Friday, March 24, 2017

Wrapping Up the 2017 AQHA Convention

For Immediate Release:

Wrapping Up the 2017 AQHA Convention

The American Quarter Horse Association, March 24, 2017 - The American Quarter Horse Association is an organization that works for its members. Each spring, AQHA holds an annual convention to review member-submitted rule changes, appoint new AQHA directors, induct members into the American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame, present year-end awards and elect the AQHA Executive Committee. The 2017 AQHA Convention was March 17-20 at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio.  

AQHA Executive Committee
The new AQHA Executive Committee was elected March 20. This five-person committee is responsible for implementing important decisions made by AQHA members through the board of directors.

The 2017-18 AQHA Executive Committee is President Ralph Seekins of Fairbanks, Alaska; First Vice President Dr. Jim Heird of College Station, Texas; Second Vice President Stan Weaver of Big Sandy, Montana; member Butch Wise of El Reno, Oklahoma; and member Norm Luba of Louisville, Kentucky.
Learn more about each member of the AQHA Executive Committee. 

Hall of Fame Inductees
The 2016 American Quarter Horse Hall of Fame inducted 10 legends at convention: the late Marvin Barnes of Ada, Oklahoma; AQHA Past President Peter J. Cofrancesco III of Sparta, New Jersey; Bobby D. Cox of Fort Worth, Texas; the late AQHA Executive Committee Member Dick Monahan of Walla Walla, Washington; trainer and horsewoman Sandra Vaughn of Hernando, Florida; the 1961 mare Casey’s Ladylove; the 1983 mare Dashing Phoebe; the 1994 gelding Majestic Scotch; the 1987 stallion Strawfly Special; and the 1985 stallion Zips Chocolate Chip. 

In addition to the Hall of Fame inductions, Butch Hammer of Norwalk, Iowa, was presented the 2016 Merle Wood Humanitarian Award.
Professionals of the Year
The 2016 Don Burt Professional’s Choice Professional Horseman of the Year, Professional’s Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year and Professional’s Choice Most Valuable Professional awards were presented at the awards banquet March 18. The awards were presented by Professional’s Choice.
  • 2016 Don Burt Professional’s Choice Professional Horseman of the Year Casey Devitt of Frankfort, Kentucky
  • 2016 Professional’s Choice Professional Horsewoman of the Year Christa Baldwin of Stanton, Michigan
  • 2016 Most Valuable Professional Bennie Sargent of Paris, Kentucky
Read more about Devitt, Baldwin and Sargent. 

2016 AQHA Year-End Winners
More than 100 high-point titles were awarded at the awards banquet on March 18.
In addition to the leaders in each division, AQHA also named the 2016 year-end all-around award winners:
  • Markel Insurance All-Around Youth: Ellexxah Ireland Maxwell of West Mansfield, Ohio, and Zips Bossy Chip
  • Farnam All-Around Amateur: Thad O’Boyle of Saint Louis, Michigan, and Aint I Sumthin
  • Farnam All-Around Junior Horse: DT Elenor Shine Whiz, owned by DT Horses LLC of Bend, Oregon
  • Farnam All-around Senior Horse: BFR Igniting Sparks, owned by Beechfork Ranch of Weatherford, Texas
  • Farnam World Champion Racing American Quarter Horse: Jessies First Down, owned by Ted G. Abrams of Houston
  • AQHA Leading Exhibitor: Team Wrangler member and AQHA Professional Horseman J.D. Yates of Pueblo, Colorado

