Saturday, July 27, 2019

Black Hills residents want fewer cougars killed

Over a hundred wildlife species in South Dakota are at risk to the Republican Party but most Black Hills residents want fewer mountain lions killed while Republican welfare ranchers in the prairie areas want them eradicated according to the just-released cougar "management" plan from South Dakota Game, Fish & Plunder (GF&P).
Black Hills residents were more likely than residents on the prairie to agree (55% compared with 36%) that a healthy, viable population of mountain lions in SD is important to them (Longmire 2019). Black Hills residents were more likely than residents on the prairie to agree (67% compared to 54%) that mountain lions’ presence was a sign of a healthy environment (Longmire 2019). Black Hills residents were more likely to disagree than residents on the prairie (67% compared to 50%) with the statement that having mountain lions in SD was too dangerous a risk to people (Longmire 2019). Black Hills residents were more likely than residents on the prairie to indicate they would prefer the mountain lion population in the Black Hills Fire Protection District remain about the same over the next five years (44% compared to 38%). [SOUTH DAKOTA MOUNTAIN LION MANAGEMENT PLAN, 2019-2029, Draft]
GF&P may have been interested in science at some point in its past but like Douglas fir, lodgepole pine and as revenues collapse the eventual extirpation of mountain lions from the Black Hills looks like a given. Under pressure from the Humane Society of the United States the South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder Commission did reverse itself on hunting cougars with weaponized dogs.


After the 2002 Grizzly Gulch Fire opened nearly 13,000 acres of overgrown and beetle-killed ponderosa pine invasive weeds and cheatgrass moved in because collisions with cars and hunters have killed off most of the native bighorn sheep, elk, white-tailed and mule deer. Now, a herd of disease-prone bighorn sheep, likely seeking relative protection from cougars orphaned by one of Game, Fish and Plunder's other failed policies, has moved right in and made themselves at home within the City of Deadwood causing traffic snarls and wreaking havoc on gardens and lawns.

As a result, GF&P wants to auction opportunities to "harvest" bighorn sheep to prop up Republican Governor Kristi Noem's pheasant killing initiative.
The GFP Department is planning to create a marketing strategy for the auction that may include hiring a national firm to get the word out about the auction. Wild Sheep Foundation representatives were supportive of the changes, including limiting the bighorn sheep funds to $85,000. [State pushes spendy bighorn sheep tags to raise money for pheasant habitat fund]
The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

Not wolves, cougars or even coyotes: golden eagles levied a 53% mortality rate on domestic sheep on one ranch in Wyoming. Kill off apex predators like wolves and cougars; spray glyphosate and POEA on everything then wonder why cervids contract a prion disease like Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).

During one season a white christian trophy hunter illegally slew a three-month old, fourteen pound cougar kitten in the Black Hills. The idiot was cited for a class one misdemeanor improper tagging, which carries a penalty of fines to $1,000, one year in jail and loss of hunting privileges for a year. That particular incident is par for the course in Lawrence County where firearms and alcohol mixed with meth chasers are as common as sibling marriages.


Friday, July 26, 2019

Underdog, the people rule: South Dakota awaits lawsuit to reverse religion in schools

Pennsylvania used a grand jury for the statewide investigation of predator priests and the Philadelphia Diocese is the bishopric of former Rapid City primate Charlie Chaput but don't expect suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg, Attorney General, former altar boy and member of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers to take on both South Dakota Dioceses.

In South Dakota local control means Republican control.
Acknowledging that the law could trigger a lawsuit, legislators included a contingency plan which calls on the state to assume all financial responsibility for any fallout from the "In God We Trust" message. And if any suits are filed against a school district, employee, school board, or member of the school board, the law states, South Dakota's attorney general will represent them at no cost. The ACLU of South Dakota told NPR that its officials were unavailable to provide comment before this story published. [NPR]
Of course ACLU South Dakota will sue but that’s the point: the state has unlimited resources but grassroots social justice and civil rights organizations have to find the money to litigate.

What’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, an extremist legislature, living in a chemical toilet, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area?

After a former Republican South Dakota governor signed a bill into law that discriminates against some couples seeking to adopt the evidence is clear that a California-led boycott is having effects. South Dakota is struggling to keep white workers, infrastructure is crumbling, industrial agriculture is failing, South Dakota churches are girding for gun violence, meth is replacing alcohol as the state's drug of choice, Pierre's culture of corruption and rape violence threaten open government, socialism is quietly replacing free enterprise, pheasant numbers are dwindling, environmental degradation is increasing, wildlife are being exterminated to make way for disease-ridden domestic livestock and exotic fowl, jails far outnumber colleges, ag bankers continue to enslave landowners and the state's medical industry triopoly operates without scrutiny.

Little wonder young people are fleeing South Dakota in droves. Unless your Social Security pays your property taxes you’re just another greasy, grimy grudznick groveling in the gore and grinding out every greenback you can grab.

But, applaud the nutball Republican efforts diverting attention from the party’s culture of corruption where murders and their covers up are commonplace by clogging the legislative session with christianic religionist argle-bargle.


Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Norbeck Society hasn't ruled out lawsuit to stop BHNF's Tepee Canyon project


Dendroctonus ponderosae or mountain pine beetle predates by millions of years Pinus ponderosa in the Black Hills which only reached that region less than four thousand years ago.

When the Custer Expedition came through the Black Hills in 1874 bringing invasive cheatgrass for their horses stands of ponderosa pine were sparsely scattered but a century and a half of poor ranching and land management practices have created an unnatural overstory best controlled by the mountain pine beetle, prescribed fires and periodic wildfires. The bug is hard at work clearing centuries of overgrowth throughout the Rocky Mountain Complex, so is the western spruce budworm. But leaving dead and dying conifers on the forest produces methane, an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is.

