February 18, 2018

To Ask If Fighting Climate Change is “Worth It” Admits Climate Change Exists

I just finished reading the Shake, Rattle, and Troll newsletter. One item in the newsletter was an Op-Ed titled, “Is Fighting Climate Change Worth Sacrificing Modern Civilization.” To be forthcoming, I consider Don McDowell and John Kolezar of Shake, Rattle, and Troll (not the authors) to be my friends and I have been a guest on their Sunday morning radio broadcast in Arizona once or twice. Having said all this, by this place in time Don and John have probably already figured out that am not an echo-chamber of the fake dichotomy of political bias. I am my own man, but there’s another name for what that some might prefer to call me. Let me explain briefly.

Just this past Fall I was asked a question by someone that I have known for many years. This was his question: “Were you born an asshole or did you grow into it?” Once I figured out the question was more serious than in jest, I couldn’t really come up with a quick reply. I didn’t know! The best I can do now is to say it has been a little of both.

Perhaps I am burying my head in the sand a bit…or not…but I choose to think that most people who think me an asshole do so because they disagree with what I say and do. Because most people disagree with what I say and do, I’m readily known as an asshole. I accept that.

I will have to digress from this topic and reenter the realm of Climate Change before you click away!

The author of the Op-Ed wants to know if “fighting climate change” is worth destroying or sacrificing “modern civilization.” With this comment, I have no fewer than three questions.

Question 1: In this article, outside of titles, the term “climate change” is used 7 times and all seven times it is in lower case letters. For those who may not know there is a difference between “Climate Change” and “climate change.” I am not alone when I say that Climate Change refers to the Al Gore variety of make-believe – a political creation for many sinister reasons, the main ones being profit, people control, and genocide.

When used in the context of natural climate change, I would stick with lower case. If, as a reader, you don’t know in what context the author is using this term, it makes it impossible to understand or to have a rational discussion. Distinct lines immediately become crossed and confusion takes over.

I will, for the sake of discussion, assume that the author, when he writes “climate change” and not “Climate Change” he is referring to the natural form of climate change.

Question 2: What does the author mean by “fighting?” The piece certainly lets us know those things Environmentalism is forcing civilization to do to “save the planet,” but how do you “fight” that? I guess you just write Op-Eds and express your dislike? If you don’t understand what is really going on, what’s to fight? God?

Question 3: What is “modern civilization?” Isn’t this too broad a term when discussing a more specific subject like “climate change,” or “Climate Change?” From my perspective, a whole bunch of this “modern civilization” I would like to see destroyed.

My real attempt here is not to try to ridicule the author. It’s to get readers to think beyond overused expressions and platitudes about the environmental, Environmentalism, climate change, and Climate Change.

The author writes of how environmentalists make statements about the climate and the environment in general and present their theories and rationale from the position that man is screwing everything up. Never, ever discussed in any of this is the most important part of all – that our Creator, who made all of this, is far greater than any of us, which includes Climate Change. Yahweh did create it all and that includes you and me as distinct, alpha dogs of the environment. In that plan is perfection. His perfection may not resemble our plans and that’s one of the biggest reasons nobody wants to discuss it. Sorry!

I’m not going to try to guess whether or not Yahweh’s Great Plan includes any kind of Climate Change. I am sure He has and will continue to instruct his angels on what to do about our climate that is always changing and that we have no control over and therefore cannot “fight.”

Also never brought up in discussions about climate change or even Climate Change, is the deliberate man-caused changes in our atmosphere, resulting in weather phenomenon, toxic poisoning of the populace, earthquakes, fires, etc. Ignorant people never look up and if you point it out to them they are not at all interested even though it is killing them. It’s easier to deny. This topic is unending and so I’ll leave it alone.

So, when someone asks if fighting climate change is worth anything, I have to say no. No, because climate change is Yahweh’s call and I can’t tell Him what to do, and, no, because Climate Change is a sinister, political plot that the people are being used to their deaths for. Join it if you wish and you will because you fail to recognize what’s really going on.

One thing is for certain. When someone asks if fighting climate change or Climate Change is worth it, is to admit and recognize that it actually does exist. I’m here to tell you that climate change is natural, that Climate Change is an evil hoax designed for profit and control and that technology, not the kind you think, is behind Climate Change.

Take the easy road and…

DON’T GO LOOK!

 

 

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Curtis Bill Enhances Antiquities Protections, Creates First Ever Tribally-Managed National Monument

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 9, 2018 – Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on H.R. 4532, the “Shash Jaa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument Act.” Introduced by Rep. John Curtis (R-UT), and cosponsored by every Member of the House of Representatives from Utah, the bill builds upon President Trump’s right-sizing of the Bears Ears National Monument (BENM) and creates the first tribally co-managed national monument in history.

