Saturday, June 02, 2012

NM primary features bruising legislative races

An election-year battle for control of the New Mexico Legislature is under way and the political middle ground is under siege in several races in Tuesday's primary contests. With all seats in the Democratic-controlled Legislature up for grabs this year, Republicans hope to make gains in the House and Senate to give GOP Gov. Susana Martinez a better chance of advancing her policies. The primary election features contested races for 43 House and Senate seats, and two dozen incumbents face primary opponents. Some seats are open because incumbents decided to retire or run for another office. In several Senate races, there's a sharp ideological clash as moderate Democratic incumbents, including John Arthur Smith of Deming and Phil Griego of San Jose, face challenges from opponents backed by unions, environmentalists and other liberal-leaning interest groups. "The strategy of trying to affect the overall composition of the Legislature and include more liberals is going beyond just trying to elect Democrats in the general," said Brian Sanderoff, an Albuquerque pollster. "They're taking on safe Democratic seats and trying to impact the primaries. It's happened before and it will happen again but it seems to be a little more aggressive this time." Smith, the chairman of a Senate committee that handles the budget, has been targeted by an educational union upset with state spending cuts. An environmental group is spending money to oust Griego, the chairman of the Senate Corporations and Transportation Committee, and Democratic Sen. David Ulibarri of Grants...more

The Westerner's Radio Theater #033

Today Ranch Radio brings you the August 18, 1946 broadcast of the All Star Western Theater with special guest star Jimmy Wakely.

Friday, June 01, 2012

All (Green) Thumbs

It was interesting while it lasted. But it looks as if the “green revolution” has entered the long slide into “What was all that about?” In January, the Spanish government ended absurdly lavish subsidies for its renewable-energy industry, and the renewable-energy industry all but imploded. You could say it was never a renewable-energy industry at all. It was a government-subsidy industry where in exchange for creating conscience-soothing but otherwise inefficient windmills and solar panels, the government gave the makers piles of cash consumers never would have. “They destroyed the Spanish market overnight with the moratorium [on subsidies],” European Wind Energy Association CEO Christian Kjaer told Bloomberg News. The reason the Spanish example is so important is that it demonstrates how the whole green-energy “revolution” was really an ideologically driven green boondoggle from the start. At the beginning of his administration, President Obama insisted that if we didn’t follow their lead, we would surrender the hugely profitable renewable-energy sector to those sagacious Spaniards...The evidence that this administration put cronyism and ideology ahead of reality is all around us. “Since 2009,” reports the Wall Street Journal, “the Obama administration has awarded more than $1 billion to American companies to make advanced batteries for electric vehicles. Halfway to a six-year goal of producing one million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, auto makers are barely at 50,000 cars.” Well, that leaves just 950,000 cars to go...It seems as if Obama at least understands the tough choices he faces. In 2009, the president’s Earth Day message was stridently dedicated to climate change. In 2012, it didn’t even mention the word “climate.” The administration wants everyone to believe it supports “fracking” and natural-gas development. When Energy Secretary Steven Chu said he prefers high gasoline prices, the administration all but defenestrated the guy. Much to the chagrin of the green lobby, Obama will not be attending this year’s Earth Summit. Heck, the current picture on the White House’s energy and environment page even shows Obama happily walking past a stack of oil pipes. Subtle...more

Lawmakers nudge spy agencies into anti-drug fight on US public land

The nation's spy agencies are drawn deeper into the fight against illegal-drug production on U.S. public land under an intelligence bill that the House of Representatives approved Thursday. Pushed by lawmakers from California, where Mexico-based gangs use parks and national forests for nefarious purposes, the bill makes permanent a one-time study initiated last year. Now the overseer of the nation's sprawling intelligence community will have to report annually on actions against "international drug-trafficking organizations" that exploit public land. The bill still must go through the Senate and be signed by the president; no obstacles are apparent. The potentially affected public lands include more than 444 million acres managed by the Interior Department and 193 million acres managed by the Forest Service across the country. Western states, in particular, have become notorious for marijuana and methamphetamine production in national forests and on other public land. More than 77,000 acres in California are used to grow marijuana, according to a 2010 estimate from the Central Valley High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area program. Nationwide, 2.3 million marijuana plants were reported destroyed on Forest Service land in fiscal 2011, a decrease from previous years. Many of the workers, moreover, are foreign-born and undocumented, reflecting what U.S. officials say is the dominant role played by Mexico-based gangsters. Of 2,334 marijuana sites seized in national forests in California from 2005 to 2010, 1,437 were being tended by illegal immigrants, according to the Forest Service. Thompson, whose Northern California district is home to several national forests, authored last year's study requirement as well as this year's extension. Although it isn't a direct order for anything beyond an annual report, the congressional mandate may be a nudge to National Security Agency eavesdroppers, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency map-makers and 14 other federal agencies that make up the intelligence community...more

You no longer just have to worry about the FS, BLM, USFWS & EPA spying on that's not enough...add the CIA and 14 others federal agencies.

