Saturday, October 08, 2011

USDA Farmers Market Sells Contaminated Food

Outside the headquarters of the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Washington, government workers and tourists shop for fresh produce, poultry, baked goods and other items at the Friday farmers market the agency sponsors. Like farmers markets around the country, this one is thriving, due in part to the perception — not supported by science — that locally grown food is healthier than the mass-produced products found on grocery store shelves. But customers of this market, operated by one of the lead agencies in charge of enforcing the nation’s food safety rules, have been buying leaking bags of uninspected raw chicken with salmonella on it, according to tests conducted by a commercial laboratory for News21 during the summer of 2011. Also sold at the market: eggs sitting out in 90- and 100-degree temperatures in cartons bearing the USDA-mandated warning that they be refrigerated at all times. The problem is not confined to this one site. A few blocks away near the White House, at the farmers market where Michelle Obama promoted a healthy-eating campaign two years ago, chicken tainted with campylobacter bacteria was being sold, the laboratory found. Campylobacter and salmonella are two of the most common causes of food poisoning, sickening more than a million people in the U.S. each year, according to government estimates. Most victims recover without treatment, but severe infections can result in hospitalization and, in extreme cases, death...more

After Gibson Raid, Other Guitar Makers at Risk of Breaking Law

It's as sweet a sound as you can imagine. A $10,000 guitar expertly crafted by the hands of Dave Berkowitz, a master luthier in Washington, D.C. But Berkowitz's guitars include fretboards and bridges made from Indian rosewood and ebony, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service declared to be illegal to import in its actions against Gibson Guitar back in August. Now, every time Berkowitz uses that wood to build his immaculate instruments, he is potentially breaking the law. "I use the exact same ebony and rosewood fingerboards that were confiscated in August from Gibson," Berkowitz told Fox News. Does that mean he is "engaging in illegal business practices?" "Well, technically speaking, yes, because they have declared the materials I'm using illegal," he said. But whether the Indian rosewood and ebony that Berkowitz and Gibson -- and so many other guitar makers -- use is really illegal depends on who is asked. According to the Indian government, fingerboard "blanks" -- the wood that will eventually become a guitar's fretboard -- are legal to export. "Fingerboard is a finished product and not wood in primary form," Vinod Srivastava, India's deputy director-general of foreign trade, stipulated in a letter dated Sept. 16. "The foreign trade policy of the government of India allows free export of such finished products of wood." The U.S. government disagrees. In its affidavit to search Gibson, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service considers fingerboard blanks to be raw materials, not finished product -- illegal to export from India and, therefore, illegal to import into the United States. What's more, according to the complaint, the Gibson wood was imported with an incorrect tariff code, which was off by one digit from the correct code. Luthiers Mercantile International, the company that imports the wood for Gibson, claims that was a simple clerical error. The difference in the codes refers to the thickness of the wood -- more than or less than six millimeters in thickness...more

Sarah Palin says criticism of Hank Williams Jr. is "disgusting"

Country music star Hank Williams Jr. is the victim of double standard after being dumped by ESPN for comparing President Obama to Hitler, Fox News analyst Sarah Palin said Thursday. "Hank Williams and what he is going through now, I think it's a very clear illustration of a greater societal problem and that is the hypocrisy on the left -- the liberals who can throw these stones at a conservative and they knowing that they're not going to be held accountable," Palin told Fox colleague Sean Hannity on his radio show Thursday. Williams, the son of country music legend Hank Williams who died in 1953, was the voice behind ESPN's Monday Night Football opening song which included the words "are you ready for some football?" for decades...more


“Is the Hank Williams Jr. incident a parallel to the Dixie Chicks?” asks, an insider site for the radio industry. The question has clogged up its message boards ever since Mr. Williams publicly compared a golf match between President Obama and House Speaker John A. Boehner to a game pitting Hitler and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Hubbub followed. The conservative country music star’s tune “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over” — used as the theme for “NFL Monday Night Football” since 1989 — was dropped by ESPN, and so was he. And the Dixie Chicks parallel? The Dallas-based country trio met with both adulation and criticism after singer Natalie Maines told a cheering London audience that she was “ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas,” just 10 days before President George W. Bush ordered a military invasion of Iraq in 2003. The readers of now wonder if Mr. Williams was “Dixie Chicked”; the singer himself says his First Amendment rights were violated by the network’s decision. The caterwaul has escalated into a discussion of political values, celebrity and civility. “I hope he continues to say what he feels, even if everyone doesn’t agree with him,” said one contributor, while another countered, “He did call Obama and Biden ‘the enemy.’ You don’t do that, even if you don’t happen to like the current occupier of the White House.” And still another pointed out: “George W. Bush has been compared to Hitler by a number of people, and it did not hurt their careers.” Link

Not mentioned is the fact that Hank Jr. was interviewed and specifically asked a political question, while Natalie Maines volunteered her comments during a concert outside the U.S.

The Westerner's Radio Theater #4

For your listening pleasure this Saturday morning here is the Country Style USA program sponsored by the U.S. Army and with guest star Little Jimmy Dickens.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Mont. rancher breaks silence on what he dug up - video

For six years, Bill Shipp has been keeping a secret from his neighbors, which isn’t easy in this town of about 150 folks on the southern edge of the Missouri River Breaks. On Wednesday, he broke his long-held silence before a crowd of about 35 locals at the Winifred Museum, unveiling a replica of a 75-million-year-old dinosaur skull he excavated from his property. The museum will be the new home for the replica, one of four created from the repositioned fragments of fossilized bone. The beaked, three-horned, frill-headed ceratopsian dinosaur is believed to be the most complete skull of this species ever found, according to Chris Ott, a paleontologist who authored a paper on the fossil that is still awaiting publication. “We can look at every other horned dinosaur and say they are nothing like this one,” he said. How it mainly differs, Ott said, is that this dinosaur’s two horns near its eyes stick straight out instead of forward, and its frill — the large, rough-edged bony plate behind its eyes — is ornamented in a style never seen. When alive, the adult may have weighed around three tons, with a brain the size of a beer can. It ate plants, breaking off branches with its large, sharp beak. “It takes a lot to impress me with a dinosaur anymore, but I’m impressed with this one,” Ott said...more

Here's a video report:

Offshore Energy Leases Fall from $10 Billion to Zero Under Team Obama

Even as the Obama administration postures on behalf of deficit reduction and job creation, it continues to advance policies that undermine energy production in the Gulf region and lower federal revenue, Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) has pointed out in his correspondence with top officials in Washington D.C. Most recently, in a letter addressed to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) Director Michael Bromwich, warned of a severe revenue fall off attached to declining energy lease sales. In fiscal year (FY) 2008 revenue from bonus bids on offshore leases was approximately $10 billion, but for FY 2011 that amount is down to $0, according to Vitter’s letter. “Revenue cannot be generated from lease sales that do not occur, and jobs cannot be created on leases that private industry cannot acquire,” he continued. Unless, the administration reverses course, Vitter anticipates “long-term economic impacts that include lose jobs, lost royalties and lost rental fees.” Companies will be reticent to own a lease if they cannot be reasonably certain that exploration plans or permits will be approved, he added. Daniel Kish, senior vice-president of policy with the Institute for Energy Research (IER), sees an “opportunity cost” for the Gulf region that may not be recaptured anytime soon...more

