Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dem Rep: 40 American ISIL Fighters Have Already Returned to the United States

Rep. Tim Bishop (D., N.Y.) warned during a recent speech that up to 40 radicalized U.S. citizens who have fought alongside the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL or ISIS) have already returned to the United States, where they could pose a terrorist threat. Bishop claims that of the 100 or so Americans who have traveled to the Middle East to join ISIL’s ranks, some 40 have returned and are currently being surveilled by the FBI, according to his remarks, which were filmed and uploaded to YouTube last week. “One of the concerns is the number of U.S. citizens who have left our country to go join up with ISIS,” Bishop said during the speech. “It is believed there have been some number up to 100 that have done that.” “It is also believed that some 40 of those who left this country to join up with ISIS have now returned to our country,” Bishop said, eliciting shocked responses from some in the crowd. These 40 individuals, Bishop said, “are under FBI attention and surveillance. So they are known and being tracked by the FBI.”...more

Texas governor orders National Guard to look for dead immigrants

Texas Governor Rick Perry on Friday ordered the Texas National Guard to search for the bodies of undocumented immigrants who have died by the hundreds in a remote part of the state as they attempted to walk to southern cities hundreds of miles (km) away. The guard troops have been deployed to Brooks County, a rural area about 120 miles (190 km) north of the Texas border with Mexico, to search for the corpses of undocumented immigrants who died trying to walk through the desolate region known as the "Brush Country," in hopes of reaching San Antonio or Houston. "For many years, law enforcement and landowners in this area have been overwhelmed by the tragic impacts of human smuggling across our county," Brooks County Sheriff Rey Rodriguez said. Smuggling gangs who bring undocumented immigrants into Texas frequently stop in Brooks County before they reach an immigration checkpoint in the community, according to border control agents. The smugglers kick the immigrants, including the elderly, pregnant women, and families with infants, out of their trucks and tell them that Houston, 200 mikes (320 km) away, is a few hours by foot, according to agents. Ranchers find the bodies of the undocumented immigrants with disturbing regularity after they die in the rugged conditions where summertime temperatures frequently exceed 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 Celsius). Rodriguez said that since 2011, 332 sets of human remains have been found in Brooks County alone and the bodies of hundreds or thousands more are believed to lie in the barren countryside...more

Texas DPS Confirms Breitbart Story on Falfurrias Search and Rescue Operation

The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) confirmed a report from Breitbart Texas that members of the Texas State Guard and DPS have established special search teams to assist the Brooks County Sheriff’s Office in Falfurrias. The teams will be searching for human remains of illegal immigrants who died while attempting to bypass the U.S. Border Patrol checkpoint located about 13 miles south of Falfurrias. The missions began this week and will continue through the weekend. Breitbart Texas has been providing extensive coverage of Brooks County’s problems in dealing both with the cost of the burials and the impact of the illegal immigrants hiking through the ranch lands in the county. Over 50 bodies have been found so far this year, however, officials readily admit they only find a small portion of the number of people they believe have died in these fields. DPS officials were quick to point out in a statement obtained by Breitbart Texas that this operation is not part of the Operation Strong Safety deployment of DPS troopers and Texas National Guard members currently underway in a section of the Rio Grande Valley sector of the Texas-Mexico border. However, the officials admitted the bodies and remains they are searching are “primarily suspected to be individuals who were smuggled and trafficked into the county by the Mexican cartels and criminal operatives exploiting security gaps along the Texas-Mexico border.”...more

'Shut Down All Ports of Entry' Protest Canceled over Cartel Threats

Early Saturday morning, an email went out from “Shut Down All Ports of Entry” protest organizer Stasyi Barth stating that due to “threat of mass violence to attendees, along with very suspicious activity on the Facebook site,” plans to protest along the entire length of the U.S.-Mexico border had been cancelled. This just hours before the protests were scheduled to take place.

“Shut Down All Ports of Entry” had planned to block border crossings stretching from San Ysidro in San Diego, California, the busiest land port of entry in the western hemisphere, to Brownsville, Texas. The stated aim of the protest was to send a message to government regarding seven stated issues, Breitbart recently reported.

In a Friday evening message, the protest organizer, Stasyi Barth wrote, “Stay safe, take lots of pictures and enjoy expressing your right to peacefully assemble and air your grievances to your government!”

However, at about 2 a.m. Saturday morning, a message went out to all protest organizers and on the Facebook page reading, “PROTEST IS CANCELLED.....PROTEST IS CANCELLED......” and went on to mention the threats of violence against protestors.

Breitbart Texas received the following from Barth Saturday morning:
Cartel threatening mass bloodshed. One of the guys in Texas was followed into a Walmart, on the freeway, then approached at his hotel. At the same time, I got a bunch of requests to join the [Facebook] page from Sonora Mexico. I grabbed as many as I could, but realized it was getting out of control fast, and I didn’t want them to see who the attendees were. This is after it was requested that we avoid certain areas, because of the recent border threats, unrelated to us. The cartel has people at every port listed... waiting for us, so I was told.

Barth cited threats of violence from these sources as the reason for cancelling the event, saying, “Risking anyone's life is not worth it!”

Barth warned in prior communications regarding the event, “There very well may be a counter-protest at the ports.”

Feds mum on prosecution of illegal border crossers

The federal government refuses to say whether prosecutors in Yuma, Arizona, have scaled back a years-old program that guarantees jail time for most immigrants caught crossing the border illegally and which law enforcement officials say is crucial to public safety. Reports that federal prosecutors have stopped some prosecutions under Operation Streamline surfaced nearly two weeks ago when Arizona Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder seeking information on the status of the zero-tolerance program that circumvents the civil immigration system and lumps together months' worth of criminal proceedings into one day for immigrants caught crossing the border illegally. Yuma County Sheriff Leon Wilmot said in a letter to the senators that he had been informed that federal prosecutors in Yuma are no longer going after first offenders. But the government has been completely silent on the issue. Public affairs officials from the Department of Homeland Security, Justice Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have all refused to answer questions about whether the program has been scaled back. Brett Worsencroft, president of the Border Patrol union for Yuma Sector border agents, said the U.S. Attorney's Office has in fact ended prosecutions of first-time offenders. "Operation Streamline is like one of the last strongholds we have as a deterrent. Our manpower is dwindling on a daily basis," Worsencroft said. "The fence can only do so much." Worsencroft said the program was a large factor in the steep decline in border-crossers in Yuma because it sent a message that even first-time offenders would serve jail time and because it allowed agents to focus their attention on drug smugglers and other dangerous criminals. Getting rid of prosecutions for first-time offenders is a "free ticket into the U.S." for those who cross the border without legal status, he said...more

