Under its chosen alternative, when reservoir water levels allow, the Corps would request that Fort Peck Dam begin increasing releases in April to see if mimicking spring runoff will attract pallid sturgeon into the Missouri River. Beginning on April 16 — only when Fort Peck Reservoir’s elevation is at 2,227 feet and other downstream and runoff factors align — flows would be increased by 1,700 cubic feet per second each day until the peak flow at the Wolf Point gauge reached 16,000 cfs. That flow would be held for three days and then gradually decreased before being boosted in late May to 28,000 cfs. The peak flow would be held for three days, and then gradually decreased to 8,000 cfs and held there through mid-July. On the Yellowstone River, a tributary to the Missouri, the Bureau of Reclamation is reconstructing Intake Dam — an irrigation impoundment — to include a two-mile-long bypass channel in hopes pallid sturgeon and other native fish will have access to another 165 miles of river above the dam to successfully spawn. [Plan finalized to test boosting Fort Peck Dam releases to encourage pallid sturgeon to spawn]Nearly two dozen more species were declared extinct Wednesday.
“We ended up receiving five patients from the accident,” said spokesperson Kaci Husted. “And all five of them are still in house here with us.” “We’ve been operating above 100% of our typical capacity for several weeks now,” Husted said. “Somewhere in the 110% to somewhere in the 130ish% of our capacity range is what we’re seeing on a day-to-day basis.” Logan Health in Kalispell, Mont., – more than 200 miles from the accident – was at 94% capacity as of Monday morning and took in two patients from the derailment. [Boise Public Radio]Empire Builder passengers blame Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway for the derailment. In much of the Mountain West BNSF Railway owns the track bed over which Amtrak operates. Investigators believe speed was not a factor and that heat may have buckled the track. Passengers sign a waiver holding Amtrak harmless.
I'm glad to see the tracks have safely reopened, and I'll remain in close contact with Amtrak and the NTSB as this investigation continues.https://t.co/ApnfrIM1Zx— Senator Jon Tester (@SenatorTester) September 28, 2021
Harding-Perkins-Butte-Northern Meade Co Plains-Rapid City-Custer Co Plains-Pennington Co Plains-Fall River-Oglala Lakota-Sturgis/Piedmont Foot Hills-Southern Meade Co Plains-Hermosa Foot Hills-including the cities of Buffalo, Lemmon, Bison, Belle Fourche, Faith, Rapid City, Folsom, Box Elder, Caputa, Wall, Ardmore, Oelrichs, Pine Ridge, Oglala, Kyle, Sturgis, Piedmont, Summerset, Ellsworth AFB, Union Center, Hermosa, Buffalo Gap, and Fairburn: extreme weather conditions and very low moisture content of grasses, and other dry organic material on the ground, indicate that critical burning conditions exist. All fires have the potential to become large and spread quickly becoming erratic with extreme behavioral characteristics. [National Weather Service]Ash and soot from wildfires in the Siberian taiga are accelerating the loss of Arctic sea ice driving more frequent and deeper polar vortexes and soon the Yellowstone supervolcano will finally put South Dakota out of its misery.
In North Dakota's Cass County the Latino concentration has doubled since the 2010 Census and in McKenzie County it is up over 1000 percent. Overall, in North Dakota the number of people who self-identify as Latino or Hispanic has gone over 33,000.
What do these climate refugees and migrant workers have in common with their Midwest counterparts? Christianity. "Pro-life" is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita and the extreme white wing of the Republican Party knows it's hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos.
And as the Republican Party caves on immigration after Governor Kristi Noem said she won’t accept Afghan compatriots in South Dakota wage slaves could make real social justice change by walking off their jobs then calling for a general strike and bring Kristi to her senses, too.
Graphics lifted from the Timber Lake Topic.
