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.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Boycott of South Dakota hitting state in the wallet

After signing a bill into law that discriminates against some couples seeking to adopt South Dakota's earth hater governor has fallen five places in popularity.
For two straight months state general fund collections are coming in lower than expected. That’s even after lawmakers revised budget estimates during session. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
Visitor traffic in Deadwood is off so dramatically locals are pleading with younger people to move into the Gulch.
According to the monthly summary issued Monday by the South Dakota Commission on Gaming, gamers visiting Deadwood in February dropped $79.2 million in machines and on tables, an 11 percent decrease as compared to February 2016 and a 10.48 percent decrease year to date. This brings the total amount wagered for 2017 to roughly $156 million, resulting in roughly $7.5 million in taxable adjusted gross revenues for the industry in February. [Black Hills Pioneer]
And since every single media outlet in the failed red moocher state is a mouthpiece for the South Dakota Republican Party there is complete silence on the effects of the boycott.

Bill Janklow's idea of public broadcasting can't cover Pierre effectively because its funding is reliant on SDGOP, the Associated Press can't do it because they've been neutered so has the Sioux Falls Argus Leader. South Dakota's teevee stations are bound to Republican advertisers and nobody reads college publications.

Climate change denier Governor Denny Daugaard did have the temerity to travel to the Sicangu Oyate to tell tribal leaders they have better shit to do than restore Pe 'Sla to federal trust status taking it off the tax rolls but even that decision has gone off the rails.

But, applaud the nutball Republican efforts diverting attention from the party’s culture of corruption where murders and their covers up are commonplace by clogging the legislative session with christianic religionist argle-bargle.

"Dennis Do-nothing who sells out South Dakotans every chance he has and lies."


Monday, April 10, 2017

Corps cancel Spring pulse, acknowledge native fish doomed

Despite expected run-off of about 115 percent of normal officials at the Omaha-based US Army Corps of Engineers have again canceled the Spring pulse for endangered species habitat on the upper Missouri River. Some 85 percent of the flood control storage remains available to contain runoff from the spring rainfall and mountain snowmelt but all significant plains snowpack has melted.

Oahe Dam releases averaged 19,000 cubic feet per second during March and the corps expect to send 27,400 cfs downstream in April. The reservoir fell 0.2 feet during March but is expected to rise this month due to increases in Garrison releases and spring rains.

The corps say
steady to rising reservoir levels during the forage fish spawn at the three large upper reservoirs, Fort Peck, Garrison and Oahe, are preferred, but may be difficult to accomplish this spring depending on the timing and distribution of runoff in the Missouri River basin during the coming weeks. If the runoff is not sufficient to keep all three reservoirs rising, the Corps will adjust releases to result in a steady to rising pool at Fort Peck and Oahe this year. The forage fish spawn generally occurs from early April through mid-June. [KCCR]
The corps were cleared of responsibility for epic flooding in 2011.

Participants from the University of South Dakota, Montana State and the University of Wyoming attended the annual Missouri River Institute Research Symposium last week at USD. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the South Dakota Community Foundation topics included the effects of human-induced climate change on the river system.

Nearly a century of residue from Black Hills Mining District affects millions of cubic yards of riparian habitat all the way to the Gulf of Mexico. Although the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962 sequestering most of the silt the soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle. Endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury throughout the South Dakota portion of the Missouri River.
Both pallid sturgeon and shovelnose sturgeon are native to the Missouri River. They long ago adapted to living in riverine environments and, for the pallid sturgeon, that became something of an achilles heel with the damming of the Missouri River. Pallid sturgeon can’t reproduce without lots of moving water. [Pierre Capital Journal]
Tailings from uranium mining have been detected in Angostura Reservoir in the southern Black Hills and in northwestern South Dakota cleanup in the Cave Hills area went for decades without remediation.

Ellsworth Air Force Base is already a Superfund site leaching contaminants into Box Elder Creek, a tributary of the Cheyenne River. The former Gilt Edge Mine south of Deadwood is a Superfund site leaching contaminants into Elk Creek also a tributary of the Cheyenne and Missouri Rivers.

Canadian miner Barrick Gold bought off the State of South Dakota for Homestake Mining Company's role in polluting Whitewood Creek by trading land in Spearfish Canyon for a proposed state park.

