Prairie pothole region at risk to GOP, Anthropocene

A survey of Midwest landowners will help policymakers find ways to further incentivize conservation of wetlands and grasslands in the Prairie Pothole Region, according to Larry Gigliotti, assistant unit leader for the U.S. Geological Survey’s South Dakota Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. [Brookings Register]

Note the proposed area's proximity to an expanded Powder River Training Complex.

Traci Bruckner is Senior Associate for Agriculture and Conservation Policy at the Center for Rural Affairs. She recently wrote in the Lincoln Journal Star:
Senate legislation reattaches conservation compliance to crop insurance subsidies and provides Sodsaver protections to native prairie nationally. For four years on newly broken land, the Senate prohibits farm program payments, reduces crop insurance subsidies and limits coverage to 65 percent of county average yield, disallowing yield substitution from high producing land to newly broken acres. Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), a farm bill conferee, and Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) pushed for national Sodsaver protection. The House only applied it to the Prairie Pothole region, despite research showing that 54,000 Nebraska cropland acres were newly broken in 2012 -- the highest among all states, but outside the Pothole region. The Senate's Sodsaver provision must win the day.
Bob Inglis is a conservative Republican former US House member who once doubted the Anthropocene. After he looked at the research, changed his mind and decided to speak out, he was mocked by people in his own party then trounced in 2010 by a Tea Party-backed candidate.

Rep. Kristi Noem (earth hater-SD) having pocketed subsidies is now cutting aid to the poorest, so it should come as no surprise that she's not the only hypocrite in her party.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service is my new west hero. They are standing up to Earth-hating lobby interests pushing governors to question Endangered Species protections for keystone and apex species.

In cooperation with local chapters, the Audubon National Wildlife Refuge will become part of a proposed two million acre regional complex of wetlands and grasslands toward an ultimate goal of 12 million acres:
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to work with private landowners to accelerate the conservation of native prairie, consisting of both wetland and grassland habitats, within the Prairie Pothole Region in the eastern portions of North Dakota, South Dakota, and Montana. The proposed Dakota Grassland Conservation Area (Dakota Grassland) is part of a landscape-scale, strategic habitat conservation effort to conserve populations of migratory birds by protecting the unique, highly diverse, and endangered ecosystem known as the Prairie Pothole Region. To do this, the Service will develop a Land Protection Plan and associated environmental analysis to describe the proposed action.
Exactly.  Public comment is encouraged at these meetings.


Bouie: Coates case for reparations 'not to mention American Indians'

Yes, "reparations," as in compensation for the crimes of slavery and indigenous genocide at the hands of former European colonizers - reparations, as in reparatory justice for the horrific consequences of two of the greatest crimes against humanity in the history of this planet - the 400 years of the African Slave Trade and the systematic and calculated extermination of the indigenous peoples of the Americas - reparations, as in fundamental and comprehensive social, economic and political justice, indeed, historical justice for the descendants of African slaves and native American peoples. [Don Rojas, Caribbean Reparations Initiative Inspires a Revitalization of US Movement]

Here is yet one more reason why Democrats and Native Americans should vote in midterm elections.
And ultimately, as Coates writes, the money isn’t important. What’s critical is that we reckon with our national crimes against black Americans, to say nothing of Native Americans and other minority groups. We must wrestle with our history, lest we ignore the “certain sins of the future”—or worse—the sins of our present. [Jamelle Bouie, Reparations Are Owed]
In a state where American Indian children are abducted by the Daugaard administration, the wife of South Dakota's governor is pimping for an industry that is a defendant in at least one lawsuit:
The first lady founded the Foster One program one year ago hoping to give all children the chance to live and grow up in a safe environment. Right now there are 173 children in foster care in the Black Hills area, and 699 in the state of South Dakota. "We have the Dept. of Social Services that can call them, or they call go to our website FosterOneSD.org and find information out there and find out what their interest level is that they have to answer their questions and talk about the requirements to become a foster parent." [Thomas Patrick, KNBN teevee]
Chase Iron Eyes:
There is a profound and fundamental cultural bias in South Dakota. There is mistrust and hatred against the Native people in South Dakota, passed down through generations of prejudice, bigotry, and misunderstanding. This culture enables the slow genocide that South Dakota continues to inflict upon its own population. Lakota kids disappear at alarming rates from their tribes and families in South Dakota. Just 13% of the child population in South Dakota is Native American, and yet they make up 54% of the children housed in state foster care. [S.D. Foster Facilities are the New Indian Boarding Schools, Daily Kos]