This week, thousands of Haitian migrants set up camp in Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, just across the border from Del Rio, Texas. Photojournalist Toya Sarno Jordan has documented their search for a new life on the border town. https://t.co/zsBJrTKxwe— NPR (@NPR) September 25, 2021
Time is running out for a recall effort aiming to kick Cowboys for Trump founder Couy Griffin out of office as a county commissioner in southern New Mexico. Supporters of the petition drive in Otero County say they still need to collect several hundred additional signatures by next Wednesday to trigger a recall election against Griffin. The petition accuses him of failing to attend commission meetings, using his elected position for personal gain in promoting a support group for [Donald Trump] and violating state restrictions on gifts to public officials. Separately, Griffin is facing misdemeanor criminal charges in the Jan. 6. insurrection on the U.S. Capitol, where he appeared on an outdoor terrace and tried to lead the crowd in prayer. The recall petition highlights Griffin’s pursuit of travel reimbursements from taxpayers in Otero County for a cross-country trip in 2019 that culminated in a visit with Trump at the White House. [Associated Press]In a video posted at his Faceberg account Griffin invoked now dead domestic terrorist Lavoy Finicum who helped vandalize the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in 2016. The Mescalero Apache Tribe banned Griffin from their lands after he made racist and derogatory statements at his Faceberg page.
“You could look at 2020 as the nadir of American democratic processes, or you could look at it as a dress rehearsal,” says elections expert Rick Hasen. I say: IT WAS A DRESS REHEARSAL. Our way of life is on the line. Tyranny awaits. https://t.co/2eHDLll0bK— Laurence Tribe (@tribelaw) September 26, 2021
Throughout Dead Epidemiologists—some of which was written while he was afflicted with Covid—Wallace mercilessly attacks the complacency and fecklessness with which establishment scientists and politicians responded to the virus; he also surveys the damage that the pandemic has wrought on the bottom rungs of society. The book is poignantly dedicated to three meatpacking workers who died from Covid-19, and Wallace describes their barbarous working conditions in detail. But the book’s chief concern is the origin of the SARS-CoV2 virus, and Wallace works backward here, from the outbreak to the bat cave. To fully grasp why we’re living in an age of pandemics, one must first understand how industrial agriculture and deforestation work in tandem. The H5N1 bird flu and the H1N1 swine flu emerged from poultry and hog farms, whereas Ebola and Covid-19 emerged from wild animals. All are the result of zoonotic spillovers—when pathogens that originate in animals cross over to humans and then mutate in ways that allow them to spread to other humans. Wallace defines an agroecological system as one that is “tied to the state of the surrounding landscape from which resources are continually drawn (and returned).” [The Unemployed Epidemiologist Who Predicted the Pandemic]
I-25 traffic gridlock drives Front Range passenger rail as Meow Wolf Denver opens Convergence Station
The city of Colorado Springs is hiring a consultant to determine where a new train station could be built to serve a proposed Front Range rail line. Before asking for money, the state will have an operating and financial plan in place, said Spencer Dodge, Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission Liaison at a meeting of the Colorado Rail Passenger Association on Friday. Jill Gaebler, a rail commission member from Colorado Springs, said the Martin Drake Power Plant site could make sense for a new train station stop since it is right on the tracks and it is already publicly owned. "We need to start being strategically thoughtful about funding a new mode of transportation now, before we have absolute gridlock," she said. [Colorado Springs, CDOT preparing for Front Range rail ahead of possible tax ask]Combined with some $5 million it has set aside, $1 million from the State of New Mexico and a $5.6 million federal grant Amtrak is conducting track and infrastructure improvements for the Southwest Chief between Los Cerrillos, Lamy and Trinidad, Colorado.
More than 110,000 tickets have been snapped up in Denver, with all weekend days sold through October and most weekday tickets sold for the first two weeks of operation. Interest in the other locations doesn’t seem to be easing, either. In Santa Fe, the House of Eternal Return has sold more than 256,000 tickets since reopening in March, and at Omega Mart, 600,000 tickets have been purchased since its February opening. [Meow Wolf Denver: Creativity on a fast track]It's not in President Joe Biden's rail plan but if someday Amtrak, Colorado's Democratic congressional delegation and the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission connect the Chief at Pueblo or Trinidad to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming it would intersect the North Coast Hiawatha at Laurel or Billings, Montana.
