NCA 2009 Presidentâ€™s Award Recipient
IN THIS ISSUE 3
Riding for the NCA
Nevada Cattlemen Assn.
Society for Range Man.
Nevada Farm Bureau
Eye on the Outside
High Desert Bull Bash
Fumes from the Farm
Letter on GMO’s
Range Plants for Rancher
Letter on GMO’s
NV Department of Ag
Ramblings of a Ranch Wife
American Lands Council
The Progressive Rancher Owner/Editor/Publisher – Leana Litten Carey email@example.com
Graphic Design/Layout/Production – Joshua Rinard Josh@LifeSpringDesign.com
Cover “Don’t Weaken Now!” Photo by: Melissa Marchand
2016 Governors Fire Briefing Forest protection grants available Congressional Testimony’s by Dr. Berry Perryman Dr. JJ Goicoechea
Published 9 times each year, The Progressive Rancher is mailed to more than 7,000 approved addresses, and has digital and print readership reaching more than 30,000. The Progressive Rancher is published monthly. The views and opinions expressed by writers of articles appearing in this publication are not necessarily those of the editor. Letters of opinion are welcomed by The Progressive Rancher. Rates for advertising are available upon request. Advertising in The Progressive Rancher does not necessarily imply editorial endorsement. Liability for any errors or omissions in advertisements shall not exceed the cost of the space occupied by the error or omission. The Progressive Rancher is free to people working and active in the livestock industry. The Progressive Rancher is donated to the agricultural industry. If you are not currently receiving this magazine on a regular basis, and would like to be a part of The Progressive Rancher family, contact us by e-mail at progressiverancher@elko. net, today, so we can include you on our mailing list. If you have moved or changed addresses, please notify us, by e-mail, so we can keep you informed. All requests for the magazine must be made by e-mail. © The Progressive Rancher Magazine. All rights reserved.
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2 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
Ecological Site Description and State and Transition Model Workshop
By Hanes Holman, NCA Second Vice President
he Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and Newmont Mining Corporation sponsored a successful Ecological Site Description and State and Transition Model Workshop. Held in early June in Elko, the workshop provided:
n overview of rangeland soils A An synopsis of rangeland plant physiology, morphology, and response to defoliation • An summary of ecological sites and their identification • An explanation of state and transition models and disturbance response groups • An exploration of rangeland management based on state and transition models • A review of interpretation of indicators of rangeland health • An in depth discussion of Table 2-2 (Habitat Objectives for GRSG) of the Approved Resource Management Plan Amendment • A multi-stop field exercise to identify soils, determine ecological sites and associated states and thresholds, analyze rangeland health, explore vegetation response to disturbance, and site restoration Over 30 people – predominantly ranchers and ranch managers – participated in the two-day event. Several Bureau of Land Management staff and managers also attended.
David Stix Jr.
The instruction cadre of Tamzen Stringham (University of Nevada – Reno), Patti Novak (USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service), Brad Schultz (University of Nevada Cooperative Extension), and Kathryn Dyer (USDI Bureau of Land Management) was expert and effectively conveyed their information to the participants. The setting and tone of the session was conducive of not only successful knowledge transfer but, perhaps even more significant, enabling great discussion on the subject and the policy and management implications. Patti and Tamzen are renowned experts in Nevada rangeland soils, ecological sites, the associated state and transition models and disturbance response groups, and rangeland management. Brad is a recognized authority in rangeland plant physiology, response to defoliation, and rangeland management. Kathryn, as range program lead for a key land management agency, fully engaged the participant group in a very productive discussion of Table 2-2 and worked with the participants to build a collective understanding of the policy and implementation aspects of the habitat objectives. The workshop achieved its primary objective of creating a common understanding and language among agencies, scientists, land users/managers, and producers. The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association is working to hold another such workshop this fall in Winnemucca. Thank you for your support of this important session. Hanes Holman, Second Vice President and Director and Jeff White, Director
Weekly Cattle - Plain & Brown By Ron Plain and Scott Brown
USDA released their June Cattle on Feed report this afternoon. It said there were 2.2% more cattle on feed than on June 1, 2015. May placements were up 9.6% and May marketings were up 4.9% compared to a year ago. The number of cattle on feed was the highest for any June since 2012. Both placements and marketings in May were above the year ago level for the fourth consecutive month. There were few surprises as the report came in very close to expectations. There were 447 million pounds of beef in cold storage at the end of May. That is 1.4% less than the month before and 5.9% less than on May 31, 2015. Yesterday’s vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union has strengthened the U.S. dollar. That is likely to have a negative impact on U.S. exports. USDA weekly crop progress report said that 9% of U.S. pastures were in poor or very poor condition as of June 19. That is up 1 point from the week before and the same as a year ago. Fed cattle prices were lower this week in moderate volume. Through Thursday, the 5-area average price for slaughter steers sold on a live weight basis was $116.09/cwt, down $4.94 from last week’s average and down $32.59 from a year ago. The 5-area dressed steer price averaged $187.82/cwt, down $7.21 from the week before and down $50.19 from a year ago. This morning the choice boxed beef cutout value was $214.00/cwt, down $8.98 www.progressiverancher.com
from the previous Friday and down $40.53 from a year ago. The select carcass cutout this morning was $198.38/cwt, down $2.12 from last week and down $51.30 compared to last year. The choice-select spread, $15.62/cwt this morning, remains high but is down from record levels earlier this month. This week’s cattle slaughter totaled 608,000 head, up 0.2% (1,000 head) from last week and up 8.8% from a year ago. The average steer dressed weight for the week ending on June 11 was 864 pounds, unchanged from the week before and down 5 pounds from a year ago. Feeder cattle prices at Oklahoma City this week were $2 to $6 lower than last week. Stocker calf prices were $10 to $15 lower. Prices for medium and large frame #1 steers by weight group were: 400-450# $149, 450-500# $153, 500-550# $144.50$156.50, 550-600# $144-$154, 600-650# $138.50, 650-700# $141.50-$143, 700750# $132.50-$144.50, 750-800# $125-$143.75, 800-900# $130.50-$138.75 and 900-1000# $120-$128.75/cwt. The June live cattle futures contract settled at $114.70/cwt today, down $2.57 for the week. August fed cattle settled at $110.87/cwt, down $2.48 from the previous Friday. October ended the week at $110.87/cwt. Corn futures were sharply lower this week, which helped boost feeder cattle futures. August feeder cattle futures ended the week at $139.45/cwt, up $2.03 from a week earlier. October feeder cattle closed the week up $1.35 at $136.80/cwt.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 3
By Kaley Sproul, Nevada Cattlemen’s Association Executive Director
Nevada Cattlemen's Association Cattleman attends Elite Cattle Industry Conference
Contact: Kaley Sproul, NCA Executive Director
epresenting Nevada Cattlemen’s Association, Joe Glascock participated in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s 2016 Young Cattlemen’s Conference. Over 50 cattle producers from across the country and across the industry attended the conference. Joe was selected by his fellow producers to participate in the 2016 class. Joe Glascock grew up cowboying from a very young age on several large cattle operations in the west. After graduating Oregon State University with a BS in Animal Science, he then received a Master’s degree in Range land Ecology from University of Wyoming. Joe currently serves as the Beef Quality Assurance Coordinator for the State of Nevada. Following nine years at the BLM as a Range Conservationist, Joe returned to the ranching industry for Barrick Gold of North America that owns several ranches in North Central Nevada. He oversees the livestock which is primarily a cow-calf operation that covers over a million acres of public and private land. He manages the cow herd and grazing program, in which he works closely with the BLM and is responsible for all grazing/BLM planning. He rewrote grazing plans that worked effectively with adversarial districts and planned and implemented rehabilitation projects involving BLM, mining, and public interest groups for sage-grouse mitigation credits. Joe understands the importance of team work and integrated communications that is necessary for a successful profitable cattle operation. Faith and family is first and foremost in Joe’s life as he’s able to share his passion for his work with his five young children. When they’re not in school, they have spent many days in the saddle pushing cows, sorting, processing, and their favorite season branding. Joe’s wife Shannon of 11 years, homeschools the youngest, cooks for the cowboy crews, and takes care of the children. NCBA’s YCC program is an opportunity for these young leaders to gain an understanding of all aspects of the beef industry from pasture to plate, and showcase the industry’s involvement in policy making, issues management, research, education and marketing. Beginning at the NCBA headquarters in Denver, Colo., the group got an inside look at many of the issues affecting the beef industry and the work being done on both the state and national level to address these issues on behalf of the NCBA membership. While in Denver, participants were given an organizational overview of NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program and CattleFax provided a comprehensive overview of the current cattle market and emerging trends. At Safeway, the participants received a first-hand account of the retail perspective of the beef business and then toured the JBS Five Rivers’ Kuner feedyard, one of the largest in the nation, and the JBS Greeley packing and processing plant. From Denver, the group traveled to Chicago where they visited McDonald’s Campus and OSI, one of the nation’s premiere beef patty producers. After the brief Kaley Sproul, stop in Chicago, the group concluded their trip in NCA Executive Director 4 July-August 2016
Washington D.C., for an in-depth issues briefing on current policy issues including international trade and increasing environmental regulations. Following the issues update, the participants were given the opportunity to visit one-on-one with members of their state’s congressional delegation, expressing their viewpoints regarding the beef industry and their cattle operations. John Deere then hosted a reception in the evening at their office. The following morning, the group then traveled to Aldie, Va., for a tour and barbeque at Whitestone Farms, one of the nation’s elite purebred Angus operations. With the beef industry changing rapidly, identifying and educating leaders has never been so important. As a grassroots trade association representing the beef industry the NCBA is proud to play a role in that process and its future success. Over 1,000 cattlemen and women have graduated from the YCC program since its inception in 1980. Many of these alumni have gone to serve in state and national committees, councils and boards. YCC is the cornerstone of leadership training in the cattle industry.
Permittee Outreach Workshop a Success
he Nevada Bureau of Land Management in collaboration with the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Nevada Department of Agriculture recently hosted a series of Permittee Outreach workshops around the state of Nevada to share information on the Greater Sage Grouse Land Use Plan Amendment and implementation of Table 2-2. The series began on Monday, June 6 in Ely and ended on Friday, June 10 in Fallon. Other locations included Elko, Battle Mountain and Winnemucca. The goal of this workshop was to encourage cooperation between agencies and permittee holders to work out a solution and clear up any confusion on the future implementation of the GRSG plans. The workshop consisted of three sections: Habitat Objectives, Habitat Assessment Framework (HAF) and monitoring guidelines. The information was presented by Kathryn Dyer, BLM NV Range Program Lead. She will work directly with the permittees in implementing the GRSG plan into their permit if necessary. Table 2-2 is a broad perspective important to the Greater Sage Grouse. A key point made throughout the presentation was that the plans recognize – as does the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – that well-managed livestock grazing can be compatible with long-term sage-grouse conservation. BLM will continue to coordinate/ communicate with stakeholders during the permit renewal process. Livestock grazing management processes will follow existing procedures including Permittee involvement. “We are getting better at effectively communicating”, states Kathryn. The plans do not close greater sage-grouse habitat to livestock grazing, nor do they require a one-size-fits-all approach to grazing allotments. Instead, the plans are structured to focus BLM’s limited resources on identifying improper grazing in the habitat that is most important for sage grouse conservation and work with permittees to more quickly address any identified problems. NCA feels that the series of permittee outreach workshops around the state is the first step in the right direction to be collaborating and effectively working with the federal agencies. When it comes to GRSG conservation, proper cattle grazing is the best ally the Sage Grouse has. If you would like further information about these workshops or material that was presented please contact the NCA office at 775-7389214 or email us at email@example.com.
The Progressive Rancher
nutrition, statements like this are the forefront of their mind: “[a] recent Harvard study found meat-eating to be positively associated with increased overall mortality, including increased cancer and heart disease mortality.” (Gregor) As the people that eat, raise, and slaughter the cattle that go into every United States product, American cattlemen can testify to the opposite. Too often, their voices are quieted evada Cattlemen’s Association would like to congratulate Katlyn Uhart of Home Ranch located near Wells, NV for being chosen the by others in an effort to preserve equality and stop any sort of prejudice against those who wish not to eat meat. Yet these very articles are detrimental to our business by 2016 NCA Scholarship recipient. Katlyn is very involved in differnot stating the benefits of dairy and red meat. Millennials across the country read ent organizations including the Society for Range Management, National Society of High School Scholars, and the Stewardship Al- articles that are so anti-beef, they have an unbalanced view on its nutrition. Studies liance of Northeastern Elko County (S.A.N.E). Katlyn is homeschooled and learns in universities across the nation, such as the one completed above, explore solely the negative probabilities associated with meat and dairy consumption. They do many valuable life skills by working on her family’s ranch. She will be attending not address life style choices such as exercise, other foods eaten, and environment. Utah State University to study Agricultural Communication and Journalism. Her goal is to “Be the leader of a generation that changes the way people work together If you have an individual that sits in an office all day, eats fast food that includes an all-beef burger, goes home and watches television, all while also eating a bag of when it comes to agriculture. With my degree, my biggest dream is to preserve potato chips, of course they are going to have an increased risk of heart disease and the rancher’s way of life by creating better relationships and fewer arguments.” multiple cancers! In contrast, if you study typical ranchers, they are riding horses, Congratulations again to Katlyn! We are very proud of you and have great confiwrangling calves, eating lots of beef, and living an all-around healthy life style. dence that you will continue to serve our industry well. Good luck on your future Those are the types of studies that need to be completed, and cattlemen across the endeavors! Katlyn’s winning essay can be found in the July issue of the Nevada nation need to support these studies. It is the only way to expose millennials to the Cattlemen’s Association newsletter. truth about beef and the nutritional benefits it possesses. Our country was founded on agriculture and the culture that has evolved from this fact can be seen throughout history. Today, however, there is a lack of understanding as to how important this agricultural based culture is to society. There has been a turning of tables on America’s perception of the beef producer. No longer 2016 NCA Scholarship Recipient Essay are cowboys the good guys, no longer do children see farming and ranching as a By Katlyn Uhart viable career choice, and no longer is our culture understood or appreciated. Many millennials see agriculturists as murderers who are too illiterate to understand the ake a look back at the past hundred years of beef production and folly of their ways. By stating that workers “punch, kick, and whip sick and injured an interesting trend begins to emerge. Here in America, at the turn animals” (MFA) organization are painting a skewed picture of the beef industry as of the twentieth century, it was unheard of to purchase beef that on that murders and abuses innocents. This next generation has been so taken in by was not raised by yourself or your next door neighbor. There was the notion that they are doing a good thing by putting agriculturists out of busino reason to look for food to put on the table, because nearly half ness that they fail to see this as a way of life for families going of the population participated in some form of agriculture. back hundreds of years. They do not address the fact that these They were, to put it clearly, self-sustained. As time went on, animals were raised specifically for slaughter, nor do they show advances in technology, research, and science resulted in the millions of humane and sanitary operations that signifia mere two percent of today’s American work force being cantly outweigh the occasional “bad egg,” so to speak. In order founded in agriculture. (Dimitri) Even less than that rely on to reach the millennial, cattlemen need to inform them about beef as a main source of income. With so few people dependhow they are truly treating their livestock. They need to show ing on this way of life, beef producers are confronted with a evidence that supports the industry, in order to silence those new issue; ensuring that the millions of millennials, who are who have convinced the next generation of the beef industries quickly overtaking our world, understand the production, maliciousness. nutrition, and cultural importance of beef. Millennials are detached from the reality that is the beef in All over our country are children, teenagers, and adults dustry. Thanks to the internet, skewed and misleading “truths”, who have little to no idea how their food is produced. As a result, and a need to feel empowered, there has been a significant move the masses rely on the media to tell them what is healthy and towards veganism and vegetarianism. A nation that was once worth eating. Citizens across the country, thanks to multiple founded upon agriculture and reliant on beef, is now pointing animal rights groups and activists, see cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, fingers at the men and women living a life that’s hardships are and chickens as “pets” and as having the emotions and feelings of never truly understood. Without the proper knowledge of the people. While this presents a challenge to any agricultural business, Katlyn Uhart nutrition, production, and cultural importance of beef, this next it is especially detrimental to the beef industry. They fail to see that generation is headed towards eradicating the cattleman and his cattle are raised specifically for slaughter or dairy production, and place in America. Agriculturists have the right and the responsibility to ensure refuse to invest in any sort of meat or dairy products because of misleading articles, that there is before for the millennial. television shows, or statements heard on the radio. There is a wave of vegans and vegResources: etarians sweeping the nation, because it helps people, especially the millennials who Dimitri, Carolyn; Anne Effland; Neilson Conklin. “The 20th Century Transformaare “feeling disgusted with society,” (The Glowing Fridge) feel like they are making tion of U.S. Agriculture and Farm Policy” United States Department of Agriculture. USDA. a difference in our world. Americans are so convinced that beef producers are cruel, gov. Created June 2005. Viewed 4/8/16. http://www.ers.usda.gov/media/259572/eib3_1_.pdf conniving men and women that they refuse to try and find the evidence proving them “Factory Farming: Hell on Earth” Author Unknown. Mercy for Animals. Merwrong. It is the responsibility of the beef industry to inform the public of these un- cyforAnimals.org Unknown posting date. Viewed 4/9/16 http://www.mercyforanimals.org/ truths. As the select few that have been blessed with the opportunity to carry on this the-problem historical business, cattlemen must change the minds of the millennials in regards to Gregor, Michael. “Meat” Nutrition Facts. NutritionFacts.org Posted 3/30/16. the cow. Viewed 4/9/16. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/meat/ Beef producers are some of the few that know the truth about beef and the “My Vegan Story” Author Unknown. The Glowing Fridge. TheGlowingFridge.com benefits to our health that it possesses. For Americans who are concerned about Posted July 2014. Viewed 4/8/16. http://www.theglowingfridge.com/my-vegan-story/
2016 Nevada Cattlemen's Association Scholarship Recipient
Beef for the Millennial
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 5
House Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Wild Horse and Burro Program
By Chase Adams and Shawna Newsome
ASHINGTON (June 22, 2016) – Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Federal Lands held a hearing on the challenges and potential solutions for the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program. For over 40 years, the BLM’s Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act has raised concerns from public lands ranchers and local communities over the welfare of the animals being managed and the natural resources they rely on. Nevada State Veterinarian and fourth generation cattleman J.J. Goicoechea testified on behalf of the Public Lands Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and Nevada Cattlemen’s Association that the very animals and resources the BLM is charged with managing are suffering irreparably. “The BLM has shifted from the multiple-use principals contained in the Wild and Free Roaming Horse and Burro Act of 1971 and the later Federal Land Management and Policy Act,” said Goicoechea. “Today, horse populations are so out of control that all other resources on the landscape suffer. The latest land use areas and allotments to come under attention are within what is now being called the Antelope Complex in northeast Nevada where the wild horse and burro population is anywhere from 574 to 2,083 percent higher than the Appropriate Management Level.” The local economies across the west rely on natural resource-based industries and multiple use of public lands. These land use areas also contain over one million acres of sage grouse habitat. “With the negative impact on rangeland health of overpopulation of wild horses, one can assume that sage grouse habitat is also being negatively impacted,” said Goicoechea. “Those of us who make a living caring for animals, whether our own livestock or client animals, have a moral obligation to manage populations in balance with natural resources, to prevent damage to the resources, and above all to provide for the overall health of the animals. Starvation and dehydration are inexcusable and inappropriate methods of population control.” While wild horse gathers and the administration of fertility drugs to curb reproductive growth have been used for nearly 20 years in an attempt to bring populations of wild horses within appropriate levels, these programs have suffered from severe flaws. “The process of rounding up horses and releasing them back into the management areas, sometimes after fertility drugs have been administered, and other times just because the number of horses determined to be rounded up was met, has trained horses to hide in Pinion Juniper woodlands or escape outside the boundaries of the management areas,” said Goicoechea. “We must give the agency tasked with management of the horses and burros all the tools in the tool box. Even in the best scenario, fertility drugs must be re-administered every two or three years, an impossible and impractical solution to such a massive problem. Funds must be made available for more permanent surgical sterilization, spay and neuter.” While wild horses and burros are part of the western landscape on public and federal lands, efforts must be taken to manage these herds at appropriate management levels. “By the time we wait even four or five more years, the wild horse population will double again if current policies remain in place,” said Goicoechea. “If we remove other multiple uses to make room for more horses, we will see impacts to wildlife, sensitive plant species, and rural economies, not just domestic livestock.”
