My Articles

July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The House Resources Committee passed the controversial Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) late Wednesday, after defeating every amendment that would have protected private property rights, water rights, and local control.Private property rights advocates refer to CARA as the "Land Grab Bill." They believe it is the biggest threat to private property rights since the Endangered Species Act. But the bill has many supporters, primarily because of what opponents call its huge "pork-barrel" aspect.
July 7, 2008, 8:28 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The House Resources Committee passed the controversial Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) late Wednesday, after defeating every amendment that would have protected private property rights, water rights, and local control.Private property rights advocates refer to CARA as the "Land Grab Bill." They believe it is the biggest threat to private property rights since the Endangered Species Act. But the bill has many supporters, primarily because of what opponents call its huge "pork-barrel" aspect.
July 7, 2008, 8:27 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The largest crowd ever to attend a House Resources Committee hearing is expected to gather in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on Saturday, June 16. But apparently not one of the 24 Democrats on the committee is planning to attend.The purpose of the hearing is to examine the water crisis and the disastrous effects that the Endangered Species Act is having on communities like those in the Klamath Basin, which straddles the California-Oregon state line.
July 7, 2008, 8:27 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - A battle is brewing in the Senate over a request from President Bush to allocate $20 million in emergency assistance for California and Oregon farmers in the Klamath Basin, where 1,400 farm families and their communities have been devastated by the federal government's decision to stop supplying vital irrigation water for their crops.
July 7, 2008, 8:27 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The House Resources Committee passed the controversial Conservation and Reinvestment Act (CARA) late Wednesday afternoon by a vote of 29 to 12.Opponents of the bill proposed approximately 30 amendments during the six-hour debate over the bill, which guarantees $47 billion in federal funds over the next 15 years for the acquisition of private land and other government projects.A solid block of Republican committee members voted in favor of virtually all the amendments.
July 7, 2008, 8:20 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Did the U.S. government use the "best available science" last spring when it decided to cut off vital irrigation water from 1,400 family farms in the Klamath Basin and allocate it instead to fish that are protected under the Endangered Species Act? Or was the decision based on "junk science," as alleged by the farmers and other critics?
July 7, 2008, 8:20 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The Bush administration has decided not to challenge a recent federal court ruling that ordered the government to remove the Oregon coast coho salmon from the endangered species list. The White House decision could serve as an important precedent.Officials said the government plans to review similar Endangered Species Act (ESA) listings and, in the future, will measure the economic impact on communities and property owners before designating protected habitat for endangered species.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - More than 200 horsemen and women staged a mounted protest outside the Klamath Basin's main irrigation canal in southern Oregon Friday afternoon, to keep the pressure on the federal government to reopen the head gates and let irrigation water flow to their parched farmlands and national wildlife refuge.The protestors, dressed in red, white and blue, many carrying U.S. flags upside down as an age-old symbol of distress, rode through the sagebrush and then stood abreast atop the ridgeline overlooking the head gates of the canal.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
1st add, includes congressional action in lead(CNSNews.com) - A congressional committee is planning a trip to Oregon to investigate how the Endangered Species Act may be hurting farmers and ranchers there.Thousands of people gathered earlier this week in Klamath Falls, Ore. to protest the ESA and the way it is being applied, which farmers said is depriving them a nearly century-old water source for crop irrigation.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - During World War I, Charley Mantle served his country in the U.S. Cavalry. After the war, the U.S. government encouraged veterans to help settle the country's vast western frontier. They offered each veteran a 160-acre "homestead" in rugged wilderness. And because 160 acres was not nearly enough to raise cattle, the government gave veterans the right to lease additional land to graze their livestock. Those grazing rights were guaranteed to veterans and their heirs forever.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush's new Forest Service chief told Congress Tuesday he doesn't know yet whether the Bush administration will appeal a federal judge's decision to stop implementation of former President Clinton's last-minute policy banning logging and road construction in a large portion of America's national forests.The ban would affect a third of the nation's national forests - almost 60 million acres - spread over 39 states.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
CLARIFICATION: Clarifies reason for non-payment of federal grazing fees. (CNSNews.com) - Two Nevada ranchers were racing against time Tuesday hoping to convince a county judge to stop a planned auction of approximately 150 of their cattle by the federal government.The U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) rounded up and impounded the cattle in late July following an on-going dispute over the rights of the ranchers to use federally owned land for cattle grazing.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNew.com) - A U.S. appellate court has determined that when the Fish and Wildlife Service designates critical habitat for an endangered species, it must analyze and consider the full economic impact on the area in which the habitat is located. That includes any economic harm resulting from the initial listing of the species under the Endangered Species Act.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The federal government was thwarted in its attempt Tuesday to sell cattle seized from two southwestern Nevada ranches in a property rights dispute.A state district judge blocked the sale of the cattle from one ranch, and bidders refused to make offers on cattle from the other ranch.Rancher Ben Colvin obtained a temporary restraining order from Judge Robert Estes just moments before the U.S. Bureau of Land Management was to begin auctioning off 62 head of cattle confiscated from his ranch late last month.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - "At least they're not shooting at me this time." That's about the only good thing World War II veteran Paul Christy has to say in comparing his experiences as a fighter pilot 55 years ago with what he and his fellow veterans-turned-farmers are experiencing today at the hands of their own government in Klamath Basin.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - A "Convoy of Tears" will set out from at least three states this week and travel thousands of miles to bring supplies and donations to beleaguered farmers and their communities in the Klamath Basin along the California-Oregon state line.By holding rallies and auctions of donated items along the way, convoy organizers hope to gather more than 20,000 supporters and be well on the way to raising $20 million in relief by the time they converge on Klamath Falls, Oregon, August 21, for a "Freedom Day" rally.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - The plight of farmers in Oregon's Klamath Basin region has caught the attention of Congress, and the House Committee on Resources has scheduled a local hearing on the increasingly contentious debate over the Endangered Species Act and how farmers have been cut off from their source of water for crop irrigation.Details of the committee's trip are still being worked out, according to Jeff Eager, spokesman for Congressman Greg Walden (R-Ore.), whose office is coordinating the visit.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - Legal wrangling continues this week between the federal government and a Nevada rancher over the confiscation of his cattle and over which court should have jurisdiction over the matter.The dispute over legal jurisdiction mirrors the underlying states' rights and private property rights issues that are simmering not only in this case, but throughout the West.
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - In the Klamath Basin region of Oregon and California, which has become a poster child for the battle over whether the Endangered Species Act has been corrupted and is being used for political purposes rather than for its original intent of protecting endangered species, one question is being asked more and more frequently:Could the "God Squad" save the people and culture of Klamath Basin?
July 7, 2008, 8:19 PM EDT
(CNSNews.com) - President Bush has asked Congress to allocate $20 million in emergency assistance for California and Oregon farmers in the Klamath Basin, where on April 7 the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation shut off the irrigation water that supports 1,400 family farms.The Bureau acted after professional environmental activists filed suit under the "citizen" lawsuit provision of the Endangered Species Act, and after a court decided that the rights of some "endangered" suckerfish and "threatened" salmon took precedence over the farmers' century-old water rights.