Monday, June 7, 2010

It's not an "immigration" problem; it's a criminal invasion problem

It's not an "immigration" problem; it's a criminal invasion problem

June 7, 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson

If you get caught driving too fast, you're a speeder, not merely an illegal driver. You've broken a law that is in place to keep our highways safe.

If you get caught invading my country by entering it illegally, you are an illegal alien, a criminal, and not someone that belongs here.

Why, if you invade my country by entering it illegally, should anyone give you the coveted title of immigrant?

Immigrants I know have become naturalized American citizens. They don't skulk about, bent over under a bale of marijuana, entering my country via the paid assistance of lawbreaking criminals engaged in international terrorism that are nicknamed "coyotes." What is so honorable about paying one criminal to get you across an international, sovereign border into a country, just so you can skim its cream, send money home to another land and trash its border with your waste products?

I will never refer to you as "immigrants." You are not. You are what you know you are: In America illegally, with malice aforethought and no intention of becoming Americans. You drop "anchor babies" in the "harbor" cities whose leaders have had their allegiance bought with the promise of cheap labor and other favors.

Harboring an alien is a crime. Harboring an invading, illegal alien is a crime, too. Stop pretending to be something you're not. Either come here legally, honorably, with the intention of becoming an American citizen, or go back to the country of your birth -- and stay there.

Just because America, like your own nation, is rife with crooked politicians and faceless power brokers who trade in human labor, blood, sweat, and tears, does not mean Americans will welcome you.

Sure, there are jobs here that you can do, but you're not a migrant worker.

You don't work in the fields, tending and harvesting crops. You seek out places where you will blend in with others and where you buy false "papers" or steal the papers of others. You boldly harvest the spoils of your time here, knowing if you get caught, you can blithely just turn around and infiltrate my country again. We both know that the census will not county you, because you exist below the radar of such things.

America is a melting pot of a country, but it became great through the blending of people from other countries that sought our shores to become Americans -- not "hyphenated" Americans, but real Americans. These legal, honorable, hardworking, honest, Christian people immigrated to America to become Americans. They renounced their citizenship with their lands of birth. They were no longer Dutch, Swedish, Russian, Japanese, Italian, Sudanese, Moroccan, Brazilian, or Polish.

They became -- and were proud of the hard-earned honor of being called -- American!

God bless our naturalized Americans, our born-and-bred Americans, and those working to achieve that status. To the others: go away. Don't come again another day. Stop murdering our border ranchers, our Border Patrol and other good people who do honest work for a living.

505 words.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Difference between man and plants/animals

The Difference between man and plants/animals

Tis the blending of bone and sinew,

Brain and the use of said,

Which make man, man,

And plants/animals, thread,

The interwovenness that makes,

Of earth a heav'n or a hell,

In man's brain alone

Doth those two dwell.

- Julie Kay Smithson, June 5, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The wonder of weeds and weeding

The wonder of weeds and weeding

June 1, 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson

People often refer to undesirable things as the bane, or harm/ruin of their existence. How weeds came to be so loathed is beyond my understanding. Weeds, after all, are simply plants that grow where we would rather they didn't. When weeds sprout and thrive in our flower beds or lawns, they actually offer us positive opportunities!

The view when one is bent over or on one's knees, weeding, is different. Things may be seen at that angle or level that are invisible from the standing position, be they insects, tiny new leaves, or the colors of the dirt in which we are working. Fragrances, too, offer a smorgasbord for our sensory sniffer, as some weeds smell pungent, others aromatic, and still others, sharp or without discernible smell.

There is something about sitting on the ground that replenishes a corner of the soul. Though we don't usually see it thus, part of us is kith and kin to the earth: our physical makeup. We are spun of wonderful cloth, but our feet are still bound to the clay and firmament. Is there an essence given us by the very act of finding and plucking weeds? I don't know, but it soothes me and gives my all a time of calm, when the frenzied pace of highway or shopping area are as removed as if on Mars. Weeding helps my body remain supple, keeps my fingers and eyes in sync to work as a team with my muscles, bucket and helper tools at hand. My fingers, no longer young and straight, but sculpted by living, offer themselves to me to consider and appreciate as I weed.

As children play in the mud and dirt, we often see only future laundry contributions and cleanup duties. Should we contemplate the connections that bring children to their knees, eyeing something from that special vantage point that we return to when we weed? Weeds bring us chances to glimpse -- or revel in -- moments of peace and harmony with nature. To enjoy our gardening time may be our best times to "go child" again and find the wonder of weeds!

355 words.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

An Acquired Taste: OES

An Acquired Taste: OES

May 27, 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson

British Petroleum is diversifying. Its newest global venture is OES: Oil-Encrusted Seafood. Soon to appear on the menus of restaurants desirous of trying something new, OES may be listed as an appetizer (served with an oil-based dipping sauce), a main course or a flambeau-style dessert.

Rather than take an antacid before trying OES, diners may want to consider something that soaks up excess oil, such as shredded wheat. OES is doubtless going to make its mark as a memorable experience, but whether it lasts long enough to become an acquired taste is another thing entirely. BP should not despair, however. It's not the first to market "sliders"!

107 words.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Making History

Making History

April 25, 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson and Wiggles Blue Heeler (From Us To You column, Our Community weekly paper, Madison County, Ohio)

History is something that should be in every good life cook's recipe box. It is an amazing concoction, a participatory collage of sight, sound, aroma, and taste that flavors life. History, when made well, begs us to take note of it, record it for future life cooks, and savor its multiplicity of ingredients.

Starting with plans for something is an essential ingredient. Add the action needed to bring those plans to fruition -- whether it be taking a trip, giving a speech, taking part in a class, or many other things -- and stir thoughtfully. After all, you may want to make history more than once!

Condiments are important to this recipe, though they will not be found in any kitchen pantry. Such things as a dash of goodwill, a pinch of zest, a goodly portion of devotion, a couple of shakes of eagerness, and the folding in of a measure of tact, will help you make history of which you can be proud.

History can be made in many places and on a number of fronts. It can be brought along slowly and adjusted to fit a myriad of scenarios in life, from wartime to peacetime and from the earliest school years through the years when many are steeped in marriage and children, or marinated in the blend of seasonings that occur when lives are lived solo or with pets.

You'll usually know history when you see it, though it can take place just below the radar of one's life and be visible only to others, or only after one has shed the trappings of earthly life. History is not always confined to the pages of books; though it can be recorded thusly, it then becomes prime for the author's perception and recollection.

History is etched in our faces, hands and gait. We travel through life at many paces, sometimes spent, and feeling, like we've been in a marathon, others seemingly outstripped by a snail's pace. Our heads may be held high, with clear vision and cheerful demeanor. They may also be bent by the weight of real or perceived loads, carried in such a way that our eyes remain downcast and never see the rainbows. Lost love can help make history better, through learning that the love of our life may not always love us in return -- or we can be jaundiced by it to the point where our lives seem to stop at that moment. Joy and love walk hand-in-hand, and being ready to risk having the recipe turn out differently than we had planned, is worth the drawing in of breath and the leap of faith.

For each of us, history is in the making every day of our lives. Will we make it with courage and kindness? Will we doubt our ability to make it at all? Just for today, make your own history with a different ingredient or two, something that's been gathering dust on the back shelf of your mind's pantry. The results may astound you and make the lives of others better. Make some history today -- you may be delighted with the results!

