Earth haters are driving scientists from public view

Earth haters driven by Donald Trump and his christianic followers are sending election workers, public health officials and even scientists into the shadows.
Hostility from the minority can be a challenge for people on the front lines of climate communication. Climatologists and meteorologists in seven states shared stories with Harvest Public Media of encountering strong resistance. While resistant voices can be loud, 90% of Americans are still open to learning about climate change, according to Ed Maibach with the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. "The whole notion of 'red and blue states' actually creates a disservice when it comes to thinking about how to educate the public about climate change," Maibach said. [Weather experts in Midwest say climate change reporting brings burnout and threats]


Psychoactive fungi part of environmental grounding

My first experience with LSD was in California just after high school in 1971 but my first ingested psilocybin was in Brookings after leaving Missoula in 1981 and the experience was revelatory. 

Way back at the beginning of this blog an interested party wondered whether the Earth has consciousness. Entheogen is a term derived from two words of ancient Greek that effectively translates to English as "the god within."
There’s some science to back up the woo-woo. In 2017, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published a study showing that using LSD, psilocybin and mescaline — “classic psychedelics” — led to a boost in self-reported “pro-environmental” behaviors. Psychedelics enthusiasts say a lot is different today: The climate crisis is reaching an unprecedented level of urgency, hallucinogens-as-medicine are more mainstream, and a growing body of research suggests psychedelics can change the way people think, feel and act. But there is plenty of hope to be found in the psychedelics-inspired activists already working on a small scale. Many are now themselves evangelists for the connection between psychedelics use and a greater commitment to nature. [A Psychedelics Boom Is Minting Environmentalists]
Today, Our Lady of the Arroyo is part of a study testing the efficacy of microdosing psychoactive fungi. She reports mood leveling, easing of anxiety and a more grounded approach to her place on Earth during a time when Republicans are actively destroying the planet. New Mexico is one of some 22 states easing restrictions on psychoactive substances. 

Oregon is drawing patients from all over the United States and Denver just hosted Colorado’s inaugural Psychedelic Cup.

ip image: psilocybe montana or silvatica.


Political compromise likely dooms Gunnison sage-grouse

Another endangered species with a population of fewer than 5000 individuals and threatened by the sixth mass extinction is likely doomed if the US Bureau of Land Management is unable to find a solution among the eleven land use plans under consideration.

6 February, 2024 is the tentative end date for public comments on the future of Centrocercus minimus.
Gunnison sage-grouse are a federally protected species distinct from the greater sage-grouse, and only inhabit portions of Colorado and Utah. The draft details five alternative management approaches for addressing the habitat and conservation needs of the species, in balance with the many other resources and activities the BLM manages for, including recreation, livestock grazing, lands and realty, wildland and prescribed fire, and energy and minerals. [BLM seeks public input for plan supporting Gunnison sage-grouse recovery]
Some 58% of grazing permits on federal land in critical habitat go without review; but it's not just cattle threatening the leks where the bird mates. In Nevada free-roaming horses even chase away bull elk when water supplies are scarce. 

On the Western Slope development and habitat fragmentation are behind decreasing sage-grouse numbers.
As part of efforts to conserve the bird, the BLM recently released an updated draft Resource Management Plan amendment and environmental impact statement to incorporate habitat protections and management decisions as identified in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2020 Final Recovery Plan. That plan defined occupied habitat (where Gunnison sage-grouse breeding occurs, or is known to have occurred), and unoccupied habitat (areas formerly occupied by the species that still have appropriate habitat features to support the bird). Specifically, conservation measures would include a 1-mile buffer around habitat that could extend to connectivity areas as appropriate, based on science and expert input. [‘Dead birds walking’: BLM sage-grouse plan draws skepticism, concerns]
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 lands. But if states are scrambling to preserve habitat for bison, wapiti, bighorn sheep, pronghorns, deer, Gunnison sage-grouse and all the other wildlife at risk to the Republican Party how are pastures for feral horses and burros on public land either conservative or sustainable?


Today's intersection: Mormons buying Nebraska to convert Natives?