While it is difficult to overstate how politicized the creation and management of our national monuments has become, I believe all sides of this debate share many common goals,” Rep. Curtis stated. “These goals include a high priority on protecting and preserving both antiquities and the natural beauty of this area, as well as maintaining traditional uses of the land.”

In in the waning days of office, President Obama unilaterally designated the BENM against the will of Utah’s elected leaders, local stakeholders and tribes.

Despite empty promises to the contrary, the original BENM proclamation did not bestow tribal co-management. Instead, the proclamation created a token advisory role for tribes and no legal or official decision making authority.

“There is no one who cares for the land more than we do, the local residents and native people of San Juan County. It is the people who live closest to the land that understand the land best and should have a voice in how lands are managed,” Member of the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe Suzette Morris stressed.

Chairman Rob Bishop (R-UT), described the Bears Ears Commission, the tribal advisory board established under the original BENM proclamation, as a scam.

“The Commission is a fraud, it’s a sham. They get to advise, but the advice can easily be rejected. Land managers have the ability to arbitrarily change things and there is nothing tribes can do about it,” Chairman Bishop argued.

Rep. Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA) questioned Ms. Morris on whether local tribes were consulted by the Obama administration prior to the BENM designation and whether tribal co-management was ever achieved. “No,” Morris answered. 

President Trump signed an Executive Order in April 2017, requiring a review of recent monument designations to determine whether they were consistent with the “original objectives” of the Antiquities Act.  The review asserted, among other conclusions, that BENM’s size was not the “smallest area compatible” with care of the objects requiring protection, as required under the Act, and that tribes did not have an “adequate role” in managing the monument.

On December 4, 2017, President Trump signed a proclamation to protect identified antiquities in the region with the creation of two new separate, more targeted monuments: the Shash Jáa National Monument and Indian Creek National Monument. To codify those actions and prevent future administrations from arbitrarily modifying the monument boundaries, congressional action is required.

“We now find ourselves with a reset and the opportunity to move forward with a legislative process for protecting this area,” Governor of Utah Gary Herbert stressed. “If we really care about protecting the antiquities and archeological artifacts… if we really care about giving native Americans co-management responsibility, it has to be done legislatively.”

“Without congressional action, Bears Ears, Shash Jaa and Indian Creed will be relegated to nothing more than political footballs being punted back and forth with each presidential adminstration. Nobody wins in that scenario – not the archeological resources, not the environment and certainly not the people of San Juan County,” Director of the Coalition for Self-Government in the West of the Sutherland Institute Matt Anderson stated.

H.R. 4532 codifies the newly-created monuments and establishes the Shash Jaa Tribal Management Council, made up of a minimum of four local tribal members, guaranteeing tribal input in management decisions.

H.R. 4532 will finally empower the voices who have been silenced in the debate, and those are the tribes of the local tribes who actually live in San Juan County,” Morris said.

The bill maintains the existing 1.35 million acre mineral withdrawal under the original BENM designation to “put to rest any suspicion that the monument was reduced in order to advance energy development,” Governor Herbert stated.

The bill also establishes the first-of-its-kind Archaeological Resources Protection Unit, a statutory assignment of additional law enforcement personnel, and additional federal dollars, for the exclusive protection of antiquities within monument boundaries.

Click here to view full witness testimony.

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Bill to Prevent Draconian Public Access Restrictions Under Wilderness Act Draws Praise

Press Release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources:

WASHINGTON, D.C., December 7, 2017 –

Today, the Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a legislative hearing on four bills. Among those bills considered at the hearing, H.R. 1349, introduced by Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-CA), would restore the original intent of the Wilderness Act and improve land access to disabled veterans, families and the elderly by clarifying that bicycles, strollers and wheelchairs are permitted in wilderness areas.

Congress enacted the Wilderness Act in 1964 to create a National Wilderness Preservation System that would “secure for the American people of present and future generations the benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness.” Generally, the law prohibits commercial activities and motorized uses in wilderness areas.

Non-motorized bicycles were allowed in wilderness areas from the inception of the Act, until 1977, when the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) reinterpreted the law to ban them.

“Congress meant to exclude roads, permanent infrastructure and motors, not human-powered visitors who leave no permanent trace, Ted Stroll, President of the Sustainable Trails Coalition, said. Thus, H.R. 1349 does not materially amend the Wilderness Act of 1964. Rather, it restores the Act to its original meaning.”

Rep. McClintock pressed the panel on how the bicycle ban was originally implemented: “So the ban was strictly imposed by an unelected bureaucrat, is that correct?,” McClintock asked“Yes,” Stroll responded.

