Saturday, July 09, 2016

Deaths of 3 Mexican gray wolves under investigation

Three Mexican gray wolves have been found dead in Arizona and New Mexico and wildlife managers say they're investigating. The latest monthly report on the status of the endangered predators shows a male wolf belonging to the Marble Pack was found dead in New Mexico. In Arizona, a female from the Hoodoo Pack and a single male were also found dead in June. The Arizona Game and Fish Department didn't release any further details about the deaths in the report released Friday. The agency partners with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the wolf reintroduction program. Illegal shootings, politics and legal battles have hampered the program over the years. Environmentalists want more captive wolves released, but ranchers and some local leaders are concerned about livestock losses and public safety.  AP

Friday, July 08, 2016

Federal judge rejects Ammon and Ryan Bundy’s request for trial delay

A federal judge has rejected Ammon and Ryan Bundy’s request for a trial delay. The Bundys and more than a dozen other defendants are scheduled for trial in September on charges stemming from the January takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. Marcus Mumford, who replaced Mike Arnold as Ammon Bundy’s lawyer in May, seeks both the delay and his client’s pretrial release, contending he and Bundy have been unable to watch hours of video evidence with his client still jailed. The Oregonian/OregonLive reports that Bundy was recently moved from the jail in downtown Portland to one on the outskirts of the city. U.S. District Court Judge Anna Brown said Wednesday she couldn’t approve a delay without a showing that the Bundys, who initially insisted on a trial starting in April, couldn’t prepare for trial by Sept. 7. She said the brothers have repeatedly proclaimed their innocence and outlined their defense for occupying the bird sanctuary. The defendants have said they asserted their First Amendment rights to protest the federal control of Western lands and demonstrate against the prison sentences of two Oregon ranchers while using their Second Amendment right to carry firearms in self-defense. In arguing against a delay, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel said the September date allows the Bundys to have a fair and speedy trial in Oregon and time to prepare for a February trial on charges stemming from a standoff at their father’s Nevada ranch...more

Blaine Cooper pleads guilty to federal conspiracy charge in Oregon standoff, close to plea deal in NV

Blaine Cooper, a recruiter who encouraged people to bring their guns to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Thursday pleaded guilty to a federal conspiracy charge and is poised to accept a plea deal in his federal indictment in Nevada. Cooper, 37, of Humboldt, Arizona, is the first defendant in the Oregon standoff case to seek a global resolution in the federal prosecutions pending against him in two states. Cooper is likely to plead guilty to at least one of the 11 offenses he's charged with stemming from the 2014 armed standoff with federal officers over grazing cattle on U.S. land near Cliven Bundy's ranch in southern Nevada. He's also expected to face a stiffer prison sentence in that case. A tentative agreement, not yet formally accepted, would have Cooper pleading guilty to two charges in Nevada and facing a six-year sentence. In Oregon, Cooper, 37, is expected to get credit for time served as part of a recommended sentence of six months in custody, followed by six months in either a halfway house or home detention. He's already been in custody nearly five months. Krista Shipsey, Cooper's defense lawyer, urged Cooper's co-defendants and others to respect his choice. "It's incredibly hard for him to be here today,'' Shipsey said in court Thursday. "He felt he needed to take care of this, but I hope they respect this is what's best for him.''...more

HT: Marvin Frisbey

AP Can Fight Protective Order in Bundy Trial

A federal judge said The Associated Press may intervene in the criminal case against Cliven Bundy et al. in Nevada "for the limited purpose of opposing the government's motion for protective order." U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen granted the motion to intervene by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Battle Born Media and The Associated Press, on July 1. There is no right of access to criminal discovery or information known by the government that has not been released to the public, Leen said, but the newspapers are not looking for court proceedings or judicial records. They merely "seek to weigh in on the propriety of a protective order sought by the government to limit disclosure of pretrial discovery." "Intervention is typically linked to the public's presumptive right of access to court documents or records. In general, the press and the public have a qualified First Amendment right of access to pretrial hearings and documents," Leen wrote. (Citations omitted.) She said the indictment at issue came after a "decades-long series of disputes" between Bundy and the federal government over land use and a two-year investigation of the April 2014 standoff between Bundy, his supporters and the Bureau of Land Management. The 19 defendants claim they were "peacefully protesting" the federal government's attempt to confiscate Bundy's cattle, and exercising their Second Amendment right to bear arms. But the federal government claims Bundy and his co-defendants "planned and led an armed assault to threaten, intimidate and extort law enforcement officers from carrying out lawful orders of this court," Leen wrote...more

BLM's Planning 2.0 proposal comes under fire at House hearing

The Bureau of Land Management should listen to state and local officials who want more time to comment on BLM's proposed land-use planning rule, House lawmakers and representatives of Western states said at a hearing today. The process laid out in the proposed Planning 2.0 rule would diminish the role of elected officials and give authority to an “unaccountable Washington, D.C., bureaucracy” to make decisions on Western land-use planning, Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, said. Gohmert chairs the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations. BLM Resource Management Plans guide decisions on grazing and mineral development on the bureau's 250 million acres out West. Ranchers and energy companies have both expressed concern over the proposed planning process.