But seriously, what is the LDS church if not a white supremacist cult? Mormons are, of course, not christians at all so it's been front page news at the Cody Enterprise for months.
Farmland Reserve Inc., a nonprofit owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church, has been quietly buying up ranch land in Nebraska’s Sandhills for the past three decades. The Mormon Church now owns about 370,000 total acres of zoned agricultural land in Nebraska. It could soon become Nebraska’s largest landowner – passing Ted Turner, who has famously long occupied that No. 1 spot – if church representatives continue to buy land at their current pace. In Nebraska, the structure of corporations seems to work like this: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints owns Farmland Reserve Inc., which owns the land ranched by AgReserves Inc. The church’s focus on ranching comes down to two factors, a good economic investment and preparedness for upheaval, said Betsy Gaines Quammen, historian and author of “American Zion: Cliven Bundy, God and Public Lands in the West.” Stockpiling food and resources to be prepared for upheaval before a religious event is a central part of Mormon theology, Quammen said. [Who’s Buying Nebraska? After shopping spree, Mormon church is top land purchaser]
LDS is not so much a religion as it is a social contract: probably why there is so much suspicion from Calvinists. Just seems like another pyramid scheme exacting pounds of flesh while employing tax-exempt status to me.
The Cheyenne River Youth Project reported that, in collaboration with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, it distributed 435 boxes of food to families on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation earlier this month. President Kevin White Bull of the Church of Jesus Christ’s Eagle Butte Branch expressed his gratitude for the November distribution. His wife, Sister Merrie White Bull, agreed; she is a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribal Council representative, and she has been a CRYP supporter since the youth project opened its doors in 1988. Church farms throughout North America produce crops and livestock, and after processing, food is shipped from a central storehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah, to nonprofit organizations across the continent. [CRYP serves 435 families in fall food distribution]
Cody's evangelical christians and members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are quarreling over the erection of a temple. One respondent to a Cody Enterprise story quipped, "they're called McTemples. The only thing missing is a sign out front saying 'Billions Extorted.'"
The LDS church has dispatched a squadron of lawyers and PR experts from Salt Lake to demonstrate that the church can out-spend, out-talk, out-lawyer, and outlast any opposition – much as it has done elsewhere. The church has even played the victim card, a disingenuous turn that dishonors Cody’s long history as a tolerant and welcoming community. [Letter to the editor: LDS temple will cost far more than it gains]
On a Sandhills property in 2021 Turner Enterprises, Inc. and Turner Ranches announced the launch of the Turner Institute of Ecoagriculture, Inc. a 501(c)(3) public charity and agricultural research organization that will share a formal agreement, facilities and staff with the Center of Excellence for Bison Studies.


Tribal leaders call for nation to nation talks on treaty lands

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.
After 155 years, two tribes, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, and the Oglala Sioux Tribe, are determined to work together to address and correct this fraud. Standing Rock has passed a resolution, and Pine Ridge has passed an ordinance, requesting in person, nation-to-nation consultation with the Department of the Interior. In 1960, claims attorneys had Docket 74 separated into two cases. Docket 74 B became the Black Hills Claim, and Docket 74 A, was soon referred to as just Docket 74, and it pertained to 48 million acres outside the Great Sioux Reservation. Docket 74 has nothing to do with the Black Hills, that is a separate docket. [Docket 74 Battle]
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.
“For centuries, the U.S. government has broken every promise it’s made to Native tribes,” said Janet Alkire, chairwoman of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, which straddles North Dakota and South Dakota. “It’s time for that to stop. Furthermore, we’re calling on the Biden-Harris administration to take active steps to correct the record.” Alkire and Oglala Sioux Tribe President Frank Star Comes Out made the request in a joint statement issued on Wednesday, Nov. 22. The home of the Oglala Sioux Tribe is the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in southwest South Dakota.“The history of this case makes it clear that the treaty was an attempt by the United States to obtain peace on the best terms possible,” the Indian Claims Commission decision said. “Ironically, this document, promising harmonious relations, effectuated a vast cession of land contrary to the understanding and intent of the Sioux.” [Sioux tribes call for ‘nation-to-nation’ talks with White House over 1868 treaty land issues]
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.

The South Dakota Democratic Party should lobby the Biden administration to free Leonard Peltier, paying the tribes and settling the Black Hills Claim, dissolving the Black Hills National Forest, moving management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior as a national monument in cooperation with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management. 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.


