Monday, September 25, 2017

Trump Wants to Free Up Federal Lands, His Interior Secretary Fails Him


The president should ignore Ryan Zinke’s recommendations and revoke illegally designated or expanded national monuments.

by William Perry Pendley

Like a rookie agent in a spy thriller, Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke went rogue in responding to President Trump’s executive order to review and make recommendations regarding the legality of two decades of national-monument decrees whereby past presidents, pursuant to the unilateral authority granted them by the Antiquities Act of 1906, designated federal lands as “national monuments” and, like national parks and wilderness areas, put them largely off limits to economic and recreational uses.

 Instead of doing as asked, Secretary Zinke recommended decreasing the size of only four of the most blatantly illegal national monuments while leaving the boundaries of all the others standing with mollycoddle language, which will soon get stricken by environmentalists. Worse, he asked that the president do as Clinton and Obama did before him: that is, designate as national monuments federal lands that do not qualify under the Antiquities Act, including, in a surprisingly questionable case of special pleading, one in his home state of Montana. If President Trump does not heed his own pugnacious and not Zinke’s pusillanimous counsel, the matter will be up to the entity entrusted by the Constitution with management of federal lands: Congress. That is as it should be, but whether Congress is up to the task is doubtful, given not just the past nine months but the last 107 years. 

...Obama ignored unanimous state and local opposition in Maine and used the Act to designate 87,654 acres purchased for the National Park Service (NPS) as a “seed” for the NPS’s 1988 plan for a 3.2 million–acre park, contrary to a 1998 federal law requiring that Congress authorize all new park-suitability studies. Finally, in a belated Christmas gift to Leonardo DiCaprio and other environmental extremists, Obama thumbed his nose at Utahans with his 1.35 million–acre Bears Ears National Monument in San Juan County. That is not all. Elsewhere, as New Mexican and Reagan-administration alumnus Frank DuBois observes, the Obama administration, instead of designating the “smallest area” possible around “the objects to be protected,” drew a boundary that replicated, for example, a series of wilderness areas Congress refused to designate, and then populated it with purportedly qualifying objects.

...Sadly, after setting forth the abuses to which the Act has been put over the decades, and cognizant — not only as the secretary of the interior but also as the representative for all of Montana in the U.S. House — of the vast changes in federal land law since 1906, he failed to recognize that the Antiquities Act long ago outlived its usefulness even while it remains capable of massive and malevolent misapplication. Incredibly, instead of calling for its repeal, he recommends its use for a Union Army camp in Kentucky, civil-rights sites throughout the South, and a portion of a multiple-use national forest in his backyard in Montana where an American Indian tribe seeks to prevent the owner of an oil and gas lease issued by the Reagan administration from drilling on his property...

 President Trump should reject Secretary Zinke’s recommendations; order preparation of new proclamations to revoke illegally designated or expanded monuments, to shrink them to legal size, or to provide them with bullet-proof language that preserves local economic and recreational use; and ask Congress to repeal the Antiquities Act to end forever the threat of mischief against rural communities...



