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“…the fever tick is another problem caused by illegal immigration, because some of the migrants unknowingly carry the tick, which then gets dropped onto the properties they trespass on.”

Fed-Up Farmers Say Enough, Demand Biden Pay for Property Damage Done by Illegal Aliens

By Jacob Gurney for Western Journal

Texas farmers are upset with the nation’s current lack of border security — and they’re asking the White House to pay for damages caused by its reckless immigration stance.

According to the New York Post, farmers in Texas have had to pay countless dollars to fix damage caused by human traffickers and the illegal immigrants who have come into the United States so far this year.

Some of the financial damages caused by illegal immigration come in the form of stolen vehicles, damaged crops and destroyed property, such as fences, which can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 to repair, the outlet reported.

Richard Guerra, a fourth-generation Texas rancher, told the New York Post that the fever tick is another problem caused by illegal immigration, because some of the migrants unknowingly carry the tick, which then gets dropped onto the properties they trespass on.

According to the Texas A&M University Department of Entomology, fever ticks carry pathogens that bring about “Texas Cattle Fever,” which can be a fatal disease. There is currently no medication or vaccine that can control or prevent the disease, and the presence of fever ticks will force landowners to quarantine and eliminate the ticks, the website states.

Guerra said it is expensive to eliminate an outbreak of fever ticks. In fact, it can cost up to $400 an hour to hire helicopters to spray for them, he said.

It is easy to understand the farmers’ frustration with how the Biden administration has handled the issue of immigration during its brief tenure. While President Joe Biden and other officials have made lazy attempts at portraying how we do not have an “open border,” the truth of the matter is that illegal immigration has been an ongoing problem for this administration.

Texas farmers want Biden to pay for damage from illegal immigration https://t.co/jFrfqvAATd pic.twitter.com/5tyjt7arcu

— New York Post (@nypost) July 20, 2021

The Washington Post reported border agents apprehended about 172,000 illegal immigrants along the U.S.-Mexico border in March, with comparable figures for April. These were the highest numbers in nearly two decades, the outlet reported.

However, in April, Immigration and Customs Enforcement only deported 2,962 illegal immigrants, which was the lowest monthly amount ever reported, according to The Washington Post.

In other words, at a time when our country was seeing a record-high number of illegal border crossings and migrants taken into custody, the number of deportations by ICE was at an all-time low.

This is the Biden administration’s immigration policy. Again, one can understand why the farmers are furious.

There may be some hope for those struggling along the border, as America’s largest farmers organization has been working to recover money that its members have lost, according to the New York Post.

Read the full report on Western Journal by clicking here

 

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By Seth Hancock for The Liberty Loft

Klamath Falls, OR — Farmers Grant Knoll and Dan Nielsen are ready to turn the water back on at an Oregon canal after the federal government shut it off, in the midst of extreme drought, in order to “protect” two species of fish listed in the Endangered Species Act.

The farmers purchased land last month next to the headgate of a canal that the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) shut-off preventing farmers from their irrigation water supply from Upper Klamath Lake, water that farmers in southern Oregon and northern California rely on. Knoll and Nielsen have held regular protests with farmers being harmed by the decision.

“It’s ours, and the federal government actually just stole it. No due process of law, no compensation…. If they don’t budge, I think we’re just going to end up taking it. It’s the only way the government gets it,” Nielsen said in an interview this week with RT.

The USBR released a statement early last month stating its decision to shut-off the water supply was in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries.

“This year’s drought conditions are bringing unprecedented hardship to the communities of the Klamath Basin,” Camille Touton, USBR deputy commissioner, stated. “We have closely monitored the water conditions in the area and the unfortunate deterioration of the forecast hydrology. This has resulted in the historic consequence of not being able to operate a majority of the Klamath Project this year. Reclamation is dedicated to working with our water users, tribes, and partners to get through this difficult year and developing long-term solutions for the basin.”

The species of suckerfish that the ISBR says it is protecting with the move hold spiritual significance to the Native American tribes in Klamath Falls.

“We do want people to hear our voice and realize that our fish are important, and that we’re important,” Don Gentry, chairman of the Klamath Tribes, told the Sacramento Bee last month. “And so we want to make that statement. And, you know, we certainly don’t relish or revel in the negative impact on everybody else in the basin. But I will say there’s a certain amount of bitterness and anger, you know, because of our tragic history, and people continue to marginalize us and our fish and treat us like we’re inferior people.”

However, there are questions on whether shutting off the water has any impact on the fish. Ben DuVal, president of the Klamath Water Users Association, called the decision a “failed experiment that has produced no benefit for the [fish]” when he spoke to RT.

See the full article on The Liberty Loft by clicking here

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Cow moose defends calf against a pack of wolves in Alaska

Do gooders

Mad Jack Hanks

Gentle readers, last evening I watched as Tucker Carlson (Fox News) interviewed a woman who by her account was an expert on wild horses. NADA! No, she was a bleeding heart liberal who wanted to show the world how necessary it is for us to accommodate wild horses on public land. Tucker fell into the trap and went right along with her. As for me, I believe there is room for wild horses on public land, but in small numbers. As this pleading lady put it, “Tucker, these wild horses have families! There are dads and moms (I paraphrase) and the children and some of these unions have been intact for years and years. They are families and there are better ways to control them rather than gather them (over 70,000) and put them in corrals for adoption or penned and fed for the rest of their natural lives!”

