Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ag industry hoping to sex up droopy members with new farm bill prescription

Ag and livestock producers in red Trump states are suffering from sagging profits, flaccid numbers, and limp resolve.

Some blame Mother Nature.
Catastrophe, tragedy, a devastating loss cannot even begin to describe the turmoil that has unfolded for hundreds of ranchers across the states of Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado following the devastating fires of March 2017. [smokin' hot Kelly Morrison, Farm Forum]
Climate disruptions are hitting corn growers who rely on federal subsidies to farm, Mexico is threatening to retaliate against the protectionist Trump junta, and even the earth hater Heritage Institute says it's time to end ag bailouts.
Congress needs to stop fleecing American taxpayers to further enrich large agribusinesses. It can start immediately with ending bailouts and limiting the exposure that taxpayers have in connection with these massive new farm-handout programs. That $15 billion should be in the pockets of taxpayers, not large agribusinesses. [Heritage: Handouts to the Agriculture Industry Are Out of Control]
Desertification driven by overgrazing has turned parts of the high plains into scorched earth.

This year South Dakota's GOP congressional delegation is stumbling all over itself trying to protect donors like Monsanto and Syngenta from their accountability for the state's impaired waters. John Thune (earth hater-SD) has rolled out his farm bill template for moral hazard and socialized agriculture while South Dakota's lone US House member and her fellow earth haters support it.

Moral hazard is the flip side of self-reliance and the livestock industry knows emergency declarations will provide bailouts for those who choose risk instead of burning off dry grasses minimizing losses.

Newly-confirmed Secretary of Agriculture, earth hater Sonny Perdue, could very easily destroy the US Forest Service instead of the implementing the reforms proposed by this interested party. USDA's division of death, so-called "Wildlife Services," is to blame for the widespread use of lethal poisons like cyanide bombs that kill family members.

Domestic livestock have contributed to catastrophic wildfire conditions and Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

PennCo asphalt plant on collision course with soccer complex, GOPers


Attorney Doyle Estes donated stolen prairie swampland in Pennington County to Rapid City if it would develop a soccer complex. The property is home to buried toxins: residue from Rapid City's early years. Earth hater former South Dakota Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen and erstwhile director of Dakota Fields, helped raise money for the pitches.
“You’re being asked,” Attorney Roger Tellinghuisen said to the commissioners, “to put one company’s profits ahead of the health, safety and welfare of not only the people who live adjacent to this particular site, but all the kids, and moms and dads, and grandpas and grandmas who are coming to this soccer field.” Doug Noyes, executive director of the Black Hills Rapid Soccer Club, also expressed concerns about the asphalt plant. [Rapid City Journal]
From my inbox:
I want to start by thanking everyone for their concern over the rezoning request to allow an area 1\2 mile west of our soccer Complex to become Heavy Industrial. This issue has long reaching consequences for the neighborhood. We are a half mile away, think about the home and business owners that border the property and what this means for them as well.

I have not sent an email for a while because I was doing research and study of the dangers of Asphalt Fumes and Vapors. I also wanted to determine the impact being west of the Complex vs a different direction.

While the answer to the question of whether exposure to asphalt by road workers working with the substances is clear. It can cause "breathing problems, asthma, bronchitis and skin irritation...and studies have reported lung, stomach, and skin cancers following chronic exposures to asphalt fumes."Source: http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/asphaltfumes/index.html. The question of environmental exposure, what we are worried about, causing problems is unresolved.

A paid consultant brought to testify in front of the county commission has tested Asphalt Plant emissions and gave the opinion that they are not significant polluters. I have read one of her papers and as far as the stack emissions (the "oven" that the rock is heated in) I believe she is entirely correct. No one thinks heating rocks is dangerous. It is the rest of the process of making asphalt that releases the dust, dirt and emissions that people are worried about. There is debate in the scientific community about the impact of fugitive emissions.

I am not saying that building this plant will absolutely impact our air quality. The immediate neighbors are a different matter and I feel for them. What I am saying, and no one can guarantee me otherwise, is that it might and that is enough of a reason to oppose its construction.

