Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Group wants Rio Grande sucker declared endangered; trout OK, feds say

The environmental group WildEarth Guardians Tuesday asked the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to consider declaring the Rio Grande sucker, a fish found in northern New Mexico, endangered. The fish, also found in Colorado, is threatened by human water use that is drying the region’s rivers, and dams fragment the fish’s habitat, making it harder for it to survive, the group argues in its 44-page petition. The Fish and Wildlife service now has 90 days to determine whether there is enough evidence to begin a full study of the fate of the fish. If the answer to that initial question is “yes”, the agency then has a year to make a decision on whether to formally declare the fish “endangered”, which could trigger legal protections for the fish. Also Tuesday, federal biologists said there’s no danger of the native Rio Grande cutthroat trout going extinct now or in the foreseeable future. The finding announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a blow to environmentalists’ efforts to get the fish added to the list of endangered species. The Center for Biological Diversity argues that the trout are gone from nearly 90 percent of their range in New Mexico and Colorado and that populations are declining. The Fish and Wildlife Service says it reviewed the best available scientific and commercial information before deciding not to list the fish...more

Nevada ranchers horseback riding to White House in protest - video

CARSON CITY, Nev. (MyNews4.com & KRNV) -- A group of ranchers are heading to Washington D.C. on horseback to protest limitations to grazing rights on federal land. They rallied in Carson City and stopped at Governor Sandoval’s office on Monday.

The ranchers with the Grass March Cowboy Express began their journey a few days ago in California and they are heading to the White House hoping to change the future of public lands. The group said it is mainly protesting the grazing allowance it has been issued by the Bureau of Land Management.

"It's just a whole different system then what we're used to, they've just disrupted our whole way of life is what they’ve done," said Lynn Tomera.

The ranchers said they are hoping over the next few weeks to bring awareness to land and environmental issues. "We have had cuts and I don't know if we're ever going to ever get them back," said Arlo Crutcher.

The BLM said it recently changed some grazing allotments for ranchers because of drought conditions. They emailed News 4 a statement that said:

"BLM Nevada attempted to work with the individuals who graze their cows on an area of public lands known as the Argenta Allotment to develop a plan for reduced use that would correspond to the current drought conditions. These cooperative efforts were rejected which forced the Bureau of Land Management to temporarily prohibit grazing on the parts of the Argenta Allotment that had already surpassed recommended use levels."

Still, one rancher said she believes grazing rights on federal land are being taken away for the wrong reasons. "The drought really isn't an issue on our range because we've got some good, good range, we've got some good grass, and there really was no reason for them to keep us off the range," said Tomera.

Many ranchers said the cuts have affected their lifestyle, so they hope their coast-to-coast trip of 2,800 miles to Washington D.C. on horseback will make a difference.

The BLM said it is working with hunters, nature lovers and others who rely on public lands to appropriately adjust land uses during this prolonged drought. It also said it will continue to work closely with all land users to make appropriate and timely adjustments while the severe drought continues.

Show me where they have cut back on hunting as a result of the drought.  What "adjustments" has BLM imposed on nature lovers?  Nothing but outhouse soup if you ask me.

Here is the KRNV video report:

$1 Million In Federal Funding To Promote N.M. Agriculture

Several organizations in New Mexico will share $538,279 in federal grants to help develop new markets for agricultural products. In addition, New Mexico State University will receive $499,191 to improve competitiveness of organic livestock and crop producers.

The 2014 FMLFPP funding is as follows:
  • Delicious New Mexico (Albuquerque) will receive $100,000 provide outreach, marketing, training and technical assistance to improve and expand the EspaƱola Food Hub into an incubation hub for Northern New Mexico food businesses.
  • Santa Fe Community Foundation will receive $100,000 to expand a local, healthy food procurement program to low-income and low-access communities that will improve the capacity of Pueblo agricultural producers through farm-to-market training.
  • The National Center for Frontier Communities will receive $25,000 to the National Center for Frontier Communities to assess the feasibility of a regional food hub in Silver City to support a more self-sufficient local food economy in southwestern New Mexico.
  • The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute will receive $91,604 to establish an advertising campaign to promote the market and Federal benefits redemption at the South Side Summer Market, and provide technical assistance and professional training to vendors.
  • The Pueblo of Pojoaque will receive $44,616 for promotional activities, expanded services and season and vendor recruitment to grow the Pojoaque Farmers Market.
  • The Pinyon Foundation (Santa Fe) will receive $100,000 to produce and implement Spanish language multimedia campaigns promoting farmers’ markets nationwide.
  • The New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association will receive $77,059 to promote SNAP redemption at farmers markets in four counties and train vendors to use EBT.

Announcing these grants, our Senators say:

“Connecting our communities to their local farmers and produce markets increases options for families to purchase healthy, locally-grown food, and it helps boost the economy at the same time,” said Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in a statement announcing the grants along with Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM). “Through investments in marketing outreach and training, small family farmers and ranchers – especially in our rural and tribal communities – will have the tools necessary to attract more business while providing fresh food options to New Mexicans.
All this while they're trying to put almost 40 ranching families in Dona Ana and Luna County out of business through wilderness/national monument designations.  Shame on these families for doing their own marketing and for not producing organic beef, having a food hub or being on food stamps.  

Farm group questions NRCS-Ducks Unlimited relationship

A group representing North Dakota wheat and barley farmers is raising questions about the working relationship between the federal government's main conservation agency and a private group that works to boost wetlands and waterfowl. The North Dakota Grain Growers Association says the government's Natural Resources Conservation Service should not be using nonprofit Ducks Unlimited personnel "as foot soldiers for its work." The Grain Growers fears such a relationship might infringe on farmers' ability to use their land as they see fit, and hurt them financially. The NRCS works with landowners to conserve, maintain and improve natural resources and ensure landowners are complying with regulations. Producers who don't comply could lose eligibility to participate in federal farm programs. Grain Growers Executive Director Dan Wogsland said the association recently found out that NRCS was using Ducks Unlimited members to help with the agency's work. "Ducks Unlimited will have undue influence on programs that impact North Dakota farmers and landowners," Wogsland said...more

Controlling feral hogs with…gummy bears?

Earlier this year, the USDA announced it was testing sodium nitrate, the same preservative used to cure bacon, to poison feral hogs.  Feral hogs cause roughly $1.5 billion in damages nationally each year. According to the Associated Press in an article here, sodium nitrate is more toxic to pigs than people and is used in Australia and New Zealand to help control feral swine populations. Here is the United States, USDA scientists believe it also may be the best solution to U.S. farmers, ranchers and landowners to help control the invasive species. There’s just one problem – the wild hogs aren’t biting at the bitter taste of sodium nitrate. That’s where Glen Gentry, an animal science researcher with the Louisiana State University AgCenter, comes in.  He recently spoke at a symposium to discuss the latest on his study to control feral hogs.  In his research, Gentry found the pigs were attracted to certain flavors, such as strawberry, but the grain-based bait had some problems. “When the sodium nitrite is added to the mix, consumption tends to drop off,” said Gentry. The answer to this issue may be in an unlikely source – gummy bears. “We are looking at semi-solid bait forms developed by LSU AgCenter researcher Zhijun Liu in the School of Renewable Natural Resources,” he explained. “I like using gummy bears as a way to hide the salty and bitter taste of sodium nitrite.”His goal is to kill 90 percent of the pigs. So far, Gentry is at 68 percent...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1304

This will be a "Crow Flats Country" Week, which means old time fiddle and string band music. First up will be the Kessinger Brothers with Chicken Reel (Les Reel des Poulets) from the Document Records CD Kessinger Brothers, Volume III (1929-1930).