Northern tier states nation's drunkest

The Peoples Republic of Brookings is not just home to South Dakota's most obese GOP blogger.

According to “Surveillance Report,” from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “apparent” per capita alcohol consumption is trending:
According to their study, 43 states increased their inebriation, with the West leading the way by 3.4 percent, followed by 2.3 percent in the South, 2.1 percent in the Northeast, and 1.7 percent in the Midwest.

4. North Dakota 3.42
7. Montana 2.96
11. Idaho 2.76
12. South Dakota 2.76
16. Wyoming 2.67
God may not be enough for religious states: they lead the nation in anti-depressant use.
Brookings was ranked the fifth-drunkest city in America by an article published by Bustle.com, and the article is now circulating around Facebook and other social media outlets. According to a Metropolitan or Micropolitan Statistical Area study done by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 11.8 percent of the Brookings population is classified by the CDC as heavy drinkers. Heavy drinkers are defined as adult men having more than two drinks per day and adult women having more than one drink per day. In order to rank the top ten drunkest cities, the percentage of binge drinkers and heavy drinkers from the CDC studies were added – giving Brookings a total of 35.5 percent combined binge and heavy drinkers. [Jordan Smith Editor-in-Chief, SDSU Collegian]
Obesity and mental illness are closely linked, especially in northern tier states like South Dakota.
In fact South Dakota is slipping. Just last year, the state ranked 19th but even that ranking would put us well behind most of our neighboring states. But why does South Dakota rank so low and what's being done to improve that rank? It's a test South Dakota is failing.--Jake Iverson, KSFY.
Rapid City is a scary place: just look at the bags under Gordon Howie's eyes. Shorter days and longer nights especially around the winter solstice mean more people die by their own hands.

Alaska suffers as do northern tier red states where access to affordable health care is virtually non-existent. Megan Edge writes:
Alaskans have to wait until December 21 to see the light slowly increasing daily, and for most that day can’t come soon enough. “It looks like seasonal affective disorder (S.A.D.) is related to low light levels,” said psychologist and depression specialist Suzanne Strisik. “[That] is when we are around the holidays and we are trying to adjust to those low light levels.”
Cindy Uken reports from the Billings Gazette that Montana leads the nation in suicide rates:
The victims are military veterans, American Indians, senior citizens and teenagers. Often, they are depressed and hundreds of miles from the nearest mental health professional. Even where they can get help, they tend to "cowboy up," afraid their illness will be seen as weakness. People who live in areas with high concentrations of guns are more likely to die by suicide, according to a 2007 study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Rich people can save themselves: they merely flee South and complain that immigrants are taking over the workforce; but, poverty chains those who live in despair year 'round.

Migration must be celebrated, not outlawed. Statehood for Mexico would mean more people could save themselves from brutal winters in the North.

Find something that works or die.

Rewild the West.


Farm Bureau on sage grouse: ignorance is strength

George Orwell writes endangered species law:
The Sage Grouse Protection and Conservation Act has been introduced in the U.S. House. It would prohibit the federal government from listing sage grouse under the Endangered Species [Act]. That’s as long as states prepare and carryout [sic] plans to protect the species within its borders. South Dakota Farm Bureau President Scott Vanderwal says the measure makes sense because it leaves it up to state's [sic] to control the problem. [WNAX Radio]
Like wipin' yer ass with a hula hoop: it's endless. Imagine South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks solving anything.

'The problem' is the Anthropocene, not a native species.

