Thursday, April 24, 2014

Reasons The Feds Want To Seize Our Property


Why is the Federal Government so Hell bound to take possession and obtain total control of so much land both public and private?

Since the Federal Government decided to surround the Bundy Ranch with snipers and all sorts of military type weaponry, there as been an awakening of the American people to take a closer look at an issue that has been lurking in the shadows for many years now.

That issue is the Federal Government's land grab, the seizure of private property, the wrongful eviction of property owners, the confiscation of property including cattle and other livestock, and the destruction of homes, equipment and livestock by armed Federal Agents sworn to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Right now, as you read this, throughout the West there are probably thousands of ranching families who are being thrown off their land because of legal troubles with some agency of the Federal Government.

Whether it's the Bureau of Land Management, the National Forest Service, the National Parks Service, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, or the Internal Revenue Service, there are Americans right at this moment in legal struggles to hold on to their property.

Why is the Federal Government on a mission to wipe-out small farmers and ranchers, and confiscate their lands?

Depending on who you talk to, the answers change:

1) Some say this is all part of the Socialist Agenda of the Obama Administration;

2) Some say it is all a part of the Obama Administration's plan to make us more dependant on Foreign food sources;

3) Some say it's simply part of a growing Police State here in the United States;

4) Some say it's part of an agreement between big money Environmentalists and the Democrat Party;

5) There are those who say it's all about mandates in the contractual agreement that the Federal government signed with the UN under Agenda 21;

6) Some say it is a combination of both Agenda 21 and how it fits the needs and ultimate purposes of an administration with a Communist agenda of controlling every aspect of our lives;

7) And yes, there are those who simply see the Federal Government as out of control and out of hand hungry with power.

What is Agenda 21?

First thing, Agenda 21 is real. It is not made up by nutcases afraid of the government.

Agenda 21 is a product of the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in 1992.

Agenda 21 is a contractual plan of action with the United Nations with regard to the "sustainable development" within sovereign nations. 

For Environmentalist, the term "sustainable development" is an organizing principle for human life on planet Earth.

It's their desires for a future state in which human societies, our living conditions and our resource-use, meet their vision of what we humans need.

I agree with those who say that is in line with the Communism manifesto of totalitarianism.

After all, it is a plan of action, an Environmentalist agenda for the UN and individual governments around the world to execute at the Federal, State, and local levels in the United States and other nations all over the globe.

This contract binds governments around the world to the United Nation's plan for controlling the way we live, eat, learn, move and communicate - all under the noble banner of saving the earth.

If fully implemented, Agenda 21 would have the government involved in every aspect of life of every human on earth.

The U.N. and its Agenda 21 reaches into all aspects of our lives by becoming part of policies at the Federal, State, and local governments - including that of Community Groups.

Agenda 21, Chapter 28, specifically calls for each community to formulate its own Local Agenda 21 implementation program:

"Each local authority should enter into a dialogue with its citizens, local organizations, and private enterprises to formulate 'a Local Agenda 21.' Through consultation and consensus-building, local authorities would learn from citizens and from local, civic, community, business and industrial organizations and acquire the information needed for formulating the best strategies." - Agenda 21, Chapter 28, sec 1.3

In April 1991, key international environmental figures including Al Gore, along with senior officials from the United Nations, and the World Bank, gathered at what was called an "Earth Summit."

At the summit, representatives of 179 nations officially signed the Agenda 21 contract and many more have followed since. Nearly 12,000 local and federal authorities have legally committed themselves to the Agenda.

In practice, this means that all of their plans and policies must begin with an assessment of how the plan or policy meets the requirements of Agenda 21 -- and no plans or policies are allowed to contradict any part of Agenda 21.

Local authorities are audited by UN inspectors and the results of the audits are placed on the UN website.

The people who are in favor of Agenda 21, such as the Obama Administration and the Democrat Party, believe that individual rights have to take a back seat to "the collective" while they implement their agenda.

Yes, under Agenda 21:

1) Individual rights give way to the "needs" of communities

2) The needs of the community will be determined by a committee acting as a governing body.

3) Government takes control of all land use.

4) Private property is eliminated, primarily through Environmental Programs such as the Wildland Project and Smart Growth/Sustainable Development.

5) Agenda 21's Wildland Project will dictate how most "Public Lands" will be set aside for non-humans.

6) People are packed into congested settlements which are labeled as "islands of human habitation" close to mandatory employment centers and mass transportation as personal vehicles will be banned.

Does it sound like Communism?

Well, is should simply because most involved with creating this are fervent leftists and Communist sympathizers who believe in the concept that says, "For communism to work, we all have to be Communist."

Want proof of the Communist Doctrine which says the state, the government, should be the only landowner?

Take a look at this as stated in the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements:

"Land cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principal instrument of accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes. Public control of land use is therefore indispensable...."

Yes, this is happening today. And yes, if we allow this to take place -- we can erase all of our Western culture in the United States.

Our freedoms, liberties, and rights to ownership will be lost if we do not fight this.

Take a look at this video explanation of what's taking place:

We Must Stop The Land Grab!

While there are cases taking place right now, we need to build a legal barrier to stop further expansion of the ongoing Federal land takeovers in the West.

While there are many case, there are a few that both ranchers and Federal officials are watching with great anxiety as the conflict moves toward resolution.

One of course is the Bundy Ranch situation, and another is now going on in Texas. And yes, there is another of importance as well because of what the courts have ruled so far.

The Diamond Bar Ranch

On February 11th, 2014, Kit Laney was met with law enforcement officers from the U.S. Forest Service who handed him a piece of paper telling him that his family's Diamond Bar Ranch in southwest New Mexico would be shut down -- and his 300 head of cattle grazing there would be removed.

While this was going on, other Forest Service law enforcement officers nailed similar notices on fence posts along the highway to inform neighbors that after Feb. 11th, they should not attempt to enter the Diamond Bar property.

Laney knew there would be an on-the-ground confrontation to enforce a 1997 court ruling which says his cattle are trespassing on federal land. On February 11th, that day arrived.

The Laney family insists the land in question belongs to them but the Forest Service says it belongs to the Federal Government.

Not a surprise to most Americans, so far the Federal Court has sided with the Forest Service.

But Laney is not willing to throw in the towel and give up the land that has been in his family since long before there was a U.S. Forest Service.

Moreover, in New Mexico, there is a “brand law” that says, essentially, no cattle may be sold or transported out of state without approval from the State Livestock Board.

All Help Is Appreciated

County Sheriff Cliff Snyder notified the Forest Service and other State and Federal officials that even though the Forest Service has a court order authorizing the confiscation of the Diamond Bar cattle, "legally" they "cannot be shipped and sold without being in direct violation of NM Statute."

His memo also says "I intend to enforce the state livestock laws in my county. I will not allow anyone, in violation of state law, to ship Diamond Bar Cattle out of my county."

The Diamond Bar Ranch is at least 180,000 acres and includes some of the most beautiful land in southwest New Mexico, situated between and including portions of the Gila and Aldo Leopold Wilderness areas.

Laney’s ancestors began the “Laney Cattle Company” there in 1883 when the area was still a territory. In those days, “prior appropriation” of water determined grazing rights to the land. That meant the first person to make beneficial use of water obtained the “rights” to the water and to the forage within an area necessary to utilize the available water.

Laney’s ancestors acquired the water rights and the attendant grazing rights on the land now claimed by the federal government.

In 1899, the Federal Government withdrew from the public domain the land that later became the Gila National Forest, which included much of the land on which Laney’s ancestors had valid claim to water and grazing rights.

Seizing Legal Precedent

Several court cases have determined that land to which others have claims or rights attached cannot be considered "public land."

Bardon vs. Northern Pacific Railroad Co. specifically states:

"It is well settled that all land to which any claims or rights of others have attached does not fall within the designation of public land."

Consequently, Laney reasons, since his ancestors had acquired legal rights to the water and adjacent grazing land before the federal withdrawal, his land could not be considered a part of the public domain.

When the U.S. Forest Service was created in 1905, one of its first concerns was to find a way to settle disputes among ranchers whose water rights resulted in conflicts over grazing areas.

The Forest Service stepped into these territorial conflicts and proposed a way to resolve the disputes -- acting as an outside mediator.

The rancher parties to the dispute voluntarily agreed to allow the Forest Service to help by having them measure the available water to which each participant had legal rights and designate the appropriate forage land required to make beneficial use of the available water.

