five (2nd go); 2. Kyle Lockett, Visalia, Calif., 51.3 on five (2nd go); 3. Kyle Lockett, 52.8 on 5 (1st go); 4. Daniel Green, Oakdale, Calif., 56.7 on five (1st go); 5. K.C. Jones, Burlington, Wyo., 59.2 on 5 (1st go).

TEC First Round

For the second year in a row, Kyle Lockett of Visalia, Calif. leads the Wrangler Timed Event Championship of the World after the first round at the Lazy E Arena.

Friday afternoon, Lockett, who went on to finish fifth in the average in 2009, set the pace with 52.8 seconds on five runs.

Lockett, the 2005 WTEC Champion, is being closely followed in the average by fellow Californian and two-time WTEC Champion Daniel Green of Oakdale, who worked five head Friday in 56.7 seconds. Sitting third in the average after the opening round is four-time WTEC champion K.C Jones of Burlington, Wyo. with 59.2 seconds on five. Rounding out the top five are Brett Fleming of Worden, Montana, 61.9 seconds on five, and Josh Peek of Pueblo, Colo., 66.0 seconds on five.

The 26th Annual Wrangler Timed Event Championship of the World takes 20 of the world's toughest cowboys to ever battle the clock and tests their talents in a marathon of team roping - heading and heeling, tie-down roping, steer wrestling and steer roping each round for five rounds. Waiting at the end is a total purse of $150,000, including a staggering $50,000 to the winner of the average after 25 runs.

Action continues through Sunday at the Lazy E Arena.

Lockett, who statistician Curt Robinson said also led after the first go when he won the WTEC title in 2005, was fifth after two runs Friday. But then it was time for Lockett's specialty, heeling. Stopping the clock in 8.3 seconds for 30.8 seconds on three head, he moved to the front. With a 6.7-second toss in the steer wrestling and a steady 15.3-second run in steer roping he stayed atop the pack.

Green used the best steer roping run of the afternoon, a 14.7, to vault to second in the average. Jones of Wyoming, was steady throughout the first go never falling below third.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Climate scientists to fight back at skeptics

Undaunted by a rash of scandals over the science underpinning climate change, top climate researchers are plotting to respond with what one scientist involved said needs to be "an outlandishly aggressively partisan approach" to gut the credibility of skeptics. In private e-mails obtained by The Washington Times, climate scientists at the National Academy of Sciences say they are tired of "being treated like political pawns" and need to fight back in kind. Their strategy includes forming a nonprofit group to organize researchers and use their donations to challenge critics by running a back-page ad in the New York Times. "Most of our colleagues don't seem to grasp that we're not in a gentlepersons' debate, we're in a street fight against well-funded, merciless enemies who play by entirely different rules," Paul R. Ehrlich, a Stanford University researcher, said in one of the e-mails. Some scientists question the tactic and say they should focus instead on perfecting their science, but the researchers who are organizing the effort say the political battle is eroding confidence in their work...read more

Sage grouse will get limited protection

Federal authorities today embarked on a compromise effort to protect the sage grouse as a "candidate" species under the Endangered Species Act. Short of designating the sage grouse as threatened or endangered, the compromise crafted by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar embraced the latest science indicating that grouse need help to avoid extinction in the face of energy development, grazing and house-building. This approach "gives an open window" of "several years" for public and private land users to take action "making sure the grouse doesn't have to be put on the endangered species list," Salazar said. "We believe we can do that." Hunting grouse in Colorado and other western states will still be allowed. At the same time, energy companies poised to drill in sensitive areas may face new restrictions and are on notice that protections for the grouse in the future could one day force industry relocation. The federal Bureau of Land Management - which manages 8.4 million acres across Colorado and 253 million acres nationwide - plays a key role in determining whether the grouse will survive. BLM managers lease land for grazing, drilling, mining and installation of powerlines and windmills. Designating the grouse as a "candidate" species is expected to force the Fish and Wildlife Service and other agencies to work cooperatively with private landowners to conserve grouse. Federal authorities may give financial and technical assistance and help develop conservation agreements that give regulatory assurances to landowners who try to help grouse...read more

Wilderness On The Border? 8 Articles on Border Violence

For background see my previous posts here, here, here and here

A previous post on border violence is here.

All of this violence is to control routes into the U.S. for human and drug trafficking. So as you read these posts ask yourself: Why would anyone deem it in the public interest to designate Wilderness in close proximity to our southern border? Why limit the use of motorized vehicles and mechanical equipment by federal, state and local law enforcement on over 400 square miles of southern NM?

Cartels Finding New Routes To Smuggle Drugs Many drug cartels are feeling the pressure from increased security along the U.S.-Mexico border, hindering their drug smuggling efforts. However, the 10News I-Team learned many of the cartels are finding new routes to smuggling drugs into and out of the U.S. American authorities said Mexicali, just across the U.S.-Mexico border, is a city caught in the middle and is another conduit for the cartels. "The violence in Mexico has definitely gotten worse," said Myers. "The traffickers have proven time and time again that they will do whatever it takes to protect their industry." American police officials told the I-Team smuggling drugs through Mexicali can be as efficient as Tijuana because of the interstate system. Just a few miles from the border, Interstate 8 is now one of the country's most prolific drug smuggling routes, officials said.

COMMENT: Will Interstates 10 & 25 be next? Over 400 square miles of Wilderness would sure help.

The Other War It's a war the so-called mainstream media apparently have decided to ignore. Though its death toll is higher than Iraq's and Afghanistan's combined, it evidently isn't worth covering; and unless you're reading this in the Southwest, you probably haven't even heard about it. The conflict, a full-blown narco-insurgency, has claimed the lives of more than 17,000 combatants and innocents, threatens to undo several democratically elected governments and poses a real and present danger to the United States. It's not the one being fought in Afghanistan. It's the war being waged from the Andean basin all the way north to the Rio Grande. Last week, while our Fox News team was in Texas and New Mexico on a completely unrelated matter, "the war next door" was the principal topic of conversation among the locals we encountered. Just days before we arrived, 16 teenagers celebrating a birthday party were machine-gunned in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, less than a mile from the U.S. border. In the past 12 months, nearly 2,700 people have been murdered in this border city - about 1,000 more than the previous year - making it the deadliest place to live on the planet. The Mexican drug cartels perpetrating the violence next door are competing for "distribution rights" in the lucrative marijuana, hashish and cocaine markets on this side of the porous U.S.-Mexico border. These "distributors" are now exporting their violence, as well. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, cartel "hit teams" have carried out murders and kidnappings in more than 230 American cities. Phoenix seems headed for becoming the kidnapping capital of the U.S. Though overall violent crime has declined in Arizona generally and Phoenix in particular, kidnapping has spiked from fewer than 50 cases in 2005 to more than 350 last year. Local and state law enforcement authorities say nearly all of this increased crime is directly connected to the illicit drug trade coming across the state's 375-mile border with Mexico...

Border Residents Prepare for Possible Spillover Violence
The recent spike in border violence has people thinking about safety and how to best protect their families. Some folks are even ready to arm themselves. They're thinking about the possibility of spillover violence, things like home invasions and drug related chases. Their number one priority is to stay safe. Nelda Gonzalez owns Thin Blue Line, where she offers a firearms training program. She says while she mostly caters to law enforcement, she's seeing a spike in civilians who want weapons. Right now there's a two-month waiting list for the course. Gonzalez attributes part of that to increased border violence and the threat of spillover. "I think that's what triggering people to come. They want to purchase weapons." With the shoot outs so close, people are doing everything they can to feel safe. Several Valley law enforcement agencies have confirmed to CHANNEL 5 NEWS they are on alert, ready for the possibility of spillover...

