High Country Blues

  • Uhat

    Diane Sylvain
  • High Country Blues goat

  • Earnest Yout

  • Fawn Lightfoot

  • Cow pornography

    Diane Sylvain

Interns share zeal, not meals

Earnest Youth-Apple says that the idea of becoming an intern at High Country Blues came to him after talking to his hepatica. "She told me to get the word out any way I could; if it meant talking to people who are outright plant eaters, and those who are a little soft on vegetarianism, so be it: DON'T EAT PLANTS."

Total carnivore Youth-Apple grew up in Eugene, Ore., and graduated from Evergreen College in Washington with a major in plant morphology and a minor in nitrogen fixation. But, he says, he has wanted to become a writer ever since reading a quote from E.B. White: "A writer is like a bean plant - he has his little day, and then gets stringy."

Paonia has struck Youth-Apple as a good place to be. "Plenty of beeves, and good hunting, too." He says he's delighted that HCB is next to a meat locker, and urged the rest of the staff to go next door to see the beautiful elk, deer, buffalo - "even bear," he says, though not in their natural state.

The hard part will be raising the consciousness of the all-too-numerous vegetarians around. "Just remember, as you're cutting up your spinach, that it had to be killed first. Plants have feelings, too, you know. I cringe when they cut the grass."

Bounding into town from Lander, Wyo., spring intern Fawn Lightfoot says she brings to HCB a love of open space and a nostalgia for the old, sparsely populated West.

She has decorated her corner of the HCB office with sprays of tender aspen shoots and her favorite quotation: "Don't fence me in."

Lightfoot says she grew up in a large communal situation, where everyone believed deeply in animal rights. These days her activism is directed toward the voluntary human extinction movement; her favorite motto: "Thank you for not breeding."

Although she goes everywhere on foot, Fawn says she's never had any trouble getting there; she looks forward to exploring all of western Colorado this weekend.

As for working closely with total carnivore Earnest Youth-Apple, "I plan to go right on eating greens," she said, "and browsing in the library. Perhaps we'll lock horns occasionally, but I'm a pacifist by nature."

*Tansy Wagwort

Mooove over, Mapplethorpe

Western ranchers have long accused conservationists of being elitists who ignore the region's unique "custom and culture."

Protectors of that culture may have a new ally in Washington. Sen. Jesse Hells, R-Mordor, who has battled the National Endowment for the Arts for years, is working with rancher Bud "Spud" Fudd of People for the Waste! to transform the controversial agency into the National EnCOWment for the Arts.

When critics demanded to know what cows have to do with art, Fudd pointed to several cow-intensive artistic productions. One is receiving surprisingly good reviews from the avant-garde press: an all-bovine performance piece, This is my Cud, Here is my Shit. ArtsyNews raved: "The ironic subtext and metaphorical decoding present a searing indictment of vestigially ambiguous imagery whilst delineating the struggle of a tragically marginalized bovine community to - in the cri de coeur of one Hereford - 'Plop, plop, plop "til you drop, plop with a flop, plop plop!" "

Grants from the National EnCOWment for the Arts are expected to go to New Texico rancher Lit Kaney for his "land sculpture in progress' on a grazing allotment, which he has titled Nothing Grows Here Anymore, as well as to fund a new translation of Dante, The Bovine Comedy.

*Ben Therebefore

Ready, aim, fire

Exterior Secretary Bruce Babette recently unveiled a compromise plan for noisy Grand Canyon.

Shouting to be heard over helicopters in the park, he said: "From now on, air-tour operators will be free to fly wherever they want in the park, and people below will be free to shoot them down."

Hikers greeted the proposal with a 21-anti-aircraft-gun salute. Amid a spectacular rain of colorful aerial debris, Secretary Babette praised "the spirit of compromise that makes this great nation possible." Some critics said the plan doesn't go far enough. Speaking on behalf of Earth Fist!, activist Flame O'Connor declared that environmentalists should settle for nothing less than first-strike nuclear capability.

But most tourists seemed pleased, with river-rafters especially thrilled by the opportunity to launch their own heat-seeking missiles from boats deep in the canyon, and then plunder the resulting wreckage for souvenirs.

*Bill Meelater

Clinton: 'Let's make a deal!'

