Feds Declare New Mexico Meadow Jumping Mouse Endangered Species

Saturday, June 21, 2014 5:00 am WASHINGTON — The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared the New Mexico meadow jumping mouse an endangered species, saying that without active conservation efforts the mouse will be at “elevated risk of extinction.

Welcome to New Mexico, where a colorful chicken and a very small mouse are causing a big ruckus.

Four counties in New Mexico on Tuesday joined in a lawsuit complaining about the U.S. Department of Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listing the lesser prairie chicken as a threatened species.

The announcement came just one day after the Fish and Wildlife Service declared the meadow jumping mouse should be protected under the Endangered Species Act, giving it greater habitat protection, but angering ranchers in a southern New Mexico county who are at odds with the federal government over water and property rights.

“Yes, New Mexico has become a focal point,” said Bryan Bird, program director for WildEarth Guardians, an environmental group based in Santa Fe that hailed both decisions. “On the one hand, we’re blessed to have these beautiful, unusual animals in our state, but on the other hand, we’ve mistreated our lands so badly that they require” listings to protect them.

Critics of the meadow jumping mouse listing say the federal government moved too quickly.

“Once again, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chose to cater to big-city radical special interests instead of protecting our jobs, and ignored the fact that conservation and economic growth are not mutually exclusive,” Rep. Steve Pearce, R-New Mexico, said in a statement.

In the meantime, officials from Eddy, Roosevelt, Lea, and Chavez counties — in the heart of New Mexico’s oil patch — joined a lawsuit filed in federal court in Texas by the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, claiming the decision to protect the lesser prairie chicken puts too heavy a burden on the industry and accusing the feds of not following correct procedures when they made the listing.

“Historically, there have been at least three times when scientists have believed the bird was truly on the verge of extinction,” Ben Shepperd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association, told KWES-TV. “What the data shows now is that the birds’ numbers and range of habitat have continued to grow, although they’ve slowed down some during this period of extended drought.”

The Fish and Wildlife Service says the population of the chicken — known for its energetic clucking and strutting during mating — has been reduced by 50 percent since 2012.

Protecting the habitat for the meadow jumping mouse led the U.S. Forest Service in Otero County, in southern New Mexico, into an ongoing dispute with local ranchers.

The Forest Service reinforced the padlocks at a creek to keep cattle from drinking, saying the herds risk trampling on the area where the mouse lives.

But a group of ranchers say while the Forest Service may have access to the land along the creek, it doesn’t hold the water rights and complain the federal government is overstepping its authority.

“It’s extremely frustrating,” Blair Dunn, an attorney for Otero County, told New Mexico Watchdog after a meeting last month failed to reach a compromise. “In the past when we’ve had drought and problems, the Forest Service came and opened the gate … but they didn’t have any interest in doing that.”

“Some might say, ‘why do we need to worry about a mouse?'” Bird said. “This mouse is like the canary in the coal mine. It represents the health of our streams and rivers in the state of New Mexico. If we don’t have healthy streams and rivers, nobody will thrive in the state.”

Just two years ago, many of the same parties were fighting over a different species — the dunes sagebrush lizard.

Efforts to protect the three-inch lizard, whose habitat stretches from southeastern New Mexico to West Texas, threatened to put restrictions on oil and gas production in the area.

But in June 2012, then-Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar decided against listing the lizard as endangered after the industry and local ranchers agreed to a series of conservation agreements.

So far, the kind of compromise that worked for the lizard hasn’t been reached for the chicken or the mouse.

Full Story: Newsmax

clark-ranch-bobProject establishes first-ever genome assembly of bobwhite quail.

In their pursuit to unlock the mystery of bobwhite quail decline in Texas, Park Cities Quail provided funding for a study of the bobwhite quail genome.

The project, which began in 2011 with the harvesting of a wild bobwhite quail test subject from the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch in Roby, has been completed, and the work has been publishing in the current issue of the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

The genetic mapping of this wild bobwhite quail, named Pattie-Marie, could prove to be instrumental in helping researchers understand historic and future bobwhite population trends.

