Friday, February 24, 2012

Timber group blasts Interior Sec. Salazar Oregon visit

Ken Salazar, President Obama’s Secretary of the Interior, was in Medford, Oregon this week to tour the “Pilot Joe” demonstration project and hold a Town Hall meeting where he sought to downplay the impact of a new Northern Spotted Owl critical habitat designation and announced yet another lengthy administrative forest planning process for 2.5 million acres of western Oregon forests managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), including the Oregon & California (O&C) Grant lands. This latest announcement comes nearly 2 ½ years after Secretary Salazar illegally withdrew the 2008 Western Oregon Plan Revisions. Ever since, Oregonians have heard a host of unfulfilled promises. “This latest bunch of PR is just another example of this Administration’s inability to grasp the realities facing the forests and rural communities of western Oregon,” said Tom Partin, President of the American Forest Resource Council (AFRC). “Instead of taking concrete steps to implement a meaningful timber program based on sound science, Secretary Salazar has outlined a flawed strategy based on one failed pilot project.” When the Secretary came to Roseburg in October, 2010, he talked about two pilot projects spanning 20,000 to 30,000 acres that would be both ecologically and economically viable. The Pilot Joe project was narrowed from the potential 50,000 acre scope of the Applegate Watershed to a mere 245 acres...more

Utah governor backs plan to sue unless feds relinquish land

Gov. Gary Herbert said he supports a proposal demanding that Congress relinquish control of federal lands within Utah and suing for damages if it does not comply. Herbert said the federal government agreed to sell off its holdings in the state when Utah was granted statehood, with 5 percent of the proceeds going to schools. He said it has failed to live up to its bargain. "The federal government needs to answer the question: ‘Why have you not disposed of the property?’ " he said during his monthly KUED news conference. "It’s been to our economic detriment, and we ought to get an answer to that and if that means we go to court, ultimately, then so be it." Several Republican legislators are proposing a package of bills that would demand the federal government relinquish about 33 million acres in the state — about two-thirds of the entire landmass — and set a deadline of the end of 2014 to comply. If Congress fails to act, the lawmakers are seeking $3 million to launch a legal battle to force the federal government to pay damages. "They’ve just decided unilaterally that they’re going to breach the contract," Herbert said. "We ought to find out why and if there’s some compensation they should give to us for that breach of contract. "Herbert said not having access to so much federal land has undermined Utah’s tax base and hampered economic development....more

Communities help pay for ecosystem services provided by forests

Strontia Springs Reservoir, 30 miles south of Denver, Colo., looks like water you'd want to scoop up in your dipper. Sunshine and pine reflect off its aqua-blue surface. But 16 years ago, it looked more like a latte clogged with cinnamon bark. In 1996 and 2002, major forest fires scorched the Upper South Platte River watershed. In the aftermath, heavy rains washed debris, burned logs and more than 750,000 cubic yards of sediment into the reservoir, which supplies over 7,000 acre-feet of drinking water annually to Denver. Denver Water -- the utility that supplies 1.3 million people in the metro area -- spent more than $26 million dredging Strontia Springs, treating the water and reseeding the watershed's forests. The U.S. Forest Service spent millions more to reinforce hillsides, reseed and plant trees. But the damage to the city's drinking water could have been much worse: Just 150,000 acres burned out of the 2.5 million acres in Denver's watersheds. In hopes of avoiding future expensive wildfires, in 2011, Denver Water and the Forest Service signed a $33 million cost-sharing agreement for watershed restoration. The average residential water user will pay an extra $27 over the course of five years to match the Forest Service's $16.5 million allocation. The money will fund tree-thinning and prescribed burns on 38,000 acres...more

Obama energy policy cripples justice for Native Americans

President Obama’s heavy-handed energy regulations and Big Green’s egregious legal delays have crippled the ability of tribal leaders to create jobs and stifled their development of Native American resources. Alaska’s Republican Rep. Don Young, long a friend of tribal leaders and Alaska Native officers, recently introduced the Native American Energy Act, a proposal to reduce government barriers and streamline burdensome procedures, particularly approvals from Obama’s Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. Six representatives from various tribes testified last week at the bill’s hearing before the House Natural Resources Committee’s Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs. Mike Olguin, vice chairman of the Southern Ute Indian Tribal Council, set the theme: “We are the best protectors of our own resources and the best stewards of our own destiny, provided that we have the tools to use what is ours.” Wilson Groen, president and chief executive officer of Navajo Nation Oil and Gas Exploration and Production, said the Navajo Nation fully supports this reform, calling current procedures “costly and inflexible,” taking about a year and a half to get a drilling permit on Navajo Nation lands...more

Song Of The Day #780

Blues is Blues, but the RFD Blues is definitely country blues.
Ranch Radio brings you Jimmie Dolan's 1950 recording of The RFD Blues.
The tune is on his 31 track CD Juke Box Boogie.

Durban Climate Change Conference Promises UN Court Oversight

The world community stepped away from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Durban, South Africa two short months ago with promises that all nations will submit to the climate control supremacy of the UN – by 2020. In the interim, developed (i.e., Western) countries will be required to pay into a $100 billion a year Green Climate Fund – run by the UN – ostensibly to help offset the “costs” to countries affected by climate change. More ominously, a Climate Court of Justice is to be established to oversee and enforce the new emissions mandates. At the same time, while thousands of scientists openly oppose the political conclusions drawn by UN policymakers on man-made climate change, Canada became the first industrialized nation to exit the UN’s Kyoto global warming treaty. But they didn’t just withdraw quietly. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper put a fine point on it: "To meet the targets under Kyoto for 2012 would be the equivalent of either removing every car, truck, ATV, tractor, ambulance, police car, and vehicle of every kind from Canadian roads or closing down the entire farming and agricultural sector and cutting heat to every home, office, hospital, factory, and building in Canada.” "Kyoto is not the path forward for a global solution to climate change," Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent elaborated. "If anything, it's an impediment. A new agreement with legally binding commitments for all major emitters that allows us as a country to continue to generate jobs and economic growth represents the path forward."...more

Thursday, February 23, 2012

High court overturns ruling on PPL dams

A unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday struck down a Montana court decision that had said PPL Montana owes the state more than $50 million in rent for operating hydroelectric dams on state-owned riverbeds. The nation’s high court said the Montana Supreme Court erred when it ruled in 2010 that the rivers underneath the dams are navigable, and therefore owned by the state and subject to rent payments. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy said the Montana court ignored earlier federal rulings that say separate “segments” of a river must be examined for navigability — and that some or all of the river segments in the PPL case are clearly not navigable. If a section of river in Montana or any other state is found to be navigable at the time of statehood, the state owns the riverbed. PPL has argued that the rivers around its 10 dam sites are not navigable. The U.S. Supreme Court decision, however, doesn’t end the nearly nine-year-old case. It sends it back to the Montana courts to examine whether stretches of the Missouri, Madison and Clark Fork rivers are navigable, according to the standards defined by the high court...more

Go here to read the decision.