Bob Berwyn writes at the Summit County Voice:
The new sage grouse bill is co-sponsored by Colorado’s own Cory Gardner, who used the same old tired language: “A one-size-fits-all approach is not the way to best protect the Sage grouse,” Gardner said, going on the claim that state-based conservation plans are the way to go, yet failed to cite a single example of a state effectively conserving an endangered species. Wyoming Senator Mike Enzi even claimed that his state has “worked tirelessly” to protect sage grouse, a laughable statement in a place where they can’t dig more coal trenches fast enough, and where fossil fuel exploitation has poisoned the drinking water of small towns. [Berwyn, Opinion: No GOP love for sage grouse]
“The Revolution will be complete when the language is perfect.”
― George Orwell, 1984


Red states hoping eagle shits highway funding

South Dakota and Wyoming are hoping We the People forget they are red states for a few days:
The federal government’s highway trust fund will run out of highway money this summer, putting road and bridge projects into financial uncertainty, South Dakota Transportation Secretary Darin Bergquist said Thursday. For the 2015 state fiscal year that begins July 1, the state Department of Transportation is budgeted to receive nearly $381 million of federal funding, including $347 million for construction. [Bob Mercer, Aberdeen American News]
Laura Hancock tells readers of the Casper Star-Trib:
Highway department chiefs across the country, including John Cox, of the Wyoming Department of Transportation, are rooting for Congress to reauthorize a large highway funding bill by Sept. 30. The bill has provided Wyoming $240 million a year for highway construction, Cox said. It’s closer to $300 million a year when you consider Map-21 funds for other programs, such as construction money for cities and counties. “The benefit for the state (departments of transportation) across the country is (a reauthorized act) would give us some predictable funding from which to plan,” Cox said. [Hancock, WYDOT hopes Congress transportation bill gets in express lane]


Obama could visit Standing Rock

Native readers: what would you call your own State?
President Obama is planning to travel to a Native American reservation in North Dakota in June, a rare visit by a sitting U.S. president to Indian country, according to officials familiar with the plans. In 1999, President Bill Clinton visited the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in South Dakota, home to Wounded Knee Creek, the infamous site where at least 150 Lakota Sioux men, women and children were massacred by U.S. soldiers in 1890. He was the first sitting president to visit a reservation since Franklin D. Roosevelt visited a Cherokee reservation in North Carolina in 1936. It’s unclear which reservation Obama will visit. His senior policy adviser for Native American affairs, Jodi Gillette, is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota, where her brother is the chairman. [Sara Horwitz, Washington Post]
The history of humanity in the United States of America is at least 14,000 years old, some researchers say it is far older. We the People are at another crossroads: we can allow China to outgrow us or we can grow.

There are 2.5 million Native Americans living in the US, more living in Canada, and virtually every native Mexican is a native American as well. Four sets of laws trapped in a quagmire of treaty obligations. If each reservation in the lower contiguous states were a county in a non-contiguous state, the two senators and five representatives would wield great power in Congress.

The Navajo Nation could be a state.

Jennifer Naylor Gessick told readers of the Rapid City Journal that several tribal nations trapped within South Dakota are forming an alliance as a counter-weight to that state's selfishness.

President Obama: it's time for Statehood for the tribes and Mexico.

Rewild the West.

President Obama endures a question from a former South Dakota governor: note Gov. Schwarzenegger seated in front


VA, IHS should be merged

The problems under investigation in the Billings Area Indian Health Service are not unique in the national system. Twice, the Aberdeen Area IHS office in South Dakota has been investigated by the federal government, once in 1993 and again in 2010. In 1993, then-U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., requested the GAO conduct a study of IHS employment practices, specifically in the areas of salaries and recruitment programs. “Scrutiny over the management of Indian Health Service has been a continual concern over the past decade,” said U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., a member of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “The federal government has a treaty and responsibility to provide quality health care to American Indians throughout the United States.” Johnson said he will continue to engage with IHS to ensure high quality standards are met when it comes to management, staffing and patient care. [Cindy Uken, Billings Gazette]
From the Rapid City Journal:
U.S. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., said Wednesday that he added language to a Veterans Affairs funding bill that would put the realignment of VA medical facilities in Hot Springs and elsewhere on hold. The language, Johnson said, is in a bill attached to the Senate version of the 2015 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriation Bill.
It would be a ridiculous exercise for President Obama to fire VA Secretary Eric Shinseki and engage in another confirmation spectacle with the earth haters.

