Opinion: ‘Lone rancher’ not in spirit of Western public lands grazing | TheFencePost.com

Opinion: ‘Lone rancher’ not in spirit of Western public lands grazing

There's nothing like a good old-fashioned "Wild West" yarn for selling newspapers and luring TV advertisers. To hear some of the reports about the illegal cattle grazing on Bureau of Land Management lands in Nevada, the showdown might as well be happening at the OK Corral. But it is important to note that this "lone rancher" doesn't represent how thousands of responsible ranchers run cattle every day on public lands. As a lifelong, multi-generation rancher and farmer who has also worked as a BLM state director, you could say that I see on both sides of the fence when it comes to this issue. For more than eight decades, ranchers have worked closely with federal agencies such as the Forest Service and BLM as "rangeland conservationists," ensuring grazing on public lands is done much the same as on private land: responsibly and sustainably. When I served as a BLM state director in Wyoming, I had to work collaboratively with ranchers as well as hunters, industry and conservationists to uphold the BLM's multiple-use mission. Collaborative being the operative word. Given the many demands on public lands, which include wildlife management, hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation like mountain biking, mineral extraction and grazing, most ranchers would agree the BLM for the most part has been doing a fair job of balancing these considerations. In my experience in Wyoming, most ranchers have respectful and agreeable relationships with agency staff and do their best to follow both the letter and spirit of the law. In sharp contrast is the decades-long conflict in Nevada between a lone rancher and the BLM. Cliven Bundy has been illegally grazing in sensitive desert tortoise habitat on BLM lands for more than 20 years — ignoring the necessary permits, back-due fines, and court orders otherwise. The tension flared up this past weekend and put lives at risk. This is entirely unnecessary and should be settled without the TV cameras and militia men now surrounding Bundy and amplifying his illogical claims that the U.S. government doesn't even exist. Americans should know that this one rancher does not reflect the totality of those now grazing on their public lands. Most ranchers have equitable partnerships with the BLM. Most ranchers are responsible in their use of public lands and our shared natural resources. In my experience, most ranchers appreciate the opportunity to graze responsibly on public lands and understand the daily challenges that public land mangers face in balancing multiple uses with healthy ecosystems. Thoughtful, balanced public land management is critical in the West not only for the long-term benefit we all receive from abundant wildlife, recreation and responsible energy development – but for the safety and welfare of all who use our public lands. ❖

Two members of Oregon’s Hammond family to serve time in prison after burning 140 acres of BLM land

