Legislation

Drones and Wildfires - Benefits and Risks

4x4 Wire - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:25

As the California wildfires grow with devastating impacts on human life, property, and business, the potential unmanned aircraft system (UAS or drone) benefits and risks for firefighting (re)emerge. UAS stakeholders, including firefighters, are realizing the potential life-saving and fire response applications of UAS. Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local emergency services remain on high alert for UAS that pose a risk to emergency responses.

Categories: Legislation

2m Hamming Off-Road

4x4 Wire - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 11:27

You recently got your ham ticket and are eager to experience ham radio while four wheeling.

Installing a mobile 2 meter/440 radio

You’re ready to make the leap to a mobile radio. Great! Even though this is your first rig, installing isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Of course, if you’re not comfortable buying the parts or doing the work, find a handy helper. Ask your Elmer or contact a local ham radio club.

This is not a step-by-step review. I just want to provide you on overview of the process and encourage you to do it yourself. Radio use and access is very personal. I want you to be happy and comfortable with your radio installation.

Categories: Legislation

Convenience of a 4-Door Model in a 2-Door Vehicle

4x4 Wire - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 19:50
Every once in a while a new product comes along that is a real game-changer for the 4WD community. It may not be flashy, but the product fills a void. Such is the case with the hinged side windows in the new hardtop for my Jeep Wrangler. What’s just as amazing is the story behind this tremendous find.

I was working on the Jeep one afternoon when this couple walks by. I know them vaguely, haven spoken a few times over the years. Jerry Mancini and his wife live about a block from me.  Jerry owns Rally Tops, www.rallytops.com, located in nearby Gardena, Calif. They make hardtops for a variety of off-road vehicles, as well as tonneaus and bed covers for pickups.

Categories: Legislation

Restore the Antiquities Act’s Noble Vision

MuirNet - Wed, 10/11/2017 - 15:16
House Committee on Natural Resources

By: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources
October 11, 2017

In a Tuesday op-ed, I explained the constitutional threat posed by the Antiquities Act, and why its repeated abuse is inconsistent with the constitutional pillars of the rule of law and checks and balances. As it turns out, there's a reason the Founders chose these principles as the basis of our government: arbitrary rule has no incentive to be accountable to the people that policies affect. Without that accountability, political and ideological manipulation corrodes the balance of power.  

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Categories: Legislation

Antiquities Act is a Menace to Constitutional Government

MuirNet - Tue, 10/10/2017 - 10:59
House Committee on Natural Resources

By: Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Chairman, House Committee on Natural Resources

You heard it in your high school civics class: America has "a government of laws and not of men." The rule of law is the basis of the constitutional order erected by the Founders. "A government with unpredictable and arbitrary laws poisons the blessings of liberty itself." The first axiom is from John Adams, the second is from James Madison. Their sentiments were universal in the founding generation and ought to continue today. Checks and balances have no teeth when our leaders can disregard the laws and rule according to their whims.  

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Categories: Legislation

FWS Report Underscores Importance of Public Lands

MuirNet - Fri, 09/22/2017 - 11:25
New 5-Year Report Shows 101.6 Million Americans Participated in Hunting, Fishing & Wildlife Activities - U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Survey Preliminary Findings Show Importance of Increasing Access to Public Lands

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Interior announced a new report by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that shows that 101.6 million Americans—40 percent of the U.S. population 16 years old and older—participated in wildlife-related activities in 2016, such as hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching.

The survey illustrates gains in wildlife watching—particularly around the home—and fishing, with moderate declines in the number of hunters nationally. The findings reflect a continued interest in engaging in the outdoors. These activities are drivers behind an economic powerhouse, where participants spent $156 billion—the most in the last 25 years, adjusted for inflation.

“This report absolutely underscores the need to increase public access to public lands across the United States,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke. “Hunting and fishing are a part of the American heritage. As a kid who grew up hunting and fishing on public lands who later took my own kids out on the same land, I know how important it is to expand access for future generations. Many folks east of the Mississippi River rely on friends with large acreages or pay high rates for hunting and fishing clubs. This makes access to wildlife refuges and other public lands more important.”

On his first day in office, Secretary Zinke reversed an order that would have banned lead ammo and fishing tackle on National Wildlife Refuge lands, and he began the process of expanding hunting and fishing opportunities on public lands across the Department.

In August, the Secretary announced a proposal to expand hunting and fishing opportunities at 10 national wildlife refuges, and he announced the initial stages of a plan to acquire land to make the Bureau of Land Management Sabinoso Wilderness Area accessible for the first time ever to hunters, hikers and wildlife watchers.

