Schweitzer holds emergency meeting; Minot to evacuate a quarter of its residents

Wolf Point, Montana is bracing for peak releases from Fort Peck Dam as Governor Brian Schweitzer organizes Montana's emergency management resources. The Billings Gazette's Mike Dennison reports:
As federal emergency officials arrived in Montana on Tuesday to assess damages from flooding that's touched nearly all corners of the state, Gov. Brian Schweitzer warned residents that flooding "is probably going to get worse before it gets better." As he spoke, Schweitzer pointed to a map showing 20 sites, from Kalispell to Glendive, that are at or near flood stage along numerous rivers. With more rain in the immediate forecast and much snow yet to melt, water should remain high for weeks, he said.
In a related story, the Gazette's Brett French tells us:

John Daggett, operations manager at Fort Peck, said the town of Wolf Point would largely be spared. The outlying areas would be hardest hit, along with utilities and facilities such as sewage lagoons, he said. To prepare for the runoff from a record snowpack, the Corps has to make room in its reservoirs. Downstream dams will see record outflows up to 150,000 cfs, causing flooding in the cities of Bismarck, N.D., and Pierre, S.D., as well as outlying areas. In a conference call Tuesday, a North Dakota congressional representative said citizens were concerned that the dams would be unsafe at such high water levels. Minot, N.D., Mayor Curt Zimbelman ordered a quarter of the city's residents to evacuate areas along the flooding Souris River. He said the evacuation order affects about 10,000 residents.
Democratic Senators Max Baucus and Jon Tester have surveyed the hard-hit Crow Nation where high school graduations have been postponed for at least two weeks. Even Republican Representative Dennybriated Rehberg sounded off between Kochtails.

The Bismarck Tribune is warning residents on the Standing Rock as the Corps raises spillway gates on the Garrison Dam:

History will be made at 8 a.m. Wednesday when for the first time ever the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers raises Garrison Dam spillway gates to help relieve a massive amount of water in Lake Sakakawea behind the dam.
The Jefferson River snowpack is at 220% of normal; more rain on the way.

GOP wants more federal money for Army Corps of Engineers

A comment from often-irascible Mount Blogmore reader, Independent, made ip go looking for chinks in the armor of the US Army Corps of Engineers:

The Corp. [sic] held back water while entire towns were being destroyed downstream on the Mississippi, and it would have been much worse if not for their actions. No one could have predicted the immense amount of moisture that recently fell in MT, and thats [sic] what has lead [sic] to the flooding in S.D.
Indy seems to forget that the Corps saw this Spring coming long before flooding began in the lower Mississippi.

If Republican South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint is calling something "reform," expect the worst. His bill, S.573: Corps of Engineers Reform Act of 2011 seeks to:
establish a harbor maintenance block grant program to provide maximum flexibility to each State to carry out harbor maintenance and deepening projects in the State, to require transparency for water resources development projects carried out by the Corps of Engineers, and for other purposes.
What "other purposes," TeaKocher? Maybe yer jus' askeerd that an African-American is coming before the Senate for confirmation. From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:
President Barack Obama Tuesday nominated Army Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick to be chief of engineers/commanding general for the Army Corps of Engineers. Bostick's appointment, assuming the Senate confirms him, would make him a key figure in southeast Louisiana because the Army Corps of Engineers is in the process of completing promised 100-year protection for the New Orleans area. The effort comes after the Corps was criticized for faulty levee designs blamed for the extensive flooding that devastated so many communities after Hurricane Katrina struck the region in 2005.
California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer seems to want the federal government to wield its expertise to restore wetlands destroyed by lack of oversight during the Bush years. From LexisNexis:

Federal support is critical for the project to move to completion and reduce flood risk for Sacramento residents. The Corps also maintains harbors, such as Oakland and Long Beach, which facilitate the flow of much of our nation's commerce. And many of the nation's most ambitious efforts to restore degraded ecosystems, such as the Everglades and the coast of Louisiana, are led by the Corps. I expect the Corps will play an important role as efforts continue to restore the California Bay-Delta.
So, to Hell with fixing Pick-Sloan, right, senators?

Cory at Madville Times read Tom Lawrence's piece, too. ip should confess to being wrong a bazillion times more often than being right.

The Rapid City Journal seems to keeping up with the story (actually, ip tipped them off at above Blogmore post):

Parts of the river between Fort Peck, Montana and Sioux City, Iowa are designated as critical habitat for the piping plover and interior least tern. Both species build nests on sandbars and sandy shoreline. The corps is required to create sandbars and nesting habitat for the birds because it no longer is created naturally.
No shit.

I love it when readers agree with ip. Survey sez: Israel should be moved to Utah!


Montana emergency coordinators stilling Fort Peck Dam collapse rumors; Corps flushing toxins

While not quite a worst case scenario, the collapse of the Fort Peck Dam would be catastrophic. There was a partial failure in 1938. Here is a NOAA webcam at Fort Peck. From the Billings Gazette:

The spillway at Fort Peck Dam, which backs up the 134-mile long Fort Peck Lake, operated earlier this month for the first time since 1997, said Jody Farhat, Chief of the Missouri River Basin Water Management office with the U.S. Corps of Engineers. She said water will pass over the spillway again starting Thursday as the Corps plans to build to a record release of 50,000 cubic feet per second by June 6. The previous record, she said, was 35,000 cfs in 1975. She reiterated that the dam is absolutely safe.
2011 snow pack graphic. The NPR report on Montana's relief and recovery efforts with photos from the Crow reservation. From the already flooded downstream Bismarck Tribune:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is using the spillway and increasing output from the Garrison Dam within the next two weeks. Changes to the Missouri River channel, however, led the corps to lower its projected river level in Bismarck. U.S. Geological Survey stream gauges in the Bismarck area show the water in the Missouri River is flowing about 16 feet per minute, or about seven to eight times greater than normal, said North Dakota National Guard Adj. Gen. David Sprynczynatyk. The faster the water moves, the greater its capacity to carry sediment.
NOAA Yellowstone River webcam at Glendive. USGS stream data at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers. It's not as if the Corps hasn't wanted to send toxic sediment into the Gulf of Mexico where it could join with dispersants from the BP oil calamity. Again, from the Bismarck Tribune's Sara Kincaid:

The corps intends to release 85,000 cfs on Monday, 105,000 cfs on Wednesday and 120,000 cfs on Thursday, said Todd Lindquist, the operations manager for the Garrison Dam. It intends to hold the release at 120,000 cfs for about a week before raising it to 150,000 cfs in mid-June. The 150,000 cfs releases could go into July.
Screw New Orleans, right?

Boulder Hill this morning ip photo

From South Dakota's Bob Mercer, who beat this post by an hour and fifteen minutes, btw:

The engineers who designed the Missouri River dam system were geniuses. They did the best they could with the knowledge they had at the time of the climate and the terrain. We became spoiled in the decades since, carefree where we built, angry and demanding when the reservoirs didn’t contain enough water for our pursuits and needs. Now we face what many never expected.
Well, some of us did expect it.


Police search reveals crack between buttocks

Hat tip: Wait, wait don't tell me:

A police report states Marcel Foster was stopped for speeding on U.S. 176 near Springfield Road at about 3 a.m. Tuesday morning. Police took Foster to the detention center and detention officers strip searched Foster and found a large clear bag filled with a rock-like substance in his buttocks.
In another NPR milestone, Liane Hansen retires from Weekend Edition Sunday.

Missouri River discharge from Oahe Dam at Pierre
photo courtesy Bruce Venner

Winter storm warning! Hills get some, too

From The Weather Channel:

Issued by The National Weather Service
Great Falls, MT



Higher Hills get at least five inches.


Big Tobacco stoking tribal sovereignty tensions; Tony Dean in Tester bill?

A federal raid of a cigarette manufacturer on the Yakama Indian Reservation has resulted in a lawsuit intended to test provisions of the Tribal Law and Order Act. Here is Turtle Talk's read; note Nebraska news in their sidebar. From Indian Country Today:
One Indian law expert compared the federal government’s apparent lack of trust toward the Yakama Nation to its lack of trust in raiding bin Laden’s house without consultation with the Pakistani government. The lawsuit states that early in the morning of February 16, the federal defendants, “acting through scores of federal agents, armed with assault rifles, and with local police officers from Virginia and Mississippi and the County of Yakama in tow, invaded the Yakama Nation Reservation Trust lands – without having provided any prior notice to the sovereign on whose land they were intruding.” Alex Skibine, professor of Indian law and constitutional law at the University of Utah, said the Yakama case deals with “very thorny issues” surrounding interpretations of the law, but it could set an important precedence for Indian country in general with regard to the interpretation of the Tribal Law and Order Act. The tribe has a “credible” treaty violation claim that is unique to the tribe, but it is the tribe’s TLOA claims that will affect all of Indian country, Skibine said.
Nebraska's Winnebago and Ponca tribes are being targeted by Philip Morris and other industrial tobacco conglomerates calling in campaign markers to its Republican Attorney General. Again, Indian Country Today's Gale Courey Toensing describes the effects of the new law:
Lance Morgan, the chief executive officer of Ho-Chunk Inc., the Ho-Chunk Winnebago Tribe’s economic arm, says the proposed legislation is “a deliberate attempt to wipe out tribal tobacco competition in Nebraska because the legislation specifically singles out Indian tribes.” Nebraska’s Chief Deputy Attorney General David D. Cookson, who solicited input from Big Tobacco on the proposed legislation, contends that the bill does not target Indian tribes, but in a phone interview, he said, “No, I would not agree with that at all. I think what it is—is—Well, I think—Then again, that’s not part of our bill, so I really can’t speak to it.” Philip Morris even marked up an exemption for itself and other big tobacco companies from “additional obligations” that would apply to all companies.

Tribes' representation in Congress is pathetic, especially in the red states actively tearing down rights using taxpayer money against disadvantaged reservations. If tribes are equal to states why don't tribal presidents have the power to call out the National Guard?

Senator Jon Tester says he is still listening to input on his Forest Jobs and Recreation Act according to the Helena Independent Record:

The U.S. Committee on Energy and Natural Resources heard testimony Wednesday mainly in support of Sen. Jon Tester’s revived Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, a few hours after a telephone conference call involving Rep. Denny Rehberg and others opposed to the bill. Tester, a Democrat, is up for re-election in 2012, and Rehberg, a Republican who is challenging Tester, is accusing the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act of being crafted behind closed doors by special interest groups. Tester, as well as both Democrats and Republicans who helped create the act, vehemently deny that allegation, and say Rehberg is making the bill a political issue instead. “We are troubled that Sen. Tester and his collaborators refuse to accept the fact that this bill contains a number of irresponsible and unnecessarily risky provisions, which not only could cause negative impacts to Forest Service budgets in our region, but also threatens America’s national forest legacy by establishing a new precedent where D.C. politicians simply mandate resource extraction levels on our public lands,” said Matthew Koehler, executive director of the WildWest Institute. “That’s a road we needn’t travel down.”
How about adding the proposed Tony Dean to wilderness protection?


Snow, more flooding; brimstone next?