President Clinton announced he would trade a number of fun things to Clown Butte Mining Co. in exchange for their not digging gold next to Yellowstone Nation Park. A deadline to pony up some acreage to the Canadian miners came and went last month because the government could find no land of comparable value.

Clinton said not to worry; corporate officials could count on 200 nights sleeping in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House, which comes with fridge privileges and 2 a.m. wonkfest opportunities with genuine staffers who care intensely about health care and other unsolvable public-policy issues.

"Unfortunately," Clinton said, shouting his words from the edge of Grand Canyon, "we've run out of swappable land, so all I can parlay is stuff that Democratic Party contributors are having to give back."

Environmental activists not involved in the machinations of the Montana swap arrangement immediately cried "backroom deal" and "Phhht."

Mike Clack, leader of the Great Yellowstone Coalition, responded. "I cannot speak for the very important gold miners, but I can pose this question: "Who would not want to sleep in Lincoln's actual bed and put his or her underwear in Lincoln's actual drawers?" "

Spandulex Coal Co. executive Gennifer Glowers, spokeshuman of the firm waiting for a land swap in Utah, rejoined, "You took our coal, gave the public a bumpy staircase for mountain bikers, and we're still waiting for land somewhere else."

"I've already slept in the White House," she added, "and believe me, it's not that great. If anything, that bedroom is crowded, what with all the political bedfellows rubbing elbows and who knows what else."

But in Colorado, the ski-baron-who-leaped-back-from-bankruptcy, George Gollett, may have the solution to the no-land-for-swaps problem. Joining Clinton at the Grand Canyon photo op talk, and ducking helicopters whizzing overhead, Gollett said he'd donate his Vail ski area to the government; then Clinton could swap it for "gold, coal, whatever goes to the head of the line."

What does Gollett get? "First, the White House itself," he said, "because it will be even more of a cash cow on public land than Vail is. Then it's a toss-up between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. Think of the user fees!"

*Bessie Bovinitus


Your piece of paradise: 75,000-square-foot redwood log chalet in Montana's Desecration Wilderness. Completely surrounded by public land, we call it a "giving" from the generous American public. No zoning. Forest Service road to come. A STEAL at $20 million. Contact New West Realtors at [email protected]

High Country News Classifieds
    $58k-$70k + benefits to oversee watershed restoration projects that fulfill our strategic goals across urban and rural areas within the bi-national Santa Cruz and San...
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a part-time Customer Service Assistant, based at...
    We are a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration....
    Come work alongside everyday Montanans to project our clean air, water, and build thriving communities! Competitive salary, health insurance, pension, generous vacation time and sabbatical....
    Oregon Natural Desert Association (ONDA), a nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to protecting, defending and restoring Oregon's high desert, seeks a Campaign Manager to works as...
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
    The Regional Representative serves as PCTA's primary staff on the ground along the trail working closely with staff, volunteers, and nonprofit and agency partners. This...
    The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) seeks a full-time Finance and Operations Director to manage the internal functions of MLR and its nonprofit affiliates. Key areas...
    The Nature Conservancy is recruiting for a Director of Conservation. Provides strategic leadership and support for all of the Conservancy's conservation work in Arizona. The...
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
    Parks California Big Basin Senior Project Planner - Climate Adaptation & Resilience ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our...
    About Long Live the Kings (LLTK) Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986,...
    Honor the Earth is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on identity. Indigenous people, people of color, Two-Spirit or LGBTQA+ people,...
    Colorado Trout Unlimited seeks an individual with successful development experience, strong interpersonal skills, and a deep commitment to coldwater conservation to serve as the organization's...
    In a perilous place at the roof of the world, an orphaned mountain goat is rescued from certain death by a mysterious raven.This middle-grade novel,...
    Multiple lots in gated community only 5 miles from Great Sand Dunes National Park. Seasonal flowing streams. Year round road maintenance.
    Country living just minutes from town! 20 acres with great views makes a perfect spot for your custom home. Nice oaks and juniper. Cassie Carver,...
    This home is for a discerning buyer in search of a forest setting of premier seclusion & separateness. Surrounded on all sides by USFS land...
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, HIke the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
    Strong loyal companions. Ready to protect your family and property. Proven against wolves and grizzlies. Imported bloodlines. Well socialized.