10/6/22

Trump killed more Republicans than Democrats

Donald Trump tried to exterminate Native America but sacrificed his own supporters in doing it.
Political affiliation has emerged as a potential risk factor for COVID-19, amid evidence that Republican-leaning counties have had higher COVID-19 death rates than Democrat- leaning counties and evidence of a link between political party affiliation and vaccination views. This study constructs an individual-level dataset with political affiliation and excess death rates during the COVID-19 pandemic via a linkage of 2017 voter registration in Ohio and Florida to mortality data from 2018 to 2021. We estimate substantially higher excess death rates for registered Republicans when compared to registered Democrats, with almost all of the difference concentrated in the period after vaccines were widely available in our study states. Overall, the excess death rate for Republicans was 5.4 percentage points (pp), or 76%, higher than the excess death rate for Democrats. Post- vaccines, the excess death rate gap between Republicans and Democrats widened from 1.6 pp (22% of the Democrat excess death rate) to 10.4 pp (153% of the Democrat excess death rate). The gap in excess death rates between Republicans and Democrats is concentrated in counties with low vaccination rates and only materializes after vaccines became widely available. [Excess Death Rates for Republicans and Democrats During the COVID-19 Pandemic]

10/5/22

Another Black Hills burn scar will be restored after non-native pine planted

As many readers are aware the first US Forest Service timber sale took place in the Black Hills near Nemo but only after nearly all the old growth of every native tree species had been cleared for mine timbers, railroad ties and construction. Native Douglas fir and lodgepole pine are virtually extirpated from the Hills and the Black Hills National Forest is longer a wild thing. The Island in the Plains has been broken for decades but the collapse of select Black Hills ecosystems has been evident since at least 2002

Add the very high number of private inholdings within the Black Hills National Forest that make the wildland urban interface (WUI) very large to one of the highest road densities in the entire national forest system and Region 2 to lots of logging, hardrock mining and pesticides like Carbaryl then understand why over a hundred species in South Dakota alone and a million worldwide are at risk to the Republican Party.
In 1939, the McVey fire burned nearly 21,000 acres in the central Black Hills. The McVey fire is recorded as one of the 5 largest wildfires on the Black Hills National Forest in South Dakota. Shortly after the McVey fire, the burned area was re-planted and seeded with non-native Ponderosa Pine from outside the Black Hills area. “Eighty years later, there are poor-formed, non-regenerating ponderosa pine that have branches that reach the ground in this area,” said Jim Gubbels Mystic District Ranger, Black Hills National Forest. “These trees create hazardous fuel conditions, as well as poor wildlife habitat.” [Restoration Work Occurring in the 1939 McVey Burn Area Near Hill City, SD]
Forty years ago I logged in the Buckhorn and Moskee, Wyoming areas of the Black Hills when much of it was owned by Homestake Mining Company. At that time it was home to some of the last old-growth ponderosa pine stands in the region.
In August 1936, a wildfire burned approximately 4,700 acres on National Forest lands and 2,400 acres on private lands near the old town of Moskee, WY. The Forest Service re-planted and seeded around 2,500 acres of the burned area with non-native Ponderosa Pine from outside the Black Hills area. [Moskee Burn Restoration Project Proposed]
ip photo: a dense doghair pine stand threatens the Nemo area.

10/4/22

Canadian land grab in Black Hills approved by US House


The US Forest Service is often powerless to stop the extractive industry from permanently altering sensitive watersheds because of the General Mining Law of 1872. Repeal or even reform of the 1872 statute has been thwarted repeatedly by the Earth hating Republican Party. 

In the pre-cellphone days Brohm Mining Company and this former Twin City Fruit marketing associate shared a radio telephone party line where managers plotting an environmental disaster at the Gilt Edge site unwittingly leaked the news to anyone listening. Brohm was an Australian company recruited by a now-dead Republican governor who gutted environmental protection in South Dakota. In 2016 then-Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton toured the Janklow/Brohm mining disaster calling it "a textbook example of how not to do it." 

Recall that in 2016 the Forest Service told South Dakota to go fuck itself after Republicans tried another land grab in Spearditch Canyon. 

Today, the State of South Dakota is trying to force a sale from the Forest Service so Republicans can lease or sell it to Canada-based Agnico Eagle and its CEO, Ammar Al-Joundi to further despoil the sacred Black Hills. The US House has passed the Gilt Edge Mine Conveyance Act.

Dave Miller grew up in Deadwood and was part owner of Twin City Fruit.
In late 1986 and the mid 1990s South Dakota officials issued mining permits to Brohm Mining at Gilt Edge Mine near Deadwood. Brohm was spectacularly high risk from the outset, and informed people were not surprised when Brohm abandoned the site in bankruptcy in 1999. Since the Mine was clearly a public health threat the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2000 declared Gilt Edge a superfund site. By 2019 federal taxpayers alone had spent 120 million dollars to contain and control poisonous mine drainage that could not and cannot be stopped. That did not, then or now, much concern State leadership. The State has all along focused on how to escape responsibility (liability in particular) for the ongoing disaster it permitted at Gilt Edge. It can do that by permitting another mine at Gilt Edge because with that permit the new mine will also assume the liability that comes with Gilt Edge. That is why, without so much as a public meeting, State and Federal regulators in 2018 quietly allowed another mine, AGNICO, to do exploratory drilling at Gilt Edge—drilling in a disaster area already known as a hot bed of acid producing rock. And the story isn’t over. [David Miller]
South Dakota School of Mines President Jim Rankin believes there's no time like the present to rape Native cultural sites in He Sapa, The Heart of Everything That Is. SDSM&T has just broken ground on the $40 million Nucor Mineral Industries Building named for a North Carolina Earth raper.

ip photo of the high walls at the Gilt Edge mining disaster taken from Elk Creek Road.