Rounds sez "government-run health care doesn't work" but pushes for more government-run health care

Two of South Dakota's earth hater delegation receive their medical benefits from Obamacare. Rep. Kristi Noem has a full ride and Sen. John Thune is on the DC HealthLink Obamacare exchange.

The red moocher state's junior senator hasn't shared the source of his medical benefits with media but it's believed he is covered by the insurance company he owns and will be eligible for Medicare before his term ends.
Here in the U.S., the federal government has proved inept at running any large, nationwide program effectively, especially when it comes to health care. Look no further than Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Indian Health Service (IHS) for proof. [Government-Run Health Care Does Not Work, Mike Rounds, press release]
Republicans are infamous for killing the VA and IHS while government-run health care has been working for decades.
U.S. Sens. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) and John Hoeven (R-N.D.) recently reintroduced the Veterans Access to Long Term Care and Health Services Act, which expands veterans’ access to long-term care (LTC) services. [Mike Rounds, press release]
Here's Mike Rounds' career donor page at Open Secrets.
Forty-three states and the District of Columbia require insurance commissioners to file some kind of personal financial disclosure report. All but two of those jurisdictions — Hawaii and Vermont — make the documents available for public inspection. Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming have no such disclosure requirements. [Drinks, dinners, junkets and jobs: how the insurance industry courts state commissioners]
Steve Rounds enjoys an unusual 30-year lease on land managed by a state agency. Rounds got the lease to the Oahe Marina from South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder while his brother was governor and when his banker, Larry Deiter was named South Dakota Director of Insurance.
“We are obviously concerned about the impact that Wellmark’s decision will have on consumers,” South Dakota Insurance Director Larry Deiter told the Public Opinion this week. “The current environment under federal health care reform is causing companies to either raise premiums, narrow networks, or cease marketing of products.” Lonnie McKittrick, who heads up the Health Department at Fisher [sic] Rounds and Associates, echoed those comments. “ACA is just not working,” he said. “People are getting hammered. Everybody on the inside knew this is what could happen. You crossed your fingers and hoped it wouldn’t, but it did. It’s a system that was set up to fail, especially in a small state like ours.” [Looking for health insurance? Good luck]
Here is how Mike Rounds took federal money then gave it to SDGOP donors.

Sanford, Avera and Rapid City Regional enjoy virtual medical industry monopolies in their markets.

Kinda makes ya sick, init?

I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the IHS and the VA together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. Reproductive freedoms should be included with conditions just like the military does under TRICARE.

Earth haters like Mike Rounds and Pat Powers can squawk all they want about "socialized medicine" or "government-run health care." South Dakota is already a perpetual welfare state and permanent federal disaster area. It leads the US in breast cancer rates and is one of seven states that would be devastated by the repeal of Obamacare.


Today's intersection: governments, gods and fuel treatments

Just a hundred and fifty years ago bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns and deer cleared the grasses driving eastern Montana's fire season. If grasses remained in the fall tribes burned the rest.

But, in the mid-Nineteenth Century the US Army brought cheatgrass to the high plains and Missouri River basin.
There is general agreement that America’s landscapes, certainly its wildlands, are out of whack with their fires. For 50 years after the Great Fires of 1910 traumatized the U.S. Forest Service, the country committed to a program of what we might call fire resistance. It sought both to quit lighting fires and to extinguish every fire that did occur before it could grow large and damaging. Ponderosa forests, for example, have generally become overgrown with understories of young trees that can carry fire from the surface to the canopy – a revived fire but not one that allows the ponderosa to survive. It now appears that while restoration may be a permanent principle, one widely adopted, it is not a transcendent one. [Stephen Pyne, Recreating forests of the past isn't enough to fix our wildfire problem]
Disturbed soils can allow the growth of plants that had been introduced by European settlers. After a century of destructive ranching practices invasive grasses infest the upper Plains and sage steppe.

Cost to We the People for managing the 2013 Pautre Fire was about $1 million. No livestock were lost and there was minimal damage to fences. 3,519 acres of federal and 7,160 acres of private property were cleared of invasive grasses. The US Forest Service knew an advancing cold front would aid the clearing of foot-high grasses and mowed a fire break instead of using a disk to make a fire line so the prescribed fire escaped. There were no injuries and the only structure lost was a derelict rural schoolhouse.