Native Douglas fir, limber and lodgepole pine have been mostly extirpated from He Sapa, The Heart of Everything That Is and after a century of destructive agricultural practices invasive grasses infest most of western South Dakota. The Island in the Plains has been broken for decades but the collapse of select Black Hills ecosystems has been evident since at least 2002. Add the very high number of private inholdings within the Black Hills National Forest that make the wildland urban interface (WUI) very large to one of the highest road densities in the entire national forest system and Region 2 to lots of logging, hardrock mining and pesticides like Carbaryl then understand why over a hundred species in South Dakota alone and a million worldwide are at risk to the Republican Party.

Keystone, Hot Springs, Custer, Pringle, Argyle, Hill City, Hisega, Rochford, Nemo, Galena, Silver City, Hanna, Cheyenne Crossing, Savoy, Deadwood, Lead, Whitewood, Newcastle, Alva, Aladdin, Hulett even parts of Sundance, Rapid City, Piedmont, Sturgis and Spearditch are at extreme risk from the tactical use of wildfire. Just six strategically-placed improvised fuel air explosives (FAEs) deployed during red-flag conditions have the potential to create a firestorm that would be virtually unstoppable.

So BHNF officials want to slash and thin some 2,669 acres of forest during what they are calling the Tepee Canyon project on public land between Jewel Cave National Monument and the Custer Highlands residential area. Mechanical treatments will include clearcuts or in silviculture parlance: overstory removal. No doubt GOP donors Hulett, Wyoming-based Neiman Enterprises will gobble up that logging pork.
The Norbeck Society, which promotes the sustainable use of public land, submitted six pages of commentary on what it described as the “deeply complex” issues surrounding the management of the forest. Regarding the proposed thinning project, the Norbeck Society said prescribed fires would be more effective than the logging that is planned. The Society said “there is not a community safer from fire than one that has had fire,” and it said the proposed thinning project is “unlikely to make much of a difference in the intensity, severity and effects of a wildland fire in the area.”

“The past century of logging has helped to rob the ecosystem of large fire resistant stands of pines and gradually reduced the ability of the forest to cope with fire and insect outbreaks, dealt a sentence of botanical chaos and habitat loss, and jeopardized a plethora of other human interests on the forest,” the Society wrote. The Society said logging opens up areas of the forest for thickets of young trees that can serve as fuel for fires. The Society urged more prescribed burning to thin or remove such “understory pine growth." “If we do not reintroduce more fire to this landscape via prescribed burns, we will likely be introduced to fires beyond what we’ve ever experienced,” the Society said. [Comments on forest-thinning plan rife with disagreement]
The Dakota Progressive reached out to the Norbeck Society.

TDP: You guys should know I have an opinion of the Tepee Canyon project that is not entirely in agreement with yours.
Norbeck Society: Can you elaborate on what aspects of the Norbeck comments you are in disagreement with? ... and where you do agree?
TDP: Mechanical treatments followed by prescribed fire are critical to the success of the project.
NS: Agreed. Can you explain where you are not in agreement with the Norbeck comments?
TDP: Prescribed burns before mechanical treatments expose soils to undue risk.
NS: Only problem is they say they are unlikely to burn it. We do recommend burning after treatments. They have thousands of acres recently treated that should be burned, but they aren't doing it. Is there an advantage, at this point, to bring more acres into the stage where they'll be unburned-soon-to-be-too-big-to-burn regen? And they say they don't have the money to follow-up appropriately with thinning or weed mitigation... let alone burning.
TDP: That’s John Thune’s doing. $2000/A. for prescribed fire and $46/A. for cost of a wildfire. Can you afford to sue the bastards?
NS: We are keenly aware of the politics... and staying mum on the possibility of a lawsuit. The current local estimates on prescribed fire start at 600/ac. which is about the same as the cost of thinning. But that's not including the lost opportunity costs of the inevitable wildfires that will eventually crop up as a result of the foolish dream that logging is a substitute for burning...once prescribed fire is happening, the costs go down, I'm told... because the forest is safer for burning and they can build on prior applications.
TDP: So, you don’t have the money to sue.
NS: Right now, we're focused on pressure. The article today was a good introduction to the question of "is logging effective for managing fuels". I'm [afraid] that "egg-on-face" day is coming for those that maintain the logging done on this forest is sustainable. It's too bad that the public has taken the industry spin hook-line-and-sinker to their own detriment. Also, I don't think there's a lot of difference between your take of the situation and the Norbeck Society's, although NS may be a bit more moderate -- if I can say that. We view one of our main roles as educating the public... we volunteers up against paid lobbyists.
TDP: There is no portion of the BHNF that hasn’t been altered by human manipulation for probably 12,000 years. Take all the second growth pine, burn after fuel treatments then encourage aspen and other native hardwoods and forbs to where it was in 1800 or so. Make a deal not to sue.
NS: ...still trying to find my magic wand!

Read more about the Tepee Canyon project linked here.


