Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Westerner's Radio Theater #037

First up on Ranch Radio is the 5/05/51 broadcast of the Grand Old Opry starring Red Foley and Hank Williams.  The next feature is the 10/04/1953 broadcast of The Six Shooter starring Jimmy Stewart.

Friday, June 29, 2012

In a "Bunny Hop" mood

Don't ask me why, cuz I don't know, but this tune has been on my mind all day. A 65 year old man in a wheelchair hummin' the Bunny Hop? Maybe if I share it will go away.  This version is by George Chambers & The Country Gentlemen.

Rally This Saturday For Our Forests' Health

Alamogordo Mayor: USFS could have reduced fire danger

In a response to a letter recently published by Dennis R. Clark, I wish to answer the questions that arose regarding my knowledge of the U.S. Forest Service and my regard for federal employees.

I am concerned that the basic human needs of food, water and shelter will continue to be threatened by widespread forest fires if tree thinning doesn't become a standard practice, especially in these times of drought.

The U.S. Forest Service will not allow cities or counties residing in and around the Lincoln National Forest to be the stewards or caretakers of the trees that have overgrown and lay fallen in the forest. One hundred years ago, the LNF held 50 to 100 trees per acre. Today, the Lincoln holds 1,000 to 1,400 trees per acre.

The reason I stand with Congressman Steve Pearce on this issue is because he began raising the alarm of the potential fire dangers in 1997 when he pointed out the overgrowth of forest within 10,000 acres surrounding areas of water sources. His plight at the federal level would not allow us on a local level to thin the trees within the forest.

I will not be silent while government bureaucracy destroys our water and the watersheds of many other cities. I know that the Little Bear fire could not have been prevented, but I also know that its far-reaching effects over 43,000 acres could have been limited if tree thinning had been a practice and policy of the Forest Service. The damage to the water source and recreation area of the city of Alamogordo and Holloman Air Force Base were limited because of the city's choice to exercise tree thinning on its property immediately surrounding the Bonito Lake. However, the watershed damage poses many potential dangers to the safety of drinking water.

Besides preventing widespread forest fire damage, tree thinning would create needed jobs and promote clean energy through bio-fuels. Holloman Air Force Base will soon have a biomass/waste-to-energy facility.

Tularosa makes wood pellets from wood waste. If Otero County took back some lands from BLM, they would gain $2 million per year in livestock grazing fees.

I know that the Forest Service wants to protect and preserve our ecosystems within all of the forest in the United States, and it is the reason they currently do not allow tree thinning. However, in the case of the Little Bear fire, tree thinning would have preserved many acres of trees, habitats, personal dwelling places, structures, watersheds and water sources from burning. The damage would have been greatly limited if tree thinning had become a practice and policy of the Forest Service many years ago.

I propose we move forward, and do what we can to prevent future losses.

I want to thank the Forest Service and their employees for helping the city of Alamogordo and city employees to clean up the damage at Bonito Lake and the surrounding watershed. I know that the Forest Service is working hard to repair the damages by removing the ash from the watersheds, planting new grass and many other tasks.

I am grateful to the firefighters for their many acts of bravery. The fire is now at 90 percent containment and I know that many workers have devoted up to three weeks to the effort.

I support federal employees and the working class men and women. My grandfather and father retired as federal employees, and my spouse is working toward retiring as a federal employee.

It is magnificent to see the outpouring of support for the victims and workers of the Little Bear fire. I know that Ruidoso would do the same for us.

Susie Galea is mayor of Alamogordo.

Originally posted at Alamogordo Daily News.

Little Bear Fire: Alamogordo declares emergency at lake

Alamogordo has once again stopped pumping water from Bonito Lake after concerns that it has become unusable because of runoff from the charred watershed surrounding the lake. The Alamogordo City Commission declared an emergency at Bonito Lake on Tuesday night because of damage caused by the Little Bear fire burning in the area, a necessary step in receiving federal assistance to repair the lake. He said portions of the watershed surrounding Bonito Lake suffered heavy damage as a result of the Little Bear fire. "It's basically bare earth and sticks where the pines used to be," Cesar said. The lake supplies Alamogordo with about 15 percent of its water, Cesar said. City documents show that a thunderstorm dropped as much as a half-inch of rain in less than 30 minutes over the Kraut and Littleton canyon burn scar areas. Lincoln County Incident Command surveyed the area and found that a large amount of debris had entered the lake area...more


Schott Solar to close down NM plant

Schott Solar will close down its Albuquerque plant by the end of the summer, company officials said. Employees told Action 7 News that the company will cease manufacturing operations as of Friday, shedding more than 200 jobs. The company will then keep a small staff of around 50 through the end of the summer until it closes down the entire plant. Schott is offering a severance package of two months of pay and benefits, said employees, but most of them also said they'd much rather still be employed. The company plans to continue operations in the U.S., but not in New Mexico, Schott said. When the company announced plans for a plant in 2008, it was thought that the facility would employ 1,500 New Mexicans. The state, the federal government and the city of Albuquerque gave millions in tax breaks and incentives, believed to be worth more than $100 million overall. For example, the state said it dished out about $1.5 million in job training, while the city gave at least $14 million in LEDA infrastructure funding...more

Song Of The Day #867

The Browns are on Ranch Radio today with (Just A Lot Of) Sweet Talk.

The tune was recorded in Nashville on July 26, 1956 and was released as RCA Victor 20-6730.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

NMF&LB Director testifies in support of HR 4334 Organ Mountains National Monument Bill

Matt Rush, Executive Vice-President of the New Mexico Farm & Livestock Bureau, gave congressional testimony on Thursday regarding Representative Steve Pearce’s bill HR 4334, the “Organ Mountains National Monument Establishment Act.” Rush expressed support for the bill because the proposal “has one thing everyone agrees on, from Democrats to Republicans to wilderness groups to farmers to ranchers. They all agree on the one thing that is at the heart of every proposal or piece of legislation introduced, that is protecting the Organ Mountains.”

Rush reminded the committee that several proposals have failed in the past because the land mass was too large and the wilderness designation was too restrictive. “The reality is that the majority of citizens do not want a designation so large that it would take away a full 25% of our county when so much of Dona Ana County and the surrounding area is already under federal control.” Rush pointed out that the federal holdings of White Sands, Fort Bliss, the San Andres National Wildlife Refuge, the Jornada Experimental Range, and existing Wilderness Study Areas leaves only 15% of Dona Ana County that is privately owned.

Expressing support for local ranchers who have long been stewards of the land, Rush reminded the committee that Pearce’s bill clearly defines the rights of ranchers to graze their cattle, protects water rights, and preserves the culture and historical use of the land. Rush expressed concern that the Obama administration would bypass Congressional procedures and “the people's voice will be lost and their needs swept aside with a simple stroke of the executive pen through the Antiquities Act.”

NMF&LB is a 16,000 member family organization comprised of farmers and ranchers, and those who are interested in private property rights and a local food supply.