NM Governor tours fire area; promises state support

Gov. Susana Martinez visited the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Incident Command Post here on Thursday to tour the area and get an assessment on what is now the largest wildfire in the state's history. The fire grew to more than 190,000 acres on Thursday and is now 5 percent contained. It has cost about $9 million to date. It's always important to come out to these fires, said Martinez during a media briefing after meeting with officials. To make sure that the people in the community are receiving good, accurate information and are getting it on a consistent basis. During the briefing, Martinez spoke about fire crews' priorities, which included protecting the nearby communities of Mogollon, Glenwood and Willow Creek with continued burnout operations and structure protection, as well as about crews' strategies for dealing with the low humidity and wind that has been plaguing firefighting efforts. The New Mexico State Police have joined the effort, assigning eight uniformed officers to help provide 24-hour response for the next seven days to support federal, state, county, and local assets and citizens in the fire area. They will assist with security patrols, traffic control, evacuations, and calls for service as needed or requested by the Forest Service and other agencies and provide law enforcement presence in Mogollon, high visibility patrols and security in and around the fire operation area, security to evacuated areas and traffic control as needed. They will be working in concert with the Catron County Sheriff s Department...more

Tombstone a Cautionary Tale for Mesquite

Tombstone, Arizona should be a cautionary tale of what could possibly become Mesquite’s fate if environmental groups succeed in declaring a large swath of the Gold Butte desert region a National Conservation Area with Wilderness. On May 16, the Goldwater Institute, a conservative-based organization, filed an emergency appeal of U.S. District Court Judge Frank Zapata’s decision that denies the small Arizona town from repairing its primary water source apparatus that lies within a federally-declared wilderness area. After fire and floods severely damaged Tombstone’s water reservoir and water lines with huge boulders and up to 12 feet of mud, the U.S. Forest Service denied the town access to fix the water source with all but the most primitive tools. According to the Wilderness Act of 1964, all areas designated as Wilderness must be limited to non-motorized, non-mechanized tools and travel. So workers trying to fix the reservoir and pipelines are limited to using shovels carried in on foot to make repairs. The Virgin Valley Water District holds the water rights to 2,154 acre feet of water located in the Nickel Creek area within the current Gold Butte Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC). The area, 350,000 acres, is being considered for adoption as a National Conservation Area with Wilderness. According to Ken Rock, VVWD General Manager, that amount of water is enough to supply about 5,254 equivalent residential units (ERU) or approximately that many homes. Rock adds that the water would best be accessed with a horizontal well rather than a vertical well. It would require the construction of “a fair-sized pipeline in some tough area, but it could be done – certainly for that much water. And, we could get substantial hydroelectric power from the descending water. The water won’t have an arsenic issue, we believe.” While the Water District will always hold the Nickel Creek water rights even if the area is declared an NCA with Wilderness, no one refutes that, using Tombstone as an example, it may not matter...more

Bear attacks, injures woman at Ariz. campground

A bear attacked and injured a 74-year-old Arizona woman camping east of Payson in northern Arizona on Thursday, and now hounds and men are tracking the animal to put it down. The Apache Junction woman had minor bruises and a cut to her face after the black bear ripped a hole in the tent where she, her husband and dog had been sleeping at a campground in the Tonto National Forest, said Jim Paxon, a spokesman with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. The couple was able to scare off the large adult bear by making a lot of commotion. "They are very, very lucky," Paxon said. "Anytime a bear rips through a tent and enters it with humans in it, that's a pretty big threat."...more

Paul Bunyan Acquitted

Lumberjacks the world over can celebrate Paul Bunyan’s victory in a historic criminal case—all thanks to the hard work of a New Haven fifth-grade class and a lawyer named Slick. Bunyan’s acquittal took place Thursday, the final day of a month-long mock trial run by John C. Daniels School students and teachers. Fifth graders from the school played many roles in the final day of proceedings in New Haven’s U.S District Court building on Church Street—including defendants, prosecutors, defense attorneys, witnesses, courtroom sketchers, jurors, translators, and clerks. They received advice from a volunteer team of Yale-New Haven Hospital legal staff. A real-life judge—the Honorable Antonio C. Robaina—presided over the case and took questions from the students. The mock trial began a month ago, when the Forest Service and several other government agencies sued Paul Bunyan and his well-known associate Blue the Ox for hurting the environment...more

The kids get it...and now for the adults?

Steve Pearce - Responsible forest management is imperative

For two weeks, a massive fire has burned nearly 200,000 acres in the Gila Wilderness and National Forest. This blaze, known as the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire, began by a lightning strike, and is well on its way to becoming the worst fire in our state’s history.

We appreciate the heroic efforts of the more than 1,000 personnel battling this inferno. These heroes put their lives on the line to help others, and show us what it truly means to be a public servant.

Still, thousands of New Mexicans continue to wonder why our forests are allowed to become powder kegs that invite bigger and hotter fires every summer. It isn’t a matter of if our beautiful state’s forests are going to burn—it is only a matter of when.

It does not have to be this way. The biggest hindrance is the U.S. Forest Service bureaucracy in Washington, which caters to extreme interest groups that stop responsible forest management. Because the Forest Service refuses to permit logging in our forests, they are overcrowded with trees that go up in flames during droughts, and invite massive conflagrations like we see in the Gila. It would be far easier to thin the forest conscientiously in advance than resort to emergency fire suppression, which risks lives and property.

Special interest groups claim that we must lock up our forests, and tie the hands of local Forest Service administrators by threatening lawsuits every time a responsible forest management policy is proposed. This must stop. Not only do these policies lead to massive destruction of our forests and private dwellings within the forests. The environmental degradation these groups claim to want to avoid occurs on a massive scale through air pollution and the total destruction of habitat, endangered species, and everything else in the fire’s path.

As chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus, I implore the Forest Service to unleash the creativity of their local forest rangers and administrators to prepare management plans that suit their specific needs, instead of catering to one-size-fits-all fixes that please extremists, destroy our property, and leave average New Mexicans holding the bag of ruined land and forests that will not grow. Only a miniscule percentage of our forests are set to be thinned each year, which is insufficient, and will not solve this decades-old problem.

On Saturday, June 2nd, I will be in Glenwood to tour the damaged area, meet with first responders, and learn directly from those most affected by this tragedy. It is vital that elected officials keep in touch with the people on the ground, and ensure that their personal stories are shared with distant bureaucrats in order to improve public policy. It is time to share these stories and insist that responsible forest management be implemented for the safety of New Mexicans.

Rep. Pearce (R-N.M.) is chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus.

The Hill

Government lines up $1.4 billion for conservation property purchases

Controversial legislation tucked into a contentious highway-funding bill gives state and federal governments $1.4 billion to buy private property for new conservation efforts and adds even more inventory to the nation’s 635 million acre holding. Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, says this two-year funding mechanism for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) is “particularly egregious” because the government doesn’t have billions of dollars needed to care for the vast holdings. “The mandatory buying of more land under LWCF is a fiscal dereliction of duty—especially since the government can’t afford to maintain the lands it already owns,” Hastings said. Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah) agrees the federal government is not always a good steward of the land; especially in his state where a law was recently passed demanding Washington return to its control 30 million acres of federal lands within its borders. The sentiment in Utah is reminiscent of the “Sagebrush Rebellion” of the 1970s when Western states protested federal control over grazing rights, mining, logging and other activities on land within its borders. However, the presidential election of Ronald Reagan quelled the range war not long after an address he gave in August 1980 in Salt Lake City, Utah: “I happen to be one who cheers and supports the ‘Sagebrush Rebellion.’ Count me in as a rebel.” Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert signed the land transfer measure in March directing Washington to return 30 million acres to state control...more

Secretary Salazar Renews Nation's Commitment to Wetland and Waterfowl Conservation Blueprint

Today at the 75th anniversary National Conference of Ducks Unlimited, Inc., Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed the 2012 Revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan, reaffirming the Department’s commitment to one of the largest and most successful continent-wide conservation initiatives ever undertaken. “The 2012 Revision of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan provides a renewed and energized vision for the future of waterfowl and wetlands conservation,” Salazar said. “The blueprint lays out an adaptable waterfowl management strategy that leverages international resources to ensure abundant waterfowl populations and preserves habitat to support hunting and other recreational uses.” First signed in 1986 by the United States and Canada, with Mexico becoming a signatory in 1994, the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) is an international strategy for conserving migratory waterfowl throughout the continent. It has remained a leading model for other international conservation plans, in large measure because it is an evolving document that is updated periodically with engagement and input from the waterfowl conservation community. The North American Waterfowl Management Plan is implemented largely by public-private partnerships known as Migratory Bird Joint Ventures. As of 2011, the Joint Ventures in the U.S. and Canada had collectively conserved more than 15.7 million acres of habitat. Over the course of their history, 18 U.S. Joint Venture partnerships have leveraged every dollar of allocated Congressional funds into an average of $35 in matching funds...more

The new plan is available here.

Interior secretary backs World Heritage proposal

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is expected to announce today that he has approved the nomination of the San Antonio missions as a World Heritage site. Salazar, speaking at Mission San José late Thursday at a dinner of the 15th annual international symposium of the U.S. International Council on Monuments and Sites, surprised guests by revealing he decided to support the nomination. Salazar's action would send the nomination to a committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization for approval. Salazar said he believes the five Spanish missions already comprise a World Heritage site, even though there currently is no designated site in Texas. “It already is, and now we're going to try to get this done,” Salazar told about 350 people, including some 200 delegates from Italy, Egypt, Cuba and other nations. In comments to the crowd, Salazar spoke of the missions as a reminder that regardless of ethnicity, language, religion and other cultural factors, “we are all one people all over this world.” “No matter what part of the planet you are from, we are all God's people,” he said...more

54 Trails Added To National Trails System In Advance Of National Trails Day

With National Trails Day arriving Saturday, hikers, bikers, and paddlers in 23 states will have access to a new national recreation trails in their respective states. On Thursday the secretary of the Interior and the National Park Service director announced the designation of 54 trails. If combined end-to-end, they would stretch almost 1,400 miles. “From Alabama to Alaska, these national recreation trails provide a gateway to outdoor recreation in both urban and rural areas,” said Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. "I am proud to partner with communities across the nation to expand this extraordinary network of trails, allowing more Americans to enjoy the great outdoors.” “Today’s trails join a network of more than 1,150 previously-designated trails that span more than 13,650 miles," said Park Service Director Jarvis. “As we celebrate National Trails Day on Saturday, I encourage everyone to explore a trail – new or old – and enjoy the natural world.” The national trail system has become so extensive that if all the trails were laid end to end they would cross the entire country more than four times, offering millions of Americans opportunities to bike, hike, paddle and spend time with their family and friends outdoors, Mr. Jarvis noted...more

One trail is in New Mexico, and here is what their release says about it:

High Desert Trail System
Atop the mesas overlooking Gallup, the High Desert Trail System engages riders and runners of every skill level. Fast and fun single-track trails with great vistas and cap rocks go from easy beginner to intermediate to technical in a series of three stacked loops. The 11.2 miles of trails also connect two
low-income communities and serve as a backbone among many cultural and recreational resources. The system, named after the late Charles High, is the culmination of a unique, multi-partner effort.