Nine Die in Drug-Related Violence in Northern Mexico At least six people were killed when gunmen attacked a ranch near Ciudad Juarez, a border city in the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, while three soldiers were killed and three others wounded in a shootout with gunmen in Nuevo Leon state, officials said. Rancho Nuevo, located at kilometer 76 of the Juarez-El Porvenir highway and less than 30 minutes southeast of Ciudad Juarez, was attacked Wednesday night, the Chihuahua state Attorney General’s Office said. The gunmen entered the ranch and opened fire on eight unidentified men, killing six and wounding two others, then fled, the AG’s office said. One of the bodies was found next to an SUV and the others were near some stables. Ciudad Juarez, located across the border from El Paso, Texas, and considered the most dangerous city in Mexico, has been plagued by drug-related violence for years. Police in Nuevo Leon state, meanwhile, said a military patrol was attacked Wednesday on the Monterrey-Colombia highway. The soldiers were ambushed by gunmen in several SUVs, the shift commander of the police department in Anahuac, a border city in Nuevo Leon, told Efe. “The incident occurred around noon near the Salinilla highway,” the police spokesman said, adding that the shootout lasted about 20 minutes. Nuevo Leon Public Safety Secretary Carlos Jauregui confirmed that the shootout happened. Mexico has been plagued in recent years by drug-related violence blamed on powerful cartels...

McStay Family of Four Vanishes Near Mexican Border Joseph and Summer McStay, along with their two boys Gianni,4, and Joey, 3, disappeared almost two weeks ago and San Diego investigators still have no solid leads as to what happened to them. The family, who lives in Fallbrook, Calif., half way between San Diego and Los Angeles, was last seen February 4. Four days later their car was found abandoned in San Ysidro, a small California town right outside Tijuana, Mexico. "I don't understand why it was there. I know she didn't like Mexico," Summer McStay's mother Blanche Aranda told CBS affiliate KFMB. "I can't imagine where they are... I have no ideas. Where they would go?"...

Baby Wounded, Mother Killed in Mexican Border City Authorities in the northern Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez say assailants shot a woman to death and seriously wounded her 9-month-old daughter. Prosecutors' spokesman Arturo Sandoval says the mother and child were traveling with the child's father when the gunmen chased and attacked their vehicle. The father was not injured. The 24-year-old mother died at the scene of Thursday's attack. The baby suffered a gunshot wound to her head and is in serious condition at a hospital...

Fear grows as drug war rages on Texas border Border residents fear more violence as rival drug cartels battle for lucrative smuggling routes...The spike in violence spans the border from Reynosa to Nuevo Laredo and several Mexican towns in between. The exact number is hard to confirm. On Tuesday, the U.S. Consulate in Nuevo Laredo warned of an "ongoing gun battle" near the Zoo, and in an e-mail alert advised "all U.S. citizens to shelter in place and to take precautions until the fighting subsides." The suggestion that residents were reacting only to rumors angered a woman in Camargo, in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas, who used her cell phone camera to document damage from a gun fight Saturday night in the area bordering Starr County. In a video posted on YouTube, the unidentified woman points out shell casings on the ground, bullet-riddled SUVs, and bodies in the streets. It's some of the most graphic evidence of the bloodshed that has border residents on edge. School attendance was down last week as parents kept their children home along the Tamaulipas border, particularly in Nuevo Laredo and Reynosa. Concern for the region is growing on both sides of the border...

U.S. closes consulate in northern Mexico for bomb threat The U.S. consulate in Juarez, a northern Mexican city notorious for drug-related violence, was evacuated Tuesday and closed due to a bomb threat, police said. The emergency service of Mexican police received an anonymous call before 8:00 a.m. local time (1400 GMT) warning that a bomb had been installed in the U.S. consulate, said Fidel Banuelos, spokesman for the Secretariat of Public Security in Chihuahua state, where Juarez is located. Banuelos said the office was closed while explosives specialists from the Central Intelligence went into the building to search for the alleged device. Banuelos told reporters that a female voice made both calls. Juarez city, located near the border with the United States, is believed to be one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico due to rampant organized crime and drug trafficking...

In Utah, a move to seize federal land

Long frustrated by Washington's control over much of their state, Utah legislators are proposing a novel way to deal with federal land -- seize it and develop it. The Utah House of Representatives last week passed a bill allowing the state to use eminent domain to take land the federal government owns and has long protected from development. The state wants to develop three hotly contested areas -- national forest land in the Wasatch Mountains north of Salt Lake City, land in a proposed wilderness area in the red rock southwestern corner of the state, and a stretch of desert outside of Arches National Park that the Obama administration has declared off-limits to oil and gas development. Supporters argue that provisions in the legislation that granted Utah statehood allow it to make such a land grab. They also hope to spark a showdown in the Supreme Court that would rearrange the balance of power between states and the federal government...read more

Utah House mounts new federal lands challenge

Utah lawmakers voted Thursday to condemn federal lands in a message meant to reach the Supreme Court and challenge the U.S. government to open lands to development for school funding. HB143 passed the House 57-13 over Democratic objections that pressing the court case will be costly and likely unsuccessful. Republicans called it a necessary fight to reverse federal oppression and the state's chronically worst-in-the-nation per-student school funding. "Our schoolchildren have been robbed," said Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo, the bill's sponsor. Herrod asserts that, despite Supreme Court rulings to the contrary, the state is "sovereign" over lands in its boundaries and has power to reclaim those that the federal government did not acquire with state approval. He concedes that Utah gave up claims to federal lands at statehood, but said the federal government has broken its pledge to put the state on "equal footing" with other states by keeping more than two-thirds of the state in federal ownership. His bill would authorize taking segments of federal land for roads to access state-owned lands for energy production and other development to aid schools. A companion bill proposed by Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, would take $1 million in state revenues over three years to cover the legal bills. Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, called the bill "an act of self-preservation for our state."...read more

Rare horse breed up for state title

Arroyo may not have the size of a quarter horse, the speed of a thoroughbred or the elegance of an Arabian. But this colonial Spanish horse can eat nearly any native grass, has hooves so firm they don't require shoes and is renowned for its stamina. In the late 1600s, Arroyo's ancestors carried Father Eusebio Kino from Mexico into present-day Arizona, where he credited the breed for helping him establish missions. As cattle ranchers sought bigger and stronger horses in the 300-plus years since, they cross-bred the colonial Spanish horse into many of today's most popular pedigrees. It's nearly vanished in its native Spain and is a novelty breed kept alive by people such as Marjorie Dixon, Arroyo's owner. "My husband looked at me and said, 'Marjorie, these horses should be the Arizona state horse. You should really get on that,' " Dixon said with a laugh. That could happen this year, as a bill inspired by Dixon and other members of Arizona's Colonial Spanish Horse Project is moving through the state Legislature. House Bill 2634, sponsored by Rep. Patricia Fleming, D-Sierra Vista, is awaiting a vote by the full House that would send it to the Senate...read more

Wyoming governor signs law adopting cowboy ethics

The principles of "cowboy ethics" are now part of Wyoming law. Gov. Dave Freudenthal signed legislation Wednesday adopting an official Wyoming state code. The symbolic measure spells out 10 ethics derived from a "Code of the West" outlined in a book by author and retired Wall Street investor James Owen. The ethics code doesn't carry any criminal penalties and is not meant to replace any civil codes. The state code admonishes residents and lawmakers to live courageously, take pride in their work, finish what they start, do what's necessary, be tough but fair, keep promises, ride for the brand, talk less and say more, remember that some things aren't for sale and know where to draw the line. AP