The story could set the stage for a western-style soap opera. "I call it 'as the sagebrush burns,'" said Erin Maupin of the long and storied history involving the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), special interest groups and the cattle ranchers on the Steens Mountain of Oregon. The latest scene involved two ranchers being sentenced to five years in federal prison for inadvertantly burning about 140 acres of BLM rangeland in two separate fires, years ago. That is an area big enough to feed about three cow-calf pairs for a year in that neck of the woods. Dwight, 73 and son Steven, 46, admitted in a 2012 court case, to lighting two different fires. Both fires started on Hammonds' private property. The Harney County ranchers are paying the BLM $400,000 in a separate settlement. "The jury convicted both of the Hammonds of using fire to destroy federal property for a 2001 arson known as the Hardie-Hammond Fire, located in the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area," said the Department of Justice news release. "The Jury also convicted Steven Hammond of using fire to destroy federal property regarding a 2006 arson known as the Krumbo Butte Fire located in the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and Steen Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Area. An August lightening storm started numerous fires and a burn ban was in effect while BLM firefighters fought those fires. Despite the ban, without permission or notification to BLM, Steven Hammond started several "back fires" in an attempt to save the ranch's winter feed. The fires burned onto public land and were seen by the BLM firefighters camped nearby. The firefighters took steps to ensure their safety and reported the arsons," continued the DOJ release. The two men were sentenced to prison in 2012. Steve served eleven months and Dwight three. The men were charged with nine counts, including conspiracy, using aerial surveillance of sites they burned, attempting to destroy vehicles and other property with fire, and more. Dwight and Steve were found guilty of two counts – the two fires they readily admitted to starting on their own property. In order to draw the original court case to a close, the two men, in a plea deal, agreed that they would not appeal the 2012 sentence. The Department of Justice news release said arson on federal land carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence. Judge Michael Hogan, however, did not give the two men the minimum sentence called for under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, saying it would have been "grossly disproportionate" to the crime. He added that a longer sentence would not meet any idea he has of justice and that he didn't even believe congress intended that act to be applied in cases like the Hammond one. A longer sentence than the few months he gave them would "shock his conscience" he said. The Department of Justice appealed for a full sentence. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed to a review of the case and District Chief Judge Ann Aiken went ahead with a full sentence – five years in federal prison for both men, minus time already spent. The fires The first, in 2001, was a planned burn on Hammonds' own property to reduce juniper trees that have become invasive in that part of the country. That fire burned outside the Hammonds' private property line and took in 138 acres of unfenced BLM land before the Hammonds got it put out. No BLM firefighters were needed to help extinguish the fire and no fences were damaged. Dwight's wife Susan shared some crucial details in an exclusive interview with TSLN. "They called and got permission to light the fire," she said, adding that was customary for ranchers conducting range management burns – a common practice in the area. "We usually called the interagency fire outfit – a main dispatch – to be sure someone wasn't in the way or that weather would be a problem." Susan said her son Steven was told that the BLM was conducting a burn of their own somewhere in the region that very same day, but that they believed there would be no problem with the Hammonds going ahead with their planned fire. The court transcript includes the same information in a recording from that phone conversation. In cross-examination of a prosecution witness, the court transcript also includes admission from Mr. Ward, a range conservationist that the 2001 fire improved the rangeland conditions on BLM. Maupin, a former range technician and watershed specialist who resigned from the BLM in 1999, said that collaborative burns between private ranchers and the BLM had become popular in the late 1990s because local university extension researchers were recommending it as a means to manage invasive juniper that steal water from grass and other cover. "Juniper encroachment had become an issue on the forefront and was starting to come to a head. We were trying to figure out how to deal with it on a large scale," said the woman whose family also neighbored the Hammonds for a couple of years. "In 1999, the BLM started to try to do large scale burn projects. We started to be successful on the Steens Mountain especially when we started to do it on a large watershed scale as opposed to trying to follow property lines." Because private and federal land is intermingled, collaborative burns were much more effective than individual burns that would cover a smaller area, Maupin said. Susan said the second fire, in 2006, was a backfire started by Steven to protect their property from lightening fires. "There was fire all around them that was going to burn our house and all of our trees and everything. The opportunity to set a back-fire was there and it was very successful. It saved a bunch of land from burning," she remembers. The BLM asserts that one acre of federal land was burned by the Hammonds' backfire and Susan says determining which fire burned which land is "a joke" because fire burned from every direction. Neighbor Ruthie Danielson also remembers that evening and agrees. "Lightening strikes were everywhere, fires were going off," she said. Maupin said prescribed burns to manage juniper were common in the late 1990s and early 2000s, best done late in the fall when the days are cooler. Prescribed burns on federal land in their area have all but stopped due to pressure from "special interest groups," Maupin said. As a result, wildfires now burn much hotter due to a "ladder" of material on the ground – grass, brush and trees. "The fires now burn really hot and they sterilize the ground. Then you have a weed patch that comes back." Maupin said planned burning in cooler weather like the Hammonds chose to do improves the quality of the forage, and makes for better sage grouse habitat by removing juniper trees that suck up water and house raptors – a sage grouse predator. After 34 years working for the U.S. Forest Service in Oregon, Rusty Inglis resigned from his position with the federal government and now ranches about 40 miles from the Hammonds and is unique in the area – he has no federal land permits and operates strictly on private land. "The Hammond family is not arsonists. They are number one, top notch. They know their land management." Inglis, president of his county Farm Bureau organization and a member of the Oregon Cattlemen's Association said both groups are working to help gain media attention for the Hammond case. The state Farm Bureau group gathered signatures online for a petition to show widespread support for the family. "Enough is enough. We are not in Nazi Germany. We are in the United States of America." Charges The Hammonds were charged with 9 counts in the original court case. The BLM accused the Hammonds of several 2006 fires, including a large one known as the Granddad, which blazed about 46,000 acres. According to the 2012 sentencing document, the jury found the men innocent or were deadlocked on all but two counts – the two fires the men admitted to starting – burning a total of about 140 acres. Judge Hogen dismissed testimony from a disgruntled grandson who testified that the 2001 fire endangered his life and that of local hunters, saying the boy was very young and referencing a feud that may have influenced the testimony. "Well, the damage was juniper trees and sagebrush, and there might have been a hundred dollars." He added. More to the story? During her tenure with as a full time BLM employee from 1997-1999, Maupin recalls other fires accidentally spilling over onto BLM land, but only the Hammonds have been charged, arrested and sentenced, she said. Ranchers might be burning invasive species or maybe weeds in the ditch. "They would call and the BLM would go and help put it out and it was not big deal." On the flip side, Maupin remembers numerous times that BLM-lit fires jumped to private land. Neighbors lost significant numbers of cattle in more than one BLM fire that escaped intended containment lines and quickly swallowed up large amounts of private land. To her knowledge, no ranchers have been compensated for lost livestock or other loss of property such as fences. Gary Miller, who ranches near Frenchglen, about 35 miles from the Hammonds' hometown, said that in 2012, the BLM lit numerous backfires that ended up burning his private land, BLM permit and killed about 65 cows. A youtube.com video named BLM Working at Burning Frenchglen-July 10, 2012 shows "back burn" fires allegedly lit by BLM personnel that are upwind of the main fire, including around Gary Miller's corrals. The fire that appeared ready to die down several times, eventually burned around 160,000 acres, Miller said. Bill Wilber, a Harney County rancher, said five lightening strikes on July 13, 2014, merged to create a fire on Bartlett Mountain. The fire flew through his private ground, burned a BLM allotment and killed 39 cows and calves. While the fire could have been contained and stopped, BLM restrictions prevent local firefighting efforts like building a fireline, so only after taking in 397,000 acres did the fire finally stop when it came up against a series of roads. Two South Dakota prescribed burns, ignited by the U.S. Forest Service, blew out of control, burning thousands of acres of federal and private land in 2013. Ranchers that suffered extensive property damage from the Perkins County, South Dakota, "Pautre fire," filed tort claims in accordance with federal requirements, but will receive no compensation because USDA found the U.S. Forest Service not responsible for that fire. Why the Hammonds? "The story is like an onion, you just keep peeling back the layers," Maupin said. In an effort to stave off what they feared was a pending Clinton/Babbitt monument designation in 2000, a group of ranchers on the scenic Steens Mountain worked with Oregon Representative Greg Walden, a republican, to draft and enact the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act that would prevent such a deed. The ranchers agreed to work with special interest "environmental" groups like the aggressive Oregon Natural Desert Association and others to protect the higher-than 10,000 foot breathtaking peak. A number of ranchers at the top of the mountain traded their BLM permits and private property for land on the valley floor, allowing the anti-grazing groups to create a 170,000 acre wilderness, with almost 100,000 acres being "cow-free." "The last holdouts on that cow-free wilderness were the Hammonds," explained Maupin. And because the Hammonds have large chunks of private property in the heart of the cooperative management area, they carried a target on their backs. "It's become more and more obvious over the years that that the BLM and the wildlife refuge want that ranch. It would tie in with what they have," said Inglis. The Hammonds also lost their ability to water cattle on one BLM permit when refuge personnel drained a watering hole that the Hammonds had always used. Maupin said the government scientists and resource managers working "on the ground" supported the Hammonds' use of the water but that the high level bureaucrats backed special interest anti-grazing groups. "There is a huge disconnect between employees on the ground and the decision-makers," she said, building tension between ranchers and federal agencies. In the Hammonds' plea agreement in the 2012 trial, the BLM obtained the first right of refusal should the family have to sell their land and BLM leases, Maupin added. The Maupins themselves had a small lease that also bordered the "cow-free wilderness" and the Oregon Natural Desert Association was "relentless in their pursuit to have us off, in order to expand the cow-free wilderness," Maupin said. The group would criticize the ranchers' water usage, causing them to pipe water to their cattle, which in turn instigated more complaints from the group. Eventually the Maupins sold their permit and moved. But the Hammonds remained. Steve and Dwight Hammond will turn themselves in to for their prison sentences in early January, Susan said. The family has sold cattle. Their BLM permit has not been renewed for two years, leaving them unable to use even a large amount of intermingled private land. The family is in the "last challenge" to re-obtain their grazing permit. "I don't know what happens after that," Susan said. "We have done everything according to their rules and regulations and there is no reason that they should not give us back our permit." The five-year prison sentence sets a worrisome precedent for area ranchers, Maupin said. "Now the sky is the limit. It doesn't have to be fire, it can be trespass with cattle." Another precedent – one for fire that burns beyond expectations – should apply to everyone, including federal employees, though, Maupin points out. Susan Hammond isn't sure where to go from here. "We've been fighting it for five years. We don't want to destroy people as we are fighting it even if it is a BLM employee," she said, "They live in our community and they have families. We respect that." The situation could get even more ugly but that "it's not going to be our fault," she said. Maupin talked about the Hammonds helping her and her husband with ranch work, like hauling cattle, lending portable panels and never expecting anything in return. Wilber recalled them hauling 4-H calves to the fair for neighbors and Inglis said Dwight once offered to lend him money because he thought he needed help. "Here's a guy with $400,000 in fines and legal bills I can't imagine, worrying about my welfare," said Inglis. "I think that's the biggest point of all of this – how can you prosecute people as terrorists when they aren't a terrorist?" Property rights attorney Karen Budd-Falen from Cheyenne, Wyoming, agrees. "What totally amazes me is what these guys did – they burned 140 acres. If you compare that to the EPA spill in Colorado, it amazes me that nothing will happen to those EPA employees. You have cities down there with no drinking water. The Hammonds didn't do anything like that," Budd-Falen said. "It's going to get worse before it gets better," said Maupin. The BLM deferred all questions to the Department of Justice who shared their official news release but did not respond to e-mailed questions as of print time.