The designated area was called an “allotment.”

The idea was that ranchers "voluntarily" paid the Forest Service a fee for their "adjudication service", a portion of which went into a fund from which the ranchers could make improvements to the range and water access.

The Forest Service issued a permit, which designated the forage area and the number of cow/calf units, or AUMs, that could graze the allotment.

Laney’s ancestors participated in this type of Forest Service adjudication process in 1907, three years before New Mexico became a state.

The system worked well until 1934, when Congress enacted the Taylor Grazing Act.

This law changed the status of the grazing permit from a "voluntary" process agreed to by the ranchers, into a mandatory "license" required by the federal government.

Few ranchers realized this law eventually would strip them of their rights and the land they had worked for generations.

The Problem

Kit Laney’s problems began shortly after he acquired the Diamond Bar Ranch, adjacent to the original Laney ranch, in 1985.

The bank from which he bought the ranch had entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with the Forest Service which passed to Laney, the new owner.

The agreement required the owner to make certain improvements to watering systems within the Wilderness Areas on the ranch.

The original agreement allowed access to the work areas by mechanical equipment, but environmental organizations pressured the Forest Service to forbid mechanized access, and the agreement was modified.

Laney agreed to use mules and non-mechanical means to live up to his end of the agreement.

When he acquired the Diamond Bar, the allotment provided for 1,188 head of cattle.

By 1995, the Forest Service reduced the allotment to 300 head.

When the permits came due for renewal on the original Laney ranch and the Diamond Bar, in 1995 and 1996, Laney decided he would not sign the permits, since he believed the land was his, not subject to permits issued for grazing on federal land.

Kit and Sherry have spent hours in courthouses in Catron, Grand and Sierra counties, searching titles and documents all the way back to the original claims of water and grazing rights in the 1800s.

They have developed a clear chain of title showing continuous private ownership of the water rights and the attendant grazing rights on the land that is now claimed by the government.

They believe the government’s original withdrawal of the land in 1899 could not include their land, since private property rights had attached to the land.

Neither the Forest Service nor the federal court are impressed with Laney’s reasoning, and the Forest Service is moving to rid the ranch of cattle.

And without a means of utilizing the water and land for any productive purpose, the Laneys too will have to leave – unless they can get someone to pay attention to their rights.

For nearly 100 years, federal agencies and ranchers worked together to improve the range and to develop a growing economic foundation for Western states.

Things began to change with the rise of the environmental movement in the late 1970s.

By the mid 1980s, the Federal Government began a concerted and coordinated effort to rid the West of ranchers.

In 1992, with the publication of the Wildlands Project, the reasons for squeezing out the ranchers, and other resource providers, began to come into focus.

The Wildlands Project envisions at least half of the land area of North America, restored to “core wilderness areas,” off-limits to humans.

Wilderness areas are to be connected by corridors of wilderness, so wildlife will have migration routes unhampered by people.

The Diamond Bar ranch lies directly in the path of a key wilderness corridor.

Bill Clinton’s election in 1992 resulted in the placement of environmental organization executives in key positions throughout the government.

Bruce Babbitt, formerly head of the League of Conservation Voters, became secretary of the Department of Interior, and George Frampton, formerly head of the Wilderness Society, became chief of the U.S. Forest Service. These, and other environmentalists in government, came from the very organizations that promoted the Wildlands Project.

Environmental organizations pressured federal agencies with lawsuits and good-ol’-boy influence to impose the goals of the Wildlands Project through various government initiatives.

Kit and Sherry Laney are among hundreds whose lives and livelihoods have been forever uprooted by the government’s willingness to advance the goals of the UN and the Wildlands Project.

The Laneys say they have a ray of hope, however.

It Has To Do With The Wayne Hage Decision

On Jan. 29, 2002, Judge Loren Smith ruled in a similar case that Wayne Hage "submitted an exhaustive chain of title which showed that the plaintiffs and their predecessors-in-interest had title to the fee lands" which the federal government had claimed to be federal land.

Wayne Hage lost his cattle, but now the court has ruled that a "takings" has occurred, for which the government must pay "just compensation."

The Wayne Hage decision has sent ranchers across the West rushing to courthouses, searching for and documenting the "chain of title," to the land, grazing and water rights.

Kit Laney has completed his search, and recorded the "exhaustive chain of title" in each of the county courthouses where his land lies.

He may not be able to stop the removal of his cattle, even with the help of the local sheriff.

But Laney has served notice that he does not intend to roll over and let the government simply take what his family has worked for generations to build.

He says he will fight as long as he has breath.

The Forest Service, and the other federal agencies now know they can no longer pick off a single rancher, and move on to the next.

The Wayne Hage decision, and the determination of Kit Laney has inspired thousands of ranchers to resist the government’s pressure and have actually begun to push back.

Where Are We Now?

The Federal Government, the BLM surrounding the Bundy Ranch with snipers and agents in a tactical military equipped situation was seen as un-American by many of us.

They spent over 3 Million Taxpayer Dollars to gather cattle they say was "trespassing" on high desert lands that have been used by his family for 140 years.

Yes, this has woke up a lot of Americans.

Now Americans are coming together from all over the United States, saying, "Enough is enough" as we all get behind Americans who are being unfairly targeted by the Feds.

Now angry, I believe the Americans are in the process of pushing the Federal Government all the way back to Washington DC  -- and out of our lives.

This article is compiled using many sources.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Smith & Wesson M&P Shield - California Compliant & Available

Dear Friends,

Back on January 26th, Smith & Wesson and Strum Ruger announced that they decided to quit selling semi-automatic handguns in California over a new state shell casing "stamping" requirement.

The new gun law "supposedly" helps law enforcement, but all it has done is drive Smith & Wesson and Ruger to make the announcement.

Firearms rights advocates correctly stated that the measure was really about doing an end-run to take handguns out of California.

As usual, it does nothing to stem the flow of illegal guns in the hands of criminals, as it only effects law abiding citizens.

The California law requires semi-automatic handguns have a technology that imprints a tiny stamp on the shell casing so it can be traced back to the gun owner. Of course if the gun has been stolen, the gun owner probably has nothing to do with the crime that the gun was used in.

In January, both Smith & Wesson and Ruger called the so-called "micro-stamping" technology unworkable in its present form and can actually impair a gun's performance.

Firearm microstamping, or ballistic imprinting, works by engraving a microscopic marking onto the tip of the firing pin.

When the gun is fired, it leaves an imprint, usually of a serial number, on the bullet casings.

The telltale mark "theoretically" allows law enforcement investigators to trace the bullet to the registered gun owner.

California’s law is the first in the nation to be implemented and was originally signed into effect in October 2007, but not implemented until recently. Several other states are considering similar measures.

Of course, what is good for some Californians is not good for all Californians as all state, county, and city law enforcement agencies are exempt from microstamping requirements for some unknown reason.

Critics say tracing a bullet to a registered gun owner does little to fight crime, since criminals often kill with stolen handguns.

But frankly, there are folks like myself who believe that the technology is not about catching bad guys -- after all, if it was, why isn't it mandatory for a semi-autos including the ones carried by the police.

If law enforcement would be included, wouldn't that give crime scene investigators an ability to discern a bad guy's bullet from an officer's if the need arose.

And no, I am not saying that police are bad. I am saying that it is common place to have reviews of whether or not a police shooting was "good" or "bad".  And if, as those in favor of microstamping say it is and that technology is so very accurate, then maybe that technology would help to clear an officer after a police shooting.

Many like me believe tracing bullets is not the real intent of the law in the first place.

"This is the latest attempt to undermine the Second Amendment in California by politicians with little to no knowledge of firearms, who seek to impose their liberal values upon those who choose to protect their families with the constitutional right to own a handgun," said Chuck Michel, West Coast Counsel for the National Rifle Association, an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University and author of the book "California Gun Laws."

I agree.

Smith & Wesson said it expects the sales of its California-compliant revolvers, which aren't required to have microstamping, to offset the financial impact to the company.

Company President and CEO James Debney vowed to continue to work with industry groups to oppose the law, while providing California customers with products that do comply with California law.

Well, it seems that Mr Debney has done just that.

"Grandfathered" California-Compliant Smith & Wesson M&P Shield  

April 14th, 2014, a news story sent to me reports that Smith & Wesson will now start shipping its line of M&P Shield pistols to California.