523 words.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Fight to Save Nevada's Ag Future and CABNR

The Fight to Save Nevada's Ag Future and CABNR

By Julie Kay Smithson, property rights researcher, London, Ohio and

The University of Nevada, Reno (UNR) is one of America's 74 land-grant institutions(1) and the only one in the Silver State. A proposal announced March 1, was made to close one of UNR's ten colleges -- the College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, or CABNR -- and reorganize remaining programs under the College of Science, in order to trim $11 million. The UNR is the sum of its parts: College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources; College of Business; College of Education; College of Engineering; Division of Health Sciences; College of Liberal Arts; College of Science; Extended Studies; Reynolds School of Journalism; and the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.(2) In the current difficult economic climate, the need to downsize is understandable, but one college taking a forty percent hit is lopsided.

CABNR is one of UNR's ten academic units, but is "paying its own way" in many important areas (3), including an internationally preeminent publication, The Journal of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, February 2010 issue, which cover features the Department of Animal Biotechnology, University of Nevada, Reno, NV, article titled: "Clinical and molecular characterization of a re-established line of sheep exhibiting hemophilia A" (4) which was developed at the Main Station Field Lab. Major strides in research are being made at CABNR. The value of stem-cell research alone is a jewel in CABNR's crown.

Part of the Academic Planning Process offers this justification for the authority to take such drastic action: 1. An administrative unit, project, program or curriculum may be discontinued, reduced in size, or reorganized for bona fide reasons pertaining to the University’s mission as a consequence of the Academic Planning Process, which has been approved by President Glick. ... 7. Any department that is the subject of a Proposal shall review the Proposal and, through the Department Chair, submit any data or other documentation supporting or challenging the Proposal (the Department’s Response) to the appropriate Dean and the Provost by March 26, 2010. 8. ... The College Review Committee’s recommendation and the results of the vote of the college faculty shall be sent to the Faculty Senate Chair and the Provost by April 9, 2010.(5)

The proposal's timeline:

1. The curricular review proposal is released Monday, March 1, 2010.
2. Units respond to proposed program closing by Friday, March 26, 2010.
3. Colleges respond and vote on the proposal by Friday, April 9, 2010.
4. The Faculty Senate reviews the proposal and other supplied information and makes a recommendation to the President and Provost by May 7, 2010.
5. The President and Provost make their final decisions and propose appropriate program closures to the Board of Regents by May 14, 2010.
6. The Board of Regents decides on program closures in early June.
7. Employees related to closing programs are notified of their termination by June 30, 2010, and provided with rights of reconsideration and notification.(6)

Provost Marc Johnson said that determining which programs or departments to cut was based on factors such as the number of degrees granted, enrollment in the major, scholarship productivity, external scholarship grant awards, how important they were to the university's mission and their national and international uniqueness.(7)

A March 12 telephone interview with Regent Dorothy Gallagher was troubling. She stated that it’s a misconception that agriculture programs at UNR could be completely eliminated. Rather, they may be restructured.(8)

Nevada's economy is fueled by "the big three" -- gaming, mining and agriculture, of which the number two and three are doing well, though gaming has suffered.(9) CABNR, with its structure of teachers' budget-based pay supplanted by grant awards, means the ag college truly does help pay its own way, a “gift that keeps on giving” in the form of research that benefits Nevada, the nation and the world.

The importance of CABNR to social networking websites was immediate: two Facebook Groups were established with a total over 4,000 members.(10)

Arguments about CABNR's safety being set forth in the Nevada Constitution -- ARTICLE 11, SECTION 4 Sec: 4. Establishment of state university; control by board of regents. The Legislature shall provide for the establishment of a State University which shall embrace departments for Agriculture, Mechanic Arts, and Mining to be controlled by a Board of Regents whose duties shall be prescribed by Law. . . . ARTICLE 11, SECTION 8[...] And the Legislature shall provide that if through neglect or any other contingency, any portion of the fund so set apart [for a college for the benefit of Agriculture[,] the Mechanics Arts, and including Military tactics], shall be lost or misappropriated, the State of Nevada shall replace said amount so lost or misappropriated in said fund so that the principal of said fund shall remain forever undiminished[.](11) -- are compelling, but the proposal appears to attempt to skirt that.


Interviews with students, alumni, parents, and Nevada's ranching community brought forth many reasons to oppose closing CABNR.

Tessa Sustacha, Senior in Animal science with a minor in wildlife ecology:

I have applied to Washington State University and Colorado State University Schools of Veterinary Medicine and am waiting to hear back from them about acceptance. I wish one day to practice as a veterinarian in a rural area, helping producers with herd health, wildlife disease issues as well as public health aspects of veterinary medicine. I chose CABNR for many reasons including that my dad, uncle and mom went to the University and CABNR. I also served as the Nevada State FFA secretary as a freshman and began my education at UNR. ... To me the college was affordable, offered the opportunity for scholarships and research, small class sizes and had a very well known pre-veterinary program with a reputation for turning out well-prepared successful applicants to graduate and schools of veterinary medicine. I am a 4th generation native Nevadan and I grew up in the Elko area. I was involved in 4-H since I was 9 years old and strongly believe in the power that 4-H has and the importance of the services that cooperative extension and the University provide to rural communities. ... Agriculture has always been a huge part of my life and I believe that the agriculture industry faces serious issues in educating the public due to the disconnect that is created in this country through the availability of a safe and affordable food supply. This is ... seriously put in jeopardy if agriculture is not included in the curriculum at institutes of higher education. For this reason alone -- and the fact that Agriculturists must be provided with support and education, as well as the overall importance of agriculture to Nevada -- I care a great deal about CABNR.

Erin Hourihan:

I graduated from CABNR in 2007 with a bachelor's in Forestry and Rangeland Management. I returned to CABNR in the spring of 2009 to get a Masters in Animal Science. ... As a Master's student ... I am understandably outraged and appalled by the decision to eliminate the entire college. CABNR contains an abundance of degree and research programs, some of which are internationally renowned. At UNR, researchers in the Department of [Animal] Biotechnology have made significant advancements in the area of stem-cell research. The Department of Resource Economics has also gained international recognition for many significant publications. ... I feel a very strong connection to this university and this college. The economy of the small town I'm from, Challis Idaho, is completely dependant on agriculture and natural resource-based industry. There are farmers and ranchers, loggers and miners. Growing up, I saw how land management decisions -- made by people with no connection to the land -- affected these people and it greatly influenced my higher education choices. My mother is from a longtime ranching family in eastern Nevada. I chose to attend college in her home state for a variety of reasons. I knew I wanted to study natural resources; Nevada provided the perfect place to do this. As a master's student, the Great Basin provides unlimited research opportunities that are second to none. If the powers that be succeed with their plan to close the CABNR at UNR, a vast amount of learning opportunities will be lost. I am deeply saddened by the collateral damage that has already occurred as a result of President Glick's decision. Many well-regarded professors are looking for employment elsewhere, because they don't feel the University values their talents. This is not to say that all the good professors are leaving! I am very grateful to those that are staying, taking the risk, because they have no way of knowing how long they will have a job. ... It is imperative to stress the multidisciplinary focus of a degree in Forestry or Rangeland Management. The ability to gain employment after graduation is not dictated by the institution at which you choose to study, but a list of qualification standards determined by federal government land management agencies. These standards include specific course requirements. In addition to 18 course hours in specialized range management classes, the course requirements explicitly require 15 credit hours of courses in directly related plant, animal and soil science. Classes that fulfill this requirement include plant taxonomy, plant ecology, livestock production, and animal nutrition. Due to the fact that UNR has a severely limited plant science department, Range students rely heavily on the animal science department to meet the qualification standards for professional and scientific positions. The proposed curricular review states that one range ecology position will be moved into Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences in order to preserve the range management program. However, a degree resulting from a program void of all animal science related courses will be inadequate and will therefore do a disservice to its students. The systematic attack on CABNR will not just affect students studying animal science, pre-veterinary medicine and resource economics. It will also make getting a valuable degree in Range Ecology or Range Management impossible in a state where approximately 46 million acres of rangeland is facing habitat sustainability, urban sprawl and invasive species issues. Currently students wanting a degree Range Management from UNR are limited in their options. As a graduate student conducting research in Range Ecology, my major appears on my transcripts as Animal Science. This is because the majority of the Range professors on campus, teach in the department of Animal Science. This should speak to the interrelatedness of the two disciplines. Streamlining should not include destroying the positive elements of what currently exists. Instead we should focus on irrelevancies that could be eliminated and additions that will improve the degree program drawing students to this university ... This college has been an important part of my life for the last eight years.

