3/30/22

Today's intersection: predatory capitalism and the human trophic level

The food web starts at level one so the more meat an organism eats the higher the trophic level and top (apex) predators are at 4 or at 5 where birds of prey reign.

So, about the "management" of apex predators: why is cougar and wolf slaughter the only answer to curbing marauding livestock killers while predatory Bayer Crop Science, Koch Industries, et al. are allowed free range?
Trophic cascades occur when predators limit the density and/or behavior of their prey and thereby enhance survival of the next lower trophic level. In this situation, by controlling densities and/or behavior of their prey, predators indirectly benefit and increase the abundance of their prey's prey. Trophic cascades are powerful interactions that strongly regulate biodiversity and ecosystem function. Trophic cascades were originally thought to be rare, but now we understand that they occur across diverse terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and are common features of many green plant communities, including vascular plant assemblages, long thought to be resistant to consumer control. Although we know that trophic cascades can be more powerful under certain conditions, for example climate stress and nutrient enrichment in salt marshes, much research is needed in this area to refine our understanding of when and where trophic cascades will be important. [Nature]
If the free market is such a cool deal, why aren’t cougars and wolves protected instead of slaughtered en masse?
Elaine Brice and Dan MacNulty, from Utah State University’s Department of Wildland Resources and Ecology Center, and Eric Larsen, from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point’s Department of Geography and Geology, outlined their research in the Nov. 8 publication of Ecology Letters. At its core, the research questions the methodology used to measure aspen for the earlier research, saying the choice of which trees to include skewed the study. One of the problems of relying on only the tallest young aspen trees is that elk are very discerning about which aspen they eat. Using a random sample, the researchers still found evidence of a trophic cascade. Wolves aren’t the only predators of elk. From 1995-2002, the late cow elk hunt near Gardiner, just outside Yellowstone’s northern border, removed between 940 and 2,465 elk a year. [Billings Gazette]
Coyotes are mesopredators and will eat anything yet Citibank is too big to fail.
Large carnivores have been frequently extirpated from many ecosystems worldwide as consequence of human persecution or the loss of their habitats and food resources. However, a rewilding process is leading to the recovery of their distribution ranges. Apex predators are at the top of trophic chains and can lead to the so called, top-down effects, this is the modification on the abundance and behaviour of species from lower trophic levels, critically influencing ecosystem structure and functions, what is known as a ‘trophic cascade’. [Journal of the British Ecological Society]
Humans tampering with the ecosystem has resulted in a trophic cascade where the slaughter of cougars, wolves and other apex predators has allowed mesopredators like coyotes and bobcats to flourish only to depress grouse numbers.
Every year, John Formby spends weeks flying in a plane above New Mexico’s forests, looking for trees with signs of insect damage and stress from heat and drought. The state forest health specialist’s latest report shows damaged forests increased by about 240,000 acres in 2021. “I fear that over the next few years, we may start getting into some dire circumstances as far as piñon and ponderosa go,” Formby said. [Albuquerque Journal]
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. 
Allowing Mexican gray wolves to inhabit north-central New Mexico would help restore genetic diversity to the Mexican population, all 186 known members of which in the United States are descended from just seven wolves rescued when the subspecies was on the brink of extinction in the late 1970s. The Fish and Wildlife Service said it’s too soon to know how the two programs in New Mexico and Colorado might interact and cooperate moving forward. [Taos News]
The Anthropocene is a trophic cascade, humans have altered and continue to alter every food web and the Trump Organization distorted the science to appease Republican ranchers.
“We’ve known for some time that bison don’t spend as much time in wetland areas as cattle do, but what we didn’t understand was how this difference was going to influence biodiversity. When we looked at areas where bison were reintroduced, and compared them to similar areas with cattle, we found that the vegetation along small streams changed in ways that are associated with more diverse bird communities and increased use of these areas by native ungulates like white-tailed deer. Bison reintroduction is resulting in healthier more biodiverse riparian environments, which is great news for tons of other prairie species.” [American Association for the Advancement of Science]
Reproduction is the reason; food is the fuel. "Modern society" is a product of the forbidden fruit--agriculture.


Is a human trophic level just the larder for a pack of predatory oligarchs who feed on miserable and quarrelsome superconsumers? 


