Friday, March 26, 2010

‘Cap and Trade’ Loses Its Standing as Energy Policy of Choice

Less than a year ago, cap and trade was the policy of choice for tackling climate change. Environmental groups and their foes in industry joined hands to embrace the approach, a market-driven system that sets a ceiling on global warming pollution while allowing companies to trade permits to meet it. President Obama praised it by name in his first budget, and the authors of the House climate and energy bill passed last June largely built their measure around it. Today, the concept is in wide disrepute, with opponents effectively branding it “cap and tax,” and Tea Party followers using it as a symbol of much of what they say is wrong with Washington. Mr. Obama dropped all mention of cap and trade from his current budget. And the sponsors of a Senate climate bill likely to be introduced in April, now that Congress is moving past health care, dare not speak its name. “I don’t know what ‘cap and trade’ means,” Senator John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, said last fall in introducing his original climate change plan...more

Wyoming leaders don't dig BLM coal lease change

New federal guidelines for reviewing how mining companies expand their coal leases have stoked concern among Wyoming industry and government officials of more bureaucratic red tape that will cost jobs. At issue is a new Bureau of Land Management policy that requires Washington review of certain public notices that local BLM offices previously had the freedom to publish on their own without approval from agency headquarters. The BLM says its new police is merely an attempt to improve its handling of coal lease applications. Wyoming is the nation's leading coal producer, accounting for about 40 percent of all U.S. coal production and directly employing some 6,700 workers. In order to maintain coal production, coal mines expand into new tracts containing coal deposits as they mine and reclaim tracts where they are currently operating. Since most of the coal lies within BLM-owned land in Wyoming, coal companies have to apply for and buy new coal leases through the federal agency. Because of the intense environmental scrutiny and public review associated with such applications, it can take years for a company to get permission to mine new coal deposits...more

It's about to get slower.

Big Oil seeks natural gas deal in U.S. climate bill

Major oil companies were calling on three U.S. senators struggling over a compromise climate bill to provide new breaks for natural gas drilling as the lawmakers said the legislation might not be unveiled until at least the end of April. For the second time in a week the senators crafting the compromise, John Kerry, a Democrat, Lindsey Graham, a Republican, and Joe Lieberman, an independent, met with industry groups and oil companies in hopes of advancing ideas on the long-delayed legislation. Lieberman said there had been "no alteration" of their goal to reduce U.S. carbon emissions by 17 percent by 2020, from 2005 levels, which is in the range President Barack Obama favors. But thorny issues remained unresolved, such as putting fees on motor fuels during tough economic times, and regulating the drilling of vast supplies of natural gas from more

National Parks quarters unveiled today

Federal government officials today unveiled the first five “America the Beautiful” quarters, featuring America’s four oldest national parks – Hot Springs, Yellowstone, Yosemite and Grand Canyon – and Mount Hood National Forest. The five quarters unveiled today are the first of 56 that will be issued between 2010 and 2021. They will include 48 National Park sites, two U.S. Fish and Wildlife sites, and six U.S. Forest Service sites. The coins will be issued sequentially in the order in which the featured location was first placed under the care of the federal government...more

USDA Forest Service National Science Forum

The USDA Forest Service will be holding a National Science Forum to kick off a series of public discussions about the development of a new Forest Service Land and Resource Management Planning Rule. In the spirit of the White House's Open Government Directive, the USDA is encouraging the public to participate in the planning of the planning rule. After the National Science Forum, there will be a national roundtable in DC, followed by regional roundtables throughout the country. Notes from the meetings will be posted on the planning rule website for continued public feedback afterward...more

Where would we be if Jon Marvel was nice?

The news that Hailey conservationist Jon Marvel had been cited for making false statements to the Bureau of Land Management spread through the ranching community like the Murphy Springs fire. Cattlemen have been sitting around country cafes gleefully talking about how the outspoken anti-grazing activist is getting a dose of his own medicine. Marvel and Gordon Younger paid the fine on the charge they liken to a traffic ticket. Marvel and his attorney say the charge is unfounded. By paying, they avoided a long costly legal battle that would put the 72-year-old Younger through an ordeal he wants to avoid while he fights cancer. It also would have kept Marvel from what he considers more important work, like challenging the BLM public lands grazing program. If this wasn’t Jon Marvel, Idahoans who are skeptical of government agents exercising power might be open to his attorney Laird Lucas’ argument that this was retaliation. Lucas argues the proposal to cancel the grazing permit and the criminal charges were attempts by BLM officials to get back at Marvel for all of the hassles he’s caused them by repeatedly beating them in court. But Marvel has often callously carried out his agenda to drive cattle ranchers off public lands, ignoring the impacts he has had on ranchers and their families. He has shown neither mercy nor understanding, so I suspect he will get little from them...more

Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign Would Shut Off-Highway Vehicle Enthusiasts Out of 379,000 Acres in Colorado

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has learned that within the next few weeks an anti-access group will present U.S. Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) with the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign, which would designate 379,000 acres of public land in Colorado as federal Wilderness. These new designations would be in addition to 3.5 million acres already protected as Wilderness in Colorado. Because Polis is expected to introduce related legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives, the AMA is asking all motorcyclists and off-highway vehicle (OHV) enthusiasts to protest this latest effort to inappropriately designate public lands as Wilderness. "The AMA has formally objected to the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign, citing the inappropriate nature of the affected lands," said AMA Vice President for Government Relations Ed Moreland. "In addition to the AMA, the Basalt Fire District opposes the measure, contending that the designation would thwart efforts to fight fires."...more

Rallies in support of wild horses

Wild horse advocates will rally in four cities today as part of their campaign for better management of the animals. Supporters are gathering in Washington DC, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and London this Thursday. Advocates have been growing increasingly vocal over the Bureau of Land Management's strategies for controlling herd numbers, which now see more wild horses held in captivity than on the western rangelands. They also oppose a plan by US Interior Secretary Ken Salazar to move horses to new herd areas further east. The rallies, called March for Mustangs, comes to Washington just as Salazar attempts to persuade Congress to provide at least $US42 million to fund moving the first group of 26,600 western wild horses to the Midwest and East...more

Movie Review: 'Sweetgrass'

"Sweetgrass" is an unexpectedly intoxicating documentary, unexpected because it blends high artistic standards with the grueling reality of one of the toughest, most exhausting of work environments. For though the area of southern Montana where "Sweetgrass" is shot is a visually stunning locale, running a sheep ranch in general and caring for enormous flocks during their months of summer pasture in particular turns out to be a grueling, intensely physical existence grounded in the unforgiving rhythms of the natural world. Made by filmmakers and anthropologists Ilisa Barbash and Lucien Castaing-Taylor, "Sweetgrass" consciously echoes the celebrated 1925 silent documentary "Grass," a record made by the future "King Kong" duo of Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack of a staggering annual migration by Bakhtiari sheep herdsmen in what was then Persia. Though it's not a silent film -- thousands of baa-ing sheep wouldn't allow for that -- "Sweetgrass" does without interviews and without voice-overs. The only human voices heard are those captured in random snatches of conversation, like one of the ranch hands joking about why a cowboy's brain would be worth millions on the open market: "It's never been used." Made as well in the restrained tradition of Frederick Wiseman, "Sweetgrass" is intent on doing no more than observing, on having as unobtrusive a presence as possible in the world it is recording. But that world turns out to be as compelling as the circumstances under which the film came to be more