It’s ranchers vs. the BLM in grazing allotment squeeze

Garfield County, Colo., ranchers are fighting a proposed Bureau of Land Management order that would cut a cattle grazing allotment on federal lands in half. They say it would kill their family businesses. Jack Farris, a rancher near Parachute, approached the Garfield County commissioners March 20 for support against the order, which he said will cut his family's income by 50 percent, putting them and many others for whom they run cattle out of business. Farris said he knows of about 10 other ranching families around the Roan Plateau that will face the same fate if this order is successful. The permitees have submitted a protest to the local field office's proposal. "If this in fact is put through, we're out of business," Farris, a third-generation Garfield County resident, told the commissioners. The BLM's proposed order is for the re-issue of six different allotments in the western part of the county. But the big change would be cutting use of the East Fork Common Allotment in half. The BLM's proposal focuses on reducing the environmental impact, especially to riparian areas, of cattle grazing. In the order, Shonna Dooman, acting field manager at BLM's Colorado River Valley Field Office, called the allotment reduction a "practical decision that balances the various environmental, social and economic issues and concerns." "Many of the riparian areas in the East Fork Common Allotment are functioning at risk with no upward trend and not currently meeting land health standards due to current livestock grazing. Current management to mitigate impacts to riparian areas unfortunately has had little success," she wrote. "Implementing the proposed changes in grazing management will improve upland and riparian conditions on the East Fork Common Allotment. It will also maintain livestock-based family businesses that support local economic sustainability in rural western Colorado communities." ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES Cattle grazing on public lands has serious impacts to wildlife habitats, said Katie Fite, of WildLands Defense, a Boise, Idaho-based conservation group that's been providing the BLM comments in support of restricted grazing. Livestock over-grazing worsens the impacts of climate change, reduces food and cover for wildlife, pushes out nesting migratory birds and sage grouse and deals a big blow to native vegetation communities, she said. Meanwhile predators are often scapegoats for lower wildlife populations, and wildlife management agencies come up with predator control plans, Fite said. Headwaters and riparian areas are especially vulnerable to trampling, causing damage to the stream banks and putting excess silt in the water, she said. There are other effects, such as those from recreation, but grazing impacts are far more severe, since cows and sheep are out there 24/7, she said. With livestock you have a large number of animals confined to a relatively small area for an unnatural period of time, Fite said. "We believe BLM needs to take a harder look at grazing impacts on public lands and think about what it will be like in 10 or 20 years if all these pressures remain," she said. "It's very important what goes on in the arid West and the stresses livestock grazing has on the land." To really gauge the stress to the wildlife, you also have to consider all the other impacts, including from energy development, Fite said. "You have a limited amount of land, and all areas in the West are experiencing increased stress from the climate, energy development, extreme weather events — something has to give." "If objectives are not achieved after five years, and livestock grazing is determined to be the (causal) factor for not achieving objectives, other grazing management actions will be implemented," Dooman wrote in the proposal. "If land health standards and objectives are achieved due to improved livestock grazing management, (grazing use) may also be increased." LEGAL ARGUMENTS Among several legal arguments in protest, the ranchers' attorney, Korry Lewis, wrote that the BLM exceeded its authority under the Federal Lands Policy and Management Act and that reducing the grazing use was "not supported by property monitoring data." "The (grazing reduction) fails to analyze socioeconomic impacts and contradicts the express objective of the BLM to sustain the western livestock industry," he wrote. Garfield County commissioners unanimously agreed to send a letter to the BLM opposing the order and requesting more scientific review. The Colorado Independent CattleGrowers Association, too, wrote in a protest to the BLM proposal. "A (50-percent) cut of any individual's paycheck will not only destroy the economic viability of those ranching families but will also drastically effect their communities and surrounding businesses," wrote Lorene Bonds, president of CICA. "The BLM must consider the fact that farmers and ranchers are the longest standing group of citizens concerned about the health and productivity of the land. The term 'health' can be defined in many ways, but healthy habitats can and have been achieved for centuries with livestock grazing as a central management objective," she wrote. Bonds said that "historical and scientific data (show) that rangeland ecosystems that include livestock grazing have been proven to be healthy and sustainable." CICA added that if the BLM decision is approved, the BLM should give permittees two years' notice and pay reasonable compensation. Commissioners Tom Jankovsky and Mike Samson wanted to take the county's involvement to the next level, and the board directed the county attorney to explore legal options. The commissioners passionately opposed the BLM's proposal. Jankovsky called it an attack on grazing on public lands in the county. "I'm outraged by the idea of putting cattlemen out of business in Garfield County," he said. Commissioner John Martin focused on the economic and social impact he saw in the BLM's move. "It changes a lifestyle that we're trying to hang onto, that we have promoted, an agricultural heritage that is impacted drastically." Jankovsky reiterated the board's strong support of BLM's mandate to manage federal public lands for multiple uses. "I don't believe our current BLM people are following through with multiple use," said Farris, who added that he strongly supports the concept. "I'm amazed sometimes at the ignorance of people … who want to tell us in the West, who have no background, who have no knowledge, who have no frame of reference … how we should do things in the West," Samson said. "I'm hoping with the new administration in Washington, we have a favorable ear listening to us and will understand and put people in key positions … that understand our situations," he said. ❖

Hammond ranchers report to prison despite protests of fellow Oregon residents and Bundy-led “militia”

True to their words, Oregon ranchers Dwight and Steven Hammond turned themselves in peacefully Jan. 4, to complete their 5-year prison sentences. Video footage showed 74-year-old Dwight hugging his wife of 55 years, Susie, then their son Steven hugging his mother before Dwight and Steven reported for their prison sentence. While the Hammond family appeared cool and calm despite the imminent jail time, their community and many around the country are fired up. The story The father and son who ranch on the Steens Mountain of eastern Oregon with their familes were convicted in 2012 of lighting two fires on their private property that ended up burning a total of about 140 acres of BLM ground between the two fires. No property was damaged and a range scientist testified under oath that the fire improved the condition of the BLM rangeland. According to the Burns Times-Herald, the Hammonds were originally indicted on 19 counts by a grand jury in June 2010, but a superseding indictment reduced the counts to nine. On June 22, 2012, a jury found Dwight guilty of one count and Steven guilty of two counts. Gerri Badden, U.S. Attorney's office spokesperson, said the Hammonds were charged with and found guilty of "Use of Fire to Damage and Destroy Property of the US," a violation of the 1982 Anti-Arson Act, 18 USC 844(f)(1). "That sentencing provision of that act was amended in 1996 by the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act which amended the sentencing provision from a maximum of 20 years to a mandatory minimum of 5 years to a maximum of 20 years. The 1996 Act was not restricted to just 'terrorists' but amended the habeas corpus rights for all criminal defendants and the enhanced penalty under 18 USC 844(f)(1) was also passed by Congress to help protect firefighters regardless of the arsonist's motive. The 1996 law would affect defendant who committed an act of domestic terrorism or eco-terrorism and non-terrorist who committed an arson without a terrorist motive," Badden said. The 1996 act was passed in response to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and injured more than 1,000 and the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which killed 168 and injured 680 more. It was passed with broad bipartisan support and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The Act drew some criticism for changing habeas corpus law, limiting defendants' rights to appeal. At the sentencing, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan said, "I am not going to apply the mandatory minimum and because, to me, to do so under the Eighth Amendment would result in a sentence which is grossly disproportionate to the severity of the offenses here. And with regard to the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, this sort of conduct could not have been conduct intended under that statute. It would be a sentence which would shock the conscience to me." Dwight was sentenced to three months in prison and three years supervised release. Steven was sentencted on two different counts, to one year and one day in prison for each, to be served concurrently, followed by three years of supervised release. He served 11 months. Judge Hogan ended his 39-year career and retired the day of the sentencing. The Hammonds, who have operated on that ranch for over 50 years, were also required to pay the BLM $400,000 for fire suppression costs, an estimated 40 percent of the total costs, Badden said. Hogan, at the initial sentencing in 2012, said the damages from the fires might amount to a value of $100, but any restitution was being handled in civil proceedings. In 2014, Rhonda Karges, BLM field manager, denied the Hammonds' renewal of the grazing permit they had held since 1964. "As for grazing rights, they expired by their own terms," Badden said. "When the Hammonds re-applied for a permit it was denied based on their conduct and convictions." Also in 2014, Karges filed the appeal seeking the full five-year prison sentence. Karges' husband manages the Malheur Wildlife Refuge that surrounds the Hammond ranch. According to Erin Maupin, former neighbor and past BLM watershed specialist, employees of the wildlife refuge drained a waterhole that had provided water to one of the Hammonds' BLM permits, rendering it unusable. Following the appeal, in October 2015 Chief U.S. District Judge Ann Aiken re-sentenced the two men, handing them the minimum 5-year prison term, less time served. Neighbors, U.S. Attorney speak out Friends, neighbors and concerned strangers participated in a march of support Jan. 2 for the Hammonds that included around 300-400 people in the town of Burns, which has a population of about 3,000. "The march was excellent," Maupin said. "It brought attention to the Hammond situation, it showed solidarity within the United States. It was very peaceful. I don't think I ever heard anyone use foul language or anything like that. We sang the national anthem at the beginning, prayed, and we marched up to Dwight and Susie's house." Maupin explained that the march included a number of local residents, and folks from all across the country. Some marchers tossed pennies on the courthouse stops to signify their desire to "buy their government back," Maupin said. While she did not take part in the coin toss, she and many others laid flower bouquets in the Hammonds' yard and after Dwight spoke to the media, the marchers broke out in a rendition of "Amazing Grace." Dwight and Susie greeted the crowd on the steps of their home and publicly thanked those who marched. Referring to a letter of grievance sent to county officials, the district attorney, states attorney and the governor, Maupin said, "All we were asking was for the sheriff or someone to hit the pause button." None of the recipients of the Dec. 11, letter have responded, Maupin said. Sheriff Dave Ward addressed Harney County citizens on Jan. 4 to inform them that they could expect to see extra patrol cars in the near future, just to help maintain a safe environment. Those involved in the march were prepared to stand in defense of the Hammonds, had they indicated a desire for protection, Maupin said. "We were ready to stand in front of Dwight and Steven saying 'We won't let them take you without an investigation.' The community would have stood there." But the Hammonds had made a commitment to self-surrender. Maupin and another local rancher, Travis Williams, a member of the newly formed Committee of Safety for Harney County, said that several individuals – few, if any, local residents – have occupied a federal building on the local Malheur Wildlife Refuge in an action separate from Saturday's march. (See sidebar for more information.) Despite the sheriff asking the occupiers to leave, both in public statements and face-to-face meetings, as of Jan. 8, the group remained at the refuge. Maupin said she hopes this kind of national attention will spark action to change the problems she sees at the root of it. "I want someone to see the injustice and to remedy it immediately," Maupin said. "We are (government employees') employers. We wouldn't be here with this situation we have at the refuge if the county had exhausted all options and explained to their electorate why they haven't done anything." Even local residents who are not necessarily in agreement with the Hammonds agree that the prison sentence is vindictive on the part of the BLM, said local rancher Jesse Svejcar. "If the BLM just wanted justice served and they thought five years was justice, why did they also throw in the deal that Hammonds had to pay $400,000 in fines? The BLM tried to get the Hammond ranch diplomatically and when the Hammonds said no, they got dirty." Svejcar, who spent four years researching grassland conditions as a range technologist, said Hammonds' private land is in prime condition thanks to their successful management, including timely burns, and that even the small amount of BLM rangeland they burned is better for it. "If you walked out in the street and saw somebody's car parked there and the lug nuts were coming off the tire and you twisted them back on and then got thrown in the clink for a few years for tampering with someone else's property – that would be about the same as the Hammonds going to prison for what they did." He said that he knows of at least 20 people who were "almost burned to death" rushing to get cattle to safety in the face of fires lit by the BLM or allowed by the BLM to burn. In a 24 minute speech before the House of Representatives, Oregon Congressman Greg Walden said he doesn't support or defend the armed takeover, but that he understands the frustration. The Republican, who has represented that region for years, said, "The Hammonds are in prison tonight for setting a backfire they admit to that burned 139 acres. They will sit in prison time served and time going forward five years under a law that I would argue was never intended to mete out that kind of punishment." Walden called on the president and Congress to make a commitment one way or the other on the proposed monument designation in Malheur and neighboring Owyhee County, Idaho, and to address the unfairness of the law that the Hammonds were charged with. Badden, speaking for the U.S. Attorney's office, agreed that a BLM range conservationist testified under oath that the BLM rangeland improved after the 2001 fire, but added that prosecution-submitted imagery showed the land had not returned to its original condition. She does not know of any BLM fire being intentionally and maliciously ignited with the criminal motive of burning and damaging private property. Wyoming attorney Frank Falen, who specializes in private property rights and federal land issues, said the Hammonds' terrorism sentence sets a dangerous precedent. A terrorism conviction should be applied only if a person or group was specifically being targeted, he said. If the 9th circuit was correct in using the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, and the Hammonds entered a plea deal to accept the charges, the situation should cause others to think twice about accepting similar plea deals, Falen said. Badden said the Hammonds were not tried as terrorists. "There is no reference to terrorism. The U.S. Attorney's Trial Memo stated the elements of those crimes – which were the Hammonds intentionally or maliciously damaged or attempted to damage real or personal property of the U.S. by means of fire. There is no reference to terrorism in the entire 30-page pleading," Badden said. The bigger picture While a number of locals agree that the Hammonds' prison sentence is unfair, the issue is bigger than that one ranch family, they say. "I would love to see the land management here go back to the locals," said Johnson, whose husband works for a local rancher and also owns some of his own cattle. "I don't see why ranchers can't make lease payments to the county and the county could pay the workers. That's what I want to see come of this." In the 1980s, Harney County was the richest county in the state, said Maupin. Now, it's down at the bottom, she said. In order for food producers to keep feeding America, they have to be able to put food on their own tables. With their main labor source gone, this will be a bigger challenge for the Hammonds, but one they are up to, said Svejcar. The eldest of Steven's children is in college, the other two are at home on the ranch with their mother. The family has a hired man and has maybe hired a second for the interim. "They have a lot of friends and neighbors, myself included, that will be more than happy to lend a hand. They'll be alright," he said. Svejcar said Steven and Dwight had been working extra hours, trucking, hauling hay and more to earn extra income to pay their $400,000 court-ordered fine. "Now they will be just trying to keep their heads above water. They are good, tough folks. They will get it figured out," he said. ••• Now what? Falen said the Hammonds might be able to pursue a re-hearing. "People who are convicted do that all the time. If there is new evidence, or if they didn't understand or were not properly advised." Falen said there is no guarantee a new trial will be granted. Another option is a request for clemency, or pardon, he said. Both the Oregon Cattlemen's Association and the Oregon Farm Bureau offer supporters the chance to sign online petitions. The OCA petition calls on the president for a "commute of sentence," which is similar to a pardon but does not wipe away the conviction. The petition bears 6,755 signatures and must reach 100,000 within 30 days to be considered by the president. Find this petition at http://www.orcattle.com The OFB petition, signed by 24,505 people, says simply: "Tell the Department of Justice: Don't brand hardworking ranchers as terrorists. End this cruel and unusual punishment. It's unjust, unfair and un-American." Go to http://www.savethehammonds.com to find this petition. ❖