Here is what I find fascinating and troubling about that concept. I’m thinking, what about America’s families? You know the ones with moms and dads and little ones. The American family is being bombarded with social media posts that began to turn many children against what should be a normal childhood in the family structure. Is there a normal family anymore? For Pete’s sake, Charlie Brown, we are being spoon fed a whole new way of thinking, not only about ourselves, our values, who we really are and how “dare us for being this way or that way.” After all our good ol’ America is now and has always been such an evil country. B.S.!! I can say all of that and picture in my mind those young, so very young men who waded off those landing crafts at Normandy into certain horror and death so these idiots could have the right to proselytize all this CRAP they are trying to get us to choke down. Problem is, there are too many young folks and some older ones buying into this.

Yep, that family has just killed 47 sheep and eaten only two and the rancher is going to have to bear the burden of the loss after the government decides if, in fact, wolves actually did this and that they didn’t get hit by lightning or something like that.

Same thing with the wolves here in Colorado. “Oh my, did you hear that? Was that a wolf or a coyote? I’m sure it must have been a wolf, they live here now you know. Why, I bet it’s a family somewhere connecting with one another!” Yep, that family has just killed 47 sheep and eaten only two and the rancher is going to have to bear the burden of the loss after the government decides if, in fact, wolves actually did this and that they didn’t get hit by lightning or something like that. Folks, we are going to have to live with the “do gooders,” but in the whole of it all, it’s going to be up to us to try and make them understand our point of view and why our views are more important than their emotional attachment to these issues. I truly believe that all of this will pass at some point and time. I may have passed by then, who knows?

Also, there is coming legislation where the public will decide if farm animals get to live five years before they can be harvested. I think I know how that vote will turn out here in Colorado. I’m glad Tucker Carlson doesn’t get to have a vote.

Stay tuned, check yer cinch on occasion, remember, “a great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within“ (Will Durant) and I will C. y’all, all y’all.

Posted by Mad Jack Hanks on The Fencepost

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Judge puts a stop to minority farmers debt relief plan, says it’s ‘reverse racism’

by Jamie Satterfield for Knoxville News Sentinel

A federal judge in West Tennessee has joined other judges in blocking a Biden administration program designed to redress generations of discrimination against some farmers, saying the federal government has failed to show the U.S. Department of Agriculture discriminates against people of color today.

Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas Anderson issued a national injunction that bars the Biden administration from enacting the loan forgiveness plan approved by Congress in March as part of the American Rescue Plan Act — a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package.

The injunction is the third to result from litigation filed in seven states, including Tennessee, on behalf of white farmers in the past month, according to court records. Federal judges in Florida and Wisconsin issued similar decisions last month.

President Joe Biden announced in late March the COVID-19 legislation included funding for a debt relief program for “Black, American Indian/Alaskan Native, Hispanic, or Asian, or Hawaiian/Pacific Islander” farmers.

The administration explained it chose to funnel relief to qualifying farmers because of the USDA’s “long history” of discriminating against Black farmers and the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on minorities.

White farmers, including Tennessee rancher Rob Holman, are calling it “reverse racism” in litigation filed by conservative legal advocacy groups, including the Southeastern Legal Foundation and Mountain States Legal Foundation.

In his ruling, Anderson agreed.

“Absent action by the court, socially disadvantaged farmers will obtain debt relief, while (Holman) will suffer the irreparable harm of being excluded from that program solely on the basis of his race,” Anderson wrote.

White Tennessee rancher sues

Holman is a fourth-generation Tennessee rancher, according to court records. He and his father own and operate a 2,200-acre farm in Union City, Tennessee, growing “mostly corn and soybeans,” his lawsuit against the USDA states.

Holman, the lawsuit states, still owes roughly $39,000 on two USDA loans totaling $117,000 and would be eligible under the terms of the debt relief program save for one factor: his race.

“(The USDA’s) use of race discrimination as a tool to end ‘systemic racism’ is patently unconstitutional, inconsistent with the ‘magnificent words of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence,’ (as) Martin Luther King (said in his) ‘I Have a Dream’ (speech in 1963,) and should be enjoined by the court,” the lawsuit says.

Attorneys for the Biden Justice Department contend the government can employ race-based exclusions if they are “narrowly tailored” to address a specific wrong. The USDA’s debt relief program for minority farmers meets that constitutional boundary, they argue.

“Congress considered strong evidence that discriminatory loan practices at USDA have placed minority farmers at a significant disadvantage today: these farmers generally own smaller farms, have disproportionately higher delinquency rates, and are at a significantly higher risk of foreclosure than non-minority farmers,” the government’s responded to Holman’s injunction.

See the full article here

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Biden’s Conservation Plan Hints at Land Grab, Governors Warn

By Petr Svab for Epoch Times

LINCOLN, Neb.—Tucked away on page nine of one of President Joe Biden’s executive orders on climate change are two small paragraphs that have raised alarm among governors of more than a dozen states. The paragraphs task the administration to figure out a way “to achieve the goal of conserving at least 30 percent of our lands and waters by 2030.”

While all sides seem to support taking care of nature, subjecting nearly a third of America to federal conservation rules is hardly what many state and local officials have in mind.

Pete Ricketts, governor of the heavily agricultural state of Nebraska, was among the first to raise questions about the plan.

The administration considers about 12 percent of American land and water to be currently in conservation. If that’s to become 30 percent, a chunk of land roughly the size of Nebraska would have to be added every year for nine years, Ricketts pointed out.

“What we’ve asked from the administration is for more information, because their math doesn’t work,” he said on June 24, announcing an executive order opposing the “30 x 30” plan.

“Either they’re going to fail to get to 30 percent, or they’re not telling us something else about how they’re going to get to 30 percent.”