Song Of The Day #269

Ranch Radio will top off Western Swing Week with South Texas Swing by Adolph Hofner & His San Antonians, followed by one of my favorites, Little Betty Brown by Milton Brown & His Musical Brownies.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Subsidies for biomass energy crumple particleboard supplies

At Flakeboard's Albany and Eugene plants, 188 workers make particleboard from the same sawdust and scrap that could one day be a major part of the nation's energy supply. Over the coming years, billions of dollars in federal subsidies aim to turn the leftovers of forests, including those in Oregon, into rich sources of renewable power. But they could also put companies such as Flakeboard, the nation's largest particleboard manufacturer based in South Carolina, out of business if their suppliers opt to sell into more lucrative energy markets. "There's already a lot of competition," said David Leding, a Flakeboard plant manager in Albany. "And now all of a sudden, we have to compete with our federal government." The Biomass Crop Assistance Program offers a subsidy of $1 for each $1 per dry ton of eligible materials sold and delivered to biomass conversion facilities, with a maximum of $45 per more

Members of Congress are much smarter than those folks in the lumber business, and thank goodness they are taking over health care, as they are also much smarter than those ignorant physicians. We can all look forward to a bright future in Obamaland. Just don't get sick or try to build anything.

More winter Yellowstone Park use urged

For too long, snowmobilers and environmentalists have controlled the debate about access to Yellowstone National Park in winter, said West Yellowstone businessman Doug Edgerton. He hopes to help change that. Edgerton, who builds specialized track-setting equipment for cross-country ski trails, and David Robinson, who designed the Web site, are urging people to support plowing as a winter travel option between West Yellowstone and Old Faithful. The current system of allowing only limited snow coach and snowmobile travel into Yellowstone is damaging West Yellowstone’s economy, Edgerton said, and making the park the exclusive playground of the few who can afford to pay about $100 per adult to enter. “The west side of the park is for the enjoyment of the few and wealthy, and that’s for the benefit of the public?” Edgerton said. As evidence of the park becoming more exclusive, Yellowstone’s statistics show the park’s winter visitation dropping by more than 41,000 people from 1999 to more

These "exclusive playgroun(s)" are being created all over the West, via Wilderness and other restrictive designations that keep the public out.

Lawsuit challenges bison transfer to Ted Turner

A coalition of wildlife advocates Tuesday asked a Montana judge to overturn an agreement that allowed dozens of Yellowstone National Park bison to be transferred onto billionaire Ted Turner’s private ranch. Four wildlife groups that opposed last month’s transfer filed a lawsuit in Gallatin County claiming that the animals are a public resource that should be shielded from privatization. Turner has agreed to take care of the animals for five years. In exchange, he gets 75 percent of their offspring, or an estimated 150 animals. The suit’s plaintiffs said the state should either move the animals onto public land or pay Turner to take care of them rather than give up their young as compensation. “They need to remain in public hands,” said plaintiff Glenn Hockett with the Gallatin Wildlife Association. “Paying him by bartering the public’s wildlife is a violation of the public trust.” more

There are privately held bison all over the place, so what in the hell is he talking about?

Idaho, Montana court Oregon business over taxes

Oregonians voted in January to extract an additional $733 million a year in new taxes from business and high-earning individuals. The election results, and the bruising campaign that preceded them, have some influential voices in Oregon's business class simmering with discontent. In response, states including Idaho, Montana and Ohio are on the recruiting offensive, taking dead aim at Oregon businesses. They could well find a receptive audience. Conservatives and moderates alike bemoan the message sent by the tax hikes. "Oregon's economy is already on the wrong side of the tracks," said Roy Tucker, managing partner of the Perkins Coie law firm in Portland. "The last thing we need is one more reason for entrepreneurs to decide not to do business here." The bitter tone of the debate must be music to the ears of Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter, who issued a pugnacious open letter earlier this month inviting Oregon businesses to flee the state. Otter said Oregon political leaders made maintaining government programs a priority over the health of the economy. Montana, Ohio, Chicago and, most recently, Utah, have joined the parade of recruiters trying to poach Oregon more

Tester takes aim at meat inspection

Citing food safety concerns, U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., is proposing sweeping changes in the way the meat industry prevents illness outbreaks from potentially deadly E. coli bacteria. “I don’t know what kind of blowback we’re going to get, but we do need to hold the people accountable who need to be held accountable,” Tester said Tuesday. At issue is the way the U.S. government tracks E. coli- and salmonella-contaminated meat in cases of food-borne illness. Investigations currently stop at butcher shops and packing plants, but Tester said the real contamination takes place in slaughterhouses, where animals are cut open and fecal bacteria from intestines and hides can come in contact with meat. For decades, rules for required testing have made it impossible to trace contamination back to slaughterhouses. Tester said he will introduce a bill today to amend the Meat Inspection Act, changing those rules and get to the source of a food illnesses like E. coli. Trace back regulations are overdue, said Bill Bullard, of R-CALF United Stockgrowers of America. But Bullard said the handful of meat companies responsible for slaughtering more than 80 percent of the country’s meat will lobby against what Tester is trying to more

Song Of The Day #269 Plus discussion of #268

One of yesterday's selections, Zenda Waltz by Bill Boyd and The Cowboy Ramblers received the following comment from rabenau:

I think this waltz is titled Lucinda Waltz rather than The Zenda Waltz

I have three versions of the song, Boyd's and one by the Light Crust Doughboys, both titled Zenda Waltz and one by Fiddlin' Johnny titled Luzenda Waltz.

This is from The Fiddler's Companion:

ZENDA WALTZ. AKA and see "La Zenda Waltz," "Lucenda Waltz," "Zender Waltz," "Zinder Waltz." Canadian, Waltz. A Major ('A' part) & D Major ('B' part). Standard tuning. AB (Phillips): ABB (Messer). Frank Nims writes that the “Zenda Waltz” was “composed by Frank M. Witmark around 1896. It was written as incidental music for a stage version of the hit novel The Prisoner of Zenda (1894), an adventure set in the imaginary Balkan kingdom of Zenda. Anyhow, I know it as the theme song of magician Howard Thurston, a very big star in his time (~1910-1930). For decades after his passing, at magicians' gatherings, if somebody was demonstrating an especially show-bizzy sort of trick one of the onlookers was sure to start humming "Zenda Waltzes". I'm guessing it became known among traditional musicians via Thurston, who toured the country on a grand scale (ten freight cars worth of props & scenery in his prime). Although obviously it stands on its own merits now. Might be interesting to see how the folk process has changed it over the years.” Source for notated version: Jana Jae Greif [Phillips]. Messer (Anthology of Favorite Fiddle Tunes), 1980; No. 170, pgs. 114‑115. Phillips (Traditional American Fiddle Tunes), vol. 2, 1995; pg. 330. Voyager 340, Jim Herd - "Old Time Ozark Fiddling" (appears as "Zender's Waltz").

If you hit on the other titles, they all say "see Zenda Waltz" and the author of the song titled it Zenda Waltz so that appears to be the most correct title.