Court orders Oregon to halt hunt for two wolves

As state biologists combed northeastern Oregon's rugged mountains Wednesday to kill two gray wolves in the Imnaha pack, conservation groups challenged the kill order in court and called on Gov. John Kitzhaber to intercede. Late in the day, the Oregon Court of Appeals granted their request to temporarily halt the hunt, The Associated Press reported. Cascadia Wildlands, the Center for Biological Diversity and Oregon Wild contend that efforts by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to remove the pack's alpha male and a younger wolf would leave only a female wolf and one pup born this year to fend for themselves this winter. The kill order came Sept. 23 after data from the alpha male's GPS collar confirmed he was at the scene where Joseph area rancher Todd Nash's calf was killed, said Michelle Dennehy, spokeswoman for the state wildlife agency...more

Two Park Service Employees Disciplined

The National Park Service revealed Thursday that two administrators of the Great Sand Dunes National Park were disciplined in the wake of an employee's alleged embezzlement of $730,000. "The employee's immediate supervisor was sanctioned, and has since resigned," said David Barna, chief spokesman for the park service headquarters in Washington, D.C.He said the senior manager at the park "was also sanctioned," but said the federal Privacy Act prohibits release of specific information about disciplinary action, including the employees' names. The disclosure came after The Pueblo Chieftain first reported that a federal grand jury in Denver indicted the employee, Lydia L. White, on Wednesday. The indictment alleges she took the money month after month for 3 years before the suspected embezzlement was detected in January. Barna said White was the park's administrative officer, a job that gave her access to park money. She is charged with 145 counts of theft of government property and 53 counts of money laundering...more

NRA Victory in Battle with Environmental Groups Over Use of Lead Ammunition for Hunting in Arizona Strip

In a major legal victory, a federal judge ruled recently in favor of the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and threw a lawsuit filed by the environmental group, Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) out of US District Court in Phoenix, Arizona. The case is Center for Biological Diversity v. U.S. Bureau of Land Management, et al. Safari Club International had joined the case as a “friend of the court” and assisted NRA with its successful efforts. CBD’s lawsuit, filed on January 27, 2009, alleged that the BLM and Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) were illegally mismanaging federal lands in Arizona. The lawsuit challenged the allowance of off road vehicles, construction of roads, inadequate protection of desert tortoises, and inadequate protection of California condors. Among other things, the suit sought to force BLM to ban the use of lead ammunition for hunting in the Arizona Strip, a rugged area in the northwest corner of the state renowned for great hunting...more

Ninth Circuit Upholds Conviction of Feedlot Owner

The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the 2009 jury conviction of Cory King for environmental violations in 2005. King, 54, was convicted of four counts of injecting fluids into an underground aquifer without a permit, violations of the Safe Drinking Water Act. The appellate court also affirmed King’s conviction of making a false statement within the jurisdiction of the United States. The court’s decision was released Monday. King is the owner of a Burley-area feedlot. Two years ago, a jury heard evidence against King that showed he ordered workers to inject surface fluids into four irrigation wells on several occasions. King was also accused of lying to an Idaho State Department of Agriculture inspector who was inspecting the feedlot. King was sentenced to three years of probation and a $5,000 fine. Separately, he and other defendants in a case pursued by state officials reached a $100,000 settlement on a range of alleged violations...more

E. Texas mother dies after being dragged by horse

An 18-year old east Texas mother died Tuesday morning, after suffering a brutal accident while riding her horse. Family and friends tell KLTV 7's Annette Falconer about the life of Cheyenne Ramirez. Ryden Bronc Lovvorn. A face full of light, and a heart of gold, their is no question why Cheyenne Nicole Ramirez called her son, "My little cowboy". "Ryden went everywhere, and if Ryden wasn't there, Cheyenne probably wasn't there either, they were two peas and a pod," says Cheyenne's friend Trinity Malone. Cheyenne, at just eighteen years old, won several rodeo awards. She did it all with outer and inner beauty, winning the 2011 Riding and Roping Mrs. Congeniality title. "She's just so friendly to everybody, I mean she lights up the room when she walks in, and always has a smile on her face, everybody loved her," says Cheyenne's cousin Tera Bell. Monday was a typical day for Cheyenne out with the horses and cows in the morning with her Grandpa and Uncle. Then everything went wrong. "She was a very seasoned rider, could usually handle anything, and something spooked the horse, and it went to jump the creek and she lost her balance, and when she fell her foot got wrapped up in the reins," says Bell. The horse took off dragging Cheyenne for at least a half mile. Her injuries were too much for the seasoned cowgirl...more 

Here's the TV news report:

Crayon artist Williams sacrifices sculptures for wildfire education

One of artist Herb Williams’ more intriguing — and certainly riskier — projects was inspired by a National Ranching Heritage Center employee who worried about Texas wildfires that have threatened some of the ranchers she knows. Williams’ exhibit, “Unwanted Visitor: Portrait of Wildfire,” opens today in the center’s Proctor Park, near the Jowell House and Mail Camp. Williams will be present at a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. today, and will discuss the exhibit with visitors. Many may recall Williams as the visiting artist who used tens of thousands of crayons to create amazing artworks, displaying a number of them at this year’s Lubbock Arts Festival. Emily Arellano, the Helen DeVitt Jones Endowed Manager of Education Programs at the National Ranching Heritage Center, said center director Jim Pfluger expects her to bring attention to contemporary ranching issues. “I felt this would be a unique and interesting way to educate the public about wildfires,” said Arellano. She said she thought about using the outside space because the indoor galleries have been under construction for the past year. Williams said one reason he was contacted is because the colors of the crayons would mimic wildfires so well. Consider, however, the high temperatures of the past summer, when Arellano and Williams first communicated about the project. Arellano’s desire to place the sculptures outdoors would only guarantee any freestanding, three-dimensional crayon artworks created by Williams will be destroyed by the sun. That is, they will melt. Which is precisely the point...more

Rancher wrangles words alongside cattle

Whenever something happens on Dawn Nelson's ranch, friends ask if it will be in her next book. The answer is "probably," Nelson says. Nelson's fifth book, "The Rancher," was recently published. It is the third in a series of ranching stories with a trace of romance, including "Cowgirl's Justice" and "The Colt." She is also the author of two short-story memoir collections, "A Cowgirl Remembers When" and "A Cowgirl Never Forgets." "My books are a combination of things that actually happened out here on the ranch," Nelson said. Nelson's next book will take on the issue of wolves, a hot-button issue for ranchers across the West. Nelson said she and her family have dealt with predators in the past and that regulatory agencies have been "useless." "I try to deal with problems," she said of her writing. "I can't go to the White House and tell them, 'You idiots,' so I do it with my books." She also recently saw the publication of a rancher's cookbook and her first cowboy poetry CD. A third-generation rancher, Nelson resides with husband, Kris, and their 6-year-old daughter, Laren, on a 100-head ranch in Creston, Wash., about an hour's drive north of Spokane...more

Song Of The Day #690

Ranch Radio is still kickin' around in the 60s and here is Charlie Walker's 1967 recording of Moffett, Oklahoma.

The tune is available on his 5 CD box set Pick Me Up On Your Way Down by Bear Family Records.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

ESPN severs ties with Hank Williams Jr.