His order bans the state government from supporting federal conservation programs without the governor’s express authorization, among other measures.

Ricketts and 14 other governors sent a letter to the administration in April with a request for more details on the plan. They pointed out that the federal government has no authority to unilaterally take land for conservation.

“We are deeply concerned about any effort to enlarge the federal estate or further restrict the use of public lands in our states,” they said.

Realization of the plan would be “infringing on the private property rights of our citizens and significantly harming our economies,” the letter says.

Ricketts said they haven’t heard back from the administration.

The White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture didn’t respond to requests for comment.

Federal departments of interior, agriculture, and commerce as well as Biden’s Council on Environmental Quality put out a preliminary report in May that was supposed to outline how the “30 x 30” goal was to be achieved (pdf).

But the 24-page document still largely deals in generalities. Prominently, it fails to define what the administration means by “conservation.”

As Ricketts sees it, local landowners are already doing a good job taking care of the land.

“Farmers and ranchers were the original conservationists,” he said during a June 24 townhall in Pickrell, Nebraska.

The federal report acknowledges so too, saying “there is a strong stewardship ethic among America’s fishers, farmers, ranchers, forest owners, and other private landowners.”

But “if that’s the case … all agricultural land would be considered in conservation,” said Tanya Storer, one of the commissioners of Cherry County, Nebraska, during the townhall. “So that can’t be what they mean.”

The report suggests the “30 x 30” plan can be enacted without new laws, on a voluntary basis, while taking into consideration local input.

“Though President Biden’s national conservation goal is ambitious, it can be achieved using the wide array of existing tools and strategies,” it says.

For sure, the government already has an arsenal of conservation programs, some of them having already been in place for decades.

But if all those programs so far only achieved 12 percent conservation, how does the administration plan to push it to 30 in just 10 years, Ricketts asked.

“I don’t believe that the federal government is going to try to come out and just take land, through eminent domain, for example,” he said. “I believe the way they’re going to try and cover these goals is by creating more ways that they can regulate you and take your private property rights away.”

Read the full article here at Epoch Times

 

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William Perry Pendley: Biden Nominee’s Complicity in Eco-Terrorism Case Disqualifies Her from Leading the Bureau of Land Management

William Perry Pendley for Breitbart

Western loggers, mill workers, and small communities were shocked when President Biden nominated Tracy Stone-Manning as the Director of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

Stone-Manning was part of the notorious domestic eco-terrorist group Earth First! when she was a 23-year-old graduate student at the University of Montana. As an editor of one of the group’s publications, she provided fodder to the faithful who opposed congressionally mandated logging on federal lands. On one occasion, however, she went beyond advocacy. In 1989, she was an accessory to an act of eco-terrorism called tree spiking in an effort to stop the sale of Idaho national forest timber.

Tree spiking occurs when large metal spikes are driven into trees scheduled for harvesting in order to make the trees unsafe to log. The spikes can have a devastating and even deadly effect on a logger or millworker when a chain or circular saw strikes the spikes. For example, on May 8, 1987, a 23-year-old millworker lost several teeth and part of his cheek and jaw after a large band saw shattered when it struck an 11-inch spike driven into a tree.

Tree spiking is truly an act of terror because it is meant to bring fear into the hearts of loggers and millworkers. And bring fear Stone-Manning and her colleagues did. I remember well those days in the late 1980s and early 1990s because my pro bono clients included loggers and their families, mills and their employees, and residents of tiny northwestern towns and counties. Their lives and livelihoods were put at risk by Earth First! and the acts it advocated openly. These eco-terrorists schooled their acolytes in a tactic they called “monkeywrenching,” which involved the sabotage of the heavy machinery used in logging and mining. Little wonder that in 2002, the FBI labeled eco-terrorism as one of the nation’s primary domestic terror threats.

In 1993, in exchange for immunity from federal prosecution, Stone-Manning testified in a criminal trial against John P. Blount, a former roommate and one of her “circle of friends.” She stated that in the spring of 1989, Blount provided her with a letter to send to the U.S. Forest Service warning that “five hundred pounds of spikes measuring 8 to 10 inches in length” were used to spike trees scheduled for the Post Office Creek Timber Sale in the Clearwater National Forest near Powell Junction, Idaho, 40 miles southwest of Missoula, Montana, where Stone-Manning was a student at the University of Montana. She mailed the letter at Blount’s request; however, before doing so, she said she rented a typewriter to retype it because she did not want the letter on her personal computer and because “my fingerprints were all over the original.” (At the trial, her lawyer cut her off before she could elaborate further on that last point, but she finished that sentence about her fingerprints in an interview with the Missoulian.)  Blount was convicted of the tree spiking described in the letter Stone-Manning mailed on his behalf, and he was sentenced to 17 months in prison.

The tree spiking letter Tracy Stone-Manning mailed to the U.S. Forest Service in 1989
The tree spiking letter Tracy Stone-Manning mailed to the U.S. Forest Service in 1989

 

In a report on the events that led to the trial, the Missoulian reported that when the U.S. Forest Service received Stone-Manning’s letter in 1989, federal law enforcement officials searched a home in Missoula “where several Earth First activists lived.” And then in the fall of 1989, “prosecutors subpoenaed seven Missoula residents, including Stone-Manning to appear before a grand jury to provide physical evidence, including handwriting and hair samples.” That 1989 grand jury investigation did not uncover enough evidence to charge Blount or anyone else with the crime. Stone-Manning told the Missoulian that in February of 1993, on learning that Blount was finally arrested and charged with the tree spiking, she thought “I was safe” and that “It was time to come forward. It was my responsibility.”