Here is the 1902 recording by Edison Concert Band of Zenda Waltz

Edison Concert Band - Zenda waltz [Prisoner of Zenda. Selections] .mp3

Found at bee mp3 search engine

I don't particularly care for the slower version by the Light Crust Doughboys, so here again is the 1940 recording of Zenda Waltz by Bill Boyd and the 1998 Fiddlin' Johnny recording, and we will have covered this baby from 1902 till 1998.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Liberal Activist Says 'Cognitive' Brain Patterns Prevent Conservatives From Accepting Threat of Global Warming

Proponents of human-caused global warming claim that "cognitive" brain function prevents conservatives from accepting the science that says "climate change" is an imminent threat to planet Earth and its inhabitants. George Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California-Berkeley and author of the book "The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics," says his scientific research shows that how one perceives the world depends on one’s bodily experience and how one functions in the everyday world. Reason is shaped by the body, he says. Lakoff told that “metaphors” shape a person's understanding of the world, along with one’s values and political beliefs -- including what they think about global warming. "It relates directly (to global warming) because conservatives tend to feel that the free market should be unregulated and (that) environmental regulations are immoral and wrong," Lakoff said. "And what they try to do is show that the science is wrong and that the argument is wrong, based on the science. So when it comes back to science, they try to debunk the science," Lakoff said. On the other hand, he added, liberals' cognitive process allows them to be "open-minded." more

Cowgate: Meat, dairy diet not tied to global warming

Forget all that indecorous talk of animal flatulence, cow burps, vegetarianism and global warming. Welcome to Cowgate. Lower consumption of meat and dairy products will not have a major impact in combating global warming — despite persistent claims that link such diets to more greenhouse gases. So says a report presented Monday before the American Chemical Society. It is the bovine version of Climategate, complete with faulty science and noisy activists with big agendas. Cows and pigs have gotten a "bum rap," said Frank Mitloehner, an air quality expert at the University of California at Davis who authored the report. He is plenty critical of scientists and vegetarian activists such as Paul McCartney who insist that livestock account for about a fifth of all greenhouse-gas emissions. He also is critical of highly-publicized campaigns that call for "meatless Mondays" or push the motto "Less Meat = Less Heat," a European campaign launched in December during the Copenhagen climate summit. Talk of pricey air pollution permits of a "cow tax" for already cash-strapped farmers has surfaced in the U.S. and abroad. Mr. Mitloehner said the claims that livestock are to blame for global warming are both "scientifically inaccurate" and a dangerous distraction from more important issues. He has traced the problem back to a 2006 United Nations report, "Livestock's Long Shadow," that read: "The livestock sector is a major player, responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions measured in CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalents). This is a higher share than transport." Yes, livestock are major producers of methane, one of the greenhouse gases. But Mr. Mitloehner faults the methodology of the U.N. report, contending that the calculations were more

Global warming leads to listing of Pacific Smelt

Into the mid 1900s, Pacific smelt arrived in such abundance this time of year in Washington's Cowlitz River that tribal fishermen could rake them out of the water. This year, the smelt, or "eulachon," appeared on one Friday afternoon, said Nathan Reynolds, Cowlitz Indian Tribe ecologist. For the tribe's annual eulachon ceremony on March 6, there were no smelt to catch. That alarming trend is the backdrop for the Obama administration's decision, announced Tuesday, to list the Pacific smelt population that frequents the Columbia River as threatened, adding another fish to the Columbia's 13 listings of salmon and steelhead under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Columbia River Fishermen's Protective Union opposed the listing, saying the fish have shown resilience. NOAA's announcement didn't list fishing among the threats to Pacific smelt. It did include climate change, which Griffin said seems to be diminishing the plankton the smelt feed on in their traditional more

Former mayor charged with turtle habitat disturbance

A member of the Township Committee has been federally indicted on charges of violating the Endangered Species Act. James R. Durr, who served as mayor in 2009 and is a flower farmer, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Camden on charges of taking the federally protected bog turtle and making false statements to authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice announced last month. The DOJ said Mr. Durr’s farm on Rahilly Road in North Hanover, which he named Turtle Creek Farm, is home to the bog turtle (Clemmys muhlenbergii), which has been designated a threatened species since 1997. Mr. Durr bought the 144-acre farm in December 2005, a property that includes a flowing perennial stream he named Turtle Creek that runs in and out of a wetland area that has been documented as an active bog turtle habitat, according to the DOJ. The charge of “knowingly and unlawfully taking” at least one bog turtle, as described in the indictment, refers to harassing, harming, pursuing, hunting, shooting, wounding, killing, capturing, collecting one of the creatures or attempting to do more

Looks like the Mayor got bogged down in federal reg's.

EPA to Issue Stricter Drinking Water Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening drinking water standards to impose stricter limits on four contaminants that can cause cancer. In a speech Monday, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson said the agency is developing stricter regulations for four chemical compounds: tetrachloroethylene, trichloroethylene, acrylamide and epichlorohydrin. All four compounds can cause cancer. Trichloroethylene, also known as TCE, and tetrachloroethylene are used as industrial solvents and can seep into drinking water from contaminated groundwater or surface water. The other two compounds are impurities that can be introduced into drinking water during the water treatment process. Jackson said the EPA will issue new rules on TCE and tetrachloroethylene within the next year. Rules for the other two compounds will follow. Jackson made the comments Monday as she announced a new strategy to better protect public health from contaminants in drinking water. With budgets strained and new threats emerging, the EPA, states and utilities need to foster innovation that can increase cost-effective measures to protect drinking water, Jackson more

The words EPA and Stricter always seem to go together.

Conference rejects protection for polar bears

A US-led plan to stop international trophy hunting of the polar bear and a flourishing trade in polar bear parts was defeated Thursday at a meeting of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Doha, Qatar. It was the second major defeat of the day for the US – including a sudden vote and refusal by the 175-nation CITES group to ban international trade in Atlantic bluefin tuna, which is a popular sushi dish worldwide, but especially in Japan. But while the tuna defeat was a major blow – because the decline was so obvious, and reversing trade it in would so obviously help – US officials said the polar defeat was just a first step. "It's not uncommon that the first effort to list a species is not success," Tom Strickland, assistant secretary of the Interior for Fish and Wildlife and Parks told reporters in a teleconference. "It requires a sustained effort.... So while we are disappointed with the votes today ... we are heartened by the support around world to up-list the polar bear and bluefin tuna." more

South Dakota legislation calls for reinstatement of federal horse meat inspection‏

South Dakota State Senator Frank Kloucek announced today that a concurrent resolution calling on Congress to repeal roadblocks to the humane slaughter of horses, and the inspection of horse meat has passed by an overwhelming majority with only three no votes. Just a few short years ago the equine industry was a $1.2 Billion dollar industry that supported some 460,000 direct full-time jobs working with horses every day, and another 1,600,000 indirect jobs. All indications are that the equine industry will have been effectively downsized by at least 50% in very short order, and have suffered the loss of at least 500,000 jobs. Most of this can be laid squarely in the lap of the animal rights driven effort that led to the closure of the last U.S. horse processing plants in 2007. While some will claim that all of this economic distress is the result of the current nationwide situation, others will point out that the horse industry survived the economic downturn of the 1980s relatively intact. Worst of all, the horses are suffering. The website,, has been documenting every media report of abandoned, neglected, and abused horses since the early 1990s and the increase in suffering is absolutely horrific. There was a 400% increase in stories detailing neglect and abandonment of horses from 2008 to 2009...Press Release

Hath Not a Plant Life?