Song Of The Day #847

Ranch Radio continues with some rarities from Hillbilly Researcher.  Get your weekend started with Louisiana Boogie by the cajun fiddler Harry Choates.

Turn that volume up so your neighbors can enjoy it too!

Conservative groups target farm bill

Conservative groups have made it official — they hate the Senate farm bill and will push Tea Party fiscal hawks in Congress to defeat it. Heritage Action and Club for Growth on Tuesday told The Hill they will “key vote” the Senate farm bill that is coming up for passage in early June, punishing members on their annual scorecards for voting in favor of the bill. “We’re against it. We haven’t key voted it yet, but we will eventually. I suspect that fiscally conservative resistance will be high, probably even higher than the highway bill,” said Club for Growth vice president Andrew Roth. Heritage Action said it will key vote the Senate farm bill out of opposition to the new spending in the legislation on crop insurance, meant to cover farmers’ small losses. The group also believes the bill does not cut enough from food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). “Conservatives should not be distracted by the end of direct payments in the Senate farm bill. Not only does the bill funnel millions to specialty crops while creating a new and potentially costly subsidy in shallow loss insurance, it also fails to make necessary structural reforms to the SNAP program,” Heritage Action CEO Michael Needham said in an emailed statement. Club for Growth and Heritage Action have played central roles in mobilizing conservatives in recent months, exerting particular influence with the large Tea Party caucus...more

It's about time.

U.S. Protects the Internet

This month, the United Nations revived a latent desire to wrest control of the Internet away from the United States. Congress, the State Department, and Americans of all political stripes should join with those who revere free expression and steadfastly oppose the scheme. In our ceaselessly over-governed age, the Internet serves as a shining example of the virtue of decentralized free enterprise and of America’s commitment to free expression. With the egregious exception of the totalitarian and theocratic states, governments play very little role in the content of the Web. In most countries, private businesses and agencies provide Internet access, Web hosting, and domain-name registration, and leave it to free individuals to do the rest. There is minimal regulation. It is no accident that there is no equivalent to the DMV in cyberspace; the majority of Internet users do not require licenses for anything they do online — a credit card will suffice. Scattered, raw, and unregulated as it is, the Internet does have a couple of centralized elements. The first is a small file referred to as the “DNS Root Zone.” Put extremely simply, this is the apex of a master list of website addresses or “domain names,” such as “” This list is necessary in order to avoid multiple and contradictory registrations of the same address; think of it as the Internet’s Rolodex. The second is the allocation of “IP addresses,” which — again, to put it extremely simply — are the “phone numbers” used by each computer to contact and be contacted by others. Since 1998, these two services have been administered by a private Californian non-profit called ICANN, which is overseen with a very light touch by the U.S. Department of Commerce. (Prior to the creation of ICANN, the U.S. government ran the list in-house.) Ultimately, it is American control of these two vital services that so vexes the likes of Russia and China. And given the potential of the Internet to undermine the authority of authoritarian regimes, their chagrin is understandable...more

The Perfect Storm over Craig, Colorado - video

The town of Craig, CO is dependent on the production of affordable and reliable coal energy. The onslaught of federal and state regulations on coal energy is causing this town economic hardship. Many do not realize that policy have direct consequences on individual lives...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

California environmentalists say logging a burned forest near Tahoe threatens rare woodpecker

Rare woodpecker chicks in burned forest stands at Lake Tahoe won’t survive if the U.S. Forest Service proceeds with a contentious post-fire logging project, according to conservationists pressing the agency to postpone cutting around the trees until after the nesting season in August. The John Muir Project is asking for the delay while awaiting a ruling on an appeal to the 9th U.S. Circuit aimed at blocking what’s left of the salvage logging operation where the Angora Fire five years ago burned more than 3,000 acres and 254 homes on the edge of South Lake Tahoe. Chad Hanson, the group’s executive director, documented black-backed woodpecker chicks this week in at least one nest in the cavity of a standing dead tree at the project site and suspects there are more...more

EPA told to come clean on feedlot flyovers

A spy in the sky over Nebraska and Iowa has gotten under the hides of some livestock producers and their representatives in Washington. The Environmental Protection Agency’s aerial photo surveillance of livestock feeding operations in both states flew under the radar for nearly two years. But now the flyover program, conducted to help enforce the Clean Water Act, has prompted a demand for answers from all five members of Nebraska’s congressional delegation. The delegation delivered a joint letter Tuesday to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson, listing 25 questions about the legality of the surveillance and the privacy rights of business owners. Although the letter stopped short of calling for an end to the flyovers, the two senators and three representatives want to know more about their purpose. In 2010, Nebraska had 862 concentrated animal feeding operations and Iowa 1,607, making them the two leading livestock states in Region 7, says the agency’s website. The region also includes Kansas and Missouri. Among the questions posed by the congressional delegation’s letter: How many flyovers have been conducted? What are the criteria to identify an operation for surveillance? Have the flyovers resulted in fines against producers? Are the photographs shared with other agencies or individuals? The letter also posed a much broader question: “On what statutory authority is the EPA relying to conduct aerial surveillance inspections?”...more