According to YPR, parts of the Wyoming Black Hills are under water, flooding has isolated much of the West, closed I-90, Yellowstone and we are getting snow, and earthquakes rattle parts of Montana. Let's check the volcano report:

So, drug Jared Loughner in an effort to make him sane enough to face trial in a capital offense? Timothy McVeigh was put to death in Indiana. Knowing that would make me crazy enough to avoid trial.

Should the US Army Corps of Engineers lose its funding?

Montana's Democratic senators voted against extending the "Patriot" Act. From my inbox:

David Brooks: "Only Pawlenty, Romney, and Huntsman can win; all the rest are in there for fun."

Check these before and after at Joplin.

Drug dogs are wrong far more often than right yet can detect incidental residue on paper currency 90% of which will test criminally positive.


Antibiotics plague Missouri River, Oahe

As happened in Sioux Falls last year, many local sewage lagoons are being over-topped with floodwater sending household effluent containing a variety of chemicals into the Missouri River system:

Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the United States generate approximately 7 million dry tons of biosolids each year.
•Fifty-five of the 87 organic chemicals measured were detected in at least one of the nine biosolids collected, with as many as 45 chemicals found in a single sample.

Twenty-five of the chemicals were present in every biosolid sample including compounds that are pharmaceutically and hormonally active, such as an antimicrobial disinfectant (triclosan), a musk fragrance (tonalide), an antihistamine (diphenhydramine), and an antiepileptic drug (carbamazepine).
•A scientist (now with Colorado State University-Pueblo) preparing samples of biosolids for extraction using accelerated solvent extraction. The samples were analyzed for a broad suite of emerging contaminants. Total summed concentrations ranged from 64 to 1,811 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg or parts-per-million), with many individual contaminants in the hundreds of mg/kg range.
•The biosolids were more similar than they were different, even though they were produced by a variety of treatment processes from plants serving vastly different sized cities and towns. The types of contaminants and their relation to each other did not vary greatly between the biosolids tested.
Way back in 2007 the United States Geological Survey, in a cooperative study with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, discovered significantly elevated levels of pharmaceuticals especially antibiotics in the Missouri River:
Samples were analyzed for more than 200 emerging contaminants grouped into four compound classes—wastewater compounds, human-health pharmaceutical compounds, hormones, and antibiotics. Only sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic, was present at a concentration higher than minimum detection limits.
Antibiotics are linked to disruption in fungal communties necessary for breaking the compounds of the very chemicals polluting the system. It's one more way the Army Corps of Engineers is committing crimes against nature in red states by not policing nonpoint sources of pollution in the river system with which its charged. Why has Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley been silent on these offenses? Are the contributors to his political campaign complicit? GlaxoSmithKline and Monsanto are on the list.


Missouri River dams are toxic waste dumps

Mining residues from the Basin Creek area mines are pouring into the Boulder River. Add those tons of heavy metals to the other 530,000 square miles leaching contaminants into the Missouri River system.
The vision for irrigation development has not been met. The original Pick Sloan Missouri River Plan called for irrigating 5.4 million acres, and it was downsized to 3.8 million in 1958 and 2.9 million in 1986.
Why? Because it's cheaper to drill for pristine fossil water pumped from aquifers.
Studies are underway to determine potential problems associated with the application of agricultural pesticides, increased concentration of heavy metals in soils, water, plant and animal life, and industrial pollution. In direct connection with riverbed and bank erosion, deltas are forming at a considerable rate. Soil from the Missouri River is being deposited at the headwaters of reservoirs, where the water velocity is low. This silt load moved along with ease before the dams were built. But Lake Sakakawea's delta near Williston has increased from five to 11 feet between 1956 and 1988. Oahe delta sediment has accumulated at a rate of 14,665 acre-feet per year, raising the lake bed elevation from two to eight feet.
Canyon Ferry Reservoir is the first large impoundment for these elements:
In all, 38 bodies of water across the state have some type of fish consumption warning.
Nearly a century of residue from Black Hills Mining District affected millions of cubic yards of riparian habitat all the way to the Gulf of Mexico until the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962. The soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle. Catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury.

When will spikes in human misery finally compel action on the failures of anthropogenic biomanipulation on the environment?

On the outbound trip, between Buffalo and Gillette (in a late-May whiteout snowstorm btw), Wyoming Public Radio ran Terry Gross' interview of South Park's creators who have recently scripted the Broadway show, The Book of Mormon. I peed my pants. These guys absolutely convinced me that Israel should be moved to Utah:

Mark Trahant from indianz.com:
It’s critical for Indian Country to re-elect President Obama. We also need a Democratic-controlled Senate (if not House). An energized Indian Country could make a difference and decide the outcome in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Wisconsin and Washington. This one voting bloc could be the difference in a Republican Senate and a Democratic one. The House Republican budget is a template for what that party would like to do to the federal budget. Its impact on Indian Country would be catastrophic.


Flooding just getting started

Angry water is over roads from Minnesota to Idaho. Hulett homeowners sandbagged the Belle Fourche while ranchers at Alzada watched helplessly as they fretted the Little Missouri. The bridges over the Bighorn River on I-90 at Crow Agency were reported earlier as out closing US212 at Lame Deer and sending this blogger through Colstrip. The confluence of the Bighorn with the Yellowstone at Custer, Montana was coated in debris.