New 9mm and .40 S&W pistols, which are "grandfathered" prior to California microstamping mandate, non-microstamped, are California compliant and approved for sale here.

Besides and e-mail, my brother called and said he was getting one as soon as he could get an order in.

He sent me and article today, actually dated April 13th, stating Smith & Wesson Corp. announced today that it has commenced shipping non-microstamped, California-compliant versions of its popular M&P Shield pistols.

Approved and added to the California Roster of Handguns Certified for Sale prior to the microstamping requirement, the new M&P Shield pistols offer customers in California a slim, concealable, lightweight, striker-fired polymer pistol specifically engineered for personal protection.

The M&P Shield

This is one nice handgun.

When it comes to personal defense pistols in general, concealed carry weapons, I’m pretty much like everybody else in that as much as I love my full-size Model 1911 and its .45 ACP stopping power.

That sort of stopping power is what I’m gonna strap on my belt or tuck in my waistband when I need to leave the house to run into town.

This pistol is built to professional specifications and standards are designed in the M&P Shield to serve as a dependable carry gun for private citizens.

As for concealability, the measure of how easily a handgun is concealed, the overall length, width, height, and weight all come into play.

Some of these specifications are more important than others. For example, overall length might matter since a long barrel or slide extends further down a person's side when using an inside-the-waistband holster -- which happens to be the most common method of concealing a handgun.

Length, width and weight are the two most important specifications for concealability.

The S&W M&P Shield would work fine. It is lightweight, compact, and is extremely unobtrusive into my pocket.

And yes, the California-compliant M&P Shield is available in both 9mm and more powerful .40 S&W.

In accordance with state regulations, the new M&P Shield pistols feature a tactile loaded chamber indicator and a magazine safety. The pistols also feature a single-sided thumb safety.

The California compliant models feature the original popular design elements which include a high strength polymer frame with a black, corrosion resistant stainless steel slide and barrel.

Measuring a compact 6.1 inches in overall length with an unloaded weight of only 19 ounces, the M&P Shield pistol is easily concealed and can be conveniently carried during everyday activities.

"Since its initial introduction, the M&P Shield has quickly become one of the most popular personal protection firearms on the market," said Mario Pasantes, Smith & Wesson’s Senior Vice President of Marketing and Global Professional Sales.

"Lightweight, comfortable in the hand and highly accurate, the M&P Shield provides the same trusted and proven features found in the full-size M&P pistol, but with an easily concealable profile that is suitable for self defense purposes. As California consumers face a diminishing list of pistol choices for personal protection due to the state’s microstamping requirement, we are proud to offer them access to our newest and most popular pistols in non-microstamped yet fully compliant versions."

The M&P Shield is standard with a 3.1 inch barrel and retains familiar operating features on the left side of the frame, including a simple takedown lever, flat profile slide stop, magazine release and thumb safety.

For optimal firearm control, the M&P Shield is standard with a fixed textured backstrap and additional texturing at the forward portion of the grip.

An extended trigger guard allows for operation of the pistol with or without gloves.

The M&P Shield is standard with a 5.3-inch sight radius, which allows for fast tracking and smooth target acquisition while the pistol’s short, consistent trigger pull helps deliver consistent accuracy.

That trigger pull is mighty important because that is just one more factor that makes the M&P Shield user-friendly.

Nominal trigger travel from rest is only .300 inch, and the reset stroke is only .140 inch. Nominal trigger pull weight is just 6½ pounds.

Friends, with its uniform short, crisp trigger pull, which again is the same mechanism as found on full-size M&Ps, this is one of the best, shortest and most crisp Double Action trigger pulls on the market.

And yes, that makes it very easy for either men or women.

Internal features of the new M&P Shield mirror the standard M&P Series.

Its stainless steel internal chassis reduces flex while providing a stable shooting platform and its low-bore axis helps maintain ease-of-use and a comfortable feel.

Other familiar features include a passive trigger safety designed to prevent the pistol from firing if dropped and a sear release lever that eliminates the need to press the trigger in order to disassemble the firearm.

For more information on the new California compliant M&P Shield pistols visit: or visit
for exciting new videos on all the latest products.

Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC) is a U.S.-based leader in firearm manufacturing and design, delivering a broad portfolio of quality firearms, related products and training to the consumer, law enforcement, and military markets.

The company’s brands include Smith & Wesson, M&P, and Thompson Center Arms.

For right now, Smith & Wesson facilities are located in Massachusetts and Maine.

For more information on Smith & Wesson, call (800) 331-0852 or log on to:

And yes, if you're wondering, I do have my mind set on getting one sonner or later.

Tom Correa

Wyatt Earp's Alaska Smith & Wesson Model 3

Dear Readers,

Many of you have written to ask if I can post this separately from the article on Wyatt Earp's OK Corral Gun Was Not A Colt, so here it is.

Yes, Wyatt Earp was known to carry a Smith & Wesson Model 3 even in Alaska. It actually hangs in the Red Dog Saloon. The Red Dog Saloon is located in Juneau. Because it's been there since before the turn of the century, the saloon has been recognized by the State of Alaska for its longevity as the oldest man-made tourist attraction in Juneau.

Founded during Juneau's mining era, the Saloon has been in operation for over 100 years. The saloon has had several a couple of different locations in Juneau before ending up where it is today. In fact, the saloon was originally located about two blocks up Franklin Street and later across the street next to the Alaskan Hotel. In 1988, the saloon was moved, kept completely intact, to where it sits today. According to the owners, "great care was given to replacing most everything to its original place within the room."

In territorial days, it's said that the owners would meet boats at the docks with a mule that wore a sign saying, "Follow my ass to the Red Dog Saloon." As for its history, a lot of famous and infamous people have walked into The Red Dog Saloon. In her time, "Ragtime Hattie" played the piano in white gloves and a silver dollar halter top.

On exhibit at the Red Dog Saloon is a Smith & Wesson Model 3 owned by Wyatt Earp. Above is a picture of the pistol left in Juneau by Wyatt Earp, who was on his way to Nome.

In the fall of 1897, Wyatt Earp and common-law "wife" Josie joined in the Alaska Gold Rush and headed for Nome, Alaska. Many believe he was running from the spotlight of his involvement as the key perpetrator in the fixed 1896 Heavyweight Championship Fight between boxers Bob Fitzsimmons and Tom Sharkey. 

It's said that many prospectors who made Tombstone their home in late 1882 when the silver boom there went bust, picked up and left for Alaska and the Yukon after the demise of that Arizona town. We have to remember that Tombstone's mining boom went bust when its silver mines struck water and soon the silver ore they sought was actually underwater. In 1881, that town had a population of over 10,000 residents. Eleven years later in 1900, that town would have less than 700 people still hanging on there. 

Earp arrived in Alaska at the height of the gold rush in Nome. But he didn't go there to mine for gold in the ground. He was there to take gold out of the pockets of prospectors and anyone else who wanted to venture into his saloon. It was something he knew a great deal about. Throughout his life, his primary occupation was gambler, saloon keeper, and bartender. So no, it wasn't out of the ordinary that he would open the Dexter Saloon once in Nome.

After the killing of the Clantons and McLaurys near the OK Corral, Virgil Earp was ambushed but fortunately wasn't killed. The same couldn't be said for Morgan Earp months later when he was shot dead while playing pool. It was after Morgan's murder that Wyatt and youngest Earp brother Warren, Doc Holliday and others, caught up with Frank Stilwell. 

Each took turns shooting Stilwell, the Coroner concluded he was shot with shotguns, pistols, and rifle rounds. It's no wonder the person who found him later stated that he was the most shot-up man that he'd ever seen. Because of that killing, Wyatt Earp couldn't hide behind his Deputy U.S. Marshal's badge and fled Arizona under indictment for murder. It's believed he was smart enough to stay out of Arizona, while he had friends on the Tombstone Epitaph and with the Mayor, they wouldn't be able to protect him in Tucson where killing such as what was done to Stilwell wouldn't be allowed to go unanswered. 

As a result of the horrible shotgun shooting of Frank Stillwell, Wyatt Earp was not so much famous as he was "Wanted." After the Fitzsimmons-Sharkey fight some newspapers called him a "Notorious Bad Man," an "Arizona Killer," a "Desperado." Infamous is a good term to describe how he was looked at after he tried to swindle Fitzsimmons out of his prize-winning and throw the fight for Sharkey. He became famous overnight from coast to coast. While other than a few cowtowns may have heard of him, that all changed with his role in fixing that Championship Boxing match. That's most likely how the law knew who he was when he reached Alaska. 

