thoughts on nature, technology and everything

The Role of Militias in the Public Lands Debate   

From the new report by the Center for Western PrioritiesGoing to Extremes: The anti-government extremism behind the growing movement to seize America’s public lands:

Our nation’s management of parks and network of public lands are one of our finest democratic achievements. Americans see public lands as one of the things our government does best. But over the last three years politicians and special interest groups in 11 Western states have tried to seize many of these places and turn them over to state control.


The elected officials supporting state seizure of public lands couch their arguments carefully, using innocuous rhetoric to claim that their only goal is better land management. But in reality, these politicians are following directly in the ideological footsteps of Cliven Bundy, the scofflaw rancher who owes more than $1 million in grazing fees to American taxpayers and doesn’t recognize the U.S. government as “even existing.”


In this report, the Center for Western Priorities examines the extremist origins and foundations of the movement to seize American lands, many of which have not been brought to light before. We describe how public lands issues attract extremists, including members of organizations like the Oath Keepers and the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. We also show that the underpinnings of the movement are well outside mainstream conservative or federalist thought.

Discover Agua Fria National Monument   

Great intro to Agua Fria National Monument by BLM Arizona.

Coal Valley Overnighter

Some pics from an overnighter to Coal Valley in the new Basin and Range National Monument. Coal Valley is in Central Nevada, north of Alamo, between the Seaman and Golden Gate ranges. 

Basin and Range Map

Our goal for the day is this formation on the north side of the valley. Home to...

Trout Rock in Coal Valley

...this natural arch. The hole looks unnaturally round, don't you think?

Natural Arch in Coal Valley

At a higher elevation than Vegas and monsoon weather blowing up just to the south the evening sky was dramatic, the evening cool and breezy. Critters were heard all evening scrambling around our area, just out of lamplight range. A nice relaxing quick getaway. 

Coal Valley Campsite

If you want to learn more about this area Jim Boone has this area covered on his Bird and Hike website.  

Civilizations Change

I love videos like this. Not sure how accurate it is, and can't read the labels, but captions provide english tags for many major empires. The music is Rada by Thomas Bergersen. Great to have playing while doing things like driving or brushing your teeth.

Basin and Range National Monument is a thing   

President Obama did what everyone thought he would do and invoke the Antiquities Act to create 3 new National Monuments, including Basin and Range. Some people are happy.

I applaud President Obama for preserving the beauty of the Nevada desert for generations to come.

— Senator Harry Reid (@SenatorReid) July 10, 2015

Some people...less so.