Friday, July 19, 2019

Minnesota, other states focus on new cannabis legislation

According to a report released Thursday by the Minnesota Department of Health over 70 percent of survey respondents said therapeutic cannabis was helping to ease their post-traumatic stress and most showed “clinically meaningful” reductions in the severity of their symptoms.
“Better sleep, better appetite, I’m not so angry all the time,” said one respondent. “My memories don’t seem to bother me like they used to. This has been a life-changer for me!” [StarTribune]
Corey Day, a former executive director of the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) party has formed Cannabis for Economic Growth and will make the dollars and cents case for legalizing for all adults in Minnesota.
Day said he would like to see special efforts made in Minnesota to make sure that low-income people and communities of color share in the economic advantages of legalization. [MinnPost]
A New Mexico task force is drafting legislation using two bills from last session as templates. One member of the legal team is a graduate of Lyman (South Dakota) High School. Enrollment in New Mexico's therapeutic cannabis program is over 72,000 patients and the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts.
Just two other states – Illinois and Vermont – have legalized marijuana legislatively. The other nine states that have legalized recreational cannabis use have done so through voter petition or referendum efforts, which are not allowed in New Mexico. [Albuquerque Journal]
Despite Democratic Governor Steve Bullock's reticence therapeutic cannabis is flowering in Montana.
The Marijuana Regulation Act, or Ballot Issue No. 5, as it is currently titled with the Secretary of State's Office, would legalize recreational marijuana use, establish the state's duties in facilitating the industry, and establish tax revenue policies. "You look across all the states" that have passed recreational measures, said Pepper Peterson of Coalition 406. "Those who are willing to work with the national groups are usually the ones who rise to the top." Boiled down to their basics, both groups' measures have similarities: tax recreational marijuana about 15%, and lower or eliminate the tax on medicinal marijuana; build from the medical marijuana program and protect those providers from the large-scale retail shops that would flood the state if recreational passed; and maintain the state's tracking system to ensure [cannabis] isn't flowing in from or out to the black market. [Missoulian]
In May red state North Dakota quietly decriminalized possession of small amounts and a dispensary just opened in Williston to better serve therapeutic cannabis patients. An interim legislative committee is currently researching legalization for all adults and an initiative that provides for the Legislature to set up regulatory and licensing systems for growing and sales has been resubmitted after its sponsor made some changes.
Secretary of State Al Jaeger received the new petition Friday, starting a timeline to approve its format for circulation. The petition would need 26,904 qualified signatures by Feb. 10 to be placed on the primary ballot. [Bismarck Tribune]
North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis members of the law enforcement industry will force a catheter into your urethra and seize your assets.

Yes, South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse yet even Democrats in that red state believe residents are too fragile for legal cannabis and the South Dakota State Medical Association contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the fact that it is illegal makes it less effective as a therapy.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Republican South Dakota legislator gleefully defends Trump's racism



Republican District 19 State Senator Stace Nelson is a conservative christian (go figure), albeit a decorated Marine, who spent a career brutalizing the people within his charge as a monolithic executor of forced compliance through intimidation.

What Sen. Nelson has done in disrespectful rants to his detractors on Twitter, Facebook Faceberg, Dakota "Free Press" and at Dakota War College, the quasi-official mouthpiece of the South Dakota Republican Party, is nothing short of cyber bullying.

His anger and controlling personality are pathologies, contraindications of the power drug he uses to fog a world that doesn’t conform to his delusions. He shoves his creation superstitions down the throats of his virtual victims and crams the hose of his coerced military patriotism into any orifice that his captives leave unprotected. The glaring difference between Nelson, a former military police investigator, and Ted Klaudt is that Nelson offended legally under the auspices of the Marine Corps.

The fact that Mr. Nelson has been a CASA participant as he taints the very clients for whom he purports to advocate should frighten every social worker to the core. How a morbidly obese man, who models an unhealthy body image that often eclipses the ample shadow cast by convicted sex offender Klaudt, a former GOP South Dakota legislator now serving time for his crimes, has intimate contact with rudderless young people frankly scares me beyond terror.

Nelson wasn't drafted: he solicited for and was hired to do a job then was paid for it along with associated benefits. That looks more like self serving than public service to a cynical observer.

Which part of race-driven hate speech escapes you, people? If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like duck it's most likely a duck. Trump is a racist who paddles in the swamp of racism!

Little wonder he fears his creator. Unless and until the electorate stands up to Stace Nelson's brand of Republican dystopianism, We the People are doomed to endure Patriot Act after Patriot Act where freedom from tyranny dies a slow, whimpering death.

Just say it: Republicanism is Nazism.


Sunday, July 14, 2019

Extreme white wing of the Republican Party shows its true colors in Rapid City

Right to life? Not if you're non-white in South Dakota.

In the early twentieth century after President Theodore Roosevelt invited Booker T. Washington to the White House white supremacists began erecting statuary commemorating and celebrating treason in the United States. Mount Rushmore in occupied South Dakota is the state's premier example of white supremacist ideology. Its sculptor was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. Confederate flags routinely fly in Rapid City showing support for racism in like-minded states, South Carolina and Mississippi. Many more come out during the Sturgis Rally.

43 presidential statues already sit or stand on corners downtown Rapid City and the City of Presidents Foundation leaders want to focus on the message it will send to visitors without invoking the town's long history of bigotry. Fact is: most of the downtown statues depict slave owners, at least one child rapist, war criminals and figures in history that ordered the murders of American Indians. Calling him a rapist some earth haters are demanding the removal of Rapid City's statue of Bill Clinton.

Barack Hussein Obama will join Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, and Jimmy Carter as US presidents who have won the Nobel Prize for Peace.



Charles Hypo Kovach "Ugliest statue I have ever seen"

Eileen Juso Craig "Yuck!

Devin Pauley "Why not put it on the corner of east north street and north lacrosse?"

Gary Tidd "Offensive"

Michael Whitcher "Worst president ever. Set us back 60 yrs in race relations."

Don Hantzsche "{Disgraceful did more to set this country back then any President of modern times."

Larry Enright "Yyyaaaayyyyyyyyyy! The greatest failure in American politics ever is now a statue. I am Offended and like all his half brothers of color in the south Offended by every piece of history there, I am gonna see to its removal. I find him an offensive presence. He hates white men and believes all of us to be the perpetrators of his black half brothers’ problems. #offendedbyobama"

Carl Palmer "Waisted [sic] money please don’t call me a bigot or racist I did 30 years in the Navy he was a disgrace and I served all the way back to Nixon he does not deserve crap."

Tina Tines "Kok if ODUMBA is the daddy we know who aint the mama."

Think these are bad? Over a thousand comments at the teevee stations KOTA, KNBN and KEVN are just as hideous and most even worse than the ones posted at the Rapid City Journal.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

Failures at Corps of Engineers, SDGF&P bring invasive mussels to Lake Sharpe


The death of the Missouri River ecosystem in South Dakota began with the European invasion, was accelerated by the Homestake Mining Company and sealed with the construction of the mainstem dams.