A Fight Over A Bison Herd In Montana Sets Retired Rangers Against Tribes


It may have been the first attempt to save the wild bison. In the 1870s, Little Falcon Robe of the Pend d’Oreille tribe in Montana, traveled east on a hunting trip, and at the tribal council’s request brought live bison home to the Flathead valley. The plains were once home to up to 30 million bison, but settlers traveling westward had nearly exterminated those vast herds. Little Falcon Robe brought back six calves, the story goes, which then multiplied to a few hundred that roamed the valley near the Flathead Lake and River. Little Falcon Robe’s father first dreamed of bringing back the bison. “In his visions he saw that the bison was becoming less and less,” Tom McDonald, manager of a wildlife division of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe which includes the Pend d’Oreille, told BuzzFeed News. “A substantial herd was growing on the reservation about the late 1890s.” More than a century later, the Flathead Reservation is home to the Salish and Kootenai, and the 18,800-acre National Bison Range, one the last refuges for bison in North America. Since 2004 the US Fish and Wildlife Service has partnered with the tribes to maintain the range, carved out of the reservation in 1908. Last year, the agency proposed restoring the bison range to the reservation, and turning over management exclusively to the tribes. “This is potentially a really beautiful example of a tribe that is taking over a federal function that it is better situated than the federal government to run,” Kevin Washburn, a law professor at the University of New Mexico, who was Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs at the Department of Interior until 2015. Tribes typically face an uphill battle trying to claim reservation land that is taken over by the US government. So the offer from the Fish and Wildlife Service was significant. “The tribes were pleasantly surprised by the idea,” Brian Upton, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes’ attorney, told BuzzFeed News. But one group of retired range managers is seeking to block such a shift. In a lawsuit against the US Fish and Wildlife Service, they claim that such a transfer violates federal law. The Association of Retired Fish and Wildlife Service Employees backed PEER up. In a letter to agency director Dan Ashe, the association board chair said that such a move would be a “slippery-slope” giving away land to states or companies wholesale, and set a bad precedent. But other conservation groups, ones who generally oppose ceding any public land to companies, states, or tribes, defend the proposal to involve the Salish and Kootenai. “Without a doubt, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes are strongly committed to bison conservation and have obviously a deep rich history and connection with bison,” Matt Skoglund of the Natural Resources Defense Council, who works with the 5,000-strong bison herd in Yellowstone National Park, told BuzzFeed News...more

Far-Fetched As They Might Seem, Secession Movements Are Thriving In The NW

Back in 1941, a group of ranchers, miners and loggers near the Oregon-California border staged a small political rebellion. They elected their own governor, selected a state capital and changed the state line signs to welcome travelers to the State of Jefferson. The Yreka Rebellion was mostly a public relations stunt, and it died quickly after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. But that Northwest spirit of wanting to break away lives on. “It doesn’t matter what we think about anything,” said Mark Baird, the spokesman for today’s State of Jefferson movement, an attempt by people in 21 Northern California counties to form their own state. “We can’t get representation on any issues. This is the only way for us to actually have our votes matter and our voices heard.” Baird’s group bills itself as the spiritual children of the Yreka Rebellion, but the Pacific Northwest is actually home to at least four different ongoing secession or breakaway movements. One overarching State of Jeffersonian theme connects them: a sense of disenfranchisement. Baird notes that his state senator represents 11 counties, while Los Angeles County has 11 senators. “This is not a partisan issue. It’s just fundamentally unfair,” he said. Across the state line in Oregon, rancher Ken Parsons has a similar complaint: “Urban areas dominate rural areas.” For several years now, the La Grande farmer been pushing legislators and civic leaders in Eastern Oregon — and to a lesser extent, Washington — to join Idaho instead...more

‘Longmire’ shooting final season in northern NM

It’s official. The sixth and final season of Netflix’s “Longmire” will begin principal photography next week. According to the New Mexico Film Office, production will take place through mid-June in Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Valles Caldera, Pecos and other locations in northern New Mexico. The series’ interior shots have been done at Garson Studios at Santa Fe University of Art and Design. “Season 6 of such an acclaimed TV show demonstrates the incredible vitality of the New Mexico television scene,” said Nick Maniatis, director of the state Film Office. “The return of ‘Longmire’ is a testament to New Mexico crews, actors and support services that have helped make the show great for so long.” The series stars Robert Taylor as Sheriff Walt Longmire. It is set in Absaroka County, Wyo., and is based on the “Walt Longmire” mystery novels by Craig Johnson. It also stars Katee Sackhoff, Lou Diamond Phillips, Cassidy Freeman and Adam Bartley. According to Netflix, the final season will stream this fall...more

