Recent comments

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   14 hours 55 min ago

    "BLM report entitled Regional Mitigation Strategy for the Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone (BLM Technical Note 444) reveals that Bundy’s land in question is within the “Dry Lake Solar Energy Zone and surrounding area” which is part of a broad U.S. Department of Energy program for “Solar Energy Development in Six Southwestern States” on land “managed” by BLM."

    Google is your friend.

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   15 hours 13 min ago

    This stuff about Harry Reid seems like a complete red herring. Beachdumb's article cited as supposed evidence for why the BLM wants Cliven Bundy off federal land (http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/08/31/us-usa-china-reid-solar-idUSBRE87U06D20120831) notes that a solar energy company wants to buy land from Clark County in Laughlin, Nevada.

    The BLM wants Cliven Bundy to stop using land near Bunkerville, Nevada, owned by the federal government. Bunkerville is almost 200 miles away from Laughlin up I-15. So how in the world is this connected at all?

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   15 hours 26 min ago

    What exactly did Jim Burnett say that is incorrect?

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   15 hours 33 min ago

    And make certain that y'all follow some links to some of those 'true patriot red white and blue arm the children' sites. The commentary from some of the truly paranoid anti-government folks was enough to challenge even myself, and I was a psych nurse working with the involuntarily committed danger to themselves and others sorts of folks for years.

    These folks are eager for a violent end of times, just to prove themselves right. Scary. Logic, who is legally right, who got there first, what's on second - none of that matters to them.

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   15 hours 51 min ago

    dahkota, you could Google Harry Reid/Bundy and come up with that info.
    Might check out Raymond Yowell (Google) as well.

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   16 hours 11 min ago
  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   16 hours 17 min ago

    Just another reason the federal lands should be given to the states.

    BTW - does anyone know where this property fits in the Eisenhower Report of Jurisdictional Status?

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   16 hours 37 min ago

    The Federal Government has become unrecognizable. Simply the DOI is way out of control, this is just another in a very long list of examples. I don't disagree that Bundy is breaking the law, but in no way was the BLM/NPS response acceptable. Trailadvocate is right, this administrations lawlessness has set the precedence and a very dangerous one. The worst administration in history, is now official.

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   16 hours 54 min ago

    How IS the senate majority leader connected to this?

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   16 hours 55 min ago

    Bundy's Ancestral Rights:
    http://www.8newsnow.com/story/25301551/bundys-ancestral-rights-come-under-scrutiny

    "Clark County property records show Cliven Bundy's parents moved from Bundyville, Arizona and bought the 160 acre ranch in 1948 from Raoul and Ruth Leavitt.

    Water rights were transferred too, but only to the ranch, not the federally managed land surrounding it. Court records show Bundy family cattle didn't start grazing on that land until 1954.

    The Bureau of Land Management was created 1946, the same year Cliven was born."

    Bundy/BLM history
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/the-fix/wp/2014/04/15/everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-long-fight-between-cliven-bundy-and-the-federal-government/

    "Bundy — who retorts that he only owes $300,000 in fees..."
    "One of them was Bundy's son, tasered after he kicked a police dog."
    "One protester, a former Arizona sheriff named Richard Mack, told Fox News about the militia's plans if violence broke out in Bunkerville. “We were actually strategizing to put all the women up at the front. If they are going to start shooting, it’s going to be women that are going to be televised all across the world getting shot by these rogue federal officers.”"

    I'm glad the good sheriff has the time to support violent, law-breaking citizens. Someone has to love them, might as well be a 'peace-keeper.'

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   16 hours 56 min ago

    Old Ranger, what you say is true. The rule of law is not being followed but is ignored and bastardized to support ideology. DOJ has become a political entity under this admin. Would you comment on how the Senate Majority Leader, his party and his family are connected to the Bundy situation. Lawlessness and disregard of the Constitution when it's not convenient is very much a part of this administration. Many are very much concerned and are becoming more alarmed and active.

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   17 hours 13 min ago

    Sheriff Rogers, The things you suggest happening to resolve the issue have all occurred. Many of them 20 years ago. The BLM and NPS have shown great restraint(probably too much restraint)in this situation. The point of fact is that Mr. Bundy refused to comply when those lower profile options offered 20 years ago. So he has been in violation for 20 years. There have been several court cases which did not go Mr. Bundy's way and so he just claims he does not recognize the Federal Government.