After massive failures of state agencies the Republican-controlled South Dakota Game, Fish and Plunder is throwing up its hands on invasive species like zebra mussels. The pesky bivalves compete with paddlefish and other native species like the pallid sturgeon. But only recently have the Commissioners for South Dakota's Game, Fish and Plunder implemented mandatory boat inspections after failing the control of aquatic invasive species (AIS) in the lower Missouri River mainstem dams.
“The mussels were initially discovered by members of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers while performing maintenance at Big Bend Dam, at the lower end of Lake Sharpe,” said Fisheries Chief John Lott. “They were positively identified as zebra mussels by GFP staff. Additional sampling efforts by GFP and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service have confirmed that adult zebra mussels are present in multiple areas in the lower portion of the lake.” Zebra mussels can produce up to one million eggs per year, rapidly colonizing new waters. [Zebra mussels confirmed in Lake Sharpe]
Diving ducks like the Canvasback, Redhead, Bufflehead, Lesser Scaup and the Common Goldeneye feed on the invasive zebra mussels that have been plaguing the mainstem dams in the Missouri River since at least 2004 but they're part of over a hundred species at risk to the South Dakota Republican Party.

Rivers often disperse the extra sediment from behind a dam within weeks or months of dam removal. Removal of the Fort Edward Dam on New York’s Hudson River released so much contaminated sediment that the river was later named a Superfund site. A similar fate would befall the Missouri River if dams were not dredged before being decertified and removed; but, migratory fish would recolonize newly accessible habitat within a matter of days.

Lake sturgeon prey on zebra mussels.
Upstream on the Sand Hill River in northwestern Minnesota, sturgeon and channel catfish are returning to their ancient spawning grounds for the first time in decades. The fish had been cut off from the gravel beds of the upper river — ideal habitat for laying and guarding eggs — by a series of concrete low-rise dams dating to the 1930s. As soon as the passages were reopened, the fish started returning, said Jamison Wendel, stream habitat supervisor for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). “It’s almost immediate,” Wendel said. [Minnesota sturgeon returning to ancient spawning grounds as dams are removed]
Christopher Guy, assistant unit leader with the US Geological Survey Montana Cooperative Fishery Unit and professor at Montana State University, is an expert on the endangered pallid sturgeon in the upper Missouri River basin.
Pallid sturgeon come from a genetic line that has lived on this planet for tens of millions of years; yet it has been decades since anyone has documented any of the enormous fish successfully producing young that survive to adulthood in the upper Missouri River basin. Now, fisheries scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey, Montana State University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have shown why, detailing for the first time the biological mechanism that has caused the long decline of pallid sturgeon in the Missouri River and led to its being placed on the endangered species list 25 years ago.
In a paper published this week in the journal Fisheries, the scientists show that oxygen-depleted dead zones between dams in the upper Missouri River are directly linked with the failure of endangered pallid sturgeon hatched embryos to survive to adulthood. Given what the new research shows about how no oxygen is available to hatched pallid sturgeon embryos, the authors of the paper propose that officials will need to consider innovative approaches to managing Missouri River reservoirs for pallid sturgeon conservation to have a chance. [press release, US Geological Survey]
The Army Corps of Engineers has cancelled Spring Pulses on the Missouri River not because of low flows but because the silt is so poisonous it would kill the very species it says it's trying to preserve. Below the Missouri River dams pallid sturgeon are showing signs of recovery but above?
According to American Rivers, an advocacy group that tracks U.S. dam removals, 72 dams in 19 states were torn down in 2014, a record. That is roughly double the annual number from 10 years ago. Some 1,185 dams have been removed since 1912, according to the group. The fleet of U.S. dams, however, is still enormous. The Army Corps of Engineers counts at least 87,000 dams in its database. Removing dams produces its own benefits. Public safety is enhanced by reducing the risk of a dam failure, and moribund freshwater fisheries are rejuvenated when a segmented river is reconnected. [Circle of Blue]
Accumulated mercury in large fish causes spontaneous abortions yet record non-native salmon in Lake Oahe go untested.

Although the Oahe Dam was completed in 1962 sequestering most of the silt the soils of the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne Rivers are inculcated with arsenic at levels that have killed cattle. Endangered pallid sturgeon, paddlefish, catfish and most other organisms cope with lethal levels of mercury throughout the South Dakota portion of the Missouri River.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Industrial cannabis won't replace subsidized corn in South Dakota


In South Dakota Republicans enjoy socialized agriculture just as Kentucky Republicans once made bank on socialized tobacco but Kentucky lost that subsidy so industrial cannabis (hemp) makes some sense there.
Kentucky has been regulating hemp since pilot programs were allowed under the 2014 Farm Bill and U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., was instrumental in federally legalizing hemp in the 2018 Farm Bill. Four South Dakota legislators recently traveled to Kentucky for a "hemp tour" and then continued the discussions on Thursday with Kentucky agriculture and law enforcement officials, as well as leaders of a Kentucky-based hemp processing business and national hemp business coalition. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
But replacing the ecocidal corn/ethanol subsidy in South Dakota with hemp acres is a bridge too far for Republicans who run for office on habitat destruction in my home state. Besides, the Chinese Ring-necked Pheasant isn't wildlife but it is a canary in a chemically and genetically engineered corn mine. They don't eat grasshoppers but wild geese and turkeys sure do while the pesticide industry that greases Republican politicos don't give a whit about anything but profit. South Dakota's legislature is dominated by Republicans who ignore the effects of the Anthropocene and lobbyists line up to stuff their pockets with cash.

What’s not to like about six (seven? eight?) month winters, rampant racism, chilling effects on civil rights, an extremist legislature and living in a chemical toilet, perpetual welfare state and permanent disaster area? As long as oil prices stay depressed ethanol will stay in style but this progressive really doesn't care what happens East River because it’s already destroyed but West River can still be rewilded and preserved. I want to see money for West River land owners who would put their ground back into native grasses to be exempt from property taxes and lease that land for wildlife corridors. I want to see domestic livestock confined to internment camps East River where Hutterites will ultimately control all the ag ground there.