Friday, September 19, 2014

State faults Cliven Bundy in I-15 cow crash

State transportation officials are refuting rancher Cliven Bundy’s claim that they are ultimately responsible for keeping his cattle off Interstate 15 in northeastern Clark County. In a statement Thursday, Mary Martini, district engineer for the Nevada Department of Transportation in Las Vegas, said that while the state maintains the fences along I-15 to “designate the right of way” and control access, “it is always the responsibility and liability of the owners to control their animals.” The dispute could be headed for court. Bundy was sued for negligence this week by a 34-year-old Las Vegas woman injured when her car hit one of the rancher’s cows on I-15 about 10 miles from his Bunkerville ranch. The April 14 crash came two days after Bundy and his armed supporters made national news by forcing federal authorities to abruptly abandon an impound operation on public land where the rancher has been raising hundreds of cows without paying grazing fees for more than 20 years. The collision with the cow sent Danielle Beck and her boyfriend, Matthew Zanatta, to the hospital. According to the Nevada Highway Patrol’s accident report, authorities at the scene had to herd four other cows off highway through a hole in the fence. Beck’s lawsuit in Clark County District Court seeks at least $20,000 for medical expenses, lost income and other damages. On Wednesday, Bundy acknowledged the cow on the highway but said he bears no responsibility for the accident. He said the state is responsible for maintaining fences along I-15, so that’s where the liability lies. “It’s a state problem. It’s not our problem,” Bundy said...more

Report: Terrorists Captured At Mexico Border… But Homeland Security Denies Any “Credible Threats”

by Mac Slavo

A report from Joe Biggs in early September indicated that a terror threat had been identified on the Southern U.S. border just outside of El Paso, TX. According to Biggs, the Vice President of the Border Patrol Council was reportedly silenced by Federal administrators and told to keep quiet about the possibility of Islamic State militants organizing for an attack within the domestic United States.
For their part, the Obama Administration completely denied the reports. On Tuesday DHS issued the following statement:
“There is no credible intelligence to suggest that there is an active plot by ISIL to attempt to cross the southern border”
But less than 48 hours later the Gateway Pundit reports that the U.S. government did, in fact, apprehend four suspected terrorists with ties to the IS organization on the border.
Congressman Jason Chaffetz broke this shocking news Wednesday that four known terrorists were apprehended at the US border in Texas on September 10 – the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9-11 attacks.
Chaffetz questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on whether he is “aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists.”
Johnson dodged the question.
Tonight, Rep. Chaffetz told Megyn Kelly there were four terrorists arrested crossing the US border in Texas on September 10.
“There were actually four individuals trying to cross through the Texas border, who were apprehended at two different stations, that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the Middle East.”

White House cranks up heat ahead of UN summit

The Obama administration is preparing a "full-court press" ahead of next week's U.N. climate summit where the president will use his speech to "call on world leaders to keep their ambitions high." On a call with reporters on Thursday, senior adviser John Podesta said the administration is taking the U.N. summit in New York on Tuesday "seriously" in order to "show that the U.S. is committed to lead the fight against climate change." ADVERTISEMENT Roughly 125 heads of state from across the globe are expected to attend the daylong summit, which is meant to build momentum for climate negotiations in Paris next year where attendees will work to sign an international treaty on climate change. While the meeting next week isn't meant for negotiating, it offers Obama an opportunity to "showcase" actions the U.S. has taken. "We don't have time to dabble with climate denial," Podesta quipped while noting the U.S. is currently dealing with raging wildfires, ongoing drought and rising sea levels. The administration's carbon pollution rules on existing power plants and latest actions to phase out a popular coolant found in air conditioners and refrigerators will be on the mouths of every Cabinet member. The administration will also tout actions announced Thursday to boost energy efficiency and solar power in homes and businesses, which would reduce carbon emissions 300 million metric tons by 2030. Obama won't stop there, Podesta said. Early next week the president will announce more executive actions on aid to vulnerable populations to help build up resilience to the impacts of climate change. "We're running a full-court press," he said, to sound the alarm across the country about the risks of climate change, and tout the administration's progress under the president's agenda."This week and next, members of the Cabinet are going out around the country, amplifying the president's message that the time for ambitious climate action is now," he said.

Four Senate Democratic candidates rake in climate-change cash

Running for office as the favorites of the climate-change movement has its advantages, starting with cash. The same four Senate Democratic candidates being bankrolled by San Francisco billionaire Tom Steyer’s NextGen Climate Action PAC were the beneficiaries of Wednesday’s 24-hour GreenStorm fundraising drive, coordinated by the League of Conservation Voters Action Fund. The one-day GreenStorm campaign blitz raised more than $250,000 for Democratic Sens. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, along with Senate hopefuls Bruce Braley of Iowa and Rep. Gary Peters of Michigan. Mr. Steyer announced earlier this year that he would spend $100 million — including $50 million of his own money — to promote climate change as a campaign issue, then selected seven candidates to support, including the four Democrats. The other three candidates are Democrats running for governor... more

GOP Senate Majority Would ‘Ramp Up’ Green Group Oversight

Senate Republicans’ top environmental watchdog is determined to intensify oversight of leading environmentalist groups, which he says are orchestrating a massive, coordinated political effort financed by a handful of billionaire activists. Sen. David Vitter (R., La.) told the Washington Free Beacon in an interview on Thursday that he is pleased with the investigative work to date by Republicans on the Senate Environment and Public Works committee (EPW), which Vitter chairs. If Republicans retake the Senate in November, as numerous forecasting models and political analysts have predicted, Vitter said his committee would dramatically increase its scrutiny on environmentalist organizations such as the Natural Resource Defense Council and the Sierra Club. “We go into the majority and we are able to ramp that up even more and in an even more effective way because we have significantly more powers in terms of calling hearings, calling witnesses, and subpoenaing documents when necessary,” Vitter said. “So that’s the logical extension of our work to date.” That work has included intense scrutiny on a network of environmentalist groups that a recent EPW report dubbed the “billionaire’s club.”...more

Better yet, quit putting federal $$ in the enviro orgs budgets, quit funding agencies that do their bidding and amend environmental statutes so they are more reasonable.  That would do more for the public than just issuing reports or holding hearings. 

White House Calls for Action Plan to Address Antibiotic Resistance

The White House announced Thursday its plan to make the issue of antibiotic resistance a national priority. In addition to the release of the much-anticipated President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) report on antibiotic resistance requested by President Obama last year, there are three related developments.  These include an Executive Order (EO) establishing an interagency task force for combating antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the release of the administration’s National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, and a $20-million prize, co-sponsored by the National Institutes of Health and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, for developing rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests for identifying highly resistant bacterial infections. “Controlling the development and spread of antibiotic resistance is a top national security and public health priority for this administration,” said John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and assistant to the president, during a call with reporters...more

Federal Appeals Court Rebukes Florida Cops for Using SWAT-Style Raids to Check Barbers' Licenses