It’s no secret that capitalists want to manipulate the food web and its supply chain but maybe they have some natural enemies after all.

3/29/22

Republican former South Dakota attorney general representing therapeutic cannabis applicant, Buffalo Chip owner

Despite decades of cocaine use Republican former South Dakota Attorney General Roger Tellinghuisen of DeMersseman Jensen Tellinghuisen & Huffman in Rapid City is representing a therapeutic cannabis applicant in a Black Hills town named for a war criminal. 

Tellinghuisen is a member of the Governor's Club—the slush fund that ensures a Republican will always hold the chief executive's seat in my home state. Rod Woodruff was denied a therapeutic cannabis permit in Meade County where he owns a biker venue notorious for a drug and sex trade.
Rod Woodruff, owner of the Buffalo Chip Campground in Sturgis, has 51 percent ownership in GLP Custer, LLC, while a pair of brothers, Jim and John Muller, the former of which is chief operating officer of GLP Custer, LLC, owns the remaining 49 percent. “This isn’t a retail facility we are proposing,” Tellinghuisen said. “There won’t be people coming in and out. It’s self-contained, closed. But for the sign out front you won’t even know what it’s used for.” [War Criminal County Chronicle]
In a neighboring hamlet a local redneck “painted a grim picture of how Hill City could turn into small town Colorado" because of a therapeutic cannabis application.
Attorney Roger Tellinghuisen, who said he represented West River Botanicals LLC, said he was not at the meeting to oppose Puffy’s LLC’s application, but to ask the commission to hold off until the application of his client, Rod Woodruff, could be considered. Woodruff said later he wasn’t sure what his next step might be concerning the dispensary license. [Black Hills Pioneer]
Woodruff is a Future Fund recipient and Republican donor.

FWIW: Tellinghuisen and another former Republican South Dakota attorney general endorsed Democrat Randy Seiler in 2018 because they knew Jason Ravnsborg is a criminal.

3/28/22

Settlement with feds will speed border wall remediation

Just hours after taking the oath of office, President Joe Biden issued the Proclamation on the Termination Of Emergency With Respect To The Southern Border Of The United States And Redirection Of Funds Diverted To Border Wall Construction. 

Now, thanks to efforts led by the Center for Biological Diversity, Animal Legal Defense Fund and Defenders of Wildlife the feds have begun to undo the damage to jaguar and ocelot habitats while courts sort the fraudsters.
“The wall and its infrastructure, including lights and roads, have carved a monstrous scar across one of the most biodiverse regions on the continent," Brian Segee, a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. "Now federal agencies will have to take stock of the damage and begin the important work of trying to heal this environmental and humanitarian disaster.” Segee noted that the settlement does not cover funding for border wall construction that had been appropriated by Congress, and are still being used to build wall segments in Texas. Moreover, the settlement commits the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency to spend up to $800,000 for a study assessing wildlife impacts of border wall construction. [Can wildlife damage from border wall be repaired? Environmental groups settle lawsuit]
Even North Dakota-based Fisher Sand and Gravel conspired with the Trump Organization and its henchman, Steve Bannon to defraud the United States. Fisher Industries is a major campaign contributor to Earth hating Republicans and is being investigated for substandard work and treaty violations on the US/Mexico border.
The irony of Fisher Sand & Gravel’s 3-mile wall, with its floodlights and freshly cleared carrizo cane, with its ambitions of bike lanes and sports fields, is that it isn’t so much thwarting immigrants as beckoning them. [The Guy Who Spent $30 Million Building Trump’s Wall Is Looking for Buyers]
Montana and North Dakota have both suffered the effects of the man camps that prey on women and girls where rapes and murders committed by predatory criminals have become commonplace. Out of state laborers being housed in a New Mexico hamlet while destroying wildlife habitat for the border barrier and apparently not subject to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham's self-quarantine order were forced out of town after a public outcry. 

Yvette Herrell is a member of the Cherokee Nation and the Republican New Mexico Representative from District 2 but her support for Herr Trump's border wall and disdain for women's rights has strained the ties to her Indigenous heritage.