ESPN says it has severed its relationship with singer Hank Williams Jr. "We have decided to part ways with Hank Williams Jr. We appreciate his contributions over the past years," the network said in a statement released Thursday. The success of 'Monday Night Football' has always been about the games and that will continue." Williams, the 62-year-old son of the legendary country singer Hank Williams and a widely popular entertainer himself, compared President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler, a remark that prompted controversy and resulted in "Monday Night Football" pulling his popular musical introduction from this week's game. The song "All My Rowdy Friends" had been the "Monday Night Football" theme on both ABC and ESPN since 1991. Williams issued a statement giving a very different version: "After reading hundreds of e-mails, I have made MY decision. By pulling my opening Oct 3rd, You (ESPN) stepped on the Toes of The First Amendment Freedom of Speech, so therefore Me, My Song, and All My Rowdy Friends are OUT OF HERE. It's been a great run."...more

Energy official resigns in wake of Solyndra loan controversy

Jonathan Silver, the head of the Energy Department’s loan guarantee program, is resigning in the wake of the controversy surrounding a $535 million loan guarantee to a failed California-based solar company. Silver has come under fire in recent weeks from House Republicans, who have raised questions about the department's loan program in light of the recent bankruptcy of Solyndra, the solar panel manufacturer that received the loan guarantee in 2009. The Energy Department said Silver informed Energy Secretary Chu in July that he planned to resign shortly after the loan guarantee program for renewable energy projects ended. The renewable energy loan guarantee program expired Sept. 30...more

Pancho Villa silver saddle headed to auction in January

Pancho Villa – infamous renegade, Robin Hood, revolutionary and hero of the Mexican people – was assassinated almost 100 years ago, at the age of 45. His adventurous life has been celebrated numerous times on the silver screen, in museums and institutions around the world, and his name appears on street signs and plazas throughout the Americas. What remains today of this complex and mysterious man are facts, folklore and his final magnificent silver threaded saddle. That saddle will now appear on the world stage when it is auctioned on Jan. 28, 2012 in High Noon’s Western Americana auction in Mesa, Arizona. It is expected to make $150,000 to $250,000. The provenance of this saddle matches the richness of Villa’s life. It was given by Villa’s widow and only legal wife (reportedly he had eight marriages) to famed Hollywood director Howard Hawks during the filming of Viva Villa. Mrs. Villa felt the film extolled the merits of the Mexican Revolution and Villa as she knew him. For the past 20 years, Villa’s saddle has been on display in Texas, at the Witte Museum in San Antonio and the South Texas History Museum in Edinburg. In excellent condition, the saddle is smothered in silver-wrapped threads and boldly-domed silver conchos. Made and marked by expert craftsmen, it has Francisco (nickname: Pancho) Villa’s initials in high relief on the stirrups. Thematically, it has a 3-dimensional silver snakehead and a carved diablo in the leather under the saddlebags. Joseph Sherwood of High Noon remarked, “This is the trifecta for saddles – beautiful, in great condition and historically significant.”...more

Scanners embedded in road to result in fines for those driving on worn tires?

I've posted before about the feds using Drones to spy on ranchers and the cops flying Blimps for overhead surveillance, and placing sensors underground for parking tickets. Now comes sensors to measure tire tread:

According to AutoExpress, police in the UK are looking into scanners embedded into roadways that can detect the depth of a vehicle's tire tread. If your rubber doesn't meet a set of pre-determined parameters, you could eventually expect to see a fine show up in the mail. Currently, law enforcement says that the technology will only be used in checkpoint scenarios to alert drivers of a potentially dangerous situation

This will go from checkpoints to folks writing checks pretty damn quick.

Of course writing a check might not be so bad, especially if you live in D.C. where the cops are throwing people in jail for having expired tags.

They are in the air, under the ground and on the ground. Are you starting to feel surrounded?

Salazar Defends Obama on Environment, Energy

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today defended President Obama's record on the environment amid deepening criticism from green allies over a 2008 campaign promise to "end the tyranny of oil." "It's like moving the Titanic," Salazar said of the administration's effort to work with Congress to build a "new energy framework." Salazar said Obama has moved the U.S. out of the "Hummer Age" -- referring to the gas-guzzing General Motors-made SUV -- by imposing sweeping new fuel efficiency standards for vehicles and promoting new technologies that allow some cars and trucks to run solely on renewable energy. "I think that when the environmental community looks at what it is we've done to transform the energy reality, the energy future of the United States, I think they ought to say we've done a pretty good job," he said. The comments came as the administration tangles with environmental activists over the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline that would run from Canada to the Texas gulf coast...more

Salazar: Natural gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing rules on way soon

The Obama administration is poised to swiftly advance plans to stiffen standards governing natural gas drilling on federal lands, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said today. A rule that would impose new standards on shale gas extraction from public lands “is still in formation,” Salazar told reporters. “We’re maybe a month or so out before we actually put the specifics out.” The Interior Department last year launched a broad review of whether it needed to step up its oversight of natural gas drilling on the roughly 700 million acres of public land under the federal government’s control. Salazar and other administration officials have signaled that they are likely to require oil and gas companies to disclose what chemicals they use when hydraulically fracturing wells. The hydraulic fracturing process involves blasting a mix of water, sand and some chemicals underground and at high pressures to unlock natural gas trapped in dense shale formations. But Salazar said fear about that process jeopardizes public support for natural gas, an essential part of the U.S. energy portfolio...more

Salazar: Western U.S. Facing Future Water Shortages

The American West and Southwest are headed for serious water shortages in the coming decades, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said on Wednesday. The 10 Western states that depend on the Colorado River and Rio Grande basins will see acute water shortages in the coming years due to the combination of reduced precipitation as a result of climate change and increased demand, Salazar said, speaking to reporters at a breakfast held by the Christian Science Monitor. His projections are in keeping with several recent studies from the National Academies of Science, which show that climate change will lead to higher temperatures and increased drought throughout the Southwest, and project severe water shortages over the next century. “Climate change doesn’t seem to get any traction in Washington. But if you talk to water managers on the Colorado River, many are Republican, many are Democrat, and they know what they will have to do,” Salazar said. “We should be concerned about water shortages. The answer to the water shortages is how we manage a finite water supply.”...more

Feds release Wyoming wolf plan

he U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday released a plan for removing wolves from endangered species status in Wyoming that would codify a compromise between protections in the Yellowstone region and allowing wolves to be shot on sight elsewhere in the state. The draft plan posted online and set for publication in the Federal Register on Wednesday opens the way for Wyoming's wolves to be removed from the endangered list as soon as next summer, said Michael Thabault, assistant regional director for ecological services for the Fish and Wildlife Service Mountain Prairie Region. The proposal follows a delisting framework that Fish and Wildlife and Wyoming officials agreed to last summer after months of negotiations. "We've obviously put a little bit more meat on the bone from the principle of the agreement," Thabault said. "But substantively it's the same." New details spell out plans for genetic testing of wolves and how the state would permit the killing of wolves that have killed livestock, he said...more