Snow showers ended the fire then Republican ranchers sued the Obama Administration.

This blog has been advocating prescribed burns since February for the upper Missouri basin.

Just south of the threatened Upper Missouri Breaks National Monument Montana's lightning-caused 270,000-acre Lodgepole Complex is mostly contained in Petroleum and Garfield counties after growing into the nation's largest wildfire last week. According to the Bureau of Land Management domestic livestock losses within the Complex area were far fewer than anticipated. Some rain has fallen and that entire area will be green in two weeks.

The Trump Organization initially denied disaster assistance to compensate for the costs associated with structure protection but caved after Republican ranchers wailed in protest.

Damned if We the People do fuel treatments, damned if the gods do them.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) could have saved a load of dough paying Montana to set prescribed fires before the incident.

Several new fires are burning in SE Montana.

It's really frustrating that the conservative-leaning Billings Gazette and the other media covering the blaze have done such a shitty job contrasting eastern Montana under Trump with that same beat under Obama. Most are guilty of whitewashing the Trump White House responses to the needs in eastern Montana where Trump won overwhelmingly.

Fire seasons come and they go but the Gazette nearly always lands on the side of the Montana Republican Party.

It's rank hypocrisy.


Missouri River silt considered for fracking

According to NPR reports and other sources the Earth isn't producing sand fast enough to keep up with the humans.

A group calling itself the Missouri Sedimentation Action Coalition is blaming the sand hills of Nebraska for the silt in Lewis and Clark Lake and is saying they might sell recovered sediment as fracking sand to the oilfields of North Dakota. Lewis and Clark Lake is thirty percent full of toxic sediment.

As silt fills irrigation diversion dams lower quality water with higher salinity enters the system ultimately rendering soils incapable of supporting life. Snow and rainwater capture provide much higher quality water for irrigation likely making the beleaguered Lewis and Clark boondoggle obsolete before it's finished or even fully funded.

Rivers often disperse the extra sediment from behind a dam within weeks or months of dam removal. Removal of the Fort Edward Dam on New York’s Hudson River released so much contaminated sediment that the river was later named a Superfund site. A similar fate would befall the Missouri River if dams were not dredged before being decertified; but, migratory fish would recolonize newly accessible habitat within a matter of days.

The Army Corps of Engineers have cancelled Spring Pulses on the Missouri River not because of low flows but because the silt is so poisonous it would kill the very species it says it's trying to preserve.

Recall South Dakota's quisling earth hater former governor built a house in a swamp that flooded and received a generous self-reimbursement from insurance coverage underwritten by his own company knowing Lake Sharpe is filling with silt.

The US has thousands of mountains of glass cullet from the municipal waste stream just waiting to be repurposed: Japan recycles nearly 100% of her glass.

We sell millions of tons of salvage material to India and Asia to be recycled while tearing up our own ground mining for virgin minerals while steel and plastics, that could be petroleum, are buried in landfills.

South Dakota already has open pit frac sand mines competing to tear into yet another thousand acres. It takes enormous amounts of energy to melt and millions of yards of earth to disturb every year to mine the silica used in glass manufacture.

Earth haters in Congress are voting to end protections for water.

Mining waste glass from landfills or sediment for fracking makes some sense but let's call it remediation of surplus water instead of greenwashing a century of abuses perpetrated by the extractive and agriculture industries.


Rapid City closures grow food desert for American Indians, working poor

Grand Rapids, Mich., based SpartanNash has announced October closings for three food stores two of which serve Rapid City's American Indian community. The westside Family Thrift has served the white working poor.

Dan's Supermarket near the intersection of Omaha and Fifth closed about ten years ago.

Ben Snow, president of the Rapid City Economic Development Partnership, said the closures leave a "black hole" for North Rapid and downtown.
Childhood obesity continues to be a public health issue in the U.S. Research prior to this study demonstrated that children living on food deserts (FD) had greater weight statuses than children who did not live on FDs. Based on U.S. Department of Agriculture classification, almost half of the state of South Dakota is classified as a food desert, and childhood obesity continues to be an issue in the state. [The Effects of Food Deserts on the Weight Status of South Dakota Children]
A 2015 Feeding America survey revealed at least 105,880 people in South Dakota are food insecure. It's worst in Oglala Lakota County where rates are at 27.5 percent. 18 percent of children suffer food insecurity in the red moocher state, four percent higher than the national average.

