Saturday, January 07, 2012

California Truckers Take EPA to Court Over Emissions Rules

For the first time, the federal government is regulating big-rigs, RV's, and tractor-trailers in much the same way it's held car makers to rigorous fuel efficiency standards for decades. But a group of California truckers contends the regulations will drive them right out of business -- and has filed suit to block them. The Environmental Protection Agency is ordering large trucks and buses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20 percent and overhaul engine design starting with models built in 2014. Most operators will need to spend thousands upgrading their rigs or buying new vehicles, with prices starting at $50,000 and going up from there, depending on the model. Even so, the regulations have the support of the large and powerful American Trucking Association. Smaller owner-operators like Sacramento trucker Robert McClernon argue the opposite. "With the cost of the new equipment that they're requiring, and the oversight of the government in every part of my business, I can't afford to be in business," he claimed. McClernon is among a group of California trucking outfits challenging the Obama administration in federal court. The lawsuit claims the EPA failed to properly submit the regulations to a blue ribbon panel called the Science Advisory Board, as is required. The SAB is a group of top scientists who've been empowered by federal law to review new regulations that the EPA proposes to issue under the Clean Air Act...more

The Westerner's Radio Theater #016



Here's Gene Autry with another Melody Ranch episode.  There's some distortion towards the end of the program, but otherwise a good version.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Obama’s Chevy Volt, Fiat 500 Among Biggest Flops of 2011

The Chevy Volt and Fiat 500 were among the top product flops of 2011, according to Yahoo Finance. The cars were among the type of fuel-efficient vehicles touted by President Barack Obama as being the future of the government-owned GM and bailed-out Chrysler. The Volt, Chevy’s entry into the government-subsidized electric vehicle market, came in as the third worst product flop of 2011, behind only Netflix’s disastrous Qwikster service, and a much-derided push-up bikini bra for preteen girls from Abercrombie & Fitch. Obama himself drove the Volt in a July 30, 2011 visit to a GM manufacturing facility in Hamtrack, Michigan...more

And then there's this:

Obama Motors Is on Fire—Literally
President Obama's electric car vision is off to a hot start. First the heavily subsidized Chevy Volt started catching fire. Then government-backed Fisker Automotive had to recall all its cars due to a fire hazard. Late last month, Fisker, the electric car startup that is busy spending its $529 million in Department of Energy loans, announced a recall of its entire fleet of luxury Karmas because of a faulty battery that posed a fire risk. The battery maker at fault — A123 Systems — is another Obama grantee, having gotten $380 million in taxpayer support to make advanced car batteries...n May, a Chevy Volt caught fire three weeks after a government crash test of the car. In follow-up tests in November, a second Volt caught fire after a test crash, and a third began to smoke and emit sparks...

So if  gov't grants & low interest loans to the producers and large tax credits to the buyers haven't worked, what will? Why more gov't intervention of course.  The IBD editorial concludes:

But this is cold comfort if Obama makes good on his pledge to get 1 million electric cars on the road by 2015. If government grants, loans and tax breaks aren't enough, Obama plans to force sales through increasingly tight "corporate average fuel economy" (CAFE) standards.


Salazar pushes for coordination on Rio Grande

As part of his two-day trip through the West, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in New Mexico on Thursday to begin discussions on the development of consensus around conservation and water security along the Middle Rio Grande. Salazar brought together water, land and wildlife managers, conservation groups, ranchers and others to start talking about the long-term future of the river in central New Mexico. Salazar gave officials until July 1 to lay the groundwork for a recovery and restoration plan along a 100-mile stretch of the river. His goal was to avoid conflicts as more pressure is put on the river to meet endangered species needs and the demands of a growing population — all while facing a persistent drought. Salazar told the group he wants to avoid legal battles that could end up costing millions of dollars. "That doesn't do a lot of good to provide certainty for the development of our natural resource, nor does it do a lot of good in terms of protecting and preserving the habitat that is really needed for the protection of wildlife," he said. "I want us to figure out a way to move forward."...more

Tribes could turn the tables on water control

Lake Nighthorse is part of the Animas-La Plata Project, which was born of a settlement between the federal government and the two tribes that live in Colorado—the Southern Ute and Ute Mountain Utes. The water will be shared by the Utes and by five other entities, including the State of Colorado, the Animas-La Plata Water Conservancy, the Navajo Nation, the San Juan Water Commission and the La Plata Conservancy District. Fully two-thirds of the water will be set aside for the tribes. The agreement settles some complex and protracted water conflicts, and its enactment also offers an opportunity to take a look at the history of tribal water rights and what they mean for the future fights over the so-called “new gold” of the West. The bottom line on tribal water rights was drawn when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Winters v. United States in 1908. The Court said that when Congress set aside land for American Indian reservations—for the purpose of transforming tribes from nomads to farmers—it implicitly set aside enough water for them to make use of that land. At the time, the Winters doctrine came as a shock to Western states accustomed to the notion that water law was their province. The states’ system of “prior appropriation” or “first in time, first in right” says that the first party to put water to beneficial use takes priority over all later users. Since most reservations were established before non-Indian settlements (in 1868, for example, for Colorado’s Utes), Winters makes tribal water rights senior to virtually all downstream users. Moreover, unlike state water rights which are lost if they are not used, tribal rights are retained into the future regardless of whether or not they have put that water to beneficial use. Since then, there have been some major cases that have refined, or restricted, Winters. In Arizona v. California in 1963, the U.S. Supreme Court reasserted that reservations need enough water to satiate their present and future needs. Importantly, the case established a favorite standard for determining the amount of water tribes are entitled to. The wonky term “practicably irrigable acreage” (PIA) was coined to describe the only “fair way” (according to the Special Master and the Justices) to calculate how much water Indians were legally entitled to—basically, the amount of water it would take to grow crops on the reservation...more

Oil Industry: Energy Issues, Keystone Pipeline Should Be Top of Mind for Voters

Domestic energy production should be a major part of the 2012 election discussion, says the nation’s largest trade association for the oil and natural gas industry. The American Petroleum Institute (API) on Wednesday launched a “Vote 4 Energy” campaign “that will help Americans understand what’s at stake and why energy issues should figure prominently in their voting decisions,” API President and CEO Jack Gerard said. Pressure is mounting on President Obama to make a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, which – when completed – would bring crude oil from Canada to refineries in the U.S. Gulf Coast.  By law (a provision inserted into the bill extending the payroll tax cut), Obama has 47 days left to accept or reject the Keystone pipeline extension. Further adding to the pressure on Obama, the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee has posted an online clock to draw attention to President Obama’s ongoing delay of the Keystone XL energy pipeline. So far, 13 days have passed since Congress gave the president 60 days to accept or reject the project...more