USDA offers $31.5M for healthier food stamp diet

A division of the Agriculture Department is making $31.5 million in funding available to help people on food stamps obtain healthier foods. The department’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is making the funding available to help those enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), which offers nutrition assistance to millions of low-income Americans. "Too many struggling families do not have adequate access to nutritious food," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said Monday as he announced the new funding. "Helping families purchase more fresh produce is clearly good for families' health, helps contribute to lower health costs for the country, and increases local food sales for family farmers.” The agency wants funded projects to examine how to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables, the department said, and the funding could subsidize pilot projects, multiyear community projects or large-scale multiyear proposals. The funding stems from the farm bill Congress passed earlier this year, which created the Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive program...more

Do you see any meat falling out of that SNAP bag?

California drought and climate warming: Studies find no clear link

Global warming contributed to extreme heat waves in many parts of the world last year, but cannot be definitively linked to the California drought, according to a report released Monday. The third annual analysis of extreme weather events underscored the continuing difficulty of teasing out the influence of human-caused climate change on precipitation patterns. One of three studies examining the California drought in 2013 found that the kind of high-pressure systems that blocked winter storms last year have increased with global warming. But another study concluded that a long-term rise in sea surface temperatures in the western Pacific did not contribute substantially to the drought. And researchers noted that California precipitation since 1895 has "exhibited no appreciable downward trend." Overall, the report editors concluded that the papers didn't demonstrate that global warming clearly influenced the drought, which is one of the worst in the state record.  In the report, published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 20 research teams explored the causes of 16 extreme weather events recorded in 2013, including torrential downpours in Colorado, heat waves in Korea and Australia and a blizzard in South Dakota. The studies overwhelmingly showed that human-caused climate change played a role in the heat waves, in some cases making them 10 times more likely. But the report editors wrote that "natural variability likely played a much larger role in the extreme precipitation events," whether it was flooding in India, deep snow in the Spanish Pyrenees Mountains or the California drought...more

Michelle Obama’s lunches trashed, $4 million wasted daily

Local news teams across the country have determined that children are so unhappy with their federally mandated, taxpayer-funded school lunches that they they often throw them out, wasting much of their food to the tune of $4 million dollars every day across the country. The goal of the Healthy, Hungry Free Kids Act is to “end the epidemic of childhood obesity in a generation,” as reported at LetsMove.gov, but the news team at KSHB out of Kansas City said much of the food is wasted and kids come home hungry. “Just because districts have to serve the fruit and veggies doesn’t mean students have to eat it,” they wrote earlier this month. A local ABC affiliate in Cleveland, Ohio reports that “the new standards are so unpopular that nearly 600 school districts across the country have dropped out of the school lunch program, citing more and more students simply not buying lunches.” A report from Cornell University and Brigham Young University in December found that “students discarded 70 percent of the extra fruits and vegetables.”...more

Sheriffs Who Are Protecting Liberty

An increasing number of county sheriffs are rising to resist federal overreach in their counties. About 100 of them met in mid-September at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The gathering was organized by the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association -- a group that was formed by former Sheriff Richard Mack. It was a time of mutual encouragement, where several sheriffs shared their experiences in resisting federal overreach. Sheriff Mike Lewis of Wycomico County, Maryland was one of the sheriffs in attendance. He got national attention recently for saying that the feds better not try grabbing guns in his county. Two sheriffs who have attracted something of a cult following are Brad Rogers of Elkhart County, Indiana, and Bennie House of Otero County, New Mexico. While they were not in attendance this September, their stories were heralded as examples to follow. Sheriff Rogers is a GOA Life Member who interposed himself between the Food and Drug Administration and a raw milk dairy farmer. The feds were on the verge of confiscating the farmer’s equipment which would have bankrupted him. But Sheriff Rogers communicated with the head attorney at the FDA and told her that if they put one more foot on the farmer’s land, he would arrest them. She, in turn, threatened to arrest him. Rogers simply ended the debate by replying: “Game on.” That was almost three years ago, and the FDA has been MIA ever since. Then there’s Sheriff Benny House of Otero County, New Mexico, who led a confrontation with the Forest Service several years ago on behalf of some of his citizens. The locals were hauling dead trees out of National Forest land in violation of Forest Service policy. The locals not only wanted the firewood provided by the dead trees, but were also lessening the risk of forest fire (dead trees burn much more quickly and serve to make fires more likely to spread). The Forest Service threatened to arrest the Otero County citizens who were disturbing the “natural condition” of the forest. But Sheriff House threatened to arrest the Forest Service agents. That successful standoff allowed the folks in Cloudcroft to save their ski village when a forest fire threatened them two years ago...more

EPA approves plan to close two units at San Juan Generating Station

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved a state plan that would close two coal-fired units at San Juan Generating Station in Waterflow by the end of 2017 and save the plant owners $780 million, according to a press release. The plan was proposed 18 months ago. It was written by the New Mexico Environment Department, the Public Service Company of New Mexico, and the Navajo Nation. The plan would help the plant meet federal emissions requirements under the Regional Haze Rule. Without the state's plan, the utility said it would have to install catalytic emissions-reducing technology that could have cost upwards of $1 billion dollars. The state's plan would close two of the four units and install non-catalytic emissions reducing technology, saving the utility about $780 million through the next 20 years, a PNM release stated. However, the closing of units at San Juan Generating Station could cost the area jobs. He said the company might not lay off its employees, but he fears there won't be the same amount of work for the approximately 300 contract employees who now work at the power plant...more

Eddy Co. flooding worries continue as crops rot

Farms in southern New Mexico are still under water after recent massive flooding and that has farmers worried their popular crops could be wiped out. After weeks of rain, some farms in Eddy County saw nearly 26 inches of rain. Woods Houghton, with Eddy County, said the pinto bean crops in their area have been wiped out. Houghton said the county’s largest crop, which is cotton, is looking like its headed that way too. Now farmers are having to wait for the water to recede before they know for sure which crops can be saved and which are going to be a total loss. Hougton said Eddy County is the seventh largest agricultural county in New Mexico. Their fields produce cotton, pumpkins, pinto beans and even chile. With a good portion of farms there are still under water the majority of crops in the county could be jeopardy. “Our chile crop doesn’t look too good either,” Hougton said. Houghton said their chile is sold across the state. He said while a lot of the state has already picked, roasted and sold bags of its green chile, the Pecos Valley was just getting started...more

Monday, September 29, 2014

US judge refuses to halt fracking in Nevada

A federal judge has refused to block the release of oil and gas leases in Nevada that critics say will be used for hydraulic fracturing that could harm sage grouse and cause more environmental damage than the Bureau of Land Management admits. U.S. District Judge Miranda Du ruled she has no authority to grant opponents' request for an emergency order at this time to prevent the BLM from formally issuing the leases in a vast swath of central Nevada. Lawyer Glade Hall, who represents the Reese River Basin Citizens Against Fracking, says they're considering refiling their complaint. The coalition of ranchers, farmers and others say the BLM has abused its authority by limiting public comment and failing to conduct an adequate review of the potential impacts of the fracking. AP

