Papiroflexia (Spanish for “Origami”) is the animated tale of Fred, a skilful paper folder who could shape the world with his hands.

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Bush’s BLM tries to sidestep Grijalva’s block of uranium mining near the Grand Canyon

The BLM issued a rule-change today in an attempt to sidestep a rarely used provision Raul Grijalva employed to prevent uranium mining near the Grand Canyon.

Bush rule limits Congress on drilling, miningAP :

“I will continue to fight this rule change and all midnight regulations to roll back protections for our environment which are coming down the pike before the new administration is sworn in,” [Grijalva] said.

Deadline to submit comments to BLM on the Final Rule can be submitted until February 2, 2009.  In a bit of potential poetic justice, Grijalva’s the ” top candidate” for Interior – if he gets the nod, he’ll be reading your comments on the rule-change.  And – even if the rule passed, Grijalva may have another chance to halt the mining – same article :

The rule still allows the Interior Secretary to issue emergency withdrawals when mining and other development poses a threat to natural resources.

One would hope that whomever the Secretary may be, these environmental rollbacks will be undone .  One thing’s for sure, there’s one potential Interior Secretary that’s already hard at work.

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Don’t forget the Secretary of Agriculture

USDA has important wildlife, forestry, land and food safety jurisdiction-

Most of our concern has been about the secretary of Interior, but the Secretary of Agriculture is equally important and almost always goes to some minion of industrial ag.

So far the names floated by Obama don’t look good. Originally Obama was considering the industrial apologist, Iowa governor Tom Vilsack for the position, but grassroots opposition (or something) caused him to drop Vilsack.

Now the leading name is Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn).  Peterson, like Vilsack is a promoter of corporate industrial agriculture. He is the head of the House Agriculture Committee. He is a no change candidate.

Personally, I am tired of spending hour after hour shopping trying to determine which products are more or less safe. There was a time when you didn’t have to worry so. That was before food inspections were cut back and dubious ingredients added from suspect places like China (think melamine)

USDA policies turned Iowa from a state with diverse agriculture into one big corn field. Michael Pollan tells how that happened in “Omnivores Dilemma.”

The U.S. Forest Service is in the Dept. of Agriculture as well as rouge agencies like APHIS and Wildlife Services.

Please take the time to share your insights and views about the Secretary of Agriculture at:

Addition: an interesting article on the importance of Dan Froomkin. Washington Post.

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Here are some ideas. Perhaps a visionary like Michael Pollan (Omnivores Dilemma) for a top USDA positions. Here are some other progressive candidates for high-level USDA positions. Jim Riddle, a national organic farmer leader, Texas populist Jim Hightower, Tom Buis from the National Farmers Union, and Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. You can read the profiles of some of these possible USDA appointees here.

Note: I grabbed the above from an alert from the Organic Consumers. RM

Scientist spends days delving into carnivores’ decomposition

The study is for the forensic pathology of wildlife poaching-

Story. Scientist spends days delving into carnivores’ decomposition. By Rob Cheny. Missoulian.

Oddly the hiker that stubbled onto this study site (described the the article) reported it to a regular poster to this blog.

Grijalva gets Hispanic groups’ backing for Interior chief

Article suggests the choice will be Thompson-

Grijalva gets Hispanic groups’ backing for Interior chief. By Tony Davis. Arizona Daily Star.

Thompson would do little for Obama. He’s from the wrong state. Obama needs a Hispanic. Appointment of a secretary for favors the issues of sportsmen groups will not drag many away from bogus issues like “they’re going to take our guns.”

Some livestock groups panic over rumors of a tax on cow’s methane emissions

Hopefully this tax is not just a rumor-

Farmer’s Freak about Potential ‘Cow Tax’ on Cows’ Methane Emission. WWP blog.

Methane is 26 times as potent a greenhouse gas as carbon dioxide and cows belch and fart a tremendous amount of it. Feedlots could capture it, however, and turn it into much less polluting energy — natural gas is methane.

This is one of the good things about taxation. Properly placed taxes encourage good behavior. Because they work through the maketplace, heavy-handed government regulation is not needed. Any revenues raised from taxes set to encourge certain kinds of behavior can be used used to reduce traditional taxes like sales and income tax whose only purpose is to raise revenue.

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More on meat and methane . . .  As More Eat Meat, a Bid to Cut Emissions. New York Times. By ELISABETH ROSENTHAL.

Conservationists make a formal petition for a new Mexican wolf plan

The plan from 1982 has failed. Wolf population is low and stagnant-

The prominent conservation groups are petitioning under the Administration Procedures Act for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to meet it legal obligations to recovery the Mexican wolf (with a new plan).

As David Parsons of the Rewildling Institute has said this has become a put and take wolf program. His group is one of the petitioners.

Here is the news release with a link to the petition.