A letter found in the basement of the Juneau federal jail in the 1960s shows that Wyatt Earp may have intended to settle in the Southeast area for a while -- but was persuaded to move on. Written to the U.S. Marshal in Sitka by the Deputy U.S. Marshal at Juneau, the letter said that the deputy marshal, along with a posse of local citizens deputized for the encounter, met Earp as his ship docked. 

In the letter calls Earp, "Wyatt Earp the notorious desperado."

The deputy disarmed Earp and told him he was not welcome in Juneau, at least that's according to Alaska State Troopers 50 Years of History. Earp left on the next steamship and headed to Nome. That's supposedly how Wyatt Earp's Smith & Wesson Model 3 ended up being checked into the U.S. Marshal's Office and today the Red Dog Saloon in Juneau.

And by the way, take note of how Earp's Smith & Wesson has had its trigger guard removed. Since the start of manufacturing handguns with trigger guards in the 1800s, there have been people who have cut them off. Other modifications such as bobbing the hammer spur, shortening the barrel to only a couple of inches, rounding the butt, and removing the front half of the trigger guard or the whole trigger guard was very common among gunmen. Reshaping the hammer and the butt allows the gun to be drawn quickly with little risk of the weapon snagging on clothing. A halved trigger guard or removing it completely is said to help the shooter facilitate quicker trigger acquisition. The same goes for a shorter barrel which is great for getting a handgun out and into play when needed. A long-barrel pistol would get one killed since, besides being harder to conceal, it took longer to get into play when seconds count.

Yes, there were all sorts of gimmicks thought to give one an edge in a gunfight.  

In Nome, Earp would operate a saloon during the summer of 1899. The Dexter Saloon in Nome, Alaska, was a saloon with gambling and the mining interests kept it profitable for a few years.

Many paint Wyatt Earp as a non-drinker, a man with an aversion to alcohol, but that is not the truth. In fact, Earp got himself in some real scrapes while drinking, and while in Alaska was arrested twice for being drunk and disorderly -- although he was not tried. Earp was drunk and disorderly in front of the wrong person a few times.

While he spent most of the time from 1897 until 1901 in the gold rush area of Alaska operating the Dexter Saloon, one night he got out-of-hand in front of someone who didn't care who he was, where he was from, or what his supposed reputation may have been. The man certainly wasn't impressed by Earp's antics.

According to an eyewitness, "After Wyatt struck Alaska, one night he started to show the boys up there how they used to pull a little show down Arizona way." Wyatt Earp brandished his revolver, whipping it out and he supposedly said, "That's how we do it down Arizona way!"

Nearby was U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe. He responded by slapping Earp and disarming him. Then supposedly Lowe told Earp, "That's how we do it in Alaska!"

According to one eyewitness, "U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe took his (Earp's) gun away, slapped his face, and told him to go home and go to bed or he would run him in."

Another eyewitness said, "Wyatt got a drink or two too much and got the idea he was a bad man from Arizona and was going to pull some rough stuff when U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe slapped his face and took his gun away from him."

U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe told Earp that he was checking his pistol in at his office and could pick it up in the morning. Wyatt Earp was in Alaska on and off for four years. He did not stay during the rough winter months, instead always traveled south to California for the winter -- where he worked on his autobiography.

And just for the record, during one of his trips to California, Wyatt Earp's drinking got him into big trouble with Tom Mulqueen who was a well-known "racehorse man," a trainer. Mulqueen is said to have been someone much younger who never heard of the supposedly famous Wyatt Earp.

The story goes that on one trip back to California in April of 1900, on a visit to San Francisco, Earp said some things he shouldn't have, and picked a fight with someone he shouldn't have. Earp who is said by some historians to be the toughest of the tough was subsequently knocked senseless in a fistfight with racehorse-trainer Tom Mulqueen. The newspapers reported it the following day since Wyatt Earp was known in that city as a notorious bad man.

As reported in The San Francisco Call on April 30th, 1900:


Wyatt Earp Floored by a Single Blow From Tom Mulqueen.

Engaged in a Saloon Row Over the Recent Turf Scandal and the Gambler Gets the Worst of It. Wyatt Earp. gun-fighter and all-around bad man was knocked down and out late Saturday night by Tom Mulqueen, the well-known racehorse man. The trouble occurred In a Market Street resort, near Stockton, and was precipitated by Earp. Both men had been drinking at the bar when Earp brought up the subject of the recent scandal at the Tanforan track. He made several disparaging remarks about a jockey who is on very friendly terms with Mulqueen.

When called down he became belligerently indignant and threatened to wipe the floor with the horse owner. Instantly Mulqueen grabbed him. and after throwing him against the bar landed a blow on the gun-fighter's face, knocking him out.

John Farley, the proprietor of the saloon, fearing serious trouble between the two men, managed to induce Mulqueen to leave the place. Earp, after recovering from the effects of the blow, was also led from the saloon and placed aboard a passing street car. Earp was not armed at the time, having left his trusted "gun" with a friend shortly before the occurrence. Mulqueen was around as usual yesterday but refused to discuss the affair.

He gained considerable notoriety several years ago by calling down Bob Fitzsimmons, the prize-fighter. They were in a saloon drinking when the ex-champion referred to Jim Corbett as a looking-glass fighter. Mulqueen promptly resented the remark and threatened to break Fitzsimmnns' head if he repeated it. Fitzsimmons, scenting trouble, left the place, not caring to mix it with the plucky horseman.

Earp first came into prominence in this city [San Francisco] when he officiated as the referee in the fight between Fitzsimmons and Sharkey several years ago and gave the decision to the sailor on an alleged foul after he had been knocked out, a decision that created general dissatisfaction.

-- end of article.

In life, Wyatt Earp had been mostly a saloon-keeper, a bartender, a gambler, an opportunist, and yes a confidence-man. His time as a peace officer was relatively short, sporadic, and interrupted with firings over dishonorable conduct such as not turning in taxes and fines collected for a school fund, fighting with superiors, and hiding behind his badge to skirt the law to commit murder. 

But let's not get the facts in the way of the legend. After all, there are people out there who want the legend to survive. And since so many so-called "Historians" have lost all objectivity when it comes to Wyatt Earp, and instead show themselves to have a "man-crush" for him, the Hollywood-created legend will live on. In fact, there are some who have a vested interest in perpetuating the legend -- no matter what the truth really is.

Tom Correa

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Wyatt Earp's OK Corral Gun Was Not A Colt

Wyatt Earp, 1883
Dear Friends,

I just read where the news is reporting that another gun that Wyatt Earp supposedly used at the OK Corral sold for $225,000 at auction. Yes indeed, on April 18, 2014, an Associated Press report out of Scottsdale, Arizona, said that a gun "thought to have been" used by Wyatt Earp during the famous OK Corral shootout in Tombstone, Arizona back in 1881 has sold for $225,000.

The Colt sold at that auction actually sold for quite a bit higher than its estimated value. That's right, it sold for more than it was worth -- but then again, people who buy such things usually have more money than they know what to do with.

The report said a telephone bidder in New Mexico made the winning bid for the Colt Single Action revolver in .45 caliber. J. Levine Auction & Appraisal officials say an auction of numerous items related to Earp and his family in Scottsdale brought more than $445,000.

The auction house initially valued the Colt between $100,000 and $150,000. The items belonged to the estate of Glenn Boyer, an author of several books on Earp. Boyer died in February 2013. Some have questioned the item's authenticity, while others say Boyer was a credible researcher. For me, it just my opinion, but I believe Boyer proved himself a fraud later in life. 

A Chandler, Arizona, man spent $150,000 on a shotgun owned by Earp, a family archive, and other items. Back in 2012, the guns used by Bonnie and Clyde were sold at auction for over half a million dollars. And yes, one of Annie Oakley’s guns sold for $143,400 -- which really does seem like a steal compared to Earp’s gun.

While the Colt was the highlight of the auction, Wyatt Earp’s Winchester shotgun and another Colt revolver owned by Wyatt’s brother Virgil were also sold at the auction. The former sold for less than its estimated value of $125,000, selling for only $50,000. But Virgil Earp’s gun sold for $37,500, higher than the estimated value of $30,000.