Today a federal appeals court rebuked police in Orange County, Florida, for mounting a warrantless, SWAT-style raid on a barbership under the pretense of assisting state inspectors. "We have twice held, on facts disturbingly similar to those presented here, that a criminal raid executed under the guise of an administrative inspection is constitutionally unreasonable," says the decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. "We hope that the third time will be the charm." On August 19, 2010, two inspectors from the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) visited the Strictly Skillz Barbershop in Orlando and found everything in order: All of the barbers working there were properly licensed, and all of the work stations complied with state regulations. Two days later, even though no violations had been discovered and even though the DBPR is authorized to conduct such inspections only once every two years, the inspectors called again, this time accompanied by "between eight and ten officers, including narcotics agents," who "rushed into" the barbershop "like [a] SWAT team." Some of them wore masks and bulletproof vests and had their guns drawn. Meanwhile, police cars blocked off the parking lot. The officers ordered all the customers to leave, announcing that the shop was "closed down indefinitely." They handcuffed the owner, Brian Berry, and two barbers who rented chairs from him, then proceeded to search the work stations and a storage room. They demanded the barbers' driver's licenses and checked for outstanding warrants. One of the inspectors, Amanda Fields, asked for the same paperwork she had seen two days earlier, going through the motions of verifying (again) that the barbers were not cutting hair without a license (a second-degree misdemeanor). Finding no regulatory violations or contraband, the officers released Berry and the others after about an hour. Although ostensibly justified as a regulatory inspection, the raid on Strictly Skillz, like similar sweeps of other barbershops that same day, was part of an operation hatched by Fields and Cpl. Keith Vidler of the Orange County Sheriff's Office (OCSO), who hoped to find drugs, "gather intelligence," and "interview potential confidential informants." The barbershops chosen for the sweeps "were apparently selected because they or barbers within them had on previous occasions failed to cooperate with DBPR inspectors," the court says. "All of the targeted barbershops were businesses that serviced primarily African-American and Hispanic clientele."  The 11th Circuit concludes that the Strictly Skillz raid, as described by Berry and the other plaintiffs, was "clearly established to be illegal from its inception," violating state law as well as the Fourth Amendment. "The facts of this case—when viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiffs—adequately establish that the 'inspection' of Strictly Skillz amounted to an unconstitutional search," the court says, "and that the unconstitutionality of such a search was clearly established at the time that the search was executed." Hence a federal judge was right to rule that Vidler and Deputy Travis Leslie do not deserve qualified immunity...more.

Report: Gila River Diversion Could Cost $1.1 Billion

SANTA FE, N.M. - The controversial proposal to divert areas of the Gila River could cost an estimated $1.1 billion, according to a report prepared by the former head of New Mexico's Interstate Stream Commission. Norman Gaume says the Bureau of Reclamation's cost estimates for the project are accurate, but are broken down into segments and don't reflect an overall price tag. "I went to literally half a dozen different pages throughout this 400-page report to extract the costs and then put them on a single sheet of paper, to let people know we're talking about a $1 billion project," Gaume says. The proposed diversion is linked to the "Arizona Water Settlements Act of 2004," which granted Gila River water to tribes in Arizona. Gaume says the nine-member Interstate Stream Commission, which is appointed by the governor, has the choice to approve the diversion or other less-expensive options that don't include diverting the river...more

The oldest marked grave on the trails

It is well known that travel on the trails resulted in many deaths. Most of those who perished were buried where they died. This resulted in many unmarked graves of unknown emigrants. By reading many of the diaries some of the graves are identified and marked today. Wyoming’s Converse County has more marked trail graves than any other county. There are marked grave sites of Pvt. Ralston Baker, Mary (Kelly) Hurley, Sharp-Taylor-Franklin, Alva Unthank, J.D. Parker, Martin Ringo and Ada McGill. One grave stands out because it is the oldest marked grave on the entire trail system, that of Joel Hembree. Joel Hembree, his wife Sara, and their eight sons from McMinnville, Tennessee were part of a large group, estimated at 1,000, to leave Independence, Mo., in May 1843 on their way to Oregon. On July 18, between Bed Tick Creek and LaPrele Creek, six-year-old Joel Hembree , the second youngest son, fell from the wagon tongue on which he was riding and was fatally injured. Diarist William Newby wrote, "July 18: A very bad road. Joel J. Hembree’s son Joel fell off the waggeon tung & both wheels run over him. Distance 17 miles. July 19: Lay By. Joel Hembree departed his life about 2 o’clock. July 20: We buried the youth & ingraved his name on the headstone. Dr. Marcus Whitman, who was with this group, described the fatality as a wagon having passed over the abdomen." The finding of Joel’s grave is almost as interesting as the story of the boy’s death...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1297

We'll top off this eclectic week with some bluegrass picking.  From his 2014 CD here's Danny Roberts performing New Gil Rag

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bundy sued after car hits cow on I-15

On April 12, a triumphant Cliven Bundy and his supporters chased away federal authorities and set the rancher’s impounded cattle free once more to roam public land in northeast Clark County. Two days later, a car collided with one of Bundy’s cows on Interstate 15, about 10 miles from his Bunkerville ranch, killing the animal and sending the vehicle careening down an embankment. Now a Las Vegas woman injured in the crash is suing Bundy for negligence. The lawsuit filed Sunday in Clark County District Court alleges Bundy “recklessly, carelessly and negligently allowed his cows to enter onto Interstate 15 through an area where he had no grazing or other rights.” Danielle Beck is seeking at least $20,000 for medical expenses, lost income and other damages. “She’s lucky she lived,” said Bob Apple, Beck’s Las Vegas lawyer. “I’ve been practicing since 1975, and I’ve never seen someone with so many broken ribs.” The crash occurred about 1:15 a.m. on April 14, less than 48 hours after the Bureau of Land Management abandoned its roundup and allowed Bundy to take back his impounded livestock following a tense standoff with the rancher’s supporters, including armed militia members from across the country. According to the Nevada Highway Patrol’s accident report, Beck and her boyfriend, Matthew Zanatta, were headed north on I-15 about 75 mph when they encountered cows in both lanes of the road. Zanatta tried to stop the car, but it hit one of the cows. The animal rolled up onto the roof, and the car swerved off the road and into a culvert...more

Feds in El Paso: Rep. O’Rourke Called to Ban Contact with Judicial Watch

Federal law enforcement sources in El Paso say that a United States congressman called their office to prohibit contact with Judicial Watch in the aftermath of a disturbing story confirming that Islamic terrorists are operating in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez. Sources tell JW that Beto O’Rourke, a Democrat who represents El Paso in the U.S. House of Representatives, telephoned the area offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) in an effort to identify—and evidently intimidate—sources that may have been used by JW. On August 29 JW reported that the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) is working in Juarez and planning to attack the United States with car bombs or other vehicle borne improvised explosive devices (VBIED). In the piece JW cites high-level federal law enforcement, intelligence and other sources confirming that a warning bulletin for an imminent terrorist attack on the border has been issued. Agents across a number of Homeland Security, Justice and Defense agencies have all been placed on alert and instructed to aggressively work all possible leads and sources concerning this imminent terrorist threat. In the aftermath of JW’s story Ft. Bliss, an El Paso Army base near Juarez, increased security measures and the sheriff in Midland County Texas—located halfway between Ft. Worth and El Paso—confirmed that he received an alert bulletin warning from the feds that ISIS may have formed a terrorist cell in or near Juarez. O’Rourke evidently believes that someone on the inside is feeding JW information because the facts in all our reporting have been correct, according to government sources with first-hand knowledge of the matter. “He called the El Paso offices of the FBI, HSI and USBP asking if anyone was talking to Judicial Watch,” one inside source told JW this week. O’Rourke’s calls were followed by a memo that came down through the chain of command threatening to terminate or criminally charge any agent who speaks to media of any kind. This would include JW, a nonprofit legal watchdog that has broken a number of government corruption stories on its website and newsletter. Congressman O’Rourke’s office emphatically denies making any phone calls to any El Paso federal law enforcement offices related to this matter. His director of communications, John Meza, assures that no one in the congressman’s office—including the congressman himself—has talked to any law enforcement agencies or officials to discourage or question contact with JW or any other media outlet. “We don’t do that,” Meza said....more

Missing NM driver says he woke up in field of donkeys

ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — A driver who went missing after a one-car rollover in New Mexico says he later woke up in a field of donkeys. KOAT-TV reports ( ) New Mexico State Police say the driver called 911 seven hours after investigators failed to find any victims from the crash in Roswell late Friday. The driver, whose name has not been released, told 911 dispatchers that he was lost and found himself surrounded by the animals. Authorities say the man claims he and a passenger were drinking the night before but didn't remember what happened next. Police say the driver suffered injuries to a shoulder and his hands and the passenger suffered back injuries. The driver was issued multiple citations, but the charges haven't been released.