Kaley Volk, CABNR student and the to-be-cut Animal Science Major:

I am a freshman trying to obtain my Animal Science and Pre-Veterinary Medicine (dual) major here at the University of Nevada, Reno. ... My hope is to one day be a large animal veterinarian, perhaps starting with the USDA and eventually working my way to opening up a private practice. ... UNR is the only school in the state of Nevada to offer agriculture and animal science programs (in relevance to a degree) and agriculture is in the top three list of income for the state to casinos and mining. CABNR's closing is purely based of student numbers, and because there are less students in the ANSC (Animal Science) programs and CABNR, they are letting go the wrong people on a matter of numbers. It is not about the quantity, but the quality. And seeing that Nevada needs specific students trained in agriculture and (especially) large animal veterinarians, in a few years down the road we will no longer have local people to fill those much needed positions, but have to look outside our own state and recruit others in, costing more money and time. The major financial cut of CABNR is taking its biggest hit on students in the field right now, who either have to change their life goals now or move elsewhere.

Doug Busselman, Executive Vice President, Nevada Farm Bureau Federation:

The contributions of Nevada farm and ranch families, economically, socially and in all other fashion, is part of not only the heritage and value structure of rural Nevada, we are also going to play an instrumental role in the future of what Nevada will become. Although UNR officials believe that we are insignificant enough to be disregarded as part of their future, we refuse to accept their rejection as mattering. ... Nevada agriculture does matter!

Harvey Barnes, Barnes Ranch, Jiggs, Nevada:

"I'm not speaking for the rest of the board, but as a rancher and a graduate of the College of Agriculture a long time ago. I realize the economic situation of our state, but I think the proposal to close a complete college such as CABNR is going way overboard. ... If they close the college of agriculture, the properties and the facilities on them in the Reno area will be gone. The Valley Road facility is very close to the campus. The Main Station Farm is just a couple of miles away and I think that was a real plus for the UNR Ag College students. ... At the meeting on March 11 ... I was a little disappointed in what [Provost Marc Johnson] had to tell us. I gathered that his mind was made up. ... Agriculture, with our processing industries, some farming, and cattle ranching, we're still a $2 billion industry."

Kelly Cook-Bell:

I wonder if anyone has taken into account how this type of decision will weigh on our numerous FFA organizations in Nevada? What is this decision telling our kids and agricultural families in Nevada?

Jean (last name withheld by request):

I received a MS from the Resource Economics Department in 2000 when I was 45. It has been an invaluable degree for me, raising my income significantly and allowing me to work as an economist for the USDA. I first worked for the Economic Research Service where several colleagues were aware of the faculty at UNR. While a small department, the faculty is top notch and their reputation is probably how I got the job. Now I work for the Farm Service Agency's national office. I'm allowed to sit in California and telework every day because of my good skills learned at UNR.

Sharon Hay:

I'm shocked this extremely important aspect of the college is being closed, especially when ecology, biofuels, etc. is a highlight of the Obama administration, our nation & the world. ... I hope the university alters its stance.

Mike (last name is withheld by request):

With this decision, we are not just losing students, but also renowned research professors and the notoriety they bring. ... My brother, my wife and I all attended UNR. If this decision is final, I will be looking for other institutions to send my three children.

Mike (last name withheld by request):

My daughter is a freshman in the Pre-Vet CABNR program. She has thoroughly enjoyed her education and college experience. Her end goal is to attend a school of veterinary medicine, which we felt UNR gave her an outstanding chance to do. It is still unclear to me what level of education she will be losing based on this proposal. ...My assumption is she will miss out on the true hands-on experience of working with animals and she will miss being taught by experienced pre-vet teachers. She will now be attaining a general science degree that she can get at almost any university. If this is the case, and with ultra competition to be accepted into Vet school, we soon will be considering other colleges to meet her goal. This is very unfortunate for all involved.

What you can do

An immediate letter-writing campaign to the two individuals below is needed. Mailing addresses, fax numbers and email addresses have been provided. State your reasons for keeping CABNR open, being sure to mention your affiliation with CABNR, including CABNR graduates whose careers are an enhancement to their communities and Nevada's economy. Each family member should write his/her own letter; the numbers must prove the importance of CABNR to Nevada.

Dr. Milton Glick, Office of the President, University of Nevada, Reno/001, Reno, NV 89557-0016. Fax: 775-784-6429

Marc Johnson, Provost, University of Nevada1664 N. Virginia St., Reno, NV 89557-0208. Fax: 775-784-6220

At stake, from the proponents' view: A savings of $11 million, plus over 1,000 acres of prime real estate in the Main Station Farm, a possible underlying motivational factor.

At stake, from the opponents' view: Custom and culture, the only agricultural education in the state, a small -- but nationally and internationally significant -- degree program, and much more. The plan to close CABNR would have an immediate and irreversible impact on Nevada and agriculture; the two are inextricably woven into the state's economic and educational fabric.


1. The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) formerly the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges (NASULGC) and "About the Land-Grant System"

2. Office of the Provost, University of Nevada, Reno

3. Letter from Acting Dean Pardini, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources, University of Nevada, Reno

4. "Clinical and molecular characterization of a re-established line of sheep exhibiting hemophilia A," The Journal of Thrombosis and Hemostasis, February 2010

5. Academic Planning Process, Application of NSHE Code Sec. 5.4.6

6. Curricular Review Proposal and Timeline

7. Media Announcement, March 1, 2010: Colleges, Programs Subject to Academic Planning Process notified today - University begins process to meet mandated 6.9 percent cut of state-funded budget

8. "Regent Gallagher Appears Before Elko Co. Commission" KENV Channel 10 Elko, March 12, 2010 and and "Locals weigh in on possible ag cuts", Elko Daily Free Press, March 13, 2010
9. NevadaWorks - Community: Nevada Jobs and Nevada Workforce Development and Nevada Division of Water Planning: Nevada State Water Plan, Summary, Section 4: Socioeconomic Assessment and Forecasts

10. Facebook Groups: Save CABNR (both groups have the same name)!/group.php?gid=338361652366&ref=ts and!/group.php?gid=331883620793&ref=ts

11. The Nevada Constitution

Article citation: "First published in the April/May 2010 issue of Progressive Rancher Magazine" on pages 18-19.

3,069 words.

Article may be reprinted / posted so long as it remains intact, including all links. Three interviews were not included in the article, but have been left intact (above).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Hairy Reed - Satire

The Hairy Reed - Satire

March 18, 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) has received a petition to list the hairy reed as an artificial species under the Artificial Species Act of 2010 (ASA).

The petition was submitted by a representative of the Lake Las Vegas Deepwater Marina Authority and stated, in part, that the hairy reed is often "in over its head" when dealing with environmental issues.