Forest Service tried to quash paper debunking Montana wildlife authority

The U.S. Forest Service has disavowed a legal analysis it commissioned that showed federal land managers have given state wildlife departments more authority than they really possess. In June, the agency asked the University of Montana to remove the draft report five days after "Fish and Wildlife Management on Federal Lands: Debunking State Supremacy” appeared on the Bolle Center for People and Forest's website. Three weeks later, it terminated a two-year contract with the center and its director, Martin Nie, citing the “provocative title" as a reason. “This is some of the most tedious, boring work I’ve ever done,” Nie told a group of UM students Wednesday. “That’s what’s amazing — how much controversy this has generated.” The beehive Nie and his colleagues whacked concerns who owns and controls wildlife in the nation: state fish and game departments or federal land managers. In 126 pages of Supreme Court citings, legislative history and case studies, the Bolle team argued that “the U.S. Constitution grants the federal government vast authority to manage its lands and wildlife resources … even when states object.” “The myth that ‘the states manage wildlife and federal land agencies only manage wildlife habitat’ is not only wrong from a legal standpoint but it leads to fragmented approaches to wildlife conservation, unproductive battles over agency turf, and an abdication of federal responsibility over wildlife,” the report stated. It found that claim “especially dubious when states assert ownership as a basis to challenge federal authority over wildlife on federal lands.” On August 30, Forest Service Deputy Chief for Research and Development Carlos Rodriguez-Franco wrote Nie another response. “The concerns which led to the termination … arose when a draft article, with a provocative title challenging state legal authorities, was placed on a public website without prior substantive comment from the Forest Service,” Rodriguez-Franco wrote. “(I)t became apparent that the work being conducted by the University was entering the realm of legal services — including interpreting the Constitution, laws and court cases as they pertain to the administration of Forest Service programs — rather than scientific research.” The Forest Service, he explained, was required by law to get its legal advice from the federal Office of General Counsel...more

Embedded below is the paper discussed in the article:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B8Yd5M8kgeNtV1JlYzNtdDlGRU0/view?usp=sharing

Woman at LongHorn Steakhouse bit several times by copperhead snake

A Virginia woman was out to eat at LongHorn Steakhouse with her 13-year-old son, her boyfriend, friends and family when she was bit several times by a copperhead snake. Rachel Myrick said in a report to WTVR she was in the restaurant’s foyer when she was bit three times on the foot and toes by a roughly 8-inch-long snake. Myrick, who was wearing sandals, says she originally thought she had been stung by a bee until the pain started to intensify. “I freaked out,” Myrick told The Free Lance-Star. She started yelling, “I got bit! I got bit!” Her boyfriend, Michael Clem, immediately called for help. “There was no questions was it was,” Clem said to WTVR of the copperhead snake bite. Paramedics arrived on the scene and Myrick was taken to Mary Washington Hospital for treatment. She was later released, but the bites – which caused swelling in her knee, hip, and left thigh – left her facing a three-month road to recovery...more

Ranch Radio Song of the Day

Its Swingin’ Monday and from their new 2017 CD The King of Killing Time we bring you the Sweetback Sisters with I Got Lucky With You.

https://youtu.be/qWPMi-B_4HY

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Cowgirl Sass & Savvy (revisited)

And then there was the lariat rope

By Julie Carter

The lariat rope was used long before cowboys were cowboys. It wasn’t even a cowboy invention.

Back in the days of the Roman Empire, circa 300-400 A.D., the Huns- you remember them- rode short little ponies and could stay in the saddle for days.

They were excellent warriors who could accurately shoot an arrow or use their lariat to rope an enemy while their ponies carried them along at a full gallop. The Goths lived in dread of these short horsemen who annihilated them in every engagement.

Rope seems to be as old as mankind itself. All primitive peoples seem to have discovered some sort of material out of which they could produce twine and rope.

The Chippewa Indians used a method by which they made rope from the inner bark of basswood. Just what people in the history of the human race was the first to make a lariat out of a rope, and exactly what materials were used in its construction no one seems to be able to answer with any authority.

The development of the lariat seems to be closely associated with the history of the horse. The handling of animals necessitated the use of a rope of some type.

Since it was evidently around the horse that the lariat was evolved, chances are that the materials used were either horsehair or rawhide, both of which are obtainable from the animals themselves. Many think the most primitive riata was horsehair.

Ropes made of hair, hemp, rawhide, maguey (agave fiber), cotton and today’s ever popular nylon are all products of centuries of evolution.

What hasn’t changed is man’s fascination with a catch rope. I can’t speak for those Hun’s but today’s “twine twirlers” are every bit as dedicated to their craft. If they have a rope in their hand, they have to rope something.

While there are no longer any Goth’s around to rope, it’s not uncommon for the rope owner to try to rope just about anything that moves and it doesn’t have to be a cow or horse.