UPDATE  Authorities should check his armpits

Joe Delk headlines fiddler's hall of fame

The New Mexico Old Time Fiddlers Association celebrates its 42nd State Fiddle Championship Contest Oct. 4-6, at the Civic Center, 400 West Fourth Street in Truth or Consequences, N.M. Admission is $5 a day and $5 per dance. State contest divisions and state finals master of ceremonies will be Wes Burris. Judges are Tanya Reed Cole, Forest (Junior) Daugherty and Robert (Bob) Lohse. NMOTFA Hall of Fame Inductees for 2014 are Joe Delk, Living Fiddler; John H. Ford, Deceased Fiddler; Accompanist, a surprise; and Promoters, John and Helen Tate. The Delk Band is a local favorite in Deming, and Joe Delk's father, Forrest, founded the country-western swing band over six decades ago. Festivities kick off Oct. 3, with a jam session from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m followed by a dance from 7 to 9 p.m. and dance contest. State contest division competition is Oct. 4, at 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a dance and dance contest at 7 to 9 p.m...more

Leprino Foods terminates contract with NM dairy

Denver-based Leprino Foods Co. on Wednesday said it has terminated shipments from a New Mexico dairy where workers were caught on video abusing cows. "Leprino Foods Company prides itself in providing an uncompromising commitment to high-quality real cheese that starts with fresh, wholesome milk. This milk must be supplied to us by farmers who share our commitment to the highest level of animal health and wellness," the company said in a release. The New Mexico Livestock Board confirmed Tuesday that it is investigating practices at Winchester Dairy near Dexter in southeastern New Mexico, according to The Associated Press. "We are investigating it very aggressively. The district attorney is on board and everybody is working hard to make sure we do this right," said Shawn Davis, an area supervisor with the livestock board. An activist with the Los Angeles-based animal welfare group Mercy for Animals hired on with the dairy and captured video in August and September of workers whipping, kicking and punching cows...more

Group Levels Abuse Allegations Against NM Dairy - Dairy Fires Workers & Shuts Down

The New Mexico Livestock Board has launched an investigation into a southern New Mexico dairy after an activist working with an animal welfare group recorded secret video showing workers whipping cows with chains and wire cables, kicking and punching the animals, and shocking them with electric prods. Board officials confirmed the investigation into the practices at the Winchester Dairy near Dexter on Tuesday. They were working on interviewing the activist and tracking down the workers identified in the video. "We are investigating it very aggressively. The district attorney is on board and everybody is working hard to make sure we do this right," said Shawn Davis, an area supervisor with the livestock board. Dairy officials have been cooperating since investigators first arrived last Friday, board officials said. The dairy said in a statement that animal care and well-being are central to its operation. As a result, the dairy fired all employees and referred the abusive workers to law enforcement for further review following its own internal investigation. The dairy also halted milking operations, stopped shipments to all vendors and dispersed thousands of cows to other dairies with strong track records in animal welfare. "We remain committed to the ethical and responsible treatment of the animals and have learned from this incident," the dairy said. It was not immediately clear whether the dairy's closure was temporary. Winchester is one of more than 140 family-owned dairies in New Mexico, a state that ranks in the top 10 nationally when it comes to milk production. The industry employs about 4,200 workers and has a direct economic impact of about $1 billion. The Los Angeles-based animal welfare group Mercy for Animals first sent the video footage to the livestock agency last Thursday. It released a compilation of clips that show the abuse during a news conference Wednesday in Albuquerque...more

Have Wildfires Increased Due to Global Warming?

A recent news report in the Billings Gazette indicates that global warming is contributing to forest fires. According to a global warming activist Steve Running, "Since 1986, longer, warmer summers have resulted in a fourfold increase of major wildfires and a sixfold increase in the area of forest burned, compared to the period from 1970 to 1986."

Is that really the case? Not according to James Taylor of the Heartland Institute. According to the National Interagency Fire Center, which has wildfire statistics going back more than half a century, wildfires have decreased, not increased, as global temperatures have risen.

According to the National Interagency Fire Center:
  • In 1986, there were 85,000 wildfires.
  • Last year, there were 47,000 wildfires.
  • There were fewer wildfires in 2013 than in any year since 1984.
  • So far, there have been 38,000 wildfires in 2014.
So how can Running claim that wildfires have quadrupled since 1986? Taylor notes that Running used the term "major" wildfires -- significant, because the U.S. government has changed its policy towards wildfires in recent years. Today, wildfire policy allows wildfires to burn freely, until the fires begin to pose a threat to humans. This means that small wildfires are allowed to become much larger blazes, resulting in a 50 percent increase in acreage burned in 2013 compared to 1986, despite half as many wildfires actually taking place last year.

Source: James M. Taylor, "Sorry, Steve Running, Wildfires Are Decreasing with Global Warming," Heartland Institute, September 15, 2014.


Calf Born with 3 Eyes in Tamil Nadu, Worshipped as Shiva's Incarnation - video

Animals, especially cows, have been traditionally considered sacred in the Hindu culture and have symbolic significance as the vehicle of gods. They are believed to have great connection with the gods and occupy great importance in Indian myths, with some temples devoted just for their worship. Cows have always remained at the top of the holy animal hierarchy and are respected as "Go matha" or mother cow, who fulfills all the needs of her children; a gift of the gods. 'Gopujas' are also performed in various parts of India during festival seasons to worship cows. Recently, with an additional eye on its forehead, a cow in Tamil Nadu has been born with three eyes and has risen not only as a holy cow, but as the incarnation of Lord Shiva, who is depicted with three eyes. The three-eyed calf, born in the house of Rajesh from Kolathur village of Tamil Nadu is hailed as the "miracle calf"...more


Feds charge five Utahns in Recapture Canyon protest ride

Federal authorities are accusing a San Juan County commissioner and a handful of protesters of conspiracy and illegally riding ATVs into southeast Utah’s Recapture Canyon in May. The Bureau of Land Management closed the canyon to motorized use in 2007 to keep wheels off its many archaeological sites. About 50 riders motored into the canyon following a May 10 rally in Blanding denouncing federal "overreach" and mismanagement of public lands. But only those suspected of organizing or promoting the illegal ride were targeted in charges announced Wednesday by acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen. The charges allege that Commissioner Phil Lyman, a Blanding accountant and a vocal critic of BLM policies that inhibit access to public lands, "advertised" the ride through a newspaper article and social media. During the week leading up to the ride, BLM state director Juan Palma warned would-be protesters that their actions could damage cultural sites, which are protected under federal law, and said illegal riders would face legal consequences. Ancestral Puebloans who lived in the canyon until 800 years ago left artifacts, dwellings and graves. The five defendants, all current or former San Juan County residents, were charged with "operation of off-road vehicles on public lands closed to vehicles" and conspiracy, offenses that carry up to one year in jail and $100,000 in fines. None was charged with damaging archaeological sites, but prosecutors said the investigation remains open...more

 "Ancestral Puebloans who lived in the canyon until 800 years ago left artifacts, dwellings and graves."

