Smarter after a few beers
A friend of mine (Richard Hawk) wrote the following. Thought you might want to run it.
Somewhere in my 60’s, I passed the divide from being an “older guy” to being an “old guy.” I have the t-shirts from my family, friends and ex-wives to mark the passage.
“Old guys rock.”
“Wine gets better with age; I get better with wine.”
“Old guys rule.”
“There are three ages of man: youth, middle age, and you look good.”
Inside every 70 year old is a 35 year old wondering what happened.
I’d give up wearing my “Old guy” t-shirts if I had any other shirts that could stretch over my beer gut. Which reminds me of the “Buffalo Theory.”
Cliff of Cheers fame is explaining the “Buffalo Theory” to his buddy, Norm.
“Well, ya see, Norm, it’s like this … A herd of buffalo can only move as fast as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it is the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing off of the weakest members.
In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But, naturally it attacks the slowest and weakest cells first. In this way, regular consumption of beer and wine eliminates the weakest brain cells, making the brain a faster more efficient machine.
That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.”
Styrofoam cups and broken stakes
The view as you drive into June Lake, one of the most beautiful little towns in the country, could use some help. There’s a speed-limit sign, a keep-your-dogs-on-a-leash sign (it was broken and laid on the ground much of the summer), a ho-hum state population-and-altitude sign and a collection of snow stakes, one of them broken and topped with a styrofoam cup. All of this clutters the spectacular view of balancing rocks and behind them, Carson Peak.
I’ve often seen visitors trying to take a picture of themselves in front of the rocks and June Lake sign. When I go to a national park, I do the same — we all like to show ourselves in the places we’ve visited. But in June Lake, that means dodging dog-leash signs and snow stakes to get a clear camera angle.
Mammoth’s new entry signs are stunning. Crowley Lake’s entry, with metal animal sculptures in the road median, is charming. The rustic sign in Lee Vining announces the town as the “Gateway to Yosemite.”
Couldn’t June Lake do better than a styrofoam cup on a broken snow stake?
Washington D. C., open our campgrounds!
Could someone please explain to the business people and recreation visitors of Inyo and Mono counties why our Forest Service campgrounds are being closed as of October 3, 2013?
The campgrounds are concessionaire operated and not connected directly to federal government dollars. The operation and repairs of the campgrounds are paid for by recreation camper user dollars.
So everyone understands how the forest service campgrounds run:
1) The campers pay a fee
2) The campground concessionaire collects the fees
3) The forest service receives a percentage of the fee and that percentage goes back into repairs of that campground
4) The concessionaire gets to keep the rest of the fee to pay their employees, to pay bills associated with operating the campground i.e. toilet paper, utilities, County TOT tax, insurance etcetera.
It seems to be a very simple and efficient program. So how is this connected to the Government shutdown?
Recreation visitors are paying for their campgrounds to stay open not Washington D.C.
P. S. I like the Forest Service, not Washington D.C. they are as bad as the Rim fire!
Time to try again?
As you know, Amerigas has taken over Turner. We were Turner customers but now we have received our first bill from Amerigas.
There is sales tax on it. I called and the girl couldn’t imagine a mistake like that being made. I can.
Both Turner and Amerigas made it company policy not to inform their residential customers that they are not liable for sales tax if it’s their primary residence. They will keep on doing this until someone puts an end to it. I tried a couple of years ago. Maybe it’s time someone tried again.
The following comment letter was sent to the USFWS regarding the Designation of Critical Habitat for the Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frog, the Northern Distinct Population Segment of the Mountain Yellow-Legged Frog, and the Yosemite Toad.
Fish aren’t the problem
Dear Sir or Madam:
I am writing to comment on the proposed designation of critical habitat for the Mountain and Sierra Nevada Yellow-Legged Frogs and the Yosemite Toad in large areas of the Sierra Nevada. As a frequent user of and occasional fisherman in the proposed critical habitat, I am concerned about both the process of designating these lands and its underlying necessity. In my opinion, the approach being taken by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is both legally inadequate and fundamentally unfair to those of us who live in the areas surrounding these lands.
The proposed rule makes a convincing case that the yellow-legged frogs do not and cannot co-exist with non-native trout in the same waters. The rule proposes designating millions of acres of the Sierra Nevada as critical and essential habitat for the frogs. Most of that area is presently occupied by trout (and not frogs) and most of it is popular for fishing. Following designation, no federal or state agency could legally justify maintaining a healthy fish population in these areas. See 16 U.S.C 1536(a)(2). Thus, the primary, predictable and inevitable effect of the proposed designation is the elimination of fish from waters designated as critical habitat.
The elimination or reduction of fish in this area would create an immense environmental impact to these waters and to the life and livelihood of all who live and work in this area. Accordingly, a fundamental inquiry of the rulemaking must be the impact of eliminating or curtailing fish in the designated waters. This drastic change to the mountain environment as well as the local economic and social impacts of a designation must be analyzed. Failure to do so would violate the Endangered Species Act mandate to consider the economic and other relevant impacts of a critical habitat decision. See 16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(2).
Regrettably, to this point the USFWS has shown no inclination to do an appropriate analysis. In fact, USFWS spokespersons have stated that the effects of the designation cannot be determined or analyzed until after the designation is complete and management plans are developed by other agencies. These statements defy credulity. The USFWS rulemaking makes it abundantly clear that allowing trout in critical frog habitat is entirely inconsistent with the critical habitat designation. Agency decisions subsequent to a designation will not evaluate the impacts of eliminating trout since they will have no choice but to do so. If the USFWS fails to evaluate the full impacts of the proposed designation, those impacts will escape analysis altogether. This result would be unlawful under both the Endangered Species and the National Environmental Policy Acts.
Such analysis is fundamentally important because any thorough and fair analysis of the need for and impacts of this designation would lead to a significantly scaled back proposal for the following reasons:
There is already an effective State program that enhances frog populations in higher, more remote waters while improving the fishing experience in lower waters. Designating those lower waters as critical habitat would eliminate this balanced approach and dilute the State’s strategy of encouraging frogs in the most prime locations. The USFWS must consider ongoing state efforts to protect a species. 16 U.S.C. 1533(b)(1)(A).
As the State’s approach illustrates, the entirely of the proposed critical habitat is not “essential for the conservation of the species.” 16 U.S.C. 1532(5)(A)(ii).
The largest current threat to the frog is a fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), which is spreading throughout the Sierra and decimating yellow-legged frog populations. Thus, it is not prudent (as defined in 50 C.F.R. 424.12) to designate these large areas as critical habitat because the designation “would not be beneficial to the species.” It is far more prudent to follow the State’s approach of limiting critical frog habitat to select prime lakes and associated terrain where there is a chance to protect and study the frog populations.
The proposed designation, which includes millions of acres not currently occupied by the yellow-legged frogs, comes perilously close to violating 16 USC 1532 which states that (except in special circumstances) “critical habitat shall not include the entire geographical area which can be occupied by the threatened or endangered species.” The proposal designates areas “of similar extent to the historic range [of the frog] and therefore sufficient for the conservation of the species.” 78 F.R. 24523.
The impact to the tourist and fishing industries of eliminating one of the primary attractions to the area, and the impact to the local residents, many of whom live here so that they may recreate in the Sierra, outweigh any potential benefit to yellow-legged frogs.
An accurate and effective analysis, including acknowledgment that the frog does not currently exist in most of the habitat proposed for designation, would demonstrate that the proposed designation is unwise as it would not substantially benefit these species while causing great economic and social harm to the residents of our area. Such an analysis is not only required by statute, but is necessary to provide fairness to the many people who would be adversely affected.