    Sheriff, This is basically anarchy. The rule of law no longer being followed. Unbelievable. And you, a sworn law enforcement officer supporting it! If this is where we are going as a nation, and the rule of law is not followed by law enforcement officers, then we, as a nation are in deep, deep trouble!

  • Decades-Long Cattle Trespass Comes To A Head For Lake Mead National Recreation Area And BLM   18 hours 20 min ago

    I'd like to post this so there might be some understanding and realization that things aren't always what you'd them to be. I admit I'm in the tank some for NPS but there is reason to be concerned about what's going on.

    This post was by Sheriff Brad Rogers, Elkhart, Indiana.

    My trip to the Cliven Bundy ranch in Bunkerville, Nevada.
    I arrived at the Cliven Bundy Ranch Friday, April 18, 2014 through Sunday, April 20, 2014, taking a personal vacation and not on the taxpayer dime. I was invited by Oathkeepers and the Bundy family to come out and visit. I wanted to see what was really going on in that neck of the woods. There are plenty of opinions all around. I saw first hand many of the dynamics and actually spoke with Mr. Bundy, a 58 year old rancher, on the situation. The Bundy's have a modest, almost rustic residence and buildings, nothing like the Ewing Ranch of TV fame "Dallas".

    You may think this is a Nevada issue, and why should I concern myself with a rancher in Nevada who is butting heads with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)? This does not impact Elkhart County, so why go to Nevada and get involved?

    You and I should be concerned about what is occurring in Nevada, Oregon, California and New Mexico, and other states where Sheriffs and County Commissioners have interposed themselves between the Federal agencies such as BLM and Forest Service, and the people of their county. As the highest elected law enforcement officer in the nation, the Sheriff has great authority to protect the people from criminals, and sometimes an overreaching government itself. Even though this is currently occurring in Nevada, something similar will be coming to a location near you. You can bet on it. It may not be the BLM in Indiana, but it will be another alphabet soup Federal agency trying to flex their muscle.

    I am very sensitive to Federal government overreach since my confrontation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) over numerous and unreasonable inspections of an Amish milk farmer in Elkhart County back in 2011. The Feds had subpoenaed the farmer to appear before a grand jury in Michigan about a week later, likely to make an example out of him and put him out of business. The Amish farmer was committing a horrible crime of distributing raw milk to members of food co-ops in a private contract. No one was getting sick or harmed by the raw milk. The co-op members knew exactly what they were getting in raw milk. The farmer was not breaking any state law.

    I told the DOJ attorney that any more Federal agents show up to inspect the farmer's property (as the farmer had withdrawn his consent), without a warrant based on probable cause and signed by a judge, that I would have them arrested for trespass or otherwise removed from the premises. I have to abide by the 4th Amendment; the Federal government needs to also. That action by your elected Sheriff (sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution) unleashed a dissertation and threat of arrest by the DOJ trial attorney, stating that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution has always been known that Federal law (or vexations known at administrative rules promulgated often by unelected bureaucrats) overrule anything that state or local government could possibly have laws for or against. I reminded the attorney that the Supremacy Clause (which part he conveniently ignored) "shall be the supreme Law of the Land" only when "...the Laws of the United States shall be made in Pursuance thereof", meaning the Constitution. (Article 6, Sec 2)

    Why do I get involved, on my vacation, even though this situation has no immediate impact on Elkhart County? Because I love people. I love my country. I love the Republic for which our flag stands. I left my family over the Easter weekend, missed a niece's birthday party, missed a church service celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ, my Lord, because I love my family and do not want to see them live in a country where our freedom and liberties are eroded. Because I love people, I don't want to see Federal agents or those opposing those agents come to any harm. I'm seeing violence ready to break out. I was observing this in the media from Indiana and stated on Facebook, "My prediction: This is not going to end well. Another Waco? Another Ruby Ridge? I'm still hoping for a peaceful resolution." Yet, I observed people saying, "Bundy should be damned; he's trespassing... Whatever it takes to get him off the property...Kill the protesters and the family." Some people seem to be really violent and merciless, even without all the facts. Pride, at least on the law enforcement side, is stubborn and unyielding in this case. How can we maintain peace and avoid bloodshed? In any law enforcement action, I always strive to avoid bloodshed in my county. My family said I must go. So, I did.