3/27/22

Tribal leaders call for LNI to be moved from Racist City — again

According to data supplied courtesy of Visit Rapid City, the cancellation of the Black Hills Powwow (BHPW) and the Lakota Nation Invitational (LNI), both held mainly at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, combined for a loss of almost 20 million dollars: 
Black Hills Powwow: 10/4/2019 Economic Impact: $3,762,928 10/5/2018 Economic Impact: $2,868,174
Lakota Nation Invitational 12/11/2019: Economic Impact: $15,754,496 12/12/2018: Economic Impact: $17,337,656. [Native Sun News Today]
After Trace O'Connell and a wad of other entitled white guys from Philip spilled beer on a group of American Horse School students Rapid City businesses shat all over themselves trying to extinguish the wildfire of anger. Organizers of the Lakota Nation Invitational even sought alternative locations for the annual event — Sioux Falls, Bismarck and Spearditch were considered.

Today the Rapid City Police Department is still staffed by white supremacists and bigots. Former police chief now Mayor Steve Allender, who has been accused of managing "a bunch of racists,” has lamented it costs Rapid City some $15 million every year to address homelessness. 

Now, after yet another racist incident tribal leaders have again called for boycotts. 

James Maher has produced bronzes of many of the horrific losers in US presidential history for Rapid City’s 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 so maybe it should be placed in the parking lot outside the Grand Gateway Hotel.

3/26/22

Cannabis compact between NM, Pueblos a model for SD

The Cannabis Regulation Act was signed by Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham, became effective June 29, 2021 and the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department's Cannabis Control Division has announced that the rules for businesses to manufacture, sell and transport are now in effect. 

But in September Bureau of Indian Affairs officers confiscated nine, yes nine, cannabis plants from a home garden on the Picuris Pueblo that was tended by a local resident who is enrolled in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program but is not a member of one of 23 federally recognized tribal entities in the state.

Here in the Land of Enchantment supporters are lauding cannabis legalization as a way to diversify New Mexico’s economy, bring in tax income and address inequities left by the war on drugs while balancing the state's water crisis with growers who must prove they have valid and sufficient water rights. But groundwater is notoriously corrosive in much of New Mexico while prolonged drought bleeds supplies to critical and coveted acequia rights can literally be to die for. Sales are expected to start April 1 and more than 300 applications for operating licenses have been submitted.

In my home state of South Dakota the Oglala Lakota Nation has already set up mechanisms for the cultivation and distribution of cannabis for therapy and adult enjoyment on the Pine Ridge Reservation while the Isanti Dakota Oyate or Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe purchased a parcel in the heart of the commercial district in Sioux Falls and just recently bought a long-vacant building in Mitchell where it awaits permits.

In 2018 the Oglala Lakota Oyate bought fifty acres just off I-90 outside their Nation and according to the Lakota Times Oglala Lakota College has the equipment to test cannabis but so far the cost of constructing a lab in Pine Ridge has proved to be prohibitive.

Members of the Yankton Sioux Tribe hope to have their dispensary, Indigenous Budz, ready to open in Lake Andes sometime this summer.

So far, the South Dakota Department of Health has certified 32 dispensaries, one manufacturer and ten cultivator licenses but the state's Republican governor has just vetoed SB151 which would have removed simple cannabis charges or convictions from criminal background checks. South Dakota has hired Big Dope to track the industry. 

Meanwhile, the FSST’s dispensary is limiting patients to an eighth ounce of flower to avoid running out of product, constructing two additional cultivation facilities that will nearly triple its current production and tribal attorney, Seth Pearman says the pursuit of a compact with the state is ongoing. 
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Pueblo of Picuris Gov. Craig Quanchello and Pueblo of Pojoaque Gov. Jenelle Roybal on Friday announced the signing of two historic intergovernmental agreements that support the pueblos taking part in the recreational cannabis industry, driving economic development and setting guidelines for the safe production and sale of cannabis while preventing federal enforcement on their tribal lands. [Governor, Pueblos announce signing of historic intergovernmental agreements on cannabis]

3/25/22

Restoration of North Coast Hiawatha could include route to Cheyenne

Three tribal nations in Montana: the Crow, Northern Cheyenne, and the Confederated Salish and Kootenai have joined the Big Sky Rail Authority's march towards the restoration of the North Coast Hiawatha's passenger service. 