However, Stone-Manning wasn’t the person who turned Blount in to the authorities. According to a Pretrial Memorandum by Assistant U.S. Attorney George Breitsmater, a woman who was assaulted by Blount reported him to a Forest Service special agent in December of 1992; and in doing so, she implicated Stone-Manning. Stone-Manning told the Missoulian in 1993 that she could have been charged with conspiracy (as others in the case were) if not for an immunity agreement she made with U.S. Attorney Maurice Ellsworth, as evidenced by a letter he sent to her attorney. Finally, a decade later in an interview with the Missoulian in 2013, Stone-Manning acknowledged that it was Blount’s ex-girlfriend who reported him for the tree spiking because she feared that he would be released from jail where he was being held for assaulting her.

After her nomination by President Biden, Stone-Manning submitted a written response to the U.S. Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee’s formal questionnaire ahead of her confirmation hearings. In one response, she stated that she had “never been the target of [a federal] investigation.” She wrote this despite the fact that she had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in 1989 and could have been charged with conspiracy in the tree spiking criminal trial in 1993 were it not for her immunity agreement.

Little wonder that Wyoming Sen. John Barrasso concluded that Stone-Manning was “intentionally trying to deceive” the Committee. That Stone-Manning was a target in the tree spiking investigation is clear from the fact that she, along with the other six individuals subpoenaed in 1989, was required to provide handwriting and hair samples to the grand jury.

More significantly, in the questionnaire, she informed the Committee: “In 1989, I testified before a federal grand jury in Boise, Idaho, as part of an investigation into an alleged tree spiking incident related to a timber sale.”  She did not disclose the nature of her testimony, but she must not have told the 1989 grand jury about Blount, the letter he gave her, or that she was the one who mailed it. We can deduce this because Assistant U.S. Attorney Breitsmater’s Pretrial Memorandum described the state of the tree spiking investigation at the end of 1989. He wrote that in 1989, “the criminal investigation did not develop any substantial evidence as to the identity of the individuals involved in the spiking.” It was not until December of 1992—three years later—that Blount’s ex-girlfriend turned him in to a special agent with the Forest Service and also named Stone-Manning as the person who sent the letter.

So, Stone-Manning, if not a co-conspirator to the tree spiking, was an accessory after-the-fact to that felony, which she failed to disclose at the time it occurred in the spring of 1989. Secondly, she failed to disclose to the grand jury in 1989 that it was Blount who spiked the trees and she who mailed the letter. Thirdly, she failed to disclose to the Senate Committee that she was indeed the subject of a federal investigation. Furthermore, her answer to the Committee drawing a parallel between her 1989 grand jury testimony and her 1993 testimony at trial was, if not misleading, hardly forthright.

The Senate must, in a bipartisan fashion, reject her nomination. Her role in eco-terrorism in the nation’s forests prevents her from leading the men and women who manage the Bureau of Land Management’s vast timberlands and who work with their colleagues in the Forest Service whose lands were targeted by Earth First!’s eco-terrorism. Just as significantly, she is incapable of leading the BLM’s 300 law enforcement rangers and special agents, who have a sworn duty to enforce the law and are held to the highest professional and ethical standards. That she would sit in judgment of them, which a BLM director must, is an offense.

William Perry Pendley, a Wyoming attorney, led the Bureau of Land Management in the Trump administration. He is the author of Sagebrush Rebel: Reagan’s Battle With Environmental Extremists and Why It Matters Today.

See the post on Breitbart by clicking here

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Jonathan Wood

Salt Lake Tribune

Jonathan Wood: Threatened rule improves incentives to recover endangered species

Biden administration considering rules that would make it more difficult to protect prairie dogs and other species.

(Rick Bowmer | AP photo) In this Aug. 6, 2015, photo, a prairie dog barks at it’s new colony after being trucked some 25 miles away from Cedar City, Utah.

Several years ago, visitors to southwestern Utah would encounter unusual old-west style “wanted” posters. Instead of a bandit, the “villain” in this poster was the Utah prairie dog, a species whose status and regulation under the federal Endangered Species Act had been a source of frustration and conflict for decades.

Unfortunately, a June 4th announcement from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service suggests that such conflicts will soon return to communities across the country, to the detriment of states, landowners and endangered species. The agency stated that it will undo every Endangered Species Act reform completed by the prior administration, including a rule that tailors protections for threatened species.

If finalized, repealing this threatened species rule would be a significant step backward for federal-state cooperation and species recovery.

Once endangered, the Utah prairie dog population gradually recovered from a low of about 3,000 in 1972 to approximately 84,000 in 2016. As the population rebounded, federal regulation of the species paradoxically became stricter, in effect penalizing the state, communities and landowners for contributing to the species’ recovery.

When a federal court held the federal regulation was unconstitutional in 2014, the state of Utah had an opportunity to try a different approach, one that relied on cooperation rather than conflict. Under Utah’s plan, state biologists worked with communities and landowners to address conflicts in residential areas or sensitive places like playgrounds, cemeteries and airports by relocating prairie dogs to public and private conservation lands. Under the federal regulation, such reasonable recovery efforts were illegal without costly and time-consuming federal approvals.

The population continued to increase at an impressive rate under state management — and on lands that could provide a permanent home — while conflict over the species receded.

In 2017, the state wildlife official who led Utah’s effort was selected to run the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the federal agency behind this conflict. Under his management, the agency proposed a significant change to the way it regulates threatened species like the Utah prairie dog, with the goal of empowering other states, communities, and landowners to find similar win-win solutions.

