(Captioned Photo) The Federal Government owns a lot of land in the Western United States. Grazing rights, the sheep grazers vs cattlemen and who would do what where on public land evolved into range wars in the late 1800’s following the Civil War/War of Northern Aggression when cattle drives and the expansion of ranching to the Western plains was underway.

And as they always do, things evolve.

I’m not a rancher/grazer, so the benefit, to me, of having open range, BLM Land, or whatever you want to call it is that there are massive tracts of land to explore in the West. Similar land is  locked away by private ownership elsewhere in the nation. Access must be granted. The open land in the West belongs to the public.

I’ve clashed with ‘private tour operators’ in the past who are of the opinion that BLM land is their private domain. I just advise them to “call the sheriff on me.”

Steve McQueen said that, “The middle of nowhere is the best place on Earth.” A lot of city people thought that he was nuts to take off on a motorcycle with nothing but a handgun, a lunch, spare fuel and water.

Growing up as I did, McQueen made perfect sense to me, which is why I’ve ended up in Arizona.

 

Um, yeah…

 

I wouldn’t put them together in a squad

 

The Old Desert – explained

The Sahara, Arabic for ‘desert’, stretches across North Africa.

The Sahara is the world’s largest non-polar desert, over 9,000,000 km² (3,500,000 mi²), which is about the same size as the United States.

Although the Sahara is famous for sand-swept dunes, the majority of the surface is comprised of hamada or rocky plateau. The Sahara’s fabled dune fields cover only about 15% of the entire desert’s surface and lie primarily in the north-central region. In the dune laden sections of Algeria and Libya, the sand thickness varies because dunes can pile up to a height of several hundred meters, but then change as the sand moves.

The desert expanse is dominated by rocky barren stretches with arid hills and valleys.

What many do not realize is the Sahara was once a fertile area that supported thriving human communities. A study of cores revealed that North Africa’s ancient climate underwent swift desertification and a climate shift transforming the region from a humid, subtropical landscape to desert within a matter of years. This occurred around 4200 B.C. It returned to the same desert conditions that dominated the area 13,000 years earlier.

When the climate began to change, the Sahara region became parched and the vegetation died away. With nothing to hold the soil, wind action was able to remove all of the fine sediment until only sand, rocks, and bedrock remained.

Probable Cause (and effect)

The change from the mid-Holocene climate to that of today was initiated by changes in the Earth’s orbit and the tilt of Earth’s axis. Some 9,000 years ago, Earth’s tilt was 24.14 degrees, as compared with the current 23.45 degrees, and perihelion, (the point in the Earth’s orbit that is closest to the Sun), occurred at the end of July, as compared with early January now. At that time, the Northern Hemisphere received more summer sunlight, which amplified the African and Indian summer monsoon.

The changes in Earth’s orbit occurred gradually, whereas the evolution of North Africa’s climate and vegetation were abrupt. German researcher Claussen and his colleagues believe that various feedback mechanisms within Earth’s climate system amplified and modified the effects touched off by the orbital changes. By modeling the impact of climate, oceans, and vegetation both separately and in various combinations, the researchers concluded that oceans played only a minor role in the Sahara’s desertification, and mankind played absolutely NO role.

Factoid

Wadi El Hitan, (Whale Valley), in Egypt contains the fossilized remains of an extinct sub-order of whales. Evidently, the valley was part of a shallow marine basin 40–50 million years ago. The desertification helped both preserve and reveal a tremendous hoard of fossils.

 

Tigers

Some people think that they fear the water…take no comfort from that thought when in tiger country because YOU are not the apex predator on their turf.

20 COMMENTS

  1. A friend picked up a spear point in the Libyan desert. About 3 or 4 inches long,. It had laid flat for a long time. One side was beautifully flaked, and the other nearly worn smooth from thousands of years of sand blowing across it. Very evocative of our short mortal span . He also brought back some Libyan desert glass, a weird yellow-green kryptonite color, reputedly the result of an meteor impact in pre history. IIRC The Egyptians used the stuff for jewelry.

    The current occupation of parts of Seattle is interesting, I don’t really know what to make of it.
    They have to eat somehow… They have a “border”, it would be quite sticky for them if it was enforced in both directions. I don’t think capital hill is much of an agricultural area…

    • Indeed.

      We have a short mortal span. (sic transit gloria mundi) And when you think about it, the shortness of life makes it incumbent on us to make the most of what time we have.

      I met a traveller from an antique land
      Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
      Stand in the desert . . . Near them, on the sand,
      Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
      And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
      Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
      Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
      The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:
      And on the pedestal these words appear:
      ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
      Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
      Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
      Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
      The lone and level sands stretch far away.”
      – -Shelley

      I’d wall them up in Seattle, shut off water, power and deny food for six months.

  2. USFS has devolved into environment fascist, at least in Colorado. They have built gates across old mountain roads that have seen summer use for over a century. No mention of their “enabling legislation” is to be found.

    I might know of people who take tow straps attached to stout 4wd vehicles and test the strength of the gates.

    • It’s important that the gates are properly constructed and are strong. Testing should be something that is applauded. Nobody thinks that the gate should be of shoddy construction.

    • Guess the USFS figure they own the place. Typical mentality of our self-appointed superiors. Coincidentally, I just bought a new 30′ tow/snatch strap with sturdy shackles. The Cummins HD shouldn’t strain too much on “the test”.

      In that vein, when CWD came out moons ago the CDoW lobbied and got 12mil for new gear. Ran into them one early morning with their new gooseneck’s loaded with freshly purchased Grizzly’s (way too clean), and scoped rifles. Later in the day they were patting themselves on the back on “how many kills they got” (on private lands no less). Bubba-hunters…the worst kind. And they’d be the same clowns that’ll fine you for doing what they did for ONE muley and take your rifle and license. Lost respect for them after that. (Oh, CWD was a another ruse for bigger budget and “hunter” oversight, natural immunity would occur in short order, as it did.)

