Heard around the West

  • Mallard pierced by blow gun dart appears to be doing fine

    Neal and M.J. Mishler
 

As 1998 came to a close, the oldest male grizzly ever captured in North America was killed by Montana officials. The 28-year-old, 460-pound bear had raided more than a dozen cabins over a two-week period, reports the Hungry Horse News, and had become a potential threat to people. All of the bear's teeth were broken and some were worn to the gumline, which probably made him extremely cranky. Trapped and tranquilized at least three times by Canadian researchers, the grizzly was the 24th to die in the Northern Continental Divide ecosystem last year.

A modest two-bedroom, two-bath house on pricey Red Mountain overlooking Aspen was priced at $3,256 recently. Does this sound like a bargain? It wasn't; it was merely the cost for each square foot. The 1,121 square-foot bungalow actually sold for $3.6 million and will be torn down and replaced by a much larger structure, reports AP.

While we're on the subject of real estate, the Jackson Hole News asked locals recently if they were worried about wolves "coming into Jackson" (see Hotline page 4). Ray Brence, who described his work as "mostly anything," replied: "Who is afraid of a few wolves when there are so many sharks in the valley?"

Albert Bartlett of Boulder, Colo., tells us he was surprised while driving through a small town in Montana to see a school billboard bragging about the "Home of the Bats." Then he noticed the name of the town - Belfry.

In Great Falls, Mont., a mallard duck hanging out by the banks of the Missouri River sports more than an iridescent green head. A six-inch green dart, shot from some kind of blow gun, has pierced the middle of the duck's neck. Photographer Neal Mishler told the Great Falls Tribune that seeing the abused bird made him angry. "It is just pathetic that people would do that ... It shows a lack of ethics in both the kids and the parents." Now, some parents have told the paper that Mishler should stop picking on young people. The photographer says he doesn't care if he's criticized. "I want this brought to public attention." He adds that despite the dart, "the duck is eating good" and flying fine.

At a junior high school in Taylorsville, Utah, it's the battle of the banners. It all began when principal Lori Gardner allowed a fast-food flag to fly at the school. "Out of all the business partners, and we've got some great ones, McDonald's has made a point of really being part of the school," she told the Salt Lake Tribune. Way too much a part, says the animal-rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. So every week its members demonstrate their opposition to hamburger and other McDonald's fare at the school. Now some students are fighting back with a banner of their own; it says "META: Meat Eaters who are Thankful for Animals." "We're kind of tired of them (PETA) being at our school and trying to rip down the flagpole and stuff," said eighth grader Ross Quigley. PETA's Bruce Friedrich says he's challenged the principal "to find one thing on a McDonald's menu that makes good dietary sense."

In Utah, it took a bribery scandal involving the Olympic Games to reverse a decision by the state's motor vehicle bureau. The first time Bill Velmer tried to get a personalized plate that said "2002-NOT," he was turned down flat. The ground was the plate's "political" nature, he was told. Meanwhile, some drivers were sporting plates that read 2002-YES, OLYMPX and 5RINGS. Lawyers from the Rutherford Institute, the outfit that helped Paula Jones in her sexual harassment suit against President Clinton, offered to help, but as the Olympic imbroglio made news around the world, the motor vehicle folks suddenly had a change of heart, changing yes to no, reports the Salt Lake Tribune.

"Mountain bikes are our planet's salvation!" crows Jim Stiles, editor of the distinctly opinionated Canyon Country Zephyr in Moab, Utah. Why? Because the uncomfortable seats of bikes press on a man's penile artery and this can lead to impotence, concludes a specialist from Boston University. Stiles, never a fan of tourists swarming through town in day-glo tights, asks, "With penile arteries being flattened like prairie dogs on Interstate 70, can population stabilization be far behind?" Stiles even has some suggestions for speeding up a less populated world: "We shouldn't be fighting the Radical Right over free distribution of contraceptives. Planned Parenthood shouldn't be wasting its time passing out free condoms: Instead, why not issue complimentary bicycles to all males over the age of 16?"


Heard around the West invites readers to get involved in the column. Send any tidbits that merit sharing - small-town newspaper clips, personal anecdotes, relevant bumper sticker slogans. The definition remains loose. Heard, HCN, Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428 or [email protected]

High Country News Classifieds
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AND DIGITAL ADVERTISING SPECIALIST
    The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Utah's largest conservation organization, has an immediate opening for a full-time Social Media and Digital Advertising Specialist. This position...
  • SPRING-FED PARCELS ON THE UPPER SAC RIVER
    Adjacent parcels above the Upper Sacramento river, near Dunsmuir. The smaller is just under 3 acres, with the larger at just under 15 acres. Multiple...
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a development professional to coordinate the organization's individual giving program. The position description is available at http://greateryellowstone.org/careers Please email a letter...
  • IDAHO STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society is seeking a full time Idaho State Director who will preferably be based in Boise, Idaho. At least 8-10 years of experience...
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER AND BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER MANAGER
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions. We seek a Communications Manager to execute inspiring and impactful communications...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Wilderness Volunteers Wilderness Volunteers (WV), a 24-year leader in preserving our nation's wildlands, is seeking a motivated person with deep outdoor interests to guide our...
  • HECHO POLICY AND ADVOCACY MANAGER
    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...
  • FISHERIES BIOLOGIST
    Under the direct supervision of the Director of Shoshone-Paiute Tribe's Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in coordination with the Tribal Programs Administrator and the Tribal Chairman,...
  • REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NORTHERN ROCKIES, PRAIRIES & PACIFIC REGION
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more than...
  • STEWARDSHIP MANAGER
    STEWARDSHIP MANAGER Job Vacancy and Description Posted June 2, 2021: Open until filled The New Mexico Land Conservancy (NMLC) is a non-profit, regional land trust...
  • KSJD - MORNING EDITION HOST/REPORTER
    KSJD is seeking a host/reporter. Please see for www.ksjd.org for more information. EEO compliant.
  • ON THE EDGE OF CEDAR MESA/BEARS EARS
    Quiet, comfy house for rent in Bluff, Utah. Walk to San Juan River. Bike or hike to many nearby ruins and rock art sites. Beautiful...
  • CARPENTER AND LABORER WANTED.
    Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rain forest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg meadows,...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Title: Project Manager Reports To: Program Director Salary Range: Negotiable; starting at $60,000 Location: Bend, OR The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Project Manager to...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Program Director to join our dynamic team in restoring streamflow and improving water quality in the Deschutes Basin. WHO...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - TWISPWORKS
    Established healthy nonprofit in the Methow Valley of Washington state, TwispWorks is hiring the next Executive Director. Terrific opportunity to strive for our mission to...
  • BOARD DIRECTOR
    Help us achieve our mission of promoting excellence in the professional practice of wilderness stewardship, science and education to ensure the life-sustaining benefits of wilderness....
  • TEMPORARY FULL-TIME RANCH OPERATIONS ASSISTANT
    Twin Willows Ranch in Ocate, NM is seeking to immediately fill a Temporary Full-Time employment position as Ranch Operations Assistant for Facilities, Equipment, Land, and...
  • RANCH OPERATIONS ASSISTANT
    Twin Willows Ranch in Ocate, NM is seeking an individual to fill the Regular Full-Time position of Resident Operations Assistant for Technology, Hospitality, Gardening, and...
  • POEM+ NEWSLETTER
    Start each month with a poem in your inbox by signing up for Taylor S. Winchell's monthly Poem+ Newsletter. No frills. No news. No politics....