Friday, November 13, 2015

The Exploding Whale 45th Anniversary - Video - Your government at work

 In celebration of Portland television station KATU's 50th year on the air, the station's "AM Northwest" program rebroadcast Paul Linnman's original exploding whale news report and interviewed Linnman over the phone afterward. The video seen here, in its entirety, is of slightly better quality than previous videos.

FBI investigating shooting of rancher by Idaho deputies

The FBI is investigating the shooting death of a central Idaho rancher by sheriff’s deputies for possible federal criminal violations by the officers. U.S. Attorney for Idaho Wendy Olson announced the federal investigation at a meeting with reporters Thursday at her office in Boise. The FBI’s investigation is in addition to an ongoing investigation by the Idaho State Police; the Idaho Attorney General is serving as a special prosecutor in connection with the ISP investigation. The ISP and attorney general will be looking at possible state criminal violations. Federal statutes that could be implicated include the federal prohibition on a law enforcement officer willfully and intentionally depriving a person of his or her statutory or constitutional rights. Intentional use of excessive force by law enforcement could violate the Fourth Amendment protections against illegal search and seizure. Olson offered no time frame for the federal investigation. “We want to be deliberate and thorough,” she said. As authorities sort through the evidence in the case, she said, “People will need to be patient.” Yantis’ family members, at least two of whom witnessed the shooting, said the deputies had unsuccessfully tried to shoot the bull, and as Yantis aimed his rifle to shoot it in the head, they accosted him and shot him...more

Couple in Adams County car-bull crash healing from serious injuries

Doris Garner has no memory of the vehicle hitting the bull, much less anything that came after, when a terrible collision took its far more tragic turn. Garner and her husband, Jack, were driving home to Nampa from a family visit in LaCrosse, Wash., near dusk on Nov. 1 when their Subaru collided with a bull on U.S. 95 in Adams County. Both suffered serious injuries. Doris faces two to three weeks more in the hospital, her sister, Shannon Ellis, said Thursday. Jack is home. “He just said they came around the corner and there was the biggest black cow. ‘I didn’t have time to do anything,’ ” Ellis said Jack told her. “He says he remembers everything going black when it hit up into the windshield.”...more

Monarch butterfly population may quadruple - Mexico

Temascaltepec, Mexico - Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico could nearly quadruple in number this year, thanks to actions taken by the United States, Mexico and Canada to protect the migratory species, authorities said on Thursday. After years of sharp decline, the three countries agreed at a summit in February 2014 to form a working group to foster the insect's survival. More than a year later, the measures "are having an effect", Mexican Environment Minister Rafael Pacchiano said at a news conference at the Piedra Herrada monarch reserve alongside US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell. The falling population has been blamed on illegal logging in their Mexican wintering grounds and the drop in milkweed on which they feed due to the use of pesticides in the United States. Pacchiano said Mexican authorities have launched "important" operations to combat illegal logging while Jewell said the United States is working on replanting milkweed in three million hectares of land and designating pesticide-free areas...more

10-state NRCS project will improve monarch habitats

USDA on Thursday announced a new conservation effort to help ag producers provide food and habitat for monarch butterflies in a 10-state area including the Midwest and southern Great Plains. USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service will lead the effort, investing $4 million in 2016 to help combat the iconic species' decline. NRCS will provide technical and financial assistance to help producers and conservation partners plant milkweed and nectar-rich plants along field borders, in buffers along waterways or around wetlands, in pastures and other suitable locations. NRCS also help producers manage their pastures in ways that increase critical populations of milkweed and nectar plants while also improving the health of their rangelands. Environmental Quality Incentives Program and remaining funds from the former Wetlands Reserve Program provide funding for the project...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1518

We'll close out Country Roots Week with Cliff Carlisle singing a truism - It Takes The Old Hen To Deliver The Goods.  The tune was recorded in Charlotte, N.C. on June 20, 1936 and released on the Bluebird label.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Town Hall meeting addresses shooting death of Council rancher - video

COUNCIL, Idaho - It has been over a week since the shooting death of rancher Jack Yantis. Tuesday night marked the first public address for Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman, who is in the middle of a firestorm in Adams County. More than 200 people turned out in Council for a town hall meeting conducted by Zollman, as he hoped to begin the healing process in this small town. Reporters were allowed to attend the community meeting, but not to record audio or video. Zollman said he held the meeting to stand in front of the community and show them he is committed to finding the truth about what happened. He also said he wanted to share what he could about the timeline and the process going forward. Zollman made a short statement to start, saying the case has been taken over by the Attorney General's Office, but that the investigation remains in the hands of Idaho State Police. He told the group gathered he had no new information to share about the investigation, and urged patience as the investigation continues. "This is going to be a long, drawn-out process," he said. "It's been over a week now. The community's got a lot of questions, a lot of concerns. They don't know what's going on." Lots of questions from citizens Tuesday night focuses on whether video evidence of what happened had been captured of dash and body cameras? The sheriff said that because dash and body cams were turned over to ISP immediately, he never had a chance to look at them and doesn't know if they were turned on during the confrontation. The meeting was contentious at times, but some residents also applauded the sheriff and his promise to find the truth. Zollman told the crowd once a report is released he will share it with residents first and then with the media. Sarah Yantis, Jack's daughter, was emotional after the nearly one-hour meeting. She told KTVB the sheriff didn't answer any questions. "I found him to be evasive [and] contradictory, and in the end I just asked him to look me in the eye when he lied to us," she said. Others in the community also expressed dissatisfaction with the sheriff's answers. "We really didn't find anything out," Council resident Don Mello said after the meeting...more

Here's the KTVB video report:

Residents still want answers after Tuesday night meeting about death of Jack Yantis - video

...When asked about body cameras, Zollman explained he did not know if body cams were recording during the incident. Several community members responded with concerns why Jack Yantis wasn't medically treated, or allowed to be aided by his family who were on scene of the shooting. After nearly 45 minutes of questions from the community, some residents became angry and walked out of the church. At one point, Zollman said, "We are innocent until proven guilty," which prompted laughter from several people in the audience. One individual asked Zollman if he would step down from the position if he hired, "two murderers," which Zollman responded as, "No. I will absolutely not." The daughter of Jack Yantis, Sarah, spoke to the media beforehand only a short distance away from where Jack was fatally shot by deputies on November 1st after an altercation occurred. "The road has been washed twice. It rained for a night and a day and his blood still remains here on the road and I believe this is where his blood is going to stay until he receives justice for this tragic and needless murder," Sarah Yantis explained...more

Here's the KIVI video report:

'Left for dead like common roadkill': Yantis family look for answers

THe family of a rancher who was shot and killed in Council told their side of the story Tuesday. And although details about the shooting are still unclear, Jack Yantis' daughter Sarah was adamant that her father was murdered by Adam County deputies. And they want to see justice. The family of Jack Yantis has accused the deputies involved of murdering Jack. They released a statement earlier on Tuesday regarding the incident. Here's the remaining statement read by Sarah Yantis: "My father did not receive any care, including medical care, prior to my arrival," she continued. "And he was shot and left for dead like common roadkill. At the same time, the bull was left to suffer and bleed out inhumanely. When asked to put it down, they would not do it. "While my father's blood stains this pavement, the officers that murdered him are on paid leave. What has America come to? It's no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave."...more

The KBOI video report is at the link provided.