Efforts to restore passenger rail across Montana’s southern tier of counties has been included in Wyoming’s own statewide rail plan for 2021, which could include southern links to Denver or Salt Lake City if fully established. “Wyoming state or local officials will partner with Montana agencies as appropriate to create a regional base of support for expanding passenger rail service on corridors that serve Wyoming and Montana,” the Wyoming Statewide Rail Plan suggests. [Wyoming plan notes Montana rail authority’s push to restore southern passenger route]
Yes, that's the Waldo Canyon Road between I25 and Cerrillos in the right side of the photo just across the Rio Galisteo from us! https://t.co/QqGvAqjzgR— interested party (@larry_kurtz) April 15, 2021
Intermittent closures of N.M. 16 during the filming of Chupa — a Netflix film about a boy who discovers a mythical creature living on his grandfather’s ranch — riled nearby residents who said the production kept them from accessing Interstate 25. “We don’t want to mess with the film; we just want to go out to town to get ice cream,” Donnamarie Jones said Monday, adding residents on Red Rock and Baja Waldo roads had been told to take an alternative route while on more serious business, such as going to work in Santa Fe, traveling to care for an elderly person in the East Mountains and catching a flight at the airport in Albuquerque. Larry Kurtz said Camino Cerro Chato, the only other way in and out of the area, is a rough road that would have routed residents of the remote community locals call [Baja Waldo] through Madrid — about an hour out of their way. Kurtz and Jones said filming in the area has resulted in temporary road closures in the area before but said they’d heard from neighbors — some who complained about the issue in a group email thread — that tribal officials stationed at checkpoints during the production seemed less amiable than in the past. The production is employing approximately 300 New Mexico crew members and 650 New Mexico background performers and extras, according to a film office news release. A chupacabra is a creature that appears in legends, primarily in the Americas. It is said to attack and drink the blood of animals. [Phaedra Haywood, 'Chupacabra'-related road closure riles area residents, link mine.]The New Mexico Department of Transportation maintains NM-16 only to the border with the Kewa Pueblo (Santo Domingo Reservation) but it's generally known as a state highway all the way to the Galisteo Dam which was built in 1965 and placed into operation in 1970 after floodwaters wiped out part of the pueblo just above where the Rio Galisteo joins the Rio Grande.
Quiet moment for your timeline. pic.twitter.com/LOihZX9uRS— Better Call Saul (@BetterCallSaul) September 16, 2021
U.S. veteran, Eagle Butte resident and Cheyenne River elder (aged 102), Mrs. Marcella Rose LeBeau/Pretty Rainbow Woman (Oohenupa) had an opportunity to travel to Washington, DC to meet congressional representatives about the Remove the Stain Act. When then-Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) introduced the Remove the Stain Act in the 116th Congress, she said the act was “about more than just rescinding Medals of Honor from soldiers who served in the US 7th Cavalry and massacred unarmed Lakota women and children [in 1890] – it’s also about making people aware of this country’s history of genocide of American Indians.” LeBeau and many historians contend that that Wounded Knee Massacre was an act of retaliation for the Union defeat at the Battle of Little Big Horn where LeBeau’s great-grandfather, Rain in the Face, fought victoriously in defense against Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the battle in 1876. [Another “Never Forget” Moment in American History]
Democratic South Dakota State Senator Troy Heinert gets national press. https://t.co/z9QuOz6hTb— interested party (@larry_kurtz) April 27, 2021
Open your mind for just a moment, and consider this as an alternative name for Custer State Park: Elk Song State Park. Or, in the Lakota: Makoce hehaka olowan. Certainly lovelier than Custer State Park, however attached you might be to that well-established name. The Elk Song alternative was suggested by Lanniko Lee, a Lakota writer from the Cheyenne River Tribe, when I reached out to her through my friend, Chuck Woodard. Makoce hehaka olowan is wonderfully lyrical and appropriate for a 71,000-acre park where elk do indeed sing. And a closer interpretation of the Lakota by Lee has it as “Land where elk sing.” George Armstrong Custer, after all, had a bit of a reputation with indigenous people, and not in the best of ways. In some of the worst, actually. [Kevin Woster]
The area was originally referred to as “Squaw Buttes” in a 1906 U.S. Geological Survey publication, according to research by the federal government, but “Squaw Teats” became more common starting around 1938. Board chairman Herb Stoughton of Cheyenne said, over the years, the panel has heard proposals on a number of controversial names, including some that contained the N-word. [State board considers name change for the ‘Squaw Teats’]Learn more about Colorado's progress linked here.
