A conservative takes Bundy to task, treasure hunters get trapped and a fool meets a rattlesnake.

Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

  • IDAHO Living in a fuel’s paradise.

    Sam Perry
 

THE NATION
Trust former Wyoming Republican Sen. Al Simpson — a man who never minces words — to boldly lecture his party about finally abandoning some of its more conservative stances. When wyofile.com asked him about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to push a constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision allowing gay marriage, Simpson appeared exasperated. “Merry Christmas!” he exclaimed. “Thirty-seven states already approved it, and to get a constitutional amendment he has to have two-thirds of the vote in the legislatures in three-fourths of the states. I can’t think Custer would have been in a worse position on that one.” As for the argument that allowing homosexuals to marry somehow threatens the “sanctity of marriage,” Simpson said straight couples were perfectly able to ruin their relationships without help: “As a practicing attorney, I did 1,500 divorces in Park County, Wyoming (and) these were heterosexuals. … Marriage got destroyed a long time ago.” Always delighted to tell people that he’s been married to the same woman for 61 years, Simpson concluded, “What’s wrong with people being happy? It doesn’t matter what that is.”

NEVADA
Both scofflaw rancher Cliven Bundy and the federal government got a tongue-lashing in the Las Vegas Review-Journal recently. The critic wasn’t the environmental activist you might expect; it was David Jenkins, president of Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship, a national nonprofit that stands for “putting the conserve back into conservative.” Bundy, said Jenkins, was nothing more than a “bully” for defying the government when it fined him more than $1 million for illegally grazing his cattle on public land. Unfortunately, though, the bullying worked because the Bureau of Land Management failed to enforce the law; when Bundy and his armed supporters threatened violence if the federal agency tried to collect, it backed away, though this act of appeasement “served only to embolden Bundy and encourage further lawlessness and intimidation.” Jenkins said it was long past time for the BLM to get tough, to shed its timidity and show that “nobody is above the law — not the president and certainly not Cliven Bundy.”

MONTANA
Never, ever, underestimate a rattlesnake, especially a big one with nine impressive rattles. The snake was just sunning itself happily when Scott Adler’s daughter happened to notice it as she was walking her 4-H sheep back to its pen. The rancher decided to shoot the somnolent snake, but an unidentified friend said he had a better idea. Explaining that he was “experienced in handling rattlers and would remove it,” reports the Missoulian, the friend reached down and grabbed the snake, which promptly “bit him in the arm as he held it” — nailing him three times altogether. In a matter of seconds, Adler said, he saw his friend’s arm turn black and his face begin to swell, and “the next thing we knew, he was getting Life-Flighted out of there.” In defense of rattlers, it is said that they are rarely a problem — provided you leave them alone.

COLORADO
Congratulations to the Southern Utes on their beautiful new 48,000-square-foot headquarters, based in Ignacio, Colorado. The three-story modern glass-and-steel building will house 140 employees who oversee what has become a multibillion-dollar, tribally owned conglomerate of oil and gas companies, a nearby gambling casino and diverse real estate, reports the Durango Herald. “We look at this building as really a piece of who we are today,” said Mike Olguin, treasurer of the tribal council. Starting in the 1980s, the Southern Utes decided to back away from the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, which manages natural resources for many tribes, and take control of their own economy by starting a tribal Growth Fund. Now, “80 percent of the Growth Fund’s revenue comes from outside investments.” They include a deep-sea oilrig off the coast of Mexico and 22 blocks of commercial space in the Denver suburb of Lakewood.

WYOMING
For the second time in three years, a dauntless treasure-hunting couple from Lynchburg, Virginia, had to get hauled out of the backcountry near Cody, Wyoming. In 2013, the unprepared duo tried to hike out to a legendary mine, supposedly laden with fabulous riches. Instead of a leisurely day hike, they spent three nights out “with nothing more than the clothes on their backs,” reports ktvq.com. This summer, Park County search and rescue folks got yet another distress call: Still hunting that elusive treasure, Madilina L. Taylor, 41, had broken her ankle, and her companion, Frank Eugene Rose Jr., 40, badly blistered his feet, not to mention losing his wallet and cellphone after falling in a swollen river. It took searchers several hours to locate the lost couple and airlift Taylor out. The couple was sternly warned not to return for a third treasure hunt until they had mastered a few basic survival skills. 