Baking in the Clark County summer sun is a possible habitat behavior that may be contraindicated by the species' single recognizable specimen and its tendency to inhabit a seemingly contradictory habitat: The District of Columbia.

The hairy reed may be recognized by its propensity to sway in the wind, but also has certain characteristics reminiscent of predatory plants like the Venus flytrap, opening for fresh meat and then slamming shut. Such activity usually goes on behind closed doors, so is, at best, only suspect behavior.

Sightings of this species include press conferences, photo-ops, and political events, the latter being the most probable place to successfully spot the hairy reed, especially during election years.

Whether NDOW will seriously consider listing the hairy reed as an artificial species remains a mystery.

The ASA mandates that a bovine excreta study (BES) be done to determine whether the hairy reed should be listed. Several universities have, however, applied for grant funding to monitor and track the hairy reed.


Smithson is a property rights researcher living with her Blue Heeler dog, Wiggles, in the Amish and Mennonite farm country near London, Ohio. Visit her websites: Contact her at

Sunday, March 7, 2010

We Still Need You, Klamath Farmers

We Still Need You, Klamath Farmers

March 7, 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson

Nine years after the historic call for help emanated from Klamath Falls, Oregon -- a call answered by Americans from all walks of life and places as distant as Ohio, over 2,200 miles east -- another crisis looms. Those in positions of power are grinning from ear-to-ear at "historic signing ceremonies." They chortle with glee at how their "collaboration and "consensus-driven stakeholder process" has been "inked."

Those few letter writers who continue to stand against the removal of the four dams on the Klamath River -- and the three Oregon elected officials who've never wavered in their stand to protect the promises made to those on the Klamath Project -- are being marginalized by a media that seems to have had its loyalty bought and paid for.

The voices of the original lottery winners have been largely silenced by age and death, but their descendants' voices may have been silenced by deceit and coercion.

No dictionary perused online or in hard copy has yet to yield synonyms tying words like "independence," "versatility," "freedom," "property rights," "resource utilization," etc., to "collaboration," "consensus," "stakeholder," etc.

There are some situations where agreement between factions can never be reached. One such situation was the lords and serfs of Europe. Those that chafed under the heavy hand of the land-LORDs had few options and none that involved remaining in their native lands. A small number of these moxie- and hope-filled, courageous souls set out from "the other side of the pond" on a journey to America, a place about which they had heretofore only known in dreams. The perils known to these immigrants were many -- from dying aboard ship from a wide variety of maladies, not the least of which was malnutrition, dysentery, etc., to surviving the journey only to perish before emerging from the indentured servitude which had purchased their passage to a new land.

The settling of America was fraught with untold dangers. Starvation happened to pioneers. So did dying of thirst or succumbing to fevers and diseases for which there were no easily-procured remedies. Getting to America's eastern shore was tough enough. Making it all the way to Oregon required many more of God's blessings and much privation. The Western Migration required something in the way of promise in order to lure men to leave their safer, but poorer, homes in the East. Those married men that made the journey had to scrimp and save in order to book passage for their families to join them. Single men had to first conquer places -- "stake their claim," as it were -- before they could dream of marrying and raising families. Viewing old photographs of these settlers is looking into faces made tired and old by the demands made to simply survive.

The Klamath Project was a promise, from the federal government to the lottery winners / war veterans who sought to make a forever home in the Klamath Basin of northern California and southern Oregon. Both sides promised something. The federal government, in far-off Washington, D.C., promised the winners of these Project Lands water "in perpetuity" in exchange for the promise to transform unproductive high desert land into productive, thriving farm and ranchland. The high desert of this region presented its own brand of challenges. Not only was it dependent upon snowpack for irrigation water during the growing season, but it was also a place where the temperatures meant frost in virtually every month. Growing food crops was not as easy as it was for farmers in the Midwest, who had a more temperate, longer growing season and more abundant rainfall. The promise of water in exchange for the promise to wrest fertile food-growing was inextricably entwined. It was not possible to deliver economic prosperity through farming and ranching, without the promise of water "in perpetuity."

When did the government's promise of water get broken? That answer is not nearly as important as the fact that the promise WAS broken and continues to be broken, year after frightening, disheartening, soul-crumbling year.

Did the Klamath Project farmers ever break their promise? No. They never did. However, they can no longer raise food and fiber to feed and shelter America if the other promiser -- the federal government -- reneges on its promise. Now that four or even five generations of blood, sweat and tears equity have been willingly put into this place beloved to so many as simply "the Klamath," a government, with malice aforethought, has broken its promise and levied the ultimate fine upon the people of the Klamath Basin and Project: the cessation of agriculture, ranching and the vibrant economy of this most special place located in the high desert of the Pacific Northwest.

How can such a terrible death knell sound in such a place without the population raising a hue and cry the likes of which would carry clearly all the way to Washington in the District of Columbia? How, indeed. Language deception was truly a weapon of mass destruction, the likes of which is yet to be seen, but which is coming like a runaway freight train. Using words that these honest Klamath Project people had been taught to trust, their property rights -- in the form of their economic freedom and prosperity -- have been taken. Those drafting the "agreements" have an intimate, professional knowledge of how to word phrases, sentences, paragraphs, and binding agreements, so those whose rights are being "rurally cleansed" barely realize what is happening ... until it's a "done deal."

The volatility of the Klamath River -- sometimes a drunken sluggard filled with algae-growing warm water, sometimes a raging bull goring all in its flooding path -- needed damming. This place of temperature swings, inversion layers, frost and freeze, heat and drought, needed people with resilience, strength of character and the sticktuitiveness to make of the Klamath Basin a place that not only could feed itself, but could also feed much of a nation from its bounty. Klamath Pearl potatoes, horseradish, mint, onions, hay, beef, and so much more, were grown and harvested, supporting with quiet pride a place that began with a government promise and a lottery.

Perhaps none will dare call it a terrible crime, but crime it is, for in its wake, the "restoration agreement" will leave a place that once knew the caring and devoted hand of the farmer, the appreciation of the farmer's wife and children, who were able to buy yard goods and little luxuries -- and even college and businesses of their own! -- again barren and bereft of the fertile loins of the Klamath dirt, needing only water and hard, honest work to bring forth property rights and freedom.

A promise is a promise. A broken promise is a broken promise. Those who did not stand at the "A" Canal Headgates and drink in the sights, sounds and concentrated patriotism distilled in that place, can never know how great was the promise, how terrible the broken promise.

Surely at the last moment, more will see what has been done and move to rectify it. Surely God will once again smile on the Klamath Basin. Surely the promise must be made to stand and the promise breakers must not be allowed one more meal of Klamath Project-grown food.

Let them eat cake, but let them eat it somewhere else. They have no right to a piece of the pie that they never earned and never deserved.

Those brave farmers that voluntarily left the "A" Canal Headgates when 9-1-1 happened, kept their promise, even knowing the track record of other party that promised water for the Klamath Project "in perpetuity."

We in America need the Klamath Basin farmers, their friends and families to again unite. They have helped feed us, in America, for a hundred years. We cannot afford to have their voices -- and the Klamath Project -- silenced by broken promises. We need the food produced in the Klamath Basin, but perhaps even more, we need the backbone of those Klamath farmers, who quietly helped care for America, keeping their promise, for a hundred years.

1,351 words.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Sounds that Soothe

Sounds that Soothe

February 28, 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson

A recent Facebook posting with a link to "The Ten Most Addictive Sounds" inspired yours truly to compile a baker's dozen list of most soothing sounds. In no particular order, they cover all seasons of the year and one's life.

The peaceful sounds of a campfire when it's past its peak and the embers occasionally fall with the softest of thuds.