In addition, Secretary Zinke recently made recommendations to President Trump on 27 national monuments that call for changes to some that, while still protecting the land, would also protect and expand public access to that land for citizens who want to hunt, fish and hike and experience the joy and beauty of these special places.

The survey, the 13th in a series conducted nearly every five years since 1955, shows that the most substantial increases in participation involve wildlife-watching—observing, feeding and photographing wildlife. The report indicates these activities surged 20 percent from 2011 to 2016, from 71.8 million to 86 million participants during that time. Expenditures by wildlife watchers also rose sharply—28 percent—between 2011 and 2016, from $59.1 billion to $75.9 billion. Around-the-home wildlife-watching increased 18 percent from 2011, from 68.6 million in 2011 to 81.1 million participants in 2016. More modest gains were made for away-from-home wildlife watchers: 5 percent increase from 2011 to 2016, from 22.5 million to 23 million participants.

More Americans also went fishing. The report indicates an 8 percent increase in angling participation since 2011, from 33.1 million anglers to 35.8 million in 2016. The greatest increases in participation—10 percent—were seen in the Great Lakes area. Total expenditures by anglers nationwide rose 2 percent from 2011 to 2016, from $45 billion to $46.1 billion.

Hunting participation dropped by about 2 million participants but still remained strong at 11.5 million hunters. Total expenditures by hunters declined 29 percent from 2011 to 2016, from $36.3 billion to $25.6 billion. However, expenditures for related items such as taxidermy and camping equipment experienced a 27-percent uptick, and hunting trip-related expenses increased 15 percent.?

Regarding the decrease in participation in hunting, Zinke said: “Hunters and anglers are at the backbone of American conservation, so the more sportsmen and women we have, the better off our wildlife will be. Some of our wildlife refuges have great mentored hunting programs. I'd like to see these programs replicated and expanded across the country and reach into areas where kids don't traditionally get the opportunity to hunt, fish and? ?connect with wildlife. Some of my best family time growing up and raising my own kids was hunting an elk, enjoying a pheasant, or reeling in a rainbow. These are the memories and traditions I want to share with future generations.”

“No one does more for our wildlife and or wild places than hunters. Any decline in hunting numbers, real or perceived, is of great concern since hunting provides the lion’s share of funding for nationwide conservation work thanks to excise taxes on firearms, ammunition and archery equipment that garner more than $1.6 annually,” said David Allen, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation president and CEO. “The RMEF remains committed to growing and ensuring the future of our hunting heritage as well as elk, other wildlife and their habitat.”

This year’s survey also gathered two new categories of data: archery and target shooting. Findings show there are more than 32 million target shooters using firearms and 12.4 million people engaged in archery, not including hunting.

“Hunters and anglers form the foundation of wildlife conservation in the United States, consistently generating more funding for habitat and wildlife management than any other source,” said U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “Industry, federal and state fish and wildlife agency initiatives that focus on hunter and angler recruitment, retention and reactivation are crucial to sustaining these conservation dollars and ensuring the next generation of wildlife enthusiasts have the opportunity, access and awareness to pursue these time-honored American traditions.”

“I praise Secretary Zinke for his support of hunting and land access. The hunting and shooting sports community is grateful for an administration that recognizes the economic, recreational and traditional values of hunting and target shooting," said John Frampton, President and CEO of the Council to Advance Hunting and the Shooting Sports. "Although the numbers of hunters have declined, we are optimistic they will rebound as a result of Secretary Zinke's leadership, state wildlife agencies, non-government organizations and industries working together. Hunting in this country is not only part of our national heritage, it is an important to our country’s economy, as indicated by the expenditures in the survey.”

As a partnership effort with states and national conservation organizations, the survey has become one of the most important sources of information on fish and wildlife recreation in the United States. Federal, state and private organizations use this detailed information to manage wildlife, market products, and look for trends. Conducted by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, the survey is based on a 22,416-household sample surveyed through computer-assisted telephone and in-person interviews. 

For more information about the survey and to view the preliminary report, please visit https://wsfrprograms.fws.gov/Subpages/NationalSurvey/National_Survey.htm

Categories: Legislation

Bees are Critically Important to Humans, So Construct a Garden they Will Love

MuirNet - Wed, 09/20/2017 - 16:42
(Photo via Pixabay)

Honey bees are the greatest pollinators that farmers have, according to The Nature Conservancy. Unfortunately, bee colonies have been rapidly disappearing, and humans should know that they can do their part to create a bee haven in their own yard. There are many reasons – most of them largely speculative – as to why bee colonies are being abandoned by their inhabitants. But methods for preserving the bee population are proven. If certain measures are taken in gardening practices, we can help ensure that bees continue the pollination process so critical to man’s food supply.