    Events leading up to my arrival: On April 9, BLM, encompassing an estimated 200 heavily armed agents, helicopters, and SUVs, swarmed the area of the disputed land and, according to the court order, were to impound the trespassing cattle and sell them at auction, purportedly to offset the unpaid grazing fees. Facing a situation they most certainly did not plan on; that of the family and others who supported the family (and who were also heavily armed, pursuant to their Second Amendment rights and legal under the state of Nevada), and protesting the action taken by the BLM, including the tasering of a Bundy son and Bundy's niece knocked to the ground, the BLM wisely blinked and stood down, leaving behind a mess, of which I will describe later.

    The BLM claims that Bundy's cattle are on public land (Federal or State land, depending on your perspective, and literally out in the middle of nowhere.) I believe the cattle are on public land. There does not seem to be any dispute about this. Bundy had previously, until the 1990's, paid BLM to manage the land. However, BLM did not use the money to improve the land; Bundy improved the land. Ten years ago, the BLM offered to buy out Bundy's contract. Bundy refused. This would certainly seem that Bundy had more of an interest in the land then BLM claims now. Nevertheless, Bundy has lost a couple of recent Federal court battles and was told to get off the land. And, then there is the grazing fee, required by the BLM, to allow continuance of Bundy's cattle to be on the land. In 1993, Bundy quit paying the fee and offered the fee instead to Clark County officials, which refused to accept payment. Bundy is one of two last remaining ranchers in Clark County. I find it interesting that the BLM allowed Bundy to continue using the land until Senator Reid's buddy was appointed to the BLM a couple of weeks ago. Suspicious at best.

    Nevada is different than Indiana, as most of the land (83%) in Nevada is considered Public Land and controlled by the Federal government in some form or fashion. According to Article I, Section 8.17, The Federal govt is not to own land (outside of Washington DC) unless the state's legislature approves it. The land belongs to Nevada, a sovereign state in its own right. The problem is Nevada's state constitution actually acquiesces their land, purportedly as a requirement for statehood, regardless of the concept of the "Equal Footing Principle" of statehood for states beyond the original states formed. This concept, juxtaposed with the Bundy conflict, is at the heart of the issue. A growing number of western legislators are meeting, partially as a result of this conflict, to see what can be done about states reclaiming their land from the Feds, who neither paid nor asked the states, as required by the Constitution.

    I really don't know if Bundy is correct in his stand; whether he truly owes money or not. Some people think he's a freeloader, using public land for his cattle. Yet, he is a hard worker, unlike others on welfare sponging off the taxpayer for no work. The tradition of ranchers using public land is centuries old. Bundy supporters agree that the issue is complex. However, what all people, including myself, would agree on, and likely sparked the patriot response to this event, is that we will not tolerate being governed by a Federal government at the point of a gun.

    When BLM left the land last week, the discovery of what they left behind was unconscionable. The Bundy family found a mass grave (dug by BLM backhoes and dump trucks seen leaving the area on their exodus) containing numerous cattle that were killed by a bullet. Wait a minute. I thought the BLM was to impound and auction the cattle? Where are the environmentalists, PETA, or the Sheriff, at the uncalled slaughter of another man's cattle by government agents? The BLM further destroyed watering holes and fencing that was constructed by Bundy. And, incidentally, it was reported that part of the reason BLM were rounding up cattle is to protect the so-called endangered Desert Tortoise; laughable at best, when you consider the BLM just euthanized hundreds of turtles in the compound where they were caring for them, instead of releasing them to the wild, after BLM ran out of money. Again, where's the PETA outrage?

    Incidentally, Saturday, April 21 was the anniversary of the Waco disaster where David Koresh and followers (including women and children) were killed by gun fire and a building fire that was started by the Feds. Then what happend? They buried the evidence quickly to keep people from nosing around. Seems as though BLM did not learn a lesson from Waco, and again attempted to cover their misconduct.

    Then, what about those honorable Oathkeepers, patriots, 3 Percenters, and others who believe this event is a watershed moment for our nation? I met and visited with these men and women, coming from all walks of life, all races, and different religions. Some of these patriots quit their job and came to Nevada to keep their oath; to defend their nation against tyranny. Some are expecting to die here. Nevada U.S. Senator Harry Reid called them "domestic terrorists". Reid's comments were inflammatory and irresponsible, and did nothing to quell the potential for violence. The patriots are men and women who have come to the Bundy ranch to protect the Bundy's from a Federal government that has no logical reason to use force. These patriots are not domestic terrorists. I would not stand with terrorists. I'm convinced that the patriots will not fire the first shot. But, if and when the BLM agents return and start firing, the bloodshed will begin. It will be the battle of Bunkerville.

