Wife of Slain Oregon Occupier Robert Lavoy Finicum to File Civil Rights Lawsuit

 The FBI and Oregon State Police “escalated the otherwise peaceful demonstration by pursuing Finicum despite his repeated instruction to them that he was on his way” to meet with the local sheriff, Claypool said.

That’s Orwell speak for, they murdered him in cold blood. — jtl, 419

Corky Siemaszko via NBC News

FBI Video Shows Fatal Shooting of Oregon Occupier LaVoy Finicum

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The widow of an anti-government activist who helped take over an Oregon wildlife refuge and was later killed in a confrontation with law enforcement says her husband’s civil rights were violated and she intends to sue, her lawyer confirmed Monday.

Robert Lavoy Finicum’s pursuers were “motivated by political reasons” when they fatally shot him on Jan. 26, attorney Brian Claypool said in a statement.

The FBI and Oregon State Police “escalated the otherwise peaceful demonstration by pursuing Finicum despite his repeated instruction to them that he was on his way” to meet with the local sheriff, Claypool said.

Image: LaVoy Finicum
LaVoy Finicum, a rancher from Arizona, speaks to the media after members of the “3% of Idaho” group along with several other organizations arrive at the at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016, near Burns, Ore. One of the original occupiers of the refuge, Finicum, said the group appreciates the Pacific Patriot Network’s help, but “we want the long guns put away.” (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer) Rick Bowmer / AP

Two of the FBI agents involved in the fatal confrontation on a snowy stretch of Highway 395 north of remote Burns, Oregon are now under investigation for allegedly lying about firing shots at the truck Finicum was driving, Claypool added.

Both the FBI and the Oregon State Police declined to comment on the threatened lawsuit.

Claypool said he will also be representing another occupier, 43-year-old Ryan Bundy, in a separate federal civil rights lawsuit. Bundy was in the truck with Finicum and was shot in the arm during the confrontation.

Finicum’s widow, Jeanette, said after the shooting that her husband was “executed in cold blood.

“My husband was murdered,” said the widow, who was not in the truck when her husband was fatally shot.

A 54-year-old Arizona rancher, Finicum was part of a militia group led by Ammon Bundy that occupied the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge on Jan. 2 and demanded that the feds relinquish control of all public lands and release two local ranchers who were jailed for setting fires.

As the standoff dragged on, Finicum became the group’s unofficial spokesman and said he’d sooner die than go to federal prison.

“There are things more important than your life and freedom is one of them, Finicum, an Arizona rancher, told NBC News in January. “I’m prepared to defend freedom.”

Oregon State Troopers fired the fatal rounds. Malheur County District Attorney Dan Norris said the shots were justified because Finicum did not heed the officers’ commands and repeatedly reached for his weapon.

The U.S. Department of Justice, however, confirmed it is investigating the FBI agents involved in the deadly traffic stop for allegedly not disclosing that they too fired at Finicum, although their shots did not hit him.

The feds have also released aerial footage of the deadly encounter, which shows Finicum plowing the truck into a snowbank to avoid a police roadblock. It shows him getting out with his hands up at first — and then shows him appearing to reach toward his jacket pocket at least twice. It is at that point that the officers shoot him and he falls into the snow.

The FBI said it found a loaded handgun in Finicum’s pocket.

More than two dozen people — including Ammon Bundy — have been charged with conspiracy to interfere with federal workers in connection with the standoff.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) 

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Hillary-Putin Uranium Deal: How Long Will Media Ignore It?

… most Americans probably have never even heard about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s ties to the Uranium One-Rosatom-Frank Giustra scandal, through the couple’s corruption-troubled Clinton Foundation, and Hillary’s official dealings while serving as President Obama’s secretary of state… That is hardly surprising, considering the overwhelming pro-Clinton, anti-Trump bias of the “progressive” establishment media. But new Clinton e-mails and State Department memos released by WikiLeaks may cause some members of the pro-Clinton press brigade to break ranks and confront the Democratic Party candidate on this vitally important issue.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Why should anybody be surprised? After all, politicians reveal their criminal tendencies simply by being politicians who, by definition, live off of stolen money. — jtl, 419

Written by  William F. Jasper via the New American

Hillary-Putin Uranium Deal: How Long Will Media Ignore It?Most American voters looking toward November would probably be interested in learning about Hillary Clinton’s prime role in delivering one-fifth of America’s uranium production to Vladimir Putin’s Russia. As this matter is critically relevant to our national security, as well as America’s energy security, voters would probably appreciate learning about it before they cast their ballot for the next Oval Office occupant. However, most Americans probably have never even heard about Bill and Hillary Clinton’s ties to the Uranium One-Rosatom-Frank Giustra scandal, through the couple’s corruption-troubled Clinton Foundation, and Hillary’s official dealings while serving as President Obama’s secretary of state.Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual That is hardly surprising, considering the overwhelming pro-Clinton, anti-Trump bias of the “progressive” establishment media. But new Clinton e-mails and State Department memos released by WikiLeaks may cause some members of the pro-Clinton press brigade to break ranks and confront the Democratic Party candidate on this vitally important issue. Among the many documents to surface recently is a State Department cable from October 2009 warning of the intentions of  Rosatom, Russia’s nuclear energy agency, as it “flexes muscles” with regard to the global uranium market.

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewState Department officials in Europe cabled Secretary Clinton, warning that a Russian strategy paper they had obtained showed Kremlin plans to gain “long-term supply of nuclear fuel” so they could, among other objectives, “shut” the U.S. company Westinghouse out of the nuclear market and expand Russia’s influence over Europe. The cable also warned Clinton that the plan detailed in the Russian paper “is consistent with Russia’s efforts to dominate the gas supply market in Europe.”