Conservationists like Stroll and key legislative backers of the original law, including Senator Frank F. Church (D-ID), have criticized restrictive interpretations as contrary to the law’s intent.  “If Congress had intended that wilderness be administered in so stringent a manner, we would never have written the law as we did,” Church stated, following USFS’s 1977 interpretation.

At the time he signed the Wilderness Act, President Lyndon B. Johnson noted, “[For cyclists and others] we must have trails as well as highways.”

Nevertheless, under the prevailing interpretation, “bicycles, strollers, and any human-powered wheeled conveyance are banned in an area larger than all of California, for no environmental reason,” Stroll stated.

“[The predictable opposition to H.R. 1349] will come from the Wilderness industry, an enterprise comprising people with strong ideological opposition to human activity in public lands, commercial pack outfitters, and organizations that raise money by scaring people that Congress will abolish Wilderness or dilute it of all recognition,” Stroll added. The latter are almost certain to tell the gullible that H.R. 1349 is part of that ultimate goal.”

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Trump National Monument Reform Applauded by Free-Market Environmentalists

Press Release from the National Center for Public Policy Research:

“First Step on the Road to Undoing an Egregious Abuse of Power”

Repeal Antiquities Act to Protect Property Rights, Promote Economic Prosperity


Washington, DC 
– 
Environmental experts with the National Center for Public Policy Research applaud President Donald Trump’s order to scale back two Utah national monuments as a good kickoff in reforming abuse of the Antiquities Act. The National Center sent President Trump a coalition letter earlier this year noting that modern applications of the Act unconstitutionally create de facto wilderness areas and national parks prohibiting almost all activity on designated land.

“This is a first step on the road to undoing an egregious abuse of power that the Clinton, Bush and Obama Administrations exercised in designating millions of acres of federal land as national monuments. But it is just a first step. Obama alone designated national monuments in Oregon, California, Nevada and Maine as well as off the Atlantic Coast, and these should also be on the chopping block,” said National Center Senior Fellow Bonner Cohen, Ph.D. “Ultimately, the problem lies with the Antiquities Act itself. Originally enacted to protect Native American artifacts and sacred sites, it has been transformed into a land-use mechanism that blocks Americans’ access to their own natural resources. Since the Antiquities Act was passed in 1906, other laws have been enacted that protect Native American cultural and archeological sites. These other laws do not lend themselves to the abuse we have seen with the Antiquities Act.”

On December 4, President Trump ordered the size of the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments to be dramatically scaled back. His action came after he asked the U.S. Department of the Interior earlier this year to review all monument designations. While the land remains under the control of the federal government, this order opens it up to more potential use by the public. These may not be the only monument designations reconsidered by the President.

“These designations really protected nothing. The lands were already owned by the federal government and carefully managed, regulated and well-protected by an army of federal agents,” said National Center Senior Fellow R.J. Smith. “The goal of the designations had been to convert multiple-use public lands into de facto national parks and wilderness areas, preventing traditional uses such as recreation, grazing and any other economic uses of natural resources. It usurped the authority of Congress to designate parks and wildernesses, and it disenfranchised the people of the affected states – especially those in rural counties and communities. Worse, it accelerated the War on the West – destroying the economic well-being of much of rural America while undermining the tax base of county and small town governments and turning thriving communities into ghost towns.”

In October, the National Center brought together almost 40 free-market organizations, trade associations, businesses, former federal officials and current lawmakers on a letter to President Trump that asked for comprehensive reform of the Antiquities Act and a rollback of national monument designations. It asked the Trump Administration to “deal more forcibly with the abuses that have plagued the program for decades” and “restor[e] integrity and transparency to a process that for too long has been lacking in both.”

“The Antiquities Act should be repealed,” added Dr. Cohen. “Meanwhile, we eagerly await President Trump’s next steps to restore the rule of law and remove Washington’s meddling hands from how our lands – public and private – are to be used.”

Smith said: “We applaud President Trump, and we hope he will continue to substantially downsize – or preferably eliminate – other national monument designations under review in Maine, New Mexico, California, Oregon and Nevada.”

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So, Is Katahdin Woods and Waters Now On The Chopping Block?

Now that’s a laugh!

It has been announced that President Trump, citing the intent of the Antiquities Act, has reduced the sizes of a couple of National Monuments in Utah. After examining the press release does this mean places like Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters is scheduled for the chopping block?

That’s not likely going to happen, but one has to wonder why in Utah and not in other places? Or, are there more to come? What’s on that land in Utah that is important enough for Trump to do this and not in more places?