Point Reyes Elk Intrude On Ranches

Once-endangered tule elk are proliferating here in west Marin County, delighting conservationists who love the enormous creatures and their magnificent antlers. But the rebound of the species is causing trouble for dairy and beef ranches important to the local economy. About 50 of the elk roam freely around the southern part of Point Reyes National Seashore, near several of the farms, and officials and ranchers say the elk are tearing down cattle fences and grazing on grass meant for cows, among other things. "It's a major problem for those ranchers," said Stacy Carlsen, the county agricultural commissioner. The elk "deplete their resources, they interfere with herd management, they impact the water quality and they take away labor that would be otherwise used doing dairy operations." It's an issue without an easy solution. The tule elk are imposing, standing four or five feet tall at the shoulder and up to eight feet tall with antlers. At up to 700 pounds, they are more than double the weight of the park's next biggest animal and their would-be predator, the mountain lion. And efforts to contain them face legal hurdles along with logistical ones...more

Montana starts public hearings on bison relocation

Ranchers and landowners on Wednesday packed the Powell County Community Center, just a few miles from what has become ground zero in the debate over whether there is a place for wild bison on Montana's landscape. If those who spoke in the first of three public hearings on a proposal to relocate Yellowstone National Park bison was any indication, the answer is an emphatic no. Dozens of people from this southwestern Montana community where cattle is king told state wildlife officials they were against the plan. None was in favor of it. "This is not the 1800s. We have ranchers and farmers who need their hay lands, their grain fields, their stock yards protected. And you are putting them in danger," said Powell County resident Bill Mattice. "Stay out of the buffalo business!" Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks has proposed temporarily relocating dozens of bison to the Spotted Dog Wildlife Management Area or three other possible sites across the state. Wildlife officials say the bison are disease-free after spending years in quarantine as part of a U.S. government program. But that hasn't convinced those concerned that the wild animals could transmit disease to their cattle and damage their fields...more

US Supreme Court turns away rancher Barnett in assault case

The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld a 2009 ruling against Cochise County rancher Roger Barnett, forcing him to pay about $87,000 in damages related to his assault of illegal immigrants on his ranch in 2004. The decision comes after the same ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in February. The court disagreed with the arguments made in the appeal, which included a claim that U.S. District Judge John Roll made errors while presiding over the 2009 trial. Roll was one of six people killed in the Jan. 8 mass shooting in Tucson. In that February 2009 trial, a federal jury issued a split verdict in the case against Barnett stemming from the 2004 incident. The jury found he didn't violate the group's civil rights and that he wasn't liable on claims of battery and false imprisonment. But the jury found him liable on four claims of assault and four claims of infliction of emotional distress, and ordered Barnett to pay $77,804 in damages. The $87,000 he must pay reflects that original amount plus interest. The 2004 incident occurred near Douglas when Barnett approached a group of 16 illegal immigrants while he was carrying a gun and accompanied by a large dog. Attorneys for the plaintiffs - five women and 11 men who had crossed into the U.S. illegally - say Barnett held the group captive at gunpoint, threatening that his dog would attack and that he would shoot anyone who tried to escape...more

Song Of The Day #689

As we continue to kick around the 60's the tune on Ranch Radio this morning is Claude King's 1965 recording of The Comancheros.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

What if the NFL Played by Teachers' Rules?

NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton writes:

Imagine the National Football League in an alternate reality. Each player's salary is based on how long he's been in the league. It's about tenure, not talent. The same scale is used for every player, no matter whether he's an All-Pro quarterback or the last man on the roster. For every year a player's been in this NFL, he gets a bump in pay. The only difference between Tom Brady and the worst player in the league is a few years of step increases. And if a player makes it through his third season, he can never be cut from the roster until he chooses to retire, except in the most extreme cases of misconduct.

Tarkenton predicts the on-field product would steadily decline, saying "Why bother playing harder or better and risk getting hurt?". Gee, do ya think so?


Looks like a school district in Michigan is catching on, see  No More 'Factory Worker' Model for Teacher Pay in Suttons Bay

The Obama Presidency: By The Numbers

From comes a video that is beginning to go viral and to devastating effect for the Obama Administration.

It's ok to clear cut the protect an endangered butterfly

Protecting endangered species in West Michigan may also help put people back to work, U.S. Forest Service officials hope. The Huron-Manistee National Forest received $600,000 in grants from the Environmental Protection Agency to protect endangered species and root out invasive plants, Forest Service spokesman Ken Arbogast said. The biggest change from the grant will involve converting more forest land into savannah to protect the endangered Karner blue butterfly, Arbogast said. That means removing trees and turning up the soil to plant wild lupine in the White River area of Oceana County. “It's the only plant the Karner blue butterfly uses,” he said. The Forest Service already had a plan to clear cut up to 3,500 acres of forest, Arbogast said, but the additional federal money will allow more land to be converted. How much more is difficult to say because the focus will be on areas near existing Karner blue populations, he said. The converted areas will be open to people, but closed to off-road vehicles...more

The Forest Service will clear cut trees and rip up the soil to protect a butterfly.  They can't, however, saw off a branch or remove a pebble if the primary beneficiary is a human.

Chopping Down Trees to Save Forests

Jim Pitts stood on a Forest Service road near the Arizona town of Nutrioso and surveyed the damage in the valley below. It was July, and only a few weeks earlier the Wallow Fire, the largest in recorded history in Arizona, had swept through this section of steep slopes and tightly packed trees. Temperatures in the fire could have been as high as 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, Mr. Pitts figured. Heat like that cooks trees to death from across roads. Nearly a half-million acres of forest burned in the Wallow Fire, which followed another huge and destructive wildfire, the Rodeo-Chediski in 2002... The emerging consensus is that the Ponderosa pine forests of northern Arizona and New Mexico have been mismanaged for more than a century. Small ground fires historically burned through these forests with some regularity, keeping the trees widely spaced. But decades of fire suppression have allowed trees to grow so thick that the forests are now referred to as “dog-hair thickets.” The small fires of old would generally leave large Ponderosa pines intact; the trees have a spongy bark that resists ground fires. But in an overgrown forest, flames can climb the small trees into the high forest canopy, creating a “crown fire” that can leap with the winds and take out thousands of acres quickly. While crown fires can play an important ecological role in other types of forests, for Ponderosa forests they can be highly destructive and a liability to the forest’s ability to capture and store carbon. Massive fires like the Wallow and the Rodeo-Chediski not only pour carbon back into the atmosphere; if areas are burned badly enough, the forest can be permanently destroyed...more

Supreme Court Wades Into Raging Dispute Over Riverbed Ownership

The object of his ridicule is a Montana Supreme Court ruling from March 2010, in which a majority held that this and two other rivers -- the Missouri and the Madison -- are navigable. The court decision has serious implications for PPL Montana, which owns 10 dams on the three rivers, including one that spans the river at Thompson Falls and is managed by Jacobson. In finding the rivers navigable, the court concluded that the state owns the riverbeds, which means PPL owes $40 million in rent for its use of the riverbeds since the company acquired them in 1999. The court based its ruling on an 1845 U.S. Supreme Court case that said states hold title to riverbeds if the river was navigable at the time the state was admitted to the Union. The tussle over who owns the riverbeds arose out of a debate in Montana over how the state utilizes public lands. Like in other Western states, certain tracts were put into public trusts at the time Montana was admitted to the Union. Among them are lands set aside for funding schools. Over the years, some Montanans have speculated whether the state has made the best use of its lands, which, they claim, could have had a detrimental effect on the revenue generated. It was Helena-based lawyer John Bloomquist who came up with the idea of focusing on riverbeds. A subsequent investigation confirmed that "no compensation was being provided," he added. Bloomquist joined with a Bozeman law firm, Goetz, Gallik & Baldwin and -- representing the school districts and some individual parents -- filed suit in 2003, arguing that the state had "failed to obtain full market value" for the land upon which hydroelectric projects were located as required under state law...more