Democrats should honor Shinseki's decades of service then move on a merger of the two services: urge Senator Tester and Senator Johnson to hold hearings on that consideration.


Tester: they served; EWG: glyphosate kills

From my inbox:
Dear Larry,

On Memorial Day this year, I'll be at the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery to help dedicate the grounds as a national cemetery.

At Monday's ceremony, there will be time for reflection. Reflection on how we honor the men and women who serve our nation. Reflection on how we care for the veterans who continue to bear the burdens of war.

Recent allegations about the quality of care at Veterans Affairs facilities are troubling - and independent investigators are getting to the bottom of the situation. I am calling for swift action to hold folks accountable - once all the facts are in.

We must always demand the best available care and services for our veterans. And we must work to ensure our commitment never wavers.

In Montana, I'm doing everything I can to honor my commitment to the men and women who sacrifice for our freedoms. I worked hard to get the VA to designate the Yellowstone cemetery as a national cemetery. And I led the charge to expand the Billings VA Clinic so it can offer new, comprehensive services to nearly 20,000 veterans.

Outside of Yellowstone County, I have helped bring new Veterans Centers to Kalispell and Great Falls and new clinics to Havre, Lewistown, Cut Bank, Libby and Hamilton. And I helped secure funding and support for Fort Harrison, just outside Helena, to build a new 24-bed inpatient mental health and substance abuse treatment facility.

But honoring our commitments isn't just about new facilities - it's about making sure we provide efficient and accessible care. That's why I've increased travel reimbursement for veterans, secured more van service to get veterans to and from their doctor's appointments, fought to improve mental health care, improved access to telehealth for rural veterans, and pushed the VA to use new technologies that will cut down on wait times and improve services.

And because veterans also must be prepared to re-join society once they return from the battlefield, I've passed legislation to make the G.I. Bill work in the 21st century and to give tax credit to companies that hire recent veterans.

America holds its veterans in high regard - and rightly so. Ceremonies across our nation on Monday will demonstrate that. But it's what we do the next day and the day after that truly will honor the sacrifices of our military men and women.

We must continue to have conversations about access and quality of care. We must continue to take action to improve services. And we must continue to ask ourselves what we can do to serve our nation.

For me, it's an honor to serve Montana's veterans and their families as a member of the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee - much like it's honor to serve you as your Senator.

Have a safe holiday weekend. Be well and stay in touch,

Scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer have found what appears to be a strong link between pesticide exposure and a blood cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Analyzing 44 individual research projects published since 1980, the scientists, writing in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, said that people exposed to the weed killer glyphosate, marked by Monsanto under the brand name Roundup, had double the risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. When we eat GE foods, we are taking a dose of pesticides with them. Right now, we can’t tell which foods are genetically engineered. We have to guess. EWG believes people the right to know which foods are genetically engineered. [Emily Cassidy, posted at AgMagBlog, Environmental Working Group]


Trains on politics rail

South Dakota has two state-long east/west railroads: the southern route is currently active only east of the Missouri River.

Genesee & Wyoming, the intended buyer of the business being conducted on the west end of the state-owned track, has a record of dumping Bakken crude. Canadian Pacific currently operates on the right of way that intersects the proposed Keystone XL pipeline at Philip where rail cars carrying diluted bitumen could be loaded then increase traffic through Pierre, Huron and maybe Brookings.
TransCanada Corp is in talks with customers about shipping Canadian crude to the United States by rail as an alternative route as its Keystone XL pipeline project that has been mired in political delays, Chief Executive Russ Girling said on Wednesday. "We are absolutely considering a rail option," Girling told Reuters on the sidelines of a conference in New York. Girling said the firm was exploring shipping crude by rail from Hardisty in Canada, the main storage and pipeline hub, to Steele City, Nebraska, where it would flow into an existing pipeline to the Gulf refining hub. [Catherine Ngai, Reuters, via Huffington Post]
Coal-glutted rail traffic has created a bottleneck in the Powder River Basin and Bakken oil has stalled traffic on Burlington Northern Santa Fe track in both Dakotas.

