Climate change, population pressure led to exodus from Chaco: another cautionary tale

Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. Evidence that we humans have eaten or burned ourselves out of habitats creating catastrophes behind us is strewn throughout the North American continent
The Mesa Verdean ancients who occupied the Green Table for nearly a millennium grew to a population of about five thousand creating spectacular architecture and art-of-fact but ultimately consumed every living thing atop Chapin and Wetherill Mesas. Matrilineal and matrilocal, their resulting exodus took them east over the Continental Divide (possibly not for the first time considering their hunter-gatherer past) into the Rio Grande valley and settled Santa Fe where their descendants were all but wiped out by the invading Spanish forces. Puebloans in New Mexico accept their stations as members of the Fourth World.

Theirs is a cautionary tale of ecological destruction followed by extirpation: a trophic cascade where human is the apex predator and decimates a landscape. Rangers at Mesa Verde National Park drive home a narrative of preserving ecosystems to visitors. There are specimens of Rocky Mountain juniper that date to the time of the departure of the puebloans: about eight hundred years old. The bark was used in most of the ways northwest Indigenous cultures used (and still use) it. 

Chaco Wash is about seventy miles south of the Green Table and as with Acoma Pueblo it's key to clan herstory.
Amid the shift from people hunting and gathering to undertaking agriculture, the researchers noted measurable changes – such as juniper trees decimated for building needs, food resources and firewood for cooking. “This is a very arid area,” he said. “In arid woodlands, the trees are essential for holding the soil in place. When the puebloan inhabitants removed those woodlands, the result was eventually severe erosion and the deterioration of croplands.” The study by the University of Cincinnati team noted that the landscape modifications by Chaco residents triggered serious environmental ramifications. [Study details environmental impacts of early Chaco residents]
"Modern society" is a product of the forbidden fruit--agriculture. Cain, the farmer, slew Abel, the hunter-gatherer and, yes, humans' collective knowledge is pushing us home to the stars whose dust make us who we are. Reproduction is the reason, food is the fuel. Humans are merely Terran tools to go forth and find more...unless or until we kill the Earth before she kills us for taking more than our share.

ip photo.


Closure of Deadwood's brothels sees anniversary

Logging out the basin for the Grizzly Gulch Tailings Disposal Project above Pluma and Deadwood in 1978 helped to launch this blogger's love of the Black Hills. Homestake Mining Company that also operated the sawmill in Spearditch, hired a local contractor who gave a farm boy and School of Mines dropout a skidder job. I got good at it, too. So good, in fact, I saved enough money to take Ray Hanson's timber crew to Pam Holliday's Purple Door in Deadwood. 

But, after two salvage timber sales in the Bighorns Rich Schnarr, Ed Fuhs and this interested party went looking for work in Idaho to no avail. So, when we drove through Missoula, Montana and saw thirteen hang gliders over Mount Sentinel that was the place I knew I'd end up in 1979 when Governor Bill Janklow closed the brothels in Deadwood to divert media attention from his role in the murders of Jancita and Delphine Eagle Deer.
While prostitution was long illegal, local law enforcement in the northern Black Hills town of Deadwood had long looked past the four brothels downtown hiding in the open behind painted doors. A year earlier, Jeffrey Viken, who'd go onto become the federal court judge in Rapid City but was only then an attorney for the Department of Justice, investigated an assassination of a sitting federal judge in Texas, and traced the gun to a brothel in the northern Black Hills town of Deadwood. But while she donated to local charities like the Boy Scouts and her prostitutes purchased fancy clothing from a downtown store (and even regularly underwent health checks by the county), Holliday also became friendly with motorcycle gangs and offered a safehouse for firearms trafficking. [What finally closed Deadwood's last four brothels, including the famed Pam's Purple Door]
It took the lobbying of Lt. Governor Walter Dale Miller, Democrats Bill Walsh and Tom Blair to bring legal gaming to Deadwood to finance historic preservation; but, Republican greed has turned it into the prostituted cultural wasteland that it is today.

Now, most if not all, meth in South Dakota is trafficked by white Trump-worshiping motorcycle clubs. These hordes are essentially domestic terrorists operating with the blessings of the prison/industrial complex. The Sons of Silence, Bandidos and Hells Angels control organized crime in the Black Hills area where members have infiltrated nearly every community even operating Rapid City's Cornerstone Rescue Mission for a time as a front for their activities. Former Cornerstone director, Dan Island, build a Lawrence County mansion and together with his brother Frank built a cocaine and meth empire before their deaths.


Colorado company adding recycled plastic to asphalt

After China instated her ban on importing waste plastics in response to the Trump Organization's destructive trade policies some communities are learning to improvise. 

America ships millions of tons of salvage material to India and Asia to be recycled tearing up our own ground mining for virgin minerals while steel, copper and rare earth metals are still being buried in landfills. Japan recycles nearly 100% of her glass but the US has thousands of mountains of glass cullet from the municipal waste stream just waiting to be repurposed, yes, even for the silica used in hydraulic fracturing

It takes trucks, tub grinders and balers dedicated to specific materials on a regional scale to do recycling right and New Mexico surfs the bottom of the US for recycling. Online shopping is driving increased cardboard recycling and Albuquerque's plastic bag ban went back into effect in August. Growstone, Inc. buys Albuquerque's glass and manufactures a medium for horticultural applications. 

In Nova Scotia, Goodwood Plastic Products Ltd. harvests shopping bags, food containers and peanut butter jars from the municipal waste stream then turns that material into synthetic lumber, wharf timbers, guardrail pilings and agricultural posts. Most plastics can be pyrolysized for fuel or added to asphalt.

Santa Fe County ships nearly all the plastic harvested from the municipal waste stream to Colorado where Denver and Boulder are among the best cities for doing recycling right. Now a Pueblo startup called Ecologic Materials Corp. is recycling shrink wrap and adding it to asphalt.
During the first week of operation, the company took in 25 tons of plastic wrap and already has processed several tons. Another 50 tons of Pueblo’s plastic wrap is ready to be shipped over to the Ecologic Materials Corp. site. But the first road project will be in Arizona and there are several in the works in Colorado which will be announced when details are finalized. The asphalt binding process, which has been 30 years in the research and development phase, can prevent six tons of plastic per mile of road from ending up in oceans and landfills. Although the company does not currently have plans to accept single-use waste plastic from the public, its founders are hopeful they will be able to do that in the future. [Pueblo Chieftan]
Learn more about the movement to reduce microplastics in the environment linked here.