Left and right agree: Investigators should release Yantis killing video

America’s political left and right agree: Idaho State Police investigators must release video accounts of two Adams County Sheriff’s Deputies shooting and killing Council rancher Jack Yantis — if footage exists. Today, American Civil Liberties Union and the Cato Institute experts told that police have a moral and legal duty to make the videos public if the devices worn by the deputies captured the killing. Chad Marlow, Advocacy and Policy Council for the ACLU, said if police block the release of any video it undermines the public’s trust in law enforcement. “The entire purpose behind [body cameras] .. is because they are helpful in increasing police transparency and accountability,” Marlow said. Adams County Sheriff Ryan Zollman told a local newspaper his deputies wore body cameras during the Nov. 1 confrontation with Yantis, but didn’t say whether the devices captured the incident. Matthew Feeney, a Cato Institute policy analyst, suggested police release the footage to any interested parties after a public records request, but also offered room for a compromise. In an email Feeney stated, “At the very least I think that the rancher’s next of kin should be able to view the body camera footage.” Marlow agreed, “It’s a basic human right to know what led to the demise of a family member.”...more

Rancher shooting will haunt Council community for long time

Although U.S. 95 runs right through downtown Council, it is not a familiar place to many people in the Treasure Valley. And that’s OK with many of those who live here.

Council is nestled in between arms of the Payette National Forest, which surrounds the valley on three sides. It’s a very rural area, where many folks are conservative in their politics, independent in their lifestyles and don’t mind being left alone by a fast-paced outside world.

That very setting, on a major north-south travel route through the state — and through a national forest — spawned a chain of tragic events.

Every year, as autumn leaves begin to fall, cattle come streaming “home,” down from the grazing allotments that ranchers lease on the forest. Unfortunately, one of the travel routes they use is Idaho 95. Many of the cattle coming off the forest are black, and the combination of a black cow on the blacktop of a narrow, winding highway is a recipe for disaster. Nobody likes the situation, especially the ranchers who every year lose cattle that are hit by vehicles.

Just after dark on Nov. 1, a couple in a small car hit a large, black bull on the highway about 6 miles north of Council. The car was flattened like a tin can; the occupants and the bull were badly injured.
The bull belonged to Jack and Donna Yantis, whose short ranch driveway comes down off a low foothill onto the highway near where the bull was hit.

Jack and Donna grew up near Council. Jack was born here 62 years ago and was raised on a cattle ranch at Fruitvale — a wide spot on a side road that once had a post office and store. Jack, his two older brothers and a younger sister grew up on hard work under the guidance of their father — a World War II veteran who saw combat in a tank unit. The Yantis boys developed a deep-seated work ethic and a unique toughness. Each went on to operate ranches of their own in the Council area.

The scene of the crash was soon lit by the lights of ambulances, fire trucks and Adams County law enforcement vehicles. Just as the EMTs had loaded the occupants of the car into ambulances, several gunshot blasts shattered the night air a short distance away. What happened in those few seconds has been the source of disbelief, sadness and anger in the small community ever since.

Jack Yantis was shot several times by Adams County officers and died at the scene. Donna suffered a heart attack from witnessing this horror and nearly died.

Little of the whole tragedy makes any sense to local people. It’s common knowledge that an animal injured too badly to survive needs to be put out of its misery. And yet, it seems when Jack interrupted his dinner to do just that with a rifle, something went terribly and inexplicably wrong.

Read more here:

Editorial - What Climate Alarmists Want: 'A World Without Capitalism'

Researchers from developed nations who insist that humans are warming the planet have inadvertently given Third World nations a weapon to shake down capitalist nations. Or was that the plan all along?

Third World nations haven't developed their economies because their governments are often run by con men, thieves, killers and tyrants.

While these governments never recognize that they are the problem, they do know an opportunity for a racket when they see one.

Extortion often comes with a veneer of legitimacy, though, and that's what we have in a manifesto produced by Bolivia. It is ostensibly that country's contribution to the United Nations climate conference that begins later this month in Paris.

But it's really a facade hiding a corrupt campaign.

According to the Bolivian government, which takes its orders from extreme-left President Evo Morales, "the failed capitalist system, (which) promotes consumerism, warmongering and commercialism, causing the destruction of Mother Earth and humanity, (has) triggered the climate crisis."

Good to know that. As for the solutions, they include "adoption of a new model of civilization in the world without consumerism, warmongering and mercantilism." Bolivia also wants "a world without capitalism."

It also demands "protection of the Rights of Mother Earth" and the elimination of patents on technology.

...What Bolivia really wants is to bleed prosperous nations to make up for its economic failures, and it's using the fabricated climate crisis as a weapon — a weapon provided by Western scientists who promote the global warming scare.

Obama Should Let Fossil Fuels Lie

PRESIDENT OBAMA’S rejection of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline last week had the ring of a great victory for the environment. But even as he declared the United States a “global leader” in the transition to cleaner energy, he revealed a challenge that neither he nor his administration has confronted: “If we’re going to prevent large parts of this earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes,” the president said, “we’re going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground, rather than burn them and release more dangerous pollution into the sky.”

The logic is clear. If we don’t extract them, we can’t burn them. Even better, this is a change the president can actually make, without the approval of Congress. With the climate summit meeting in Paris near, and the Keystone decision fresh, the United States can truly take the lead on these fuels by stemming their production, not just their consumption.

Most climate debates have focused on cutting the use of fossil fuels. But besides a few high-profile scuffles over fuel extraction in vulnerable wild places like the offshore Arctic, political leaders have ignored fossil fuel production as a necessary piece of climate strategy.

...Globally, we will have to use far less of our already proven reserves of oil, gas and coal in the next 35 years if we are to even have a shot at avoiding the most disastrous warming effects. Some say we need to keep a third of the earth’s oil reserves, half its gas and 80 percent of its coal unused. We need to lock up those fuels that would push us past the tipping point. And the most logical place for the United States to start is on our public lands.

About half of all potential future global warming emissions from United States fossil fuels lie in oil, gas and coal buried beneath our public lands, controlled by the federal government and owned by the American people — and not yet leased to private industry for fuel extraction.