Previously, the Fish and Wildlife Service treated all endangered and threatened species the same, even though threatened species face relatively remote risks compared to endangered species and the statute explicitly sets different approaches to regulating these categories. Decades of experience had shown the folly of this approach.

Read more at the Salt Lake Tribune by clicking HERE

 

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If you think your food choices will always be private and in your best interests, think again. ~Ed

 

From Glenn Beck TV

“Glenn exposes how ranchers are slowly and secretly being run out of business and how farmers are economically being forced to comply. Environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) is the weapon, and the top food suppliers have caved. The heart of our country — farmers and ranchers — is being destroyed in the name of “social progress.” From Biden’s infrastructure plan to his tax deal and inflation, Glenn reveals how it’s all connected to transform society into something completely un-American. South Dakota governor Kristi Noem joins to discuss the attacks on our food supply and says America’s agriculture industry should be treated as a national security issue. She discusses the plans for how her state is going around the Biden administration “to create our own meat processing supply … and take our destiny back into our own hands.”

WATCH more Glenn Beck: https://blazetv.com/glenn

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Equine Welfare Crisis Looms with Reintroduction of the SAFE Act

Western Justice Post

The new administration and resulting shift in political climate have brought on a dramatic escalation of animal extremist groups seeking to advance their agenda on a number of fronts. At the national level, the reintroduction of the SAFE Act is of great concern to the horse industry and livestock producers.

Here at Western Justice, we firmly believe in unbiased education of both the horse industry and the population at large. Our position on the SAFE Act is based on animal welfare and what is best for all American horses as well as the industry. When legislation like this is pushed by agenda riddled extremist groups it is important to stand up for our industry and be fully informed.

Initiated in 2013 as the Safeguard American Food Exports Act, the SAFE Act has now been rebranded as the Save Americas Forgotten Equine Act but has the same intent: to completely ban the practice of humanely processing horses for consumption in the US, as well as banning the shipment of horses to other countries to be processed.

When considering this issue, it must be noted that:• The captive bolt gun utilized in modern processing plants has been determined by major veterinary medical associations to be a humane end of life option for horses.• Most horses and other livestock are private property; owners have the right to decide the most appropriate humane end of life option for their animals.• Humane horse processing is a necessary component of the overall equine industry.

The SAFE Act is currently being championed by animal extremist groups such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Animal Welfare Institute (AWI), the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Humane Society Legislative Fund (HSLF), and Return to Freedom Wild Horse Conservation (RTF). Such groups have a long, sordid history of fundraising with blatant misinformation, preying on a well-meaning, mostly urban population that is unfamiliar with the realities of livestock management and sound animal science.

The shift in title and tactics is a perfect example of how animal extremists manipulate information and its presentation to the public in order to profit. The SAFE Act was originally promoted as a way to keep allegedly drug-tainted horse meat from entering the foreign food supply, based on the overt lie that all American horses are regularly treated with a number of drugs and are therefore unsafe for human consumption. With lack of significant progress with that angle, animal extremists have now switched to an equally absurd platform.

The last domestic horse processing plants closed in 2007. Since that time, unwanted horses have been shipped to Mexico or Canada, normally averaging 100,000 annually, but with a decline in recent years. With over 9.2 million domestic horses in the US, it is less than 2% of the horse population annually.

Combined with an economic recession, domestic plants closing in 2007, created a perfect storm—and a perfect opportunity for animal extremists and the equine rescue network to step up to the plate to absorb the glut of unwanted horses. They did not.

Instead, even with the availability of foreign processing, the nation saw a drastic increase in cases of neglect, abuse, and abandonment of horses, with the rescue network turning unwanted horses away in droves.

Promoting the rebranded SAFE Act is undoubtedly already a cash cow for extremist groups, but while they collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations annually, they have historically done very little to directly fund the rehoming and subsequent care of horses bought at the low end of auctions, despite having literally countless opportunities to do so.

Ironically, the AWI website states: “Last year (2020), more than 37,000 horses were exported for slaughter, and research published in 2017 found that 2.3 million Americans have the interest and resources to adopt a horse.” Thus, by their own admission, these animal extremist groups are stating that millions of people are supposedly willing and able to assume care of a horse, and yet there are still thousands of horses being shipped abroad to be processed. That math just doesn’t add up.

While it is true that the occasional gem of a horse turns up in the “kill pen”, the often overlooked and simple truth is that the majority of processing-bound horses are there for a reason. If people truly wanted problematic “project” or “pasture ornament” horses, they have always had exactly the same opportunity to buy them at auction as the so-called “kill buyers.” In addition, today’s world of social media and hyperconnectivity makes it easier than ever to rehome horses of all kinds.

So, this begs the questions: what do proponents of the SAFE Act think will happen if it passes? Where will those thousands of unwanted horses go, and who will pay for their feed and care? Animal extremist groups have already proven that the majority of their money isn’t spent on actual animal care.

As it is, the equine rescue network struggles with overpopulation and accepting new horses. No matter how noble their intent, rescues still must look at their bottom line and the expenses their wards incur. Simply stated, many times rescues cannot afford to take in additional horses, especially those with chronic issues that require continual, often expensive maintenance. Reputable rescues, of which there are many, will turn away horses that they know they cannot care for properly. This then opens the door for the less-than reputable rescues to take horses in regardless of their ability to care for them. Unfortunately, regardless of the existence of reputable rescues that do good work, the overall rescue network has been plagued with scandals regarding animal abuse and misappropriation of funds.