As a Texas cattle rancher I am very familiar with the arguments for veganism and against the consumption of animals for food. As a degreed earth scientist and student of nature who has spent most of his life in the great outdoors, I may have a somewhat broader view of our natural system than many vegan and vegetarian proponents. To those who believe it is immoral to take the lives of animals for food, I would offer this thought: Plants are living creatures as well. Because we do not interact with them the same way as we do with animals does not mean they are not alive. Not eating meat, then, because it means taking life is a weak moral argument. It takes life to make life. Our entire natural system is based on life begetting life, whether animal or vegetable. Even our petroleum products come from ancient life (organic matter, primarily of algal origin, compressed under the weight of sediments and cooked under the earth's heat). The morality or immorality of our behavior is determined by how we treat the animals (and perhaps even plants?) while they are alive. That is where animal husbandry comes in. Conscientious farmers, ranchers, and stock growers every day try to provide the best care possible for these animals we consume while trying to make a living. If you've never shed a tear while putting down a cow that was dying a slow death from an injury, don't moralize over the taking of animal life. Most producers care greatly about their charges. If someone cannot condone the principle of something dying so he can eat, then he should eat more

Just don't pick up your rocks on federal's against the law.

PETA Feathers Ruffled by Mike Tyson NY Pigeon Show

An animal welfare group wants New York City prosecutors to investigate Mike Tyson's reality television show about pigeon racing. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals says the Brooklyn-based show is cruel to animals and its races could involve illegal gambling. The show will follow Tyson as he competes in pigeon races. The former world heavyweight champion has raised pigeons all his life but is a racing rookie. The show airs next year on Animal Planet. A spokeswoman says there have never been plans for wagering on the races. She says the pigeons will be "cherished and respected by their owners," including Tyson. PETA sent a letter dated March 18 to the Brooklyn district attorney's office requesting an investigation. District attorney spokesman Jonah Bruno says the office is looking into the allegations. AP

They should be long as he doesn't bite them.

Song Of The Day #268

For Western Swing Week Ranch Radio will feature two instrumental by Bill Boyd & His Cowboy Ramblers. First up is The Zenda Waltz recorded on Feb. 12, 1940 at the Jefferson Hotel in Dallas, followed by Red River Rag recorded on Feb. 7, 1950 at the Sellers Studio in Dallas.

Both songs are from 78s, but you can see what he has available in CD & LP format by going here. Or, like I said yesterday, go to Western Swing on 78 where you'll find some great collections.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

After health, Obama allies zero in on climate

After a hard-fought victory on health care reform, President Barack Obama's allies in Congress are setting their sights on climate change -- but some on both sides are already crying foul. Environmentalists hope Obama will seize on new political momentum to push forward climate legislation, though some observers question whether he would seek another divisive vote as November congressional elections approach. Senator John Kerry, who has spearheaded climate legislation, said that White House officials can now "pour their energy and attention" into the issue after Sunday's down-to-the-wire vote on expanding health care coverage. The House of Representatives in June approved a bill that would start the country's first nationwide "cap-and-trade" system that restricts carbon emissions blamed for global warming and allows trading in credits. The Senate has yet to offer companion legislation, despite pressure on the United States to finalize an action plan before December's climate summit in Copenhagen. Unlike health care, which split on sharply partisan lines, Kerry voiced confidence in winning Republican support. He is working on climate legislation with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a vociferous foe of Obama's health care more

Environmentalists make plea for desert preservation

Some environmentalists are breaking ranks and fighting the solar industry. The problem, as they see it, is that tens of thousands of acres of mostly pristine desert is slated for bulldozing to accommodate utility-scale solar power plants in Nevada and across the Southwest. The solar plant planned 4.5 miles southwest of the Primm Golf Course, for example, will eat up about 3,400 acres. About 20 people hiked across several miles of that desert Saturday. They’re members of the Sierra Club, the Center for Biological Diversity, the Western Watersheds Project, and Basin and Range Watch, but last weekend they were acting independently of their organizations. The hike was a form of protest. The mission was to gather information about rare and endangered plants and animals that live on the proposed site of the solar plant. The hikers’ plan is to use their knowledge of life on the site to block the development or at least force it to move. Renewable energy developers have long been the darlings of environmental groups, but Saturday’s event highlights a growing rift within those more

Environmental Groups Net $91,000 on Jaguar Habitat Litigation

For Immediate Release / March 22, 2010
From the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association
P.O. Box 7517 / Albuquerque, New Mexico 87194
For further information, contact: Caren Cowan
505.247.0584 phone / email

The federal government paid a total of $91,000 to environmental groups as part of settlement agreements in two lawsuits filed regarding designation of critical habitat for the jaguar.

“The amount of money -- our tax dollars -- that has gone and continues to go to these groups is unbelievable,” said Bert Ancell, New Mexico Cattle Growers Association (NMCGA) President, Bell Ranch. “How the government can continue to make these agreements, knowing that money will be used to fund yet another lawsuit against the federal government, is beyond me.”

The Center for Biological Diversity received $53,000 and the Defenders of Wildlife received $38,000 in settlement of a case they filed in 2008 to force the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to designate critical habitat for the jaguar. The groups are pushing for the designation of 53 million acres of habitat in southern New Mexico and Arizona, for a species that is rarely seen north of the Mexican border.

Ancell is concerned about the impacts a critical habitat designation could have on natural resource users, including ranchers. “These designations are far-reaching, and could seriously impact ranching operations and rural economies in southern New Mexico and Arizona.”

“The cost of these lawsuits is staggering,” Ancell continued, “with no actual benefit to the species in question. These environmental groups file hundreds of lawsuits every year, forcing agencies to dedicate time, money and resources that could go to species benefit, instead it goes into the courtroom. Our tax dollars are used to defend the case, our tax dollars are used to settle the case and the environmental groups go out and file more lawsuits. None of this impacts the jaguar one way or the other – the species continues to do just fine in natural range --- which does not include the southwestern United States. Jaguars need running water and a humid climate.”

Groups are able to ask for attorneys’ fees as part of the settlement of a lawsuit with the federal government under the Equal Access to Justice Act (EAJA) and other fee shifting statutes. EAJA was passed in the 1980s to ensure that private citizens’ and non-profits’ rights were protected. Today, however, well-funded environmental groups are using the legislation for profit, Ancell concluded.

The NMCGA has represented the beef industry in New Mexico and the West since 1914 and has members in all 33 of the state’s counties as well as some 14 other states. The Association participates in venues necessary to protect beef producers and private property rights including litigation, state and federal legislation and regulatory affairs.

Idaho panel supports state control of federal lands

A Senate panel is supporting a resolution asking the governor and legislative leaders to get Idaho more involved in managing federal lands that fall within the state's boundaries. Priest Lake Republican Rep. Eric Anderson told the Senate Resources and Environment Committee Monday the state should maintain some of the federal lands that make up at least 61 percent of Idaho's territory. Anderson says the state sometimes does a better job taking care of forests than the federal agencies and that Idaho could use the land to raise money for public schools. Colorado officials have contracted with the U.S. Forest Service to get rid of brush that could easily catch fire growing on federal land bordering state and private property. Utah has a similar agreement with the agency. The resolution now goes to the Senate. AP

Crash with burro reflects bigger problem

A crash with a burro on State Route 159 Monday morning is a reflection of a bigger problem, taking the wild out of one of Southern Nevada's most prevalent wild animals. The burro was killed in the crash, but the driver of the Ford Mustang is expected to be okay. He was taken to UMC for treatment; his car totaled. Officials with the Bureau of Land Management tell Action News the burro likely was on the road looking for food. Burros have become increasingly more tame over the years, because people feed them, even though it's more

Forest Service drops plan to cut senior discount

The U.S. Forest Service has dropped a proposal to cut campground discounts for seniors and the disabled, a move welcomed by Idaho’s congressional delegation. The agency had considered cutting a 50 percent discount for holders of various discount passes down to just 10 percent at campgrounds run by private concessionaires. Its officials argued in a public notice that the change was necessary to keep concessionaires from raising fees for other campground users as more of the nation ages, and ensure access stays fair for all Americans. But Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced Wednesday that the reduced discounts aren’t the best way to address the challenges concessionaires more

