Bright bears

 

NEVADA

Bob Halstead, executive director of the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects was sad to see Energy Secretary Steven Chu leaving after four years on the job. Grabbing a garland of verbal images to describe Halstead's reaction, the Las Vegas Review-Journal said Chu was "a breath of fresh air for Nevada after a string of Energy secretaries tried to cram the Yucca Mountain Project down the Silver State's throat when no other state was pegged for shouldering burial of 77,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants and the military."

NEW MEXICO

The Sierra Soil and Water Conservation District says gophers threaten irrigation systems, and it's offering a bounty of $3 for tails from animals trapped within district boundaries near the White Sands Missile Range. The Sierra County Sentinel includes a helpful drawing "because there is some confusion as to what a gopher looks like." No size is indicated, however, and the artist's rendering of a gopher concerns us because it looks less like a gopher than a dinosaur -- though, admittedly, one with a cuter tail.

COLORADO

It took a decade, but Aspen's bear-proof garbage containers have finally been breached by a clever bruin, reports the Aspen Daily News. "We finally got a bear that was bright -- brighter than we are," said Jeff Woods, director of the city parks department. And once the bear opened the container in front of City Hall, every trashcan in town became obsolete.

NEVADA

Lance Gilman, who owns 65 percent of sprawling Storey County near Reno -- as well as the county's first licensed brothel -- recently won election to the board of county commissioners. Does anybody have a problem with that? Certainly not Carrie Northan, a bartender at Virginia City's poetically named Bucket of Blood Saloon. "You can't hold it against a person that they're involved in a profession that's been in existence since before Jesus walked around in his sandals," she told The New York Times. Gilman said he knocked on some 1,500 doors, and just two people even mentioned his brothel, "and only to compliment him." The prostitution business goes back to the mid-19th century, said University of Nevada sociologist Barbara Brents, when mining booms flooded the region with single men. These days, just 10 or so of Nevada's lightly populated counties contain licensed brothels.

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

High Country News Classifieds
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • 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...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • 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.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...