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War on the West

Big Green’s ‘sue-and-settle’ strategy draws pushback from states, Congress

By Ron Arnold | APRIL 1, 2014
Washington Examiner

Scott Pruitt is Oklahoma‘s attorney general and he’s fed up with Big Green’s outrageously destructive sue-and-settle attacks using endangered species as a weapon to obliterate America’s burgeoning oil and gas production.

Pruitt was so fed up that on March 17 he and a coalition of energy groups filed a pioneering lawsuit – The State of Oklahoma et al. v. U.S. Department of the Interior – for collusion in violating federal law.

“Sue and settle” is the polite way to say that federal agency greenies invite old friends in Big Green groups to sue the agency so they can jointly select a species in, for example, oil and gas country, and go to court to “force” it to be listed as “endangered” or “threatened” so its range can be declared untouchable “critical habitat,” which stops production there. Continue reading

Nevada rancher and former Shoshone chief’s range war with BLM predates Bundy standoff

Long before Cliven Bundy faced down federal agents in his dispute with the Bureau of Land Management over grazing rights, fellow Nevada rancher Raymond Yowell, an 84-year-old former Shoshone chief, watched as the BLM seized his herd.

Adding to that, since 2008 they’ve taken his money as well — in the form of a piece of his Social Security checks.

Yowell’s 132 head of cattle had grazed for decades on the South Fork Western Shoshone Indian Reservation in northeastern Nevada until 2002, when the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) — the same agency at odds with Bundy — seized them. The federal agency sold the cattle at auction and used the proceeds to pay off the portion of back grazing fees it claimed Yowell owed. Once the cattle was sold, the agency sent Yowell a bill for the outstanding balance, some $180,000. They’ve been garnishing his monthly Social Security checks since 2008 to satisfy the debt Yowell says he does not owe. Continue reading

Bundy Ranch Family vs. Big Gov., Big Green, Big Media

Written by  William F. Jasper | The New American

Posted 4/17/2014

“Hoofed locusts.” That’s how Sierra Cub founder John Muir saw domestic sheep and cattle. It is a term later adopted by Earth First! anarchist and “EcoWarrior” Edward Abbey and other radical enviro-actvists.

Muir, Abbey, and their ilk harbor equal (or, perhaps, greater) contempt for the farmers and ranchers who inflict the “hoofed locusts” on Mother Earth. The “locust” farmers/ranchers, like the “destructive” critters they produce, must be eradicated (humanely, of course), say the activists. That is why Cliven Bundy (shown) and his family’s ranch in Clark County, Nevada, are now in the headlines.

In the 1980s, a broad coalition of the major enviro-actvist groups targeted cattle ranching for extinction. Specifically, they initiated a multi-pronged, long-term plan to evict livestock from the vast “public lands” of the Western states. They planned to drive out all the ranchers by 1993, thus their slogan at the time: “Cattle Free by ’93.”  Continue reading

Leaked Memo Uncovers Obama Administration Land Grab

Colorado Farm Bureau

Posted 4/4/2014

Senator Jim DeMint took to the pages of the Washington Post this morning to raise the alarm about a planned, 10 million acre Western land grab by the Obama administration.

A secret administration memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico, halting job- creating activities like ranching, forestry, mining and energy development. Worse, this land grab would dry up tax revenue that’s essential for funding schools, firehouses and community centers. Continue reading

Group to sue state agency on water rule

Peninsula Daily News Sunday April 6, 2014

By Joe Smillie
     SEQUIM—The Olympic Resource Protection Council plans to sue the state over a rule that governs water in the Dungeness Valley.
     The group agreed Thursday night to pursue a lawsuit against the state Department of Ecology in hopes it will force the agency to review the Dungeness Water Rule.
     They have enlisted Seattle attorney, Sarah Mack, according to council President Greg McCarry.
     The cost of the case, likely to be filed in Thurston County Superior Court, is estimated to be $100,000 to $150,000, McCarry said.  Continue reading

Proposed federal rule would hurt beer brewers, ranchers

By Katie Fiegenbaum
Durango HERALD STAFF WRITER

Posted 4/11/2014

For centuries, breweries have donated or sold their spent grain, a high-protein oatmeal-looking byproduct of the brewing process, for use as livestock feed.