County rethinks national monument support

After fielding requests from frustrated ranchers and farmers to reverse an earlier position in favor of a national monument, and sometimes heated discussion on the topic, some Doña Ana County commissioners on Tuesday expressed regrets about the stance they took last month. But the commission didn't indicate plans to reverse the vote. County Chairwoman Karen Perez said, in retrospect, her former vote in favor of the monument proposal was "not a responsible decision" because she didn't have full information in advance. And she expressed concerns about possible impacts to the agriculture industry because of federal regulations tied to the proposed lands designation. "The largest component of the economic base here in Doña Ana County is agriculture," she said. Perez told attendees, several dozen opponents to the monument, that she'd instead send a letter with her concerns to Washington, D.C., where the proposal is being vetted this week. She said she'd attach a number of resolutions passed by local governments recently, including Hatch, opposing the national monument. County Commissioner Dolores Saldaña-Caviness then said she'd sign the letter. County Commissioner Leticia Duarte-Benavidez also wanted to sign it. But a county attorney said that wouldn't be possible because that would constitute a quorum. He told Duarte-Benavidez she could send an independent letter...more

Bighorn groups applaud recent decision

Bighorn sheep caught a break Wednesday when Representative Mike Simpson of Idaho, chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior and the Environment, withdrew his rider to the 2013 Interior Appropriations Bill. This amendment would have blocked the Payette National Forest from implementing the third and final phase of its management plan to separate bighorn sheep from domestic sheep on 6,800 acres of public land through grazing reductions. “Today, I’m calling for a ‘time out’ from the fighting and allegations — many of which are false”, Simpson said. “I got involved in this issue because I care deeply for our ranchers and for the tribes and sportsmen who work so hard on bighorn sheep conservation. I got involved to find a reasonable solution and tried to work with ranchers, hunters, and land management agencies to solve this problem.” Simpson proposed the new rider, which specifically mentioned the Payette National Forest and would have not allowed federal agencies to spend money to institute grazing reductions that would be implemented after July 1, 2011. However, he decided for a withdrawal of the amendment so that all interested parties can come to the table to discuss potential solutions. According to Gray Thornton, president of the Wild Sheep Foundation, the issue is a contentious one, pitting private domestic sheep ranchers against hunters and bighorn conservations. He applauded Simpson’s decision to remove the rider...more

Ranchers who say they helped restore lands now want better access for their cattle herds

A 20-year-old agreement reached by seven ranchers, state and federal agencies and environmental groups has restored fish, wildlife and habitat while preserving grazing rights for cattle. Ranchers, who say they are grateful they're even still here, add that they've kept up their end of the bargain by drastically reducing grazing to allow the land to recuperate. Now they wonder whether they'll be able to regain at least some rights to more grazing in return. Richard Yturriondobeitia, owner of 12-Mile Ranch, is an original member of the Trout Creek Mountain Working Group, which negotiated the agreement. "Our management practices are better and we had our eyes opened to things we were doing wrong, but there is no progress," he said. "The agreement didn't turn out to be exactly what we thought it would be. We didn't make the BLM establish certain goals so we weren't able to get grazing we thought we would." The region's sprawling ranches, incorporating both private and public land, are shadows of their former selves in numbers of cattle and cowboys. They are not alone. Other cattle ranchers throughout the West want more grazing but feel outnumbered by environmentalists, who challenge grazing on publicly owned land because it can threaten species that are or may be listed as endangered or threatened under federal law...more

Environmental justice: A new movement to restrict your movement

When most people talk about President Obama's influence on America, they mention reforming health care, repealing "don't ask, don't tell" or ending the war in Iraq. But a nearly unknown executive order could have a greater impact on the future of America than all of those things combined, potentially giving the federal government power to control every project in the country. The obscure memorandum of understanding, based on a long-forgotten executive order signed by President Clinton in 1994, marries the issues of environmentalism and social justice. The federal government can use the laws from one to control the other. Seventeen federal agencies signed the Aug. 4, 2011, memorandum — a clear indication of its widespread implications. By signing it, “Each Federal agency agrees to the framework, procedures, and responsibilities” of integrating environmental justice into all of its “programs, policies, and activities.” This integration was the topic of the State of Environmental Justice in 2012 Conference held April 5 in Crystal City, Va. The low-key conference featured speakers who are key players in the movement, offering a rare glimpse into how the federal government intends to use this new tool as an instrument of power and control over the lives of every American...more
Whew, now that the Stockman article and the Pearce hearing are complete, I can get back to blogging.

Let me also give you a hint:  Don't get a urinary tract infection at the same time you've got too many irons in the fire.

Song Of The Day #866

Today Ranch Radio brings you Love,Love,Love by Webb Pierce.

The tune was recorded in Nashville on  July 6, 1955 and was released as Decca 9-29662.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Village prepares for flooding in Little Bear Fire wake

Preparations described as "intense" are underway to deal with what is considered inevitable flooding along some streams and rivers because of the burned areas of the Little Bear Fire. In a presentation to Ruidoso village officials on Tuesday, village Utilities Director Randall Camp painted a picture of potential serious damage and possibly injury and death during the monsoon season. While soil seeding and other restoration work on some burn areas already is underway, Camp said the rainy season would trump the efforts. "We're already going to be slammed before that ever takes any kind of an effect," he said of the restoration work. "For a lot of that, especially where it was so hot that the soil was sterilized, it will take a while." Computer modeling, factoring the varying intensities of the fire across the more than 44,000-acre burned area and historic rain data, was assembled last week. The Rio Bonito watershed is the primary concern. The Eagle Creek corridor also could be a problem. "Ski Run Road will probably be washed out several times this summer," Camp said of the road that partially parallels Eagle Creek. "The flood threat is going to be here much longer than the fire threat. The flood threat is the next five years every monsoon season and every time we have a snowpack up on that mountain, we have to worry about the threat of flooding."...more

Damage will continue and continue from the mismanagement of these federal lands.

Bill would give states control over large chunks of federal forests to raise money to pay for local roads and schools

Idaho Republican Rep. Raul Labrador is looking past the November election with a bill that would give states opportunities to show they do a better job managing national forest lands. Labrador knows his bill, which would establish pilot projects to turn over about 1 percent of Idaho’s 20 million acres of national forests to the state to manage, is not going to fly now. Not with a Democratic Senate — which has blocked similar plans in the past — and with a Democrat in the White House. But Labrador is laying the groundwork with the Self-Sufficient Community Lands Act for a time when the GOP controls the Senate. Campaigning in Idaho in February, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney expressed support for state management of federal lands. Romney’s proposal, which he said came after talking to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, was offered as an alternative to Rick Santorum’s call to transfer ownership. “It just gives every state the opportunity to manage their lands with local control, which is what we want,” Labrador said. The plan has been a nonstarter for environmental groups, even those working in collaboration with Idaho counties and the timber industry. The groups want to keep federal lands managed by federal agencies...more

1% is a "large chunk"?

Looks like they've gone from transfer of ownership, to state management, to state management of 1%.

The text of the bill is not available from the GPO yet, but it appears to only apply to Forest Service land.

Utah governor: Gun shooters cause too many wildfires

Some of the wildfires scorching the West this year were sparked by unusual culprits: Gun owners. Or, more specifically, gun shooters. As with the Dump fire in Utah, which flared hard enough on Friday to force the evacuation of 1,500 homes and 9,000 people, nearly two dozen conflagrations, officials say, have started accidentally by careless target shooters whose bullet sparks touch off dried-up pinon and wild grasses. “Now is not a good time to take your gun outside and start shooting in cheat grass that’s tinder dry,” Utah Gov. Gary Herbert said Friday. While authorities can ban certain fire-related activities when fire risks are high, that’s not true with guns, the carrying and use of which are staunchly protected by state and federal law, including several recent Supreme Court decisions. In Utah, for example, a state law prohibits the state from enacting emergency bans on guns, putting Gov. Herbert in a position of instead asking county governments to issue emergency rules for outdoor gun use as wildfire conditions prevail across the West. In North Carolina, gun rights activists have successfully fought legal battles to make sure governors can’t ban guns during emergencies. Moves to protect gun owners from emergency gun bans is an emerging front in the national debate over gun rights...more

Don't forget Katrina and the gun confiscations in New Orleans.  We already have experience of gun control during emergencies.