Why anyone would want to buy hybrid genetically engineered cannabis seed from Bayer CropScience/Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery. It costs about $50,000 to plant 20 acres of CBD-rich GMO hemp so let your non-tribal corn ground laden with glyphosate go fallow for five years and see if you can get organic certification for your value-added harvest.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

CWD outbreak linked to the extermination of apex predators, overuse of weed killers

The South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission approved the most restrictive options presented to the commissioners on Tuesday when it comes to transporting mule deer, whitetail deer and elk carcasses into and around South Dakota. The commission is scheduled to make a final decision on the proposed restrictions during its Sept. 8 meeting, and if approved, the restrictions would go into effect on July 1, 2020. [Sioux Falls Argus Leader]
Way back when, Bob Newland posted my inaugural blogospheric essay at The Decorum Forum. In the comments, I added:
Evidence exists that sudden aspen death is attributable to non-point sources of pollution, ie. POEA, polyethyoxilated tallowamine, a surfactant present in Monsanto's Roundup®, is a prime suspect. POEA interferes with mycorrhiza and their ability to metabolize water. Malathion®, a widely used insecticide and legion for its toxicity, also contains a surfactant.
I have been covering effects of the surfactant POEA for nearly three decades. Today, wapiti (elk) in the Mountain West are dying en masse from Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) that some researchers say results from the federal government feeding those cervids in close proximity. Hay fed to those animals is likely contaminated with Roundup®.


Figure 2. Glyphosate usage over the last two decades. It has been estimated that the production of glyphosate is increasing with a rate of about 40 tons per year. Adapted from Benbrook (13).
Heather Swanson and Ryan Prioreschi monitor wildlife with the City of Boulder. The mountain lions know that something is wrong. A number of years ago, Swanson and her colleagues studied which deer mountain lions prefer to attack. "The mountain lions were definitely preferentially selecting deer that had chronic wasting disease over those that were negative," she says. "And for most of the ones that they had killed, we had not detected any chronic wasting disease symptoms yet. So certainly the lions were able to key in on far more subtle cues than we were." Unlike us, the lions know that while a deer might look sleek and alert, it's actually a ticking time bomb. That's one of the weird things about this disease. It isn't like the usual viral or bacterial illness. The infection can sit in a herd, crawling from animal to animal, for years before people notice anything is wrong. "Through time (it) degrades, essentially, their brain tissue," says Swanson. [Bent Out Of Shape: Could A Mysterious Animal Epidemic Become The Next Mad Cow?]
Environmental pollutants in the umbilical cord blood of infants? How conservative.
Meanwhile, Monsanto continues to sell Roundup formulas with POEA in the United States. The Pilliods’ expert toxicologist Dr. William Sawyer said that POEA makes the Roundup formula 50 times more toxic. [Two billion dollar judgment against Bayer/Monsanto in glyphosate cancer trial was “devastating rebuke” to company’s science]
From GM Watch:
In a new research published in the high ranked scientific journal Toxicology, Robin Mesnage, Benoรฎt Bernay and Professor Gilles-Eric Sรฉralini, from the University of Caen, France, have proven (from a study of nine Roundup-like herbicides) that the most toxic compound is not glyphosate, which is the substance the most assessed by regulatory authorities, but a compound that is not always listed on the label, called POE-15. Adjuvants of the POE-15 family (polyethoxylated tallowamine) have now been revealed as actively toxic to human cells, and must be regulated as such.
Studies have shown POEA can break down tissue that protects the blood-brain barrier leading to prion disease.
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists developing methods to measure POEA in the environment have shown that it’s a complex and variable mixture of related compounds, and that POEA is still a common additive in several newer agricultural and household glyphosate formulations. [Measuring POEA, a Surfactant Mixture in Herbicide Formulations]
Kill off apex predators like wolves and cougars; spray neonicotinoids glyphosate and POEA on everything then wonder why cervids contract a prion contagion like Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD).


Photos courtesy of interested party.





Monday, July 8, 2019

South Dakota continues to drive women out of state for medical care


1. A pregnant woman is the patient.
2. Ectopic pregnancies kill women.
3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in South Dakota drive to Omaha, Sioux City, Billings, Bismarck or Fargo for their procedures. Those who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that.
4. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they're discriminatory anti-choice extremism.
5. "Pro-life" is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita but the extreme white wing laments it's hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos.
6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.
Planned Parenthood North Central States spokesperson Aleena Kaleem instead attributed the decrease to "the incredible barriers women in the state face when seeking abortion care, including an onerous 72-hour waiting period and often long-distance travel." "The barriers to abortion that women face in South Dakota are medically unnecessary and unfairly burden women who need to arrange child care or time away from work," Kaleen continued. Of those 9,910, 111 were performed on patients from South Dakota who traveled to Minnesota. [Inforum]
But, applaud the nutball Republican efforts diverting attention from the party’s culture of corruption where murders and their covers up are commonplace by clogging the legislative session with christianic religionist argle-bargle.