I’ve known dedicated fools to rope mountain lions, coyotes, deer, antelope (now that took a fast horse) and yes even a bear. Pretty much across the board, each of those events culminated in the cowboy wondering just what had he been thinking? The catchin’ was good. The “what do I do with it now” wasn’t always an easy decision in the heat of the battle.

And even it if it doesn’t move its fair game for a practice loop. Buckets, bushes, chairs and the sleeping dog which of course then quickly becomes part of the moving category. In part of the country it is the weapon of choice for killing a snake if you aren’t armed with a gun.

The skill involved in the use of what began as a tool became marketable as a competitive “sport.” Like shooting and riding, roping quickly became a contest to prove who was best at it. And like an illegal substance, it became an addiction for many.

Today it is multi-million dollar industry that attracts men, women and children from all walks of life. It no longer is just a “cowboy” sport, but calls to those that want a little piece of cowboy living.

By picking up a rope the journey begins.


Let’s Dance

Quick, Quick, Slow, Slow
Let’s Dance
Slow, Quick, Quick
By Stephen L. Wilmeth


Concordia was the location of the blessed event. What a gorgeous church that is.
Pastor Bolm had been our pastor, friend and counselor, but he had retired. Pastor Chuck married them. The FFA state officer team served as the maid of honor, and the Aggies from NMSU had been the best man. The California kids were polished, but the New Mexicans held their own. What a crew that bunch was. Lindsay, Steve, Julie, and Chris sang, We all sang. Jackie played the organ and Zenora joined her on the piano duet.
I walked our daughter down the aisle, and gave her away. She was beautiful. She was happy. After I sat down, we held hands and watched her give her vows. We shared my handkerchief.
When it was over, I was jolted by the full sanctuary. Friends and family all, many had come a long way. Others had come from down the street or out of the surrounding vineyards and orchards. Hitchcock even had a new red wild rag. He was beaming and waving his hat.
Our people they were.
After we posed and smiled, we left the wedding party. We had to greet folks at the reception hall. Never had there been a wedding reception in the Selma Cold Storage, but we had one. We chose the shook storage, cleaned it out, and opened the doors to the dock.
Selma had never seen anything like it. I suspect there are many disbelieving witnesses to this very day.
Let’s Dance!
The music had played nonstop since the disc jockey had been reminded we expected dance music.
We had given him a play list. No rock. no rap, no ballads and no pauses was the standing order. We wanted three four time. We wanted Ray, George, Jim Ed, Dotsy, and Bob. We wanted twin fiddles with the smell of New Mexico. We wanted Texas, and we wanted home.
            The floor had been slicked and the candles lit. Food was served, wine was poured, and the Aggies brought in extra kegs, but, if you wanted to dance, you didn’t have to wait for all the tedious pomp and circumstance. You could dance from the jump.
            We had shown our crew of Lutherans how we danced, but the Aggies quickly had the crowd broke and we were all dancing in our big counterclockwise rotation. Old ladies who hadn’t danced in years were squealing with delight. Kids, always welcome in our gatherings, were learning as we watched. Wall sitters were told to be watched and if they remained sedentary somebody needed to go get them.
            Yessiree, Bub, Cliff, Lake Valley or even Hachita had nothing on us that night.
            What a night it was. At 9:30, we gathered as a family and hugged. Big sister, little sister, new son-in-law, and the two of us. We then walked them out into the crowd for the big send off and they drove away.
            The festivities continued. At 1:00 we shut down. The crowd lingered as a few of the Aggies continued to dance without music. The Californians watched in fascination. Wade and Sandy were most notable. Part of the Best Man crew, they came all the way from La Union to be with us.
            Quick, quick, slow, slow their practiced, unaccompanied dance steps continued. Quick, quick, slow, slow they danced with Sandy whispering in Wade’s ear. I will always remember them that night. Time has separated us all, and Wade has gone on before us, but that night … we danced.
            Quick, quick, slow, slow
            We danced the same way many nights at Riverland and up the river at the Gun Club. A Westerner walked over to us at the latter one night and extended his hand.
“You folks are either from Texas or New Mexico aren’t you,” he deducted.
“Yes, sir, New Mexico is home,” we responded.
“I can tell,” he continued. “Watching you dance reminds me of my home.”
The same thing happened across many miles. The best of times was always within a sea of hats. There was a night at Marina del Rey and then on to Thousand Oaks, a night on the lake in Penticton, several nights at the buckle presentations on the floor of the Gold Coast, and in a blizzard on another night in Williams. Even a New Mexican, though, must confess you haven’t danced until you dance in Texas. Under a big Texas sky with folks who have danced together for more years than they dare count, is just special.
Quick, quick, slow, slow is a common theme regardless of the place or locale. If there are hats on the floor and the music doesn’t overpower the voices, it is hallowed ground.
Slow, quick, quick
Westerners, though, always look forward to slow, quick, quick.
If you were lucky you were taught by your grandmother. It is not easy to perfect, but the very best make it look effortless. It was worth going to a Hachita dance just to watch the Cowans. They could just glide across the floor.
There was another old cowman that would also come to those dances. He would never get there early, and just appear on the floor. Dip, turn and sway, he would create a vacuum as folks made way to watch him and his partner.
The first of the Cowboy’s for Cancer dances were similar. Those were the years when real hats outnumbered the townies. Couples flocked to the floor as the Delks struck their first chords in three four time.  Slow, quick, quick the partners would begin before they even reached the dance floor, arm in arm, and hand in hand.
“Cowboy, dance with me,” she will invariably whisper.
“It’d be a pleasure, ma’am,” would be the response. “You may have to remind me how, though.”
“I’ll remind you how,” she would smile. “I surely will.”