Ramen factory in Belle Fourche is the latest South Dakota boondoggle

Nothing happens in South Dakota without federal money. 

In 2015 the City of Belle Fourche applied for and received federal money to build an industrial park beside track owned by the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad even though former Belle Fourche mayor Todd Keller scoffed at the boondoggle

Before it was ousted the Trump Organization's Department of Transportation headed by the wife of Republican former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell awarded more than $5.6 million in grants to upgrade infrastructure and enhance rail safety in the red moocher state that is South Dakota including $2.24 million for the RCPE mainline. 

The move comes after catastrophic plunges in commodities prices, numerous wrecks and water breaches on track owned by RCPE, a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming operating just north of the former Milwaukee line on a nearly parallel trackbed. RCPE wants $84 million of the nearly $1 billion South Dakota is getting from the feds despite nobody in the state's Republican congressional delegation voting for it.

Now, a California capitalist wants to bleed the little South Dakota town of some of its municipal water and a wad of DC supplied cash.
"I think we'll be one of the larger, if not the largest ramen producing facilities in the country," said Bill Saller, CEO of Albany Farms. "Anything that we possibly can source locally, we will." The complex would include a flour mill, production factories, and packaging areas that would produce more than 100 million packages of ramen each year, Saller said. It would eventually employ up to 900 workers earning what Saller described as "living wages." "We're not just looking at huge production," he said. "We want to lead the way as much as possible and be forward thinking as much as possible from an environmental perspective." [Bill Jankow's idea of public radio]
Yeah, no.
Kentucky, Idaho, South Dakota and Iowa reported the highest increases in the rates of workers who quit their jobs in August, according to a new glimpse of quit rates in the labor market released Friday. [Washington Post]
Anyone who believes there are 50 potential employees, let alone 900 within a hundred miles of Belle Fourche is delusional. Imagine driving from Rapid City or Gillette and back for work in a fucking ramen factory every day for $15 an hour especially during South Dakota's eight month winters! 

ip photo: Deer's Ears punctuate the Butte County high plains just north of Belle Fourche.


Elkton featured as successful migrant community

It's not always easy to find similarities with New Mexico and my home state of South Dakota but one correlation stands out: the growth in the Latino population is surging. In the Midwest the Latino community has grown 28 percent in the last decade and in the Southwest it's grown nearly 20 percent. Venezuelans make up the largest inbound demographic. 

As young people and Democrats flee South Dakota more brown people are doing the work in the red moocher state. Meat processors and industrial agriculture employ the greatest numbers of Hispanics in South Dakota. Spanish speakers prop up the federally subsidized dairy industry East River but in Huron Karen refugees slaughter and process turkeys. So now that brown workers can take the driver's license exam in Spanish white people can spend more time snorting and shooting meth. 

My sister is a former Elkton-Lake Benton High School Spanish teacher who has been tutoring students in math with English as a second language. 

Brookings County is home to a French-owned salted fat factory that relies on subsidized dairies threatening the Big Sioux River and its tributaries.
“People say they’re stealing American jobs. Find me one person who wants to work as hard as they do,” said Amanda Odegaard. Odegaard is the business manager for Hilltop Dairy just outside Elkton, South Dakota. The majority of Hilltop’s 24 employees immigrated from Central and South America. Felipe Huerta emigrated from Mexico in the early 2000s. He has worked at Hilltop for 14 years. He started on the milking floor and now is the farm’s breeder. [Spanish-speaking immigrants help revitalize rural America]
Yes, socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized nursing home industry and now a socialized internet are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine. 

Learn more about how the Trump Organization created the conditions for Central Americans to flee for the United States then refused them at the border.

ip photo: a farmstead crumbles on the South Dakota/Minnesota border just north of Elkton.


Surplus pipe compels Aberdeen to accelerate water pipeline

A couple years ago a contributor at the Aberdeen American News Faceberg page said he wants to melt snow, put the water in a pipeline and pump it to the Southwest.
We could be cashing in on all the snow we get here. Let's build snow melting plants and get water pipelines to California or Nevada where the drought is severe. We have oil pipeline from Alaska to Texas. We could do the same with snow: WATER THE NEW OIL..But Kristi Noem will think I am on Meth to suggest that idea. [Baka Bagoubadi]
Good idea but it’s not really new. In 2011 an interested party wondered whether compressing snow into ice and loading it onto flat rail cars might work. The capacity of the Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River is 27,000,000 acre-feet.
If East River would either carve ice out of the James and Big Sioux Rivers, load it onto side-dump railcars or pump flood water into tank cars, or both, then dump it into the Colorado's closest tributary, the Green River in Wyoming, South Dakota could sell that water to Las Vegas and Phoenix. [interested party]
Instead of empowering communities to harvest snow melt and rain water rural communities continue to be dependent on politicians who exploit need.
Diesel fired portable snowmelters are the most popular models since you can move them from site to site as self-contained units. Current portable snowmelters come with a debris catch area with baskets for manual removal of debris - even during operation! The SND5400 is designed for the airport market and other large-scale users. It economically melts 180 tons of snow per hour (based on latent heat of ice). [Snow Dragon Snowmelters]
That’s about 5421 gallons per hour and a rail tanker holds about 30,000 gallons. An acre-foot of water is almost 326,000 gallons. 