Bayer is restructuring amid jury awards to victims

Roundup® is a threat to human life and is known to cause birth defects and spontaneous abortions despite assurances from manufacturer Bayer but high levels of glyphosate, a known endocrine disruptor, are still found in oats, chickpeas and corn sugars.
The head of Bayer confirmed the company not only is exploring a complete restructuring of its business but is expected to make staff cuts and take other measures in the coming year. All three Bayer divisions reported losses in the third quarter. [Bayer CEO: Company Restructure Coming]
Carbaryl (1-naphthyl methylcarbamate) is a white crystalline solid commonly sold under the brand name Sevin®, a trademark of the Bayer Group. It kills beneficial insects like honeybees as well as crustaceans not to mention its havoc wreaked on fungal communities and amphibians.
A jury in Jefferson City, Missouri, awarded $1.6 billion in punitive damages to four plaintiffs last week who claimed using glyphosate-based Roundup herbicide caused cancer and other injuries. In May 2019, a California jury awarded $2.055 billion in damages to a couple that has battled cancer after decades of using Roundup. The couple, both in their 70s, were each diagnosed with the same type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma. At the end of March 2019, a California jury awarded $80 million to a man with non-Hodgkin lymphoma who had used glyphosate at an animal refuge for nearly 30 years. In 2018, another jury in the state awarded $289 million to a groundskeeper with cancer who used the chemical [Jury Awards $1.6B in Roundup Verdict]
The blood-brain barrier is the network of blood vessels and tissue made up of closely spaced cells that helps keep harmful substances from reaching the brain. The herbicide dicamba (3,6-dichloro-2-methoxybenzoic acid) penetrates the blood-brain barrier as do other hormone disruptors like 2,4-D, DDT, atrazine, neonicotinoids, glyphosate, Metam Sodium/Potassium and Imazalil, a carcinogenic fungicide that can also affect gender identity especially in children and adolescents.


Ganje: SCOTUS blew it on WOTUS

Nebraska signed the South Platte River Compact with Colorado in 1923. 

In 1998, when Kansas sued Nebraska over its High Plains Aquifer use the Supreme Court of the United States didn't even mention the word "groundwater" and although it never appeared in the initial 1943 Republican River compact the Court ruled its use affects flows.

Throughout its history the US Army Corps of Engineers has had purview over water that flows into bodies that can support navigation and in 2014, through the US Environmental Protection Agency and the Clean Water Act, the Obama White House moved to identify more closely the sources of non-point pollution. Despite a judge's ruling EPA went forward with new federal rules protecting small streams, tributaries and wetlands. Waters of the United States or WOTUS legislation seeks to give authority to the EPA 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.
How waters flow, how they collect, how waters are managed are not matters which should be controlled by the U S Supreme Court. Individuals having no knowledge of the principles of hydrology, no experience in creating water management policy and no technical training in water management have visited the country with a new mandate on water law. With little attention to the facts of the case (a ditch filled with water next to a road), the Supreme Court made water law and created its own water policy. The Court has historically opined that the Court must not be in the business of judicial policymaking. This includes interpreting a regulation or a statute in such a way that the Court is reconfiguring the technical enforcement powers underlying a regulation. [David Ganje: The world of court policymaking]
Today, Republican welfare farmers are the real ecoterrorists who hate subsidies unless they benefit from them so Earth haters and their toadies cry government overreach while WOTUS architects in the EPA regroup for another round.


Red state, blue state: moral hazard often trumps self-reliance

Walworth County, South Dakota has a population of about 5,300 souls; it's rural, backwards and overwhelmingly Republican.
Oahe Solar is a large solar project being built in central South Dakota. While it could potentially power thousands of households, 350 megawatts doesn’t do much if residents aren’t on board. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
Ice storms and other calamities driven by anthropogenic climate hijinx routinely knock out electric power often resulting in lost lives and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem but the addition of virtual power plants or VPPs can change that handling some twenty percent of peak power demand by 2030. 

Vermont is mostly rural, progressive and overwhelmingly Democratic.
Green Mountain Power’s former C.E.O., Mary Powell, left three years ago and soon took over Sunrun, which supplies rooftop solar panels and storage batteries for hundreds of thousands of homes nationwide, and serves as a third-party power aggregator for several utilities. In fact, if utilities don’t move fast enough, they may find themselves not with new opportunities but with new competition. So the goal is to create a system that runs mostly on locally generated solar power, and has the capability to isolate buildings “from the broader grid in the event of an emergency. [Bill McKibben]
The cost of subsidizing, manufacturing, transporting, erecting, maintaining then removing and disposing of just one wind turbine eyesore bat and bird killer would take a thousand subscribers to energy self-reliance. Microgrid technologies are destined to enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard.