Grizzly bears kill more Montana livestock

Growing numbers of grizzly bears venturing east from the Rocky Mountains are attacking more domestic cattle and sheep. Montana's livestock-loss program has reimbursed ranchers for 42 animals killed by grizzlies in the first nine months of 2015 - eight more than in all of 2014, and that's not counting the 22 cattle lost to bears that had not been claimed. One report came from as far east as Floweree, Montana, about 160km northeast of Helena, George Edwards of the Montana Livestock Loss Board said. However, Wyoming officials expected a less drastic increase in livestock attacks and the range of roaming by grizzly bears. "We're having what I guess you would call a steady increase in livestock depredation as grizzly population and area expand," said Brian DeBolt, Wyoming's large carnivore conflict coordinator...more

Big Bend rancher sues pipeline company

The owner of an 11,000-acre ranch south of Marfa has filed suit in federal court, claiming the use of eminent domain by a private pipeline company to take part of his land is unconstitutional. Filed in Pecos, the lawsuit by lawyer John Boerschig of Katy against Trans-Pecos Pipeline LLC comes as construction of the 148-mile natural gas line through the unspoiled Big Bend is already underway. In his lawsuit, Boerschig claims that “Texas law deprives private property owners … of any opportunity to challenge the pipeline company’s right to take their property in advance of the company taking possession of the property.” A hearing has been set for Tuesday in Midland on his request for a preliminary injunction to halt the condemnation of his land. The pipeline is being built for Mexico’s Federal Energy Commission by a bi-national consortium that includes billionaires Kelcy Warren of Energy Transfer Partners and Carlos Slim, the richest man in Mexico...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1635

Here's Roy Rogers with Down By The Old Alamo.  The tune was recorded in Los Angeles on Sept. 4, 1941.

Thursday, July 07, 2016

El Paso Water to buy Dell City ranch for $50 million

The Public Service Board is in the process of buying the 26,470-acre CL Ranch in the Dell City area east of El Paso for about $50 million as a future groundwater source for a growing El Paso. The land acquisition is expected to close this week or next week, said John Balliew, CEO of El Paso Water, which recently changed its name from El Paso Water Utilities. The Public Service Board controls the city's water and sewage utilities. Water would be imported from the ranch through an expensive pipeline system beginning in 2050, under El Paso Water's current plans. This would be the latest and most expensive West Texas land acquisition by the PSB as part of its long-range plan to eventually pump water from so-called water ranches from Hudspeth, Culberson and Jeff Davis counties to quench this area's future thirst. The PSB already owns 78,000 acres of ranch and farmland in the Dell City, Van Horn, and Valentine areas of West Texas for future water needs...more

Center of Biological Diversity files notice of intent to sue to protect El Jefe's territory

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act for its approval of a controversial open pit copper mine in the heart of the home territory of El Jefe, America’s only known jaguar. The agency issued a formal biological opinion in April that would allow the proposed Rosemont Copper Mine in southern Arizona to harm or kill El Jefe and destroy his home, despite the fact that it’s located in protected “critical habitat” on public land that’s essential to the recovery of jaguars in the United States. "If we want jaguars like El Jefe to roam wild again in the mountains of the American Southwest, we must protect places like Rosemont,” said Randy Serraglio, conservation advocate with the center. “Rosemont is not only prime jaguar habitat — as El Jefe proved by living there the past few years — it’s also a critically important movement corridor for all jaguars that attempt to return to ancestral territories in the U.S.” The Rosemont mine would create a mile-wide, 3,000-foot-deep open pit in El Jefe’s home territory and bury thousands of acres of surrounding public land with more than a billion tons of toxic mine waste. The mine would also pump a vast amount of groundwater, which threatens to dry up springs and creeks in the area that are critically important to jaguars and several other protected species. In draft biological opinions, Fish and Wildlife’s own scientists concluded that the mine should not be permitted, but the agency ignored their findings in issuing its approval...more

Runyon to compete in International Finals Youth Rodeo

Derek Runyan of Silver City is competing in the 24th annual International Finals Youth Rodeo held July 10-15 at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, in Shawnee, Okla. Runyan is participating in the world’s richest youth rodeo, hoping to win his share of more than $200,000 in prize money and championship saddles and buckles. Runyan will join more than 800 of the top high school rodeo athletes from across the United States for the 2016 IFYR. Contestants will compete in 10 events running simultaneously in three arenas throughout the week. Events include barrel racing, pole bending, breakaway roping, goat tying, team roping, tie-down roping, steer wrestling, bull riding, saddle bronc riding and bareback riding. The IFYR consists of two long go-rounds and a short go. All contestants compete once in each of the long go-rounds. The top 15 averages in each event will compete Friday night in the championship round short go for fame and prizes. Runyan is vying for prizes in tie-down roping and team roping. “Our main purpose from the beginning of the International Finals Youth Rodeo has been to provide high school athletes with a professional level rodeo,” said Chris Dunlap, assistant director of the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center and International Finals Youth Rodeo. “It’s a great opportunity for these young athletes to get an idea of what to expect if they continue to rodeo in college and beyond.”...more

Chupadero and the Blue Nun

by Matt Baca

...The trajectory of the Chupadero, located south of the village of Abo and close to Mountainair, is a vast range of land suitable for cattle rising. A village existed there in the beginning of the last century setting on the vast range land.

Leondez and Cruzita Ulibarri were the founders of a village in the Chupadero. The village grew so that there were less than a dozen houses. A Catholic church built in the Chapudero was a mission for the mother of La Joya. Due to the lack of parishioners, it fell into disuse and the building itself crumbled and only the walls remain. A picture of the church called San David (Davie) still exits.

There is a history of the Jumano Indians living in Texas and Eastern New Mexico, including the Chupadero area. Because of the lack of water in the dry Southwest, there is some evidence of Indians traveling to the Chupadero looking for water. They would quench their thirst at various springs on the Chupadero.

