Friday, January 13, 2017

EPA says it can't pay economic damages from mine spill

The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday it will not repay claims totaling more than $1.2 billion for economic damages from a mine waste spill the agency accidentally triggered in Colorado, saying the law prohibits it. The EPA said the claims could be refiled in federal court, or Congress could authorize payments. But attorneys for the EPA and the Justice Department concluded the EPA is barred from paying the claims because of sovereign immunity, which prohibits most lawsuits against the government.The EPA said it has spent more than $31.3 million on the spill, including remediation work, water testing and payments to state, local and tribal agencies. A total of 73 claims were filed, some by farmers who lost crops or had to haul water because rivers polluted by the spill were temporarily unusable for irrigation and livestock. Rafting companies and their employees sought lost income and wages because they couldn't take visitors on river trips. Some homeowners sought damages because they said their wells were affected.The EPA said it has spent more than $31.3 million on the spill, including remediation work, water testing and payments to state, local and tribal agencies...more

 Congress can waive sovereign immunity. Or they could cut EPA's budget by whatever amount it takes to satisfy the claims

Guitarist Who Won Music's Most Famous Coin Flip Is Dead

Tommy Allsup, a guitarist best known for losing a coin toss that kept him off a plane that crashed and killed rock stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and JP "Big Bopper" Richardson, has died at age 85, reports AP. Allsup died Wednesday at a hospital in Springfield, Missouri, after complications from a hernia operation, said his son. Tommy Allsup was part of Holly's band when the Lubbock, Texas, singer died in the Feb. 3, 1959, plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa. Allsup flipped a coin to see who between him and Valens would get a seat on the plane and who would have to take the bus to the next stop on the tour. Holly, Valens, and Richardson died with 21-year-old pilot Roger Peterson when the plane crashed in the Iowa countryside in snowy conditions. The three rockers' deaths were immortalized in Don McLean's 1971 song "American Pie," and became known as "the day the music died." In a 1987 interview, Tommy Allsup, who was born in Owasso, Oklahoma, recalled flipping the coin backstage after playing a concert. "A couple of people were standing there," he said. "I flipped it. (Valens) called 'heads.' He got his stuff off the bus." Another entertainer who was left off the plane was country music star Waylon Jennings, who was also playing with Holly's band at the time. Jennings died in 2002.  LINK

Tommy Allsup talks about the coin flip

Marcus Mumford's lawyer seeks personnel files of deputy U.S. marshals who tackled, Tased his client

Marcus Mumford's attorney wants to review the personnel files of each deputy U.S. marshal who tackled his client and then stunned him with a Taser in the courtroom after the acquittal of refuge occupation leader Ammon Bundy. The attorney also wants all emails between the marshals that mention Mumford during last fall's trial. The requests are part of a wide-ranging motion by attorney Michael Levine for evidence as Mumford prepares to challenge charges that he didn't follow the lawful direction of a federal police officer and disrupted official government duties, both misdemeanors. Mumford is expected to argue that there was a "pattern of overreaction'' by marshals who "initiated conflict unnecessarily'' during the case, according to court documents. In his motion, Levine has asked for any photo taken of Mumford by the marshals after his arrest, all policies of the U.S. Marshals Service concerning use of force and the use of Tasers in the courtroom, all reports or memos relating to the use of the Taser against Mumford and courtroom security policies and procedures in place during Bundy's trial. In his request for the marshals' personnel files, Levine asked for any information relevant to bias or previous reports of excessive use of force or lack of honesty. The motion identified the marshals in the courtroom at the time and involved in Mumford's arrest as: Barbara Alfano, Brian Kelly, Troy Gangwisch, Erik Helsing, Luis Lopez, Timothy Barnard, Robert Endresen, Chad Myers and Colin Fawcett. Mumford and his lawyer are also seeking any video or audio recording of the courtroom encounter as well as marshals' reports or emails in an earlier encounter on Oct. 17 during a break in the Bundy trial when marshals accused Mumford of "threatening them." They're also seeking any records related to a meeting that U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown had with jurors after Mumford's arrest and the end of Bundy's trial "wherein Judge Brown described the events in the courtroom leading to Mr. Mumford's arrest.''...more

Judge gives California man 24 hours to remove online posts about FBI informants in refuge case

U.S. District Judge Anna J. Brown, in a written order issued Wednesday, gave Gary Hunt 24 hours to remove all posts he shared online that contained information from sensitive FBI reports on informants used during the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge. The judge also ordered Hunt, a California man with ties to a network of militia groups who has posted articles about the informants and quoted excerpts of the FBI records on his Outpost of Freedom website, to stop doing so immediately. If Hunt fails to comply with the judge's order once he is personally served with it by the FBI, prosecutors may pursue a contempt of court or other enforcement proceeding in the appropriate court jurisdiction, Brown wrote...more

The judge's order is below:

Ranchers dread effects of Obama's Cascade-Siskiyou monument expansion

by Mateusz Perkowski

Cattle groups reacted with dread at the expansion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in Oregon and California, which they fear will gradually eradicate ranching in the area. The Obama administration announced Jan. 12 the monument will be increased by about 49,000 acres, up about 80 percent from its current size of 62,000 acres. While the federal government touted the decision as improving “vital habitat connectivity, watershed protection, and landscape-scale resilience for the area’s unique biological values,” cattle groups fear it marks the beginning of the end of ranching in the expanded monument. “They start out OK, but pretty soon the restrictions start coming in,” said Bob Skinner, an Oregon rancher and vice president of the Public Lands Council, which represents grazing interests. Ranchers with grazing allotments aren’t allowed to properly maintain fences, water structures and other range improvements, diminishing the land’s suitability for grazing, Skinner said. That dynamic has already been seen on the original portion of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, which many ranchers have left since its designation in 2000, he said. “You can’t bother anything, you have to leave it in a natural state,” Skinner said. As private ranch properties are sold or passed down to new generations, the federal government does not have to honor grazing agreements on adjacent public land, said Jerome Rosa, executive director of the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association...more

An Excellent Way to Cut Unnecessary Federal Spending - A Texan Speaks

An Excellent Way to Cut Unnecessary Federal Spending

Dear Senator Cruz,

President elect Donald Trump has stated the he wants to cut unnecessary spending and make America Great Again.

The Counties in the Western States have vast amounts of BLM land over which they cannot collect property taxes. The U.S. taxpayers make up for the various Counties lack of tax revenue by sending them funds from the U.S. Treasury known as "Payment in Lieu of Taxes".  As a resident of Texas I do not see why I should be helping out with the property taxes in the Western States. I feel burdened enough with my own property taxes.