Yellowstone Park 's Biennual Report to the United Nations

Yellowstone National Park has asked its fundraising partners to come up with $1 million a year for six years to expand its lake trout eradication effort at Yellowstone Lake, and by 2022 the park may need to import grizzly bears from other regions to increase the animals’ genetic diversity. These are two of the revelations found in the park’s draft progress report to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Committee. The report is the sixth to the committee on the condition of the park since it was removed from the List of World Heritage in Danger sites in 2003. Public comments are being taken on the draft until Jan. 20 and will be submitted with the final report to the UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Dave Hallac, the new scientific chief for the park, said the report is an important way to tell the committee, as well as people of the world, how the park has been able to address the committee’s original concerns. Yellowstone was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978 because of its outstanding natural and cultural values. In 1995, the committee placed Yellowstone on its list of threatened sites. To address UNESCO’s concerns, the park has provided the group with its plans and actions to address the specific conservation challenges. The World Heritage Committee will review Yellowstone’s report at its 36th session in 2012...more

Sage grouse memos displease both sides

Ranchers say new guidelines governing sage grouse habitat on public lands are unnecessary and vague, while environmentalists argue they are too weak. Sage grouse, a chicken-size bird known for its unique mating ritual, inhabit about 47 million acres of Bureau of Land Management land across much of the West. In late December, the BLM released two instructional memorandums temporarily governing sage grouse habitat in 10 Western states. One memo covers mining, oil and gas leasing, grazing and other common activities on public land. The other memo stated BLM employees must consider all applicable conservation measures in large-scale resource management planning for BLM lands that include sage grouse habitat. The BLM memorandums will remain in effect until individual land-use plans can be updated for each of 68 habitat areas. Idaho Cattle Association President Richard Savage, as a member of the Upper Snake Working Group, helped draft a site-specific plan to protect sage grouse in one of the bird's major strongholds. The working group's plan was designed to maintain adequate stubble height for sage grouse nesting in grazed areas, among other safeguards, Savage said. Savage now believes broad, duplicative federal regulations have supplanted years of work by a diverse group of stakeholders at the state level. "We feel like the thing is pretty well covered, so it's an interesting situation they feel we keep needing more regulations," Savage said. "Our frustration isn't with the agencies as much as those forces that create the unnecessary layer." Savage opposes language in the memorandums requiring a no-grazing option to be considered in environmental assessments. BLM officials note that provision was mandated by the courts. Environmentalists have also criticized the BLM's interim guidelines, convinced they have "no teeth."...more

Enviros oppose voluntary, local solutions because they have limited or no control over them.  The feds oppose them because they make the feds look incompetent.

Interior Secretary To Finalize Uranium Ban Near Grand Canyon

The Interior Secretary is expected to finalize Monday a 20-year ban on new uranium mining claims on land surrounding Grand Canyon National Park. In recent years, uranium mining companies have staked thousands of claims near the park. Those companies say the technology they use protects the watershed. But the federal government temporarily banned uranium extraction on a million acres surrounding the park so it could study just how much impact mining has on the environment and the economy. The Department of Interior has taken all the steps necessary to put the long term ban in place, called a "record of decision." The uranium industry is expected to appeal the decision...more

Trujillo Homesteads in Colorado Named National Historic Landmark

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has designated the Trujillo Homesteads in Colorado as a national historic landmark. The homesteads are an early Hispanic settlement in Colorado's San Luis Valley. "Latino settlement in Colorado is an important chapter in the history of the West," Salazar said in making the announcement Tuesday, "marking the northernmost expansion of the Spanish colonial frontier in the region." A news release on the designation said: "The Trujillo Homesteads provides an exceptional representation of the expansion of Hispano-American settlement into the American Southwest following the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo as well as an illustration of the conflict between cattle ranchers, who were primarily Anglo-Americans, and sheep herders, who were primarily Hispano-Americans." The news release said archeology might yield some valuable information that would address significant questions about ethnicity and race in the West...more

Salazar in Carlsbad - Potash, oil and gas industries moving forward together

With decades of disagreement under their belts, area oil and gas producers and the local potash industry are making preparations to move forward together after a nudge in the right direction from United States Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, who stopped through Carlsbad on Thursday. Salazar, Bureau of Land Management Director Bob Abbey and Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-NM, joined potash industry officials for a tour of Mosaic Potash's Number 5 shaft, where they watched as 280-million-year-old rock was exposed by a large driller. Mosaic and Intrepid potash mine potassium chloride from the area and are the only companies in the world to mine a mineral referred to as K-Mag. Officials said 1.4 million pounds of product are mined each year, yielding half a million dollars. Following the tour of the underground tunnels and operations, the Washington dignitaries sat down with local and state BLM staff, representatives from Mosaic, Intrepid, the Sandia National Lab and area oil produces, including Concho Gas, Yates Petroleum, Devon Energy Oxy and BOPCO. "We are going to try to bring an end to the conflict that has plagued the area for three decades," Salazar said at the Potash, Oil and Gas Steering Committee meeting...more

3 Texans File Tort Claim Against Forest Service

Three Texas residents whose children were injured when floodwaters swept 20 people to their deaths at an Arkansas campground have a filed a federal tort claim against the U.S. Forest Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The claim, filed Dec. 23 by Smith County, Texas, residents Natisha Rachal and Benjamin and Judy Pate, seeks damages for personal injury and wrongful death in connection with a June 11, 2010, flash flood at the Albert Pike Recreation Area near Glenwood. The federal agencies are accused of failing to “properly maintain the severe weather and flooding warning system” at the campground and not correcting “known communications problems that prevented campers from learning of the imminent danger of flooding.” Seven children and 13 adults from Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas died after heavy rains inundated the remote valley in the Ouachita Mountains and pushed the Little Missouri River out of its banks. The plaintiffs’ sons were camping with nine others, including one of the boys’ fathers, Anthony Smith. He and five others died. According to the tort claim, the campground has a documented history of flooding events dating back to 1940 and the Forest Service “negligently failed to post flood hazard warning signs and notices or to otherwise warn campers of the dangers of flooding in the area.” Weather Service forecasters sent warnings four times in a single hour to advise people of the potential for flash flooding, but those warnings were issued in the middle of the night and never reached those at the campground. The camp had no ranger on-site, no cellphone service and no sirens, and deputies at the nearest sheriff’s departments were at least an hour’s drive away. After the flood, workers installed a new transmitter so weather-alert radio signals could reach the campground...more