Maybe the best place to start is at the beginning. Below is a copy of the Antiquities Act of 1906, signed into law by President Theodore Roosevelt.

~~~~~~~~

American Antiquities Act of 1906

16 USC 431-433

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That any person who shall appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity, situated on lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States, without the permission of the Secretary of the Department of the Government having jurisdiction over the lands on which said antiquities are situated, shall, upon conviction, be fined in a sum of not more than five hundred dollars or be imprisoned for a period of not more than ninety days, or shall suffer both fine and imprisonment, in the discretion of the court.

Sec. 2. That the President of the United States is hereby authorized, in his discretion, to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments, and may reserve as a part thereof parcels of land, the limits of which in all cases shall be confined to the smallest area compatible with proper care and management of the objects to be protected: Provided, That when such objects are situated upon a tract covered by a bona fied unperfected claim or held in private ownership, the tract, or so much thereof as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the object, may be relinquished to the Government, and the Secretary of the Interior is hereby authorized to accept the relinquishment of such tracts in behalf of the Government of the United States.

Sec. 3. That permits for the examination of ruins, the excavation of archaeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity upon the lands under their respective jurisdictions may be granted by the Secretaries of the Interior, Agriculture, and War to institutions which the may deem properly qualified to conduct such examination, excavation, or gathering, subject to such rules and regulation as they may prescribe: Provided, That the examinations, excavations, and gatherings are undertaken for the benefit of reputable museums, universities, colleges, or other recognized scientific or educational institutions, with a view to increasing the knowledge of such objects, and that the gatherings shall be made for permanent preservation in public museums.

Sec. 4. That the Secretaries of the Departments aforesaid shall make and publish from time to time uniform rules and regulations for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act.

Approved, June 8, 1906 

[Emboldening Added]

Section 1, clearly states that the intent of the Act is to protect “historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity.” These artifacts are those found on Federal Land and/or private lands that the private landowner has or will “relinquished to the Government.”

These so-called “antiquities” that needed protection, at the time of the creation of this act, were items that someone could,  “…appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity.” The abuse that has happened in this regard wonders how someone might “appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy” a view or a small river.

With that in mind, looking at Section 2, an honest examination of the Katahdin Woods and Waters has to bring forth the question as to what, precisely sits on the 87,563 acres of donated land that qualifies as, “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest.”

If President Trump’s motivating factor for reducing the National Monuments in Utah was to limit the scope of land designated as protecting “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest,” and there are no real “historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest” found at the Katahdin Woods and Waters site, should the president remove National Monument designation from that site and simply turn the land, given by Roxanne Quimby, over to management by the Bureau of Land Management or the U.S. Forest Service?

Argument will always be made as to the value-weighted perspective of what the Katahdin Woods and Waters has to offer that qualifies as worthy of protection. The only view of anything worthwhile is of Mt. Katahdin and that can be seen in many places throughout the region. Other than that everything else in the new park can be found commonly in many places across Maine and other states.

Removing designation will never happen but the point should be made that abuse of the Antiquities Act has repercussions, many of which will not be felt at the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument until sometime into the future. It is very little this administration can do that would justify a move to remove the entire national monument designation.

So Mainers are stuck with what there is.

 

 

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Panel: Bipartisan Bills Enhance ESA Protections, Boost Hydropower Reliability

WASHINGTON, D.C., October 12, 2017 –

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a legislative hearing on H.R. 3144 (Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA) and H.R. 3916 (Rep. Ken Calvert, R-CA), the “Federally Integrated Species Health Act” or “FISH Act,” bills to improve the recovery of Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed fish while providing certainty for water and power users.

Clearly, the ESA process is broken and the status quo isn’t working for species, farmers and ranchers and rural communities that depend on our natural resources. Under the status quo, American taxpayers and ratepayers in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere in the West spend literally billions of dollars each year resulting from conflicting or duplicative federal regulatory or judicial edicts under the guise of the ESA. These bills represent bipartisan, pragmatic solutions,” Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said.

The current hydropower system along the Columbia-Snake Rivers is held hostage to litigation and unpredictable federal rulings that could impose tens of millions of dollars on taxpayers and Pacific Northwest ratepayers with little additional benefit to endangered salmon. H.R. 3144 creates a more reliable and cost-efficient regulatory framework by providing federal agencies that operate Northwest hydropower dams with statutory clarity in the enforcement of the ESA, in line with a collaborative plan deemed scientifically sound by the previous two administrations, several states, tribes, utilities, ports and other stakeholders.