Range editor speaker for Lake library dinner

C.J. Hadley, editor/publisher of Range Magazine, will discuss “Cuddling the Soul of the West” at the Lake County Library’s annual Library Endowment Dinner Saturday, Oct. 18. at the Lakeview Elks Lodge. The 6:30 dinner program will be preceded by a no-host reception fundraiser at the new main library in Lakeview from 5 to 6 p.m. Hadley has been called an “unsung heroine of the West” and “Clint Eastwood with both guns drawn” because of stances advocating ranches and ranchers. Her advocacy seemed unlikely, given her background. Known as Caroline Joy, she was 17 when her parents gave her a one-way ticket from England to Canada. Hadley never looked back. Instead, she hitchhiked and worked her way around the world as a typist, freelance writer, rodeo photographer, snowmobile racer and tuna fisherman. In 1991, after spending 10 years as editor of Nevada Magazine, a group of ranchers asked her to produce a brochure to send to members of Congress to tell the “true side of ranching” and counteract calls for “Cattle Free by “93” advocated by some environmental group. That brochure turned into Range, a magazine that features stories and photographs about ranchers, ranching and the often controversial issues surrounding ranching. Range has grown into a national magazine with a fervent following with more than 170,000 readers in every state and 23 foreign countries. Commentator Paul Harvey said of Range: “No other source I know has dispassionately and yet thoroughly projected the future of America the Beautiful — if we keep paving it. We’re making some unerasable mistakes. If the sagebrush rebellion comes too late, there is nothing to eat, and there’s no place to run to anymore.”...more

Francisco Fort became the center of La Veta

In 1862, Col. John M. Francisco was the sutler at Fort Garland and ventured over one of several passes into the Cuchara Valley. Upon reaching the valley he declared, "I have found my home. This is paradise enough for me." He and his business partner, Henry Daigre, purchased 48,000 acres of the vast Vigil land grant. They hired 20 men to construct a fort with 2-foot thick adobe walls approximately 100 feet by 100 feet. Its interior rooms faced into a central plaza. The fort had an excellent well. There was far too much land for these men to develop so they leased it to ranchers and farmers establishing the fort as the center of commerce. In 1871 under the name Spanish Peak, a post office was set up in the fort. The fort was attacked in 1863 by a band of Ute Indians. The men in the fort were rallied to gun ports along the parapets on top of the flat-roofed buildings. One man volunteered to ride to Fort Lyon and get help. By the time the cavalry arrived, the Indians had decided to retreat. The arrival of the narrow gauge Denver & Rio Grande in 1876 changed the economy of the area and brought in a wave of new settlers. The tracks advanced the following year over La Veta Pass at 9,390 feet and at the time, was the highest railroad pass in the United States. Around Francisco Fort, the railroad platted the town of La Veta and constructed a depot just a block north of the fort...more 

Big Isle ranchers struggle to keep cattle in the isles

It's a challenge for Big Island ranchers to keep their cattle in the islands while beef prices climb to all-time highs on the mainland, a University of Hawaii livestock expert said. Drought is gripping beef-production regions on the mainland, allowing ranchers to sell beef there for $2.25 a pound, West Hawaii Today reported. That compares with $1.50 to $1.65 a pound here in Hawaii. Some ranchers "commit from the heart" to leave part of their herds in Hawaii, even though they would earn more shipping the cattle to the mainland, said Glen Fukumoto, an extension agent with the UH's College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources.Beef is a $46 million industry in Hawaii, and 76 percent of those cattle are here on the Big Island. Recent consumer trends toward local, organic and healthy meats have put the local grass-fed beef industry in growth mode since the late 1990s. Nevertheless, 60 percent to 70 percent of local beef is shipped out of state. Current infrastructure can't support much increased production in the short term, Fukumoto said. "For the sake of sustainability, we'd like to keep everything here. But how do you do that financially?" Moniz said. "All of us ranchers would like to keep our cattle here, but we can't." Less than 9 percent of beef consumed in the state is local. Even if all of the beef produced in Hawaii stayed here, it would meet less than 40 percent of demand, Fukumoto said...more

Willie Nelson, Neil Young play to thousands protesting Keystone XL

Art and Helen Tanderup gazed with amazed smiles at the thousands of cars parked on the stubble of their recently harvested cornfield on Saturday, at the stage set up in their rye field and at the ocean of people standing in front of it. “It’s unbelievable. It’s absolutely amazing this is happening,” said Art just before the start of Harvest the Hope. The sun shone in a sky dotted with white clouds, and nearby corn rustled in a southern breeze on the 160-acre farm near Neligh, as fans waited to hear the concert’s headliners, Canadian singer-songwriter Neil Young and country music star Willie Nelson. Between performances by opening acts -- Native American hip-hop artist Frank Waln, and Lukas and Micah Nelson and Promise of the Real (featuring Willie Nelson’s sons) -- politicians and activists spoke to the crowd of about 8,000 about the fight against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline. The Tanderups are two of about 100 landowners refusing to sign easement agreements with TransCanada Corp., the company that wants to build the controversial pipeline capable of transporting 840,000 barrels of crude oil per day, mostly from Canada’s tar sands region destined for refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Fighting the Keystone XL is only a small part of the bigger battle against a changing climate that is threatening the entire planet, Young said during a press conference before the concert...more

The Radical Environmental Agenda Should Be Rejected, even if Global Warming Is Real

by Daniel J. Mitchell

I believe that protecting the environment is both a good thing and a legitimate function of government.

But I’m rational. So while I want limits on pollution, such policies should be determined by cost-benefit analysis.

Banning automobiles doubtlessly would reduce pollution, for instance, but the economic cost would be catastrophic.

On the other hand, it’s good to limit carcinogens from being dumped in the air and water. So long as there’s some unbiased science showing net benefits.

But while I’m pro-environment, I’m anti-environmentalist. Simply stated, too many of these people are nuts.
Then there’s the super-nutty category.
Check out this video from Reason, filmed at the so-called climate march in New York City.


Just in case you think the folks at Reason deliberately sought out a few crazy people in an otherwise rational crowd, let’s now look at the views of Naomi Klein, who is ostensibly a big thinker for the left on environmental issues.

Slate published an interview with her and you can judge for yourself whether her views are sensible. Here’s some of what Slate said about her.
According to social activist and perennial agitator Naomi Klein, the really inconvenient truth about climate change is that it’s not about carbon—it’s about capitalism. …she’s turned her argument into a hefty book… This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate is focused on exposing how the relentless pursuit of growth has locked us in to a system that’s incompatible with a stable climate. …
And here’s some of what Ms. Klein said.
The post-carbon economy we can build will have to be better designed. …not only does climate action mean a healthy community—it’s also the best chance at tacking inequality. …The divestment movement is a start at challenging the excesses of capitalism. It’s working to delegitimize fossil fuels, and showing that they’re just as unethical as profits from the tobacco industry. …profits are not legitimate in an era of climate change.

Shale Revolution Deniers Face An Inconvenient Truth


Despite turning the U.S. into the world's largest producer of natural gas and driving a 3 million barrel per day surge in U.S. oil production in just the last three years, the shale revolution still has its doubters. They couldn't be more wrong.

The Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalization recently dismissed shale fracking as a "Ponzi scheme" and "this decade's version of the dot-com bub ble" that's about to burst. But time and again over decades, the naysayers and "peak oil" advocates have grossly underestimated the energy industry's ability to innovate and beat production forecasts. Today's shale pessimists continue to do so.