Strong snows will up Gila runoff

The Gila country of southwestern New Mexico hasn't seen a snow pack like this year's in more than a decade and that's prompting some warnings about runoff. The snow pack ranges from 200 percent to more than 400 percent. In the headwater country of the Gila River, there's deep snow everywhere. It's the equivalent of about two feet of water. With hot weather or warm rain the snow can become water very quickly, turning lazy rivers into raging floods. The bridge to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is already damaged and tourists have to park a mile away and walk more

Rodeo Houston $50,000 Shootout Results

RodeoHouston March 20, Reliant Stadium Unofficial shootout round results

Bareback riding – 1. Ryan Gray, Cheney, Wash., (shootout round score) 90.5 points on Classic Pro Rodeo’s Fancy Free, (total money) $55,350; 2. Steven Dent, Mullen, Neb., 87, $22,350; 3. Bobby Mote, Culver, Ore., 84, $14,250; 4. Steven Peebles, Redmond, Ore., $12,000. Steer wrestling – 1. Cody Cassidy, Donalda, Alberta, (shootout round) 3.8 seconds, (total money) $52,650; 2. Justin Davis, Bartonville, Texas, 4.4, $18,550; 3. Wade Sumpter, Fowler, Colo., 4.5, $10,650; 4. Trevor Knowles, Mount Vernon, Ore., 14.2, $10,350. Team roping – 1. Turtle Powell, Stephenville, Texas, and Cory Petska, Lexington, Okla., (shootout round) 4.1 seconds $56,250 each; 2. Chad Masters, Santo, Texas, and Jade Corkill, Fallon, Nev., 4.8, $21,600; 3. Clay Tryan, Billings, Mont., and Travis Graves, Jay, Okla., 5.1, $12,500; 4. Justin Yost, Hico, Texas, and Kle Crick Lipan, Texas, NT $7,000. Saddle bronc riding – 1. Rod Hay, Wildwood, Alberta, (shootout round) 87.5 points on Burch Rodeo’s Lunitic Fringe, (total money) $54,250; 2. Wade Sundell, Boxholm, Iowa, 86.5, $18,250; 3. Cort Scheer, Elsmere, Neb., 83.5, $10,000; 4. Taos Muncy, Corona, N.M., 82.5, $6,300. Tie-down roping – 1. Stran Smith, Childress, Texas, (shootout round time) 8.5 seconds, (total money), $54,175; 2. Fred Whitfield, Hockley, Texas, 11.2, $23,000; 3. Clint Robinson, Spanish Fork, Utah, $7,000. Barrel racing – 1. Sherry Cervi, Marana, Ariz., (shootout round), 14.63 seconds, (total money) $61,500; 2. Christina Richman Glendora, Calif., 14.76, $29,375; 3. Jill Moody, Letcher, S.D., 14.79, $11,000; 4. Brittany Pozzi, Victoria, Texas, 20.23, $15,000. Bull riding – 1. Shawn Hogg, Odessa, Texas, (shootout score) 86.5 points on Classic Pro Rodeo’s Sweetwater, (total money) $56,250; 2. Douglas Duncan, Alvin, Texas, 85, $21,250; 3. Tyler Smith, Fruita, Colo., 83.5, $13,000; 4. Luke Haught, Weatherford, Texas, $6,000.

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo sets new attendance records

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo shattered record after record this year — from attendance to the number of funnel cakes consumed — with only a few hitches to detract from successes that surprised even its organizers. On Sunday, the last day of the three-week rodeo, general attendance climbed past 2 million visitors as swooning teens lined up to see Justin Bieber perform and rodeo fans filled Reliant Stadium to watch cowboys compete for the Xtreme Bulls title. The general attendance figures for the rodeo, one of North America's largest fairs, blew away last year's record of 1.89 million. “Food sales, carnival sales — it all went through the roof,” said the rodeo's chief financial officer, Jennifer Hazelton. About half of the livestock auctions, including goats and lambs, set new bidding records. A record-breaking crowd of 74,222 people filled the stands for Go Tejano Day this year, beating the prior record of 74,147 set last year. The attendance at rodeo performances also beat a record 1.22 million, set in 2003: the first year the rodeo was held at Reliant Stadium instead of the more

Baxter Black: Adopt a farmer

As the percent of farmers continues to decrease in proportion to the population, it seems the harder the ANTIs (HSUS, PETA, Sierra Club, name one) try to increase America's dependence on foreign food just as they have done with manufacturing, energy, timber and steel. They have the foresight of a mayfly. If farmers were a race we'd be a minority smaller than the National Left-Handed-Americans for a Fair Shake! So, I'm thinkin' there must be more opportunities for farmers to elevate our reputation. The Hare Krishna and Farm Sanctuary drew attention with their Adopt a Heifer fundraiser. The BLM has Adopt a Mustang. Freeways have sold Adopt a Mile. How 'bout Adopt a Farmer? We could have a spin off of the Dating Game. Three farmers could sit behind a curtain while a Real American Consumer (RAC) could ask questions of a sheepherder, a corn farmer and a horse more

Song Of The Day #268

Ranch Radio will have a Western Swing Week. Today's selection is Hey Toots by Dick Reinhart & The Universal Cowboys.

This version is from his 20 track CD Hot Rod Baby on the Cattle label. What's available on disk you can see here, or better yet download his 78s for free at Western Swing On 78.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Frank DuBois Bronc Riding & Calf Roping

Friday March 26th 6:00 PM
Southern NM Fairgrounds
Las Cruces, NM

**Free Admission**

Broncs - Entry Fees $150
$1000 ADDED

Elimination Roping
Entry Fees $150
$1000 ADDED

Go 1: All ropers/eliminate to leave 10
Go 2: 10 ropers/eliminate 2 slowest
Go 3: 8 ropers/eliminate 2 slowest
Go 4: 6 ropers/eliminate 2 slowest
Go 5: 4 ropers/eliminate 2 slowest
Go 6: The Showdown!
Guaranteed Payout:
Go's 1-5 pay $150 to fast time!

Entries Open March 16 @ 9am
Entries Close March 24 @ 5pm
Enter by calling 575-646-3659

Ecological Science as a Creation Story

Since at least the late 1980s, environmental writers have made growing use of the explicit Christian language of “the Creation.” Two 1990s books by environmental authors, for example, are Caring for Creation (Oelschlaeger 1994)and Covenant for a New Creation ( Robb and Casebolt 1991). The magazine of the Natural Resources Defense Council describes the need for a greater “spiritual bond between ourselves and the natural world similar to God’s covenant with creation” (Borelli 1988). Natural environments isolated historically from European contact are commonly described as having once been an “Eden” or a “paradise” on the earth—similar to the Creation before the fall (McCormick 1989; “Inside the World’s Last Eden” 1992). Such creationist language has also invaded mainstream environmental politics. During his tenure as vice president, Al Gore said that we must cease “heaping contempt on God’s creation” (qtd. in Niebuhr 1993). In a 1995 speech remarkable for its religious candor, Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt said that “our covenant” requires that we “protect the whole of Creation.” Invoking messages reminiscent of John Muir, Babbitt argued that wild areas are a source of our core “values” because they are “a manifestation of the presence of our Creator.” It is necessary to protect every animal and plant species, Babbitt said, because “the earth is a sacred precinct, designed by and for the purposes of the Creator,” and thus we can learn about God by encountering and experiencing his creation. The American environmental movement has deep roots in and still depends heavily on the conviction that a person finds a mirror of God’s thinking in the encounter with wild nature—or, in traditional Christian terms, that a person is in the presence of “the Creation.” Absent this conviction, many of the American environmental movement’s basic beliefs and important parts of its policy agenda would be difficult to explain and defend.1 The use of creation language also reflects an increased role that the institutional churches of Christianity are now playing in the environmental movement. This involvement has worked to narrow the previously large linguistic gap between traditional Christian creationism and what might be called a secular “environmental creationism”—the use of creationist language without the explicit Christian more