In July 2021, the BLM released a detailed analysis of American Prairie’s change of use proposal. This comprehensive Environmental Assessment demonstrates that our grazing plan for our privately-owned bison will build a resilient prairie landscape, preserve our lands for public benefit, and contribute to Montana’s economy– all without harming Montana’s ranching community. The BLM’s “Finding of No Significant Impact” came after considerable analysis and public comment, including four in-person meetings in Winnett, Winifred, Malta and Glasgow. American Prairie’s plans are consistent with federal law and agency regulations. To suggest otherwise is to engage in wishful thinking, unmoored from decades of legal and regulatory precedent. Like other property owners, we are exercising our property rights that come with the purchase of land. [Why American Prairie Reserve plans are good for Montana]
An important consideration for rewilding is the potential reversibility or “healing” of the wounds, whether by natural processes alone or in conjunction with human intervention and restoration efforts. Many grazing lands are otherwise minimally disturbed, with only a few fences, dirt roads, or built structures in addition to the grazing impacts, and hold high potential for rewilding. Many agricultural croplands will have been cleared, shaped, plowed, tilled, planted, and harvested over time. But so long as they have not been overly eroded or depleted, and not poisoned, they may hold significant potential for restoration and some degree of rewilding. In contrast, more permanent wounds from mining and mine wastes, Interstate Highways, concrete and steel structures of urban and residential and commercial and industrial development, may present major and long-term obstacles to rewilding on any human time scale. [Howard, Mapping for Rewilding – A Healing Nature’s Wounds Perspective]Clear the second growth conifers and eastern red cedar then restore aspen and oak habitat, prescribe burns, begin extensive Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids, empower tribes, lease private land for wildlife corridors, turn feral horses from BLM pastures onto other public land to control exotic grasses and buy out the welfare ranchers Tony Dean warned us about.
Today, the Black Hills are tinder dry as an insect called the Ips engraver beetle is culling trees that are highly stressed by drought conditions. According to Kurt Allen, an entomologist for the US Forest Service in Region 2 impacts from the Ips beetle typically only last for two or three years but pine trees that are completely brown or red are dead and the beetle has moved on. The Forest Service generally allows the beetle to run its course and doesn't treat affected stands. Bark beetles shape water supplies throughout the Mountain West.
When artist and environmentalist Mary Zimmerman bought property within the Black Hills in 1988, neighboring public lands where that first timber sale took place had regrown so successfully that huge branches overhead “were like a cathedral. ”The site was thinned in 1990, removing some big trees but leaving many. It was thinned more in 2016. Then logging crews returned last year and took out the remaining big trees. Cattle now graze the area. “It’s just beat to hell,” Zimmerman said. Her account was confirmed by Blaine Cook, forest management scientist for the Black Hills for more than two decades until his 2019 retirement. Cook said his warnings that the forest was being damaged were rejected by superiors who faced political pressure to provide a steady supply of logs to sawmills in South Dakota and Wyoming. [Matthew Brown, Associated Press]In May the Neimans even bribed Black Hills State University to defend the logging they do on the BHNF.