Drill, Castro, drill

In half a heartbeat, the Obama team could put the kibosh on the most dangerous offshore oil drilling ever proposed near U.S. shores, scheduled to begin in December. By fighting this drilling operation, President Obama’s environmentalist allies could get the biggest bang for their lobbying buck in their history. But all bets are off. This drilling, you see, won’t be done by villainous U.S. oil companies. Instead, a Spanish-Cuban oil company will be drilling in Cuban waters 60 miles from Key West. U.S. companies are banned from exploring anywhere within 125 miles of the Florida coast. But none of the usual histrionics and fist-shaking from environmentalist quarters against “rapists of Mother Earth,” “despoilers of our coasts and oceans” and “obscene profiteers” have manifested against Fidel Castro’s business partners - none whatsoever...more

CBS Reporter: White House Official ‘Screamed’ & ‘Cussed’ at Me for Coverage of ‘Fast and Furious’

CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson has been doggedly covering the ATF and DOJ scandal surrounding the gunwalking “Fast and Furious” case. And now she’s coming out with some juicy details about her attempts to get information from the DOJ and the White House regarding the case. On Laura Ingraham’s radio show Tuesday, Attkisson said she was “screamed” and “cussed” at by the White House while trying to get information last Friday, and that a DOJ spokesperson “yelled” at her while she was trying to get clarification on the case. And she named names. Ingraham: So they were literally screaming at you? Attkisson: Yes. Well the DOJ woman was just yelling at me. The guy from the White House on Friday night literally screamed at me and cussed at me. Ingraham: Who was the person? Who was the person at Justice screaming? Attkisson: Eric Schultz Oh, the person screaming was [DOJ spokeswoman] Tracy Schmaler, she was yelling not screaming. And the person who screamed at me was Eric Schultz at the White House...more

Two East Texas coal power plants to be idled to meet emissions limits

Luminant, the Dallas-based electricity generator that has protested federal regulators' timetable to curtail emissions from its coal-fired plants, said Monday it will idle two of those facilities and stop mining Texas lignite at some locations by the end of the year, costing about 500 jobs. Luminant said it took the actions to prepare to meet the Environmental Protection Agency's Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, which requires electricity generators in 27 states to cut emissions by Jan. 1, a deadline CEO David Campbell called "unrealistic." The company said it will spend about $280 million through 2012 on emissions control equipment, but won't complete the projects in time to meet the deadline. Also Monday, Luminant said it sued the EPA in federal appeals court, seeking to overturn the new rule. It said it will seek a stay of the rule's implementation "because of the immediate and irreparable harm that it will inflict."...more

Killer grizzly bear put to death after second kill

Yellowstone National Park staff on Sunday euthanized a grizzly sow that in July killed a Torrence, Calif., man after they found DNA evidence that linked her to the site of a second hiker killed in late August by a grizzly. The sow killed 57-year-old Brian Matayoshi on July 6 about a mile and a half along the Wapiti Lake trail after he and his wife, Marylyn Matayoshi, surprised the animal from about 100 yards. Marylyn Matayoshi escaped without serious injuries. The sow was not killed at the time because park staff said she was acting naturally to protect her cubs. Sometime between Aug. 24 and 26, a grizzly killed a second hiker, John Wallace, 59, of Chassell, Mich. Two hikers found Wallace’s body Aug. 26 on the Mary Mountain trail about five miles west of the Hayden Valley trailhead, which begins north of Mud Volcano. The sites of the two attacks are about eight miles apart. Since the August attack, park staff have set numerous traps hoping to catch the bear responsible...more

Kill two humans and the feds will move, even if its "for the children".

Mule deer attacked woman, rescuer

A woman was able to escape an attack by a mule deer after a passerby and his daughter fought off the buck, grabbing the antlers and striking it with a hammer until it fled, state wildlife officials said. Sue Panter was on a stroll near her home in rural southeastern Idaho when the buck attacked, raking her body with his antlers and goring her legs, officials said. Michael Vaughan and his 17-year-old daughter, Alexis, spotted the struggle early Friday and tried to intervene, the state Department of Fish and Game said in a statement Sunday. Vaughan's daughter got out of their vehicle and started punching the deer, while he grabbed the buck by the antlers, which allowed Panter to escape, according to the agency. Vaughan said that while he wrestled with the buck, his daughter retrieved a hammer and struck the deer. Vaughan's daughter then drove Panter and her father to a hospital, where they were treated and released on Friday. The man's legs were punctured three times during the struggle, wildlife officials said. It was unclear why the animal attacked the woman. Such confrontations are unusual, but the behavior that was reported is typical of deer that have been reared as pets, according to state wildlife officials...more

Wildlife officials come up with another rationale to explain an attack. I guess they couldn't claim a buck was just defending his "cubs".

BLM rounding up wild burros near Lake Havasu City

Car crashes involving wild burros led the Bureau of Land Management to begin a roundup that snared 29 of the animals using baited traps in areas north of Lake Havasu City. Fifteen donkeys were captured Saturday at three undisclosed locations north of Havasu. On Sunday, another 14 were caught. Both efforts came within two miles of State Route 95 — the location of several recent vehicle-burro collisions. “They are pretty hardy, pretty tough,” Chad Benson, BLM wild horse and burro specialist, told Today’s News-Herald. “The burros are in real good shape.” The agency intends to continue the roundups in upcoming weeks. Once captured, the burros are transported to stables in the Kingman area until adoptions or other arrangements can be made...more

Spotted donkeys rescued as drought continues to pound North Texas

Last week the Humane Society of North Texas took custody of a herd of nearly 30 spotted donkeys. A Bridgeport, Texas breeder of the donkeys, considered a novelty by some, had become another in a long line of equine owners hit hard by the one-two punch of what the National Weather Service calls a “massive exceptional drought” and a depressed and uncertain economy. Near-record drought conditions in Texas have turned normally fertile pastures into barren, dusty rangeland incapable of sustaining livestock. Local farmers and ranchers struggle to survive, with many bringing in hay from out of state. But a market long on demand and short on supply, combined with the sky-high cost of transport, has doubled, tripled, and in some cases quadrupled hay prices. Reducing and liquidating herds, especially those that are not food-producing, has become a necessity and an all too common reality...more

Ranchers take prairie dog question to S.Dak. Supreme Court

After years of watching prairie dogs destroy their pastures and farmlands, a group of landowners hope the state Supreme Court will finally agree with them that the state is legally bound to control the prairie dogs invading their lands. The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in their case at 9 a.m. CDT, today when the court meets at Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell. "We're just trying to get the state government to follow state law," said Gary Williams, an Interior-area rancher involved in the 6-year-old dispute. In 2005, almost 40 landowners joined a lawsuit to force the South Dakota departments of Agriculture and Game, Fish & Parks to control black-tailed prairie dogs that were encroaching from federal lands onto private land where the rodents ate grass and crops vital to the ranchers' survival. Kruse expects Hurley to persuade the court that the Legislature has passed adequate laws to give the secretaries of Agriculture and Game, Fish & Parks all the direction they need to control prairie dogs...more

