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Washington State University silences researcher to placate ranchers and politicians

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SOURCE:  SEATTLE TIMES

A motion-triggered wildlife camera at the den site of the Profanity Peak pack captures pack members on camera last June 30. Seven pack members were killed by Department of Fish and Wildlife after the wolves killed cattle grazing on public land at the Colville National Forest. (WSU wolf livestock research program)

A WAR OVER WOLVES

Outspoken researcher says his university and lawmakers silenced and punished him

By Lynda V. Mapes, Seattle Times environment reporter

By a slow slide of river deep in Washington’s wolf country, Robert Wielgus laughs at the tattoo on his arm of Four Claws, the grizzly that almost killed him.

“I would rather face charging grizzly bears trying to kill me than politicians and university administrators, because it is over quickly,” said Wielgus, director of the Large Carnivore Conservation Lab at Washington State University.

A Harley-riding, self-described adrenaline junkie at home in black motorcycle leathers with a Stetson and a .357 in the pickup, Wielgus, 60, is no tweed-jacket academic. For decades he has traveled North America wrangling bears, cougars and wolves to collar and study their behavior, including collaborations with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

Wielgus now finds himself crosswise with ranchers, lawmakers and WSU administrators — and their lobbyists. He’s lost grant funding for his summer research, has been forbidden from talking to media in his professional role and has been reviewed — and cleared — for scientific misconduct.

To understand why involves a look at state policy concerning a menagerie of animals: cougars, sheep, cattle and wolves. And one more animal: homo sapiens.

In Washington, it turns out, wolves and livestock are getting along better than the people who manage and study them.

Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), a national nonprofit specializing in government scientist whistleblower protection, in April filed a 12-page complaint against WSU officials, alleging the university punished and silenced Wielgus to placate ranchers and state legislators who objected to his research. WSU officials declined to comment for this story, citing possible litigation.

Read the rest of this story HERE.

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Liberty and Property Rights Coalition Event in Siskiyou Co. CA.

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new-logo25  By Liz Bowen

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  • Yreka, CA. July 20 – 1-4 p.m.  Yreka Community Theater

  • Dorris, CA. July 21 – 2-5 p.m.  Dorris Community Center

Solutions for attacks on property rights Event

 

SISKIYOU COUNTY – Ranchers, property owners and Constitutional groups from four Western states will meet at the top of California to discuss solutions to protect private property rights; and open roads in USFS managed lands.

Siskiyou County, California, and neighboring Klamath County, in Oregon, feel plenty of heat as fights over water, wolves and closed Forest Service roads slam in waves one-after-the-other.

Much of rural America feels the heavy-hand of demands from government agencies, Tribes and Enviro NGOs. Yes, ranchers along this Klamath River area are surrounded by over-regulations and greed.

Recently, the Klamath Tribe exercised its priority Water Right in Oregon and shut-off the water to 115,000 acres of pasture and hay ranches affecting over 80,000 head of cattle. And ranchers, along with home owners in Siskiyou County, are fighting a lawsuit to save their Water Right from the Karuk Tribe and NGO Klamath River Keepers.

But in this stifling mud and muck, solutions have been found. They just need to be learned and applied, according to three ranchers that will be speaking July 20-21 at the Liberty and Property Rights Coalition Events in Siskiyou County. Admission is free.

“This is the caper,” said Ramona Hage Morrison, whose family has fought one of the longest battles in the West to protect their Water and Grazing Rights in Nevada.

“They have hood-winked the property owners. Most don’t understand their property rights, but we can fix that,” smiles Hage-Morrison.

Yes, in the face of constant threats, Hage-Morrison is upbeat. Her family has won major “rights” issues in federal court over the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. She will be sharing the line of defense that worked in Hage “takings” case and their “forage right” case.

The Liberty and Property Rights Coalition Event will be held at the Yreka Community Theater, at 812 North Oregon Street in Yreka — at the north end of town. Take the third off-ramp from I-5 exit 775. Time is 1 to 4 p.m. on Sat. July 20th. Several motels are in close proximity of the Event.

Then on Sun. July 21st, Butte Valley Protect our Property is hosting the Event at the Dorris Community Center, again at the north end of town on Highway 97.  Time is 2 to 5 p.m.

“This is a celebration,” said organizer Debbie Bacigalupi, “and we are going to learn from those who have won. We are energized as this historical meeting brings property owners from four states into one Event.”

Arizona Rancher Danny Martinez worked with the Hage’s on their lawsuits and used what he learned to defend his ranch from the federal agencies. Martinez will share the remedies he has found. Bring your notebook.

Then Casey Anderson, a rancher from Idaho, will have a slide show on the federal mismanagement of wolves.

Michael Shaw, who just won a significant lawsuit over his property rights against Alameda County, will be serving as Master of Ceremonies for both meetings.

For more information on this Liberty and Property Rights Coalition Event, go to Support Rural America.com or call Louise Gliatto at 530-842-5443.

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www.supportruralamerica.com

URGENT Action Alert to Congress—Stop the Monsanto Rider!