Use of federal dollars means a vote in Congress and a new pipeline would rip up over a hundred miles of unceded tribal lands where thousands of Indigenous Americans are buried.
A pipeline to carry water to Aberdeen from the Missouri River would cost upwards of $271 million, but state and federal funding options are available. The potential 104-mile pipeline would draw from the Missouri River at Lake Oahe near Mobridge and pipe it to the city's water treatment plant. While the report recommends using cement mortar-lined steel pipe, Doug Mund from Bartlett & West said there is currently a surplus of welded steel pipe available because of recently canceled oil pipeline projects. "A few months ago, there were 1,000 miles of pipe available," he said. "We can see a significant pipe savings between surplus and regular price." Using that surplus pipe would put the estimated cost around $291 million. [Aberdeen American News]


Strike tensions likely contributed to shooting

Bonanza Creek Ranch is about ten miles from our place as the raven flies. It's home to a 24-building town, five interior sets, a herd of movie star longhorns and is surrounded by an unobstructed 360-degree vista. We drive by it every time we go to the San Marcos Feed Store. 

Our Lady of the Arroyo and neighbor Lori drove by the sprawling complex swarming with crews the day before Alec Baldwin apparently shot and killed Halyna Hutchins. Production for the film Rust has been put on hold.
Sources told the Los Angeles Times crew members had been promised compensation for hotel rooms in Santa Fe but were told within the first days of filming they instead would need to stay in Albuquerque and make the hourlong commute to Bonanza Creek Ranch, just south of Santa Fe, twice a day. The dispute came as members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, including those in Santa Fe, were planning to begin a nationwide strike Monday. IATSE was arguing, among other things, that crew members were forced to work excessive hours with few breaks. The strike was called off Sunday when new negotiations were scheduled, according to a news release from IATSE. A post circulating on social media, purportedly from a member of the Rust camera team, said, “the entire camera crew walked off that morning.” The post, which said Thursday’s shooting “was not an isolated incident,” said the crew members wrote resignation letters citing “everything from lack of payment for three weeks, taking our hotels away despite asking for them in our deals, lack of COVID safety” and gun safety concerns. Nearly seven hours after they left — and were replaced by nonunion workers, according to the Times and the social media post — 911 dispatchers in Santa Fe received a call reporting Hutchins and Souza had been shot. ['Rust' crew members raised safety concerns before fatal shooting]
More on the film history of the Bonanza Creek Ranch linked here.


After sending bison to Wind River Wind Cave prescribes burn

In 2016 four calves, four yearlings, a 2-year-old female and a 3-year-old female genetically pure bison were trucked from the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Iowa to the Wind River Reservation as part of a seed herd to begin replacing the millions slaughtered during the European invasion. In 2017 the National Bison Range in Montana sent ten more bison to the Eastern Shoshone. 

Now, with help from the Nature Conservancy Wind Cave National Park in occupied South Dakota has contributed to the reintroduction of bison to the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho on the Wind River Reservation sending fifty to Wyoming. Bison at Wind Cave are genetically pure having descended from the few that survived in Yellowstone while those from NBR are not.
Planning is underway to burn 676 acres of land surrounding Wind Cave National Park’s developed area this fall and 669 acres adjacent to the Elk Mountain Campground next spring. The project area includes dense and open ponderosa pine forest with a grass understory. Ignition will take place through the utilization of ground resources and the primary carrier of fire will be grass. “Prescribed burns help reduce the threat of wildfires and allow firefighters to better protect homes and structures,” said park superintendent Leigh Welling. “The primary objectives of this burn are to reduce fuel loading in the ponderosa pine forest and to decrease encroachment of young ponderosa pine onto the prairie, improving the flow of water into the cave.” This fire represents a continuation of the park’s prescribed fire program that began in 1972. Prescribed fires maintain the balance between forest and prairie, remove the build-up of dead fuels which reduces the chance of a catastrophic wildfire and rejuvenate the native prairie grasses. [Wind Cave plans prescribed burn]
Wind Cave is home to nine species of bats, including the threatened northern long-eared bat, one species most impacted by White-nose syndrome or WNS—a fatal disease caused by the fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans. The fungus was detected on a western small-footed bat (Myotis ciliolabrum) in South Dakota in 2018. It's believed insects contaminated by industrial chemicals and pharmaceuticals in water supplies are weakening immune systems and spreading WNS to bats as part of the sixth mass extinction. 

Longtime Custer State Park concessionaire Phil Lampert's house is still standing because of the 2015 Cold Brook Fire that escaped federal fire managers yet proved to be far more effective at reducing fuels. But despite the park having conducted thousands of prescribed fires since its creation in 1903 South Dakota's Republican senior US Senator blamed the superintendent for ordering a burn under nearly perfect conditions. 

The Rocky Mountain Complex and the Black Hills have been home to a much larger aspen community in the fairly recent past. Ponderosa pine sucks millions of gallons from aquifer recharges, needles absorb heat and accelerate snow melt. 

Clear the second growth ponderosa pine, conduct fuel treatments, restore aspen and other native hardwoods, build wildlife corridors and approximate Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids.

Learn more about the restoration of bison from WyoFile.

ip photo: a prairie dog peers at the photographer from its burrow at Wind Cave National Park.


BLM still under fire for feral horse gathers

Tracy Stone-Manning is President Joe Biden's choice to lead the Bureau of Land Management and now that she's been confirmed she will serve under Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. Stone-Manning has called nearly every Trump era ruling "illegal" including its plans to manage feral horses and burros. 

Ironic that in a country that exports more weapons of mass destruction than all others combined and relentlessly hunts nearly anything that moves, in parts of the Mountain West and even in bright red Wyoming Equus ferus is still seen as a pet.
With the upcoming retirement of Friends of a Legacy (FOAL) Executive Director Marion Morrison, leaders of the nonprofit organization knew it would be tough to replace Morrison’s dominant force in leading efforts to preserve and protect wild horses and their habitat in the McCullough Peaks. FOAL is also active in working with the BLM on a fertility-control vaccine for the herd, to ensure the wild horses’ numbers don’t overwhelm the habitat. [Filling big horse shoes]
The cost of keeping feral horses in holding pens off wild lands costs taxpayers at least $49 million annually. Wyoming has the second-highest feral horse population in the country with at least 7,144 of these critters. The BLM’s target is 3,725.
Of the roughly 4,300 horses the BLM expects to capture, approximately 3,500 will not be returned to the range. The agency began operations on Oct. 7 and had gathered 285 — 138 mares, 63 foals and 84 stallions — as of Sunday. Four fatalities were recorded during that period. And while ranchers want the BLM to remove the state’s wild horses, which compete with cattle and sheep for food, wild horse advocacy groups want the agency to expand protections and allow for larger horse populations. Often, neither side ends up fully satisfied. The revisions have not yet been approved, and the American Wild Horse Campaign expects to push back if they are. [Record wild horse roundup is latest development in yearslong resource dispute]
The modern horse was introduced to North America by the Spanish late in the 15th Century and then by other European colonizers. Acquiring the horse in the 1740s enabled the Lakota to win the Black Hills