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Let’s dance!”

Baxter Black: Stress

Let's say a busload of Brazillian soccer players came by your place one fine fall afternoon unexpected and took you on a three-day road trip. You didn't have time to pack your toothpaste or your own saddle! They made you play two games a day and pinochle every night! By the time they dropped you off down by the mailbox you wouldn't have enough energy to crawl to the house!

You would be suffering from that deadly menace, the Darth Vader of Disease: STRESS!

Now put yourself in the place of the 500 pound suckin' calf this fall. You spend all summer with your mamma drinkin' cool spring water, eatin' good green grass and mother's milk. You got up when you wanted, slept when you felt like it and ate when you were hungry. Suddenly, over the rim come five mounted riders! The boss, his wife, the neighbor, the banker, the brother-in-law and eighteen dogs! Elbows flyin', hats wavin' and chaps flappin'. Scary? You bet your bippy! You take off to find mamma with the dogs nippin' at yer heels. Mamma's way down the trail. You catch up and travel five miles in her dust, chokin' and coughin'. That night you spend in a trap with 240 other cows and calves. Next mornin' here comes Custer's Army again! Back on the trail, still scared, hungry and tired. All day you walk behind the bunch, walkin' eye level with the dust. That night you're put in a big corral. Mamma's uneasy. You don't get much to drink.

Sunup, the Third Infantry Battalion rides through the corral and pushes you out into the alley with your brothers and sisters. They push you up a little chute. They want you to jump into this big aluminum egg crate. Next thing you know the ground is moving. Three hours down the road you suggest pulling off at a rest stop. NO DICE! (I don't know how many of you readers have tried to tinkle out the back of a moving pickup, but it's no easy thing!)

That evening you get unloaded into a feedyard with strange tasting water and something in the bunk that smells like old lawn clippings. Next morning Bobby Benson and the B Bar B Riders drive you and your siblings to a processing area. You're too tired to care. (Imagine, if you will, getting down on your hands and knees with your barber behind you and your cattle buyer in front. Everybody's lined up nose to wallet! Every time you back up to breathe some fresh air, somebody jabs you! Then they trap you in this big noisy contraption, give you an injection (for your own good), stick things in your mouth, your nose and your ears.




Not familiar with Bobby Benson & the B Bar B Riders? Well I can assure you Jerry Schickedanz is. Check this info out:

Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders is an old-time radio juvenile Western adventure program in the United States, one of the first juvenile radio programs.[1] It was broadcast on CBS October 17, 1932 - December 11, 1936, and on Mutual June 21, 1949 - June 17, 1955.  