The effort is for a 'corridor train' and is not intended to compete with the Empire Builder which operates in the northernmost parts of Montana. Lewis and Clark County is home to the state capital and has yet to support the concept citing lack of service while Yellowstone County, the state's most populous, is holding out for more money
Restoration of the North Coast Hiawatha would connect most of Montana’s major cities including Missoula, Butte, Bozeman and Billings. But it would also stimulate rural counties along the route, providing both a boon in visitation and easier access to major markets. [Lake County, CSKT eye passenger rail authority membership, spur-line restoration]
It's not currently in President Joe Biden's rail plan but if Amtrak and the Southwest Chief & Front Range Passenger Rail Commission connect the Chief at Pueblo or Trinidad, Colorado to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver and Cheyenne, Wyoming it will intersect the North Coast Hiawatha at Laurel or Billings, Montana and serve the state capital in Helena.

The New Mexico Rail Runner that operates between Belen, south of Albuquerque and Santa Fe through several pueblos is well-supported with stops in each community and has brought increased access to prosperity in an historically poor state.

3/24/22

ESA protection for northern long-eared bat comes late

Recall that during a field hearing in Rapid City back in 2016 South Dakota's Republican junior US Senator Mike Rounds said, "I agree with the goals of the Endangered Species Act but I am concerned with the low success rate" so he wants to end the ESA. 

Fact is: according to the Center for Biological Diversity the ESA has been resoundingly successful up until the Trump Organization, the Republican Party, Kristi Noem and South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder (GF&P) declared war on the Earth. 

Wind Cave in occupied South Dakota is home to nine species of bats, including the 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. 

Last year WNS was detected in South Dakota’s Jewel Cave and in a northern long-eared bat and in a fringed myotis at a malnamed national monument in northeastern Wyoming.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service today announced a proposal to reclassify the northern long-eared bat as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The bat, currently listed as threatened, faces extinction due to the range-wide impacts of white-nose syndrome, a deadly disease affecting cave-dwelling bats across the continent. The growing extinction crisis highlights the importance of the ESA and efforts to conserve species before declines become irreversible. [press release, US Fish and Wildlife Service]
Over a hundred native species in South Dakota are at risk to the Republican Party including the endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, black footed ferret, northern long-eared bat, the black-backed woodpecker that feeds on bark beetles and a bird that actually walks underwater - the American dipper, just to name a few. Threatened by the increased conversion of native prairie to cropland the most endangered plant in the chemical toilet that is South Dakota is the white-fringed orchid (Platanthera praeclara) found mainly in tallgrass prairies west of the Mississippi River. 

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.

3/22/22

Despite iffy results drought conditions are driving new interest in geoengineering



In parts of the Southwest some authorities are so fearful of deficits in water supplies they entertained Durango, Colorado-based Western Weather Consultants' pitch to acquire a “weather control and precipitation enhancement license" from the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission but after criticism for not consulting with pueblos the application was withdrawn.

WWC has been shooting stuff, including silver iodide, from the ground into the atmosphere over Colorado for some twenty years. Now, Colorado is the driest it has been since 1872.

In 2020 University of Wyoming researchers learned that seeding clouds with toxic silver iodide did increase snowfall about ten percent in some experiments but has failed to reduce drought conditions.

William R. Cotton is Professor Emeritus of Meteorology at Colorado State University. He says the practice can produce minimal results in winter but summertime seeding is probably fruitless.
The results of about 70 years of research into the effectiveness of cloud seeding are mixed. In a 2020 study, scientists used radar to watch as 20 minutes of cloud seeding caused moisture inside clouds to thicken and fall. In all, about one-tenth of a millimeter of snow accumulated on the ground below in a little over an hour. [Cloud seeding might not be as promising as drought-troubled states hope]
Daniel Swain is a climate scientist at UCLA and with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. He says the 3-5% bumps in water that weather modification squeezes from clouds isn't worth the gamble with water equity.

North Dakota conducts geoengineering exercises in parts of that state every year ostensibly to reduce hail damage and enhance rainfall potential. This year's operations are scheduled to begin in June and continue perhaps into October.

3/21/22

South Dakota again the most lucrative state to practice medicine

There may be no amount of money some employers can pay workers who already know the risks of working for The Man. 

In 2020 this blog called for a general strike to sink the Trump Organization and today the movement has morphed into what Anthony Klotz, an organizational psychologist at Texas A&M University, is calling The Great Resignation. Talent is fleeing red states as Republicans tout dystopianism as the best feature of their offerings to employees. So, it’s not about laziness, it's about equity or Maria shrugged, if you will. 