South Dakota's earth hater US senators and attorney general are leading a crusade to block the US Environmental Protection Agency from identifying non-point sources of pollution deposited into watersheds by their GOP donors.

Barrick Mining Company is on the hook for most of the worst shit: it's armed to the teeth with a bank of lawyers and lobbyists. The State enjoyed royalties and severance taxes. In another government land grab Barrick is engaged in negotiations that would trade property in Spearfish Canyon to the State of South Dakota belonging to tribal signatories of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868.

With help from former Homestake land manager now Sturgis real estate broker, Denny McKay, former US Senator Tom Daschle sold out the people of South Dakota and the tribal nations trapped within its borders by drafting legislation holding Barrick harmless.

On the east side of the Continental Divide Barrick also operates the Golden Sunlight Mine near Whitehall, Montana. Effluent from that mine goes into the Jefferson River also a tributary of the Missouri and much of it lies in repose within Canyon Ferry Reservoir.

It's time for South Dakota's press to investigate the collusion between the state and polluters instead of pandering to the South Dakota Republican Party as it destroys watersheds by deconstructing the Waters of the United States rule protected under the 1972 Clean Water Act.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

As VFD participation declines Montana, South Dakota and New Mexico again at risk to weaponized wildfire

The Trump administration's war on America is taking its toll on firefighter recruitment.
The National Fire Protection Association’s most recent report noted that nearly 70 percent of the nation’s firefighters are volunteers, and 95 percent of these volunteers work in districts with a population of fewer than 25,000 people. However, the rate of volunteer firefighters has fallen from more than eight per 1,000 people three decades ago to about six per 1,000 people at last count. [The Missoulian]
Despite adding full time staff Spearditch has just killed five kids in a house fire even as red moocher state South Dakota is the seventh most reliant on federal funding.
“Ambulance services are suffering the same way the fire departments are,” South Dakota Firefighters Association President Charlie Kludt said. “I think there is a lot more of a demand for fire departments to be assisting on medical calls more than what there was in the past.” He estimated that around 70 percent of the department’s calls are not for fires. [Pierre Capital Journal]
Veteran fire manager and former gubernatorial candidate Joe Lowe has called South Dakota's current GOP governor incompetent and uninterested in governing.
Of 337 fire departments in South Dakota, 326 were all volunteer, and six were a combination of paid and volunteer, according to a 2013 demographics study conducted by the South Dakota Fire Marshal’s Office. There were just under 7,900 volunteer firefighters, as opposed to 426 paid firefighters. The volunteer force had an average age of 42.3. A review of financial reports, however, show that many departments have needs. Some think that a program similar to one offered to Minnesota’s volunteer firefighters could be a solution. But even that can’t fully compensate for the fact that people are busier with family and work lives. [Jonathan Ellis]
Behind the paywalls at the American News Aberdeen is lamenting personnel shortages amid escaped fires set by locals. Its department is tasked with cleaning up streams and lakes.

Bug counters at the Black Hills National Forest are saying its bark beetle outbreak has peaked although dry grasses still plague the region.

Prescriptive fires should have been set weeks ago but South Dakota is still suffering repeated leadership lapses, a century of fire suppression, a decades-long moratorium on prescribed burns, a lack of environmental litigators, GOP retrenchment and the potential for weaponized wildfire blowback from the drone war being conducted by Ellsworth Air Force Base. The BHNF is also expecting an active wildfire season.

New Mexico's volunteer fire departments are essential for rural residents. Public Service Company of New Mexico (PNM) has hired a contractor to trim juniper from under their transmission lines. Wildland fires and local utilities have a long relationship in New Mexico as well as in Montana and South Dakota.
House Bill 4 was passed in January and signed by Gov. Susana Martinez, while Senate Bill 111 is awaiting a vote from the House Appropriations and Finance Committee. Both bills would hand over county and municipal funding intended for public safety and fire protection to the state to redistributed into state agencies, then county and city funds. The Fire Protection Fund would be reallocated into a newly-created fire grant fund within the state’s treasury. Starting in fiscal year 2019 the bill stipulates that “periodic” allotments not to total more than 40.2 percent each year will be taken from the Fire Protection Fund, which pays for county fire services, and deposited in the state’s treasury. The state treasurer would then redistribute the money to counties and cities throughout the state. [State reductions in fire funds a dangerous move]
The Turquoise Trail Volunteer Fire District has dispatched teams to this end of Santa Fe County several times including one to an incident here at the ranch.