Wyoming wild horse pilot project announced

by Nancy H. Ruskowsky Cody, Wyo. The Wyoming State Grazing Board, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Wyoming Department of Agriculture (WDA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding plans for older wild horses during the joint WSGA/WWGA convention Dec. 4. Both wild horses, no longer considered adoptable, and the environment they call home will benefit from the pilot project, intended to relieve pressure on public lands from an ever-increasing wild horse population in the state. The development has taken a great deal of time, negotiations and planning, according to Jim Schwartz, WDA deputy director, who has been involved for nearly a year in ironing out the details. In an attempt to create a win-win project the plan was carefully crafted by representatives of all three groups. The goal was to find humane means to move older horses to private range, avoid the suspicion of the horses being claimed by anyone intending to make money at the expense of the animals and giving the natural resources time to heal. The plan, which is now in the application stage, will start with 200 horses available for four ranchers or more. Applicants may start by taking up to 10 wild mares of the rancher’s choice with the possibility of adding up to 50 geldings selected by BLM gate cut to their wild horse herds. Through a Department of Interior grant participants will be paid $1,000 to offset care costs for each gelding up to $50,000. Ranchers must keep all the horses for the duration of their natural lives, allowing them to roam freely on private grazing just as they did on public lands. While those participating will be allowed to keep any colts born during the horses’ care, there are some rules. For one thing, the animals cannot be pastured next to a wild horse area. Ranchers need to understand that this is a life-long commitment ” that of the natural life of the animal. “We want to stress that we’re interested in taking care of the horses and the rangeland and we hope that this pilot project can be another one of the tools used to protect the horses as Dick Loper, a consultant to the grazing board so aptly put it,” Schwartz said. For Wyoming ranchers wanting to apply applications can be picked up by phoning the Department of Agriculture at (307) 777-6569. The application asks for land mass offered, feed available and type of water as well as the number of horses the applicant would like to have. BLM officials will inspect the operations before homes are chosen for the first 200 horses. “We’d like to have had this off the ground sooner, but needed to go slowly to insure the protection of the horses,” Schwartz concluded.