Little Missouri flooding at Camp Crook as reported by the Journal's David Montgomery:

The ground in the area is completely saturated and won't absorb more water any time soon, National Weather Service hydrologist Melissa Smith said. To make matters worse for low-lying areas, the wet weather is expected to continue for at least the next seven days.
The Army Corps of Engineers plans discharges from dams in North and South Dakota. More from the RCJ:

Spring snowmelt runoff and rain are pushing Lake Oahe (oh-AW'-hee) to near-record levels. That's leading to increased releases from the Missouri River dam that creates the reservoir and worries about possible flooding in the Pierre area.
Living on Earth tackles rewilding the Mississippi River system:

Following the great flood of 1927, the U.S. government took on one of the mostly expensive projects in American history: engineering the Mississippi River to avoid floods and facilitate shipping. John Barry, author of the book Rising Tide, the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How it Changed America, tells host Bruce Gellerman about the successes and consequences of that endeavor.
Paul Huttner:
One thing is clear. A consistent and powerful jet stream is racing across the central USA this spring, and has triggered massive tornado outbreaks. The root causes may be studied for years, but the trend continues.
Having heard lots of public radio in two thousand miles (half of it at 55MPH) this Quirks and Quarks episode had me enraptured:

Whales with Regional Accents
Oxygen for Early Life
Tarantulas' Webbed Feet
Universal Accelerator
Parks Canada at 100


MD with Lakota lineage People's Pharmacy favorite

Dr. Tieraona Low Dog's research on native plants began at a grandmother's apron. She has been a fascinating regular guest of WUNC's The People's Pharmacy with Joe and Terry Graedon, a long-running early morning listen on Bill Janklow's idea of public radio. Last year the program recognized Dr. Low Dog:
The People's Pharmacy Award for Excellence in Research and Communication for the Public Health is our way of acknowledging extraordinary health care professionals. Tieraona Low Dog, MD, is the third recipient of this award. She is well-versed in the research on herbs, vitamins, minerals, dietary supplements and how they affect health. She is currently Clinical Associate Professor and Director of the Fellowship for the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona.
Here is the tag for cannabis at People's Pharmacy.

Bill Moyers on DemocracyNow!


Author: 1940s Soviets created UFO myth

This Fresh Air driveway moment will pop your bubble if it doesn't completely scare the shit out you:

The Horten brothers were involved in the flying disc crash in New Mexico. And that is from a single source. ... There was an unusual moment where that source became very upset and told me things that were stunning that's almost impossible to believe at first read. And that is that a flying disc really did crash in New Mexico and it was transported to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and then in 1951 it was transferred to Area 51, which is why the base is called Area 51.
Wait til you hear the REALLY freaky part:

More on vectored thrust.

Dang it! There goes the timeline:

And you thought there was no way to segue your choices as the lizard people. Ha!


Fracking fluid: waste Koch formaldehyde

Recall the 2005 secret Cheney energy task force. Koch Industries had millions of tons of waste chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene that the Environmental Protection Agency was pressuring them to destroy. A plan was hatched by Bush Interior Secretary Gale Norton to skirt regulation and force the EPA administrator to allow the pumping of these volatile chemicals into oil shale.

h/t Professor David Newquist and Hummingbirdminds' Michael Shay.

Wildfire destroys Canadian town

Hat tip Wildfire Today:

Scientists are on full alert about climate change:

Current efforts of local, state, and private sector actors are important, but not likely to yield progress comparable to what could be achieved with the addition of strong federal policies that establish coherent national goals and incentives, and that promote strong U.S. engagement in international-level response efforts.


Flooding inevitable after paving the Midwest

Everyone with a brain saw it coming, yet the US Army Corps of Engineers chose to do nothing. From Nature News:
First, it was snowfalls that never seemed to end. After that came tornadoes. Now, a massive slug of water is working its way down the Mississippi River, forcing the US Army Corps of Engineers to deliberately flood farmland to spare riverside towns such as Cairo in Illinois, and threatening near-record water levels all the way to New Orleans. For decades, people have been building shopping malls and parking lots that cause water to flow quickly into rivers, rather than soak into the ground. Nicholas Pinter, a geologist at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, who works on flood hydrology, has a word for this: "hydro-amnesia". It causes people to build in places that were flooded a generation ago and will be flooded again a generation hence.
Rewilding is clearly another part of the solution. It has been proposed for decades; yet, the political will in the red states where the impact is felt most perpetuates a greed mentality as human migration has stagnated.

Do you recognize this, hipneck? It's just below your house beside the river across the highway from Bill Carlson's ranch.


RINO Huntsman spent public money on geothermal power generation; Brokaw blasts consumerism at UM

Jon Huntsman is HOT! Think he's a switch-hitter?

From Raser Technologies:
Noting that Utah has natural resources that can be economically developed and managed responsibly to provide much of the West’s renewable energy demands, Governor Huntsman said, “I am pleased to see home-grown businesses, like Raser, take a leadership role in developing our geothermal resources for the benefit of us all.”

Tom Brokaw delivered today's University of Montana commencement speech. From the Missoulian:

Brokaw, a 71-year-old South Dakota native, owns a ranch near Big Timber and lives half the year in Montana. America has become "a society utterly absorbed in consumption and dismissive of moderation," he warned. How America and the world will supply its energy "without exacerbating global climate change is an urgent question for your time." There's too much at stake now to live a life of "greed and excess."


Rumored Noem paramour anti-environment

Yep, Jim Meidinger is an earth hater.

In yet another red state assault against the Earth, Professor Ken Blanchard lays out his rationalization of ecocide. From South Dakota Politics:

Better yet, producing natural gas by fracking is much more environmentally friendly than oil wells or open cast coal mines. Burning natural gas, likewise, has a much smaller carbon footprint than coal or gasoline.
That's like saying death by lethal injection is a kinder, gentler punishment for an innocent wrongly convicted than say, a firing squad.