They were probably run out of the canyon by "ancestral BLM'ers".

Press release - DOJ charges in Utah protest ride

Acting United States Attorney Carlie Christensen
District of Utah
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            CONTACT:  MELODIE RYDALCH
 WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 17, 2014                                                               (801) 325-3206
                                                                                                                     (801) 243-6475 (cell)                            


SALT LAKE CITY – A two-count misdemeanor information filed in federal court Wednesday morning in Salt Lake City charges five individuals in connection with an unlawful ATV ride in Recapture Canyon on May 10, 2014.  The information alleges one count of conspiracy to operate off-road vehicles on public lands closed to off-road vehicles and one count of operation of off-road vehicles on public lands closed to off-road vehicles.

Charged in the information are Phillip Kay Lyman, age 50, of Blanding; Monte Jerome Wells, age 50, of Monticello; Jay Demar Redd, age 40, of Santa Clara; Shane Morris Marian, age 33, of Monticello; and Franklin Trent Holliday, age 31, of Blanding.  A summons will be issued to the five to appear in federal court in Salt Lake City on Oct. 17, 2014, at 2 p.m., before U.S. Magistrate Judge Evelyn Furse. Each count in the information carries a potential penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of $100,000.  The investigation in the case is ongoing.

The information charges the five individuals with conspiracy to operate off-road vehicles on public lands closed to off-road vehicles.  According to the information, from about Feb. 27, 2014, and continuing until about May 10, 2014, the defendants conspired among themselves, with each other, and with others known and unknown to operate off-road vehicles through land restricted to off-road vehicles and administered by the BLM. The information alleges the purpose of the conspiracy was to unlawfully operate off-road vehicles through the restricted area as a means of expressing opposition to the BLM and its management of Recapture Canyon.

We respect the fact that the citizens of this State have differing and deeply held views regarding the management and use of Recapture Canyon, and recognize that they have the right to express those opinions freely.  Nevertheless, those rights must be exercised in a lawful manner and when individuals choose to violate the law, rather than engage in lawful protest, we will seek to hold those individuals accountable under the law,” Acting U.S. Attorney Carlie Christensen said today.

“Regrettably, a number of individuals organized and engaged in an illegal ATV ride through Recapture Canyon, an area rich in archaeological history” said BLM Director Neil Kornze.  “Today’s actions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office underscore the importance of protecting culturally significant areas and holding accountable those who broke the law.”
Count one of the information alleges beginning on or about March 2, 2104, Lyman began advertising the proposed ATV ride through the restricted area to occur on May 8, 2014, through social media.  It was further part of the conspiracy, the information alleges, that on April 11, 2014, Lyman advertised the proposed ATV ride through the restricted area of Recapture Canyon  by publishing an article in the Deseret News.  The information alleges Lyman further promoted the published article using social media.  Later in April, according to the information, Lyman, using social media, began advertising a change in the date for the proposed ATV ride from May 8, 2014, to May 10, 2014, to allow more people to participate.

The information alleges that in late April, Lyman and Wells used social media websites to publish and promote an invitation, with accompanying instructions, to the public to join the proposed ATV ride through the off-road vehicle restricted area in Recapture Canyon on May 10, 2014.

Around May 5, 2014, Lyman and Wells filmed a three-part video interview in which they discussed the nature, origin, and plans for the proposed ATV ride through the off-road vehicle restricted area in Recapture Canyon.  It was further part of the conspiracy, according to the information, that Lyman and Wells used various social media websites to advertise and promote the proposed ATV ride.

According to the information, Lyman and Redd spoke to a large gathering of people at a meeting in Blanding the morning of May 10, 2014, before the ride, instructing and encouraging the group assembled regarding the proposed ATV ride.

The information alleges each defendant committed an overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy by knowingly and willfully operating an off-road vehicle through the restricted area of Recapture Canyon on May 10, 2014.

Count two of the information alleges the five defendants operated an off-road vehicle through land closed to off-road vehicles and administered by the Bureau of Land Management and did aid and abet each other.    

An information is not a finding of guilt.  Individuals charged in an information are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty in court.

Recapture Canyon is federal public land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. Recapture Canyon contains unique archaeological resources, including ancient rock art and dwellings that are culturally significant and irreplaceable. According to the BLM, the archaeological record left behind shows that the area was previously occupied for at least 2,000 years. For this reason, Recapture Canyon was closed to motorized use in 2007 but remains open to the public for walking, hiking and horseback riding.
There are more than 2,800 miles of OHV trails administered by the BLM in southeast Utah that are open to public use. The BLM will continue to work with all stakeholders to address the various uses of public lands, including the development of new OHV trails.


President promises, no surprise on Greater Canyonlands

Governor Gary Herbert came back from a trip to Washington D.C. with more than a t-shirt… he came home with a promise. According to the Governor, President Barack Obama will not spring a surprise on the state of Utah, setting aside 1.8 million acres of BLM and Forest Service land as a national monument. “They’ve promised me that that’s not going to happen,” said Herbert, later clarifying the promise came from Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell. The limited promise still has importance substance to ranchers who feel like they’ve been burned before. “We hope that they will stand by that and honor that commitment. Unfortunately we have seen that in past administrations,” said Brent Tanner, executive vice president of the Utah Cattlemen’s Association. Secretary Jewell’s process is contingent, said the governor. He said the Secretary wants to encourage talks spearheaded by Representative Rob Bishop called the Public Lands Initiative. The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is participating in those talks. “I think representative Bishop is sincere. I’ve been impressed with him, with his staff. That they are reaching out that they are trying to get input from all sides,” said David Garbett, counsel for SUWA. Garbett adds that while he hopes the Public lands Initiative works, he thinks Jewell’s promise comes with an implied threat. “If that legislation is not successful in addressing threats or if the process falls apart, then no one should be surprised with a national monument designation,” said Garbett...more

Top environmental group names new chief

The Natural Resources Defense Council has named a top Interior Department official as its new president. Rhea Suh, Interior's assistant secretary of policy, management and budget, will take over for outgoing president Frances Beinecke in January. “It has been an unparalleled privilege to work for the president and Interior Secretaries Ken Salazar and Sally Jewell,” Suh said. “Now, I’m honored to join NRDC, our nation’s intrepid defender of clean air, safe water, and wild places." Suh was at the center of a highly politicized confirmation process in the spring, when President Obama nominated her to head Interior's fish, wildlife and parks efforts. Senate Republicans slammed her connections to the environmental community and worried her positions would too heavily favor conservation efforts, in effect stymieing energy production. She cleared the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by a 12-10 party-line vote in March, but her nomination was never brought to the Senate floor. Now, she will head an environmental organization that Republicans say, citing a New York Times story, exercised outsized influence in the crafting of the Obama administration's proposed power plant emissions rule. The Environmental Protection Agency has refuted those claims, saying many groups had input on the proposed rule, which aims to cut electricity emissions 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Conservatives and industry groups are fighting the proposed rule. Some in the coal industry, along with states, have already filed lawsuits against the EPA...more

My Response To The Cowspiracy: 8 Ways Cattle Grazing Supports Wildlife

by in BEEF Daily

When it comes to Internet activists and extremists, usually the best policy is to ignore them and focus on the 95% of folks who genuinely want to know where their food comes from and how it was raised. I have found that most consumers, once they get to know me or my peers in agriculture, truly like who we are and appreciate what we do on our farms and ranches. But every once in a while, there’s someone worth addressing directly, and that’s the case with the misinformation found in the documentary “Cowspiracy” and those who believe the drama and the hype it presents.