Sapphire in the Rough - NM Stimulus Project

The federal government awarded Sapphire Energy, a green energy concern, more than $100 million for a project that is behind schedule, has only created a fraction of its expected jobs, and is, according to some experts, at least a decade away from creating a viable product. Founded in 2007, Sapphire is working to develop algal biofuel—a replacement to crude oil made from algae and able to be refined into gasoline, diesel, or jet fuel.
Sapphire raised $100 million from private investment firms, including ARCH Venture Partners. Bob Nelsen, a founding partner of ARCH, served on Obama’s National Finance Committee during the 2008 campaign. The company has received $104.5 million from the federal government, roughly half of which were 2009 stimulus funds from the Department of Energy, to build an algae-based biofuel operation in Columbus, New Mexico...more

The high priests of eco-destruction

Rick Santorum is right. Pushing back against Democrats' attempts to frame him as a religious menace, the GOP presidential candidate forcefully turned the tables on the White House: "When it comes to the management of the Earth, they are the anti-science ones." Scrutiny of the White House anti-science brigade couldn't come at a better time (which is why Santorum's detractors prefer to froth at the mouth about comments he made four years ago on the existence of Satan). It's not just big-ticket scandals like the stimulus-subsidized Solyndra bankruptcy or the Keystone pipeline debacle bedeviling America. In every corner of the Obama administration, the radical green machinery is hard at work -- destroying jobs, shredding truth and sacrificing our economic well-being at the altar of environmentalism. --Take Obama's head of the National Park Service, please. While serving as the Pacific West regional director of the NPS, Jon Jarvis was accused of at least 21 instances of scientific misconduct by Dr. Corey Goodman, a high-ranking member of the National Academy of Sciences. Extensive information about Jarvis' alleged role in cooking data about a California oyster farm's impact on harbor seals at Point Reyes was withheld during the 2009 nomination process. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has ignored complaints and follow-up from both Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Republican Sens. James Inhofe and David Vitter. The National Research Council determined that the NPS had "selectively" slanted its report on the oyster farm. The federal Marine Mammal Commission found that "the data and analyses are not sufficient to demonstrate a causal relationship" between the farm's operations and harbor seal health. In a letter blasting the NPS for bullying the small oyster farm, Feinstein -- normally a reliable eco-ally -- concluded earlier this month that the "crux of the problem is that the Park Service manipulated science while building a case that the business should be shuttered."...

Columnist Michele Malkin lists more "anti-science" activities by Obama's brigade with water, endangered species and oil drilling, and then offers this powerful conclusion:

People of faith aren't what's bedeviling America. Blame the high voodoo priests of eco-destruction in Washington who have imposed a green theocracy on us all. Science be damned.

When it comes to trouncing civil liberties and distorting science for political reasons, Obama has out-Bushed Bush.

Luxury NOAA undercover boat got more use as pleasure cruiser

Federal fish cops in Seattle bought a $300,000 luxury boat to spy on whale-watching tours — but didn't go through an appropriate bidding process, held barbecues onboard, ferried friends and family across Puget Sound to restaurants and resorts, and used the boat for what one visitor called "a pleasure cruise." When confronted, one federal employee in Seattle misled inspectors about how the vessel was used, and one interfered with federal investigators, according to an internal investigation by the Commerce Department. Those documents were released Friday by U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass. At issue is a 35-foot, 14-passenger boat purchased by federal agents with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) using money seized from fishermen who violated the law. The fisheries service, a division of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has a law-enforcement branch employing special agents with the same powers as the FBI. They police the Endangered Species Act and other crimes against marine creatures, from poaching to fishing commercially in closed waters or out of season. The boat ultimately was used for just 119 hours, according to the documents, and remains moored in Western Washington. "The sad truth is that it was a fishermen-funded party boat for bureaucrats," Brown said on the Senate floor Friday...more  

The IG report is here.

Predators, weather kill nearly 23,000 sheep and lambs in 2011

In the next couple months, three things are a given for Montana sheep ranches: shears will buzz and fleece will fly, ewes will have their lambs, and then weather and coyotes will take their toll. Spring is when sheep are most vulnerable, both because their young are easy pickings for predators and because their shorn coats make them vulnerable to Montana's sometimes-deadly cold. In dollars, the losses can be significant. In 2011, sheep ranchers lost 22,900 animals to bad weather and coyotes, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service. NASS released the numbers late last week. Total deaths were 48,000, a $7 million loss, which includes deaths by other predators and nonpredator-related deaths from illness and infection. The number of animals was the same as the previous year's, but the cash loss was 38 percent higher, reflecting the record high prices for lambs and wool in 2011. Weather killed 13,100 animals...more

Song Of The Day #779

 Ranch Radio brings you one of those sad, sad country songs about a terrible event.  Here's the Carlisles singing about a Female Hercules.

The tune is on their 34 track CD Gonna Shake This Shack Tonight by Bear Family Records.