National Cowboy Museum announces Wrangler Award winners

For the 49th time, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum is passing out this spring the Western Heritage Awards. The awards honor and encourage the legacy of those whose works in literature, music, film and television reflect the significant stories of the American West. The Outstanding Western Novel is “The Sundown Chaser” by Dusty Richards and published by Berkley Books Penguin Group. Richards, an award-winning writer, crafts another winner with the story of two men, bond by blood but torn apart by the law. Craig Varjabedian’s fascinating photographs of the red cliffs and sweeping plains of the Ghost Ranch in northern New Mexico has earned him the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Photography Book. Published by the University of New Mexico Press, “Ghost Ranch and the Faraway Nearby” captures the essence of the 21,000-acre ranch in more than 90 new black-and-white photographs. Steve Moulton is the 2009 Outstanding New Artist with his album “Cowboys & Campfires.” This award is given to someone in the first five years of their career, who has never received a Wrangler in an individual category and is striving to continue to produce music of the Western genre. “The Great Western Trail” by LeRoy Jones, composed by Dave Copenhaver, Terry Scarberry and Jones, wins for Outstanding Original Composition. Off the album “Looking Back,” the song tells the tale of a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas and conjures up memories of the old West. In the category for Outstanding Traditional Western Album, the top honors go to “Welcome to the Tribe,” recorded by Andy Wilkinson and Andy Hedges and produced by Lloyd Maines and Andy Wilkinson. “Born to Ride: Cody Wright and the Quest for a World Title” is the Outstanding Documentary, Contemporary. Cody Wright travels the rodeo circuit on his quest to win the 2008 Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association Saddle Bronc World Championship...read more

Baxter Black: The calf wins in overtime

In an effort to make managing the 20-section ranch more efficient, the boss bought Jake a Ranger, a four-wheel-drive muscle car ATV. The cowboys on this West Texas ranch were equipped with cell phones, of course. What modern cowboy isn't? They have replaced Copenhagen as the habit-forming addiction for the "orally dependent." Jake received a call. It was a neighbor who told him there was a calf out on the road to the highway, a mile from the west gate where Charles Goodnight lost a tooth chasing coyotes in the winter of '86 ... down by the Quanah Wash. Jake sighed and reversed his direction. It was back three miles and over two. But, he thought, only a calf, maybe a week or two old. Probably got under the fence, Mama on the other side. Wouldn't be too tough. Fifteen minutes later he approached Quanah Wash to find a 300-pound beefy bull calf in the ditch. King Richard III whined in his ear, "A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!" Making do with what he had, Jake tied the tail of his rope to the bumper on the Ranger and started after the calf. Down the ditch they flew. The bull was running along the fence line, and Jake was maneuvering with one hand, trying to keep a wheel on the shoulder. Because he was going west on the wrong side of the road, he was forced to rope left-handed. Not easy with a right-hand-twist rope...read more

Westerners grouse over more proposed land restrictions

Congressional Western Caucus members are squawking about Interior Secretary Ken Salazar’s proposal to further restrict public use of federal lands by listing the Greater Sage Grouse as an endangered species. “The only good place for a sage grouse to be listed is on the menu of a French bistro,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-UT, whose 3rd District would be adversely affected by the listing. An estimated 500,000 of the birds can be found in 11 Western states. In a March 4 letter to Salazar, 36 caucus members said that listing the grouse as endangered would not only have a “severe impact on all of our states,” it could also “potentially destroy opportunities for the renewable energy development the [Obama] administration has ardently supported” – all for a bird that’s already being successfully protected by wildlife officials at the state level. But the Obama administration is under great political pressure to list the sage grouse as endangered. Even before the president was inaugurated, environmentalists were calling the bird “a poster child for the threats to wildlife posed by oil and gas drilling, “ and the endangered designation “a litmus test for the Obama administration.” The economic impact of an endangered listing would fall most heavily on ranchers and energy producers, who feel doubly threatened by another administration proposal to designate millions of acres of federal land in nine states as national monuments, which would put them off-limits for drilling, mining, grazing, lumbering and any other commercial activity...read more

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Senator Demint: White House land grab

You'd think the Obama administration is busy enough controlling the banks, insurance companies and automakers, but thanks to whistleblowers at the Department of the Interior, we now learn they're planning to increase their control over energy-rich land in the West. A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that's essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers. President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any input from the communities affected by it. At a time when our national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, it is unbelievable anyone would be looking to stop job-creating energy enterprises, yet that's exactly what's happening...read more

Eco-philanthropists to the rescue of wildlife?

This power couple leads a movement of like-minded monied conservationists – eco-barons who, instead of waiting for the world to grow an environmental consciousness, are purchasing land with their own money and protecting it themselves. This band of former executives and entrepreneurs generally donates tracts as new national parks or preserves. The Tompkinses have purchased 2 million acres in Argentina and Chile and already created two national parks. Largely American, and often entrepreneurs from Wall Street or the West Coast, they have recast the mold of the philanthropists of the 20th century who helped assemble the jewels in the crown of the US National Park Service. Among others, for example, there is Roxanne Quimby, the former owner of Burt's Bees products who has been buying up land in Maine's Great North Woods to create a national park. And Gordon Moore, the founder of Intel, who has poured in millions to save the Amazon. Heiress Katharine Ordway has given more than $64 million to create preserves including the 8,100-acre Konza Prairie Research Natural Area in Kansas. And real estate investor M.C. Davis sealed off 48,000 acres in the Florida Panhandle...read more

Does Climategate Undermine the Scientific Integrity of EPA’s Endangerment Finding?

Instead of exercising its “judgment,” as required by Sec. 202 of the Clean Air Act, to determine whether greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions endanger public health and welfare, EPA largely deferred to the judgment of an external agency not subject to U.S. data quality and freedom of information laws — the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC developed three lines of evidence for its conclusion that GHG emissions are causing dangerous global warming. The first is based on the IPCC’s understanding of the physics of the climate system. The second is the claim that recent decades are unusually warm compared to previous centuries during the current interglacial period known as the Holocene. The third line of evidence is the asserted agreement between observations and computer model simulations. Peabody Energy’s 240-page petition for reconsideration assesses these lines of evidence in light of new information not in EPA’s possession when it published the endangerment finding. Much of this new information is contained in the thousands of emails and other files that produced the Climategate scandal. The files and emails provide an insider’s look at the professional (or unprofessional) behavior of leading climate scientists at the UK’s Climate Research Unit and their colleagues in the United States. This scandal has led to the resignation (allegedly temporary) of Dr. Phil Jones as director of the CRU and an official determination that the CRU violated the UK’s freedom of information act. Peabody concludes that the Climategate files undermines each of the IPCC’s principal lines of evidence, and confirm what many climate “skeptics” had long suspected...read more

Scientists Taking Steps to Defend Work on Climate

For months, climate scientists have taken a vicious beating in the media and on the Internet, accused of hiding data, covering up errors and suppressing alternate views. Their response until now has been largely to assert the legitimacy of the vast body of climate science and to mock their critics as cranks and know-nothings. But the volume of criticism and the depth of doubt have only grown, and many scientists now realize they are facing a crisis of public confidence and have to fight back. Tentatively and grudgingly, they are beginning to engage their critics, admit mistakes, open up their data and reshape the way they conduct their work. The unauthorized release last fall of hundreds of e-mail messages from a major climate research center in England, and more recent revelations of a handful of errors in a supposedly authoritative United Nations report on climate change, have created what a number of top scientists say is a major breach of faith in their research. They say the uproar threatens to undermine decades of work and has badly damaged public trust in the scientific enterprise...read more

Rulings Restrict Clean Water Act, Foiling E.P.A.

Thousands of the nation’s largest water polluters are outside the Clean Water Act’s reach because the Supreme Court has left uncertain which waterways are protected by that law, according to interviews with regulators. Companies that have spilled oil, carcinogens and dangerous bacteria into lakes, rivers and other waters are not being prosecuted, according to Environmental Protection Agency regulators working on those cases, who estimate that more than 1,500 major pollution investigations have been discontinued or shelved in the last four years. The court rulings causing these problems focused on language in the Clean Water Act that limited it to “the discharge of pollutants into the navigable waters” of the United States. For decades, “navigable waters” was broadly interpreted by regulators to include many large wetlands and streams that connected to major rivers. But the two decisions suggested that waterways that are entirely within one state, creeks that sometimes go dry, and lakes unconnected to larger water systems may not be “navigable waters” and are therefore not covered by the act — even though pollution from such waterways can make its way into sources of drinking water...read more

COMMENT: While masquerading as a new story, the NY Times is clearly lobbying for a bill pending in Congress which would drop the term "navigable" from the statute.