On a ranch east of Durango, Justin Werts, with El Dorado Cattle Co., feeds his longhorn cattle with spent barley from Durango Brewing Co. A relationship allowing microbrewers to easily rid themselves of spent barley and ranchers to obtain a delicious and nutritious meal for their cattle may soon be strangled by regulations proposed by the Food and Drug Administration that would make the practice cost-prohibitive. Continue reading

EPA land grab? Agency claims authority over more streams, wetlands

Fox News

Posted 4/11/2014

In what critics are describing as a government land grab, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a change Tuesday to the Clean Water Act that would give it regulatory authority over temporary wetlands and waterways. 

The proposal immediately sparked concerns that the regulatory power could extend into seasonal ponds, streams and ditches, including those on private property. 

“The … rule may be one of the most significant private property grabs in U.S. history,” said Louisiana Sen. David Vitter, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.  Continue reading

Idaho lawmakers voice treaty concerns

Sean Ellis | Capital Press
 
 
Idaho lawmakers are asking the U.S. State Department to respect Idaho’s sovereignty over its water rights in the Columbia River Treaty negotiations with Canada.

 

BOISE — The Idaho Legislature will send a message to the U.S. State Department that outlines Idaho’s position on the Columbia River Treaty review.

The main message of House Joint Memorial 10: “Recognize and protect the value of irrigated agriculture in the United States and promote additional development.” Continue reading

Spokane, WA: Landowners concerned over new Ecology river rule

Matthew Weaver | Capital Press
 
The Washington Department of Ecology is developing an instream flow rule to protect water in the Spokane River. There’s supposed to be little impact to agriculture, according to the department, but local landowners are concerned the new rule will constitute a taking of private property without compensation.

The Washington State Department of Ecology’s proposed rule to protect instream flows in the Spokane River has landowners concerned about potential takings of property without compensation. Continue reading

Oregon Man Sentenced to 30 Days in Jail — for Collecting Rainwater on His Property

 
July 26, 2012

(CNSNews.com) – A rural Oregon man was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days in jail and over $1,500 in fines because he had three reservoirs on his property to collect and use rainwater.

Gary Harrington of Eagle Point, Ore., says he plans to appeal his conviction in Jackson County (Ore.) Circuit Court on nine misdemeanor charges under a 1925 law for having what state water managers called “three illegal reservoirs” on his property – and for filling the reservoirs with rainwater and snow runoff.

“The government is bullying,” Harrington told CNSNews.com in an interview Thursday.

“They’ve just gotten to be big bullies and if you just lay over and die and give up, that just makes them bigger bullies. So, we as Americans, we need to stand on our constitutional rights, on our rights as citizens and hang tough. This is a good country, we’ll prevail,” he said. Continue reading

Improving the Endangered Species Act for the 21st century

Opinion by Reps. Doc Hastings and Cynthia Lummis
for Daily Caller

Posted 3/13/2014

Over forty years ago, Congress passed the Endangered Species Act (ESA) with the noblest of intentions – conserve and recover wildlife facing preventable extinction. This is a moral obligation on which we can all agree. But with a species recovery rate of only two percent, the ESA has proven to be ineffective at protecting truly imperiled species and has unnecessarily hurt people’s livelihoods in the process. We can protect endangered species without unduly burdening the American people, but to do so we need a stronger, more effective ESA. Continue reading

What is ‘PILT’ and why do we need a permanent solution?

Arizona Capitol Times

Feb. 17, 2014

The acronym “PILT” is more than just an odd abbreviation. PILT stands for Payment In Lieu of Taxes, a program created by Congress in 1976. Simply put, PILT provides federal funding to counties that host large tracts of non-taxable federal land, reimbursing the counties for services required on those lands and making it possible for county governments to provide police and fire protection, road maintenance and necessary health care services.

In the nearly four decades since PILT’s creation, counties all across America — and especially in Arizona and the West — have come to rely on these funds, especially after the recent economic downturn slashed county budgets and resources to the bone and beyond. Continue reading

Wahkiakum County takes feds to task for failures in protecting rare deer

 
Despite some public objections, federal biologists have begun moving Columbian white-tailed deer from Puget Island to the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge in another step to create a viable population in north Clark County.

Eight deer were moved in February, and biologists hope to move another 20 or so to Ridgefield in 2014, said Paul Meyers, wildlife biologist for the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge for Columbian White-tailed Deer west of Cathlamet. Continue reading

Washington’s Fish and Wildlife riles Asotin County with land buys

Kerri Sandaine
Lewiston Tribune

 Posted 3/9/2014

ASOTIN, Wash. – The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife has gobbled up more than 10 percent of the 410,240 acres in Asotin County and that’s ruffled some feathers.

A group of Asotin County residents say purchases by the state agency are having an adverse effect on every other property owner in the county, whether they live in the country or city.