Hank Williams Jr. apologizes for Obama-Hitler comment

Country music singer Hank Williams Jr. canceled a Fox News Channel interview on Tuesday and said he was sorry for any offense given by his recent statement comparing President Barack Obama to Adolf Hitler. The apology of sorts was posted on his website a day after the Disney-owned cable sports channel ESPN pulled Williams' theme song from its latest "Monday Night Football" broadcast in a rebuke to the country star for his Hitler remark. Appearing on the Fox News morning program "Fox & Friends" on Monday, Williams said he thought that a June 18 golf summit pairing Obama with Republican House speaker John Boehner in the midst of the congressional budget crisis had "turned a lot of people off." Asked what he didn't like about the friendly bipartisan golf match, Williams replied, "Come on! It'd be like Hitler playing golf with (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu." He went on to refer to Obama and Vice President Joe Biden as "the enemy." After his "All My Rowdy Friends" song was yanked from the "Monday Night Football" opening by ESPN later that day in protest, Williams issued a statement acknowledging that his "analogy was extreme" but insisting it was intended to illustrate how ludicrous he thought it was for Obama and Boehner to team up at golf. "They're polar opposites and it made no sense. They don't see eye-to-eye and never will," the bearded singer said. Williams, 62, was scheduled to return to the Fox News Channel with an interview on Tuesday on the "Hannity" show, but the network told Reuters that the singer decided to cancel. Hours later, he posted yet another, somewhat more contrite statement, saying: "I have always been very passionate about politics and sports, and this time it got the best or worst of me. "The thought of the leaders of both parties jukin and high fiven on a golf course, while so many families are struggling to get by simply made me boil over and make a dumb statement, and I am very sorry if it offended anyone," he wrote. He concluded, "I would like to thank all my supporters. This was not written by some publicist."...more

Hank, Honky Tonks & Hitler just don't go together.

Song Of The Day #688

Ranch Radio will be kickin' around the 60's this week. Here's a tune by Merle Haggard from his first album (1965): Please Mr. D.J.

Cartoon - Trade With Mexico

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

GOP pushing for more logging in national forests

A century-old federal program that compensates counties straddling huge tracts of nontaxable national forests has expired, and House Republicans are using its reauthorization to push for opening the land to more logging and mining. The GOP wants to shift the forest-payment program closer to its 1908 origin, when the federal government directly split revenue from timber, mining and other activities to pay for local schools and roads in Washington state and around the country. Environmentalists and the U.S. Forest Service oppose the changes, including proposals to re-link payments to the amount of timber or minerals extracted and to set first-ever minimum timber-harvest targets for each national forest. Currently, logging in national forests produces about 3 billion board feet of timber annually, a 75 percent drop from its peak 20 years ago. Beleaguered local officials, already grappling with budget shortfalls, are pressing for quick reauthorization of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act to avert an interruption in payments. At the same time, they want Congress to revamp the payments, which they consider inadequate and undependable. House Republicans, led by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, are using the reauthorization to push two of the issues that have dominated their agenda this year: cutting federal spending and rolling back environmental regulation. Among other things, they would set minimum requirements on timber sales and annual revenue for each national forest. They also want to speed up environmental reviews of logging, grazing, drilling and mining, blaming the reviews for hindering projects on federal lands. In addition, Republicans have called for paying counties 75 percent instead of the historical 25 percent of revenue from federal forests, handing local officials a tempting financial motive to support cutting more trees...more

U.S. Supreme Court Ends Bush-Era Grazing Regulations

The U.S. Supreme Court today denied consideration of an appeal by the Public Lands Council of previous federal court decisions overturning Bureau of land Management grazing regulations promulgated during the George W. Bush administration. The decision affects over 160 million acres of public land in 11 western states. The Public Lands Council, which represents livestock ranchers who use public lands, was an intervenor in successful litigation brought by Western Watersheds Project, an Idaho based conservation organization. On September 1, 2010 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously upheld the Idaho District Court's decision overturning the Bush era grazing regulations as violating the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act...more

Judge's Sage Grouse Ruling Could Stall BLM Plans in Wyo., Idaho

A federal judge in Idaho this week ruled the Interior Department failed to analyze the cumulative impacts of oil and gas development on sage grouse in southwest Wyoming and failed to include enough data or alternatives for grazing in an Idaho national monument. The ruling was deemed a major early victory for environmentalists -- and the grouse -- in a case challenging 18 land management plans covering 34 million acres in six Western states. "What this court said is in light of the collapse of sage grouse population and habitat, the agency needs to slow down and take a comprehensive look at the impacts of its decisions," said Todd Tucci, an attorney for Advocates for the West who is arguing the case. The Idaho-based Western Watersheds Project brought the case in the final months of the George W. Bush administration, arguing that the Bureau of Land Management had rushed the completion of more than a dozen resource management plans (RMP) without considering impacts to sage grouse. Tucci called this week's ruling on two of the plans -- Wyoming's Pinedale and Idaho's Craters of the Moon -- a "groundbreaking victory" in one of the largest environmental law cases ever filed. "This is not simply a procedural victory" but rather involved substantive violations of the National Environmental Policy Act and Federal Land Policy and Management Act, he said...more

You can see the decision here.

Federal judge sides with BLM on management of Arizona Strip lands

A federal judge struck down claims by environmental groups Monday that questioned the federal government’s plan to protect plants and animals within two national monuments in the Arizona Strip. The ruling affirmed the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s environmental plan, saying the agency is adequately protecting the natural landscape, endangered species and archaeological artifacts within the Grand Canyon-Parashant and Vermillion Cliffs national monuments. A 2009 lawsuit filed by the Wilderness Society, Arizona Wilderness Coalition, Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council and National Trust for Historic Preservation contended that off-road vehicle use and grazing in the national monuments was destroying historic artifacts and critical habitat for endangered species like the desert tortoise. But U.S. District Judge Paul G. Rosenblatt said the agency fulfilled its obligation under federal land policies and the presidential proclamation that created the monuments in 2000. Angell said the conservationist organizations will appeal the decision to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The judge also ruled against a suit brought by the Tucson-based Center for Biological Diversity that claimed the use of lead ammunition by hunters in the two areas is poisoning species like the California condor. The two cases were combined for a hearing last week on the groups’ request for summary judgment...more

EPA's Mission Leap

What does the Environmental Protection Agency say it needs to fully implement new greenhouse gas emissions rules? How about an army of 230,000 new bureaucrats and an additional $21 billion a year?
According to the Daily Caller news site, a court brief filed by the Justice Department on behalf of the EPA argues that the agency would need "230,000 full-time employees necessary to produce the 1.4 billion work hours required" to administer rules under the Clean Air Act. This added burden, it is reckoned, "would result in an increase in Title V administration costs of $21 billion per year." This scenario is part of a brief filed during a lawsuit brought against the agency by a trade group hoping to block the EPA's greenhouse gas regulatory regime. The group maintains that the Clean Air Act doesn't give EPA that authority. A couple of publications insist the Daily Caller got the story wrong, that the EPA was simply laying out the facts should it be required to fully implement the regulatory scheme instead of phasing it in, as it wants to do. Rather than regulating more than 6 million sources of emissions, the EPA wants a "tailoring rule" so it can regulate only the largest emitters, which ostensibly will take fewer employees and dollars. We're not here to defend or attack the Daily Caller's reporting. But even if it is wrong, the fact the EPA says it would need 230,000 new bureaucrats and an extra $21 billion a year to fully administer a regulatory regime is alarming...more