Long may she run: Mexican gray wolf moving north

Just north of the US border with Mexico long-time environmental activist, Ted Turner teamed up with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the State of New Mexico to foster a pair of endangered Mexican gray wolves and their pups on his 243 square mile ranch near the Gila National Forest. Nearby, jaguars have been reintroduced. 

Today the Mexican gray wolf population in New Mexico and Arizona has increased by at least 24 percent to a population of some 241 individuals.
It’s been a long journey for one lone Mexican gray wolf — from the forests of southeastern Arizona, across the dusty high desert of central New Mexico to the edge of what is known as the Yellowstone of the Southwest. Having reached Valles Caldera National Preserve in northern New Mexico, she has wandered far beyond the boundaries established along the Arizona-New Mexico border for managing the rarest subspecies of gray wolf in North America. Federal wildlife managers have confirmed to The Associated Press they have no immediate plans for capturing the lone female wolf nicknamed Asha. Environmentalists have been pushing federal managers to let the wolf be, suggesting that she's heading north toward Colorado in search of a mate. [US wildlife managers have no immediate plans to capture wandering Mexican gray wolf]
Colorado plans to release gray wolves captured in Oregon sometime in December.

Yes, kill off apex predators like grizzlies, 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.


Today's intersection: BHE blames labor costs for layoffs; SD last in solar capacity

Freedom works where?

Probably not coincidental to Kristi Noem's political grandstanding is the flight of talent from South Dakota where her christianic religionists blame Democrats for inflation as labor shortages drive wage increases and utility rates. South Dakota-based Black Hills Energy laid off 44 employees across their eight-state service region, 24 of those positions in Rapid City. 

According to an industry watchdog South Dakota ranks last in solar capacity.
Members of Dakota Rural Action said that’s in part due to how utility company Black Hills Energy reimburses solar panel users who put energy back onto the grid. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
Pacific Gas and Electric, Xcel, Black Hills Energy, Hawaiian Electric Company and Public Service of New Mexico or PNM are all responsible for massive blazes causing millions or even billions in damages. 

Learn more at KBHB radio.


Out of the frying pan into the fire: BHNF hires supervisor from WV

After a century of fire suppression, a decades-long moratorium on prescribed burns, a lack of environmental litigators and GOP retrenchment the Black Hills National Forest has been broken for decades

Craig Bobzien lasted as supervisor of the BHNF for eleven years but retired in 2016 when the volume of shit hitting the fan just became too overwhelming. In June an interested party asked former acting Supervisor Jim Zornes to comment on the high turnover rate and the heinous state of affairs on the Forest. 

Now, West Virginian, Shawn Cochrane will be its sixth different leader this year and 11th in the past seven years.
Mark Van Every was the forest supervisor when the Resilient Landscapes project was approved. He said the forest had nearly double the number of mature trees under 16 inches in diameter than the forest plan called for. The full Bull Springs project area covers 13,422 acres. Of that, Nieman Timber Company [sic] has commercially harvested around 4,000 acres. An interview request to Neiman Enterprises was declined. However, an official with the company said in a statement the timber industry initially supported the concept of the Black Hills Resilient Landscapes [BHRL] project as proposed. [Bill Janklow's idea of public radio]
Because of failures of Republicans to control invasive species like cheatgrass and Eastern red cedar the grassland fire danger index will be in the extreme category today for eastern Pennington County.


BHNF planning prescribed fires to address overcrowded ecosystems

As the climate warms the northward march of invasive Eastern red cedar is erasing habitat for songbirds so to little surprise for anyone the grassland fire danger index will near the extreme category today for much of Kristi Noem's failed red state and the Black Hills National Forest is as dry as it's been for decades.
When the Custer Expedition came through the Black Hills in 1874 bringing invasive cheatgrass for their horses stands of ponderosa pine were sparsely scattered but a century and a half of poor ranching and land management practices have created an unnatural overstory best controlled by the mountain pine beetle, prescribed fires and periodic wildfires. The bug is hard at work clearing centuries of overgrowth throughout the Rocky Mountain Complex, so is the western spruce budworm. But leaving dead and dying conifers on the forest produces methane, an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is.
“We’re continuing the use of prescribed fire to enhance wildlife habitat and increase public safety,” said Shea Koch, Mystic Fuels Technician, Black Hills National Forest. “Without prescribed fire, forest ecosystems can become overcrowded and contribute to extreme wildfires through the buildup of combustible materials on forest floors.” [Prescribed Fires Planned Next Week in Southern & Central Black Hills]
Learn more at AgWeek.