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits Combat Shooter's Handbook  Secretary Clinton was also getting warnings from members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives as well. Senator John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) was particularly alarmed, since the proposed deal involved a large uranium mine in his state. He wrote to President Obama, noting the deal “would give the Russian government control over a sizable portion of America’s uranium production capacity” through Rusatom and its subsidiary, ARMZ. “Equally alarming,” Barrasso said, “this sale gives ARMZ a significant stake in uranium mines in Kazakhstan.”

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)  Besides the obvious concern over supplying Russia with raw materials for potential use in nuclear weapons, there is also the more immediate concern over loss of vital fuel for America’s own energy needs. The United States is dependent upon nuclear power for 20 percent of our electrical power base. But energy expert Marin Katusa, author of The Colder War: How the Global Energy Trade Slipped From America’s Grasp, points out that we produce only about one-fifth of the uranium we need and most of our nuclear plants have only 18 to 36 months of fuel reserves. According to Katusa, under the new Kremlin strategy, not only will Russia be able to starve other countries of power, but the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China) will replace the G7 in wealth and clout.

Nevertheless, President Obama and Secretary Clinton have ignored those concerns, with the result that Russia now controls one-fifth (or more) of America’s uranium production. And the Obama administration, via the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), apparently lied to Senator Barrasso when it assured him that ore from the Uranium One mine in Wyoming wouldn’t be exported. “In order to export uranium from the United States, Uranium One Inc. or ARMZ would need to apply for and obtain a specific NRC license authorizing the export of uranium for use as reactor fuel,” the NRC told Barrasso in a letter, indicating that the possibility would be virtually nil. However, the NRC now confirms that Uranium One is indeed exporting uranium And that’s not the only concern. Senator Barrasso was also assured that Uranium One would remain a public company, guaranteeing some measure of transparency. But it has since been taken private, with Putin’s company ARMZ now owning 100 percent of the stock.

Hillary Clinton’s role in the Uranium One affair concerns not only gross negligence (at best) in a serious matter of national security, but also gives every appearance of blatant bribery.  As we have reported previously — and as authors Peter Schweizer and Jerome Corsi have detailed, respectively, in their books, Clinton Cash and Partners in Crime — Hillary Clinton’s State Department was signing off on the Russian takeover of Uranium One while the Clinton Foundation was taking in tens of millions of dollars from Uranium One exec Frank Giustra, and while Bill Clinton and Frank Giustra were zooming about the globe on Guistra’s private jet consummating mega-mining deals.

There is much more to this story that deserves to be made public — before the November elections. The big question is: Can the controlled establishment media be shamed into giving it even a fraction of the airing it should receive?

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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Gun Control Lessons for Morons

America’s most aggressive civil rights organization

Source: Gun Control Lessons for Morons

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Massive Cover-up: BLM leases Hammond ranch land to Russia through Clinton Foundation donors for uranium

According to The New York Times: “Whether the donations [to the Clinton Foundation] played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.”

Maybe. Maybe not. I’m to the point where nothing surprises me anymore. — jtl, 419

The Hammond Ranch controversy continues to sink into a rabbit hole without end. Evidence has surfaced that the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has been taking land with plans to lease it to Clinton Foundation donors.

Russia gradually gained control of Uranium One, a major mining company, in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, while Hillary Clinton served as Secretary of State. Canadian records reveal that the company’s chairman used his own family foundation to make four donations to the Clinton Foundation during that time, resulting in a sum contribution of $2.35 million. Secretary Clinton approved the deal for Russia soon after her family’s slush fund received the donations. Now, Vladimir Putin controls 20 percent of all uranium production capacity in the U.S.

Undisclosed contributions made to the Clinton Foundation

These contribution were not made known to the public by the Clintons, even though Hillary Clinton made a deal with President Obama to disclose all the donors. Other individuals associated with the company made donations too.

Furthermore, after Russia declared that it was taking over Uranium One, Bill Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank, which promoted Uranium One stock.

A gold mine for uranium

It is not known whether the donations were responsible for the uranium deal, but the timing is suspicious. Since Hammond Ranch is a gold mine for uranium, it’s unsurprising that the Clinton Foundation would want to lease the land to Russia through donors.

This would also explain why U.S. authorities have been coming down so hard on protesters. Officials aren’t prosecuting individuals because of the Hammond controversy. Officials are coming down on protesters because they are occupying a valuable piece of land; a piece of land that was promised to the Russians.

According to The New York Times: “Whether the donations [to the Clinton Foundation] played any role in the approval of the uranium deal is unknown. But the episode underscores the special ethical challenges presented by the Clinton Foundation, headed by a former president who relied heavily on foreign cash to accumulate $250 million in assets even as his wife helped steer American foreign policy as secretary of state, presiding over decisions with the potential to benefit the foundation’s donors.”

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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The South and the West–Targets for cultural destruction

revisedhistory

by Al Benson Jr.

Frequently in recent years I have commented on the fact that the cultural American South and the cultural American West have the very same Federal adversaries. Therefore it seems reasonable to me that Southern and Western Americans that wish to preserve their unique cultures should sit down and talk with one another and seek ways to help one another prevent the planned destruction of both of our cultures.

There has been a lot in the past couple years in the news media (if such it can be called) about problems in the West with the Feds basically, if the truth were known, trying to run ranchers off their land because they seem to have a “more compelling” use for that land than the folks who have ranched and farmed it for the past 150 years, and please let’s don’t kid ourselves–the Feds are out to destroy…

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National Park Service Turns 100, With Billions Needed for Repair Backlog

A Handbook for Ranch Managers  Well, what do you expect? Government fails at everything it tries to do–a perfectly predictable outcome of socialism.