Rapid City's mayor, Steve Allender, managed "a bunch of racists" before winning another GOP-glutted seat. Allender has been at a loss to house the 100 or so homeless people in Rapid City. He's even asked the Cornerstone Rescue Mission, a front for the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, to help.

And what is Allender up to these days? He's preening a golf course and raising money for reelection.

After the 1972 Flood that wiped out Teepee Town and killed some 238 people, mostly poor American Indians, the feds gave Rapid City rent supports to house those displaced by the disaster. Under ethics-free Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard homelessness in South Dakota has become epidemic.

NPR is reporting this morning that raising tobacco taxes leads more people to food stamps and some households spend thirty percent of their incomes on cigarettes.

Mario Gonzales brought viewers of Oyate Today up to speed on the Black Hills Land Claim.

Hey, Rapid City: give these people without places to live $1000 vouchers so they can flee South Dakota and its brutal winters or put them on Medicaid.


Let's run a Libertarian against Bob Ewing

South Dakota State Senator Bob Ewing (earth hater-31) has just kicked a yellow jacket nest.

Are you a cannabis rights advocate living in Lawrence County and want to get involved to help stop rampant corruption in Pierre?

Contact the South Dakota Libertarian Party or attend the convention tomorrow.
We couldn’t come up with a better place to celebrate freedom than Monk’s House of Ale Repute in Sioux Falls. We also have 2 special guests representing New Approach SD, the organization behind the legalization of marijuana, medical marijuana, and Death with Dignity. With your help, all 3 of these issues will be on the ballot in 2018. Melissa Mentele and George Hendrickson will be speaking and they will be available to answer all questions or concerns regarding these proposals. The petitions to sign up for 1, 2, or all 3 initiatives will also be provided. You only need to be a registered voter in South Dakota to sign! [press release]
Nutball Ewing co-sponsored anti-science SB 55 during this year's session and ran unopposed in a Democrat-rich district last cycle.

Gary Johnson did very well in Lawrence County in 2016 - 7.9% was the best in the whole state. Are you from that district? Anybody in mind?

I am still looking for South Dakota conservatives who can mount third party or indie runs for US House, governor, attorney general, auditor, secretary of state and PUC.


Powers lashes out, admits task too much to bear

Accusing others of dirty tricks Pat Powers adds anonymous comments to his blog and dishes out the load he can't take.

Bully Powers derides soda taxes, embraces usury and advocates tanning beds for teens without parents' permission but says cannabis prohibition is not nanny-statism. He has kids suffering from hellish diseases and autism yet he decries effective therapies for those afflicted.

He's looked worse but Powers is still morbidly obese and now the load on his health is taking its toll. A source close to his family says he's being treated for pancreatic cancer. He's even imagining threats to his person and sounds like he's throwing in the towel. He could wind up in a shelter belt with a fatal wound in his abdomen near a shotgun tied to a tree:
You know, I’m shameless when it comes to candidate and VIP photos. But after I get them, I always think I look terrible in them. Case in point, one I just got today from a few months back. It was a good event, and Mike was an excellent speaker. But I look at myself, and go “yuck." Maybe I’m as hypercritical of myself as I’ve ever been, and just hate photos of myself because it amplifies it, as I’m doing so today as I choose an official “Realtor” photo, and find myself rejecting most of them. I should have had this out there earlier today, but I’m as sick as a dog, and wishing someone would put me out of my misery. [Pat Powers, South Dakota War Toilet]

Hypocritical is more like it but Pat's wish is my psalm.

Powers has long been banned from this and other South Dakota related sites because of a constant stream of bigotry, misogyny and other hate speech.

Although we'll probably never know let's hope he hasn't raped his daughters and promised them big money for letting him harvest their ova.


Wanblee fire long overdue

Election year politics from Senator John Thune (earth hater-SD) forced federal land managers to curtail prescribed fires on national forests and grasslands in South Dakota.