Amid drought, water desalination gets attractive

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar visited El Paso's desalination plant Wednesday to showcase the technology as a way to help alleviate the region's chronic water woes and to support a statewide water supply increasingly stressed by drought and population growth. The $87 million plant is the largest inland facility of its kind in the world. It takes in brackish water, which has more salinity than fresh water but not as much as ocean water, from an underground aquifer and makes it drinkable. With a daily output of 27.5 million gallons, it's also the largest desalination plant in the U.S. "Through using water, brackish water, we are able to extend water supply in a way that would have not been possible 10, 15 years ago," Salazar said after touring the facility. "Other places in the country that could learn from this place." Salazar said desalination is one part of a water management strategy that comprises several factors, including recycling and using water more efficiently...more

Colorado's rodeo elite take on global champs in new National Western Stock Show event

World-class describes more than microbrews and ski slopes in Colorado, and this year's National Western Stock Show and Rodeo aims to prove it from day one. Opening day of the 106th show Saturday includes the first Colorado versus the world rodeo, which pits cowboy champions from Colorado against champs from some of the world's biggest rodeos. Bareback riders, barrel racers, saddle bronc riders, steer wrestlers and bull riders will vie for a share of the $100,000 purse, the richest day of rodeo in state history, organizers said. "Super Saturday" also will feature some of the best livestock in North America, from as far away as Calgary in Canada and as close by as Sterling on Colorado's northeastern plains. "Best cowboys, best stock all in one day," said Marvin Witt, the stock show's operations manager. "That's why we call it Super Saturday." The National Western is traditionally seen as the first big rodeo of the new season, and annually attracts the world's best cowboys to the rodeo the PRCA hails as one of the nation's best indoor events. Besides the opening-day extravaganza, this year's stock show includes the Mexican Rodeo Extravaganza on Sunday (two shows); the Professional Bull Riders Touring Pro Finale (three shows); the MLK Jr. African-American Heritage Rodeo on Jan. 16.; and 22 ProRodeo events throughout the two-week show. Qualifying semifinal rounds of Colorado vs. The World start at 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, with finals scheduled for 8 p.m. in the Coliseum featuring the top eight riders in each of the five events. The champion of each matchup will take home $10,000 and the title of National Western Stock show national champion...more

Study: Parasitic fly could explain bee die-off

Northern California scientists say they have found a possible explanation for a honey bee die-off that has decimated hives around the world: A parasitic fly that hijacks the bees' bodies and causes them to abandon hives. Scientists say the fly deposits its eggs into the bee's abdomen, causing the infected bee to exhibit zombie-like behavior by walking around in circles with no apparent sense of direction. The bee leaves the hive at night and dies shortly thereafter. The symptoms mirror colony collapse disorder, in which all the adult honey bees in a colony suddenly disappear. The disease is of great concern, because bees pollinate about a third of the United States' food supply. Its presence is especially alarming in California, the nation's top producer of fruits and vegetables, where bees play an essential role in the $2 billion almond industry and other crops. The latest study, published Tuesday in the science journal PLoS ONE, points to the parasitic fly as the new threat to honey bees. It's another step in ongoing research to find the cause of the disease...more

Antibiotics rule jars ranchers

Livestock industry representatives say new federal restrictions on uses of cephalosporin antibiotics won't have a large impact on operations, but they fear additional restrictions on antibiotic use in the future. In a rule set to take effect April 5, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is barring certain "off-label" uses of cephalosporins, a class of antibiotics used in both animals and humans. The restrictions aim to protect people from being exposed to the antibiotics in meats. Included in the ban is use of the drugs at unapproved dose levels, frequencies, durations or routes of administration, use of drugs in cattle, swine, chickens or turkeys that hadn't been approved specifically for that species, or using the drugs for disease prevention. The order doesn't limit the use of cephapirin, an older cephalosporin drug that is not believed by the FDA to contribute significantly to antimicrobial resistance, according to an agency news release. Veterinarians will be allowed to prescribe "limited extra-label" use of the drugs in livestock as long as they follow the general directions on the label. Veterinarians and other experts say the rule will likely have little affect on livestock producers, whose use of cephalosporins is mainly therapeutic. However, Bishop, Calif., veterinarian and cattle producer Tom Talbot worries that this may be just one of many restrictions yet to come. "This whole issue of antibiotic use in livestock primarily as it relates to resistance in humans is a very, very complex issue," said Talbot, a former president of the California Cattlemen's Association. "One of the things that concerns me is when decisions are made as a result of public pressure and not necessarily sound science." Thomas Besser, a professor of veterinary microbiology at Washington State University, said he's received many calls from people in the beef industry about the new rule, for which a two-month public comment period was set to begin Jan. 6. "I know it's going to make people sit up and take notice," Besser said. "It's not clear to me that it will have a big impact. If a veterinarian felt like he needed to treat something, it sounds like there's enough leeway to let them do it."...more

Song Of The Day

OpenDrive is down today.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Salazar, Colorado leaders push to preserve much of San Luis Valley

Aiming for economically beneficial conservation, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar launched three broad initiatives Wednesday for his home turf of the San Luis Valley, including plans to protect vast tracks of pristine private land from development. "This is an opportunity that may not come again to this valley for decades, if not for a century, because you're not going to have a president, with a secretary of the interior, with a governor, with two U.S. senators who embrace these initiatives in this way," Salazar said during a swing that included stops in New Mexico and Texas. Main elements of the emerging plan include: • Creating a Sangre de Cristo National Historic Park. Salazar declared the Trujillo homesteads in the valley a National Historic Landmark on Tuesday. Other sites under consideration for this designation include a communal irrigation ditch at San Luis. • Building a San Luis Valley Trail System along the Rio Grande from Colorado into New Mexico. Land trust leaders are exploring potential easements to keep land private, yet constrain future construction. • Establishing new wildlife areas. Federal biologists have mapped areas on the valley floor and in the Sangre de Cristo mountains that could be managed for ranching and also enable better migration of birds and big game. Salazar and Gov. John Hickenlooper have engaged key landowners in discussions about easements — envisioned as a way to protect 400,000 acres — along with purchases of another 30,000 acres. Besides the government, three owners — billionaire hedge-fund manager Louis Bacon​, media mogul Ted Turner​ and owners of the Taylor Ranch — control most of the land extending south from the existing Great Sand Dunes National Park along the Sangre de Cristo mountains to Santa Fe. The success of those conversations was uncertain, but Turner and Bacon have reputations as far-sighted conservationists. Colorado officials "will do everything we can" to support the initiative, Hickenlooper said...more