See Dr. JJ Goicoechea’s Testimony on the Website 6 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
The Progressive Rancher
Importance of Shrub Restoration on Great Basin Rangelands By Charlie D. Clements, Mark Freese, Mike Scott, Jeff White and Dan Harmon Rangeland Scientist, Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 920 Valley Road Reno, NV 89512 firstname.lastname@example.org Habitat Supervisory Biologist and Supervisory Wildlife Biologist, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Vice President, Elko Land and Livestock, and Agricultural Research Science Technician, US Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service
he recognition of brush species and the browse these plants provide as an important component of rangeland production was often overlooked in land management for some time. Even after the birth of range management in the early twentieth century, herbaceous species were considered the basic component of rangeland forage. Arthur Sampson, one of the founders of scientific range management, was among the first to describe and discuss native range shrubs as components of the basic forage supply on ranges in 1924. By 1931, USDA, Forest Service Ecologist William A. Dayton published Important Western Browse Plants. Dayton was in charge of the range forage investigation for the USDA, Forest Service when the agency published the Range Plant Handbook in 1937. Among the contributors to this publication was Odell Julander, who became a very noted mule deer researcher, and in the handbook stressed the importance of antelope bitterbrush as a critical shrub on winter ranges for deer, elk and antelope as well as recognizing this shrub species as palatable at all seasons and preferred by all classes of domestic large animals, except horses. By the 1940s, there was a growing concern over the use of range plants by domestic livestock and its effect on wildlife habitats, especially that for deer. In 1945, Utah State researchers L. A. Stoddart and D. I. Rasmussen entered the wildlife/livestock conflict debate with the publication Deer Management and Livestock where they shared the view that deer and domestic livestock could co-exist on the same rangelands. The debate over the influences of domestic livestock grazing on wildlife habitats is perhaps as robust and controversial as ever in the history of range management as many grazing permit renewals are challenged in court directly due to possible impacts to wildlife species such as sage grouse, mule deer, pygmy rabbits, and an array of other species. Joe DiTomaso, Department of Plant Sciences University California Davis noted that rangeland and pasture comprise about 42% of the total land area in the United States and that about 75% of domestic livestock depend on those grazing lands for survival portion of their life cycle. Currently, there are more than 300 species of rangeland weeds in the United States. Western rangelands that were previously dominated by big sagebrush/bunchgrass species are now largely influenced by one of the most notorious aggressive invasive weeds, cheatgrass. The accidental introduction, subsequent establishment, and invasion of cheatgrass on rangelands has resulted in an increase in the chance, rate, spread, and season of wildfires. This in turn has increased wildfire frequencies from an estimated 60-110 years down to as little as every 5-10 years, simply too short of a time period to allow for the recovery of critical shrub species (Figure 1). In 1999, 1.8 million acres of Great Basin rangelands burned in Nevada alone, many of these acres were critical shrub communities that provided thermal and hiding cover as well as nutritional forage. Early researchers, such as Emor Nord, pointed out that antelope bitterbrush was such a critical browse species that it was referred to as a ‘keystone species’ for mule deer and other wild ungulates in late fall and early winter for its nutritional values. Bruce Welch, U.S. Forest Service plant physiologist reported on the importance of big sagebrush not only as winter forage for wild ungulates and domestic sheep but its importance to species such as sage grouse, black-tailed jack rabbit, pigmy rabbit, dark-eyed junco and white-crowned sparrow. Following the 1999 catastrophic wildfire season, 4,322,610 pounds of seed was purchased and drill or aerially seeded on these burned Nevada rangelands. Four 8 July-August 2016
Figure 1. Burned antelope bitterbrush community providing an empty plate scenario for wildlife and grazing resources.
wing saltbush and big sagebrush were some of the shrubs seeded on many burned habitats, yet due to past reports of unsuccessful antelope bitterbrush seeding efforts, not a single pound of antelope bitterbrush was purchased, much less planted. In this paper we focus on two shrub species, antelope bitterbrush and big sagebrush to shed some light as to better understand methods by which to restore these critical shrub species in Great Basin plant communities. Antelope bitterbrush flowers on second-year wood and depends on seed production, dispersal and recruitment to successfully sustain the population. Some bitterbrush shrubs resprout following wildfire, but this attribute is rare across the range of this species. Vigorous antelope bitterbrush plants produce nearly 100,000 seeds per shrub, while old decadent shrubs produce less than 1,000 seeds per shrub. The USDA, Agricultural Research Service, Great Basin Rangelands Research Unit (GBRRU) aged a variety of antelope bitterbrush stands that ranged from 36 to 98 years of age and recorded the forage and seed production of these shrub stands. Antelope bitterbrush productions starts to decrease after it reaches 60-70 years of age, which significantly influences seed production and its’ ability to recruit and sustain the population. In southern Oregon, researchers reported that an antelope bitterbrush population of 473 bitterbrush plants/acre only needed the successful recruitment of 6.7 bitterbrush seedlings/year, yet they were only getting 0.7/year. These old decadent stands simply cannot recruit without active management. The GBRRU also recorded as much as 52% insect damage on seeds, while granivorous rodents like deer mice, pocket mice and kangaroo rats harvested as much as 85% of the seeds within a 24 hour period. Many researchers have reported on the benefits of rodents to harvest and scatter-hoard cache antelope bitterbrush seeds at optimal depths for seed germination and recruitment. Granivorous rodents exhibit two types of caching; a) “larder-hoard caching” is when the rodents take the seed back to their deep burrows (homes) and store the seeds, which are too deep for germination and emergence, and b) “scatter-hoard caching” is when these rodents harvest the seed and bury
The Progressive Rancher
Figure 2. Antelope bitterbrush seedling emergence from a scatter-hoard rodent cache.
Figure 3. Enhancement of wildlife and grazing resources through the successful seeding of antelope bitterbrush and perennial grasses.
them in shallow depressions throughout their home range, which is an excellent tool for germination and dispersal for future recruitment (Figure 2). When seed production is low the number of scatter-hoard caches decreases, therefore significantly affecting the number of caches to germinate, emerge, and recruit back into the environment. The GBBRU conducted research on direct seeding as well as transplanting of antelope bitterbrush to aid in the improvement of decadent bitterbrush stands. Transplanting antelope bitterbrush is a more common method by resource managers as they purchase transplants and use volunteers in these transplanting efforts. The GBRRU transplanting research reported success as low as 0% and as high as 27% success of transplanting occurred, with fall transplanting experiencing higher success rates than spring transplanting. Direct seeding of antelope bitterbrush however, experienced excellent success and recruitment of antelope bitterbrush shrubs. With an average of 16,800 bitterbrush seeds/pound, at a 2-3 lb/acre rate using a rangeland drill, the GBRRU recorded the successful recruitment antelope bitterbrush plants that ranged from 700 to 1,800 plants/acre (Figure 3). The high level of success experienced with direct seeding was achieved at less than $100/ac, while this same level of success using transplants would be thousands of dollars per acre. Big sagebrush produces copious amounts of seed, over 7,000 seeds/shrub (more than 2.2 million seeds/pound), and germinates at a wide range of soil temperatures suggesting that this shrub species would not have difficulty recruiting and sustaining its population. Big sagebrush does not have an active wind dispersal system and is not harvested and dispersed by granivorous rodents, so the dispersal of big sagebrush is within about ten feet from the mother shrub. The problem however, is the simple fact that big sagebrush does not survive wildfire, and with the ever-increasing wildfire occurrences and the magnitude of acres affected by these wildfires, vast landscapes that once were big sagebrush/bunchgrass communities are now annual grasslands as can be witnessed simply by traveling from Reno to Elko, Nevada via Interstate 80. In fact, thousands of acres of these rangelands have been seeded and re-seeded with big sagebrush with little to no-success. The GBRRU tested soil seed banks to measure the ability of big sagebrush to build seed banks following wildfires. These research efforts found that Wyoming big sagebrush did not build seed banks, therefore is highly dependent on active management to restore this species back to its’ former habitats. However, this research did record a seed bank with mountain big sagebrush which has the ability to return as a critical shrub species in these environments at a much higher rate. The seeding of big sagebrush, especially Wyoming big sagebrush is a highly risky endeavor with numerous failed attempts and a few noted success stories. Nonetheless, Wyoming big sagebrush in most seeding efforts is included at a rate of 0.10-0.25 lbs/ac. If seeding big sagebrush, aerial seeding should be conducted on snow-free habitats or habitats with shallow depths of snow because the embryotic root must have soil contact to have any chance at becoming a seedling. Big sagebrush can be direct seeded by placing the seed in the forb box of the rangeland drill, dropping the tubes and allowing the seed to fall to the surface of the soil and avoiding burying the seed too deep in the drill furrows. Fabricating the rangeland drill to pull a culti-packer behind it is an excellent tool at improving the seeding success of big sagebrush (Figure 4). If pulling a triple drill set-up, it is only necessary to put big sagebrush in one of the drills. Over time the big sagebrush will fill in and at the same time reduce seed and planting costs. www.progressiverancher.com
Transplanting of Wyoming big sagebrush is becoming more popular as the desire to restore and diversify Great Basin rangelands increases. Transplanting in the spring is most common as reported research out of Utah has suggested, yet the GBRRU is just finishing up experiments in which they are recording the success of spring versus fall transplanting of Wyoming big sagebrush in northeastern California and northwestern Nevada. Preliminary data they presented at the National Society for Range Management Meetings explained that fall transplanting out-performed spring transplanting in all cases averaging 57% success (high of 77%), compared to spring transplanting that averaged 29% (high of 54%). Fall transplanting in the cold desert of the Great Basin, where winter precipitation is prevalent, is more reliable than summer precipitation recorded in those parts of Utah where the reported research was generated. The ability of resource and land managers to work closely with the livestock industry and private land owners can be very beneficial in the successful rehabilitation of Great Basin rangelands as well as better understand the importance of restoring shrub species and improving sustainable agricultural practices. If you are interested in issues pertaining to the management of Great Basin rangelands, plan on attending the Nevada Section of The Society for Range Management summer field tour which will be held in Eureka, Nevada July 29, 2016. For more information, visit www.rangelands.org/nevada
Figure 4. Successful seeding of big sagebrush using a rangeland drill with the forb box tubes dropped and pulling a tire-culti-packer behind the drill. “The Nevada Rangeland Resource Commission (NRRC) acknowledges and endorses the worthwhile effort of the Nevada Section of the Society for Range Management in dealing with the annual grass fire fuels and grazing management challenges in Nevada and throug out the West. The NRRC was created by the State of Nevada to promote responsible public land grazing. NRRC representatives come from Nevada state grazing boards, Nevada woolgrowers, Nevada farm bureau, and Nevada cattlemen’s association.”
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 9
In memory of Buster Dufurena In June the livestock industry said goodbye to a true icon of the Nevada Ranching way of life. The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and I would like to acknowledge the life and passing of Buster Dufurrena. We thank his family for the subtle but extraordinary contribution Buster made to a lifestyle we all love. I stand as one who can thank Buster for his large helping hands by contributing in his subtle ways to my family’s existence in this tough and rewarding way of life Buster so loved. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Dufurrena family, and thank you for sharing Buster. Sincerely, David Stix Jr. President Nevada Cattlemen’s Association
Nevada Ranchers Caretakers of our
Cowboys and sheepherders produce food and ﬁber for the nation. Growing food on Open range is a natural biological process. Grazing actually beneﬁts the land with hoof action and natural fertilization. Plants are healthier and regenerate faster after the herds move to a new range. Antelope and other game animals and birds take advantage of the improvements
Grazing cattle and sheep coexist peacefully with native wildlife and, in fact, make a friendlier habitat for many species.
Sheep often graze on steep terrain and can control cheatgrass, a major fuel for wildﬁres. Nevada Rangeland Resources Commission was created by the State of Nevada to promote responsible public land grazing. Representatives come from Nevada state grazing boards, Nevada Woolgrowers, Nevada Farm Bureau, and Nevada Cattlemen’s Association.
4780 East Idaho Steet, Elko, NV 89801 • 775-738-4082 WWW.NEVADARANGELANDS.ORG
This ad is funded through the NRRC’s assessment of 10 cents an AUM paid by public land ranchers.
10 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
By Joseph Guild
Table 2-2 Continuing Dilemma
ike many of you, I recently attended a workshop presented by the BLM to discuss the Land Use Plan Amendments (LUPA) designed to help recover the Greater Sage Grouse. The plan is all about habitat improvement. I will be the first to admit that some of this stuff is way out of my wheel house. But, I also know I have to learn more so I can at the very least speak this new language with the resource management agencies. Thus, I am glad I went. At the very outset of the workshop there was an admission by the BLM presenter that” well-managed grazing is compatible with sage grouse conservation”. (More about this below) As I understand it, part of this effort is to continue the already successful initiatives by states such as Nevada, in conjunction with resource users like ranchers who have helped stabilize sage grouse numbers. Recognition of this success is one of the reasons the Fish and Wildlife Service declined to list the grouse as an endangered or threatened species. I sincerely appreciate the Nevada Department of Agriculture, the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the BLM for their outreach to help educate ranchers on how to move forward and deal with this complicated and controversial subject. However, I also have some concerns and questions that were not adequately answered during the nearly three hour meeting. The BLM presenter from the state office in Reno conceded that no one has all the answers yet, least of all, the BLM. Because there are no complete answers to this puzzle affecting 11 western states, there is no firm timeline to implement the LUPA. In response to a question I had about an implementation target date, the presenter said if there is confusion and BLM employees are enforcing aspects of the plan before implementation, the producer should bring the problem to the state office and they have the flexibility to solve local problems locally. Of course that sounds good but it actually should go without saying that is the way to solve problems. A concern I and many others have is the habitat objectives discussed at these briefings. These objectives are part of the proposed sage grouse habitat suitability assessment protocols. On the face of the document they do not appear to be flexible and easily modified to meet different conditions on the range. We all know these different conditions can certainly occur from one side of a county or big allotment to another side. Also, different conditions can be found subject to elevation differentials and other site specific factors. We were told the tables which set forth habitat objectives such as table 2.2 represented long term objectives and were not a guideline to meet from year to year. I have two problems with that characterization. Table 2.2 has given most ranchers who have read it some great concern. This is understandable because if this was meant to be an objective standard to meet every year there would probably be very few riparian areas and wet meadows which could meet such a standard two years or less out of ten in most areas of Nevada with sage grouse habitat. We were assured table 2.2 describes desired conditions. I took this to mean that the table is aspirational and not a standard that must be met regularly. If the later was the case, there could be negative consequences to a rancher if the standard was not met. The other factor giving me some comfort was a statement by the BLM that ecological site description is very important for the use of table 2.2 to try and reach desired conditions. This is because I believe such a tool will cause everyone associated with land and resource management including the rancher will now start to really look at the resource. hHowever, there is also a down side. The BLM believes that table 2.2 and other www.progressiverancher.com
parts of the LUPA are helpful so that everyone knows what the desired condition to be met is. But a group opposed to livestock grazing or oil and gas development, let’s just say, could use these in a different way. If the “long term objective” is not met at a particular site after a period of time it is entirely possible, in my mind, such a group could argue to a court the resource user and manager are negligent and some consequence should result. They could argue that cessation of grazing should be ordered until the desired condition is met in spite of the current recognition by the BLM that “well managed grazing is compatible with sage grouse conservation”. In fact, I would argue that grazing is the cheapest, most effective and reasonable tool the managers have to achieve a restoration of vast acreages of sage grouse habitat and the science backs me up. Another thing I took away from the meeting was the BLM assuring us that LUPA would not change the administrative process including permit renewals and range improvement construction and maintenance. The LUPA is meant to help with prioritization, data collection and monitoring range conditions. The overarching goal is to improve the resource for sage grouse. If that is achieved the range will be improved for cattle and sheep too. I have a wait and see attitude and I hope the BLM has success in helping the range and reducing litigation. We shall see, and; I’ll see you soon
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 11
Bulls Dominate 1st Annual High Desert Bull Bash: Bulls and Bikes
s the roar of Harley’s reverberated through the Elko Downtown Corridor during the Annual Rumble in the Rubies Elko Motorcycle Jamboree, a more primal kind of power exploded from the shiny new bucking chutes at the Elko County Fairgrounds on the evening of June 17, as 22 bull riders from Utah, California, Idaho, and Nevada tested their guts and skill against the explosive power of 28 PBR quality bulls at the FIRST ANNUAL HIGH DESERT BULL BASH held in conjunction with the motorcycle jamboree. Announcer Dougie Ferrare of Fresno, CA, opened the proceedings with prayer followed by Cheyann Farrell of Spring Creek presenting the colors to an upbeat rendition of “America the Beautiful” by the musical group Madison Rising. Elko County native Riata Brown‘s stellar performance of “The Star Spangled Banner” concluded the opening ceremonies. Moving forward, arena action was fast paced under the able direction of Dougie Ferrare with California bull fighters Stephen “ Pocho” Robles, Lance Baker, and “Sasquatch” Gonzalez providing some amazing demonstrations of athletic prowess as they protected the man on the ground from the 2000 pound bull with an attitude. They were backed up by “the man on the back of the horse”, Rolly Lisle.
Cheyann Farrell presenting the colors.