Shale pessimism is constructed on the theory that U.S. development has so far largely centered on sweet spots — the most resource-rich areas of geologic formations. As drilling continues and moves further from these sweet spots, productivity of newly drilled wells will allegedly fall. Shale development is already a complex and highly capital-intensive process. The profit margins between an economic well and an uncompetitive well can be razor-thin. In theory, less productive wells, drilled in the margins of shale plays, will quickly become uneconomic and put producers in the red.

Shale pessimists also point to the sharp decline curves of shale wells to support their bubble theory. While newly drilled and producing wells may be highly productive initially, their output falls sharply over time — nearly 50% a year. Continuing to increase overall production, much less just maintain it, supposedly takes constant drilling.

Theory Vs. Data
The sharp decline curves and the movement of drilling into the margins of shale plays seem like a recipe for production to peak and then fall, according to the "peak oil" advocates. But even as producers have moved away from sweet spots, and even as the rig count in many plays has either stayed flat or fallen, production of shale oil and gas continues to grow significantly. If you're a "peak oil" shale contrarian, the data unfortunately just aren't on your side.

There are two important reasons why the shale pessimists are wrong: innovation and expertise. The shale revolution was launched because of breakthroughs in a range of technologies, most notably advances in horizontal drilling paired with advanced hydraulic fracturing.

Competition and innovation drive the oil and gas industry, particularly in the U.S. The innovation that unlocked the nation's oceans of shale resources hasn't stopped but instead has actually intensified. New ideas, technologies and ways of cracking the shale code emerge daily. And America's amazing "petropreneurs" have obviously gotten very good at what they do.

Crews are working more efficiently, bringing wells online in shorter periods and producing more oil and gas from each new well. Consider Arkansas' Fayetteville Shale, where the average drilling time for a new well has fallen from 17.5 days in 2007 to just 6.2 days in 2013. In the Marcellus Shale, America's largest single shale gas field, each well is producing eight million cubic feet of gas per day on average — more than eight times what each well produced as recently as 2009.

Impressive production gains have also taken place for America's crude oil production — oil production per rig in the Bakken oil field of North Dakota has increased fivefold since the shale revolution started there in 2007, and oil output per rig in the prolific Eagle Ford region of south-central Texas has doubled in just the last two years.

County pins economic hopes on wilderness land swap

Karen Perry knows firsthand the power of Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area. The landscape, people and outdoor lifestyle pulled her family back again and again until they finally bought a trailer and parked it on property near Manila. Now a county commissioner, Perry and others believe if they can just get people to visit their spot in the rugged and remote northeastern corner of Utah, they’ll come back. The Daggett County commissioners are hoping Congressman Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative will help them put that tourism and economic development strategy into play. In trade for designating additional wilderness lands in the High Uintas, county leaders hope to build additional resorts along the reservoir and a ski hill on the horizon. "Our businesses have not been doing quite so well as they did in the ‘70s and ‘80s," Perry said. "We are trying to garner new interests and other activities that will bring more people to our beautiful county." The idea of another ski area in Daggett County — population 1,059 in the 2010 Census — may raise eyebrows along the Wasatch Front, but it’s the kind of bucket list item Utah counties are floating as part of Bishop’s far-reaching legislative push. Daggett County is one of the first to put its plan on paper. Proposals in Daggett County include designating wilderness, swapping land between federal and state agencies to allow commercial development and securing designation for the Green River under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act...more

Four southeast Alaska logging projects on hold after judge orders further review

Four southeast Alaska logging projects are on hold after a judge found the U.S. Forest Service didn't fully comply with a prior court order. Conservationists who sued to stop the Scott Peak, Overlook, Traitors Creek and Soda Nick projects raised concerns with the model for determining sufficiency of deer habitat. An appeals court in 2011 ordered an explanation for how the models supported decisions to move ahead with the projects. U.S. District Court Judge Ralph Beistline said Friday that the Forest Service failed to comply with that order. The management plan for the Tongass National Forest was updated in 2008. Beistline said the agency can provide deer modeling analyses based on the 1997 plan under which the projects were approved or revise the approval decisions to apply the 2008 plan. AP

Valles Caldera preserve to ask for more funding

The Valles Caldera National Preserve decided this week to ask Congress for more federal funding to manage operations for another five years. The preserve’s board of trustees voted at its quarterly meeting Wednesday to submit a recommendation for extending federal appropriations through 2020. There are inherent government functions that will likely require aid on the federal level, Valles Caldera Trust Board chairman Kent Salazar said. Those functions include compliance with historic-preservation and environmental laws, forest restoration and infrastructure repairs. More than 60 percent of the preserve was affected by recent wildfires and post-fire flooding, officials said. The 90,000-acre preserve in the Jemez Mountains was a private ranch with grazing and logging operations before the federal government bought it in 2000. If the trust is not financially self-sufficient by the end of this fiscal year, the board can request Congress for more funding under the Valles Caldera Preservation Act. Under the act, the trust can also be dissolved and the preserve would be transferred to the U.S. Forest Service, the Albuquerque Journal reported (http://bit.ly/YsiLza ). Members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation have also proposed legislation giving control of Valles Caldera to the National Park Service. The nine-member board will send a formal letter to Congress sometime in the next few weeks...more

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1303

Its Swingin' Monday and here's a tune recorded in San Antonio on Jan. 27, 1935: Bill Boyd & Cowboy Ramblers - The Train Song.


The Head-Scratching Case of the Vanishing Bees

In 1872, a merchant ship called the Mary Celeste set sail from New York, and four weeks later was found by sailors aboard another vessel to be moving erratically in the Atlantic Ocean 400 miles east of the Azores. Curious, those sailors boarded the Mary Celeste, only to find nary a soul. The cargo was intact, as were supplies of food and water. But there was no sign of the seven-man crew, the captain, or his wife and daughter, who had gone along for the journey. To this day, what turned that brigantine into a ghost ship remains a maritime mystery. It was with a nod to this history that when bees suddenly and mysteriously began disappearing en masse in Britain several years ago, the phenomenon came to be known there as Mary Celeste Syndrome. Beekeepers in this country were similarly plagued. Honeybees, those versatile workhorses of pollination, were vanishing by the millions. They would leave their hives in search of nectar and pollen, and somehow never find their way home. On this side of the Atlantic, though, the flight of the bees was given a more prosaic name: colony collapse disorder.  What caused it remains as much of a head-scratcher as the fate of the Mary Celeste, but the serious consequences for American agriculture were clear. And thus it draws the attention of this week’s Retro Report, part of a series of video documentaries examining major news stories from the past and analyzing what has happened since. What caused it remains as much of a head-scratcher as the fate of the Mary Celeste, but the serious consequences for American agriculture were clear. And thus it draws the attention of this week’s Retro Report, part of a series of video documentaries examining major news stories from the past and analyzing what has happened since. The centrality of bees to our collective well-being is hard to overstate. They pollinate dozens of crops: apples, blueberries, avocados, soybeans, strawberries, you name it. Without honeybees, almond production in California would all but disappear. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that nearly one-third of everything that Americans eat depends on bee pollination. Billions of dollars are at stake each year for farmers, ranchers and, of course, beekeepers. But in the fall and winter of 2006-07, something strange happened. As Dave Hackenberg, a beekeeper in central Pennsylvania and in Florida, recalled for Retro Report, he went to his 400 hives one morning and found most of them empty. Queen bees remained, but worker bees had vanished. Mr. Hackenberg’s distress resounded in apiaries across the country. Some of them lost up to 90 percent of their colonies. Not that mass bee disappearances were entirely new. They had occurred from time to time for well over a century. But as best as could be told, no previous collapse matched this one in magnitude...more