NM Junior Livestock Foundation Benefit Roping

Vendors exhibit products at Roosevelt County Ag Expo

Local farmers and vendors said they shared an overall enjoyable experience at this year’s annual Roosevelt County Ag Expo. The two-day event ended Wednesday. For Roosevelt County farmer and rancher Randy Lieb, the expo presented a great opportunity for him to stay abreast of what new products are available as well as price increases for supplies. Lieb enjoyed looking at John Deere tractors and seeing what new seeds and farm equipment were there. Lieb says he was surprised in price increases in seed and fertilizer and the information he received about the scarce availability of hay grazer and seed sorghum forage. Wayne Baker of the Portales Rotary Club attended the expo this year to help raise funds with their chuck wagon lunch Tuesday. “The Rotary had one of the best pork chop lunches that we ever had,” Baker said. The Rotary Club cooked about 700 pork chops and sold out nearly an hour before the lunch was scheduled to end. Baker says that never happened before...more

Another Global Warming Advocate Caught Falsifying The Truth

There are no laws that say that the global warming alarmists can't feel strongly about their beliefs. There are, however, ethical lines. And they keep crossing them. The history of the Great Global Warming Scare is filled with exaggerations, deceit, unnecessary hype and cover-up. It's all OK, say the alarmists, because they are concerned with the greater good, and if they have to cheat a bit, well, then the ends justify their means. This attitude was evident in the climate-gate e-mails. Rather than deal with the truth that man-made global warming is a scam, or simply unproven scientific speculation, researchers discussed hiding "the (temperature) decline" and using a "trick" that would help them make their point that human activity is harming the planet. There was also the attempt "to make the MWP (medieval warm period) go away in Greenland" in the researchers' data because they contradicted the swindle they are trying to pull off. Things were so bad that one researcher expressed concern that "the science is being manipulated to put a political spin on it." It apparently went unheeded by the alarmist community. The alarmists' inclination to cheat was also made clear in the screeching defense of the discredited "hockey stick," the celebrated chart that supposedly shows global temperatures sharply increasing in sync with the industrial age. Those are but a few of many examples of their duplicitous, at times deceitful, behavior. And now comes one Peter Gleick, a climate scientist who misrepresented himself — lied — in an effort to trap the Heartland Institute, a think tank on the record as a strong skeptic of the climate change claim...more

White House ignores House subpoena for Solyndra documents

President Obama and his West Wing aides ignored a subpoena of documents pertaining to the Solyndra loan guarantee even after congressional investigators met with White House officials to negotiate the scope of the subpoena, according to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. "The White House's failure to comply with today's document deadline is a sad milestone on the path chosen by this administration to obstruct and delay our investigation rather than cooperate and help deliver answers for taxpayers," committee chairman Fred Upton, R-Mich., and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee chairman Cliff Stearns R-Fla., said in a statement this evening. House investigators requested 12 categories of documents designed to explore a range of issues, such as Obama donor and Solyndra investor George Kaiser's role in the solar company receiving a loan gaurantee...more

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moderate avalanche was lethal

The avalanche that killed a snowmobiler in the Lost Johnny Basin west of Hungry Horse Reservoir on Monday was moderate in size but powerful enough that the victim apparently died of trauma. That assessment comes from Forest Service avalanche expert Stan Bones, who visited the site Tuesday. The late afternoon avalanche claimed the life of Charles John Dundon III of Connell, Wash., while a companion snowmobiler was able to escape harm. Bones happened to be in the Lost Johnny Basin on Monday afternoon assessing avalanche conditions. “We saw those two fellows leaving the parking lot late in the afternoon,” said Bones, who found “signs of instability” in the snow during his field survey that day. The two snowmobilers were caught in “very moderate terrain” for avalanche danger, Bones said. “It really was not a major avalanche,” he said. “It was a moderate-sized avalanche.” The two were riding across the slope just above a road when the avalanche was triggered. Bones said the slide “reached up” the slope, gathering more snow from above and creating most of the force that hit the snowmobilers. “Once it released there was a lot of snow moving above them,” Bones said. The slide was about 250 feet wide and about 500 feet long, and the two riders were caught at about the bottom third of the avalanche’s run. The victim’s helmet and backpack were torn off, indicating there was considerable force. He was swept into a cluster of three trees and when his body was recovered later that night under about five feet of snow, the snowmobile was upside down and on top of his legs. The trees or the snowmobile likely caused the fatal trauma, Bones said...more


This video highlights scenes from the 1 hour documentary which chronicles the lifestyle of the traditional working cowboy. The project was filmed on some of the last remaining large cattle operations in Idaho and Nevada. The film has received awards and recognition at numerous film festivals and has been broadcast internationally.

Song Of The Day #778

Today Ranch Radio brings you Bob Dunn & The Vagabonds performing Mean Mistreater.
All you mean mistreators get off The Westerner right now.

Wolf reintroduction suffers setback in Mexico, 4 out of 5 wolves dead from poisoning

The reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves to a mountain range just south of the U.S.-Mexico border as part of an effort to re-establish the endangered species is off to a rocky start. Correspondence between Mexican wildlife officials and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service confirmed Tuesday that four out of the five wolves released by Mexico’s Environment Department last October are dead from poisoning.  Despite the deaths, supporters of wolf reintroduction in the American Southwest are still hoping releases in Mexico can provide a genetic boost to a small population of wolves in New Mexico and Arizona. “They’ve been working for decades for this reintroduction so obviously this is setback, but my assumption and hope is that they will continue and make it successful,” said Michael Robinson of the Center for Biological Diversity, an American group that has supported returning the wolves to their historic range. As for the poisoned wolves, Mexican officials said one was found in November and the other three in December. Necropsies were done on all four animals and results in each case were positive for warfarin, a blood thinner that’s commonly used in rat poison and pesticide...more

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Climate scientist admits to defrauding the Heartland Institute

These are dark days for the “climate change” fraud.  In 2010, 141 scientists wrote a letter to the United Nations challenging the junk science of the global warming cult, declaring “climate change science is in a period of ‘negative discover’ – the more we learn about this exceptionally complex and rapidly evolving field the more we realize how little we know.  Truly, the science is not settled.” A year later, over a thousand scientists joined forces to express their skepticism of the climate change movement.  Many of them were motivated to speak up by the “Climategate” scandal, in which emails from the East Anglia climate research unit revealed the deliberate manipulation of data by global-warming zealots.  The group continues to collect a steady stream of climate scientists who study new data and conclude the basic assumptions of “climate change” are incorrect. So, if you’re a die-hard global-warming dead-ender, how do you handle these depressing developments?  You commit fraud in an attempt to discredit global-warming critics. That’s what Peter Gleick, a cult member in good standing, decided to do to the Heartland Institute, a free-market think-tank that has long been outspoken against global warming.  Gleick, who is nominally a “scientist” but doesn’t let ethics stand in the way of righteousness, created a false identity and stole confidential information from Heartland - including financial documents and their donor list - then published them online.  He even threw in a complete forgery to make the story more interesting...more