They have no market prices or profits by which to judge success or failure. As Ludwig von Mises put it, they have no means to calculate. — jtl, 419

By SEAN DUFFY via Courthouse News Service

Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual     (CN) — The National Park Service turned 100 on Thursday, but ongoing funding challenges have created a maintenance backlog that threatens to tarnish what famed documentarian Ken Burns calls “America’s best idea.”
The National Park Service currently oversees 409 sites, 60 “wild and scenic” rivers and 23 national trails — all of which combined to establish a record attendance last year with about 307 million total visitors.
The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)      Unlike other government agencies, the National Park Service also enjoys general public support. But despite the seeming bipartisan support, funding for the National Park Service has fluctuated in recent years: the Obama administration’s request for $860 million in funding for 2017 — the service’s centennial year — has yet to be approved by Congress.
Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View    The maintenance backlog is also piling up, with the total cost of necessary repairs and improvements a hair beneath $12 billion.
Many of the roads in Yellowstone National Park have not been upgraded since the 1930s and 1940s. It would cost between $800 million and $1.2 billion to make the necessary repairs.
Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits       The pipeline that brings water into Grand Canyon National Park needs replacing — it’s 20 years past its prime. The cost to replace it: $150 million. The park’s annual budget is $20 million.
In addition to infrastructure costs, day-to-day operations also require increased funding. NPR produced a segment earlier this year about how staff cuts at Great Smoky Mountains National Park have led to sanitation issues, as workers struggle to empty trashcans and keep toilets clean.
Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, who oversees the park service, addressed the backlog in a speech earlier this year. She warned that budget crunches “have left our national parks and public lands understaffed and struggling to keep up with day-to-day operations.”
She noted that during World War II, the national parks fell into disrepair as government funds were diverted to the war effort. After the war, veterans looking for healing discovered crumbling infrastructure and huge crowds in what should have been America’s jewels.
But President Dwight Eisenhower and others began spending billions in 1956 to spruce up the parks in anticipation of the National Park Service’s 50th anniversary in 1966 — with the help of corporate sponsors, Jewell said.
The secretary said that 2016 brings additional challenges to our parks, including the by-products of climate change and a generation of young people that is “more diverse, more tech-savvy and more disconnected from nature than ever before.”
She touted the service’s “Find Your Park” campaign and Obama’s pushes to create more parkland and get kids to visit.
“This is about lifting up what’s working, and learning what we can do better when it comes to supporting our public lands,” she said.

Photo of Half Dome, Yosemite National Park: William Dotinga/CNS

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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New research finds that global warming is intensifying wildfires

The federal agency, which manages 193m acres (78m hectares) of forest, will plead once again for more funding from Congress, in the wake of a devastating 2015 that saw record swaths of forest engulfed in flames.

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersI’ve got a better idea. Abolish the Forest Service and return the land to its rightful owners. — jtl, 419

by in theguardian.com

A total of 10.1m acres were burned last year, a figure that is double the typical losses seen 30 years ago. During this time, the average fire season in the US has lengthened by 78 days, with scientists predicting that the amount of forest razed by fire will double by 2050.

 Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Climate change-driven drought, wildfire and invasive diseases are stretching the US Forest Service to breaking point, the agency has warned. It spent about 65% of its $5bn budget dealing with wildfires last year and is requesting that fire be treated like other natural disasters so that it is able to access more money to keep pace.

A wildfire burns behind a home in Twisp, Washington, in August 2015.
A wildfire burns behind a home in Twisp, Washington, in August 2015. Photograph: Ted S Warren/AP

“We are seeing real challenges on the ground – climate change is real and it Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian Viewis with us,” Robert Bonnie, under secretary for natural resources and environment at the US Department of Agriculture, told the Guardian. “The whole US Forest Service is shifting to becoming an agency dominated by wildfires. We really are at a tipping point. The current situation is not sustainable.”

Combat Shooter's Handbook  Bonnie said the growing conflagration of America’s forests means the US Forest Service has had to divert resources from other areas, such as the kind of forest restoration that helps prevent future wildfires. Attempts to remedy this situation with a new disaster fund were dashed when it was not included in the federal budget in December.

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute  “We will keep on this and try again this year,” he said. “There are clear challenges that are hard to argue with. Fighting catastrophic fires is becoming even more dangerous because there are more homes and people in our forest areas. If we don’t deal with this, the trends are going to look very bad indeed.”

Last year, Washington state endured its largest wildfires on record, with three people dying and more than 100 homes lost. The blazes were declared a national emergency, with the smoke causing a haze to settle over Seattle for several days. Nationally, 13 firefighters died tackling various wildfires last year.

A red turpentine beetle, a type of bark beetle, pictured near San Francisco.
A red turpentine beetle, a type of bark beetle, pictured near San Francisco. Climate change is expected to make insect infestations more common. Photograph: Edward S Ross/AP

Major wildfires are just one of several threats to the US’s ailing forest system. A report released by the US Forest Service last week found that worsening drought conditions will increase the risk of tree and shrub death as well as unleash outbreaks of insect infestation. More than 20m acres of forest in the US west has already been affected by bark beetles that thrive in dry, warm conditions.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) “Droughts are predicted to accelerate the pace of invasion by some nonnative plant species into rangelands and grasslands,” the report states. “Drought can also promote plant invasion indirectly by modifying the environment to favor nonnative species. Indirect effects of drought on forests can be widespread and devastating.”