...Most of our fuel-bearing federal lands are either beneath the ocean along our coasts or in the interior West, and are largely controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies. This means the White House has the power to end public-lands extraction of fossil fuels. It wouldn’t take an act of Congress — though a bill to do just that, albeit one that won’t get through a Republican-controlled Senate, was recently introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley, Democrat of Oregon, Bernie Sanders, independent of Vermont, and Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont. Mr. Obama has the authority, under federal laws like the Mineral Leasing Act and Federal Land Policy and Management Act, to delay and ultimately stop new leasing of fossil fuels on public lands.


Feds Spend $2.5 Million on Mindfulness Intervention for Kindergarteners

The Department of Education is spending upwards of $2.5 million to bring a mindfulness intervention to kindergarteners in Chicago, where kids can go to “calm spots” in the corner to watch nature videos. The National Institutes of Health has spent over $100 million studying the New Age meditation technique, but it is not the only federal agency pouring federal funding into mindfulness. The Education Department has introduced a “Calm Classroom” program into 3,000 schools through its Investing in Innovation fund, costing taxpayers $2,513,093. “Mindfulness is a secular, psychological mode involving non-judgmental focus on present-moment sensations, and has been shown to have a number of benefits to well-being,” the grant abstract for the project states. “Our project offers an innovative approach not only because mindfulness is unique relative to traditional social-emotional learning (SEL) programs, but also because of added elements designed to replenish children’s focus directly back into the content of school, including always-available ways to take very brief ‘brain breaks.’” The program involves classrooms doing mindfulness activities three times a day. The exercises include “guided breathing with eyes closed, stretching, yoga-inspired poses, ‘body scan’ visualizations, focus on external objects, and ‘social mindfulness’ exercises involving peer interaction.” The grant was awarded to the Erikson Institute, a graduate school that specializes in early childhood development. Erikson invented the “Calm Spot,” or a corner for kids to put on noise canceling headphones and watch “soft fascination” videos of nature scenes on tablets...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1517

Time for some old time fiddling on Country Roots Week.  Here is Sweet Silas by the Stripling Brothers.  The tune was recorded in New York City on Sept. 10, 1934 and released on the Decca label.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Rancher’s memorial service set for Sunday, ‘peaceful protest’ for Saturday

Organizers have scheduled a gathering for noon Saturday at Council Elementary School, 202 Michigan Ave. “We want to do this protest to show that we support the Yantis family. We want everybody to know that we all deserve to live in a safe, peaceful environment where police are there to protect us,” said event organizer Becca Barrow. “We are in shock that this happened in little, tiny Council, Idaho. I would never have guessed that something like this would happen there. It bothers a lot of us that it did.” Jack Yantis was shot to death by two Adams County sheriff’s deputies Nov. 1 on U.S. Highway 95 in front of his ranch, about 6 miles north of Council. Two members of Yantis’ family witnessed the shooting. They told the Statesman he was shot by two deputies for no apparent reason when he was about to shoot a bull he owned that had been hit by a Subaru station wagon. The Adams County Sheriff’s Office has not commented publicly on the specifics of the shooting. Idaho State Police are investigating the incident, and the Idaho Attorney General’s Office will serve any necessary role as prosecutor in the case...more

Jack Yantis’ wife, Donna, was standing about 20 feet away from her husband when deputies shot and killed him.  Shortly after the shooting she suffered a heart attack and was transported to a Boise hospital where she remains hospitalized.  In a videotaped statement made from her hospital bed, Donna Yantis, 63, gave this account of the incident:

“On Nov. 1 at approximately 7 p.m. Adams County Sheriff’s Department called and told us there was a bull that got hit and they wanted us on the scene and he was mad. So we went down to check it out. I took Jack his gun so he could put the bull out of its misery. When he walked up there and was gonna put him down the officer came up and jerked him back almost off his feet. I don’t know what they told him, but they just opened fire and shot him. And then they threatened me and my nephew, Rowdy Paradis, threw us on the middle of Highway 95, searched us and handcuffed us and wouldn’t let us go take care of Jack.”

GOP lawmakers call for new approach to wild horse overpopulation

Republicans in Congress want the Bureau of Land Management to answer for an "ineffective" strategy that has failed to halt the explosion of wild horse and burro populations both on the range and in captivity. In a Nov. 4 letter to BLM director Neil Kornze, Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei from Nevada and 18 other lawmakers requested a detailed report on what the agency is doing now and what it plans to do in the future to bring horse populations under control. According to the letter, current strategies "have been largely unsuccessful" across the West, leading to overcrowding in BLM herd management areas and holding facilities, poor herd health and damage to range land. "Almost half of the 100,000 horses under the purview of the Bureau of Land Management are located in holding facilities off the range, and adoptions have fallen by almost 70 percent in the last 10 years," the letter says. The lawmakers are asking the BLM for details on birth control treatments, "humane euthanasia," roundups, adoptions and other efforts to shrink herds to the agency's own "appropriate management level" for the West, which calls for a total population of no more than 26,715 horses and burros across 10 states. As of March 1, there were some 58,150 horses and burros living free on the range, more than half of them in Nevada, according to BLM estimates. In addition to information on current efforts, Congressional Republicans want Kornze and company to produce four to six detailed plans, including timelines and cost estimates, to "effectively curb the overarching trend of overstocked" herd management areas...more

Warmists armed with windmills are the REAL threat to Britain

by Peter Hitchens

As we squeak and gibber about the distant danger of terrorism, this country stands on the brink of a real threat to its economy, its daily life and its order.

It is a threat we have brought on ourselves by embracing an obsessive, pseudo-scientific dogma, a dogma that is also destroying irreplaceable industries and jobs week by week.
Last week we came within inches of major power blackouts, though official spokesmen claim unconvincingly that all was well.

Experts on the grid have for some time predicted a crisis of this sort, but had not expected it anything like so soon, or in such warm weather conditions. It is the fact that they were taken by surprise that warns us there may be worse to come.

Though Wednesday was mild for the time of year, the National Grid had to resort to emergency measures to keep Britain’s lights on. These included paying industries to reduce their power consumption and giving electricity generators up to 50 times the normal wholesale price to produce additional supplies – plainly emergency measures.

Forests of hideous, useless, vastly subsidised windmills predictably failed to help – because there was no wind. Acres of hideous, useless, vastly subsidised solar panels predictably failed to help, because it was dark.

Several perfectly good coal-fired power stations failed to help because we recently shut them down and blew them up. We did this in obedience to European Union regulations that prevent Britain from generating power from coal.

Meanwhile, China builds a new coal-fired power station every few weeks and fills the atmosphere with soot and carbon dioxide. If man-made CO2 really does cause global warming, then this policy of destroying Britain’s coal-fired power stations is not affecting that.

Even on its own terms, the action is mad.

Craziest fact of all: if things get really desperate, the Grid will resort to banks of back-up diesel generators, perhaps the least green form of energy there is. And if they can’t cope, a country almost wholly dependent on electrically powered computers will go dark and silent, as our competitors laugh.