I have an excellent two fold money saving solution. President Trump and the Congress should transfer the BLM land to the respective States. That way we could get rid of the unnecessary expenditure of "Payment in Lieu of Taxes" and we could rid ourselves of all the thousands of non productive BLM employees, offices and equipment that are associated with the ownership of the land. The BLM employees could then obtain real productive jobs in the private sector that soon to be President Trump is already creating. By having private sector jobs that create real products with demand and needed services, then the ex-BLM employees would be doing their part to help make America Great Again.

To use some buzz words. This would truly be a Win Win.


Luke Shipp

Praise for Senate Effort to Curb Abuse of Antiquities Act

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council applaud the introduction of the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act, championed by Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska). The bill, which has 25 co-sponsors, would require congressional and state approval for the designation of any new monument.

“Executive branch abuse of the Antiquities Act has moved far beyond its original intent, with devastating effects for local economies – particularly in rural areas of the West,” said Tracy Brunner, NCBA president. “It’s unacceptable for any President to have this much unilateral authority over land management decision-making; impacted local communities and the American people deserve a seat at the table as well.”

Under the 1906 Antiquities Act, the President has the power to unilaterally designate national monuments without the consent of Congress, state or local governments, or impacted stakeholders. These designations often come with overreaching and restrictive management provisions in the name of environmental protections. President Obama has taken full advantage of his executive power, using the Antiquities Act more than any other president before him and locking up millions of acres.

 “Public land ranchers own nearly 120 million acres of private land and manage more than 250 million acres of land under management of the federal government,” said Public Lands Council President Dave Eliason. “These ranchers provide food and fiber for the nation, protect open spaces and critical wildlife habitat, and promote healthy watersheds for the public. Sen. Murkowski’s bill is critical to protecting local input into decisions that can make or break a community.”

NCBA and PLC urge the Senate to pass the Improved National Monument Designation Process Act without delay.

 Will the Republicans finally act on this?

Just like now, they have controlled the White House and both houses of Congress before, and done nothing. Oh, bills were introduced, hearings were held, politicians talked, but they failed to curb this abuse of power by the executive branch. The end result of their failure to act is now Obama's "environmental legacy".

Will things be any different this time around? Guess we'll have to wait and see what the President's son thinks.

Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation writes a check for Bears Ears 'engagement' fund

Movie star and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio's foundation joined other philanthropic groups to cut a check for $1.5 million to establish the Bears Ears Community Engagement Fund. The fund, announced Thursday, will enhance local community efforts aimed at conservation of natural resources and assist Native American tribes at the newly designated Bears Ears National Monument in southeast Utah. "To support robust tribal involvement in managing the monument and to also support community efforts to enhance resource conservation in the monument and to create economic opportunity," multiple groups stepped forward with contributions, according a press release issued by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. Other contributors are: the Wyss Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Wilburforce Foundation and the Grand Canyon Trust...more

"To support robust tribal involvement...and to also support community efforts..."

Could be. But more likely is a "robust" effort to prevent the following:

The fund's creation comes at a time when Utah's congressional delegation — which is adamantly opposed to the monument designation — has threatened to hold up any funding for Bears Ears or try to overturn the Dec. 28 action by President Barack Obama.

Have you ever wondered if money talks?

Carleton Bowekaty, co-chairman of the Bears Ears Inter-Tribal Coalition, said the Five Native American tribes involved in the push for the designation of the Bears Ears National Monument now have another reason to be grateful.
Walter Phelps, a Navajo Nation council delegate, said the money will provide a much-needed boost to help protect resources in the 1.35 million-acre monument...

Apparently it speaks Navajo and several other Native American languages.

Native American school fails students, lawsuit says

The federal government has repeatedly acknowledged and even lamented its failure to provide adequate education for Native American children. Now, nine Native children are taking to the courts to force Washington to take action. The children are all members of the Havasupai Nation, whose ancestral homelands are in and around the Grand Canyon. They attend an elementary school that is run by the federal Bureau of Indian Education and is, according to a lawsuit filed Thursday (Jan. 12), hardly recognizable as a school at all. Havasupai Elementary School does not teach any subjects other than English and math, according to the complaint; there is no instruction in science, history, social studies, foreign language, or the arts. There aren't enough textbooks or a functioning library or any after-school sports teams or clubs, according to the complaint. There are so many and such frequent teacher vacancies that students are allegedly taught often by noncertified staff, including the janitor, or they are taught by a series of substitutes who rotate in for two-week stints. The school shuts down altogether for weeks at a time...more

Why don't they run their own schools? 

The Havasupai continued fighting to educate their children in their own community, and in 1976 won the right to reopen and operate a K-8 school in Supai. The tribal-run school emphasized Havasupai language and culture, and by 2006, the Havasupai language was spoken fluently by more than nine in 10 tribal members - a higher rate than most other tribes at the time, according to the complaint. The tribe turned over operation of the school to the federal government in 2002 because it didn't have enough financial resources or technical support to implement the new and sweeping No Child Left Behind Act, according to the complaint.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Petition Seeks to Halt EPA's Use of Deadly Predator Poison

Five animal-protection organizations submitted a petition to the Environmental Protection Agency asking the agency to cancel its registration for sodium fluoroacetate, a pesticide commonly known as Compound 1080. Currently the pesticide is permitted for use in “livestock protection collars” — one of the devices that agents of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services program use to kill thousands of coyotes each year. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Welfare Institute, Center for Biological Diversity, Predator Defense and Project Coyote are requesting that the EPA suspend and ultimately cancel the registration for Compound 1080 due to its violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). According to the petition, because coyotes have never been declared a pest or found to be “injurious to health or the environment,” as defined under FIFRA, pesticides (including Compound 1080) cannot legally be used to kill the animals. “Compound 1080 is dangerous, outdated and completely unnecessary when it comes to predator control,” said Tara Zuardo, a wildlife attorney with the Animal Welfare Institute. “Its use simply has no place within the law and our environment.”...more

“FitBit” for cows to debut at National Western Stock Show

Shoot Em Up, a well-known Texas longhorn from Ellicott, will show off HerdDogg’s small, rugged Bluetooth-enabled device designed to give ranchers an easy-to-use, affordable tracking and data gathering systems for their herds, during National Western Stock Show. At the same time, Melissa Brandao and her small team of tech gurus at HerdDogg are pushing hard to send out the first batch of commercially available smart tags this spring. She describes them as the equivalent of a Fitbit, except for very large, non-verbal mammals. When Shoot Em Up, who weighs nearly 1 ton, shows off the new technology during the Wild West Show Jan. 14-15, he’ll be sending out tweets letting the audience know, for instance, how fast he’s walking, how many steps he’s taking and his internal temperature, among other things...more