As we stated earlier, wild horses are now the poster child for the SAFE Act marketing ploy. It is not lost on many in the industry that the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse & Burro Program is the perfect example of how problematic and expensive lifetime care of unadopted horses can be. It is a true financial quagmire. Each year, the majority of the program’s budget is spent on the feed and care of over 50,000 horses in long-term holding. Most of these horses are known as “three strike horses,” meaning that they were offered for adoption three times but repeatedly passed by. Despite several opportunities to be adopted, massive advertising campaigns and cash incentive programs to adopt, these thousands of so-called mustangs are left unadopted and go on to live out their lives at immense taxpayer expense.

Again, where are those 2.3 million Americans that the AWI claim have the interest and resources to buy a horse? If they are indeed buying horses, they aren’t shopping in the kill pen or BLM corrals.

In addition to the 50,000 mustangs in long-term holding, there are currently estimated to be over 95,000 still on the range. The total appropriate management level established with the passage of the Wild Horse & Burro Act of 1971 was determined to be 26,770, allowing for native wildlife and mandated multiple use of federally managed lands. This means that there are 70,000 more horses on the range than there should be, causing incalculable environmental damage and drastically diminishing resources for all range-dwelling animals.

Despite such hard numbers as inarguable proof of the excess mustang population both on-range and off, the extremist groups pushing the SAFE Act are very deliberately spinning their false narrative to manufacture outrage and garner donations. Anyone with common sense can see that with approximately 120,000 total excess mustangs in the United States, those horses aren’t being shipped anywhere.

Nevertheless, extremist groups pull at the heartstrings of potential donors, referring to federally managed mustangs as “our” horses. While this might apply to federally managed mustangs living on the taxpayer dole, it certainly is not true for privately owned horses.

The “save our American horses” line intentionally implies an entirely nonexistent collective ownership of privately owned horses. Supporters of the SAFE Act are therefore bizarrely assuming the right to dictate the end-of-life management choices made by private, individual horse owners. Yet, these same disillusioned people are obviously not taking any responsibility for the domino effect issues they are all too willing to cause.

“Our” government subsidized mustangs have the benefit of seemingly bottomless taxpayer pockets. If the SAFE Act were to pass, the thousands of privately owned horses that might have been humanely processed and put to productive use would not have the luxury of unlimited funds to support their feed and care. It’s very likely that, instead of a humane, productive end, those horses would face a situation like the equine welfare disaster that began in 2007.

As was previously, painfully demonstrated after domestic plants closed, the keyboard warrior animal extremists who think it’s cute to claim other people’s privately owned horses as “our horses” would suddenly be nowhere to be found. Nor would the extremist groups with their multi-million-dollar war chests. True equine welfare is not their concern after all, it’s just a great way to get attention and raise donations.

You can read more about the SAFE Act and our position at: https://b62996ef-39a0-412e-a992-beb092c4d11c.filesusr.com…

Please become a member of Western Justice: https://www.westernjustice.info/memberships

 

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Editor’s Note:  This post was originally published in 2016.  We are re-publishing it now, along with another, in memory of Dr. Angus McIntosh.

Somehow I lucked into being able to tagging along with Dr. Angus McIntosh on his four stop Western Rangelands Property Rights  workshop tour through three counties in Southeast  Oregon, with workshops in Fields, Mt. Vernon, Burns and Ontario.

In addition to all the great workshop information, which I absorbed little by little, and learned more and more over the course of all four workshops, the thing that was most fun for me was all the people I got a chance to meet, and all the other things I learned along the way that went way above and beyond the workshops.

The Oregon leg of the whirlwind tour started out near Fields, Oregon, with an overnight stop with Charmaign “Sis” and Nolan Edwards at the Colony Ranch.   They had the good fortune of getting a private tutorial from Dr. McIntosh, as he looked at their allotment map with them, identified stock water locations, and talked about the history and operation of the allotment.

As we visited with the Edwards, I learned a lot about the Pueblo Mountain Grazing allotment, and the ranchers who operate on that allotment, including the Colony Ranch, Trout Creek Ranch, and the Oregon End Ranch. It sounds like they’ve been having some real struggles the last few years dealing with the drought, lack of stock water, and trying to work with the BLM.  One of the biggest challenges is the Pueblo Mountain Wilderness Study area, and their inability to develop stock water in that area, or even haul water to utilize the feed that’s there.  They said that despite the drought, there’s actually been plenty of feed, but they haven’t been able to utilize it because of the lack of stock water, and apparently the BLM has fought them on everything they have tried to do, from replacing old pipelines to maintaining access to haul water.

The Oregon End Ranch, operated by Jim & Helen McDonald, is located on the backside of Pueblo Mountain, out in the middle of the allotment (and about as far out in the middle nowhere as you can get).  I learned that at the Oregon End, Jim McDonald holds down the ranch by himself during the week, while Helen works in Winnemucca.  Last year, Jim himself earned an ambulance ride to Winnemucca, followed by a lifeflight to a bigger hospital, where he spent about a week in the ICU.  Apparently he had been working with his good neighbors, Joe and Monte Kingen from the Trout Creek Ranch who had come to help out, doctoring calves, when an ornery cow got the drop on him, and cracked his head open.  Although he almost bled to death, it’s a darn good thing Joe and Monte were there.  While Joe was trying to tend to Jim, Monte loaded the horses in the trailer and tried to shuffle things around.  After Joe finally got Jim loaded in the ambulance and on his way, he went to find Monte, who ended up getting stuck in the truck, and was trying to dig out with a shovel.  Monte’s first words to his dad were something to the effect that he didn’t know why anyone would have anything but a four-wheel-drive truck out in that kind of country.  Joe looked around in the truck for a minute and figured out that it had new-fangled push button four-wheel-drive, instead of what 11 year-old Monty was used to in the old ranch trucks he had been allowed to drive.  Between shovels and push buttons, though, they eventually got out.