The sounds Wiggles Blue Heeler, my canine companion of almost a dozen years, makes when he's sound asleep and dreaming, often accompanied by paws moving in concert with the activities of his dreams. For the first six years, Wiggles enjoyed physical eyesight and the "blue streak" speed of a blue heeler cattle dog as he ran effortlessly in play around the Arabian horses I once had. Progressive retinal atrophy, or PRA, an inherited eyesight robber found in virtually all dog breeds, though it was a blessing to be of the late onset type. Now the only running Wiggles can do, other than short bursts, is in his sleep. He still has the abundant energy and the memories of his days as a horse herder, voiced with jubilant yips in his dreams!

The sound of a pot of coffee brewing.

The sound of a light breeze wafting through leaves.

The heady feeling given by the sound of fields of ripening oats when their full heads wave & gently 'clack' on a breezy day.

The swoosh of a rain-kissed gust front, just before a thunderstorm.

The birdsong-filled air of early morning, which begins in mid-February and builds to a crescendo during nesting season.

The "huff" of snow falling from heavily laden branches, as it reaches the snowpack below.

The sound of joyful clapping when something has stirred the soul of the listener.

The quiet hush of the crowd just before Neil Diamond comes onstage (if you've experienced it, you know that the very air is pregnant with anticipation!).

The still of the night & the serene sound of your own relaxed, deep breathing.

The sound, rare nowadays, of someone whistling or singing while they work. A man who used to work at the London WalMart, made my whole day just by hearing his whistling or singing. I didn't even have to see him; it was enough just knowing that he was there and happy in his work, sharing that positive energy by putting it into happy sound. He was off sick for a few months, during which time I found myself feeling anxious, sorry that I'd been remiss in my intention to tell him how much those sounds meant to me. Then one day Mo was back, thinner and looking tired, and I wasted no time in telling him how special he was to me through the sounds he made. It felt so good to share with him that his whistling and singing reminded me of a short time during my childhood when my father had done both. Humbly delighted, this gentleman lit up like a Christmas tree, his face wreathed in smiles! Even though he's no longer there, sometimes it seems I can almost hear him yet, a joyful sound carried on the winds of memory.

The last sound, now heard only rarely due in part to my departure from truck driving a decade ago, and in part to truck manufacturers designing new, quieter electric horns -- the sound of a truck's air horn borne on the night wind. It is at once a lonely sound and a comforting sound, because the man or woman at the wheel is hauling goods that we need, driving through the night hours to be sure our local stores are stocked and at the ready when we need food or other supplies. It is the sound of a free nation traveling the highways to places we may have never been, or may know only through that "I've been everywhere" sound of the air horn on a Peterbilt or Kenworth.

Sounds that soothe ... you probably have some of your own to recall.

668 words.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

My Official Public Comments on the "Forest Service Planning NOI / Notice of Intent"

My Official Public Comments on the "Forest Service Planning NOI / Notice of Intent"

February 14, 2010

To: Forest Service Planning NOI, C/O Bear West Company, 172 E 500 S, Bountiful, UT 84010

From: Miss Julie Kay Smithson, researcher, author, writer, editor, and consummate born-and-bred American woman, 213 Thorn Locust Lane, London, Ohio 43140.

Although my Official Public Comments are being sent to a very effective and highly paid shredder, the "Content Analysis Group," which is under federal contract to do what it does best, emasculate public comments, I go on record as directing the "Content Analysis Group" to keep my comments whole and unsullied by any "content analysis process," knowing that such a "process" will effectively render my comments sterile, unrecognizable, and totally without any ability to make a difference in this "Forest Service Planning NOI."

Page 16 of this 17-page document: asks of "the public:" "Specific questions we would like the public to address include: How can the planning rule support the creation of a shared vision for each planning area through the planning process? Local and regional differences will have an impact on desired conditions and on the successful creation and implementation of a shared vision for any given planning area. Given that different areas will have different needs, should the planning rule allow a choice of planning processes? How could the planning rule create different process choices, and how could they be presented in the rule? What kinds of provisions would need to be included to guide and evaluate a process choice? Much discussion has been centered on how land management plans should be viewed; are they strategic documents that lay the foundation for specific future actions to help meet unit goals? Or, should land management plans also make project or activity decisions? Based on your response to the question above, what is the range of options for fully complying with NEPA during land management plan development, amendment, or revision? Should the new planning rule require standards and guidelines that are required for all plans? How can the agency analyze and describe the environmental effects of a planning rule in the environmental impact statement?"

I have made red the above questions, due in total to their professional employment of language deception. I caution those receiving these comments that I am not only fully aware of the extent and strategic purpose of said language deception, but that I am also making every attempt to ensure that others are aware of this "smoke and mirrors" Trojan horse standing at the gates of the owners of our national forests: Americans.

I shall begin with providing the following nine definitions, which some or all, the Forest Service and its partners seem loathe to admit exist, or their often convoluted, faulty and junk science language deception contents. The sole exception is the Forest Service Original Intent and Purpose, which today's Forest Service and its partners would steamroll in their headlong rush to close every square inch of federal land and the natural resources on and under said federal land.

Acquisition, in this case, would appear to mean the acquisition of Americans' independence, self-reliance, pursuit of property/happiness, and freedom. "Future generations" rings hollow when good, honest Americans learn just whose "future generations" are planned to be "allowed" to partake in the future "envisioned" nirvana. It darned sure isn't planned to be us Regular Joes!

Content Analysis Process (CAP) – Public responses on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are documented and analyzed using a process called content analysis. This is a systematic process of compiling and categorizing all public viewpoints and concerns submitted on a plan or project. Content analysis is intended to help decision makers clarify or adjust the next phase of the project. Information from public meetings, letters, emails, faxes, and other sources are all included in this analysis. In the content analysis process, each response is assigned a unique number. This number allows analysts to link specific comments to original responses. All respondents’ names and addresses are entered into a project-specific database program, enabling creation of a complete list of all respondents. Analysts read and code responses using the coding structure. Each comment is coded by subject and verified by a second analyst for accuracy and consistency. Then all coded comments are entered verbatim into a comment database. Database reports track all input and allow analysts to identify public concerns and to analyze the relationships among them. The final analysis document includes an executive summary, which discusses respondents’ main areas of concern, and a formal list of public concern statements. Each public concern statement is accompanied by one or more sample excerpts from original responses. This process and the resulting document do not replace responses in their original form. Rather, they provide a map to the responses and other input on file at the office of the Content Analysis Team (CAT) … Interested parties are encouraged to read public comment firsthand. It is important to recognize that the consideration of public comment is not a vote-counting process in which the outcome is determined by the majority opinion. Relative depth of feeling and interest among the public can serve to provide a general context for decisionmaking. However, it is the appropriateness, specificity, and factual accuracy of comment content that serves to provide the basis for modifications to planning documents and decisions. Further, because respondents are self-selected, they do not constitute a random or representative public sample. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) encourages all interested parties to submit comment as often as they wish regardless of age, citizenship, or eligibility to vote. Respondents may therefore include businesses, people from other countries, children, and people who submit multiple responses. Therefore, caution should be used when interpreting comparative terms in the summary document. Every substantive comment and suggestion has value, whether expressed by one respondent or many. All input is read and evaluated and the analysis team attempts to capture all relevant public concerns in the analysis process. (Note: To see what the Content Analysis Process does to a public comment, visit:, click Edit, then Find, and type 464 in the search box. See Page 1 of this 65-page document to see how the eight-step dissection was performed. My original public comment has been destroyed, replaced with eleven bits and totally unrecognizable as mine. In fact, the only place my name appears is initially, on Page 6, coupled with the number 464. Eleven sanitized portions of my comments appear, herded with other numbers, in eleven places, each part utterly separated from the whole. This “process” effectively guts public comments, their tone and meaning.)