The drought is over in northern California after up to 20 inches of rain and 12 feet of snow

Over the past week, storm after storm has pummeled central and northern California, denting if not erasing a multi-year drought. The Federal government’s U.S. Drought Monitor published Thursday morning declared the northern third of the state is now entirely drought-free. Reservoirs are filled and streams are flush with water – at or near record flows. “With more than a foot of precipitation falling on the Sierra Nevada (locally 20.7 inches at Strawberry Valley, CA), most major reservoirs were at or above its Jan. 10 historical average,” the Drought Monitor reported. The amount of rain and snow so far this year in unsurpassed in historical records in the Northern Sierra, San Joaquin, and Tulare basins. The Northern Sierra tallied 26 percent of its annual precipitation in the first 10 days of January alone...more

Wylie Gustafson’s windblown authenticity has fueled a 25-year career

The yodeling, the aw-shucks charisma, the whole cowboy get-up — it would read as shtick on most performers, a gimmick designed to help carve out an entertaining niche. But it’s not. That’s who Wylie Gustafson actually is. Sure, there’s some showmanship to his act with Wylie & The Wild West, some crowd-pleasing tricks of the trade. But that’s also who he really is: a born musician and storyteller as well as an honest-to-God rancher and rodeo cowboy. The Gustafson you see on stage is the same one you might see at a feed store in his home city of Conrad, Mont. “Our music is highly reflective of the Western culture that we live in,” he said. “We do a lot of the slower stuff that kind of reflects the landscape and the people. And then there’s our more danceable stuff.” That mixture is partly by design — because it makes for a dynamic show — and partly organic, Gustafson said. “There’s a rhythm to the West that finds its way into our music,” he said. “Sometimes the days are slow and beautiful. And that comes out in the music. And sometimes they’re fast and frantic. And that comes out.”...more

Opposition stalls end of Yellowstone grizzly protections

A deluge of opposition from dozens of American Indian tribes, conservation groups and some scientists is tying up a decision on lifting protections for more than 700 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National park. Officials had planned to finalize by the end of 2016 a proposal to turn management of grizzlies over to state officials and allow limited hunting. But U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Assistant Regional Director Michael Thabault said it could take the agency another six months to finish reviewing 650,000 public comments that have poured in on the proposal. Researchers tallied 106 Yellowstone-area grizzlies killed in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming during the past two years, often by wildlife managers following attacks on livestock and occasionally during run-ins with hunters. That's the highest number of deaths in such a short time since the animal was listed as a threatened species in 1975. But Thabault said the death rate was sustainable given that the overall population has greatly expanded from 136 bears when protections were first imposed. "The bear population has been increasing over time and those mortalities are within the bounds of what we've been considering," he said. "We expect the population to go up and down, but basically revolve around this (current) level." Officials in Wyoming, Idaho and Montana have been lobbying heavily to take grizzlies off the threatened species list. They say the animals have recovered from near-extermination last century and limited trophy hunting should be allowed...more

Bumblebee listed as endangered by US Fish and Wildlife Service

For the first time, a bee species in the continental United States has been declared endangered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The rusty patched bumblebee is in worrisome decline and it is a race to keep it from becoming extinct, the agency said. "Listing the bee as endangered will help us mobilize partners and focus resources on finding ways right now to stop the decline," Wildlife Service Midwest Regional Director Tom Melius said. The population of the rusty patched bumblebee has shrunk by 87 percent since the late 1990s, the wildlife service said. Bees help pollinate 35 percent of the world's food, and bumblebees pollinate everything from tomatoes to cranberries, blueberries and melons. There are a number of reasons for the crash of pollinator bees worldwide. Mainly, those are habitat loss (nearly 40 percent of all land is used for agriculture, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization), climate change (the land that's left is changing, and this is shrinking the ranges of some bees) and rampant chemical use...more

Energy Secretary pick Rick Perry resigns from Dakota Access pipeline boards

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry says he has stepped down from the boards of two energy companies that are developing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline project. Perry, who is President-elect Donald Trump's choice for energy secretary, said in a letter to ethics officials that he resigned Dec. 31 from Energy Transfer Partners LP and Sunoco Logistics Partners LP. The two companies are developing the proposed 1,200-mile crude oil pipeline that has stoked mass protests in North Dakota...more

Sundance puts spotlight on climate change

It certainly reads like a political statement: Next week, one day before Donald Trump takes the presidential oath of office, the Sundance Film Festival will open its 33rd edition with a climate-change documentary starring former vice-president Al Gore. Mr Trump has mocked the science of global warming as a Chinese hoax and selected a climate-change denialist to run the Environmental Protection Agency. What better way for the very liberal Sundance to respond than to put forward An Inconvenient Sequel, the follow-up to the Oscar winner An Inconvenient Truth (2006)? Not so fast. "We stay free of politics," actor Robert Redford, who founded Sundance, said by telephone. "It just happened to coincide." He added: "We don't want to be tied into the current political cycle. That would be a terrible mistake, if we start to drive the story, when our whole mission is to support film-makers who have stories they want to tell." At the same time, his top programmers, Mr John Cooper and Mr Trevor Groth, say they are taking a specific stance that is political by nature: For the first time in the festival's history, there will be a spotlight on one theme - global warming and the environment. Their goal? "To change the world," Mr Groth, programming director, said with a grin over lunch here recently. Mr Cooper, Sundance's director, added quickly: "Or die trying." As the pre-eminent showcase for American independent film, Sundance sets the pace for what arthouse audiences will be watching in the coming year. Mr Cooper and Mr Groth said that they decided over the summer to use that power to push eco-films because they felt interest in them was waning. "That seemed a bit odd, given how large and important the topic is," Mr Cooper said. (Redford, it should be noted, is a long-time environmentalist, although he said that had no bearing on the festival.) A new Sundance subsection, the New Climate, will include 14 documentaries, short films and special projects, including a virtual-reality experience that turns participants into trees that are violently chopped down...more