USGS study links fracking wastewater injection with surge in Raton Basin earthquakes

A surge in earthquakes in southern Colorado and New Mexico has almost certainly been caused by the injection of fracking wastewater deep into the ground, U.S. Geological Survey scientists reported last week. The study details several lines of evidence directly linking the injection wells to the seismicity. The timing and location of the quakes is clearly linked with the the documented pattern of injected wastewater. Detailed investigations of two seismic sequences (2001 and 2011) places them in proximity to high-volume, high-injection-rate wells, and both sequences occurred after a nearby increase in the rate of injection. A comparison between seismicity and wastewater injection in Colorado and New Mexico reveals similar patterns, suggesting seismicity is initiated shortly after an increase in injection rates. For example, two injection wells near the epicenter of a 2011 5.3 earthquake had about 5 million cubic meters of wastewater injected just before the quake — more than seven times the amount injected at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal well that caused damaging earthquakes near Denver, Colorado, in the 1960s. The August 2011 M 5.3 event is the second-largest earthquake to date for which there is clear evidence that the earthquake sequence was induced by fluid injection. The study looked at the Raton Basin, which stretches from southern Colorado into northern New Mexico. The basin was seismically quiet until shortly after major fluid injection began in 1999. Since 2001, there have been 16 quakes magnitude 3.8 or greater (including M 5.0 and 5.3), compared to only one (M 4.0) the previous 30 years. The increase in earthquakes is limited to the area of industrial activity and within 5 kilometers of wastewater injection wells...more

Mammoth Lakes earthquake swarm is the largest in nearly a decade

More than 600 small earthquakes have rattled the Mammoth Lakes region in less than 36 hours as ripple effects continued across one of the most seismically active volcanic regions in California, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The swarm of quakes — ranging from magnitude 1.0 to 3.8 — began just before 5 a.m. Thursday, according to the USGS. “This is one of the largest earthquake swarms we’ve seen in the past decade or so,” said David Shelly, a USGS research seismologist who has been studying the volcanic system near Mammoth Lakes. “We’ll be tracking it closely.” Residents reported periodic rattles through the day but said they were used to the shaking given that Mammoth is a seismically active area. Earthquake swarms are not uncommon to this region in California’s Eastern Sierra. Countless small faults crisscross the area known as the Long Valley Caldera, Shelly said. This roughly 20-mile-wide crater-like depression, adjacent to Mammoth Mountain, was formed from ash and pumice deposits during a volcanic “super eruption” about 760,000 years ago. At 11,053 feet, Mammoth Mountain is a lava dome complex on the southwest rim of the caldera and last erupted about 57,000 years ago. The volcanic region is one of the most seismically active in a mostly quiet network of 17 volcanoes throughout California...more

Water On Earth Is Older Than The Sun

It's no surprise that water was crucial to the formation of life on Earth. What may surprise you is that water on earth is older than the sun itself. Identifying the original source of Earth's water is key to understanding how life-fostering environments came into being and how likely they are to be found elsewhere. A new paper in Science says that much of our Solar System's water likely originated as ices that formed in interstellar space. Water is found throughout the Solar System, not just on Earth; on icy comets and moons, and in the shadowed basins of Mercury and in mineral samples from meteorites, the Moon, and Mars. Comets and asteroids in particular, being primitive objects, provide a natural "time capsule" of the conditions during the early days of our Solar System. Their ices can tell scientists about the ice that encircled the Sun after its birth, the origin of which was an unanswered question until now...more

USDA: Genetically modified wheat found in Montana

Unregulated genetically modified wheat has popped up in a second location in the United States, this time in Montana, the Agriculture Department said Friday. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for U.S. farming, and the discovery of unapproved varieties can pose a potential threat to U.S. trade with countries that have concerns about genetically modified foods. USDA said Friday that the incident is on a smaller scale than a similar finding in Oregon last year that prompted several Asian countries to temporarily ban U.S. wheat imports. The herbicide-resistant wheat was found on one to three acres in Montana, while the genetically engineered plants found in Oregon were spread over more than 100 acres. And the plants were found at a university research center in Huntley, Montana, where genetically modified wheat was legally tested by seed giant Monsanto 11 years ago. The plants in Oregon were found in a field that had never conducted such tests, prompting questions about how they got there. The department said it is investigating the discovery of the Montana wheat, which is a different variety than the genetically modified wheat found in Oregon. USDA said the wheat would be safe to eat, but none of it entered the market. In a final report also released Friday, USDA said it believes the genetically modified wheat in Oregon was an isolated incident and that there is no evidence of that wheat in commerce. The report says the government still doesn't know how the modified seeds got into the fields...more

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Cowgirl Sass and Savvy

The Facebook blues

 by Julie Carter

Are you Facebooking yet? You might be missing out on a chirpy "howdy" in the morning or a late-night laugh at a one-liner you would never have heard from someone you never see in person. If you haven’t logged in, you are already a decade behind.

The wildly popular 10-year-old social network called Facebook has grown to an active membership of 1.3 billion. Some of us here in rural American West are a small part of that count.

I don't know what your excuse is, but my kids drug me into this. Oh, I tried the MySpace thing (same idea, different format) to track my own child's activities as he participated in the teenage rage of MySpace socializing. It's a mom's job.

And, every time one of those pages blinded me with psychedelic moving backgrounds, flashing blingy letters, rotating photos and music that blew me off my office chair, I lost another piece of my desire to visit.

A quieter, gentler opportunity arrived on the scene in the form of Facebook, with white pages and a standardized font. In the years since, there have been many “upgrades” but the end result is still a basic format for socializing from the comfort of home or now, anywhere with your phone or tablet
Quickly Facebook became a social network not just for kids. Four years into the movement, the 35-and-over group was the fastest growing portion of a membership surge.

With this socializing by computer came the need for personal discipline. It is so much more enjoyable to "visit," comment, look and read than it is to, oh let’s say, cook, clean and do laundry. It also can be hazardous to your health.

In a world where we already sit in front of small screens, TV or computers, for too many hours, Facebook woos us to sit a little longer, move a little less. My warning for you is that the rewards are easily countered by the time-waster it can be.

And without a lot of detail, I will recommend you don't put something on the stove to cook while you are Facebooking. I gave a complete new meaning to "hard" boiled eggs.

"What's that smell?"

If there is no one to talk to, there are always the goofy quizzes that decide the gemstone you are most like, the country song that most describes you, the type of super hero you'ld be and what level of sarcasm you measure in at.

Personally, I love saying good morning to people I may see only rarely, if at all. Beyond that, my very favorite part is the sharing of photos of all kinds. I watch people’s lives through their photos and feel like we are neighbors.

My mother took the Facebook plunge and found such joy in being in contact with her grandchildren, who like many of us, finally got too busy to email, just after we got too busy write or call. At least now she can see photos of them and know that they indeed, made it past age 16 and right on to their 30s.