Salazar: Taylor Ranch rights will be honored

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said Wednesday that his proposal to promote the cultural heritage of the San Luis Valley will have no impact on the use rights to heirs on the Sangre de Cristo Land Grant. San Luis residents fought a series of court battles for four decades to regain access to a 77,000-acre tract of land, which had been fenced off by North Carolina timberman Jack Taylor in the 1960s. The Colorado State Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that heirs had the right to graze livestock and harvest timber and firewood from the parcel known by locals as La Sierra, although a local court continues the process of confirming heirs. Prior to 1960, locals enjoyed more than a century of access to the property as part of the terms of settlement of the grant, which was issued by the Mexican government in 1843 to lure settlers to the area. "We're not going to undo a case that I personally was very involved in and followed, which was the Taylor Ranch case that recognized the historic subsistence rights of the local community," Salazar said. "Those have to be honored. It's my personal point of view. It's also my legal point of view." Shirley Romero Otero, who asked Salazar if the use rights of the land grant heirs would be protected under any of the proposals, said he had not answered her question. She worried that a designation under the National Park Service might open the land to the public, thereby infringing on the rights heirs regained in court. "We've got the most to lose of anybody else," she said. "I'm leaving with more questions than I came with."...more

Keystone Pipeline Fight Awaits Congress’ Return

The political tussle over whether the Obama administration will allow a Canadian oil company to build a pipeline through the Midwestern U.S. will come to a head soon after Congress returns from its winter recess on January 17. In a bid to force the administration’s hand on the issue, House Republicans included a provision in the two-month payroll tax holiday, passed December 22, giving President Obama 60 days to decide whether or not the project should proceed. The Keystone XL pipeline would bring oil from the Alberta oil sand pits in Canada to refineries along the American Gulf Coast, stretching over 1,600 miles and creating anywhere from 6,000 to 20,000 jobs. The administration announced in November that it would delay approval of the project until after the 2012 elections, to allow the State Department – which must approve the project because it crosses an international boundary – to complete an environmental review. The project splits the Democratic base, pitting unions who favor it for its job creation potential against environmentalists who oppose it because it continues America’s reliance on oil and over fears that it might cause an environmental disaster...more

Feds wants Wyoming grizzly mauling suit dismissed

The federal government is asking a judge to throw out a lawsuit over a fatal grizzly bear mauling near Yellowstone National Park. A 430-pound male grizzly mauled Erwin Evert of Park Ridge, Ill., in June 2010 and his widow has filed a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the government. It alleges that researchers were negligent in trapping a bear along a trail and close to cabins, and by prematurely taking down signs that warned passers-by of their work in the area. The federal government filed a motion to dismiss last week claiming immunity under a state law — the Wyoming Recreation Use Act. The law says that property owners don't have to warn recreationists about possible dangers on the land. AP

Hey wait a minute.  I thought the feds were always "preempting" state law.  

Editorial: Renewable Fuel Standards Formula For Global Poverty

There was a reason Congress let ethanol subsidies expire. Legislation mandating using corn as fuel will keep prices high. They will also increase poverty worldwide. Anyone remember the "tortilla riots?" The Renewable Fuel Standards Program (RFS) was originally passed as part of the Energy Security Act of 2005. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 expanded the renewable fuel standard for gasoline and the RFS mandates that at least 37% of the 2011-12 corn crop be converted to ethanol and blended with the gasoline that powers our cars. "Producing ethanol for use in motor fuels increases the demand for corn, which ultimately raises the prices that consumers pay for a wide variety of foods at the grocery store, ranging from corn-syrup sweeteners in soft drinks to meat, dairy and poultry products," says the Congressional Budget Office. The RFS program ensures this mandate and ethanol production continues with costs being passed on to consumers at the checkout line and gas pump. The mandate to burn food in our cars places our corn supply at risk to supply disruptions caused by drought and bad weather. Coming off the third-largest corn harvest in U.S. history in 2010, the carryover (unsold corn still in elevators), constituted only a two-week supply, the lowest level since the Dust Bowl of the 1930s...more

U.S. Taxpayers Cover Nearly Half the Cost of U.N.’s Global Warming Panel

A study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) determined that the United States funded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the United Nations’ authority on alleged man-made global warming, with $31.1 million since 2001, nearly half of the panel’s annual budget. The GAO also found that this funding information “was not available in budget documents or on the websites of the relevant federal agencies, and the agencies are generally not required to report this information to Congress.” In a Nov. 17, 2011 report, “International Climate Change Assessments: Federal Agencies Should Improve Reporting and Oversight of U.S. Funding,” the GAO found that the State Department provided $19 million for administrative and other expenses, while the United States Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) provided $12.1 million in technical support through the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), averaging an annual $3.1 million to the IPCC over 10 years -- $31.1 million so far. The IPCC runs an annual budget of $7 million, according to the Wall Street Journal, making the United States a major benefactor for its global warming agenda...more

Americans’ Incomes Have Dropped 6.7 Percent During the ‘Recovery’

New evidence suggests there’s a reason why this economic “recovery” hasn’t felt much like a recovery. Figures from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, compiled by Sentier Research, show that the “recovery” has actually been harder on most Americans than the recession from which they’ve allegedly been recovering.
According to Sentier’s report, the median American household income has actually fallen during the “recovery.”  Not only that, but it has fallen even more than it did during the recession. Gordon Green, former chief of the Governments Division at the U.S. Census Bureau and co-author of the report (with fellow Census veteran John Coder), says, “Real income fell by 3.2 percent during [the recession].  And during the recovery it went down by 6.7 percent.” So “income [has] declined twice as much in the recovery as in the recession itself.”...more

Cronyism doesn’t sell in corn country

For years, the conventional wisdom of both Republicans and Democrats has held that the road to the White House starts by buying off Iowans with corn ethanol subsidies in hopes of succeeding in the first presidential caucus state. Even Al Gore himself - at least now that his presidential ambitions are as dead as his claim that he created the Internet - acknowledges that ethanol subsidies are all about buying off voters. “I had a certain fondness for the farmers in the state of Iowa,” admitted the high priest of global warming, “because I was about to run for president.” So it’s not surprising then that the corporate welfare river flowing to Big Corn has grown deep and wide. The buy-off includes direct subsidies from taxpayers, mandates that customers buy their products, and import tariffs that protect high prices from competition. This has translated into billions of dollars flowing into Iowa and other corn-producing states. The merits of burning our food supply in our gas tanks, which in turn drives up the costs of both our food and our gas, not to mention damages our cars and causes food shortages around the globe, can be debated elsewhere. The larger point is the inescapable reality that ethanol subsidies create an untenable situation that forces dairy farmers to pay the bills of the corn farmers - and the bills of large corporations involved in the process. In fact, school teachers, mechanics, nurses and everyone else are forced to pay those bills, too. It’s difficult to find anyone not being enriched by ethanol subsidies who supports them and even more difficult to find anyone being enriched by them who admits their destructive and even shameful nature. But not all Iowans can be bought off so easily. Witness the success of Republican Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in the Hawkeye State that is turning Washington’s conventional wisdom on its ear. Mr. Paul would like to cut $1 trillion from the roughly $3.5 trillion our federal government spends each year. He doesn’t pretend this can be achieved by simply stamping out “waste, fraud and abuse” - the code words of politicians who lack the courage of real spending cuts. No, Mr. Paul marches straight into Iowa and tells corn farmers that the days of free money from taxpayers is over. Sell all the ethanol you want, he tells them, but you’ll have to pay your own bills. And how does Iowa respond? Rather than running Mr. Paul out of town at the end of pitchforks, the Hawkeyes instead have embraced the budget cutter’s candidacy. Iowans, like Nebraskans, are smart enough to know that if you allow the government to shove a dollar in one pocket, they’ll swipe two out of another. Political candidates, in the GOP presidential field and elsewhere, would be wise to take note: Voters will reward courage. And voters should take note: If politicians won’t be courageous, we must...more