It is from the Spaniards who witnessed the Indians “surping” or “sipping” water from the various water springs that we know of this unusual word, “Chupadero.” The Spaniards came out with the name Chupadero, which means to snort or surp up (draw up) water. Using hollow bamboo sticks, the Indians were able to drink water.

Stealthily, the natives moved in an aura of silence vanishing in the shadows after drinking water only to reappear suddenly as if returning from another dimension.

There is an interesting story about the Jumano Indians in the area of Mountainair, Abo, Grand Quivera and, of course, Chupadero. It has to do with the Catholic nun from Agreda, Spain. It seems she would visit the Indians and tell them about Christ and yet she never left the confines of her convent in Spain. The Indians called her the Blue Nun. Her name was Maria de Jesus Agreda. She wore a blue cloak over a creamed-colored gown.

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1652

Hey Joe Delk, I found it.  The first version I ever heard of the tune and the one that made me fall in love with it.  I'm sure you remember that keg party where you played it for me.  This is Harry Choates and Draggin' The Bow.  It's available again on his CD Fiddle King Of Cajun Swing

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Cases of fatal deer disease grow

The number of Texas deer with confirmed chronic wasting disease has apparently doubled. The Texas Animal Health Commission had been monitoring a deer ranch in Medina County and testing found 13 new cases of the fatal disease at the captive breeding facility. “A three-and-a-half year old doe tested positive in April, and so the facility was quarantined and additional testing was done and more CWD was found,” Tom Harvey, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department spokesman, said yesterday. Chronic wasting disease is a highly contagious fatal disease that strikes down hoofed ungulates like deer, moose and elk. It has been found in 21 states and four Canadian provinces, and wildlife officials and hunter advocacy groups say transporting pen-raised deer puts the state’s wild deer herd and the $2.2 billion Texas deer hunters spend annually at risk. Deer ranchers say their growing industry is worth $1 billion annually, a crucial economic boon for rural areas of Texas. They insist they have measures in place to minimize the possibility of CWD spreading to wild deer populations. The new CWD cases now make 25 deer found to be infected in Texas. The first case was discovered in a wild mule deer near the New Mexico border in 2012, and another wild mule deer with CWD was diagnosed in Hartley County this year. The other 23 cases involve pen-raised deer...more

Cop Sues Vegas Police in Bundy Ranch Fallout

Las Vegas police illegally fired a SWAT team leader who stood up for another officer who posted an online comment about the armed standoff at the Bundy Ranch in 2014, the veteran officer claims in Federal Court. Michael Quick is a 23-year veteran of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, most recently as a SWAT team leader and training section sergeant, he says in his June 30 lawsuit against Clark County, the Metro Police and a police lieutenant. The lawsuit stems from the standoff that ensued after Bureau of Land Management officers tried to execute federal warrants to seize cattle owned by Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy on April 9, 2014. Three days later, the BLM sought help from Las Vegas Metro police, when armed militia who supported Bundy stopped the BLM from rounding up cattle. During the standoff, a Bundy supporter posted a photo of a Bundy-supporting sniper team on a freeway overpass: one man with a scoped rifle and another one acting as a spotter. The online caption stated: "The 2nd American Revolution Almost Started Today." A SWAT officer who had not been sent to the standoff made a comment on the blog thread: "I just wish you could see how big that guy prone with the rifles head was in the scope of the LE Snipers .308, don't worry, he wouldn't have felt a thing!!" Quick says the bloggers were able to identify the commenter, nonparty Russell Laws, as a police officer, and mentioned it on subsequent posts on the blog thread. Quick, a police sergeant, was Laws' supervisor...more

National Parks: Instagram nirvana or digital detox?

Phil Taylor, E&E reporter

GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. -- In 1891, a search party found the body of Robert Hamilton floating in the Snake River and lit a fire atop Signal Mountain to alert others in Jackson Hole.

Today, the mountaintop is sending out new signals -- cellphone service -- across the sage- and pine-covered valley. A 50-foot-tall cell tower stands sentinel over the Signal Mountain picnic area and overlook, keeping visitors connected as they gaze at the snow-covered Teton Range and Grand Teton National Park's pronghorns, elk and grizzlies.

Whether to expand beyond Grand Teton's sole cell tower, operated by Union Telephone Co., is part of a major debate within the National Park Service over the promise and peril of allowing technology in America's most hallowed landscapes.

AT&T has submitted a plan to build a high-speed fiber-optic cable "backbone" along the 21-mile Teton Park Road, a scenic route cutting through the heart of the park's front country, and continuing an additional 28 miles to the southern border of Yellowstone National Park.

It would lay the foundation for high-speed wireless connections at scenic gems like Jenny Lake and its primitive, tent-only campground, allowing visitors to Skype friends from the lake's shores or watch Netflix from their tents. It would be a major upgrade from the park's existing cell service -- spotty and slow.

"We recognize there's a balance to be struck between that connectivity and preserving a wilderness experience in the backcountry," said Grand Teton spokesman Andrew White. "Visitors have a certain level of expectation for connectivity. When they get back to camp, they expect to be able to post that picture on Instagram."

Without an agencywide policy, cell service decisions are made case by case. The Grand Teton plan would need to undergo a National Environmental Policy Act review -- paid for by AT&T -- before receiving approval, White said.

The Park Service is pushing to enhance cell and internet connectivity at hundreds of sites across the country, hoping to cater to younger visitors and an increasingly wired society.