Montana held first place in 2021 but South Dakota is again the most lucrative state to practice medicine thanks to its medical industry triopoly. Nurses’ salaries still surf the bottom and the state is 22nd in "medical environment" so why isn’t there a regulatory body like the Public Utilities Commission to regulate medical care costs? Because the state is a corporatist tax haven for an exclusive set of Republicans while over $4 trillion languishes in South Dakota banks and trusts. 

Despair and desperation will always give the underground economy markets for people looking for any remedy to make the pain go away. So, the callous denial of most Republicans that capitalism is failing an ever-growing number of Americans and driving crime rates higher while blaming their own victims will crush this republic before they will ever raise wages. 

Read it all at WalletHub.
 

3/19/22

Private prison contractor is mistreating detainees at New Mexico ICE according to report


Tens of thousands of long-suffering Haitians have made the nightmare journey through Central America only to end up in facilities like the one owned by Tennessee-based CoreCivic in Torrance County, New Mexico that received a rating of noncompliance in July.

After being brutalized by riders on horseback in Texas some fifty Haitian asylum seekers are subjected to dire circumstances and denied access to legal counsel while detained at a private prison complex contracted in Estancia, New Mexico by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the US Marshals Service. In May, 2021 the ACLU and several other immigrants rights groups filed suit after refugees on a hunger strike were attacked by guards who deployed chemical weapons.  

Until now ICE has refused to respond to allegations of human rights abuses and it's unknown if CoreCivic will face any consequences for its failures to meet even basic human needs even as it bilks taxpayers some $2 million a month.
"CoreCivic has an egregious track record of neglect and abuse at Torrance, and these disturbing conditions are sadly common at ICE detention facilities in New Mexico," Rebecca Sheff, senior staff attorney at the ACLU of New Mexico, said. ICE also holds detainees at the Cibola County Correctional Center in Milan (also run by CoreCivic) and the Otero County Processing Center in Chaparral, which is operated by the Management and Training Corporation. [Federal watchdog blasts New Mexico ICE facility for unsanitary conditions and understaffing]
ip photo: a mosaic celebrating Spanish conquest adorns a Torrance County building.

3/15/22

Republicans line up at Lewis & Clark water trough

The Waters of the United States (WOTUS) legislation seeks to give authority to the US Environmental Protection Agency to use some teeth to enforce the rights of people downstream to have clean water even from some sources that the US Geological Survey has already identified as impaired. 

Yet, South Dakota's dairies are wreaking habitat havoc all along the state's borders with Republican strongholds in southwestern Minnesota and northwestern Iowa where dairies, swine units and other concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) have devastated water supplies by contaminating wells with nitrates. 

Now, because of environmental decimation driven by CAFOs officials with the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System (LCRWS) want to expand output even though water levels in the Missouri River and its basin are at historic lows. Nevertheless, Executive Director of the Lewis & Clark water system Troy Larson thanked the Biden administration for the nearly $22 million appropriation to expand even deeper into Republican territory.
"The $21.914 million was from the congressionally directed spending requests made by Senators John Thune, Amy Klobuchar, Mike Rounds and Tina Smith. Strong support for increased funding was also provided by Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst, as well as Representatives Dusty Johnson, Randy Feenstra, Michelle Fischbach and the late Jim Hagedorn. We cannot thank these four senators enough for including Lewis & Clark in their congressional directed spending requests, as well as to the entire tristate congressional delegation for going to bat for us once again,” Larson said. [Bill Jankow's idea of public radio]
The Lewis and Clark water system enables ecocide. Instead of empowering communities to harvest snowmelt and rainwater rural communities continue to be dependent on politicians who exploit need

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, a socialized internet, socialized gas well remediation and now a socialized water system are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine.

3/14/22

Today's intersection: death with dignity and epidemic suicide

In 2021, despite objections from a Roman Church that preys on children and props up dictators, New Mexico's Democratic governor and unpaid legislators passed laws making a death with dignity legal for people with terminal illnesses. 