Understanding Why Yellowstone’s Supervolcano Is So Dangerous

The geological history of Yellowstone National Park worries many observers about a “supervolcanic” eruption that could destroy much of the United States. When Yellowstone National Park experienced its largest eruption 2.1 million years ago, massive volcanic depressions formed, known as “calderas.” The explosion also spewed volcanic ash over half of the United States, reaching areas of as far away as Texas, Louisiana and southern California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Yellowstone’s many attractions include geysers, such as Old Faithful, and hot springs. These are believed to be a result of the giant pool of magma that Yellowstone sits on. Some call the enormous underground caldera, which measures approximately 28 by 47 miles, a “supervolcano.” The UnMuseum explains that supervolcano isn’t exactly a technical scientific term, but says it differs from a traditional volcano “in that there is often no mountain peak associated with it.” The lack of a peak or potential outlet for gas, heat and pressure building underground increasess the likelihood that “the entire surface above the underground chamber, which can be many miles wide, is blown away by a titanic explosion that can be thousands of times more powerful than that of a regular volcano.”...read more

A new vehicle powered by a single horse

Good thing Portland kept all of those old-timey horse rings on city sidewalks. Iranian inventor Abdolhadi Mirhejazi has unveiled his Naturmobil -- "the ultimate environmentally friendly vehicle" powered by ... wait for it ... a single horse on a treadmill. Mirhejazi says his high-breed creation travels on paved roads at a top speed of about 50 mph, with the treadmill charging batteries for when Flicka needs a break...read more

State Slaughter Bills Pending

Legislators in several states are again considering bills that address the slaughter of horses for human consumption. In Florida, lawmakers are reviewing a pair of bills that would make it felony to slaughter horses and sell their meat for human consumption in that state. SB 1708 and HB 765 both prohibit the mutilation or killing of any horse and forbids the transport, distribution, sale, and purchase of horsemeat for human consumption. If enacted, violators could face mandatory minimum penalties of $3,500 in fines and one year in prison. Both bills are under committee review. The proposed bills are in direct response to a series of horse poaching incidents in South Florida during the past year, said HB 765 sponsor Rep. Luis Garcia. The butchered remains of at least 21 horses have been found in Miami-Dade and Broward counties since last January (read more). Meanwhile, Illinois Rep. Jim Sacia has introduced a measure designed to reestablish horse processing in that state. HB 4812 amends the Illinois Horse Meat Act to repeal a provision that prohibits the slaughter of horses for human consumption. It also expands the state's Animals Intended for Food Act to include horses, and requires horse processors to collect a $25 fee per horse to fund equine rescue assistance grants to qualified equine rescue groups...read more

Bobcat captured in downtown Houston garage

The preferred habitat for bobcats are wooded areas, swamplands or rocky outcrops but one member of the species Lynx rufus on Tuesday opted for a downtown Houston parking garage. The bobcat was spotted about 10:45 a.m. inside the garage at 511 Rusk near the Bob Casey Federal Building. It was captured about 90 minutes later, checked and released into the wild. At first, reports of a wild animal roaming about the garage did not raise much concern for city animal control officials. They've heard that story before. “We thought it was going to be a house cat,” said Chris Glaser, a supervisor with Houston's Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care. The cat was trying to hide under cars when animal control officials arrived. “It may have been asleep there overnight and woken up,” Glaser said. BARC officials would use two tranquilizer darts to subdue the animal...read more

Mad emu attacks deputies along El Paso freeway

A mad emu gave deputies a Texas-sized hard time. El Paso authorities say the big bird was running loose Tuesday, snarling rush-hour traffic near Interstate 10 and attacking deputies trying to restrain it. Deputies with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office tried to prevent the tall, flightless bird from running into traffic. But when deputies neared the emu, it became aggressive and slashed one deputy's pant leg. The deputy was not seriously injured. The emu died as it was being transported to an animal control shelter. The cause of death was not immediately known. AP

8th Annual Dutch Oven CookOff March 27 in Glenwood, NM

Contact: Gale Moore
Silver City, NM
gale@cybermesa.com



Event: Southwest New Mexico 8th Annual Dutch Oven Cook-Off
Date: Saturday, March 27, 2010
Place: Glenwood, New Mexico Community Park
Time: 9:00 am until mid-afternoon


Calling All Dutch Oven Cooks (and those who’d like to try their hand at “black pot” cookin’) ~

Come to cook --- see how Dutch Oven cooking is done --- come to eat --- listen to music --- or just visit with the happy crowd at the Southwest New Mexico 8th Annual Dutch Oven Cook-Off on Saturday, March 27 in Glenwood, New Mexico!

Each year, this event just gets better, and 2010 promises to be the most fun yet!

The Cook-Off will be held again at the Glenwood Community Park on CatWalk Road in Glenwood, New Mexico (just an hour north of Silver City).

Both experienced and amateur Dutch Oven cooks are invited to participate this year! In previous years, we had cooks from Glenwood, Cliff, Gila, Reserve, Albuquerque, Cuba, Las Cruces, Silver City (New Mexico) and communities in Arizona.

Categories this year will be “Fancy Fixer,” “Camp Cookie,” and “Tenderfoot,” with submitted recipes and level of experience considered.

Everyone is welcome to enter, no matter where you call home! (If you need overnight lodging, there are several unique motels in Glenwood.)

Those interested in entering as a Dutch Oven Cook this year, please contact: Event Organizers:

Leah Jones (Glenwood) (575) 539-2800 Email ~ gilaleahjones@gmail.com

Mickey Lemon (Silver City) (575) 388-2840 Email ~ mlemon@signalpeak.net

Linda Locklar (Silver City) (575) 388-1503 Email ~ lindamanyponies@hotmail.com

These ladies can give you all the details, but here are the basics:

Cooking categories are single pot or three pots (Main Dish, Bread, Dessert). Cooks can enter on their own, or as a team. Entry fee ~ $ 15 for Single Pot, $ 30 for Three Pots.

Cooks can set up their camp and start their fires at 7:30 am. Some entrants bring cowboy-camp setups, teepees and tents, and one entry even drives a mule-drawn chuckwagon to camp! (The Glenwood Park features shady trees and open spaces for camp set-ups)

Dutch Oven food will be available in the Park before the Tasting. Craft vendors are welcome ($25 per space).

There will be a Cooks’ Meeting at 8:30 AM. Cooking time is from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm., during which time spectators always enjoy going from camp to camp, seeing “what’s cookin’” and getting to know the cooks.

After the Judges have tasted all the dishes and are tabulating their results, here comes the best part of the day ---- about 2:00 pm, Dutch Oven cooks bring their pots to the Pavilion, multitudes of folks show up to purchase Taster Plates ($5.00 for adults, $3.00 for children under 12), and the “Tasters’ Delight” eatin’ begins! Each Dutch Oven cook will put a spoonful of their dish on each plate, and there are usually about 30-40 different dishes (sometimes more!) on the buffet line.

Tables and benches are provided for the diners, and after everyone is served, awards and prizes are presented to the winning cooks. (Proceeds from this event each year benefit the Glenwood Community Park.)

Glenwood’s Dutch Oven Cook-Off was first started in 2003 by Wendy Peralta, owner of the Glenwood Trading Post. Each year since, the event has grown --- in size, number of cooks, and fun! This event is reminiscent of the old days when members of small communities would gather for shared food and “visiting.” This is the eighth annual year for the Dutch Oven, and it promises to be another memorable occasion, one you won’t want to miss!