Today feral horses and burros on public lands number nearly 100,000 or about four times what the landscape can sustain without damaging habitat. In Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico and seven other states the BLM adopts out, seeks private pastures for, and feeds the horses.
No one contemplated wild horses overgrazing their ranges. Critical provisions for balancing horse herds with delicate desert landscapes were not considered or written into law. Now, we’ve learned how aggressive feral herds can be. Motion-activated game cameras at Mesa Verde National Park have filmed stallions successfully defending water holes against bull elk. The BLM has herd management areas across western states, including in Colorado: the Piceance-East Douglas HMA southwest of Meeker; the Sand Wash Basin HMA 48 miles west of Craig; and the Little Book Cliffs Wild Horse Range north of Grand Junction. There’s another BLM herd in Disappointment Valley formed when the market collapsed for horses no longer needed by the U.S. Army after the end of World War I. [Scourge of the West: ‘Wild’ vs. feral horses on public lands]
In an era when western states are scrambling to preserve habitat for bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, deer, the threatened greater sage grouse and all the other wildlife at risk to the Republican Party how is running nurseries for introduced species like feral horses and burros either conservative or sustainable?
For example, in Northwest Colorado, Greater sage-grouse numbers rose approximately 10 percent last year. In the Sand Wash Basin, where nearly 60 percent of the Sand Wash Basin herd management area is sage-grouse priority habitat, sage-grouse numbers fell by 26%. Over grazing by wild horses in Sand Wash is having a direct impact on sage-grouse and other wildlife. [BLM STATEMENT ON SAND WASH BASIN HMA WILD HORSE GATHER]
Clear the second growth conifers and eastern red cedar then restore aspen 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.

ip photo: mustangs browse in a Kewa Pueblo pasture.


Wind developer rebuked by county commissions turns to BHNF

Utilities are not your friends. 

No corporate taxes, a compliant regulator, a dearth of environmental protection and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal and eyesores like wind farms. But according to Republican Public Utilities Cartel Commissioner Chris Nelson the amount of wind power generation may have reached its plateau. In a 2019 interview with WNAX Radio Nelson said he believes there will be rapid development of solar power production facilities instead.
It didn’t take Meade County commissioners long at all Tuesday to tell an out-of-state developer they didn’t want a wind farm in eastern Meade County. Scott Debenham, president of Debenham Energy of San Diego, Calif., had asked to be included on the commission meeting agenda for its Tuesday meeting. Debenham, speaking to the commission via phone, explained that the government is beginning to open Forest Service land for alternative energy development. “The last state in the country I want to emulate as far as energy is California. I am not going to vote for this proposal,” Commissioner Doreen Creed told Debenham. [Black Hills Pioneer]
In 2017 a Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks study determined a single wind farm kills between 120 to 397 bats annually or about nine bats per turbine. Today, public lands are at risk to developers.
Well over $1 million is expected be spent on sensors and test towers to gauge the best placement for the wind turbine, Debenham said, but there are several considerations that will need to be born in mind as he works to find the best location across the four districts of the Black Hills National Forest. Debenham is open to locating his wind farm in the Bearlodge, Northern Hills, Mystic or Hell Canyon districts, he said, though each has its own benefits and drawbacks. “All of Chicago could be powered with this Forest,” he said of the scale of the proposal. He would also be looking for mining projects nearby, to which power could be supplied. In other words, he said, the company does not want to discover the presence of “a bunch of noisy, litigious people” after spending a quarter million dollars on the sensors. [Sundance (Wyoming) Times]
Wyoming Game and Fish discovered white nose syndrome in bats roosting at Devils Tower National Monument in early May. 

Avangrid, Inc., a US-based subsidiary of Spanish energy firm Iberdrola with a base in my home town of Elkton, South Dakota has spent at least $216 million on a wind farm. That amount of cash would take nearly 17,000 electric subscribers completely off the grid. Pending approvals Iberdrola and Avangrid will acquire Public Service of New Mexico (PNM) for about $4.3 billion. The move came just before voters changed the state's regulatory body to an elected five-member board to a three person governor-appointed commission. 

The average cost of a household photovoltaic system has dropped below $3/watt or less than $12,810 before tax credits are factored in and leaving the grid has never been easier so anyone who can afford to it should do it now. 

Don’t tie your system to the grid but if you use it as a backup keep your electricity completely invisible to the utility that reads your meter. Microgrid technologies are destined to encourage self-reliance, enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard.

The BHNF has begun its revision of the the current Land and Resource Management plan. First released in 1983, revised in 1997 and amended in 2006 it serves as the current Forest Plan.

ip photo: a familiar name appears on a gravestone in the Elk Vale Cemetery in southern Meade County just north of Ellsworth Air Force Base.


More holes being poked into Paha Sapa

South Dakota is no stranger to ecocide because it's a way of life in the chemical toilet. Under the General Mining Law of 1872 even foreign miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are. Land seized from the Great Sioux Nation had been remanded to the tribes under the Treaty of Fort Laramie but Congress broke the agreement to pay down Civil War debt then exploited the Custer Expedition's discovery of gold in the Black Hills.

Today, thanks to the Trump Organization the United States is in debt to the tune of $27 TRILLION so the US is encouraging mining companies from outside the country to drill more holes in the Earth looking for gold and silver. The surging price of gold means Republicans and foreign miners see the sacred Black Hills as a sacrifice zone

Mineral Mountain Resources has been trucking water in 3000 gallon tanks from Lead for lubrication with plans to take at least ten gallons a minute from wells near their test holes on 7,835 acres near Rochford. Solitario Zinc Corp. has been drilling in Latin America but now is combing 580 mining claims on about 11,600 acres in Lawrence County. Wharf Resources is doing exploratory drilling above Spearditch Canyon in a new area close to its current strip mine and cyanide leach pads in the Northern Hills where it recorded $72.5 million in profits for 2020.