When that land goes off the tax rolls, everyone else winds up absorbing the added tax burden, said Brad Forgey, of Asotin. He and other members of the agricultural community are hoping changes are made at the state level to address the problem. Continue reading

Yakima: Only matter of time before new rural wells are metered

Posted 2/16/2014

Daily Sun News

Yakima, WA – Water supply and water quality are at the forefront of Yakima County’s plans for 2014.

That’s according to Yakima County Commissioner Rand Elliott, the featured speaker Wednesday morning for the Sunnyside Daybreak Rotary Club.

In something like a “state of the county” address, Elliott said changes are underway within the next year or so on new wells in Yakima County. Continue reading

Editorital: A War on Wild

Editorial series by Pearl Rains-Hewett
www.behindmyback.org

Posted 1/31/2014

Part 1:

There is a time to be silent and a time to speak

 A time to keep and a time to throw away

 There is a time for every activity

 Now is the time for many of us to speak of a War On Wild and keep our rights.

Is it your time?

We are American citizens, we are private property owners, we are the stewards of our pristine forest land, it is our heritage, it is who we are and what we do, it is our way of life, it is our source of employment and income, it provides our shelter, the roof over our heads, food on our tables and heat from our hearth, indeed it has been  the  lot of our lives for many generations of local  families.

So I saw that there is nothing better for a person than to enjoy their work, because that is their lot That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil Continue reading

Rep. Hastings calls for reforms to Endangered Species Act

By Kate Prengaman / Yakima Herald-Republic

Posted 1/31/2014

YAKIMA, Wash. — From spotted owls to salmon, the Pacific Northwest has been ground zero for the impacts — good and bad — of the Endangered Species Act for 40 years.

That’s the view of U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Pasco, who heads the House Committee on Natural Resources, which is considering significant changes to the landmark 1973 legislation.

“Very generally, those of us in the Northwest have been hit by impacts of the Endangered Species Act more than anybody,” Hastings said. “The economy that is based here is natural-resource based, with water, and with the timber industry, so whenever you have laws that impact natural resources, they are going to impact the economy.” Continue reading

Green Drought: For the sake of the smelt, California farmland lies fallow

By Charles C. W. Cooke
National Review

Posted 1/31/2014

San Joaquin Valley, Calif. — “We have the greatest factory anywhere on earth,” Harris Farms’ executive vice president, William Bourdeau, tells me, as our car bumps rapidly along the dirty, uneven track. “These are pistachio trees,” he says, sweeping his hand across the horizon. “Over there, we have asparagus.” He points through the windshield. “And in that facility, we process garlic.”

Around the corner and away from the freeway, I see almonds, broccoli, onions, watermelons, and tomatoes. Lettuce, which in the grand scale of things is a mere afterthought for Harris, is produced nevertheless on an astonishing scale, with 3 million cartons — 72 million head — being shipped out each year, the fruit of 700,000 man-hours. On neighboring Harris Ranch, the largest in the West, there are 100,000 cattle, most of which will eventually end up at In-N-Out Burger joints along the Pacific Coast and throughout the Southwest. The smell of the cattle permeates the air for a good mile around, announcing the farm to travelers before any signs come into view. In the distance, the mountains loom large.

Continue reading

The Growth Management Act: Just another Central Planning Failure

by Glen Morgan
Freedom Foundation

Posted 1/25/2014

 

Last Thursday, thanks largely to Senator Pam Roach (R-Auburn), the Washington State Senate provided an opportunity to discuss the Growth Management Act (GMA) in a public work session. Last year,I wrote about a less formal work session held by Representative Dean Takko (D-Longview). However, the recent Senate work session demonstrated notable willingness to look at Washington State’s GMA in a comprehensive manner without constraining the comments of those who testified. The complete video from the hearing is here (starting at about 37 minutes). Continue reading

Water Rule Implementation meeting offers little in way of solutions – why do we need it?

Posted 1/15/2014

The Water Rule Implementation Forum met at John Wayne Marina on Jan. 15, 2014, starting at 12:30 p.m. 

(Editor’s Note: This rule essentially covers Clallam County East of Morse Creek and has significant and costly impacts for property owners needing a new well or those owners who would like a change of use for their existing well.

Those who will be affected include those owning property in WRIA 18 West (up to West of the Elwha River), where the WRIA 18 East rule will likely serve as a template when a similar rule is imposed there in the near future, and those who own property not directly affected by the rule whose property taxes will increase to make up for the decrease in assessed value and property taxes of “water have not” properties affected by the rule.)