EPA’s dioxin dilemma puts farmers, ranchers in a pickle

Later this month the Environmental Protection Agency is scheduled to release new guidelines that would set limits on the safe exposure of U.S. consumers to dioxin. As with most proposals of this type, farmers, ranchers and the U.S. food industry are caught between the proverbial rock and a hard spot. The mere mention of dioxin conjures up visions of cancer and birth defects. Dioxin became a household word nearly 30 years ago when Times Beach, MO, was evacuated and quarantined due to high levels of dioxin. Many illnesses, miscarriages and animal deaths were attributed to the toxin. At the time, dioxin was called “the most toxic chemical synthesized by man.” Pretty scary stuff, and even scarier when you realize everyone eats a certain amount of dioxin every day. That’s because dioxins are found in meat and dairy products, and most other foods. Animals absorb dioxin, which occurs naturally in the environment and moves through the food chain via the food animals consume, especially forages. Consumed at high levels, dioxins are linked to various human ailments including reproductive problems and cancer. The question scientists grapple with is determining how much dioxin is dangerous. Farmers and the U.S. food industry are concerned the EPA will establish a threshold for dioxin that is below the amount a typical American gets from food...more

FDA Bans Certain Uses Of Antibiotics In Food-Producing Animals

In a bid to protect an important class of antibiotics for treating humans and reduce the development of drug resistance, the US Food and Drug Administration has banned certain uses of cephalosporins in food-producing animals. The federal agency announced on Wednesday that the prohibition order comes into effect on 5 April. The ban is intended to stop the use of "extra label" or unapproved use, of cephalosporins in what the FDA describes as the "so-called major species of food-producing animals" such as cattle, pigs (swine), chickens and turkeys. Unlike the ban that was introduced and then revoked in 2008, the new ban does allow some exceptions to the extralabel use of cephalosporins in food-producing animals. These exceptions, which the FDA says "protect public health while considering animal health needs", are: * The ban does not limit the use of an older drug, cephapirin, which the agency says is not thought to contribute significantly to the development of antibiotic resistance. * Veterinarians will be allowed to administer or prescribe cephalosporins for "limited extra-label use" in the major food- producing animals, as long as they adhere to the "dose, frequency, duration, and route of administration" specified on the label. * They will also be allowed to administer or prescribe cephalosporins for "extralabel uses" in minor species of food-producing animals such as ducks or rabbits...more

Cutting horse event had trouble rustling up cattle

Cattle tend to give cutters fits when they maneuver in the arena to get away from the horse and rider and return to the herd. The man responsible for furnishing cattle for the Abilene Spectacular is Pat Gully. He and his wife, Carolyn, started the cutting event 20 years ago. He has had his own personal fit locating cattle for this year's show. Pat has a rancher in southern Runnels that has been good for about 4,500 head each year. But not this year. The drought and economy has made it tough on ranchers in the area. Gully bought 1,500 head through the Abilene Auction during the past few weeks and was going to grass them at the Gully Ranch in Novice. The herd for the 4-year-old Finals on Saturday come from the Gully Ranch also. "We ran out of grass and had to keep them at Cal-Tex Feed Yard in Trent," he said Wednesday. After the cattle are used for the cutting, they will be shipped to Dimmitt in the Panhandle. The Abilene Spectacular is being carried live on the web. Get there by going to nchacutting.com, click on Aged Event on Quick Menu, and the Abilene Spectacular is the top entry on the calendar and click on live webcast. The video is the same being taped by Clearman Video Service. His tapes are used by the judges to review any cutting necessary. Also, exhibitors can view their run at Clearman's Video booth in the Coliseum. Copies are also available for purchase...more

Making the cut: Horse event requires strategy, precision

When compared with most of the events that happen on the dirt at the Taylor County Expo Center, cutting can seem a little sedate. The setup is pretty simple. A rider and horse wade into a small crowd of cattle and cut one off from the rest of the herd. The selected cow (or the one being "worked") instinctively wants to return to the safety of numbers, so tries to make it back to its buddies. The horse and rider are tasked with staying in the lone cow's way and keeping it apart. Given that this year's Abilene Spectacular Cutting event runs through this weekend and next at the Expo Center — just in time for college bowls and the NFL playoffs — it seems fitting that participants compare the competition to football. But cutting's origins easily predate those of pigskin. Back in the days of the open range, cutting was an essential part of ranching life. Herds from neighboring ranches would intermingle, which could make for some headaches when it came time to sell cattle of a particular brand. To pluck the right cows from the herd, a rancher needed a horse that specialized in reading cattle and making those cuts. A good cutting horse was such a valuable tool that ranchers made a point of identifying and grooming the ones that showed the best "cow sense." The transition from ranch chore to competitive sport happened, as you might expect, because of some good old-fashioned cowboy braggadocio. Cowboys from Ranch A would brag on their cutting horse, while their counterparts at Ranch B would make their own counter-boasts. A couple of friendly wagers later, a cutting duel would be on. Back to the present (and its football metaphors), Big Country breeder and competitor Meredith McCullar describes a good cutting horse as being like a good quarterback. Athleticism counts, sure, but intelligence is the biggest factor in determining which stallions and mares rise to the top. McCullar, who ranches between Albany and Baird, isn't shy about proclaiming that he has two "superstars" in the making: stallion One Big Time and mare Duals Play Time. The pair of 4-year-olds come from the same mother. After being broken in for riding their second year, the duo spent their entire third year training as cutting horses...more