Here is the letter:

Drought, policy changes may spark more huge fires

A massive wildfire in the New Mexico wilderness that already is the state's largest blaze ever has grown to nearly 300 square miles as it spreads in all directions, and experts say conditions are ripe this season for similar massive blazes across the West. Persistent drought, climate change and shifts in land use and firefighting strategies mean western states likely will see giant fires that will require hundreds, if not thousands, of firefighters on-site. Other reasons states in the West will see more massive fires this season is because, coupled with drought and dry climate, crews have experienced changes in firefighting strategies and agencies have changed some policies in fighting wildfires in isolated areas, Pyne said. "In the last 20 years or so, agencies have generally been reluctant to put firefighters at risk in remote areas," he said. "It wasn't like that decades ago." Instead, Pyne said agencies have focused attention on burnout operations until conditions are safe to begin containment. Not that those practices and the larges fires are bad things, Pyne said. For example, he said the Gila Wilderness has been a target for controlled burns. "So maybe," Pyne said, "this is how it's supposed to happen."...more 

That last quote will get some attention.

Wyoming senator campaigns for Hatch

Another day, and another western senator visited Utah to campaign for Sen. Orrin Hatch on Wednesday. Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., joined Hatch for a series of meetings with energy, farm and business groups, a day after Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, spent Tuesday campaigning with him during the Senate’s Memorial Day recess. "When Orrin Hatch stands up to talk — whether it’s on the Senate floor, or in our closed conferences with just Republican senators — everybody listens. They don’t listen to every senator," Barrasso told the Utah Farm Federation Bureau in one meeting. Hatch is facing a June 26 primary against Dan Liljenquist. "We all know that there are some good things that they [environmentalist groups] want, and we are supportive of them. But I’ll say this: Not many of them, as far as I’m concerned. They are not my favorite people in reality," Hatch told the Farm Bureau. "I think they are taking this country down the primrose path to destruction." Hatch added about Obama, "He has no idea about what our problems are out here in the West."...more

Hatch's quotes demonstrate the problem with the old-line Republicans.

"We all know that there are some good things that they [environmentalist groups] want, and we are supportive of them." and  "I think they are taking this country down the primrose path to destruction."  The two don't go together and Hatch still doesn't realize this. 

Let's put it this way:  would you say "good things" about groups who are "taking this country down the primrose path to destruction"?

Song Of The Day #846

Ranch Radio rarities continues with some sho'nuff country from Hillbilly Researcher. Today's tune is P'Roxide Blond by Toby Stroud.

An Old Horsewoman


When I Am An Old Horsewoman
I shall wear turquoise and diamonds,
And a straw hat that doesn’t suit me
And I shall spend my social security on
white wine and carrots,
And sit in my alleyway of my barn
And listen to my horses breathe.
I will sneak out in the middle of a summer night
And ride the old bay gelding,
Across the moonstruck meadow
If my old bones will allow
And when people come to call, I will smile and nod
As I walk past the gardens to the barn
and show instead the flowers growing
inside stalls fresh-lined with straw.
I will shovel and sweat and wear hay in my hair
as if it were a jewel
And I will be an embarrassment to ALL
Who will not yet have found the peace in being free
to have a horse as a best friend
A friend who waits at midnight hour
With muzzle and nicker and patient eyes
For the kind of woman I will be
When I am old.
-Author Unknown

Wyoming Gov. Mead asks feds to delist grizzlies

Gov. Matt Mead is calling on the federal government to end federal protections for grizzly bears in the greater Yellowstone area. Mead wrote to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last week saying that the gravity of the bear situation around the nation's oldest national park cannot be overemphasized. Mead said bears killed four people in the area over the past two years. Biologists estimate the Yellowstone area had nearly 600 bears last year. The area includes parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho...more

Coyotes spur concern among walkers, pet owners

Las Cruces - Sharon Reiter has noticed coyotes for several years in the large desert patch near her neighborhood, just east of the city's big flood control dam. But this year, something is different. "The population density is increasing. They have no competitors, and they have no threats, and they've become quite bold," she said. Reiter's concerns heightened a few weeks ago, when she and a friend were walking the stretch of desert, located east of Roadrunner Parkway and west of Telshor Boulevard. They were keeping their eyes on three coyotes ahead of them, when two other people in the desert "brought to our attention there were three coyotes stalking us," she said. Reiter said she and her friend turned around to find three different coyotes behind them, about 20 yards away, closer than the coyotes that were ahead. "I didn't realize they were behind us; so that's disconcerting," she said. Reiter, a Frontier Drive resident, said she's had other uncomfortable encounters - such as when a coyote chased a dog she was walking - and is aware of similar incidents of coyotes harassing dogs that were being walked in the dam area. And she's met at least a few people who have taken to carrying firearms on their walks, she said...more

Wall Street Journal Catches On to the Green Campaign Against Natural Gas

Reason told you so a while back, i.e., the environmentalist lobby that had once touted natural gas as the "bridge fuel" to renewable power future had turned against it. Why? Because the renewables they favor can't compete with cheap abundant natural gas. Now the Journal has noticed the green flip-flop on gas and is reporting: of the most powerful environmental lobbies, the Sierra Club, is mounting a major campaign to kill the industry.