Often powerless to resist the extractive industry the Black Hills National Forest is taking comments on a proposal from F3 Gold to drill on 2,500 sites near Silver City and explore above the Rapid Creek inlet to Pactola Reservoir on claims that actually extend into the lake.

The State of South Dakota has been trying to trade land with the Forest Service so Republicans can further despoil the former Gilt Edge Mine.

In 2020 American Rivers released a report that named Rapid Creek the seventh most endangered waterway in America, identified mining as a major threat then called on the US Forest Service to go beyond regulation outlined in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and "do more thorough environmental impact statements on proposed projects and potential impacts, including formal consultation with 16 tribal nations."

While exploratory holes normally take millions of gallons of water they tend to have minimal impact on the Forest itself but the drillers usually sell their data to bigger miners like Barrick, a Canadian earth raper.

ip photo: a beaver dam stills water on Rapid Creek near the Black Fox Campground above Rochford.


Idled lumber kiln being repurposed for biochar development

Biochar is produced by cooking organic material from agricultural and forestry wastes (biomass) in the absence of oxygen in a process called pyrolysis. Biochar sequesters carbon and got a boost during the Obama Administration so more applications for it are still being advanced by the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.

According to a 2013 Argonne National Lab study the Black Hills National Forest is highly suitable for that type of harvest. But, as Jim Neiman shutters his sawmill in Hill City, South Dakota other timber harvesters are converting the kilns that dry lumber to biochar production.

If there’s a piece of wood out there, James Gaspard will probably take it. The 17 acres his company owns in Berthoud, Colo., is stacked with rejected trees from across the state. The beetle-kill branches and fire-scarred trunks wait to be fed into 100 massive kilns, which look like a fleet of rusty UFOs landing in the farmland below Longs Peak. His company, Biochar Now, uses the contraptions to convert wood into biochar, a carbon-rich charcoal that can help soil retain water and nutrients. Products like biochar could provide the financial motivation for fire mitigation products, which reduce fuels but also creates massive piles of unwanted timber. [Colorado Public Radio]
In Bonner, Montana retired Forest Service project manager Dave Atkins is developing his own biochar production concept with yard landing waste and timber too small for commercial harvest.
Atkins says creating biochar out of young, skinny trees can reduce wildfire risk by removing “ladder fuels” — flammable material that can carry flames into the forest canopy — from vulnerable forests without releasing stored carbon into the atmosphere the way pile burning, the more common alternative, does. Adding biochar to a hard rock mining site can reduce the acidity and heavy metal pollution associated with mine drainage. Applied to drilling pads, it can expedite revegetation efforts. Atkins says that nearly two decades after he first started learning about biochar, the pieces appear to be falling into place. [Montana Free Press]
As it revises forest plans the USFS is preparing to burn slash piles on numerous national forests throughout the Mountain West. 

One need look no further than the Black Hills National Forest for how politics has completely altered a landscape but there are plenty other public lands examples that illustrate the red state, blue state divide. Here in New Mexico public comments on the upcoming forest plan will look way different than how they’ll read in my home state of South Dakota.
A study from American University posed some concern for the cost of producing biochar and argued it could be difficult to measure how much carbon biochar was specifically removing from the air. The study estimated biochar could sequester 500 million to 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) at a cost ranging from $18 to $166 per ton. Much of that cost, the study read, would depend on the amount of organic material specifically grown for biochar production. “The potential and cost of using biochar at large scale remain somewhat unclear,” read the study. “Further research is needed to refine global and regional estimates of biochar’s cost and potential.” [Carlsbad Current-Argus]
At least one company is converting waste from the cannabis industry to produce biochar.

Learn more about the US Biochar Initiative linked here.

ip photo: mixed pine, fir and aspen stand after the 2011 Las Conchas Fire.


Segments of Gila River move closer to Wild and Scenic designation

In 2019 we motored to Oracle, Patagonia, Bisbee and Morenci, Arizona from Santa Fe and were shocked by the ravages of surface mining at Silver City, New Mexico and in SE Arizona. Operations owned by Morenci and Miami are despoiling water supplies and reducing entire mountain ranges to piles of waste rock. These are mostly Republican enclaves where the rules of law are simply suggestions. Draining fragile aquifers and quietly lobbying for more water from the Gila River is the House of Saud who owns land in Arizona where they raise alfalfa to ship to Saudi Arabia.

Early in 2020 the Center for Biological Diversity sued the Trump Organization's Forest Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and its local representatives saying the agencies are allowing cattle in restricted areas along the Gila River and its tributaries in southwestern New Mexico and southeastern Arizona. Investigators from the Center discovered cattle on the Gila National Forest in excluded riparian zones in violation of a 1998 legal settlement. Because of pollution from cattle grazing American Rivers named the Gila the nation’s most endangered river in 2019. 

So, last year Senate Bill 3670, the MH Dutch Salmon Greater Gila Wild and Scenic River Act was introduced by former Senator Tom Udall (D-NM). It would protect 450 miles and 23 segments of the Gila River and its tributaries in New Mexico under the 1968 National Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. If passed the bill would also transfer 440 acres from the Gila National Forest within the US Department of Agriculture to the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument within the US Park Service and the Department of Interior. The bill has been reintroduced by Democratic New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich. 

Silver City has become a quiet town after most mining operations have come to a grinding halt so just like during the last Great Depression Democrats are the leaders getting financial help for workers.
A November 2020 report by market research firm Southwick Associates found that water-based recreation along the Gila and San Francisco rivers supports roughly 5,000 jobs worth more than $92 million in income, and helps draw visitors to southwestern New Mexico who spend around $427 million each year. About half the respondents to Southwick’s polling said they would use the river more if it were designated Wild and Scenic. [River confab aims to ‘reengage’ community]
Learn more at KRWG Public Radio.

ip photo: a desert sentinel near Tucson might be 300 years old.