New group says grazers partial owners in federal lands in Colorado

Lorene Bonds, a southwestern Colorado rancher whose home place sits about 60 miles from the four corners wasn't ready to give up grazing rights passed down from her great-grandfather. After visiting with Dr. Angus McIntosh about a year ago, her determination to defend her grazing rights was renewed. Her local forest ranger had informed her in April of 2015 that her family was required to swap one of their three grazing allotments in the San Juan National Forest for a different one, and take a 44 percent cut in cattle numbers. "They said if you do everything accordingly you could possibly regain your numbers." She was at a loss as to how to deal with the orders. "The allotment we were on was started by my great-grandfather. I had grown up on it. My family was on it before the U.S. Forest Service was even established." Bonds met McIntosh at a meeting a few months later and says she learned a few things about her rights. "He talked about units, preference rights. On my mom and dad's paperwork it said we had preference rights. We requested a meeting with the forest ranger, and asked one of our state senator's staff to accompany us. We showed them what the law said, and we said 'no we aren't going to do this.' And they decided to go with the laws instead of what they felt were their laws." Bonds said preference rights are given to ranchers who were first established homesteaders in an area. "In other words, the homesteaders that were using the land for stock-raising prior to the USFS established a 'preference' to the grazing allotment over individuals just moving into the area. They had a 'first right' to a grazing allotment on the Forest Service land before any newcomers or 'free grazers.'" Bonds said the allotment swap hasn't been spoken of again. McIntosh, the executive director of a new organization called Grazing Allotment Owners Association said a couple of historic court cases lend credence to his theory that grazers are partial owners, not renters of their allotments. "Grazing allotments are private property – they are split estates. The government owns the mineral rights and the commercial timber rights and the rancher owns valuable land for grazing and stock water rights," he said. The Supreme Court has also referred to the rancher's right as "limited fee title," he said, which includes all of the improvements, stock water rights, and forage. "Based on U.S. v New Mexico, a 1978 Supreme Court decision, they (the ranchers) own the stock water rights, based on Kinney Coastal Oil v. Kieffer, they own the surface estate," said McIntosh. "Also in Watt V. Western Nuclear, a 1983 Supreme Court Decision, the split estate concept is confirmed." The ranchers own the surface rights, starting with the Stock Raising Homestead Act of 1916, he said. "That's why ranchers can buy or sell those allotments and they have been able to for 100 years. It was the basis for grazing allotments when they created the resettlement projects in the great plains that are now called national grasslands. Those were actually established as 'resettlement projects.'" Even the term "public land" is not used correctly, McIntosh believes. "The definition – the original definition – was land that belonged to the United States that was open to entry and disposal." In 1920 Congress changed that legal definition because it had disposed of all these western lands as grazing allotments. "Now the definition after 1920 was land – and interest in land – that belonged to the United States and was open to entry and disposal. The reason for that distinction is because Congress created a split estate – so it was no longer talking about disposal of land but land 'or interest in land' and under these grazing allotments, the rancher owns grazing rights, the U.S. owns mineral rights." One of McIntosh's main goals in forming the new organization was to teach these basic principles to ranchers. "We want to educate ranchers on property rights so they cannot be taken advantage of by these federal agencies." By serving as the Colorado director for the group, Bonds hopes to help teach other ranchers some of the things she's learned. "Perhaps we can fill people in, get them excited that they truly do own something." McIntosh said even many federal employees working in the land agencies are not aware of grazers' rights, and in early October, he was walking from office to office in Washington, D.C., to share information with agency staff. "Most people do not understand that a grazing allotment or range allotment is actually a real property interest," he said. The ranchers who once grazed livestock on and around the Malheur Refuge in Oregon, for example, should have, at the very least, been given just compensation for their lost grazing rights. "The ranchers were flooded or burned out. They were forced out. They didn't know what their rights were. The Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service got away with it. The only problem is that the federal government cannot acquire land by adverse possession. They must pay you for it in order to acquire title because of the eminent domain law. "That's what they've been trying to do throughout the west for the last 40 years because there is a general lack of knowledge on the part of the western ranchers," McIntosh said. "They try to confuse ranchers into thinking that they are merely permittees on public lands." Even the charges the BLM brought against Steven and Dwight Hammond for burning about 140 acres of their BLM grazing allotment should never have been, Montana RAO director Maxine Korman said. 18 U.S. Code 1855, says, "Whoever, willfully and without authority, sets on fire any timber, underbrush, or grass or other inflammable material upon the public domain or upon any lands owned or leased by or under the partial, concurrent, or exclusive jurisdiction of the United States . . . shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both." The exception states, "this section shall not apply in the case of a fire set by an allottee in the reasonable exercise of his proprietary rights in the allotment." Korman believes the Hammonds were the excepted allottee in that case. Brandon Jensen, an attorney with the Budd-Falen law office of Cheyenne, Wyoming, isn't so sure. After a quick glance at the law, he said the term "allottee" generally refers to Indian allotments, not grazing allotments, but he didn't further research it. Korman also pointed out some federal lands grazers pay property taxes, which she believes is further evidence of the ranchers' ownership of the grazing right. Montana does not impose such a tax. Bonds said her family pays a possessory tax in Colorado, and while it is much lower than the property taxes on their private land, the state does collect it to be used for the same purposes as private property taxes. Jensen agrees with the RAO directors that grazing allotments should not be taken by the federal government without due process but he's not on board with the eminent domain part of the argument. "On a BLM allotment you are entitled to due process but you don't have any ownership in the land," he said. "If you have violated the terms of your permit it can be taken from you in whole or in part without giving you any compensation. "You don't own it, you have a right to that permit and that comes with rights and due process but you don't own it they way we normally use the word 'own.'" But he referred to "grazing rights," saying they do add value to the private land to which they are connected. As for the movement by some western states to transfer management of federal land to the states, Jensen said federal law would have to change for that to be legal, and he doesn't believe there is enough support in Congress to accomplish it. Bonds has already organized a couple of RAO meetings locally. Only about 20 people showed up to the first meeting, but more recently about 150 local ranchers joined her to hear McIntosh speak. "My big goal," Korman said, "is to try to get these ranchers to realize, 'look you are not leasing a grazing allotment.'" She explained that, with court rulings to back her up, she believes she owns the surface estate for agriculture or stock raising. "We're trying to be very clear. We're not claiming every interest from the center of the earth to the sky. We're not even claiming the soil. But we own the rights and options to use the surface." The former New Mexico State University researcher and former Texas A & M University professor of agricultural economics and natural resource economics, Dr. Angus McIntosh has sixteen years of federal service. He has worked under the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resource Conservation Service as a range management specialist, served in the U.S. Forest Service and more recently spent time as a research assistant and then was employed within extension. For the past 20 years, he has, on the side, consulted with ranchers on property rights issues. For the past four or five years, he's worked for a group called Land and Water Foundation USA but just recently formed the new ROA, which consumes his time now. "I'd been talking to ranchers over the last year or two and one of the people who really encouraged me to start this and has really helped me is Chuck Sylvester, he owns several allotments in Wyoming and was the general manager of the National Western Stock Show for 30 years." McIntosh said that Chuck and his wife Roni formed the LAW group and also helped him get ROA off the ground.