The even bigger issue, in my opinion, is what opening the area to Heavy Industrial will possibly bring in the future. The City of Rapid City has long range plans for the area now under review to become residential and commercial with some light industrial. This includes the land immediately surrounding the Complex. These uses are compatible with OUR long term plans of a stadium, more fields and parking (YAY!) and an indoor facility. On the other hand here is a partial list of what heavy industrial zoning will allow:

Stockyards, feeding pens, and auction houses for sale of livestock. Tannery or curing or storage of raw hides.
Rock, sand, gravel, or earth excavation, crushing or distribution. Slaughter of animals, including poultry killing or dressing.

Source: Pennington County Zoning Ordinances Section 212-B

BE AWARE! The change will allow such businesses-period-no hearing-no fight-no nothing. This change opens the door to what the law allows and there will be little we can do to stop it.

What we can do now is show up. Lots of us. Hundreds of us. Bring the kids if you can. The last meeting was to start at 10:30, didn't start until after 12:00 and several of the witnesses had to leave. The Chair of the Commission commented on how little opposition was there. They passed the change on the first reading but it is the next reading that matters.

Please come to the Commission meeting. If you want to speak please do, if you don't, at least be there to be counted. While we do not have the money the proponents of this change have we do have numbers. The County Commissioners are politicians and politicians need votes. They need to see as many voters as possible that do not like the direction this is going. There are almost 700 signatures on the survey. If you haven't signed yet please do.

There is only one reason the petitioner wants to move his plant to this location and that is profit. He is following the law in trying to do so. I do not believe his changing of existing zoning for his profit should potentially have a negative impact on the 6 million dollars we have spent on Dakota Fields. Please attend this important meeting to protect the future of our Complex.
.

–Doug Noyes
Earth hater Doyle Estes is married to ethics-neutral former Board of Regents member, Kathryn Johnson. This interested party has personal histories with both Estes and Tellinghuisen.

My youngest daughter plays for the Black Hills Rapids Soccer Club. In the first photo below she's in the front row holding up a finger while picking her nose, subject of the second image and the tall one in the center of bottom shot. My oldest daughter and their mother are also in that photo.

Way back in 2014 when the Daugaard administration used to post Future Fund recipients who contributed to the Governor's Club slush fund Denny's reelection campaign Estes and Johnson figure quite prominently.

Sparks will fly.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

BHNF enabling welfare ranchers


ip photo of cattle shitting in a sensitive watershed on the Black Hills National Forest. Note bug kill.
Grasses available in the Black Hills meadows still include some native species, but also include some “introduced” species like timothy grass, brome grass, and Kentucky blue grass, said Julie Wheeler, the zoned rangeland management specialist for the Northern Hills District of the Black Hills National Forest. Water is one critical factor in the usage of the Black Hills for grazing. Most of the watering holes in the western Black Hills have been created by small dams across streams. [SDGOP-owned Black Hills Pioneer]
Antimicrobials in manure kill fungal communities necessary for healthy forests.

In 2014 there were eight grazing allotments on the Northern Hills district that could no longer support livestock.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported the federal government spends at least $144 million annually managing private livestock grazing on federal public lands, but collects only $21 million in grazing fees—for a net loss of at least $123 million per year. It’s time to give ranchers a graceful way out. [WildEarth Guardians]
Republican welfare ranchers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them.
There are four federal land management groups that allow grazing: the National Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the National Park Service. Tom Smith, range staff officer for the Northern Hills Ranger District of the Black Hills National Forest said there are 36 allotments in his district, eight of which are vacant. The allotments add up to 304,387 total acres and each allotment ranges from 1,223-20,479 acres in size. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has 504 grazing allotments in Western South Dakota said Carmen Drieling, the group’s rangeland management specialist. “It’s a rate based on a formula that we have nothing to do with,” Smith said. “Congress set up the formula during the Regan [sic] administration and has done nothing to change it.” Currently that rate is $1.35 per grazing pair, per month. “It’s ridiculously cheap,” he said. “If you were to lease private land to do the same thing, you’re looking at $30. $20 would be cheap.” [Mark Watson, Black Hills Pioneer]
Betty Olson is an earth hater state former legislator who defended the Bundyists in Nevada. Writing in the Black Hills Pioneer she said:
The federal government shouldn’t be allowed to own any land within a state’s boundaries unless it is granted permission by the legislature of that state, and so far, no state has given that permission to the federal government.
Betty has apparently forgotten that the ground she lives on was seized from aboriginal cultures by President Thomas Jefferson through an executive order that even he believed was unconstitutional. She and other GOP ranchers take subsidies just to survive.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Bimbo Noem says humans stopped pine beetle outbreak. Uh, no.