The battle plan is called "Beyond Natural Gas," and Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune announced the goal in an interview with the National Journal this month: "We're going to be preventing new gas plants from being built wherever we can." The big green lobbying machine has rolled out a new website that says "The natural gas industry is dirty, dangerous and running amok" and that "The closer we look at natural gas, the dirtier it appears; and the less of it we burn, the better off we will be." So the goal is to shut the industry down, not merely to impose higher safety standards.

This is no idle threat. The Sierra Club has deep pockets funded by liberal foundations and knows how to work the media and politicians. The lobby helped to block new nuclear plants for more than 30 years, it has kept much of the U.S. off-limits to oil drilling, and its "Beyond Coal" campaign has all but shut down new coal plants. One of its priorities now will be to make shale gas drilling anathema within the Democratic Party.

The political irony is that not too long ago the Sierra Club and other greens portrayed natural gas as the good fossil fuel. The Sierra Club liked natural gas so much (and vice versa) that from 2007-2010 the group received $26 million in donations from Chesapeake Energy and others in the gas industry, according to an analysis by the Washington Post. Some of that money was for the Beyond Coal campaign.

One reason for this once-mutual affection is that natural gas produces much less carbon emissions than does coal—and the Sierra Club claims to want fewer such emissions...

But now that the hydraulic fracturing and shale revolution has sent gas prices down to $2.50, the lobby fears natural gas will come to dominate U.S. energy production. At that price, the Sierra Club's Valhalla of wind, solar and biofuel power may never be competitive. So the green left has decided it must do everything it can to reduce the supply of gas and keep its price as high as possible.


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bucky's Birthday Bash + Bucky's Comments on Forest Service

Hi Everyone,
  I wanted to give everyone an idea as to what has happened in the Glenwood area in the last week.
  There are two fires that started this big fire.
  The Mogollon Creek- Mogollon Blady fire. This fire was on Mogollon Creek area on the south side of Gila.
It was 6 to 8 plums that were started by lightning. The USFS has at least 10 days before winds came to put this out. The USFS called it a management fire that was in an old burn area.
  According to Ralph Pope, who is a retired USFS fire team-management officer, says these are bad to let burn.
  The White Water Baldy fire which started in the head of White Water Creek is and was the fire that theaten Mogllon and burned 13 houses in Willow Creek.
  The USFS had a 2 day window to put this fire out before winds came.
  Once again the USFS has done what it is the best at. Burning down or Forest.
  If they can't lock us off, they will burn it down in the name of money!!!!!!!!
  They had a meeting here in Glenwood last night to blow smoke up everybodies ass and thats just what the Fire team leader (Tony Somthing from Prescott, AZ.) Pat Morrison, Glenwood District Range, and Danny Montoya did. Excuses and lies!!!
  There is just to much USFS BS to talk about right now. The USFS needs to be shut down!!!!!!
  The Birtyday Bash at this point is still on. Now I really need your help. Please contact everyone you can and try to get them to attend. All this crap on TV and In the news rags around the state is USFS born BS.
  At this time we have smoke. Some days worse and some days not so bad. We have all breathed trail dust so don't let that stop you from coming. Glenwood right now is in no danger of fire or fire evacuation!!!
  For those of you that are on the NMOHVA Board and are not right here to see what is going on I want to urge NMOHVA to investigate this whole fiasco!!! The USFS has been trying to lock us off of the forest we enjoy and now they are burning it down.
  They always screw aroung with fire when it is dry dry dry and knowing there will be wind they let fires burn or they set them off as controlled burns. Its BS and the USFS needs to pay the price for thier screw ups.
  Joanne and Mark please forware this letter to Board members I missed.
  All of you forgive my spelling and grammer. I hated School.

Capture of marauding Alberta grizzly spurs relocation debate

Fish and Wildlife officers’ discovery of a mammoth grizzly bear in southern Alberta has renewed a debate on dealing with the threatened species. Last month, officers transported a 250-kilogram, adult male grizzly bear from Chain Lakes to Grande Cache after complaints calves had been attacked. However, a conservation specialist said Tuesday that relocating grizzlies “isn’t fixing any problems.” “There’s often a root problem,” said Nigel Douglas with the Alberta Wilderness Association. “What’s attracting the bear there in the first place?” Douglas said. “All we’re seeing is blame the bear and take it away.” In April, Officers were called about 130 kilometres south of Calgary on reports a calf was fatally bitten by canine teeth. Another calf carcass belonging to the same livestock producer turned up dead days later. The bear was eventually caught, tagged with an ear tracer and inner-nostril microchip and had a DNA sample extracted, according to a report from the Alberta Solicitor General and Public Safety office. Twenty-four bears were relocated in 2011, according to provincial reports. That’s up from 15 in 2010 and 19 in 2009...more

Not much of an article, but dang, I sure wanted to post that picture. 