“Hard hitting” bull riding music provided by Atkinson Sound of Salt Lake City punctuated the action. Gate men Doug Hurlbut, Jason Thomas, and Cliff Odom kept everything moving smoothly. Behind the chutes, John Gionnopulos, Andrew Hogaarth, Adam Pursey, Jeff Brown and Jeff Russell kept the bulls moving forward. Linda Bunch, Kristin Kenley, and Cheyann Farrell performed office duties from the announcer’s stand above the bucking chutes. Spectators were greeted at the front gates by Tammy Zaugg and Kimberly Kenley selling tickets while Jackie Martinez and her family - Richard and Veronica Lamb and their three daughters, and members of the Elko County Cowgirl Court kept the crowd headed in the right direction. Dale Groves, Elko County Fairgrounds caretaker, was on call throughout helping whenever and wherever he has needed. During the first intermission, the crowd was awed by heart-stopping aerial moves from the backs of dirt bikes on the track in front of the grandstand. Two ramps place approximately 60 feet apart provided the launching and landing surfaces for the otherwise airborne bikes and riders. This was a real crowd pleaser presented by Vince Morgan and his partner of Action Sports Entertainment courtesy of the Elko Motorcycle Jamboree. The evening definitely belonged to the bulls who brought their A-game with
Safety man, Rolly Lisle of North Fork, NV
Opening Presentation of Contestants 12 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
Jerry Brown’s Slip Knot looking for a piece of Pocho
Photography by Melissa Marchand www.progressiverancher.com
only one ride in the 22 -rider long go which was put up by local cowboy Anthony Sandoval on Jerry Brown’s St Jude for a score of 77 points and the entire long go purse of $2200! The short-go which consisted of five riders including Sandoval and four others who drew for the remaining four slots: Josh Tucker, Josh Wynan, Andrew Wells, and Tommy Denney. The short-go was a repeat of the long-go with again only one rider, Tommy Denny of Menifee, CA, covering his bull. His 87 point ride on Linda Bunch’s bull Tso-Op was rewarded with fifty 100 bills and a Dale Chavez trophy buckle donated by Clint Marshall of UNICEP. The bounty bull, Capriola Sinner, owned by John Wright of Elko, put his rider Brady Sullivan on the dirt, and a $1000 in his owner’s pocket. Anthony Sandoval’s short-go re-ride bull Kidd owned by Julio Moreno Bucking bulls pulled down an impressive 47 bull score to win high point bull honors and a Dale Chavez trophy buckle presented by Intermountain Farmers Association of Elko. Bulls were provided by Jerry Brown Bucking Bulls of Fresno, CA; Julio Moreno Bucking Bulls of Oakdale, CA; JJJ Bucking Bulls of Reno, NV; and John Wright Bucking Bulls of Elko, NV. Lindsey Boyce of Big Sandy, Montana, and Dewayne Kulbeth of Colorado Springs, CO were our judges. Delicious food was provided by Happy Cooks Catering of Spring Creek, NV and the Cowboy Bar was manned by members of the Elko Motorcycle Jamboree. Dancing to the sound of local band Whiskey and Wine concluded the event. The evening’s proceedings were overseen by members of the Elko County Sheriff Department Search and Rescue Group/ Elko Ambulance Service, and Elko Veterinary Clinic According to co-organizer John Giannopulos, “We were very pleased with the very respectable attendance for a first-time event. While we don’t have the exact numbers, we estimate about 400 people were either in the grandstand or on the dirt next to the arena. The community support was phenomenal! We started with nothing but an idea and the determination to make it happen, and it did, thanks to the faith and generosity of our over thirty sponsors. Working in conjunction with Brandie Notestine and the Motorcycle Jamboree was a definite plus. Plan on next year with more bulls, more riders, and more added money.” Thank you to the following businesses and individuals who made it all happen: Elko Motorcycle Jamboree, Elko County Convention and Visitors Authority, Elko County Recreation Board, Newmont Mining, Jerritt Canyon Gold, Ruby Dome, Inc., Clint Marshall of UNCEP, Wallace Morris Orban Surveying, LLC, The Progressive Rancher, High Desert Equine Events, Ellison Ranching Company, Pole Line Contractors, Remington Construction, Busted Knuckle Auto Repair, Riverton Motors, Ruby Mountain Chiropractic Center, Ship’s Cycle, Star Hotel, Van Norman Ranches, Billie Filippini “C” Ranch, Charles Chester Plumbing & Heating, Elko Federal Credit Union, Elko Veterinary Clinic, TS Ranch, Konakis Engineering, Machi’s, A New Tire and Service(Jason and Nawny Jones), Northern Nevada Equipment, Gallagher Ford, JM Capriola, Lone Mountain Station, Gun World, IFA, Toki Ona, Boss Tanks, Code 3 Uniforms, Spoon Me, Touch of Heaven Spa, Canyon Chiropractic Clinic, Blaine Equipment, and Cortney Worline Insurance Agency, Inc.
Anthony Sandoval riding Jerry Brown’s St Jude for 77 points and a long-go win. www.progressiverancher.com
Dougie in Charge
Tso-Op showing his muscles and shine Tommy Denney’s $5000 87 point ride on Randy & Linda Bunch’s Tso-Op
Vince Morgan of Action Sports Entertainment airborne
Julio Moreno’s Duck Butter and JR Fuller of Elko, NV
Thank you to the following businesses and individuals who made The High Desert Bull Bash a reality. Elko Motorcycle Jamboree, Elko County Convention and Visitors Authority, Elko County Recreation Board, Newmont Mining, Jerritt Canyon Gold, Ruby Dome, Inc., Clint Marshall of UNCEP, Wallace Morris Orban Surveying, LLC, The Progressive Rancher, High Desert Equine Events, Ellison Ranching Company, Pole Line Contractors, Remington Construction, Busted Knuckle Auto Repair, Riverton Motors, Ruby Mountain Chiropractic Center, Ship’s Cycle, Star Hotel, Van Norman Ranches, Billie Filippini “C” Ranch, Charles Chester Plumbing & Heating, Elko Federal Credit Union, Elko Veterinary Clinic, TS Ranch, Konakis Engineering, Machi’s, A New Tire and Service(Jason and Nawny Jones), Northern Nevada Equipment, Gallagher Ford, JM Capriola, Lone Mountain Station, Gun World, IFA, Toki Ona, Boss Tanks, Code 3 Uniforms, Spoon Me, Touch of Heaven Spa, Canyon Chiropractic Clinic, Blaine Equipment, and Cortney Worline Insurance Agency, Inc.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 13
FUMES FROM THE FARM By Hank Vogler
hen you get a little long in the tooth, you are dismissed as a flat earth person. That is, you can’t accept new modern things and your ideas are out of the mainstream. The young Turks are always considered cutting edge and in the know. Well there are no absolutes. The Nevada Department of wildlife ignores cutting edge research, risk assessment, and any scientific evidence that does not fit their agenda to destroy the Nevada sheep industry. Even though years of research here and in Canada indicate that the pneumonia that infects groups of wild sheep are a result of the stress of weather or predation or over population as wild sheep appear to be habitual. The fact that the few remaining domestic sheep in the state do shed a similar pneumonia when stressed by predation or weather, they completely ignore that most mammals shed similar organisms under the same circumstance. In cattle it is called shipping fever I.e. Stress from weaning and shipping calves on trucks. So cowboys, step up, when the last sheep outfit is gone, there are only twelve left in the state; because cows carry the same organism, you will get the bulls eye on your back. It has already happened in Colorado.
Every time there is a die off, the release to the newspaper by Nevada department of wildlife always includes the complimentary shot at the domestic sheep industry. There is never a mention that as the westward expansion of settlers and miners occurred in the last one hundred and fifty years, professional hunters shot anything and everything that would make a protein meal. Even Theodore Roosevelt hunted with hounds. Hollow belly was a devastating disease for humans from the Indian and white populations alike. Modern techniques allowed over harvesting. Many other species were decimated as well. I have seen pictures of sheep hunts in Nevada with a mound of horns from hunting the sheep. The fact that sportsmen helped stop the wild sheep’s total annihilation is noble. I have benefitted from that protection in pursuing the grand slam of North American sheep species. Two of those species were taken in Nevada making it affordable for the regular guy. Unfortunately, this is where political agenda and reality separate. The hardest of the four sheep to get is the Nelson Desert Big Horn. I believe that no Western state has any method of getting this tag except by drawing it. Oh, yes you can buy the governor’s special tag; but it will cost you several hundred thousand dollars. You can go to Mexico and spend a bucket load there. Thus you have a bunch of folks that can get a “three quarter slam” and wait years to get the Desert. Thus, you have a pile of frustrated hunters. If the complaining starts by the hunters about hunting opportunity, NDOW trots out the old tired fact that they have die offs to contend with and if you will send money to the local wildlife groups to help get rid of domestic sheep operations there will be a gazillion sheep
14 July-August 2016
to hunt. No mention that the mountain lions love sheep wild and domestic. The coyote make easy work of wild sheep as well as eagles and bobcats. NDOW is raising the most expensive cat food in the world and the hunters let them do it. It is a matter of statistics. If you have two cows and one dies, you have lost fifty percent of your herd. If you have thousands of cows and you lose one it doesn’t even register. Protecting wild sheep with predator control would yield more wild sheep. It is easier to stick with the game plan and eliminate a very small industry. The science shows that yes the pneumonias are similar in domestic and wild sheep. Almost all mammals carry the organism and when the animal is stressed the organism multiplies and can over whelm the host animal. It sort of puts the animal out of its misery. Yes, when the mammal is shedding the pneumonia if it comes in contact with other mammals, the pneumonia can be spread around. The notion that an animal with pneumonia will have the strength to wander to another mountain stretches the imagination. The fact that most of Nevada is deficient in selenium and the few remaining sheep that survived the over hunting of one hundred years ago have gone through generations of inbreeding, it is more likely these are contributing factors than contact with domestic sheep. Even with a genetically modified organism a separation of the domestic and wild sheep of nine feet, the transmission was nil. NDOW talks of twenty-mile buffer zones. With guard dogs that must be tied up to turn out your domestic rams, one would be hard pressed to see how wild sheep could get within nine feet and then find the ewe in the band that is shedding the pneumonia organism. We doctor our sheep for any disease that comes along. Contrary to popular belief there is no money in raising diseased sheep. I submit the risk assessment is so small that a wild sheep has a better chance of dying from being hit by a meteorite or space junk than dying from getting too close to a domestic sheep. Why all the fuss? Power and money is the answer. You become fault-less by blaming domestic sheep. In the political correct world you don’t mention predation or the fact that you’re raising animals to be shot by hunters. Also domestic sheep occupy similar country and the well-healed contributors keep the coffers full and you need not exert yourself as you are only looking after the animals, nothing greedy or nefarious here. There are several scientists that are being debunked because modern science is revealing the truth and NDOW is afraid to fall off the flat earth. NDOW refuses to address predation in our politically correct world. They love to do studies and use lots of funds. They build deer crossings at great expense when a couple of signs indicating that deer cross in this area and a good predator control program would increase hunting opportunities for fewer dollars. It is only a matter of time with the insanity of political correctness when a hunter will be sited for shooting a buck with a doe tag and his excuse will be that he was sure that the buck he shot was trans-gender and secretly wanted to be a doe. Hang and Rattle! Hank Vogler
The Progressive Rancher
The Progressive Rancher
BLM Nevada News - For the Rancher's File
BLM urges public awareness of increased wildfire danger during critical fire weather conditions
By Lisa Ross
June 15th 2016
Avoid driving though dry vegetation or parking your vehicle in high grass or dry vegetation. Never use stoves, lanterns or heaters inside a tent. Store flammable liquid containers in a safe place. Do not shoot tracer bullets or incendiary ammunition. Do not shoot in areas of dry fuels especially in times of extreme conditions such as Red Flag Warnings. Shoot only at cardboard or paper targets or manufactured thrown-type clay targets. Remember, shots fired across open desert can travel more than a mile and can cause a wildfire. At the first sign of a wildfire, contact Sierra Front Interagency Dispatch Center at 775- 883-5995 or call 911.
he Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Carson City District would like to remind the community to be aware of the increased chance of wildfire during critical fire weather conditions resulting from high winds and low humidity. “The public needs to be mindful on days when critical fire weather conditions warrant a Red Flag warning because of high winds and dry conditions.” said Shane McDonald, Interagency Fire Management Officer. “During these extremely critical weather conditions, a small fire can rapidly escalate to one that is out of control.” Red Flag Warnings are issued when critical fire weather conditions are either occurring now or will shortly. A combination of strong winds, low relative humidity, and warm temperatures will create explosive fire growth potential, or a Fire Weather Watch (critical fire weather conditions are forecast to occur). Both are issued by the National Weather Service. ￼ The following precautions should be taken: • Never leave a campfire unattended. Extinguish all campfires completely and stir ashes to make sure no hot coals remain and always make sure they are dead out. • Dispose of cigarettes in proper containers away from any flammable material. • If off-road vehicle use is allowed, internal combustion equipment should have a spark arrester.
• • • • • • •
￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼￼ In collaboration with local wildfire cooperators, the Carson City BLM District will monitor fuels conditions and the potential need for fire restrictions as the season progresses. For more information contact Lisa Ross at 775-885-6107 and go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6Woc5it_HI
Centuries-old Technique used to Restore Fire Damaged Public Lands
By Chris Hanefeld
LY – Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District firefighters are using a centuries-old technique to sow bitterbrush seed along the east bench of Nevada’s Schell Creek Range to increase shrub cover on public lands burned by wildfire. BLM Ely District firefighters sow bitterbrush seed on Firefighter James Millar explained, “Just poke a hole in the soil with the fire-damaged public lands in the Schell Creek Range. Spring planter bar, drop in a few seeds and cover, take five steps forward and repeat the process.” Valley and the Snake Range provide a picturesque backdrop. Chris McVicars, BLM Ely District natural resource specialist, said the seeding is one of several treatments that make up the 3,700-plus acre East Schell Bench Wildlife Habitat Restoration Project. He said the BLM will also aerially seed forbs, grasses and shrubs; plant ephedra, four-wing salt bush, and sagebrush; and treat cheatgrass, and Canada and Musk thistle with herbicide. “Increasing forb and shrub cover will benefit Greater Sage-Grouse, elk, mule deer, pronghorn antelope and many other wildlife species. It will also improve rangeland health by increasing soil moisture longevity and reducing erosion,” McVicars said. The $535,000 project is a collaborative effort by the BLM, Forest Once grown, bitterbrush provides Service, Nevada Department of Wildlife, Nevada Division of Forestry, Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, Mule Deer Foundation and local forage and cover for a variety of wildlife species, including Greater permittees. Funding is provided through the Southern Nevada Public “Poke a hole in the soil with the planter bar, drop Sage-Grouse, elk, mule deer and Land Management Act. Project completion is slated for March 2017. in a few seeds and cover, take five steps forward pronghorn antelope. An extensive Permanent research plots will monitor the project’s success. and repeat the process” – Firefighter James Millar root system helps stabilize soils. 16 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
WGA Executive Director BLM Releases Final Jim Ogsbury EIS for Proposed Bald testifies about Mountain Mine Project EIS Includes Robust Measures to Avoid and ‘short comings’ in BLM Mitigate Impacts to Important Resources Planning 2.0 proposal at Senate hearing
estern Governors’ Association Executive Director Jim Ogsbury shared the perspective of Western Governors that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Planning 2.0 Initiative proposal has “significant shortcomings” at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natu-
ral Resources. Ogsbury’s June 21 testimony noted that the proposal, as drafted, also “presents serious challenges,” including a lack of state consultation and transparency. Ogsbury elaborated: “Any process that reduces BLM’s responsibility to actively engage with stakeholders represents a retreat from openness and transparency. Yet that is what BLM suggests in Planning 2.0.” In his testimony, Ogsbury expressed that the proposal would significantly reduce the opportunity for Western Governors, state regulators, local governments and the public to engage in what needs to be a collaborative land management planning process. “Upon review of the proposal, Western Governors have concluded that what the Jim Ogsbury agency has proposed will have quite opposite effects from what it intended: confusion rather than clarity, less transparency rather than more.” Ogsbury also noted at the hearing, which included testimony from BLM Director Neil Kornze, that the proposal’s direction is “unfortunate, not only for states, but also for local governments and stakeholders. In WGA’s estimation, much of the opposition to this proposal would have been mitigated had BLM engaged in ‘early, meaningful and substantial’ consultation with Governors in the formative stages of the rule’s development.” Opening remarks were offered by Sen. John Barrasso, Chairman of the Neil Kornze Senate Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests and Mining. Ogsbury was joined on the panel by: Jim Magagna, Executive Vice President, Wyoming Stock Growers Association; Kathleen Sgamma, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs, Western Energy Alliance; Mark Squillace, Professor of Law, University of Colorado Law School. www.progressiverancher.com
By Chris Hanefeld
ly – The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Ely District, Egan Field Office, has released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed Bald Mountain Mine North and South Operations Area Projects (Project) that would expand an existing open-pit gold mine in White Pine County, Nevada, approximately 65 miles northwest of Ely, Nevada. The Project was originally proposed by Barrick Gold US Inc., but has recently been purchased by Kinross Mining Inc. Located mostly on lands administered by the BLM, the Project would increase the mine’s footprint by more than 7,000 acres. The final EIS analyzes a number of alternatives that were developed specifically to address concerns about the potential impacts of the Project on Greater Sage-Grouse, mule deer, wild horses, and other resources in the area. These alternatives were developed based on close coordination with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW), the public, and other federal, state and local government agencies. With respect to Greater Sage-Grouse, the BLM coordinated with the Nevada Sagebrush Ecosystem Technical Team (SETT) and the company to design compensatory mitigation to offset impacts. Specifically the company has committed to purchasing between 5,251 and 6,039 credits from Nevada’s Conservation Credit System (CCS) within 6 months of the credits being available. The goal of CCS is to generate a net benefit for Greater Sage- Grouse habitat to address impacts from human activities. The agency preferred alternative is the Western Redbird Modification Alternative. This alternative substantially reduces the proposed Project’s overall surface disturbance, decreases potential impacts to ground water in the area, and minimizes impacts to Greater Sage-Grouse, mule deer, and wild horses in the Project area. Following a 30-day availability and review period for the Final EIS, the BLM will issue a Record of Decision (ROD) describing the alternative it has selected and detailing the provisions that are part of its decision. The Final EIS is posted online at http://on.doi.gov/14R9rZ8 and additional information is available at http://on.doi.gov/14vXckC. For more information on the Project or to obtain a printed copy of the Final EIS, contact Stephanie Trujillo, BLM Ely District Project Manager, at (775) 289-1831 or email@example.com. --BLM-The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land, the most of any Federal agency. This land, known as the National System of Public Lands, is primarily located in 12 Western states, including Alaska. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. The BLM’s mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations. In Fiscal Year 2015, the BLM generated $4.1 billion in receipts from activities occurring on public lands.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 17
Letter to the Editor on GMO’s By Ron Torell Ron Torell, Long Time Advocate for Agriculture Past Nevada Cattlemen’s Association President, Past University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Livestock Specialist and Past Beef Seed Stock Producer
ASCINATING may be the best adjective to describe how a mere 2% of the population in the United States is responsible for producing the bulk of our nation’s food supply. For the most part it is because of this incredible food supply that U.S. citizens have become somewhat accustomed to the abundance of high quality, safe and wholesome foods. Grocery bills today make up less than 10% of the average U.S. household’s disposable income, far less than what is spent in other parts of the world. It’s been documented that many Americans will spend more on taxes in 2016 than they will collectively on food, clothing and housing. This is unlike generations gone by. As good as our Agriculture engine has historically been at producing a safe and wholesome product for the consuming public, Agriculturists have done a horrible job of educating the general public about the wholesome, sustainable and environmentally friendly practices we employ in producing a safe food supply for the world. Case in point is the misguided and misunderstood issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s). A Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) food labeling law recently passed in Vermont and will impact foods across the nation. Advocates for the bill are calling for a similar nationwide labeling bill. Such a state effort was brought forth and defeated in Nevada during the 2011 Nevada Legislative session. The bill was defeated with partial help from the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association and the Nevada Farm Bureau joint lobbying efforts. Food companies and agriculturists are concerned that on-pack labeling would mislead consumers, causing them to believe foods bearing a GMO label should be avoided even though there’s no scientific justification warranting that belief. The safety of GMOs is well-documented and supported by health and scientific authorities covering the globe including the American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Medical Association, European Food Safety Authority, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and World Health Organization. The Colorado Corn Growers Association recently offered the following as talking point facts: •
Each Genetically Modified (GM) seed variety takes on average $136 million and 13 years to bring to market because of the safety studies and regulatory approval processes necessary.
In response to what was described as an information gap at the time, Italian scientists in 2013 analyzed 1,783 studies around the world, spanning the previous decade, regarding the safety and environmental impacts of GMOs. They couldn’t find a single credible example demonstrating that GMOs pose harm to humans or animals.