In case you missed my earlier blog post, I described how the documentary paints the beef business in a very negative light, citing cattle as the sole reason we have sustainability issues on our planet. In the trailer of the documentary, the creators insinuate they are taking a big personal risk, even endangering their lives, by making this film. Insert eye roll here.

READ: Why Ranchers Should Care About The Documentary “Cowspiracy” 

After I wrote about the documentary, challenging ranchers to “beef” up on their knowledge of how cattle help the environment, a self-described “vegan idealist” blogger took me to task on my facts, which I promptly responded to.

READ: 6 Reasons To Ignore The “Cowspiracy” And Eat A Burger 

Following that blog post, the folks behind “Cowspiracy” tweeted to me the following: “Tell us more about how grazing cattle supports wildlife.” They included a link to a video which suggests that ranching is detrimental to wildlife.

I have to scratch my head a little bit because the blogger who took me to task insinuated that cattle gulp down a lot of water, so I would assume they wouldn’t appreciate wildlife drinking water either. But, I’ll happily answer the question, as we’ve written about the wildlife/cattle connection repeatedly on the site. So here is a roundup of 8 articles that show how cattle grazing supports wildlife: 

1. Why Consider Wildlife In Your Ranch Management Plans?
2. Sage Grouse, Cattle Thrive On Rest-Rotation Program
3. Can Wildlife And Cattle Coexist?
4. California Research Shows Cattle, Wildlife Can Coexist
5. LX Ranch Cattle And Wildlife Pasture Tour 
6. Study Shows Benefits To Cattle Grazing On Wildlife Land
7. Yes, It’s True: Cattle Grazing Can Reverse Desertification
8. Teaming Up With NRCS: Creating Cattle And Wildlife Haven 

Editorial: Cimarron needs to be a good neighbor

In times of catastrophe, the ranches outside Cimarron have helped the village bounce back. It’s now the village’s turn to be a good neighbor and share water with its nearby ranches.

On Monday (Sept. 15) the Philmont Scout Ranch pulled out of a preliminary agreement to purchase water for five buildings on the Chase Ranch from the village. Philmont’s decision came after village council voted to add an addendum to the agreement requiring Philmont to provide water assistance to the village during water shortages.

In August the village decided against expanding the radius of its water service area from three to seven miles. The proposed expansion would have helped bordering ranches and other neighbors tap into the village’s water system.

We commend Hickman for asking tough questions and showing serious concern about the future of water accessibility in Cimarron. He has brought up issues that need to be addressed. The village has to balance the need for economic growth while carefully considering the impact it would have on their allotted water rights. A study must be done as soon as possible that answers whether the village can handle expanding its service area. Cimarron’s councilors were elected to tackle these delicate issues head on.

So far no elected official or village employee has presented to council how many of its alloted acre feet the village has used the past few years or water consumption projections. This would clear up questions from village leaders and residents about whether water service expansion really is a good idea.
Ultimately, we believe that the way to secure Cimarron’s water future is by adding more customers.

Adding Philmont and other prospective customers that are outside city limits  but still in the village’s current water service area,  would provide the village with much-needed income. In the past year the village has seen two major water customers— the Canyon Inn and Double C Restaurant— close their doors. Village council should not shut the door to an opportunity for more revenue, however small it may be.

More water customers would make Cimarron a more attractive candidate for federal and state loans it could use to upgrade its archaic water system.

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1296

Another 'Just Cuz I Like'em' tune: Ricky Skaggs & John Fogerty - Blue Moon Of Kentucky.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Obama unveils major new effort to tackle climate change

The Obama administration is taking new steps to phase out the production of a well-known chemical coolant used in refrigerators and air conditioners that has been tied to global warming. The White House confirmed to The Hill that it plans to meet with some of the largest chemical firms and food retailers in the country on Tuesday. They will announce voluntary commitments to target the coolant R-134a, a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC). The commitment would include phasing out similar HFC compounds used in nearly every office, home and automobile in the U.S.Companies pledging new efforts to tackle emissions include Coca-Cola, Target, Red Bull and several air conditioning and refrigeration retailers, according to a fact sheet released by the White House.At Tuesday’s White House meeting, a total of 22 companies and organizations will commit to cut HFC emissions, phase out use of the coolant, or use more climate-friendly refrigerants and systems by 2020. The private sector pledges and executive actions to reduce emissions of HFCs will have a dramatic effect in reducing greenhouse gases, the administration said. HFCs are 10,000 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the White House stressed, making the new reductions equal to taking 15 million cars off the road for 10 years...more

Just political theater for what's to come:

The move comes just weeks before Obama heads to the United Nations climate summit in New York, Sept. 23, to tout the country's commitment to cutting greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating climate change. Obama has made reducing climate change a key part of his second-term agenda, and has focused on administrative actions. The U.N. summit is meant to help build momentum for climate change talks scheduled for 2015 in Paris.

Jindal: Climate change a 'Trojan horse' for the left

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal on Tuesday bashed liberals who he says are using climate change to further their own agenda. “For some on the left, climate change is simply a Trojan horse. It’s a way for them to come in and make changes to our economy that they would otherwise want to make,” he said during a speech hosted by the Heritage Foundation. "It’s an excuse for the government to come in and try to tell us what kind of homes we live in, what kind of cars we drive, what kind of lifestyles we can enjoy. It’s an excuse for some who never liked free-market economies and never liked rapid economic growth." While the Louisiana governor did not dispute that man-made climate change is happening, he urged “no regrets” climate policies that do not harm the United States’ economic standing around the world. Jindal, who is seen as a contender for the White House in 2016, made the remarks while unveiling a comprehensive energy and environmental platform aimed at freeing fossil fuels and other energy sources from the Obama administration’s policies...more

White House using global warming as a tool against capitalism?

By Ron Arnold

President Barack Obama will star in next week’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York City, and is expected to push his “climate accord in lieu of treaty” strategy to bypass the necessary two-thirds Senate ratification vote, seeking a “politically binding” deal that would “name and shame” recalcitrant countries into emissions control commitments. But Obama’s speech may not be the most influential performance on the New York stage.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon invited heads of state to the Summit nine months ago, beginning the scramble to persuade world leaders to show up for his all-ceremony, no-negotiations pep rally, which was rejected by the heads of state of China, India, Germany, Australia, and Canada – and gave plenty of notice for left-leaning Non-Governmental Organizations to steal the show.

While Ban desperately hoped his Summit would “put climate change back on top of the international agenda,” to kickstart stagnated treaty talks and stifle yawns from the world public, veteran anti-fossil fuel campaigner Bill McKibben ramped up his network for a 2014 replay of his 2009 blitz of 5,200 simultaneous climate demonstrations in 181 countries trying to support the failed Copenhagen climate talks.

While Ban looked in dismay as world polls relegated global warming fears to dead last (including one which showed that half of Britiain’s members of parliament reject man-made climate change as a fact), was recruiting 1,207 allied groups with its $3.6 million revenue – 25 of them local chapters – to launch the progressive Left’s dream, a “grassroots global revolt as the key answer to the climate crisis.”