The dilemma cuts to the core of NPS's founding mission written by Congress nearly 100 years ago: Keep parks unimpaired while allowing visitors to enjoy them.

As the agency enters its second century, park advocates worry that new visitors -- particularly young ones -- won't enjoy the parks without digital connectivity to their friends, family or work.

Don’t just save the Grand Canyon. Save the wider region, too.

BY  Stephen Trimble

We think we’ve saved the Grand Canyon. We established a national park that is supposed to remain “forever unimpaired,” as the Park Service’s enabling legislation put it. But the Grand Canyon is so deeply enmeshed in a spider web of connections to its watershed that a lot of work needs to be done to keep it vital and wild.

The stone ramparts above the abyss look timeless, but they tumble toward the sea under the inescapable power of gravity and erosion. Ponderosa pine forests seem to go on forever across northern Arizona, but their existence depends on the interplay of changing climate, water, insects and fire.

Developers chip away doggedly at the edges of the park, planning massive commercial development at the gateway community of Tusayan and a gondola that will reach deep into the canyon on Navajo land at the remote confluence of the Colorado and Little Colorado rivers. We continue to log rare old-growth ponderosa pine forest on the Kaibab Plateau for no good reason.

 ...Rep. Raúl Grijalva, a Democrat from Arizona, has one answer to the question of how we can ensure the Grand Canyon’s future. In October 2015, he introduced the Greater Grand Canyon Heritage National Monument bill. It has the support of 11 tribes, led by the Havasupai, Hualapai, Navajo and Hopi, Native peoples who consider the Grand Canyon a sacred place and their home. The bill honors the Native peoples’ “longstanding historical, cultural and religious connection to the Greater Grand Canyon” and acknowledges the continuity of Native stewardship,  “resulting in an accumulated body of traditional ecological knowledge.” Such deference to contemporary Native American wisdom in legislative language is unheard of.

If our gridlocked Congress refuses to act on Grijalva’s bill, President Obama can choose to do so, thanks to the powers of the Antiquities Act. The president’s administration acknowledged imminent dangers to the Canyon in 2012, when Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar ordered a 20-year ban on thousands of new uranium claims on the public lands surrounding Grand Canyon. Navajo Nation Vice President Jonathan Nez calls uranium mines “a devastation to our people. The monument would make Salazar’s moratorium permanent.

Cloned calves create ultimate steak

Scientists confirmed this week that research involving cloned cattle shows it's possible to get higher value meat without wasteful trim fat. Their findings are through the offspring of cloned cows. “These are not cloned animals--these are products of cloned animals,” says Dean Hawkins, Dean of Agriculture and Natural Sciences at West Texas A&M University. The calves are the first born to two cloned animals and are the product of research at West Texas A&M University’s ranch just south of Amarillo. The project started in 2012 by cloning their first bull named Alpha. “We took a carcass off the line, and it was a prime yield grade 1 carcass," explains Canterbury. " We took a tissue cell from that carcass--from the muscle--and we cloned that animal on the prime yield grade 1 trait,” explains Canterbury." From there, they had three heifers from that same DNA line, which is a group that they call Gamma. The calves are a product of both Delta and Gamma. Seven of their offspring were harvested last month. After a third-party USDA evaluation, one achieved the prime grade, which is something that fewer than 5% of carcasses qualify for industry wide. Three graded High Choice, and three Average Choice. “We're selecting for a genotypic trait, instead of a phenotypic trait like a lot of cloning projects have done,” says Landon Canterbury, manager of West Texas A&M University's ranch. That means the researchers want the animals for the quality of their meat, instead of certain genetic traits...more

Local cowboy to be inducted into Utah Cowboy Hall of Fame on Friday

There is no debate. He could do it all when it comes to rodeo and did.That was more than five decades ago. However, old timers still remember Marvin Dunbar and now generations to come will know about him.The Logan native will be inducted into the Utah Cowboy Hall of Fame on Friday in Ogden at Union Station, posthumously. “The committee for the Cowboy Hall of Fame was amazed at what Marv did,” said Don Dunbar, his son. “He was a saddle bronc rider, a bareback bronc rider, a bull rider, a bull dogger, a calf roper, he could head or heal (team roping), a barrel racer, a trick rider, a trick roper, rodeo clown, pick up man, judge and arena announcer. He really was a jack of all trades. ... Oh, Marv was amazing.”Marvin was a charter member of a cowboy association that evolved into the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association (PRCA). He was the all-around champion cowboy for Utah for seven years running. The Hall of Fame states “He was proficient in all eight rodeo events.”
The Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum will induct six new members in the 2016 class. Joining Dunbar are Don Kennington, Mary Shaw-Drake, Norman “Shorty” Thompson, Kenneth Woolstenhulme and Cody Wright...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1651

We'll keep it moving here at Ranch Radio with Moon Mullican performing Sugar Beet.  The tune was recorded in Nashville on Sept. 26, 1952 for the King label.

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

National Parks could learn from Utah’s state parks management

By Matthew Anderson

This year the National Park Service is celebrating its 100-year anniversary. But as the agency enters its second century, our national parks are in trouble. A recent study conducted by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) noted that the Park Service has a deferred maintenance backlog of nearly $12 billion — an amount five times that of its last budget from Congress. 

The symptoms of this backlog are evident throughout our national parks. Nearly half the roadways in national parks are rated in "fair" or "poor" condition. Dozens of bridges are considered "structurally deficient." And 6,700 miles — more than one-third of all trails in the entire park system — are in "poor" or "seriously deficient" condition. Not only does this jeopardize the safety and quality of visitors' experiences, but it threatens the very resources the National Park Service was created to protect. 