In Defenseless On the Bayou, David Kopel wrote:

At the orders of New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, the New Orleans Police, the National Guard, the Oklahoma National Guard, and U.S. Marshals have begun breaking into homes at gunpoint, confiscating their lawfully-owned firearms, and evicting the residents. "No one is allowed to be armed. We're going to take all the guns," says P. Edwin Compass III, the superintendent of police...The aftermath of the hurricane has featured prominent stories of citizens legitimately defending lives and property. New Orleans lies on the north side of the Mississippi River, and the city of Algiers is on the south. The Times-Picayune detailed how dozens of neighbors in one part of Algiers had formed a militia. After a car-jacking and an attack on a home by looters, the neighborhood recognized the need for a common defense; they shared firearms, took turns on patrol, and guarded the elderly. Although the initial looting had resulted in a gun battle, once the patrols began, the militia never had to fire a shot. Likewise, the Garden District of New Orleans, one of the city's top tourist attractions, was protected by armed residents. The good gun-owning citizens of New Orleans and the surrounding areas ought to be thanked for helping to save some of their city after Mayor Nagin, incoherent and weeping, had fled to Baton Rouge. Yet instead these citizens are being victimized by a new round of home invasions and looting, these ones government-organized, for the purpose of firearms confiscation.
This NRA video has interviews of some of those victims of confiscation.

DOJ Documents Confirm Center for Biological Diversity Received Millions in Taxpayer Funds from ESA-Related Lawsuits

     The Center for Biological Diversity today sent a letter to House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings claiming their organization had only received $553,000 in taxpayer funds resulting from Endangered Species Act (ESA) related attorney fees and court cases. This claim conflicts with data obtained from the Department of Justice (DOJ), which shows over $2 million in taxpayer dollars have been paid out to the Center for Biological Diversity and their attorneys for cases open between 2009-2012.
    The Center for Biological Diversity appears to have derived their erroneous number by including only checks made out directly to the Center for Biological Diversity over a select period of years. Attorney fees are typically paid out to the attorney of record. The Center for Biological Diversity is conveniently failing to include the majority of funds that were paid directly to their hired lawyers. Nine of the lawyers who have received payouts are currently employed by the Center for Biological Diversity.
    “American taxpayers have a right to know how much of their money is going to pay attorneys and settlement costs for lawsuit-happy organizations that make a living off of suing the federal government. The numbers from the Justice Department speak for themselves,” said Chairman Hastings. “One frequent collector of taxpayer dollars spent a week inventing a way to misconstrue and hide data to make it appear as though they haven’t received millions in taxpayer dollars. The most direct way to have openness and transparency on exactly what funds a group has taken from taxpayers in ESA-related settlement and attorney fees is for them to publicly reveal all of their data for the past two decades.”
    On March 19, 2012, Chairman Hastings sent a letter to the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Department of Justice asking for detailed information on how much taxpayer money is being spent on ESA-related litigation and settlements. In response to this request, DOJ ran a search through their Case Management System (“CMS”) and provided the Committee information based on all cases where the ESA was one of the statutes at issue in the litigation.
    According to this document from the DOJ containing 276 pages of case information, the Center for Biological Diversity was involved in over 50 individual cases, open between 2009 and 2012, where they were the lead plaintiff. The amount of attorney fees and court costs associated with these cases is $2,286,686.91. Of this amount, $138,114.45 was in court costs and $2,148,572.46 was in attorney release

Inspector General to Investigate EPA Enforcement

EPA IG Letter

Song Of The Day #865

Ranch Radio has been distracted by a bunch of chores, but let's get back on track with George Jones and his 1956 recording of Uh Uh, No.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Billionaire's land donation may spur preserve

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced recently a record-breaking donation from billionaire Louis Bacon that could jump-start a proposed government conservation project. Bacon, the founder of the $15 billion hedge fund group called Moore Capital Management, said he intends to place about 90,000 acres of unprotected land on the Blanca portion of his Trinchera Ranch in southern Colorado into a conservation easement with the government. It would be the largest single conservation easement ever donated to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The land is in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains bordering the San Luis Valley and includes high desert shrubs, mountain grassland, alpine forest and the 14,345-foot Blanca Peak. The remaining portion of the 172,000-acre Trinchera Ranch is already protected by an easement administered by Colorado Open Lands. Easements do not transfer ownership of the land but restrict development by the landowner, who is eligible for a number of tax incentives. Bacon's donation will lay the foundation for the government's proposed Sangre de Cristo Conservation Area. In an email, Fish and Wildlife Service representatives said that if the plan moves forward, the conservation area will expand into Northern New Mexico. The government will work to persuade other private landowners in the area, such as billionaire Ted Turner, to form partnerships with the government similar to Bacon's...more

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Cowgirls Sass & Savvy

Family reunions

By Julie Carter

Summers mark a myriad of events in people's lives, ranging from Disneyland vacations to weekend boating and fishing at the lake. Family reunions fit in there somewhere and any of the sane ones that attend leave wondering, "What was I thinking?"

Family reunions are where a whole bunch of kinfolk, many of whom never liked each other much, get together for a day or two and try to act like they are happy to be in the family. Then they spend most of that time avoiding the ones they didn't like in the first place.

Every family has its own "special people," and usually they can be described with the phrase -- "Somebody needs to get the net after that entire bunch."
Family reunions can be fodder for a sitcom script and I use an actual reunion for an example.

The family clan runs the gamut of all kinds of crazy. The cousin that is a politician mistook the rest of the kinfolk for voters. He told stories and jokes nonstop as part of his campaign contribution plot. His motto -- "Any story worth telling is worth adding a little something to."

The family dictator, also known as the one who organized the event in a resort town one state over from where they all lived, instructed a cousin that he was in charge of the Sunday morning breakfast.

Her list was for him to get 80 eggs, 5 pounds of sausage and 5 pounds of bacon. When two family members didn’t show at the event, she cut the number to four dozen eggs with the same sausage and bacon.

No one was quite sure who it was that didn’t make it, but they knew they must be egg-eating dudes. The fact that the organizer was a schoolteacher made this math somewhat concerning but then someone recalled she was allowed to teach only special-ed students.

Uncle Mike was a big winner at the horse races and told the clan he would treat them all to a drink at the casino.

"You know, when you hit it big at the races, a feller can do a lot of things," he said.

"How much did you win, Mike?"

"Twenty-three dollars," he answered.

The old uncle, who is 84, has a young steady girlfriend of Latin descent, and he spent the weekend giving tango lessons on a spontaneous basis.

A whispered warning passed from cousin to cousin advising them to not ask the old guy about his love life unless you were prepared to hear more than you wanted about sex at 84.

A Friday night trip to the casino buffet was highlighted by one cowboy landing passed out on a stack of clean glasses in the pantry while a security guard babysat him until his wife was located.