California is currently enduring its worst drought in 1,200 years, while the national climate change assessment, released in 2014, stated that “widespread drought is projected to become more common over most of the central and southern United States” if greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly curtailed.

“We are seeing significant problems with forest health across the country, with acute problems in the west,” said Bonnie. “The warmer temperatures are putting trees under stress. We have changed the ecosystems so they are more susceptible to disease and catastrophic fire, as well as raised the temperature around them. This is a real challenge for us.”

 

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

Posted in Public Lands Ranching, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

BLM Whistleblower: Reid Bunkerville and the Military Industrial Complex at Bundy Ranch

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View Combat Shooter's Handbook Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View

edited by

Dr Jimmy T (Gunny) LaBaume

Is now available in both PAPERBACK and Kindle

BookCoverImageMurray N. Rothbard was the father of what some call Radical Libertarianism or Anarcho-Capitalism which Hans-Hermann Hoppe described as “Rothbard’s unique contribution to the rediscovery of property and property rights as the common foundation of both economics and political philosophy, and the systematic reconstruction and conceptual integration of modern, marginalist economics and natural-law political philosophy into a unified moral science: libertarianism.”

This book applies the principles of this “unified moral science” to environmental and natural resource management issues.

The book started out life as an assigned reading list for a university level course entitled Environmental and Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View.

As I began to prepare to teach the course, I quickly saw that there was a plethora of textbooks suitable for universal level courses dealing with environmental and natural resource economics. The only problem was that they were all based in mainstream neo-classical (or Keynesian) theory. I could find no single collection of material comprising a comprehensive treatment of environmental and natural resource economics based on Austrian Economic Theory.

However, I was able to find a large number of essays, monographs, papers delivered at professional meetings and published from a multitude of sources. This book is the result. It is composed of a collection of research reports and essays by reputable scientists, economists, and legal experts as well as private property and free market activists.

The book is organized into seven parts: I. Environmentalism: The New State Religion; II. The New State Religion Debunked; III. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics; IV. Interventionism: Law and Regulation; V. Pollution and Recycling; VI. Property Rights: Planning, Zoning and Eminent Domain; and VII. Free Market Conservation. It also includes an elaborate Bibliography, References and Recommended Reading section including an extensive Annotated Bibliography of related and works on the subject.

The intellectual level of the individual works ranges from quite scholarly to informed editorial opinion.

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Check out our Online Rancher Supply Store

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What the Oregon Standoff Is Really About

Forget the Bundys and “terrorism”—the real crime is what federal bullies do to ranchers like the Hammond family…This broke the back of the rancher resistance: most came to the FWS and gave their land away for a song.

A Handbook for Ranch Managers This is pretty much par for all of the 11 “public lands” states in the West. We are currently in the market for a ranch but are very “skeptical” about anything in any of those states–especially ranches that have BLM or uSFS “allotments.” Our approach has been to ignore any portion of the ranch that is Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual “public land”–pretend it is not there–when doing a capital budget for the purchase. Bottom line–ranching is pretty much dead in the West–murdered by Cultural Marxists and Enviro Nut Jobs. — jtl, 419.

PS. This is the most thorough treatment of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge and vicinity of Burns, Oregon that I have seen. 

By Justin Raimondo via The American Conservative

Olivier Le Queinec / Shutterstock.com

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian ViewThe occupation of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon, by a group led by Ammon Bundy—yes, of those Bundys—was supposed to have focused attention on the plight of a rancher family that has been fighting decades-long efforts by federal officials to drive them off their land. Combat Shooter's HandbookInstead, this dramatic act of civil disobedience has done the opposite: amid debates over the Bundy family, their tactics, and ideology, the focus has been taken off the Hammond family, and their struggle to preserve their land and their way of life has been largely obscured.

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute This is their story.

Dwight Hammond and his wife Susan bought their ranch in 1964. The Hammond ranch consists of 6,000 acres, grazing rights in four areas on public land, and rights at three separate water sources. They live in a small ranch house—a beautiful structure of stone and hand-hewn wood—on the property.

The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other MisfitsThe land sits in Oregon’s Harney Basin, an area first settled at the tail end of the 19th century. While the narrative we are getting in the media depicts the ranchers as despoilers of the land, implacable enemies of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908, the true history of the region shows that the “cowboys” who lived there and ran as many as 300,000 head of cattle were in fact its best defenders. Without them, there would be no Malheur Wildlife Refuge.

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3)  As the cattlemen developed an elaborate irrigation system in order to feed their herds, what had been a huge swampland surrounding Malheur Lake was transformed into rolling meadows, wildlife flocked to the area, and it became a favored spot for migratory birds. In 1913, however, the Oregon state legislature passed the Thompson Act, which authorized anyone who won approval from the Land Board to drain any lake and “reclaim” it for development. Drainage districts were established all over the state, and taxes were extracted from landowners in order to further approved development schemes. The Oregon Swampland Act created a “Reclamation Service,” which surveyed and facilitated the drainage of riparian areas, applying for title to lands owned by the federal government, which would then be turned over to developers who envisioned selling plots for agricultural purposes. (As it turned out, however, the land around Malheur Lake was too salty for crops to grow, but since no one had bothered to investigate, this wasn’t discovered until much later.) In 1913, the year the Thompson Act was passed, there were no fewer than eight attempts to drain Malheur Lake filed with the Reclamation Service.

These efforts were thwarted by the ranchers, represented by the Pacific Livestock Company, who contested the water rights and fought the developers to a standstill. As Nancy Langston puts it in Where Land and Water Meet: A Western Landscape Transformed: “What saved the Malheur Refuge from being destroyed by drainage along with other federal refuges in the region were precisely its tangled water rights and the stubbornness of local ranchers.”