However, all is not gloom and doom in our public parks. PERC's latest report showed that state parks are providing the high-quality recreational opportunities that visitors seek, and doing so responsibly. Most people don't realize that Western state parks receive nearly twice as many visitors as national parks in the West.

Take Utah's state parks. These parks are incredibly popular, receiving more than 200 visitors per acre in 2013 — more than any other Western state and 47 times as many visits per acre as national parks in the West. Utah's parks are better managed as well. In 2013, visitor fees covered 66 percent of Utah state parks' expenditures, while national park visitor fees accounted for just 10 percent of the National Park Service's management costs. 

New Mexico to provide backdrop for new film 'Hostiles'

A new movie starring Christian Bale and Native American actors Wes Studi and Adam Beach will be filming in northern New Mexico through September. The New Mexico Film Office announced Tuesday that principal photography for the frontier epic "Hostiles" will begin this month. Locations include Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Abiquiu and Los Alamos. The film is set in 1892. It tells the story of a legendary Army captain played by Bale who ends up escorting a dying Cheyenne war chief and his family from a remote Army post back to tribal lands...more

USFS promises to meet area ranchers halfway

U.S. Rep. Steve Pearce, R-N.M., and State Rep. Jim Townsend, R-Artesia, travelled to Cloudcroft Thursday to advocate for area ranchers with the goal of providing the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) with a first-hand look at how restrictions on water rights affect the industry and the state’s economy. The legislators, along with members of the U.S. Forest Service, met with ranchers Spike and Kelly Goss in the Penasco Pens electrified fencing area in the Sacramento Ranger District to discuss potential solutions to ranchers’ concerns over grazing allotments and restrictions to water access points that resulted from the closure. Pearce told the Daily Press Thursday the meeting, which lasted approximately three-and-a-half hours, was positive overall. “I’m cautiously optimistic about the outcome from it all,” Pearce said. “I think we will be able to reach an agreement where the ranchers will be given enough flexibility to do their work and stay in business, and also preserve the habitat. “There is literally no way to make a living if these restrictions continue to stay in place.” Townsend, along with fellow area legislators Yvette Harrell, Candy Spence Ezzell, Bob Wooley, Gay Kernan, Carroll Leavell, Cathrynn Brown and David Gallegos drafted a letter signed by 50 lawmakers that petitioned the state engineer and Gov. Susana Martinez to “take a more aggressive role in protecting New Mexico water rights from, in this case, federal government overreach, for lack of a better word.” Both Pearce and Townsend pointed out the Forest Service hasn’t spotted mouse activity near the streams affected in the most recent closure and blocked some areas due simply to their habitat potential. Pearce said the legislators asked the service to provide its findings on the subject. “We need to make real decisions based on real science,” Pearce said. “I’m asking the Forest Service, our office, and the ranchers to produce their idea of agreements and the things that still need work after today’s meeting. Our office will correlate all of these, we will continue talking via conference calls, and we will keep this thing moving until we have reached a final solution.”  The Forest Service reiterated Thursday a need to keep the mouse’s habitat low-intensity in terms of livestock and wildlife traffic in order to facilitate the recovery of the species but agreed to do what it could to meet the ranchers halfway.  Pearce says the service agreed to reposition the location of fences today or Monday...more

A longer, more complete article from the Alamogordo Daily News is here.

Park foundation seeks $23M for Wyo.-owned land

A philanthropic partner of Grand Teton National Park has officially begun a fundraising campaign for the acquisition of a square-mile, Wyoming-owned tract of land in Antelope Flats.Half of the funds for the $46 million land purchase would come from federal Land and Water Conservation Fund, U.S. Department of the Interior officials say. The Grand Teton National Park Foundation, which would raise the balance, has a lofty goal: The nonprofit organization has until the end of the year — a six-month window — to cobble together $23 million. “It’s an ambitious goal,” foundation officials said in a recent newsletter, “but this moment in time will not come our way again.”Because the land in question is a Wyoming trust parcel, the cash from the deal would be added to a permanent fund that benefits the state’s public schools. To date, the Grand Teton Foundation has raised $5.1 million, which leaves $17.9 million remaining. Donations are being taken online at Attempts have been made for years to acquire Wyoming’s inholdings within Grand Teton Park, but a lack of Interior Department funds has led to missed deadlines to purchase the land. Frustrated Wyoming legislators have in the past threatened to auction off the parcels to the highest bidder if the federal government doesn’t come through on its promise...more

Bear attack in Alaska’s Denali National Park

The National Park Service says a grizzly bear will be located and killed after an attack in Alaska’s Denali National Park. Fangyuan Zhou, 28, was bitten and scratched by the bear Friday night while hiking the Savage Alpine Trail, according to a National Park Service news release. Zhou was with friends when she encountered the bear, described as a small grizzly aged between 2 and 5 years old. The group had seen the bear earlier and were trying to avoid it, but the animal eventually charged them. Before it attacked, Park Rangers say the group “played dead.” After the attack, the bear walked away. It returned a few minutes later, then ran off when the group threw rocks at it. Others on the four mile long trail had spotted the same bear earlier Friday and scared it off by grouping together, shouting and waving their arms. Park Rangers say that’s exactly what to do during a bear encounter...more

EPA Data Shows Air In Red States Is 10% Cleaner Than In Blue States

by Andrew Follett

The average red states’ air is 10 percent cleaner than the average blue state, according to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data analyzed by The Daily Caller News Foundation.