Howard blowing her chance to make a difference

Led in part by Rapid City legislator Taffy Howard there is a mass exodus underway from the center of the South Dakota Republican Party but the news is now just surfacing in the local media. 

She has announced she is spending time and money by running in the Republican US House primary where she will be trounced by the incumbent. Two term Republican US Representative Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson has shown himself to be a moderate while wearing his heart on his sleeve and often brings home just a little too much pork for the tastes of the Howard wing. 

This development does put Zionist mob boss and SDGOP Chair Dan Lederman in a box. Does he use up some of the cash they have in abundance to buy off the Trump wing or will Lederman step aside for someone from the extreme white wing? Saudi-funded Lederman paid firebrand Gordon Howie a five figure sum to abandon his third party insurgency. Now the chasm separating the establishment Republicans from the principled conservatives in South Dakota is widening even more. 

Ideological purists loathe Lederman because sleaze and crime built his business. He spent $50,000 to buy a seat in South Dakota's corrupt legislature flaunting the same class by throwing it away resigning after the 2015 session then forcing his way into the chair of South Dakota's earth hater party and challenging Trump darling Governor Kristi Noem to become a Republican elector. 

Recall longtime Republican stalwarts like Phil Jensen, Charlie Hoffman, Betty Olson, Florence Thompson and at least fifteen others threw up their hands in desperation with first term Rep. Johnson and backed Elizabeth Marty May in the Republican US House primary in 2020.

In South Dakota an unaffiliated candidate needs 3,393 signatures (1% of the total vote for governor in 2018 - 339,214) to get on the general election ballot. Howard could have made a real difference by siphoning votes from Johnson giving the Democrat a chance in 2022.
State Rep. Howard is currently Vice Chair of the House Appropriations Committee in the South Dakota Statehouse, and is also a member of the Joint Committee on Appropriations as well as the House Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. According to her campaign website, Howard received a B.S. in mathematics from SDSU, was commissioned as an Air Force officer through the AFROTC program at SDSU, and earned her jump wings at the US Army Airborne School at Ft. Benning, GA. She and her husband Mark were both stationed at Ellsworth AFB and have made their home in Rapid City for 28 years. [KNBN teevee]
A Democrat has yet to announce but with some luck another principled conservative will get on the general election ballot while Taffy Howard makes Johnson burn off some of his funding stack.


Baby poop study adds to evidence of hormone disruptions

I have been chronicling gender bending chemicals in the environment for three decades and have learned gender dysphoria is comorbid with chemical giants, medical industry oligopolies, polluted waterways, subsidized agriculture, absence of medical insurance, cancer and Republican legislatures on the dole. 

Aluminum, propylene glycol (steareths), Triclosan, parabens and phthalates are endocrine disruptors that wreak havoc in children and adolescents. Tampons, menstrual pads and even some sunscreens contain gender bending endocrine disruptors. Phthalate-laden bottled water alone makes up 1.5 million tons of plastic each year. 

About 1 in a 1000 babies is born with ambiguous genitalia or intersex characteristics but no serious discussion of issues associated with gender identity can be undertaken without the studying the effects of phthalates and other plasticizers on human genetics.
In addition to drinking from bottles, babies could be ingesting microplastics in a dizzying number of ways. Of particular concern [is] a class of chemicals called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, or EDCs, which disrupt hormones and have been connected to reproductive, neurological, and metabolic problems, for instance increased obesity. “We should be concerned because the EDCs in microplastics have been shown to be linked with several adverse outcomes in human and animal studies,” says Jodi Flaws, a reproductive toxicologist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who led a 2020 study from the Endocrine Society on plastics. [Baby Poop Is Loaded With Microplastics]
Read Occurrence of Polyethylene Terephthalate and Polycarbonate Microplastics in Infant and Adult Feces linked here.

ip photo.


President Biden should release Leonard Peltier for Indigenous Peoples' Day

The United States' longest war wasn't in Afghanistan; it was against Indigenous Americans and ran from about 1785 to at least 1973. Leonard Peltier is a prisoner of that war.

Despite the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 President Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill Act in 1862 that distributed unceded lands in the public domain to raise funds for colleges. The Morrill Land-Grant Acts are directly linked to the Native American Genocide so after the defeat of the 7th Cavalry at Greasy Grass in 1876 and the Great Sioux War Congress abrogated that treaty in 1877 then the Utes, Lakota, Arapaho, Cheyenne and others who migrated, lived and hunted all along the Front Range were driven into concentration camps.

In 1980 attorney Mario Gonzalez filed the federal court case stopping payment of the Black Hills Claim award to the Oglala Lakota Nation. Gonzalez contends that the commission charged to make peace with tribes inserted language into the Fort Laramie Treaty signed in 1868 that Red Cloud had neither seen nor agreed to in negotiations. 

In 2019 during an episode of The Keepers, a podcast produced by the Kitchen Sisters and NPR, the lead Archivist at the National Archives told listeners lawyers are combing the records for treaties with tribal nations none of which have been honored by the United States.

David Treuer was born of a Holocaust survivor and Ojibwe mother. He wrote in The Atlantic that he believes that most land held in America's national parks should be remanded to Indigenous peoples but it's my view that much of the land held in the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service should also be part of that trust.

Leonard Peltier is a Prisoner of War doing hard time at a federal corrections complex in Florida. In 2020 Peltier applied for a compassionate release because of the coronavirus outbreak but it was denied by the Trump Organization because Trump loathes American Indians

In a letter dated April 24 former New Mexico US Representative from the Third District Deb Haaland and Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ, 3rd District) asked for a grant of clemency and the release of Peltier, a 75-year old tribal citizen of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. 

Hey, President Biden, release Leonard Peltier and settle the Black Hills Claim. 

Today, land repatriation is the part of the roadmap to reconciliation and that Republican welfare ranchers are angry about rewilding means it's the right thing to do.

Move the US Forest Service into the Department of the Interior, dissolve the Black Hills National Forest and make it a national monument co-managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the tribal nations signatory to the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move. 

Rewild it and rename it Paha Sapa National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell Wildlife Refuge in Montana along the Missouri River to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Pecos River through Nebraska, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.


Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers assaulted some 300,000 in France


Another Sunday serves up another story of serial savage sinfulness. 

The leader of the Roman Church is slowly cleaning house of predators but is taking heat from Republicans for his stance on curbing human-induced climate change and from progressives for his decision to canonize colonizers accused of raping children. The international crime syndicate that is the Roman Catholic Church is funneling money from parishes and paying settlements or hush money for the sins of predatory priests. As lawsuits and the US Department of Justice swamp the religionist cabal the future of the pedophile cult isn't looking very rosy.

The inquiry found the number of children abused in France could rise to 330,000, when taking into account abuses committed by lay members of the Church, such as teachers at Catholic schools. The French Church has previously announced a plan for "financial contributions" to victims, beginning next year. [French Church abuse: 216,000 children were victims of clergy - inquiry]

Image, Michael de Adder.


Sculptor doesn't loathe Trump

In the early twentieth century after President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House white supremacists began erecting statuary commemorating and celebrating treason in the United States. 

Mount Rushmore is South Dakota's premier example of white nationalist ideology. Its sculptor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Dallerie Davis, co-founder and artist liaison for the organization, said the project is in the concept stage and that Rapid City “absolutely, positively” will have a President Trump statue. “Right now, we know we’ve got to deal with the very unusual hair style, and we know we’ll have to involve tweeting,” Davis said. Davis said the City of Presidents has more than 80 street corners to choose from. [Rapid City Journal]
Twitter has, of course, banned Trump for life.

James Maher has produced bronzes of many of the horrific losers in US presidential history for the City of Presidents Foundation: Andrew Jackson, James Buchanan, Woodrow Wilson, Hoobert Heever, Harry Truman, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush. Now he plans to create a sculpture of Donald Trump.
“I'm not a big fan of the guy. But on the other hand, I don't loathe him quite like so many people seem to," he said. "You've seen some of the fan art or, on the other side, some of the things that ridicule him. I didn't want to do that either way. So, I just, I just wanted to tell the truth about him, I guess.” No date or location is set for the unveiling of Donald Trump’s statue. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
Fact is: most of the downtown Rapid City statues depict slave owners, at least one child rapist, war criminals and figures in history that ordered the murders of American Indians so maybe the bronze of Trump should be placed right outside Murphy's Pub and Grill.


Shale beneath Missouri River thwarting bridge engineers

In 2011 an earthquake that occurred ten miles under the sinkholes that developed in the Pierre Shale in Stanley County was large enough to be felt by humans who live there. 

In 2020 South Dakota was 4th in the US in the number of structurally deficient bridges at 17 percent and 10th in the percentage of structurally deficient bridge deck area. In South Dakota infrastructure suffers to prop up the state's retirement system so, at a price of some $50 million (much of it federal dollars) the red moocher state chose an Iowa builder to replace the bridge across the Missouri River between Fort Pierre and the cesspool on the east side. Built in 1962, it was deemed the existing span is structurally deficient and functionally obsolete. Maybe it will open by 2023.
Construction of the new Lt. Cmdr. John C. Waldron Memorial Bridge over the Missouri River is six months behind, project coordinator Denae Johnson told the Fort Pierre City Council on Monday. “We have geotech studies and we have to go off of those, but there are some subsurface variations that need to be accommodated,” Johnson said. “But there has been some extreme dry conditions that I think are definitely coming into play with this project. These drilled shafts are drilled down to about 134 feet, so that’s a lot of subsurface material to get into.” [Bridge construction behind six months, opening anticipated in mid-2023]
Before it was ousted the Trump Organization's Department of Transportation headed by the wife of Republican former Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell awarded more than $5.6 million in grants to upgrade infrastructure and enhance rail safety in the red moocher state that is South Dakota including $2.24 million for the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern mainline. 

The move comes after catastrophic plunges in commodities prices, numerous wrecks and water breaches on track owned by RCPE, a subsidiary of Genesee and Wyoming operating just north of the former Milwaukee line on a nearly parallel trackbed. Now RCPE wants $84 million of the nearly $1 billion South Dakota is getting from the feds despite nobody in the state's Republican congressional delegation voting for it. The railroad is probably fed up trying to move product at ten miles an hour between Wall and Fort Pierre where Cretaceous shale buckles track bed every year.


Former UW prof: abuses on BHNF well-documented

Ponderosa pine only reached the Black Hills about four thousand years ago and as many readers are aware the first US Forest Service timber sale took place near Nemo but only after nearly all the old growth of every native tree species had already been cleared for mine timbers, railroad ties and construction. So, Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem is correct when she said the Black Hills National Forest has been poorly managed. I maintain that has been happening since 1899 and Forest Service Case Number One

Forty years ago I logged in the Buckhorn and Moskee, Wyoming areas of the Black Hills when much of it was owned by Homestake Mining Company. At that time it was home to some of the last old-growth ponderosa pine stands in the region. We operated a belt-driven portable sawmill powered by a John Deere tractor on private ground where I cut and skidded some huge bug-killed trees. 

Republican donor Jim Neiman waited until Donald Trump was forced from the White House then shuttered his sawmill in Hill City and blamed the Forest Service. In September Wyofile ran an article on how the Neimans became a timber industry monopoly in the Black Hills then logged it into the dirt.
While the local museum depicts Moskee as a bustling hive of activity, the former logging camp has disappeared without a trace — today it’s nothing more than an open field along Interstate 90. On the road to the South Dakota town of Belle Fourche, a timber-frame coal tipple near the old Aladdin mine crumbles behind a barbed-wire fence, a sign warning of its imminent collapse. [Wyo loggers fear extinction as federal forest policy evolves]
Dennis Knight is Professor Emeritus of forest management and ecology at the University of Wyoming and lead author of Mountains and Plains: The Ecology of Wyoming Landscapes.
First, the Black Hills logging industry developed a bad reputation in its early days. Something clearly had to be done. Wood production requires a long-term investment, at least to the end of the century. During this time frame, peer-reviewed research indicates that ponderosa pine forests will become less dense and less widespread in the Black Hills. Without planting, open meadows are likely to become more common (as seems to be happening in a large area following the 2000 Jasper Fire). I too have seen ponderosa pine growing like a “weed” in some places, but those dense patches of trees typically originated during a period of abundant seed and favorable climatic conditions for seedling survival. [The rest of the Black Hills forestry story]
Neiman is currently logging within the Sioux Ranger District on a national forest named for a war criminal

ip photo: mule deer move through the Jasper Fire area.