Today's intersection: Santa Fe's mansion tax and the I-25 commute

Santa Fe remains a top travel and leisure destination where median home prices have jumped to $800,000 while more people leave the city for more rural parts of the county.
Unofficial results from the Nov. 7 local election report more than 73% cast ballots in favor of a new excise tax on high-end home sales while 27% voted against the measure. Under the measure, the buyer of a home will pay a 3% tax on the portion of any sale that exceeds $1 million. Sylvia Chavez, a lifelong resident of Santa Fe who lives in District 2, voted yes on Election Day. Chavez tells [the Santa Fe Reporter] she supported the tax to combat displacement of native Santafesinos. [Voters: Yes on Mansion Tax]
The New Mexico Department of Transportation has moved the two northbound lanes to the southbound lanes of I-25 constricting traffic and slowing commuters sometimes to a crawl or even stopping thousands of vehicles on La Bajada Hill.
For many commuters who drive between Santa Fe and Albuquerque each day, the trek on Interstate 25 seems more time-consuming and dangerous than ever, with near-daily crashes and a long-term construction project along the route. State police have cracked down on traffic violations in the construction zone in response to a spike in speeding-related crashes. As of Wednesday, police had issued 679 traffic tickets around the La Bajada construction zone as part of an operation targeting speeding and aggressive driving launched a month ago. A measurement location near La Bajada averaged a daily traffic volume of about 32,000 to 33,000 during those years, with a low of about 29,000 in 2020 — the height of the pandemic. For some, the solution to the daily aggravations and dangers of commuting on I-25 has been a pass for the Rail Runner Express commuter train, which runs largely along the highway from Belen to Santa Fe. [Construction, crashes on I-25 worry commuters]
The New Mexico Rail Runner goes through several pueblos and is well-supported with stops in each community so it has brought at least access to prosperity in an historically poor state.

Passenger rail could return to Colorado's Yampa Valley as that state's Department of Transportation partners with the Front Range Passenger Rail District on planning service from Pueblo, through Denver, to Fort Collins and ultimately to Wyoming and New Mexico.


Pope jettisons antivax prelate

Pope Francis has sacked an apostate who endorsed the phrase, "You cannot be Catholic and be a Democrat."
After months of careful consideration by the Dicastery for Bishops and the Holy Father, the decision was reached that the resignation of Bishop Strickland should be requested. Having been presented with that request on November 9, 2023, Bishop Strickland declined to resign from office.” Pope Francis then decided to remove the bishop. [Bishop Strickland relieved of pastoral governance of US diocese]
Buoyed by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito and General Michael Flynn are modern Falangists financed by the John Birch Society. Many catholic schools are in the Hillsdale bubble because the curriculum ignores the church’s role in the Native American Genocide. 

Strickland is an open opponent of women's rights, rejects a vaccine that prevents COVID-19 and is critical of Francis' stance on LGBTQ rights.


Minnesota Supremes: primaries are party affairs but likely will revisit insurrection before general election

Dana Ferguson is covering the hearing of evidence for a ruling on Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment's Executive Vesting Clause for Minnesota Public Radio.
The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday tossed out an attempt to disqualify former President Donald Trump from presidential primary ballots in the state in 2024, but left open the possibility of revisiting the matter later. “There is no state statute that prohibits a major political party from placing on the presidential nomination primary ballot, or sending delegates to the national convention supporting a candidate who is ineligible to hold office,” wrote Chief Justice Natalie Hudson. Hudson didn’t rule out wading into a future lawsuit if one is filed over Trump’s general election status if he is the Republican nominee. [Minnesota Supreme Court rejects bid to bar Trump from primary ballot]
According to retired Judge J. Michael Luttig, the disqualification of insurrectionists from holding federal office doesn't require a criminal conviction.


Today's intersection: NWE rate increases and the USAF

Recall that in 2009 Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based NorthWestern Energy was responsible for a gas explosion in Bozeman, Montana that destroyed several businesses and killed one person. 