Yet the federal officials who today preside over the refuge don’t remember or don’t care to recall that it was the ranchers who saved the land from being despoiled. Imbued with what can only be described as an imperialistic impulse, the feds have relentlessly sought to expand the refuge, using every method, legal and illegal, to drive them off the land.

As Ammon Bundy explains on his blog, in the 1970s the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) launched their campaign of conquest: ranchers were informed that grazing was inimical to wildlife and had to be reduced, if not eliminated. Out of a total of 53 permits, 32 were revoked; grazing fees were raised sky-high, and many ranchers were forced to give up their land. The irrigation system they had created and which had attracted birds and other wildlife to the area was appropriated by the refuge. While the original refuge established by Teddy Roosevelt included only Malheur Lake, and neither the rivers whose waters flowed into it nor most of the land surrounding it, today it covers some 187,000 acres, completely surrounding the Hammonds’ ranch.

Those who held on, including the Hammonds, were continually pressured to sell, but the hardscrabble ranchers—who had fought the developers, the state politicians, and the forces of nature to preserve their land and their way of life—were not about to surrender to an army of bureaucrats and the urban elites who ran the environmentalist lobby. Their answer was a firm: no way, no how.

As 1980 rolled around, the feds came up with a new battle plan, taking a leaf from the playbook of the Israelis, who have seized Palestine’s water and dole it out in dribs and drabs to their Palestinian helots. The FWS was keen to acquire privately owned land on the nearby Silvies Plain, so the refuge diverted the water, channeling it into Malheur Lake. Water levels rose, soon doubling, and over 30 ranches on the plain were utterly destroyed: homes, barns, and the verdant pastures on which cows once grazed were under water.

This broke the back of the rancher resistance: most came to the FWS and gave their land away for a song. It wasn’t until 1989 that the waters began to recede. By then the entire plain was in the grasping hands of the refuge.

Still the Hammonds refused to sell, and along with a few other holdouts they began to develop a strategy of resistance. Susan Hammond, the matriarch of the family, began to research how the refuge managed its considerable resources. What she discovered was that the ostensible purpose of the refuge—to provide a habitat for birds that might otherwise be endangered—was ill-served by refuge personnel. She dug out a 1975 study conducted by the FWS itself (as Bundy’s blog notes), which showed that the policies pursued by the refuge and allied federal bureaucracies were driving the birds away. It turned out that private lands bordering the refuge provided a haven for four times as many geese and ducks as the federally held lands. Migrating birds turned up their beaks, so to speak, at the refuge and were 13 times more likely to alight and breed on ranchers’ land.

One of the reasons for this is that federal overseers have allowed carp to take over the waters of Malheur Lake and the streams that feed into it. Massive numbers of carp have invaded and destroyed a habitat which once contained grasses and aquatic plants that provided birds and animals with a steady diet. No more. As Oregon Public Broadcasting put it:

Scientists say Malheur Lake once provided expansive habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds along the Pacific Flyway.

That was before common carp were introduced to the lake. These fish are native to Eurasia. Malheur wildlife biologist Linda Beck says the common carp was brought to the lake as early as the 1920s, likely as a reliable food source for people living in this arid region…

Now the shallow Malheur Lake is mostly brown, open water, free of the plants that provide food, shelter and nesting grounds for the birds… The lake’s estimated carp population runs in the millions.

The refuge, the BLM, and the FWS profit from this disaster by hiring commercial fisherman to come in and catch the carp, which is then sold in areas of the country where immigrant communities for whom carp is a favored foodstuff buy it. Forget the birds: it’s the carp that bring in the money.

Another big problem—one that would come to figure prominently in the Hammonds’ legal problems—is the invasion of junipers, which are crowding out other plant species and turning what were once fields—maintained by ranchers, who regularly cleared the land for grazing—into forests. Junipers suck up water at an amazing rate, and the result is that those fields have now turned into desert. For years, environmentalists objected to cutting down the junipers because it might encourage grazing on “public” lands, and the federal bureaucracy’s “no use” policies encouraged the juniper invasion, which has now conquered over 6 million acres. Finally, the BLM got wise to the problem, but as with the carp invasion, they reacted far too late. This is another reason why the refuge is not popular with the bird population, who are losing their habitat and being driven out—along with the ranchers.

And it isn’t just the junipers that are hogging all the water. In the early 1990s the Hammonds applied for and were granted water rights in an area adjacent to the Refuge by the state authorities. The BLM and FWS went ballistic, with the latter challenging the water rights in Oregon State Circuit Court. They lost—and that’s when the bureaucrats really starting going after the Hammonds.

Not long after being told by a judge to back off, the BLM and FWS fenced off the Hammonds’ water—a brazenly illegal act. The Hammonds struck back, dismantling the fence: the feds called in the Harney County sheriff, who arrested Dwight Hammond. Charged with “disturbing and interfering with federal officials,” a felony, Dwight was jailed for two days. Brought before a federal judge, he was released without bail: the hearing was at first postponed, and then it looks like the government was so embarrassed by the illegal actions of the BLM and FWS that they forgot to schedule another hearing date. The whole matter was dropped. But the feds had sent a message to the Hammonds—that the government would not be bound by the law.

The lawless behavior escalated. The FWS declared that the Hammonds would no longer have access to a road that enabled them to get to the northern reaches of their land: the only road went through the refuge. The road was barricaded, and FWS officials threatened the Hammonds, warning that there would be consequences if they tried to use the road. But that tactic backfired in the feds’ faces when it was discovered that the road was owned by Harney County, not the refuge.

