Aggressive, cat-eating lizards

 

COLORADO

As if the recent local wildfires weren't trouble enough, now Woodland Park, Colo, has to worry about a "strong, aggressive" 6-foot monitor lizard that might find itself tempted to dine on cats and dogs. The "pet," known as Dino, snapped its mesh leash and wandered off in the tourist town northwest of Colorado Springs, reports AP. "If it gets hungry enough, we don't know what it will do," Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensminger remarked helpfully.

Speaking of fires, in a letter to the Colorado Springs Independent, Terri Weber had a heartfelt reminder for area residents who'd weathered a terrible wildfire that destroyed hundreds of homes: "Local resources were not enough to save our city. You, my fellow taxpayers, paid for the C-130s dropping fire retardant, (the) Hot Shots … (and) boots on the ground. This is the big government that some people are wailing about. I am so tickled to have it, and I thank you for it."

MONTANA

Jesus has a friend in Republican Rep. Denny Rehberg, or at least the blue-robed Big Mountain Jesus statue does, standing with arms outstretched at the top of Whitefish Mountain Resort's Chair 2. For nearly six decades, the statue has welcomed skiers, "whose irreverence, however unintentional, most recently cost the Jesus statue an outstretched hand," reports the Missoulian. But that's the least of its problems. First, the Forest Service chose not to renew the lease for the 25-by-25-foot parcel of land where the statue stands. But after 95,000 public comments flooded in, the agency decided to let the statue stay "after determining that it was eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places." That's when a Wisconsin-based group of atheists called the Freedom From Religion Foundation went to federal court to attack the legality of allowing a religious symbol on national forest land, calling it "a state endorsement of religion." Rehberg, who is running for the Senate in a closely watched race against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, has joined forces with those who want the Jesus statue to stay put. He believes the statue is a "historic monument" inspired by members of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, who had seen similar shrines in the mountains of Italy.

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected].

High Country News Classifieds
  • ELLIE SAYS IT'S SAFE! A GUIDE DOG'S JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE
    by Don Hagedorn. A story of how lives of the visually impaired are improved through the love and courage of guide dogs. Available on Amazon.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • NORTHEASTERN UNIVERSITY
    All positions available: Sales Representative, Accountant and Administrative Assistant. As part of our expansion program, our University is looking for part time work from home...
  • COMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR
    Position Title: Communications Associate Director Location: Flexible within the Western U.S., Durango, CO preferred Position reports to: Senior Communications Director The Conservation Lands Foundation (CLF)...
  • HISTORIC HOTEL & CAFE
    For Sale, 600k, Centennial Wyoming, 6 suites plus 2 bed, 2 bath apartment. www.themountainviewhotel.com Make this your home or buy a turn key hotel [email protected]
  • MAJOR GIFTS OFFICER
    High Country News, an award-winning news organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a Major Gifts Officer to join our...
  • RUBY, ARIZONA CARETAKER
    S. Az ghost town seeking full-time caretaker. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • VICE PRESIDENT, LANDSCAPE CONSERVATION
    Basic Summary: The Vice President for Landscape Conservation is based in the Washington, D.C., headquarters and oversees Defenders' work to promote landscape-scale wildlife conservation, focusing...
  • BRISTOL BAY PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Seeking a program director responsible for developing and implementing all aspects of the Alaska Chapter's priority strategy for conservation in the Bristol Bay region of...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The National Bighorn Sheep Center is looking for an Executive Director to take us forward into the new decade with continued strong leadership and vision:...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Powder Basin Watershed Council, based in Baker City, Oregon, seeks a new Executive Director with a passion for rural communities, water, and working lands....
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Powder River Basin Resource Council, a progressive non-profit conservation organization based in Sheridan, Wyoming, seeks an Executive Director, preferably with grassroots organizing experience, excellent communication...
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • LOG HOME IN THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Beautiful hand built log home in the heart of the Gila Wilderness on five acres. Please email for PDF of pictures and a full description.
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.