Canadian miner wants more water for South Dakota uranium project

South Dakota is no stranger to ecocide because it's a way of life in the chemical toilet. Under the General Mining Act of 1872 even foreign miners have carte blanche to rape the Black Hills, so they are. 

Nearly all of the 300 mile long Cheyenne River flows through Indian Country. Powertech USA, part of Canadian firm Azarga Uranium, wants to mine near a tributary of the river even though tailings from uranium mining near Edgemont have been detected for years in Angostura Reservoir on the Cheyenne River in the southern Black Hills. South of Edgemont at Crow Butte near the headwaters of the White River above Crawford, Nebraska Canada-based Cameco, Inc. obtained rights to use 9,000 gallons of water per minute to extract raw uranium ore through 8,000 holes bored into the Ogallala and Arikaree Aquifers. The foreign miners have already pumped over half a billion gallons of radioactive waste water into disposal wells and have rights to bury more. 

In 2014 Cameco, the world’s largest uranium producer, paid a million dollar fine for environmental damage in Wyoming. The White River also flows through much of Indian Country in South Dakota. In northwestern South Dakota radioactive waste in the Cave Hills area went for decades without remediation because the Board of Minerals and Environment is an arm of the SDGOP. Recall that the South Dakota Republican Party ceded regulatory authority to the US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium mining after the legislature realized there is no competent oversight from state agencies. 

Powertech's parent, Azarga Uranium is expected to be bought out next month by enCore Energy, a Canadian firm with headquarters in Texas. It has uranium claims or operations in Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and South Dakota.

South Dakota Assistant Attorney General Ann Mines Bailey wrote in opposition to giving the miner more water.
Powertech plans to appropriate 9,051 gallons of water per minute from underground aquifers that are also used to supply water to communities in Fall River and Custer counties. By comparison, Rapid City uses 2,551 fewer gallons per minute. [Rapid City Journal]
Interested parties can sign a letter of concern at the Black Hills Clean Water Alliance

ip photo: the Nebraska Pine Ridge just north of Crawford.


Pandora Papers Expose South Dakota Republicans

In 2020, the finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing industry added the most real value to the gross domestic product of South Dakota. That year, this industry added about 10.3 billion chained 2012 U.S. dollars to the GDP of South Dakota.
The Council for National Policy has infiltrated Pierre and the extremist South Dakota Legislature because banks in my home state are hoarding nearly $4 TRILLION for its members including Robert Mercer, a CNP member and Long Island hedge-fund manager who bankrolled Donald Trump's presidential campaigns. According to accountant and former State Senator Susan Wismer (D-Britton) there are about $900 billion in 105 trusts alone.
Long before she became a fixture at NRA conventions, and years before she allegedly attempted to set up a back channel between the Kremlin and Republican officials, Maria Butina got her foothold in the US in South Dakota. Butina made Sioux Falls, the state’s largest city, her home base in the US for several stays in 2014 and 2015 before moving to Washington on a student visa. It was there that she got her first US cellphone, with a South Dakota area code, and wrote detailed observations of how American institutions worked, from local elections to college campuses. While the FBI has focused on “the groundwork that Butina and the Russian official laid to influence high-level politicians” in 2015, her time in South Dakota was mainly spent with average Americans. [Accused Russian Agent's Journey To Washington Began In South Dakota]
Republican South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem addressed a meeting of CNP last August. Noem is also a graduate of the Koch Brothers' American Legislative Exchange Council or ALEC, an anti-think tank think tank that teaches how wedge issues raise campaign dollars for the nut wing of the Republican Party

Minutes before he was driven from the White House Herr Trump pardoned Butina's lover, Paul Erickson at Noem's request. Butina was deported for being a Russian agent.
The U.S. government has condemned prominent offshore financial centers, where promises of discretion have long drawn oligarchs, business tycoons and politicians. But the Pandora Papers expose how foreign political and corporate leaders or their relatives moved money and other assets in recent years from international tax havens to even more secretive American trust companies, including those in South Dakota. [Key findings from the Pandora Papers investigation]
It's obvious this phenomenon is no accident: it has been manufactured to make the state a corporatist tax haven for an exclusive set of Republicans while some $4 trillion languishes in South Dakota banks so why is John Thune talking about abandoning the national spotlight? Because he has flip-flopped on the Trump presidency


South Dakota mercenaries deploy to advance imperialism

The United States is the arms dealer to the world and averse to gun control at home as it assassinates children, women and men throughout the Muslim world. Hundreds of thousands have been slaughtered in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and beyond. 

South Dakota's Ellsworth Air Force Base has butchered countless civilians during the actions to protect the heroin trade keeping the Russian mob and the American Central Intelligence Agency in cash. The Republican-led wars there and in Iraq have cost American taxpayers some $6 TRILLION. 

This country's founders never expected the US Constitution as written to last more than ten years and most predicted it would be rewritten every generation. Thomas Jefferson wrote that a standing army would lead to military adventurism, would ultimately turn on its own citizens and that has happened

False flags, disaster capitalism, endless war: anyone who believes America is safer because of a military filled with mercenaries is delusional. Now, we've become the Hamiltonian Empire Thomas Jefferson warned us about. Jefferson would be horrified to learn that the US is operating with a 230 year old manual and would say we are long overdue for a Constitutional Convention.
Local troops leaving to serve in Operation Inherent Resolve were wished farewell Saturday by friends and family. The activation ceremony for the 3rd Platoon of the 452nd Ordnance Co, an ammunition supply unit in the Army Reserve, was at the Strode Center on the Presentation College campus. Forty-six soldiers in the platoon will be deployed. Operation Inherent Resolve is the military's operational name for the intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. [Aberdeen News]