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URGENT Action Alert to Congress—Stop the Monsanto Rider!
March 19, 2013 More

Cloud Seeding Fools and Other Droughty Thoughts

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 W.R. McAfee

Copyright©2012 by W.R. McAfee.  All rights reserved

OP-ED

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Travel IH-10 West from San Antonio and you will eventually pass through Fort Stockton, Texas. Continue on and you will notice grass-covered mountains coming into view on the left side of  IH-10.  These mountains are the Barrilla Mountains. They blend with the Davis Mountains and others that  stretch south of the highway for more than a hundred miles to the Rio Grande;  mountains covered with rich, rocky, volcanic soil that can’t be plowed; mountains good only for ranching—the bigger the better.  Water in theseThunderhead mountains is scarce and deep except for an occasional spring. Ranchers there are totally dependent upon rainfall to produce the protein-rich gramma grasses for which the mountains are known.

Opposite the mountains and to the right of IH-10 west, the land is level and stretches miles north, checker-boarded by farms sitting atop good soil and an aquifer that supplies water for crop  irrigation or sprinklers or cienegas.

Thunderheads bring rain to both sides of this stretch of IH-10.  They form naturally in the west and northwestern sky and move east, raining on rancher and farmer alike. The ranchers watch these thunderheads and hope for rain.  The farmers watch these thunderheads and hope it doesn’t.

The hardest drought ever to hit West Texas began in the 1950s.  Southwest Weather Research, a company that seeded clouds, began to dissipate forming thunderheads to eliminate the possibility of  hail north of IH-10.

Ranchers in the Davis Mountains asked the farmers to not do this. They needed the rain.  Many were teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and one more dry summer would  push some over the edge. They were running out of water and grass and watching livestock die as springs and dirt tanks went dry.

The farmers said no.  Lines were drawn. Thunderheads would form, the cloud seeding planes would arrive, and 20 minutes later the cloud would be dissipated. In desperation, some individual(s)—no one is quite sure who—climbed atop their windmill(s) in the afternoon when the thunderheads formed and seeded them with lead when the  planes arrived.

They never downed any, but seeding pilots began discovering an occasional bullet hole during preflight checks. Protests were lodged with local gendarmes.

“You get a look at who it was ashootin’ at cha?”

“Hell no. I was too busy flying.”

“You sure someone was ashootin’ at cha?”

“Hell yes I’m sure. I got a bullet hole right here in my plane you can stick a finger in.”

“Well, see if you can get a good look at who it is that’s ashootin’  at cha, and where he was ashootin’ at cha from, and we’ll go talk to him. Otherwise, ain’t a whole lot we can do.”

Or words to that effect.

Pilot enthusiasm for seeding clouds above the Davis Mountains faded. More

Feds Attack Klamath Basin Ranchers and Farmers With the ESA

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W.R. McAfee Sr. (c) copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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On April 7, 2001, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation ignored state and federal law in the name of the ESA and stopped water to more than 200,000 acres and some 1,400 canal-irrigated family farms near Klamath Falls, Ore., plunging the community toward bankruptcy and devastating families.

Why? Because the bureau said two species of bottom-feeding suckerfish and a Coho salmon, in a reservoir the farmers depended upon, might be “affected” if water was released during the current drought.

The ESA had already been used to cut off water to a group of California farmers, causing their crops to dry up.

In Colorado, the forest service threatened another agricultural operation with a by-pass flow that would have resulted in an 80-percent loss of the dry-year water supply from a key reservoir, with a direct economic loss of between $5 and $17 million.

They also attempted to impose a “by-pass flow” that would have taken some 50 percent of the dry-year water supply provided from a Colorado municipal water storage facility.

In Idaho, a federal permittee was told he would have to bypass water to protect aquatic species or obtain an alternate source of water at a cost of $120,000.

In Arizona, where state law requires water rights be held by the person making the beneficial use of the water, the regional forester had demanded that water rights owned by grazing permittees be transferred to the feds – rights long established under state law for livestock purposes.

Federal agencies nationwide are using the ESA to try to override established water rights, state laws and the McCarran Act. More

TS Radio/ Defend Rural America with Debbie Bacigalupi

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Join us Tuesday evening Nov. 1st,  at 8 CST! More

Comments to BLM on SNWA’s Nevada Water Grab

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Debbie Coffey (c)copyright 2011 All Rights Reserved

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“8)  Glaringly omitted in this DEIS was the “NEED” for this GDP.  The “necessity” was not discribed.  Perhaps this water, which will be taken from farmers and ranchers, is to be used for Las Vegas’ many golf courses, fountains and new development projects, and Henderson’s need for watering grass in city parks, etc. “____________________________

The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) wants the rights to pump billions of gallons of water annually from rural central Nevada and Utah toLas Vegas.  This will be catastrophic for farmers and ranchers in central Nevada and Utah.  SNWA would drain the groundwater below the existing vegetation of about 19,000 square miles (about the size of Vermont). More

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