At least two campaign workers for a former South Dakota governor's US Senate bid could be recipients of a rail deal being negotiated with federal money.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader is hosting a poll asking whether that town should have passenger rail service.


Spearditch closer to erecting cement Jesus

Spearditch has become a scary little town.

Recall Mary Garrigan's piece in the Rapid City Journal that the stupid hamlet wants a Ceement Jaysus:
Rand Williams, a Spearfish real estate entrepreneur, said he is envisioning a multimillion-dollar statue along the lines of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer, a 125-foot tall statue that draws tourists to the Brazilan city, that would sit on a two-acre parcel of city land.
Mr. Williams purchased the former Passion Play site and now has been divinely inspired to erect a ferrocement statue on that ground seized after a treaty giving the land to indigenous was voided by Congress.
The statue, tentatively titled “Who Do You Say That I Am?” was initially proposed in February 2013 to be located on city-owned land near the Passion Play Amphitheater. “In order for it to be seen on the hilltop, it will have to be bigger than life-size,” Williams said in a prepared statement. Exactly how large, though, he declined to speculate. Williams is contributing $100,000 as seed money to the project and has started a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. [Mark Watson, New plan, location announced for Christ sculpture, Black Hills Pioneer]

The board of directors for Our Lady of the Rockies wants to acknowledge the outpouring of support and concern for Our Lady following the recent prank that resulted in Our Lady being turned red. To that end we are working with the local authorities to address the issue to make sure the young adults involved in the incident know the seriousness of their actions and to ensure that nothing like this happens again. We are hopeful that this incident will result in a better understanding of the importance of Our Lady and the sacred place she holds in our community. [letter, Montana Standard]
Montana's christian earth hater attorney general has entered the fray enveloping the mostly life-sized christus figure on Whitefish Mountain.
Attorney General Tim Fox and the American Legion filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as it considers the legal challenge by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation. Fox is asking the court to uphold a federal judge’s August ruling that allows the Forest Service to reissue a 10-year permit for the statue that has stood at Whitefish Mountain Resort for decades. A permanent Catholic shrine on public land is prohibited under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the group said in its appeal. The group’s co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said Wednesday that the attorney general’s stance is disappointing but not surprising. “It’s par for the course with public officials these days,” she said. [Lisa Baumann, Great Falls Tribune]


Mitchell Republic: Thune, Noem donors threaten water

Like the French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte at the famous 1815 battle of that name, Sen. John Thune and Rep. Kristi Noem realize that if they're defeated, it could be their end. So, they launch strikes against the federal Environmental Protection Agency every chance they get. In their assault on the proposal, Thune and Noem are backed by an army of agricultural lobbyists who are concerned that agricultural runoff -- from pesticides, fertilizers and the like -- might come under greater scrutiny. We wish our elected officials would take a common sense approach, realizing that everybody needs and wants clean water and that some kind of balance between regulation and freedom is best -- not rigidly protected immunity for politically important offenders. [editorial, OUR VIEW: Regulation might be costly, but so is polluted water]
The SDGOP-owned Department of Ecocide and Natural Ruination has come under the eye of another state enterprise:
A report [pdf] submitted by state officials to the EPA cites 166 lakes and streams in South Dakota as polluted or impaired. The bodies of water fail to meet government standards for clean water. Most of the polluted waters in South Dakota are due to non-point sources such as livestock waste. [Charles Michael Ray, Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]


Bloggers, unions being heard on workplace safety

Earth haters like South Dakota's junior senator, Wyoming and North Dakota's governors have been whining that unions support the construction of the climate-killing Keystone XL pipeline but do you think they support unions?