And I learned that Kingens themselves have a very interesting story.  They came to the Trout Creek Ranch from Russia, where Joe spent a couple years working for one of the outfits that is trying to carve big, new, western-style, Angus genetics ranches out of the Russian wilderness.  In addition to being a real adventure, it sounds like it was pretty frustrating for awhile, but eventually Joe was able to have Becky and the kids join him, and he got some better horses, which would help make any good cowboy feel better about life.  Given the adventure that it was, someone could probably write a whole story about that whole experience, but I don’t really have time or room to do it justice here.

I was fascinated to learn about the one-room school in Fields, covering grades K-8,  that now has a gym (which is where the workshop was held), where Monte Kingen, and his younger sister, Reata, are two of the 12 students who attend the school.  And I better not forget to say something about mom – Becky Kingen – because  if there is one thing I learned over the course of four days, it is that Becky is quite a firecracker and organizer.  She is the one who invited McIntosh to come do the workshops and made all the arrangements.  Without her, it probably wouldn’t have been much of a tour.  Hats off to Becky Kingen.

And what a pleasure it was to get a chance to know the Edwards.  It was both gut-wrenching and heart-warming to learn more about their story.  Sis Edwards had this quiet, understated spirit of true substance about her.  After getting to know her just a little bit, I had this sense that there must be more to that story.  So when I got a chance I asked Becky Kingen about it.  I could tell Sis and Becky were close, so I figured Becky would know.  Becky went on to tell me how, along with whatever other trials and blessings life has dished out to the Edwards, they tragically lost two of their three children way before their time, with a young son dying of cancer at something like age 11, and their dear daughter Sammi in a car accident while she was away to college in Arizona, traveling to a rodeo.   I could hardly stand the thought of it.  As I started paying even closer attention to Sis, and the things she was saying, and what she understands, I started seeing the true depth of her character and understanding, and  I came to realize what a true treasure of a human being she is.  I sure hope to have a chance to get to know her better.  As far as I’m concerned, she should run for governor or even president.  She is the real deal – the living, breathing embodiment of just exactly the opposite of what we have in office right now. And I learned that in addition to running the ranch with good help from Sis and their son Chad, Nolan can cook a real mean (good) breakfast.  After 4-5 years of drought, Nolan was so excited to see some water this year that he had a spotting scope set up on the kitchen counter so that he could watch the water level rise in his meadows as the snow melts.  It’s amazing how a desert rancher with a little bit of water can be as excited as a kid in a candy store.

From Fields, we went to Grant County for a workshop in Mt. Vernon.  At first I thought the capable security detail that was tagging along was probably overkill, but when we pulled up at the Grange Hall, there were a bunch of protesters there waiting to meet us.  Although it quickly became apparent that the protesters didn’t even have an idea what they were protesting,  I was glad to have security along, even if just for effect.  Ranchers were having a meeting, so apparently that was reason enough to protest.

At a certain point in the meeting in Mt. Vernon, the discussion turned to Sheriff Glenn Palmer, who had recently come under attack.  Just that week I had heard a story about him taking charge of the Grant County resource plan, that had even me wondering if he had gone too far – until I started hearing and seeing the other side of the story.  But once I got the opportunity to both see and hear the other side of the story, including the terrible fire that hit Grant County last summer, what it had done, and what it could have one, while everyone from the feds down to the county commissioners, who should have been doing something about it, sat on their butts and let it happen, I realized how important it is to be able to see the whole picture before even considering passing judgment.  Once I realized just how negligent and complicit the county commissioners had been, I had a change of tune, and became thankful for the kind of county sheriff who would show some initiative and take charge, while other so-called leaders were waiting to have someone else pull their strings.  It quickly became apparent how much the people in the meeting love and appreciate their sheriff, and I was glad to see that.

On that score, I and everyone else at the meeting were surprised by the appearance of this mysterious woman, who snuck into the meeting through the back door, and sat down.  She turned out to be Sibel Edmonds of Boiling Frogs Post, an independent media outlet in Bend, who has taken a genuine interest in the Sheriff Palmer situation.  Apparently Sibel learned about the meeting late, but made the long drive, and had the chance to speak for a few minutes about her desire to help tell the real story about Sheriff Palmer, and what is going on, and her conclusion that a big part of why he is under so much pressure right now is because he is actually on President Obama’s (s)hit list for previous positions he has taken that don’t square with the Obama agenda.

To help underscore all that we stayed that night with Rick & Sharon Brookshire, who lost almost everything on their place (shop, barn, corrals, etc.) except their house in the fire.   And we heard about their neighbor, Tad Houpt, who is an independent logging contractor, who had been one of the organizers of the workshop, but had been so sick he hadn’t been able to attend the meeting.  We heard about the retaliation that has been unleashed against Tad based on his outspoken criticism of how the fire was handled, which came within a gnat’s whisker of burning him out too.  We were glad to see that he was on the mend enough the next morning to come outside to talk to us a little bit, and I got a chance to hear him explain exactly what happened with the fire, and how it was so badly mis-handled and mis-managed.  Yet because he’s got the guts to say something about it, he too is being targeted.  It’s enough to make just about anyone want to pull their hair out.