Hill-climbing cows may help rangeland sustainability

Some of the 5 million cattle that graze on California’s rangelands like to dine in the valleys and hang out by creeks. This can lead to overgrazing in riparian areas and let perfectly good forage on hillsides go to waste. But some cows are different. They prefer to climb hills and mountains and eat along the way. If more cattle followed the road less traveled, rangelands would be more productive and sustainable throughout California and the West. That is why a team of researchers, including University of California, Davis, animal geneticist Juan Medrano, is working to develop an easy, inexpensive genetic test to help ranchers improve cattle distribution by breeding hill-climbing cows. “It’s very exciting research,” said Medrano, a professor with the Department of Animal Science who is collaborating with scientists throughout the West. “DNA technology makes it relatively easy to test and breed for production traits like milk yield and growth rate. But it’s brand new to identify genetic markers linked to animal behavior. This could have a huge impact on food security and rangeland management.”...more

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

NMAG agents raid southwestern NM district attorney’s office

Agents with the state Attorney General’s Office raided the office of a southwestern New Mexico district attorney who was stopped for suspected drunken driving this summer but never charged. “I can confirm that the Office of the Attorney General has executed warrants at the Sixth Judicial District Attorney’s Office in Grant County. This is an ongoing investigation based on a public referral,” AG spokesman James Hallinan told the Journal. Agents served search warrants and seized a state car driven by 6th Judicial District Attorney Francesca Martinez-Estevez on Tuesday. One warrant executed by the Attorney General’s Office and obtained by the Journal shows that agents were seeking any and all records related to a blue Dodge Charger that is a 6th Judicial District Attorney’s Office vehicle, and the document mentions video and other evidence gathered just before and during the June traffic stop. “At this time probable cause exists to believe (Martinez-Estevez) recklessly drove a state vehicle, failed to provide immediate notice of an accident, and acted in violation of the New Mexico Governmental Conduct Act,” according to the warrant...more

DuBois column

Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Jr., Ryan Zinke and the future of The West

The Zinke Zone

Disappointment. Relief. Near elation. Disappointment.

Those are the gamut of my emotions with Donald Trump winning the Republican nomination for President, Trump winning the general election and Trump nominating Ryan Zinke for Secretary of Interior.

Let me explain.

The political stars were lining up for a tremendous historical moment – the transfer of significant amounts of federal land to the states. With the issue on the front burner and Republican control of all three branches of government, one could see the light at the end of a dark, dark tunnel. Then the Republicans nominated the only candidate in the primary who opposed such a transfer, thus the disappointment.

However, relief was still felt with Trump’s victory in the general election. I’m not sure the West, as we know it, would have survived eight years of Hillary, or a total of sixteen years of environmental onslaught.

Surprisingly, with word leaking to the press that U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers would be nominated for Secretary of Interior, came near elation. She was a supporter of the transfer of lands, having cosponsored legislation to transfer lands already identified by the Bureau of Land Management for disposal.

The smile was quickly wiped from my face when the actual nominee was U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, an avowed opponent of such a transfer. So much so that he actually resigned his position on the Republican Platform Committee because it contained the following statement:

The federal government owns or controls over 640 million acres of land in the United States, most of which is in the West. These are public lands, and the public should have access to them for appropriate activities like hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting. Federal ownership or management of land also places an economic burden on counties and local communities in terms of lost revenue to pay for things such as schools, police, and emergency services. It is absurd to think that all that acreage must remain under the absentee ownership or management of official Washington. Congress shall immediately pass universal legislation providing for a timely and orderly mechanism requiring the federal government to convey certain federally controlled public lands to states. We call upon all national and state leaders and representatives to exert their utmost power and influence to urge the transfer of those lands, identified in the review process, to all willing states for the benefit of the states and the nation as a whole. The residents of state and local communities know best how to protect the land where they work and live. They practice boots-on-the-ground conservation in their states every day.

Notice the statement refers to only “certain” federal lands. That’s because most proposals would leave all military posts and Native American reservations in federal hands, along with all National Parks, Monuments, Wilderness and Wilderness Study Areas. And yet, he resigned.

Notice also the statement refers to “willing” states. The transfers would only occur in those states who wanted the transfer to happen. If Zinke’s home state of Montana preferred the lands remain federal, then no transfer would occur. And yet, he resigned, denying that opportunity to other states.

Notice also the statement contains the Jeffersonian-influenced language that “state and local communities know best how to protect the land where they work and live.” Zinke must think otherwise, as he resigned.  The DC Deep Thinkers have an ally.

Conservative Conservationist?

In April of 2016, Zinke authored an opinion piece for the Billings Gazette titled A Conservative Case For Conservation. Therein he opined:

Being a conservative and being a conservationist are not mutually exclusive. It’s conservative principles that drive my commitment to conservation… Party leaders and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on conservation issues, but they always know where I stand. Selling off our public lands is a non-starter. I’ve voted against budget resolutions and bucked party leadership on more than a couple occasions to defend our lands.

Zinke says it is “conservative principles” that drive his conservation.  Please show me the conservative principle that says we should have a government large enough to control almost one out of every three acres in our country. Show me the conservative principle that endorses central planning by the feds over state, local and private planning. Furthermore, Zinke has supported legislation to permanently fund the Land & Water Conservation fund (for federal land acquisition). I’m waiting to see the conservative principle that calls for expanding the size and influence of the central government.

Shot down by hunters

If one seeks to determine why Trump has adopted this policy and nominated someone like Zinke, one is invariably led to Donald Trump, Jr.

Trump, Jr. is a long-time member of the NRA, is the youngest person ever voted into the Boone & Crockett Club, and has hunted all over the world. His father, now the President, has said his son would make a great Secretary of Interior. "The big joke at Christmas this year was that the only job in government that I would want is with the Department of Interior," Trump Jr. told Wide Open Spaces. "I understand these issues. It's something I'm passionate about. I will be the very loud voice about these issues in my father's ear. No one gets it more than us." Trump, Jr. opposes the transfer of lands, just as do the elite hunting organizations, and a source from the Interior transition team told CNN “balancing the Trump siblings' natural inclinations toward conservation has been a key factor in the search for someone to run the Interior Department.”

I recall that not long after receiving my appointment to the Dept. of Interior the NRA called and invited me to have lunch with them. There had been some controversy over using BLM lands for shooting ranges during the Carter administration, and I figured that would be their main concern. There are two things about that lunch meeting I vividly remember. First, I wasn’t all that impressed with the wild rice and some kind of duck that was served up. And second, the first issue they brought up was not shooting ranges, but what could be done about livestock grazing that was harming wildlife habitat all over the West.

These hook and bullet boys are not our friends.  They support Wilderness, the Endangered Species Act, and continued federal retention and control of natural resources. Their idea of multiple use is to have multiple hunting seasons on their special, preserved, federal lands.