The dams of the Columbia-Snake River system are multipurpose in that they provide hydropower, flood control, navigation, irrigated agriculture and recreation. The benefits of the dams cannot be measured by megawatts alone but in the overall value they provide the region,” United Power Trades Organization President Jack Heffling stated. “[Keeping the current federal plan] continues the programs that have proven extremely successful in migrating fish survival.”

“Eighty percent of PNGC’s power supply comes from the Bonneville Power Administration… PNGC values the clean, carbon free, flexible hydropower resources that BPA provides,” PNGC Power President and CEO Beth Looney stated“If BPA’s rates continue to climb at their current trajectory, they will likely not be competitive with alternative power supply choices in the region at that time… as an electric cooperative, we have a responsibility to supply power to our members at an affordable rate whether that comes from Bonneville or elsewhere.”

The four dams along the Snake River produce enough renewable energy to power 1.8 million homes annually or the equivalent of two nuclear, three coal-fired or six gas-fired power plants.

Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation Alan Mikkelsen expressed support to reduce litigation and refocus resources on the current operation plan while working towards “a quality long term [Federal Columbia River Power] System solution.”

The need to balance the ongoing operations of the [Federal Columbia River Power] System and achieving compliance with environmental laws is what H.R. 3144 seeks to achieve,” Mikkelsen added.

H.R. 3916, a concept supported by President Obama in 2011,  also eliminates redundancies and regulatory confusion across federal agencies related to ESA enforcement.

H.R. 3916  is [an] important step in reducing wasted time and money and represents a practical, common-sense change… that we strongly support,” Executive Director of the Family Farm Alliance Dan Keppen stated. The FISH Act provides an opportunity to enhance protections to threatened and endangered species by improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government’s approach to species protection through better decision-making.

[SOURCE]

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The Left, The Right, Reality and Zinke’s Proposed Forest Management Practices

From the Left all we ever hear is “We’re all gonna die!” From the Right all we ever hear is “It’s about time we’re gonna get it right!” The reality is nothing ever changes. But, don’t go look. The Left/Right paradigm is fake but exists only in echoed rhetoric and that is exactly what we are seeing when Trump’s new Secretary of the Interior announced changes in forest management practices.

The West is burning up, as one report this morning stated. Forest fires are popping up everywhere and as is usually the case, the Left blames is on Global Warming, and the Right blames it on poor forest management practices that result in the creation of tinder boxes.

Another example of the emotional reactions of brainwashed and blinded people is that immediately fear mongering began about the possibility that a tree might now be cut on Maine’s new and mostly unwanted national monument, Katahdin Woods and Waters.

The Right claims that their intent is “a healthy forest through active timber management,” with never a definition of the intent – and that is for a reason. The Left threatens a lawsuit if Zinke tries to cut down one tree in Katahdin Woods and Waters.

St. Clair, the original owner’s son, who is now the front man, without having a clue what Zinke meant by changing forest management practices, said, “We didn’t donate this land to be used as a commercial timbering operation.”

And this is business as usual here in the U.S. of A. While nothing changes in the Federal Government, except that which the ruling establishment wants to change and Congress just does as they are told, a part of what never changes, which is the reason the Federal Government gets away with what they do, is that the Left and Right continue their reactions and responses in the usual manner. In this case, the Left says we’re all gonna die and the Right says it’s about time to get it right. And then it’s on to the next round of fake announcements and none of these mouthy people ever go back to examine exactly what took place.

I think James Beers, former member of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, says it quite well as to why nothing will change – except the emotional rhetoric that always accompanies false political announcement. The Left controls every aspect of government, as well as every non-governmental agency. Because of the infiltration and successful years of brainwashing and mind control throughout our indoctrination factories, even those, like Sec. Zinke, who, to the Left, appears to be a Rightist intent on destroying the forests, cannot help but do anything except what the Left desires – protect the forests and create the tinder boxes. Only politics calls for the political rhetoric to satisfy the voters of each perspective party.

Beers points out much the same when he says that the only way anything could change is through serious changes and/or repeals of certain draconian federal laws that prohibit change of any kind. And we know that will NEVER happen because it is not intended to happen. And so we keep on keeping on.

Beers writes in a recent email:

All of these above mentioned reasons for fuel accumulation and many, many other dwindling public land benefits that are slated for elimination by fiats, regulations and unjust law authorities granted federal bureaucrats in the past 40 to 50 years have a common taproot..  Past Administrations, their appointees and the bureaucrat “scientists” they have hired, all have this land closure and sustainable natural resource management elimination  as their ultimate goal.  Unless and until that “legal” (?) authorization for federal bureaucrats in federal laws like the ESA and Wilderness Act is either repealed or severely and specifically controlled in the specific federal laws authorizing such tyranny I don’t believe these somewhat generic and feel-good directives amount to anything.  The next Administration (look to all the Obama directives and letters, etc. on a wide variety of subjects) will simply issue their own directives (and probably in less than 9 months) and just drop the government truck into high gear and truck on down the road from where they left off on 19 January, 2017.