The collapse of the Black Hills ponderosa pine monoculture was forecast as early as 2002 but now bug counters at the Black Hills National Forest are saying its bark beetle outbreak has peaked although dry grasses still plague the region.
We could, and should, burn large areas of the forest at least every five to 10 years, but we won’t be able to do that, either, at least not on purpose. Large areas will burn, right down to the ground, in summer fires like those of the past decade. We’ll plant new trees and the cycle will begin again. Pines grow best in open stands with grass or brush underneath. Beetles and fires like dense trees. The pine forests of the Black Hills will continue as they always have, despite our best efforts. [Frank Carroll]
Restoration means all the above: fire, bark beetle, and the thinning critical for water supplies that ultimately help conifers defend themselves against anthropogenic climate disruptions while stimulating the growth of hardwoods like aspen.

Noem's tweet is an embrace of Carbaryl (1-naphthyl methylcarbamate), a white crystalline solid commonly sold under the brand name Sevin®, a trademark of the Bayer Group. When that photo was taken remains a mystery.

While lodgepole pine is native to the Black Hills, ponderosa pine only reached the Hills and northern Rockies about a thousand years ago; but, under orders from timber monopolist, Neiman Enterprises (a Noem donor), a Colorado contractor working for the Black Hills National Forest, is spraying Carbaryl on ponderosa pine trees.
"This is a little early. We usually wait until the later part of April," said Black Hills National Forest timber planner Blaine Cook. "But we want to get these recreation sites sprayed because our campground hosts come in and they want to get ready for the tourism season." This year the spray crew will hit 3,700 trees at 28 locations across the Black Hills, most of them at campgrounds and recreation sites, along with a few U.S. Forest Service administrative centers. [Kevin Woster, KELO teevee]
The toxin kills beneficial insects like honeybees as well as crustaceans not to mention its havoc wreaked on fungal communities and amphibians. Sevin® is often produced using methyl isocyanate the chemical that Union Carbide used to kill thousands of people in Bhopal, India.

The deadly chemicals migrate easily into waterways then into groundwater. Bayer CropScience is in court after studies ordered by the US Environmental Protection Agency confirmed that another Bayer pesticide is too toxic for wildlife to keep on the market.

EPA has found that 97% of endangered species are threatened by pesticides like Carbaryl. The Black Hills is home to the threatened northern long-eared bat, the American dipper and the black-backed woodpecker that feeds on bark beetles.

Lodgepole tends to be logged for post, pole and oriented strand board (OSB); ponderosa pine, Douglas Fir and Engelmann Spruce tend to be logged for lumber.

Lodgepole pine and Douglas Fir have been extirpated from the Black Hills for nearly a century: the oldest aspen was virtually logged out during European settlement; yet, tiny stands of old-growth ponderosa pine can still be found in the Hills.

Ponderosa pine contains a much higher level of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) than many other cone-bearing trees and tends to be more explosive in wildfire conditions especially when under drought stress. Beetle-affected trees are pockmarked with 'pitchouts' that burst into flames during wildfires and torch more readily.

The mountain pine beetle is hard at work clearing centuries of overgrowth throughout the Rocky Mountain Complex, so is the western spruce budworm and the spruce beetle. But leaving dead or dying conifers on the forest produces methane, an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is.

Voters can expect South Dakota's earth hater congressional delegation to do the bidding of their donors and put lots of pork in the next farm bill.

Water supplies are critical this year as human-caused climate disruptions reduced snowpack in the Black Hills. Insects and fire are critical to reversing the ravages of conifer overgrowth on the Rocky Mountain West.