2008 Colorado Farm Show Exhibitors and Booth Numbers

Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 163 1031 Exchange Specialists E 65 A Dbl R Well Services E 115 A-M Valve Co, LLC. E 123-124 ABC Seamless E 55-56 ABI Irrigation E 25-29 Abilene Machine Inc. FEA E Ackerman Distributing 4-H 230 Ag Journal EC 580-582 Agland, Incorporated FEA 344-345 Agri King E 144 Agri-Enterprises E 121-122 Agri-Inject EC 613-614 AgSolutions, LLC FEA 366 AgXplore International EC 587 All Truck Sales EC 571 Allison Transmissions E 9 American Nat’l Insurance Co. EC 530 American Pride Co-op EC 594 Anderson Alfalfa Co E 138 Archer Petroleum E 70 Area Diesel Service, Inc. E 37-38 Arkansas Valley Seed 4-H B A Terrific Mechanic, Inc. FEA A & C B & G Equipment, Inc. EC 513 Bank of Colorado 4-H 216 Banner Health-North Colorado Medical Center 4-H 214-215 B-A-R Distribution Co. Inc. FEA G2 Beaver Valley Supply FEA 319-320 Bekaert Corporation E 109 Betaseed, Inc. E 77-79 Big R of Greeley EC 467-468 Bill’s Volume Sales West FEA 367-368 Blu-Jet by Thurston Mfg. Co. FEA 331-333 Bobcat of the Rockies 354-356 Bobcat of the Rockies EC 547-549, Brothers Equipment, Inc. 573-575 Brothers Equipment, Inc. 4-H 206 Buckboard Bean, Inc. E 105-107 Buckeye Welding Supply FEA G 1 Burrows Enterprises & Fisher Pumps, Inc FEA 337-339 Bush Hog FEA 322 Bushel 300, Inc. E 97 Cache Valley Select Sires FEA 327-330 Carson Trailer 357-360 Carson Trailer EC 568-569 Centennial Ag Supply FEA 376-377 Central City Scale, Inc. EC 596 Central Colo. Water Conservancy EC 566-567 Central, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name EC 495-497, 521-523 Champion Dodge FEA 371-372 Clarks Ag Supply E 76 Cleanfix Reversible Fans OS Cochran Farm Supply 4-H 221 Collins Communications 4-H 232 Colorado 4-H Foundation E 42 Colorado Bean Company EC 532 Colorado Beef Council E 5 Colo. Conservation Tillage Assoc. EC 620 Colorado Corn E 66-67 Colorado Dairy Service, LLC 4-H 208 Colorado Department of Ag E 101 Colo. Division of Water Resources 4-H 218-220, 225-227 Colorado Division of Wildlife EC 562-563 Colorado East Bank & Trust EC 589-591 Colorado Equipment E 14-16 Colorado Equipment E 88-89 Colorado Farm Bureau E 1 Colorado FFA Foundation E 2 Colorado Foundation For Ag E 64 Colorado Hay & Forage Assoc. FEA 303 CHFA E 127 Colorado Land Investments E 90 Colorado Seed Growers Assoc. E 94 Colorado Soy, LLC E 8 Colo. Wheat Admin Committee E 133 Colorado Young Farmers EC 621 Cox Oil Co. 4H 222 Crop Quest, Inc. EC 583 Crossroads Insurance Agency E 135-136 Crow Valley Panels E 33 Crows Hybrid Corn Co. E 71 Custom Marketing Co., Inc. E 142 D & D Commodities Ltd E 10-12 Dairy Specialists E 63 Dairyland Laboratories E 72-74 Dixon ZTR Mowers E 128 Diversity D, Inc. 4-H C-D Double “O” Farms E 22 DTN E 160-162 Eastern Colo. Seeds/BarenbrugUSA 4-H 224 Ecoquest Independent Dlr. EC 593 Edward Jones Investments EC 2 Ehrlich Toyota E 57 Empire Irrigation, Inc. E 154 Energy Panel Structures EC 510 Evans Excavating 4-H 231 Fairbanks Equipment FEA 343 Farm Credit Leasing FEA 323 Farm Plus Financial EC 592 Farm Works Software Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 13 Farmco/High Plains Livestock EC 553 Fastline Publications E 137 Feldt Sales EC 616 Fence Post E 6 First FarmBank FEA 340 Flat Iron Steel EC 550-551,576-577 Flat River Agri, Inc EC 615 Flood & Peterson Insurance EC 558-559 Fontanelle Hybrids E 103-104 Frontier Glove Co. EC E G&M Implement, Inc. EC 607 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford E 145-150 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford EC 557 Garst Seed Co. E 155-158 General Air FEA 334 Genesis Soil Rite Calcium/ Midstates Consulting E 68 Genex Cooperative FEA 361-363 GFC EC 552 Giant Rubber Water Tanks FEA 301-302 Golden Harvest/JC Robinson Seed Company 4-H 210-211 Grand Valley Hybrids E 115 Great Plains Meters FEA B1 Great Plains Mfg., Inc. OS Great West Trailer & Truck Sales E 111 Greeley Independence Stampede EC 608 Guaranty Bank and Trust FEA 309-310 H2O Power Equipment Inc E 53 Hagie Mfg. Company FEA L 1 Harsh International, Inc. EC 595, E 17 High Plains Journal E 143 Hill Petroleum EC 512 Hilleshog/Syngenta Seed EC 556 Hitchcock, Inc. E 117 Hotsy Equip of No. Colo. 4-H 234 Hydropedes E 151-153 Hydroscreen EC 579 Interstate Energy Inc. 4-H 223 J&T Country Feeds FEA B2 JJ Equipment/Brillion/Rhino EC D John Deere E 130 Johnstown Clothing& Embroidery 4-H A Kaput Products-Ridarodent FEA 335-336, 351-352 KD Loaders FEA B1 KP Sales and Marketing Inc EC 619 Kreps Wiedeman E 164 KSIR Radio EC 555 Kugler Company EC 3 Kuhn-Knight Mfg. EC 525-526 Larson Metal Inc. EC 528-529 Lawson Products Inc EC 586 Lefever Building Systems 4-H 203 Legacy Land Trust E 125-126 Lewton Ag Services/Nitro Sprayers E 93 LG Seeds Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 311 Loveland Distribution FEA L2 Luther Equipment FEA D MacDon, Inc. E 86-87 Magnum Manufacturing/ Woodys Pivot Service FEA 369-370 Maize Corp/Kearney Equip EC 508 Maxey Companies, Inc. EC 564 Mel Brown Farm Supply EC 578 Metrogro EC 599-602 MHC Kenworth E 32 Mid West Truck Parts EC 537 Midwest Seed Genetics 4-H 233 Miracle Ear FEA 373 Moly Mfg, Inc./Silencer EC 534-536 Monosem E 112-113 Monsanto FEA 315-316 Moreta Company, Inc. E 84 Morgan CC-Agri & Bus Mgmt. FEA 307-308 Mortec Industries, Inc. EC 527 Morton Buildings, Inc. EC 539 Mountain Plains Farm Credit EC 531 NAPA Parts E 95 Nat’l. Farmers Union Insurance E 75 Nations Pipe & Steel E 54 Navigator E 59 NC+ Hybrids E 92 Neb. College of Technical Ag E 129 Netafim USA EC 617-618 New Frontier Bank EC 511 NK Brand Seed of Syngenta E 102 No-Bull Enterprises E 7 Northeastern Jr. College FEA 317 Northern Colo. Driveline Service EC 506-507 No. Colo. Water Conservancy EC 478-480, 492-494 Orthman Mfg. EC 517-518, 543-544 Outback Guidance 4-H 201 Paradise Landscaping FEA 326 Paul’s Custom Grinding Svc. E 30-31 Pawnee Buttes Seed, Inc. 4-H 205 P-Diamond Irrigation Sales, Svc. E 91 Petersen Mfg Co. Inc EC 498 PGS Hybrids, Inc. FEA 306 Pickett Equipment E 118-120 Pioneer, A Dupont Co. E 21 Pivots Plus 4-H 223 Pletcher Enterprises E 99-100 Poudre Valley Co-Op Seed Div. FEA 324-225 Poudre Valley Co-Op/ Hutchison Western FEA 336 Poudre Valley REA EC 561 Poulsen Ace Hardware FEA G3 Power Equipment Co. 4-H Prairie Dog Man E 52 Producer’s Choice Seed/PGI FEA 318 Pure Ag Products Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 43-45 Quality Well & Pump EC 588 Rabo AgriFinance EC 502-503 Ranch-Way Feeds 4-H 207 Red Wing Shoes E 39 Regent Broadcasting K99 (KUAD-FM) E 18-19 Reinke Manufacturing EC 524 Reliance Industrial Products E 49 Reliv, International EC 603-605 Renewable Fiber FEA B2 Rhino-Brillion EC 471-473, 485-487 RHS/Bestway E 98 Ritchey Mfg E 41 Robinson Hay Company EC 584-585 Rky. Mtn. Cleaning Systems EC 538 Rky. Mtn. Water Environ Assoc. FEA 313 Rodenator EC 572 Rodman & Company, Inc. EC 554 Roggen Farmers Elevator Assn. EC C Ron’s Equipment Co. Inc. 4-H 212 Rural Community Ins. Svcs. EC 514-516, 540-542 Schaben Industries 4-H 209 Schaeffer Oil & Grease Co. EC 469-471, 483-484 Schlagel Mfg. E 96 Schmidt’s Bakery & Deli E 46 Schroeder’s Tire E 159 SFR HiTech Lubricants E 80-81 Sharp Bros. Seed EC 499-501 Shield Ag Equipment FEA 312 Shur-Co E 47 Silveus Insurance Group E 34-36 Simplot Soilbuilders 4-H 204 Soil Savers E 62 Soybest EC 607, E 145-150 Spradley-Barr OS Stampede Steel FEA 314 Starco Mfg EC 570 Stewart & Stevenson FEA 375 Stinger Ltd. EC 509 Stockton Roofing E 131 Strategic Financial Mgmt. EC 519-520, 545-546 Sutherland Lumber Co. EC 505 Synthetic Resources, Inc. FEA 346-350 T&B Welding & Trailers, LLC EC 597 Tarps Unlimited EC 481-482 Tidenberg Welding & Repair EC 565 Tire Pro FEA 304-305 Tool & Anchor Supply E 134 Toro Micro-Irrigation EC 504 TractorHouse EC 1 Transwest Trailers Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 378-380 Triple C, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 69 Triumph Seed FEA 364-365 Tru Blu, LLC E 82-83 Twin Peaks Powersports EC 598 U.S.D.A. Colo. Ag Statistics E 85 USDA Farm Service Agency E 50-51 USDA National Appeals Div. E 114 UNI Design E 139-141 Valley Irrigation of Greeley EC 560 Vander Wal Dairy S & S E 3-4 Viaero Wireless EC B Wagner Ag/Wagner Rents E 23-24 Walco Animal Health E 110 Warren Analytical Laboratory FEA 342 Water Colorado, LLC E 60-61 WDPA/ Northern Colo. Dairyettes FEA G4 & G5 Weiss Master Mfg. 4-H 217 Weld County Drug Task Force E 48 Weld County Fair EC 606 Weld County Garage 4-H 202 Weld County Public Works Dept/Weed & Pest 4-H 228 Weld County Sheriff’s Office E 108 West Greeley Conservation District E 132 West Plains Grain EC 609-610 Western Irrigation EC 611-612 Western Material Handling E 20 Whatwire Broadband EC A Wickham Tractor Co./Krone E 40 Wild West Motorsport E 58 Wilson Trailer Sales 4-H 229 Wingfoot Commercial Tire systems EC 533 WW Auctions & Real Estate EC 474-477, 488-491 Wylie Sprayers FEA 374 Xpect Solutions, Inc. Legend e exhibition building fea farm equipment area 4-H 4-h building ec event center os outside