Undeterred, the Energizer Bunnies of the federal bureaucracy revoked the Hammonds’ grazing permit without cause, bypassing any legal procedures. According to Oregon state law, owners of livestock are not required to keep herds within a fence or control their movements. But the law doesn’t apply to vindictive bureaucrats: a federal judge ordered the Hammonds either to fence their land or stop grazing. They were effectively forced to give up grazing on half their land.

This was a major blow: it forced them to sell their ranch in order to feed their cattle. They purchased property with sufficient grass and with grazing rights on “public” land. The government soon counterattacked, however, and the grazing rights were arbitrarily revoked.

When the new owner of the Hammond ranch suffered a heart attack, the Hammonds managed to reacquire it. But their battle was far from over. Indeed, it had just begun.

In early fall 2001, the Hammonds called the local fire department and received permission for a controlled burn on their own property: this is a common method of controlling invasive growth, and in this case it was aimed at getting rid of the junipers that were invading from the neighboring refuge—where little effort had been made to eradicate them—and gaining a foothold on the Hammond ranch. That fire burned out of control onto refuge land; the Hammonds put it out with no help from the BLM or refuge personnel. They didn’t hear from the BLM or any other government agency until charges were brought 13 years later. Remarking on the incident, the judge said:

Well, the damage was juniper trees and sagebrush, and there might have been a hundred dollars [in damages], but it doesn’t really matter. It doesn’t affect the guidelines, and I am not sure how much sagebrush a hundred dollars worth is. But I think … mother nature’s probably taken care of any injury.

The Tri-State Livestock News quotes Susan Hammond as saying:

“We usually called the interagency fire outfit—a main dispatch—to be sure someone wasn’t in the way or that weather wouldn’t be a problem.” Susan said her son Steven was told that the BLM was conducting a burn of their own somewhere in the region the same day, and that they believed there would be no problem with the Hammonds going ahead with their planned fire. The court transcript includes a recording from that phone conversation.

Court testimony from a prosecution witness, a range conservationist, elicited the statement that the burn had “improved the conditions on the BLM property.” Environmentalists had put pressure on the BLM to cease controlled burns, and the conditions on the range had deteriorated, so that not only did the juniper invasion increase but fires that did break out due to lightning or other factors burned much hotter, sterilizing the soil and leading to a profusion of weeds. When the problems became all too apparent, the BLM started a program of controlled burns. According to Erin Maupin, a former BLM watershed specialist and range technician, due to the intermingling of public and private land, “collaborative burns” are much more effective, as opposed to trying to follow property lines. This is precisely what the first fire was all about: not “arson,” but rational land management.

The second fire Dwight and Steven Hammond were charged with starting occurred in 2006: it happened during a lightning storm, and according to Susan Hammond the reason was to protect their home and property: “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.”

According to the feds, a grand total of one acre of federal land was affected, although how this conclusion was reached is hard to say because fires were burning all over the place during the fierce lightning storm. The Hammonds’ neighbor, Ruthie Danielson, confirms this: “Lightning strikes were everywhere, fires were going off,” she said.

The morning after the fire, according to Ammon Bundy’s write-up, BLM agents filed a police report with the Harney County Sheriff’s office, charging Dwight and Steven Hammond with arson. A few days passed without any action on the part of the authorities, until a BLM ranger called Steven and asked to meet with him in the town of Frenchglen “for coffee.” As Steven was leaving the meeting he was intercepted by the sheriff and a BLM ranger, arrested, and told to go back and collect his father, who was also being charged. Both were booked on several charges—essentially the same charges that would be brought five years later, minus the “terrorism” angle. The case was reviewed by the district attorney, who deemed the accusations unworthy of prosecution: all charges were dropped.

In a just world, that would have been the end of the story. In the world we are living in, however, it was the beginning of the end for the Hammonds.

In 2011, the U.S. attorney’s office, responding to agitation from the usual suspects, filed charges against Dwight and Steven Hammond under the Clinton era “Anti-Terrorism Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996,” which carries a minimum sentence of five years in prison for doing damage to federal property. The “Death Penalty” part is included because that’s the maximum penalty: the bill was passed in response to the bombing of the Oklahoma City federal building.

The government brought nine charges against the Hammonds, including several alleged arsons over the years, conspiracy, utilization of aerial surveillance to further a “terrorist” act, and trying to destroy government property including vehicles and fences.

Locals were kept off the jury: some jurors had to drive for close to four hours from Pendleton, 196 miles away. The prosecution was given all the time in the world to make their case: the defense was given a single day, and much testimony was disallowed. However, the testimony of Dwight’s estranged grandson, Dusty Hammond, who was 13 at the time of the fires, and was 24 when he testified, was permitted. Dusty had been having mental problems for some time, and the judge himself admitted that the grandson’s testimony was “unreliable.” Dusty’s testimony was the basis for the government’s assertion that the first fire was started in order to cover up evidence of poaching on federal land: he claimed that he was told to start a fire.

Neither judge nor jury bought this testimony, yet it is being broadcast all over the place as “proof” the Hammonds are malicious “arsonists.”

On June 22, 2012, the jury threw out or deadlocked on all the charges but two—the two fires the Hammonds admitted to setting. In sentencing them, Judge Michael Hogan declined to impose the minimum sentence, which is five years under the “Anti-Terrorism” statute, averring it would have been “grossly disproportionate” to the crime. He remarked that such a sentence would “shock my conscience,” and furthermore contended that Congress never meant to apply the act in cases like this one.

Dwight Hammond was sentenced to three months: Steven was given a year and a day. The sentence was handed down contingent on the understanding that they would not appeal the court’s decision. They were also fined $400,000—this in spite of the judge’s admission that the total damage amounted to about $100. Failure to pay the fine would result in confiscation of their ranch by the BLM, which had been the goal of the government’s long war against the Hammonds all along.