Bobby Benson was created by Herbert C. Rice, who had already originated "dozens of local drama series" as a director at a radio station in Buffalo, New York.[1] In 1932, representatives of the Hecker H-O Company of Buffalo sought to develop a children's radio program for the company's cereal products. Rice associated the "H-O" name with a cattle brand and soon developed a concept about an orphan named Bobby Benson and his guardian, Sunny Jim (an icon used to represent H-O cereals).[1] The program was called The H-Bar-O Rangers while it was sponsored by Hecker.[2]Format After his parents' deaths, 12-year-old Bobby Benson inherited the B-Bar-B Ranch in Big Bend, Texas. That development paved the way for adventures as, week after week, outlaws and other bad people tried to cause problems for the ranch and its people. Young Bobby was helped by Tex Mason, his foreman.[3] Jim Cox, in his book Radio Crime Fighters: More Than 300 Programs from the Golden Age, described the program as
capturing the imagination of little tykes and older adolescents as Bobby and his ranch hands stumbled upon exploits well beyond an ordinary youngster's reach. Most of Benson's escapades involved the pursuit and capture of contingents of bandits and desperadoes of diverse sorts. Rustlers, smugglers, bank and stagecoach robbers dotted the scripts like cactus spread across the Western plains.[4]
Relief from the show's drama and suspense came in the form of songs sung around a campfire and humorous tall tales told by handyman Windy Wales.[4] In a column in the May 15, 1938, issue of the trade publication Broadcasting, writer Pete Dixon noted that inclusion of comedy segments boosted the show's popularity: "Bobby Benson & the H-Bar-O Rangers was just another juvenile western until ... comedy characters were introduced in the script. Comedy situations were alternated with melodrama. Within a year the Bobby Benson show jumped from tenth place among juvenile favorites to first place. Comedy accounted for the climb."[5]

In 1949, a reviewer for the trade publication Billboard wrote, "Kids still go for good old-fashioned Western adventure, and this show is loaded with fast action and fancy gun play, yet wholesome enough to please the most exacting parent."[6]

And below is one of the radio programs and a couple examples of the comic book 

https://youtu.be/IHfIQh3H6zA

Lee Pitts: I’ll Let You Go Now

I'm the last person in America who doesn't own a cell phone so when your phone doesn't ring, it's me. I have a good reason for being a telephonicphobiac… I'm a writer and I think it was Anonymous who said, "For a writer all phone calls are obscene." Mark Twain hated the phone and Ambrose Bierce called it "the invention of the devil." And keep in mind, William Shakespeare produced his best stuff before there was such a thing. Had he lived after phones were invented instead of asking, "Wherefore art thou, Romeo," he would have written the more monotonous, "Hello, is Romeo there?"

It's not just writers who have hated phones. After President Rutherford B. Hayes got off the phone to Alexander Graham Bell in one of the first phone calls the President asked, "Who would ever want one?" Within two minutes I'll bet old man Rutherford said to Alex, "I'll let you go now," which is the polite way of getting off the phone with someone you never wanted to talk to in the first place. Speaking of Bell, in his later years the inventor removed all the phones from his home because he found them so annoying.

The phone calls I hate the most are the ones from India, Pakistan and Nigeria where some telemarketer who has the worst job in the world tries to sell poor me solar panels or Medicare insurance, or tries to make me think the IRS is going to swoop down and take everything I own if I don't Fed Ex them all my money overnight. And I'm really sorry, but to all those poor Nigerian Princes who just need me to loan them half a million for a few days, the answer is still, "NO!"
Trust me, mine is the WRONG NUMBER!

Land lines were bad enough, now we have cell phones so people can annoy you any time, anywhere. Since when did it become the nation's favorite pastime to go to the grocery store and yell obliviously on your cell phone while clogging up the aisles? And why, in a 65,000 square foot store do you do it while standing right in front of my favorite Skinny Cow fudge bars? Go camp in front of the chunks of tofu that no one is trying to buy.