Although classified pretty much as hillbillies through and through, there were a few that made every attempt at being civilized, even just for the weekend.

One woman proudly spent $62 on a pedicure, foot massage, had little daisies painted on her toes and her skin twinkled from the sparkles in the lotion that was applied. Another lost 11 cents playing the penny slots and whined about it for two days.

The cousin who also peddled trinkets worked throughout the event using the family connections to lighten his inventory. Another group hit the high-dollar t-shirt stores and tourist bauble vendors for some name recognition braggin’- rights knick knacks.

By the end of the weekend, the kinfolk were sufficiently reacquainted. It was quietly suggested that the next reunion might be held somewhere exotic enough that it would force a financial sorting of the attendees.

There is a hard and fast rule for any event. You can invite your friends, but your relatives just show up.

Julie can be reached for comment at

The Junction of Rain and Mogollon Creek

Piscatorial Memories
The Junction of Rain and Mogollon Creek
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

             How many sardines have I eaten at the junction of Rain and Mogollon Creek? The obvious answer, of course, is not enough. 
             It was a place, though, that I learned to love to eat sardines out of the can. Some saltine crackers and sardines from a can when you were hungry is a memory that never gets old. It is one of the great standards of life, especially when the occasion is matched with making the decision which fork to take … which fork to fish.
            The Tram and the Cabin
             I believe my first memory of the two creeks comes from the Rain Creek side of the drainage. I seem to recollect a tram across the canyon where Frank Rice’s father had in some distant hope to retrieve mineral wealth from across the canyon. Was that a fact or was it just a vague incoherent memory?
            My Nana told me to look at the creek. She asked me if I saw the fish in it. I hadn’t although I tried.
            The next memory of Rain Creek was when the story was told to me by my grandfather, Carl Rice, about the cabin he and his brother, Blue, stayed in when they worked cattle at the head of the mesa years ago. It had a den of snakes under the floor and when they opened the door and stomped in those snakes would rattle. 
            “Howdy, howdy!” Blue purportedly yelled each time.
             Another story was about some riders who hailed the cabin as they approached. “Hello, the cabin.  Who’s there?”  was the query.
            “We are!” was Blue’s bellowing response. Getting a laugh, such one liners give credence to the assumption that cowboy humor can be based on … not much at all.
            The choice
            Normally, the first choice would be to fish up Rain Creek to the falls. That choice would have been made even before the last sardine was scraped out of the oil in the bottom of the can. A drink of cold creek water would have been taken before the gear was rearranged and the rod was picked up. The movement would have been from rock to rock until rushing water wouldn’t allow.
            If it was early in the year, the cold water would have your feet aching before long. It only felt good when it was hot.
            The creek was known intimately. There were several good places to float a worm or toss a Mepps before the lower end of the box where the falls lay was reached. It was there you had to climb up and around to get through.
            One morning I reached for and then withdrew my hand as I anticipated climbing up over that overhang. Something just told me not to do that, and, about that time a rattlesnake crawled off that ledge and dropped into the cold water below. He swam across the creek and crawled up against the wet rock wall. I tried to hit him with a rock, but couldn’t with the angle. I had cussed him for his existence and the fear his kind always gave me, but he had only laid there against the cold he was now enduring. I thought about hooking him with a spinner and pulling him out, but my anxiety had subsided enough to realize he had put himself in a really bad situation. Laying there in the spray of the cold water in the shade wasn’t good for his cold blooded metabolism. He could just stay there for all I cared. I climbed over the ledge and continued on my way. 
             I never caught too many fish at the falls itself. It was always just above or below that a fish or two could be counted upon to strike. It was a good place to conclude the trek up Rain Creek. Mogollon Creek was the real adventure and it beckoned down stream.
            The big adventure
            The sound of Mogollon Creek was always heard above the sounds of Rain Creek. The water felt different, too, at least most of the time. At the junction of the two creeks we always fished up the creek from the east side of the canyon. The runs were swift and shallow for a long stretch. There were always fish there, but we caught few. The next real destination was Mogollon Creek Falls. That is where we wanted to be. 
            From the east side of the creek you can’t see the falls as you approach. You can hear the roar and you can see the spray of the mist. 
             I remember the first time I saw it. I was there with Frank and Clyde. I was just a little kid and I went running back down the creek to get Frank. He had been dismissive of my exuberance. He had been there too many times before.
             I always caught a fish at the falls. In fact, it was a place that you could always count on catching a good fish. Bright colors, hooked rostrum, and pink flesh could always be counted upon from those fish. It was a good place.
            Into the upper world
            By the time Hugh Reed and I were fishing Mogollon Creek together our real destination was the world above the falls. It was there that the general public did not venture. It was there the wild trout existed.
            The climb over the falls was a big deal. It was not for the weak of heart. There was only one route around the falls and it was steep and it was not easy to navigate. The better part of an hour would be consumed making that climb. It was like climbing into a new world.
            There were a couple of lesser falls just above the main falls and we would always fish through them. Above them was a stretch of water that made trout fisherman out of boys. It was heaven.
            Hugh is a great fisherman.  His life was spent making a living, but his talent is on the water. He has no peer and I have been around more than a few good fishermen to make that judgment call.
            We perfected a billeting technique much like rock climbers. The lead fisherman would make a cast or two and then drop back to allow the lagging fisherman the same casts. This continued unless a fish was hooked. A hooked fish meant dropping back and allowing the lagging fisherman to continue the routine. As silently and deliberately as we could, we worked our way upstream. We got good and it was orchestrated by Hugh who always caught more fish. 
            Reluctant decision
            There was an internal clock that called the ball on quitting the northward march up the creek. At some point, we would reluctantly turn and make out way back toward the falls. We seldom fished in that direction. We always had too far to go and we were always late starting back.
            The climb back over the falls was dreaded, but it was part of the routine. Finally, the bottom was reached and we picked up the pace southward toward the Inman Place where our truck was parked. 
            Hugh’s Gramp and Granny owned the Inman Place. The house itself was a solid little structure on the east side of the creek where the road came off the hill from the mesa. We would usually walk up around the vacant house checking and looking. There was always a special treat if the lilac bush that was planted just downstream from the house was in bloom. We would grab those lilac clusters and breathe deep inhaling breaths. I loved the smell of lilacs then just as I love them today.
            The Conclusion
            There was a special hole in front of the house that always beckoned one last cast.  I once took my future wife there and she caught fish after fish out of that hole. I watched her catch a particularly green trout that afternoon. The fish jumped five or six times casting a mist that caught the light like a rainbow. We turned her loose. Any fish that fought like that needed to stay in the creek. Perhaps her genes would remain. I hope they did.
            It was then one last crossing to the truck and our trip out of the canyon would commence. We would look for deer as we drove out. We would also look back as we neared the crest. Mogollon Creek lay there in a narrow ribbon in several places.
            “Hello, the cabin … who’s there?”
            “We are … our youth and our memory will remain with you forever.”

Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New Mexico. “Mogollon Creek is one of the great places on earth. It has changed … the USFWS poisoned the great brown trout fishery in the east fork … and the Whitewater Baldy Fire now impacting the area will kill everything in the creeks with ash and suffocation, but the history of the people who made it home remains.”

U.N. elites plan poverty for all at Rio eco-bash

by Ron Arnold

This week, the world is being treated to the biggest left-wing "socio-political monster truck rally" the United Nations has ever staged: the Rio+20 -- U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, which has attracted about 50,000 people. This rowdy bash is spiced by the vague, elastic and numerous definitions of "sustainable development," resulting in endless, pointless arguments.