Another person whose acquaintance I was able to make in Grant County was Sharon Livingston.  More tales of courage in the face of despair.   I heard her tell McIntosh that she should have gone to law school way back when, but she did what women could do back then – teach school or become a nurse.  So she started teaching school and married a rancher.  Unfortunately, he passed away 20 years ago, and left her with the task of running the ranch with her son/partner, who likewise ended up dying early of a heart attack within just the past  year or so, leaving her a place to run mostly by herself.  But she must know what she’s doing.  She’s a past president of the Oregon CattleMEN’s Association.  She and Sis Edwards would make quite a pair.   Sharon is a staunch supporter of Sheriff Palmer, and a good friend of Dwight and Susie Hammond.   I could tell that anyone would be lucky to have her as a friend.

On our way back to Burns we ended up spending  a lot of time talking about Harney County politics and what it would actually take to effect any meaningful change in the county.  That was the first time I heard about the upstart Malheur Redress website/newspaper, and decided then and there to try to write one of the first stories.  We interrupted that discussion just long enough to stop and tidy-up the LaVoy Finicum memorial along the highway.  Like the big cross says, RIP LaVoy!

In between workshops, Todd Macfarlane, who happened to also be helping the LaVoy Finicum family with legal work, spent a lot of his time working on the Finicum case, interviewing people, and talking to attorneys.  At one point I heard him slip an unexpected cuss word when he learned that despite his best efforts, including repeated requests for access to inspect LaVoy Finicum’s pickup truck, especially while he was back in Oregon for a few days, once again he was being stonewalled and denied access to the truck.

The workshop in Burns was a packed house in the comfortable back room of Glory Days Pizza.  The crowd had lots of questions, including what could be done to help the Hammonds. McIntosh started out the Burns Workshop by talking about 18 USC Section 1855, which makes it a crime to start a fire on federal lands.  In applying this code to the Hammond situation, he pointed out and emphasized the last sentence of the statute, which says “This section shall not apply in the case of a fire set by an allottee in the reasonable exercise of his proprietary rights in the allotment.”   Based on that language, he said he still can’t even begin to make sense of what happened to the Hammonds.

I have started to wonder if Dr. McIntosh has a photographic memory.  He talks about congressional acts and case law like they are his kids birthdays.  At one point, he asked how and why the Federal government and the BLM have gotten such a stranglehold on things.  Then he explained it is because WE LET THEM, because we haven’t understood or stood up for our rights.  He said that although the Ninth Circuit had reversed the Hage case, he wasn’t that concerned because the Curtin v. Benson case is still good law.  But Macfarlane countered and said that he is concerned, because the Curtin case is over 100 years ago, while Hage is right now, today, here, in the Ninth Circuit.  Macfarlane also said that he had really come to love Oregon, and would seriously think about relocating to Southeast Oregon – if it wasn’t for the fact that Oregon is in the Ninth Circuit.  On that score, he noted that Arizona was in the process of petitioning to withdraw from the Ninth Circuit and be reassigned to the Tenth, to which people started clapping.

After  the Burns workshop I had to chuckle as I watched the folks who Todd Macfarlane and Dr. Mac were going to be staying with that night, approach Macfarlane and ask if he and Angus still needed dinner, and what their plans were.  Macfarlane said they’d had some pizza, so they were good to go, and didn’t want to mess up any other plans.  The woman in the pair said her only plan was to go home and drink some Tequila.  She wanted to know what a pair of Scotsman like Macfarlane & McIntosh would be drinking.  I almost had to laugh out loud as I watched the color drain from his face as he stuttered and stammered and explained that they were both Mormon, so they would only be drinking water.  To which she replied “we didn’t used to drink much either until all this started happening in Harney County, but that kind of drove us to start.”  How can you argue with that?  I’m not going to divulge where they stayed, but Macfarlane said it was first class, and he’d never seen so many horsehair mecates in one house in his life.

The next day, thanks to a good start we ended up in Malheur County fairly early, and because we had time to kill, spent some time at the John & Lacey Blake Ranch, Southwest of Vale, where Lacey fed us lunch. 

The workshop in Ontario was probably the biggest and best of the tour.  With the threat of an Owyhee Canyons National Monument breathing down their necks, people in Malheur County had been worked up, and concerned about the prospects.  And thankfully, there seems to be more unity in that community.  In addition to County Judge, Dan Joyce, Commissioner Larry Wilson, and Sheriff  Brian Wolfe attended the workshop to see if it would provide any information that could help in the effort to stop or deal with the prospect of a monument declaration.   Having been through a similar experience in Kane County, Utah when the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument was created without any warning, Macfarlane talked a little bit about his experiences there and elsewhere in Southern Utah.  He made reference to what is known as the coordination process, and said “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”  He told those in attendance that they should use every tool at their disposal to address the situation.

After the meeting, Dr. McIntosh and Macfarlane shared a few cookies and handshakes with others in the parking lot, as they packed up and were getting ready to pull out – trying to make it as far as Twin Falls that night.  I heard McIntosh on the phone with Becky Kingen who was asking about setting up a workshop in Winnemucca.  This was Tuesday, and from what I could tell, McIntosh was going to be headed home to Craig, Colorado, then to LaJunta, Colorado, that weekend, then back to Beaver, Utah,  and Ely, Nevada, the next week, with Winnemucca in the works.  He certainly deserves the title “Road Warrior.”

In another piece, I’ll try to summarize what I learned from the workshops.

The post Riding the Range with Dr. Angus McIntosh –Southeast Oregon Range Rights Workshop Tour — by Redtail Rose first appeared on RANGEfire!.
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