Southwest drought woes continue in the New Year

While unexpected rain showers in December were a welcome surprise to many Southwest farmers and ranchers, a National Weather Service climatologist in Fort Worth is warning a dry weather pattern is reestablishing across the region and says the prospect for substantial rain could still be months away and then only if tropical weather filters in from the Gulf. “While it was nice to see the rain fall in December, we are looking at the increasing likelihood of a very dry winter across the Southern Great Plains, and the indication is we may not see any substantial drought recovery until the summer months when the tropical flow from the Gulf and Atlantic regions return,” says David Brown, regional climate services director at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Fort Worth. The record-breaking drought that has plagued the Southwest has caused disastrous agricultural losses of more than $5.2 billion in Texas alone. In addition to decimated cattle herds in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and other states, the drought has reduced crop acreage and yields significantly across the region and is responsible for depleting surface and below-ground water resources in Northern Mexico as well. “In spite of the terribly dry conditions across the Southern Plains, Northern Mexico has likely taken a larger hit from the current drought because of a lack of infrastructure. While their drought woes are largely under-reported, large agriculture-producing areas have been decimated there as well,” Brown adds...more

Navajo Code Talker, museum backer Keith Little dies

Keith Little envisioned a place that would house the stories of the Navajo Code Talkers and where people could learn more about the famed World War II group who used their native language as a weapon. His family now hopes to carry out his dream of a museum in Arizona that also will hold wartime memorabilia and serve as a haven for veterans. Mr. Little, one of the most recognizable of the remaining Code Talkers, died of melanoma Tuesday night at a Fort Defiance hospital, said his wife, Nellie. He was 87. Mr. Little was 17 when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps, becoming one of hundreds of Navajos trained as Code Talkers. They used a code developed by 29 tribal members that was based on the then-unwritten Navajo language. Their code helped confound the Japanese and win the war. "My motivation was to fight the enemy with a gun or whatever," Mr. Little told the Associated Press in a July 2009 interview.  "When I went into the Marine Corps ... I knew nothing about the Navajo code. It was really astonishing to me to get to Camp Pendleton and there were a bunch of Navajos there, and they were working with a Navajo code."...more

Greenwood Ranches—More Than a Century of Family Ranching

Newland family roots in the Dakotas go back to 1875. They came West with the gold strike at Deadwood, S.D., homesteaded, and ranched. Government homestead laws gave free land to settlers. It was too little land to support agriculture and there was no water. The family raised hay which they sold to Homestake mine for their mules. Hay commanded $100 a ton, a mighty price at the time. The miners had gold but everything else had to be hauled in by wagon. The Newland family irrigated land, ranched, and ran freight wagons to the miners. When the depression came along in the 1930s, hundreds of homesteaders from Alzada (Stonecreek), Mont., Hulett, Wyo., and Camp Crook, S.D., sold out or gave up. The Newlands bought up homesteads for as little as 25 cents an acre. Greenwood Ranches became a big spread in the corners of Montana, Wyo., and South Dakota. Headquarters became known as Greenwood Ranches. Remains of 40 homesteader’s cabins have been counted within the present borders. “If you take the ranch road, it snakes over 22 miles,” Wilbur Henry Newland said. Newland was born to Jim and Velma in 1950. He is named for his grandfather and family friend, Henry Davenport. His father was a legend in his own right. Look Magazine sent a team of photographers to the Newland Ranch in 1959, to cover branding. Jim appeared in the Jan. 6, 1959, feature story. When Jim died in 2003, Wilbur took over the ranch. “There is 250 miles of fence.” Newland considers it an unending task, mending it so cattle don’t stray...more

Song Of The Day #743

 Ranch Radio brings you Carl Smith and his 1953 recording of Trademark.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Cowboy Dinner & Dance

The Cowboy Vegetarian Cookbook - Baxter Black

 This should help you get over the hump this week.  Meanwhile, I've got to go get some hoof trimmings and a fan belt.



http://youtu.be/HAithRYAc4o

Killed By Coyotes - First Fatal Coyote Attack - National Geo. TV

 UPDATE

One comment says they "have some doubts" about this.

The event actually occurred in October of 2009. The LA Times covered the story,
Musician Taylor Mitchell dies after coyote attack while hiking, and here is an excerpt fromWikipedia:


On October 27, 2009 Mitchell was hiking alone during the afternoon on the Skyline Trail in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park in Nova Scotia. During her hike, she was attacked by three[10] coyotes. During the attack, a group of four other hikers came across the scene, managed to scare the remaining coyote[10] away and called 911. When emergency crews arrived, she was taken to a hospital in Cheticamp and then airlifted to Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax in critical condition. She died overnight.[1]
An officer with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) later shot a coyote in the park though the officer could not find the carcass. In the evening, park staff located another coyote and killed it, though there were no signs on its carcass that it had been shot. It is estimated that there were five or six coyotes in that area of the park.[1] Eventually, a total of six coyotes were killed following the attack, but only three could be conclusively linked with the attack.[10]
In an interview with The Gazette, Brad White, a coyote expert at Trent University in Peterborough, Ont. said they might have been coyote-wolf hybrids. However, Don Anderson a biologist with the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources said he's seen no reason to suspect the animals were coyote-wolf crosses. Don Anderson noted there are no wolves in Nova Scotia or New Brunswick. Dr. Brent Patterson of the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, however, concludes there is sufficient physical evidence that these coyotes were so-called "Eastern Coyotes". Eastern Coyotes of the Canadian provinces, are distant hybrids of Canadian wolves and coyotes that go back generations when the Western Coyotes of the North American Plains regions of the Unites States, migrated to the Ontario region, and interbred with native wolves. This possibly instilled the dominance and aggressive behaviours displayed by the Cape Breton coyotes.[11] Stan Gehrt, a coyote expert at Ohio State University's school of environment and natural resources suggested that the coyotes were rabid.[12] This theory however, was proved to be invalid through post mortem examination conducted at the University of Prince Edward Island, of the six exterminated coyotes, three of which could be directly linked to the attack.
Bob Bancroft, a Nova Scotia wildlife biologist, suggested that the coyotes were inexperienced hunters - hungry and desperate yearlings - and that their predatory instinct was triggered by the singer fleeing instead of standing her ground.[13] In The Gazette, Stan Gehrt thought this might be why the coyotes attacked: "Most canids (coyotes, foxes, and wolves) will attack prey that begin to run away from them. Maybe that's what she did. Unfortunately, there are no witnesses." [12]
Mitchell was only the second fatal coyote attack on a human ever recorded in North America.[14] The first occurred in the United States[15] in August 1981, when 3-year-old Kelly Keen was attacked by a coyote outside her home in Glendale, California, United States.[16]