It's all for a great cause, the Glenwood Community Park, and of course, photos of all the fun will be published in the April Glenwood Gazette.

Song Of The Day #253

Ranch Radio continues with child stars with big hits. Today we feature Tanya Tucker, who had her first top ten hit at age 13. It was her 1972 recording of Delta Dawn, followed the next year by her first #1 hit What's Your Mama's Name.

However, it's my damn radio show and I'm not bound by any Billboard rankings. So here are two of my favorites from her 70's recordings: San Antonio Stroll and It's A Cowboy Lovin' Night.

All four of the tunes mentioned here are available on her 20 track CD Definitive Collection.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

$7 a gallon gas to reach Obama targets, Harvard researchers say

To meet the Obama administration’s targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, some researchers say, Americans may have to experience a sobering reality: gas at $7 a gallon. To reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the transportation sector 14 percent from 2005 levels by 2020, the cost of driving must simply increase, according to a forthcoming report by researchers at Harvard’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. The 14 percent target was set in the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget for fiscal 2010. In their study, the researchers devised several combinations of steps that United States policymakers might take in trying to address the heat-trapping emissions by the nation’s transportation sector, which consume 70 percent of the oil used in the United States...read more

Western Lawmakers Introduce “Open EAJA Act of 2010”

Today, Congresswoman Cynthia Lummis (WY-At large) and Western Caucus Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01) teamed up to introduce the “Open EAJA Act of 2010.” The legislation [H.R. 4717] seeks to provide increased transparency within the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) by tracking millions of federal taxpayer dollars used to fund costly environmental litigation. EAJA was established in 1980 with the intent to help individuals and groups with limited means seek judicial redress from the federal government. A citizen, small business or special interest group that prevails in litigation brought against the federal government may recover fees and expenses. For nearly 15 years, the lack of accountability and transparency has made way for rampant abuse of EAJA, reaching far beyond its original intent. Research conducted by a Wyoming law firm revealed that over the past 15 years, 14 environmental groups have brought over 1,500 federal cases in 17 states and the District of Columbia, and have collected over $37 million in taxpayer dollars through EAJA or other similar laws. Specifically, H.R. 4717 would reinstate and consolidate tracking and reporting requirements of EAJA payments under the Department of Justice (DoJ), and:

· Require the DoJ to issue an annual, online report to Congress regarding the amount of fees and other expenses awarded during the preceding fiscal year

· Ensure that the report provided to Congress be made available to the public online and include:

§ the name of the party seeking the award of fees

§ the agency to which the application for the award is made

§ the name of the administrative judges involved in the case

§ the hourly fees of all attorneys and expert witnesses

· Request that the Comptroller General commence an audit of past actions taken under the Equal Access to Justice Act. Once complete, the audit must be reported to Congress...Press Release

Complaints heat up over possible new monuments for Utah

On the same day a Utah legislative committee unanimously approved a resolution voicing opposition to the creation of any more national monuments, members of the U.S. Senate Western Caucus also took their fight to the mat. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and other members of the Senate Western Caucus sent a letter Tuesday to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, expressing concern about the possible designation of national monuments in Utah and other states absent public input or consent. "Americans enjoy a variety of benefits from our public lands, but many westerners rely on public lands for their very livelihoods. For that reason, Congress has ensured that public land management decisions are made in a process that is both public and transparent … Americans should never live in fear that the stroke of a pen in Washington could forever change their lives," the senators wrote. HCR 17, a resolution on the issue being run by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, unanimously passed a legislative committee Tuesday afternoon that featured an appearance by former Congressman James Hansen. Former Salt Lake Mayor Ted Wilson, who also served as the head of the Utah Rivers Council, said he supports the resolution despite being a self-professed environmentalist. "(But) I also know the tremendous setback with the Grand Staircase. It angered county commissioners all over this state, it angered a lot of Democrats," he said...read more

Source in artifacts case dead

A troubled man whose fear of reprisal for his undercover role in an artifact-trafficking probe prompted him to sleep with a gun, and whose heavy drinking landed him in the hospital this winter, apparently shot himself to death this week at his Salt Lake County home. Ted Gardiner, the civilian operative at the center of a 2 1/2-year federal crackdown that spanned the Four Corners region, had turned 52 just a week earlier. Police said Gardiner told his roommates about 6 p.m. Monday that he was suicidal. A short time later, a gunshot rang out from his bedroom in the home near 1700 East and 5000 South. "At this point, we're strongly leaning toward the fact that his death was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Unified Police Department Lt. Don Hutson said Tuesday. Gardiner's is the third suicide after a June 10 raid in southern Utah netted two-dozen suspects, most of them from San Juan County, on multiple felony charges of grave robbing and stealing from prehistoric American Indian ruins on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service land. Two defendants in the artifact sweep -- James Redd, of Blanding, and Steven Shrader, of Santa Fe, N.M. -- committed suicide after being indicted...read more

COMMENT: With so many things going on, including illegal aliens from terrorist-harboring countries crossing our southern border, is this where we should be dedicating our law enforcent resources?

Utah Legislature: Federal police powers are targeted in House bill

A bill that aims to "rein in" the police powers of Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service on federally managed lands sailed through a legislative committee with no debate and now advances to the full House for consideration. The measure by Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, comes after years of frustration expressed by several local sheriffs about the "unchecked" police powers of the agencies, which they contend are supposed to contractually enter into cooperative agreements with local police entities. "There's no accountability, no line authority," former Millard County Sheriff Ed Phillips told members of the House Natural Resources Committee on Monday. With its passage of the Federal Lands Management Policy Act in 1976, Congress intended for the federal government to contract with local law enforcement to carry out policing responsibilities wherever possible, Phillips said. Instead, the advent of the '90s brought a prolific swell in the number of rangers who have become their own crime-fighting kingdom, Phillips said. HB146 says that Utah does not "recognize" federal law enforcement authority of those agencies beyond what is "necessary" to manage, use and protect federally managed lands. Phillips, joined by the current sheriffs of San Juan and Kane counties, said the issue has been one of such concern that it has been taken up by the 13-member Western States Sheriffs' Association but federal agencies have not been willing to budge. Kane County Sheriff Lamont Smith said the federal encroachment has been so broad that federal rangers have taken to writing tickets for everything from expired registrations to broken tail lights to violators stopped on U.S. 89 near Lake Powell. As an example of what they say is "encroachment," Noel and the sheriffs pointed to events like last spring's federal raid that led to more than two dozen arrests of people accused of stealing or possessing Native American artifacts and a May showdown between BLM agents and off-road enthusiasts at the Paria River corridor...Deseret News

Utah House supports limits on federal officers

The House passed 65-4 a bill attempting to limit the authority of federal officers, specifically from the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and National Park Service. HB146, now on its way to the Senate, would prohibit such officers from doing anything not explicitly authorized by federal law, and prohibits them from enforcing Utah laws. "I believe that what this bill does is really put the agencies on notice that they need to be in line with their own bylaws," the bill's sponsor, Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, said. Noel reiterated that local sheriffs need to be the ones enforcing Utah laws. "We should hand accountability back to an elected person," he said. Noel's son, Cameron, is the sheriff of Beaver County. Noel acknowledged that the bill was inspired, at least in part, by the federal arrest of 16 Utahns suspected of stealing American Indian artifacts last June. Noel believes local law enforcement should have handled that issue. "While I totally object to going out and digging up graves and desecrating artifacts, I believe strongly that our own law enforcement can deal with those issues," Noel said. "It seemed to be very much an overkill." San Juan County Sheriff Mike Lacy, whose brother was arrested in the raid, in testifying for the bill in committee on Monday called the crackdown a "fiasco," saying federal agents "inappropriately" conducted the arrests at gunpoint...read more