Meidinger concurs remarking:
Seems there are some environmenalists that "ain't happy unless nobody's happy", including themselves.
It also looks like he's too stupid to use a spell-checker. Note, "themselves." That looks like proof that his benefactor, the Farm Services Agency, is not an environmental steward at all; it's a vehicle for lobbyists shilling for ecoterrorists like Syngenta and Monsanto that force producers into unsustainable farming practices destroying watersheds.

Work is continuing on the Pineview Building.


Righteous rapture ripening?

Just think: in ten more days a billion believers will be sorely disappointed and the rest of us will be watching a rare planetary alignment. From NPR's blog 13.7, named for the number of billions of years realistic cosmologists compute as the age of the universe:
The date, set by 89-year-old Harold Camping, a radio host and Christian fundamentalist, comes from convoluted computations based on the dating of Biblical events plus floods and other disasters. Interestingly, there is a series of spectacular planetary alignments taking place this month.

NPR's Barbara Bradley Hagarty brought this up the other day on Weekend Edition Saturday:

Brian Haubert grabs some pamphlets and marches toward the flea market in Palmyra, N.J. Armed with a poster that trumpets Judgment Day on May 21, 2011, he braces for rejection. His friend and fellow believer, Kevin Brown, uses a gentler approach, not confronting people or engaging in conversation, just politely handing out Judgment Day pamphlets. On May 21, "starting in the Pacific Rim at around the 6 p.m. local time hour, in each time zone, there will be a great earthquake, such as has never been in the history of the Earth," he says. "And then the Bible says it will be 153 days later that the entire universe and planet Earth will be destroyed forever."
Let's see: 153 days after May 21 is nowhere close to December 21, 2012, the REAL end of time, right?

Duganz posted a great read at 4and20 Blackbirds where commenter Keith remarked, "I look forward to having all the country-music folks get sucked away to heaven." I had to laugh like Hell!

You know, it's all fun and games until someone on the edge of complete despair takes it upon her or himself to expedite a self-fulfilling prophesy; so expect some white christians to take the matter into their own hands.

Diane Rehm hosts the author of Among the Truthers. Fascinating stuff.

July 11 has been set as the court date for Flandreau Sioux v. South Dakota. Cert petition for Yankton Sioux Tribe v. United States Army Corps of Engineers


Humanure: key to the permaculture revolution?

Is poop the missing ingredient?

hipneck will love this: WBUR's Here and Now host Robin Young interviewed author, Gene Logsdon as he promoted his book, Holy Shit, Managing Manure to Save Mankind:

It has taken us about one hundred years to reduce soil organic matter to dangerously low levels—from about 5 percent, on average, to below 2 percent—and experts say it might take at least that long to build them back up again using organic methods on a large scale. We all need to read again Farmers of Forty Centuries, by F. H. King, published in 1911, about Asian agriculture at that time. In Japan, Korea, and China, manure was treated like a precious gem because it was a precious gem. Every scrap of animal waste, human waste, and plant residue was scrupulously collected and reapplied to the land. So precious was manure that Chinese farmers stored it in burglarproof containers. The polite thing to do after enjoying a meal at a friend’s house was to go to the bathroom before you departed. Over the last two centuries, cheap manufactured fertilizers and a seemingly unlimited acreage have allowed the United States to become the champion wastrel of the world.

Rebecca Terk at Big Stone Bounty reminds East River of a permaculture event.

You rock, Dude! Paul Guggenheimer strapped on a brass pair and snapped at the hand that feeds him. Take THAT, Janklow, you asshole!


South Dakota's earth-hating governor grovels before the Feds

So, this is how red states finance infrastructure improvements. Expect the same swindle next year.

You just can't make this shit up. From the Rapid City Journal:
The request covers 28 counties where preliminary assessments show more than $7.1 million in damage to roads, culverts, bridges and other public infrastructure. The governor in his letter to President Barack Obama says soil in many parts of the state already was saturated before getting hit with winter snowfall ranging from 50 to 100 inches.
Wise up, you stupid fuckers!

The Colorado River system has reached "peak water;" it is dry before it reaches the Sea of Cortez:

If East River would either carve ice out of the James and Big Sioux Rivers, load it onto side-dump railcars or pump flood water into tank cars, or both, then dump it into the Colorado's closest tributary, the Green River in Wyoming, South Dakota could sell that water to Las Vegas and Phoenix. Montana is also facing flooding this Spring. Governor Schweitzer: sell that water instead of leaving it in an already saturated Missouri River system.

Please, God: make Bachmann their nominee; Superfund inadequate at Harding County nuke sites

While Michele Bachmann was saying this:

President Carter was doing this en Español:

Jimmy Carter has a Nobel Prize for Peace; Michele Bachmann has David Koch's and Karl Rove's hands up her dress:

From Michelle Goldberg's piece at The Daily Beast:

A former North Dakota pawnshop owner who ostensibly found Jesus while serving a prison sentence in the 1980s, Vennes emerged as a pillar of Minnesota’s conservative Christian community. Then, according to the indictment, he channeled millions into a Ponzi scheme run by the businessman Thomas J. Petters, who is now serving 50 years in federal prison. While it lasted, this fraud made Vennes very rich. He donated several thousand dollars to Tim Pawlenty’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign, and sat on the board of Teen Challenge, a faith-based drug rehab program, with Pawlenty’s wife, Mary. In 2006, according to the Star Tribune, he was the top donor to Michele Bachmann’s congressional campaign. In 2002, Senator-elect Norm Coleman, another recipient of Vennes campaign cash, wrote a letter to Karl Rove saying he was joining Texas attorney Jack Ladd, Minnesota GOP Chairman Ron Eibensteiner “and Governor-elect Tim Pawlenty in urging President Bush to grant Frank Vennes a Presidential Pardon.” In 2007, Michele Bachmann wrote her own letter in support of a Vennes pardon.