In 2015, a massive, peer-reviewed, food-safety study – involving 4 billion farm animals fed GM foods, and 4 billion animals fed non-GM foods – showed there were no differences in animal health, growth or fertility. No quantifiable traces of GM components were detected in milk, meat and eggs following the animals’ consumption of GM foods. It appears to me that GMO dissenters are justifying the foods they like as non GMO, picking and choosing which foods they call a “GMO product” and which not. Take for example a succulent seedless watermelon. Most consider this food to
be a GMO product. However, as pointed out by the National Watermelon Promotion Board, “A seedless watermelon is a sterile hybrid which is created by crossing male pollen for a watermelon, containing 22 chromosomes per cell, with a female watermelon flower with 44 chromosomes per cell. When this seeded fruit matures, the small, white seed coats inside contain 33 chromosomes, rendering it sterile and incapable of producing seeds. This is similar to the mule, produced by naturally crossing a horse with a donkey. This process does not involve genetic modification.” So there you have it. Seedless watermelons are just regular watermelons, albeit a relatively younger relative of the traditional seeded watermelon. The seedless watermelon actually outsells its seeded peers by a significant margin. My wife and I own and operate a custom beef Artificial Insemination (A.I.) business. We Artificially Inseminate thousands of cows annually for our customers, breeding their cows by A.I. to the most efficient and sought after sires in the world. Offspring of these inseminations add to the efficiency of our nation’s food supply and the eating satisfaction of the consuming public. Do you consider this method of genetic advancement to be termed GMO? If so, how do you view the tens of thousands of human conceptions to invitro or artificial inseminations? Do you see the possible hypocrisy here? It is my hope that the reader of this letter to the editor will take the time to educate themselves on the scientific facts before buying into and supporting the anti GMO movement taking place across the nation. I encourage you to not support the political moves being proposed which may unduly hinder agriculture’s ability to feed the world. The U.S. House has passed a voluntary, national labeling bill that would supersede state laws, but it is stalled in the Senate. The agriculture community supports voluntary labeling and staunchly oppose mandatory GMO labeling. The next time you enjoy a seedless watermelon or an ear of sweet corn, consider the political moves going on nationwide which, if successful, will hinder American Agriculturists from advancing their ability to feed a growing world population. Ron Torell, Long Time Advocate for Agriculture Past Nevada Cattlemen’s Association President, Past University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Livestock Specialist and Past Beef Seed Stock Producer Elko, Nevada
Rose Feed and Supply Under New Ownership/Management Custom gates and fencing Specialized feeds for 4-H show season All your calving, branding and weaning supplies Heating and bbq pellets Chicks, ducks, geese and turkeys ask us about our delivery options
18 July-August 2016
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The Progressive Rancher
SAGE GROUSE INITIATIVE Wildlife Conservation Through Sustainable Ranching
Kevin Guinn, USDA “Unsung Hero” Awardee, Tells How Range Conservation Makes A Difference page with the grass physiology on the landscape. It’s central to maintaining the health of the whole system. While shrubs and forbs are important, too, if we conserve the mid-size bunchgrasses, we know the whole system holds together well.
Why is healthy sagebrush important for ranchers and livestock as well as wildlife? If we have a healthy sage-bunchgrass ecosystem, ranchers see many benefits. Rangelands with diverse plants offer a variety of species for their animals to eat. And the perennial native species give a more stable base of livestock forage for a longer period, compared to the “boom and bust” cycle of annuals. Good rangeland management keeps the weeds at bay, so we avoid a mono-culture of invasive cheatgrass. Moses Coulee’s intact sage-steppe range provides habitat for birds and wildlife. Kevin Guinn, pictured in the orange vest, has worked as an NRCS Range Management Specialist since 1980. Kevin is receiving the USDA’s 2016 “Unsung Hero Award” today in Washington D.C.
Ask an Expert: Kevin Guinn, Sage Grouse Initiative State Lead in Washington How does range conservation make a difference for birds and wildlife? The first thing we do as rangeland conservationists is to make sure we’re working toward the health of the entire ecosystem. We do it in a balanced way that’s a win for ranchers, as well. Our task is to partner with ranchers to manage rangelands in a sustainable manner that Kevin talks conservation with Lee supports vital ecosystem functions, like storHemmer, rancher and supervisor with ing water, providing site stability and biotic Foster Creek Conservation District. integrity, and protecting the health of the soil. If we do that, we know that we’re going to be providing the habitat necessary for a variety of wildlife species.
What is the secret to rangeland health? The core practice on the sagebrush-steppe is prescribed grazing. To maintain vigor and vitality, we manage grazing intensity, as well as the timing, duration, and frequency of both grazing periods and recovery periods. If we do this right, native bunchgrass plants give us more shoots and make more seed. One important thing I like to do with ranchers is make sure we’re on the same www.progressiverancher.com
Meet the Expert What inspires you about working with ranchers? I enjoy working with ranchers because they are fiercely independent, and they make a living from natural landscapes. Their main inputs are sunshine, rain, and snow. The best ranchers know they are managing more than cows. It’s rewarding to see how proud ranchers are when they have sage grouse on their land.
Kevin has been committed to conservation as a USDA-NRCS employee for nearly 40 years.
What do you enjoy outside of work? I have a strong passion for hiking. The ability to put on a backpack and go out for six or seven days of adventure in beautiful places is an amazing thing. It’s good for the soul. I also have a passion for Mexican food and Texas barbecue, since I grew up in that region. I raise my own New Mexican chilies, then roast and freeze them to have lots of hot salsa on the shelf. My barbecue brisket takes 18 hours to cook, but it’s worth the wait. Lastly, I’m passionate about my faith, and feel extremely blessed for my career. I’ll be retiring in January, and am honored to receive this award … what a way to go out! The Sage Grouse Initiative and our partners proudly nominated Kevin for the USDA’s 2016 award “Unsung Hero Award.” Three cheers for Kevin, and his contribution to birds, herds, and wildlife in the Northwest! Read this USDA Blog by SGI Coordinator Thad Heater about Kevin.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 19
CHECKOFF NEWS: By Gary Ward, Chair of the Nevada Beef Council
Tightening Our Belts
or the Nevada Beef Council, being responsible stewards of the checkoff dollars invested by beef producers has always been of the utmost importance. Both the staff and the producers who serve on the board work hard to ensure the beef promotions and campaigns carried out each year are as effective as possible, and that our checkoff dollars are invested in efforts that make a positive impact on beef demand. Some years, however, no amount of fiscal responsibility can offset budgetary realities. Unfortunately for the NBC, this is the case for the current fiscal year, which started July 1. As we gathered for our annual budget-setting meeting in May, the picture was grim. The number of cattle being sold in Nevada over the last year has declined significantly from years past, which means the dollar-per-head checkoff funds that allow us to carry out important beef education and promotion efforts have also declined. And unfortunately, the difference is not a small one. In 2014, Nevada checkoff collections totaled $286,170. Just one year later, however, the checkoff collections were nearly 20 percent lower, at $233,439 – the lowest amount in a 10-year period. When you consider that half of the checkoff dollars collected in Nevada go to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for investment in things like extensive national consumer campaigns; important research on beef nutrition and other beef production issues; national and international partnerships designed to increase global beef demand; and much more, that would leave a little over $116,000 for the NBC to carry out statewide campaigns. Looking ahead, we are anticipating a similar pattern and do not expect revenues to increase. What makes this more difficult for us is that none of us, not the staff nor us as producers, have a crystal ball when we set our budget in May of every year for the ensuing fiscal year, which runs from July to June. So
when we set the budget, we are guesstimating how many cattle will be sold – and thus how much in checkoff revenue will be collected – over the next 12 months. The reason I’m spelling this out in so much detail is that the decrease in revenues means a decrease in the programs we can fund throughout the state. Over the coming year, the reality is that you will not see or hear about quite as many Nevada Beef Council promotions and campaigns. However, that doesn’t mean the NBC team won’t be working hard to continue to promote beef. The programs and partnerships carried Gary Ward out over the coming year will be selected carefully, with an eye toward those that can achieve the biggest bang for your checkoff buck. What’s more, the NBC team will work to find additional opportunities for funds – such as grants from the Federation for State Beef Councils – for programs and campaigns that are not currently within budget. As we start our new fiscal year, we do so with significant reductions in our budget, but with a resolve to continue working hard on your behalf and remain steadfast in promoting positive beef messages throughout the state. And because transparency with producers is deeply important to all of us at the NBC – both the staff members who work hard on your behalf, and the producers like myself on the board who also pay into the checkoff – I’d like to share the following budgetary updates to give you a glimpse of our current financial situation. As you can see in the tables provided in this article, here are the expenditures for the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015; the projected total expenditures for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2016; and the approved budget for coming fiscal year, July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017. As you read through these figures, it’s important to note a couple of things. As you can see, line items under “Supporting Services” don’t fluctuate too greatly from year-to-year. That’s because these include a variety of fixed costs that enable the Nevada Beef Council to conduct its business. This includes costs such as collection fees paid to the Nevada Department of Agriculture, and investment in national programs through the Federation of State Beef Councils, which also ensures Nevada representation on the Federation. Further, administrative expenses includes costs such as bookkeeping, auditing, and insurance. In addition, this line-item includes all costs and overhead expenses – which have been reduced by nearly 15 percent this year in light of the budgetary challenges – associated with contracting with the California Beef Council for the full-service staffing and support of five team members. All of this for less than what most organizations pay for a single staff member when you consider salary and benefits. As always, you can access our annual reports for previous years at www.nevadabeef.org, and reach out to me or the NBC staff at (877) 554-2333 should you have any questions for us. Thank you for your support, and most of all, thank you for the hard work you put in, day in and day out, to produce high-quality beef for our consumers. For more about the NBC or beef checkoff, visit www.nevadabeef.org or www. mybeefcheckoff.com.
For more about the Nevada Beef Council, visit www.nevadabeef.org. 20 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
Citrus-marinated Beef & Fruit Kabobs From James Winstead, RDN, Director of Food and Nutrition Outreach for the Nevada Beef Council
Beef and fruit? Who would have thought? That’s right, this combo is powerhouse of nutrients for any hot summer day. Enjoy the warm, savory taste of beef followed by a refreshing bite of citrus fruit. This versatile dish can be a hearty entrée, or a tasty appetizer for a pool party. The top sirloin cut fits within the USDA definition as a lean protein: Per 3.5oz serving (cooked), less than 10 grams of total fat, less than 4.5 grams of saturated fat, and less than 95mg cholesterol. Allowing you to keep your summer nutrition goals on track! Simply marinate, skew, and grill! For more great beef recipes, visit www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com. Total Recipe Time: 30-45 Min Ingredients - Makes 4 Servings • 1 pound beef Top Sirloin Steak Boneless, cut 1 inch thick • 1 medium orange • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (optional) • 4 cups cubed mango, watermelon, peaches and/or plums • Salt Instructions 1. Grate, peel and squeeze 2 tablespoons juice from orange; reserve juice. Combine orange peel, cilantro, paprika, and ground red pepper, if desired, in small bowl. Cut beef Steak into 1-1/4-inch pieces. Place beef and 2-1/2 tablespoons cilantro mixture in food-safe plastic bag; turn to coat. Place remaining cilantro mixture and fruit in separate food-safe plastic bags; turn to coat. Close bags securely. Marinate beef and fruit in refrigerator 15 minutes to 2 hours. 2. Soak eight 9-inch bamboo skewers in water 10 minutes; drain. Thread beef evenly onto four skewers leaving small space between pieces. Thread fruit onto remaining four separate skewers. 3. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill beef kabobs, covered, 11 to 15 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 13 to 16 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally. Grill fruit kabobs 5 to 7 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown, turning once.
4. Season beef with salt, as desired. Drizzle reserved orange juice over fruit kabobs.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 21
WY Legislator Sets the Record Straight on Anti-TPL Op Ed American Lands By Tory Taylor
Oh, for Pete’s sake – “carefully selected”?? By whom? How “selected” exactly? With tourism being Wyoming’s number two industry (agriculture being number three) do you imagine that legislators in Cheyenne are going to kill that golden goose in these times of reduced mineral revenues? special-interest groups will no doubt place economic activities on federal lands above other public land uses such as wildlife habitat protection, clean air and water, and non-motorized recreation. So, you are stating that “economic activities” cannot exist along with “wildlife habitat protection, clean air and water, and non-motorized recreation”? That one obviates the other? That’s awfully narrow thinking. Who are you to say what comprises “uses”? Or, perhaps you do not subscribe to the “multiple use” principle? Perhaps you would provide us with a list of “public uses approved by Tory.” I do not believe in living in the past, but we can learn from history to better unResponse by WY Rep. Marti Halverson to: derstand the present and help map the future. Distrust and hostility toward the United Open letter to Lummis — no merit in land-grab bill States government (aka The Feds) is a part of American and Wyoming history. States’ by Guest Column | MARCH 29, 2016 By Tory Taylor rights versus federal rights is an issue as old as our nation. This issue was central in the drafting of our national constitution. Delegates at the 1787 Constitutional Congress Dear Representative Cynthia Lummis, struggled greatly with federal and state rights. From 1861 to 1865 our Thank you for your form letter explaining H.R. 2316, the Self-Sufnation again struggled with the issue, this time violently, and nearly ficient Community Lands Act.I have carefully studied your explanatory doomed our nation during the Civil War. Pushback against the federal letter and found no redeeming merit to H.R. 2316. I remain strongly government surfaced as far back as the 1800’s Indian Wars, the 1846 opposed. war with Mexico, and the 1847 settlement of Utah and Wyoming by You state that H.R. 2316 is not a ‘land-grab’ bill, but that is exactly Mormon pioneers. what it is — a land-grab Resentment of federal ownership of much of the West has cropped NOT a “land-grab.” These are inflammatory, unhelpful words up decade after decade, with no factual foundation, and not conducive to a discussion – if a It started in 1830 – Missouri Democrat U.S. Senator Thomas Hart discussion is what you desire. Transfer is an effort to get the federal Benton successfully fought for the transfer of lands in Missouri, Illinois, government to live up to its promise to “dispose” of its title in favor of Florida, and other states considered “the West” at the time, from federal the state – as it did for 32 other states. If there is a “land grab” going ownership to state ownership. Transfer to the states was the norm until on, it is as the BLM is snapping up yet more sage grouse territory as the 1976, when the Federal Land Policy Management Act was passed. Marti Halverson price for the bird’s delisting. often by those who stand to make a buck from federal lands. and a power-grab. You ascribe making “a buck” as the sole motive behind the transfer “Power-grab”? How do you figure, “power”? Perhaps, in the sense that Wyo- movement. Actually, you are only partially right, as responsible productivity is, inming wants the “power” to clean up neglected forests, re-open trails closed by the deed, one goal. Other goals are public access to the lands and managing for the health USFS, restore decimated moose, mule deer and elk herds, and power control livestock of the land, as opposed to “museum management” which has resulted in catastrophic predators. fires, destroyed watersheds and caused the death of millions of animals, domestic and The bill seeks to remove control of some U.S. Forest Service lands from the owners wild. of federal lands — the American public — PILT payments inadequately cover the expenses counties and municipalities face The “American public” is seeing access to its lands closed at every turn. The most in providing education, public safety and other amenities. Wyoming has to fight for egregious USFS action was the closure of the entire Plumas National Forest in Cali- its, reduced, PILT and SRS money every year. fornia. The “American public” is being shut out. Access, even to visitors – the “American Public” - to public land is being cut off Further, I challenge the notion that half of Wyoming should belong to the “Amer- purposefully and with alarming frequency. It seems we Westerners do not want federal control and regulations, but we gladly ican public” – please defend the idea that New Jersey residents, or Florida residents, or Illinois and Texas residents, should be “owners” of 48% of the State of Wyoming. The accept federal money Not exactly. Many of us do not “gladly” accept federal money. Some of us acaverage Rhode Islander has no idea what a sage grouse is, and much less appreciates the FACT that more cattle on the range equal more sage grouse on the range. Do tually see federal money as the blackmail and/or bribery that it is and we resent the you think Delaware, or South Carolina would appreciate it if the “American Public” strings that accompany federal, taxpayer dollars. As the federal government goes deeper into debt, these handouts, over and above what we have coming to us (federal owned half it its land? mineral royalties, fuel taxes, PILT and SRS payments, and the like), WILL disappear. and, instead, give control to carefully state-selected groups of special interests. What is the basis for this claim? It is a scare tactic dreamed up by anti-transfer The day may come when even that which we have “coming to us” will diminish. We’d darn well better have another revenue stream lined up in that event. “special interests.” And, the false, brazen rhetoric goes so far as “selling Yellowstone to and natural resources. In recent decades the Western states’ culture and custom the Koch brothers.” Perhaps you do not consider Wyoming hunters, anglers, ranchers, trail-riders to be “special interests.” Perhaps you do not consider our schools and public of federal-government bashing has surfaced in the Sagebrush Rebellion, the People for the West, the Wise Use Movement, and other groups. Most recently we have seen safety personnel to be “special interests.” federal government resentment take the form of domestic terrorism These carefully selected few weeks ago, Wyofile.com published a hit piece in its op ed section that was intended to discredit the Transfer of Public Lands (TPL) movement. Thankfully, Representative Marti Halverson has been intensely involved in the TPL movement for years and was able to send the following letter to the editor of that publication to set the record straight. This letter has not yet been printed by Wyofile.com, but Rep. Halverson was kind enough to share a copy with us. In response to Tory Taylor’s op ed on 3/29/16, Rep. Halverson takes the time to sift through the piles of fiction to reveal the hard core facts that anti-TPL groups don’t want you to know. Please note that Rep. Halverson’s responses are in RED, while the text of the original post remains in black.
22 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
The ages-old debate – my domestic terrorists, your freedom fighters – only the players change. at the Malheur Federal Wildlife Refuge in Oregon. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said that Texas has 2 percent of public land and that is 2 percent too much. Recently I had had an alarming discussion with a young, card-carrying member of the Libertarian Party who told me that Libertarians and the Tea Party do not believe in public lands and that all public land should be privatized. Is this correct? This may be “correct” in this young person’s mind, but it is not at all correct among Western land transfer advocates. This is another scare tactic attempting to conflate transfer and privatization. During the 2016 elections, I hope voters will ask candidates exactly where they stand on federal public lands. I do, too. Hostility towards “The Feds” is a fundamental political tool in Wyoming as well as other Western states. Federal government bashing is a favorite pastime and sport with some. I have at times cussed “The Feds,” appealed their management decisions, and been involved with taking them to court. At other times I have worked closely with them and have supported their management decisions for public lands. I have used existing federal processes to exert my local voice. Transfer advocates also have “existing federal processes” – our statehood enabling acts which call for the federal government to “dispose” of the land to which they retained title at statehood. The federal government has a “duty to dispose.” We want disposition to be to the states. If public lands are “sold,” the federal government receives 95% of the proceeds – the other 5% must go to the states’ school accounts. So . . . who, exactly, is motivated to SELL? As a matter of fact, there are currently two bills in the US congress to “sell” public lands. One bill designates the proceeds to the reduction of the federal debt; the other directs proceeds to the highway trust fund. “The Feds” are not enemies; they are part of the Wyoming landscape and life. Federal employees are our neighbors, the folks we visit with at the post office and the grocery store, the people sitting next to us in pews, and the fans in the high school gymnasium stands cheering the boys and girls on the sports floor. Agreed. Our local federal land and forest managers are nice folks. And, they will make nice state employees. “The Feds” are professionals doing their best while some Washington, D.C. lawmakers are gutting their budgets and stripping their ability to manage federal public lands. Not exactly. They are political professionals, political appointees serving their own “special interests” – namely, their jobs and their political bosses - in an administration that wants to shut down energy development, multiple use, etc. President Obama has submitted at $3.6 TRILLION budget – with huge cuts for USFS, again - where is his priority for public lands? Representative Lummis, you portray H.R. 2316 as a benign bill. I see it differently. It will add another layer of state bureaucracy to the existing federal management of public land, thereby increasing government, not shrinking it. No, no, no. It will eliminate the level of government that is 1,500 miles away. The distant bureaucracy that have never stepped foot in Wyoming, yet have a destructive vision of The Wyoming National Park, Wildlife Refuge and Energy Museum. You say that the state can manage public land better than the federal government, yet several wildlife populations declined while under state management. Declines are actually attributed to federal meddling, such as the introduction of a non-native wolf, to name one. Federally protected predators caused the decline of moose, elk and deer. We can have healthy populations of wolves and grizzlies – OR – healthy populations of moose, elk and deer. WE CANNOT HAVE BOTH. Some wildlife populations now have to be protected by the Federal Endangered Species Act, a federal law in the cross-hair sights of industry and their politicians. Do you have a plan for managing sensitive and endangered species with no money? Politicians would love to hear it. Wyoming citizens may wish to study a recent land management experiment that took place in northern New Mexico. The 100,000 acre Baca Ranch was established in 1876 and changed hands several times. The ranch was overgrazed, improperly logged, and finally offered for sale. In 2000, the Baca Ranch was purchased by the federal government and became the Valles Caldera National Preserve. Today cattle grazing www.progressiverancher.com
is permitted on a sustainable level, the preserve offers numerous public recreational opportunities, and the grassy preserve is elk heaven. Hunters, and future generations of hunters, now have access and fantastic elk hunting and fishing opportunities on this federal public land. Do they have grizzlies and gigantic Asian wolves? In closing, Representative Lummis, I hope those candidates who run for your office when you step down will make very clear to Wyoming voters their views on federal land management. Me, too. Those who wish to put federal lands under state control are like a dog chasing a car. What are they going to do if they catch it? Be careful of what you ask for. See the 10-year transfer process from the Crown to the Northwest Territory in Canada. https://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1352398433161/1352400493640 and http://devolution.gov.nt.ca Given the federal debt, you must be able to appreciate the collateral that is federal land. Our debt is 105% of the nation’s economy – our economy alone no longer sufficiently collateralizes our borrowing. Transfer advocates are just as fearful of “selling” public land as those opposing transfer. If public land is ever considered for sale – and, it is by some folks in Washington – with whom would you rather deal? Cheyenne? Or a US senate/house, where most of the members have no clue as to anything “West”? Anticipating your “it’s unconstitutional” argument: http://le.utah.gov/interim/2015/pdf/00005590.pdf We are grateful for those such as Rep. Halverson who have taken the time to become intimately familiar with the public lands situation in our states as well as the Transfer of Public Lands efforts and can speak clearly and concisely in regards to the misinformation that gets published by those who would have western states remain second class citizens who have no power to fund education, protect their forests, or preserve the water, air and wildlife within their borders. Does your elected official understand the Transfer of Public Lands? Have your 2016 candidates signed the Pledge to #FreeTheLands according to the American Lands Council’s Public Policy Statement? If not, urge them to download it today!