  1. ^ a b c "Coyotes kill Toronto singer in Cape Breton". CBC.ca. 2009-10-28. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/10/28/ns-coyote-attack-died.html. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  2. ^ "CDbabay.com profile". http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/TaylorMitchell1. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  3. ^ a b iTunes Store. "For Your Consideration". http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/taylor-mitchell/id340252571. Retrieved 2009-12-08. 
  4. ^ a b "Cape Breton coyote attack kills touring folk singer". CTV.ca. 2009-10-28. http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20091028/coyote_attack_091028/20091028. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  5. ^ a b c Aulakh, Raveena (2009-10-28). "Toronto singer killed by coyotes". The Star. http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/717207--toronto-singer-killed-by-coyotes. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  6. ^ "Toronto singer killed by coyotes". The Globe and Mail. 2009-10-28. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto-singer-killed-by-coyotes/article1341376/. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  7. ^ Boles, Benjamin (March 17-14, 2009). "Disc Review: Taylor Mitchell - For Your Consideration (Independent)". NOW Toronto. http://www.nowtoronto.com/music/discs.cfm?content=168567. Retrieved 2009-10-29. 
  8. ^ "Coyotes kill Toronto singer". London Free Press. 2009-10-28. http://www.lfpress.com/news/canada/2009/10/28/11551416.html. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  9. ^ "Coyote attack silences emerging Toronto talent". CBC.ca. 2009-10-28. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/toronto/story/2009/10/28/singer-mitchell-coyote-reaction.html. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  10. ^ a b c "Killed by Coyotes". National Geographic. 2011-02-18. http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/episode/killed-by-coyotes-5169/Overview#tab-Overview. 
  11. ^ "Killed by Coyotes?". 18 February 2011. http://natgeotv.com/uk/killed-by-coyotes. Retrieved 3 January 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "Coyote attacks on humans extremely rare: Experts". The Gazette. 2009-10-28. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/canada/Coyote+attacks+humans+extremely+rare+Experts/2156288/story.html. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  13. ^ Alison Auld, Cape Breton News: Coyotes kill teen folk singer in Cape Breton park (local comments by local readers), last updated at 12:10 AM on 29/10/2009
  14. ^ "Coyotes kill woman in Cape Breton". CBC News. 2009-10-29. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/10/28/ns-coyote-attack-died.html. Retrieved 2009-10-28. 
  15. ^ Coyote Attacks on Children
  16. ^ A History of Urban Coyote Problems, Robert M. Tim & Rex O. Baker, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2007


Killed By Coyotes explores the tragic story of a talented young folk singer, Taylor Mitchell, who was killed by coyotes as she hiked alone in a Canadian national park. It's the first fatal coyote attack on an adult human ever recorded, and it shocked not only the surrounding community but coyote experts as well. Highly intelligent and generally timid around people, coyotes have traditionally not been considered a threat to human communities.
But are they becoming more habituated to us and are they losing their fear of us? In the wake of the attack, scientists, police and park rangers try to develop a clear picture of what happened - and why. And with coyote numbers increasing throughout North America, Killed By Coyotes examines how humans and coyotes co-exist.  Nat Geo

Wednesday 18 January at 10:00PM

Supreme Court case involving Idaho lake house ignites conservative cause against EPA

This month, the Supreme Court will review the Sacketts’ four-year-long effort to build on land that the EPA says contains environmentally sensitive wetlands. A decision in the couple’s favor could curtail the EPA’s authority and mean a fundamental change in the way the agency enforces the Clean Water Act. Even before the court takes up the case, the couple have become a favored cause for developers, corporations, utilities, libertarians and conservative members of Congress, who condemn what one ally told the court is the EPA’s “abominable bureaucratic abuse.” It is a familiar spot for the agency, which has come under withering criticism in the political arena. Republican presidential contenders routinely denounce the EPA’s actions and regulations as “job-killers,” while GOP House members have voted to ban the agency from regulating greenhouse gases and tried to cut its enforcement budget. The issue before the justices is narrow: whether the Sacketts can go to court to challenge the EPA’s initial findings that their lot contains wetlands. But their plight of not being able to develop their land while other homes are built hundreds of feet away and the threat of millions of dollars in fines have provided the EPA’s opponents with a compelling story line...more

So who is the victim here?   Reading this Washington Post story you'd think it was the EPA.  Their authority would be "curtailed" if the Sacketts win, the agency has been "condemned" and come under "withering criticism",  there's a "ban" on some of their reg's and their opponents have a "compelling story line."

Yes sir, the EPA is the victim, not the couple in Idaho who want to build a home.

Editorial: Thwarting the law

FEDERAL BUREAUCRATS do what federal bureaucrats want to do, even if they are proscribed from doing so by law. A new example is a water grab by the U.S. Forest Service. In issuing permits for ski areas on national forest lands, a new clause assigns water rights at the area to the federal government. Colorado Sens. Mark Udall and Michael Bennet and Rep. Scott Tipton have urged the Forest Service to suspend the new clause. The agency declined, and so the National Ski Areas Association is planning to sue. This new clause is an attempt to get around the law. In the 1980s and ’90s, then-Sens. Bill Armstrong and Hank Brown fought the feds over what the bureaucrats were claiming as reserved water rights. After a period of years, Congress passed legislation denying federal reserved water rights and ordering the government to apply for rights through Colorado’s appropriation system. That entails lining up like every other applicant and filing for rights in a water court. Michael Perry, president of the ski association, notes, “Water rights in the West are part of the asset base of the ski areas that they have acquired in the marketplace and they are an important part of the balance sheet of a ski area.” In November, water lawyer Glenn Porzak testified on behalf of the ski industry, telling a subcommittee of the U.S. House Natural Resource Committee that water rights in Colorado are a matter of state law. But that argument has fallen on deaf ears at the Forest Service, which claims the feds know what’s best for Colorado. We hope the ski association can prevail. If not, then the increasingly intrusive federal government will be tempted to grab even more control of Coloradans’ water. Pueblo Chieftain

More Water for Las Vegas Means More Resentment in Rural Areas

For Jason King, Nevada’s state engineer, the final months of 2011 were hardly a breeze. On top of his usual workload, he and his resource-strapped office, which manages parched Nevada’s precious water resources, oversaw six weeks of hearings on a controversial permit application, punctuated by often impassioned testimony from 82 witnesses. But 2012 will be more stressful. The longtime civil servant has just over three months to digest tens of thousands of documents and transcript pages as he prepares to answer a decades-old question: If the Mountain States keep getting drier, how will Nevada keep Las Vegas, its economic juggernaut, from going thirsty? The Southern Nevada Water Authority, speaking for Las Vegas, thinks the solution lies beneath four valleys in Eastern Nevada, with a multibillion dollar pipeline that would pump valley water into Las Vegas. The plan sounds sensible to most business owners and developers in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County, but Nevadans further east, particularly farmers and ranchers, fear the project would deplete already scarce resources, threatening their way of life. Nevada is not the only Western state that will spend part of this year debating a large-scale and polarizing water project. There’s the Lake Powell water pipeline within Utah, and the Wyoming-to-Colorado pipeline that Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has vehemently opposed. But neither of these would come close to the price and scope of the Las Vegas pipeline, nor have they sparked such fierce opposition...more