The following report from the forum is by Marguerite Glover:

There were only had two members of the “public,” in the audience. Both of them arrived an hour or more after the start of the meeting–Bob Forde and Mark Couhig. I did tell the group that Pam Cameron (local farmer/landowner) said that the Water Exchange should be providing mitigation certificates for stock watering, from a well. Mike Gallagher said that Amanda Cronin (Washington Water Trust) was working on that–and, it should become available, in the near future. 22 mitigation certificates have been issued, with about 3 or 4 of those being for outside watering. Continue reading

Brown’s budget includes plan to regulate groundwater

January 12, 2014
Tim Hearden
for Capital Press
 
 
Gov. Jerry Brown’s nearly $107 billion spending proposal includes $7.8 million for regulating groundwater use and could lead to restrictions in pumping from wells, officials say. The groundwater measures are part of a statewide Water Action Plan proposed in the fall.

SACRAMENTO — The nearly $107 billion spending plan proposed by Gov. Jerry Brown on Jan. 9 includes $7.8 million for groundwater management and could lead to restrictions on pumping from wells, officials say. Continue reading

Environmental Lawyers and the Middle Class

Commentary by Charlie Crabtree
The Fourth Corner

Posted 1/12/2014
(original published on 7/9/2013)

All humans need food and water to survive…  The State Growth Management Board’s micromanaging will decide who has “rights” to water in Whatcom County… NOT common sense or our elected Whatcom County Council.

The Bellingham Herald has an article here on a “Growth Management Board” decision concerning water rights in Whatcom County.

The Herald’s headline is: “State board tells Whatcom County to impose restrictions on water use

Does the extremist Special Interest group FUTUREWISE control both sides of this important debate at the state Bureaucracy level? You Decide. Continue reading

Climate change study suggests cutting herds

By Eric Mortenson
Capital Press

New report from an OSU scientist says reducing cattle and other ruminant herds is the most effective way to reduce methane gas emissions and ease climate change.

A new climate change study issued by an Oregon State University professor and others concludes the best way to reduce methane gas emissions is to reduce cattle, sheep and other ruminant herds worldwide. Continue reading

Parties settle lawsuit over 90-year-old dam

December 29, 2013

Capital Press

Environmentalists who sued a Siskiyou County, Calif., water district over the operation of a roughly 90-year-old dam have reached a legal settlement with the district. The deal will result in only a slight decrease of irrigation water for area farms in average water years.

MONTAGUE, Calif. — Environmentalists who sued a water district here over the operation of a roughly 90-year-old dam here have settled the case with the district.

Klamath Riverkeeper and its ally, the Karuk Tribes, gained a slight decrease in diversions for irrigation from Shastina Reservoir to preserve the Shasta River, a key tributary to the beleaguered Klamath River. Continue reading

GOP gangs up on endangered species law

Posted 12/28/2013

The Hill

House Republicans are charging the Obama administration with using “political science” to justify adding new plants and animals to the endangered species list.

Agencies like the Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife Service are opaque and ignore state and local officials, GOP lawmakers on the House Natural Resources Committee alleged during a Thursday hearing.

“It is true that protection of endangered species is popular among the American people,” Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) noted, but “what isn’t popular is the disruption to people’s lives and to commerce that’s happening through its implementation.” Continue reading

Wildlife “values” to be incorporated in land use, say western governors

Posted 12/28/2013

Western Governor’s website

DEC. 12, 2013: The Western Governors’ Association today (Dec. 12) unveiled its Crucial Habitat Assessment Tool (CHAT), a cooperative effort of 16 Western states to provide the public and industry an overview of “crucial habitat” across the West.

The CHAT provides a “30,000-foot view” of habitat for pre-planning that can be used for projects as varied as “macro-siting” energy corridors and transmission routes, to comparing fish and wildlife habitat across the West. Continue reading

Sustainable Thurston faces resistance

Citizens are banding together to resist and try to push back  “Sustainable Thurston” A video of their “Task Force” submitting their HUD financed “Plan” (which is Agenda 21 on a local level) being submitted and accepted by the Thurston Planning Committee on Friday December 6th, and all the resistance to it, is shown on the following youtube videos.
Part 1  http://youtu.be/ffSozxDGyDU
Part 2  http://youtu.be/05GV2pFJRbs
Part 3  http://youtu.be/3PVINL8KAyQ

Anyone wishing to join in and help us please contact:   truegrassroots@fairpoint.net