Colorado had passed similar legislation in 2016 and nearly eight hundred souls have taken advantage of the statute. Dr. Jennifer Gaudiani is a Denver physician who specializes in eating disorders like anorexia nervosa (AN).
When a patient begins talking about the possibility of not being able to survive, every effort should be made to validate such a serious perspective and to offer an individualized and thoughtful series of harm reduction strategies and treatment options that might make life bearable. However, the process of seeking alternatives to death must not be so exhaustive as to disrespect limits the patient sets; while a family might be desperate for their loved one to try an experimental treatment or “just try going to treatment one more time,” they must ultimately accept the patient’s lack of consent for these. [Gaudiani, et al.]
Since suicide by violent means has become epidemic especially in red states Massachusetts is also considering an aid in dying law. Learn more at the Boston Globe.

3/13/22

Trump census undercount amounts to attempted genocide

Republicans don't like Common Core history standards and have targeted critical race theory because the curricula long-ignored by textbooks includes genocide and the near-extermination of American Indians by European colonialism. 

Attorneys are gathering even more evidence that the Trump Organization committed crimes against humanity throughout Indian Country not only by slow-walking resources to reservations during a pandemic but by undercounting Indigenous populations during the 2020 Census.
The results show that the 2020 Census undercounted the Black or African American population, the American Indian or Alaska Native population living on a reservation, the Hispanic or Latino population, and people who reported being of Some Other Race. On the other hand, the 2020 Census overcounted the Non-Hispanic White population and the Asian population. The Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander population was neither overcounted nor undercounted according to the findings. [Census Bureau Releases Estimates of Undercount and Overcount in the 2020 Census]
Trump killed the White House Tribal Nations Summit because he loathes Native Americans. 

Alternative Radio airs Saturday mornings on KSFR.
Genocide is the most heinous of crimes and it connects to settler colonialism. Historian Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz says, “Settler colonialism requires genocidal violence to attain its goal” of acquiring land. In North America and elsewhere this meant the Indigenous population was targeted for mass murder. [Genocide & Settler Colonialism]
ip photo from the 2012 Santa Fe Indian Market: The Means Justifies the End, Angela Babby

3/12/22

South Dakota continues extermination of apex predator

Rapid City just killed 240 deer and nine had chronic wasting disease yet South Dakota Game, Fish, and Plunder is still systematically exterminating the cougar population that culls stricken critters and discourages wolves from migrating into the state. 
The largest mountain lion hunted this year so far was killed in Lawrence County weighing 155 pounds and presumed to be four and a half years old. While the smallest was a six-month old shot in Pennington County, weighing 35 pounds. [Black Hills mountain lion season on the tail end, 36 dead so far]
During one season in the Black Hills a white christian trophy hunter illegally slew a three-month old, fourteen pound cougar kitten. The idiot was cited for a class one misdemeanor improper tagging, which carries a penalty of fines to $1,000, one year in jail and loss of hunting privileges for a year. That particular incident is par for the course in Lawrence County where firearms and alcohol mixed with meth chasers are as common as sibling marriages. 

Kill off apex predators like wolves and cougars, spray atrazine, neonicotinoids and glyphosate on everything then wonder why cervids like deer and wapiti contract a prion contagion like chronic wasting disease.

3/9/22

NRDC: plastics to fuel 'greenwashing'

Most plastics can be pyrolysized for fuel but according to a study conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) chemical recycling is simply greenwashing and even perpetuates environmental racism.
The NRDC found that of hundreds of announced plants, just eight were either operational or soon-to-be operational, based on official federal and state documents. Five of the eight were engaged in plastic-to-fuel conversion, to create a new low-grade fuel. One of the plastic-to-chemical plants, run by the company Agilyx, in Oregon, theoretically takes waste polystyrene and converts it into styrene, which can then be used to make new polystyrene. The NRDC also found "six of the facilities are in communities that are disproportionately Black or brown," and five are in communities where a disproportionate percentage of households have an income below $25,000, relative to the national average. An estimated 242 million metric tons of plastic waste is generated globally every year, polluting cities and clogging oceans. ['Chemical recycling' of plastic slammed by environmental group]
Phthalate-laden bottled water alone makes up 1.5 million tons of plastic each year. 

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. 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. In Pueblo, Ecologic Materials Corp. is recycling shrink wrap and adding it to asphalt. 

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.

3/7/22

Earth haters rousing rabble for Koch, DeVos

Putting the country on the path of protecting at least 30 percent of its land and 30 percent of its ocean areas by 2030 (30x30) is imperative to preserving public spaces.