Baucus, Tester want brucellosis off security list

U.S. Sens. Jon Tester and Max Baucus are asking federal health officials to lift security restrictions on the bacteria that causes a disease found in wildlife in and around Yellowstone National Park. The Montana Democrats said Tuesday that the restrictions are making research into a possible vaccine for the disease brucellosis more difficult and expensive. Brucellosis can cause pregnant livestock and wildlife to miscarry. Human infections are uncommon and can be treated. The government lists the bacteria as a possible biological warfare agent, which the senators say is “absurd” given that brucellosis is prevalent in the wild...more

Is Advocating the Paleo Diet Against the Law?

Free speech is all too often a joke in this land, and one of the more ridiculous attempts to shut people up by law is hooked to "occupational licensing." Sometimes, says the government, you can only say certain things if some state-powered cartel gives you legal permission to do so. The state of North Carolina's attempts to shut down Steve Cooksey's blog about how he believes the paleo diet helped him deal with diabetes on the grounds that he needs to be licensed by the state's Board of Dietetics/Nutrition is one of the sillier, and yet still grossly offensive, such cases to arise lately. The Institute for Justice agrees, and has stepped in to file a lawsuit, Cooksey v. Futrell et al., in federal court against the state Board, which will be officially filed tomorrow, to stand up for Cooksey's right to speak what he thinks is true about diet and diabetes...more

Here's their video on the case:

Song Of The Day #845

Ranch Radio will wind up this short week with some real rarities from Hillbilly Researcher records.  First up is some sho'nuff country with Curly Long singing The Blues Just Walked In.

Spain Ejects Clean-Power Industry

Spanish renewable-energy companies that once got Europe’s biggest subsidies are deserting the nation after the government shut off aid, pushing project developers and equipment-makers to work abroad or perish. Saddled with a budget deficit more than twice the European Union limit and a ballooning gap between income and costs in its power system, Spain halted subsidies for new renewable-energy projects in January. The surprise move by Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy one month after taking office helped pierce investor confidence in stable aid for clean energy across Europe. “They destroyed the Spanish market overnight with the moratorium,” European Wind Energy Association Chief Executive Officer Christian Kjaer said in an interview. “The wider implication of this is that if Spanish politicians can do that, probably most European politicians can do that.”...more 

About this, Hot Air says:

 Environmentalists may argue that our worldwide fossil fuel-based energy infrastructure isn’t sustainable in the long term — even though the evidence for imminent climate-change and peak-oil crises are extremely dodgy, at best — but fiscal insolvency is demonstrably unsustainable in the long term.

Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire largest in New Mexico history

A massive wildfire that has burned more than 265 square miles in the Gila National Forest has become the largest fire in New Mexico history, fire officials confirmed Wednesday. The erratic blaze grew overnight to more than 170,000 acres, surpassing a blaze last year that burned 156,593 acres in Los Conchas and threatened the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the nation's premier nuclear facility. The Gila forest fire is also the largest currently burning in the country. It formed last week when two lightning-sparked blazes merged in an isolated mountainous area in southwestern New Mexico, where it has destroyed about a dozen homes and prompted evacuations of nearby towns and health alerts for some of the state's largest cities. Fire information officer Jerry Perry said about 1,200 firefighters from around the state were battling the growing blaze, but that they continue to face low humidity and shifting winds in their efforts. "We still facing adverse weather conditions that are posing a challenge," Perry said. "We're doing a lot of burnout operations and yesterday we had to deal with a lot of spot fires." The fire has not been contained, and officials worry that shifting winds and dryness related to the state's record drought may cause the blaze to grow even more...more

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Conservation agreements try to head off endangered species listings

...Spring also heralds another local rite: In meeting rooms, public-lands ranchers, wildlife biologists, mountain bikers and government officials gather to discuss how to help the Gunnison grouse. The working group is close to committing to a voluntary plan with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the Gunnison grouse and its public-land habitat. Candidate conservation agreements, as these plans are called, are often intended to keep a species from being listed. But land managers aren't assuming this last-minute agreement will keep the grouse off the roster. Instead, stakeholders hope that the recovery measures will be good enough so that, even if the grouse is listed, restrictions placed on land use will be less severe. With reams of other listing decisions now looming, participation in candidate agreements is growing in the West. More than 1,000 plants and animals are slated for decisions by 2018 under settlement agreements between Fish and Wildlife and two environmental groups. The Gunnison grouse's conservation agreement will cover 397,000 acres of public lands, two-thirds of the bird's occupied habitat. It will keep recreation and ranching away from leks during key periods, and also monitor the impacts of roads, trails and grazing. Land managers have previously evaluated such disturbances separately; now, says Samantha Staley, project manager with the Bureau of Land Management's Gunnison field office, officials will be able to account for the cumulative effects.The agreement complements efforts on private property, where some landowners have signed on to protect the Gunnison grouse through a similar tool, called "candidate conservation agreements with assurances." Through those pacts, ranchers, farmers and developers manage their lands to help candidate species -- with the guarantee that they won't face additional regulations if populations decline despite their efforts, or if the species is listed as threatened or endangered...more

