Heard Around the West

  • Udderly fascinating: 4H students learn the dairy ropes in Corvallis

    STEVE BROWN, CAPITAL PRESS
 

TEXAS

In the Dubious Achievement category, let’s send the 2003 Biology Award to Texas A&M’s vet school, which just cloned a white-tailed deer with a rack measuring 230 points on the Boone and Crockett scale. The lead researcher told the Houston Chronicle that the trophy buck is a "conservation tool." The bottle-fed deer, dubbed Dewey, joins a menagerie of copies at the vet school, including a calico cat, pigs, cattle and a goat.

UTAH

Then there’s the category of Stupid People Tricks. The Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City features a display of objects that people have tossed into animal enclosures, including knives, cigarettes, combs and bullets. Zookeepers now can add the lethal, adult-size blue fleece glove that killed Andy, the "vivacious" polar bear that ate it. The glove lodged in the bear’s intestines, reports the Salt Lake Tribune, causing death in a matter of hours. Andy was only 14, middle-aged for polar bears, which can live to age 30. The zoo’s only polar bear, he was a favorite of its 770,000 visitors.

COLORADO

Talk about stretching the truth! In a Denver Post insert, Neumann Homes boasts about the "sweeping mountain vistas" you can see from its new homes outside Denver. Well, maybe if you’re an eagle and it’s a very clear day. Coloradan Brad Snyder noticed that the "panoramic view" on the flier is clearly of the Grand Teton Range in northwestern Wyoming.

OREGON

Workers at a potato chip plant in Salem, Ore., were feeding potatoes into a sorting machine designed to eliminate anything unpotato, when a 3-pound bomb bounced out. Luckily, the bomb, and a second bomb that followed it, were duds, reports Capital Press. "They find them all the time" on the Pasco, Wash., farm that the potatoes came from — a former practice bombing range. The potato sorters also found a cell phone once. Says a plant manager: "If it’s a muddy day when they’re harvesting, everything’s covered in mud."

UTAH

All 2,000 residents of Monticello, Utah, were honored last month when the city council named everybody in town "Citizen of the Year." Facing terrible drought, with no water reserves, the council severely restricted water use last year. But townspeople came through, reports the San Juan Record, cutting their water consumption in half. Everybody found themselves honored at the annual Monticello High School holiday music concert.

WYOMING

It’s hard to exaggerate how rural Wyoming is, but The New York Times has managed to do it. In a Dec. 14 story on natural gas drillers in Sublette County, reporter Felicity Barringer wrote that the county "is so rural that it does not have a single stop sign." Actually, the 4,882-square-mile county has plenty of stop signs, just no stoplights.

UTAH

Most of us automatically delete e-mailed penis-enlargement offers from unknown spammers. But reader Greg Woodall was fooled into opening one recently. Why? It claimed to come from "The Bureau of Land Management."

WYOMING

Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, D, recently revealed a surprising amount of humility for a public official. Chafing at the "gubernatorial cone" that enveloped him in his office, Freudenthal started traveling the state to talk to people who work for nonprofits and other groups. "If they have a good idea," he told the Jackson Hole News & Guide, "I take it in a heartbeat." He added, "The thing that’s apparent, 11 months after the election, is I’m no smarter than I was before, but I have a lot more problems."

COLORADO

What do grizzly bears and cows have in common? They really don’t like anyone getting between them and their babies. A jogger who encountered a protective cow on land leased by Boulder, Colo., last year, is now suing the city for $25,000. Elaine Kingston told the Denver Post she wasn’t aware mother cows were a problem — until one locked eyes and then "head-butted" her, sending her airborne and breaking her pelvis.

Betsy Marston is editor of Writers on the Range, a service of High Country NewsI in Paonia, Colo. Tips of Western oddities are always appreciated and often shared in the column, Heard around the West.