High Country News Classifieds
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    If you are deeply committed to public service and would like to become part of our high performing, passionate and diverse team, NCAT is looking...
  • TRIPLEX .8 ACRE KANAB, UT
    Create a base in the center of Southern Utah's Grand Circle of National Parks. Multiple residential property with three established rental units and zoning latitude...
  • FORGE & FAB SHOP
    with home on one beautiful acre in Pocatello, ID. Blackrock Forge - retiring after 43 years! Fully equipped 5,500 sf shop including office, gallery and...
  • SMALL FARM AT THE BASE OF MOUNT SHASTA
    Certified organic fruit/berry/veggie/flower farm. Home, barns, garage, separate apt, more. Just under 2 ac, edge of town. Famously pure air and water. Skiing, mountaineering, bike,...
  • FOREST STEWARDSHIP PROJECT DIRECTOR
    Become a force for nature and a healthy planet by joining the Arizona Chapter as Forest Stewardship Project Director. You will play a key role...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Ranchers Stewardship Alliance is accepting applications for an Executive Director. This position will provide leadership to RSA, develop a fund raising plan, and effectively communicate...
  • WRITING PLACE: THE ANIMAS RIVER REGION WRITING WORKSHOP
    REGISTER ONLINE BY: Friday, June 15 WHERE: Durango, CO (location TBD) WHEN: Monday, July 16 Youth workshop: 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. (18 and under,...
  • EQUITY IN THE OUTDOORS COORDINATOR
    The Equity in the Outdoors Coordinator will lead community engagement, program implementation and development, and data collection for the Eagle Valley Outdoor Movement (EVOM). EVOM...
  • COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ASSISTANT
    The Idaho Conservation League is seeking a personable individual who is passionate about conservation to join our Sandpoint Field Office. The Community Engagement Assistant will...
  • LIGHTWEIGHT FLY ROD CASES
    4 standard or custom lengths. Rugged protection for backpacking. Affordable pricing.
  • EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION INTERN/ASSISTANT
    Actively introduce students to Experiential Education, Outdoor Recreation, and Sustainability while engaging and challenging them to learn and participate in these diverse opportunities. Room, board,...
  • ENVIRONMENTAL INVESTIGATIVE MEDIA SERVICES
    In-depth investigations of polluters, lobbyists, regulators, elected officials and others focused on environmentally damaging projects in the U.S. and internationally. We specialize in mining projects,...
  • UNDEVELOPED 40 ACRES - SOUTHWEST COLORADO
    in beautiful Montezuma County.
  • TRUCK DRIVER
    Class A & B drivers, pass all DOT requirements and clean driving record
  • MARIA'S BOOKSHOP FOR SALE
    - Thriving Indie bookstore in the heart of Durango, Colorado. General bookstore with 34-year history as a community hub for Southwest region of CO. 1800...
  • ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    HawkWatch International seeks an experienced fundraiser to join our awesome team! This position will provide support in all aspects of the department. We are looking...
  • DIRECTOR OF DEVELOPMENT
    will develop and execute Wild Utah Projects fundraising plan. Call, email or check full description of job online for more details:
  • HAND CRAFTED LOG HOME IN TETON VALLEY
    on ten acres. Full view of the Grand Teton. 35 miles to Yellowstone and 20 minutes to Grand Targhee Ski Area.
  • ACREAGE WITH HOME, SHOP, BARN FOR SALE!
    Must see for sng/extd fam or corp retreat in pines! $1,030,000
  • WESTERN REGIONAL MANAGER
    The American Forest Foundation seeks a smart and highly motivated candidate to join our Western conservation team. The Regional Manager supports the Regional Director to...