Ranch Radio Song of the Day

Our gospel tune today is I’m Longing for Home by Jerry Lee Lewis. The tune is on his 1971 album In Loving Memories.

https://youtu.be/ecpmB8EXxTk

Hours After Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County Tickets Residents for Code Violations

Mere hours after Hurricane Irma, Miami-Dade County was ticketing residents for building code violations on their wrecked properties. Celso Perez was helping his neighbors remove some fallen trees blocking their street when a county code enforcer rolled up and issued him a safety notice for having a downed fence. "I laughed," Perez tells WSVN-TV. "I thought he was kidding. 'You are kidding right? We just had a hurricane six hours ago.'" It wasn't a joke. The official told Perez that the downed fence—which encloses a pool—was a safety hazard, and that if it wasn't fixed by the time he returned, Perez would be hit with a fine. The official then hung the safety citation on the portion of Perez's fence that remained standing, leaving him and his neighbors to finish clearing the debris from their street. According to WSVN, the county has handed out 680 safety notices for downed pool barriers, and another 177 electrical hazard safety notices. As Perez said of the day he got his ticket, "All the stores were closed. It's not like I can go to Home Depot and find some temporary barrier." Even if he could, it's quite possible that Perez and the other people handed citations might have more pressing things to do right after a hurricane than bring their homes back up to code. You know: clearing the streets, seeking medical attention, checking in on family members, trying to find food. You might think the county would have higher priorities too, like getting the lights back on for Miami-Dade's 16,510 homes and businesses still without power...more

Saturday, September 23, 2017

How much water will agency be allowed to pump out of rural Nevada?

For the third time since 2008, Nevada’s top water regulator will convene a hearing in Carson City that could decide the fate of the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s plans to siphon groundwater from four rural valleys in eastern Nevada. Starting at 8:30 a.m. Monday, State Engineer Jason King is slated to hear two weeks of testimony for and against the controversial, multibillion-dollar project. The hearing on 25 groundwater applications could decide how much the authority would be allowed to pump from Cave, Dry Lake and Delamar valleys in Lincoln County and Spring Valley in White Pine County. Water authority spokesman Bronson Mack called it “a significant stage in the permitting process.” Simeon Herskovits, attorney for some opponents of the project, put it another way: “I guess you could say everything is at stake,” he said. Since 1989, Las Vegas water officials have been pushing plans to tap groundwater up to 300 miles away as a backup supply for a growing community that gets 90 percent of its drinking water from the overdrawn and drought-stricken Colorado River. The idea has drawn fierce opposition in Nevada and Utah from rural residents, ranchers, American Indian tribes, conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts and even the Mormon Church, which operates a large cattle ranch in Spring Valley. Critics argue the project will drain a large swath of arid eastern Nevada, destroying the landscape and the livelihoods of those who depend on it — all while producing too little water to justify the project’s roughly $15 billion price tag. The authority is counting on the network of wells and pipelines to supply enough water for at least 170,000 homes, though the agency does not expect to need the water for at least 15 to 20 years...more

U.S. cattle placements spike in August, portending more beef in 2018

CHICAGO, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Ranchers put one.93 million cattle in U.S. feedlots in August, the U.S. Section of Agriculture mentioned on Friday, in a more robust-than-anticipated report possible to weigh on futures early up coming 7 days. Cattle placements rose about three % from August in 2016, USDA mentioned. Analysts polled by Reuters had predicted a decrease of almost three %. The placements were being the most significant for August considering that 2012 and the most significant in general considering that May well of this year, when 2.119 million cattle moved into feedlots, in accordance to USDA facts. "It suggests you can find more beef forward of us," mentioned Linn Group analyst John Ginzel, who had predicted a placement spike of 104.three % when most other analysts expected a decrease. Cattle put on feed in August ought to access slaughter weight in the very first quarter of 2017. "It's a damaging report ... and most damaging for the February and April time slots," mentioned U.S. Commodities analyst Don Roose...more