Unfortunately, there was a little bit of controversy surrounding the Wyatt Earp gun. Some historians claimed that Boyer fabricated portions of his books. The Colt pistol once had the barrel, grip, and cylinder replaced in addition to having its serial number rubbed off.

So why do I say "supposed" gun used at the OK Corral shootout?

It's because Wyatt Earp didn't use a Colt pistol at the OK Corral -- he used a Smith & Wesson!

In The History of Smith & Wesson Firearms by Dean K. Boorman, published by Globe Pequot Press, in 2002, he reported that Wyatt Earp used a Smith & Wesson Model 3 and not a Colt at the gunfight near the OK Corral.

In Age of The Gunfighter by Joseph G. Rosa, published by the University of Oklahoma Press, in 1993, he states that Wyatt Earp preferred the Smith & Wesson Model 3 over a Colt at the gunfight near the OK Corral.

Most Old West historians agree that Wyatt Earp did not use a Colt pistol at the gunfight near the OK Corral. In fact, according to Wyatt Earp himself through his biographer Stuart Lake, he was actually armed with a Smith & Wesson Model 3 during that shootout.

As stated above, in Earp's case, he was given the S&W Model 3 American by The Tombstone Epitaph owner and who was also Tombstone's Mayor, John Clum. We know this to be fact.

The U.S. Army adopted the .44 S&W American caliber Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver in 1870. That fact makes the Model 3 revolver the first standard-issue cartridge-firing revolver used in the United States military. Most military pistols until that point were black powder cap-and-ball revolvers. The Smith & Wesson Model 3 was a single-action, cartridge-firing, top-break revolver produced by Smith & Wesson from circa 1870 to 1915. It was produced in several variations and sub-variations.

In 1877, Smith & Wesson discontinued production of its other Model 3 variation's such as the American, Russian, and Schofield -- in favor of a new and improved design. That newly designed Model 3 came out in 1878 and was called the New Model 3.

Besides being the last single-action pistol that Smith & Wesson ever came out with, the Smith & Wesson New Model 3 was considered their perfected single action. It was a top-break revolver, only slightly smaller and lighter than previous models. Because it was smaller and lighter, it was more concealable. They kept it in the .44 Russian cartridge.

Yes, I have heard the New Model 3 referred to as the "New Model 3 American." Why would someone call it such? Well, that has to do with the fact that the New Model 3 design returned to the original Smith & Wesson American barrel latch system. Most agree that that change was because Smith & Wesson wanted to stop paying royalties to George W. Schofield for the "Schofield" latch design. The New Model 3 was the most popular revolver of the later frontier era.

In fact, according to records, more Smith & Wesson New Model 3's were made than Colt Single Action Army pistols during the 19th century -- though the majority went to foreign military contracts.

Among Lawmen and Outlaws

The standard barrel length was 6.5". But as the desire for shorter barrels was in demand by lawmen around the country, many Schofields were purchased as surplus by distributors, and they had the barrels shortened to 5" and refinished in nickel. Nice concealability and faster to get it into play when needed.

If you're wondering where the Buntline Special myth started, it was Wyatt Earp's book written by Stuart Lake. That's where the whole Buntline Special myth comes from. From what all of the evidence shows. a Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolver was famously used by Wyatt Earp during the OK Corral gunfight.

The Smith & Wesson New Model 3 in .44 S&W Russian was given to Wyatt Earp by John Clum just days before the OK Corral shootout. Clum was the mayor of Tombstone and the owner/editor of the Tombstone Epitaph. I believe we can only go with what Clum and eyewitnesses said about what pistol he used at the OK Corral. 

The idea that Earp carried a mythical Buntline Special given to him by Ned Buntline is all fictional. That was something that Wyatt Earp supposedly told Stuart Lake for Earp's biography. I don't believe the Buntline Special ever existed. And if it did, I'd love to know how Ned Buntline was able to present those long-barreled Colt commemorative pistols to a few lawmen who were not yet even lawmen at the time Ned Buntline was alive? Great trick, but it can't be done.  

People accept the idea that Wyatt Earp carried the Buntline Special at the OK Corral because of Earp's book, which has been disproved as a work of fiction, and of course, because of Hollywood films perpetuating the myth.

And by the way, historian Lee Silva did not believe that Wyatt Earp would carry a Smith & Wesson Model 3 American to the shootout near the OK Corral. Among the things that Silva is reported to have said is, "By 1881, the [Smith & Wesson] American Model and its ammunition were obsolete, and it is doubtful Wyatt Earp would have trusted his life to such a gun." 

Of course, Wyatt Earp had a smaller caliber Smith & Wesson taken off of him in Alaska, and it sits behind the bar at the Red Dog Saloon there in Alaska. So frankly, he must have trusted his life to it even though it was a smaller caliber.

But more so, as for Silva believing that the S&W Model 3 was obsolete because of the round it used, Theodore Roosevelt, for one, did not feel that way at all. In fact, Teddy Roosevelt specifically ordered a Smith & Wesson New Model 3 as his sidearm of choice to accompany him to Cuba during the Spanish-American War in 1898.

The rest of the story regarding Teddy Roosevelt's choice of handgun is one that some may find interesting. It's said that Roosevelt ordered a New Model 3 but actually carried a double-action Colt that had supposedly been retrieved from the battleship, USS Maine. While it's true that Roosevelt went with a double-action Colt, I don't know if it was really a pistol retrieved from the USS Maine. Also, while some say he used a Colt Model 1889, which was adopted by the Navy as it was the first double-action revolver with a swing-out cylinder released by a sliding latch, it wasn't chambered in the .45 Colt cartridge. That may be why some say that Roosevelt armed himself with a Colt M1878 in a .45 Colt.

As for Wyatt Earp, Silva felt that he would never have armed himself with such a weapon. Regardless of how Silva felt, one has to admit that the list of lawmen and outlaws who used Smith & Wesson Model 3 revolvers and not Colts is very long indeed.

For example, the Smith & Wesson Model 3 was popular with lawmen and outlaws in the Old West. Among those who favored the Smith & Wesson Model 3 in its different design changes with its faster reloading capability were outlaws John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, Frank and Jesse James, showman Buffalo Bill Cody, trick shooter Annie Oakley, and lawmen Virgil and Wyatt Earp, Dallas Stoudenmire, and Pat Garrett among others.

In actuality, if one looks at sales alone, many people favored the Smith & Wesson Model 3 American and Schofield. The faster loading Smith & Wesson Model 3 was enormously popular, and that's including with the U.S. Army Cavalry, who found it easier to load while on horseback because it ejected its spent shells using only one hand. 

The fact is Smith & Wesson Model 3 American and Schofield pistols rivaled the popular Colt SAA revolver. And if you have ever tried loading and reloading a Colt Single Action Army vs. a Smith & Wesson Model 3 American and Schofield, you know that it's hands down faster to load than the Colt SAA. In fact. Because of its ability to eject spent shells and reload faster, Wells Fargo & Co. became one of the largest purchasers and users of the Smith & Wesson Model 3. Besides the double-barrel shotgun, it was their issue sidearm for their Detectives and Security personnel. 

As for Wyatt Earp using a Smith & Wesson Model 3 at the OK Corral, there is another point that we should look at when asking ourselves if he used a supposed Colt that was known as a Buntline Special with a 10 to 12-inch barrel or if he had used a Smith & Wesson Model 3 which was sold with a standard 6.5-inch barrel.

In the Court transcript, Wyatt Earp testified about his actions on the way to the lot near the OK Corral. In the Court transcript, Wyatt Earp says the following, "I took my pistol, which I had in my hand, under my coat, and put it in my overcoat pocket." 

Now folks, unless he had an overcoat with pockets that stretched down to his knees or lower, there is no way that he could have tried concealing a supposed Colt Buntline Special with a 10 to 12-inch barrel in an overcoat pocket. And yes, if you recall, he placed his pistol in his pocket to get it out of his hand and conceal it. Something that he could have done very easily with a shorter Smith & Wesson Model 3.

I was told that I did not "know" for certain that Wyatt Earp used a Smith & Wesson Model 3 and that this was all just my opinion. I agree that this is just my opinion since, like all of us reading this, we weren't there during that time period or at that particular shootout. In the information that I provide here, I believe I provide evidence to back up my conclusion that Wyatt Earp used a Smith & Wesson Model 3.