Neither Biden plan — reduced biofuel blending mandates or increased governmental favoritism of electric cars and trucks — means the end of ethanol. Together, however, they make it plain that ag-based biofuels, and ethanol in particular, face a very tough future in the coming years. So, sooner or later, ever-greening American taxpayers will want to know why the nation continues to use ever-dwindling, irreplaceable natural resources to grow a federally-subsidized feedstock for a federally-mandated biofuel market that — mandate or not — is likely to shrink by at least one-third in the coming decade. [Alan Guebert: Ethanol's future is running out of gas]President Joe Biden has established a task force to determine the social costs of carbon and has required federal agencies to immediately begin applying their findings in their regulatory actions and other decision-making. But, even if ethanol use has plateaued because electric vehicles are reducing the need to burn diesel fuel to grow corn Indigenous communities are fighting to keep foreign miners from gouging lithium from public ground held by the Bureau of Land Management.
Demand is forecast to triple by 2025 as more automakers transition to electric motors. Jonathan Evans, CEO of Lithium Americas, says the resource will be mined and processed locally in Nevada - most of the global supply of lithium today is processed in China, he notes, making the US even more vulnerable to supply chain interruptions like recently during the pandemic. Tribal members are also curious whether the protest up at the camp will escalate like it did at Standing Rock in North Dakota, or possibly turn into another national environmental flashpoint, such as the battle over the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah. [These Tribal Activists Want Biden To Stop A Planned Lithium Mine On Their Sacred Land]
In 2003, new owner Barrick announced the surplus of several properties. I led a group of investors to the Ross Compressor Plant, a magnificent architectural masterpiece that housed the three leviathan air compressors that had provided most of the pneumatic needs for the mine. They drove hundreds of miles of line lovingly and meticulously maintained by union workers for at least seven decades.
Republicans today are much less likely than their predecessors in 1975 to have confidence in science. Meanwhile, Democrats today have more confidence than their fellow partisans did in the past. [Gallup]
Staff visited the future site of the Cangleska Wakan, the Sacred Circle Garden, at SURF. The garden will help visitors protect, respect and understand the area’s history, environment and connections we share.— SanfordLab (@SanfordLab) September 9, 2021
What's the Sacred Circle Garden all about?🌱⬇️https://t.co/upf5i9sgRs pic.twitter.com/8njvybCm7O
If livestock grazing is the key to preventing wildfires why is ranch country still suffering from near daily extreme grassland fire danger indices? Because Republicans are evil. The lightning caused Crater Ridge Fire has burned 6,232 acres on and around the Bighorn National Forest since its start July 17.
#RespectWildlife Caves have long been an important habitat for bats to raise their babies. This maternity colony of Townsend’s Big-eared bats was taken by scientists during a monitoring visit to Tongue River Cave in 2020.— Bighorn NF (@BighornUSFS) August 20, 2021
Courtesy photo by Dale Jacobsen pic.twitter.com/tHdsfpqINF
The level of grazing today is “far beyond what the ecosystem could support,” Western Watersheds Project said in its comments. The Bighorn also didn’t address how adding more of the herbicide to existing amounts in the area might affect human health, Andy Stahl, the executive director of [Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics], wrote. Hummingbirds, too, feed on larkspur, Bighorn Audubon and the Bighorn Council said in a letter to supporters. Broad-tailed hummingbirds “drink nectar from the flowers and pollinate them,” the letter reads. Larkspur isn’t the interloper, FSEEE said. “Livestock are an invasive species on the Bighorn,” Stahl’s comment letter reads. [Wyofile, Bighorn Forest plan for weeds, sagebrush sparks battle]
David Evans had just graduated from the Montana Youth Challenge Academy in Dillon. Two weeks after his graduation from the academy in 2007, Evans left for basic training. The next year, he was stationed in Baghdad. But some veterans, like Evans, have not felt the effects of the flood of money that the VA has received over the past 20 years. “I haven’t seen any of it, that’s for damn sure,” Evans said. The Army’s answers to his mental health issues were to shower him with prescription drugs, he said. ['A big cumbersome beast’: The rising cost of caring for veterans]Democratic Montana Senator Jon Tester has been a veterans advocate since before he even went to Congress. His VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act directs the VA to begin clinical trials to test the effects of cannabis as therapy for chronic pain and to treat the symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
While the VA has embraced the federally illegal status of the drug, agency policy does not allow discrimination against veterans who acquire medical cards in states where it is allowed, although those who do get their MMJ cards do so with their own resources and at their own risk outside the purview of the Veterans Health Administration. Until recently, cannabis researchers were required to only use plants grown at the University of Mississippi. Often referred to as “lawnmower clippings,” cannabis mandated by the U.S. government through the National Institute on Drug Abuse has been described as sub-standard, usually containing stems and seeds and sometimes even mold. It is often stored in freezers for years at a time. And it has no more than 9% THC, the active compound in cannabis — far less than the 20% to 30% in the cannabis sold at medical and recreational dispensaries. [VA sending mixed messages for vets about cannabis use to treat PTSD]There is a growing movement among Democrats and others to fund Medicare for all but I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and the Veterans Affairs together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax.