Pastor David Whitney Educates Concerning the Unlawful Federal Land Grab
pponents to the Transfer of the Public Lands love to use the phrase “land grab” when referring to those who simply want Congress to keep their promise to dispose of the public lands into the hands of each willing western state, as was promised in each Enabling Act. They use this phrase to imply that there is selfishness, greed or power at the heart of the Transfer of Public Lands movement. They use it in hopes that you will never actually learn about the facts surrounding the western lands. The Institute on the Constitution has created a very educational and interesting video that reveals that the only land “grabbing” going on is by the federal government, which seems to be taking over millions of acres, fist over fist, as fast as they can repay their political favors. This endless pattern of taking lands from the states is destroying more and more of our states’ sovereignty and ability to self-govern. The inevitable consequences of this true land grab is that western states have lost much of their ability to protect the health, safety and welfare of the people. Pastor David Whitney testifies regularly before legislators and educates all over the nation on the nature of the constitution in America and the responsibility our state officials have to erect barriers against the encroachment of the federal government into areas where they have no constitutional authority. In this short excerpt, Pastor Whitney discusses the plight of the western states in their efforts to compel the transfer of the public lands, and thereby restoring their sovereignty and the ability to care for their people on equal footing with all other states. Please take a few moments to watch this short clip and do what you can to join us in our efforts to unify all states, helping them stand up for the only solution big enough to protect our environment, educate our children and restore the constitutional balance upon which our freedoms rest.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 23
TPL Now Supported by Most Montanans American Lands
By Marjorie Haun
ith federal control of Montana’s public lands growing more contentious due to questionable decisions by the feds, a majority of residents are now looking to an on-site manager. A recent survey conducted by the University of Montana and Stanford University found that a clear majority of Montana residents now support transferring some public lands, which are now controlled by the federal government, to the state. The poll shows that local control is now favored by 59 percent of those surveyed. The Rural West Conference Montana Survey asks Montana residents about key social and political factors, as well as how leaders and policy affect both urban and rural economies. In February of this year, 923 adults were questioned about the state’s foremost issues. The survey shows that Montanans favor state control of resource development, and also want public lands to be used for wilderness and outdoor recreation. Those surveyed indicated that a majority of Montanans believe that “[t]he federal government owns too much land in Montana and should transfer some of it to the state.” Small town residents are most supportive of transferring public lands to state control, at 63 percent. Rural residents support the transfer by 59 percent, and urban residents, still a majority, are at 55 percent. Protection of wildlife, increased recreational access, and development of farms and ranches were cited as important facets of public lands policy by respondents. Montana’s largest minority group is composed of individuals belonging to various Native American Tribes. This survey indicates a strong preference, 78 percent, for giving those tribes the freedom to repurchase “ancestral lands that the tribes no longer own, for development and recreation.”
How Federal Missteps Make the Case to Transfer Public Lands to States, Localities
By Marjorie Haun
forest fire on national parkland in Washington state in 2014 overtook a young black bear, seriously burning its front paws. This little bear, which would gain world renown, crawled on its elbows out of the massive Carlton Complex fire on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Later named Cinder, the malnourished and horribly burned bear was rescued and treated by wildlife officials and volunteers. After months of medical care and physical rehabilitation, officials last June released Cinder into the federally managed Black Bear Rehabilitation Center near Boise, Idaho. Cinder was one of the lucky ones. Millions of animals of all kinds, including privately owned livestock, have been burned and killed in massive wildfires on federal lands in recent years. With forests overgrown and piling up with underbrush and dead and dying trees, some would argue that releasing Cinder into a federal preserve carried a degree of risk to the tough little bear. Federal “no-logging” policies, it seems, are turning America’s national forests into kindling. A growing number of state organizations seek to remedy what they consider negligent policies and shoddy oversight of public land on the part of federal agencies. How Much Land Near You Does the Federal Government Control? This Map Tells You Under the umbrella name “Transfer of Public Lands,” the movement offers a solution to the problem that is simple in concept: transfer ownership and management of public lands administered by federal agencies to equivalent state agencies. These agencies, being accountable to governors, state legislators and citizens, will manage the public lands in a more conscientious, cost-effective way. According to a report by the Property and Environment Research Center, a think tank focused on property rights, federal management results in a net loss of revenue but 24 July-August 2016
Montana residents care deeply about their state, its natural resources and beauty, as well as economic development. According to this new survey, most believe state and local control is the best way to create jobs while protecting those things that set Montana apart as a wild and beautiful place. Brent Mead, of the Montana Policy Institute, said of the survey that he “was not surprised at all” by the results, and cited his rationale. He said the survey is consistent with what he calls the “Hierarchy of Trust in Government.” “There is support for local government which cuts across all ideologies,” said Mead. “You’re more likely to know your city councilors and county commissioners than Washington D.C. bureaucrats. Montanans are not going to trust D.C. over Helena.” According to Mead, the small discrepancy between rural and urban support for the transfer of public lands, (TPL) is also somewhat predictable. He explained, “Broadly true is the fact that the further removed you are from the public lands in question, the more likely you are to want it governed in a hand’s-off fashion.” This aligns with the narrative used by supporters of TPL that urban rule-makers in a city 2,000 miles away from the public lands under their control, make poor managers at best. Mead continued, “When you’re living in an urban environment, far away from the lands themselves, it’s easy to get caught up in a romantic ideal.” The transfer of public lands from federal to state management is not a new idea, but a great deal of misinformation has been spread about both its legality and its implications. As public lands issues are increasingly demystified for the public, transferring to local control is becoming increasingly popular. It is neither a sell-off nor privatization of public lands, but a simple transfer from federal to state control. Federal public lands simply become state public lands to be managed according to policies formulated by elected representatives within each state. Federal overreach and politically-driven policies are being felt by more and more people in Western states. Many Montanans live in small towns and rural regions, and have an innate understanding that Washington D.C. policies are neither a practical nor just in their state. Now more than ever, the people of Montana are making it known that they trust local government over the federal government to protect their public lands, while also pursuing responsible economic development. state management produces a net gain.￼ Unlike states east of the Continental Divide, public lands in Western states such as Washington and Idaho predominantly are owned by the federal government. They are under the management of the Interior Department and a plethora of subagencies, including the Bureau of Land Management, the Forest Service, and the Fish and Wildlife Service. ￼ This map from the Bureau of Land Management illustrates the imbalance between West and East when it comes to how much land is under federal control: A Growing Movement Utah is at the forefront of the Transfer of Public Lands movement. In 2012, the Utah state legislature passed legislation that lays down the foundation for transferring public lands to state ownership. National parks, national monuments, tribal lands and Defense Department property are excluded from the transfer. Called the “Transfer of Public Lands Act and Related Study,” it was signed into law by Gov. Richard Herbert, a Republican. The American Lands Council has been tireless in making the legal and moral case for transferring public lands in the West to the states. “Public lands stay public,” says Ken Ivory, council spokesman, “and our national treasures will be well protected and preserved.” In late October, The Los Angeles Times published an article noting that seven Republican candidates for president had expressed support for devolving federal jurisdiction to the Western states. Bungling, overreach and overreactions by the federal government may make the strongest case of all. Within such instances of federal mismanagement are stories of human suffering and environmental degradation. In November 2008, Rose Backhaus, a 54-year-old Colorado woman, was hiking in Utah’s federally managed Little Wild Horse Canyon. She became lost in the canyon when she took a wrong turn on the trail. She likely wandered for days, eventually succumbing to exposure. Her body was found by hikers the following April. The local office of the Bureau of Land Management, which is responsible for the property, had received requests from locals for years to place a sign in the canyon directing hikers to the proper trail. The federal agency failed to act, arguing that such a sign would be too expensive and have an adverse impact on the “wilderness experience.”
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More recently, a woman in Josephine County, Ore., feared for her life as her exboyfriend broke into her home. She called 911 and was told there was no one available to help her because of budget cuts. The local sheriff’s office, lacking the resources to pay deputies and staff, failed to respond to the woman’s pleas. Although the dispatcher remained on the phone with the woman, the intruder later sexually assaulted her. Josephine County was built on the logging industry. When the federal government began to implement policies to “protect habitats” for threatened or endangered species in the Northwest, the timber industry imploded. Federal timber funds dried up. Broke and beleaguered, the sheriff’s office experienced firsthand the economic effects of misguided federal policies. Two Cases of Overkill In September 2014, The Los Angeles Times ran a feature story, “A Sting in the Desert,” detailing a case of massive overreaction by the Bureau of Land Management in Southeastern Utah. A respected family man, civic leader and local physician named Jim Redd was under scrutiny by agents with the land agency and the FBI on suspicion that he looted nearby American Indian archaeological sites and traded artifacts on the black market. The Times reported that a paid, undercover informant working for the land agency and FBI, equipped with a “button” surveillance camera, spent hundreds of hours in Dr. Redd’s home, perusing artifacts his family had collected for generations. The informant, identified as Ted Gardiner, was seeking evidence that would link Redd to the illegal antiquities trade. Eventually Dr. Redd’s wife, Jeannie, gave in to Gardiner’s insistence by selling him a pair of yucca sandals. With that transaction supplying the evidence they wanted, the land agency and FBI launched a massive, military-style raid on the Redd home. The Times reported that dozens of armed agents dressed in body armor arrived in a convoy of SUVs and arrested Dr. Redd, 60, at gunpoint, handcuffed him and marched him into his garage where they taunted and interrogated him for hours. Dr. Redd and his wife were charged with numerous felony counts and both faced decades in federal prison. The day after the raid, Dr. Redd took his own life. Following the suicide, Gardiner shot and killed himself, witnesses said, in remorse over the raid leading to Redd’s death. Even if Dr. Redd were guilty, why did these federal agencies react with such massive force to raid the home of a beloved small town doctor who had no history of violence? In another case, father-and-son Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond were convicted of arson and sentenced in October to five years in federal prison for setting fires that burned 140 acres owned by the Bureau of Land Management. A former Forest Service agent had testified on behalf of the Hammonds, saying: “The Hammond family is not arsonists. They are number one, top-notch. They know their land management.” The prosecution of the Hammonds under an antiterrorism law is another disquieting example of federal overreaction to a relatively minor crime. At times, though, federal management decisions simply defy reason. This past summer, while massive wildfires shot across regions of Montana, the Forest Service—under the direction of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack—restricted the state from using its fleet of helicopters to suppress the fire without justification or explanation. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, a Democrat, declared a state of emergency and authorized the National Guard to use its resources to aid fire-fighting efforts. But under federal management, the state’s firefighting fleet of Blackhawk and Chinook helicopters remained grounded. One Size Fits All? Citizens and leaders in the West understandably are frustrated and angry with federal overlords. The Environmental Protection Agency’s devastating—and preventable—spill of millions of gallons of toxic mine waste into Colorado’s Animas River made national news in August. To many, the incident was illustrative of the need for local and state control over managing natural resources and preserving the environment. Ivory, the spokesman for the American Lands Council, describes the problem this way: The one-size-fits-all bureaucratic ‘solution’ is really the problem. Wildfires resulting from overgrown and diseased forests in the West burn millions of acres every year. We all want clean air, water, healthy habitats for wildlife, and vibrant sustainwww.progressiverancher.com
able communities with abundant recreational opportunities. But we’ve been told for decades that in order to have those things our precious natural resources need to be managed by federal bureaucrats thousands of miles away. As the legal wrangling over the Transfer of Public Lands movement plays out, the critical moral case for state control of public lands within state boundaries is being made by a growing list of federal debacles, injustices, waste and abuse.
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers reveals its radical side American Lands
ackcountry Hunters & Anglers (BHA), a deceptively named environmentalist group, has exposed its true, radical intentions by proposing extreme restrictions for anglers, boaters, and others in Montana. The proposal, called the “Quiet Waters Initiative,” seeks to restrict motorized watercraft on over 50 Montana waterways. An article in the Independent Record states: “BHA presents recommendations to drastically restrict waterways without demonstrating any necessity to protect public health, public safety, public welfare, or to protect property and public resources,” [Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks] FWP says in agenda materials. “The initiative claims safety concerns, yet Montana already has laws against operating a vessel in a reckless or negligent manner, and the initiative’s name implies it is primarily focused on eliminating the noise engines produce, the agency [FWP] says.” Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is identified as a “green decoy” group because of its deceptive title. Its name appears to be friendly to hunters, sportsmen and firearms enthusiasts, but behind the outdoorsy name is a group funded by leftist foundations and environmentalists, with goals very different than those supported by true hunters, anglers and sportsmen. The research website, “Activist Facts,” points out: “BHA represents itself as good-ole-boy outdoorsmen who simply want to hunt and fish and be left alone. But don’t be fooled. As evidenced by both its sources of funding and current leadership, BHA is nothing more than a big green activist organization pushing a radical environmentalist agenda.” Activist Facts identifies BHA’s largest funding sources as the Western Conservation Foundation (WCF), which in 2011 and 2012 donated $278,423 to BHA. WCF has given to other known far-left radical groups including Earth Justice and the Tides Foundation. BHA also receives donations from the Wilburforce Foundation, Pew Charitable Trusts, and several other foundations known for their extremist ideological leanings. Land Tawny, the director of BHA, is also a leftist operative who ran the liberal political action committee (PAC) with an equally-deceptive name, “Montana Hunters and Anglers Leadership Fund (MHA),” which, according to Activist Facts: “ …spent $1.1 million against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Danny Rehberg, who was challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Jon Tester. [Land Tawny’s PAC] also spent $500,000 in support of the libertarian candidate as a strategy of drawing votes away from the Republican. MHA received several hundred thousand dollars from the League of Conservation Voters, a liberal environmentalist group.” Given the radical environmentalist roots and affiliations of BHA, it’s not surprising that they lobby hard against local government in favor of continued federal control of public lands, water, and resources. In its attempt to deceive and frighten Americans into embracing federal control of public lands, BHA spreads false narratives such as: • State and local control of public lands will limit access for hunters and sportsmen • Public lands transfer will result in sell-off and privatization of public lands Not only are these talking points untrue, they’re nearly opposite of the truth. The facts show that the federal government regularly auctions off public lands, and restrictions to public lands are enacted regularly by federal agencies. By proposing extreme restrictions on boating, fishing, and other outdoor activities on Montana’s rivers, lakes and streams, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers has ironically revealed its radical identity. This green decoy’s true goals are increased restrictions, decreased access, and decreased freedom for everyone on America’s public lands.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 25
U.S. Forest Service barricades a forest road, destroys game trails in Idaho
n June 10, Shari Dovale of Redoubt News, posted an article (http:// redoubtnews.com/blog/2016/06/10/forest-service-demolishes-access-privateproperty/#comment-424 )which included photographs of shocking damage done by the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to a forest road and trails in Northwestern Idaho. Share Dovale confirmed the report, as did the spokesman for the group which took photographs of the damage, the Northwestern Gold Prospectors Association. The details of the story are both perplexing and enraging. During the first weekend in June, several members of Northwestern Gold Prospectors Association (NWGPA), planned to attend a gathering to prospect some private claims in the Bedrock Gulch and Eagle Creek areas. When the prospectors arrived, Forest Road (FR) 152, which has been used both for foot and motorized traffic, had been blocked with cement barricades and hundreds of felled trees. The photographs show large logs laid crosswise and laterally on the trail, covered with hundreds of large pine branches and sticks, making it both dangerous and impassable. The section of the road along Eagle Creek was also blocked with large logs spanning its entire width, along with sticks, branches and debris, some of which appears to be spilling into the creek. Bob Lowe, founder and past president of NWGPA, provided background on the U.S. Forest Service actions. According to Lowe, the USFS barricaded the road, which they considered to be a firebreak, because they lacked the funds to repair damage on the road which had occurred due to flooding and erosion. Lowe said, “The road had a couple of small washouts, but was still usable for hikers and people on ATVs. The road was regularly accessed by hunters and ATV clubs who used it for the multiple uses it was meant for.” Mr. Lowe also explained that the USFS blamed the prospectors for “unauthorized” repairs which some ATV clubs had previously made on sections of the road. The NWGPA has used the roads in question in order to access privately-held claims. Many of the prospectors have simply walked the trails which, according to Bob Lowe, were “level and shaded, and easy to hike for our elderly members.” Abiding by a set of strict rules of conduct, members of the NWGPA have been committed to following proper procedures and abiding by Forest Service rules, as well as respecting the rights of others who use the forest roads. Lowe detailed the history and natural features of the now barricaded road. “The claims in that area have been mined for over 150 years and the trails up there lead to multiple use lands. At the top of the ridge is a game trail that we follow. That has been obliterated.” In digging for answers as to why the barricades were created, Lowe discovered that federal definitions and “procedures” are being used to justify the extreme damage done to the trails by USFS. The office of Raul Labrador, the U.S. Congressman (R) Idaho, who represents their district, assisted the NWGPA in getting through to the USFS. Kevin Knesek, the Minerals, Geology and Abandoned Mine Lands Program Manager for the USFS Idaho Panhandle division, responded with an email explaining the agency’s rationale for barricading the roads. Despite generally unimpeded access in the past, USFS in the email claims that a “Notice of Intent” (NOI) is now ‘encouraged’ to gain legal access to FR 152. The email states: The East Fork Eagle Creek area is a popular location for recreational mining/prospecting, and we administer numerous requests each year for utilization of closed Forest Service roads to access claims. Access on closed routes is encouraged to be requested via a Notice of Intent to mine (NOI), which provides the Forest Service a consistent request mechanism, and the claim holder non-discretionary consideration of his/her request. The email also cites road repairs, for which USFS blames the miners: In fact, there was even evidence in the Spring [sic] of last year that people were attempting to reconstruct the road in some areas. This reconstruction was not authorized, as there was no approved Plan of Operations and associated NEPA to authorize it. But it appears that the designation of the road as a “firebreak” is being used as the 26 July-August 2016
East Fork of Eagle Creek Road. Historically, the only road that led from Montana to Murray, Idaho. Photo: NWGPA key justification for the extensive damage caused by the barricades and downed trees. USFS regards “fire management” features to be temporary, thus, requiring them be “reclaimed” after they have served their purpose. The email continues: Last summer, due to fire activity in the Eagle Creek area, the Forest Service bulldozed a fire line along what was the lower stretch of Forest Road 152, and widened a nonauthorized user-created trail in the area of Bedrock Gulch, which feeds into East Fork Eagle Creek. The Forest Service is obligated to reclaim disturbances associated with fire management, and as a result course woody debris (large logs) were placed over the areas bulldozed and/or widened. Additionally, where possible, the fire line surface was scarified and brought back to a state which would give it a chance to weather more naturally. NWGPA spokesman, Bob Lowe explained that, historically, the prospectors and the Forest Service had enjoyed a cooperative relationship, but that in recent years it had become less cordial and unpredictable. Baffled and frustrated by the actions of USFS, Lowe explained, “There are a number of people in our local USFS office who I like and respect, but in the last seven years the agency has hired a bunch of interns just to come out and take videos and pictures of our activities. We would see them standing around with their cameras and clipboards, and we started getting complaints of ‘significant surface damage’ being caused by relatively small prospecting efforts. We got complaints about tiny holes left in the ground where someone with a metal detector would dig up a bottle cap. One report was for cutting a few lower branches of a small tree.” Considering the extremely high standards of care the USFS expects from citizens who enter national forests and use roads and trails for recreation, hunting, and other multiuses, it appears that its own standard for environmental stewardship is abysmal. The photographs provided by members of NWGPA reveal extreme levels of environmental disruption and damage to vegetation, and potential devastation to Eagle Creek. A historic game trail, used by elk, deer and other large mammals, is now a maze of logs and branches dangerous to all but the very smallest animals that inhabit the area. It leaves one East Fork of Eagle Creek Road. Photo: NWGPA perplexed and wondering why the USFS didn’t apply the money, time and manpower used to create environmentally destructive barriers to FR 152, to the road’s repair and maintenance? Shari Dovale, in her article in Redoubt News, cited Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Clean Water rules, which were almost certainly broken by the USFS in its placement of logs and debris along the edge of Eagle Creek, which appears to be subject to undercutting due to seasonal high water. Dovale summarizes this apparent double standard on the parts of federal agencies with, “…as you can see from the pictures, the Forest Service has intentionally plundered the area next to Eagle Creek, which leads to the Coeur d’Alene River. How is it that they are allowed to get away with this? Will the EPA even blink when it comes to the government’s intentional violations?”