Twenty years ago, the original 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro generated Agenda 21, a hideous document enshrining the term "sustainable development," plus the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, plus the framework for the later Kyoto Protocol, plus 300 tons of trash in the streets. For this year's event, the city is hosting heads of state, government leaders, environmental organization executives, business leaders, social activists, artists and professional struggle-junkies, with the U.S. delegation led by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Craig Rucker, executive director of the Washington-based Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, and gadfly master at biting the Left, took a CFACT crew to Brazil to cover this anti-capitalist circus. He didn't just stick to the obvious but also hustled his team 210 miles north to the Chicago-size city of Belo Horizonte, where the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives was holding its World Congress -- a good place for some candid shop talk with the greenies.

With their credentials swinging around their necks, CFACT sat in on outrageous shenanigans. Rucker said, "We got some great video of American local government officials telling Americans and the rest of the developed world to cut back on consumption to preindustrial living conditions and do without -- by day -- but by night these 'leaders' changed stripes and kicked up their heels at lavish parties with rich food, a runway fashion show and champagne by the gallon."

One Australian ICLEI member bluntly told Rucker that "we don't use the term 'climate change' anymore. It's 'sustainable development.' " ICLEI members deliberately use new terminology to misdirect opponents from discredited global warming rhetoric and gain acceptance for their efforts to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases.

Land Access Provision Added to Interior Appropriations Bill

With the strong support of the NRA, U.S. Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, has included a provision in the fiscal year 2013 Interior and Environment appropriations bill that protects hunters’ access to millions of acres of federal land. The bill was passed by the subcommittee this week and will be considered next week by the full committee. The provision specifically restricts the use of any funds to close any federal lands to sportsmen if the land was open to hunting on Jan. 1, 2012, unless the closure was done in compliance with an established management plan that was in place as of that same date. The provision does allow for temporary closures of up to thirty days to accommodate special events or for public safety reasons...more

Adding fuel to Capitol Hill fire

by Thomas J. Pyle

Businessman T. Boone Pickens and other proponents of energy subsidies claim Congress must subsidize the conversion of trucks to natural gas in order for companies to convert from petroleum-based fuels to less expensive natural gas. But contrary to Mr. Pickens‘ claims, this transition is happening already without government subsidies.

Fortune 500 company Waste Management recently announced that over the next five years, 80 percent of the trucks it purchases for its waste-collection business will be fueled by natural gas. Although the trucks will cost about $30,000 more than traditional models, the company calculated that the decision will save $27,000 a year per truck because of the present cost of diesel and the falling cost of natural gas.

Other companies that either provide transportation services or are dependent on the use of trucks to transport goods are following suit. Caterpillar recently inked a deal with Westport Innovations, a natural-gas engine manufacturer, to develop engines for off-road equipment such as mining trucks and trains, and Shell recently announced it would offer liquefied natural gas (LNG) for heavy-duty trucks at 100 fueling stations across the United States starting next year.

Scott Perry, a vice president of the truck-leasing and commercial-goods transportation company Ryder System said that for his business, “the economics favoring natural gas are overwhelming.” With natural gas prices hovering near a 10-year low for most of the year, the landscape for commercial transportation fuels looks entirely different than it did even two years ago, when wellhead prices for natural gas were almost twice the price of today.

Moreover, the advent of shale gas and the commercial sector’s embrace of natural-gas trucks is a testament to what the free market can do when allowed to function properly. Since 2008, Mr. Pickens has advocated relentlessly for taxpayer-funded subsidies for natural gas (and wind, in the beginning) which he argues are “necessary” to jump-start a new energy revolution in the United States and wean our country off oil. As such, he has asked Congress to approve subsidies of up to $64,000 per truck and $100,000 for fueling stations - never mind that as of last year Mr. Pickens himself owns 41 percent of the nation’s largest provider of natural-gas fuel for transportation.

America’s Plan to Cut Carbon: Frack Now

 by Walter Russell Mead

As activists in Rio and around the world mourned the failure of yet another useless summit to do anything about climate change, good news on the CO2 front was coming from the country greens love to hate: the US.

While Europe has adopted a plethora of expensive laws without any significant effect on CO2 emissions, the US is substantially reducing its emissions even as air pollution levels drop. As a CNN report puts it:
Despite there being no real effort by Congress to address global warming and America’s longstanding reputation as an energy hog, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are falling.
The lackluster economy has something to do with it. But it doesn’t fully explain what’s happening. Consider that even factoring in a stronger economy, forecasters see greenhouse gas emissions continuing to fall.
It’s possible the country may meet its pledge to reduce emissions 17% by 2020.
The secret isn’t laws, green activism or regulations (although these do have roles to play). Innovation is the force that is enabling the cut in US carbon emissions...

What’s interesting is to compare the US performance with Europe. Europe has done many of the things greens want the US to do, but despite their “virtue” and our “sin”, the US is doing better than Europe at meeting key environmental goals. As CNN puts it:
Europe, by contrast, has seen its energy-sector carbon emissions remain basically flat. This despite the fact that most of Europe operates under a market-based cap-and-trade scheme where emissions are capped at a certain level and companies get tradable credits to emit pollution.
Plus, Europe has significantly higher taxes on energy.
Ignore the greens and innovate, and you will cut carbon. Pay a lot of attention to them, spend a lot of money — and you will keep carbon emissions unchanged.

Rio+20: Greens Concede Defeat As Developing Nations Reject Green Agenda

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, has admitted that the Rio+20 deal is “disappointing.” He blamed China and other developing countries that have huge reserves of coal and want to continue using fossil fuels to grow, for failing to back plans for the green economy. “The political significance of Rio is that the G77 nations are antagonistic to our European ideas on the green economy,” said Mr Clegg. More than 190 countries are gathered in Rio for the largest ever United Nations summit on the environment. Held 20 years on from the Earth Summit in 1992, 'Rio+20, was supposed to set the world on a new development path powered by renewables rather than fossils fuels like coal. However Mr Clegg admitted that the deal is “disappointing”. Plans to shift to a ‘green economy’ by scrapping fossil fuel subsidies and pumping money into new technologies like wind and solar have been watered down. ‘The Future We Want’, as the deal is known, commits the world to new ‘Sustainable Development Goals’ or SDGs. But there is no timetable for the new targets, that are likely to focus on increasing the amount of energy from renewables, cleaning up water supplies and cutting chemicals in farming...more

Senate passes five-year farm bill cutting subsidies for some

The Senate on Thursday completed a five-year, half-trillion-dollar farm bill that cuts farm subsidies and land conservation spending by about $2 billion a year but largely protects sugar growers and some 46 million food stamp beneficiaries. The 64-35 vote for passage defied political odds. Many inside and outside of Congress had predicted that legislation so expensive and so complicated would have little chance of advancing in an election year. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell called it "one of the finest moments in the Senate in recent times in terms of how you pass a bill." The bipartisanship seen in the Senate may be less evident in the House, where conservatives are certain to resist the bill's costs, particularly for food stamps. Food stamp spending has doubled in the past five years, and beneficiaries have grown from by about 20 million to 46 million. The program's budget is now about $80 billion a year, comprising 80 percent of the spending in the farm bill. While overall spending on programs covered by the bill has climbed because more people are receiving food stamps, the committee head, Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and the top Republican, Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, said the bill would save $23 billion over the next 10 years compared with spending under the current farm bill. That comes from replacing four farm commodity subsidy programs with one, consolidating 23 conservation programs into 13, and ending several sources of abuse in food stamps. That program is called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP. The biggest change comes from eliminating direct payments to farmers whether they plant crops or not. The program, which costs about $5 billion a year, has lost much of its support at a time of $1 trillion federal deficits and when farmers in general are prospering. That subsidy, and a separate one where the government sets target prices and pays farmers when prices go below that level, will be replaced. There will be greater reliance on crop insurance and a new program that covers smaller losses on planted crops before crop insurance kicks in. The bill also prevents farm "managers," often wealthy people who may not live or work on a farm, from receiving subsidy payments and gives greater help to fruit and vegetable producers and healthy food programs. The Senate rejected several Republican amendments that would have reduced food stamp spending by such means as tightening up eligibility requirements...more

Will the House Block the Farm Bill Pig-Out?

