Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Stockgrowers concerned about Ellsworth practice-bombing

General aviation is being disrupted by expanded practice-bombing in parts of Montana, Wyoming, North and South Dakota.
The South Dakota Stockgrowers Association sent a request to officials at Ellsworth Air Force Base on Tuesday regarding last year's expansion of the Powder River Training Complex. Stockgrowers president Bill Kluck says officials committed to making flight information available to ranchers who monitor their herds and land by air in the area. He says they have not effectively followed through. Kluck says it's difficult for rural pilots to know whether it's safe to fly. Air Force officials did not immediately comment. [Associated Press]
Damage to ranch land values, wildlife habitat and to quality of life is expected to be in the millions if not more. Can't wait for bombers to buzz Betty Olson's house.

Sage grouse will be extinct in 100 years and could be extirpated from the Powder River basin in 30 years if their decline continues at its current rate, according to the Garton report released in Environment and Energy Daily. Santa Fe-based WildEarth Guardians says the study follows the bird’s cycles going back to 1965 and is a warning of what could happen if Western states don’t step up conservation efforts for the grouse.

Oil and gas production, pipelines, climate change and the newly expanded Powder River Training Complex are accelerating the extinction of the once-prolific bird.
Andrea Bowman, agent with the Bowman County NDSU Extension office, said one of her concerns rested with sage grouse, a species already drawing concern due to dwindling population. Bowman said her concern would be how the presence of the bombers would affect the sage grouse and area livestock. Potential bird aircraft strikes could also occur in the low MOA where migratory flyways converge, such as in Bowman County. [BOMBING OVER BOWMAN – PART II]
At least one Ellsworth B1-B bomber went down over southeastern Montana because of a bird strike and the Air Force has released murky findings in the downing of another which some have said was brought down by an irate Carter County rancher with a .30-30 Winchester.

As if it isn't bad enough that Senator John Thune is a tool of the military/industrial complex where Ellsworth Air Force Base aids and abets pilots who kill children and practice-bombs parts of four states he wants to bring a doomed fighter to Sioux Falls.

Rapid City sez: fuck you, Mr. President; but, thanks for the dough.

The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association has raised concerns about the expanded military operations and the associated government overreach, too.

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