Now, a wildland fire that has grown to at least 5000 acres near Wanblee is reminding land managers, both public and private, that prescribed burns are essential for responsible stewardship.
Ancestral Puebloans may have used fire for much more than long-range communication. Evidence suggests it was used as a tool for manipulating landscapes. Fire could also be used to manufacture an expanded “edge effect,” the area where two ecosystems meet, such as the joining of plains and a forest, where there is increased biodiversity. It could also be used to essentially groom an area, removing underbrush and easing travel and hunting within it. [Ancestral Puebloans used fire to communicate across vast distances]
Pre-emptive burns and managed lightning-struck fires are essential to restoring balance in western ecosystems just like letting bison crop invasive grasses is to the Greater Missouri Basin.

South Dakota Governor Denny Daugaard is a climate and Anthropocene denier yet state climatologist Dennis Todey is ringing the climate alarm.

So, the question remains: should rewilding efforts seek to restore sustainable wild lands to Pleistocene Era conditions or let the Anthropocene lay waste desertifying precious resources changing the landscape forever leaving survivors to cleave out habitable zones forsaking native species?

Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. The Industrial Revolution and European settlement in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests.

Just a hundred and fifty years ago bison would be clearing the grasses driving the 2017 wildfire season.

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

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


Trump snubs loyal North Dakota earth haters

North and South Dakota are in the cross hairs.

The Trump Organization has blown off earth hater North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum's request for a "major disaster declaration" to help cover some of the estimated $38 million gift to the law enforcement industry who busted heads and chilled the civil rights of water protectors trying to stop the Dakota Excess pipeline.

Mercenaries and National Guard troops brutalized many of the thousands of demonstrators camped on federal land near Cannon Ball, North Dakota where some 761 people were arrested between early August and late February. Trump apparatchiks even referred to the American Indians and their compatriots as jihadists or insurgents.

Although Burgum was notified in May that the request was denied the governor's office didn't announce the snub until reporters asked about it just recently.

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

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

Severe drought has extended to more than half of North Dakota and people are pissed. The Standing Rock Indian Reservation has even taken steps to leave the grid.

Not far from Cannon Ball the Magpie Fire is bringing much-needed restoration to the Little Missouri National Grassland.

Then-Attorney General Eric Holder was in South Dakota July, 2011 to keep the smoldering cold war with aboriginals from a flash point.

In 2016 Trump won North Dakota by a 36 percent margin. After shitting on the NDGOP the midterms could be brutal for the Cheeto-dusted Führer , earth hater At-large Representative Kevin Cramer and DINO Heidi Heitkamp.


Lalley urges Bjorkman to run as SDGOP-lite

There isn't a single South Dakota Democrat who can win a statewide race without a third party or indie conservative running to split the SDGOP vote in the general election.
Tim Bjorkman, a retired circuit court judge from Salem, will announce his candidacy for the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday. So maybe we’ll have an actual contested statewide campaign of substance for the first time in since Noem defeated then incumbent Congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin. [Patrick Lalley, another commercial radio station]
Blah, blah, blah.

West River conservatives are backing Shantel Krebs in the US House race because of their anger over the Gant/Powers scandals while the SDGOP establishment earth haters are backing Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson.

interested party has contacted several West River conservatives furious with the leadership void left by Denny Daugaard in the shit storm created by the Bendagate and Westerhuis affairs to mount third party and independent runs for statewide seats. Lora Hubbel still has time to leave the earth hater party and run on principle as a third party or unaffiliated candidate.

Unless Marty Jackley leaks dirt about Kristi Noem's extramarital gymnastics he's going to be roadkill in the earth hater gubernatorial primary, too.

The feckless South Dakota Democrats should hold a nominating convention and avoid any primary contests. JR LaPlante should run for his party's nomination for attorney general, btw.

Unless Bjorkman talks about legal cannabis and Medicaid for all he's just running as an SDGOP clone.


South Dakota wants ex-pat earth haters to return to state

A group in Sioux Falls wants white christian earth haters who left South Dakota to return from Minnesota, Colorado and California then isolate themselves from fair taxation, African-Americans, cultural diversity and enjoy the benefits of air service subsidies.
Event attendees will get a Back to SoDak T-shirt and a gift bag with a coupon book to city businesses such as bars, wineries, Escape 605, Washington Pavillion, Sticks and Steel, Great Plains Zoo, Gunderson Jewelers and Grand Falls Casino. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
You're kidding, right? Which parts of six month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights and an extremist legislature escape you people?