Because we cannot see, with each announced or “leaked” (that’s funny) change to anything, we will always keep hearing, we’re all gonna die, and it’s about time to get it right, but the truth is nothing ever changes, because “We the People” call all the shots and “we the people” have nothing to say about it – but we are trained to think we do.

Yep, somethings never change. Just more talk.

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President Proposes $1.3 Billion FY 2018 Budget for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Press Release from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:

Budget Makes Commitments to Public Lands, Energy and Public Access

May 23, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump today proposed a $1.3 billion Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) budget for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The Service’s budget also includes $1.5 billion in permanent funding, which is mostly administered to states through various grants and other initiatives for their wildlife and sportfish conservation programs. The bureau budget helps put the federal government on track to a balanced budget by 2027.

“President Trump promised the American people he would cut wasteful spending and make the government work for the taxpayer again, and that’s exactly what this budget does,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Working carefully with the President, we identified areas where we could reduce spending and also areas for investment, such as addressing the maintenance backlog in our National Parks and increasing domestic energy production on federal lands. The budget also allows the Department to return to the traditional principles of multiple-use management to include both responsible natural resource development and conservation of special places. Being from the West, I’ve seen how years of bloated bureaucracy and D.C.-centric policies hurt our rural communities. The President’s budget saves taxpayers by focusing program spending, shrinking bureaucracy, and empowering the front lines.”

The President’s budget focuses funding on the nation’s highest priority conservation needs, access to public lands for all Americans, and the agency’s role in streamlining energy development, while containing costs through management efficiencies and other savings to address federal fiscal realities.

“Improving access to national wildlife refuges supports the great American traditions of hunting and fishing that together generate billions of dollars for conservation and billions more for our nation’s economy,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Virginia Johnson. “Accordingly, this budget request prioritizes deferred maintenance funding for national wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, active habitat management across millions of acres of public lands, and core wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities.”

“Timely environmental review of energy development and other infrastructure needs will create jobs and help the U.S. achieve energy independence,” said Johnson. “This budget also supports our law enforcement officers who support cooperative efforts to secure our borders.”

The FY18 budget includes the President’s continued focus on the following priorities:

America’s Public Lands:

Through the National Wildlife Refuge System, the Service continues the American tradition, started by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, of protecting fish and wildlife and their habitats and providing opportunities for hunting, fishing and other outdoor recreation to all Americans. The proposed FY18 funding level for the Refuge System is $470.1 million. The proposed budget maintains a commitment to providing outdoor recreational opportunities in rural, urban or suburban landscapes, including through the Service’s Urban Wildlife Refuge Partnerships program, as well as supporting the vital role of volunteers on our refuges.

American Infrastructure:

Included in the request for National Wildlife Refuges is $136.2 million for improving the Service’s maintenance backlog and to take care of the American public’s investments in facilities and infrastructure managed by the Service. Of this, $41.0 million is to address the backlog in deferred maintenance. This would sustain the Service’s current commitment to eliminate its maintenance backlog in the National Wildlife Refuge System.

In addition, $19.4 million is requested for maintenance of national fish hatcheries, which stock sport and subsistence fish for states and tribes and also propagate and release endangered aquatic species to aid in their recovery. . A further $51.9 million in funding is proposed for national fish hatchery operations.

Invasive species cost our economy billions of dollars each year. To continue its commitment to address this important issue, the Administration proposes level funding for programs that focus on preventing the spread of Asian carp, quagga and zebra mussels, and sea lamprey.

A total of $225.2 million is proposed to implement the Endangered Species Act and related programs, of which $79.6 million is dedicated for species recovery efforts. Recovery funding includes an increase of $1.8 million for working on five-year species reviews and delistings and downlistings.

Birds are important to Americans in many ways. Birdwatching generates $43 billion in economic activity yearly; hunting of migratory waterfowl is a traditional recreational pastime that generates billions more. A total of $44.0 million is requested for the Service’s Migratory Bird program, which provides waterfowl hunting opportunities and encourages conservation of birds and their habitats.

The budget eliminates funding for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and the Service’s science program, as well as funding for youth programs and the Cooperative Recovery Initiative.

American Safety and Security:

Refuge law enforcement efforts are funded at $37.9 million to enhance visitor and employee safety on our public lands and honor the President’s commitment to improving border security.