Writers on the Range: Las Vegas needs to let the market decide where the water goes

The famous slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” once assured visitors that they were exempt from the wages of sins committed in the city of lights. It was the inspired product of the Las Vegas convention and tourism bureau. Not to be outdone, the local water authority is still promising cheap water in the middle of a scorching desert. Try to figure this out: A family of four in Las Vegas pays $1 a day for 400 gallons of water; meanwhile, a family of four in Atlanta — with 13 times the precipitation — pays $2 for the same amount of water. While most big cities sit on the banks of a river, lake or ocean, bone-dry Las Vegas owes its existence to Hoover Dam, 34 miles away. The dam is the source of the region's cheap water and power. Without the one, the fountains along the Strip would cease to dance and at least 60 golf courses would wither. Without the other, the lights would dim, and the air conditioners would stop humming. In the words of one official, the sprawling metro area of 2 million people would revert to “a place of sand dunes, mosquitoes and rattlesnakes.” Originally, it was thought that Mormon farmers would use the Colorado River water captured by the dam to create a smaller version of California's Imperial Valley. Instead, when work on the dam began in 1931, the city was invaded by a rowdy army of construction workers. Their employer, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, “invented modern Las Vegas.” As Emily Green of the Las Vegas Sun tells the story: “(The workers') needs could be largely summed up in a telephone book under B: boarding houses, brothels and bars. Moreover, that same year, Nevada legalized gambling. Las Vegas added a C to its key services: casinos.”...more

Ken Salazar: How green is his San Luis Valley?

On Wednesday, Alamosa-born Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar will return to his roots -- again -- as part of a long-simmering effort to promote tourism and conservation in Colorado's much-praised, much-neglected San Luis Valley. Accompanied by Governor John Hickenlooper and Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, Salazar will visit Adams State College for a "community conversation" to discuss a federal study that calls for -- well, more study, and possibly some action. The point of the confab is to push the recommendations in the National Park Service's recently released San Luis Valley and Central Sangre de Cristo Mountains Reconnaissance Survey Report, which identifies significant wildlife corridors and heritage sites in a 3.2-million-acre area stretching across the Valley and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains into northern New Mexico. Salazar hopes to see more conservation easements, an ambitious recreational trail network, and landmark designations that will help spotlight some of the Valley's cultural treasures, from Colorado's oldest town to penitente gathering places to its sprawling, fourteener-backdropped Spanish land grants...more

Panel backs state biologists on wolf kill investigations

A review panel says state wildlife biologists have been thorough in their investigations into suspected wolf-livestock conflicts, and their conclusions are consistent with evidence uncovered at the scene of depredations. The panel's findings are expected to be among the more controversial aspects of the 2011 Oregon Wolf Management Report, which Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff will present at the Jan. 6 Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting in Salem. In at least three incidents, USDA Wildlife Services agents determined wolves caused the depredation, while state biologists listed the cause as unknown. Ranchers have said they believe USDA Wildlife Services is more qualified to make the determinations and should be the lead agency in making the call. Under Oregon's wolf management plan, state agents must determine wolves as the cause of depredation before a rancher is eligible for restitution under the state's wolf compensation fund. The review panel found it "problematic" that state and federal biologists in some cases reached different conclusions...more

U.S. weighs protection for Sierra Nevada red fox

Federal officials are considering whether to protect the Sierra Nevada red fox under the Endangered Species Act. Responding to a petition from the environmental group Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced Friday that there is enough information to consider protecting the fox. The fox weighs only about 10 pounds, measures just over 2 feet from nose to tip of tail, and generally lives only above an elevation of 7,000 feet. Once found throughout the Sierra Nevada range, the fox is now considered one of the rarest mammals in America. Until recently, the species was thought to be limited to just a few hundred animals in the Lassen Peak area. But in 2010, U.S. Forest Service biologists discovered a small population in the Sonora Pass area of Stanislaus National Forest...more

Rancher surveying cattle from plane spots suspects in Western crime spree that left 2 dead

A Nevada rancher who spotted a man and woman walking in a desolate area while surveying his cattle from the air on Tuesday led police to arrest the suspects in the killing an elderly Utah couple in a crime spree that spanned two states. Supervisory Deputy U.S. Marshal Jim Phelps told The Associated Press that Logan Welles McFarland, 24, and Angela Atwood, 25, were found Tuesday afternoon area near Interstate 80 about 35 miles west of the Utah border, not far from where they ditched police in a high-speed chase on Saturday. Rancher and Elko County Commissioner Demar Dahl, also a pilot, spotted the suspects from the air Tuesday while surveying his cattle. He said he called authorities Monday night to ask if the suspects had been captured, and figured he'd keep an eye out. "We flew and looked and sure enough we found them," Dahl told the AP. "We didn't have any cell phone coverage, so we followed them for a ways, just circling them," Dahl added. "We flew low, right down next to them." Dahl said he then flew back into cell range and called authorities...more

Sky King to the rescue.

Shacey Sullivan honored for her commitment to agriculture

Peralta resident Shacey Sullivan, a Valencia County Farm Bureau member, won the New Mexico Farm and Livestock Bureau’s Excellence in Agriculture Award, presented at the organization’s 94th annual meeting. The Excellence in Agriculture Award recognizes young farmers and ranchers who are involved in agriculture in ways other than as farm or ranch owners. Sullivan was raised on her family farm in northwest New Mexico, but she pursued a career on the financial end. She earned a degree from New Mexico State University and is the director of marketing for Farm Credit of New Mexico. Farm Credit of New Mexico is the state’s largest agricultural lender, with assets in excess of $1.2 billion. She has been with Farm Credit for 10 years, working out of the Albuquerque office on Balloon Fiesta Parkway. There are six offices throughout the state. “I think we made over $100 million in new loans this year,” said Sullivan. She is a member of the Junior Livestock Sale Committee, which promotes Future Farmers of America and 4-H throughout the state by raising money for scholarships and fair animal purchases. Sullivan has chaired the Agriculture Committee for the Association of Commerce and Industry, and also the Allied Industries Committee for New Mexico Cattle Growers Association...more

Song Of The Day #742

 Since OpenDrive was down, we'll repeat Swingin' Monday.






Its Swingin' Monday on Ranch Radio and to help us swing in the new year here is Mustard & Gravy with Bee Bop Boogie.