Windows on the World of Raymond Plank
Founder, Apache Corp

Vol. 2014 No. 3

UPDATE May 15-July 15, 2014

Priorities, Suggestions and a Little Political World Sarcasm



Apologies for lengthy topic and many thanks for encouragement from around the globe - made smaller by communication’s leaps forward. 


May 15th dates the Entrepreneur of the year award of the Houston Technology Center, an event which raised $400,000 and am pleased with its leader Walter Ulrich, a good guy, doing good work.  Deborah Koehler will refer you to a letter Walter wrote, the primary benefit to yours truly was seeing, and in many instances, embracing great friends over the years.   /home-1/windows-on-the-world/vol-2/ulrich, walter 2014

Following same Deborah Koehler and I flew to Germany and Austria where curiosity and life-time quest for knowledge aroused our interest in two ways:


We visited a site where rain and air proof hay bails which festooned nearly a hundred miles of hay fields, with hay to be largely fed to horses in Vienna area where horses abound.  Questions for Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a project of Yale funds on deposit are producing Stewardship research, are next. 


Does the hay bail approach have a Wyoming and U.S. potential beyond snazzy nags?


We saw the bails and know that leafy spurge, is a noxious weed taking time and effort diverted from the Wyoming Ranchers’ endeavors to earn a living – a primary objective of the Raymond Plank Creative Center, headquartered in the center of the Park at Ucross, and exported to working ranchers, whose fingernails carry dirt to be rewashed prior to evening meals?  Preliminary findings are not encouraging, but Yalies will pursue just in case.


We plan to carry knowledge to two or three ranchers hoping to increase ranch earnings and staying power, to lift ranch earnings results in practice, versus lectures.  There has been some confusion as to where donors want their funds to go, and here’s a method of separating funds between the functions of the Ucross Foundation and those of Land and Water Stewardship.  The donor can send a check in the amount of $100.00 payable to WCF-Stewardship Program which means 100% support of our new Stewardship initiative.  If some kind soul wants to endorse the program with a $25.00 donation or above $100, that is fine as well.


Checks can be made payable to Wyoming Community Foundation Special Projects - Stewardship Program.


All checks received will be recorded and then sent to the Wyoming Community Foundation. No credit cards accepted which protects you from credit card theft (now on the rise).


Since tax opinions are no longer my fortè anyone reading above may wish to check for self on other donation circumstances.


The I.R.S. is not an enemy.   In my specific situation, having filed for a cash refund of taxes, the I.R.S., noting I had not cashed my refund check from tax year 2012, is sending me a replacement check in the tidy amount of $100,000 plus which I intend to donate to Wyoming Community Foundation to augment the working capital in behalf of land and water stewardship and research.


Back to the European track, Deborah Koehler, and I learned that the largest source of European power is hydro from the rivers.  At my house in Wyoming, water flows from Piney Creek (ten feet from my bedroom and is indeed a creek) while during meltdown of seasonal snow or heavy rain, it’s a fast moving river discolored by the erosion of topsoil, which I check by looking out the window daily.  Deepening ravines, are scarcely a boom to working ranchers or farmers, but then water flow might as well be converted to electricity.  Hopefully, existing technology may serve power generation.


Yale’s team on site at the Raymond Plank Creative Center, a remarkable aggregation of brainpower and training are bird-dogging that item arising from Germany and Austria roadside travel.


A brilliant Harvard-educated young lady, Meghan O’Sullivan, wrote a book entitled “Shrewd Sanctions” a possible tool in bringing naughty foreigners to heal.  Since William Hogan, the R.P. Professor of Global Energy Policy attested to her significant attributes, and receives Windows on the World, perhaps he’d put the following before her. 


While “sanctions” may be a tool, is it really a good tool, not a useful tool, which it is in negotiations, and what does “shrewd” convey?  Out foxing an enemy, of whom we seem able to accentuate the negative including the displeasure of Germany’s Chancellor Merkel for spying on a strong ally where the shrewd reeling dollar already evident in big-time Euro advance, versus dollar in a spin?  Isn’t 100+ military bases overseas adequate from deliberately understated inflation statistics?  Don’t trade sanctions spell foreign trade restrictions?  


Perhaps in my naiveté, where other than in America, does the present economic burden hit hardest?  Food stamps having been replaced by the debit card bypass the stigma.  “Inflation is paying more for getting less.”  Is that what we ought to be doing?  For the poor, we have provided extension of unemployment benefits etc… while middle class and small businesses, already buggered by trying to comply and exist, are being smothered with added regulations. 


For the wealthy, “water torture harassment,” while politicians in too many instances and agencies appear to thrive on self-serving malice toward all.


Fortunately well-educated youth, in my narrow exposure come on strong, elevating the “big picture,” motivated to make a difference.  May they prevail.



July 16, 2014