Pundits claim that partisanship is creating gridlock in Washington. But in the Senate, the two parties still know how to make bipartisan deals on big government subsidy legislation. That chamber may move ahead with a massive agriculture bill that would spend almost $1 trillion over the next decade. Supporters are calling it a "reform" bill because it would trim a measly two percent from projected spending over the period. Most of the bill's spending is for food programs, such as food stamps. Those subsidies ought to be cut, but the farm subsidy spending in the bill is even more absurd. Farm subsidies distort agriculture, damage the environment, and harm our international trade relations. The politics of farm subsidies are laced with hypocrisy. The Democrats claim to be concerned about the disparity between the haves and have-nots and the Republicans argue that the welfare state has grown too large. Yet every five years or so, Congress passes a giant farm subsidy bill that expands the lavish welfare system enjoyed by well-off farm businesses...more

Song Of The Day #864

Ranch Radio's Gospel tune this morning is I'm Gonna Move Home Bye and Bye performed by Moon Mullican.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Westerner's Radio Theater #036

Ranch Radio brings you the Gene Autry Melody Ranch Show and an episode titled Clem Olson.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Fire Threat Up as Vintage Air Arsenal Shrinks

With a low roar, the 1954-vintage warplane barreled down the runway and heaved itself into the air, wobbling for a moment as its engines toiled to pull skyward. “They’re not exactly leaping off the runway,” said Paul Buxton-Carr, a Canadian pilot, as he watched the potbellied plane, designed to hunt submarines, climb toward its latest mission: dousing wildfires in the American West. As federal authorities confront the destructive start of what threatens to be one of the fiercest wildfire seasons in memory, they are relying on a fleet of ancient planes converted from other purposes to do the dangerous, often deadly, work of skimming the smoldering treetops to bomb fires with water and flame retardant. A decade ago, the government had 44 large tanker planes at its command. Now, with fires raging from California to Colorado to Wyoming, the regular fleet is down to nine. “The bottom line is the fires are getting bigger as the fleet gets smaller,” said Senator Ron Wyden, Democrat of Oregon and the chairman of the Senate’s forestry subcommittee. “That is a prescription for trouble.”...more

They can afford to build bridges over Interstate Hwys. for wildlife, but not adequately equip the firefighters.

New rules guide use of retardant on forest blazes

Add another concern for the tanker plane pilots who barnstorm low over treacherous terrain, in vintage aircraft, to bomb fire retardant around raging mountain wildfires: endangered species. New U.S. Forest Service rules for the use of fire retardant in dozens of national forests seek to prevent the millions of gallons of fire retardant spread over the landscape every year from poisoning streams and killing off protected plants and fish. Forest Service officials insist the new rules won’t hinder firefighting. The company that operates almost half of the U.S. private fleet of large tanker planes agrees, for the most part. “It is an increasing workload, there’s no doubt about that,” said Dan Snyder, president of Missoula-based Neptune Aviation Services, which operates eight Lockheed P2V planes. “It may reduce the speed at which they can affect the fire because they do need to take those few extra minutes to study the charts and plan on how they can put the retardant on the ground and still comply with the rules.” The U.S. Forest Service spent $19 million on 23 million gallons of retardant last year, which was unusually busy for wildfires. Documented cases of fish killed by fire retardant are relatively rare. But they’ve happened...more

Residents rebuild in the aftermath of the Little Bear Fire

Sifting through the ash and debris Wednesday of the two-story redwood home they built 30 years ago on a mountaintop between Ruidoso and Capitan, Linda Jameson found pieces of her mother's dishes. They were about all the Little Bear Fire left them. One of the 254 house or business owners in Lincoln County who lost their structures, she's angry that the lightning-strike blaze wasn't extinguished when it stood at a quarter of an acre. But she's thankful for the work of the firefighters and grateful that she and her husband, L.J., escaped unharmed, along with what they were able to pack and that they were insured. "We packed all day while we were watching the fire move closer," Linda said. "We packed photo albums, my mother's dolls, two items of my grandmother's, but a lot was left and can't ever be replaced. When your parents are gone, all that is left is their stuff." From the time a New Mexico state police officer arrived at their home, they had about 30 minutes to leave. "It sounded like a freight train," Linda said of the fire that roared through the property, melting steel beams and storage buildings. "It was snowing ash."...more

Song Of The Day #863

Ranch Radio continues the Cattle Records week with A Year Of City Living by Texas Jim Lewis.  Yes, sometimes you have to go to Germany to get good American country music.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Aid sought for state to combat 'rock snot'

Sen. Bob Casey has asked the Department of the Interior to aid state officials in combating an invasive alga that threatens the state's $1.6 billion sport fishing industry. Pennsylvania's Democratic senator on Monday sent a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar calling on him to quickly assist state agencies' efforts to stop the spread of didymo, a cold water alga also commonly known as "rock snot," which was recently found in the Youghiogheny River in southwestern Pennsylvania and has spread through 100 miles of the Delaware River since its discovery there in 2007. Didymo is a brownish-yellow to cream-colored alga that thrives in cold, fast-moving, rocky rivers. It can carpet a river bottom in mats up to 8 inches thick and crowd out native plant and animal species in an aquatic food chain needed to support a thriving fishery...more

Not sure what Interior can do in Pa. I know, give them a guaranteed loan to turn the algae known as "rock snot" into a renewable energy source! Obama can campaign in Pa. on Triple S, Salazar's Snot Supply. Bet its green too.

U.S. Central Gulf Lease Sale Drew $1.7 Billion in Winning Bids

U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Wednesday that the first lease sale in the central U.S. Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon oil spill drew $1.7 billion in winning bids from energy companies. The central area of the Gulf is considered the most promising by the oil and gas industry, and has yielded a huge bounty of oil in the past two decades. It is also where in 2010, a well blow-out destroyed the Deepwater Horizon rig, killed 11 and unleashed the largest offshore spill in U.S. history. The high demand for drilling leases in the central region underscores both its potential and the eagerness of oil and gas companies to ramp up activities in the area after months of acrimonious exchanges with U.S. authorities over tough revisions of drilling regulations...more

Feds approve Utah gas-drilling project

Federal officials are giving approval to nearly 1,300 natural gas wells in eastern Utah despite protests from environmental groups. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says the government is mandating a number of environmental safeguards for drilling by Englewood, Colo.-based Gasco Energy Inc. Salazar says no drilling will take place within five miles of the Green River's Desolation Canyon, one of the largest roadless areas in the Lower 48 states. Environmental groups wanted federal officials to shrink the project area more than it did in a last-minute compromise with the company. Gasco was authorized to use no more than 575 drilling pads for 1,298 wells, using directional drilling to reach out-of-the-way gas pockets deep underground. AP

Let' see, leases offered in the Gulf of Mexico, drilling approved in this an election year?