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Amodei Bill to Strengthen Local Control of Public Lands Passes House, Heads to Senate
By Logan Ramsey
ASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) today released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 2733, the Nevada Native Nations Land Act, his bill to allow public land to be held in trust for six different tribes throughout Nevada: “I commend my colleagues in the House for joining me to pass this critical piece of legislation that will transfer more than 70,000 acres of Nevada public lands back into local control – empowering those who are best suited to make decisions surrounding economic development. By carefully balancing the unique needs of our Nevada tribal nations with those of local ranchers, land owners, public lands recreationalists and businesses, my bill will allow Nevadans to chart brighter futures for their communities while preserving their cultural heritage and traditions. I urge the Senate to take up this common-sense measure as soon as possible.”
June 7th, 2016
Would transfer approximately 13,434 acres of BLM land in Washoe County to be held in trust to preserve cultural resources and better manage natural resources in the Hungry Valley residential community, and to address public safety concerns. The housing is surrounded by BLM lands to the north, west and east where multiple activities routinely occur, such as target shooting and illegal dumping. This transfer will improve safety and address public safety concerns from residents. It’s important to note that the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony has expressed a willingness to ensure a north-south access route is available to OHV users in this area.
Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe:
Would transfer approximately 6,357 acres of BLM land in Washoe County to be held in trust to expand the reservation boundary to fully incorporate the watershed of Pyramid Lake. Other sections near the lake would be used for potential economic development and management efficiency.
H.R. 2733, the Nevada Native Nations Land Act, would allow public Duckwater Shoshone Tribe: land to be held in trust for six different tribes throughout Nevada. Specifically, Would transfer approximately 31,269 acres of BLM land. Congressman Amodei’s bill would allow Nevada’s tribes to address housing shortages, promote development of natural resources, support additional grazing and agricultural activities, promote renewable energy, preserve cultural resources and protect their communities against illegal shooting and activities. This bipartisan piece of legislation is supported by the Nevada congressional delegation, Washoe County, the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, and multiple By Logan Ramsey off-highway vehicle (OHV) organizations. As an OHV user and a strong voice for all motorcycle and ATV rights, Congressman Amodei is pleased to be ASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Mark Amodei able to work with local officials and the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony to ensure (NV-02) released the following statement after the House a north-south access route is available for OHV users in the Hungry Valley passed S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of Recreation Area. 2016, legislation which included his National Strategic This bill requires the United States to hold in trust the following lands for and Critical Minerals Production Act (H.R. 1937): the benefit of: “Duplicative regulations, bureaucratic inefficiency and lack of coordination between federal agencies unnecessarily threaten our economy and jeopardize our Fort McDermitt Paiute Shoshone Tribe: Would transfer approximately 19,094 acres of BLM land in Humboldt national security – especially when it comes to mining strategic and critical minerals in America. Critical and strategic County to be held in trust to resolve checkerboard lands issues. This would minerals are essential to the techhelp to address law enforcement and emergency personnel jurisdictional quesnologies that make our daily lives and tions, as well as enable the tribe to plan for housing development. Nevada U.S. economy work. From military techSenators Bible and Cannon introduced a similar bill in 1971, but the legislation nology, such as aircraft and missiles was never re-introduced. used to defend our country, to the cars, smartphones and televisions we Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation: use every day, they all require critical Would transfer approximately 82 acres of U.S. Forest Service (USFS) land and strategic minerals. in Elko County to be held in trust for housing and infrastructure to address the “Since the 1990’s, mineral exreservation housing shortage and to recruit doctors, nurses, law enforcement, ploration has stagnated or declined conservation officers, and first responders. because of burdensome regulatory changes made to the permitting Summit Lake Paiute Tribe: process. With the average permit Would transfer approximately 941 acres of BLM land in Humboldt approval process taking seven to ten County to be held in trust for protection and management of Summit Lake’s years, permitting delays now pose the natural resources and fish population and to unify the reservation around most significant risk to mining projSummit Lake. ects in the United States. In Nevada, permitting delays stand in the way of Reno-Sparks Indian Colony: good-paying jobs and revenue for Mark Amodei
Amodei Strategic Mineral Bill Included as Part of Energy Package
28 July-August 2016
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local, often rural, communities. “My bill would streamline the permitting process to leverage our nation’s vast mineral resources, while paying respect to economic, national security and environmental concerns. By simply asking federal land managers to collaborate with all stakeholders in an effort to expedite the process in two-and-a-half years, as opposed to indefinite timelines, my legislation would not change any environmental regulations, protections or opportunity for public input. My legislation has already received nearly 800 bipartisan votes, passing the House the past two Congresses in addition to the 114th. I look forward to the Senate joining the House to solve this important issue by taking action on this energy package as soon as possible.” Background: S. 2012, the Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2016 passed the Senate on April 20, 2016 with a recorded vote of 85 – 12. The House Amendment to S. 2012 combines the text of 37 House-passed Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources bills aimed at advancing energy infrastructure development, modernization, and protection, enhancing domestic energy, promoting enhanced land management practices, and promoting energy efficiency and government accountability.
Included as one of the 37 House-passed bills is Congressman Amodei’s National Strategic and Critical Minerals Production Act of 2015 (H.R. 1937) which passed the House on October 22, 2015. This legislation would facilitate the timely permitting process for mineral exploration and mine development projects by clearly defining the responsibilities of a lead agency. Although the United States is among the world’s leading producers of important metals and minerals, U.S. mineral exploration declined during most of the 1990s and 2000s because of burdensome regulatory and administrative changes to the permitting process. Oftentimes, permitting delays force states to wait between seven and ten years before mine development can even begin. Congressman Amodei’s bill would limit the total review process for issuing permits to 30 months unless signatories to the permitting timeline agree to an extension. By streamlining the permit process, his bill ensures American mineral mining projects are not indefinitely delayed by frivolous lawsuits. Additionally, his bill sets a 90 day time limit to file a legal challenge to an energy project, requires the venue for actions challenging the mining project to be in the judicial district where the project is located, and limits any preliminary injunctions to halt mining projects to 60 days unless the court finds clear reason to extend the injunction.
Amodei Statement on U.S. v. Texas
By Logan Ramsey
ASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Mark Amodei (NV-02) today released the following statement in response to the Supreme Court of the United States upholding the lower court’s decision that the President’s use of executive action to grant amnesty to illegal immigrants is unlawful: “President Obama has consistently shown his blatant disregard for the Constitution by continually circumventing Congress in an attempt to force his measures into law. The Constitution explicitly states that Congress – not the President – has the right to ‘make all Laws.’ Today’s ruling upholds the separation of powers by ruling the President’s overreaching action on immigration unlawful. “Government overreach, particularly by the Executive Branch, threatens our liberties and democratic way of life. President Obama’s abuse of executive power is surely not what the Founders intended when they laid out the three branches of government in the Constitution. I stand by the Supreme Court’s decision today and will continue to push for Congress to address immigration reform in an honest and forthright fashion.”
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 29
N Farm Bureau Nevada evada Farm Bureau
Familiar Face At The Nevada Farm Bureau Office
fter a two-and-a-half year absence, while he served as Director of Public Policy for Minnesota Farm Bureau, Doug Busselman has returned to join the Nevada Farm Bureau as Executive Vice President. He began his second stint with Nevada Farm Bureau on June 1, 2016 after being hired by the Nevada Farm Bureau Board in April. “We needed to finish the 2016 Minnesota Legislative session before I could come back,” Busselman explained as being the delay in returning. “That finished on May 22 and I arrived back in Nevada on May 30.” Things have continued to be hectic on arriving back and getting started, according to Busselman. “Catching up with the on-going activities that have been going on for the past couple of years is keeping me hopping, but touching bases with long-time friends and agricultural colleagues has been great.” In his responsibilities with Minnesota Farm Bureau, Busselman was responsible for coordinating the organization’s public policy program as well as lobbying on state issues. “Although agriculture is quite different in the Midwest, many of the same types of issues are impacting farmers there,” Busselman said. “In spite of the great abundance of waDoug Busselman ter in the state which brags about having over 10,000 lakes, we actually spent a lot of time dealing with challenges in obtaining agricultural irrigation permits.” The authority to use water outside of the West is very different than the well-defined system that has served Nevada for so long, Busselman remarked. After working for 25 years before going back to Minnesota, with Nevada water law and procedures, it was difficult to assist farmers needing to obtain necessary permits for using 30 July-August 2016
water in their farming operations. “There were times when it seemed that the state agency in charge of water use rules were making things up as they went and the uncertainty of how applicants would be treated was very challenging.” One of his first meetings back in Nevada also dealt with water, Busselman observed, noting his attendance at the Nevada Legislative Commission’s Subcommittee To Study Water in Dyer, NV on June 7. “It looks like we might be dealing with water in the next Nevada Legislature too,” he said. The water study subcommittee has the authority to draft up to five proposals and that drafting process could begin when the subcommittee, chaired by Senator Pete Goicoechea, meets in Carson City on August 26. The June meeting of the water study committee received several reports from rural areas of the state where over-appropriation and water pumping above perennial yield is having effects on dropping water tables. New water management concepts like those being used in Australia and involving conversion away from prior appropriation water rights to “unbundled” shares were presented to lawmakers as possible tools for responding to Nevada’s water situation. “We all have a lot to study, discuss and consider,” Busselman said. “My job is to help our Farm Bureau members get the information they need to make their decision on Farm Bureau’s policy position. When they finish that work at our annual meeting in Elko this coming November and adopt the policy they want us to accomplish, it becomes the basis for what we’ll be working to achieve in the 2017 Legislature.” Nevada Farm Bureau’s current policy on water is quite extensive and has followed a strong line of following existing state water law. It has also, more recently, been amended to include support for local agricultural water users cooperatively working with the Division of Water Resources to improve aquifer stabilization and recovery through long-term strategic well water management. Over his 34-plus year career with several state Farm Bureaus (Minnesota, North Dakota and Nevada) as well as service with the American Farm Bureau Federation, Busselman has grown to recognize how involved Farm Bureau members can impact issues they face by proposed government actions, policy or laws. “It isn’t always easy or simple to accomplish, but when they become engaged, people can accomplish a lot in shaping the forces that they have to contend with. Being part of that and working with very committed people is extremely rewarding and a big reason I’m so excited to be back in Nevada working on for this next chapter of my Farm Bureau life.” Busselman and his wife Marie live near Reno with their son Brandon. The Progressive Rancher
Real Estate Howell Ranch Nestled on the hillsides of the East Humboldts in Elko County. Water-righted meadows produce 1200 average ton of hay a year. 4 homes with mature landscape. Multiple barns, shops, storages, chutes & corrals. $4,400,000
Lamoille View Ranch 49.23 AC with Water Rights in picturesque Lamoille, Nevada. 5 bed, 3½ bath, home with 2 bed, 1 bath mother-in-law quarters. Gourmet kitchen, sunroom, wraparound deck. Nice Barn with two stalls, tack room, and hay storage, a new Dressage arena, and rolling native grass pastures. On a good water year the hay yield has been 40 ton and 15-20 ton in dry years. $872,000
Clear creek Ranch Great ranch in Northern Nevada minutes from Winnemucca. Approx. 10,000 deeded acres 2931 A.U.M.’s Out side permit for 11 months. 6 pivots, part watered from creek water, includes equipment . $5,900,000
Recanzone Ranch (Paradise Valley, NV)
Great subdivision potential 9 parcels and can be divided into more. Neat 900+ acres, 300 AUMs, ranch right by town. Original Sandstone House. Easy access to Hinkey Summit & surrounding mountains. Includes Barn, Outbuildings and Corrals. $1,320,000
Starr Valley Pasture Unique fenced 1,104 acres on Boulder Creek bordering U.S. Forest Service in Starr Valley, Nevada. Water-righted with nice meadows.$1,350,000
602 Forest Tow Way (North of Elko, NV)
45+ Acres. 3 bed, 2 bath, large garage with shop, fenced yard with mature trees, shrubs. $265,000
9320 Mountain City Hwy (North of Elko, NV)
157+ Acres with water rights 3 bed, 2 bath, 4 car garage, large barn, stalls, tack room, corrals, round pen, fenced/cross fenced.$399,000
Allie Bear, Broker/Realtor 775-777-6416
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EPA’S ASTOUNDING TAKE-OVER OF STATE WATER LAW – COMMENT PERIOD DEADLINE JUNE 17, 2016
By KAREN BUDD-FALEN BUDD-FALEN LAW OFFICES, LLC
n a stunning display of federal over-reach, on March 1, 2016, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Service (collectively “EPA”) issued a “Scientific Investigations Report” arguing that the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) can also be used to regulate the quantity (amount) of water in the Nation’s rivers and streams. According to the federal government’s logic, because stream flows can potentially effect aquatic life and because the Clean Water Act requires the protection of the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our Nation’s waters, “National Pollution Discharge Elimination System” (“NPDES”) permits or CWA Section 401 certifications should be required when an individual, community or municipality alters the quantity or amount of water available in rivers and streams. In an area that has ALWAYS been left to the purview of the individual states based upon state Constitutional mandates and since a water right is a private property right, I believe that this amounts to an outright attack on state sovereignty and private property rights. The comment period on the Draft EPA-USGS Technical Report: Protecting Aquatic Life From Effects of Hydrologic Alteration, Docket ID No. EPA-HQOW-2015-0335 ends June 17, 2016. I. EPA’S DRAFT REPORT ARGUMENTS
According to the EPA, more needs to be done to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation’s waters.” Human alteration of the natural flow regime can change a stream’s physical and chemical properties, “leading to a loss of aquatic life and reduced biodiversity.” The EPA goes on to state that the human activities that can alter a stream’s characteristics include impoundments, channelization, diversions, agricultural practices, groundwater pumping, urban development, thermoelectric power generation and others. Climate change, the agency claims, exacerbates these harms. Because the CWA requires the EPA to protect the “nation’s waters,” the Report urges: • First, states (or the federal government) should do more to quantify water quality standards for water flow to “protect aquatic life designated uses.” “Doing more” should include using numeric standards to quantify stream flow impacts on aquatic life. • Second, once states adopt such water quantity standards, water quantity monitoring programs should be developed to determine if flow is contributing to water quality impairments such as altering the channel geomorphology, reducing riparian and floodplain connectivity, causing salinity, sedimentation, erosion and temperature increases, and encouraging the invasion of non-native aquatic species. • Because there are now numeric standards, the third step is to alter NPDES permitting programs to incorporate the new water quantity (amount) standards. Currently, the only time the EPA has included numeric standards for water quantity (or water flow) is for post- construction municipal storm water systems that can require the treatment of storm water run-off or require retention of a specified volume of water runoff. The EPA Draft Report would argue that this type of numeric standard setting and management should apply to all permitted activities impacting water quantity. • In the alternative, even if a state does not have any type of numeric water quantity standards in place, the EPA argues that the state can still require a CWA Section 401 certification related to water quantity. Under the CWA, an applicant for a federal license or permit to conduct any activity that may result in a discharge to “waters of the United States” must provide the federal permitting agency with a CWA Section 401 certification. The certification declares that the discharge will not exceed water quality standards. Since the EPA Report argues that water quantity (amount) standards should 32 July-August 2016
May 9, 2016
be included in a state’s water quality standards, the CWA Section 401 certification would be required for diversions or uses that may require a federal permit since the diversion or use would impact the quantity of water in a stream. To bring this home, consider these examples: If an irrigator wants to divert water on his private land, but is applying for federal funding through EQIP or any of the other numerous Farm Bill programs, he would be required to get a CWA Section 401 certification because he may impact the quantity of water in a stream. If a municipality wants to drill wells for drinking water and is using federal funds to supply clean, safe drinking water to their citizens, it would be required to get a CWA Section 401 certification because the EPA believes that groundwater pumping can impact stream characteristics. If a rancher is working to develop additional water sources on his Forest Service or BLM grazing allotment, he would also be required to get a CWA Section 401 certification, separately from the BLM or Forest Service National Environmental Policy Act or other permitting requirements. II. REASONS TO BE VERY CONCERNED WITH THIS REPORT The EPA’s draft report is disheartening on so many levels. First, the EPA’s Draft Report is the first step in significantly expanding federal power over the individual states. The management of water quality, water rights and water use has always remained completely within the purview of the state, without any interference from the federal government. Wyoming’s Constitution, like the constitutions in most western states, provides that the water of all natural streams, springs, lakes or other collections are the property of the state. Even in eastern states, where water rights are based upon riparian uses, water rights and uses are governed by state law. The EPA’s Draft Report is the first step in advocating federal oversight of an individual state’s ownership of water quantity. Second, the courts have time and again recognized that a water right, properly granted by the state, is a private property right. Even the right to use water in a riparian system is a private property right. And while the EPA will argue that these new requirements are not prohibiting the use of water, giving the state or federal government the ability to grant a permit under the Clean Water Act is giving them the ability to condition the permit to meet some state or federal numeric standards simply based on water quantity. Additionally giving the state or federal agency the ability to require a permit is giving them the chance to deny a permit. Third, although the EPA’s Draft Report claims that it is merely providing a “flexible, nonprescriptive framework” and it is not impinging on state management of water rights, there is an entire appendix called “Legal Background and Relevant Case Law” arguing that the Clean Water Act applies to water quantity, not just water quality. I believe that this section is solely meant to counter any argument from water right property owners that the CWA cannot be used to regulate water rights. Finally, although the CWA has been applied to “pollutants” being added to water whether from a point source or a non-point source, the Draft Report advocates CWA control over the use of the water itself. Under this theory, a state of federal permit would be required even if a water right is simply exercised. Again, the comment period on the Draft EPA-USGS Technical Report: Protecting Aquatic Life From Effects of Hydrologic Alteration, Docket ID No. EPA-HQOW-2015-0335 ends June 17, 2016. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
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2016 ELKO COUNTY FAIR August 26 September 5 - Elko, Nevada through
Working Cow Horse USTRC Team Roping Team Ranch Doctoring Bulls, Broncs & Steer Stopping Rodeo Horse Racing Barrel Racing
Indian Relay Races Carnival, Home Arts & Parade Team Branding: 3 Divisions Womens & Co-Ed $500 added to each Open Division $1,000 added
In Conjuction with
NEVADA STALLION STAKES & Elko County NRCHA
August 26th through 28th - Elko, Nevada
Elko County NRCHA Show
NRC, CHA and IMRCHA Approved
Judge: Zeph Schultz, NRCHA
Stallion Nomination Deadline Aug 24th
Nomination fee: $200.00
Late Nominations accepted thru Aug 28th with late penalties.