In 2021 the company's devastating decrease in the Madison River flow killed native trout because of its negligence at the Hebgen Dam then one of its power lines caused a wildfire that destroyed most of Denton, Montana. Also that year NWE withdrew its application at Montana’s Public Service Commission so without any regulatory approval it began construction of a natural gas fired generating station in Laurel. The company spends millions of dollars every year greasing Republican politicians and poisoning waterways including in Montana where the PRC is comprised of Earth haters so the company's 28% rate increase sailed right through.

But, utilities are not your friends and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem.
“When you think about a wind turbine, and even fields of wind turbines, they’ll stretch for miles,” said Staff Sgt. Chase Rose, a UH-1 Huey flight engineer at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana. “They’re monstrous, and then you have gigantic blades spinning on them as well. Not only is that a physical obstacle, but those turbines, they create the hazards like turbulence as well. That can be really dangerous for us to fly into. So it’s a very complex situation, when you have to deal with those.” 
Jo Dee Black, a spokeswoman for NorthWestern Energy, which operates some of the towers near Malmstrom’s launch sites, did not say whether the firm is in support of the buffer zone but said “we have always and continue to support the critical role Malmstrom Air Force Base has in our nation’s security. “NorthWestern Energy and the U.S. Air Force have a long, successful history of collaboration that supports our missions of national security and providing safe, reliable energy service,” Black said. [The Air Force Asks Congress to Protect its Nuclear Launch Sites from Encroaching Wind Turbines]
The cost of subsidizing, manufacturing, transporting, erecting, maintaining, removing then disposing of just one wind turbine eyesore bat and bird killer would take a thousand subscribers to energy self-reliance.

Learn more at Montana Public Radio.


CNP owns Speaker Johnson

Honestly? I’m terrified the GOP will assassinate our POTUS and VPOTUS then install the Republican Speaker of the House who would name Herr Trump his Veep then step down so having Mike Johnson second in line for presidential succession should scare the spit out of every American.

The Council for National Policy was created in 1981 by the extreme white wing of the Republican Party. Mike Pence is a member of the CNP as is Ohio Representative Jim Jordan (NAZI-OH) so was the late Foster Friess who gave $500,000 to a gaggle of religionist organizations in South Dakota just before he croaked. Robert Mercer, the blow-it-all-up Cambridge Analytica guy with billions stashed in South Dakota and ties to Faceberg and Maria Butina is a major donor to CNP. Members have included Oliver North, Jerry Falwell, Steve Bannon, Ginni Thomas, Betsy DeVos, Leonard Leo, current Speaker of the House Johnson and other Earth hating notables

Anne Nelson, is a research scholar at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs, author of "Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right" and calls CNP a pluto-theocracy. She was part of a panel interviewed by WBUR's Megna Chakrabarti.
They have their media people. They have the Salem Radio Network is one of their central partners. And they basically put out their objectives and then in these closed rooms, figure out how they're going to pursue them. [Ginni] Thomas, Mrs. Clarence Thomas is a leading member. People who were involved in the January 6th protest such as Jenny Beth Martin are leading members. So to place Mike Johnson as a member of this organization is very significant. And he also comes out of the Louisiana legislature.
And then James Dobson, who was mentioned earlier and was a founding member of the Council for National Policy, anointed him as the head of something called the Family Research Council, which has a major lobbying arm for right wing fundamentalists in Washington, also has a media empire. And if you drive around the South and the Midwest, and you just turn on the car radio, you're going to run into these stations with this very one-sided programming that suggests that it's a sin to vote for a Democrat, basically.
And people should realize that Tony Perkins and the CNP members played a major role in bringing Donald Trump to office. Organizing many fundamentalists and partner organizations such as the National Rifle Association and others to canvas for him and contributing to his war chest. So one of the rewards, besides their ability to give him a list for federal judge appointments, was to allow Tony Perkins to write various social areas of the Republican platform in 2016. And lo and behold, conversion therapy for homosexuals appeared in the Republican platform, and Tony Perkins was given the credit.
So Mike Johnson has actually, at the Council for International Policy in 2019, said he was the quote, "bag man" for Tony Perkins in the past, and credited him with shaping his career. And in fact, I describe Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana as American Petro states. And growing up there, you just see how the Southern Baptist hierarchy and other leading figures in the state are woven into the oil industry. So in the founding of the Council for National Policy, you have figures like Nelson Bunker Hunt and others, but you also have the Koch brothers coming into the CNP picture in 2010. He said Morton Blackwell was responsible for his going to Congress in the first place. Morton Blackwell founded the Leadership Institute, which claims to have trained over 230,000 conservative candidates and campaign workers.
This is an engine that has been working for over 40 years and the Democrats don't have the equivalent of it. It's not a coincidence that Mike Johnson got a 2% rating from the Sierra Club for his voting record. [excerpt, Anne Nelson, WBUR]
Learn more about how christian nationalism distorts biblical history.