    As for the report of women and children being placed out in front as shields during the initial confrontation, that action never occurred. It was wrongly strategized and verbalized by one person that was not even on the scene yet. It was never the intent of Oathkeepers and patriots to put harmless women and children in harms way. There were some women in front, but they were the spunky cowgirls that voluntarily rode with men to retrieve the Bundy cattle.

    I'm trying to imagine in Elkhart County if I received a court order to remove cattle from a public land, I would go speak to the owner of the cattle, and seek how to peacefully resolve this situation. I might even empathize with the owner of the cattle, and suggest further legal action on his part. But never would I bring my SWAT teams and patrol officers carrying rifles to a trespass call involving unarmed cattle! Ultimately, the Sheriff, the official with a name and recognizable face, with a phone number to contact him, would resolve the conflict, likely without any serious incident.

    That, my friends, is the crux of this issue. The Federal government has no face, no name (except alphabets), no number to call, and no one to hold accountable if something goes wrong. The Sheriff can intervene, not because of ego or who's gun is bigger, but rather to be the public servant, whom the people elected, and whom can listen, talk, and negotiate a peaceful resolution. The Sheriff has to continue to live in the community he serves. The Feds return to places unknown, never having to live the consequences or see the fears and hear the citizen's life stories.

    As for Mr. Bundy, he told me he was honored that I would come from Indiana to show support. I asked him how this situation could end peacefully. He told me that he does not recognize the Federal government, but that he would submit to his local Sheriff. The patriot groups also said that if the Sheriff got involved, they would stand down. Wow! Really! The local Sheriff of Clark County refuses to get involved, but could peacefully resolve this issue. Mr. Bundy, whether you think he's off his rocker or not, has said how this could be resolved. I entreat to the unapproachable Sheriff Gillespie of Clark County (who incidentally was given the spurious award of "2013 sheriff of the Year" by the National Sheriff's Association-an organization of which I refuse to be a part of) would honor his oath, honor his citizens, and honor his public service, by getting involved in this situation to prevent the bloodshed that will occur between the Federal government and citizens.

    I guarantee you, I would intervene if this was occurring in Elkhart County!

    For the Republic,
    Sheriff Brad Rogers, Elkhart County, Indiana
    by Sheriff Brad Rogers, Elkhart, Indiana:

  • Birding In The National Parks: Time To Pledge To Fledge   18 hours 57 min ago

    Sometimes the birds pick the timing. Sunday we went out to the Dyea unit of the Klondike Gold Rush NHP for the swans, as it is the time every year when trumpeter swans pass through the area. They were magnificent, honking up a storm, and we were within binocular distance [the far side of the estuary].

  • Birding In The National Parks: Time To Pledge To Fledge   19 hours 43 min ago

    Probably not the best time of the year to be birding, as we're told that getting within a 1000 meters harms birds and reduces fledging success. Maybe you should do this after the nesting season, like end of summer.

  • Meet Billy Jones, Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   20 hours 54 min ago

    I agree Roger, the demand for the available resource is increasing, restrictions are in place to try to deal with it. It can be frustrating but it is a price we pay.

  • Birding In The National Parks: Time To Pledge To Fledge   22 hours 2 min ago

    My lack of knowledge about our feathered neighbors has always been an embarrassment to me. Thanks, Kirby, for pushing my button this morning. I just made a call to learn more about joining our local Audubon chapter and have an appointment to tag along with some of them and my binoculars tomorrow morning -- even if it is raining.

  • Meet Billy Jones, Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   22 hours 5 min ago

    I finally checked Smokies NP backcountry permit and fee schedule and the park requires a permit for every overnight backpack trip and allows advance reservations. In my opinion it is very beneficial to those wanting to experience the Smokies wilderness. The $4 per night fee seems a very reasonable price for the ability to reserve a campsite and I do not understand or sympathize with Smokies Backpacker complaints and guess that somewhere along the line the park did not do what he wanted it to. Anyone interested should check out the parks website. My own personal observation would be that it can get pretty complicated getting the sites you want during the busy part of the year, but that's the way life goes in a crowded world. Try Yosemite camping reservations or a permit for day hikes around Mt. Whitney if you want to get frustrated.