The EPA data tracks average exposure to small particulates, which kill roughly 5.5 million people globally every year and cause most asthma. Particulate emissions have fallen by 35 percent since the year 2000, mostly in states that voted for Republicans.

The state with the cleanest air in America was Wyoming, which had a population-weighted average exposure to particulates of five. California’s air was the nation’s dirtiest, with an average weighted exposure of 12.5. The average red state had a weighted exposure of 8.31 while the average blue state had an exposure of 9.05. Adjusted for scale, this means that red states have air that is 9.87 percent cleaner than blue states.

The four states with the best air quality in the country, Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana and Alaska, are all red states. Only one of the five states with the worst air quality in the country is a red state. The worst air quality in the country is found in Illinois, Pennsylvania and California, which have all consistently voted for Democrats.

Ammon Bundy seeks delay in September trial, asks for pretrial release

Ammon Bundy's lawyers are asking for a delay in his scheduled Sept. 7 trial and his release in the meantime, citing a need for more time to prepare his defense. His new lawyers filed the motion four minutes before midnight Thursday, arguing that a number of pretrial motions haven't been resolved and Bundy's detention "has rendered it virtually impossible for him to participate meaningfully in his defense.'' Bundy retained new Utah-based lawyers in late May. They said Bundy made the decision two hours before the court's Thursday deadline for seeking to continue the trial date. "It was not until approximately 10:30 p.m. Pacific Time, after much consultation with his legal counsel, that he agreed to file this motion, judging that his larger interest in a fair trial, must at this point request a continuance of the trial date,'' his lawyers Marcus Mumford and J. Morgan Philpot wrote. They asked that the court allow Bundy another two months to argue for his release pending trial and to help prepare his defense to challenge the federal charges before asking for a new trial date...more

Ryan Bundy Joins Request For Later Trial Date

...By Friday, Ryan Bundy — who is representing himself in the case — said he too wanted a trial later than the scheduled Sept. 7 date. “My plan has always been to have a joint trial with my brother Ammon because we have a joint defense agreement and strategy,” Ryan Bundy wrote. Ryan Bundy added that he was not aware Ammon was seeking a later trial date because the Multnomah County Detention Center has kept the brothers from communicating. In separate court filings, lawyers argue defendants Ryan Payne, Joseph O’Shaughnessy, Shawna Cox, Pete Santilli and David Fry should be severed from count four of the superseding indictment, which alleges theft of a government vehicle. The filing states that the charge only applies to defendant Ken Medenbach, who was arrested after taking a U.S. Fish and Wildlife vehicle from the refuge to a Safeway parking lot in Burns. “Beside the allegation that (Medenbach’s) conduct occurred during the protest, Court 4 has nothing to do with the protest itself or the alleged conspiracy,” defense attorneys Lisa Hay and Rich Federico wrote...more

Judge lets Review-Journal, other media fight secrecy in Bundy case

A federal judge Friday allowed the Las Vegas Review-Journal and other media to formally oppose a government push to withhold evidence from the public in the criminal case stemming from the Bunkerville standoff. “The court finds that allowing intervention will promote transparency and the integrity of the judicial proceedings in this case,” U.S. Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen said in her order.
Attorney Maggie McLetchiewho represents the Review-Journal, Battle Born Media and The Associated Press — hailed the judge’s six-page decision in the case against Bunkerville rancher Cliven Bundy and 18 other defendants. “We are very pleased that our concerns with the protective order will be considered by the court, and agree that transparency is especially important due to the nature of the Bundy case,” McLetchie said. “Allowing the media to be heard on a protective order that could operate as a gag order will promote transparency and trust in the judicial system.” Leen has not yet indicated whether she will hold a hearing on the protective order. But McLetchie filed a 17-page memorandum laying out the media’s concerns about the “overbroad and unsupported” government proposal to keep the evidence secret. Prosecutors, who opposed the media’s request to intervene, contend a protective order is needed to ensure the safety of witnesses. A recent death threat against prosecutors also justifies the secrecy, they said. In earlier court papers, prosecutors cited examples of anti-government “cyber bullying” by defendants charged in the April 2014 armed confrontation involving Bundy, his followers and law enforcement. Leen issued an interim order in May maintaining the confidentiality of the evidence, as prosecutors met a court-imposed deadline to begin turning over documents to the defense. Prosecutors want to prohibit defense lawyers from making public copies of critical trial evidence, including sworn search warrant affidavits and FBI investigative reports...more

Bundy Sympathizer Found With Machine Gun Requests Pre-Trial Release

A self-styled reporter sympathetic to Malheur National Wildlife Refuge occupation is asking to be released from custody until his trial on a federal weapons charge. Michael Emry, 54, was arrested at his camper trailer in Grant County in May. He’s charged with illegally possessing a machine gun that isn’t registered to him and obliterating the serial number. Emry admitted that he had stolen the gun from his former employer, Jim Weaver, without his consent. Emry pleaded not guilty to the charges shortly after his arrest, and a judge detained him because the judge determined he was a flight risk and a danger to the community. Emry’s attorney, Eugene-based Mark Sabitt, argued in a motion filed Friday that his client should be released until his trial, as he is not a threat to the community and has established consistent employment in Crescent, Oregon. Sabitt asserts that Emry, an Army and Navy veteran, was cooperative with FBI agents and told them where to find the M2 machine gun in his trailer, according to the court filing. Sabitt argues that the gun was not fully functional and lacked critical artillery for the gun to work properly. The court filing also suggests the confidential witness who described Emry’s intentions for the M2 is a person who is “a felon and a known liar.” Sabitt argued that the government’s evidence against Emry is based upon statements from that witness...more