High Country News Classifieds
  • POLICY DIRECTOR - FRIENDS OF THE INYO
    Seeking Policy Director to lead our policy programs to ensure the health/vibrancy of CA's Inyo/Mono Co. public lands. FT or PT. Remote OK but frequent...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Friends of the San Juans (Friends), a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is seeking an experienced, passionate, and charismatic environmental leader to continue its strong community leadership...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT, ARIZONA CHAPTER
    What We Can Achieve Together: Arizona's Director of Development (DoD) is responsible for directing all aspects of one or more development functions, which will secure...
  • CAPACITY BUILDING PROGRAM MANAGER
    What We Can Achieve Together: The Capacity Building Program Manager works directly with the business unit's Arizona Healthy Cities Program Director to advance the Healthy...
  • MEMBERSHIP AND OFFICE MANAGER - FRIENDS OF THE INYO
    Friends of the Inyo - Donor database management & reporting, IT/HR, and office administrative support. PT or FT. Partly remote OK but some in-office time...
  • NORTHERN NEW MEXICO PROJECT MANAGER
    New Mexico Land Conservancy is seeking a qualified Northern New Mexico Project Manager to provide expertise, leadership and support to the organization by planning, cultivating,...
  • GRAPHIC AND DIGITAL DESIGNER
    Application deadline: December 17, 2022 Expected start date: January 16, 2023 Location: Amazon Watch headquarters in Oakland, CA Amazon Watch is a dynamic nonprofit organization...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eugene, Ore. nonprofit Long Tom Watershed Council is seeking a highly collaborative individual to lead a talented, dedicated team of professionals. Full-time: $77,000 - $90,000...
  • GIS SPECIALIST
    What We Can Achieve Together: The GIS Specialist provides technical and scientific support for Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, data management, and visualization internally and...
  • LOWER SAN PEDRO PROGRAM MANAGER
    What We Can Achieve Together: The Lower San Pedro Program Manager directs some or all aspects of protection, science, stewardship and community relations for the...
  • FOREST RESTORATION SPATIAL DATA MANAGER
    What We Can Achieve Together: The Forest Restoration Spatial Data Manager fills an integral role in leading the design and development of, as well as...
  • WATER PROJECTS MANAGER, SOUTHERN AZ
    What We Can Achieve Together: Working hybrid in Tucson, AZ or remote from Sierra Vista, AZ or other southern Arizona locations, the Water Projects Manager,...
  • SENIOR STAFF THERAPIST/PSYCHOLOGIST: NATIVE AMERICAN STUDENT SPECIALIST
    Counseling Services is a department strategically integrated with Health Services within the Division of Student Services and Enrollment Management. Our Mission at the Counseling Center...
  • THE NATURE CONSERVANCY IS HIRING A LOCAL INITIATIVES COORDINATOR
    The Nature Conservancy in Wyoming seeks a Local Initiatives Coordinator to join our team. We're looking for a great communicator to develop, manage and advance...
  • LAND AND WATER PROTECTION MANAGER - NORTHERN ARIZONA
    We're Looking for You: Are you looking for a career to help people and nature? Guided by science, TNC creates innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our...
  • SENIOR CLIMATE CONSERVATION ASSOCIATE
    The Greater Yellowstone Coalition (GYC) seeks a Senior Climate Conservation Associate (SCCA) to play a key role in major campaigns to protect the lands, waters,...
  • CORTEZ COLORADO LOT FOR SALE
    Historic tree-lined Montezuma Ave. Zoned Neighborhood Business. Build your dream house or business right in the heart of town. $74,000. Southwest Realty
  • ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSTRUCTION GEOPHYSICS
    - We find groundwater, buried debris and assist with new construction projects for a fraction of drilling costs.
  • STRAWBALE HOME BESIDE MONTEZUMA WELL NAT'L MONUMENT
    Straw Bale Home beside Montezuma Well National Monument. Our property looks out at Arizona fabled Mogollon Rim and is a short walk to perennial Beaver...
  • ATTORNEY AD
    Criminal Defense, Code Enforcement, Water Rights, Mental Health Defense, Resentencing.