The most recent interested party poll overwhelmingly suggests that Bob Newland should shit or get off the pot (funny, huh? i crack myself up).

Microsoft takes a step closer to two-way wrist tv. Next, warp drive:

Marshall Barnes, a nationally noted research and development engineer in advanced concept science and technology who has been linked to the development of the first prototype for warp drive, called the STDTS, announces that he will be releasing a paper that will be the ultimate work on warp drive physics to date.
The Obama administration moves to save 250 species from the United Snakes:

Interior Department officials say Tuesday that the proposal stems from a court agreement with environmentalists. The agency has been sued numerous times over its handling of species as diverse as greater sage grouse and Canada lynx. Those are included on a long list of fish, birds, mammals, plants and even snails that scientists say need greater protections.
EPA is currently powerless to act on a Duke University fracking study. From USA Today via the Headwaters News feed:

Researchers tested 60 wells last year for methane and found that 13 of the 26 wells within a kilometer of "hydrofracking" sites had elevated methane levels, some to the point where the water could catch fire.

From Talli Nauman of Native Sun News as posted at indianz.com:

A bankruptcy accord allots the federal government less than $7.4 million for disposal of massive amounts of abandoned radioactive uranium tailings and toxic waste that Kerr-McGee Corp. left at several open pit mines upstream from the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Sioux Indian reservations. The U.S. Forest Service set a May 12 public meeting date for experts to discuss details of the far-reaching corporate bankruptcy case and explain the Superfund activities for burial of the exposed waste at the 325-acre Riley Pass Mines Site in the North Cave Hills of Custer National Forest. Defenders of the Black Hills is collecting signatures on a letter to President Barack Obama in hopes of promoting the cleanup of the contaminated sites.


Green Fire: Forest Service propaganda?

The entire state of New Mexico is under a red flag warning. Would Aldo Leopold even recognize the Forest Service of today?

Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time premiered to a 1,000 person sell-out crowd on February 5, 2011 at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Green Fire is the first feature length (72 min.), high definition documentary film ever made about famed conservationist Aldo Leopold.

Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) blasted the Forest Service in a 2008 press release:

After Seven Years of Inadequate U.S. Forest Service Budgets, Cantwell Urges Administration to Consider its Appalling Legacy:

"This is another disappointing proposed budget from the Forest Service, and makes me wonder whether the Forest Service has ever thought about what the agency and country will look like in 5 or 10 years,” said Cantwell. “The Forest Service is speaking out both sides of its mouth. On the one hand, they identify water quality as a priority but, in their budget, they zero out funding for the Legacy Roads and Trails Remediation Program – a critical program that targets water quality.
President Obama: take the FS out of the USDA.

Holy Shit! Check out this doom and gloom website. Hey, ip is a glass half-full kinda guy who believes that humans are going be something someday.

Was Geronimo illegal?

No, the legal issue actually boils down to one central question: Was the attack on Osama bin Laden truly a CIA-dominated covert action, or was it a mostly military one? The distinction matters because different U.S. legal codes apply to each category. Covert operations fall under Title 50. Military ops, under Title 10. In either case, the killing of the Al Qaeda chief presents legal problems. That’s why the White House has carefully avoided both definitions, instead letting the raid fall into a fictional legal category that Jim Thomas, an expert in political-military relations from the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, called “Title 60.” In other words, the sum of Titles 10 and 50.
GOP debate: "It looked like the bar scene from 'Star Wars,'" said Republican strategist Scott Reed. If Herman Cain is a political outsider, why is he running as a Republican?

President Carter, thank you for proving that Michele Bachmann is fucking nuts mentally ill.


Happy Birthday, Gary Snyder

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival was held in Nevada City, California where Gary Snyder described the role of the writer in preserving Earth:

Practice of the Wild, a film about Snyder that features vintage footage and a current and in depth conversation between he and fellow poet and novelist Jim Harrison, will be one of this year’s festival features.
From Garrison Keilor's Writer's Almanac:
Most of the Beats were city kids, and they found Snyder fascinating because he grew up in the woods of Washington and Oregon, was interested in nature, and had worked as a logger, a seaman, and a fire lookout.
Consumerism seems so perversely banal on Mother's Day. How Coca Cola, Archer Daniels Midland, and News Corpse have fattened themselves and us on sugar water is patently offensive and criminal. Drilling for the petroleum to make containers that end up in landfills is malicious and hateful.

Advertising is a gateway drug; it should be subject to increased taxation.

The National Weather Service is forecasting a "sensational" spring runoff. The Missoulian sez:

"This is going to be a year unlike (any) one we have seen in quite some time," Gina Loss told the Great Falls Tribune. "This will not be a business-as-usual runoff year. If you live close to water, be prepared. The later we go into the spring, the quicker it can happen." She said a sudden warming spell could create a real threat. Forecasters said another storm is heading for the state with up to 2 feet of snow in the mountains starting Sunday. Adding to the concern, she said, is that the ground is already saturated.
The entire state of New Mexico is under a red flag warning.


Aberdeen businessman negligent at Deadwood landmark?

A Deadwood city supervisor just interviewed by phone, stated that the subcontractor hired to conduct interior demolition in Deadwood's historic Pineview Building has abandoned the project citing intractable differences with Aberdeen-based Todd Lamont leaving the building even more vulnerable to the elements. The source revealed that Mexican nationals were a feature in the row and quoted the contractor as saying, "those guys are fucking assholes," referring to the Pineview Group.