Additionally, the Office of Law Enforcement is funded at $73.0 million. The recent escalation in poaching of protected species and the illegal trade in wildlife poses an urgent threat to conservation and global security. Wildlife trafficking generates billions of dollars in illicit revenues each year, contributing to the illegal economy, fueling instability in range nations, and undermining regional security in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Poaching operations themselves have expanded beyond small-scale, opportunistic actions to become a coordinated, large-scale activity often commissioned by armed and organized criminal syndicates that also traffic drugs, arms and people, and that see wildlife trafficking as a low-risk, high-reward alternative. Our continued investment in combatting wildlife trafficking is important to addressing organized crime and saving hundreds of iconic species such as the African elephant and rhino from extinction.  The Service’s International Affairs program is funded at $14.2 million, nearly level with FY17 Continuing Resolution Baseline. The program provides grants and technical assistance for the international conservation of endangered and threatened species.

America First Energy:

The budget includes $98.8 million to facilitate planning and consultation that will support energy development, economic recovery and job creation in the United States. Timely evaluations of proposed infrastructure, energy and other development projects contribute to job creation and economic growth. Funding will allow the Service to expedite project reviews and work with developers on appropriate mitigation and avoidance measures.

The President’s budget also contains proposals to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling; to enable the National Wildlife Refuge System to recover damages from persons who injure or destroy federal resources; and to permanently authorize the Recreation Fee Program.

The President’s FY18 budget proposal for the Department of the Interior supports his commitment to create jobs, provide outdoor recreation through hunting and fishing, facilitate energy development, and support law enforcement needs. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Congressional Justification can be found online: www.fws.gov/budget/2018/FY2018-FWS-Greenbook.pdf.

The Department of the Interior oversees one-fifth of the nation’s land and the entire Outer-Continental Shelf. The Department is charged with overseeing energy development on federal lands and waters, grazing allotments and timber sales, water conservation and delivery, upholding tribal trust responsibilities, conservation of wildlife and habitat, and maintaining access for recreation throughout public lands, among other priorities.

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Ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, made the following comment about Trump’s budget proposal:

“Once again, the Trump Administration has turned its back on Teddy Roosevelt-style conservatism and is instead trying to allow special interests to pillage our natural resources so a wealthy few can make themselves even wealthier. We won’t let him.”

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Hearing Focuses on Bills to Protect Property Rights, Increase Federal Transparency

Press Release from the House Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: (I added a link and copy of H.R. 1830 the Water Rights Protection Act)

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 18, 2017

Today, the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans held a legislative hearing on two bills to increase federal transparency, safeguard private and state water rights, and provide certainty to water and power users.

The “Water Rights Protection Act” discussion draft (Rep. Scott Tipton, R-CO) protects state water law and private property rights from future federal takings.

Private water rights holders should not live in fear of the federal government coming after them. Mr. Tipton’s bill is necessary to ensure that privately held water rights cannot be extracted by the federal government in the future as a condition to secure a federal permit,Subcommittee Chairman Doug Lamborn (R-CO) said.

Over many decades, federal attempts to manipulate the federal permit, lease and land management process to circumvent long-established state water law and hijack privately-held water rights have sounded the alarm for all non-federal water users that rely on these water rights for their livelihood. The Water Rights Protection Act is commonsense legislation that provides certainty by upholding longstanding federal deference to state water law,Rep. Tipton stated.

Vice President of the Utah Farm Bureau Randy Parker discussed the water rights issues he sees on the ground everyday as the U.S. Forest Service (FS) and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) “systematically challeng[e] state sovereignty and historically held water rights on public lands.”

The ongoing protests, claims, coercion and even bullying by agents of the FS and the BLM has created and continues to cause considerable uncertainty for ranching families across the West,” Parker said.

Chris Treese, Manager for External Affairs at the Colorado River Water Conservation District, urged swift passage of the “Water Rights Protection Act” to avoid the inevitable downward spiral of litigation.

Unless the FS commits to respecting Western states’ individual water rights adjudication systems to accomplish its flow-related goals, the only sure outcome is contentious, lengthy and expensive litigation. This is a result in no one’s interest, including the environment,” Treese stated.

H.R. 2371 (Rep. Paul Gosar, R-AZ), the “Western Area Power Administration Transparency Act,” establishes a pilot project to increase the transparency of the Western Area Power Administration’s (WAPA) costs, rates, and other financial and operational dealings for utility ratepayers and taxpayers. Patrick Ledger, CEO of the Arizona Electric Power Cooperative, welcomed the transparency and accountability promoted by this bill in light of the recent trend of increased utility rates.

With better information broken down in key components – and with a historical perspective – customers can have a better dialogue with [WAPA],” Ledger said.This is perhaps the most fundamental benefit that the transparency legislation offers.”

Click here to view full witness testimony.

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Are We Good Stewards of Our Environment?