Groups sue BLM and USFWS over continued damage to Gila River

In 2018 the Saudi Ministry of Energy and Agriculture banned the use of groundwater for alfalfa production and in August of 2022 the Democratic candidate for Arizona Attorney General, now AG Kris Mayes called for an investigation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's sweetheart deal to pump Phoenix's reserves for free. But in April, after draining fragile aquifers and lobbying for more water from the Gila River Arizona revoked irrigation permits for KSA.

Industry and agriculture threaten rivers in the East while grazing and mining are killing waterways in the West so the Gila was the most endangered in 2019 because of livestock pollution.
Field surveys in 2022 and 2023 documented open gates, downed fences, unauthorized cattle and extensive damage to the Gila River’s riparian vegetation, where up to 92% of the surveyed critical habitat for the cuckoo and flycatcher was significantly damaged by livestock grazing. The Center filed two notices of intent to sue the agencies following the surveys but grazing continued. Unauthorized grazing and its damage to the protected birds’ habitat violates earlier Endangered Species Act approvals for the seven grazing allotments. In the desert Southwest, livestock grazing harms threatened and endangered wildlife and is the primary driver of riparian ecosystem degradation. [Lawsuit Targets Cattle Grazing Damage to Endangered Wildlife Habitat on Arizona’s Gila River]
Earlier this year American Rivers released its annual list of most endangered rivers in the United States naming five at-risk western waterways but isn’t every watershed in the Mountain West threatened, if not endangered?

Tribal nations including the Gila River Indian Community will receive part of $233 million from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to restore 600,000 acre feet of their allotment of the lower Colorado River stolen through colonization.


YNP, Earth haters clash over phantom disease transmission

American Prairie (APR) near Malta in north-central Montana got its first bison from Wind Cave National Park in occupied South Dakota in 2005. 

The group hopes to have native animals grazing on some 5000 square miles or about 3.2 million acres of private land including 63,000A. in Phillips County connected with corridors to federal land owned by the Bureau of Land Management and to the Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. Total land including the purchase of 34 ranches is as big as the State of Connecticut or the size of Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks combined. Adjacent is the Fort Belknap Reservation where the Nakoda and the Aaniiih manage a range with more than a thousand bison so building a tourist destination helps economic development for the entire region.

But, since Republicans seized power in Montana they've argued Yellowstone National Park is neglecting its commitments to managing the park’s bison population in order to decrease the spread of brucellosis to cattle despite knowing wapiti spread it to cattle far more often than bison do. In Montana, the Department of Livestock is the governing arm for bison that leave the protections of the park.  

Chico Hot Springs hosted the annual meeting for the Interagency Bison Membership Plan where bellicose welfare ranchers insisted YNP isn't doing enough to kill off America's National Mammal.
Yellowstone’s Lead Bison Biologist Chris Geremia told officials at the meeting that a harsh winter brought more than 1,000 animals outside of the park into the Gardiner Basin. The herd was reduced by around 25 percent: more than 1000 of them were removed by the tribal and state hunt, 282 were entered into a program that transfers bison to tribal nations, and 88 bison were slaughtered, their meat and hides given to tribes. IBMP voting member and Custer Gallatin National Forest Supervisor Mary Erickson, says from her vantage point having served on the IBMP for the past 16 years, bison management has always been complex and controversial, but over the years the group has made a lot of progress. [Yellowstone Public Radio]
The feds should buy out landowners unwilling to lease for wildlife corridors. Unless the West embraces rewilding on portions of the Missouri River basin west of a north/south line from Oacoma, South Dakota through the CM Russell National Wildlife Refuge to Yellowstone National Park then to the Yukon water wars will clog the courts leaving violent armed vigilantism to settle disputes.