Both served their sentences and returned to the community. But the government wasn’t through with them—not by a long shot.

In June 2014 Refuge Manager Chad Karges, BLM Field Manager Rhonda Karges, his wife, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Frank Papagni, who had prosecuted the Hammond case, filed an appeal of the sentencing with the Ninth District Federal Court, demanding that the full sentence of five years mandated by the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act be imposed. With Dwight and Steven out of the way, the ranch would be sure to fall into the government’s hands: failure to pay the $400,000 fine by the end of 2015 would result in confiscation of their ranch. To my knowledge, they’ve only paid half that. Furthermore, the Hammonds were forced to give the BLM the right of first refusal if they ever did sell their ranch in order to pay the fine. In either case, the land-grabbing BLM will have achieved their decades-long goal: seizure of the Hammond ranch.

There is no resentencing in a case of this kind without the approval of the Justice Department: clearly the intent here was to make an example of the Hammonds, to send a message that any resistance to the federal government’s aggressive tactics in their long war against Western ranchers will be mercilessly crushed. The Ninth District judge, one Ann Aiken, got the message and ruled that the Hammonds be returned to jail for the full five year term, minus time already served.

Another factor in the unusual sentencing appeal was the stance of Amanda Marshall, former U.S. attorney for Oregon, who while still in office denounced the original sentence as “unlawful.” It was she who formally authorized the appeal. Marshall has an interesting history: she had never served as a federal prosecutor prior to her appointment by the Obama administration. Her previous employment was as a “children’s advocate” in the Oregon Department of Justice. Prior to that she was a deputy district attorney in Oregon’s Coos County. She resigned her U.S. attorney position last April, claiming to be suffering from “post-traumatic stress disorder.” The “trauma” here was no doubt the scandal surrounding her stalking of Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott M. Kerin, who says she had been bombarding him with unwanted text messages, phone calls, and other communications for over a year. Kerin filed a hostile workplace environment complaint against her, claiming she followed him after work hours, and drove by his house, in addition to sending numerous emails. The Justice Department launched an investigation, withdrawing Marshall’s security clearance and essentially making it impossible for her to continue as U.S. attorney.

A U.S. attorney whose mental stability is at least questionable, a vindictive cabal of government bureaucrats intent on stealing property they have long coveted under color of “law,” and now a howling lynch mob of left-leaning Twitterers, who hate rural folks and especially ranchers who are professed Christians—these are the people who are celebrating the martyrdom of the Hammonds, denouncing them as “arsonists” and “welfare bums” out to steal public land.

While the focus among vaunted “civil libertarians” is the resentencing and mandatory minimums, the fact is that the Hammonds should never have been prosecuted to begin with. Their long agony is a clear case of government persecution motivated by avarice and politics—for this is a warning to anyone who opposes the federal government’s campaign to retain and expand its ownership of huge swathes of Western land. Consider the scope of their Western empire: they currently control more than 80 percent of Nevada; approximately half of California, Utah, Oregon, Idaho, Arizona, and New Mexico; 42 percent of Wyoming; 36 percent of Colorado; and 30 percent of Washington and Montana.

And, as the Hammond case dramatizes, they want more.

The response of the defenders who are rallying around the Hammonds and demanding the privatization of the refuge is an act of civil disobedience that is both heroic and pathetic: the former because it limns what would have been the response of ordinary Americans in better days, and the latter because those days are long gone. I would not be in the least surprised if the feds go in there, guns blazing, while our urban elites and their lower-middle-class imitators dance around the resulting bonfire, just as they did during the Waco massacre.

Justin Raimondo is editorial director of Antiwar.com.

This post has been updated.

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Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference ManualPlanned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual. This is the ideal squeal to A Handbook for Ranch Managers.  Although the ecological principles remain the same, what was originally known as “The Savory Grazing Method” now answers to a multitude of different names: ranching for profit, holistic management, managed grazing, mob grazing, management intensive grazing, etc. Land & Livestock International, Inc. uses “Restoration Grazing” under its “Managing the Ranch as a Business” program.” No mater what you call it, this summary and synopsis will guide you step by step through the process and teach you how to use it as it was originally intended. No more excuses for failing to complete your grazing plans.

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Make Babies, and Don’t Let the Greens Guilt Trip You about It

Environmental & Natural Resource Economics: The Austrian View I suppose that, in a way, I was lucky to have lived through the Paul Ehrlich – Back to the Earth – Limits to Growth days. I fell for it hook and line but not sinker – it always gave me a nagging feeling but I wasn’t intellectually developed enough to be able to explain why.  In later years, when it turned out to be a farce, it gave me a deeply ingrained skepticism of anything any greenie said or did. — jtl, 419

A Handbook for Ranch Managers Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual Several years back, the economist Bryan Caplan wrote a wonderful book called Selfish Reasons to Have More Kids. Caplan argued that most parents underestimated the benefits of larger families and were engaging in costly parenting strategies that yielded few real benefits. Thus, he said, if you love kids, you should have lots of them.

Reconnaissance Marine MCI 03.32f: Marine Corps Institute The Betrayed: On Warriors, Cowboys and Other Misfits Combat Shooter's Handbook  From NPR this week comes a story that might well be called “anti-Caplan” in every dimension. It is a profile of bioethicist Travis Rieder and others like him who argue that it is immoral to have many children, if any at all, because of the burden that additional children place on the Earth’s ecosystem. Given that we are already, Rieder claims, on the road to climate disaster, adding more children will both make matters worse and condemn those children to a horrible life on a worsening planet. His argument might well be called “Altruistic Reasons to Have Fewer Kids.”