This all sounds vaguely familiar...

Abbott: ‘Need for speed’ in action against BLM

The state is reaching a point to where something quickly needs to happen to resolve the land dispute between Texas landowners and the Bureau of Land Management, the top elected official in the state said Tuesday evening. Wichita Falls-native Gov. Greg Abbott was in Wichita Falls to be the keynote speaker at the Americanism dinner, sponsored by the Boy Scouts of America's Northwest Texas Council. Before the event, though, he met with a few landowners in danger of losing their land the BLM claims it has owned since the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. A map was placed on a table that displayed where the landowners' property ends according to historic deeds, and where the BLM says that boundary is. Abbott said he began fighting the federal agency when he was Texas' attorney general before being elected governor in 2014. "What I got to see tonight were further changes in the way the BLM is doing a land grab of Texas property," he said. "So I'm getting even more information that will empower Texas to take the next appropriate steps to protect our landowners." In question are about 45,000 acres along a 116-mile stretch land along the Red River from Doan's Crossing in Wilbarger County to Stanfield in northeast Clay County. The BLM says a treaty with Spain and U.S. Supreme Court cases in the 1920s justify their claim, but landowners and surveyors in Texas disagree...more

The Climate Agenda Behind the Bacon Scare

EPA Gave Paid Leave to Drug and Child Sex Offenders

Drug and child sex offenders received paid administrative leave from the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new audit. The agency’s inspector general found the EPA rehired a child sex offender after they were put on leave for violating probation, in one example of misuse of administrative leave that cost taxpayers over $1 million. One employee, who confessed to “knowingly and intentionally engaging in sexual contact with a child younger than 17 years” in the 1990s, received paid administrative leave after they were arrested for a probation violation in August 2013. Another employee was placed on paid administrative leave for seven months after being arrested for marijuana possession.In another case, it took two years for an employee to receive a two-week suspension for “lack of candor.” The employee was placed on administrative leave in January 2012, and did not return to work until January 2014, racking up 3,561 hours of administrative leave. In all, the eight employees recorded 20,926 hours of administrative leave, costing the government an estimated $1,096,868...more

DHS spends $1B to digitize, only 1 immigration form available online

A Department of Homeland Security agency spent more than $1 billion in taxpayer money to digitize immigration paperwork -- and after a decade of work, only has managed to put one document online.  The Washington Post reported Monday that officials at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services still are only able to offer a single form -- out of nearly 100 -- for online applications, and make a single fee payable electronically.  All other forms can still only be filed with paper.  The report sheds light on a struggling effort that not only has frustrated immigrant applicants but raises national security concerns and could put at risk any effort to overhaul immigration policies.  The project was originally supposed to be done in 2013, for a half-billion-dollar price tag...more

Socorro commission bans local wolf releases

The Socorro County Commission voted unanimously to ban the release of wolves in their area. The meeting was packed, and several people were pleased with the decision. Those opposed to the wolves release said they feared for the safety of their children and livestock. One woman said she lost $18,000 worth of livestock due to wolf attacks. Others were unhappy with the decision and said the committee had no right to override federal law.  KOAT-TV

Portales couple indicted on cattle fraud charges, owners and buyers shorted millions

Portales couple, 50-year-old Calvin Pareo and 41-year-old Darcie Pareo face a 139-count indictment, including charges of forgery, fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering. Ninth Judicial District Attorney, Andrea Reeb says this is one of the biggest cases she's ever worked on. Her office has been working on this case for almost a year. "This case is way bigger than probably our office," said Reeb. "We got together with state police, the livestock board, and the Roosevelt County Sheriff's Department. Then we did a big search on January 21st of this year." The investigation alleges a fraudulent scheme by Mr. and Mrs. Pareo, the managers of a New Mexico livestock auction. Calvin Pareo would purchase cattle at the auction for certain prices, and then Darcie Pareo would change the prices after the auction. According to Reeb, investigators estimate 13,000 sales tickets were altered -- depriving dairy owners and buyers of more than $2 million. "I've never seen something to this magnitude as far as the amount of money that was going through this business," said Reeb. "When he's putting a price on a ticket and then she's altering it later, their making money on it and then they're filtering this money through another farm and that's how their hiding the money."...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1516

Its Country Roots Week and are you ready to waltz?  Here's the 78rpm of Taylor's Louisiana Melody Makers performing the beautiful On The Bridge At Midnight.  The tune was recorded in Memphis on Sept. 24, 1929 and released on the Victor label.  Arthur Smith and his Dixie Liners had a version of this tune in the late thirties that has another verse and it isn't a waltz.  The song is based on a poem by Longfellow titled The Bridge, which begins, "I stood on the bridge at midnight."

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Oregon wolves removed from state endangered species list

The gray wolf has lost its place on the Oregon endangered species list. The Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission on Monday voted to remove the animal from the list in a move that changes little about current wolf management but opens up the possibility for a controlled wolf hunt in the future. In a 4-2 vote following a marathon daylong meeting, commissioners signaled agreement with a staff recommendation to remove endangered species act protections for all of Oregon's 81 known gray wolves. Several commissioners said they would have preferred to remove the animals from the list only in Eastern Oregon, where most of them reside. However, state statute only makes room for statewide endangered species decisions. Commissioners directed Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff to work with lawmakers to consider a bill to change that statute. They also directed staff to work on a proposal to increase the legal penalty for killing a wolf. Currently, the maximum penalty for doing so is up to a year in jail and a $6,250 fine. "Everyone on this panel cares about the wolf," commission Chairman Michael Finley said of Monday's decision. "I think you can see by asking for increased penalties and our statement about the future regulations that we mean that." Activists said they are likely to sue over the decision on the grounds that the science behind it didn't undergo an adequate peer review. The animals reached a population milestone this year -- four breeding pairs for the third straight year -- that triggered a state process to consider removing them from the list...more

EPA’s Smog Regulation Will Cost 40x More Than Predicted

The Environmental Protection Agency estimated its stricter smog limits would only cost Americans $1.4 billion a year, but a new report argues the total cost to the economy is likely 40 times higher than agency estimates. The right-leaning American Action Forum says EPA’s updated smog, or ground-level ozone, rule could cost $56.5 billion in lost wages based on economic losses from counties that couldn’t comply with the agency’s 2008 rule. “Observed nonattainment counties experienced losses of $56.5 billion in total wage earnings, $690 in pay per worker, and 242,000 jobs between 2008 and 2013,” according to AAf policy experts. EPA finalized stricter ozone standards earlier this year, forcing states to lower ambient levels from 75 parts per billion to 70 parts per billion. The problem is that compliance with previous ozone standards has proven difficult, especially for counties with heavy manufacturing centers. Counties that find themselves in noncompliance may be forced to curtail manufacturing or oil and gas extraction. Critics argue the rule is one of the costliest in U.S. history, likely to cost billions of dollars every year and harm economic growth...more