VFDs are irreplaceable as first responders to unexpected blazes and if the Federal Emergency Management Agency survives a Trump presidency it should convince Congress to make sure the resources are there to sustain rural fire departments.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Wilson on glide path to soft landing at Air Force

Although New Mexico Senator Martin Heinrich sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee the person he defeated for the seat, Heather Wilson, was introduced at her hearing for Air Force secretary by South Dakota's two earth hater senators.

“My nomination was unexpected. I did not anticipate returning to federal service,” she said. In her written testimony Wilson basically asked Congress to send more money to defense firms she used to work for. She has disclosed at least some of her ties to the military/industrial complex.

Wilson has been a compelling figure in NM politics but it's her after-congress record that's under scrutiny.

As university president Wilson has an annual salary of $373,819 at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, draws $200,333 a year as a board member of Peabody Energy and $46,000 annually from Sioux Falls, SD-based Raven Industries. Raven received $17.5 million from the Air Force between 1981 and October 2016.

Nutball Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe opened the proceedings saying he is an "active commercial pilot." How he does that as a senator remains a mystery. South Dakota's junior senator, one of the least effective members of Congress said of Wilson's nomination, "South Dakota's loss will be our nation's gain." Rapid City-based Black Hills Energy has given generously to her campaigns.

When asked by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) why Lockheed settled the Sandia Corp. lobbying case in 2015, Wilson said to ask Sandia. Reed pressed her on whether she kept records of her work for national labs but Wilson evaded saying she complied with her contract.

During Thursday's hearing John McCain (R-AZ) called Air Force fighter platform cost overruns a scandal. Boasting a $400,000 pilot's helmet the F-35 is history's first trillion-dollar weapons system. The Air Force could pay pilots as much as a half-million dollars to stay in uniform. Wilson refused a promise to keep the F-15 in service.

During testimony Wilson showed some familiarity with hazardous chemical residues on Air Force bases.

When Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) asked Wilson about LGBT rights the rumored closeted Wilson responded that she does not intend to overturn existing policies. Wilson received the most fire from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). Firebrand Warren told Wilson to expect written questions about ethics issues.

Nutwad Joni Ernst (earth hater-IA) succeeded in making Wilson look like the smartest woman in the room.

South Dakota's senior senator has said socialized air service is essential to his red moocher state.

Wilson is the first of Trump's military service nominees to move forward in the process. His picks for Army and Navy withdrew.

It does make one wonder what Trump's Kompromat Cabinet will do to America.

She is expected to be confirmed. A transcript of the hearing is linked here.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Disease ravaging western ungulates after red states slaughter apex predators

Republican former South Dakota legislator Betty Olson writes a mostly-weekly column for the Rapid City Journal. She never misses a chance to rail against big government, climate science and apex predators especially if it boosts her bottom line.

The attached photo is lifted from her Facebook page and as we can see she was a drop-dead, stone-cold fox in earlier days. Her daughter is in her arms as her mother photo-bombs in curlers.

Betty blames deer for bovine tuberculosis while praising the destruction of the cougars, coyotes and wolves that control deer.
Irean is 93 years old and has just written a paperback book about her father who was a government hired wolf hunter from 1898 to 1912. He rode horseback up from the Sand Hills in Nebraska to Bixby, S.D. and worked for Ed Lemmon for seven years, cowboying and wolf hunting. He learned how to hunt wolves from Charles Bollinger at Camp Crook and hunted for all the big cattle companies in seven counties in South Dakota and into the southern edge of North Dakota. Mike Kintigh and John Kanta with Game Fish and Parks held a meeting with Harding County folks in Buffalo this week to explain the TB testing of wildlife in the quarantined area. Veterinarians from the Animal Industry Board will do the testing and some of them came to answer questions from the crowd. GF&P will bring in the APHS [sic] plane and a helicopter to help with the gather. Starting this Monday, they planmed [sic] to test 100 white tail and mule deer, 100 antelope and all the coyotes, fox, raccoons, and small mammals they can get. [Grand River Roundup]
In her previous article she wondered why Game, Fish and Plunder hadn't slaughtered every wild critter in northwestern South Dakota.
South Dakota Game Fish and Parks put out a draft of its 2017-2023 Deer Management Plan last week and it calls for increases in mule deer populations throughout the western half of the state. The latest population directives from 2016 indicated that GF&P wanted to see the mule deer population grow "substantially." Mule deer, as a species, have a slower growth rate than white-tailed deer. [Rapid City Journal]
It's not that Betty has lousy aim: she has called South Dakota's christianic LGBT hating governor "Dennis Do-nothing who sells out South Dakotans every chance he has and lies" so she has that going for her.