Lawsuit Targets New Mexico County's Illegal Bulldozing in San Francisco River

The Center for Biological Diversity today sent a notice of intent to sue Catron County under the Clean Water Act for illegally bulldozing the San Francisco River. The Center will seek full restoration of the disturbed areas and urge the court to impose on Catron County the statutory maximum federal fine of $37,500 per day per violation, which would be paid to the U.S. Treasury. Catron County trespassed across private property in August to bulldoze 13.5 miles of the San Francisco River in the Gila National Forest without Clean Water Act permits or U.S. Forest Service approval. The bulldozer and other vehicles crossed or plowed through the river at least 47 times downstream of Reserve, N.M., within a national forest inventoried roadless area and through a stretch of river that is designated critical habitat for the federally threatened loach minnow. The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants into streams without a permit, and further prohibits the discharge of fill material into streams or wetlands without a permit. The Center seeks to have Catron County comply with the Act and complete full restoration of all damage and environmental harm caused by its unpermitted bulldozing. Should the county fail to do so in 60 days, the Center will be free to file suit in federal court in order to seek court-ordered restoration and the payment of civil fines by the county to the federal government...more

Popular Sequoia National Forest trail closed after 2 of the giant trees fall over it

The popular Trail of 100 Giants is temporarily closed in Sequoia National Forest after two of the towering trees fell side by side over the trail. The Forest Service said the downed trees were reported Friday and no one was injured. Officials are still working to determine the ages of the trees and why they fell. Some of the giant trees in that area are 245 feet tall and have diameters of 18 feet. Photographs showed the unearthed root wads of the fallen trees were about three times as tall as a firefighter standing at the base. Forest Service officials said tourists can still see giant Sequoias at Freeman Creek Grove along Lloyd Meadow Road and other areas of the park. AP

U.S. Interior official visits Taos; Gorge up for wilderness designation

A federal effort to create new wilderness areas brought Deputy Secretary of the Interior David Hayes to the Río Grande Gorge in September. Hayes praised the Río Grande del Norte conservation proposal, saying it was conceived locally, will help the area’s economy into the future and protects traditional uses of the land. He said local buy-in is crucial to such proposals. Caldwell referred to the Gorge as “our best and most lasting resource,” saying it should be protected. Hayes said a report due Oct. 15 will be submitted for review, and he hopes it will be approved by Congress. He said it will contain information about the ‘crown jewels’ his department helps to identify, such as their locations and unique features. He said he hopes representatives in Washington, D.C., can “get beyond the partisanship” to vote in favor of protecting areas such as the Río Grande Gorge. “Let’s implement the will of the people,” he said. Hayes said he is unsure how long it will take for Congress to approve the recommendations. Trudy Vincent, legislative director for Bingaman’s office, said passing legislation could be difficult but pointed to the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009 as an example that the proposal can be successful. “It’s a very large compromise,” she said. “It’s been done before. We can do it again.”...more

BLM begins large-scale weed roundup

The Bureau of Land Management is taking to the air to kill weeds on the ground. The BLM Farmington Field Office and the San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District on Monday started the largest project of the year aimed at killing invasive weeds in San Juan County. The BLM contracted airplane pilots to drop herbicides on target areas throughout the week. The operation will try to kill 2,000 acres of cheatgrass and 20,000 acres of sagebrush in northwest New Mexico, mostly on BLM land, said Stan Dykes, the noxious weeds coordinator for the BLM in Farmington. The BLM will use different treatments for each of the two weeds. Sagebrush is a common invasive plant in the county because of a lack of wildfires, said Jeff Tafoya, a rangeland specialist for the BLM. The planes dropped tiny pellets of herbicide on the target areas. The pellets will dissolve the next time it rains and the chemicals will seep into the ground. The sagebrush's deep roots will eventually consume the chemical, which inhibits photosynthesis, Tafoya said...more

Ski area summer-use bill passes the House

A measure that could help Colorado ski areas win approval for new on-mountain activities passed the House this week under a streamlined voting procedure used to pass noncontroversial bills that have bipartisan support. The Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act of 2011 (H.R.765) amends the National Forest Ski Area Permit Act of 1986 to clarify what additional uses can be authorized by the U.S. Forest Service. Agency chief Tom Tidwell testified earlier this summer that the Forest Service is already starting to write a set of rules to implement the law if and when it passes. As resort-based recreation evolves, more ski areas have proposed activities that aren’t clearly covered by current Forest Service rules, including mountain roller coasters, zip lines and ropes courses. Some Forest Service rangers who administer ski area permits have asked for additional clarity on the rules...more

Seeking Ranch Job: 40+year Managing a large ranch

Seasoned and experienced couple seeking ranch employment. We would prefer to stay in New Mexico, but would consider all options. 40+ years of hands on experience. Ranch Management, Land Stewardship, Beef Production, Wildlife Management. A seasoned, loyal, and honest leader in the NM cattle industry with experience running a multi-million dollar cattle ranch with wildlife and recreational business segments. Interested in working as a ranch manager/asst. as a steward for an owner or corporation.

Business Skills: Cattle Production, Water Resource Management, Range Management, Cattle & Horse Marketing, Seed Stock Operations, Herd Management, Wildlife Management, Rotational Grazing, Infrastructural Management, Budget & business Planning, Expense Management, State legislative organizer and representative for the cattle industry. Current Pres. for New Mexico Cattle Growers Assoc.

Husband and Wife team. Wife does Cooking & Cleaning. Office book work, payroll, Horse records, Marketing and around Office managment.

We have a Chuck Wagon that we do Catering out of and love to cook for company.

Make us a part of your team.

Bert & Debbie Ancell
P.O. Box 216
Springer, NM 87747
575-483-3709 Home
575-403-8650 or 575-403-8602 Cells

Now Earthbound, After Years of Fighting Wind and Fire

Kristy Longanecker smiled while her husband fell from the clear blue sky. “He got to live his dream,” said Ms. Longanecker, barely bothering to watch. “I’m envious of that sometimes. How many people get to live their dream?” Thump. So ended jump No. 896 — one final shock to the skeleton, one final perfect parachute roll, a practice run with no more reason to practice. Last month, Dale Longanecker turned 57, the mandatory retirement age for firefighters employed by the United States Forest Service. Friday was his last day on the job, and his was not just another retirement. Mr. Longanecker has spent 38 years as one of the most elite of his kind, a smoke jumper. He has parachuted out of airplanes into some of the most remote wildfires in the West carrying little more than a shovel, a gallon of water and a bottle of ibuprofen. He was 19 when he made his first jump, and the Forest Service says his 896 jumps — 362 of which were into fires — are a record that may never be broken. Sometimes, he might stay in the woods for a night to fight a fire. At others, he would be gone for two weeks, off all but celestial grids...more

Bear chases dog into PA home, attacks couple

A man attacked by a bear inside his central Pennsylvania home says it took 70 stitches and staples to close the gaping wound on the back of his head. It all happened after the bear followed his dog into his home early Monday morning. Rich Moyer told reporters outside his home the attack was a "nightmare" that ended only when the bear ran off. The 6-foot-6, 300-pound Moyer says the bear leapt on him as he let his dog in around 3 a.m. His wife tried to help but was knocked to the ground. Moyer jumped back into the fray and felt the bear tearing into his scalp. He jokes that he knows "what it's like to be a salmon now." Pennsylvania Game Commission officials say the bear may have been protecting its cubs. AP

Song Of The Day #687

Jim Miller from Tucson has requested The Cockfight by Archie Campbell, so Ranch Radio brings it to you this morning.