Idaho Republicans push anti-Washington D.C. bills

Idaho Republicans lobbed more legislative spitballs at Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, with measures calling to sue the federal government over gun rights and control of federal land and to replace standard American currency with gold and silver. The bills join several other anti-federal government measures introduced in the Legislature, including a measure to preempt federal identification legislation that could affect state driver's licenses and a resolution demanding leaders in Washington, D.C. eliminate the country's deficit in 55 years. And last month, the House rejected any federal health care law that would require people to buy insurance. St. Maries Republican Dick Harwood told the House State Affairs Committee on Tuesday that Idaho should approve a bill making guns manufactured and sold in-state exempt from national regulations - including background checks on people who buy the guns. Similar bills have cleared the Montana and Tennessee legislatures, and Harwood says passing one would show that Idaho is willing to stand up for its rights, too. Rep. Eric Anderson, R-Priest Lake, wants Idaho to consider legal action against leaders in Washington, D.C. The Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service manage about 61 percent of Idaho territory, and Anderson wants a state council to determine if Idaho can sue the federal government. "If the federal government is negligent, there may be a possibility we could take over the operations of the land," Anderson said...read more

Forest Service Roadblock

Chris Galvanek and his neighbors moved out to the Lost Pine neighborhood near Harrietta to get away from it all. They knew they'd have longer drives to their jobs in Cadillac, but say it's was worth it. "We're out in the middle of God's Country. We enjoy living here." They live two and a half miles from the nearest paved road. And that hasn't been a problem for them. They even plowed it in the winter themselves. Galvanek says, "This road has always been cared for by the people who live in this subdivision and has been open for years." Except this winter that changed. Galvanek says, "The U.S. Forestry Department has told us it's illegal to drive down it." Assistant Ranger of the Huron Manistee National Forests John Hojnowski says, "That was never authorized and we had difficulty finding out who was actually doing the snowplowing and this year we had several complaints come in about the snowplowing and we were able to contact the people who were doing it and tell them they needed to discontinue that." He says this stretch of road on national forest land is a seasonal road for vehicles. And in the winter it is managed only as a snowmobile trail. So from November 1st to April 1st Galvanek and the two dozen other neighbors have to drive around adding more than a dozen miles each way...read more

25 percent of gas-tax funds are diverted to sidewalks, bike paths, scenic trails

America's highway system is not delivering the high-quality transportation a competitive economy needs. Congestion gridlocks our urban expressways, costing Americans $76 billion per year in wasted time and fuel. The interstate highways, begun 50 years ago, are wearing out and will need repairs and reconstruction costing many hundreds of billions of dollars. Two national commissions have estimated that the shortfall in productive highway investment (federal, state and local) is in the vicinity of $60 billion to $90 billion per year. We invented the federal Highway Trust Fund in 1956, promising motorists and truckers that all proceeds from a new federal gas tax would be spent on building the interstate system. They aren't. Congress has expanded federal highway spending beyond interstates to all types of roadways. And ever since 1982, a portion of those "highway user taxes" have been diverted to urban transit. Today, the federal role in transportation includes mandating sidewalks, funding bike paths and creating scenic trails. As a result, spending exceeds gas-tax revenues and the Highway Trust Fund is broke. Some claim this is because the 18.3-cents-per-gallon federal gas tax needs to be raised. But drivers can fairly put the blame on the fact that 25 percent of gas-tax funds are diverted to non-highway uses...read more

NY Times Editorial On Sage Grouse

Hemmed in by residential development and the nation’s demand for energy, the number of sage grouse has dropped from 16 million to a few hundred thousand scattered across 11 Western states. The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is expected to decide soon whether to place the bird on the endangered species list. The service is unlikely to do so, at least for now. The mandated protections could seriously inhibit coal mining, oil and gas exploration and other businesses vital to Western economies. It also could slow the development of wind power, a resource cherished by conservationists. There is a compromise solution that could give the grouse a fighting chance. And that would be for the service to place the sage grouse high on its list of 270 or so “candidate species.” That acknowledges that the species is in trouble, asks federal and state land management agencies to work harder to protect the bird’s habitat, and holds out the promise — or threat — of more stringent protections if these agencies fail to do so...read more

CSU researchers say shell serum could save trees from bark beetles

Colorado scientists are liquefying crab and shrimp shells shipped from Iceland to produce a serum which, when poured on pine trees, appears to prevent bark beetles from killing the trees. The Colorado State University scientists who helped develop the serum propose aerial spraying to treat forests across the Rocky Mountain West, where beetles have ravaged millions of acres. But so far, they have been unable to attract the support of the U.S. Forest Service for widespread application. "We don't find any downside to it," said CSU microbiologist Jim Linden, one of two scientists guiding commercial production at a factory near Loveland. Dousing healthy lodgepole pines with the gold-colored serum "certainly is part of the toolbox of ways to counteract the beetle," Linden said. "It is inexpensive and safe." NASA sponsored the initial research that led to developing the serum, which contains chitosan — a carbohydrate found in the shells of crabs, shrimp and the pine beetles themselves. Chitosan can stimulate trees' secretion of sap, which can block beetles from eating into the bark, where they lay eggs and spread a blue fungus that clogs and chokes trees. "What has the Forest Service done for us? They've just let the trees die," Stoner said. "I've offered it up to government agencies to address the pine beetle epidemic. I just want somebody to start using it. We've got a huge problem."...read more

Report: climate, not beetles, main cause of forest fires

A new report by four forest ecologists says climate rather than beetles is the main cause of forest fire risk, and that risk is best addressed by creating defensible spaces around homes instead of logging in the backcountry. The report, available at http://nccsp.org, was prepared on behalf of the nonprofit National Center for Conservation Science and Policy and is based on a scientific literature review. It questions the worth of a proposed Colorado rule that would allow for limited logging in roadless portions of national forests for purposes that include protecting communities and municipal watersheds from fires and the spread of insects and disease in trees. Report authors said Tuesday that forests being attacked by beetles in Colorado and other states are naturally dense, and large and severe fires in those forests are the norm. They said drought and warm temperatures are such major factors in creating high fire risk that beetle outbreaks do little to add to that risk...read more

Song Of The Day #252

Any consideration of young artists with big hits would have to include LeAnn Rimes and her 1996 recording of Blue. Originally written by Bill Mack for Patsy Cline in the 60's, it served as the lead single on her album Blue, and reached Number 1 on the Top Country Albums chart and was certified "multi-platinum" in sales by the Recording Industry Association of America.

She was 13 years old.

ATF Confiscates Toy Guns

In the same week that the U.S. Supreme Court began hearing a landmark Second Amendment case, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE) wrongfully confiscated $12,000 worth of Airsoft toy guns. The shipment of Airsoft toy guns was seized in customs by a BATFE agent who made a determination that the inner mechanism of the Airsoft toys could easily be modified to accommodate real ammunition. The toys were confiscated as a result and the BATFE has promised to destroy them. The Airsoft toy guns fire round BBs that are basically tiny plastic beads. Most of the Airsoft toy is made of plastic and would blow-up if you tried to fire real ammunition through it. Clearly, the agent who confiscated the Airsoft toy guns has no real-world understanding of live firearms. There is absolutely no way that an Airsoft toy could be converted into a real firearm. Why is this agent still employed by the BATFE? Doesn't it seem like you should know what a firearm is if you are going to work for the Burearu of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives? It is also worth noting that the same models of Airsoft toys guns that were confiscated are readily available and legal all over the country and have been for years. As usual, the BATFE agent is not required to prove his claims. He simply made a ridiculous accusation and confiscated private property without due process...read more