But Earth haters funded by the Koch and DeVos cabals through Donors Trust and Donors Capital Fund and scattered in the American West are aiming to derail President Joe Biden's America the Beautiful Initiative. In January, Bowman County, North Dakota Sheriff Frank Eberle began rousing rabble after a local Farm Bureau attacked the initiative. 

Here in New Mexico, Otero County Commissioner and Trump disciple, Couy Griffin is alleging voter fraud and defying the Lincoln National Forest's plan revision. A Texas group calling itself American Stewards of Liberty with ties to the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion has presented anti-Earth resolutions to a receptive Otero County Commission. 

Margaret Byfield is the daughter of a couple from Nevada who grazed their cattle without permits on federal land.
In terms of public lands, Byfield said the “threats” in the 30×30 plan include an increase in the numbers of wilderness areas, wilderness study areas and national monuments. She gave the example of the recent forest management plan for Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico. This plan calls for the creation of new wilderness areas and wilderness study areas. American Stewards of Liberty is also planning a rally on April 22, or Earth Day, with speakers like U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert, a Colorado Republican, former Interior Secretary David Bernhardt and Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts. The underlying theme of the American Stewards of Liberty’s message is that the 30×30 initiative is a land grab that threatens private property rights and will ultimately lead to large swaths of land being cut off from public access. [A small Texas-based group urges New Mexico counties to oppose 30×30]
Recall Herr Trump's first Interior secretary blamed wildfires in the West on those he called “radical environmentalists” despite most acres burned in 2021 on private ranch land in Republican counties. On the final day of Trump’s presidency his last Interior secretary even restored a grazing permit to the Hammond Ranch whose prescriptive burn escaped onto federal land. 

3/5/22

SD hemp declares war on therapeutic, "recreational" cannabis growers as FSST tests off-reservation sovereignty

Think pesticide drift is destructive? 

Medicine and a potential revenue source are being put at risk by an experiment that makes Jerusalem artichokes and Belgian endive look like safe investments. South Dakota's budding hemp industry will drive more growers of therapeutic and “recreational” cannabis indoors to prevent pollen drift from destroying crops while boosting energy costs. 

White people who grow industrial cannabis in South Dakota want to double the number of acres as a declaration of war on the tribal communities who yearn to develop economic opportunities and test off-reservation sovereignty.

Meanwhile, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is operating its therapeutic cannabis dispensary at full capacity but is limiting patients to an 1/8 ounce of flower to avoid running out of product. The Nation is constructing additional cultivation facilities that will nearly triple its current production and tribal attorney, Seth Pearman says the pursuit of a compact with the state is ongoing. In May of 2021 the Isanti Dakota Oyate purchased a parcel in the heart of the commercial district in Sioux Falls but just recently purchased a long-vacant building in Mitchell.
According to Mitchell Mayor Bob Everson, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is planning to transform the large building into a medical marijuana cultivation facility. With two dispensaries approved to operate in Mitchell and three tabled due to pending variances, including Native Nations Cannabis’ proposed dispensary, opening a cultivation facility in Mitchell could be a business opportunity for the tribe and other entities. The maximum number of dispensary licenses in Mitchell is capped at five, while there is no cap for cultivation and manufacturing licenses. [Mitchell Daily Republic]
Tribal sovereignty binds the hands of states competing for federal resources. Under the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act the Tohono O’odham Nation won its lawsuit with the State of Arizona and in 2017 it opened a casino in Glendale outside its established boundaries.
Hemp pollen drifts long distances on wind, and pollination of females reduces CBD content. Induction of triploidy is a common strategy used by plant breeders to produce sterile cultivars of agricultural crops. [Lauren E. Kurtz, et al.]
If the Neanderthal South Dakota Legislature had any integrity or ethics (they don’t) they would empower the tribal nations trapped in South Dakota to be the sole cannabis industry producers in the state (they won't). 