Don't be stupid.

Tom Ricker is president of the North Dakota AFL-CIO:
With a total of eight OSHA inspectors for both North Dakota and South Dakota combined, it would take OSHA around 111 years to inspect every work site in North Dakota. There are far too few safety professionals working for OSHA to effectively keep up with the rapidly increasing workload in our state. We need to call on our congressional delegates to work with OSHA to increase staffing levels for the North Dakota OSHA office, reopen the South Dakota OSHA office that was closed 33 years ago, and ensure that OSHA pay keeps up with the rapidly rising cost-of-living in western North Dakota, enabling them to retain top-quality workplace safety professionals. This seems like a good place to start in fighting so that in future years, we have fewer names to read. [Fargo-Moorhead INFORUM]
The Casper Star-Trib editorial board gets it:
Thirty five workers died on the job in Wyoming last year, the same number as the previous year and the most since 2007. Consider that for a moment: That's 35 people no longer going home to families, chasing hobbies or dreaming of the future. Let's restart the conversation about worker safety -- where we're at, and where we should be. The 35 workers who died last year bear witness we've got a way to go. [Editorial board: Time for lawmakers to restart worker safety conversation]
So did the Aberdeen American News: it was even reprinted by the Rapid City Journal.
A hard day’s work should not equal a death sentence. But a new report shows that both Dakotas have problems in workplace fatalities. It is not a new problem, but one that our states need to continue to work on. “North Dakota stands out as an exceptionally dangerous and deadly place to work,” according to the new AFL-CIO report from the nation’s largest labor union. [Our Voice: Workplace fatalities focuses on Dakotas]
Workers are needed to build strong unions:
The need for construction workers in North and South Dakota has never been greater. To keep up with demand, trade groups are trying to recruit workers across the two states. Will Thomssen [w]ith the International Union of Operating Engineers said, "As of right now we have standing orders for crane operators to run these pieces of equipment. We actually have more pieces of equipment, than we do operators." Many of the trades require training, which is often times paid for. [Jill Johnson, KDLT teevee]


Jackley: cannabis illegal because prison lobby, Big Pharma and Big Booze making me rich

As South Dakota leads the US in teen binge drinking, growth of violent crime and the sex trade, Attorney General Marty Jackley is up to his areolae:
Once Colorado opened the door for legalizing marijuana, the Attorney General's office started taking calls and emails about South Dakota's laws. Now that Minnesota is about to do the same, only restricted to just medical marijuana, the calls and emails are coming again. Jackley also adds that even though Minnesota has moved forward with their new medical marijuana deal, he doesn't expect any South Dakota laws to be changed. [Jared Ransom, KELO teevee]
In a major departure from industry practice, GlaxoSmithKline, the sixth-largest global drug maker, announced Tuesday that it will no longer hire doctors to promote its drugs. It also makes the diabetes drug Avandia, which was subjected to tough restrictions from the FDA in 2010 because of concerns about heart risks. The FDA recently eased those restrictions after reconsidering the risks. In July 2012, Glaxo agreed to pay $3 billion, a record, to settle criminal and civil claims “arising from the company’s unlawful promotion of certain prescription drugs, its failure to report certain safety data, and its civil liability for alleged false price reporting practices,” the U.S. Justice Department announced. Glaxo also agreed to plead guilty to two counts of introducing misbranded drugs, Paxil and Wellbutrin, into interstate commerce and one count of failing to report safety data about Avandia to the Food and Drug Administration. [Charles Ornstein, ProPublica]
But, South Dakota's top cop is too busy covering up the misdeeds of his political party to intervene in the offal from his donors.
Utah will get $8.5 million from GlaxoSmithKline for defrauding the state’s Medicaid program through allegedly false and misleading marketing of Avandia. [Paul Sakuma, Associated Press, Deseret News]
So, Marty negotiated behind closed doors with GSK to lower its settlement to South Dakota? How conservative.