Science Doesn't Find Fracking A Drinking-Water Danger

Opponents say the fluids used in hydraulic fracturing taint groundwater. Researchers at the University of Texas, however, say they have "found no direct evidence that fracking itself has contaminated groundwater." The report was released at the American Association for the Advancement of Science's just-finished annual meeting. In ScienceNOW, which is published by the AAAS, lead researcher Charles Groat noted "that the $380,000 report was independent from the natural-gas industry and conducted only with university funds."
ScienceNOW reports the study's "underlying white papers were peer-reviewed" and "the Environmental Defense Fund was consulted on the overall scope and design of the study." That information is important. The left cannot moan that the report is a whitewash paid for by the hated energy industry. The findings should be no surprise. The use of noxious chemicals in fracking is actually rare. "No matter what you may read, hydraulic fracturing does not involve pumping toxic chemicals under high pressure near public aquifers," Stephen Holditch, head of the petroleum engineering department at Texas A&M University, wrote in January on's blog. "There has been some use of diesel fuel as an additive to hydraulic fracturing fluid in the past — but the use of diesel is quickly being eliminated in the field."Holditch says that "some 99.5% of what is commonly used in fracking" is simply "a composition of pure water and quartz sand." He noted the other agents that make up the remaining 0.5% are typically guar gum (also used to thicken food products), detergents (like those found at home for washing dishes and clothes) and bactericide (think of the chlorine that treats drinking-water supplies)...more

Campaign against Canadian Keystone XL pipeline driven by US foundation millions

A Powerpoint presentation obtained by The Daily Caller shows that during a July 2008 meeting, the $789 million Rockefeller Brothers Fund proposed to coordinate and fund a dozen environmental and anti-corporate activist groups’ efforts to scuttle pipelines carrying tar sands oil from Canada to the United States. The most recent incarnation of that pipeline plan, the Keystone XL project, was the subject of intense public controversy until the Obama administration rejected it in January. The 2008 meeting consisted of presentations from Rockefeller Brothers Fund program officer Michael Northrop, Corporate Ethics International Executive Director Michael Marx, Natural Resources Defense Council attorney Susan Casey-Lefkowitz and the director of a Canadian activist group called the Pembina Institute. Northrop’s presentation described the extraction of oil from Canada’s vast tar sands oil deposits as a threat to environmentalists’ efforts to curb global warming. He outlined a ”globally significant response” consisting of a “network of leading US and Canadian NGOs” engaged in a “coordinated campaign structure.”...more

Lizard conservation plan approved

While it still needs to be signed, the Texas Conservation Plan for the dunes sagebrush lizard has been approved and is in its final stages, U.S. Fish and Wildlife representative Tom Buckley said. Conservation plans allow landowners to work with the government voluntarily to protect species’ habitat while maintaining work on the land, such as ranching or oil and gas production. In the past, landowners and oil and gas companies in southeastern New Mexico signed candidate conservation agreements, or candidate conservation agreements with assurances, to coordinate management of the species. Under such agreements, potential lizard populations are located within the habitat and projects are either moved or not started in that particular area. Members of the Texas Oil and Gas Association said they viewed the plan as a solution balancing wildlife considerations while maintaining oil and gas production, a news release stated. It is the first plan in the U.S. to address conservation and recovery measures for the dunes sagebrush lizard, the release stated. Environmentalists are also pleased with the new measure...more

Test tube hamburgers to be served this year

Last autumn the Telegraph reported that Prof Mark Post of Maastricht University in the Netherlands had grown small strips of muscle tissue from a pig's stem cells, using a serum taken from a horse foetus. Speaking at the American Academy for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Vancouver yesterday afternoon (SUNDAY), Prof Post said his team has successfully replicated the process with cow cells and calf serum, bringing the first artificial burger a step closer. He said: "In October we are going to provide a proof of concept showing out of stem cells we can make a product that looks, feels and hopefully tastes like meat." Although it is possible to extract a limited number of stem cells from cows without killing them, Prof Post said the most efficient way of taking the process forward would still involve slaughter. He said: "Eventually my vision is that you have a limited herd of donor animals in the world that you keep in stock and that you get your cells form there." Each animal would be able to produce about a million times more meat through the lab-based technique than through the traditional method of butchery, he added...more

Interior Dept. faces resistance in push for more public lands

It's cost $15 to shoot a duck since 1991, but that will change if President Barack Obama gets his way. Under the president's new budget proposal, the cost of the federal duck stamp required for hunting would rise to $25 next year, a move aimed at making it easier for the Interior Department to buy more land for migratory waterfowl. It's just a small example of how the Interior Department wants to get both larger and leaner in the coming year, relying more on fees and less on tax dollars. The department, which already controls 20 percent of the nation's public lands, is proposing to use $212 million in public funds to buy land for more parks and wildlife refuges, including multiple sites to commemorate the Civil War. In addition, the department wants to buy more land with $450 million from the nation's Land and Water Conservation Fund, a 30 percent increase from this year's purchases. It's a separate fund that doesn't rely on tax dollars, instead using royalties from oil and gas drilling. Critics, including Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., the chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, contend that the federal government already has too much property to maintain. When Salazar pitched his plan to the committee Wednesday, Hastings said it would be far better if the Interior Department focused instead on improving its current holdings. "The Interior Department continues to have a maintenance backlog on federal lands that measures into the billions," Hastings told Salazar. "The bottom line is that we should not be increasing spending for land acquisition when the government cannot maintain the land it already owns."...more

Obama seeks to raise 'green' car tax credit to $10k

President Barack Obama wants to use more taxpayer funds to encourage the purchase of green vehicles. The government currently offers up to a $7,500 tax credit for those that purchase natural gas or electric vehicles, but the president’s latest budget proposal wants to increase the amount to $10,000 and allow for consumers to receive the tax incentive at the dealership when they purchase a qualifying vehicle. It’s not just the federal government offering up tax payer funds for purchasing electric vehicles. Some states have been getting in on offering tax rebates as well. California recently made the move to offer a $1,500 rebate when a qualifying 'green' vehicle is purchased...more

Germany is cutting solar-power subsidies because they are expensive and inefficient