Any registered nurse with half a brain will leave for Minnesota, Colorado or the Southwest the instant they graduate so the work force in South Dakota will just get stupider and more Republican.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Medicaid expansion, ACA have made abortions in North Dakota safer, rarer

Not only has the South Dakota Republican Party failed American Indians by not expanding Medicaid it has failed veterans and the elderly: its historically loyal voter base. But its more progressive neighbor to the north has seen the light.
The number of induced abortions performed in North Dakota slid for the fourth straight year in 2018, marking the lowest figure since recordkeeping began almost four decades ago, according to new state data. Tammi Kromenaker, the director of the state's sole abortion clinic, the Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, cited Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate, which the Trump administration has tried to roll back. "The (ACA) continuing to cover birth control, and with no deductible and no co-pay, that is huge for so many families," Kromenaker said Friday, July 5, noting that North Dakota is following a national trend in seeing abortion decline. [Number of abortions continues to slide in North Dakota]
1. A pregnant woman is the patient.
2. Ectopic pregnancies kill women.
3. Rich women have full reproductive rights while women at the lower income margins suffer chilling effects on those rights. Women in Alabama, Georgia and South Dakota who can afford it simply jump on a plane and fly to Albuquerque, Minneapolis, Denver or elsewhere for their procedures. Imagine a woman on the Standing Rock or Pine Ridge doing that.
4. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they're discriminatory anti-choice extremism.
5. "Pro-life" is simply code for white people breeding. African-Americans terminate pregnancies at about the same per capita rate as white people do but don’t take their jobs. Latinas, however, have fewer abortions per capita but the extreme white wing laments it's hemorrhaging jobs to Latinos.
6. No foetus in the United States has any civil rights until the third trimester. Republicans preach civil rights for human zygotes but deny the protections of the First, Fourth and Ninth Amendments to people who enjoy cannabis.

Socialized agriculture, socialized dairies, socialized cheese, socialized livestock production, a socialized timber industry, socialized air service, socialized freight rail, a socialized nursing home industry and now a socialized internet are all fine with Republicans in South Dakota but then they insist single-payer medical insurance is socialized medicine. South Dakota’s repeated attempts to restrict access to medical care are not only mean-spirited, they're discriminatory anti-choice extremism. But, applaud the nutball Republican efforts diverting attention from the party’s culture of corruption where murders and their covers up are commonplace by clogging the legislative session with christianic religionist argle-bargle.

There is a growing movement among Democrats and others to fund Medicare for all but I like the idea of rolling the funding for Obamacare, TRICARE, Medicare, the Indian Health Service and the Veterans Affairs together then offering Medicaid for all by increasing the estate tax, raising taxes on tobacco and adopting a carbon tax.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Walsh whines SDDP swan song

The night in 1983 before Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. was popped for heroin possession at Rapid City Regional Airport he was partying with us at Durty Nelly's in the basement of the Franklin Hotel in Deadwood.

Kennedy sat with Pam Pearson Cleveland, Shelley, my wife at the time and myself at a booth near where Bill Walsh was tending his own bar: catholics on parade. Bobby bet me ten dollars I couldn't eat a packet of saltine crackers in less than a minute without drinking. He laughed so hard while i tried to get those crackers down he spit beer across the table. I lost and bought the next round.

Jo Roebuck Pearson, an heir to the Sears retail enterprise, her husband, Bill Walsh, Orville "French" Bryan, his wife, Taffy Tucker and another couple, the Mike Trucanos, if memory serves, had recently bought the Franklin. French had been Mayor of Deadwood for a time; Walsh had left the priesthood to marry. Trucano had the coin-op monopoly in the Black Hills. He'd go on to reap a fortune after gambling came to the Gulch. Pam later divorced then married into the Republican Kirby family of Sioux Falls.

It took the lobbying of Republican Lt. Governor Walter Dale Miller, Democrats Bill Walsh and Tom Blair to bring legal gaming to Deadwood to finance historic preservation; but, Republican greed has turned it into the prostituted cultural wasteland that it is today. At least a decade ago the Franklin sold to the Silverado group and is now crumbling under deferred maintenance.

Today, “Five Dollar Bill” Walsh is a member of the Democratic National Committee and a doddering old man.
Democrats have long taken a leadership role out here in Western South Dakota. You only have to look at people like Ted Hustead and his spouse, who founded Wall Drug. They were strong Democrats. [column, Bill Walsh]
Uh, Bill? When Ted Hustead the Elder founded Wall Drug in 1931 the Democrats were the party of racism and segregation. The Husteads helped to unleash predator priests on American Indians, fergodssake!
I could go on, Mr. Editor, but I do welcome you to the state of Democrats, Republicans and independents. I also challenge you to support all three parties as without them, western South Dakota will never achieve full economic independence and development, but will continue to be dependent on the federal government for economic progress. [column, Bill Walsh]
Jesus F. Christ, Bill: independents aren't affiliated with any party but the Libertarian Party of South Dakota could very well destroy any chance of a viable two-party system in my home state.

Billie Sutton was a fart in a haboob who bought Susan Wismer's mailing list and bombed my inbox begging for money. The South Dakota Democratic Party has apparently learned nothing from the failure of a cowboy running for Montana's At-large congressional seat. Primaries are expensive and allow far too much mischief: since turnout is so pathetic especially during midterms the drain-circling South Dakota Democratic Party should end them and choose candidates at the state conventions.

No South Dakota Democrat will get a dime from me until the county chairs are filled and unless Democrats weave cannabis into their platform at their state convention and arch-conservatives run for offices outside the Greedy Old Party it's curtains for SDDP in 2020, too.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Despite Bullock's reticence therapeutic cannabis is flowering in Montana

In 2012 when Steve Bullock was Montana's attorney general running for governor he failed to show up for the rights of same-sex couples to marry and for an initiated therapeutic cannabis law.

His silence on one high-profile case was so deafening that his collusion with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and other Justice officials could barely be heard whispering it in courtroom hallways. The jury in the case didn't hear all the facts because the judge sent them home after instructing them to ignore the medical value of cannabis. Chris Williams was the only person in the case not to plea bargain but his former partners took deals and testified against him. He faced forty five years in prison, was found guilty on eight charges, led away in handcuffs and ended up spending some five years in a federal lockup.

But because of the sacrifices of Montana's pioneers the number of patients in the state's therapeutic cannabis program has grown 342% just in the last three years blossoming to over 34,000 and the number of providers growing for more than 100 cardholders has increased from 50 in July 2018 to 66 last month.