Not all my friends are on Facebook yet, so I'm resigned to that old-fashioned email stuff. I do have some yellowing note cards I could use up, but I can never remember how much postage is from month to month. I have a drawer full of one- and two-cent stamps to go with my sheets of Christmas stamps that I never used.

Gotta go. I might be missing something on Facebook!

Julie can be reached for comment at www.facebook.com or jcarternm@gmail.com.

Wilderness Act or … Debacle?

50 years of Deceit
 Wilderness Act or … Debacle?
It didn’t start with Leopold
By Stephen L. Wilmeth

            The snapshots before the Wilderness Act was signed in 1964, and, now, fifty years later are not becoming.
            In the spring of 1885, the ranching families on Mogollon Creek got word that Geronimo and his band were headed their direction. After a sleepless night with the hounds “back and forth barking dismally”, the Indian fighter, George White, saddled his horse and rode up the creek cutting sign. Far up the valley, he spied an Indian who had caught and was riding a Shelley sorrel gelding they called “Dutch”. He was leading another of their horses, “Coly”, who wanted nothing to do with the situation. Coly was seen rearing and flailing the air with his front feet.
            Reporting what he saw back at the 916 headquarters, Peter Shelley’s first inclination was to hunt the Indian and kill him. Further discussion resulted in concern for their families and the decision was made to load the wagon and strike for the Gila River where safety in numbers was more likely.
            The tale of that trip to “the river” appeared in another story, but they arrived safely and, with the arrival of “Buffalo soldiers” from Ft. Bayard, their encounter with Geronimo ended without bloodshed.
            A story in a chapter of history was archived, and the allure of the Gila’s mystique only grew.
            Wayfarer cometh
            More history was written by 1922 when the arrival of the environmental wayfarer, Aldo Leopold took place. That year was a bad fire year and he and forest supervisor, Fred Winn, made an appearance in the McKenna Park District to the fire crews. What the locals thought of their token mingling might be gleaned from the response of the famous Gila forester, Henry Woodrow. Asked one morning what the gathered crew should do, Mr. Woodrow suggested not so subtly they go talk to “the bosses” to find out. The two were long gone when rains finally put the fires out.
            Woodrow’s assignments continued. He worked the Granny Mountain trail from Little Creek to a point above the Sapillo on the Gila River. No help was offered by the brass. They had more important administrative tasks to perform.
            That theme was commonplace as was the misguided bungling of suppressing every fire. Even prior to the 1910 era megafires that institutionalized the total suppression policy of the Forest Service, the agency was putting out fires. Prior to 1899 when the Gila was named a forest reserve, fires were either allowed to burn or were managed by ranchers like Peter Shelley who simply shaped them to minimize risk to home or improvements. The therapeutic affects of the fires were well known and welcomed. Those lessons had long been learned from living and working on the land.
            When Henry Woodrow was assigned his first duty in May of 1909, though, that was exactly what he was told to do. “All the instructions I had was to go up there and look out for fires, and put them out,” he wrote.
            A next major managerial peccadillo can be observed in the agency’s unwillingness to fence the forest boundaries much less allotment demarcations. Woodrow wrote in 1912 about the difficulty of managing feral cattle on the forest as a result. The area in his reference was the country occupied by Shelley, W.P. Doyle, and Frank Jones. Those ranchers were doubly impacted by the mess. They couldn’t keep feral cattle off because there were no fences. They couldn’t sell them because there was no market for cows, bulls, and calves (only mature steer cattle that could travel were marketable), and they couldn’t kill them. Respectable managers could not kill something that was perhaps owned by someone else. Large numbers of unclaimed cattle became an issue. The agency bureaucracy wouldn’t allow corrective action for another 10 years … six years after Congress passed a law ordering fencing be done.
            Truth and consequences
            The Gila has been described as an idealistic island whereby a sea of civilization has flowed around it without encroaching upon it. Such words sound good and impart a story book theme, but to dismiss the lives and devotion of those who made it home is shortchanging their worth and historical significance.
Obviously, such an observation had to have been made by another wayfarer who never staked his or her life on any outcome. In reality, the Gila was a crossroads of characters that created a backdrop of human drama matched only by the magnificence of its physical presence. Starting with Geronimo or even the Mimbrenos before him, the stage was set. The story of the Gila is the immensity of the juxtapositions of nature, of man, and the fascinating drama of the interactions.
Each component was credited with an impact. The Indians, the ranchers, the sheepmen, the loggers, the miners, the hunters, and the characters of arbitrage were all players of record and outcome. They contributed and their footprints remain in stories, in practices and in physical remains of their existence.
The wayfarers never lingered long enough to understand such complexity. They used their unnatural authority, made broad brush assumptions of what they saw, and equated the grandeur to only the physical aspect. They were wrong and they remain wrong to this day.
Leopold even hijacked the name and the underpinnings of the word, WILDERNESS.
Every indication now suggests its use and implication came from Peter Shelley. Its origin came from his Bible. In the Gila vernacular, its implication was a reversal of how Leopold crafted the agency’s administrative wilderness model in 1926. It was a wilderness defined by the presence of characters that lived within its reaches, but retreated to their enclaves of permanence without possessing it. In the Leopold parlance, it became the act of possessing it for the purpose of venturing into it in order to renew a natural kinship.
The problem is mankind cannot have the luxury of the latter without the contributions and the security afforded by the former. Anybody who has lived with first hand experience with the Gila is tied inexorably to the drama of its human-nature relationships. The initial steps always came from man made contributions of access and a degree of safety. The allure was elevated in experiences, memories, stories and intrigue that didn’t exist in a vacuum with nature alone. It was the combination and even Leopold defined the human element.
Before his borrowed term “wilderness” was coined for the solitude of the experience, he described it as “the exclusive domain of the mounted man”. It was quite obvious he was summarily taken by the immensity of it all. He enlarged his own primordial awakening as the “aristocracy of space based upon transport”. He had begun a self appointed ascension toward bureaucratic stewardship. It thrilled him!
What he couldn’t fathom and the majority will never understand is wilderness cannot be transposed into some per capita rationing of metaphysical paradise. The more it is shared and worshipped the more it is threatened and diminished.
What he really saw existed only for a short period of time. He arrived in the Gila during the intermediate step between the raw, unforgiving and cruel natural system and the state that formed a balance with enough safety and access to allow elitists like him to enter. He assumed it was the way it always was, but, by no means, was that the truth.
What he did was to start the process that began the systematic destruction of the social structure that made his venture possible.
 Wilderness, the modern trophy hunt
Leopold’s theorem of declining per capita rationing warrants consideration. It remains a factor in the relentless pursuit of designated wilderness, but it must be revealed as the inevitable mechanism of destruction of the resource it professes to protect. The process has become a trophy hunt of grand proportions … secular sport, campus charade, pagan charity, and abstract extravaganza.
 Leopold criticized trophy hunting recreationists in derisive sermon form to the modern wilderness worshipers. Read his words:
 “To enjoy, he (the trophy recreationist) must possess, invade, appropriate!”
Sounds like the kettle calling the skillet black doesn’t it? We have learned there are now 98,480,000 acres of federal lands being managed as wilderness or lands with wilderness characteristics, and millions more acres are being proposed for same. Implicit in this cavalcade of frenzied excess, too many Americans have been run over by roughshod bureaucrats and so called “land administrators with a sharp eye and an ecological mind” for the gain of saving these “last great places”.
The truth can be revealed in a much diminished scope. The wilderness as Leopold saw may exist … but it exists in questionable abundance on federal lands.