Corned grief: biofuels may increase CO2

In the March 2010 issue of BioScience, researchers present a sophisticated new analysis of the effects of boosting use of maize-derived ethanol on greenhouse gas emissions. The study, conducted by Thomas W. Hertel of Purdue University and five co-authors, focuses on how mandated increases in production of the biofuel in the United States will trigger land-use changes domestically and elsewhere. In response to the increased demand for maize, farmers convert additional land to crops, and this conversion can boost carbon dioxide emissions. The analysis combines ecological data with a global economic commodity and trade model to project the effects of US maize ethanol production on carbon dioxide emissions resulting from land-use changes in 18 regions across the globe. The researchers’ main conclusion is stark: These indirect, market-mediated effects on greenhouse gas emissions “are enough to cancel out the benefits the corn ethanol has on global warming.” The indirect effects of increasing production of maize ethanol were first addressed in 2008 by Timothy Searchinger and his coauthors, who presented a simpler calculation in Science. Searchinger concluded that burning maize more

Wolf protest draws 200 to downtown Jackson

Roughly 200 outfitters, ranchers and sportsmen crowded Center Street on Saturday to rally against wolves, a predator they say is ruining the state’s elk population and threatening livestock. “We’re here to support our heritage,” said Brian Taylor, one of the event’s organizers and owner of Gros Ventre Wilderness Outfitters. “The wolf has no place on the endangered species list. They back us into a corner and, by God, we’re ready to fight.” Taylor and other speakers told stories about watching wolves chasing and killing elk, household pets and livestock. “We have no ability to keep the wolf from our door,” he said. Much of the talk from the protesters was aimed at environmental groups, who they say have used lawsuits to dominate the wolf debate and keep the species under Endangered Species Act protection. “I’m really tired of meaningless statistics,” said Mike Trumbower, an outfitter and Hoback Junction resident. “It’s just a big smokescreen. Wolves are, no doubt, the most effective predator in North America. People who say they don’t make an impact are totally ignoring the facts.” Bob Wharff, Wyoming executive director of Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, called the wolf debate “a battle we cannot afford to lose.” more

Lawmen of the lonesome range

Four Twin Falls County lawmen patrol the outskirts of a county the size of Rhode Island, where wild animals are sometimes the bad guys. The small team of deputies from the Twin Falls County Sheriff’s Office works to protect people and property from thieves and predators on high desert terrain lush with valuable livestock and wildlife. For ranchers grazing cattle worth upwards of $800 to $1,700per head, this law enforcement presence is welcomed, especially in the spring as small calves vulnerable to predators appear and grow. On the range, Vaughn is sometimes entirely out of radio service. As he drives on, the radio crackles beside the heavy moan of the pickup’s engine. Cell phone service dwindles as the roads become rougher. Vaughn said he believes he has seen a wolf while on rural patrol at least once during the past three years. His beat includes both on-road and off-road areas that include private ranches, federal Bureau of Land Management areas and U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service lands. He says the area amounts to about 1 million acres of mostly public land. The sheriff’s office receives payment for patrolling federal land inside the county, which has a $234,000 annual budget for rural patrol, according to more

The federal agencies are doing it right in this area of Idaho. As I previously posted, the BLM & FS should contract with local law enforcement rather than building a costly, bureaucratic and unfriendly police force with drones in the sky and hidden cameras on the ground.

Ranchers eligible for assistance with wolf-related livestock losses

Ranchers who have suffered livestock losses resulting from wolf depredation are eligible for federal assistance through an emergency assistance program administered by the New Mexico Farm Service Agency. Salomon Ramirez, the agency's executive director, announced availability through the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honey Bees, and Farm-raised Fish Program (ELAP) as authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill. Wolf depredation has been determined to be an eligible loss condition under ELAP for livestock death losses occurring on or after Jan. 1, 2008, and before Oct. 1, 2011. Under the provisions, FSA may spend up to $50 million per year nationwide to provide emergency relief for losses due to feed or water shortages, adverse weather, or other conditions, such as blizzards and wildfires and, now, wolf depredation, losses that are not adequately addressed by other disaster programs. To date, wolf depredation is the only loss condition approved on a national level as an eligible loss condition for livestock death losses under ELAP provisions. "In 2008 and 2009, livestock producers in several counties in the New Mexico wolf range, had U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service verified incidents of depredation by Mexican gray wolves," Ramirez said. "This is important to note because ELAP benefits are available to only those producers who can provide verifiable evidence of livestock losses." more

Drilling waste feud

A feud has developed between Doug "Hump" Humphreys and some of his neighbors after he put in a soil farm, known as Maverick Energy Services, two years ago. The land is adjacent to the Olivo cattle farm, which has been operating for decades about four miles east of Holdenville. Soil farms feature pits where drilling fluid waste is stored and then later applied to the land. The waste had historically been disposed of in commercial pits. Humphreys said he's given the Oklahoma Corporation Commission the key to his gate to inspect his operation any time. The possible chemical build-up is what worries cattle ranchers. "We don't know the long-term affect on livestock," said John Stirman, a cattle rancher who lives nearby. Neighbors are also concerned about water contamination and land spoilage over time. "There's nothing farm' about it," said cattle rancher Donald Hardwick. "It's just one big slush pit." The Corporation Commission regulates eight soil farms, and two pending applications in Haskell and Love counties have received protests. The farms have become popular in the last 10 years with the introduction of horizontal wells to increase drilling activity, and hydraulic fracturing to generate drilling mud, said Tim Baker, manager of pollution abatement for the Corporation Commission's oil and gas conservation division. Landowners are compensated by oil and gas companies to allow the spreading of drilling fluids on their farm land. Baker said the Corporation Commission has processed 15,507 permits during the past 15 years. "They make it worth the landowners while to do that. If it were harmful, they wouldn't do it," Baker more

Montana leads 16-state effort to save small farms and ranches

Montana is leading a 16-state effort to save small farmers and ranchers by urging the federal government to use antitrust weapons and enlist the states' help to fight increasing consolidation in agriculture. The feds are listening. Attorney General Eric Holder and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack say a series of workshops on competition in the industry an unprecedented act of cooperation between their agencies. But they also say it's not clear what actions will come from the hearings, which are examining competition in U.S. dairy, seed, meatpacking and crop production. Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock, who is spearheading the agricultural states' effort, said too much consolidation has resulted in unfair trade practices that tip the balance against farmers and ranchers. With Justice Department and USDA cooperation, he said, "This will be a watershed moment to have actual enforcement capabilities." Bullock and the other attorneys general are calling for a halt of any further consolidation or integration in the agricultural sector without a critical review coordinated with the states. They submitted recommendations to federal officials on what needs to be done. Among more

Unfortunately, none of the recommendations address the federal statutes and regulatory regimes which have contributed to the consolidation.