Boise Gun Dealer Shocked After Machine Gun Stolen By Bundy Sympathizer

...But a man associated with a recovered machine gun says he was surprised to see the weapon turn up in a federal investigation, noting that federal agents hadn’t contacted him before or after the arrest. Michael Emry of Boise, Idaho, was in Harney County throughout the armed occupation reporting for “The Voice Of Idaho,” a website he established with his wife, Becky Hudson, to report on self-styled militia groups. Emry was found with a fully-automatic Browning M2 hidden in his truck and RV trailer near John Day on Friday. Weaver said he was surprised to learn Emry had his .50 caliber Browning M2 in Oregon. “Holy s—-. How did he get in the shop?” Weaver said. “I haven’t been there because we’ve been in the process of moving. I guess he could have made extra keys I don’t know about.” Weaver said his inventory is small, but most is under lock-and-key. He said he had taken the Browning M2 out to photograph it more than a month ago, because he had considered selling it. Weaver said he purchased the gun Feb. 6, 2001, from Diamond Dick’s Pawn in Boise. He said it was in pieces and the barrel wasn’t with it, so it was non-operational...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1650

This was supposed to be our Swingin' Monday and 4th of July tune, but I just didn't get it done.  A little late but still a good one:  Billy Joe Shaver - Good Ol' USA.  The tune is on his 1993 CD Tramp On Your Street

Monday, July 04, 2016

Happy Independence Day

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5 U.S. Independence Movements Inspired by Brexit

As the United States celebrates its independence from Britain, this year the holiday comes with a historical twist: Britain has just declared its own independence from Europe. And the sudden, dramatic decision is inspiring a number of local movements in the United States.

The spirit of Brexit—the people of the U.K. throwing off the yoke of an oppressive empire across the water—has invigorated secession movements across America, knots of people from Vermont to Hawaii who envision a future in which they break off from a nation too big, too distant or just too weird to feel like home anymore.

“It is now important for Texas to look to #Brexit as an inspiration and an example that Texans can also take control of our destiny,” wrote Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement, in a statement he released the day after the Brexit vote. “If Britain can leave the EU then New Hampshire can leave the U.S,” the leader of the newly founded NHexit movement (as in, New Hampshire exit) said a few days later, as he staged a secessionist protest in front of a federal building in Manchester.

It’s unlikely any of these states will actually secede, no matter how inspiring Britain’s example; the Civil War showed that the government in Washington doesn’t take these attempts lightly. In the 1869 Supreme Court decision Texas v. White, Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase wrote that the federal Constitution “in all its provisions looks to an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible States.” The case effectively established the legal principle that no state can secede from the Union.

But that doesn’t mean they can’t keep trying. In the spirit of Independence Day, here are a few of the states that see in Brexit a renewed sense of hope for their own independence movements.

1. ‘Vexit’

“In the wake of the U.K.’s 'Brexit' vote, we are receiving queries from all over the world— is a ‘Vexit’—Vermont nonviolently seceding from the United States of Empire—next?”

That was Rob Williams writing in The Vermont Independent, an online publication closely associated with Vermont’s independence movement. The effort might not be well known, but it’s ready for its close-up: “We have the blueprints, we have the platform, we have the book, we have the passport, and we have the flag,” wrote Williams.

As Bernie Sanders’ relentless insurgent candidacy might suggest, Vermont has never been all that comfortable in the United States; during the Revolutionary War in 1777, a group of future Vermonters declared independence from both the crown of Great Britain and the colony of New York. The Vermont Republic, aptly named the “reluctant republic” even back then, more or less operated as an independent nation for the next 14 years—until the Civil War and the controversial issue of slavery encouraged it to become the new nation’s 14th state in 1791, two years into President George Washington’s first term. Its constitution preceded the U.S. Constitution by more than a decade.

Today, Williams is part of a group of intellectuals and activists trying to revive the dream of a Second Vermont Republic. Tomas Naylor, professor emeritus of economics at Duke University, founded the group in 2003...

Brexit for America

by Paul Driessen

Independence Day weekend is a perfect time to reflect on personal freedoms and responsibilities.

The Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence were about overbearing, despotic kings. Brexit, Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, was much about overbearing bureaucrats in Brussels.

This year’s U.S. elections likewise center on gaining a new measure of freedom from an authoritarian, unaccountable Executive Branch in Washington. Like Brexit, they are also about We the People actually having a role in a democracy, a voice in how much power government will have over our lives. The Brexit motto is fast becoming the driving force in 2016 politics: “Take back control!”

Today’s ruling elites do not govern from positions of land ownership or birth, but from assertions of greater education, expertise and wisdom than supposedly possessed by citizens at large. These ruling classes increasingly control our lands, the energy and minerals beneath them, and the lives, livelihoods and living standards of those beyond the DC Beltway. People are getting fed up with it.

Financial Times headline just days after the Brexit vote read “Clinton wary of populist contagion.” She should be.

The very notion that people might vote to loosen the shackles of intrusive government is anathema to her. Like President Obama, Hillary Clinton shares the mindset that democracy is fine if angry liberals can be mobilized to elect an activist, wealth-redistributionist president to “fundamentally transform” America. It’s unsettling and intolerable if conservatives mobilize to unelect this agenda.