GAO: Climate Change Could Cause More: Cardiovascular Disease in Northwest, Allergies on Great Plains, Drownings in Midwest

Climate-related risks to public health in the United States could include a rise in cardiovascular disease in the Northwest, more allergies in Great Plains states, and an increase in drownings in the Midwest, according to a report [1] by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  Other potential impacts of climate change include a disruption of community water supplies in Alaska, more cases of dengue fever in Hawaii and West Nile virus in the Northeast, higher incidents of heat stress in the Southwest and increased fish poisoning in the Southeast. Citing the U.S. Global Change Research Program’s (USGCRP [2]) third National Climate Assessment [3] (NCA), GAO warned that “climate change is expected to impact human health in the United States by exacerbating some existing health threats and by posing new risks.” Besides “heat-related illnesses and deaths,” and “an increase in the length of pollen season,” climate change “may contribute to the spread of vector-borne diseases.” Extreme weather events, "which are expected to become more common with climate change, are linked with increases in injuries, deaths, and mental health problems, such as anxieity and post-traumatic stress disorder," the report added. “The magnitude of climate change beyond the next few decades depends primarily on the amount of heat-trapping gasses emitted globally, and how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to those emissions." GAO notes that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) requires state and local public health departments participating in its $3.6 million Climate Ready States and Cities Initiative [4] to “take steps to raise public awareness about the risks that climate change poses to public health.” The initiative is “the only HHS financial resource that has been offered to state and local public health departments that directly targets these risks,” GAO pointed out. Cities and states are also using CDC’s $22.6 million National Environmental Public Health Tracking Program, which includes “indicators on climate change, among other environmental hazards, related to extreme heat exposure” and its $611.1 million Public Health Emergency Preparedness program to support their climate change activities. But local public health officials who have used the federal money to hire “dedicated staff within their departments to work on this issue,” are reporting difficulty in communicating the warning message to the public. Difficulties include “challenges in identifying potential health risks of climate change as a result of research gaps” and “insufficient data on health impacts,” according to the performance audit, which GAO conducted between June 2014 and September 2015...more

 What about the heart break of psoriasis?  Do you think they are building up to the Paris meeting?  Just read on below.

World Bank: Climate change could result in 100 million poor

Climate change could push more than 100 million people into extreme poverty by 2030 by disrupting agriculture and fueling the spread of malaria and other diseases, the World Bank said in a report Sunday. Released just weeks ahead of a U.N. climate summit in Paris, the report highlighted how the impact of global warming is borne unevenly, with the world's poor woefully unprepared to deal with climate shocks such as rising seas or severe droughts. How to help poor countries - and poor communities within countries - deal with climate change is one of the crunch issues in talks on a global climate accord that's supposed to be adopted next month in Paris. Those who say that rich countries aren't doing enough to help the poor said the report added emphasis to demands for billions of dollars in so-called climate finance to developing countries...more

Michael Bloomberg launches $10 million ad campaign to cut carbon emissions

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is embarking on a $10-million-plus ad campaign to take on opponents of President Barack Obama's plan to reduce power-plant carbon emissions. Bloomberg's Independence USA PAC announced plans Friday to run TV spots aimed at the attorneys general of Florida, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin. They're among AGs suing to try to block the Clean Power Plan. They say it will kill coal mining jobs and drive up electricity costs. Bloomberg says their stance puts "the coal industry's financial interests ahead of their constituents' right to breathe clean air."...more

Hillary Clinton: People Are Fleeing Syria Because of ‘Climate Change’

Hillary Clinton lists the reasons why thousands of people are fleeing Syria:”Because of terrible governance, because of corruption, because of conflict, because of climate change.” On Wednesday, a Clinton aide confirmed that the candidate meant what she said on the connections between climate change and refugee crises. “As experts have noted,” the aide said, “climate change is one of the factors that can contribute to displacement and exacerbate refugee situations.”...more

 Scary words, coming out of the mouth of our next President.

Editorial - Here's The Real Reason Obama Killed The Keystone XL Pipeline

President Obama has junked the Keystone XL pipeline. His stated reason: The U.S. needs to lead the "serious action to fight climate change." His real reason is different.

'America," Obama said, is "now a global leader" in the climate war, "and frankly, approving this project would have undercut that global leadership."

He insists now is the time to "protect the one planet we've got while we still can." Though his rhetoric will resonate with those who want to hear that sort of bunkum, the rest of us recognize its vast emptiness.

Obama's decision Friday was based on nothing more than political opportunity. The announcement was timed to coincide with the United Nations climate talks, which begin in Paris at the end of the month, and shaped to make him look like a strong leader.

As usual, it was all about Obama, who craves the international approval and domestic back-pats he will get for being such a forward thinker.

But here's what we have learned through almost seven years of his presidency — when it's all about Obama, the rest of us generally get a boot to the head. In the instance of his Keystone decision, we're talking lost jobs and energy prices that will be higher than they should be.

Obama Leads But No One Follows In Climate Change Fight

The president wants to decarbonize the planet by killing fossil-fuel production and its high-paying jobs. Almost no other nation is following his lead despite the promises that will be made at the Paris climate summit. Last week we learned in a Reuters report that Asia will build 500 coal-burning electric generation plants this year alone. An additional 1,000 are planned in China, India, Japan, Indonesia and other countries. The latest projections are that 40% of the added power generation in Southeast Asia by 2040 will be coal-fired. Does this sound like a continent that's taking the alarm bells of catastrophic global warming seriously? So America shuts down its coal plants, while the rest of the world builds them. If that isn't bad enough news for the climate change lobby, the Times of London reports the world can "nearly double the available supplies of oil and gas in the next 35 years." And oil giant BP has issued a report that concludes: "This impending glut of hydrocarbons has demolished fears that the world is running out of oil." The world's reserves of oil are going up and are now just shy of 3 trillion barrels. The well is not running dry, in other words, and countries are going to burn more fossil fuel in the years to come. Meanwhile, negotiators in Paris are trying to keep their game faces on and pretend they're making great progress in reducing emissions. Are they living in the twilight zone?...more

Pressure builds to probe Exxon climate claims

The Obama administration is under increasing pressure to investigate allegations that Exxon Mobil Corp. misled the public about its knowledge of climate change. All of the Democratic candidates for president have called on the Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch an investigation, joining a number of Dem lawmakers and major environmental groups. Some are also pushing for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to probe whether the company broke federal law. The pressure on the feds to act only intensified on Nov. 5 when it was revealed that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman had launched his own probe. The allegations are creating a headache for the country's largest oil and natural gas company. Exxon's problems started in September, when news website InsideClimate News started publishing a multi-part investigation alleging that Exxon knew in great detail as early as the 1970s that carbon dioxide, produced mainly by burning fossil fuels such as oil and gas, was warming the planet...more

Interior, Energy to sign agreement establishing Manhattan Project Park

On Tuesday, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz will sign a memorandum of agreement, or MOA, in Washington, D.C., to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which will include Oak Ridge. The new park will be the first of its type to commemorate the Manhattan Project, a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II. The park will have three locations: Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington. National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis will attend the Tuesday morning ceremony along with U.S. senators Lamar Alexander, Maria Cantwell, Martin Heinrich, and Tom Udall, who represent each of the park’s locations. Leaders of the communities that will host the park, including Oak Ridge, will attend the ceremony...more

India Kicks Greenpeace Out Of The Country For ‘Fraudulent’ Operations

In a twist of irony, Greenpeace has been kicked out of the very country it’s trying to “save” from global warming.