Using Guns to Protect Liberty

In the landmark case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court found that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms. Because the District is a federal enclave, however, the court stopped short of deciding whether the Second Amendment applies to the states - and whether individuals can assert its protections against gun regulations in places like Chicago, New York and San Francisco. In March, the Supreme Court will begin to answer this unresolved question - already answered affirmatively just last week by Washington state's Supreme Court - when it hears arguments in McDonald v. Chicago, a challenge to Chicago's handgun ban - in which the final briefs were filed earlier this month. One of the things many people don't realize is that the case is much more about the 14th Amendment than the second, because the original conception of the Bill of Rights - including the Second Amendment - only applied its protections to the federal government. It was not until the post-Civil War 14th Amendment that the Constitution protected individual rights against state tyranny, guaranteeing that no state could, for example, "deprive any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law." Using this due-process clause, the Supreme Court has selectively applied almost all of the Bill of Rights against the states. A different 14th Amendment clause, however, forbidding states from passing "any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States," is a better way of extending the right to keep and bear arms. This privileges or immunities clause provides an approach that not only is more historically accurate, but prevents some of the judicial overreach legal observers of all stripes deride...read more

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Baby survives parents' global warming suicide pact

Francisco Lotero, 56, and Miriam Coletti, 23, shot their daughter and her toddler brother before killing themselves. Their son Francisco, two, died instantly after being hit in the back. However, their unnamed daughter cheated death after the bullet from her father's handgun missed her vital organs. Her parents said they feared the effects of global warming in a suicide note discovered by police...read more

A Blizzard Of Lies From Al Gore

Al Gore resurfaces in an op-ed to say that nobody's perfect, everybody makes mistakes and climate change is still real. And he has some oceanfront property in the Himalayas to sell you. If hyperbole and chutzpah had a child, it would be the opening paragraph of Gore's op-ed in Sunday's New York Times. Gore surfaced from the global warming witness-protection program to opine that despite admissions of error and evidence of fraud by various agencies, we still face "an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it." Perhaps he's trying to protect his investments as he knows them, for he is heavily involved in enterprises that deal with carbon offsets and green technology. If the case for climate change is shown to be demonstrably false, a lot of his green evaporates like moisture from the ocean. Interestingly, it's that moisture from the ocean that he uses to defend his failed hypothesis. The blizzards that have buried the Northeast, he writes, are proof of global warming because record evaporation due to warming is what produces record snows. Except that supporters of his theory not long ago argued exactly the opposite...read more

Climategate professors rebuked by scientific body

Scientists at the heart of the Climategate row were yesterday accused by a leading academic body of undermining science's credibility. The Institute of Physics said 'worrying implications' had been raised after it was revealed the University of East Anglia had manipulated data on global warming. The rebuke - the strongest yet from the scientific community - came as Professor Phil Jones, the researcher at the heart of the scandal, told MPs he had written 'some pretty awful emails' - but denied trying to suppress data. Giving evidence to a Science and Technology Committee inquiry, the Institute of Physics said: 'Unless the disclosed emails are proved to be forgeries or adaptations, worrying implications arise for the integrity of scientific research and for the credibility of the scientific method. 'The principle that scientists should be willing to expose their results to independent testing and replication by others, which requires the open exchange of data, procedures and materials, is vital.' Last month, the Information Commissioner ruled the CRU had broken Freedom of Information rules by refusing to hand over raw data...read more

2 House Dems challenge EPA on greenhouse gases

Two top House Democrats have introduced a measure aimed at blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating pollution-causing greenhouse gases. House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton of Missouri want to veto the EPA's finding in December that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases endanger public health and welfare...read more

Wolf-pack report raises doubts, fears

Wolf advocates are celebrating the return of wolves to Colorado after biologists for a recreational ranch northwest of here recently announced a pack may have taken up residence. But that same prospect has sparked fear in neighboring ranchers and outfitters. It has also generated a lot of skepticism from ranchers and wildlife experts. "I have ridden that area and hunted lions in that area, and I have not seen any signs nor have I heard them at night," said outfitter and ranch hand Brian Bivins, who previously lived in wolf country in Idaho and saw many wolves there. "I think the biologist lady just wants them to be there." That biologist is Cristina Eisenberg, a conservation biologist and author who lives in the wolf country of Montana. She was hired by the 300-square-mile High Lonesome Ranch where the wolves supposedly live. It is she and her crew who found the 15 samples of suspected wolf scat and several wolf tracks. It was enough evidence for wolf advocates to put out the proverbial welcome mat for a predator that was killed off in Colorado 70 years ago. But it has left the skeptics asking if wolves truly have made a home in Colorado again. Or are pro-wolf biologists and a ranch owner who are bent on biodiversity being overly enthusiastic?...read more

National Forest Service to Cut ATV Access to Public Forest Land by 90%

The National Forest Service is set to slash the amount of places that ATVs are allowed to ride by 90% this spring. Seems like just more of the same as the OHV community is already on it's heals as attempt after attempt after attempt is made to close the places we ride. Not only will this make it harder for ATV enthusiasts to find a place to ride, it will also make the few places that remain open much more crowded and dangerous to ride ATVs...read more

Agriculture to merge Forest Service programs

The Agriculture Department's Forest Service plans to merge three programs next year to better protect forests against the effects of climate change. Tim Tidwell, chief of the Forest Service, said the merger will enable Forest Service managers to consider all aspects of forest maintenance and care — timber harvesting, tree health, watershed health, wildlife and fisheries, and vegetation — within a single program. Creating "a single budget line item ... will encourage folks to look at the [total] landscape" of forest management, Tidwell said in an interview. The program merger is included in the president's $5.4 billion Forest Service budget proposed for 2011, which would represent a $61 million increase over this year's budget...read more

Bull escapes from livestock sale in Calgary, bolts into downtown neighbourhood

Good thing there's no china shops near Calgary's Stampede grounds, home to the city's annual rodeo and western-themed celebration. An animal escaped from a sale of bulls on Monday and scooted through a downtown neighbourhood before it could be corralled. The animal bolted towards a light rapid transit station that's nearby. Cattlemen were later able to lasso the wayward bull. They tied the animal to a fence until it could be loaded into a truck. Calgary police were called in for traffic control and no injuries were reported...read more

A Horse Trial

RONNIE McCORD, Appellant,
v.
WALLACE GOODE, Appellee.
No. 05-08-00939-CV.
Court of Appeals of Texas, Fifth District, Dallas.
Opinion Filed February 26, 2010.

The evidence showed that in approximately 2004 Goode allowed McCord to move a house trailer onto Goode's property and live there rent-free. In exchange, McCord agreed to help with upkeep of the property and train Goode's horses. This arrangement continued for about three years, until July 2007. During those three years, McCord, Goode, and another friend, Bob Menton, went into business together buying and selling horses. The parties referred to their relationship as a partnership, although they never formalized it in writing. In April 2004, McCord purchased two horses, one of which was a registered paint horse named Colonel Jet Leo. McCord testified that he purchased those horses for his personal use and not for the partnership. The dispute that is the subject of this lawsuit arose in the summer of 2007. The record indicates that McCord had told "everyone" that they were not to do anything with Colonel Jet Leo unless he was there. In July 2007, McCord learned that Goode's son, Justin, and a fellow rancher had taken Colonel Jet Leo to a veterinarian without McCord's permission. When McCord confronted them about it, Justin said he was just doing what his dad had told him to do and that the horse was half his dad's. McCord replied, "It may be, but nobody does anything with this horse but me." When Goode talked to McCord about his confrontation with Justin, Goode told McCord that he wanted to send Colonel Jet Leo to Oklahoma for training. McCord said he would file theft charges against anyone who took Colonel Jet Leo off the property. Goode testified that it was at this point he knew the partnership was not going to work, so he asked McCord to leave. McCord agreed. They divided the mares and their two colts, but could not agree on the disposition of Colonel Jet Leo...read more