Another video shows Gov. Inslee trying to install the Cap and Trade program yesterday.
Part 1  http://youtu.be/-fXXSHmIy0g
Part 2  http://youtu.be/-IM-9BNKvek

Submitted by investigative journalist: Wally Brown, 16717 Vail Loop SE, Rainier, WA 98576 360-446-1015

Water, water every where – Nor any drop to drink

The Whatcom Excavator

12/06/2013

WE suppose you know that northwest Washington is a rain forest. What you may not know is that some people are trying to gin up the idea that water is scarce around here; that we’re on the brink of a water shortage (or something), and (wait for it) that water needs to be rationed by a cadre of self-appointed busybodies and shake-down artists. Radical curtailment of both access to water and land use are being actively discussed right here in Whatcom County.  Is there a target on private landowner’s backs?  Yes, indeed there is. Continue reading

Study: New Water Quality Standards Would Cost Billions, Produce Little Benefit

‘Fish Consumption’ Issue Could Mean $200-a-Month Sewer Bills — Business, Local-Government Organizations Sound Alarm as Ecology Seeks Standards No One Can Meet

By Erik Smith 
Washington State Wire

Boise Cascade’s Wallula mill: Pulp and paper industry would be sharply affected.

OLYMPIA, Dec. 10.—$200-a-month sewer bills, anyone? Business and local governments are sounding a new warning about a Department of Ecology plan to impose water-quality standards so tough no one can meet them, releasing a study that points to staggering costs and not much environmental benefit.

Impact would be in the billions of dollars, yet the results still wouldn’t comply with the new state rules, says the report from HDR Engineering. Perhaps more important, the water really wouldn’t be that much cleaner. In fact, if you start totting up the greenhouse-gas emissions the policy would cause and other potential environmental harms, you get the idea the state might be trading one problem for another.

The study, commissioned by the Association of Washington Business, the Association of Washington Cities and the Washington State Association of Counties, calls attention to an issue that brings apocalyptic visions to the statehouse. By the end of 2014, the state Department of Ecology plans to adopt new rules for surface-water discharges that either would be the most stringent in the country, or else would be tied for first with Oregon. The groups say compliance costs would be so enormous the state ought to think twice. Their argument comes with a dollop of self-interest, of course, but it raises an interesting point. The agency can’t challenge the study, because it hasn’t done a cost-benefit analysis of its own. Nor is it likely to. Continue reading

Panel eyes endangered species, fishing bills

Posted 12/12/2013

by Julian Hattem
for The Hill

 

House lawmakers will begin mulling new legislation to reform the Endangered Species Act and reauthorize the country’s fishing management law in coming weeks.

 

The chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), announced on Thursday that lawmakers next week would release a draft version of a bill to reauthorize the Magnuson-Stevens Act, which governs the country’s marine fisheries, and advance “common-sense” reforms to the Endangered Species Act early next year. In January, the committee will also hold a hearing on the fishing reauthorization law, Hastings added. Continue reading

Activist raises questions about method of Forest Plan “collaboration”

 


Editor’s Note:  This article is in response to an emailed newsletter sent by US Representative Derek Kilmer, (D – 6th Congressional District).  See the letter here.Olympic Peninsula Collaborative -Derek Kilmer announcement, 12.6.2013.

 

To Kilmer on Forest Plan

The Bottom line
How will your Olympic Peninsula Collaborative plan work?
Are you confident that the “US Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution” has achieved a National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule that will satisfy the conflict “We the people” have with the NGO Environmental Groups?

The formation of your new partnership is called the Olympic Peninsula Collaborative.

Can you give the specific “Collaboration Process” that will be used in the context of this partnership?

Page 21254
Public Participation: Requirements for public participation (including collaboration) have not changed between the proposed and final rules? Continue reading

Klamath task force reaches water agreement

Posted 12/5/2013

Seattle P-I

GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — Ranchers and the Klamath Tribes signed a tentative deal Monday in Klamath Falls for sharing water in the drought-stricken Upper Klamath Basin.

The rest of a special task force on water issues were to join them Tuesday at the Oregon Institute of Technology to announce the 17-page agreement in principle. Continue reading

Report finds access often denied on federal lands

by Dennis Webb
for The Westerner

Posted 12/5/2013

In the two years since the Bureau of Land Management worked with partners to provide motorized access to the Willow Creek area southwest of Meeker, the area has seen heavy use.

“The trail has been used heavily by hunters the past two years — it was definitely an area the public wanted to use,” said BLM spokesman David Boyd.