India’s government has cancelled Greenpeace’s nonprofit registration after national security officials deemed the activist group a “threat to economic security” and took actions to limit the group’s ability to function.

The Tamil Nadu provincial government issued a notice Wednesday cancelling Greenpeace India Society’s registration for “‘fraudulently’ conducting their business by falsifying balance sheets, and other violations of the Tamil Nadu Societies Registration Act of 1975,” reports

For over a year, Indian officials have been cracking down on Greenpeace for protesting coal plants and mines the country is trying to use to bring electricity to the rural poor. Greenpeace has been working in the country for years, trying to get them to adopt solar energy to power the countryside.

SeaWorld to end killer-whale shows in San Diego

Amusement-park operator SeaWorld Entertainment will end killer-whale shows at its San Diego property following public scrutiny and regulatory pressure. “We’re not limited to any one animal, to any one show, to any one attraction," SeaWorld CEO Joel Manby told investors in an event that was live-streamed online. "We are listening to our guests; we're evolving as a company; we're always changing." The California Coastal Commission recently refused to give the company permission to breed killer whales, a decision that would have threatened its theatrical shows. The company is putting on hold a plan for a major tank expansion in San Diego, saying it will invest in a new "orca experience" to open in 2017. San Diego park visitors "want experiences that are more natural," Manby said. "So we actually think it’s a good thing because our guests will resonate with it more. The theatrical production of the show in that market is what they wanted to see less of."...more

That sounds ok, till you read this:

Manby said the company would continue killer-whale shows in San Antonio and Orlando.

Clearly, regulatory pressure and enviro PR are forcing them to make this change in Ca.

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1515

Continuing with Country Roots here is Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters telling us what happened when he traded his old Ford for a Wild Hoss.  The tune was recorded in New York City on Dec. 21, 1928 and released on the Brunswick label.  Its available on the Document Records CD Al Hopkins & His Buckle Busters, Vol. 3

Monday, November 09, 2015

Dueling drought relief bills reveal stark differences

As California enters the fifth consecutive year of unprecedented drought, Congress is debating two competing bills designed to provide federal drought relief to California agriculture. The proposals reveal stark differences in proposed federal water and environmental policy.
That Congress is considering federal drought assistance for California is welcomed – and most appropriate, given the federal government’s substantial role in the state’s water and environmental policies.

The federal government operates the Central Valley Project, a massive water storage and transportation system upon which much of the state depends. And federal regulators administer a host of environmental laws – most prominently the Endangered Species Act – vital to preservation of California environmental values.

Rep. David Valadao and fellow Republican House members from the San Joaquin Valley are sponsoring HR 2898, which has passed the House of Representatives and is pending in the Senate. Simply put, the bill would shift water resources devoted to California’s environment to agricultural users in the Valley. It would do so by modifying the ESA and other federal environmental laws, and suspend the government’s obligation under a recent, Congress-approved litigation settlement to restore water flows to the San Joaquin River.

While it’s been reported that California agriculture weathered the drought quite successfully, the environment has suffered disproportionately.

In response to the House bill, Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have introduced their own, competing drought relief proposal, S 1894. That bill takes a very different approach from its House counterpart.

Rather than suspend or repeal key environmental laws to accommodate agricultural interests, the Feinstein/Boxer bill seeks to expand available water resources for all Californians. It does so by offering federal support for water recycling efforts, desalination projects, stormwater capture, and agricultural and urban water conservation.

To be sure, the House and Senate bills share some common features. Both would require expedited economic feasibility studies for new, surface water storage projects long advocated by agricultural interests. And both would require that environmental review of federal drought relief projects be expedited, a sensible strategy.

 Richard M. Frank is a professor of environmental practice and director of the California Environmental Law & Policy Center at the UC Davis School of Law.

Read more here:

Moreover, the Senate bill expressly rejects the waiver or repeal of federal environmental laws to accommodate water demands of California farmers and ranchers.   In sum, the House bill would simply reallocate a portion of California’s finite water resources from one important use – preserving the environment – to another: agriculture.

Read more here:

You would expect the professor to be a little more objective in his use of terms.  No, professor, the House bill reallocates water from a small fish to the production of food for humans.   

Read more here:

Disappearing Texas: New reservoir could wash away farming life in Fannin County

Rolling past hayfields and old barns and cattle-pocked pastures, the road to Carson dips as it nears the wooded bottom land along Lower Bois d’Arc Creek. There, a red-tipped stake marks the line where open land will give way to water in central Fannin County if a proposed reservoir wins final approval. Around here, it’s also the front line in a stubborn struggle between reservoir supporters and a group of farmers and ranchers whose families have worked this land since the 1800s. The North Texas Municipal Water District hopes to build a dam 2 miles long just south of the Caddo Grasslands, then flood more than 16,500 acres beneath 22 feet of water on average, with some spots up to 70 feet deep. The water from Lower Bois d’Arc Creek and its many tributaries would provide an additional water source for Fannin County, but especially for its booming suburban neighbors to the west and south in Collin, Denton, Rockwall and Kaufman counties. Along with a new water supply and a new lake, the NTMWD says the roughly $1 billion project will bring jobs and tax revenue to a place residents describe as among the poorest in Texas.  While the Lower Bois d’Arc Creek has received state approvals and a State Water Implementation Fund for Texas loan of $82 million for land acquisition and ancillary construction work to help complete the project, the NTMWD still needs a federal permit. And despite Carter’s confidence, that final permit isn’t guaranteed. The opponents of the project find at least a ray of hope in that...more

Challenges to Government's Claim That Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's Grizzly Population Is Well