Curtain, reviews come down on taxpayer-funded climate change musical

The Los Payasos Award today has to go to the DC Deep Thinkers who approved this grant.  Who recommended this grant and who gave the final approval?  Will they be held accountable? Of course not.  This is a great example of why the gov't should stay out of the arts.

The curtain has come down on Climate Change: The Musical and reviews of the taxpayer-funded play about global warming are downright icy. The play, which is actually entitled "The Great Immensity," and was produced by Brooklyn-based theater company The Civilians, Inc. with a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, ended its run early amid a storm of criticism from reviewers and lawmakers alike. It opened a year late, reached just five percent of its anticipated audience and likely fell short of its ambitious goal of informing a new generation about the perceived dangers of man-caused climate change. Plus, it apparently wasn't very good. According to a plot description on the theater company’s website, "The Great Immensity" focuses on a woman named Phyllis as she tries to track down a friend who disappeared while filming an assignment for a nature show on a tropical island. During her search, she also uncovers a devious plot surrounding an international climate summit in Auckland, New Zealand. The description touts the play as “a thrilling and timely production” with “a highly theatrical look into one of the most vital questions of our time: How can we change ourselves and our society in time to solve the enormous environmental challenges that confront us?”...more

Yellowstone seeks to cull 900 bison from famed herd

Yellowstone National Park plans to reduce its bison population this winter by as many as 900 head, or a fifth of the herd, by killing off those animals that stray from the park in what would be the largest such culling in seven years, the park's wildlife chief said on Tuesday. The plan was unveiled a day after conservationists filed a legal petition demanding the Obama administration end annual culling exercises that have resulted in thousands of Yellowstone bison being shipped off to American Indian tribes for slaughter during the past decade. In recent years, wayward bison have been removed through a combination of special round-ups and hunting. The latest quota would cut the size of the country's last pure-bred band of free-ranging bison, also known as buffalo, to 4,000 animals from an estimated 4,900. The new push to cull the herd is tied to a long-standing management plan hammered out among federal and state wildlife and agricultural agencies that sets the target population at between 3,000 and 3,500 bison...morefed

Ticks and Cowboys

Michael Bolfing is one of the only cowboys in the world who will retire with a government pension — that is, if he retires. “Most guys don’t retire, they just die,” he says of the other employees of the United States Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program. Bolfing is tall and thin, with short-cropped hair and a Texas drawl. His horse is a companion, not a pet. When Bolfing is asked its name he says, “It’s got a lot, but you probably can’t write any of them down.” “Tick riders” are saving the United States an estimated $1 billion every year by keeping a worldwide scourge out of the country: Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus and its cousin, R.(B.) annulatus, otherwise known as two species of cattle fever ticks. These are no mere pests. They transmit parasites that can kill cattle in a week; they can also suck a herd dry, cutting the weight of a steer by 20 percent in a year. Cattle ticks drastically reduce meat and milk production, and trash leather quality. Bill Coble, Webb County Tick Supervisor, opens a portable spray-dip machine used for treating cattle with a tickicide.1 At the Webb County administrative office, livestock records are recorded on a chalkboard.2 U.S. Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program Director Edwin Bowers near the border between the U.S. and Mexico.3 1Bill Coble, Webb County Tick Supervisor, opens a portable spray-dip machine used for treating cattle with a tickicide. 2At the Webb County administrative office, livestock records are recorded on a chalkboard. 3U.S. Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Program Director Edwin Bowers near the border between the U.S. and Mexico. In short, they have the capacity to decimate the Texas cattle industry, but haven’t, largely thanks to cowboys like Bolfing. Monday to Friday, he rides the Rio Grande, looking for stray cows and horses from Mexico that might be ferrying cattle ticks across the border. In 1906, the U.S. went to war on cattle ticks. The government created the tick rider program, and by 1943, cattle ticks were declared eradicated everywhere but the permanent quarantine zone — an 800-kilometer strip along the Rio Grande that ranges from a few hundred yards to a few miles across. Before any animals can leave the buffer, they have to be checked for ticks and dunked in pesticides. The U.S. is the only country that has waged a successful battle against the ticks so far. Now, just 68 tick riders hold the line against invasion. Despite the many precautions, outbreaks happen. During the last major flare-up in 2007, 1.5 million acres beyond the permanent buffer zone were quarantined. Affected ranchers across South Texas dipped their animals regularly for months at a time or rotated pastures to starve the ticks. Today, there are still 35,000 acres of quarantined ranch land beyond the permanent buffer. Any cattle that come into the U.S. go through a strict inspection. If one animal has cattle ticks, the whole herd is sent back. Clean cows are “dipped”: dunked horn-to-tail in a deep vat of tickicide. But scientists have found ticks resistant to major classes of pesticides in Mexico and around the world...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1295

Many in my age group may remember the 1963 world-wide hit by Japanese artist Kyu Sakamoto titled Sukiyaki. Its the only tune by a Japanese artist to hit #1 on the U.S. charts. The original Japanese title was Ue O Muite Aruko, meaning I Shall Walk Looking Up (So My Tears Won't Fall).  Combine the beautiful melody with my love of dixieland jazz and you get this instrumental version by Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Bear bite probably killed man; both species may have been on remains

A bear bite probably killed a Virgin, Utah, man whose remains were found Friday in the Teton Wilderness but investigators aren’t yet certain what species of bear might be responsible. A preliminary pathology report indicates the victim died from blunt force trauma, “probably a bear bite” to the head, Wyoming Game and Fish Lander Regional Wildlife Supervisor Jason Hunter told WyoFile on Monday. Hunter has worked closely with Fremont County officials in the ongoing investigation into the death of Adam Stewart, 31. Stewart was visiting a plot to monitor vegetation under a contract with the U.S. Forest Service, Sheriff’s office records state. Volunteers and others launched a 5-day search for him in the Cub Creek drainage north of Togwotee Pass in the roadless Teton Wilderness of the Bridger-Teton National Forest. Investigators didn’t know Monday what species might have killed Stewart. Officials have found “nothing that indicates from our investigation what type of bear it was,” Hunter said. Tracks from both species – black and grizzly — were at the scene, he said. There also were clues on the remains that could show what species were on the victim’s body. “Just looking at the hairs we could have two different species,” Hunter said...more

Is this a wolf track?

Photo taken this weekend on a ranch in the San Antonio, NM. area.