From the Guardian:
Chinese newspapers said travel agencies working for GSK would invent meetings that required travel but use the money to bribe doctors to prescribe GSK drugs. "Each doctor had a credit card from the company. The kickbacks were transferred to the cards the day after the drugs were prescribed," one newspaper alleged. [Rupert Neate, GlaxoSmithKline 'the big boss' in £300m bribery scandal, China says]


PRTC expansion would intersect with Bakken air traffic

Flights have been added to serve the ecocide taking place in the Bakken oil fields in the news for killing a record number of non-union workers. Small airports are concerned that a proposed increase in military traffic could be even deadlier.
The Powder River Training Complex is a 28,000-square-mile training area for B-1B Lancer and B-52 Stratofortress bombers, which fly out of Ellsworth and Minot Air Force bases in South and North Dakota. The Air Force would like to use the area 244 days a year, 44.5 hours a week for bomber training, plus the occasional aerial war games with other military aircraft. Ranchers and private pilots in Montana and the Dakotas have been outspoken in opposing PRTC. There are 33 small airports in the flight area, sacred tribal lands and the Little Bighorn battlefield. At their lowest, the bombers would fly at 500 feet. The Air Force is also requesting that pilots be allowed to fly faster than the speed of sound, something presently not allowed over land anywhere in the U.S. [Tom Lutey, Billings Gazette]
The earth haters running for the US Senate in South Dakota were presented a question about cuts to the military at a forum last night hosted by Bill Janklow's idea of public broadcasting: Ellsworth never came up.

It would seem that the only people interested in expanding Ellsworth's mission are those who hate big government.


Linda Daugaard's foster care industry conflict of interest

Here is yet one more reason why Democrats and Native Americans should vote in midterm elections.

In a state where American Indian children are abducted by the Daugaard administration, the wife of South Dakota's governor is pimping for an industry that is a defendant in at least one lawsuit:
The first lady founded the Foster One program one year ago hoping to give all children the chance to live and grow up in a safe environment. Right now there are 173 children in foster care in the Black Hills area, and 699 in the state of South Dakota. "We have the Dept. of Social Services that can call them, or they call go to our website FosterOneSD.org and find information out there and find out what their interest level is that they have to answer their questions and talk about the requirements to become a foster parent." [Thomas Patrick, KNBN teevee]
Chase Iron Eyes:
There is a profound and fundamental cultural bias in South Dakota. There is mistrust and hatred against the Native people in South Dakota, passed down through generations of prejudice, bigotry, and misunderstanding. This culture enables the slow genocide that South Dakota continues to inflict upon its own population. Lakota kids disappear at alarming rates from their tribes and families in South Dakota. Just 13% of the child population in South Dakota is Native American, and yet they make up 54% of the children housed in state foster care. [S.D. Foster Facilities are the New Indian Boarding Schools, Daily Kos]


Murkowski joins Johnson, Dems to preserve Native languages

Here is yet another reason Democrats and American Indians need to vote in midterm elections.

Jon Tester (D-Montana), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, has announced the confirmation of Hopi citizen Diane Humetewa to serve on the federal bench as judge for the U.S. District Court for Arizona.

Rob Capriccioso filed a report for Indian Country Today linked here.

The Native American Languages Reauthorization Act of 2014 reauthorizes a preservation grant program through fiscal year 2019. Joining Senators Tester, Tim Johnson (D-SD), and Democratic co-sponsors including New Mexico's delegation, is Senator Lisa Murkowski, fox of Alaska.
"Since first being signed into law, the Native Americans Languages Act has helped to preserve and revitalize Native languages and encourages both young children and adults to develop a fluency in their Native language,” Johnson said. “Across South Dakota, this vital grant funding gives the opportunity for our cherished Lakota elders to sit down with the younger generation to revive the Lakota language. The continuity of these languages strengthens Native American culture and history, and I will continue to push until this reauthorization is signed into law.” According to the National Indian Education Association, by the year 2050, there may only be 20 Native American languages remaining. The Native American Languages Act was first signed into law in 1992 and established a grant program within the Native American Programs Act of 1974 to ensure the survival of Native languages. [press release, Senator Tim Johnson ]

Sex trade, binge drinking, crime, STDs mar Rounds, Daugaard terms

Governor Dennis Daugaard (earth hater-SD) is a death panel of one.