And from the Jackson Hole (Wyoming) News and Guide:
The arrival of chronic wasting disease in Sublette County became official in mid-February, when Wyoming Game and Fish Department technicians whose job is to sweep the countryside for the malady sampled a dead mule deer doe at a home near the Pinedale Airport. National Elk Refuge officials are bracing for the disease’s arrival and have said they believe the initial detection is inevitable and possible at any time. [story]
Wildlife Services, part of the US Department of Agriculture and the APHS in Betty's article, has wanted to exterminate a wolf pack that killed nineteen elk in a Wyoming refuge that feeds and over-winters the ungulates. Elk in the region are dying en masse from CWD that researchers say results from the federal government feeding of elk in close proximity.

Cougars are in the cross hairs, too.

We all know this: unless the West embraces rewilding on portions of the Missouri River basin west of a north/south line from Oacoma, South Dakota through the CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge to Yellowstone National Park then to the Yukon water wars will clog the courts leaving violent armed vigilantism to settle disputes.

We have met the road kill...and he is us.

The feds should buy out landowners unwilling to lease for wildlife corridors.

It's time to tear out the Missouri River dams and rewild the West.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Rapid City Journal ends racist reader comments

The Rapid City Journal listened to me. Starting today, the online edition will no longer publish comments on any news articles other than obituaries.
Each day, editors at the Journal spend a significant amount of time reviewing the comments prior to publication, weeding out those that include personal attacks, unsavory language or are simply hateful. That process in its own right has drawn the ire of readers who take the time to write, and then may be disappointed when their comments are rejected. It no longer feels like time well spent. [Bart Pfankuch, editor of the Rapid City Journal]
Historically in the bag for ethics-free wrong-wing extremists and earth haters like Steve Daines, John Thune, Greg Gianforte, Kevin Cramer, Liz Cheney and Mike Rounds Lee newspapers are media cripples.

The Rapid City Journal perpetuates hatred by allowing outrageous racist comments in their feedback section under articles published there and censors journalists like Jim Kent. Veteran reporters and spouses Mary Garrigan and Kevin Woster fled the Journal in 2013.

That pretty much leaves Bob Mercer and Bill Janklow's idea of public radio to write the gloomy news from South Dakota's capital city.

In 2015 Lee Newspapers of Montana eviscerated their Capital bureau.
What began as a noble experiment in conversation has been mired in name-calling, epithet and trolling. There have been at least four iterations of commenting on The Billings Gazette's website since it began. Each had a limitation on how much control it could exert. Few commenting strings stayed civil. That's why beginning Tuesday, we're turning off comments. The Gazette is not the first to do it. National Public Radio decided it was time to pull the plug on comments last month. We're not even the first in our company to do it — the Quad Cities Times is about two weeks ahead of us. [Billings Gazette]
Mike Dennison left Lee and went to a Montana teevee station. Former Lee reporter, Martin Kidston recently launched the Missoula Current. Chuck Johnson has been covering Helena during the 2017 legislative session for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.

The Missoulian should be the next Lee paper to end reader comments.

The Gannett Company should buy Lee Enterprises which owns the Rapid City Journal and 45 other daily newspapers; but, Lee Newspapers of Montana could survive as part of a Bismarck Tribune, Rapid City Journal, Casper Star-Trib marriage and not become part of a Gannett takeover.

LEE is trading at $2.58 at post time while GCI is trading at $8.15.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Genocide, ecocide, suicide driving Indian Country to the brink

The emergence of warrior societies led by veterans of the Gulf Wars, Afghanistan, and Kosovo has unified young people in North America's tribal regions. Movements are growing from the Mohawk Nation in Quebec and New York to the Lakota strongholds in South Dakota, among the descendants of the Arapaho in the Mountain West, south to the Navajo Nation and into the border regions of the Tohono O'odham.