Germany once prided itself on being the “photovoltaic world champion”, doling out generous subsidies—totaling more than $130 billion, according to research from Germany’s Ruhr University—to citizens to invest in solar energy. But now the German government is vowing to cut the subsidies sooner than planned and to phase out support over the next five years. What went wrong? According to Der Spiegel, even members of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s staff are now describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germany’s minister of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a “threat to the economy.” Indeed, despite the massive investment, solar power accounts for only about 0.3 percent of Germany’s total energy. This is one of the key reasons why Germans now pay the second-highest price for electricity in the developed world (exceeded only by Denmark, which aims to be the “world wind-energy champion”). Germans pay three times more than their American counterparts. Moreover, this sizeable investment does remarkably little to counter global warming. In the meantime, Germans have paid about $130 billion for a climate-change policy that has no impact on global warming. They have subsidized Chinese jobs and other European countries’ reliance on dirty energy sources. And they have needlessly burdened their economy. As even many German officials would probably attest, governments elsewhere cannot afford to repeat the same mistake...more

Obama's giveaway: Oil-rich islands to Russia

Part of Obama’s apparent war against U.S. energy independence includes a foreign-aid program that directly threatens my state’s sovereign territory. Obama’s State Department is giving away seven strategic, resource-laden Alaskan islands to the Russians. Yes, to the Putin regime in the Kremlin. The seven endangered islands in the Arctic Ocean and Bering Sea include one the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined. The Russians are also to get the tens of thousands of square miles of oil-rich seabeds surrounding the islands. The Department of Interior estimates billions of barrels of oil are at stake. The State Department has undertaken the giveaway in the guise of a maritime boundary agreement between Alaska and Siberia. Astoundingly, our federal government itself drew the line to put these seven Alaskan islands on the Russian side. But as an executive agreement, it could be reversed with the stroke of a pen by President Obama or Secretary Clinton...more

Growing grizzly population conflicts with USDA sheep research station

The recovery of Yellowstone's grizzly bears has been remarkable. When the species was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1975, there were just 136 wandering in and around the national park. Now, there are more than 600. And though a federal court confirmed in November that the population should remain protected, it's continued to grow and expand outward. But as grizzlies recolonize their former haunts, the conflicts with ranchers that once helped push them to the brink are likely to rise again. And bears that make a habit of eating livestock are usually destroyed. To minimize such risks for grizzlies and other controversial wildlife like wolves, the National Wildlife Federation and other conservation groups have worked with willing ranchers and the U.S. Forest Service since 2002 to retire many of the sheep and cattle grazing allotments on federal lands with important habitat surrounding Yellowstone National Park -- totaling more than 600,000 acres. There is, however, a significant holdout, and it's not some stalwart rancher determined to stick it to the feds. It's the century-old U.S. Agricultural Research Service's Sheep Experiment Station, which works to improve sheep production and conducts rangeland research. The facility summers its flocks on thousands of acres in the Centennial Mountains on the Idaho-Montana border, smack in the middle of prime grizzly habitat inside the "High Divide" -- a location that's spurred a bitter fight over where public-lands grazing is appropriate...more

API, IPAA criticize Salazar's plan to raise royalty rates

US Sec. of the Interior Ken Salazar’s plans to raise onshore oil and gas royalty rates by nearly 50% are a bad idea, the American Petroleum Institute and Independent Petroleum Association of America separately said on Feb. 16. Their statements came after Energy & Environment Daily reported that Salazar told the US House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on Feb. 15 that raising royalties for oil and gas produced from federal onshore acreage from 12.5% to 18.5% “is an appropriate fair market value rate.” The increase would fly in the face of the “all-in, all-of-the-above” energy strategy US President Barack Obama outlined in his State of the Union address, Independent Petroleum Association of America Pres. Barry Russell said. “While oil and gas production on public lands is one of the top sources of federal revenues, providing $10 billion in bids, rents and royalty payments in recent years, the proposed 50% increase in royalty payments will further deter production and stifle much-needed investment in American’s struggling economy,” he warned...more

Ken Salazar's "squeeze" budget still subsidizes grazing on public lands

The Salazar idea is that higher user fees and slashed expenses will help make new acquisitions possible. But one area that remains a loss leader has to do with the grazing fees imposed by the Bureau of Land Management; they're going up, too, but not nearly enough to cover the historic losses the government has sustained when dealing with the livestock industry. Livestock, mostly cattle and sheep, make use of more than two-thirds of the BLM's vast holdings in the West. Ranchers pay $21 million a year for the privilege -- but the program costs $144 million to administer and has long been a target of environmentalists and wild-horse advocates, who claim the true impacts of overgrazing haven't been figured in the official cost analysis. Under Salazar's proposed budget, the fee to graze a cow/calf pair or five head of sheep on BLM land would rise from $1.35 a month to $2.35. The cost of leasing comparable private land for grazing can rise to 10 times that amount or more. Less than 4 percent of the nation's cattle are estimated to use public lands, but it's been an inviolable bit of policy to keep the fees absurdly low. The last time a Secretary of the Interior tried to push through a substantial fee increase, back in the early days of the Clinton administration, it met fierce opposition from livestock producers and was promptly abandoned. The Colorado Springs-based Cloud Foundation, which has long pushed for a more dramatic fee increase, says Salazar's proposal will do little to help the wild horses that compete with grazing interests for forage on public lands. "We continue to request a reduction in the destructive overgrazing of livestock on public lands and to allocate a fair share of forage for wild horses and other wildlife," says Ginger Kathrens, the foundation's executive director...more

Feds identify 237,100 acres in Arizona for renewable energy projects

The Bureau of Land Management has recommended 237,100 acres of public land in Arizona are suitable for renewable energy development, part of an effort to speed up the process for clean-energy companies looking to set up shop in the state. The agency Friday released a draft environmental impact statement for its Restoration Design Energy Project, recommending a middle course among six alternatives that ranged in size from 43,700 acres to 321,500 acres. “Arizona has great potential to build a strong renewable energy economy,” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a prepared statement. The BLM project is unique to Arizona, but supporters said it is being looked at for other parts of the country. A similar effort has been launched across the West by the bureau...more

Cattle ranchers find themselves alone on the range

Tim Koopman is the first of four generations of cattlemen to take a second job, outside of his Sunol ranch. While both of his adult children own small beef operations, they too earn their livings from careers other than ranching. Koopman hopes to continue running his 150-head herd even if the ranch can't completely sustain them financially. But a number of American cattle families are throwing in their branding irons, either selling off their land or planting crops. While the price of beef is at record highs, the cost of doing business for some is impossible. The United States lost 9,000 beef operations from 2009 to 2010 (2011 numbers have not been released) and the inventory of cattle is the lowest since 1952, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As of Jan. 1, U.S. ranchers held 29.9 million head of beef cattle, down 3 percent from a year earlier. In California, there are fewer than 600,000 head - a number that neared a million 20 to 30 years ago, Kester said. The shrinking beef supply is affecting consumers, who on average paid 10 percent more per pound for meat in 2011 than they did the year before, said Steve Kay, editor and publisher of Cattle Buyers Weekly, a trade publication based in Petaluma. "Consumer prices could go up another 10 percent this year," he said. Still, demand hasn't faltered...more