Otero County commissioners terminate 3 contracts with Lincoln National Forest

Otero County Commissioners have terminated three contracts with the Lincoln National Forest and opted out of scheduling a town hall meeting to discuss the termination of the contracts with forest officials. During Thursday's commission meeting, District 3 Commissioner Ronny Rardin said he was opposed to holding a town hall meeting with the USFS. "I have no desire to meet with the Forest Service any further than I already have," Rardin said." Otero County Commissioners have terminated three contracts with the Lincoln National Forest and opted out of scheduling a town hall meeting to discuss the termination of the contracts with forest officials. During Thursday's commission meeting, District 3 Commissioner Ronny Rardin said he was opposed to holding a town hall meeting with the USFS. "I have no desire to meet with the Forest Service any further than I already have," Rardin said. During July's commission meeting the commissioners had considered severing all working contracts with the USFS. The commission voted against severing all contracts with the Forest Service but agreed to take some contracts into consideration for possible termination. After the July meeting, the commission selected a few contracts to terminate with the USFS. Otero County Manager Pamela Helter said the commissioners decided to terminate three contracts with the Forest Service. The three contracts that are being terminated are: the Master Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) contract which was established Oct. 17, 2012; Two Goats Project established April 3, 2013 and Dale Resler Boys Scout Camp established July 24, 2013. Heltner sent a 30 day notice to Lincoln National Forest officials on July 30, 2014 that stated the county's intent to terminate the three contracts. The termination letter to the Lincoln National Forest Supervisor Travis Mosley states, "Otero County has tried diligently to work with the Forest Service on multiple issues and the Forest Service has not responded in a manner that we feel benefits the constituents of Otero County." Lincoln National Forest Sacramento District Ranger James Duran said the Forest Service is willing to work with the commission in the future to try and arrange a meeting. Rardin said meeting with the Forest Service in the past hasn't paid off and he doesn't expect it will be any different in the future. Rardin said prior meetings about issues the county has had with the Lincoln National Forest regarding water property rights were futile...more

Colorado ranchers’ Pinon Canyon victory earns magazine cover story

“In 2005, the entire agricultural community in Southeast Colorado faced losing their ranches to an aggressive land grab by the U.S. Army. By combining biological evidence, cultural heritage, intense document research, the political process, and when necessary, legal action, these ranchers smartly, legally, and collectively saved their land.” Thus begins, in big type over a two-page southeastern Colorado landscape, an eight-page feature in the October/November issue of American Cowboy written by the magazine’s editor-in-chief, Bob Welch. Reaching subscribers last week and newsstands now, Welch goes back to 1983 to tell of what’s become known among area ranching families as The Taking, when the Army created the quarter-million-acre Pinon Canyon Maneuver Site (PCMS) by using eminent domain to take the land from families unwilling to sell. Welch then jumps to 2005 when a map leaked to the La Junta Tribune-Democrat revealed an almost-unimaginably huge new land grab by the Army, which had secretly developed an elaborate plan to expand PCMS to seven million acres—roughly ten percent of Colorado’s land, bound by Interstate 25 to the west, New Mexico and Oklahoma to the south, and the Arkansas River to the north. More than 17,000 people would be removed from their vacated land. “This time, though, the Army lost the element of surprise,” Welch writes. “The ranchers and their allies would fight. They formed the Pinon Canyon Expansion Opposition Coalition (PCEOC) and two offshoots, Grasslands Trust and Not One More Acre!, and began drawing up a battle plan.” Welch proceeds to tell the story through interviews with many of the opposition leaders, all of them longtime residents of southeastern Colorado. None had experience as political organizers. Most were ranchers, and most of their families had been on the same land for generations.

Mont. wolf  hunt begins; activists shadow hunters

Montana’s six-month general hunting season for gray wolves began Monday as outside activists sought to highlight the killing of wolves that leave Yellowstone National Park. It’s the fourth annual hunt since Congress revoked endangered species protections in 2011 for the animals, and the fifth since 2009, when gray wolves briefly lost their protected status before it was temporarily restored by a federal judge. There was no hunt in 2010. Yet the hunt continues to stir debate. For this year’s opening, a small group of activists said they were shadowing two groups of backcountry hunting outfitters in a wilderness area next to Yellowstone. Rod Coronado with the recently formed Yellowstone Wolf Patrol said he and eight other volunteers planned to use a video camera to document the killing of any wolves. Coronado said they would not directly interfere with hunting, which would be illegal. “We’re hoping our presence here and taking video of it and photographing evidence can persuade Montana citizens to ask their governor to shut down the hunt outside the park,” Coronado said. In 1995, a federal judge sentenced Coronado to more than four years in prison for his role in an arson attack on an animal research facility in Michigan. He said Monday that he no longer considers illegal actions effective and has no intention of breaking any Montana laws...more

Another Washington wolf pack targets livestock

A northeastern Washington wolf pack so new it hasn't been formally recognized has been confirmed in a livestock attack in Ferry County, state wildlife officials announced today. The Profanity Pack, which apparently was documented sometime this year by a biologist working with the Colville Confederated Tribes, has been related to a wolf attack on cattle reported Sept. 12 on a Colville National Forest  grazing allotment. The pack, which doesn't yet show on state wolf recovery maps, was named for its proximity to Profanity Peak, elevation 6,428 feet, along the crest of the Kettle River Range east of Curlew, and north of Sherman Pass. “Remote cameras show the pack includes at least three adults and three pups,” said Nate Pamplin, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department wildlife program director. “WDFW is coordinating with the Colville Confederated Tribe on camera monitoring and future trapping efforts to place a radio collar on members of the pack.” The Diamond M livestock operation, grazing on a U.S. Forest Service (USFS) allotment, reported finding a wolf-killed cow and calf in the vicinity of the Profanity Peak pack, Pamplin said. Diamond M Ranch also had problems with wolf attacks mostly on private land in northern Stevens County in 2012. Those attacks affecting 17 cattle, led the state to put helicopter gunners in the air and kill eight members of the Wedge Pack. “WDFW staff and deputies from the Stevens County and Ferry County sheriff’s offices responded and went to the site on Friday,” Pamplin said. “The area was remote, about four miles by trail from the nearest road.  WDFW staff confirmed that the cattle had been killed by wolves approximately a week before the necropsy.”...more

Oregon wolves move closer to delisting

Oregon could have enough breeding pairs of wolves in 2015 to reach a minimum threshold for delisting wolves under the state Endangered Species Act. “We were told in the beginning that when wolves first came to the county, we were waiting for that day,” said Todd Nash, wolf committee chairman for the Oregon Cattleman Association. “We fully expect to reach that threshold this year.” The threshold is met when the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife verifies that the state hosts at least four breeding pairs of wolves in Eastern Oregon for three years. In 2012, biologists documented six breeding pairs, and they found four pairs in 2013 spread across Baker, Union, Umatilla and Wallowa counties. In the Western region, only one breeding pair is known to exist. The count for 2014 won’t be complete until January or even February of 2015, said Russ Morgan, who coordinates ODFW’s wolf program. However, early reports show more than four breeding pairs. “Oregon wolves are increasing, not just in abundance but in distribution as well,” Morgan said. That’s bittersweet news for Nash and his fellow ranchers because more wolves mean more potential problems for their animals, but it also means they would be allowed to use lethal force in more situations...more

Tribe protests plans to raise dam

A local tribe showed its displeasure with a proposal to raise Shasta Dam here by holding a four-day fast and ceremonial war dance beginning at dusk Sept. 11. Members of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe contend the proposal, which the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation could unveil by the end of this year, would cause more of their historical lands along the McCloud River to be flooded. “We’re a traditional tribe — we believe in our ceremonies and we believe in the sacred,” said Caleen Sisk, chief of the tribe based in Redding, Calif. “We’re telling the sacred places and the river that we’re doing everything we can to bring the salmon back and help the waters.” The Winnemem say they lost much of their homeland and their salmon when the dam was first constructed, and any raising would threaten to submerge many of their sacred sites and village areas. “We’re hoping the people of California will wake up to some of the water issues,” Sisk said. “California should be a salmon state … Before we started farming in the desert, we had every run of salmon. We should do that again because that’s what’s good for California.” While raising the dam has long been discussed as a way to add water storage, Reclamation officials are studying a series of alternative ranging from taking no action to raising it by 18 feet, project spokesman Louis Moore said...more