Forest – An ecosystem that is characterized by stands of trees varying in characteristics such as species composition, structure, age class, and associated processes, and commonly including meadows, streams, fish, and wildlife. – Draft Environmental Impact Statement [DEIS] for the Revision of the Resource Management Plans of the Western Oregon Bureau of Land Management Districts, Volume II [of 3 Volumes, plus maps] End Pages – 385 / 1 of 12 pages or Pages 387/857 – 396/866, if viewing the CD; 1.34 MB. Entire document’s Table of Contents: 2. The land use designation for land on which the primary vegetation are trees or other woody plants (climax, natural, or introduced plant community) and use may be for the production of wood products. – Part 502 – Terms and Abbreviations Common to All Programs, Subpart A – Common Terms – M.440.502.A.00 – 502.00 – M.440.502.A.00 Amendment 30 – August 2005. Definitions, NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) eDirectives (electronic directives system), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) (50 unnumbered pages)

Forest Service (Original Intent and Purpose): "And now, first and foremost, you can never afford to forget for a moment what is the object of our forest policy. That object is not to preserve forests because they are beautiful, though that is good in itself; nor because they are refuges for the wild creatures of the wilderness, though that, too, is good in itself; but the primary object of our forest policy, as of the land policy of the United States, is the making of prosperous homes. It is part of the traditional policy of home making in our country. Every other consideration comes as secondary. You yourselves have got to keep this practical object before your minds: to remember that a forest which contributes nothing to the wealth, progress, or safety of the country is of no interest to the Government, and should be of little interest to the forester. Your attention must be directed to the preservation of forests, not as an end in itself, but as the means of preserving and increasing the prosperity of the nation." - President Teddy Roosevelt, speaking to the Society of American Foresters in 1903. (emphasis added) Sources: and

Rehabilitation – Actions undertaken to return an injured resource to its baseline condition, as measured in terms of the injured resource’s physical, chemical, or biological properties or the services it previously provided. – DOI/USFWS 2. The activities necessary to repair damage or disturbance caused by wildland fires or the fire suppression activity. – KIPZ – Kootenai and Idaho Panhandle National Forests 3. Actions taken to restore or reclaim site productivity, water quality or other values. – Appendix H (Biological Assessment and Evaluation for Revised Land and Resource Management Plans and Associated Oil and Gas Leasing Decisions) 4. The upgrading of a building previously in a dilapidated or substandard condition. – City of Scottsdale, Arizona, Planning, Building and Zoning Reference Guide Glossary. 5. Improvements to a natural resource that return it to a good condition but not the condition prior to disturbance. Also, ”replacing selected original attributes of particular value to humans... or putting a natural resource to a new or greatly-altered use to serve human purposes." (Cairns, John, Jr. 1991. "The status of the theoretical and applied science of restoration ecology". The Environmental Professional 13 (3) p 187.) Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) (page 104/B-1 of 154 pages) 6. Actions undertaken to return an injured resource to its baseline condition, or to a close approximation, as measured in terms of the injured resource’s physical, chemical or biological properties or the services it previously provided. – Draft Conceptual Restoration Plan for Whitewood Creek and the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne River Watersheds, South Dakota, September 29, 2004, prepared by: South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources; United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management; and United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation. Draft Plan. (Page 91/83 of 111 pages; 1.05 MB) 7. Altering a degraded habitat in order to improve ecological function. See also: Restoration

Restoration – (excuse for land acquisition) Holistic actions taken to modify an ecosystem to achieve desired, healthy, and functioning conditions and processes. Generally refers to the process of enabling the system to resume its resiliency to disturbances. – Appendix H (Biological Assessment and Evaluation for Revised Land and Resource Management Plans and Associated Oil and Gas Leasing Decisions) 2. Measures undertaken to return a degraded ecosystem's functions and values, including its hydrology, plant and animal communities, and/or portions thereof, to a less degraded ecological condition. – Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Glossary (USGS, United Nations) 3…[R]estoration means the return of an ecosystem or habitat toward: its original structure, natural complement of species, and natural functions or ecological processes. B. Definition of Restoration and Compensation A. The Plan’s use of the word “restoration” is confusing and contradicts its use in Alternative 2.B. It does not make sense to “restore” lands that were not injured or damaged. Response: A. The Draft Plan (Conceptual Restoration and Compensation Plan for Whitewood Creek and the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne River Watersheds, South Dakota, January 2005) frequently uses the word “restoration” within the Plan’s title and throughout the document, including the various action alternatives. We acknowledge and apologize that our use of the word was confusing to some readers since the general understanding of the definition of restoration is “to make something better or bring it back to its original condition.” However, we employed CERCLA’s [Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (Superfund)] definition of restoration, which is broad, in order to best compensate the public. CERCLA defines restoration as “includes, but is not limited to, on-site restoration, off-site enhancement, replacement of similar local resources via management practices, habitat reconstruction, rehabilitation, acquisition, replacement or other techniques.” To better describe Alternative 2, we have replaced the word “restoration” with “reclamation” as a result of this comment. Further, we have added the word “compensation” to the Plan’s title. B. It does seem odd that the Plan would propose to “restore” lands that are not injured or damaged. However, as explained above, the Plan employs CERCLA’s definition of “restoration.” Where applicable, the Plan also will use the word “compensate.” No other changes were made to the Plan as a result of this comment. Page 125: 4. Bringing back a forest ecosystem to a prior, less-disturbed state (prior to the settlement of Anglo-Europeans). 5. As noted in Section V.B.3, supra, the GMA/SMA [Growth Management Act/Shoreline Management Act] total statutory scheme contains a substantive duty to “preserve, protect, enhance, and restore” the ecosystems of shorelines of statewide significance. The City has defined the term “restoration” as follows: Return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its previously existing condition (modified from NRC 1992). For example, building a wetland on a non-upland site where a wetland previously existed would be considered restoration. SEWIP [The Snohomish Estuary Wetland Integration Plan ], Glossary page 7. The term “restoration” has been defined by Ecology as follows: “Restoration” or “ecological restoration” means the significant reestablishment or upgrading of ecological shoreline functions through measures such as revegetation, removal of intrusive shoreline structures and removal or treatment of toxic materials. Restoration does not necessarily imply returning the shoreline area to aboriginal or pre-European settlement conditions.” WAC [Washington Administrative Code] 173-26. Supp. Ex. No. 1, at 9. Everett’s SMP adopts a series of goals, policies, objectives and regulations addressed to “restoration.” Among these are: [Goal 2] To promote and enhance the public interest by protecting, enhancing, restoring, and preserving ecological functions and ecosystem-wide processes, while allowing development in Everett’s Urban Growth Boundary. 8. Return of an ecosystem to a close approximation of its condition prior to disturbance. Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC) (page 104/B-1 of 154 pages) 9. Specific actions taken to improve or restore habitat or associated ecosystems to potential natural conditions. – USFWS, Conservation Agreement and Conservation Strategy, Columbia Spotted Frog (Rana Luteiventris) Toiyabe Great Basin Subpopulation Nevada, September 2003. (page 5/iv; 307 KB) 10. Includes, but is not limited to, on-site restoration, off-site enhancement, replacement of similar local resources via management practices, habitat reconstruction, rehabilitation, mitigation, acquisition, replacement or other techniques. – Draft Conceptual Restoration Plan for Whitewood Creek and the Belle Fourche and Cheyenne River Watersheds, South Dakota, September 29, 2004, prepared by: South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks; South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources; United States Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Land Management; and United States Department of Interior, Bureau of Reclamation. Draft Plan. (Page 91/83 of 111 pages; 1.05 MB) 11. Altering an area in such a way as to reestablish an ecosystem’s structure and function, usually bringing it back to its original (pre-disturbance) state or to a healthy state close to the original. See also Rehabilitation