Texas Blue Dogs

blue dog stuffed and mounted
My search for the blue dogs of Texas began in November 2004, when I visited a farm in Elmendorf, just south of San Antonio, where local rancher Devin McAnally had shot a hairless, blue-skinned canid in July that year (see FT199:48–49) (1). He took photographs of it to a local convenience store where one of the customers said that it looked just like “the chupacabra that her grandmother had told her about when she was a girl”. Thus was born the legend of the Texas chupacabra. I took one look at the bones of the unfortunate creature and was convinced that it was nothing of the sort. Meanwhile, the Elmendorf beast was discussed widely across the Internet and dismissed as a coyote with mange. Well, I was pretty sure that this couldn’t possibly be the answer either, and over the next six years I studied the matter from afar and hoped that I would eventually get back to Texas to investigate in person. In the spring of 2009 – thanks to the generosity of Richie and Naomi West – Corinna and I returned to Texas and became involved in the hunt for the blue dogs, as what started as a holiday became a full-scale investigation. Richie and Naomi had already visited Blanco, Texas, where another specimen was languishing in the deep freeze belonging to a local student taxidermist. He took a number of tissue samples, which were sent off for DNA analysis. The results have since come back from the Davis Labs, California: it was a coyote cross; although what it was crossed with proved impossible to isolate...more

Photographer shares stories from '100 Years, 100 Ranchers'

Scott T. Baxter
Western photographer Scott T. Baxter has spent the past eight years photographing families who have been ranching in Arizona since 1912 or earlier. The fruit of his labor, dubbed “100 Years, 100 Ranchers,” is on display through May 13 at Sky Harbor International Airport’s Terminal Four, in the form of large-format, black-and-white photographs. Baxter will give an insider’s account of the project Tuesday in Queen Creek, telling stories of the people he followed and how he crisscrossed the state, trying to capture their way of life before it disappears. He’ll also show about 25 images. “I really photographed this like I would have 100 years ago,” he says. “It was basically film and a lens and a tripod.” “100 Years, 100 Ranchers” is an official Arizona Centennial Legacy Project...more

Song Of The Day #777

We missed Swingin' Monday but here is Toe Tappin' Tuesday with the Buchanan Brothers performing their 1948 tune High Tempered Mama.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

Leaping into matrimony

 by Julie Carter

It comes around every fourth year –a February 29th on the calendar making it a leap year.

Somewhere in folklore, leap year was made into a tradition whereby it is allowable for women to propose marriage to men. Over the centuries, different countries adopted various versions of the tradition and even some penalties if the marriage proposal was refused.

To soften the blow to the pursuing female, a man denying her offer may have to give her a kiss, money or even a “silk gown”. In Denmark, refusal must be compensated by a dozen pair of gloves. In Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky and 20 percent of the engaged couples will intentionally avoid getting married in a leap year.

A victim of the Sadie Hawkins girl-catches-guy wedding plan, Sam decided to make it a party. When a wedding happens in ranch country, it’s a big deal. Not everybody wants to go to town to get “hitched.”
Sam selected one of his favorite spots on the ranch and his buddy Dave volunteered to slow roast a hog. The preacher was lined up and a keg of beer ordered. Yep, that should do it, Sam thought.

Mary Margaret had a few ideas of her own about how she thought the wedding should go. She bought the big white dress and lined up her bridesmaids to be dressed in pastels.

There was a slight hitch as one of the bridesmaids ordered her dress in a size smaller than actually required thinking her new diet would work. Plan B was to line up a cousin who was the right size
In the meantime, Dave butchered a hog, cut it up, seasoned and wrapped it. He dug the fire pit, lined the bottom with wood and went on to his other appointed wedding duties. He’d also been appointed shotgun bearer to follow the bride down the aisle and that required the ol’ double-barrel to be shined up.

Sam, indulging his bride in her desires, agreed to provide the music. The boom box was tested and required only an occasional slap on the side to keep it playing. Waylon and Willie would do fine.

Helpful neighbors had been designated to usher the guests away from the keg to the seating area and to keep the dogs quiet during the ceremony.

Sam was not as totally committed to this project as the bride would have liked, and in an effort to get him involved, she decided they should each write their own vows. 

Her vows were very lovely prose, mentioning hearts, flowers, lifelong commitment, a steady partner and love eternal. When his were finally, reluctantly, presented for inspection, she was somewhat taken aback. 

The only thing he had planned on saying was “I do. Let’s party.”

Vows said and sighs emitted, the wedding crowd moved down the hill to the patio to celebrate. The pig was unearthed only to discover the fire hadn’t been lit under it. However, this brought only some good-natured funnin’ at Dave, who apparently had lost his train of thought the night before while polishing the shotgun and sampling the keg.

The boom box quit working, and no amount of coaxing could revive it. As it turned out, the music wasn’t any more necessary to a good party than was the shotgun or the roast pig. The properly sampled beer fulfilled Dave’s wedding vow of “let’s party.”

You can’t say that cowboys don’t do things with style and grace. It simply depends on your definition of both.