Trump approves Keystone pipeline

The Trump administration gave the Keystone XL pipeline its key federal permit Friday, clearing a major hurdle for the project that former President Barack Obama rejected in 2015. The State Department announced Friday morning that its under secretary for political affairs, Tom Shannon, issued the permit, two months after President Trump signed an executive order to revive the project after Obama’s rejection. “In making his determination that issuance of this permit would serve the national interest, the under secretary considered a range of factors, including but not limited to foreign policy; energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; and compliance with applicable law and policy,” State said. The decision closes a significant chapter in the long-running saga over the controversial oil pipeline, which has been a flashpoint in the debate surrounding climate change and dependence on foreign oil. It fulfills a major campaign promise of President Trump and a top priority that congressional Republicans and the oil industry have had for years...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1812

Here's one for all the Weekend Warriors:  Johnny Bond & Tex Ritter - Sadie Was A Lady.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Native Americans prepare to battle Trump over Utah national monument

When word came down on Dec. 28 that President Barack Obama had created a 1.35 million-acre national monument called Bears Ears, Jonah Yellowman celebrated. So did leaders of his Navajo people and other tribes that rarely have much to cheer about, such as the Hopi, Ute and Zuni. Yet the festivities did not last long. Angered at Obama, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert and other Republicans quickly lobbied President Donald Trump to rescind or scale back the monument. For Yellowman, such a reversal would represent a historic betrayal. He and other activists have spent years trying to protect Bears Ears and its cliff dwellings and other antiquities. "People are target shooting at our rock carvings," said Yellowman, a Navajo elder. "They are cutting out our pictographs, our stories, and taking them away and selling them." Across the West and beyond, Native Americans are resisting the administration on multiple fronts. In North Dakota, two tribes have filed lawsuits against Trump's approval of the 1,172-mile-long Dakota Access pipeline, which skirts the Standing Rock reservation. Tribes are fighting oil and gas projects in Texas, Oklahoma and other states. While Native Americans have long organized to counter perceived threats, Trump's election has made it "more visceral," said David Rich Lewis, a historian at Utah State University who specializes in tribal environmental issues. Trump has a history of clashing with tribes over casinos and other developments. He also has vowed to open up more federal lands to energy development, including those in and around Indian Country. More recently, he has embraced as a hero former President Andrew Jackson, a leading advocate of "Indian removal" in the American West...more

Gardner to BLM: Go west

If U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner has his way, top-level decisions by a major federal public lands agency would no longer be made in Washington, D.C. Rather, they’d emanate from right here in Grand Junction, which also could see hundreds of new jobs should the Colorado Republican manage to persuade Congress to move the Bureau of Land Management’s national headquarters to town. “I think it makes perfect sense to have the BLM headquartered in Grand Junction, Colorado, which is nearby other BLM-centric states, whether that’s Utah, Wyoming, states to the south and farther west,” Gardner said in an interview with The Daily Sentinel, expanding on an idea he has brought up publicly several times in recent weeks. The thrust of Gardner’s pitch is that the more than 99 percent of the nearly 250 million acres of land the BLM manages is west of the Mississippi River. “That is a heck of a long ways away from Washington, D.C., a heck of a long ways away from the policymakers who are impacting the lives of Westerners daily. And that’s why I think we should move the headquarters of BLM to the West, where BLM land isn’t a thousand miles away but it’s in the backyard.”...more

 More empty rhetoric about moving headquarters so "major" decisions are made in the West. Senator, transfer those lands and all decisions will be made in the West and by Westerners. And surely you understand that major decisions are made the Secretary, not BLM.

More than 1,200 Yellowstone bison killed this winter

Operations to kill bison in Yellowstone National Park for slaughter have come to an end, with more than 1,200 bison culled this winter. The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reports the park released figures Wednesday showing 748 bison were consigned to slaughter this year. Another 453 were killed by hunters from Native American tribes and the state of Montana. The total winter death toll marks the highest number of bison killed in the Yellowstone area since 2008. It also falls just short of the removal goal bison managers set in the fall. Bison are taken from the area each year because of a management plan established in 2000 that calls for a population of 3,000 bison in the region. Park biologists estimate there are 5,500 bison there now. AP