The Essence of Liberty: Volume I: Liberty and History: The Rise and Fall of the Noble Experiment with Constitutionally Limited Government (Liberty and ... Limited Government) (Volume 1)  The Essence of Liberty: Volume II: The Economics of Liberty (Volume 2) The Essence of Liberty: Volume III: A Universal Philosophy of Political Economy (Liberty: A Universal Political Ethic) (Volume 3) More specifically, he argues that children are what economists call negative externalities: “We as parents, we as family members, we get the good. And the world, the community, pays the cost.” As it turns out, that claim is almost entirely wrong. It is parents who pay most of the costs of having children and the rest of us who reap the benefits.

I am not going to contest some of the claims about climate change Rieder and others in the article invoke. He does tend to take the most extreme predictions of climate models as gospel truth when the recent data have suggested that reality is closer to the much more modest predictions. However, even if the worst case scenarios are true, Rieder misses a number of important points about population growth that need to be considered.

Human Beings are Producers

Most of the Western world is dealing with fertility rates that are below replacement.He, like so many environmentalists, sees human beings only as consumers of resources. So one core statistic he trots out is that the amount of CO2 saved by not having a child is roughly 20 times what we can save through traditional things like driving hybrids and recycling. Therefore, he and the other people discussed in the story conclude, if we really want to “save the planet,” we should have fewer, if any, children.

But this is single-entry economic and moral bookkeeping. This view ignores the idea that humans are also producersJulian Simon reminded us so often, more people not only means more hands to work and more minds to create, it means more different people with different ideas. Increases in population not only deepen the division of labor and productivity by their sheer numbers, they also take advantage of the fact that each of us is unique which leads to new ideas and innovation.

Human progress depends upon the increasing productivity that comes from a finer division of labor and new ways of doing things. And those are the result of more people.

It’s not, as a student in the article suggests, that one of those kids that isn’t born might have come up with a “solution for climate change,” but that each and every one of those kids that isn’t born would have contributed to greater economic growth, which is nothing more than the more effective and efficient use of the resources we have.

Such growth is what has made it possible for the Earth to sustain 7 billion lives of increasing length, comfort, and quality. Reducing the population might mean we use up resources by losing the efficiencies that come from a larger population’s greater ability to innovate and productively specialize.

The benefits of having more kids are primarily to the parents involved, though as Caplan points out there are many. More people means we are better able to beat back omnipresent scarcity and carve out a more inhabitable planet for more people who live longer, better lives.

This is the most fundamental error of so many environmentalists, especially those arguing for reductions in the population: they see humans only as consumers of resources and not the source of the very innovations that enable us to use resources more effectively and the riches that enable us to have a cleaner, healthier planet.

Demographic Transition

The best way to save the planet is not to have fewer kids, but to have as many as you can afford.The other crucial point Rieder and people like him miss is that the Earth’s population is already in the process of stabilizing. One of the most agreed upon empirical facts of history is the so-called “demographic transition.” As societies become wealthier and more industrialized, the incentives facing parents change and family size falls. Once mom and dad, or perhaps only one of them, can earn enough income to support a family, and there’s no farm or cottage industry that requires the whole family pitching in, the need for many children is much less and parents seek to control their fertility.

The Western world began to go through this transition over a century ago, and the rest of the world has followed in turn. Most of the Western world is dealing with fertility rates that are below replacement, and rates of population growth in all but a handful of countries worldwide have fallen in the last few decades.

Thankfully Rieder does not want to use Chinese-style coercion to limit family size, but he’s not afraid to tax larger families more heavily. Even that isn’t necessary given the reality of the demographic transition:  in a free society, human beings naturally limit their fertility as they get wealthier. Again, the best way to save the planet is not to have fewer kids, but to have as many as you can afford and let their productivity enable us to use resources with more efficiency and create more progress.

Anti-Life, Anti-Human

The radical wing of environmentalism is, as Ayn Rand said decades ago, “anti-life” and “anti-human” in its belief that humans are the scourge of the planet and not the source of its progress. After all, if the important thing is saving the planet by reducing our carbon footprint, why stop by persuading people to not have kids?

Why not persuade currently living people, especially young ones, to reduce their lifetime carbon footprint by killing themselves? The logic is no different.

That they don’t make that argument suggests that “saving the planet” really isn’t the overriding issue here. Like so much else in the Green movement, this seems to be about protecting their own comfortable lives against what they think will happen when everyone else is able to live lives like they have. They got their progress and health and children, but everyone else needs to sacrifice for the sake of the planet. That Rieder does have a child is some evidence of this point.

Not only is Rieder’s argument deeply immoral and reactionary in how wrong it is, it turns out to be far less altruistic than it first seems. Nothing could capture the total failure of radical environmentalist anti-natalism better than calling it “selfish reasons everyone else should have fewer kids.” Let’s hope, for the sake of both actual humans and the planet we live on that these environmentalist arguments are as infertile as their proponents wish humans were.

A Handbook for Ranch ManagersA Handbook for Ranch Managers.  In keeping with the “holistic” idea that the land, the livestock, the people and the money should be viewed as a single integrated whole: Part I deals with the management of the natural resources. Part II covers livestock production and Part III deals with the people and the money. Not only would this book make an excellent basic text for a university program in Ranch Management, no professional ranch manager’s reference bookshelf should be without it. It is a comprehensive reference manual for managing the working ranch. The information in the appendices and extensive bibliography alone is worth the price of the book.

You might also be interested in the supplement to this Handbook: Planned Grazing: A Study Guide and Reference Manual.

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