In the US, where sovereignty rights, culture and language resurgence and growing capital resources from burgeoning black markets are building alternatives to hopelessness, suicide, and repression in Indian Country, deaths from firearm violence are higher than in any ethnic group.

North and South Dakota are in the cross hairs.
The company building the Dakota Access pipeline said Monday that the project remains on track to start moving oil this week despite recent "coordinated physical attacks" along the line. [Bismarck Tribune]
Attorney General Eric Holder was in South Dakota July, 2011 to keep the smoldering cold war with aboriginals from a flash point. Mary Garrigan provided readers of the Rapid City Journal with background:
Thirty U.S. attorneys from around the country, including U.S. Attorney Brendan V. Johnson of South Dakota, will be in Rapid City to participate in the joint Native American Issues Subcommittee and the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee meeting.
From Al Jazeera English:
In recent years in particular, Canada's indigenous communities have shown the will and potential to grind the country's economic lifelines to a halt through strategically placed blockades on the major highways and rail lines that run through native reserves well outside of Canada's urban landscape. There are more than 800 outstanding native land claims held against the Canadian government. And in many First Nations communities there is deep crisis, with poverty, unemployment and overcrowding the norm. According to figures from the Assembly of First Nations, more than 118 First Nations lack safe drinking water and some 5,500 houses do not have sewage systems. Almost one half of homes on native reserves are in need of "major repairs", compared with 7 per cent of non-native homes. Natives suffer a violent crime rate that is more than 300 times higher than Canada's non-native population, while natives represent 18.5 per cent of the male prison population and one-quarter of the female population, although natives only constitute 4 per cent of the total population.
Even as the Trump White House threatens funding for programs on public radio, especially those designed for Native audiences, producers bring the war on tribes to the air waves every day and people are frustrated, angry and increasingly militant.

Of course, the South Dakota Democratic Party should urge President Trump to dissolve the Black Hills National Forest, move management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior; and, in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management, rename it Okawita Paha or He Sapa National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

While the Palestinian homeland looks like holes in the slice of Swiss cheese analogous to the illegal Israeli state, progress toward resolutions of Native trust disputes would have far more political traction after tribes secede from the States in which they reside and then be ratified to form one State, the 51st, sans contiguous borders with two Senators and two House members.

Tribal nations have been terrorized by genocide and ecocide for over three hundred years in the US. Why should they just lay over and take it?

Rewild the West.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Today's intersection: pink slime and Steve King

A judge appointed by Republican South Dakota Governor Denny Daugaard will hear a case brought against ABC News for its role in dubbing so-called lean, finely textured beef "pink slime."

Dakota Dunes-based Beef Products says it was forced to close three of its four plants and erase hundreds of jobs after consumers realized what is in the crap. Using ammonia to reduce bacteria BPI had a processing plant in Iowa but moved its headquarters to South Dakota to take advantage of the state's regressive tax structure.
As the “pink slime” coverage played out, Beef Products endorsed a USDA move to allow voluntary labeling so consumers would know which packages of ground beef had LFTB and which didn’t. [Wall Street Journal]
According to court documents released to the Associated Press the slaughter house was in the business clique that raised concerns about a state official GOP Iowa Governor Terry Branstad tried to force from office.
In a legal deposition, Branstad denied allegations levied in a lawsuit that he targeted former Iowa Workers’ Compensation Commissioner Chris Godfrey because Godfrey is gay. Branstad repeatedly defended the company’s product in the deposition, bristling when attorney Roxanne Conlin called it “pink slime.” [Associated Press]
Branstad has been picked by the corrupt Trump White House to replace Montana's Max Baucus as Ambassador to China.
Iowa voters are strongly opposed to Governor Branstad's proposal to privatize Medicaid. Just 22% of voters are in support of it, with a 52% majority against. Both Democrats (7/78) and independents (25/49) are firmly against it and even Republicans (36/26) are only narrowly in favor. Steve King is an unpopular figure on a statewide basis- only 30% of voters have a positive view of him to 41% with a negative one. But he breaks even in his own district at 41/41, which has been good enough to keep getting him reelected. [Public Policy Polling]
BPI donates generously to Republican candidates like King and to South Dakota's GOP delegation.