Circling the wagons of culinary history

Many people do not know what it was like to live and cook in the 1800s, but chuckwagon competitions bring a taste of the old life style back for people to experience and enjoy. The chuckwagon concept was invented by an Amarillo area rancher and former Texas Ranger named Charles Goodnight in the 1870s. Hogan said Goodnight turned an old Army wagon into a chuckwagon because he saw the need for a transportable kitchen on long cattle drives. A chuckwagon includes eccentric features on the outside, like authentic hooks, barrels and a chuck box full of cooking supplies located on the back of it, Hogan said. During chuckwagon competitions participants camp out and cook on a weekend like people did in the 1800s. Hogan and his partner, Greg Allen, of Rome, have gone to many chuckwagon competitions throughout the years. “(The competitors) cannot use anything during the competition that wasn’t from the 1870s. If they didn’t have it back then, we can’t use it,” he said. Some of the cooking supplies chuckwagon competitor’s use include a cast iron Dutch oven, a small bean pot and an old coffee pot. Competition organizers give each team the same kind and amount food for each wagon. “We take dry wood with us, so we can make a fire on Fridays and then use the coals to warm up our Dutch ovens for our cooking competition on Saturdays,” he said. Around noon on Fridays at the competitions, two or three judge’s evaluate each wagon, Hogan said. The judges look for authenticity on the outside of the wagon and at whether the wagon is in good shape and is usable, he explained...read more

Me & Joe and the Miliron Dun

...The talk covered topics from shooting to other sports to bicycling, with the two ranchmen and Big Joe curiously examining the Rodens' bikes. Then came the claim that was to change the lives of me and Joe. Rock seemed to inflate his chest a few inches as he flatly stated, "A man on a bicycle can outrun a man on a horse over a long distance." I thought Big Joe, Charlie, and Jimmy were going to choke on their beer. I was pretty taken back myself. Joe chewed a stem of tickle grass and looked inscrutable. A heated argument broke out, the horsemen snorting at the idea of a dude on a pedal machine even being in the running against any decent horse. Rock stuck to his guns (and his bicycles) and said he would pit Tom against any horseman that could be enlisted in a 10-mile race. "And I've got a hundred dollars that says he'll win," he declared. Charlie and Jimmy each counted $100 from their wallets, and Big Joe wrote a check. There would be a race. No details were worked out then. Everyone left the caliche pit a little mad. The horse set retired to the Bishop house for a council of war. Charlie Burke took the floor. "First thing we've got to do is pick a horse and a rider. It won't look right to have a man ride against the Roden boy. Joe and Skeeter can both handle a horse. One of them will do. I got the horse." Me and Joe raised a clamor. He wanted to ride Nick, his old gray gelding; I nominated Freckles, my little roan. Both were rejected, Nick because he was too old and Freckles because he was too soft and fat. "I got just the horse," repeated Charlie. "I was down on the Milliron Ranch last month receiving cattle. They gave me this little dun to ride, and he was plumb dandy. Fast, gentle, smart, and tough as a boot. Everybody else had to change horses during the middle of the day, but I gathered cattle on him all day, and the boys out at the place have been using him every day. He's hard and just right for this race." The next decision was the big one for me and Joe. Who would be the rider? I thought it was kind of cold-blooded when the men put us on a bathroom scale, but that settled the matter. I weighed almost 10 pounds more than the rawhide Joe. He would ride...read more

It's All Trew: Bankers are remembered for bark, bite

Ace Reed, the well-known cowboy cartoonist, made a living for years poking fun at Banker Tuffenall (Tougher-than-hell), who often left his cowboy customers reeling from his refusals to loan them money. Even the toughest, orneriest, meanest old rancher cleaned off his boots, shaved and removed his Stetson and turned meek when he entered his banker's office to ask for a loan. Among the many stories about bankers I have heard, a few stand out. The banker had a stern, pockmarked poker face, permanently set in a frown topped off by steely-gray eyes. He talked gruffly to everyone who entered. Underneath and inside, he was a kind man with a wicked sense of humor. Early on, as he became bank president, he admitted having a glass eye. This was false, as he could see very well with both natural eyes. He had no problem saying no if needed, but if he was going to say yes to a loan, he put the customer to a test, saying, "I have a glass eye. If you can tell which eye is glass, I'll give you the loan." Whatever eye was chosen, the loan was closed and the banker got a chuckle. Once, when he asked a customer why he chose the left eye as glass, the man answered, "I chose the left eye because I thought it showed a little sympathy for my problem. I knew the real eye would never do that."...read more

Song Of The Day #251

Ranch Radio's featuring 12 year old Ryan Holladay yesterday got us to thinking about child prodigies. Any such discussion would have to include Brenda Lee. She had been singing professionally since 5, and after her father passed away became her family's primary source of income at 10, and recorded her first song for Decca Records at 11. Discovered by Red Foley, here's how he remembered her first performance on his Ozark Jubilee singing Jambalaya:

I still get cold chills thinking about the first time I heard that voice. One foot started patting rhythm as though she was stomping out a prairie fire but not another muscle in that little body even as much as twitched. And when she did that trick of breaking her voice, it jarred me out of my trance enough to realize I'd forgotten to get off the stage. There I stood, after 26 years of supposedly learning how to conduct myself in front of an audience, with my mouth open two miles wide and a glassy stare in my eyes.

Her next big hit came when at age 13 and was the Christmas tune Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree, which sold 5 million copies.

The tunes, recorded in 1956 and 1958, are available on her two disc set Anthology (1956-1980)

Monday, March 01, 2010

Congress Should Limit President's Authority on Monuments -- U.S. Chamber

Congress should act to limit the president's authority to create new national monuments, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said this week. The Antiquities Act of 1906 currently gives the president authority to declare new national monuments without congressional approval in order to protect threatened cultural and natural resources. But past presidents have repeatedly abused that authority to make sweeping designations that are much larger than those originally intended by the act, the chamber said in a letter Monday to White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel. "The Act was designed to protect small areas of land and specific items of archaeological, scientific, or historic importance," the chamber wrote. "In fact, it instructs the President to confine any designations 'to the smallest area compatible with the proper care and management of the objects to be protected.'" A confidential document (pdf) leaked last week revealed that the Interior Department had compiled a list of 14 potential sites for new or expanded national monuments the administration could create through the Antiquities Act. The Antiquities Act already contains provisions limiting presidential authority in Wyoming and Alaska, and those requirements should be made national, the chamber said. Utah representatives, still upset over President Clinton's 1996 decision to create the 1.7-million-acre Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, introduced legislation that would put similar restrictions in place in their state...read more

Western Lawmakers Ask Salazar for All Doc's On Nat'l Monument Designations‏

House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings (WA-04); National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Ranking Member Rob Bishop (UT-01); and 14 Members of Congress sent a letter today to Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar requesting further information related to an internal DOI document that revealed the Administration is considering designating numerous new National Monuments that would lock up at least 13 million acres of land. Secretary Salazar has publicly said that there is “no secret agenda” and wants to have a “public dialogue.” In the letter, the Members request the following additional information from Secretary Salazar: 1. All pages of the “Internal Draft” document of which we obtained only pages numbered 15 to 21. 2. With regard to the “brainstorming,” a copy of any documents distributed at or in preparation for the meetings, a list of all participants or invitees, any notes taken at the meeting (s), and any memoranda, work product or follow up documents from the meeting(s). All records, electronic or otherwise, of meetings or discussions with private groups, individuals or other persons or entities that are not employees of the Department of the Interior where potential National Monument designations were discussed. All notes, agendas, memoranda or documents from those meetings. 3. All documents related to the Secretary’s initiative to compile a list of potential National Monument designations since July 1, 2009, including, but not limited to, maps. 4. Any communication with any person or entity outside of the Department of the Interior related to the Secretary’s initiative since July 1, 2009...read more