The irony here is that Trump was portrayed as an outsider who would shake up “the establishment.” When it comes to Interior, he has instead reached out to the Republican old guard and handed them the keys to the castle.

Trump tinker toys

Why do I put so much emphasis on the land transfer issue? Because I believe it is our only chance to keep these lands productive and of value to local communities and the West in general. The current model of federal ownership, control and management will be most influenced by groups with the largest membership, the most money, the largest law firms, and the most offices in D.C. And that, my friends, ain’t the cowboys.

Instead of a major change on the range, we can look forward to four years of tinkering. Tinkering with the grazing regulations, with the policy manuals, and possibly some of the Executive Orders. There will be calls for more “collaboration”, for solutions that involve “all stakeholders” and other such nonsense. No major changes, and nothing that can’t be changed by the next administration.

I’ve been down that road before and I’ve come to realize that it is playing the establishment’s game, and the game is rigged in their favor.

The possibility for permanent, positive change was there, but appears to have been “trumped” by the existing power structure. There will be no “draining of the swamp” at Interior. Quite the contrary. And that brings great sadness to my heart.

Till next time, be a nuisance to the devil and don’t forget to check that cinch.

 Frank DuBois was the NM Secretary of Agriculture from 1988 to 2003, is the author of a blog: The Westerner ( and is the founder of The DuBois Rodeo Scholarship and The DuBois Western Heritage Foundation

 This column originally appeared in the January issue of The New Mexico Stockman and the January issue of The Livestock Market Digest.

Conservationists look to Donald Trump Jr. as their champion in new White House

And just in time to confirm my thoughts on Donald Trump, Jr. comes this article in today's Washington Post...

 Soon after House conservatives kicked off a new effort last week to reduce the amount of wilderness and other lands protected by the federal government, a leading conservationist quickly dashed off an email to an ally with especially close ties to the incoming Republican administration. The note went to Donald Trump Jr., eldest son of President-elect Donald Trump and a member of several hunting and fishing groups, who promised fellow hunters during the campaign that he would press his father to protect federal lands that are popular for outdoors activities. Donald Trump Jr. “has been great on this issue,” said Whit Fosburgh, president of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, who wrote the email. “He’s a legitimate outdoorsman. I think it’s part of who he is and how he identifies himself.” The urgent appeal to Trump Jr. reveals how hunting and conservation groups plan to rely on the 39-year-old to serve as their champion in his father’s administration on an issue that puts him in direct opposition to many conservatives who are counting on a GOP president to scale back federal control over millions of acres where drilling, grazing and other private uses are restricted. he outcome of the unfolding lobbying campaign will shed light on what kind of influence Trump Jr. could wield behind the scenes after his father takes office, as well as his willingness to oppose Republican lawmakers taking aim at what they describe as federal mismanagement of public lands. It also will signal how much Trump Jr., who along with his brother Eric is expected to take over management of the family’s real estate empire, will push personal policy interests that his father can influence. Even as Trump Jr. has been preparing to take on new business responsibilities, he has already had a significant imprint on the incoming administration. A dedicated hunter and angler who retreats with his wife and their five children to their Catskills cabin nearly every weekend, he helped handpick Ryan Zinke (R), a fellow hunter, public lands advocate and Montana’s lone House member, as nominee for interior secretary...more

That ol' bugaboo about these lands being privatized is mentioned prominently in the article. It's really a pseudo-issue. Perhaps its time to share again what I wrote in October of last year:

 As I have mentioned before, for instance here, there is a solution to this:

These lands can be transferred to the states with a guarantee the public will always have access for hunting and other forms of recreation.

How's that?  Its called a reverter clause.  You find these in federal land transfers all the time.  For instance see the disposal of federal lands under the Recreation and Public Purposes Act.  All of these contain a reverter clause which states if the lands no longer are serving the purposes for which it was transferred the lands then revert back to the federal government.

You would simply need language in the transfer legislation requiring they remain open for hunting  and recreation and that would be binding on the state or any subsequent owner.  Violations would result in the lands reverting to the feds.

So if public access is the only objection to the transfer of these lands, that is easily handled...
And here:
The only transfer issue brought up in this column is these lands might wind up in private hands.  Personally, I would like to see a clean transfer to the states, where the local needs and concerns can influence the highest and best use of the resource.  However, if there is a legitimate concern for maintaining public access to certain parcels or areas, you simply place a reverter clause in the transfer instrument.  If the state or private owner doesn't, in this case, maintain public access, the land reverts back to the feds.  Reverter clauses already exist in law, such as the Recreation & Public Purposes Act, so that language could be easily adapted for public access.  In other words, the one issue they raise can be easily resolved.
Some just don't believe me, or refuse to discuss a reverter clause. For those here is the language from the Recreation & Public Purposes Act.

The Secretary of the Interior upon application filed by a duly qualified applicant under section 869–1 of this title may, in the manner prescribed by sections 869 to 869–4 of this title, dispose of any public lands to a State, Territory, county, municipality, or other State, Territorial, or Federal instrumentality or political subdivision for any public purposes, or to a nonprofit corporation or nonprofit association for any recreational or any public purpose consistent with its articles of incorporation or other creating authority. Before the land may be disposed of under sections 869 to 869–4 of this title it must be shown to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the land is to be used for an established or definitely proposed project, that the land involved is not of national significance nor more than is reasonably necessary for the proposed use, and that for proposals of over 640 acres comprehensive land use plans and zoning regulations applicable to the area in which the public lands to be disposed of are located have been adopted by the appropriate State or local authority. 

The Airplane and Airport Act grants similar legislative disposal authority to the FAA and a reverter clause under that Act is defined by the GSA as:

Right of Reverter. The instrument of conveyance from the federal government must
specify the right to have property interest revert to a federal agency and title revest in the United States. This right extends only to the title, right of possession, or other rights vested in the United States at the time the federal government transferred the property described in the instrument to the grantee. The right may be exercised only at the option of the United States – with or without the cooperation of a grantee – against all or part of the property in question.

So if their are special parcels where public access should be allowed, that is easily accomplished with a reverter clause.

One other observation. Look again at the language in the Recreation & Public Purposes Act and notice all the steps the non-federal entity must go through, one of which is having a local plan adopted before the transfer.  And compare that to the Antiquities Act, where the President can transfer millions of acres from multiple-use to restricted-use, with no hearings or notice, and the feds adopt a plan after the transfer.


I have been consumed by Sunday's post concerning the shooting of a NM hunting guide, the just over a quarter of a million hits on the post, all the comments and debate here and on Facebook, and the ensuing controversy which I've tried to keep updated.