Actually, many at the time, both lawmen and outlaw, preferred the Smith & Wesson Model 3 over a Colt mainly because of the ability to load it faster than a Colt. Wyatt was known to prefer a Smith & Wesson over a Colt for personal carry. In fact, he was carrying a Smith & Wesson in Alaska when he was disarmed there. That Earp pistol is in the Red Dog Saloon right now.

Though that's a fact, that does not prove that he used a Smith & Wesson Model 3 at the shootout in the lot near the OK Corral. I believe it was a Smith & Wesson Model 3 in the same way that I know anything about the Old West. I believe evidence through reading and researching several independent sources, which points to it being a Smith & Wesson Model 3.

For example, In "The History of Smith & Wesson Firearms" by Dean K. Boorman, published by Globe Pequot Press, in 2002, he reported that Wyatt Earp used a Smith & Wesson Model 3 and not a Colt at the gunfight near the OK Corral. In "Age of The Gunfighter" by Joseph G. Rosa, published by the University of Oklahoma Press, in 1993, he states that Wyatt Earp preferred the Smith & Wesson Model 3 over a Colt Single Action Army at the gunfight near the OK Corral. In the Kansas Historical Society archives are articles talking about that very thing.

And please, let's remember that besides Wyatt Earp's own admission at his and Doc Holliday's subsequent court appearance where he stated that he carried his revolver in an overcoat pocket, Wyatt told at least one person that he used the Smith & Wesson Model 3 that John Clum had given to Wyatt as a gift. It was a Smith & Wesson Model 3 in .44 caliber with an 8-inch barrel.

That person was John Henry Flood. John Henry Flood Jr. was actually a Mining Engineer by profession. But he worked as Wyatt Earp's unpaid personal secretary late in Wyatt Earp's life. Flood finished an unpublished biography of Wyatt Earp with Earp's help. Mr. Flood was told by Wyatt Earp that he had used the S&W Model 3 that he got from Mayor John Clum in the shootout with the Clantons and McLaurys on that day in 1881.

Unlike Stuart Lake, who came up with the Colt Buntline Special myth, Wyatt Earp supposedly never mentioned a Colt "Buntline Special" to anyone. That is one reason why I believe the Buntline Special myth was a creation of Stuart Lake. The S&W Model 3 that he is believed to have used at the OK Corral is in the John D. Gilchriese collection.

Yes, this and more leads me to believe it was a Smith & Wesson Model 3 that Wyatt Earp used at the OK Corral shootout.

As far as why we examine this? To me, it's about one of the many curious questions regarding what took place in history. It's no different than taking a look at why General Custer carried British Webley self-cocking Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC) revolvers at the Little Bighorn, or why Annie Oakley preferred a Marlin rifle over a Winchester, or why Wild Bill preferred .36-caliber 1851 Navy Colts when more modern cartridge firing pistols were available?

Whether it's verifying what we think we know or ferreting out details that surprise us, looking at Old West history brings us closer to what took place while bringing us closer to our heritage as Americans.

UPDATE: July 13, 2017

It appears my summary of Wyatt Earp's life has upset a great number of people who cannot separate the Hollywood legend from the real man. Because of that fact, I'm removing that summary so that the focus of the story is no longer clouded by those who feel they have to defend Wyatt Earp to me.

I had put the summary in this article to point out how the property of a notorious figure in history can garner more money at an auction if that property is proven to be authentic. I did not put that summary here to overshadow the point of this story -- which is to point out that the pistol that Wyatt Earp used at the shootout near the OK Corral was actually a Smith & Wesson Model 3 and not the mythical Colt Buntline Special that Hollywood and fiction writers would like us to believe he used.

The response to this article has taught me that there are a great number of people who love being lied to by Hollywood and the media. As for books that I use as some of my sources, I talk about Earp books that I've found very good, very objection, in my critique of Earp books in my three-part series, Wyatt Earp's Biography By Stuart Lake -- Part 1. You may find that information interesting.

As for why I don't believe the Buntline Special ever existed, it's because it's just a myth.

Tom Correa

Friday, April 18, 2014

Bundy Ranch Destruction & Harry Reid Calls Us "Domestic Terrorists"

Well Friends,

Last week we had the Federal Government show up in force and surround a ranch in Nevada all with armed agents dressed in tactical military gear, snipers and listening devices deployed, armoured vehicles, and all sorts of other logistical/tactical equipment at the ready.

Their mission? The BLM was to round up rancher Cliven Bundy's cattle. Yes, that's what the Feds need for a gathering.

Their reasoning, the "Why" were they there?

1) They surrounded the Bundy family ranch and started gathering his cattle because the rancher allowed his cattle to "trespass" on land that the Bundy Family has been using since the 1880's

2) To make sure that the desert tortoise lives cattle free on its 186,909 acres set aside for it. And no, as incredibly silly as that sounds, I'm not making it up.

3) As of a September 2013 news report, the BLM stated that the Bundy family owed the BLM $300,000 in "grazing fees." But last week, the Feds reported that the Bundy Family owes the U.S. Government $1.1 million dollars in "grazing fees". The interest on those fines most be out of this world.

Outcome of their mission?

Well, the BLM spent $3.3 Million, yes that's 3.3 MILLION Taxpayer Dollars, to move some cows and collect a debt of $1.1 Million.

Friends, that would be the same as me paying someone $330 to collect $110 someone owes me! Nuts huh?

Yes, this is part of the reason why we are getting screwed by our government -- they are too stupid to realize that that's not how you make money.

Of course, the reason that we are getting screwed by our government is that we have power hungry idiots working for us. Those people see themselves as above acting within the confines of the U.S. Constitution. They see it OK to violate the Bill of Rights.

Are the Feds, the BLM vindictive? Most definitely!

Destruction, Wreckage, and Senseless Killings

After warning the Bundy Supporters that they will shot -- as those supporters walked toward the military equipped Federal Agents -- the agents decided that there were too many to shot so they left.

Upon their departure, the Fed Agents there left a trail of wreckage and destruction of property and resources -- including water used by the cattle and wildlife in the area.

Fox News toured the damage caused by the Bureau of Land Management -- which included holes in water tanks and destroyed water lines and fences.

According to family friends, the BLM's hired "Cowboys" also killed two prize bulls.

No, they were not "Cowboys" -- they were just wannabes on horseback. Real Cowboys would have never shot two prize bulls and been a party of aggression against Americans.

"They had total control of this land for one week, and look at the destruction they did in one week," said Corey Houston, friend of rancher Cliven Bundy and his family.

"So why would you trust somebody like that? And how does that show that they're a better steward?"

The BLM and other law enforcement officials backed down last Saturday in their effort to seize Bundy's cattle, after hundreds of protesters, some armed but most unarmed, arrived to show support for the Bundy family.

The BLM tried to say that they left the scene because of concerns about safety -- and no shots were fired.

Fact is, Americans with hands raised to show they were not a threat walk toward their guns knowing that the Feds will probably shoot to kill.

Watch for yourself what took place on this YouTube Video.

On a conference call, BLM officials told reporters that "illegal structures" on Bundy's ranch -- water tanks, water lines and corrals -- had to be removed to "restore" the land to its natural state and prevent the rancher from restarting his illegal cattle operation.

Some of the tanks and pipes and corrals had been there before the BLM was created but that didn't matter to those who took their frustrations with the situation out on the land and Bundy's property.

And by the way, as with every other rancher and farmer who uses public land, the ranchers and the farmers are the ones who put in the wells, dig the canals, seed, and do other improvements to make arid lands hospitable to livestock -- improvement that benefit the wildlife.

The court order which the BLM used to justify the operation and the destruction appears only to give the agency the authority to "seize and impound" Bundy's cattle.

"Nowhere in the court order that I saw does it say that they can destroy infrastructure, destroy corrals, tanks ... desert environment, shoot cattle," Houston said.

Bundy's friends say the BLM wranglers told them the bulls were shot because they were dangerous and could gore their horses. One bull was shot five times.

Yes, five times!

That, my friends, is murdering an animal out of anger and vindictiveness! And no, there were no signs of those two bulls being a threat to anyone!

Houston said the pen holding the bull wasn't even bent showing not a sign of any sort of struggle or turmoil on the part of the bulls.

"It's not like the bull was smashing this pen and trying tackle people or anything," he said. "The pen is sitting here. It hasn't moved. No damage whatsoever. Where was the danger with that bull?"

Since the removal of the cattle from this area was supposed to be because of a concern for desert tortoise, why is it that BLM vehicles appear to have crushed a tortoise burrow near the damaged water tank.