Medical insurance was a hot topic during Montana's 2019 legislative session and in 2017 the body voted to tax therapeutic cannabis. Democratic Governor Steve Bullock vetoed an earth hater bill that would have restricted women's access to reproductive health care and despite Republican entrenchment Democrats in Montana's legislature worked to bring more comprehensive testing for contaminants to better serve that state's therapeutic cannabis patients and providers. Montana and the legislature are being flooded with cash from Koch-backed 'Americans For Prosperity' in a state where the extreme white wing is pushing the legislature to seize federal lands to mine, log, graze, whatever to pay back their benefactors.

It's been said countless times that The Last Best Place is not Oregon (even though the states show commonality in the white nationalist bloc) and elects Democrats with Blue Dog credentials. Both Senator Jon Tester and Bullock believe that with vigilant environmental oversight they would support TransCanada's tarsands enema beginning in Montana. Montana's Left has a hard-on for what it perceives as Democrats being GOP-lite who have deserted progressive ideals just to woo centrist voters.

The Northern Cheyenne Tribe of Montana and the Arapahoe Tribe of Oklahoma teamed up and bought 1,020 acres of ranchland north and east of Mato Paha (Bear Butte) in occupied South Dakota adding significantly to their holdings West River. Last year the Oglala Oyate bought off-reservation property on I-90 just outside Badlands National Park. The Fort Peck Tribes in occupied Montana have legalized therapeutic cannabis and the Northern Cheyenne have been mulling the concept. As co-owners of Pe'Sla the Minnesota-based Shakopee Mdewakanton Nation could bring that state's medical cannabis and reproductive rights freedoms to the Black Hills. Lower Brule has struggled with synthetic cannabinoids but that community has off-reservation property in Fort Pierre to test their sovereignty.

It's time to test South Dakota's jurisdiction over nations where cannabis is legal and for tribal medical professionals to establish clinics that perform abortions on non-contiguous off-reservation parcels as islands of health care that supersede state law.

Practical choices beat Democrats in 2016 because our candidates ran away from President Obama, marriage equality and cannabis rights but now Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults. Unless money is raised the earth haters and Nazis of the GOP will keep defining our priorities and buying elections.

Hey, Governor Bullock, instead of gallivanting off to Iowa don't make the same mistake Brian Schweitzer made by allowing a US Senate seat fall to Steve Daines; retake it.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Meth powers the trades and the Sturgis Rally in South Dakota


I operated in the Black Hills hospitality market for thirty five years. At Twin City Fruit and Sysco the Sturgis Rally was the peak of the tourist season and made or broke profits for the year. In my construction business I saw first-hand how methamphetamine served the needs of the locals.

A close personal friend still living in the Black Hills was a teenager and just one woman who was victimized and passed around. In the late 1980s she became pregnant by a stranger just for her Bandido boyfriend who later blew his brains out in front of her and her newborn because of his meth habit.

Most, if not all, meth in South Dakota is trafficked by white Trump-worshiping motorcycle gangs. These hordes are essentially domestic terrorists operating with the blessings of the prison/industrial complex. The Sons of Silence, Bandidos and Hells Angels control organized crime in the Black Hills area where members have infiltrated nearly every community even operating Rapid City's Cornerstone Rescue Mission for a time as a front for their activities. Former Cornerstone director, Dan Island, build a Lawrence County mansion and together with his brother Frank built a cocaine and meth empire before their deaths. The Bandidos have had a fortified compound in Rapid Valley and the Hells Angels who own many properties in the area also built the the Cottonwood Lodge in Spearditch.

The “Big Four” biker clubs in the United States are Hells Angels, the Pagans, the Bandidos and The Outlaws or the American Outlaw Association. Hells Angels, Bandidos and other crime syndicates own property in the Black Hills area to serve as bases of operation for sex and meth trafficking much of it through what appear to be legitimate businesses. Those motorcycle clubs and the South Dakota law enforcement industry use the Sturgis Rally as a sort of pyramid scheme clearinghouse. During pre-Rally meetings they exchange the names of individuals who will ultimately be targeted for arrest to place moles into the state's jails and prisons and to provide cops with the appearance of relevance.

The Sturgis bacchanal is really all about male white privilege at any cost so thanks to selective enforcement white thugs have carte blanche to commit flagrant criminal acts during the Rally. A long history of lawlessness can make the event highly virulent attracting common parasites who breed in the cesspools of human existence. Packs of armed men with mental illnesses and addictions to meth power their way into western South Dakota every year; and, an accepted outlaw biker culture routinely trafficks illicit behaviors that would otherwise be subject to legal interdiction.

But, a red moocher state like South Dakota is powered by sin: video lootery, a loan shark industry that preys on the least fortunate and a too-big-to-jail banking racket fill in the gaps created by lobbyists who enjoy the protection of single-party tyranny. Desperate to pay off those who benefit the entrenched Republican establishment criminals can expect to have champions sitting as governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.
Governor Kristi Noem hosted a private meeting Monday with tribal-government leaders at the South Dakota Governor’s Residence, where they discussed ways to jointly work on methamphetamine prevention and law enforcement. The governor’s office said the July 1 luncheon followed a May 20 summit that brought together state, federal, and tribal leaders to discuss meth prevention, enforcement and treatment. [KELOland teevee]
The tribal nations trapped in South Dakota are the victims of white motorcycle gangs and meth is just another tool of genocide.

The Sturgis Rally is just another reason cops' lives suck. Little wonder they abuse their families, alcohol, drugs, food, power, detainees and occasionally murder their wives.

Monday, July 1, 2019

BHNF Tepee Canyon fuel treatment will include clearcuts


The Island in the Plains has been broken for decades but the collapse of select Black Hills ecosystems has been evident since at least 2002. Add the very high number of private inholdings within the Black Hills National Forest that make the wildland urban interface (WUI) very large to one of the highest road densities in the entire national forest system and Region 2 to lots of logging, hardrock mining and pesticides like Carbaryl then understand why over a hundred species in South Dakota alone and a million worldwide are at risk to the Republican Party.