I don't know how the big boys do it. The Westerner and my health have paid a price.

However, the next time a rural family wants help in getting their story out, I'll still do what I can to be of assistance.  In the meantime, I hope to get back to regular blogging (I may have some posts addressing some of the issues raised in the debates) and I pray for the speedy recovery of Daugherty and Roberts

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Family of slain Cal Poly grad can sue BLM, but not San Francisco

A federal judge has ruled the family of slain Cal Poly grad Kathryn Steinle can sue the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), but not the city of San Francisco. The judge also removed Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from the lawsuit. [Mercury News] The Steinle family had named the city of San Francisco, the San Francisco sheriff, BLM and ICE in a wrongful death suit. On July 1, 2015, Steinle, 32, was walking with her father along Pier 14 in San Francisco when she was shot in the back and killed. The gun used in the shooting was a service weapon that belonged to a BLM ranger. Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, a seven-time felon who has been deported to Mexico five times, is accused of murdering Steinle. Lopez-Sanchez has admitted to firing the shot that killed Steinle, though he claims he did so by accident...However, the judge also stated in his ruling that the federal government was negligent in the Steinle killing because of the actions of the BLM officer. The officer left a loaded gun in a backpack on the seat of an unattended vehicle in San Francisco. That created foreseeable risk, Spero wrote. “The BLM ranger therefore had a duty to better secure his handgun against theft,” the Spero stated...more

NOTICE: APHIS Confirms New World Screwworm in Miami-Dade County, Florida

The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) confirmed the presence of New World screwworm (Cochliomyia hominivorax) in a stray dog near Homestead, Florida. The dog was isolated and his infested wounds were treated. Federal and state officials have started active surveillance in the area.
This is the first confirmed case on Florida’s mainland. Screwworm was first confirmed on October 3, 2016 in Key deer from National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key, Florida. This initial presence of screwworm was the first local detection in the United States in more than 30 years and Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture, Adam Putnam declared an agricultural state of emergency in Monroe County, Florida.
Since October, 13 Keys had known infestations mostly in the key deer population, with five confirmed infestations in domestic animals. Animal health and wildlife officials at the state and federal levels have been working aggressively to eradicate this pest. Extensive response efforts have included fly assessments to determine the extent of the infestation, release of sterile flies to prevent reproduction and disease surveillance to look for additional cases in animals. Officials have received significantly fewer reports of adult screwworm flies in the area and fewer cases of infected Key deer. To date, fly assessments have been conducted on 40 Keys. USDA has released over 80 million sterile flies from 25 ground release sites on twelve islands and the city of Marathon. The initial epidemiology report on the Florida Keys infestation may be viewed at
Residents who have warm-blooded animals (pets, livestock, etc.) should watch their animals carefully. Florida residents should report any potential cases to 1-800-HELP-FLA (1-800-435-7352) or non-Florida residents should call (850) 410-3800.  Visitors to the area should ensure any pets that are with them are also checked, in order to prevent the spread of this infestation.
While human cases of New World screwworm are rare, they have occurred, and public health officials are involved in the response. No human cases have been reported in Florida. For more information about this disease in humans, please contact your local public health department. Using fly repellents and keeping skin wounds clean and protected from flies can help prevent infection with screwworm in both people and animals.
New World screwworm are fly larvae (maggots) that can infest livestock and other warm-blooded animals, including people. They most often enter an animal through an open wound and feed on the animal’s living flesh. While they can fly much farther under ideal conditions, adult flies generally do not travel more than a couple of miles if there are suitable host animals in the area. New World screwworm is more likely to spread long distances when infested animals move to new areas and carry the pest there.
In the 1950s, USDA developed a new method to help eradicate screwworm using a form of biological control, called the sterile insect technique, which releases infertile flies in infested areas. When they mate with wild females, no offspring result. With fewer fertile mates available in each succeeding generation, the fly, in essence, breeds itself out of existence.  USDA used this technique to eradicate screwworm from the U.S. and worked with other countries in Central America and the Caribbean to eradicate it there as well. Today, USDA and its partners maintain a permanent sterile fly barrier at the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia to prevent the establishment of any screwworm flies that enter from South America.

Monday, January 09, 2017

A cartel connection to high-end bicycle thefts in Santa Fe and ABQ?

Three Albuquerque men who were charged with stealing high-end bicycles from a downtown Santa Fe bike shop last week have admitted to stealing bikes from elsewhere in Santa Fe and from an Albuquerque shop, according to a police statement made public in District Court Thursday. One of the alleged thieves said stolen bikes were taken apart and sold to a man nicknamed Stone Face affiliated with a Mexican drug cartel. Carlos Trejo-Villalobos, 44, Carlos Navarrete-May, 31 and David Perez, 30, were arrested by Santa Fe police Dec. 27 after bikes and tires worth $32,000 stolen from Mellow Velo East Marcy Street were found in the back of a van driven by Navarrete-May. The affidavit says Navarrete-May admitted they cut the hinges on the front door of the store and completely removed it before stealing the merchandise and said he was paid by Trejo-Villalobos to drive his van in the heist...more

New Mexico: 105 Years Of U.S. Statehood


Americans often confuse New Mexico, a state with unparalleled history, culture and beauty, as being a foreign country. New Mexico Magazine for many years has run a feature column entitled, “One of Our Fifty is Missing,” where New Mexicans write about instances where they called, wrote, or emailed a business in another state looking to order something and were told, “We don’t ship to foreign countries.” The New Mexican then has to explain, sometimes without success, that New Mexico is a state in the United States located between Texas and Arizona...Historically, New Mexico was once much larger than the 121,412 square miles that it encompasses. When Gen. Stephen Watts Kearney invaded New Mexico with the U.S. Army of the West in 1846, New Mexico included all of the modern day state of Arizona and parts of what is now southern Nevada. Congressional legislation split New Mexico Territory in half and the Territory of Arizona was created in the 1860’s. The Gadsden Purchase, signed Dec. 30, 1853, saw a swath of disputed land purchased from Mexico by the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, James Gadsden, creating the final U.S. southern international boundary. The purchased land was known as the “Sale of La Mesilla” in Mexico. The U.S. needed the land to secure an east-west railroad line through the newly purchased territory but the rail line had to wait until after the Civil War. After several attempts at statehood, which for various reasons were rejected, New Mexico and Arizona territories had to wait until 1912 to formally join the union as states. A wait that lasted 64 years. Jan. 6, 1912, President William Howard Taft signed legislation admitting New Mexico to the union as the 47 th state. The same legislation admitted Arizona as the 48th state a little over a month later on Feb. 14, completing what became known as the “Lower 48.” Alaska and Hawaii were admitted as states in 1959...more