Restoration (cultural) – (excuse for land acquisition) The act or process of accurately depicting the form, features, and character of an existing historic structure, landscape, or object as it appeared at a particular period of time, by removing modern additions and replacing lost portions of historic fabric, paint, or other elements. – National Park Service, Yosemite Valley Plan SEIS (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement), Volume IB Part 2, Glossary

Restoration (natural) – (excuse for land acquisition) Work conducted to remove impacts to natural resources and restore natural processes, and to return a site to natural conditions. – National Park Service, Yosemite Valley Plan SEIS (Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement), Volume IB Part 2, Glossary

Restoration or Rehabilitation – (excuse for land acquisition) Actions to be taken to return an injured resource to its baseline condition. – DOI/USFWS

Restoration/revegetation – (excuse for land acquisition) Re-establishing a habitat or plant community in an area that historically supported it. – U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Glossary

~~~~~ end of nine definitions ~~~~~

With the proven track record of both this agency and its policy and definition writers for changing, skewing, and making definitions that are impossible to discern -- due in great probability to the fact that they were never meant to embue clarity -- intelligent comment on any "notice of intent" or "plan" is not possible. Coupled with the fact that "content analysis process" will be exercised on all comments -- the equivalent of running comments through the shredder -- there will actually be no comments. No matter what the blind men may say, the Emperor is still "nekked." No matter what immediate past, present or future heads of this agency may say, the Forest Service is broken, those responsible for its maimed and bleeding carcass pretending to be "part of the process" which is ostensibly to fix what's wrong.

Let me be crystal-clear: A bull in a china shop is not synonymous with one that repairs broken china.

A friend and fellow seeker of truth relating to our (his and mine, being Americans) natural resources and federal, some say "public," lands, is Randy Shipman of Rock Springs, Wyoming, in the southwest corner of that great state. Randy is a thoughtful man, a devoted husband and father, and an American of unquenchable thirst for truth.

Like him, I would die of thirst if it were left up to the Forest Service to provide a drink of truth in the twenty-first century.

Borrowing Randy's words:

'"The Forest Service raises a number of noteworthy concepts in the scoping document (Federal Register - December 18, 2009), foremost being the concept of "restoration," which is heavily stressed but never defined. Nor does the document examine how making "restoration" a priority would affect recreation or other land uses. Rather, the agency asks the public to provide comment on what "restoration" ought to mean. However, last August, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack stated publicly, "Restoration means managing forest lands first and foremost to protect our water resources, while making our forests more resilient to climate change."'"

I close with this reminder to all that I am not flummoxed, but remain more dedicated than ever to alerting, educating and empowering others to tear aside that veil of language deception with which this agency has cloaked itself and its "plans." The Emperor is buck "nekked."

Forest Service (Original Intent and Purpose): "And now, first and foremost, you can never afford to forget for a moment what is the object of our forest policy. That object is not to preserve forests because they are beautiful, though that is good in itself; nor because they are refuges for the wild creatures of the wilderness, though that, too, is good in itself; but the primary object of our forest policy, as of the land policy of the United States, is the making of prosperous homes. It is part of the traditional policy of home making in our country. Every other consideration comes as secondary. You yourselves have got to keep this practical object before your minds: to remember that a forest which contributes nothing to the wealth, progress, or safety of the country is of no interest to the Government, and should be of little interest to the forester. Your attention must be directed to the preservation of forests, not as an end in itself, but as the means of preserving and increasing the prosperity of the nation." - President Teddy Roosevelt, speaking to the Society of American Foresters in 1903. (emphasis added) Sources: and

Miss Julie Kay Smithson, researcher, author, writer, editor, and consummate born-and-bred American woman

213 Thorn Locust Lane

London, Ohio 43140

3,363 words.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New name quells opposition - NAIS not dead

New name quells opposition - NAIS not dead

February 9, 2010

By Shirley Knot / Julie Kay Smithson, researcher

Apparently, the answer is still yes. Is a sucker really born every minute? It would seem that that could also be answered in the affirmative.

A "New Framework"

Most of those opposed to the "National Animal Identification System," or "NAIS," seem to have swallowed the thickly baited hook cast upon the opposition waters on February 5, 2010, as "USDA Announces New Framework for Animal Disease Traceability."!ut/p/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB/.cmd/ad/.ar/sa.retrievecontent/.c/6_2_1UH/.ce/7_2_5JM/.p/5_2_4TQ/.d/1/_th/J_2_9D/_s.7_0_A/7_0_1OB?PC_7_2_5JM_contentid=2010%2F02%2F0053.xml&PC_7_2_5JM_parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&PC_7_2_5JM_navid=NEWS_RELEASE#7_2_5JM

When I read that, I do not get the feeling that "NAIS" is dead. Au contraire! "NAIS" is very much alive, locked and loaded in the belly of the Trojan horse named Language Deception.

In my work, I deal with definitions every day, at least hourly. Due to my unquenchable thirst for knowledge and "what things mean," the past decade has been a real learning experience. One of the first lessons learned was that government and other organizations with surreptitious strategic plans, have well-trained individuals in their employ that are masters at the Etch-A-Sketch of language deception. When one word or phrase in a plan becomes a "hot potato," it's no problem. The LDEs (language deception experts) simply invent another. The requirements are few, but important: the word/phrase must be something that most people trust, something that elicits an emotional 'tic' and/or an intellectual paralysis, i.e., no Red Flag generation when the public reads or hears it.


If it's called spying, the public will raise a hue and cry, but if it's termed "monitoring" or "managing," there's barely a peep.

If they called themselves "control freaks," the public wouldn't tolerate their sometimes-criminal actions for a New York minute. However, dubbing themselves "conservationists" or "environmentalists" -- while providing definitions for each that make said "control freaks" appear to be vying for Mother Teresa status --

"Global warming" has proven so be such a "hot potato" that it's now being hawked as "climate change" -- which is something that has been occurring naturally since time began!

How can public opposition to hanging "Closed" signs all over federal lands, be squelched? Simple! Just call them places where "endangered" species need "habitat" "protection and restoration!" The Nature Conservancy, which once touted itself as "Nature's Realtor," calls anyplace it seeks to control "one of the 'last great places.'" Slick, eh?

Words of caution

"NAIS" is anything but dead. It is, like the Medusa, a monster with many heads. Lop off "NAIS" and "New Framework for Animal Disease Traceability" crops right up. The only way to stop such a scheme to gain control of and access to private property, worldwide, is to figure out a way to make the public think the intent is something that will protect it. When government and/or its agents (think of those airport screeners) can access your property any time and from any location on your property -- not just the front door -- "NAIS" will be in place. By hook or by crook ... and the most effective method for engineering this trespass is to cloak it in language deception.

If it sounds good, consider who developed those "warm and fuzzy" sounding sound bytes. The fat lady has not yet begun to sing.

521 words.


Smithson is a property rights researcher, writer, editor and wordsmith in Ohio's Amish & Mennonite farm country. Her websites: & & She also writes a weekly column for:

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Safe Harbor Agreements (SHAs) Coming to California First

Safe Harbor Agreements (SHAs) Coming to California First – California Rangeland Conservation Coalition: Safe Harbor Agreement/Voluntary Local Program starts in 2010

By Julie Kay Smithson, property rights researcher, London, Ohio and

The “Safe Harbor Agreement” program is being proposed by the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the California Department of Fish and Game, and should be fully approved by the end of 2009. Information included in this article may be difficult to fathom, but it is taken directly from the information being made available to property owners.