            Stephen L. Wilmeth is a rancher from southern New ‘Mexico. “If the Wilderness Act had been written by Henry Woodrow rather than another Leopold clone, Howard Zahniser … America would indeed have something to celebrate on the 50th anniversary of its signing.”

Baxter Black: Max and Brake Job the horse

Horses and cowboys go together. There are occasions when a cowboy and a horse are spoken of as one. In the heavenly world of cutting horses, Buster Welch and Little Peppy shine on each other. Charmayne James and Scamper are carved into PRCA history by winning the World Champion Barrel Racing buckle 11 times. We could also include Trigger and Roy, Seabiscuit and his trainer Sunny Fitzsimmons or Robert E. Lee and Traveler in this list of well-known horse and rider combinations.

And when you get in the shallower end of the pool there are up and comers who might someday be associated with that one horse that put them in the spotlight.

Max was trying to put a little polish on a 4-year-old gelding he’d given two trailer tires and $350 for. He had an opportunity to show him off. Max was a wrangler on a trail ride. Nate was a pretty good horseman. He came on the ride every year. He owned several tire, muffler and brake shops in the city.

“Nice lookin’ horse,” he said as Max sidled up beside him.

“Thanks,” said Max. “He’s just four and comin’ along good; gentle, easy to catch, got a little cow in him.”
“Is he for sale?” asked Nate.

“Oh, I don’t know. He’s gonna make a good one. You outta see him comin’ out the box…I’m thinkin’ he’ll make a great team ropin’ horse, maybe reining even. He’s not just pretty, he can do it! But, I guess if I was gonna sell him, I’d be lookin’ at fifteen hunnerd.”

“Whattya call him?”

Max opened his mouth, but all that came out was a “WHOOOA!” The un-named horse had bogged his head and pitched his rider up on the horse’s neck! Max lit on his back in the trail but still held a rein in his hand, “Look cool,” he said to himself. “…look cool.”

After the commotion and everybody was back in the saddle, Max remarked that he might consider an even thousand. He calmed the horse down and was convincing Nate that the horse really had potential.

“Watch this,” he said.

Glen Canyon Dam, key water source, marks 50 years

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and other officials on Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of power generation by Glen Canyon Dam, a structure that helped usher in a new era in the Southwest. "Now, it's not without its controversy. But there's no question that this engineering feat was incredibly valuable to the economic future of this country," Jewell said. Glen Canyon Dam, situated near the Arizona-Utah border, is a source of water and power for seven states in a region prone to drought. It is a key part of the Colorado River Storage Project and at 710 feet, is the second highest concrete-arch dam in the U.S. According to Jewell, the dam can store 27 million acre-feet of water — or the equivalent of two years' worth of the Colorado River's flow. But since the 1960s, the structure in Page, Arizona, has blocked 90 percent of the sediment from the river from flowing downstream, turning the once muddy and warm river into a cool, clear environment that helped speed the extinction of fish species and endangered others. Anne Castle, Interior assistant secretary of water and science, called the dam "the fulcrum" that regulates flows between the Colorado River's upper and lower basins. Castle, who is retiring, acknowledged a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation study that confirmed there will be significant shortfall between water levels and demand in the coming decades. Allocations of river water to Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming hinge on a "law of the river" compact reached with federal oversight in 1922...more

22 cows shot, five dead in Nevada

The Elko County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the shooting of 22 cows near Swales Mountain northwest of Elko. Undersheriff Clair Morris said ranch hands discovered the injured or dead animals late Monday afternoon. Five of the cows had died, and 17 others were injured, Morris said. All of the animals had gunshot wounds. The cows belonged to at least two different ranchers, Morris said. “It’s pretty devastating to the ranchers. If you lose (almost) 25 cows, it’s a huge loss of money,” he said. Often the motive of cow killers is unclear, Morris said, especially if there are no signs of butchering at the scene, such as the case with this killing. “To just go out and shoot them and leave them there is beyond me,” he said...more

Warrant issued again for Cliven Bundy’s son

Another warrant has been issued for the arrest of one of rancher Cliven Bundy’s sons, a little more than a month after he was released from jail. Bundy’s 34-year-old son, Cliven Lance Bundy, failed to appear in court this week for a hearing before Judge Linda Marie Bell, who issued a warrant for his arrest. The younger Bundy was arrested last month for criminal contempt and parole violations on burglary and weapons theft charges. Bell had issued a warrant for Bundy in July after he didn’t appear for a drug diversion program hearing. He had undergone hip surgery the day the July hearing was scheduled, according to his father. The younger Bundy was ordered last month to report to an intensive drug treatment facility in Las Vegas, according to his lawyer Jeff Rue, with the Clark County Public Defender’s Office. In February 2013, the son pleaded guilty to felony burglary and weapon theft charges. The younger Bundy, one of the rancher’s seven sons and seven daughters, was not part of the armed protest against federal agents in a cattle roundup dispute earlier this year, his father said.
Las Vegas Review-Journal

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry's Sister on Timing of Holder Resignation: "Not a Coincidence"

In light of a federal judge denying a request from the Department of Justice to delay the release of a long-sought after Fast and Furious document list, the sister of Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, Kelly Terry-Willis, doesn't find the timing of Attorney General Eric Holder's resignation to be a coincidence. "I do not find it a coincidence that Eric Holder chose now to resign after Judge Bates denied the request from the DOJ to delay the release of the Fast and Furious documents. I personally think Eric Holder was really hoping that the documents would never be made public to my family and the American people," Terry-Willis tells Townhall. "Will we ever get the accountability for my brother, Brian, Jaime Zapata and every other person who lost their lives to the guns from this horrific scandal? I don't know, but I have a serious gut feeling when we finally see what is in those documents....the dynamics of this investigation are going to change and hopefully the people involved are brought to justice. Eric Holder can run, but there will be no hiding. The truth always reveals itself." In a separate statement put out on behalf of the Brian Terry Foundation, family spokesman Ralph Terry says Holder's resignation is welcomed...more

Report: 70 Percent of Illegal Immigrant Families Released into U.S. Failed to Report to Feds

About 70 percent of the tens of thousands illegal immigrant family units detained crossing the U.S./Mexico border and released into the United States have failed to fulfill their obligation to report back to immigration officials, according to a new report. The Associated Press reports it has obtained audio of a confidential Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting with immigration advocates working on detention policies that occurred on Wednesday. On the recording, according to the AP, an ICE official revealed that about 70 percent of the illegal immigrant families detained and then released into the United States did not show up for their required appointments 15 days later with federal immigration officials. “Since only a few hundred families have already been returned to their home countries and limited U.S. detention facilities can house only about 1,200 family members, the 70 percent figure suggests the government released roughly 41,000 members of immigrant families who subsequently failed to appear at federal immigration offices,” the AP’s Alicia Caldwell reported Thursday. Caldwell further reported that the unnamed official added that 860 people in family units detained at the border had been ordered for removal but only 14 of them had reported to federal officials. Since October more than 66,000 family units have been detained illegally entering the United States — the vast majority of those detained have been from El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala. Most of them have been released into the United States...more

Hillsboro welcomes home 3 POWs from WWII - Poster & Pic

Ranch Radio Song Of The Day #1302

Sons Of The Pioneers - When I Leave This World Behind, recorded in Chicago in Sept. of 1941.  Group members at that time were Nolan, Spencer, Perryman, O'Brady and the Farr Brothers.