Sunday, January 08, 2017

The great Murray Ryan passes away at his home Saturday

Murray Ryan passed away surrounded by his family and friends Saturday. The former New Mexico Legislature (R) who served from 1968 to 1998 in District 38 was 93 years-old. Ryan was a native of Grant County who graduated from St. Mary's Academy in Silver City. He went on to West Point and served in Germany before coming back to the U.S. and throwing his hat in the ring of politics. “Murray Ryan’s passing marks the end of an era,” former District 38 House of Representative Dianne Hamilton (R) said. “Murray was in the state legislature when lawmakers behaved like ladies and gentlemen.” Newly elected District 38 House of Representative Rebecca Dow (R) stated she spoke with Ryan before his death and that she was supposed to visit with him during a trip to Silver City this past weekend. “I’m sad that he’s passed,” Dow said. “He’s been calling me and we have been talking about what a representative in the House is supposed to be. I was really impressed with his passion for his community and his commitment. He was very helpful to me throughout my campaign.”...more

NM Hunting Guide, Client Wounded on Mexico border.

NOTE: At the request of the family, all photos have been removed from this post.

Hunting Guide, Client Wounded on Mexico border.
For release: 1/8/2017
Gila Livestock Growers Association
Laura Bryant

While guiding an aoudad hunt in Presidio county Texas, a New Mexico hunting guide was shot in the abdomen and seriously wounded Friday night after what appears to have been an attempt to kidnap his clients on the Mexico border.  

The guide remains in critical condition in a Texas Hospital.    His client was also shot in the arm and is expected to recover.  

Multiple assailants fired upon an RV parked near a hunting lodge where the party was staying for the hunt.  The contracted hunter and his wife were asleep in the in the RV when the attack began.  

Walker Daugherty, 26, of Chloride, NM was wounded while attempting to stop the assailants from taking the RV with his clients inside.  He was assisted by another guide, Michael Bryant; the men were staying inside the lodge with their wives.  
Per a family source, everyone was in bed preparing for an early hunt, the guides and cooks inside the house and the clients in the rental RV parked nearby.  Walker heard voices outside and went to see what the noises were, he witnessed men with guns attempting to take the RV, he then ran back inside to get help.  Walker and Michael armed themselves to defend and protect the client and to attempt to deter the assailants while the hunter attempted to escape in the RV which was being shot at repeatedly.  The vehicle is riddled with bullet holes from the attack and suffered other structural damage.  

The attack lasted long enough for Walker to run back to the house and get more ammunition, when he was close to the door his sister, saw him get shot and was able to drag him inside the house and away from the gunfire.  The women in the lodge were able to get a spotty cell signal and call 911. 

The family has been earning a living guiding and outfitting out of the remote ranch for years.   The business had experienced several thefts and had been working with the US Border Patrol to apprehend illegal aliens in the area in the past month.   The theft events and the attack occurred in the United States.  

The attack has the family concerned that the attack was not just an attempt to rob the property.    They believe the assailants intended to kill all the party.   The attackers were strategically placed around the lodge and the men were fired upon from different areas.   

The client’s wife, a nurse, was able to help keep Walker from bleeding to death while they waited several hours for a medivac helicopter to take him to El Paso.   It took local law enforcement over an hour to get to the remote scene.  The family says the men and their wives were grilled about the veracity of their account by Law Enforcement and the assailants got away and likely returned to Mexico.  Kidnapping, along with drug and human trafficking, has become common along the Mexico border especially if there are reasons to believe that an intended victim is a person of means.   The family, however, are self-employed outfitters earning a living as guides although the clients were likely the intended targets.    

Friends have set up a go fund me account to assist with medical expenses and the long recovery process that Walker is expected to endure.  He is uninsured.

Pensacola doctor attacked on Texas hunting trip   

A Pensacola doctor is recovering after he and another person were attacked while on a hunting trip in Texas.
The incident occurred while Edwin Roberts and several others were at the Circle Dug Ranch, which is 10 miles North West of Candelaria, Texas on Friday around 9:30 p.m.
Chief Deputy Joel Nunez said he responded to a call “of shots fired, multiple shooters and two individuals severely injured”.
Edwin Roberts, a chiropractor in Pensacola, was shot once in the arm according to his family. Reports indicate Walker Daughtry was in the abdomen.
Channel 3 News spoke to Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominquez. He would not elaborate on how the shooting happened or release any details on the case since it is still under investigation.
In a news release, Sheriff Dominquez did mention the attack was allegedly not linked to “cross border violence”.
Presidio Sheriff’s Department, the Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety are investigating. The U.S. Border Patrol also responded to the scene.
Roberts, 54, was rushed to El Paso University Medical Center. He’s has undergone a second surgery.
Walker, 26, was flown via helicopter to El Paso for a gunshot to the abdomen.
According to a Go Fund Me account for Walker Daugherty, it states "they were involved in a shootout with some illegals, when the illegals tried to steal Walker's .. RV with them still inside" Ashely Boggs, Daugherty's girlfriend said.
The Circle Dug Ranch sits on 20,000 acres and is located in a mountainous area in Presidio County, Texas.
Edwin Roberts is a longtime business owner of Pensacola. He owns A Chiropractic Tradition, which is located on Mobile Highway.