Keystone, Hot Springs, Custer, Pringle, Hill City, Rochford, Nemo, Silver City, Deadwood, Lead, Newcastle, even Sundance, Rapid City, Piedmont, Sturgis and Spearditch are at extreme risk from the tactical use of wildfire. Just six strategically-placed improvised fuel air explosives (FAEs) deployed during red-flag conditions have the potential to create a firestorm that would be virtually unstoppable. So BHNF officials want to slash thin some 2,669 acres of forest during what they are calling the Tepee Canyon Project on public land between Jewel Cave National Monument and the Custer Highlands residential area.

Mechanical treatments will include clearcuts or in silviculture parlance: overstory removal. No doubt GOP donors Hulett, Wyoming-based Neiman Enterprises will gobble up that logging pork.
“The whole premise here,” said Matthew Daily, the forest’s acting timber program manager, “is we’re trying to break up the landscape to avoid a running, catastrophic fire event.” The public comment period for the Tepee Canyon Project is open until Friday, July 5. [Rapid City Journal]
University of Montana entomologist, Diana Six has been studying the relationship of forests, fungi and bark beetles for decades. Her work outlines how insects are clearing clogged watersheds being decoupled by the Anthropocene.
Support by forestry and government stakeholders as well as funders is essential to reach the ambitious goal of better understanding the [European spruce bark beetle] system, which is likely to become increasingly problematic due to climate change. For example, it will be necessary to establish a continuous monitoring system to correctly assess population phases and financial resources will be required for long-term, multidisciplinary data collection. Effective cooperation among forest scientists, landowners, and governmental stakeholders will ultimately help forest practitioners apply evidence-based strategies to predict and manage outbreaks of the ESBB and other eruptive insects. With ongoing global change, population eruptions of bark beetles are increasing in severity and frequency, as are eruptions in many other pest insects. [Diana L. Six, et al.]
It's important to remember ponderosa pine, high in volatile organic compounds (VOC), only reached central Montana a thousand years ago. They're weeds. Dendroctonus ponderosae or mountain pine beetle predates by millions of years Pinus ponderosa in the Black Hills which only reached that region less than four thousand years ago. The mountain pine beetle is hard at work clearing centuries of overgrowth throughout the Rocky Mountain Complex, so is the western spruce budworm. But leaving dead or dying conifers on the forest produces methane, an even more dangerous greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide is.

When the Custer Expedition came through the Black Hills bringing invasive cheatgrass for their horses stands of ponderosa pine were sparsely scattered but a century and a half of poor ranching and land management practices have created an unnatural overstory best controlled by the mountain pine beetle, prescribed fires and periodic wildfires. Native Douglas fir, limber and lodgepole pine have been mostly extirpated from He Sapa, The Heart of Everything That Is and after a century of destructive agricultural practices invasive grasses infest most of western South Dakota.

Should rewilding efforts seek to approximate sustainable wild lands to Pleistocene Era conditions or let the Anthropocene lay waste to them desertifying precious resources changing the landscape forever leaving the survivors to cleave out habitable zones forsaking native species?

Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. Evidence that we humans have eaten or burned ourselves out of habitats creating catastrophes behind us is strewn throughout the North American continent. European settlement and the Industrial Revolution in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests. Desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl have turned much of the United States into scorched earth.

Imagine pulling a clan up the Little Missouri River in dugout canoes 12,000 years ago. Exploiting the gap between the Cordilleran and Laurentide ice sheets during the Wisconsin Glacial Episode the Clovis People were the first humans to see the Missouri Buttes and Mato Tipila. They settled Paradise only to have their descendants watch it be destroyed by colonizers. The ancestors of all American Indians living east of the Rocky Mountains saw those peaks when the Clovis Culture crossed into the Cheyenne/Belle Fourche drainage then into the Missouri/Mississippi River system.

The relatively small distance between the Canadian River in New Mexico and the Missouri at Fort Peck in Montana reminds me again how the earliest humans in North America were undaunted by glaciers, the dire wolf, and Smilodon on everything north of the Sangre de Cristos terminating at Santa Fe then blazed the Pecos Trail from west to east into the southern Great Plains and Mississippi Valley to find an inland paradise teeming with prey. Lakota is an Algonquin-based tongue and is spoken by a majority of South Dakota’s tribal nations. After migrating into present-day North Carolina and forced westward by manifest destiny then acquiring horses from Spanish exploiters the Lakota reclaimed the Black Hills.

But today, Northern Colorado has just added a bison herd so have the Eastern Shoshone. The Oglala, Pawnee and Comanche National Grasslands are not far away. The Thunder Basin National Grassland in Wyoming is managed by offices in Colorado. The Fort Pierre National Grassland in South Dakota is managed from Nebraska. It merely takes the political will to build corridors for bison, other ungulates and their associated predators over public, tribal and leased private land into the Oglala National Grassland in Nebraska, Wyoming's Thunder Basin National Grassland to North and South Dakota then through the Northern Cheyenne, Crow and Fort Peck nations in Montana.

After bison reach sustainable levels agreed upon by the stakeholders fit private and other public herds like the one at Wind Cave National Park with microchips to join the public herd and be harvested according to the market or population pressures. Hybrid herds should be assessed on a case by case basis and some individuals could join the main herd.

East River South Dakota has been destroyed but West River can still be saved.

The Rocky Mountain Complex and the Black Hills have been home to a much larger aspen community in the fairly recent past. Ponderosa pine sucks billions of gallons from aquifer recharges, pine needles absorb heat and accelerate snow melt. Clear that second growth pine, conduct fuel treatments, restore aspen and other native hardwoods, build wildlife corridors and approximate Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids.

The South Dakota Democratic Party should advocate for paying the tribes and settling the Black Hills Claim, dissolving the Black Hills National Forest, moving management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

Rewild it and rename it Paha Sapa or He Sapa National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell Wildlife Refuge in Montana along the Missouri River to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Canadian River through Nebraska, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.