Nevada Stallion Stakes
Futurity - Derby - Hackamore - Two Reined / Green Bridle and Bridle Divisions
Nevada Stallion Stakes Entry deadline is August 19th with late entries accepted till Aug 24th
ECNRCHA Show Entry Deadline Aug 28th, Noon Late entries accepted up to show start time with penalties.
www.elkocountyfair.com Entries forms available at www.elkocountyfair.com E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail entries (before Aug 19th) and payments to: Elko County Fair Board, PO Box 2067, Elko, NV For More Information contact: JJ Roemmich 775-397-2769 or email@example.com
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July-August 2016 33
ANIMAL WELFARE A DETAIL THAT MAKES THE DIFFERENCE
ver the last years, animal rights activists have been using undercover videos to expose animal abuse in farms and harvest facilities. Undercover videos commonly show undertrained employees performing improper handling practices. Effects of these videos can be devastating. Once a small clip catching an employee doing something wrong is shot, it can put the business at risk. Most farmers, ranchers, and companies give their animals the best care to ensure safety and health. Major processing companies have internal animal welfare programs that follow government and institutional guidelines. However, when an undercover video showing intentional abuse is released, the audience automatically assimilates that information as a common willful act practiced by many. The fact is that these videos do not represent the whole reality. It is the best interest of producers to show consumers how animals are handled to gain their trustability and improve revenues. When a new video is released, it gains attention rapidly and also saddens the agriculture community.
Figure2: DFD (Left) verses Normal Beef
Source: University of Nevada, Reno - Meat science and food safety
to additional trimming of final products. In order to avoid improper transportation practices that may lead to stress and contusions, livestock haulers must follow the American Meat Institute Animal Handling Guidelines (http://animalhandling.org/ ht/a/GetDocumentAction/i/93003). In the U.S., the professional animal auditor certification organization (PAACO) offers on its website a list of official animal welfare auditors (http://animalauditor. org/auditors.php). These auditors are specifically trained to identify factors that compromise animal welfare. Major processing companies and retailers rely on PAACO auditors and AMI guidelines to evaluate animal handling in farms, transportation, and processing facilities.
Figure1: Undercover videos showing animal abuse
Since 1998, more than 126 undercover videos were released by animal rights activists. The majority is related to poultry and swine. Proper employee training is usually the most effective way to ensure animal welfare and eliminate undercover videos. Employees practicing and promoting best animal handling practices reduce the risk of defective products and decrease the chances of having undercover activists shooting controversial videos. Regarding pork and beef, common animal welfare practices can prevent defects such as PSE and DFD. Although there are also important genetic factors related to, pale, soft and exsudative (PSE) meat is usually triggered by acute stress situations, usually before and during slaughtering. PSE is a result of a rapid decline of meat pH and happens only on pork. Dark, firm, and dry (DFD) meat is caused by long-term stress and affects pork and beef. Long transportation periods and continuous stress result in abnormal high pH. Both PSE and DFD lead to low meat quality and compromise visual appearance of final fresh products.. Transportation is also an important factor that must be addressed in order to minimize stress and eliminate economic losses. Common animal injuries such as bruises and bone fractures can happen during transportation generating losses due
Figure 3: Effects of bruising on beef carcass Source: http://www.progressivedairy.com/topics/herd-health/whats-hiding-behindthe-hide
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Yenling Yeh Graduate Research Assistant Meat Science and Food Safety University of Nevada , Reno firstname.lastname@example.org www.progressiverancher.com
Wells FFA Holds Annual Banquet By Ben Ballard Wells FFA Reporter
n Tuesday, May 10th at 6:00 p.m., the gavel tapped opening the Annual Banquet of the Wells FFA Chapter. Throughout the evening, many awards were received and guests were recognized. To those in attendance, a tri-tip dinner prepared by the chapter was served. Those who helped the chapter prepare for state were given certificates of appreciation. Then the senior members of the chapter each recognized their parents and advisors for all they’ve done throughout the years. Following was an exciting labor auction for which each member of the chapter gave 8 hours of labor to the highest bidder. Jay Dalton was the guest auctioneer. A state report was given by Greenhand officers Laila Jackson and Jade Kelly. This year at State Convention the Wells FFA Chapter took home 12 golds, nearly breaking the chapter record of 13. First place teams were: Farm Business Management- Mikayla Rodriguez, DeMar Gale, Patrick Wines, and Steven Wright Junior Farm Business Management- Ben Ballard, Liberty Johnson, Ruth Gale, and Victoria Young Best Informed Greenhand- Jade Kelly, Laila Jackson, Ian Spratling, Dalling Myers, and Zane Rodriguez Novice Parliamentary Procedure- Ben Ballard, Ruth Gale, Camberlin Uhlig, Victoria Young, Laila Jackson, and Jade Kelly Floriculture- Chelsea James, Deseret Johnson, Mikayla Rodriguez, and Mallorie Limardo Extemporaneous Speaking- DeMar Gale Novice Floriculture- Krista James, Ruth Gale, Aspen Foster, and Jessika Campbell Meat Science and Technology- Liberty Johnson, Camberlin Uhlig, Shaylee Lattin, Marshall Botts, and Ian Spratling Environmental Natural Resources- Zalie Peters, Deseret Johnson, Chelsea James, and Liberty Johnson Range Science- Zalie Peters, Ian Spratling, Patrick Wines, and Liberty Johnson Marketing Plan- Deseret Johnson, DeMar Gale, and Chelsea James Veterinary Science- Hailey Swan, Crystal Lake, Laila Jackson, and Kenedy Craft. Following a state report, Tammy Myers, Marianne Johnson, and Candace Wines were given certificates of appreciation for chaperoning the chapter at State Convention. Thad and Heidi Ballard; Doralie and Zane Peters were given Honorary Membership in a ceremony led by chapter officers. The main event of the evening however, was the installation of new chapter officers for the 2016-2017 school year. Retiring officers lead the ceremony. 2015-2016 President, DeMar Gale; Vice President, Chelsea James; Secretary, Liberty Johnson; Treasurer, Ben Ballard; and Sentinel, Zalie Peters installed new chapter officers. As officers for the 2016-2017 school year: President, Liberty Johnson; Vice President, Zalie Peters; Secretary, Ruth Gale; Treasurer, Camberlin Uhlig; and Reporter, Ben Ballard were installed. The chapter would like to thank all of those who attended and supported the labor auction, or helped prepare the chapter for state convention. Wells FFA is looking forward to a great New Chapter Officers: From left to right: Liberty Johnson, year! Zalie Peters, Ruth Gale, Camberlin Uhlig, and Ben Ballard
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 35
Read the full WILDLAND FIRE BRIEFING online at www.progressiverancher.com
36 July-August 2016
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RANGE PLANTS FOR THE RANCHER By Paul T. Tueller, Ph.D., CRMC
hese articles have been describing many of the most common range plants fund in Nevada. Now it is time to describe a few plant species that are showy but not so abundant. For this reason the description and discussion here is of another interesting forb namely Princes Plume (Stanleya pinnata) (Pursh)Britton. This plant is commonly called Desert Princes Plume. Stanleya is a genus of six species of plants in the mustard family known commonly as prince’s plumes. These are herbs or erect shrubs which bear dense, plumelike inflorescences of white to bright yellow flowers with long stamens. Stanleya pinnata is native to the western United States and occur in many areas around Nevada. These plants are toxic because they concentrate selenium from the soil in their tissues. Prince’s-plume is a graceful, desert perennial. Its leaves are mostly basal on low, branched, sub-woody crowns. The towering flowering stalks may be a tall as 5-6 ft. tall (1.5metres) and bear racemes of bright-yellow flowers. The flowers are reminiscent of cleomes or spider flowers. Stem leaves are lance-shaped and pinnately divided. Slender wands of yellow flowers top tall, stout, smooth, bluish-green, leafy stems. This is a conspicuous and beautiful wildflower in the arid West, its flowers generally standing above any nearby shrubs. The genus was named in honor of Lord Edward Stanley, a former President of the Linnean Society. The species pinnata describes the feathery appearance of the lower leaves. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The stems are hairless, often waxy in texture, and have woody bases. The leaves have fleshy blades up to 15 centimeters long by 5 wide which are divided into several long, narrow lobes. The blades are borne on petioles. The top of the stem is occupied by a long inflorescence which is a dense raceme of many flowers. Each flower has narrow yellowish sepals which open to reveal four
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bright yellow petals each up to 2 centimeters long. The stamens protruding from the flower’s center may approach 3 centimeters in length. The fruit is a curving, wormlike silique ( a dry dehiscent fruit of the mustard family) up to 8 centimeters long. The stems are erect, glabrous, green, glaucous woody below and herbaceous above. Found on dry hills,plains, valleys, and desert washes; the plant is a reliable indicator of seleniferous soils. Plants are adapted to a wide variety of soil textures and are most abundant of heavily grazed rangelands. The soils are often light (sandy) to medium (loamy). They prefer well-drained soils with suitable pH neutral or basic (alkaline soils). They do not grow in the shade. This plant is generally not useful for livestock. This plant is poisonous throughout the growing season, accumulates selenium and is indicative of selenium in the soil. Plants are rarely consumed when other forage is available in early spring. Poisoning on rangelands is rare, but force feeding of this species has caused poisoning. However, it is a handsome plant and is of interest to ranchers and tourists alike.
his month write-up describes another weedy plant with an interesting history on Nevada rangelands. It is Halogeton (Halogeton glomeratus) (Bieb.) C.A. Mey. This plant, is an introduced species, and is native to the middle east. The first collection was by Ben Stahmann in Wells, Nevada, in 1934. It was not until the fall of 1942, when a herder lost 160 sheep, that the species was recognized as toxic to livestock as reported by J. A. Young et al. in 1999. This plant is commonly found on dry disturbed sites across the northern half of the state. Halogeton is an introduced warm season summer annual. It is a small forb, growing 3 to 12 inches in height. The stems are red when young, turning yellow to white with maturity. Stems are branched from the base, spreading first, and then growing vertical. Flowers mature from July to September, and reproduction is from seeds that are small and inconspicuous, in leaf axils. It reproduces from two types of seed: A black seed, with yellowish or reddish fan-like wings and similar to a snail coil, and a brown wingless seed. The black seed germinates quickly, and the brown seed has delayed germination. Seeds are often very numerous, forming a mass from the ground to the tip of the leaves. Brown seeds can remain viable in the soil for 10 years or more. The leaves are alternate, simple, fleshy and tubular and bluish-green in color. Each leaf has a small conspicuous hair at the end of the leaves. Leaves resemble a small sausage with a sharp point. I first studied this plant when I was working on my M.S. degree in 1957. At that time the Bureau of Land Management was very interested in this weed because it was a non-native poisonous species. The plant rather rapidly spread across the northern Great Basin and money was made available for research. After only a few years it was determined that this species is not very competitive. In fact almost any native perennial will out-compete this plant. In one study we determined that winterfat (whitesage), previously discussed in this series, rather easily prevents the flowering and fruiting of halogeton. When white sage plants were grazed to 100 percent of their current annual growth halogeton flourished but if grazing removal was 80 percent or less the halogeton simply died out. The best defense against halogeton is a vigorous stand of perennial plants. Introduced perennials, such as forage kochia and crested wheatgrass have been successful at decreasing halogeton cover. Halogeton is common in dry deserts, barren areas, overgrazed areas, roadsides, and other disturbed areas where native vegetation has been removed. Dense stands are found on burned-over areas, dry lakebeds, roadsides, and abandoned dry farms. The plant is especially abundant in alkaline or saline soils. Sagebrush,
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Wisdom or the World? rabbitbrush, cheatgrass, shadscale, and greasewood are commonly associated species. Before flowering halogeton resembles immature Russian thistle [Salsola tragus L.] or kochia [Kochia scoparia (L.) Schrader]. Unlike halogeton, immature Russian thistle has linear leaves ~ 0.5-1 mm wide and lacks hairs in the axils. Kochia does not have a stiff bristle at the tip of the pubescent leaves. Forage value is poor to fair for both cattle and sheep. It provides useable forage only when mixed in small quantities with other forage plants. Sheep are the most susceptible to poisoning from halogeton. Plants contain toxic amounts of sodium, potassium, and calcium oxalates. Signs of poisoning include: depression, weakness, reluctance to move, drooling, coma, and death. The first signs of poisoning occur 2 to 6 hours after an animal ingests a fatal amount, and death occurs in 9 to 11 hours. However, it was learned that halogeton plants are not very poisonous when they were full of moisture since an animal could not ingest enough of the plant to cause poisoning. One can, even late in the fall of the year, squeeze moisture out of the foliage. However, if the plants are dry then enough of the poison could be ingested to cause livestock fatalities. This did not happen very often since, when dry, the plant is not very palatable. However, in another study, Al Bruner found that if a hoar frost added moisture to the dry plants then poisoning could be rapid and fatal. Plant tissues accumulate salts from lower soil horizons. The salts leach from dead plant material, increasing topsoil salinity and favoring halogeton seed germination and establishment. As little as 12 ounces of foliage can be fatal to poorly nourished animals. One-half pound of this plant will kill a full-grown sheep. Three pounds of it will kill a full-grown steer. Total oxalate concentration varies from 3-30% of plant dry weight. The leaves have the highest concentrations and oxalate concentrations increase with maturity of the plant. Availability of other forages is also important as sheep can tolerate large amounts of halogeton if they eat it slowly with other forage at the same time. The first signs of halogeton poisoning occur 2 to 6 hours after an animal eats a fatal amount; death usually occurs in 9 to 11 hours. So watch out for a hoar frost in the winter when grazing or trailing animals through areas with stands of dry halogeton
by Pastor Diana Gonzalez Let’s open our Bibles and read I Corinthians chapter 1, verses 18-31. Let’s look at verse 18 again, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the Power of God.” (KJV) And verses 23 and 24, “23But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumbling block, and unto the Greeks foolishness; 24but unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God.” (KJV) So what is the definition of wisdom? Having prudent discernment, good judgment, learning, enlightenment and knowledge. But take note of this: wisdom is a skill. God is the starting point in any quest for wisdom. James 1:5 says if you ask God for wisdom He’ll give it generously, without reproach. Godly wisdom is the skill that gives us the ability to use our judgment correctly; wisdom is the skill that causes our minds to take action based on our knowledge and understanding of the Bible and Biblical principals, Christian enlightenment. James 3:13, who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behavior his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom. (NAS) We need our owner’s manual (the Bible) and the enlightenment that we get from it. If you’re not in the light, then you’re in the dark. It’s hard to see in the dark, hard to know which way to go, which way to turn. Psalm 119:105 says Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. (KJV) Godly wisdom will light your path so you will know where to go, what to do, what to say and how to say it. It’s a skill you learn as you fill yourself with the Word of God. Let’s read Proverbs 1:2-7. Let’s look at verse 7 in the Amplified Bible, “The reverent and worshipful fear of the Lord is the beginning and the principal and choice part of knowledge; but fools despise skillful and Godly wisdom, instruction, and discipline.” In this world there are two kinds of wisdom: Godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. The born again, redeemed, spiritual man has Godly spiritual maturity and has found the wisdom and skill to operate in this world free from strife, and has a mature nature that responds to the Truth, the Word of God, with faith and love. The unredeemed, worldly man (or woman) finds this hard to understand. Why? Because he (or she) is used to leaning on his (or her) own understanding. Let’s read Proverbs 3:5-8. Again, verse 5 says, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Let’s ready Proverbs 16:16-29. Your Godly wisdom, your Godly skill will not leave you unchanged. The Bible says we are changed from glory to glory. As God’s Word and wisdom is taught to you, God’s truth and promises will begin to influence you. Any of you who knew me in years past know that’s true. The wisdom of the Truth will influence your heart (your spirit); your heart will influence your speech; your speech will influence your conduct; your good conduct will influence your disposition; your good disposition will bring about desirable human relationships and release divine grace in your daily living, leading to happiness and health. If you humbly acknowledge the power and the might of God, with both your speech and with good manners, you can be that believer who overcomes the world and lives in victory. Here are the keys: 1. Pray. Have a relationship with God. 2. Read your Bible. Get in the Word. 3. Go to church and Bible studies. James 1:5 says He’ll give you wisdom if you ask. Happy trails. May God richly bless you. We love you and would love to hear from you. If you would like someone to pray with, or just have a question, please give us a call at (775) 8673100. ‘Til next time….
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 39
Producers asked, NDA listened: New scale inspection schedule launches for 2016 season By Bart O’Toole, Nevada Department of Agriculture Consumer Equitability Division administrator
n an effort to better serve Nevada’s livestock producers, the Nevada Department of Agriculture’s (NDA) Consumer Equitability Division (CE) announced a new livestock scale check season. Beginning in May 2016, the NDA’s Weights and Measures program, part of CE, is working with livestock producers to inspect the 291 livestock scales in the state on a schedule that works for the industry, approximately from May through September. Per federal law, seasonal livestock scales (defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as a scale that is only used seasonally, during any eight month period of the year) must be tested once per year by the NDA’s Weights and Measures program, and that test must occur within eight months of its use. The NDA’s new May through September season has been developed to accommodate this standard. Call one of the NDA’s three offices to schedule inspections Sparks – 775-353-3784 or 775-224-9810 Elko – 775-738-8076 or 775-686-0527 Las Vegas – 702-688-4546 or 702-249-3622
The Weights and Measures team of inspectors will accommodate producer schedules as much as possible to provide a streamlined process for the industry. Checklist: Mandatory prep before your inspection • Scale deck must be free of debris so inspectors can see its condition. • Scale ramps must be level, constructed with solid fill material, smooth and free of excess materials (like metal framework or rubber mats). Scale ramps must be installed prior to an inspector’s arrival. • Beam box must be clean and free of wasp, bee, spider or rodent nests of any kind. • Corrals must be free of livestock where inspectors may need to access the
Once checked, livestock scales with no violations (or “tags”) will receive a seal, indicating the date of inspection.
scale. Alleyways must be clear for access of an inspector’s equipment. This includes, but is not limited to, panels, pallets, fencing material, water or feed tubs, equipment, tools, animals and any weeds or vegetation that may obstruct the inspector’s view of the ground. Gates must be open or easily opened. Please notify the inspector of any gate combinations or key locations in advance. Digital scales must be fully charged or provided with a power supply.
Other recommended inspection prep • Scale edges should be free of rocks, dirt, sticks, animal waste or any other materials to ensure the scale deck moves without binding. • Space underneath the scale deck should also be clean to ensure nothing can clog the scale mechanism. Beams and rails under the scale deck should be free of dirt, animal waste or rodent nests. • Scale frame should not have anything tied to or hanging off of or leaning against it. •
It’s best if the ranch or scale owner representative is readily available at the time of inspection to avoid the potential cost of a revisit.
NDA inspectors load a weight standard onto a livestock scale for its annual check in Elko, Nev. 40 July-August 2016
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Once checked, livestock scales with no violations (or “tags) will receive a seal like this, indicating the date of inspection. www.progressiverancher.com
Your scale may be tagged if the above items are not addressed before the inspector arrives. More detail and recommended inspection preparation can be found online at agri.nv.gov/wm.
NDA inspectors load a weight standard onto a livestock scale for its annual check in northern Nevada.