Song Of The Day #862

More from Cattle Records on Ranch Radio and we bring you Slim Bryant & His Wildcats performing Bessie James.

Local groups applaud ‘standing’ ruling

The president of a local environmental watchdog group is “very pleased” with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Monday in favor of a Michigan man challenging a decision by the Secretary of the Interior to take land into trust for an Indian tribe to build a casino. In an 8-1 decision, the Supreme Court said David Patchak has legal “standing” to challenge Interior Secretary Ken Salazar‘s acquisition for the Gun Lake Tribe, thus allowing his lawsuit to proceed. Patchak challenged the way the government took the land into trust for the tribe, saying that the move was illegal because the tribe had not been recognized by the government in 1934 when the Indian Reorganization Act was passed. In the Santa Ynez Valley, the decision in favor of the plaintiff will essentially allow residents and community groups to legally dispute attempts by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to expand their reservation. Hildy Medina, spokeswoman for the Chumash, said the tribe would have no comment on this week’s Supreme Court ruling. The Chumash have indicated their desire to add 1,400 acres, about 2 miles east of the casino, at Highways 246 and 154 to their 130-acre reservation either through the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ fee-to-trust process or by direct federal legislation. If made part of the reservation, the land would become exempt from local and state taxes and local planning and zoning laws...more

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

255 Illegals From Countries That ‘Promote, Produce, or Protect’ Terrorists Apprehended Along U.S.-Mexico Border

There were 255 illegal aliens from countries such as Pakistan and Iran that have been officially linked to terrorism by the U.S. government apprehended along the southwest border by Border Patrol in fiscal 2011, data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) show. In fiscal 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010 thru Sept. 30, 2011), the Border Patrol -- under the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) component of the DHS -- arrested a total of 327,577 illegal aliens along the U.S.-Mexico border. Among those arrested, 46,997 were “Other than Mexican” (OTM), including the 255 who originated from what DHS referred to as “special interest countries,” the data showed. obtained from Customs and Border Protection a country-by-country breakdown of the nations of origin for the 327,577 total apprehensions along the southwest border, including the 46,997 OTMs...more

Idaho Senators question proposed 600 square mile habitat for two caribou

On Tuesday, Sens. Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim Risch (R-ID) expressed concern to U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Director Daniel Ashe over the size of the proposed critical habitat for caribou in north Idaho. While only two of the endangered animals were found in Idaho at the time they were listed, the FWS proposed designating 375,562 acres - about 600 square miles - of critical habitat for the Southern Selkirk Mountains population of woodland caribou. The proposed habitat includes land in Boundary and Bonner counties in Idaho and Pend Oreille County in Washington State. County commissioners and the public from those areas have expressed many concerns about the proposed habitat designation, questioning the size and the science behind it, as well as the estimated recreational and economic impact to the region...more

That's approximately one caribou/300 sections.  Must by mighty poor country up there.

How Obama Bureaucrats Fueled Western Wildfires

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The smell of singed air here is inescapable. Less than 50 miles west of my neighborhood, the latest wildfire has spread across 1,100 acres. It's the fifth active blaze to erupt in our state over the past month. But ashes aren't the only things smoldering. The Obama administration's neglect of the federal government's aerial tanker fleet raises acrid questions about its core public safety priorities. Bipartisan complaints goaded the White House into signing a Band-Aid fix last week. But it smacks more of election-year gesture politics: Too little, too late, too fake. Ten years ago, the feds had a fleet of 44 firefighting planes. Today, the number is down to nine for the entire country. Last summer, Obama's National Forest Service canceled a key federal contract with Sacramento-based Aero Union just as last season's wildfires were raging. Aero Union had supplied eight vital air tankers to Washington's dwindling aerial firefighting fleet. Two weeks later, the company closed down, and 60 employees lost their jobs. Aero Union had been a leader in the business for a half-century. Why were they grounded? National Forest Service bureaucrats and some media accounts cite "safety" concerns. But as California GOP Rep. Dan Lungren noted in a letter obtained by reporter Audrey Hudson of the conservative D.C. newspaper Human Events last year, a Federal Aviation Administration representative said it was a contractual/compliance matter, not safety, that doomed Aero Union's fleet...more

Wildfire has Glenwood ‘sandbagging’ it: N.M. town preps for major flooding

These days, sandbagging has a very different meaning for the residents of Glenwood, N.M. People in the western New Mexico community are busy filling sandbags to protect their homes from flooding they fear may soon occur. The main sources of their concern are damage to the watershed of the San Francisco River, which flows through Glenwood, and the possible advent of seasonal heavy rainfall, or so-called monsoons. The Whitewater-Baldy fire, which is in the San Francisco’s watershed, has burned for more than a month in the Gila National Forest just 15 miles from Glenwood. As of June 18, the lighting-caused wildfire had burned nearly 300,000 acres, more than 463 square miles, and was 80 percent contained. It is the largest-ever wildfire in New Mexico history. How much soil damage the fire has caused, as in becoming too hard and unable to absorb rainfall, will be a critical factor. The sandbag project in Glenwood involves providing bags, sand or dirt, showing people how to correctly fill sandbags and how to place them to protect their homes. Residents are being encouraged to team up to fill sandbags...more

House spending panel unveils deep cuts to EPA

House Republican appropriators on Tuesday unveiled a 2013 spending bill with deep cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency. The bill cuts the EPA by $1.4 billion, about 17 percent, compared to current funding. The GOP points out that this brings the EPA below fiscal 1998 levels. Overall the newly revealed 2013 Interior and Environment bill has $28 billion in funding – a cut of $1.2 billion below 2012 levels. “The bill reins in funding and out-of-control regulation at the EPA, and reduces overall spending for the third year in a row,” said Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), the spending cardinal in charge of the bill. The GOP says the bill keeps the number of EPA personnel at 1992 levels and cuts the administrator’s office by 30 percent and the congressional affairs office by 50 percent. It also contains numerous riders that prevent environmental rules. They include riders to limit the reach of Clean Water Act regulations and block President Obama’s National Ocean Policy...more

Military May Be Using Drones In US To Help Police

As the Federal Aviation Administration helps usher in an age of drones for U.S. law enforcement agencies, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s) domestically by the U.S. military — and the sharing of collected data with police agencies — is raising its own concerns about possible violations of privacy and Constitutional law, according to drone critics. A non-classified U.S. Air Force intelligence report obtained by KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO dated April 23, 2012, is helping fuel concern that video and other data inadvertently captured by Air Force drones already flying through some U.S. airspace, might end up in the hands of federal or local law enforcement, doing an end-run around normal procedures requiring police to obtain court issued warrants. “We’ve seen in some records that were released by the Air Force just recently, that under their rules, they are allowed to fly drones in public areas and record information on domestic situations,” says Jennifer Lynch, an attorney with the San Francisco based Electronic Frontier Association, who is looking into various government surveillance techniques...more

NYC health panel talks about wider food ban

The board hand-picked by Mayor Michael Bloomberg that must approve his ban of selling large sugar-filled drinks at restaurants might be looking at other targets. The New York City Board of Health showed support for limiting sizes of sugary drinks at a Tuesday meeting in Queens. They agreed to start the process to formalize the large-drink ban by agreeing to start a six-week public comment period. At the meeting, some of the members of board said they should be considering other limits on high-calorie foods. One member, Bruce Vladeck, thinks limiting the sizes for movie theater popcorn should be considered. "The popcorn isn't a whole lot better than the soda," Vladeck said. Another board member thinks milk drinks should fall under the size limits. "There are certainly milkshakes and milk-coffee beverages that have monstrous amounts of calories," said board member Dr. Joel Forman...more

Those monkeys and their Pop Tarts are really gonna be in trouble.  Surely Mayor Bloomberg is concerned about the epidemic of obese monkeys.

