China hearts cowboys

 

THE WEST AND CHINA
It's no secret that many Germans adore the Old West, but who knew that prosperous second-home buyers in China would also succumb to "cowhide, antler chandeliers, saddle blankets, lodgepole chairs, wagon wheels, Navajo rugs, iron light fixtures, wildlife-scene fireplace screens, wooden snowshoes, leather throw pillows, horseshoes, Charles Russell prints and plaid curtains"? According to the Jackson Hole News&Guide, interior designer Allison Smith found this out while working for the wonderfully named Beijing Resplendency Great Exploit Real Estate Co. LTD. She came up with a Western theme for each of 850 houses in "Jackson Hole," the name of the new, second-home development in China's Hebei Province. "They absolutely fell in love with the idea of anything cowboy and Indian," says the Portland, Ore.-based Smith. She also created micro-themes for each house, including Billy the Kid, Stagecoach Station and Big Bear. Now, Smith boasts that the Western-style homes have nearly tripled in value since being built, as Chinese buyers respond to the Westerner's sense of emancipation, whimsy and fun. What's more, she says, "You should see them when they get a toy gun to play with."

ARIZONA AND THE BORDER
A monthly paper called Connection covers the southern Arizona border towns of Amado, Arivapa and Tubac, where columnist Laurinda Oswald chronicles the never-ending drama of what she calls the "Wild Wets." It makes for compelling reading. As she notes, the presence of the U.S. Border Patrol is inescapable even 50 miles from Mexico. Whether it's day or night, drivers on many north-south roads routinely find themselves stopped at roadblocks. This can be unnerving for tourists, especially if they can't simply answer "yes" to the question: "Are you a U.S. citizen?" It's also frustrating for Americans who live and work in the area, what with drug-sniffing dogs being walked by every car. Recently, Oswald, who lives in Amado, got singled out by one canine and was forced to sit by twiddling her thumbs while her car was thoroughly probed inside and out and even X-rayed. Blame it all on an earlier encounter with two dead javelinas; after Oswald was forced to drive her low-clearance Prius over one of the not-yet flattened animals, it inadvertently picked up a musky smell that later drew the olfactory attention of the fascinated "dog on duty." The whole lengthy exercise, she said, led her to realize that "trained dogs are still just dogs." Meanwhile, the Obama administration has announced that because the number of crossers from Mexico has dropped significantly, the 1,200 National Guard troops at the border will be cut to fewer than 300, reports The Associated Press, a savings of some $60 million. Helicopters and airplanes equipped with high-tech radar will replace humans, said David Aguilar, deputy commissioner for Customs and Border Protection, who explained: "We are basically going from boots on the ground to boots in the air." Since our border vigilance expanded under presidents Bush and Obama, we have spent about $1.35 billion on thousands of security guards, miles of new metal fencing that blocks wildlife better than it blocks determined and desperate people, and surveillance towers so sophisticated that they've never actually worked.

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.