Barbara Soderlin from her Pineview update:

Building co-owner Todd Lamont said Thursday that the "work will continue; we're just looking at a few things right now." Deadwood building inspector Keith Umenthum said he wasn't certain why the subcontractor stopped working but said it might have to do with the increasing cost of the job. Umenthum said the city didn't inspect the property in the last three years because it seemed that the owners were making progress.
Huh? WTF, Keith? Give up when ip left town? As for the Loveland, Colorado based contractor leaving the job site: Deadwood has a strict policy governing undocumented workers where city employees are union members.

My opinion? Seize the building, Keith; fine the fucking assholes for every day the property has been in their possession, and hire a local contractor.

Found this at the Utne Reader:

Tester blasts GMOs, industrial agriculture

Organic farmer, Senator Jon Tester, sharing the stage with Prince Charles, addressed the Future of Food conference at Georgetown University. Tom Lutey at the Billings Gazette tells us:

"Over the past 100 years, we've seen far less diversity as far as crop rotations go and far less diversity and competition as far as marketing our crops," Tester said at the Future of Food conference. But Tester reserved his sharpest criticisms for patented, genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, which he said undermine plant diversity and take seed ownership from farmers for the first time in history.

In a post at indianz.com, Mark Trahant describes current events in the context of his latest chronicle, the 1977 appointment of Montana State University alum, Forrest J. Gerard, to the Carter Administration:

We just finished a brutal fight over cutting $100 billion from government spending. Imagine all of those cuts now being wiped out in a split-second because interest rates are ticking up. Last year the U.S. Treasury paid $413 billion in interest. To show the scale of that number, one percent of that is roughly what is spent for Indian health care programs.
NPR's Planet Money ran a piece refuting the notion that wealthy Americans are engaging in tax flight:

"Taxes [have] essentially no impact on causing people to leave a state," says Jeff Thompson, of the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. In a study tracking 18 years of migration between states in New England, Thompson found that people mostly move for job-related reasons. They go where the jobs are, regardless of whether it's low-tax New Hampshire or higher-tax Maine.
Retirees have been camped in the Spearditch City Campground then flee the brutal Lawrence County winters for 25 years that this blogger knows of, and have warped the fabric of that state's voting bloc in the negative. The people "camping" alongside the creek have a responsibility to ease the plight of tribes that left the Black Hills so those resource-guzzling machines can anchor an illegitimate residency.

Oklahoma Superintendent of Public Instruction, Janet Barresi, is insisting that the state more vigorously promote Native languages in schools:

Quinton Roman Nose of Watonga, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes and the president-elect of the National Indian Education Association, said only a few other states — including Montana, New Mexico, Arizona and Washington — have taken significant steps to incorporate tribal culture into the classroom.
Photographer Aaron Huey gives viewers a long, hard look at life in southwestern South Dakota:

The poverty and problems of Pine Ridge have been widely documented, yet Huey, who collaborates with publications including The National Geographic magazines, The New Yorker, and Harper's, is one of the few journalists who has returned to "The Rez" again and again.

Busted: This blogger confesses to cases that support the .308 Solution (North Korea, Myanmar, etc), but only in concert with the United Nations Security Council. The precedents in US history abound. Google the Dahlgren Affair. Ruby Ridge is why it should never happen here. So, redstaters, how many times IS the CIA allowed to get it wrong before it gets one right?

Wyoming Representative At-large Cynthia Lummox in the Trib:

People in Wyoming are ready for the truth. They know that our country is on an unsustainable path. They know that we must make meaningful reforms if we want our children and grandchildren to have the opportunities our parents gave us.


Osama bin Laden=Jefferson Davis

Think about it. And the Geronimo flap? Warriors all?

Who is winning?

But terrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross suggests that al-Qaida itself is alive and well — and continuing bin Laden's core strategy against America. What's the strategy? Bankrupting America.
May: Wojupi Wi - Moon When Leaves Turn Green

Help interested party rename Custer National Forest. Should the three divisions be split? Ashland to the Northern Cheyenne, Sioux Ranger District to the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe? Beartooth to the Crow?


Folk Festival lineup; uranium found in local wells

The Montana Standard stretches the strings of a crazy, cacophonous news guitar this morning.

Mainstreet Uptown Butte, the primary community organizer for the Montana Folk Festival has announced a delicious menu of performers from throughout the world for the blockbuster July event:

This completes the lineup for the festival's six music performance stages that will run continuously throughout the weekend. Like the National before it, admission to all three days of the festival is free. The Montana Folk Festival is produced in partnership by Mainstreet Uptown Butte, Butte Silver Bow County, and the Imagine Butte Collaborative with programming and artistic assistance from the National Council for the Traditional Arts. Other partners include the Montana Office of Tourism, Gold West Country, Butte Convention and Visitors Bureau, Grant-Kohrs National Historic Site and the National Park Service.

Even closer to home comes this from the JeffCo Health Department in a report to its commissioners:

All the wells tested in Lewis and Clark, Butte-Silver Bow, Powell, Madison, Anaconda-Deer Lodge and Broadwater counties were sampled for uranium, with 18 showing results above the maximum contaminant levels, or MCL, for municipal drinking water of 30 micrograms per liter (ug/L). The highest concentration was 1,130 ug/l. Of 127 wells sampled for radon, 34 were above the 50 ug/L MCL, with the highest concentration at 45,000. The wells were tested by the USGS after rumors circulated in 2007 of elevated levels of uranium in a north Jefferson County residential well. When that well’s water showed uranium at 2,000 parts per billion, the USGS and the county decided that the testing should be expanded. Additional sampling of 40 more wells in Jefferson County that year found that five wells, or 12 percent, had uranium concentrations exceeding U.S. drinking water standards.
The wells tested remain anonymous. A source close to the study is confident that residential reverse osmosis removes most of the contaminants. Basin has three wells and recently underwent a treatment to "isolate" the copper being electrolyzed in the water supply. This blogger installed an in-line filter and has another laying in the basement ready to go tandem.

