When you buy Nikes, you get more than shoes. You become part of the wise-use movement, or perhaps of your local militia, judging by a Nike ad printed in the November Outside and elsewhere. The ad leads with:
set by dictators. Created to regulate cattle grazing and employ
tollbooth attendants. With no regard for mankind's unalienable
rights; among those, to treat the world as it was intended."
If you don't kowtow to dictators and tollbooth
attendants, you might want to show that by visiting Nike's
headquarters outside Portland, Ore., and treading across the desk
of Nike's president. We're sure he'd want you to. Don't let some
officious security guard/tollbooth attendant type stop you. Your
Nikes are made for boundary-free walking. You have as many rights
as cattle, except maybe in the West. So JUST DO
If you are not near Portland, you can call
Nike at 800/344-6453 or write One Bowerman Drive, DF-1, Beaverton,
The "just do it" chant has spread to
MTV. A few months ago, an MTV production company convinced the
Bureau of Land Management to let 350 people use land in southern
Utah for its Eco-Challenge run, paddle, ride. In return, MTV
promised to promote light use of the
Instead, the resulting program contains
heavy-footed stomping of cryptobiotic soils, according to the Oct.
5 Salt Lake Tribune. Rubbing sweat in the wound, the show mocks the
requirement that contestants carry their bodily wastes out of the
BLM district manager Kate Kitchell, who
approved the Eco-Challenge, was not amused and may not return MTV's
$80,000 performance bond. MTV's Brian Terkelsen says Kitchell
doesn't understand show biz or how easy it is to insult the IQs of
"I have to market this to an MTV
audience, and I am not willing to insult their intelligence with a
plebeian explanation of eco doo-doo."
don't understand show biz are local business people, whom MTV has
stiffed for over $100,000. The leading stiffee is a helicopter firm
Only the Southern Utah Wilderness
Alliance understands show biz. They fought the Eco-Challenge, and
caught a lot of doo-doo for their pains, including a castigating
editorial in the Salt Lake Tribune.
on the deep congressional cuts in the Bureau of Indian Affairs
budget, the Navajo-Hopi Observer speculates that travelers may one
day encounter toll attendants (how did Nike know?) on the vast
Navajo Reservation. Reporter Mark Michaels predicts the following
reaction from tourists:
"Pay a toll? Why, I
already support these people though my taxes. Now they're saying
I've got to pay just to drive through their crummy reservation.
That's ... that's ... unAmerican."
also be puzzled by the names of Indian toll
"What kind of name is Begay, anyway?
Is that Russian or something?"
Finally, at their
"I don't know about these
darned Indians. If they don't like the way we do things in this
country, why don't they just go back where they came from?"
How to combat wise-users? Just import French
touristes. They're tough.
At least they were to
Janni Loubser, perched on a rock panel in southern Utah's Capitol
Reef National Park. The restorationist was covering bullet holes
and "flying saucers from Uranus' so the panel's Fremont culture
petroglyphs wouldn't be lost in a welter of faux
But the French, pouring off le tour
bus, thought Loubser was a vandal, and two headed straight for him,
reports the Salt Lake Tribune. Loubser said, "I thought they were
going to pull me off" the rock, but then they realized what he was
doing, and desisted.
It was once fun picking on
Denver/Kansas International Airport. Now things are getting
serious. The all-weather, $5 billion, state-of-the-art facility was
paralyzed Oct. 22 by a snowstorm - minor by high-plains standards -
that snarled auto traffic and interfered with takeoffs and
landings. Deaths were narrowly averted by a pilot who aborted a
landing because a maintenance truck was on the runway. DIA said the
driver of the truck "was in lots of hot water." Also in trouble is
the airport's radar system; it can't track airborne and landborne
vehicles at the same time.
DIA had barely stopped
explaining its bad snow day when Halloween fog forced 38 planes to
divert to Colorado Springs. Air travel, it turns out, is a system:
DIA has advanced radar, but many planes don't. Out at DIA, the
computer age meets can-you-see-the-runway-yet
Travelers who had read about the
state-of-the-art stuff were stunned. Marti Moore, a DIA strandee,
told the Denver Post: "We heard a lot about the technology. We
thought you'd have a fog blower here or something."
No fog blower, except with regard to media hype,
but the airport is going to have more plows for its roads, erect
snow fences, and be a little tougher about when its trucks travel
on active runways.
In Post Falls, Idaho,
rancher Kevin McGrath's 40 or so cows have been giving his
suburbanizing neighborhood a lesson in the West. Charlene Beamer
told the Spokane Spokesman-Review, "They poop on the lawn. They eat
vegetables in the garden. Some charge you when you try to herd them
... It's my land, but I can't touch them. How Western is that?"
Very, very Western. Cows, it turns out, carry
their property rights with them. Idaho law requires people to fence
out cows. Ranchers are under no legal obligation to control their
McGrath, an easy-going computer
programmer-rancher working out of his electronic bunkhouse, has
been too busy digitally, he says, to put on his chaps and round up
There's one cow he won't have to bother
getting: it is rotting in a neighbor's yard, the apparent victim of
an illegal herding technique.
Ariz., Mark Muro writes to point out an irony: Three scientists
shared the Nobel Prize for explaining the dynamics of ozone and the
ozone hole only a few months after the Arizona legislature passed a
law legalizing the production of Freon. That made Arizona the first
state (or nation) to flout the international ban on use of
Heard Around the West
invites readers to get involved in the column. Send any tidbits
that merit sharing - small-town newspaper clips, personal
anecdotes, relevant bumpersticker slogans. The definition remains
loose. Heard, HCN, Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428 or