King believes the Supreme Court of the United States has no authority to rule on marriage equality, routinely waxes poetic about his white supremacist proclivities and makes pink slime look pure...mostly. Iowa deserves King: he is one of the least effective members of Congress and suffers some of the lowest approval ratings in the US.

Oh. The other larder in the photo above is Mr. Pink Slime himself: Dakota Dunes' own earth hater, bail bondsman, Zionist and recently self-installed Exalted Cyclops of the South Dakota Republican Party, Dan Lederman.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Socialized agriculture driving Spring wildfire season

The Anthropocene has tripped a trophic cascade even as Oklahoma's Scott Pruitt, newly minted Earth hating administrator of an environmental protection agency at risk to the Trumpocalypse, watches his state go up in flames because of a warming planet.

Just a hundred and fifty years ago bison would be clearing the grasses driving the 2017 wildfire season.
Kansas rancher Greg Gardiner got into some of his scorched pastures for the first time Wednesday and surveyed what he likened to a battle zone: carcasses of dead cattle everywhere. Most of the burned land is in Kansas, where more than 1,000 square miles has been consumed in a series of blazes, including one believed to be the largest in the state's recorded history. Ranch hands were among those who have been killed in the fires. In the Texas Panhandle, three ranch hands died trying to save cattle from fires that have burned nearly 750 square miles. [Rapid City Journal]
Desertification driven by overgrazing has turned parts of the high plains into scorched earth.

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 chose risk instead of burning off dry grasses minimizing losses.

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

Not talking about fuel treatments during a wildfire is the same thing as not talking about firearms management during a mass shooting.

The Wolf fire in southwest South Dakota was the largest blaze to occur during the month of March since the year 2000.

Had Sen. Tim Johnson been successful in passing S. 3310 as a part of the doomed Omnibus Wilderness Bill the land burned by the Cottonwood and Wolf fires would have been placed within the stewardship of Badlands National Park and much, if not all, of the federal land scorched by the Cottonwood Fire would have been burned off prescriptively in increments instead of being managed by some careless rancher or passing motorist.

Tribal representatives attending a recent drought conference have water quality/quantity projects funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, some solely through EPA. Most of them are concerned the Trump regime has abandoned Indian Country.

If human activity has released countless tons of mercury, would it not follow that we have also released proportional amounts of carbon?

Rewild the West.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Red state cannabis hypocrisy gives cartels power over health care decisions

Marty Jackley didn't show and postponed Eric Hagen's trial apparently because Jeff Sessions is preparing to strike down the Department of Justice ruling on tribal cannabis to fuck local control.

Attorneys General in both Montana and South Dakota are wailing about the rise of meth use and crying for additional law enforcement industry resources while the Trump administration weighs cracking down on the rights of states to tax cannabis.

Thanks to meth South Dakota's law enforcement industry enjoyed a 22 percent increase in drug arrests last year, the Republicans are out of cash to house inmates and civil forfeiture just isn't paying the bills.
Quinnipiac University released a poll showing that 59 percent of Americans support recreational marijuana legalization and 71 percent of Americans want the federal government to get out of the way of states when it comes to marijuana policy. And you can bet a lot of that support comes from states President Trump won in 2016. The president may not believe that you can ‘Make America Great Again’ by legalizing marijuana, but if he wants states and citizens to be more in control of public policy, he should consider himself the last person who should try to get in the way. [John Hudak]
A just-released British study links high doses of sugar with increased rates of Alzheimer's even as the City of Santa Fe debates a soda tax.

Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that would align with our life/safety concerns.
So, legalization initiatives have a clear Democratic benefit. Democratic-leaning voters, who otherwise might have stayed home, could turn out to vote on marijuana reform. Some may leave other parts of the ballot blank, but Democrats could see a meaningful benefit overall. In a race that is close, a few thousand votes here or there could force an incumbent Republican Senator to pack up his office or shift a state’s electoral votes from red to blue. [Brookings Institution]
In South Dakota 302 children are confined per 100,000 kids; that's the highest number in the United States according to Pew.

South Dakota has the most draconian cannabis laws in the US: the law enforcement industry can even force catheters into urethras and penises to test possession by ingestion.

Reports from Mexico say homicides are soaring after the the arrest of Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán left a power vacuum in illegal drug trade.

For the record, I do not support widespread growing of industrial cannabis in South Dakota, especially on tribal lands: it is an invasive species capable of overgrowing native grasses and easily migrates into adjacent lands. Why anyone would want to buy genetically engineered seed from Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery.