Your meat on drugs: Will grocery stores cut out antibiotics?

Despite a high-profile lawsuit, a recent court order, and a much-hyped set of voluntary rules, it’s still not clear that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) plans to do anything of substance to stop meat producers from using antibiotics on a massive — and massively destructive — scale. It has been three decades since the FDA first identified the use of these drugs in livestock production as a problem. But they’re still mulling it over, apparently. Thinking long and hard. While they think, 80 percent of all the antibiotics sold in the U.S. are being used on animals to spur growth and compensate for crowded, dirty conditions. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria or “superbugs” continue to show up in food and cause infections in tens of thousands of people every year (99,000 people died of hospital-acquired infections in 2002, the most recent year for which data are available). It’s no coincidence then that Meat without Drugs, the campaign launched today by Consumers Union, doesn’t target the FDA or any government agency, for that matter. Instead, the advocacy group, which has been pushing for a ban on antibiotics in agriculture since the late 1970s, is targeting grocery stores. In a companion report released today called Meat On Drugs: The overuse of antibiotics in food animals and what supermarkets and consumers can do to stop it” [PDF], the Consumers Union looked at the cost, labeling, and availability of antibiotic-free meat in grocery stores and combined that data with a consumer survey...more

Stack of Farm Proposals Is Coming Up for Votes

The Senate began voting Tuesday on a slimmed-down list of amendments to a farm bill that would set the nation’s food and agriculture policy for the next five years. The number of proposed amendments had grown to about 300, covering a range of issues like crop insurance subsidies and aid to Pakistan. But late Monday, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada, reached an agreement that narrowed the list to 73. “This is not a great agreement, but it’s a good agreement,” Mr. Reid said Monday night. Among the amendments approved on Tuesday was a proposal by Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, to add more peas, lentils and chickpeas to the federal school lunch program. The vote was 58 to 41. Another amendment, by Senator Chris Coons, Democrat of Delaware, would require the Agriculture Department to study an insurance program for poultry producers that would protect them from disease outbreaks or bankruptcies. It passed on a voice vote. The Senate voted down amendments by Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, that would have changed the eligibility requirements for recipients of food stamps and would have ended bonuses to states for increasing enrollments in the food stamp program...more

Song Of The Day #861

Ranch Radio will continue this week featuring selections from my Cattle Records collection.  Today's tune is Roll Out, Cowboy by Frank Luther & Zora Laymen.

Rio+20 is Greatest Threat to Biodiversity

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is underway in Rio de Janeiro. This time, 20 years after the original 1992 Rio “Earth Summit,” thousands of politicians, bureaucrats and environmental activists are toning down references to “dangerous man-made climate change,” to avoid repeating the acrimony and failures that characterized its recent climate conferences in Copenhagen, Cancun and Durban. Instead, “Rio+20” is trying to shift attention to “biodiversity” and alleged threats to plant and animal species, as the new “greatest threat” facing Planet Earth. This rebranding is “by design,” according to conference organizers, who say sustainable development and biodiversity is an “easier sell” these days than climate change: a simpler path to advance the same radical goals. Those goals include expanded powers and budgets for the United Nations, UN Environment Programme, US Environmental Protection Agency and other government agencies, and their allied Green pressure groups; new taxes on international financial transactions (to ensure perpetual independent funding for the UN and UNEP); and more mandates and money for “clean, green, renewable” energy...more

Electric car battery company hits road bumps

The White House has bet billions of tax dollars on lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles. But has that money been well spent? Here's one company's story. This week, electric car battery maker A123 Systems announced a breakthrough: the next generation electric car battery -- better in extreme temperatures and cheaper. The company desperately needs the good news after two battery recalls, slow demand and layoffs. The road wasn't always so bumpy. When President Obama announced 90-billion stimulus tax dollars for green energy, A123 stepped up for a slice of the pie. It spent $1 million lobbying Congress and federal agencies, and won 249 million in stimulus dollars. CBS News spoke with CEO David Vieau last fall. "Approximately half the people here were unemployed, so we put people back to work," he said. But one month after that interview, A123 laid off 125 employees. Then the luxury electric car Fisker Karma failed. It was powered by a faulty A123 battery. "It's low, it's sleek, it's sensuous... it's also broken! " said Consumer Reports. A123 isn't giving up. It still has more than 100 million federal stimulus tax dollars left to spend...more

Here is the CBS video report:

Group concerned about NM bear management

No one knows exactly how many black bears are roaming the mountains that border New Mexico's most populous area, but conservationists on Tuesday accused state wildlife managers of targeting the area's bears for removal to bring an end to nuisance calls. The state Game and Fish Department adamantly denied the accusations, saying the number of bears in the Sandia Mountains that were removed or killed in 2010 and 2011 is far below what the group is alleging. Sandia Mountain BearWatch contends a review of logs kept by Game and Fish conservation officers showed 49 bears in the mountain range were trapped and either relocated or killed during the two-year period. In the last five years, the group said 69 bears have been killed or relocated. "This is very, very destructive to the overall population," said Jan Hayes, founder of the bear-conservation group. Hayes argued the agency's policies are based on inflated estimates of bear populations statewide, and said the Sandia Mountains need a healthy population to maintain an ecological balance...more

History: Boom to bust — Organ once a thriving mining town

The Modoc Mine
Van Elliott and his brother Robert were finishing a long day's work in their Organ Mountain mine when a friend rode up carrying a message. The Elliotts were soon headed back full steam toward their home in Organ. While they were gone, Sam Hester, one of several men who delivered water by mule to the waterless town, had entered the back door of his home and, as reported in May 1883 by the Rio Grande Republican, "made an indecent proposal" to his wife, who was there alone. The paper said Hester was "repulsed with scorn and indignation and slapped in the face." Mrs. Elliott raced across the street to N.J. Kennedy's store. Hester fired a shot as a warning for her to "keep quiet." The next day, Hester came to town with a friend, both fully armed. According to Elliott, he approached Hester to demand he apologize to his wife, but Hester raised his pistol and fired, narrowly missing. Elliott and his brother fired back, with Van twice hitting Hester, who died later that evening. The brothers were arrested and Van was charged. Witnesses said Elliott acted in self-defense, though Hester told a deputy Elliott had shot him as he delivered water. It wouldn't be the last shooting or violent episode in the little mining town, though most were perhaps less chivalrous and more alcohol-induced. Organ had its wild period, with seven saloons and prostitutes operating in "cribs" set up behind the Blue Adobe Saloon...more