Bundy supporter says he wanted to kill federal agents in fake documentary

Three men known as Cliven Bundy supporters thought they were being interviewed by a film crew. It turns out it was the FBI. It's the new development in the federal trial against the supporters of the Bunkerville rancher. On Thursday, interviews were played of three defendants recorded for what they thought was a documentary called "America Reloaded." The interviews turned out to be a part of the federal case against them because the film crew was made up of undercover FBI agents. During the interview with defendant Gregory Burleson, he said he was ready to kill federal agents, that he helped organize the standoff against them and showed up with guns and ammunition, and was disappointed things ended without blood. Burleson was also recorded saying he wanted to put federal agents six feet under because he believed they were breaking the law and abusing their authority. Burleson and two other defendants described their version of events surrounding the armed standoff in Bunkerville nearly three years ago. The government has faced criticism in the past for going undercover as the media. Some say it puts journalists in danger. Cliven Bundy and his sons are also facing charges. The trial against them is expected to start after the current one...more

Bundy defendants interviewed in undercover FBI operation

Undercover FBI agents posed as documentary filmmakers for a production titled “America Reloaded” to draw statements from the men who rushed to support rancher Cliven Bundy in his 2014 stand against the federal government. The undercover operation has been alluded to in previous court filings, but it was detailed in federal court Wednesday when FBI Special Agent Charles Johnson testified as a government witness in the trial against six men accused of conspiring to block Bureau of Land Management agents from impounding Bundy’s cattle. Agents videotaped undercover interviews with, among other people, Scott Drexler and Eric Parker — two of the defendants in the first trial. Federal prosecutors played the videos in court Wednesday during Johnson’s testimony, and in doing so, gave jurors a window into the defendants’ minds. Drexler told the undercover agent he drove to the Bundy family ranch after reading about the protests online. “What I was looking for was just a show of support … it seems as if when there are armed people around a situation, then the authorities have to be a little more civil, have to treat you like a person,” he said. “If nobody is facing any kind of consequences for their actions, they can just do whatever they want.” When asked what protesters’ objective was on April 12, 2014, when they arrived en masse to the Gold Butte area where federal agents were impounding cattle, Drexler replied: “Basically the objective that I think there was was just a show of force.”...more
Wolves from Mexico, dogs at Interior, a canine conundrum

In a first for the government, dogs will be welcome at the Interior Department

                                                Ragnar, Ryan Zinke’s dog, poses at the Interior Department with an image of one of Zinke’s idols, former President Theodore Roosevelt. (Tami Heilemann)
The Cabinet secretary who rode a horse to work on his first day is letting his employees bring their dogs to the office. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke will announce in an email to employees Thursday morning the start of “Doggy Days at Interior,” a program that will launch with test runs at the agency’s Washington headquarters on two Fridays in May and September. The new policy will make Interior the first federal agency to go dog-friendly — and cement Zinke’s status as the Trump administration’s most visible animal fan. Zinke earlier this month arrived at his new workplace astride Tonto, a bay roan gelding who belongs to the U.S. Park Police and resides in stables on the Mall. President Trump, meanwhile, remains pet-less, a status that makes him the first U.S. leader in 150 years without a companion animal and leaves the White House without a first dog or cat. Vice President Pence and his family keep two cats and a rabbit at their Naval Observatory home, though those critters keep a relatively low profile. Zinke, a fifth-generation Montanan, former Navy SEAL and congressman, said his dog policy’s primary goal is to boost morale at the far-flung Interior agency, which includes the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management and six other departments. Interior ranked 11th in employee morale of the 18th largest federal agencies in last year’s Best Places to Work in the Federal Government survey, with just 61 percent of its 70,000 employees saying they’re happy in their jobs...more

Heads Up! Wolves in Cochise County Arizona!

From: Caren Cowan
Date: Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:43 PM

Reports are that wolves are killing calves near the Chiricahua Mountains in southern Cochise County Arizona. The kills are in the process of being confirmed. The wolves are purported to be coming up from Mexico.

Stay tuned for updates. If you think you have had a wolf kill on you, please contact the Arizona Game & Fish Department at Office: (928) 339-4329 or (888) 459-9653

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1811

This goes out to Russell Burris who recently celebrated his birthday. This is the traditional fiddle tune The Eighth Of January performed to a danceable beat by Red River Dave and his band.  The melody was originally named "Jackson's Victory" after Andrew Jackson's famous rout of the British at New Orleans on January, 8th, 1815.