UPDATE 

Here is a clearer, more complete article:

Surprisingly Bearish Cattle on Feed Report  
By Rich Nelson

Montana FWP says grizzlies killed 10 cows

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks said Friday that grizzly bears killed 10 cows on a ranch along the Rocky Mountain Front this week. It happened about five miles west of Dupuyer According to a release from FWP, the cattle were in a creek bottom with thick willow cover. Specialists from USDA Wildlife Services said at least 12 grizzly bears were in the area, including sows with cubs. FWP says the number of bears in the area creates a unique challenge, and it would be extremely dangerous to try and capture individual bears. FWP can, however, offer assistance to help protect livestock and reduce other kinds of bear conflicts. The rancher is eligible for compensation from the livestock loss fund. Hunters, ranchers and anyone headed out into bear country is urged to be proactive and take steps to protect themselves. FWP offers tips to be “Bear Aware”. Bears typically become more active this time of year as they try to put on weight for hibernation. Bears move off seasonal sources of food, like berries and chokecherries. Livestock, in turn, becomes more susceptible...more

Lots of Cowpokes, but Nun like these

Beef cattle roam the pastures of a seemingly typical ranch near Virginia Dale, Colorado. This outfit’s head wrangler, however, doesn’t answer to a cowboy name like “Tex” or “Montana.” No siree. Rather, meet Sister Maria-Walburga, a Roman Catholic nun. Exactly how did she and the rest of her group of nuns become farmers and ranchers? Mother Maria Michael, Abbess, explained the Benedictine order’s roots. Founder St. Benedict (480-543 A.D.) had fled Rome’s decadence to live an austere life. Others soon joined him in his walk of ora et labora—”prayer and work.” Their enduring values include reverence for land, animals and equipment, and hospitality. Farming was a matter of survival for the original self-sufficient group and remains likewise today. The Abbey of St. Walburga in Colorado dates back to 1935, when the contemplative, monastic order sought safety from Hitler’s growing threat. Three sisters were sent from Eichstatt, Germany, to a then-remote farm in Boulder...more

Oregon and New Mexico the sites of last weekend's top rodeos

During the past weekend, many of the world’s top pros saddled up for rodeos in Albuquerque, New Mexico and Pendleton, Oregon. At Albuquerque’s New Mexico State Fair & Rodeo, three-time Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association world champion Will Lowe of Canyon clinched the bareback riding title after turning in a score of 87 aboard a bronc named Tino's Juarez, which is owned by the Cervi Championship Rodeo Co. In team roping, Aaron Macy of Post and Cody Hogan of Athens tied for first in the title race after the duo turned in a two-run time of 10.1 seconds. They shared the title with Clay Tryan and Jade Corkill. In saddle bronc riding, Audy Reed of Spearman finished No. 1 with an 85 atop a bronc named Multi-chem Forked Up, which also is owned by the Cervi Championship Rodeo Co. The Albuquerque rodeo offered competitors $158,796 in prize money. Other winners were all-around cowboy Seth Hall ($1,782, tie-down roping and team roping), steer wrestler Rowdy Parrot (7.2 seconds on two head), tie-down roper Cade Swor (15.1 seconds on two head), barrel racer Tillar Murray (15.63 seconds) and bull riders Dustin Bowen (87 points on Hurst Pro Rodeo's Yellow Hair) and Clayton Foltyn (87 points on Hurst Pro Rodeo's Captain Crunch). At the Pendleton Round Up, Will Gasperson, a former National Finals Steer Roping qualifier from Decatur, clinched the steer roping title after turning in a time of 49.0 seconds on three runs. Twenty-three time world champion Trevor Brazile of Decatur won the steer roping second round with a 12.7 and then finished fourth the average with a three-run time of 26.7. Tuf Cooper of Weatherford won the steer roping first round with a 13.1. Cooper, a three-time world champion tie-down roper, currently is ranked No. 1 in both the PRCA’s world all-around and tie-down roping title races...more