“This is an important piece of the puzzle. It is our hope that this once humble bird will provide the foundation of independent research by scientists all over the world,” said Joe Crafton, who also helped fund the study. “This is a classic example of hunters funding the research that will eventually result in population growth of key wildlife species.”

“By sequencing and assembling the bobwhite quail genome, the team has produced the most comprehensive resource currently available for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research in the bobwhite,” said Dr. Chris Seabury of Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine, who led the study. “We now have a more formal resource of studying the bird and identifying new, or perhaps even more specific reasons for its serious decline.”

The bobwhite quail was recently named first on the “Top Ten Bird in Decline” in North America by the Audubon Society. With a population crash from 31 million in 1967, to only 5.5 million in 2007, the bobwhite quail has experienced an 80 percent decline over the past 40 years. With this groundbreaking research on the bobwhite quail genome, it is hope that researchers can identify genetic factors that may play a role in their decline, and perhaps even quail “lineages” with higher resistance to disease and environmental stresses.

– Park Cities Quail

Lone Star Outdoor News

Category: Publication Articles | Article Credits: Park Cities Quail

Click here to view the full article

RMEF logo high resolutionNumbers Don’t Lie, RMEF Charges On

Numbers and statistics can be fickle. You can twist and manipulate them in numerous ways to tell numerous stories. Just ask a baseball player. He can have a great batting average but a lousy slugging percentage. He can have a great on-base percentage but the team may have a losing winning percentage. A pitcher may have a stellar earned run average and a solid walk to strikeout ratio but still have a winless record.

One glance at the latest Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation project history summary shows one simple fact—numbers don’t lie! Dating back to RMEF’s humble beginnings on May 14, 1984, through June 30, 2014, here’s a numerical look at some of RMEF’s cumulative accomplishments:

  • 6,473,344 acres of habitat enhanced or protected
  • 713,176 acres opened or secured for public access
  • 8,795 conservation and hunting heritage outreach projects
  • 203,703 members (as of December 31, 2013)
  • 504 RMEF chapters
  • 10,000+ RMEF volunteers
  • $918,611,443 = total value of RMEF efforts
What’s the bottom line? RMEF continues to charge forward in its quest to accelerate a mission of ensuring the future of elk, other wildlife, their habitat and our hunting heritage.



zzzmid year report

RMEF – Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation Conservation At Work!

Wyman Meinzer – Between Heaven And Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

Wyman Meinzer’s West Texas from Wyman Meinzer on Vimeo.

Wyman Meinzer’s West Texas

Texas Cotton Association

Produced over two years, this short film was presented at the 2012 Texas Cotton Association Annual Conference, held at the JW Marriott Resort and Spa in San Antonio, Texas on April 12th-14th 2012.
Texas Cotton Association from Studio 84 Productions on Vimeo.
Link to video (Opens in a new page): http://vimeo.com/39793009
71599_153324448041910_5656947_n2014 is shaping up to be a good year for growing cotton here in West Texas. Although the rains were a little later than we would have wanted there is still a lot of hope with around 10 inches of rain in the area for May and June. Much of the land is rested from the drought over the past few years so this could be are really good crop.
7-9-2014 Kelly Kitchens – Slaton, Texas Area Farmer
Tags: Texas Cotton
Texas Cotton Association
Pigweed can grow 3 inches a day. University of Arkansas/Associated Press

The Environmental Protection Agency is weighing an emergency request by Texas regulators to allow cotton farmers to deploy a controversial herbicide, marking a new front in the war on “super weeds” that has divided agricultural groups and environmentalists.

The Texas Department of Agriculture asked the EPA last month for an exemption to permit growers to douse fields this summer with propazine—a chemical little-used in U.S. agriculture—to control an invasive plant known as palmer amaranth, or pigweed.

Pigweed, which can grow 3 inches a day, is one of several nasty invaders that have developed resistance to the nation’s dominant weed killer, glyphosate, which is widely sold by Monsanto Co. as Roundup.

Texas, at the behest of the state’s cotton growers, is asking the EPA to let farmers spray propazine, the active ingredient in the herbicide Milo-Pro, on up to 3 million acres, or nearly half of the state’s estimated cotton acreage this season. The Lone Star state is the nation’s largest cotton producer, accounting for 33% of last year’s crop, which was valued at $5.2 billion, according to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

The Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit advocacy group, and other environmental watchdogs oppose the proposal on the grounds that propazine poses potential risks to human health. Propazine has been identified by the EPA as a possible human carcinogen and is a restricted-use pesticide requiring a license to purchase and apply, according to Milo-Pro’s manufacturer.