A Feeding America survey shows 105,880 people in South Dakota are food insecure. Homelessness in the state is rampant; drunk driving, meth use and teen binge drinking are off the charts.

The state is second in addiction to gambling and teachers' salaries are 51st in the nation. Wage slavery is the state's biggest claim to fame and South Dakota dairies are wreaking habitat havoc. Infrastructure is crumbling and the state's bureaucracy is overbearing and unwieldy. Ag groups want federally subsidized crop insurance and the right to pollute. Corruption and graft are commonplace.

Pollution from industrial agriculture has made waterways poisonous, the state has no modern statute addressing financial assurances for pipeline leaks. Trophy fishing for threatened species is a tourist activity. East River, South Dakota is a dead zone.

Racism is endemic and white immigrants have been accepted while displacing and disgracing American Indians. South Dakota wrongly puts thousands in nursing homes. Mass incarceration fuels the white foster home industry: a pet project of the governor's wife.

In South Dakota 302 children are confined per 100,000 kids; that's the highest number in the United States according to Pew.

South Dakota hid evidence in the death of Brady Folkens. Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley routinely benefits from court deals with his campaign donors while the South Dakota Newspaper Association reads like a bulletin for the Republican Party.

But, earth hater and climate science denier Governor Denny Daugaard had the temerity to travel to the Sicangu Oyate to tell tribal leaders they have better shit to do than restore Pe 'Sla to federal trust status taking it off the tax rolls.

Fact is: in South Dakota Republicans go to Pierre for the lobbyist-provided hookers while Democrats go to Pierre because they are the hookers.

Democrats aren't going to return to my home state to be repressed, oppressed and depressed: South Dakota is doomed to be a shit hole for Republicans forever.

Why yes: the above map was stolen from David Montgomery.


Therapeutic cannabis surging in New Mexico

Revenues from therapeutic cannabis in New Mexico during the first quarter of 2017 reached $19 million, an 86 percent increase over the first quarter of 2016. Total receipts for 2017 are projected to exceed $83.5 million.
“New Mexico is really expanding,” Gina Lucero said. Cannabis patients in the state have nearly doubled in the past year to more than 44,000 according to new June numbers from the New Mexico Department of Health. “I think people are becoming more and more aware of cannabis,” Lucero said. She is the president of Grow for Vets New Mexico, a new local chapter of a nationwide organization. “We feel that veterans, of all people, they should get it for free, they shouldn’t have to pay for their card,” Lucero said. “As they grow, they’re also looking to hire new people,” said Shanon Jaramillo, Cannabis NM Staffing. [KQRE teevee]
Under term-limited earth hater Governor Susana Martinez New Mexico unemployment rates are the worst in the United States.

No earth haters have the courage to enter the 2018 race but Democrats Jeff Apodaca, Peter DeBenedittis, Joseph Cervantes and US Representative for New Mexico's First District, Michelle Lujan Grisham have announced runs in next year's primary to replace Martinez. They all laud the state's cannabis initiative.

Travel in the state is breaking records, too. According to State Tourism there were an estimated 34.4 million trips in New Mexico last year, up about 3 percent from 2015.

In defiance of sabre-rattling from the Trump Organization threatening to end tribal sovereignty the Nevada Tribal Cannabis Alliance, the New Mexico-based Acoma Pueblo, Montana's Blackfeet, the Yankton Sioux Tribe and others are all exploring the economic benefits of grow/ops.


Today's intersection: farmer suicides and socialized medicine

A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it's spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services.
The agrarian imperative theory, as last week’s article explained, postulates that people engaged in farming have a strong urge to supply essentials for human life such as food and materials for clothing, shelter and fuel, and to hang onto their land and other resources needed to produce these goods at all costs. The theory also suggests that when agricultural producers are unable to supply these requisites, they feel they are letting down those who depend on them, foremost — their families and communities, and all consumers as well. That’s when some farmers undertake what they may feel is their last alternative: to hold themselves responsible for their failure, even if it means taking their own lives. [Yankton Press & Dakotan]
Socialized military, socialized coal, socialized timber harvest and socialized ag/livestock production are what Republicans want.
U.S. Rep. Kristi Noem is hoping to see the next iteration of the Farm Bill get kicked over to the Senate well in advance of its expiration. Aside from continuing to improve crop insurance programs, Noem expects "safety net" services like disaster relief will join conservation program expansion as the top priorities during Farm Bill discussions. [Mitchell Daily Republic]
Noem and her husband sell subsidized crop insurance and have received federal agriculture subsidies.