However, such sales have raised concerns from paleontologists in the past. In September last year, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), which represents more than 2,000 professionals and students, wrote to Christie's auction house about Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton Stan going under the hammer. The SVP said: "Fossil specimens that are sold into private hands are potentially lost to science." The organization added: "Even if made accessible to scientists, information contained within privately owned specimens and future access cannot be guaranteed, and therefore verification of scientific claims (the essence of scientific progress) cannot be performed." [The skeleton of the world's biggest Triceratops goes on sale]
One New Mexico organization hoping to address that disparity is Indigenous Women Rising, which relaunched its Abortion Fund Sept. 1 to help Indigenous people pay for abortion procedures or the costs associated with traveling to a state like New Mexico, Colorado or Oklahoma to get an abortion, such as gas, food and childcare. For now, the fund will cover only people living in North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Texas, Arizona, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Missouri or any state in the "Deep South" — who are planning to get an abortion there or elsewhere — or those who are traveling to New Mexico or Colorado to get an abortion, which is already the majority of the organization's callers seeking help. [New Mexico advocates are 'anticipating an influx' of patients after Texas abortion law]Learn more about women's rights and red state failure at NPR.
Black infants die at twice the rate of White infants. "In 2019, almost 3,600 more Black babies died before their first birthday," @AnnaFlagg writes.— Ibram X. Kendi (@DrIbram) September 2, 2021
The so-called "pro-life" folks hardly seem to care about the Black infants (and mothers) dying each year.https://t.co/FMYrjTVUzr
Some real talk from Sen. Tina Smith on how Dems will protect abortion rights:— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) September 2, 2021
"I support ending the filibuster. I support codifying Roe v Wade. I would support reforming the Supreme Court. But we need to be real: There are not votes in the U.S. Senate to do any of those things."
Longest U.S. war? Afghanistan? Wars against American Indians ran for more than a century: 1785-1890.— Meteor_Blades (@Meteor_Blades) August 31, 2021
On Nov. 29, 1864, U.S. soldiers attacked a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho people and killed at least 230, mostly women, children and older people. The Sand Creek Massacre is one of the worst mass murders in U.S. history. [The Proclamations Used To Incite The Sand Creek Massacre Have Been Officially Rescinded, 157 Years Later]
The city of Fort Collins has promised to include the Native American community in future discussions about the Hughes Stadium land if CSU, the city and a private landowner complete a three-way deal for the 165-acre site in west Fort Collins. Before the three-way land deal was announced, the Intertribal Alliance for Hughes Land Back asked the city and CSU's Board of Governors to return the unceded treaty land back to native stewardship. CSU, in an official statement honoring the ties of Indigenous people to land on which the university operates, acknowledges the land it is on today "is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne and Ute Nation and peoples." [As CSU moves to sell former Hughes land, Indigenous people are asking for the land back]The relatively small distance along the Front Range between the Canadian River in New Mexico and the Missouri at Fort Peck reminds me again how the earliest humans in North America thwarted by glaciers, the dire wolf, and Smilodon on everything north of the Sangre de Cristos terminating at Santa Fe, blazed the Pecos Trail from west to east into the southern Great Plains and Mississippi Valley to find an inland paradise teeming with prey.