Julie can be reached for comment at

Leaders are rare

When Words are defrauded
Leaders are rare
Words … Just Words!
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            The use of parables in our spiritual training are confounding and reassuring. On one hand, they paint a meaning of thought where words fail. On another, they leave the point open for interpretation. Being mere man, the outcome can be disappointing, and … confusing.
            On the other hand, words can be manipulated and altered to make a point. Perhaps the use of parables was adopted in the attempt to circumvent the expected fraudulent misuse or reinvention of words and their meanings.
            The symptoms of War and Words
            Those of us who live in the world of border conflict just as the state of Arizona encounters daily understand the frustration those state leaders face. They know the federal government is not looking out for their best interests. After all, the United States is suing Arizona for its attempt to take some control of the safety of its citizenry in the absence of federal actions.
            Arizona didn’t take that course without reason and didn’t engage in the process lightly. They believed in what they read in the Constitution. Article I, Sections eight and 10 contain words that should have specific and clearly defined meanings.
Section eight sets the stage that “The Congress … provide(s) for the common defence … (has the responsibility) to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations … (has the mandate) To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union … and (must) repel invasions.”
            In simple language, Section 10 goes on to remind Arizona and all other states that they cannot engage in War “unless actually invaded, or (are) in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.”
Arizonans, and all other state border county citizens, have come to recognize a foreign invasion when they live through a foreign invasion! When procedure and warning signs are created by government agencies to warn citizens and or to protect their employees from threat of death, a war, by any definition, is in progress.
            Very simply, Arizona is being invaded by a foreign Nation engaged in an illicit, unregulated trillion dollar commerce undertaking and is being sued by the federal government for trying to protect itself and its citizenry.
            The responsibility to explain with Words
            A major failure of our system is the dismissal of the intended power of local controls and power and the transfer of power to the federal level. Men allowed and prompted that to happen. Perhaps a more honest assessment of that dilemma is the likelihood that ambitious leaders manipulated the original intentions without adequate and moral adherence to the mandates set forth in words.
            A case in point is what Americans must understand about the Constitutional phrasing of “natural born citizen”. Without any question, the 1776 definition came from the prevailing wisdom of the time. That would imply that Vattel’s The Law of Nations or Principles of Natural Law would be the source of authority in the phrasing.
            The Founders and Framers were united to limit the President and the Commander in Chief to be a leader born “in the country” to “citizen fathers”.  The latter was modified to be set forth as “citizen parents”.
            The issue was practical. The common law leaning framers strongly believed this one, all important leader, must be born on American soil of two United States citizens. Only a candidate, under the unity of citizenship and native born allegiance to the United States, could be considered. They wanted no opportunity for a foreign monarch to hijack their government. They had had their fill of those folks.
            The failure of leaders to adhere to that standard eventually occurred. One occasion came with the 21st President Chester Arthur. Arthur was born of a Vermont (maybe even Canadian?) citizen mother and an Irish immigrant father. He should have been disallowed to fill, first the slot of vice president, and then the slot of president when Garfield was assassinated. Lackadaisical leadership allowed the abrogation of original intent to occur.
            More modern day occurrences included the likelihood that Arizonans Barry Goldwater and John McCain both failed to meet the standards. In Goldwater’s case, he was born in Arizona Territory prior to statehood. In McCain’s case, he was born in the Canal Zone either in a military hospital or a local hospital, but technically not on American soil in the context of the original meaning.
            Again, slothful leadership and citizen ignorance overlooked those departures from original intent. The Constitution is dynamic but a process is required to change it. If enough people agreed that changes needed to be made, they should have been made in order to correct deficiencies that technically left both Goldwater and McCain out of contention.
They weren’t. As such, both of these candidates should not have been allowed to run until the guiding document was honored. The method of change is fully described. The adjustment process was not only disregarded, but the rights of all Americans were placed in suspension. If it can happen once … it can happen repeatedly.
At a minimum, the current administrator’s qualification of natural born citizenship is in tatters. For starters, the 1776 adherence to citizen “father” is absent. The eventual wording of “citizen parents” is also in breach.
Vattel also clarified a child’s citizenship if the father’s citizenship does not qualify. The child could inherit the mother’s citizenry only if she was not married to the father at the time of birth.
A further review of the legal defense of challenges for the president’s natural born citizenry status yields no authority to overturn the wording of the Constitution. The repeated attempts to suggest the document is dynamic without formal change is meaningless. In order for it to be dynamic it still must be changed by legal process. It has not been. It can’t provide something out of wishes and words that don’t have legal standing.
The largely unreported tact to use the British Nationality Act of 1948 to somehow infer that this president’s father can be grandfathered into being a United States citizen is ludicrous. Although it gained no traction when it was tried, the current status of that Act must disallow any further notions … but it does highlight a matter of interest.
Only Section 3 of the Act survives. That section deals with only with “extra-territorial jurisdiction of crimes committed by British subjects overseas”!
The Gospel and Words
I listened to the president speak at the recent National Prayer Breakfast. His Bible must be different than mine. The use of scripture to defend the suggestion that any American is his brother’s keeper is simply wrong.
For starters where does “keeper” actually appear in the Bible?  It appears infrequently enough to list all the references. There were men who were keepers of ‘sheep’, ‘wardrobe’, ‘gate(s)’, ‘women’, ‘prison’, ‘mine head’, ‘watch’, ‘king’s forest’, ‘house’, ‘vineyards’, ‘field’, ‘door’, ‘charge’, and ‘home’.
A higher reference of ‘Keeper’ central to the president’s message appears only in two places. The use of ‘My brother’s keeper’ comes from Genesis 4: 9.
Let us remember the context of that discussion. God had just confronted Cain after Cain had slain his brother, Abel.
God asked Cain, “Where is your brother, Abel?”
“I don’t know,” Cain replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Is our welfare system predicated on this verse? If it is, we should all be reminded of what followed. It is profound if it, in fact, implies death in matters beyond simple physical death.
“What have you done?” God said, “Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground … When you work this ground it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”
Are we overlooking the most important part of this scripture?
Death can mean many things the least of which may be physical. The destruction of human ambition, hope, integrity, and honesty can be worse than death. It, too, can lead to despair and efforts that yield no harvest. Hasn’t our welfare system done that? Have we taken out of context the interpretation of our brother’s keeper to the detriment of all sides of the welfare debate?
The Keeper
That brings us to the cardinal reference of Keeper in the Bible. In Psalms 121: 5, the only relationship of “Keeper” is revealed between God and man or even man and man. The scripture reads:
“The Lord is your Keeper;
The Lord is your shade at your right hand.”
This president has overreached. Neither, he nor any man is authorized to create scripture. Likewise, no man is in charge of applying scripture to our lives for political expediency.
It is time we read and interpret the words for what they are. It is also time for all leaders to stop pursuing wrongful ambitions of deity status.

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher. “The Founders and Framers weren’t speaking in code, but they were people who were tired of monarchs who did.” 

THE WESTERNER Sez: The conservatimve movement had William F. Buckley. Looks like we have our own William F. Buckaroo.