"How's that conservation?" he asked.

Rancher Cliven Bundy has refused to pay the grazing fees or remove his cattle, and doesn't even acknowledge the federal government's authority to assess or collect damages.

His reasoning? It's state of Nevada land.

The bureau has said if Bundy wasn't willing to pay, then they would sell his cattle.

There was a problem with their plan -- only a few in all of Nevada would touch Bundy's cattle for fear of being blacklisted.

"The sale yards are very nervous about taking what in the past has been basically stolen cattle from the federal government," Nevada Agriculture Commissioner Ramona Morrison said.

Documents show the BLM paid a Utah cattle wrangler $966,000 to collect Bundy's cattle and a Utah auctioneer to sell them.

That's right, a wannabe wrangler from Utah got paid close to $1 Million!

But, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert refused to let Bundy cattle cross state lines, saying in a letter:

"As Governor of Utah, I urgently request that a herd of cattle seized by the Bureau of Land Management from Mr. Cliven Bundy of Bunkerville, Nevada, not be sent to Utah. There are serious concerns about human safety and animal health and well-being, if these animals are shipped to and sold in Utah."

That letter was sent three days before the BLM round-up, which is why the cattle were still being held Saturday in temporary pens just a few miles from Bundy's ranch.

Nevada Commissioner Morrison says BLM was sitting on cattle because it had no way to get rid of them -- setting up a potential tragedy as orphaned calves were not getting any milk and feed costs were about to skyrocket.

Now the showdown is far from over and the BLM says it will "continue to work to resolve the matter administratively and judicially," though Bundy still doesn't recognize federal authority over the lands that he continues to use in violation of a court order.

The federal judge who issued that decision says Bundy's claims "are without merit."

That order from October 2013 says Bundy owes $200 per day per head for every day he fails to move his cattle.

Wow, those tortoise must really need that land!

Harry Reid Should Shut Up!

Now, to add his two cents to the problems at hand, yesterday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the supporters who rallied around Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy in his fight against the Federal Government are "Domestic Terrorists" and Bundy does not respect his country.

The Las Vegas Journal-Review reported that Harry Reid, Democrat Senator from the Nevada no less, made the comments at an event Thursday hosted by the paper called “Hashtags & Headlines.”

Of course, those aren't the folks who Harry Reid wants to hear from.

He was all for those disgusting Walls Street demonstrators who caused millions of dollars of damage and injured many during their liberal rampage to aid the Democrat Party, but like the Tea Party groups around the nation -- Harry Reid sees anyone on the right as being "Domestic Terrorists".

Hundreds of states' rights protesters, including some armed militia members, showed up to protest federal officials seizing his cattle.

Some protesters were armed, but ultimately, no shots were fired and the Bureau of Land Management reported that officials left when the supporters refused to confront their superior firepower.

Reid had harsh words for these supporters, saying the government cannot stop pursuing the issue.

"They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists," Reid said, according to the paper. "I repeat: what happened there was domestic terrorism."

Reid said he has been told a federal task force is being set up to deal with the Bundy situation, adding Bundy does not respect the U.S. or its laws.

"Clive Bundy does not recognize the United States," Reid said. "The United States, he says, is a foreign government. He doesn’t pay his taxes. He doesn’t pay his fees. And he doesn’t follow the law. He continues to thumb his nose at authority."

Reid also suggested the supporters were dangerous to the community.

He said, "They had sniper rifles in the freeway. They had weapons, automatic weapons. They had children lined up. They wanted to make sure they got hurt first … What if others tried the same thing?"

Bundy has been at odds for years with the feds over land management issues which the feds took him to court over.

Now the BLM says he owes more than $1.1 million in unpaid grazing fees.

The grazing fees is only a ploy, fact is that the BLM revoked Bundy's grazing rights long ago on that land after citing concern for a Federally protected desert tortoise which they say cannot co-exist with cattle and needs 186,909 acres of land.

No kidding! The Federal Government, the BLM, says desert tortoises cannot co-exist with cattle -- and they need an area about 100 times the size of Manhattan Island where 1.7 million people live.

Image that for a moment, the BLM has set aside an area that is almost the equivalent of the entire city of New York with all of its 5 boroughs just for the desert tortoise which is found throughout the western United States.

New York City's land area covers approximately 305 square miles (approximately 195,000 acres or 8.5 billion square feet). Excluding streets and major bodies of water, approximately 154,000 acres (about 6.7 billion square feet) of land, or lot area, is available for use.

The area that New York City occupies is populated by 8,405,837 people.

That's how much area is being set aside for the desert tortoise, and that's the primary reason Cliven Bundy and other ranchers are being driven off that land.

The desert tortoises are species of tortoise native to California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah in the United States, as well as to northern Mexico.

Cliven Bundy claims ancestral rights to the land that his family settled in the 19th century and has refused to pay the fees or remove his animals.

Since I support Cliven Bundy in his fight for common sense over the wishes of self-centered environmentalist and Federal bureaucrats who want to set aside an area as big as America's largest city specifically for the desert tortoises, then according to Harry Reid, this old former Marine and Cowboy must be one of Reid's "Domestic Terrorist" as well.

And since I am not a "Domestic Terrorist," but instead am an American citizen with rights which Harry Reid sees as a threat to our government, Mr Harry Reid owes me and all others who support Cliven Bundy an apology.

And the BLM, if they're smart, they'd rethink their policy on not allowing cattle to co-exist with the desert tortoise and all of the other critters in the wild.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.
Tom Correa

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Livestock Grazing Benefits Public Lands

Dear Friends,

With the BLM siege of the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, Americans have become aware of the controversy dealing with livestock grazing on public lands.

This article is not meant to talk about how the BLM, like the EPA, the Department of Agriculture, and National Parks Service, has been influenced by environmentalist groups which want to restrict Americans from using our public lands. 

Environmentalist regard public lands as ecosystems which should be left untouched by both man and cattle.

And yes, because of pressures from environmentalists, I believe that some BLM practices might be in conflict with their policies toward grazing on public lands.  
The BLM's statement on the role of livestock grazing on public lands appears supportive of ranchers and farmers:

"Grazing, which was one of the earliest uses of public lands when the West was settled, continues to be an important use of those same lands today. Livestock grazing now competes with more uses than it did in the past, as other industries and the general public look to the public lands as sources of both conventional and renewable energy and as places for outdoor recreational opportunities, including off-highway vehicle use.

"Among the key issues that face public land managers today are global climate change, severe wildfires, invasive plant species, and dramatic population increases, including the associated rural residential development that is occurring throughout the West."

"Livestock grazing can result in impacts on public land resources, but well-managed grazing provides numerous environmental benefits as well.

"For example, while livestock grazing can lead to increases in some invasive species, well-managed grazing can be used to manage vegetation. Intensively managed “targeted” grazing can control some invasive plant species or reduce the fuels that contribute to severe wildfires.

"Besides providing such traditional products as meat and fiber, well-managed rangelands and other private ranch lands support healthy watersheds, carbon sequestration, recreational opportunities, and wildlife habitat.

"Livestock grazing on public lands helps maintain the private ranches that, in turn, preserve the open spaces that have helped write the West’s history and will continue to shape this region’s character in the years to come." ( per the BLM).

For me, other than what has taken place with bringing in armed Federal Agents to the Bundy Ranch, I have never had a problem with the BLM.

And yes, I see their statement on the role of livestock grazing on public lands pretty straight foward while emphazing the benefits of controlled livestock grazing.

This article is to emphasize the benefits of controlled livestock grazing to wild grasses and other vegetation, water, and on wildlife.

Environmentalist use the argument that uncontrolled access of people and cattle will lead to ecological destruction -- yet there is no research data to support their views.

Fact is mining and logging, farming and livestock grazing on public lands, all serve a purpose.
I'm not going to go into the fact that with population growth there is a bigger demand for food, including of course beef.

I'm not going to go into the argument that we are becoming a nation more and more dependant on other nations to provide us with everything we consume, including our food -- food unregulated and being exposed to carcinogenic in the form of pesticides and fertilizers and drugs that we have outlawed here in the United States.

I'm not going to talk about the hypocrisy of the Federal Government using over-regulation and forced industry practices to put American agricultural producers out of business while supporting foreign producers who get financial aid from the United States.

I'm not even going to talk about how demand for more food, especially meats, drastically increases our need to allow American livestock producers access to Federal lands which are supposed to be open to public use.