Learn more at the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.


USACE nearing Dakota Excess pipeline decision

Energy Transfer Partners is an Earth hater based in Texas and infamous for brutalizing water protectors near Cannon Ball, North Dakota. 

Mercenaries and National Guard troops used chemical weapons on many of the thousands of peaceful demonstrators camped on federal land near Cannon Ball where some 761 people were arrested between early August, 2016 and late February, 2017. Trump apparatchiks even referred to the American Indians and their compatriots as jihadists and insurgents. In 2017 a US District Court ordered the US Army Corps of Engineers to finish a review of ETP's Dakota Excess pipeline, its impact on tribal interests and how a spill under the Oahe Dam would impact water rights for the Standing Rock, Cheyenne River, Yankton and Oglala Lakota nations. 

Even before Statehood the US Army Corps of Engineers has had purview over water that flows into bodies that can support navigation. In 2020 Justice Department attorney Matthew Marinelli said in a status report to Judge James Boasberg the Corps had met with representatives of each tribe and made progress on their concerns. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe wasn't satisfied and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe created a website to raise funding and awareness for the dispossession of treaty land, natural resources and to provide information about the nation's battles against the Dakota Excess and Keystone XL Pipelines. 

A lawyer for the Corps said they would "finish its consideration and analysis of the information submitted by the tribes and consider issues identified at the meetings with the tribes" by August, 2018 but the Trump Organization ordered the Corps expedite the environmental review and many of the findings available to the public were redacted. 

Public comments were aired Wednesday and Thursday on five options the Corps is considering for the pipeline, including leaving it as is, re-routing it to north of Bismarck or abandoning it.


Feds pouring more money into hole in South Dakota

Naming a dark matter lab 5000 feet below Lead, South Dakota after a lecherous, usurious Republican billionaire sticks in plenty of craws in my home state yet real science is getting done there. 

The Sanford Underground Research Facility in the former Homestake Mine represents 8000 feet closer to the geothermal potential capable of powering much of the region. The US Department of Energy, New Mexico's Sandia Labs, Los Alamos National Laboratory, South Dakota School of Mines and others are collaborating on exploring that limitless potential using Enhanced Geothermal Systems.
“We’re thrilled about DOE’s recent funding announcement for the Center for Understanding Subsurface Signals and Permeability experiment,” said Dr. Jaret Heise, science director at SURF. “We are very happy to garner interest from the DOE’s Energy Earthshots Initiative and to play a role in developing our nation’s energy independence with CUSSP. We are also grateful for the hard work of previous groups of scientists at SURF who opened the door to this new era of energy research here at America’s deep underground laboratory,” says Heise. [Geothermal research at SURF takes leap forward with DOE Energy Earthshots initiative]
Now, the scientists and scholars repopulating Lawrence County could test anchored Republicans. Maybe.


Scholars reinforce arguments in Disqualification Clause

With pristine clarity, Professor Laurence H. Tribe and Dennis Aftergut explain in this @USATODAY essay the compelling case for disqualification of the former president from future "office . . . under the United States" under Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment: Simply, he rebelled "against the Constitution of the United States" when, in violation of the Constitution's Executive Vesting Clause, he tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election and remain in power, notwithstanding that he had lost that election and the American People had voted instead to confer the Executive power upon his successor, now-President Joseph Biden. This is the issue -- and the only issue -- before the courts in Colorado and Minnesota this week: Did the former president "rebel" against "the Constitution of the United States" when he tried to overturn the 2020 presidential election. [Judge J. Michael Luttig]
The authors of Section 3 recognized that another run at office by anyone who had tried to overturn an election in violation of the oath could end the republic. That leaves a paramount question for the courts to answer concerning Trump. What does it mean to engage in “insurrection or rebellion against” the Constitution? It’s important to notice what can be easily missed: The text of Section 3 says exactly that – the disqualifying misconduct is rebellion against the Constitution. That kind of subversion of a fundamental tenet of the Constitution is precisely what the 14th Amendment has to mean by “insurrection or rebellion against” it, the very definition of disqualifying conduct under Section 3. [Ban Trump from 2024 ballot? Why courts should rule he can't serve as president again.]
Learn more at the Colorado Newsline.

Meanwhile, Trump lawyer John Eastman is defending his advice to Mike Pence.