      • The last run-in I had was somewhat different and it was in the Grand Staircase in Southern UT. They had blocked roads into the Grand Staircase and I simply built a bypass by stacking rocks with the other drivers, etc. from three other rigs that were with me. It’s public frigging land.

        • They have lost their way…no surprise as arrogance breeds more power grabbing. The ‘powers that be’ have clearly forgotten they work for us. I say “#DefundUSFS” (Think it’ll fly?)

        • Yes! The Grand Staircase is where I’ve had run-ins with them BLM folks. Did you know there is a 1/2 mile wide ‘buffer zone’ surrounding the whole of the recreation area, now national monument? This creates the condition that if you are within 1/2 mile but not within the monument proper you can still be found in violation of whatever regulation they have for the G-SNM.

          A lot of locals were mightily pissed when that area was given to BLM. They still are pissed.

          • Bureau of Land Management can’t teach much to Black Lives Matter. Same tactics, same scorn for the public.

          • Yeah, that’s confusing. Perhaps someone could suggest a different moniker to the Black Lives Matter in order to reduce confusion. “Dark Lives Matter” has a nice ring to it, and I don’t think DLM has a name clash with any other acronyms.

    • All the departments I’ve dealt with have long been infested with far left denizens (many of whom there only duty seems to be to write grants for more monies and confab for new tighter regulations) When they acquire new lands (through conservancy groups, land trusts, etc) they immediately block roads and foot paths. Never mind that those roads also serve adjacent private lands.

      I personally know of how a +80 year old cabin plus outbuildings (barns, etc) still in use had been burned down because USFG thought they ‘intruded’ into a ‘buffer zone’ surrounding public lands. And the buildings just didn’t ‘belong’ in a pristine habitat, doncha know. The ‘buffer zone’ was an artificial contrivance started in the mind of one person in the department; that is, not part of the conservancy bequest. It gets ‘better’; soon after was built a grand cabin with amazing views to be used as a get-away for senior dept officials AND their families. Thank you taxpayers. No, you cannot use it nor can you even enter onto the lands. This is in the hills of Big Sur south of Julia Pfeiffer.

      On other public lands in that area, myself and other friends have been chased out by dept personnel and threatened with confiscation and arrest. This was in and on Army Fort Hunter-Liggett which does permit hunting. But even while not hunting I have been hassled.

      I’ve said enough but much the same has occurred in N AZ/S UT.

      • I used to be a commercial fisherman on the U.S. west coast. This is an industry which has always been under the threat of increased regulation and even season closures. It became apparent very quickly that most of them in the departments hadn’t a clue about what they were trying to regulate.

        In an effort to expose these dimwites (although rabid, which is the worst combination) a good number of boats offered to take them out for a day of research. At first, the offers were accepted. They found it enjoyable but very much eye opening. But what did occur was the field research showed that the fisheries were not in grave danger as the departments had preached. The lid was clamped down; no dept personnel will accept any offers from non-department stakeholders.

        After a few public hearings it was proved that a few people from the leftist environmental groups were writing policy for the departments. In several instances, fisheries were so tightly regulated that it was an effective closure. Ignorant politicians put their stamp on such things. Multi-generation fisher families were now forced into other industries. This included selling their now near worthless boat and gear.

        One last anecdote: our local fish cop was so aggressive that he was reassigned to another area. A few years later I happened to meet him by chance. I was camping in the high country of Yosemite. While walking out at the end of my trip there he is. He starts in asking where are my firearms, empty your gear (as he searches for contraband) and stuff like that. I told him to get bent and I kept walking. Well, first I said, ‘What’s wong Wang?’ which surprised him because his name was Wang and that’s what we all used to say to him when he would sneak up on our boats.

        I don’t usually hate on a group but those bastards can all jump off a cliff. I don’t even pretend to cooperate with them anymore.

        • The Minister in charge of Climate Change on the Barrier Reefs in Australia had taken over her position, full of vim and vigor to stamp out man-caused damage to The Great Barrier Reef (say it in loud booming voice, of course.)

          So she went out to tour the ‘extensive’ death and damage to TGBR. And talked to the Aborigines, to the local fishermen, to the dive operators, to the college kids and professors.

          Her take? Damage to TGBR was actually minimal and more related to die-off cycles of various corals (just like with many bamboo species, a die-off cycle is when the majority of the members of a species all croak at one time. Many corals have a 200-1000 year cycle. Many bamboos cycle in a 50 to 100 year cycle. Rabbits in the wild in America tend to have a 4-5 year cycle. Same with lemmings, wild mice, and other rodents. Meh, it happens.)

          I think I remember her being removed from her position by the party in power.

          • To quote that great CNN climate expert, Greta Thunberg, “how dare you?” How can you sleep with yourself when you are denying that we need a massive tax to heal the planet by suggesting that the planet doesn’t need healing?

  3. There has been some ‘interesting’ GPR data collected that shows a number of ancient rivers in the Sahara, along with ruins buried in the sand. Flew over part of it, have NO desire to try to survive in that environment. BLM should have an accident with a rusty chain saw… sigh

    • I’ve heard about the ancient rivers. There is still water along those courses underground, but it’s saline (salt water).

  4. Ah, BLM managed lands are for all US citizens to use and enjoy, except when Harry Reid wants to lease out mining rights to Russia.

    Hate them. Hate the way they have destroyed whole family farms, whole towns, whole industries that were sustainable and ecologically sound, just because.

    And then they leave lands ripe for wildfires, for floods, for other natural disasters.

    • They’re very progressive for the most part – and we haven’t even touched the mining issues (yet).

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