The following is excerpted from the 2-page “Safe Harbor Agreements for Private Landowners” Pamphlet: "The Safe Harbor Program encourages non-Federal landowners to restore, enhance, and maintain habitats for federally-listed species. ... Examples of activities covered under Safe Harbor Agreements include routine ranching and agriculture activities and maintenance of existing transmission lines. ... [Q] Does the Safe Harbor Program provide funding for restoration and enhancement activities? [A] There is no funding associated with Safe Harbor Agreements; however, the FWS can provide information on grant programs for restoration and enhancement activities. ... After the 10-year duration of the Safe Harbor Agreement, the landowner can either renew the agreement, or elect to return the property back to baseline conditions." (2 pages; 273.69 KB)

When implemented, the Safe Harbor Agreement is designed to protect participating landowners if, during routine farming or ranching operations, they accidentally harm approximately twenty species that are currently protected under both the federal and state Endangered Species Acts. The program will cover the "incidental take" (Take that results from, but is not the purpose of, carrying out an otherwise lawful activity. – Glossary for Endangered Species Act terms. (DOI/USFWS) of protected species on private ranchland in four the Northern California counties of Shasta, Tehama, Butte and Glenn.

The California Rangeland Conservation Coalition – which includes the California Farm Bureau Federation and the California Cattlemen's Association, as well as more than 75 other agricultural organizations, environmental groups and state and federal agencies – will offer informational materials and meetings to interested landowners once the proposed program is approved. "In part, the proposed agreement recognizes the value of grazing and other land stewardship practices of California's ranchers as essential for species management," said Noelle Cremers, CFBF natural resources and commodities director, who called the agreement the result of collaboration among agricultural groups, government agencies and environmental organizations.

To bring the state's safe harbor agreement program into closer alignment with federal requirements, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 448 into law on October 11, 2009. "We worked very closely with Defenders of Wildlife (DOW) and helped ensure the state legislation that supports the program works well for farmers and ranchers. Now, with the bill approved, we're able to more easily create programs that provide protections for state or federally listed species, and those listed by both," Cremers said. – 'Safe harbor' plan recognizes benefit of land stewardship, October 21, 2009, California Farm Bureau Federation

Under a Safe Harbor Agreement, participating landowners voluntarily undertake management activities on their property to enhance, restore, or maintain habitat benefiting species listed under the [Endangered Species] Act, Safe Harbor Agreements, and the subsequent enhancement of survival permits that are issued pursuant to Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the [Endangered Species] Act (16 U.S.C. 1531 et seq.), encourage private and other non-Federal property owners to implement conservation measures for federally listed species by assuring property owners that they will not be subjected to increased land use restrictions as a result of efforts to attract or increase the numbers or distribution of a listed species on their property. Application requirements and issuance criteria for enhancement of survival permits through Safe Harbor Agreements are found in 50 CFR 17.22(c). – U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

This programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement and Voluntary Local Program (Agreement) is entered into between the California Cattlemen’s Association (Program Administrator), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), and the California Department of Fish and Game (Department); hereinafter collectively called the “Parties.” This is a voluntary program that recognizes the unique and important role that private landowners in California can play in helping wildlife valued by the people of the state and of the nation. The purpose of this Agreement is to enable land management activities beneficial to sensitive species to be carried out on non-Federal land while providing protections to participating landowners (Cooperators) from increased regulations resulting from the presence of listed species. (Page 1) Draft Agreement: (70 pages; 1.36 MB)

This Agreement follows the Service’s Safe Harbor Agreement policy (64 FR 32717) and regulations (64 FR 32706), which implement this policy. Upon approval, this Agreement will serve as the basis for the Service to issue an Enhancement of Survival Permit (Permit) under Section 10(a)(1)(A) of the ESA. The Federal Permit authorizes the incidental taking of the Covered Species during habitat restoration activities, as well as activities associated with routine and ongoing agricultural and rangeland management. This Agreement also follows the Department’s Voluntary Local Program (VLP) regulations (California Code of Regulations (CCR), Title 14, § 786), which implements Article 3.5. Incidental Take Associated with Routine and Ongoing Activities § 2086 et. seq. of the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). In cooperation with the Safe Harbor Agreement, this VLP is designed to provide sufficient flexibility to maximize participation and to gain maximum wildlife benefits without compromising the economics of agricultural operations. Additionally, the Federal and State Take authorizations allow Incidental Take of Covered Species (but not *Species of Special Concern) if a Cooperator chooses to return their property to Baseline conditions. Ibid. Page 2

The California Cattlemen’s Association serves as the Program Administrator of the Programmatic Safe Harbor Agreement/Voluntary Local Program and is authorized to enter into both Cooperative Agreements with landowners who enroll land in the program and Neighboring Landowner Agreements with landowners who own land adjacent to or within the immediate vicinity of land enrolled in the program. Ibid. Page 36

"For each Enrolled Property, pre-Agreement conditions (baseline) shall be based upon a survey of the Enrolled Property, not more than 18 months prior to the signing of the Cooperative Agreement, to delineate the locations of all habitats for listed species and **Species of Conservation Concern that will be covered under the Cooperative Agreement. The following Baseline Habitat Worksheets are designed to be used for each potential Enrolled Property for each potential Covered Species and Species of Conservation Concern." Ibid. Page 39

Certificate of Inclusion

This certifies that the property described as follows [DESCRIPTION], owned by [NAME OF COOPERATOR], is included within the scope of the Enhancement of Survival permit issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on [DATE] (Permit No._____) and the Approval and Take Authorization issued by the California Department of Fish and Game on [DATE] (Take Authorization No. ____), each for a 50-year term, to the California Cattlemen’s Association under the authority of § 10(a)(1)(A) of the Endangered Species Act of 1973, as amended, and in accordance with §2086 of CESA, respectively. The Permit and Authorization allow certain activities by participating landowners as part of the Safe Harbor Agreement/Voluntary Local Program to maintain, restore, and enhance habitat for the Covered Species, while providing incidental take coverage for associated habitat enhancement and routine and ongoing ranching and agricultural activities. Pursuant to these authorizations and this Certificate, the holder of this Certificate is authorized to engage in activities on the above described property that may result in the incidental taking of such species, subject only to the terms and conditions of the Safe Harbor Agreement/Voluntary Local Program Programmatic Agreement, the Permit and Authorization, and Cooperative Agreement No. _______ entered into by the California Cattlemen’s Association and [NAME OF COOPERATOR] on [DATE]. Ibid. Page 30

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Contact: Rick Kuyper, 2800 Cottage Way, Room W-2605, Sacramento, California 95825. or 916-414-6600. Fax: 916-414-6712/6713


*Species of Special Concern – A native species whose population is low and limited in distribution or has suffered significant reductions because of habitat loss. – Bureau of Land Management, Chapter 9, Glossary PRB O & G DEIS. (Page 9-16 of 9-18 pages; 87.59 KB)

**Species of Conservation Concern – Species whose persistence or abundance in an area is threatened by development. – Wildlife Friendly Guidelines, Community and Project Planning, Arizona Game and Fish Department (AZGFD) February 2009. (Page 38/39 of 43/44 pages; 2.65 MB)

1,390 words.

Article citation: "First published in the January 2010 issue of Progressive Rancher Magazine."

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