Voodoo environomics

President Obama’s rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline wasn’t, as he claimed, based on science or the environment. It certainly wasn’t based on sound economic policy, either. The decision was, in fact, the product of voodoo environomics: a destructive blend of bad science based on fear-mongering and manipulated research, the bad economics of green-job fantasies and “starve the beast” energy politics. At the very heart of voodoo environomics, of course, is the much-hyped theory linking man-made carbon dioxide (CO2) and climate change. Without the world’s policy focus on CO2 emissions, climate-change alarmists would be robbed of the ammunition they need to change and control human behavior via draconian energy policies. They also would be robbed of the substantial financial support needed to continue their biased research. When adopted as official government policy, voodoo environomics can wreak havoc on the economy and represents a double whammy for working Americans. The admitted goal of CO2-slashing schemes such as “cap and trade” is to jack up the price of energies like gasoline and coal to make expensive alternative energies more competitive financially. Of course, their proponents hope you don’t realize that it’s ordinary Americans who are stuck paying higher prices for utilities and gasoline. But the hit working Americans take under voodoo environomics doesn’t end with higher utility bills and gas prices. In bowing to environmental extremists in rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline project, Mr. Obama has abandoned working Americans - or should I say unemployed Americans in search of good jobs?...more

Editorial: EPA document barrage adds nothing to fracking debate

The way it’s acting, we’d suggest a name change for the EPA. Let’s call it the Environmental Political Agency instead of the Environmental Protection Agency. Weeks late and reeling from criticism about its draft report linking groundwater contamination to hydraulic fracturing used in the oil and gas industry, the EPA took to the offensive and flooded everyone with more than 600 documents detailing its research on Pavillion’s fracking. The report’s release had curious timing when it was first made public. No one seemed to know it was coming. The report became a polarizing point in the debate about fracking. Opponents of fracking believed they finally had the evidence they’ve sought for so long: Scientific proof that hydraulic fracking poisons water supplies. Oil and gas officials assailed the shoddy science and questionable conclusions. Meanwhile, the EPA provided a casebook study for miscommunication, missteps and bad practice. Let’s review: The EPA says the groundwater it tested contained volatile organic compounds that could only have been introduced during the fracking process. Yet, the agency continues to skirt the fact that it didn’t follow correct laboratory procedures when testing the water. The draft report says so. In other words, the agency won’t even hold itself to its own standards. And, you can bet it wouldn’t accept such shoddy work from those it contracts with. The agency would have the public believe that violating these testing standards doesn’t result in a material difference. But, if that’s the case: Why do those standards exist? And, if water contamination is the central issue, how can the agency say for certain that its poor testing methods didn’t botch test results? Quite frankly, the EPA can release as many documents as it wants. Heck, release 6,000 instead of 600. But it still cannot find a credible reason to take it off the hook for poor results. And in science, garbage in will almost certainly yield garbage out. The EPA’s methodology was flawed and so we must only conclude its results are too. The entire handling of the EPA’s Pavillion report suggests something less noble than science going on. It suggests the Obama administration is on a fracking witch hunt and the facts be damned...more

Utah House panel OKs bill to let cities seize fed land

Utah lawmakers gave a quick green light to a bill proposing to let cities and counties take over federal land, despite strong warnings from legislative attorneys that it is almost certainly unconstitutional. "When it comes to public lands, I consider it a badge of honor to have a constitutional note," said Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, referring to the note from lawyers cautioning about the bill’s legality. The bill, HB511, passed easily — breezing through the House Natural Resources Committee on an 8-1 vote. Only one member, Rep. Doug Sagers, R-Tooele, questioned the legal analysis, which he said "paints a picture that’s not very pretty," but he voted for the bill. The Legislature’s lawyers said that cities and counties have no standing to exercise eminent domain over federal land and the law would violate a string of Supreme Court precedents and the Property Clause of the Constitution. Two years ago, Sumsion and Rep. Chris Herrod, R-Provo, sponsored legislation that would have let the state use eminent domain authority to seize land from the federal government. But the governor and attorney general have never exercised the authority. Now Sumsion, who is running against Gov. Gary Herbert, wants to extend the authority to cities and counties, which he acknowledges would be a useful tool for counties looking to expand oil and gas development and southern Utah counties where there are frequent clashes over access to federal lands...more

Montana OKs shooting bison leaving tolerance sites

Hunters will be allowed to shoot bison that migrate out of “tolerance” areas under a proposal approved Thursday by the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Commission. While the focus on the tolerance areas is north of Yellowstone National Park, discussion at Thursday’s FWP Commission meeting also covered whether those tolerance zones include areas outside the Fort Peck and Fort Belknap Indian reservations. Negotiations currently are under way between state and tribal officials regarding giving the tribes some captured bison that migrated north into Montana from Yellowstone. The commission also approved the regular 2012-2013 bison hunting season and quota, which is the same as previous years, and doesn’t have anything to do with hunting bison outside of the tolerance zone, according to FWP officials. Under the newest update to the Interagency Bison Management Plan, bison are allowed to roam on about 75,000 acres in Montana north of Yellowstone to Yankee Jim Canyon. Cattle guards, fences and topography are expected to make it difficult for bison to move beyond that area, but those that do may be hunted under the newest provision. Hunting bison outside the tolerance area will be used in conjunction with other bison management efforts, like hazing with helicopters or horses...more

Motel owner faces asset forfeiture despite innocence

THE MOTEL CASWELL, a modest motel just outside of Boston, has been owned by proprietor Russell H. Caswell’s family for 60 years. Now he may lose it, if the Justice Department gets its way. The motel is the target of an asset forfeiture proceeding that entitles the federal government to seize property that has been used in the commission of a crime. This is true even if the owner is not accused of criminal wrongdoing. Local law enforcement groups that team up with the federal government may be awarded up to 80 percent of the proceeds from such seizures. According to the Institute for Justice, which is representing Mr. Caswell, such “equitable sharing” payments from the federal government to states have increased dramatically in recent years, from $200 million in 2000 to roughly $400 million in 2008. A potential windfall is not the only reason local law enforcement organizations join in these proceedings. In many cases the federal law allowing civil asset forfeiture is more relaxed than local laws, which often set much higher bars before an owner may be stripped of his property...more

Song Of The Day #776

 Ranch Radio's Gospel tune this morning is You Must Come In At The Door by the Sons of the Pioneers.

The tune was recorded on December 14, 1937 and was released as Columbia FC-37439.  Band Members were Lloyd Perryman, Roy Rogers, Bob Nolan, Hugh Farr, Karl Farr and Robt. E. O'Brady.