Propazine is closely related to atrazine, a herbicide used by many corn growers that is banned in the European Union. Critics of the sister herbicide cite studies indicating it can interrupt sexual reproduction in frogs, and result in potential human reproductive problems.

The EPA says that propazine’s similarity to atrazine suggests it may cause disruptions to hormonal systems in rats, and has the potential to leach into groundwater or reach surface waters by runoff.

Milo-Pro, produced by Iowa-based Albaugh Inc., is currently approved by the EPA only for use on grain sorghum crops in Texas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Colorado and Kansas, according to Jim Musser, a sales manager for the company.

Originally registered in the 1950s, propazine’s EPA registration was cancelled in 1988 due to failure of chemical companies to provide data for a groundwater monitoring study, but a new registration was issued a decade later.

“We’ve been selling Milo-Pro for the past five seasons and we’ve had no issues with groundwater or surface water after conducting the required testing,” said Mr. Musser. “It’s further down the molecular chain than atrazine and is used on far less acres.”

The EPA began seeking public comment on the request Wednesday and typically rules on emergency exemptions within 50 days. The EPA declined to comment on the request.

“Pigweed is a really serious problem for farmers,” said Bill Freese, science policy analyst at the Center for Food Safety. “But propazine is not the solution. We need to have farm practices that don’t create resistant weeds in the first place, so we don’t have to resort to toxic herbicides to treat them.”

U.S. farmers have had some success in controlling pigweed using a growing arsenal of herbicides, but Texas’s proposal underscores the challenge farmers face in keeping the weed from strangling their crops.

“Weed resistance is of utmost concern for us,” said Ned Meister, director of regulatory activities for the Texas Farm Bureau. “The purpose of the request is to put another tool in the toolbox for farmers to address weeds that are resistant to other chemicals.”

Farmers for a decade have been fighting weeds that have developed resistance to glyphosate, especially in the South, where a longer growing season and warm climate have made it the battle’s front line.

St. Louis-based Monsanto revolutionized the pesticide business in the mid-1990s when it began selling genetically modified seeds, some of which were altered to withstand sprays of glyphosate, which kills plants by halting their internal protein production. Farmers embraced Monsanto’s Roundup, which could destroy many weeds while leaving crops unscathed. But they increasingly have used herbicides considered harsher than glyphosate in recent years, including the chemicals 2, 4-D and dicamba, to fight the super weeds.

Besides chemicals, farmers can try to stem pigweed’s growth by rotating crops each year, planting cover crops and hand weeding. But finding labor for weeding nowadays is tough, according to cotton farmers.

“One pigweed plant can produce thousands of seeds, so it doesn’t take many plants to get you in trouble in a hurry,” said Walt Hagood, a third-generation farmer who grows cotton, grain sorghum, wheat and other crops near Lubbock, Texas. “In some places, pigweed is starting to take whole fields.”

—By Jesse Newman and Tony C. Dreibus via. The Wall Street Journal


Cotton Bale
Things that they can do with one 500lb bale of cotton

Did you Know That One 500 lb. Bale of Cotton Can Make:

215 Pair of Jeans

249 Bed Sheets

409 Men’s Sport Shirts

690 Terry Bath Towels

765 Men’s Dress Shirts

1,217 Men’s T-Shirts

1,256 Pillow Cases

2,104 Boxer Shorts

2,419 Men’s Briefs

3,085 Diapers

4,321 Mid-Calf Socks

6,436 Women’s Knit Briefs

21,960 Hankerchiefs

313,600 $100 Bills


Keywords: Cotton Texas

TX NM Rain

Wednesday storms flooding parts of eastern New Mexico and the western Texas Panhandle brought rain and a little lightning to Amarillo, National Weather Service meteorologists said.

“It sort of started to fizzle out pretty much starting with the rising sun,” NWS meteorologist Andrew Moulton said. The scattered showers and thunderstorms were gone by 3 p.m.