  • Meet Billy Jones, Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   1 day 13 hours ago

    Great article Traveler, thanks for posting.

  • Meet Billy Jones, Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   1 day 13 hours ago

    What a great job, whether paid or volunteer.

    And, Backpacker, what a repetitive and whiney complaint. One note samba. I don't mind paying fees to the parks.

  • Is The Human Footprint Strangling Old Faithful In Yellowstone National Park?   1 day 20 hours ago

    Here is a link to a news article about another "geyser" that has a lot of human-caused history.

    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865601460/Utahs-popular-soda-pop-geyser-is-fizzling-out.html

    Ignorance abounds.

  • Meet Billy Jones, Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   1 day 20 hours ago

    "In the park, there’s little trash actually on the trail." And what little bit there is gets packed out by backpackers and ridgerunners, not the NPS. But they NPS will bend over backwards to tell you how much trash they carry out in the Smokies. Why? to justify the backcountry fee. This ridgerunner isn't funded by the fee. Let me know next time you see a ranger cleaning a privy or carrying out trash. BTW, those shelters were built and paid for by volunteers. Not the NPS. THe backcountry fee exists to fund a computer reservation system. And that is all they are authorized to collect the fee for.

  • Meet Billy Jones, Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner In Great Smoky Mountains National Park   1 day 20 hours ago

    Hmmmm. Interesting. I always thought a ridgerunner was something like an Appalachian antelope.

    But then, maybe it is . . . .

    Thanks, Danny, for another good story.

  • Fish In National Parks From Alaska To Colorado Have Unhealthy Mercury Levels   1 day 21 hours ago

    Jim,

    Here are a few more online links regarding guidlines on mercury in fish:

    http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/outreach/advice_index.cfm (web page and link to PDF brochure)

    http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/outreach/upload/2004_07_21_fish_advice_1-meal-per-week.pdf

    http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/outreach/upload/2001_05_31_fish_advice_mercupd.pdf

    http://water.epa.gov/scitech/swguidance/fishshellfish/fishadvisories/index.cfm

    http://www.fda.gov/food/foodborneillnesscontaminants/metals/ucm115644.htm

    http://tennessee.gov/twra/fish/contaminants.html

    http://www.cvent.com/events/2014-national-forum-on-contaminants-in-fish/event-summary-24474de3e83a48559d21b419b2b00fc0.aspx

    Regardless of whether the source of mercury is natural or anthropogenic, what the NPS must decide is this: At what point are the concentrations reported in park fish sufficiently high that fish advisories are necessary to warn the public of the potential hazard? In formulating a decision about the possible need for such advisories, distinctions need to be made between those who frequently catch and consume park fish and those who do so only sporadically. For most individuals and most parks, the majority of a person's annual intake of fish will be from locations outside the park? Of course, these fish may also have residual levels of mercury in their tissue.

    Health advisories are not normally based on the mercury concentration in a single fish, but on estimates of the total amount of fish and mercury consumed within the time frame of one or more years, normalized to the body weight of the individual. Thus, intake limits for children are more restrictive than intake limits for adults.

    The most toxic form of mercury is methyl mercury. Most of the mercury that is detected in fish tissue has been biologically converted to methyl mercury.

  • Olympic National Park Officials Searching For Way To Save Enchanted Valley Chalet   1 day 22 hours ago

    I agree with you, RodF. "The purify" wilderness crowd comes up lacking in many cases by not appreciating the strength, character and contributions to culture that have come before. It's bad enough to sentence such places to historical record and museum science. The Kolb Studio at Grand Canyon comes to mind. For decades the effort to tear it down to make the Rim more "Pristine" went on. It was saved by Congressional action and is now a wonderful symbol of the Kolb Brother's "Life on the Edge" (and below).

    In the fifty's I pleaded with my father to take me with him and my older siblings into Enchanted Valley. He and the Olympians (Outdoor Club) had made many trips to the Chalet. I even hid in the trunk (I was only 5). Heard many stories of the trip but have yet to make it there. Going to make it happen at some point and would love to see the Chalet echoing the many awesome stories I've heard over the years.