Instead of eliminating more areas from our grazing resources, we should be allowing more grazing.

Public range lands provide about 8% of the forage consumed annually by domestic livestock.

Producers need to have access to forage on Federal range land, just as it need private land --and cropland.

And yes, when we look at how the "public lands" are being used, we should make a distinction between beef and dairy cattle grazing, feedlot operations, feeder calves and yearlings, or even sheep and lambs.

No, it's not all beef cattle!

I'm not going to go into depth and talk about the wells that are dug, the seeding, the  fertilization, irrigation, and harvesting are not required always require on range land -- but are done by American ranchers and farmers every year.

And no, I'm not really going to go in the facts regarding how the elimination or large scale livestock grazing on public lands would be a waste of our natural resources which of course could seriously help food prices for consumers both here and abroad.

I want to talk about the effects of livestock grazing on the land.

Where once millions of buffalo roamed open lands, we can be grateful that today there are cattle on that land.

If is a fact that after millions of buffalo were wiped out, cattle replaced them in the ecosystems that they once gave nutrition to. Cattle, and the nutritious fertilizer they leave behind, feeds the land that would otherwise be dead.

Vegetation is the common denominator regarding grazing impacts on range land ecosystems.

Livestock grazing affects vegetation directly by defoliation. The primary indirect effects of grazing on vegetation are the compacting or loosening of the soil profile and reduction of mulch and standing dead material.

Criticism concerning negative impacts of uncontrolled livestock grazing on public lands has generally disregarded the benefits of controlled grazing.

Positive influences of domestic animals on range lands include the following:

1) Loosening of the soil surface during drying periods.

2) Removal of excess vegetation that may negatively affect net carbohydrate fixation and increase water transpiration losses.

3) Incorporating mulch into the soil profile which speeds development of humus.

4) Recycling nutrients in the ecosystem and making some nutrients more available

5) Maintaining optimal leaf area index

6) Trampling seed into the ground increased in the last 60 years. Some of this increase can be attributed to controlled grazing and range improvement projects which have resulted in the landscape supporting many stages of ecosystem development.

7) Reducing excess accumulations of standing dead vegetation and mulch that may chemically and physically inhibit new growth.

8) Inoculating plant parts with saliva, which may stimulate plant regrowth

9) Reducing fire, insect, and rodent problems resulting from vegetation accumulation.

Several studies are available showing that controlled grazing has resulted in vegetation enhancement.

Considerable research is also available showing that lightly or moderately grazed plants are more productive than those left ungrazed.

These studies suggest that elimination of grazing on federal lands would be wasteful and detrimental to the vegetation resource.

Livestock grazing impact on big game animals depends primarily upon the degree of overlap in diets between a given big game species and domestic herbivores. Moderate or light livestock grazing on range lands has usually resulted in little competition with big game animals.

10) Livestock can be used as a tool to manipulate vegetation for big game animals. It was even reported that spring grazing of sheep on deer winter range was effective in providing more browse by retarding competition from herbaceous growth.

Another report states that light cattle grazing actually improved the palatability of forage for elk on winter ranges. Moderate cattle grazing in British Columbia made spring forage more attractive to deer by removing mature forage.

11) Yes, yes their are positive watershed effects.

Controlled livestock grazing has resulted -- not in watershed destruction -- but to increased water quantity.

Fact is, finding show that moderate cattle grazing used in a rotation grazing system results in improved watershed mulch and vegetation cover -- and there was no difference in surface erosion between properly grazed and ungrazed areas.

Over the years, studies have also shown that controlled grazing resulted in watershed improvement rather than deterioration.

12) While some ground nesting birds may be affected by over-grazing, as it is well known that some gamebirds are intolerant of heavy grazing during the nesting season, many of these same birds are dependent on shrubs and annual grasses and other forbs associated with early sequential stages for food.

Because we know this to be true, controlled grazing has considerable value as a tool to provide a variety of habitats in different back-to-back stages.

And yes, it is believed that moderate grazing could be beneficial to scaled quail by providing more food choices of grasses, forbs and shrubs than on lands which has not been grazed.

In fact, in Texas the endangered Attwater prairie chicken concentrated on grazed pastures
and avoided ungrazed pastures.

It was reported that livestock grazing maintains the structural characteristics of grasslands needed by the Attwater prairie chicken for escape, nesting and feeding.

Study after study show that findings were consistent with other investigators: who reported prairie chickens avoided thick, matted, ungrazed cover.

Evidence is available that moderate grazing of prairie potholes provides more suitable habitat for nesting ducks.

At the Ladd Marsh and Summer Lake waterfowl management areas in Oregon, livestock grazing is being used to control vegetation and provide a mixture of plant communities needed by waterfowl.

In recent years, studies have been conducted investigating livestock influences on coliform bacteria numbers in water derived from range lands.

A study found that cattle grazing had no influence on water coliform counts. Other investigations are available showing livestock grazing did not cause harmful levels of coliform bacteria.

In fact, some levels of coliform matched areas with no livestock grazing at all.

13) Controlled livestock grazing may be an effective tool for increasing water yields from public lands in certain locations. Studies are available showing greater water yields on grazed compared to ungrazed areas.

Data from these investigations showed that light or moderate grazing could be used to increased water yield without damage to soil or vegetation.

Friends, there are two arguments used by those who oppose livestock grazing on public lands.

One argument says that livestock producers are subsidized by "low grazing fees" and that tax payers and other ranchers not using public land subsidize those ranchers using public lands by providing roads, fences, seedings, water systems, and other benefits.

The first argument, that livestock producers are subsidized by low grazing fees, is only partially correct. Grazing fees on public lands are much lower than those on private lands. However, there are problems associated with grazing public land that are often overlooked.

Most of these problems relate to management. On public lands the government agency dictates livestock management rather than the rancher.

Grazing periods and stocking rates are based on the average time of range readiness and forage production rather than on forage availability and nutritive value during individual years.

This often results in poor efficiency in the use of the forage resource.

The rancher on public ranges has little flexibility in the type and class of animal that he may graze on a given range.

The second argument has to do with the impact of controlled livestock grazing on wildlife.

The response of wildlife to livestock grazing has varied with the species in question and how
the grazing was conducted.

Most ranchers in the Northwest and some ranchers in the Southwest share the same wildlife species when carefully controlled. Overall, big game numbers on public lands have substantially risen.

As for "Low Grazing Fees," there are no such thing!

Federal "Grazing Fees" have consistently risen over the years constantly putting pressure on ranchers to come up with feed that they simply cannot pay -- subsequently putting many ranchers in the West who depend on pubic land to simply go out of business.

And as for taxpayers supposedly subsidizing livestock producers, ranches are paying through the nose.

Range improvement projects such as fences, water developments such as canals and wells, roads, trails and other improvements on public lands more than not come right out of the rancher’s pocketbook.

Range reseeding projects, in many cases, involve monetary and labor are expenditures ranchers are picking up -- no government agencies.

These improvements all indirectly increase the price of an animal to the rancher using public land.

Improvements such as water development often enhance wildlife habitat and sometimes aesthetic values of the area.

In many areas of the West, local ranchers are highly dependent on public range land in order to stay in business, because government agencies own practically all the land except for the
rancher’s base property.

This is particularly true in the states of Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, where over 50% of the land is in public ownership.

It must be noted that the forage which is primarily produced on public lands in the Western United States is high in cellulosic material that cannot be used directly by humans -- but it can be used by livestock such as cattle, sheep, and goats.

Livestock grazing controlled by the use of scientific principles is compatible with other public lands resources, such as water and wildlife, and may be used for the enhancement of these resources.

We should be promoting the use of public lands by ranchers instead of putting them out of business through the closing of more and more public lands to livestock.

Instead of eliminating livestock grazing from these lands, we should be paying ranchers and farmers for working with lands that most would find inhospitable at best.

Lastly, many local economies in the West would be severely damaged if grazing was terminated on public lands.

Fact is, just like mining and logging on public lands, ranchers and farmers generate many jobs and needed incomes by way of their activities in other segments of society.

And yes, they contribute a way of life and a type of person that is important to our American culture. 

That person is the American Cattleman and the American Farmer who works a sometimes thankless job all to furnish Americans with the basics that sustain life -- our food.

They should be applauded for being stewards of the land, and not hindered in their hard work by over-regulations and politicians interested in power and increasing their wealth.

That's just how I see it.

Tom Correa