When a bear drives a Prius

 

CALIFORNIA
A black bear in Lake Tahoe broke into a Toyota Prius parked at a cabin and then "went into a rampage" when he realized he was trapped inside it, reports the Contra Costa Times. The animal kicked, bit and tore at the seats and the steering wheel, and finally managed to shift the car into neutral. "It rolled backward out of the driveway, picked up speed, hopped a small rock wall and stopped on a neighbor's porch steps." At that point, a door sprang open and the fortunate bear took off. As a police officer later noted, "It's definitely not a normal thing to hear about."

WASHINGTON
A 24-year-old seasoned hunter near the Methow Valley of Washington was scouting for deer this fall when she had an unusual -- and unnerving -- encounter with two gray wolves, reports the Methow Valley News. Kari Hirschberger, a research forester who's been hunting since she was 7, said she was walking a ridge in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area when she realized she was close to both a deer carcass and what looked like an animal's den. "I realized I should not be there," she told reporter Ann McCreary, when two wolves starting loping toward her, moving fast from some 45 yards away. Hirschberger, who weighs just 125 pounds, quickly decided not to retreat but to stand her ground, shouting, waving her arms wildly and attempting to look intimidating. There was a brief standoff, but then the wolves began to charge her, one at a time, so she chucked rocks at them while hastily packing up her gear and getting ready to move out. The animals followed her for a mile and a half, "very silent and their heads were kind of low to the ground," until finally they disappeared. She still doesn't know whether they were chasing her off or treating her as potential prey, but she's convinced her "instinct to fight back and act aggressively probably helped her." A few weeks later, Hirschberger returned with her boyfriend to bag her buck. Despite her disconcerting experience, she says she continues to believe wolves belong in the wild because "a healthy ecosystem doesn't have missing parts."

UTAH
Mike Winder, the mayor of West Valley City, recently confessed that he's been leading a double life -- publicly representing Utah's second-largest city, which has a population of 129,000, while also secretly posing as a journalist named "Richard Burwash." The real Burwash, whose first name is Peter, lives in California, where he's a tennis player and motivational speaker; he was taken aback to discover his photo on a newspaper column written by the fake Burwash, who was known in Utah as a sometime journalist writing for the Summit Group, a public relations and lobbying firm run by the mayor. The fake journalist frequently quoted himself -- as Mayor Winder -- in articles published by the Deseret News and other media outlets, saying glowing things about his town. In a three-part series in 2010, he urged voters to approve a $25 million bond issue for city parks while never even mentioning the objections of opponents to the issue. Winder has been touted as a political comer and possible candidate for mayor of Salt Lake City. "Time will tell," Winder admitted, whether this incident will harm his political future: "There will be people who will be disappointed in me because of this."



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.
  • 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.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.