Indian casinos are small banks. Let’s ensure that cannabis cultivation and distribution stay out of the hands of Big Dope. It’s time to enter compacts with the tribes, let them distribute on the rez, on off-reservation properties and in Deadwood.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

US Air Force dumping hazardous waste over PRTC

"Dilution is the solution to pollution."

interested party has learned soils contaminated by decades of toxic spills and other hazardous materials at some of America's military bases are being diluted and sprayed from aircraft during exercises over four northern states.

Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City, South Dakota is home to a Superfund site so are Malmstrom AFB, Montana; Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota and FE Warren Air Force Base, Wyoming. These installations are participants at the Powder River Training Complex. Chemtrails have been observed by the public and by general aviation pilots in the expanded practice bombing range.

Spurred by President Heather Wilson of the South Dakota School of Mines and nominee for secretary in Donald Trump's Department of the Air Force, a Rapid City firm specializing in toxic waste has been floating the idea of a deep borehole where contaminated materials could be dumped. Wilson is a Republican former New Mexico politician, Air Force officer and lobbyist linked to double dealing at laboratories with ties to the military/industrial complex.

A deep borehole at the edge of the Ogallala Aquifer in southeastern New Mexico is also being explored. Kirtland AFB outside of Albuquerque and Cannon AFB near Clovis are also remediating contaminated soils. Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma is also home to a Superfund site. Ellsworth's B-1B fleet flies there to load.

Billboards along I-25 in New Mexico warn drivers of so-called chemtrail activity.

RESPEC would have far more credibility if it promoted the geothermal aspects of the deep borehole experiments.

Combat Raider is the next dump and is scheduled for March 14-16.

This image shows a typical day over central and eastern New Mexico where Contrails, and maybe chemtrails, affect the micro-climate.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

South Dakota utilities still reaping profits from grid moral hazard

Disaster declaration results from the Christmas 2016 storms that hit much of South Dakota are enriching Butte Electric, Grand Electric and others...again.
The affected counties include Butte, Clark, Codington, Day, Deuel, Dewey, Edmunds, Fall River, Faulk, Grant, Haakon, Hamlin, Harding, Jackson, Jones, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Pennington, Perkins, Roberts, Stanley, Sully, and Ziebach. The disaster declaration also covers the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe in Dewey and Ziebach Counties and the Oglala Sioux Tribe in Jackson County. [Butte County Post]
The South Dakota Republican Party owns the state's public utilities commission so this is how red states finance infrastructure improvements while bitching about Big Government.

Several utilities are based in South Dakota because of the state's regressive tax structure: Northwestern Energy and Black Hills Power among them.

Ice storms routinely knock out electric power on reservations sometimes resulting in lost lives even as microgrid technologies enhance tribal sovereignty and free communities from electric monopolies.

Self-reliance or moral hazard?
Officials say five electric cooperatives are using state and federal disaster funds to bury hundreds of miles of power lines to protect against widespread outages from storms. The cooperatives are burying more than 530 miles of line damaged in a powerful storm that struck 14 western South Dakota counties last year. Officials say the cost of the line-burying project is estimated at more than $32 million. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is paying 75 percent of the cost. The state provided 10 percent and the cooperatives paid the remaining 15 percent. [Associated Press]
That 10% the state kicked in also came from the feds.

Remember, too, that these utilities are not Google or Facebook. They are not accustomed to a state of constant market turmoil and reinvention. This is a venerable old boys network, working very comfortably within a business model that has been around, virtually unchanged, for a century.--David Roberts at Grist
In 2010, some of the state's American Indian nations were left without power for many weeks because utility companies have succumbed to the moral hazards of disaster declarations that pay them to replace ice-downed power transmission lines year after year.

Now, it's happening again but this time white people are being put upon.

The grid is exceedingly vulnerable to attack and the federal costs of replacing infrastructure every year could finance every West River subscriber's self-sufficiency.

Horizontal axis turbines wired into the grid kill birds, bats and enrich power companies. For the cost of subsidizing, manufacturing, erecting and maintaining just one of these leviathans a thousand homes could be taken off the grid.

Get off the grid before the grid gets off you.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Casita update posted

Update update, 14 February, 0750 MDT: faux flagstone is nearly complete. What do you think?