2008 Colorado Farm Show Exhibitors and Booth Numbers

Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 163 1031 Exchange Specialists E 65 A Dbl R Well Services E 115 A-M Valve Co, LLC. E 123-124 ABC Seamless E 55-56 ABI Irrigation E 25-29 Abilene Machine Inc. FEA E Ackerman Distributing 4-H 230 Ag Journal EC 580-582 Agland, Incorporated FEA 344-345 Agri King E 144 Agri-Enterprises E 121-122 Agri-Inject EC 613-614 AgSolutions, LLC FEA 366 AgXplore International EC 587 All Truck Sales EC 571 Allison Transmissions E 9 American Nat’l Insurance Co. EC 530 American Pride Co-op EC 594 Anderson Alfalfa Co E 138 Archer Petroleum E 70 Area Diesel Service, Inc. E 37-38 Arkansas Valley Seed 4-H B A Terrific Mechanic, Inc. FEA A & C B & G Equipment, Inc. EC 513 Bank of Colorado 4-H 216 Banner Health-North Colorado Medical Center 4-H 214-215 B-A-R Distribution Co. Inc. FEA G2 Beaver Valley Supply FEA 319-320 Bekaert Corporation E 109 Betaseed, Inc. E 77-79 Big R of Greeley EC 467-468 Bill’s Volume Sales West FEA 367-368 Blu-Jet by Thurston Mfg. Co. FEA 331-333 Bobcat of the Rockies 354-356 Bobcat of the Rockies EC 547-549, Brothers Equipment, Inc. 573-575 Brothers Equipment, Inc. 4-H 206 Buckboard Bean, Inc. E 105-107 Buckeye Welding Supply FEA G 1 Burrows Enterprises & Fisher Pumps, Inc FEA 337-339 Bush Hog FEA 322 Bushel 300, Inc. E 97 Cache Valley Select Sires FEA 327-330 Carson Trailer 357-360 Carson Trailer EC 568-569 Centennial Ag Supply FEA 376-377 Central City Scale, Inc. EC 596 Central Colo. Water Conservancy EC 566-567 Central, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name EC 495-497, 521-523 Champion Dodge FEA 371-372 Clarks Ag Supply E 76 Cleanfix Reversible Fans OS Cochran Farm Supply 4-H 221 Collins Communications 4-H 232 Colorado 4-H Foundation E 42 Colorado Bean Company EC 532 Colorado Beef Council E 5 Colo. Conservation Tillage Assoc. EC 620 Colorado Corn E 66-67 Colorado Dairy Service, LLC 4-H 208 Colorado Department of Ag E 101 Colo. Division of Water Resources 4-H 218-220, 225-227 Colorado Division of Wildlife EC 562-563 Colorado East Bank & Trust EC 589-591 Colorado Equipment E 14-16 Colorado Equipment E 88-89 Colorado Farm Bureau E 1 Colorado FFA Foundation E 2 Colorado Foundation For Ag E 64 Colorado Hay & Forage Assoc. FEA 303 CHFA E 127 Colorado Land Investments E 90 Colorado Seed Growers Assoc. E 94 Colorado Soy, LLC E 8 Colo. Wheat Admin Committee E 133 Colorado Young Farmers EC 621 Cox Oil Co. 4H 222 Crop Quest, Inc. EC 583 Crossroads Insurance Agency E 135-136 Crow Valley Panels E 33 Crows Hybrid Corn Co. E 71 Custom Marketing Co., Inc. E 142 D & D Commodities Ltd E 10-12 Dairy Specialists E 63 Dairyland Laboratories E 72-74 Dixon ZTR Mowers E 128 Diversity D, Inc. 4-H C-D Double “O” Farms E 22 DTN E 160-162 Eastern Colo. Seeds/BarenbrugUSA 4-H 224 Ecoquest Independent Dlr. EC 593 Edward Jones Investments EC 2 Ehrlich Toyota E 57 Empire Irrigation, Inc. E 154 Energy Panel Structures EC 510 Evans Excavating 4-H 231 Fairbanks Equipment FEA 343 Farm Credit Leasing FEA 323 Farm Plus Financial EC 592 Farm Works Software Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 13 Farmco/High Plains Livestock EC 553 Fastline Publications E 137 Feldt Sales EC 616 Fence Post E 6 First FarmBank FEA 340 Flat Iron Steel EC 550-551,576-577 Flat River Agri, Inc EC 615 Flood & Peterson Insurance EC 558-559 Fontanelle Hybrids E 103-104 Frontier Glove Co. EC E G&M Implement, Inc. EC 607 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford E 145-150 Garnsey & Wheeler Ford EC 557 Garst Seed Co. E 155-158 General Air FEA 334 Genesis Soil Rite Calcium/ Midstates Consulting E 68 Genex Cooperative FEA 361-363 GFC EC 552 Giant Rubber Water Tanks FEA 301-302 Golden Harvest/JC Robinson Seed Company 4-H 210-211 Grand Valley Hybrids E 115 Great Plains Meters FEA B1 Great Plains Mfg., Inc. OS Great West Trailer & Truck Sales E 111 Greeley Independence Stampede EC 608 Guaranty Bank and Trust FEA 309-310 H2O Power Equipment Inc E 53 Hagie Mfg. Company FEA L 1 Harsh International, Inc. EC 595, E 17 High Plains Journal E 143 Hill Petroleum EC 512 Hilleshog/Syngenta Seed EC 556 Hitchcock, Inc. E 117 Hotsy Equip of No. Colo. 4-H 234 Hydropedes E 151-153 Hydroscreen EC 579 Interstate Energy Inc. 4-H 223 J&T Country Feeds FEA B2 JJ Equipment/Brillion/Rhino EC D John Deere E 130 Johnstown Clothing& Embroidery 4-H A Kaput Products-Ridarodent FEA 335-336, 351-352 KD Loaders FEA B1 KP Sales and Marketing Inc EC 619 Kreps Wiedeman E 164 KSIR Radio EC 555 Kugler Company EC 3 Kuhn-Knight Mfg. EC 525-526 Larson Metal Inc. EC 528-529 Lawson Products Inc EC 586 Lefever Building Systems 4-H 203 Legacy Land Trust E 125-126 Lewton Ag Services/Nitro Sprayers E 93 LG Seeds Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 311 Loveland Distribution FEA L2 Luther Equipment FEA D MacDon, Inc. E 86-87 Magnum Manufacturing/ Woodys Pivot Service FEA 369-370 Maize Corp/Kearney Equip EC 508 Maxey Companies, Inc. EC 564 Mel Brown Farm Supply EC 578 Metrogro EC 599-602 MHC Kenworth E 32 Mid West Truck Parts EC 537 Midwest Seed Genetics 4-H 233 Miracle Ear FEA 373 Moly Mfg, Inc./Silencer EC 534-536 Monosem E 112-113 Monsanto FEA 315-316 Moreta Company, Inc. E 84 Morgan CC-Agri & Bus Mgmt. FEA 307-308 Mortec Industries, Inc. EC 527 Morton Buildings, Inc. EC 539 Mountain Plains Farm Credit EC 531 NAPA Parts E 95 Nat’l. Farmers Union Insurance E 75 Nations Pipe & Steel E 54 Navigator E 59 NC+ Hybrids E 92 Neb. College of Technical Ag E 129 Netafim USA EC 617-618 New Frontier Bank EC 511 NK Brand Seed of Syngenta E 102 No-Bull Enterprises E 7 Northeastern Jr. College FEA 317 Northern Colo. Driveline Service EC 506-507 No. Colo. Water Conservancy EC 478-480, 492-494 Orthman Mfg. EC 517-518, 543-544 Outback Guidance 4-H 201 Paradise Landscaping FEA 326 Paul’s Custom Grinding Svc. E 30-31 Pawnee Buttes Seed, Inc. 4-H 205 P-Diamond Irrigation Sales, Svc. E 91 Petersen Mfg Co. Inc EC 498 PGS Hybrids, Inc. FEA 306 Pickett Equipment E 118-120 Pioneer, A Dupont Co. E 21 Pivots Plus 4-H 223 Pletcher Enterprises E 99-100 Poudre Valley Co-Op Seed Div. FEA 324-225 Poudre Valley Co-Op/ Hutchison Western FEA 336 Poudre Valley REA EC 561 Poulsen Ace Hardware FEA G3 Power Equipment Co. 4-H Prairie Dog Man E 52 Producer’s Choice Seed/PGI FEA 318 Pure Ag Products Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 43-45 Quality Well & Pump EC 588 Rabo AgriFinance EC 502-503 Ranch-Way Feeds 4-H 207 Red Wing Shoes E 39 Regent Broadcasting K99 (KUAD-FM) E 18-19 Reinke Manufacturing EC 524 Reliance Industrial Products E 49 Reliv, International EC 603-605 Renewable Fiber FEA B2 Rhino-Brillion EC 471-473, 485-487 RHS/Bestway E 98 Ritchey Mfg E 41 Robinson Hay Company EC 584-585 Rky. Mtn. Cleaning Systems EC 538 Rky. Mtn. Water Environ Assoc. FEA 313 Rodenator EC 572 Rodman & Company, Inc. EC 554 Roggen Farmers Elevator Assn. EC C Ron’s Equipment Co. Inc. 4-H 212 Rural Community Ins. Svcs. EC 514-516, 540-542 Schaben Industries 4-H 209 Schaeffer Oil & Grease Co. EC 469-471, 483-484 Schlagel Mfg. E 96 Schmidt’s Bakery & Deli E 46 Schroeder’s Tire E 159 SFR HiTech Lubricants E 80-81 Sharp Bros. Seed EC 499-501 Shield Ag Equipment FEA 312 Shur-Co E 47 Silveus Insurance Group E 34-36 Simplot Soilbuilders 4-H 204 Soil Savers E 62 Soybest EC 607, E 145-150 Spradley-Barr OS Stampede Steel FEA 314 Starco Mfg EC 570 Stewart & Stevenson FEA 375 Stinger Ltd. EC 509 Stockton Roofing E 131 Strategic Financial Mgmt. EC 519-520, 545-546 Sutherland Lumber Co. EC 505 Synthetic Resources, Inc. FEA 346-350 T&B Welding & Trailers, LLC EC 597 Tarps Unlimited EC 481-482 Tidenberg Welding & Repair EC 565 Tire Pro FEA 304-305 Tool & Anchor Supply E 134 Toro Micro-Irrigation EC 504 TractorHouse EC 1 Transwest Trailers Booth No. Exhibitor Name FEA 378-380 Triple C, Inc. Booth No. Exhibitor Name E 69 Triumph Seed FEA 364-365 Tru Blu, LLC E 82-83 Twin Peaks Powersports EC 598 U.S.D.A. Colo. Ag Statistics E 85 USDA Farm Service Agency E 50-51 USDA National Appeals Div. E 114 UNI Design E 139-141 Valley Irrigation of Greeley EC 560 Vander Wal Dairy S & S E 3-4 Viaero Wireless EC B Wagner Ag/Wagner Rents E 23-24 Walco Animal Health E 110 Warren Analytical Laboratory FEA 342 Water Colorado, LLC E 60-61 WDPA/ Northern Colo. Dairyettes FEA G4 & G5 Weiss Master Mfg. 4-H 217 Weld County Drug Task Force E 48 Weld County Fair EC 606 Weld County Garage 4-H 202 Weld County Public Works Dept/Weed & Pest 4-H 228 Weld County Sheriff’s Office E 108 West Greeley Conservation District E 132 West Plains Grain EC 609-610 Western Irrigation EC 611-612 Western Material Handling E 20 Whatwire Broadband EC A Wickham Tractor Co./Krone E 40 Wild West Motorsport E 58 Wilson Trailer Sales 4-H 229 Wingfoot Commercial Tire systems EC 533 WW Auctions & Real Estate EC 474-477, 488-491 Wylie Sprayers FEA 374 Xpect Solutions, Inc. Legend e exhibition building fea farm equipment area 4-H 4-h building ec event center os outside