USDA lax in watching organics market

The Agriculture Department has failed to enforce penalties against some who falsely marketed foods as organic, according to an internal department investigation. A report by the agency's inspector general says the agency needs to step up enforcement of those who sell products under the "USDA Organic" label but do not meet government standards to do so. The report says the department has made improvements in maintaining the integrity of the organic program in recent years, but needs to better handle complaints about potential violators. Oversight of the organic program has become more important and more scrutinized as the industry has exploded in popularity over the last decade, growing 14 to 21 percent annually with sales of $24.6 billion in 2008. As more companies have vied to be part of the business, critics have charged that the government has not been restrictive enough in what it allows to be labeled as organic. The internal report says the department has failed to monitor some companies it had already identified as improperly marketing their products as organic. In one case, the department never issued enforcement action against an operation that had marketed non-organic mint under the department's label for two more

Fiction review: 'Bone Fire' by Mark Spragg

And according to "Bone Fire," Mark Spragg's latest novel, Wyoming is a place where serious people are scrabbling to find happiness in a barren emotional landscape. In "Bone Fire," Spragg brings together characters he introduced in his previous books, "The Fruits of Stone" and "An Unfinished Life." Rancher Einar Gilkyson is 80 and fading. His granddaughter Griff has dropped out of the Rhode Island School of Design to take care of him. She putters around the ranch, working on bone sculptures and mooning after her boyfriend Paul -- seems neither of them can actually commit. On a nearby ranch, Paul and his young nephew Kenneth live with McEban, one of countless slow-talking cowboys who inhabit Spragg's Wyoming. Meanwhile, back in town, Griff's stepfather, Sheriff Crane Carlson, learns he has a debilitating disease, but his wife, Griff's mom, is an alcoholic housewife who has no idea he's sick. They're all miserable, but no one wants to talk about it. The story moseys along as the characters muck through their trials and unhappiness. It seems Wyoming has the same mundane problems that occur anywhere in the world. But these somber Wyomingites have each other, and that stubborn loyalty is what makes it all bearable. Even more meaningful is their unbreakable tie with the more

Comfortable fit: Boot Roundup & Shoe Repair

On Broadway in Chula Vista, Boot Roundup & Shoe Repair looks like a hole in the wall, stuffed with shoes, cobbling material and equipment. Its sister shop — Chito’s Shoe Repair — has a similar appearance in the heart of trendy North Park. Despite first impressions, both shops are landmarks that do high-volume business for their owner, Chito Martinez, who has been in the shoe world for almost 50 years. The Chula Vista shop is closest to the old shoemaker’s heart, because it is where he and dozens of his friends, many with decades of history together, gather daily for laughter and more

It's All Trew: Buffalo horses and outlaw cattle

In another interview, an old cowboy told of working on a big ranch that had a wide brushy river bottom running through the middle of the ranch. The owners were trying to upgrade the quality of their cattle but were having trouble with several outlaw bulls running wild in the bottom. They ordered their cowboys to gather the wild bulls or shoot them. Hard, dangerous riding finally found and ran down several of the wild bulls missed during years of previous roundups. They were so large and stout, even when roped they could not be pulled to where they were to be loaded on trailers. The men tied the beasts by their horns to trees hoping they would be more docile after going without feed and water for a few days. Before they returned, a bad thunderstorm came up and caused a flood several feet deep down the brushy river bottom. The outlaw bulls all drowned while tied to the trees. For years afterward, ranch cowboys would occasionally ride upon a huge, bleached bull skull still tied to a tree by a rope. Though this story may sound cruel at first, probably to these "born free" wild animals, drowning was better than being confined in pens and eventually butchered for more

Song Of The Day #267

Ranch Radio will get your heart started and your foot tappin' this Monday morning with Buddy Emmons' rendition of Boot Heel Drag.

The tune is available on his 12 track CD Buddy Emmons sings Bob Wills.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Meanwhile back at the arena

by Julie Carter

Roping and rodeo season is gearing up to the usual spring frenzy and those ropers that find themselves afoot are horse shopping.

The used-horse business flourishes but unless you get a far piece beyond your territory, everybody knows you, your business and the horse you might be looking at.

Heard at the arena, "He don't know it, but that horse will make your eyes pop," said one cowboy.

"No way. I know that horse and he's one of the uglier ones to be found," said the other cowboy.

"I'm not talking about his looks," retorted the first cowboy. "I'm talking about he stops so hard on his front feet that when your crotch hits the saddle horn, your eyes will pop."

This is important criteria to know.

Then there is Joe and Pete, whose names have been changed since it was established one of them can read, and didn't so much enjoy his newfound notoriety when their antics previously hit print.

As a precaution, their undercover names will be kept to a simple, one syllable.

Joe and Pete, when we last spoke of them, were going to win the world without bothering with any roping practice. Not needed, they were sure of that. That spree lasted about six weeks and came to an unremarkable close.

Spring fever has again beset the pair and the difference this year is that they both decided they needed new horses.

Joe's horse, Hack Rein, is 20-plus years old and Pete's trusty steed, Stix, has seen 21 years and counting.

Besides being naturally tightfisted, neither of them are flush with funds. Rick is the friend designated to alleviate the current cash flow issue with a little horse trading in the mix.

Joe is going to sell Hack Rein to Rick. That gets Rick mounted. Joe has neglected to tell him that Hack Rein has a slight bob to his head and at times, a serious limp.
Hack Rein is a heading horse, so Rick will be a header.

Joe is then going to buy Pete's horse, Stix, who also has a slight bob to his head and on bad days, will limp slightly.

That gets Joe mounted. Stix is also a heading horse, so Joe will be a header.
Pete is the only one left afoot. He is looking at a black horse said to be priced extremely reasonable.

That's a serious consideration with this bunch.

The black horse has been known to occasionally limp and to stop on his front feet pretty hard. Recall the earlier "eye popper" conversation.

He, too, is a heading horse, but an extremely good bargain.

All three ropers are now mounted and will shortly begin practice to win the world when the weather warms up and arenas dry up.

It has not yet occurred to them that that all three of them will have to be headers. The excitement over their "new" horses has, at least temporarily, clouded that detail of reality.

The upside of this is, counting on heelers to show up is just as iffy. The most recent best excuse by a heeler to not to show up to a roping was he'd decided to enter a coyote calling contest instead. Hey, it happens.

For those watching this scenario unfold, there is a suggestion of confidence that the trio may not figure out that all of them are headers until they go to enter a roping.

Like last year's unnecessary practice, planning ahead is rarely the selected option.
The mental image of them riding their head-bobbing, gimping horses around the arena while they try to figure out how to make a team out of three headers, lends itself to a "three stooges in cowboy hats" moment.

One can almost already hear the "N'yuk, n'yuk, n'yuk."

The first roping they go to may take more than the usual supply of aiming fluid.

Julie can be reached for comment at Here website is .

NMSU Rodeo team competes and wins at season openers

The New Mexico State University Rodeo team blew away the competition during National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association (NIRA) rodeos at Cochise College, in Fort Huachuca, Ariz., March 5-6 and the University of Arizona, in Tucson, Ariz., March 7.

The men’s and the women’s teams placed first at both rodeos, each time leading the competition by more than 60 points.

“The team did great this weekend at our spring season openers; both the men’s and the women’s teams stepped up and were very competitive. NMSU Rodeo is definitely going to have a solid team for the College National Finals Rodeo in June,” said Jim Dewey Brown, NMSU Rodeo coach.

In the saddlebronc riding event, Steve Hacker, of Battle Mountain, Nev., and Garrison DeWitt, of Rio Rico, Ariz., placed first and second, respectively.

