You are here: home   Heard Around the West   Shooting yourself in the foot--literally
  • This article by Betsy Marston originally appeared in the Jun 13, 2013 issue of High Country News.
  • To read the full article, you must login or subscribe.
Please enter your email address to begin:

Continue 
Follow Us
Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
Topic: Culture & Communities     Department: Heard Around the West     Comments: 0

NON-SUBSCRIBER PREVIEW

Shooting yourself in the foot--literally

News: Jun 13, 2013
by Betsy Marston

COLORADO AND THE WEST

The western Colorado town of Nucla only has about 730 residents, but its council is eager to tell them how to live -- only in the name of freedom, of course, and to protect the Second Amendment. Recently, that meant telling residents that they must own a gun. There were loopholes: Heads of households who didn't want to buy a gun or who couldn't legally own one could opt out, which seemed to remove the ammo from the ordinance. And short of going door to door, how would the town dads know if their gun law was being obeyed? As one commenter put it in the Denver Post, "Enough with the governments' intrusions in our lives!" Another reader suggested that Nucla would be much smarter requiring ownership of an elephant: "Nothing like a good elephant on your side in the event of trouble with unwanted intruders."

It's hard to deny that guns occasionally cause unfortunate accidents, even when nobody else is around. In Colorado Springs recently, a man who was having a drink or two -- while also cleaning his gun -- shot his own left index finger, reports the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel.

And in Missoula, Mont., a custodian at the University of Montana was "examining one of his weapons when it fired and the bullet hit him in the foot," reports the Missoulian. He had two other guns and a knife stored in his janitor's closet in case he wanted to examine them as well.

Heard 45.10
CALIFORNIA: Coming in for a landing. Courtesy Eric Dugan.

WYOMING

Sometimes, it's better to be wrong than to be right. In Wyoming's Powder River Basin, rancher Steve Adami warned a decade ago that the bonding the state required for industry to drill coalbed methane wells was clearly inadequate and that reclamation costs for used-up wells would mount to many millions of dollars. The response from the state and the industry, he told WyoFile, was: "Leave us alone, you whiny snots." Sadly, Adami has been proven right. After a decade of drilling some 2,200 wells annually, the gas industry has been shutting them down, and the number of orphaned wells is now estimated at 1,200 or more. This means that "landowners have to wait for 10-12 years to get a mess on your property cleaned up," complained Republican state Sen. John Hines of Gillette. Also troubling is the gas industry's failure to put much of the pumped-up groundwater to beneficial use. Now that the horse has left the proverbial barn, Wyoming's Oil and Gas Conservation Commission has decided to get tough, forcing one California-based company to increase its bonding level for nearly 150 coal-bed methane gas wells at risk of being orphaned. "When the commission revoked USA Exploration's bonds earlier this year for failure to meet testing and reclamation requirements," reports Dustin Bleizeffer, "it collected a total of $154,000." There's just one problem: "The total cost to plug and reclaim the properties could cost an estimated $1.4 million."

There is 1 more page in this article...

Introductory Offer - Save 20%

Print with digital OR digital only

From our friends

Quality Reporting is Not Free!

"I subscribed to HCN for a number of years, loved every issue...I stopped subscribing because my work load escalated. It was ok the first few months but after six months I was regretting the decision...the relevance of HCN did not diminish. I continued to look at the enticing titles of articles in the online newsletter but couldn't read enough to satisfy the craving. So I'm back. I also kicked in another 50 bucks as a personal reminder that quality reporting is not free."

Robert E. Hall, Washington D.C.

A constant commitment to the environment

Needless to say, we love and appreciate the fine work all of you do to illustrate the importance of our constant commitment to the environment.

Thanks to all of you for illuminating the critical issues of our world, country and the West. Keep up the great work!

Jeff and Lisa,
Atlanta, Georgia

Carol Neuhoff is hooked on HCN!

"My brother gave me a gift subscription to your outstanding magazine last Christmas. It's a proud, surprising, eloquent, and pertinent tribute ... every single issue. Thank you for emphasizing the passion for the West over the mere politics. I'm hooked!"

Carol Neuhoff

Email Newsletter

The West in your Inbox

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook! Follow us on Twitter! Follow our RSS feeds!
  1. Rancher vs BLM: a 20-year standoff ends with tense roundup |
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. After the standoff, what's next for Bundy and BLM? |
  4. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  5. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  1. Why homes are lost to wildfire | This Forest Service expert says it's as much a soc...
  2. Photos of a standoff | Armed militia members join a Nevada rancher to pro...
  3. The energy haves and have-nots | Will rooftop solar owners get off the grid — and...
  4. Will the Colorado River reach the Gulf of California once more? | Photographs of last month's historic water pulses....
  5. Locals resist a Bakkenization of the Beartooths | South-central Montanans oppose new drilling, forew...
HCN Classifieds
Subscriber Alert
More from Culture & Communities
Visiting the frosties of the Lost Sierra The wonders of the classic roadside stands that still dish out soft-serve ice cream.
International Car Forest of the Last Church For a strange trip, check out Nevada’s otherworldly Stonehenge of wildly painted abandoned vehicles.
Adventure travel vs. conservation A conversation with outdoor entrepreneur Bill Bryan.
All Culture & Communities
 
© 2014 High Country News, all rights reserved. | privacy policy | terms of use | powered by Plone