During a radio interview with my friends at Shake, Rattle and Troll, I was asked a few questions, some of which I don’t think I answered succinctly or expressed myself to the specifics of what was on my mind at the time of the interview. It is one of the difficulties one might face when doing radio interviews, live and without foreknowledge of what questions would be asked. Any problems that might have happened were not the fault of anyone at Shake, Rattle and Troll.

One specific question I was asked, I would like to clear up any misconceptions and better explain my answer. I was asked if I thought that in this country man has been a good steward of our environment. I answered yes, which might have caught some off guard. Not to make excuses but my mind was focused on wolves…after all, my book about wolves was what I was asked to talk about and answer questions.

I did answer the question as it might pertain to whether or not man has been a good steward concerning our attempts to sustain populations of wildlife. Over all, I think we have. There are exceptions, as always, and what is never honestly considered in such discussions is how much natural occurrences contribute to loss of wildlife. The finger is always and quickly pointed to the evils of man.

We are only kidding ourselves to think it’s an easy task to find some kind of equilibrium of happiness and satisfaction between consumptive users of our natural resources and the environmentalists who want nothing touched.

I stated that I believe people want clean water and clean air but that I didn’t think they knew how to achieve that. I didn’t have time to further explain. It’s easy to talk about having clean water and clean air, but what are those? Who gets to define clean air and clean water and by what standards do they go by. Leaving it up to governments is a huge mistake, however, too many trust their government. Yikes!

We may all be convinced that we have clean water, land and air, but in many cases we have been lied to. We talk about “clean” drinking water only to find out it may be clean by someone’s standards while the water is laced with harmful chemicals. But, we don’t talk about that. We see pretty parks and pretty flowers and plants and to our uneducated eye, it must all be clean. We briefly look to the sky and if we see haze, we are conditioned to believe it is pollution and yet if we see chemical trails from aerosol spraying, we are told it is condensation even though the trail lingers for the duration of the day and into the night.

We want clean air and clean water but we are not getting it. We are told of the strides we have made to “scrub” our smoke stacks and clean up exhaust emissions, while at the same time corporate America is given a free pass and Americans foot the bill.

I could go on and on. If I were to answer the question posed in a more general fashion, then I would have to say that man has not been good stewards of our environment because those who take charge of that mission are lying, stealing, cheating thieves. If a problem surfaces it’s blamed on “man,” that is the common man, i.e. you and I. And we are forced to pay because we are citizen slaves to a corporate constitution that says we will pay all the debt….period.

A second question I was asked was about whether I thought wolf (re)introduction into the Northern Rocky Mountains, the Desert Southwest and the Southeast were good things. I answered no and further stated that it was a criminal enterprise. If we had had the entire day on the radio we could have discussed this issue and would still have only scratched the surface. That’s why you should by my book, “Wolf: What’s to Misunderstand?”

Beyond the criminal enterprise, what makes the (re)introduction bad can be assessed in two simple observations. 1.) The opportunity for citizens to hunt for game and food has been seriously reduced in many places, due to wolves tearing hell out of the elk, deer and moose herds. This should be unacceptable. 2.) The unnecessary loss of livestock (private property) and a person’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (Yehwah’s given right not man’s). It is a testimony to the direction this country has gone that shows that any animal should be given priority over the well-being of man.

Another point I wished I had the time to discuss was the section in my book all about how the process of devising the Environmental Impact Statement was rooted in fraud and ignorance. Every item listed for consideration in the drafting of the EIS that was of concern to the people and property was blatantly disregarded. As a matter of fact, officials who wrote the EIS came right out and said it was only considering those things that positively benefited the wolf or placed the wolf in a positive light. In other words, man did not matter.

One blatant example of this can be seen when it was asked of the Government’s wolf officials, if they intended to vaccinate the wolf to prevent the spread of disease (to humans), etc. the answer went directly to their point: They would do everything necessary to protect the wolf from any harm or illness.

Since the drafting of the EIS, every item disregarded because the Government said it was not worthy of consideration, are the only issues that remain unsolved and pose the biggest challenges to the public’s health and safety and the protection of game herds.

The last thing I wanted to better explain had to do with my comments about the perverse nature Americans have been manipulated into when it comes to animals. It was agreed upon by those conducting the interview, and myself, that it is a serious problem in this country when people place any animal, wild or domestic, on a plain of existence equal to or greater than man. I tried to explain that doing such was in contradiction to the Scriptures and our Creators intention for the role that animals would play in consideration of His creation of Man.

I went so far as to state that these actions were an abomination to the Creator. And it is. It is because playing gOD and attempting to change His order of Existence is making a mockery of Yehwah and His work. That is an abomination. Abominations directed at Yehwah will never go unpunished.

If your basic belief system is not focused on the Scriptures and the Creation of the Almighty, I would not expect you to agree with or even understand this position.

But now you better understand mine.

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