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Categories: Legislation

EPA’s Top Tips for Breathing Easier in Hot, Smoky Conditions

MuirNet - Thu, 09/07/2017 - 14:33

Seattle (September 7, 2017) - Doctors and researchers agree: the biggest health threat posed by breathing smoke is from the fine particles, which can lodge deep in your lungs, making it difficult or impossible for your lungs to expel them naturally over time. These microscopic particles - 2.5 microns or smaller - can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose, persistent coughing and can aggravate illnesses like asthma and bronchitis.

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Categories: Legislation

Try a Star Tour for a change of scenery

4x4 Wire - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 14:57

A recent astronomical event caused major excitement throughout the North American continent as a rare total eclipse of the moon was visible.  Those lucky enough to be within the direct of the path were treated to an unforgettable sight. For those not in the direct path, the next best thing was a trip to a local observatory to gaze upon the heavens in wonder.

Okay, being in a southern California location was not the optimal point to view the eclipse. However, there is a well-known bed and breakfast in Julian that caters to amateur astronomers and provides a means to view heavenly bodies. And, it was time for me to re-acquaint myself with the spectacular stars.

Categories: Legislation

30 Years of Nitrogen Fertilization in Spruce-Fir Forest

MuirNet - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 10:20
High-elevation species still struggling

Rocks and sediments bind up almost 98 percent of all nitrogen. The remaining 2 percent is in motion, part of a global chemical cycle that includes humans, bacteria, plants, and the atmosphere.

“Plants need nitrogen to grow,” says U.S. Forest Service research ecologist Steve McNulty. “However, excess nitrogen can harm plants.”

Nitrogen and sulfur can combine with oxygen to form nitrogen or sulfur oxides. These compounds become part of the atmosphere, where they react with water vapor and other elements. Eventually, the nitrogen and sulfur – now in the form of nitric and sulfuric acid – fall to the ground with the rain drops.

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Categories: Legislation

Yamaha Announces All-New Wolverine X4

4x4 Wire - Wed, 09/06/2017 - 09:42
Most Capable, Comfortable and Confidence-Inspiring Four-Seat Recreational Side-by-Side

KENNESAW, Ga. – September 6, 2017 – Yamaha Motor Corp., USA , introduces the all-new four-passenger Wolverine X4™ Side-by-Side (SxS) vehicle, providing superior Capability, Comfort and Confidence to deliver performance that is truly Proven Off-Road.

The all-new Wolverine X4 delivers superior handling, especially on tight, technical trails, combined with legendary Real World Tough Yamaha durability and reliability.  Smooth, quiet power comes from an all-new 847-cc twin cylinder engine while a compact, nimble chassis cradles the most versatile cab in its class with industry-exclusive stow-away full-size rear seats for expanded cargo capacity on demand.

Categories: Legislation

Public invited to release of California Condors

MuirNet - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 11:16
California CondorPublic invited to release of California Condors on Saturday, Sept. 30, at Vermilion Cliffs National Monument  

VERMILION CLIFFS, Ariz. – California Condors will be released to the wild in Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in northern Arizona at 11 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 30. The public is welcome to observe the release from a viewing area where spotting scopes will be set up and project personnel will be available to answer questions.  

The release coincides with National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America’s public lands. National Public Lands Day involves the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and other federal agencies, along with state and local governments and private groups.  

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Categories: Legislation

Volunteer for National Public Lands Day

MuirNet - Wed, 08/30/2017 - 12:40
Volunteers cleaning up

National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands. Held every year on the last Saturday of September, National Public Lands Day brings together hundreds of thousands of individual, student and organizational volunteers to help maintain and restore America’s treasured places.

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Categories: Legislation

Easy rear light

4x4 Wire - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 15:10

On a plane bound for somewhere as August draws to a close…. That “somewhere” is Sacramento for the quarterly Board of Directors meeting of the California Four Wheel Drive Association.  My hiatus from air travel is over.  While I enjoy road trips and scenic sights, time is becoming a pressing factor.

With summer drawing to a close and surgery to fix a ruptured disk in my neck and fuse vertebrae healing nicely, time to turn attention to projects left dormant.