It’s a reminder that not all public lands are necessarily accessible, or at least very easily accessible, to the public. That fact has been underscored by a new analysis by the nonpartisan Center for Western Priorities, which concluded that more than 4 million acres of public land in six western states, including about 540,000 acres in Colorado, can’t be reached by their owners — the public. Continue reading

Dungeness Water Rights Seed First Water Exchange in Western Washington

from Washington State Department of Ecology

Posted 12/3/2013

Sequim, WA — With negotiations finally accomplished and operational details in place, Washington Water Trust and the Dungeness Water Users Association are proud to announce the purchase of 175 acre feet of water rights which will hydrate the Dungeness Water Exchange, a program of Washington Water Trust and provide mitigation credits for new water withdrawals.

The Dungeness Water Exchange is the first water exchange or water bank of its kind in western Washington. It provides mitigation in the Dungeness watershed to offset new water use as required by the 2013 Water Management Rule signed by the Department of Ecology (Ecology). Continue reading

Obama Pushing Shooters Off Public Lands

By PAUL BEDARD
U.S. News & World Report

Posted 11/29/2013

Gun owners who have historically been able to use public lands for target practice would be barred from potentially millions of acres under new rules drafted by the Interior Department, the first major move by the Obama administration to impose limits on firearms.

Officials say the administration is concerned about the potential clash between gun owners and encroaching urban populations who like to use same land for hiking and dog walking. Continue reading

Waterfront homes may become victim to Port Orchard walking ‘trail’

By Tracy Vedder 
KOMO News

Posted 11/29/2013

PORT ORCHARD, Wash. — A handful of Port Orchard homeowners are fighting city hall to protect their way of life.  They fear the city wants to take their waterfront homes to build a pedestrian path.

Randy Jones is one of those homeowners; he bought his home, which rests on pilings over the Port Orchard beach, 35 years ago.  He’s made friends with the seagulls, hand-raised orphan geese, and still waits anxiously for high tide and salmon season.  “The tide comes in…you can see salmon coming underneath your house.”
Continue reading

Controversy over Whatcom Co. water wells

The Bellingham Herald

Posted 11/29/2013

BELLINGHAM, WASH. — Conservative property-rights advocates are worried about proposed restrictions on wells they fear could mean the end of the rural way of life in Whatcom County.

The well controversy arose after environmentalists challenged county rules that they believe don’t do enough to protect water resources.

In response, the state Growth Management Hearings Board issued a ruling that could block property owners from drawing water from their wells, if the basin where they live is closed to new water rights. The county has appealed the ruling to the state Court of Appeals. Continue reading

Judge’s road ruling is a travesty

Opinion – The Richfield Reaper

Posted 11/19/2013

Richfield, Utah – A ruling issued last week by U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball has the potential for devastating effects on the region as well as the public’s ability to access federally administered land.

Kimball’s ruling throws the entire travel plan for the 2.1 million acres of land administered by the Bureau of Land Management’s Richfield office into question. How the ruling will ultimately affect motorized access is not yet known, but it carries the possibility of being an economic nightmare for the region. Continue reading

Bridge Project Haulted for Fish, Wildlife Lizard Permit

KHTS AM1220

Posted 11/19/2013

The unexpected sighting of a North American legless lizard halted construction of an overpass for Highway 126 in the Santa Clarita Valley, a county official said Thursday.

County officials are now waiting for word from the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife on whether the constuction may be permitted to continue, said Kerjon Lee, public affairs manager for Los Angeles County.

“We’ve submitted our permit and we haven’t received comment based on the application,” Lee said. “The minimum that (state officials) are allotted to review our application is 20 days and (Wednesday) marked 20 days.” Continue reading

Grazing ban eased by Forest Service

by Elise Kaplan / Mountain View Telegraph | Nov 14, 2013 

After months of grappling with the hotly contested issue, the U.S. Forest Service took the first step toward reinstating grazing on federal land in the Mountainair Ranger District by allowing one allotment to regain full functionality. The remaining allotments are under review by the New Mexico Range Improvement Task Force.

Last June the Forest Service ordered a hiatus on 17 active grazing allotments in the district due to severe drought conditions. The ban set off a flurry of negative r`eactions among ranchers who claim it was enacted arbitrarily and would result in significant financial hardship.

District Ranger Karen Lessard wrote in an email that ranchers had agreed to the possibility of a reduction in livestock and occasional hiatus when they signed the 10-year term grazing permits. A three-year drought in the district had rendered the hiatus necessary, she added. Continue reading

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