New requirements for compliance with federal regulations By Rebecca Allured
evada Department of Agriculture (NDA) announced today that commercial animal feed licensing and reporting is available online. The online system helps producers, manufacturers and distributors of commercial feed obtain a mandatory license through the Nevada Department of Agriculture (NDA). In 2015, the Nevada Legislature passed laws requiring commercial feed licensing and quarterly sales reporting, in order to prepare Nevada agriculture producers and manufacturers for the implementation of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), signed by President Obama in 2011. The FSMA rules require enhanced inspections and reporting to ensure traceability and protect the nation’s food supplies. To register for a license and submit reports online and other online services, visit agri.nv.gov. More information about the FSMA is available on the FDA’s website. The Nevada Department of Agriculture promotes a business climate that is fair, economically viable and encourages environmental stewardship that serves to protect food, fiber and human health and safety through effective service and education. The NDA includes the five divisions of Administration, Animal Industry, Consumer Equitability, Food and Nutrition and Plant Industry.
The Progressive Rancher
July-August 2016 41
HUMBOLDT WATERSHED COOPERATIVE Weed Management Area Providing land managers, owners and local weed control groups assistance through funding, agency and weed group coordination, communication and cooperation
Irrigation of Grass Hay Meadows after Prolonged Drought also may Exasperate your Noxious Weed Problems By Brad Schultz
or the first time in 3 or 4 years many ranches across Nevada are sumes large quantities of seed may be transported downreceiving enough stream water to flood irrigate most, if not all, of stream, eventually coming to rest on bare ground that will their native grass hay meadows. The benefits of ample irrigation remain moist well after the irrigation waters subside. Regardless water are obvious; however, there are potential hazards with respect of how or why hay meadows that previously had no, or only a few to the establishment and expansion of noxious weeds. Before the weeds, receive new inputs of viable seed, they are at risk for a population spring of 2016, many native grass hay meadows went several to many years explosion this spring and summer. without irrigation. Any growth from the resident perennial grasses was often The University of Nevada Cooperative Extension has published a number of used for pasture from mid-summer into the fall and winter. Tight forage suppapers (see list at the end of this article) that clearly demonstrate why landowners plies and high hay prices resulted in many grass hay meadows being heavily should control the first noxious weeds they observe. Live seeds that germinate and grazed, with some used down to the soil surface, or nearly so, often for several grow into a mature plant originate from a pool of seeds called the seedbank. There or more years. Whether from drought, heavy grazing and intense trampling, are two general types of seedbanks: transient and persistent. A transient seedbank is or a combination of these or other factors, many grass hay meadows had much short-lived, with all of the seeds either germinating or dying within one germination more bare ground by early 2016 than was present several years ago. The cause (growing) season following the seed’s maturation (ripening). A persistent seedbank is much less important than the potential outcome, with respect to the potenlasts for at least two growing seasons, and often a decade or longer. tial widespread establishment of noxious weeds. Seedbanks function much like your bank account. There are annual inputs Most weed populations can increase rapidly when conditions for seed germina- (deposits) when seed ripens and is dispersed, and withdrawals when seeds germinate, tion and seedling survival are optimum, or nearly so. Following irrigation, an ex- die or are buried too deep to germinate. When the annual inputs exceed the annual tended period of damp to wet soil may provide an environment that facilitates seed losses, the seedbank increases; thus, there is a corresponding increase in the potential germination and increases seedling establishment. Once weeds become established, for new weeds to establish. Successful weed management programs must focus on especially deep rooted perennial species that can sprout new plants from buds on reducing the seedbank by reducing inputs and/or increasing the loss of viable seed their roots (e.g., perennial pepperweed, Russian knapweed, leafy spurge, Canadian (i.e., withdrawals) so the overall size of the seedbank declines. thistle, and hoary cress/short whitetop), their long-term control becomes very difOne reason to control the first weeds is to prevent them from establishing ficult and quite costly. A key point to remember is that all weed problems start with a long-lived seedbank. Table 1 lists 22 noxious weeds that occur in Nevada and only a few plants (Figure 1); thus, the first weeds to emerge are the cheapest and provides information about seed production per plant and how long some of those easiest to kill. seeds can survive in the soil. Most weeds produce at least several thousands of seeds The recent increase in bare ground in many grass hay meadows may interact per plant, with many species producing tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands with ample soil moisture to facilitate the establishof seeds per plant. For each annual batch of seed proment of weeds in areas that were not previously occuduced, some will survive at least one year. For many pied by weeds, or on sites where only a few undesired species, a small percentage of seed will survive at least plants were present. Several additional factors also 10 years, and for a few species some will survive for 20 play important roles in weed population dynamics. years or more. For a plant that produces 10,000 seeds Long-lived seed from a variety of sources and has only one-half of one percent of those alive (e.g., last flood or irrigation, windblown disperafter 10 years, 50 live seeds from the original cohort sal, animal movement, etc.) may already be present will reside in the seedbank. Those seeds may remain on your grass hay meadows sited but did germinate where the mother plant dropped them, or they could the last time you had good soil moisture for most of disperse long distances (due to any number of disperthe spring and early summer. Prior to the drought, sal mechanisms), often coming to rest where weeds Figure 1. In Montana, spotted knapweed it is quite likely that the large root systems from the do not currently exist, or are were very few. When the spread from a few plants in one county to native grasses extracted most of the soil nutrients and optimum dispersal, germination, and survival condiinhabit every county in less than 75 years. their abundant leaves intercepted most of the sunlight tions intersect with one- another an entirely new weed before it reached the soil surface. Essentially, robust pasture grasses intercepted criti- population can establish, often years after seed-drop and quite possibly at locations cal resources required for seed germination and seedling survival before the weed far from the mother plant. Once a noxious weed goes to seed once, it can create a species could obtain them. weed problem that lasts for many years. Four years of drought, often combined with heavy use on many grass hay Two publications written by the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension meadows, has resulted in ample quantities of sunlight reaching the soil surface. An clearly show that excellent control of perennial pepperweed (tall whitetop) can increase in both the quantity and quality of sunlight early in the growing season can occur when an herbicide is applied to seedlings that have not yet developed the improve germination potential when soil moisture is adequate. Less than optimal buds on the root system that transition them into perennial plants. In Figure 2, plant vigor, hence root mass, of the meadow grasses may permit better than average the reddish brown plants are new perennial pepperweed seedlings shortly after survival of recently emerged weed seedlings. This occurs because of inadequate com- they were treated with the full labeled rate of Cimarron®Max herbicide in early petition for soil moisture and soil nutrients from the perennial grasses. Abundant June 2007. The seedlings established in early May when the water level declined sunlight would also allow the seedlings to grow quite rapidly, allowing their roots to rapidly and created an ideal germination environment on the lakebed. The herreach depths beneath the shallower rooted grasses. bicide application eliminated almost 100 percent of the seedlings and facilitated The seed of many weed species can float quite well. Once flood irrigation reestablishment of foxtail barley. Foxtail barley generally is not considered a desired 42 July-August 2016
The Progressive Rancher
Table 1.Seed production and maximum longevity for some of the noxious weeds found in Nevada.
weeds are observed in the treated area. If no weeds are observed the second growing season after initial treatment, then complete control probably occurred. Another challenge with applying herbicides to mature perennial pepperweed (and other perennial weeds) is appropriate location of the chemical. The lower leaves often are those that export the most carbohydrates from photosynthesis to the roots. Carbohydrate movement to the roots moves the herbicide applied to the lower leaves to the roots and associated buds. The upper leaves deliver most of their energy production to the flowers and seed. For perennial pepperweed, it is very difficult to get herbicide, especially from an aerial application, through the flowers and upper leaves to the lower leaves, where it is most effective. As Figure 2 shows, all of the seedlings had their leaves completely exposed which enhanced the potential for maximum herbicide contact, uptake and movement to the site of action in the plants. The work at Chimney Dam showed that perennial pepperweed up to two years old could be successfully treated with CimaronÂŽMax provided their leaves were readily accessible to the herbicide. Complete documentation of the effort to control perennial peppewweed at Chimney Dam Reservoir can be found in two publications available on the internet at the URL addresses found at the end of this article. Two additional papers focus on perennial pepperweed treatments and the response of native grass hay meadows along the Humboldt River. In this study, control of mature perennial pepperweed with chemicals that did not adversely affect the creeping wildrye resulted in a three to four-fold increase in canopy cover from the meadow grass one year after treatment. The use of herbicide names in this paper does not imply any recommendation from the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Perennial pepperweed can be treated successfully with a number of herbicides and any applicator should know the benefits and constraints of each herbicide and make their selection based upon their specific circumstances.
species, but on a lakebed that has very alkaline soil and is flooded every few years, foxtail barley probably is the best vegetation one can expect. At this location, cattle consume the foxtail barley quite readily in the fall and winter after the seed heads have dropped and moisture has softened the plants. A similar response from creeping wildrye (a common native grass in many hay meadows) occurred on a research plot along the Humboldt River east of Elko. The area shown in Figure 4 is about 200 yards from the location of Figures 2 and 3, and was inhabited by a very mature stand of perennial pepperweed. This site location was treated on the same day, and with the same chemical and application rate, as the perennial pepperweed seedlings shown in Figure 2. One year later there was no effective control of the mature perennial pepperweed plants (Figure 5). The mature Figure 3 stand of perennial pepperweed was eventually controlled (not eradicated) but it took Figure 2 several more annual treatments. Figures 2 and 3. The treatment area 13 days after treatment (1) and one One critical reason for successful control of the seedlings and unsuccessful control year later (2). The brownish hue in figure 1 is the leaves of treated of the mature perennial pepperweed is the respective root structure of the different age perennial pepperweed (tall whitetop) plants. The predominant classes. For about the first 6-8 eight weeks of growth, perennial pepperweed seedlings species in figure 2 is foxtail barley, a short-lived perennial grass. behave as an annual plant, not a perennial plant. The roots are short (shallow depth) and they have not developed any perennial buds. The buds that develop on the root crown and the roots when the plants are 6-8 weeks of age (42 to 56 days) are the feature which allows this weed to regrow the next year. When the leaves are killed before the seedling can develop perennial buds on the roots and root crown the plant dies. Most if not all seedlings for perennial noxious weeds that reproduce from vegetative buds on the creeping roots develop their perennating buds at a very young age. For example, leafy spurge seedlings can develop root buds at 7 days of age, hoary cress at about 21 days, and Canada thistle by about 42 days. Data for Russian knapweed do not exist, but bud development on its seedlings undoubtedly follows this pattern as the plants become perennial during their first growing season. Figure 5 Figure 4 Mature perennial pepperweed plants have roots that extend several feet or more into the soil and can extend laterally for 10 to 20 feet, or more. The same scenario ocFigures 4 and 5. A mature stand of perennial pepperweed (3) 13 days after curs for Russian knapweed, leafy spurge, hoary cress, and Canadian thistle. Every inch treatment in 2007 and in August of 2008 (4). There was evidence of extensive of their roots may develop a bud that can produce a new plant. It is literally impossible top kill in 2007 (yellowish chlorotic plants) but abundant regrowth in 2008. to place enough herbicide on the relatively small amount of leaf area of mature plants to kill all of the buds found on their very large root systems. Some buds, on at least some HWCWMA P.O. Box 570 Elko, NV 89803-0570 plants, will survive and eventually produce stems and flowers the following growing email@example.com www.HumboldtWeedFree.org season. Their emergence, however, may not occur until the middle or latter part of the next growing season; thus, one should not declare success the following spring if no firstname.lastname@example.org www.progressiverancher.com
The Progressive Rancher
During National Pollinator Week, USDA Announces Key Measures to Improve Pollinator Health
By Isabel Benemelis
USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program Currently Provides 15 Million Acres of Healthy Forage for Pollinators, and New Partnership Will Ensure Additional High-Quality Habitat in the Future
ASHINGTON, June 23, 2016 – Today, during National Pollinator Week and in advance of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) seventh annual Pollinator Week Festival, the USDA is announcing two initiatives in support of the President’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honeybees and Other Pollinators, announced just over one year ago. A review of USDA’s most popular conservation program found that farmers and ranchers across the country are creating at least 15 million acres of healthy forage and habitat for pollinators, and the department has also entered into a new partnership with leading honey bee organizations that will help to ensure future conservation projects continue to provide benefits to these important species. “Pollinators are small but mighty creatures who need our help as much as we need theirs, and that is why USDA is dedicating resources from all corners of our department to boost their habitat and better understand how to protect them,” said Agriculture Secretary Vilsack. “In addition to creating healthy habitat and food for pollinators through our conservation work, USDA research is leading to breakthroughs in pollinator survival that may reverse the declines we’ve seen over the past few decades. We look forward to continued collaboration with America’s beekeepers and honey producers to ensure this work is meaningful and effective.” USDA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with two honey bee organizations, the American Honey Producers Association and the American Beekeeping Federation, to facilitate an ongoing partnership that will ensure USDA’s conservation initiatives are as advantageous as possible to pollinators and that beekeepers understand how they can benefit from USDA’s conservation and safety net programs. For several years, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) have worked closely with these groups and others to help improve habitat for honeybees and other pollinators in various conservation programs. The National Strategy emphasized the need for public-private partnerships like this one to expeditiously expand pollinator-health initiatives to achieve the scale necessary to make meaningful and long-term improvements. FSA also plays a critical role in the delivery of programs that provide a safety net for beekeepers who experience losses due to natural disasters, and the agency administers the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-Raised Fish Program, which provides assistance for the loss of honeybee colonies, in excess of normal mortality, due to Colony Collapse Disorder or other natural causes. These groups have helped to ensure that these safety net programs work well, and they have helped focus research to learn more about the impacts of USDA programs and make continuous improvements. This MOU creates a framework to ensure ongoing, meaningful information sharing to help beekeepers and honey bees into the future. In addition to this MOU, a thorough review of USDA’s Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) has revealed that farmers and ranchers across the country have created more than 15 million acres of healthy habitat and forage for pollinators through the Conservation Reserve Program. Of these, 269,000 acres are enrolled in a pollinatorspecific initiative, but these creatures are also helped by several other CRP initiatives on private land that provide wildflowers, shrubs, and safe nesting sites through measures that are intended to improve water quality or create bird habitat. The National Strategy called for seven million acres of land to be enhanced or restored for pollinators. Since then, USDA has more than tripled the acreage enrolled in CRP’s pollinator initiative, through which USDA helps to cover the cost of planting pollinator-friendly wildflowers, legumes and shrubs, and USDA has increased the limit on this initiative in response to landowner demand so that more acres can be enrolled in the future. 44 July-August 2016
USDA conducted the high-level review of existing conservation practices and other studies by the U.S. Geological Survey and universities to determine which voluntary conservation practices benefit pollinators. FSA continues to work with USGS to assess which strategies work best to support pollinator health, and future studies may indicate that additional acres also can be considered pollinator friendly. In its 30th year, CRP provides incentives to farmers and ranchers with the cost of establishing long-term, resource-conserving plant species, such as approved grasses or trees (known as “covers”) to control soil erosion, improve water quality and develop wildlife habitats on marginally productive agricultural lands. This helps to combat global climate change and provides resiliency to future weather changes. This analysis shows that among its many other benefits, CRP also is extraordinarily beneficial to protecting and promoting pollinator species, from honeybees to monarchs, that are essential to agricultural health. In addition to CRP, other conservation programs like NRCS’ Environmental Quality Incentives Program and Conservation Stewardship Program have enabled landowners to make pollinator-friendly improvements on working lands. This voluntary conservation work also strengthens agricultural operations, supports other beneficial insects and wildlife and helps to sustain natural resources. More than three dozen NRCS conservation practices, such as prescribed grazing and cover crops, can provide direct benefits to pollinators. In recent years, NRCS has launched targeted efforts to help honey bees and monarch butterflies to accelerate efforts to create habitat. USDA’s research and outreach agencies are working in other ways to contribute to the President’s National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honeybees and Other Pollinators. For example, the U.S. Forest Service is also conducting research on pollinators while restoring and improving pollinator habitat on national forests and grasslands. Over the past six years, the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service has invested more than $82 million in cutting-edge pollinator research and over the past decade has published nearly 200 journal articles about pollinators. USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative has launched a number of efforts to expand pollinator public education programs, including a bee cam that gives real time insight into the 80,000 bees who live on the roof of USDA’s Headquarters and pollinate the surrounding landscape. This fact sheet contains more information about USDA’s work to keep pollinators buzzing and contributing to a diverse domestic and global food supply. To learn more about FSA’s conservation programs, visit www.fsa.usda.gov/conservation or contact a local FSA county office. To find your local FSA county office, visit http://offices.usda.gov.
You are invited to
You are invited to
Bible Study Fri @ 9 am
Sunday @ 11am services
4275 Solias Rd Fallon, NV
Bible Study Wed @ 6 pm
Are you having a Rodeo or Livestock event? Give us a call. We would love to come to your event or ranch and host Cowboy Church for you.
Harmony Ranch Ministry 3767 Keyes Way Fallon, NV 89406
The Progressive Rancher
Tom J. Gonzalez | Diana J. Gonzalez, Pastor email@example.com
(775) 240-8870 Cell (775) 867-3100
The Progressive Rancher
by Jennifer Whiteley
y dad called me up one day this spring and asked “Are you going to the TS horse sale?” I said I don’t know. I didn’t know the TS was having a horse sale. “Well they are. Get on Allie’s Facebook. It’s on there. The neighbors might be branding that day, so you need to go and buy Casey and I a horse or two.” Awesome! There is nothing I like better than going to horse sales and looking at (buying!) horses. The Cow Boss was listening to my end of the conversation, and you could see the alarm bells ringing in his head. I could see him thinking “Great. Dennis is sending Jennifer to a horse sale. How much is this going to cost me?” He has learned that it doesn’t do any good to tell me no when it comes to horses because my dad will tell me yes, he is an enabler when it comes to buying horses. He loves horses just about as much as he loves cows. Ask the Cow Boss and he will tell you I have yet to meet a horse I don’t like. I come by it naturally though, it’s genetic on my dad’s side. Just ask my grandma. When I told her I was headed to a horse sale to buy a couple horses for my dad and me, she said “Great. You and your dad need more horses like you need a hole in your head!” Then she proceeded to tell me a few stories about my grandpa George and how he never met a horse he didn’t like, or couldn’t gentle. Then he would make my grandma, my dad, my uncle or my aunts ride it around the yard. We just can’t help it, it’s in our DNA. Finally the day of the horse sale arrived. The neighbors didn’t brand, so my dad loaded up in the trailer and came with us. After looking over the geldings and brood mares, I stopped to visit with Jeannie. TR came running up to me and yelled “MOM! I found the horse I want to buy!” I didn’t know he was even in the market to buy a horse. I walked over with him to the pen of yearling fillies. There was every color of horse imaginable. Red, blue, and bay roans, sorrels with lots of chrome, there were even a couple of bays in the mix. Alright TR, which one is the one you want to buy? “See that one right there?” as he pointed to a solid brown filly with not a speck of white on her. “That’s the one I want to buy!” All that color and my kid picks out the mud brown filly. He picked the plainest filly of the bunch as his favorite. Upon closer inspection though, she was one of the prettiest put together fillies in the bunch. Jeannie asked him “Why did you pick that one?” His answer was simple. “She’s the only one that would let me pet her.” I was kind of proud of his selection. I explained to TR that we would try our best to get her bought, but I couldn’t make any guarantees. The sale was a lottery. Every horse was the same price, but you had to put your name in a hat and hope your name was drawn to buy that horse. When the brown filly came up in the sale, we put everyone’s name on a card to go in the bucket, to help TR’s chances of getting his filly. As luck would have it, TR was the only person interested in the filly. Unfortunately the Cow Boss’s name was drawn, and boy was TR mad! He just couldn’t believe his own dad would try to cut him out of the horse he wanted. Mom had to do some pretty fast talking and it took some convincing, but he finally believed that the horse was his and dad was just going to pay for his horse! True to form, TR had her named before we even had her loaded in the horse
46 July-August 2016
trailer to go home, and made big plans with his dad to start her this coming winter. I’m glad to see he is following in his mom’s (and dad’s though he would never admit it!), grandpa’s, and great grandpa’s footsteps and loving horses. You see, it runs in our family.
The Progressive Rancher
The Progressive Rancher
The Progressive Rancher
Published on Jul 1, 2016