I did complete wiring of a rear light on my Jeep; just an added cosmetic touch.  I love Cabela’s backroom deals.  The latest find was an open box backup light for an ATV.  Just the size to bolt onto my Garvin Industries Wilderness Rack.  The price was right and all parts were in the ripped box.

Categories: Legislation

Axle Shaft for Nissan Xterra and Frontier Models Available

4x4 Wire - Tue, 08/29/2017 - 12:26
Rugged Rocks Produces Titan Swap Axle Shaft for Nissan Xterra and Frontier Models

Fontana, Calif. – Rugged Rocks has developed an axle shaft for Nissan Xterra and Nissan Frontier model years 2005 to 2017 with Titan Swap suspension and a stock R180 front differential.

Categories: Legislation

QUIT LETTING OUR FEDERAL RESOURCES BURN!

4x4 Wire - Sat, 08/26/2017 - 14:55

"HOPE" IS NOT A METHOD FOR FIGHTING WILD FIRES!

Let's tell our federal land managers and politicians to stop "letting it burn!"

Wildfires continue to destroy our heritage and natural resources in the West, while in many cases aggressive fire suppression has been lacking on federal lands. We recently heard the term "minimal impact fire suppression" -- meaning really that they intend to stand back mostly and watch it burn.

Categories: Legislation

Mr. Gasket Releases Assortment of Handy Tools and Shop Supplies

4x4 Wire - Wed, 08/23/2017 - 12:10

Holley/MSD is pleased to announce the release of a handy assortment of shop tools and supplies, including an Air Filter Cleaner and Oil Kit, a Non-Marring Gasket Scraper, and Ratchet Tie Downs and Axle Straps.

RATCHET TIE DOWNS AXLE STRAPS

Mr. Gasket Straps, Tie-Down Straps, and Tie-Down Kits are a secure and convenient way to attach any vehicle to a trailer and are ideal for race cars, show cars, UTVs, and pit carts alike. The ratchet straps include zinc-plated steel ratchet assemblies with extra-strong black webbing and spring-loaded retaining hook clasps. The axle straps also feature heavy-duty zinc plated steel hardware and extra-strong black webbing with a red protective cover to prevent damage to the webbing. The tie-down kits include a pair of ratchet straps and a pair axle straps.

Categories: Legislation

Endangered California condors roosting in western Sierras for first time in nearly 40 years

MuirNet - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 15:09

BLUE RIDGE NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE, Calif. – For the first time in nearly forty years endangered California condors are roosting at Blue Ridge National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) in Tulare County, California.

“Blue Ridge was created specifically for California condors, and to see them roosting there once again is a historic moment for us. As we grow the California condor population, their distribution continues to expand into their former range, which includes the Sierra foothills,” said Joseph Brandt, supervisory wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s (Service) Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex (NWRC) in Ventura, California.

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Categories: Legislation

Hot Shot’s Secret Introduces Two-Step Fuel Additive Treatment Plan

4x4 Wire - Wed, 08/09/2017 - 11:07

Developed to Improve Fuel Mileage and Engine Performance for All Diesel Vehicles

Mt. Gilead, OH, (August 9, 2017)…Lubrication Specialties Inc., manufacturer of  Hot Shot’s Secret fuel and oil additives, announces a new two-step fuel additive treatment plan developed to work with all diesel engines, light, medium and heavy-duty, for both import and domestic vehicles.

Hot Shot’s Secret Diesel Extreme, is formulated as a top-tier lubricity additive, moisture dispersant and fuel stabilizer that restores power and performance to all diesel engines; especially engines with long-term or extreme use. Diesel Extreme is used first in the two-step treatment plan as prescribed with a treatment ratio of four ounces to every 10 gallons every six months, or 6,000 miles. Diesel Extreme cleans the fuel tank, fuel lines and injectors.

Categories: Legislation

MYCHANIC LED Blade MultiLight

4x4 Wire - Wed, 08/02/2017 - 11:30

Have you ever grabbed your trusty flashlight needing just a little more light in the dark shadows of the engine bay?  And, then realized the dim glow from the build means the batteries are failing.  There you stand, needing more light and no fresh batteries.

Well, for that reason, I am always on the lookout for lights; especially lights that are LED and rechargeable. 

The folks at MYCHANIC are offering an intriguing LED light, the Blade MultiLight.  At 250 Lumens, this compact rechargeable LED light does provide plenty of light to brighten the dark recesses of the engine bay.

Categories: Legislation

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