She was just in Rapid City for a town hall defending the Trump Organization's plan to end medical insurance coverage for some 22 million Americans including thousands of farmers. One attendee called the event scripted and poorly publicized to minimize participation.

Krusti Kristi has announced a run for the earth hater party's nomination for Governor of South Dakota, so has Attorney General Marty Jackley. They're expected to spend most of their campaign resources during a bitter primary that could level the field in the 2018 general election for a third party or indie candidate like Lora Hubbel.

Since suicides and murders have become commonplace in South Dakota politics the toll on the SDGOP could mount.

Earth haters like Noem and Pat Powers can squawk all they want about "socialized medicine" or "government-run health care." South Dakota is already a perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area. It leads the US in breast cancer rates and is one of seven states that would be devastated by the repeal of Obamacare.

But, if either had any integrity whatsoever and cared about food security they'd urge South Dakota's congressional delegation to work toward rolling the funding for Obamacare, Tricare, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and Veterans Administration together and offer Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax. Reproductive freedoms should be included with conditions just like the military does under Tricare.


Crow Peak Fire: told you so

After intense lobbying efforts from this interested party the Black Hills National Forest began managing the 2016 lightning-caused Crow Peak as a controlled burn.
Christopher Zoller, Black Hills National Forest fire management officer, pointed out the ponderosa pines that were “limbed up,” or pruned from the fire below, and are still alive, showing green in their crown. “That’s a perfect example of a ponderosa pine taking fire,” he said. Zoller pointed out how the fire burned up smaller material on the ground, opening it up for new growth. “That’s good fire on the landscape, whether it’s prescribed burn or whether it is a wildfire. This is a good example here of both.” Nature is regenerating itself in the burn areas, and overall, the Black Hills National Forest personnel saw the latest fire as removing dead and downed fuels on Crow Peak and creating a healthier landscape for vegetation and improved habitat for wildlife. [Black Hills Pioneer]
The Crow Peak Fire affected mostly Republican landowners who built in the wildland urban interface (WUI) and begged the feds to protect their properties. These people, white retirees from somewhere else who hate gubmint having fled Minnesota, Colorado or California, parachuted into South Dakota hoping to isolate themselves from fair taxation, African-Americans and cultural diversity.

Insurance companies in some western states are denying coverage for idiots who build in the WUI.

Phil Lampert was in the Black Hills tourist industry long before this writer was and has also been a client. His house is still standing because of the 2015 Cold Brook Fire.
"By the time I got to my west gate to unlock it, at my west boundary, that fire was already coming down the hill to the ranch," Lampert said. "So it was a little nerve wracking there for a while." Firefighters saved the place, with help from Lampert's years of tree-thinning and a state-federal-private prescribed burn nearby more than a year ago. [KELO teevee]
There is no let it burn policy in the Black Hills because there is no money to manage a fire not on the prescribed burn list.
The clouds of smoke rise from Crow Peak, where steep, rugged terrain makes the blaze difficult to battle on foot. So the firefighting focus so far has been from the air. With a dry forecast until at least Tuesday, there's plenty of firefighting to do. And Sunday evening, the fire was still far from being contained. Early Sunday morning, fire officials were estimating the blaze area at 400 acres. [KELO teevee]
There was a Crow Peak Fire stopped at 135 acres in 2012 that the Forest Service should have let burn.

The collapse of the Black Hills ponderosa pine monoculture was forecast as early as 2002 but now bug counters at the Black Hills National Forest are saying its bark beetle outbreak has peaked although dry grasses still plague the region.

Ponderosa pine only arrived in the Black Hills about four thousand years ago.

Drying light fuels like grasses have boosted the likelihood of wildland fire on the high plains.

Stupid fucking state.