BLM Wild Horse Roundup

In Colorado and most states in the U.S., there are still a number of wild horse herds maintained mostly on BLM land. Wild horses have virtually no predators and can double in population about every four years if not managed. BLM has been conducting birth control shots where mares cannot come into foal for about four years and it seems to have been quite successful. Most of these wild horse herds date back to around the 1800s and their genetics from this area show they came from domestic breeds that were on ranches at this time and were controlled in herd size by local ranchers, who culled out the weak ones and broke the stronger and more stocky quarter horse/thoroughbred type for ranch work. Beginning Oct. 4-10 and Oct. 11-22, the Bureau of land Management is conducting two roundups to remove excess horses from the West Douglas and Piceance-East Douglas on both sides of Highway 139. In the 1970s when Highway 139 was built, this herd became split on both sides of the highway. West Douglas is the area west of Colorado Highway 139 and south of Rangley. Another small herd became isolated on the east side when in 1983 a right-of-way fence was put in. Since then, BLM determined the area west of the highway is not suitable for wild horses due to the rugged canyons and sparse vegetation. The goal of this gather will be to remove all the wild horses in this West Douglas area, which is estimated to be about 100 wild horses. The horses in this herd tend to be small in size due to the lack of forage. All the horse will go to Canyon City facility for adoption or be sent to long-term pasture in the Midwest. Piceance-East Douglas will be a gather of an estimated 138 horses that have moved outside the 190,000-acre Piceance-East Douglas Herd Management Area, which is an area BLM manages specifically for a healthy wild horse herd in balance with other wild life and grazing. This band of horses is east of Highway 139 and southwest of Meeker. BLM is not gathering any wild horses within the 190,000 acres area at this time. The population within this area is estimated at around 318 horses. (That does not include the 138 outside the area – so altogether east of Highway 139 there are 456 – BLM is only removing the 138 on this side of the highway.)

Bureau of Land Management representatives field questions at Colorado Cattlemen’s Association convention

Representatives from the Bureau of Land Management and ranchers talked transparency and teamwork during a committee meeting at the Colorado Cattlemen's Association annual convention in Colorado Springs. The BLM came to talk about Planning 2.0, a proposed rule that would change the way the bureau handles public comment and reviews new science that would impact procedures. While Planning 2.0 was a big part of the conversation, bureau representatives Bruce Rittenhouse and Lynae Rogers fielded questions and gave information on several different topics. For example, Rogers told the ranchers all land considered habitat for the endangered sage grouse that's under a grazing permit has to meet certain ecological parameters. Rittenhouse gave an update on wild horse management projects. They also discussed federal budget crunches and how it's difficult for the bureau to meet all ranchers' needs in timely fashions. The discussion, while heated at times, resulted in Rittenhouse promising to go back to his organization to try to set up a meeting with the Colorado Cattlemen's Association and bureau representatives to get concerns heard. -Nikki Work