In Wild Animals, Charting the Pathways of Disease

High in the Wallowa Mountains of northeastern Oregon, Raina K. Plowright and other researchers blindfolded and hobbled a herd of bighorn sheep in a corral so blood samples could be taken and their noses and throats swabbed. “There’s lots of places for pathogens to hide in the nasal cavity,” said Dr. Plowright, a wildlife scientist with the Center for Infectious Disease Dynamics at Penn State who is based in Bozeman. Peering into the nostrils of wild sheep is part of the nascent field of eco-immunology, which seeks both to understand the immune systems of wild animals and to use that knowledge to gain a better understanding of human immune systems. Until recently, this kind of knowledge has been gleaned almost exclusively by studying pampered, genetically similar lab animals, which don’t reflect a real-world scenario. Eco-immunology works to understand how disease spreads in wildlife populations — the bighorn sheep are in trouble because of pneumonia that spread from domestic sheep — and how it can be worsened by human and environmental factors like climate change. Another major goal is to understand the pathways that deadly diseases can follow from wildlife to humans. In the last 30 years, more than 300 infectious diseases in humans originated in animals, including AIDS, Ebola, SARS, Lyme, hantavirus, West Nile virus and new strains of flu. (Diseases do not travel in just one direction. Humans are believed to have passed metapneumovirus to mountain gorillas in Africa.)...more

Song Of The Day #844 (Help with my birthday songs)

The head vaquero at Ranch Radio turns 65 today and I need some help. Should I be like Ian Tyson, Archie Campbell, Ernest Tubb, Pat Buttram or Eddy Arnold?

Should I be like Ian, just looking back in Fifty Years Ago?

Archie Campbell says My Get Up And Go Has Got Up And Went .

Or like Ernest Tubb and keep at Till My Get Up Has Got Up And Gone?

Does Pat Buttram have it right in Old Age?

Maybe Eddy Arnold is on to something in his Older and Bolder.

I know Bob & Randy Atcher got it right, as Sharon and I celebrated our 39th on the 24th of this month, and they sing I'll Never Grow Too Old To Love You. This one's for you darling.

4-H Rodeo Struggle

A lack of major sponsorship and Expo New Mexico’s dismal financial condition mean the Bernalillo County 4-H Rodeo, for the first time in 55 years, will not be held in Tingley Coliseum. Instead, the 100 or so youngsters will compete in a one-day rodeo on Aug. 4 at the outdoor Heritage Rodeo Arena in Moriarty — about 35 miles east of the fairgrounds. “I’ve gone to a bunch of rodeos around New Mexico, and my favorite ones have been the ones in Tingley,” said 11-year-old Marisela Sandoval, a 4-H member from Bosque Farms who had been looking forward to competing there in August. “I’m disappointed they’re not going to have it there.” Marisela, who competes in barrel-racing, pole-bending, breakaway roping and goat-tying, said Tingley is a special place for budding cowboys and cowgirls. “During the State Fair, I see all the pros compete there, so it makes me feel special to be able to compete where they do,” she said.  Since at least 1957, the Bernalillo County 4-H Fair and Rodeo have been held concurrently at the state-owned Expo New Mexico fairgrounds. The fair allows 4-H youngsters to showcase their projects, ranging from animal science and gardening to public speaking and rocketry, and to compete for coveted blue ribbons. The rodeo, a key fundraiser for 4-H, lets kids test their rodeo skills in a variety of events grouped by age. It has historically been a two-night affair at Tingley.  Expo officials charge $5,500 per night to rent Tingley, Expo general manager Dan Mourning said...more

Rep. Flores: Obama ‘Coddles Environmentalists'

Texas Congressman Bill Flores and other House GOP members just finished a week away from Washington that included tours of off shore oil rigs, fracking facilities, and pipeline manufacturing plants. “Most Americans, I think, realize how important energy security is. If we don’t have energy security we can’t have economic growth opportunities. If we don’t have economic growth opportunities, than we can’t pay for robust national security,” Flores told Newsmax.TV during an exclusive interview. “The Barnet shale area makes my district the second largest producer of natural gas in the nation. “It was done by drilling, not by investing in things like Solyndra. “There are many people in the Obama administration who want to find a way to regulate or ban the use of hydraulic fracturing. They see that as the key to getting this country off fossil fuel.” Flores added that President Barack Obama’s refusal to approve the Keystone XL pipeline is another sign that he is more interested in alternative energy than energy independence. “That runs afoul of what the president wants to do when he coddles his environmental left.”...more

Senators seek to name bison 'national mammal'

Western lawmakers want to elevate the Plains bison to a status similar to that of the iconic bald eagle with legislation to declare the burly beasts America's "national mammal." Bison advocates launched a "vote bison" public relations campaign Friday to coincide with the bill. The National Bison Legacy Act introduced in the Senate is backed by lawmakers from Wyoming, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota and Rhode Island. The largely symbolic measure would provide no added protections for the estimated 20,000 wild bison in North America. And the bald eagle would still hold a somewhat loftier role as the national emblem, as declared by the Second Continental Congress in 1782. But supporters said the bison legacy bill would afford overdue recognition to a species that has sweeping cultural and ecological significance. Bison — North America's largest land animal — already appear on two state flags and the official seal of the U.S. Department of Interior...more

Humans are mammals, so where does that leave us?

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day...A Toast

My annual toast....

I would like to thank the men and women who came home from righteous wars to ticker tape parades and peace and prosperity.

And I would like to thank those who came home from an unrighteous war to find no one cared.

I would like to thank those who came home but go back every night in their dreams...and those who came home but left pieces of themselves behind.

Most of all, I would like to thank those who never came home.

God bless them.