For someone who believes that the dissolved minerals, especially calcium carbonate, from groundwater is essential to mammal health it looks like trips to the spring up Sunnyside to fill jugs could become a regular occurrence. Maybe hipneck will add some insight to this discussion.

Libby continues to struggle with pervasive asbestos poisoning even after spending hundreds of millions in removal and remediation:

The vermiculite that came from W.R. Grace's Libby mine was shipped around the country for decades and sold as residential insulation under the brand name Zonolite. Tens of millions of homes contain the material, but EPA officials said Tuesday they do not believe any cleanup actions are necessary outside of Libby and Troy, where the material was widely used in gardens, homes and as backfill.

Headlines at indianz.com directed ip to a Chicago Tribune story from an outreach between students in the Cheyenne River Youth Project and Youth Crossroads of Berwyn and Cicero, Illinois:

Organization officials say service trips provide major benefits for at-risk youths by giving them the opportunity to learn leadership skills and confidence building and to have cross-cultural experiences. The reservation is the size of Connecticut and has a population of more than 14,000. The Chicago-area youths stayed at two youth centers operated by the Cheyenne River Youth Project. Julie Garreau, executive director of the Cheyenne River Youth Project and a member of the tribe, said more than 45 percent of the total population of the reservation is younger than 18. There were 17 youth suicides in 2002 and 2003 on the Cheyenne River Reservation. The organization also operates a 21/2-acre garden to promote healthy eating. Diabetes is a problem for many on the reservation.
Surprise! Epic flooding on the Mississippi River system winding through mostly red states is a result of failed water policy. Today on KCRW's To the Point:

The Army Corps of Engineers is trying to manage the Mississippi River, the world's third biggest watershed after the Congo and Amazon. Michael Grunwald writes about efforts to manage water resources for Time magazine.
For the record interested party supports Senator Jon Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act because the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is likely producing more methane than it is producing oxygen and aspen habitat. Restoration is essential to saving the Rocky Mountains and the Black Hills.

On a clear day from the summit of Amazon Divide one can see twelve mountain ranges. Squalls obscured eight of them today.

Boulder Valley, Bull Mountain with Tobacco Roots in the background

The Elkhorns

Avalanche potential on the Occidental Plateau
behind that squall is the Continental Divide


Feds: tribes are states; BHNF, Custer to BIA?

The War Toilet tripped over the Black Hills Land Claim the other day exposing the GOP's ignorance of issues in Indian Country but ip hasn't bothered trying to get in over there yet today to get readers a link. They block my devices because of my serial, likely obsessive TP-ing of their bullshit so you'll have to get your own waders on and go in. Don't forget a pitchfork.

A persistent commenter over there (yep, guilty) is convinced that President Obama should issue an executive order reassigning the Black Hills National Forest and the Custer National Forest to the Forestry Division of the Bureau of Indian Affairs as a compromise seeking to settle the Claims lawsuits. These lands would be managed by professionals on a par with the current USDA protocols. Besides, how could they fuck it up worse than the Forest Service has?

The Black Hills National Forest should cease to exist and the proposed Tony Dean Wilderness should be folded into a deal for National Grassland, too, maybe under a cooperative Park Service/BIA charter with input from each stakeholder. I'll say it again: the Forest Service should come out of the USDA and look more like the Bureau of Reclamation.

Thunder Basin National Grassland west of Devil's Tower is at risk to the 1872 Mining Act, not to mention the ground impacted by another Canadian invasion in the form of a proposed strip mine for rare earth minerals north of Sundance. Wyoming blasts through treaty lands and leaves mercury trails in its wake.

Montana's red state earth-raping machines are fueled up and ready to rip. The Otter Creek coal development would carve wide swathes through southeastern Montana burial sites. Mal-named Custer National Forest should be under Northern Cheyenne and Crow care although this blogger has witnessed that the pine bark beetle has moved deeper into the Pryors now, too.

Last week, the EPA recognized the Havasupi as a state under Section 303 of the Clean Water Act as an essential function of tribal governance. And, today in a story from The World, a Coos Bay Lee paper, the BLM snubbed the State of Oregon and gave the Coquille tribe an opportunity to develop a sustainable forest plan for federal wildlands.

SCOTUS blog on Montana v. Wyoming. Note lone dissenter Justice Scalia, calling the majority opinion written by anti-clone Justice Thomas, "incomprehensible." From the Helena Independent Record:

Left unresolved following Monday’s ruling was the broader question of whether Montana is getting its fair share from the rivers as Wyoming builds new reservoirs, the amount of water used by the oil and gas industry increases and farms expand. Remaining aspects of the lawsuit could have consequences for Wyoming’s natural gas industry. Over the last decade, companies seeking a type of gas known as coal-bed methane have pumped billions of gallons of water from underground aquifers shared by the two states. Montana contends the companies are draining water that would otherwise feed the Tongue and Powder rivers.
Am I nuts?


Pakistan flashback, anyone?

For those of you that have forgotten the timeline:

Wow! A trillion dollars to kill one guy. How is that "justice?" A HuffPost commenter asked:

Why does Fox honor a terrorist by using the spelling HE preferred?
The most recent ip poll suggests that one Sioux Falls pastor of hate needs some professional help.

Is this the death of the Bad Man Clause?