Claims by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team that the grizzly bear population in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is growing and genetically diverse are off-base, according to a wildlife biologist who long has studied the population and spent 17 years doing research for the team. The analysis promoted by the IGBST a week ago shows that the bear population in the ecosystem has continued to grow since the 1980s. Results indicate that the effective population size of Yellowstone grizzly bears, or the number of individuals that contribute offspring to the next generation, has increased 4-fold over a 25-year period, the report maintained. This provides evidence that Yellowstone grizzly bears are approaching the effective size necessary for long-term genetic viability, the study said.  But Dr. Dave Mattson, who has studied bears for three decades, said the claims can't be supported. “For this to happen, population growth rates would have needed to exceed anything known, or even possible, for grizzly bears, and the resulting putative size of the population would be far in excess of even the most optimistic current estimates,” said Dr. Mattson in a release. Dr. Mattson maintains that the report was issued to support efforts in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana to remove the grizzly bear from Endangered Species Act protection. On the Grizzly Times blog, writer Louisa Willcox, who long has followed wildlife issues in the ecosystem, argues that the recent upturn in the grizzly population is too small to declare success in recovering the species, particularly when you accept that there once were 100,000 grizzlies roaming the United States...more

BLM open to sage-grouse mapping changes

RIFLE — Garfield County officials remain optimistic over possible changes to habitat mapping for the greater sage-grouse in Colorado, changes that those officials said could ease restrictions on development, specifically in the oil and gas industry, while protecting the bird’s habitat in an area northwest of Parachute. The optimism stems from two recent developments: an assurance from the Bureau of Land Management that habitat mapping can change as new data becomes available; and an effort by Colorado’s northwest communities to conduct new habitat mapping across the region. “We’re very hopeful but the devil is in the details,” Fred Jarman, Garfield County community development director, said Thursday evening during a presentation to the county’s Energy Advisory Board. The county maintains its running contention that mapping used in developing the BLM’s sage-grouse protection measures does not take into account detailed terrain changes within the habitat area identified in Garfield County. Alternative mapping by the county took a finer-scale look at the terrain, and concluded the habitat areas were smaller than those identified in the mapping used by the BLM, Commissioner Tom Jankovsky said Thursday. “It’s very different than the rolling sagebrush habitat in Wyoming or in Moffat County for that matter,” Jankovsky said of the terrain in northwest Garfield County. The county first learned about the potential for future changes to the habitat mapping during a stakeholder meeting last week, according to Jarman, who added that Colorado Parks and Wildlife — the agency that provided the data for the current state sage-grouse mapping — indicated the map was not intended for specific policy implementation...more

 County officials, and others at the local and state level, have long been concerned over the impacts on oil and gas development, ranching and other land uses resulting from what those officials view as broad conservation measures. Instead, they have argued for a more localized approach. 

Will national policy objectives or local objectives with more accurate data rule the day? You can apply this to the entire West, as the BLM was rushed by politics and a court deadline to complete these RMPs.

Klamath Basin Water Deal Ticks Toward December Deadline

Time is running out for Congress to pass the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement. But at the White House Tribal Nations Conference late last week, there were glimmers of hope that it could still be possible. President Obama told the group he's committed to working with tribal nations to protect natural resources and honor their heritage. Kathy Hill – a member of the Klamath Tribal Council who was on the negotiating team for the agreement – was there, and said she heard mixed views about the future of the water agreement. "[U.S. Interior Secretary] Sally Jewell was optimistic," said Hill. "But then another person, not with the administration, told me, 'You know, nothing's going to get through this House this year.' And that's the mood, I think maybe, in Washington, D.C." The agreement governs water use in southern Oregon and northern California. It was hammered out by more than 40 parties, but expires at the end of this year without congressional approval. The Senate bill (SB 133) is stalled until a companion House bill is introduced. For that, all eyes are on Congressman Greg Walden, who has said it's a priority. Parts of the agreement affect more than Oregon and California. It calls for removal of four older dams in the region. However, if the agreement expires, PacifiCorp could upgrade and re-license the dams instead, passing the costs on to ratepayers in a half-dozen states...more

Dieselgate fallout: Now EVERY US diesel will get new EPA test

The fallout from Volkswagen's emissions cheating continues, with the US Environmental Protection Agency now planning to test every diesel from every manufacturer. VW's admission that its cars would not only fail emissions tests, but that it had installed software into millions of vehicles that would falsify its output to meet the requirements of the EPA and similar agencies in other countries under testing conditions, have prompted a complete overhaul of how such processes operate. Previously, the EPA operated almost on an honors system. Manufacturers would perform their own tests, and report those numbers to the agency; the EPA would then perform spot tests on select models in the hope of keeping manufacturers honest. Independent tests on a number of VW cars by a European organization, however, found that the real-world emissions were nowhere near what regulators had been led to believe. Initially, only one type of engine was believed to be affected, but now VW has admitted that at least two of its diesel engines used the software patch, and gasoline engines too. Faced with the mass flouting of its regulations, the EPA now says all recent diesels will require testing, rather than just a sample...more

Will New Mexico Lose Its Last Wild River?

Swackhamer is a member of Southwestern New Mexico Audubon, the state’s oldest Audubon chapter, which was formed in the mid-1960s to protest a proposed dam just upstream from here. That effort was successful, and over the past five decades this stretch of the Gila has managed to escape the fate of other southwestern rivers that have been dammed and diverted to supply cities like Phoenix, Tucson, and Albuquerque. That may change. This month, the state hopes to get approval from the Interior Department to move forward with a plan to build a major diversion on the Gila that will siphon billions of gallons of water each year away from the river and the habitats it supports, and pipe it to farms and towns across southwestern part of the state. Water deals are never simple in the West, and the Gila diversion project is no exception. In 2004, the Arizona Water Settlements Act, a federal law dealing with water rights in the Southwest, granted New Mexico permission to divert up to about 4.5 billion gallons annually from the Gila. (Any specific diversion proposal by the state would still be subject to the normal federal review process, including an Environmental Impact Statement.) It also promised $66 million in federal funding for any new water projects the state chose to take on, plus an additional $34 to $62 million to support the capital costs of a diversion project, should the state choose to pursue one.  For the past decade, environmental groups have urged New Mexico’s Interstate Stream Commission, which was charged with making the decision, to use the federal funds for water conservation initiatives, like improving irrigation efficiency and recycling wastewater. But in the end the opportunity to stake a claim on the Gila’s water proved too great a temptation, and last fall the ISC announced its intention to build a diversion. “This opportunity for New Mexico to develop the additional up-to-14,000 acre-feet of Gila River water is a one-time opportunity,” the acting ISC director said at the time. “We're not going to see a new supply of water like this again." Now, Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell has until November 23 to sign an agreement with the ISC that will set the environmental review process into motion...more

How Obama's Trade Deal Might Stir Up Your Dinner

 by Tracie McMillan

When President Obama announced the details of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday — and released them on — there was a lot of talk about labor, the environment and manufacturing. But trade deals have a way of changing the way we eat, too. Consider NAFTA, which boosted the availability of cheap avocados and winter tomatoes for Americans, while expanding Wal-Mart and processed food in Mexico. So now that we know the details of this new Pacific Rim trade deal, what might it mean for dinner — both in the U.S. and the 11 other nations party to the treaty? Herewith, a cheat sheet on the 2,000-plus-page deal:

The TPP does away with more than 18,000 tariffs in the countries party to the deal. American producers will gain access to new markets — and foreign producers will get access to ours. That includes a lot of food, much of which could become cheaper here, as low-cost imports intensify competition on price.
Dairy: After significant battle during negotiations, Canada and New Zealand agreed to modest tariff reductions on dairy, opening their markets to American milk and cheese. In return, Americans may see more New Zealand milk — apple bircher "yogurt suckies", anyone? — on shelves.
Pork: The American pork industry has become a net exporter in the last 20 years, says Nick Giordano, vice president for global government affairs at the National Pork Producers Council. The TPP will pave the way for exports to continue to grow. But America also imports a significant amount of pork. Tariff reductions on imports here could make all that foreign pork cheaper, and push prices down in the U.S. — but also potentially threaten the livelihood of hog farmers.
Beef: The agreement doesn't do much for American beef producers, says the National Farmer's Union, because Japan won a provision that would push tariffs back up if imports surged. Smaller beef producers in the U.S. say that increased competition from imports will put more farmers out of business.

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1514

Its Swingin' Monday and  its all 78s week.  So here are the Blue Ridge Playboys performing How Can I Help It.  The tune was recorded in Dallas  on June 21, 1937 and released as Vocalion 03685

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Wild horses sold by BLM may have gone to N.M. ‘kill buyer’

Some of the nearly 1,800 wild horses a Colorado rancher bought from the Bureau of Land Management and sold for slaughter — contrary to federal law — may have gone through a New Mexico livestock broker in Los Lunas who already has been in legal trouble for violating state livestock rules. An Oct. 23 Department of the Interior report by the Office of Inspector General found thousands of horses were shipped by Southwest Livestock Auction in Los Lunas to slaughterhouses in Mexico. Some of those horses might have been BLM wild horses sold for $10 each to a La Jara, Colo., rancher named Tom Davis. According to the federal investigation, first reported last week by The Washington Post, Davis purchased 1,794 BLM horses between 2008 and 2012. He told investigators recently that he was sure most of those animals went to slaughter, though it is illegal under a federal law to sell wild horses for meat. Davis told investigators he was friends with a “kill buyer” — Dennis V. Chavez, who has owned Southwest Livestock for 20 years. Chavez faced state charges in 2013 for what appeared to be poor conditions of some horses found at his facility. His operation — and potential lapses in state livestock inspection procedures — could face new scrutiny due to issues that have come to light during the federal probe...more

Idaho rancher’s wife: ‘I saw them murder my husband’

The family of an Adams County rancher involved in an encounter with two sheriff’s deputies says the deputies killed him in a “completely unjustified” shooting. Survivors of Jack Yantis, the 62-year-old who died a week ago in the darkness on U.S. 95 north of Council, say they will pursue claims against Adams County for Yantis’ death. Family members have shared with the Statesman their account of what happened last Sunday night. The account is in written statements prepared with attorneys the family hired after the incident, a video statement Donna Yantis made from her Boise hospital bed, and a draft transcript the lawyers prepared of one family member’s account of what happened. The Statesman also interviewed several family members, including Rowdy Paradis, a nephew of the couple’s who said he witnessed the shootings. “Law enforcement should be trained to de-escalate situations,” said Rowdy Paradis. “In this case, I stood 10 feet away and watched two deputies escalate the situation and needlessly kill a man.” Sheriff Ryan Zollman did not respond Saturday to an emailed request for comment on the family’s account or to a message left with a sheriff’s dispatcher. Here is what the family says happened on Nov. 1...more

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy

That’s how it was

by Julie Carter

The smell of cedar smoke from the chimney on the house hung low over ranch headquarters and a distant howl of a coyote pierced the darkness. Small dust devils swirled through the corrals where the saddle horses stood, tails to the wind, munching on the last of the hay tossed to them the night before.
The old cowboy shrugged on his jacket, pulling it up tight around his neck, tucking in his neck scarf while he fished to match buttons to buttonholes to close out the sharp cold of the fall morning. 

Pulling worn gloves over his gnarled leathery hands, he tugged his hat down tight against the wind that had arrived before daylight.  Stepping out into the dark of early morning, his day began.
Fall of the year always makes me nostalgic. I find my thoughts wander often to memories of fall seasons in different locations, but always involving long days in the saddle and cattle of all kinds coming and going from pasture to pens.

I grew up on a high mountain Colorado ranch where we pastured about 4000 head of yearlings spring to fall. Memories remain sharp of a long line of cattle trucks waiting their turn at the loading chute, dust boiling high above the pens as the cattle milled and the profile of a cowboy horseback looking like a picture postcard with the rising sun behind him and the dust forming a filter of light around him.

The sounds of the banging of the scale gate as each bunch passed through to be weighed for the final tally, a cowboy hollering at a wad of cattle as he drove them down the alley to the next stop and the deafening sound of cattle bawling that never stopped until the last truck pulled away.

It wasn’t history at the time. It was life. Back then cowboys weren’t an icon for what had been. They were what was. And with each generation the matter of making a living has become memorialized in books and movies.

We in the West have a history that is a continuation of the immigration and emancipation of this country and yet a story unto itself for there is nothing else like it.

The best real tell-it like-it-was stories are from the old guy sitting under the shade of his hat watching what he can no longer do. He will tell you stories of cow herds so big you couldn’t recognize the cowboy on the other side. He recalls horses that bucked, horses that could run like the wind, and horses that died in the line of duty.

He will detail cattle markets of that day and speak of a day’s wages that wouldn’t pay for one meal in today’s world. He will recall droughts and floods and winters of record breaking cold and snow. He will share stories about great friends, fine men of character, and heartbreaking losses.

He remembers the time before there were fences and cattle ran on ranges the size of three counties.  He watched them survey the west with a wheel with an accuracy that still astounds today.  He was entertained with music and song by the campfire or better yet, at the good-eats of an ice cream social.

Not so many years ago, his stride became a long shuffle and he felt every cold day of his life in his knees and hips. 

Referencing old cowboys, Wallace Stegner wrote in Wolf Willow: A History, a Story, and a Memory of the Last Plains Frontier. “They do not tell their stories in Technicolor; they would not want to seem to adorn a tale or brag themselves up. The callouses of a life of hardship blunt their sensibilities to their own experience."

Calloused memories. Within each of us is one who began with the wonder of life intact. Whether we choose to peel back the layers and stay in touch with the Technicolor, or forge ahead to new rainbows, our roots remain in innocence. 

At the close of the day, the old cowboy will dust off his hat and britches much like he dusts off his memories. Both are old, worn and with a lot of character. It’s not a bad place to be when near the end of the road.

Julie can be reached for comment at