Habitat destruction, lapses in ethics, scandal, crime spikes, increased incarceration rates, more people infected with sexually transmitted diseases, the failure of prisons, human trafficking: all mark the terms of Republican governors in South Dakota. The state leads the nation in the growth of violent crime.
Three years ago, prostitution was an afterthought for Sioux Falls police. There were six arrests in 2010: Four for prostitution, two for pimping. For more than a decade, federal law has defined those pushed into sex for money through force, fraud or coercion as victims, but acceptance of that definition within law enforcement has come slowly. The biggest formal change came last year, as U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson convened a human-trafficking task force, which included law enforcement from the state Division of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sioux Falls police and the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office. [AP, Pierre Capital Journal]
From KOTA teevee:
Human sex trafficking is happening right here in South Dakota. Nearly 100 people turned out to hear speakers teach about human trafficking and raise awareness about the problem in our area. Speakers included Brendan Johnson, the United States attorney for South Dakota, Brent Gromer, South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, and Hollie Strand, a forensic interviewer for the Child Advocacy Center of the Black Hills. [Alexandra Montgomery, Human sex trafficking conference held; a problem in SD]
Under Republican governors Rounds and Daugaard, South Dakota has become an increasingly dangerous place especially to raise children. The state is ranked highest in the nation for teen binge drinking.

A recently released FBI crime report shows violent crime in South Dakota rose 96 percent between 2005 and 2012. State statistics put that figure at 44 percent. Krista Heeren-Graber, executive director of the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault, agreed that prevention can be difficult, especially with “limited” funding for prevention programs and crisis servicing. The number of meth labs and arrests also has been growing at an alarmingly high rate, authorities say. [Mark Walker, Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Hardly surprisingly, South Dakota is being led into the dustbin of history by Republicans:
The crime rate has increased in only five states since 2007, the FBI said. The situation is getting worse in New Hampshire, where the rate is up 17 points in the last five years, and South Dakota, where crime is up 20 points over the same period. [Reid Wilson, Washington Post]
Meanwhile, crime rates in Colorado have fallen as legal cannabis generates high revenue.


Threatened sage grouse symbol of broken Mountain West

As hundreds of welfare ranchers reap windfall benefits for their negligence during a late fall blizzard, the Anthropocene is wiping out thousands of native species.

The extirpation of bison from the American West has led to the introduction of European cattle now doing untold damage to prairies, the sage steppe and to the high plains and deserts.
As sage grouse have been listed as a species worthy of protection under the Endangered Species Act, but precluded by higher priorities for now, western farmers and ranchers have been concerned about what the implications of such a decision might mean to the way they use the land. “They’re real worried that if that bird gets listed, the federal government will come in and tell them how to manage that ground,” said Melissa Foster, an FWP biologist who was the lead author of a four-year study in Powder and Carter counties. Scientists and conservationists are trying to piece together the best way to preserve sage grouse on their traditional sagebrush steppe environment, which is seeing greater pressures from oil and gas development, loss of habitat to wildland fires and even conifer encroachment. The study area included a land mix of about 54 percent private, 36 percent BLM and 10 percent state, spreading east from the Powder River to the South Dakota border and south from the Powderville Road to the Wyoming border. [Brett French, Billings Gazette]

Dustin Bleizeffer:
It is too late for the sage grouse in the Powder River Basin, said Tom Christiansen, sage grouse program coordinator for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department.
No shit.

Jeremy Fugleberg from the Casper Trib:
Sage grouse in northeastern Wyoming are on the verge of extinction, hammered hard by a one-two punch from energy development and outbreaks of West Nile virus, according to a recently released U.S. Bureau of Land Management study.
As a blogger's dream inches closer to reality, rewilding the West happens.