...GermanyBritain and Poland are finally awakening to the ways exorbitant prices for unreliable wind and solar electricity are hammering poor and middle class families, destroying their international competitiveness, and driving steel, auto, ceramics and other industries out of business. But Mrs. Clinton has also vowed to regulate hydraulic fracturing into oblivion, and ban mining and drilling on federally controlled lands that represent 30-85 percent of all real estate in Alaska and America’s western states. Her rabid environmentalist base wants to rid these areas of ranching and grazing, as well.

Sunday, July 03, 2016

Fatal bear attack on mountain biker triggered by collision; bear search called off

Montana wildlife officials say a 38-year-old mountain biker who was killed by a bear riding just outside Glacier National Park likely collided with the bear before he was attacked, and they have called off the search for the bear. Wildlife response team investigator Brian Sommers said in a statement today that he believes Brad Treat was riding at a high rate of speed along a narrow trail and hit the bear. Visibility was limited and investigators believe the collision was unavoidable. Treat, who was a law enforcement officer with the U.S. Forest Service, was found dead Wednesday by officers at the scene of the mauling. Treat’s riding companion reported the incident and was not attacked. Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks spokesman Ron Aasheim called the event a tragic accident. Investigators are still trying to determine if it was a black bear or a grizzly, and whether it might have been a female bear trying to protect her cubs. Investigators have removed cameras that were being used to find the bear, along with traps that were placed in the area. “This is an area of pretty high density of bears, and the bear didn’t return,” Aasheim told the Associated Press. “It was just a horrible accident. The bear was in a defensive mode responding.” Authorities are still awaiting DNA tests that will show if the bear was male or female, and whether records show it might have been responsible for previous attacks...more  

HT: Marvin Frisbey

Calexit or Caleavefornia? Brexit lifts Golden State independence campaign

Pro-independence Texans weren’t the only ones energized by the vote by Brexit vote. The California secession movement has been riding a wave of interest since Thursday’s vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The campaign has already gained a Brexit-inspired nickname: Calexit “We have a lot of people sending us messages and a lot of people want to find our online digital version of our independence referendum,” said Louis Marinelli, who heads the Yes California Independence Campaign. “We have a lot of people who have joined our Facebook page, a lot of people who are talking about this issue on Twitter. The #Calexit hashtag for example has begun organically. There’s another one called #Caleavefornia.” Yes California, which formed in August after the shuttering of Sovereign California, has been gathering support for an initiative aimed at November 2020 that would begin the process of severing California from the union. What makes the Brexit vote so important is that it shows secession isn’t just a relic of the 19th century, said Mr. Marinelli. He disputes the contention that secession is illegal under the U.S. Constitution, citing the 1869 Supreme Court case Texas v. White, which held that states cannot break away from the union unilaterally. “The story out there is that states can’t secede, but they can. The problem is they can’t secede unilaterally,” said Mr. Marinelli. “You can’t just declare yourself independent. But if you get the consent of the other states, and there’s a way to do that through the amendment process, then you can do that legally and peacefully.” The Brexit vote inspired a surge of interest in state independence movements, as well as a rash of nicknames. The Texas Nationalist Movement, the most prominent of the state efforts, has been dubbed Texit, while New Hampshire saw the creation on Twitter of the hashtag #NHexit...more

Biggest private coal producer warns of cutting 80 percent of workforce, head blames Obama policies

blames Obama policies Published July 03, 2016 The Wall Street Journal Facebook0 Twitter0 livefyre4744 Email Print FILE 2014: Coal mining boots are shown above miners’ lockers before the start of an afternoon shift near Gilbert, West Virginia. FILE 2014: Coal mining boots are shown above miners’ lockers before the start of an afternoon shift near Gilbert, West Virginia. (Reuters) Murray Energy Corp., the largest privately held coal miner in the U.S., has warned that it may soon undertake one of the biggest layoffs in the sector during this time of low energy prices. In a notice sent to workers this week, Murray said it could lay off as many as 4,400 employees, or about 80% of its workforce, because of weak coal markets. The company said it anticipates “massive workforce reductions in September.” The law requires a 60-day waiting period before large layoffs occur. Robert Murray, the controlling owner of Murray, is a fierce opponent of President Obama and a supporter of Donald Trump. In a statement, the company said the potential layoffs were “due to the ongoing destruction of the United States coal industry by President Barack Obama, and his supporters, and the increased utilization of natural gas to generate electricity.”...more

Artesia HS rodeo takes six state titles

...Five of the nine AHS rodeo competitors ended up in the top 10 in their events and go to compete in the short round on Saturday night. Those five team members were Harwell in barrel racing, pole bending and goat tying; Deerman in breakaway roping and team roping; Milligan in saddle bronc riding and bull riding; and Kelley and McCormick in steer wrestling. This was enough to help our team secure the Reserve State Team Title. Three state titles were sewn up before state finals and a fourth was pretty much sewn up also, but the other two came right down to the last go. Harwell already had such a lead in the pole bending, cutting and All-Around Cowgirl that she really didn’t even have to show up for state finals to win her events. Deerman had a great lead in the breakaway roping going into state finals and ended up, not surprisingly, winning the state title. She and her partner roped tough in the team roping and also won the state team roping title. Milligan went into state finals in third place in the bull riding, but after an impressive first round and short round, ended up the state champion bull rider. He was fourth in the saddle bronc riding, which secures a spot for the National High School Finals Rodeo in that event also. Harwell, Deerman and Milligan will travel July 17-23 to Gillette, Wyo., to compete in the NHSFR...more