Saturday, September 27, 2014

Ca. Woman, 65, is attacked by 300-pound bear, fights back and survives

One minute, Emily Miles was walking her dogs in a Santa Barbara County avocado grove, the next, a hulking 300-pound black bear was sinking its teeth into her left thigh after tackling her to the ground. "Looking at him, I knew he could kill me in an instant," Miles, 65, said in an interview aired by KTLA. But the Carpinteria woman wasn't going to go without a fight. She started screaming and kicking the 6-foot-tall bear until she was able to get away. In addition to the bite, Miles suffered a cracked rib and deep claw marks on her back during Monday's attack. Traps have since been set in the area, but California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials are not actively pursuing the bear with tracking dogs or other methods, department spokeswoman Janice Mackey said. Mackey said the department evaluates every incident on a case-by-case basis. Setting traps, she said, was the method they decided to take given the rugged terrain. Bear saliva and other physical evidence were gathered from Miles' wounds and taken to the Department of Fish and Wildlife's forensic lab to be compared with any ursine that is captured, she added. If there's a match, the bear will be "humanely euthanized," Miles said. As an avocado farmer, Miles said she had seen bears before -- they enjoy the high-fat fruit. But she had never encountered an aggressive bear before Monday's attack...more

Fatal bear attack in West Milford preserve is first recorded in New Jersey in 150 years

Around the Apshawa Preserve, residents seal garbage containers, bring their dogs inside and scrub their barbecue grills clean, daily chores to ensure that ever-present bears keep their distance. But the fatal bear attack on a 22-year-old Rutgers student Sunday — the first recorded in more than 150 years, state officials say — came as a startling reminder of the dangers that can arise from the rare bear-human confrontation. Five friends had been hiking at the preserve in West Milford on Sunday afternoon when they scattered in fear upon realizing a black bear was following them, a move experts say put each individual at greater risk. Four of them regrouped and called authorities just before 4 p.m. about their missing friend. Two hours later, the body of Darsh Patel of Edison was found. It’s the first killing by a bear in New Jersey since the 1850s, said Larry Ragonese, a spokesman for Department of Environmental Protection. Tim Storbeck, the West Milford police chief, said there were “bite marks and claw marks” on Patel’s body during a noon news conference at borough hall. When officers arrived on scene and found Patel’s body, a bear lurked in the area and “would not leave the victim,” he said. An officer fired twice with a shotgun and killed it...more

Police Kill a Bear Cornered at Urban New Jersey Home

...Taking no chances, the police shot and killed the 218-pound bear about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. It was the second bear in five days to be killed after wandering into an urban area where a new state bear management policy allows the animals to be shot and killed. Wildlife officials said the Irvington bear was 1 or 2 years old. New Jersey's most densely populated areas have been designated "bear management zones," where local authorities are being trained to tranquilize bears and move them to state-run wildlife areas. But if a bear creates a hazard, Department of Environmental Protection officials can order that it be killed, as happened on Wednesday, said Elaine Makatura, a department spokeswoman. That was also the case near downtown Trenton Saturday, when environmental protection officials fatally shot a 225-pound, 3-year-old black bear. On Tuesday, a bear was spotted in Livingston, and sightings were reported Wednesday in Newark, Orange and South Orange. As the Irvington police carried the bear's body in a blue plastic tarpaulin from the backyard of a blue shingled house three blocks west of the Garden State Parkway, Deputy Chief Steven Palamara said he had hoped to tranquilize the bear and get it back to the woods. But during the chase, the bear had moved from backyards to sidewalks, jumping fences "as if they were curbs," he said. The police had summoned animal control officers with tranquilizer guns from Morristown. But as two police officers and an animal control officer approached to within about 10 feet of the bear, it reared up on its hind legs, and the plan changed...more

Drone Exemptions for Hollywood Pave the Way for Widespread Use

The commercial use of drones in American skies took a leap forward on Thursday with the help of Hollywood. The Federal Aviation Administration, responding to applications from seven filmmaking companies and pressure from the Motion Picture Association of America, said six of those companies could use camera-equipped drones on certain movie and television sets. Until now, the F.A.A. has not permitted commercial drone use except for extremely limited circumstances in wilderness areas of Alaska. Put bluntly, this is the first time that companies in the United States will be able to legally use drones to fly over people. The decision has implications for a broad range of industries including agriculture, energy, real estate, the news media and online retailing. “While the approval for Hollywood is very limited in scope, it’s a message to everyone that this ball is rolling,” said Greg Cirillo, chairman of the aviation practice at Wiley Rein, a law firm in Washington. Michael P. Huerta, the administrator of the F.A.A., said at least 40 similar applications were pending from companies beyond Hollywood. One is Amazon, which wants permission to move forward with a drone-delivery service. Google has acknowledged “self-flying vehicle” tests in the Australian outback. Under the six waivers granted on Thursday — a seventh, for a company called Flying-Cam, is still under review — the companies can use camera-equipped drones on outdoor movie and television sets that are closed to the public. The equipment must be inspected before each flight, fly no higher than 400 feet and be operated by a technician with a pilot’s license. The F.A.A. must be notified of filming. Night use is prohibited, at least for now...more

Video - A Wearable Camera That Turns Into a Drone and Flies Off Your Wrist

Meet Nixie, a wearable camera that flies off your wrist and turns into a remote-controlled quadcopter. It's the bizarre-yet-appealing wearable camera drone nobody asked for... and now we kind of want it. Intel is holding a competition to encourage new wearable technology ideas, and the Nixie is one of the finalists. So far, it's still in development, so the flying wristlet camera is rough around the edges. Team captain Christoph Kohstall eventually wants you to be able to send the the Nixie flying with a gesture. It would recognize where you're standing, snap a picture, then return to the wrist, like a futuristic paparazzi boomerang. If sticking your arm out to capture photos makes you feel like a lo-tech peasant, you're probably Nixie's target demographic...more

How long will it be before your friendly Forest ranger, county tax assessor, etc. has one of these?  Here's the video.


Friday, September 26, 2014

Obama Creates World’s Largest Marine Reserve

Palmyra Atoll
In the remote reaches of the Pacific Ocean, President Barack Obama Thursday created the world’s most extensive marine reserve by expanding a National Monument established in the waning days of the Bush Administration. These pristine waters in the south-central Pacific are now protected from commercial resource extraction and fishing. President Obama’s proclamation expands the existing Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument, one of the most intact, ecologically sound marine environments in the world, to six times its previous size – from 87,000 square miles to more than 490,000 square miles. The Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument was established on January 6, 2009 by outgoing President George W. Bush to protect the marine environment around Wake, Baker, Howland, and Jarvis Islands, Johnston and Palmyra Atolls, and Kingman Reef. The expansion was achieved by extending the Monument boundaries to edge of the United States Exclusive Economic Zone up to 200 nautical miles from the the territorial seas around each of these seven Pacific Remote Islands...more

George W. Bush designated the original monument as he was walking out the door.  Several years ago a gentleman who was in the Bush White House told me they had no studies or anything, just drew some lines on a map.

Under the same authority, The Antiquities Act, a President could designate most of the Western U.S. a national monument and no one seems to care.  So much for the separation of powers doctrine.as envisioned by our Founding Fathers.