Monday, October 03, 2011

Stirling Energy Systems' Bankruptcy Latest In Solar Industry Woes

Solar-power equipment manufacturer Stirling Energy Systems Inc. has filed for bankruptcy, adding to a wave of troubles in the solar industry amid soft demand, falling prices and difficulty raising money. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Stirling Energy developed equipment for two solar-power plants designed to convert heat from the sun into electricity. Neither of the plants were able to obtain government loan guarantees, although both were sited on public land in California and obtained fast-track construction permits from the Obama administration. Earlier this month, California solar-panel maker Solyndra Inc. filed for bankruptcy after receiving more than $500 million in federal government assistance. The company is also the subject of numerous criminal and congressional investigations. In August, two U.S. solar companies--Evergreen Solar Inc. and start-up Spectrawatt Inc.--filed for bankruptcy protection, citing falling solar-panel prices and fierce competition from well-financed Chinese rivals...more

Federal ruling causes waves with property owners

Karen Walker's condominium at Lake of the Ozarks represented a retirement dream fulfilled when the couple bought it nearly a decade ago. The unit overlooking the relatively calm Niangua arm of the lake had everything they wanted. It was near town, right on the shoreline, with an easily accessible boat dock. But proximity to the water has gone from a selling point to liability, their property from asset to albatross. The Columbia, Ill., couple are among thousands of property owners along the lake now stuck in legal limbo after being notified that all or part of their homes, decks, gazebos and patios were built on land that belongs to Ameren Missouri's Bagnell Dam and Osage hydroelectric project. What's more, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission — the agency that regulates the lake, the dam and the hydroelectric plant — issued an order stating that all of the so-called nonconforming structures must be removed. Some blame the neighborhood's developer; others, the title companies or the county. Many vent at Ameren. Almost universally, the shoreline restrictions are seen as massive overreach by the federal government. FERC has become a four-letter word. "How can you buy a home, pay taxes on it, take care of it and have someone say you don't own it?" Karen Walker said. "It seems like a bad dream."...more

An Obama Idaho wilderness push? Not likely

By rights, GOP Rep. Mike Simpson’s carefully crafted Boulder-White Clouds wilderness bill should have long since become law. But environmentalists are grasping at straws in their latest bid to get this decadelong wilderness campaign off dead center. They hope the Obama administration will come to the rescue. The scenario goes something like this: By mid-month, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is expected to issue a report to Congress listing public lands “crown jewels” that are ripe for wilderness designation. Environmentalists are hoping Central Idaho’s Boulder-White Clouds makes the list — and that this “crown jewels” inventory gets worked up into an omnibus wilderness bill. The premise, John Robison of the Idaho Conservation League said in a Statesman editorial board meeting last week, is to build on conservation efforts that cross party lines. There is precedent for an omnibus bill. A 2009 public lands package created nearly 2 million acres of wilderness — including the 517,000-acre Owyhee wilderness shepherded by Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo. And even if the Obama administration goes this route, I’m not sure the Boulder-White Clouds bill is such an obvious component. For all of its artful attempts at balance, this bill has faced considerable opposition from off-road vehicle enthusiasts. Consequently, the bill has split the state’s political leadership; Gov. Butch Otter, Sen. Jim Risch and 1st Congressional District Rep. Raul Labrador have opposed it. What does the White House gain from picking this fight?...more

University of Wyoming receives $671K USDA grant for beginning ranchers

It used to be ranches were handed down in families. Ranching was a culture into which a person was born. Today, ranching and other agricultural professions are declining. To help foster a new generation of ranchers, the United States Department of Agriculture awarded the University of Wyoming a $670,890 grant for ranch management practicum courses. The grant was one of 36 totaling $18 million the USDA announced Friday for organizations planning or offering training and assistance programs for beginning farmers and ranchers. The USDA awarded the grants through its Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program established in the 2008 farm bill. The grant will help expand the program, allowing the university to offer four new courses, as well as scholarships to help offset the $600 cost, Mount said. The program also will add ranching mentors for students. The program offers a venue for those interested in agriculture who don’t come from a family ranch or farm to learn the business. Aging ranchers is one of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association’s biggest concerns, said Jim Magagna, executive vice president. The average age of ranchers in Wyoming is between 56 and 57 years old, he said. Ranch land is being divided or sold to people from out of state who want it for the aesthetic value and not to use it as a working ranch, Magagna said. “We consider it one of the most critical issues, to get young people on to these ranches,” he said...more

And this article points out that 25% of the $18 million is set aside for "socially disadvantaged" farmers and ranchers.  In other words, instead of E-I-E-I-O, its EEO-EEO.

Sure, just run down to your local "practicum" and then start ranching!

Look around you folks. Ranches are being regulated and taxed out of business.

Get off the producers backs so they can turn a profit and then you will see younger people entering, staying in or even expanding the business.

Quit wasting money on these grants to universities and nonprofits and instead clear cut the regulatory jungle and remove the death tax so these ranches can be passed down to the next generation.

And shame on industry for supporting this boondoggle.

NM Cattle cleared of TB threat - Udall gets it wrong again

Some good news for Eastern New Mexico ranchers devastated by this drought. They now have one less thing to worry about, thanks to the USDA. The federal agency determined the threat of bovine tuberculosis is no longer there for cattle in Curry and Roosevelt counties. Dairy and beef production are central to the area's economy. New Mexico's US Senator Tom Udall says the restored TB-free status is a testimony to the quality products distributed by that state's producers. Every other New Mexico county was cleared two years ago, So Curry and Roosevelt have been waiting quite a while for their turn...more

The Clovis News-Journal quotes Senator Udall as saying, “This restored accredited-free status is testimony to the quality products distributed by New Mexico’s producers.”

It of course has nothing to do with the quality of the product and has everything to do with whether a TB test has shown up positive in your or a neighbors' herd.  Little Tommy You-Dull should know better.  At least this time he hasn't confused who owns the property.

Settlement of Aamodt Water Rights Litigation Celebrated in Santa Fe

Ernest Mirabal remembers being served paperwork in the Aamodt water rights lawsuit in 1966, when he was governor of Nambé Pueblo. “We wondered if we’d still be around to see how this whole thing turned out,” he said Thursday in the new gymnasium at Santa Fe Indian School. Mirabal was one of several speakers at a ceremony with students, lawyers and dignitaries who gathered at the gym to celebrate the Aamodt water rights litigation settlement, after more than 40 years of litigation. In December, President Barack Obama signed legislation approved by Congress settling the case, intended to sort out water rights issues among four Indian pueblos and non-Indian residents in northern Santa Fe County. U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was the headliner. After congratulating the Indian School’s two-time defending state champion girls basketball team, he told the crowd Aamodt was a high priority for Obama. Already, $56.4 million has been provided to the project for a design-and-planning phase of the regional water system in Pojoaque Valley, which will draw from the Rio Grande at the Otowi Bridge near San Ildefonso Pueblo and deliver water to area homes. The federal government is expected to ultimately pay about $170 million for the project. The state of New Mexico and Santa Fe County are expected to contribute a combined $117 million...more