NM hunting guide, client wounded in alleged border attack

By Lauren Villagran

A New Mexico hunting guide and his client have been hospitalized following a shooting in West Texas over the weekend that a family friend described as an attack by “illegal aliens.”
The Presidio County Sheriff’s Office appeared to question that version in a press release issued Monday, saying “there is no evidence to support allegations of ‘cross border violence.'”
Walker Daugherty, 26, of Chloride — a ranching community about three hours south of Albuquerque near the Gila National Forest — was guiding an exotic big game hunt in Presidio County, Texas, when his party was allegedly attacked by unknown assailants.
Multiple assailants fired on an RV, where hunter Edwin Roberts and his wife were sleeping. The hunting guides were staying in a lodge nearby.
Daugherty was shot in the abdomen when he tried to stop the assailants from taking the RV with his clients inside, according to a press release issued by the Gila Livestock Growers Association.
Roberts, 59, was shot in the arm. Both men were transported to an El Paso hospital.
Rancher and growers association president Laura Schneberger authored the statement, which is based on the Daugherty family’s account. In addition to their hunting guide business, the Daugherty family runs a ranch in New Mexico.
The Daugherty family could not be immediately reached by phone.
“The attack has the family concerned that the attack was not just an attempt to rob the property,” the growers association statement said. “They believe the assailants intended to kill all the party. The attackers were strategically placed around the lodge and the men were fired upon from different areas.”
The Presidio County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at about 9:30 p.m. on Friday night from the Circle Dug Ranch near Candelaria, a two hour’s drive from the county seat of Marfa.
Chief Deputy Sheriff Joel Nunez responded to the scene.
“We are still investigating details of the shooting,” Sheriff Danny Dominguez said in a statement. “However there is no evidence to support allegations of ‘cross border violence’ as released by some media sources.”
Both men remain in the hospital and are being treated for their injuries, according to the sheriff’s statement.
The terrain of Presidio County, near Big Bend National Park, is rugged like New Mexico’s Bootheel, notoriously difficult to patrol for both local law enforcement and Border Patrol.
The group was hunting aoudad, a type of big-horned North African sheep that were introduced to West Texas. The ranch where they were hunting is right on the Mexican border.
GoFundMe website account set up to provide financial support to Daugherty had raised nearly $17,000 by 185 donors in one day. He is undergoing surgery today and does not have medical insurance, according to the site.


Sheriff denies “cross border violence” in Candelaria shooting


...A press release appeared Sunday purporting to detail the incident from the perspective of those on the ranch. The shooting started after what appeared to be an attempted theft of a recreational vehicle (RV) parked near the hunting lodge and potentially an attempt at kidnapping or killing the hunters sleeping in the vehicle, according to the press release. In this telling, Daugherty was wounded while attempting to stop assailants from shooting at and stealing the RV and the “assailants got away and likely returned to Mexico.”
The press release has been shared around social media and several blogs, including where the incident is described as a “border ambush.” Another blog claims the attack was launched by “Mexican kidnappers.”
The story is similar to what the 911 caller told dispatch and what witnesses told law enforcement during preliminary interviews, Deputy Nuñez said.
But according to the investigation by the sheriff’s office and Border Patrol, there is no evidence to support the account.
“We’re still investigating and waiting for ballistics results from [Texas Department of Public Safety] lab in El Paso,” Nuñez said. “Right now, there is no evidence to suggest there was any ‘cross-border violence’ situation there.”
The sheriff’s office was supported in their investigation by about 30 U.S. Border Patrol agents from Air and Marine units from El Paso and agents with human and drug detecting dogs.
“[Border Patrol has] expert trackers who say there were no signs at the time of any individuals on the ranch other than those staying there,” Nuñez said....


Exclusive: Gunmen targeted family's RV before shootout

by Jasmine Anderson

Several men armed with guns tried stealing 59-year-old Edwin Roberts' RV before ambushing the people inside, Roberts' family claims.
The Pensacola chiropractor and his wife were having a relaxing dinner after a day of hunting at the Circle Dug Ranch when they heard a noise a the door.
"My mom’s dog starts barking. There’s someone trying to get into the RV. My dad gets his weapon, identifies he has a weapon and tells whoever it is to leave. They say in English, 'we got weapons and we want your RV'," his son, Edwin Roberts II, said.
Two men with pistols were trying shoot their way inside.
Roberts went for the wheel - he honked the horn and alerted the camp - and got shot in the process. He was able to turn the RV on and drive it towards the camp house.
Two hunting guides heard the commotion and came outside to see what was going on. They ran back inside to grab their shotguns when they saw multiple people attacking the RV.
"Then he came back out, the RV was moving now and he thought they gotten in there and had either took my parents hostage or hurting them, so he tried to shoot the RV tires out with a buck shot which he did to stop the RV," Roberts II explained.
Walker Daugherty, 26, was shot in abdomen.
"All of a sudden, Walker is down. He gets hit from where the RV was. From a different direction, in the stomach, so he’s’ out cold," Roberts II said.
Roberts' wife put a tourniquet on her husband and applied pressure on Daugherty's wound, too. With the suspects gone an immediate call for help was out of the question - they didn't have reception.
"It takes several hours to get out there, and from what I understand, the military sent a helicopter. They life-flighted Mr. walker to El Paso and they took my dad to the city of Presidio and put him on a plane and took him to El Paso," Roberts II said.
Both men had surgery that night. Roberts had been shot three times, had some broken bones and lots of soft tissue damage.
Roberts' family says he has been discharged from the hospital and will fly into Pensacola Tuesday night.


 Investigators believe Presidio County ranch shooting was friendly fire, not border violence

A shocking development in a story CBS 7 first broke over the weekend.
Two hunters who were shot in a remote ranch along the Mexican-border in Presidio County claimed illegal immigrants ambushed them Friday night.
But it turns out investigators believe this was just a case of friendly fire among each other.
Presidio County Sheriff Danny Dominguez has been saying all along that there was no indication of cross border violence here.
He tells us the investigation shows that Walker Daughetry shot Edwin Roberts and another hunting guide in their group, Michael Bryant, shot Walker.
...Here’s how investigators believe the shooting happened: Walker thought illegals were inside the RV that Edwin and his wife were in, in an attempt to kidnap them.
Instead of announcing himself, Walker allegedly tried opening the RV.
That’s when Edwin fired off a round from inside the RV missing Walker.
Walker immediately ran inside his cabin to grab his gun and to get backup from Michael.
With rumors of border violence spilling over from Mexico to the United States, Sheriff Dominguez believes this may have caused the hunters to be paranoid...
In the mean time, a ballistic test will be conducted to determine which guns the bullets came from. 
...CBS 7 was able to speak with Walker’s fiancé over the phone who was at the ranch that night of the shooting.
She says she cannot comment on the case until it is completed, but did want to mention that they’ve experienced multiple encounters with illegals last month, and claims to have had hundreds of dollars worth of supplies stolen by them at the ranch.


Update 2
Posted by Kayla Criner
8 mins ago
We have amazing news! Walker is improving. He is now able to walk around. I will continue to delete any negative comments made on here! If you have nothing nice to say, do not say anything at all! The SIX people who were involved know what they saw. I will continue to only believe the people who I know as well as their integrity and honesty, as opposed to the "authorities" who may have skewed or unseen agendas. I will continue to pray for those who have it in their hearts to assume that this is a "SCAM" as so many have stated, as well as the six people who were involved and traumatized by this event. Thank you from the bottom of everyone's hearts, friends and family, for those that have shown nothing but love and support for the six of them as they have to face not only backlash from their own community, but from all LEO's claiming that this did not happen. PRAISE GOD that none of them were killed.