Moulton said most of the rain fell west of Amarillo, in areas including Hereford, Bootleg and the New Mexico state line.

Meteorologists recorded more than an inch of rain 15 miles northwest of Amarillo, while they measured .03 of an inch in the city.

By 7 p.m. Wednesday, Borger recorded .2 of an inch, Childress had .27 of an inch, Dalhart had .09, Dumas had .02, Hereford had .97 and Guymon had .07 of an inch.

Widespread flooding was reported in Clovis, N.M., with some intersections under several inches of water and emergency responders calling travel treacherous.

Curry County was placed under a flood warning, and Albuquerque, N.M., meteorological technician Troy Marshall said areas between Fort Sumner and Clovis reported up to 4.3 inches of rain.

Residents in Parmer County also experienced significant rainfall Wednesday. Lubbock meteorologist Brad Charboneau said gauges near Bovina measured more than 5 inches of rain, and there was 1 to 4 inches “over pretty much the whole county.”

Charboneau said curb-to-curb flooding was reported in Friona, as well as minor flooding of Highway 60 in Bovina, adding most of the heaviest rainfall in that area had stopped by 8 a.m, and the system had broken down some as it moved into eastern Bailey County.

“(We’ve had) a lot of reports of people hydroplaning,” Charboneau said. “We haven’t heard reports of any major accidents.”

Severe weather chances for the Texas Panhandle continue through the week, with a slight chance of rain in the northwest counties on Friday, Independence Day. Mostly sunny skies and a high temperature of 90 are expected, Moulton said.

After Friday, Goehring said, the area will enter a drying phase.

Ladies Unleashed on the Quinlan Ranch!


I’m no stranger to the Quinlan Ranch in Chama New Mexico. This was my 2nd time hunting there and my first trip resulted in a 355 bull! I really felt like apart of the family especially since the Casias family manages it. Mark runs the ranch with the other excellent guides. They call Mark the Elk Whisper because it doesn’t matter what stage the elk hunting is in, he knows the language of the elk. He can sweet talk an elk right to you which is shown during Melissa’s Bow hunt. Melissa is Mark’s wife who does all the other jobs to make sure the Quinlan Ranch is ran smoothly! From time to time you will meet their adorable daughter Sierra who is a little hunter in training!

I was really looking forward to this hunt because besides me getting to chase a bugling elk, Mark was going to allow Melissa and I to beunleashed on the Quinlan Ranch in search of a Mule Deer for Melissa! After getting decked out in SHE safari Camouflage thanks to Bass Pro Shops we quickly went to sight in our rifles! As Mark was driving us back from the range we spotted some mule deer bucks. We let him drop us off so we can take a closer look. Unfortunately the stud of the group walked off and bedded down. We got repositioned and tried to get him to stand up for a shot however once he stood, he took off quickly without presenting a shot. That wasn’t the last opportunity at that buck and we proved that ladies on their own can get it done!

It was great hunting with Melissa because we bonded instantly over our love for the sport and wanting to share it. She is passing on her passion to her daughter, which she brings on her hunts as her sidekick. It became time for us to chase an elk for me with Mark as our caller and we heard a deep bugle in the distance. We set up with Mark calling behind us and this elk’s bugle kept getting louder. It was the perfect scenario until we got busted by a group of mule deer behind us. They winded us and ran right towards the elk that we had making his way right into our trap!

Back to the drawing board and we needed to figure something out before the bad weather moved in that was on its way! However, the Quinlan Ranch never disappoints and we ended the trip enjoying some delicious elk burgers that tasted like success!

Watch this episode airing now on the Sportsman Channel Sunday at 12:30pm, Wednesday at 4pm and Fridays at 9:30am eastern standard times.
Will Re-air the week starting June 8th 2014.


For more information on the Quinlan Ranch – Visit our website at www.chassmiddleton.com





Interested in an elk or mule deer hunt? Check out www.QuinlanRanch.com
Want to follow more of Larysa Switlyk’s adventures? Check out www.LarysaUnleashed.com

Eva Shockey elk hunting on the Quinlan Ranch

Eva Shockey elk hunting on the Quinlan Ranch

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