3/2/22

Dakota Excess law firm gets christians before SCOTUS in ICWA case


Native Americans overwhelmingly turned out to vote for Joe Biden whose administration maintains that the Indian Child Welfare Act draws on classifications that are backed by precedents already settled in the Supreme Court of the United States.
Counsel for the Texas family who filed the lawsuit against ICWA also includes the massive international law firm Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, according to the court petition. That firm represented the Dakota Access pipeline, a multibillion-dollar project estimated to carry half-a-million barrels of oil per day. [Nevada Current]
The State of South Dakota still seizes some 750 American Indian kids every year reaping well over a billion federal dollars since ICWA was passed in 1978. The state's long history of racism is glaring under the media microscope again.
Sen. Troy Heinert, D-Mission, cautioned that HB 1110 would make the requirement to appoint a guardian ad litem discretionary, which could risk South Dakota's already-shaky compliancy with the 1978 federal Indian Child Welfare Act. "This guardian ad litem is no small thing, especially when you're dealing with ICWA cases," said Heinert. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
In 2011 NPR took on the Daugaard Duck Dynasty in a three part exposé. Pennington County's behavior has been called shocking and Democratic former US Senator James Abourezk even urged the federal government to sue the State of South Dakota after the Guardian published a long piece on the plight of thousands of American Indian children seized by the South Dakota Department of Social Services. I even have direct personal knowledge of those horrors.
In 2018, a two-year-old named Andy was being raised by white parents, Charles and Janet, due to his biological parents being unable to care for him. After those two years, Charles and Janet went to sign official adoption paperwork. Tribal leaders objected and successfully blocked the adoption because of Andy’s Navajo and Cherokee background. He would have been sent to New Mexico to live on a Reservation, but the couple appealed the ruling, and the tribes withdrew the case. [KOTA teevee]
According to attorney Kate Fort ICWA is constitutional.
Therefore, if nothing happens at all (remember, I’m not future speculating), then none of this applies till June 1. Second, I believe the parts of the decision that the majority agrees on is applicable only in the Fifth Circuit. There’s very little legal substance here. I think it’s revealing to read the attempt at remedy in Judge Duncan’s opinion–as had been argued repeatedly, nothing this court decided would redress the harms claimed by the plaintiffs. [Fort, Brackeen Decision Summary
Republican former South Dakota Governors Rounds and Daugaard and Attorney General Marty Jackley covered up their state's abuses

It's not impossible Justice Neil Gorsuch will side with the sane members of the Court like he did in McGirt.

3/1/22

Republicans Introduce The Save Jim Neiman's Ass Act

The Black Hills National Forest has been "beat to hell" after Republican donor Jim Neiman pressured officials to overlog but in Lawrence County, South Dakota where Neiman is threatening to close another mill, increases in sales of saw timber have so far been deprioritized in the BHNF's revised plan.

Blaine Cook and Dave Mertz are just two former Forest Service employees concerned about the 13,000 acre Bull Springs Timber Sale in Custer County. According to Mertz there haven't been any litigators to sue the Forest Service allowing Republicans to infiltrate management of the Black Hills National Forest. Neiman waited until Donald Trump was forced from the White House then shuttered his sawmill in Hill City, South Dakota and blamed the Forest Service. One needs to look no further than the BHNF for how politics has completely altered a landscape but there are plenty other public lands examples that illustrate the red state, blue state divide.

Neiman purchased Montrose Forest Products in Colorado in 2012 but in 2018 after the Trump Organization gutted the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Neiman shipped twelve loads of timber from the San Juan National Forest to mills in South Dakota. Neiman wants to log 20 million board feet of ponderosa pine per year in Colorado for the next 20 years. Knot-free old growth ponderosa pine is coveted by door and window manufacturers like Pella, Marvin and Andersen.

The Biden administration has been slow to restore the NEPA rules Earth hating Republicans like South Dakota's John Thune and Wyoming's John Barrasso want to suspend. So, as expected, Hulett, Wyoming-based Neiman Enterprises could enjoy the fruits of socialism as the two Republican US Senators introduce a bill to inject taxpayer dollars into the Black Hills timber monopoly. They call the bill, The Save Jim Neiman's Ass Act. In 2012, Wyoming Public Radio’s News Director Bob Beck began an interview with Senator John Bare Asso (earth hater-WY) asking the question: "Senator, why do you hate the environment?"

Abolish the Department of Agriculture and merge the US Forest Service with the Bureau of Land Management then rename it the Forest and Land Management Service within the Department of the Interior.

Photo: Miller Wood Trade Publications.

Learn more about the BHNF plan revision linked here.