Westin Fowler, of Las Cruces, N.M., won first in the bull riding.

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

In the team roping, Mirabal, header, and Parker Reed, heeler, of Apollo College, received first. The team of Bryce Runyan, header, of Silver City, N.M., and Tel Trammell, heeler, of Tularosa, N.M., placed second.

For the women’s team, Jessica Silva, of Tularosa, N.M., won first in the breakaway roping, with teammate Katie Waybourn, of Aztec, N.M., placing second in the goat tying.

Mirabal was named the men’s all-around cowboy and Jordan Bassett, of Dewey, Ariz., was named the women’s all-around cowgirl for the rodeo.

During the second rodeo of the weekend, DeWitt won first in the saddlebronc riding. Thor Dusenberry, of Desert Hills, Ariz., placed second, and Hacker received third.

In the tie-down roping, Johnny Salvo, of Horse Springs, N.M., won first. Simpson received second.

Tyler Dietering, header, of Central Arizona College, and Corban Livingston, heeler, of El Paso, Texas, won first in the team roping. The team of Daniel Scalva, of Durango, Colo., and Aaron Shelley, of Gila, N.M., received second.

Shiann Irwin, of Bosque Farms, N.M., and Waybourn placed second and third, respectively, in the breakaway roping.

Bassett placed second in the barrel racing and third in the goat tying. She also was named the women’s all-around for the rodeo.

The next NIRA rodeo will be at Central Arizona College in Florence, Ariz., March 20-21.

Song Of The Day #266

Ranch Radio's Gospel tune this morning is Lift Your Voice In Prayer by the bluegrass group Special Consensus.

The tune is on their 12 track CD The Trail Of Aching Hearts on the Pinecastle label.

Former Interior Secretary Udall dies at age 90

Stewart Udall, who sowed the seeds of the modern environmental movement as secretary of the interior during the 1960s and later became a crusader for victims of radiation exposure from the government's Cold War nuclear programs, died Saturday. He was 90. A statement from Udall's family, released through the office of his son, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said he died of natural causes at his home in Santa Fe, surrounded by his children and their families. Udall, brother of the late 15-term congressman Morris Udall, served six years in Congress as a Democrat from Arizona, and then headed the Interior Department for eight years under Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. His son Tom and nephew Mark also became congressmen, then both were elected to the Senate in 2008. Under Stewart Udall's leadership from 1961 through 1968, the Interior Department aggressively promoted an expansion of public lands and helped win enactment of major environmental laws, including ones to protect endangered more

Condolences to Senator Udall and the entire Udall family.

Pre-Crime Policing

To hear them tell it, the five police agencies who apprehended 39-year-old Oregonian David Pyles early on the morning of March 8 thwarted another lone wolf mass murderer. The police "were able to successfully take a potentially volatile male subject into protective custody for a mental evaluation," announced a press release put out by the Medford, Oregon, police department. The subject had recently been placed on administrative leave from his job, was "very disgruntled," and had recently purchased several firearms. "Local Law Enforcement agencies were extremely concerned that the subject was planning retaliation against his employers," the release said. Fortunately, Pyles "voluntarily" turned himself over to police custody, and the legally purchased firearms "were seized for safekeeping." This voluntary exchange involved two SWAT teams, police officers from Medford and nearby Roseburg, sheriff's deputies from Jackson and Douglas counties, and the Oregon State Police. Oregon State Police Sgt. Jeff Proulx explained to South Oregon's Mail Tribune why the operation was such a success: "Instead of being reactive, we took a proactive approach." There's just one problem: David Pyles hadn't committed any crime, nor was he suspected of having committed one. The police never obtained a warrant for either search or arrest. They never consulted with a judge or mental health professional before sending out the military-style tactical teams to take Pyle in. "They woke me up with a phone call at about 5:50 in the morning," Pyles told me in a phone interview Friday. "I looked out the window and saw the SWAT team pointing their guns at my house. The officer on the phone told me to turn myself in. I told them I would, on three conditions: I would not be handcuffed. I would not be taken off my property. And I would not be forced to get a mental health evaluation. He agreed. The second I stepped outside, they jumped me. Then they handcuffed me, took me off my property, and took me to get a mental health evaluation." By noon the same day, Pyles had already been released from the Rogue Valley Medical Center with a clean bill of mental health. Four days later the Medford Police Department returned Pyle’s guns, despite telling him earlier in the week—falsely—that he'd need to undergo a second background check before he could get them more

Federal Court Strikes Down Gun Rights Protest Restrictions

Late yesterday, in a striking victory for the First Amendment on campus, a federal district court in Texas ruled that a number of restrictions on students' speech at Tarrant County College (TCC) are unconstitutional. In his decision, U.S. District Judge Terry R. Means found that TCC's reliance on a policy prohibiting "disruptive activities" to restrict students Clayton Smith and John Schwertz from holding an "empty holster" protest violated the First Amendment. Smith and Schwertz had turned to the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) for help. In addition to ruling that students are entitled to protest by wearing empty holsters in classrooms, hallways, and public areas of campus, Judge Means ruled that TCC's sweeping prohibition on "cosponsorship," which forbade students and faculty from holding campus events in association with any "off-campus person or organization," prevented TCC students "from speaking on campus on issues of any social importance" and was therefore "overly broad" and "unconstitutional on its face." Smith's and Schwertz's protest was designed to coincide with the efforts of a national pro-concealed carry organization, Students for Concealed Carry on Campus (SCCC) more

Computer snafu is behind at least 50 'raids' on Brooklyn couple's home

Embarrassed cops on Thursday cited a "computer glitch" as the reason police targeted the home of an elderly, law-abiding couple more than 50 times in futile hunts for bad guys. Apparently, the address of Walter and Rose Martin's Brooklyn home was used to test a department-wide computer system in 2002. What followed was years of cops appearing at the Martins' door looking for murderers, robbers and rapists - as often as three times a week. After the Daily News exclusively reported on the couple's plague of police raids yesterday, apologetic detectives from the NYPD's Identity Theft Squad showed up at their home. The most recent, on Tuesday, left 83-year-old World War II vet Walter Martin woozy from soaring blood pressure. Rose Martin, 82, said they told her Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly ordered them to solve the puzzle - stat. By the end of the day, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Paul Browne said the snafu was traced to a 2002 computer test, though he couldn't explain why the couple's address was used as a test case in the first more

State plan fines feds $2,000 over gun rules

Wyoming has joined a growing list of states with self-declared exemptions from federal gun regulation of weapons made, bought and used inside state borders – but lawmakers in the Cowboy State have taken the issue one step further, adopting significant penalties for federal agents attempting to enforce Washington's rules. According to a law signed into effect yesterday by Democratic Gov. Dave Freudenthal, any agent of the U.S. who "enforces or attempts to enforce" federal gun rules on a "personal firearm" in Wyoming faces a felony conviction and a penalty of up to two years in prison and up to $2,000 in fines. WND reported just days ago when Utah became the third state, joining Montana and Tennessee, to adopt an exemption from federal regulations for weapons built, sold and kept within state borders. A lawsuit is pending over the Montana law, which was the first to go into effect. But Wyoming's law goes further, stating, "Any official, agent or employee of the United States government who enforces or attempts to enforce any act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the United States government upon a personal firearm, a firearm accessory or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Wyoming and that remains exclusively within the borders of Wyoming shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction, shall be subject to imprisonment for not more than two (2) years, a fine of not more than two thousand dollars ($2,000.00), or both." more