A prom request painted on BLM land, a Nevada brothel, and more.

Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

  • NEVADA Souvenirs?

    Carolyn Rosner
 

MONTANA
It seems counterintuitive, but triathlete Brent Ruby, who directs the Department of Health and Human Performance at the University of Montana, wondered if eating a Big Mac might be just as healthy as scarfing down PowerBars after strenuous exercise. The makers of sports supplements tend to exaggerate their effectiveness, he said, touting their clear “natural” superiority to something as obviously odious as a double cheeseburger with an extra serving of fries. But is their advertising backed up by the facts — or are fitness freaks spending lots of money without reason? Ruby devised an experiment, reports the Billings Gazette, involving 11 active men who cycled for 90 minutes and were tested before and after consuming either the sports supplement or fast food from McDonald’s, which precisely measures its servings and was conveniently located just across the street. The result: Muscle recovery and exercise performance “were not different when comparing products created specifically for sport recovery and traditional fast food.” Ruby concluded that rebounding physically after workouts doesn’t have to be complicated. The body’s requirements are pretty simple, he said: “You asked me to work. I’ve done my job. Put some stuff back in the tank, dude.”

CALIFORNIA
Indignation doesn’t begin to describe the reaction of Californians who found out — thanks to the Coachella-based Desert Sun — that the Nestlé Corp. has been drawing water from wells that tap into a canyon’s springs without the permission of the San Bernardino National Forest. In fact, the permit for water withdrawal expired 27 years ago. The Sun also discovered that the Forest Service wasn’t tracking how much water was being taken. Reaction to the story was swift: Protesters blocked the entrance to Nestlé’s bottling plant in Sacramento, and a petition demanding that the corporation stop profiting from state water gained more than 135,000 signatures. “While California is facing record drought conditions, it is unconscionable that Nestlé would continue to bottle the state’s precious water, export it and sell it for profit,” the petition declares. Actually, what Nestlé has been doing is apparently the norm: The Sun reported that no state agency tracks how much water is used by the 108 private bottling plants in California, of which Nestlé operates five. But thirsty Californians may set their minds at ease; the San Bernardino National Forest supervisor says that the Nestlé matter “has gone to the top of the pile in terms of a program of work for our folks to work on.”

IDAHO
It might seem romantic, but spray-painting your prom invitation in giant pink-and-blue graffiti on federal land is a dumb idea. The Black Cliffs near Boise is a popular rock-climbing area on Bureau of Land Management land near Boise and is also culturally significant to Native American tribes. It’s not that easy to access, but once there, the sprayer — in all caps — geo-texted: “DESTINY, PROM?” Here’s hoping that Destiny replied, “No, you vandalizing creep.” If identified, he could face up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.

UTAH
That infamous ”penalized” bull above a restaurant in Hurricane, Utah, is once again intact, proudly displaying an appendage that more accurately resembles a giant party hat. Owner Stephen Ward said he decided to restore the copper whopper because his customers liked it. Besides, he didn’t want to take any bull from the local government.

COLORADO
Sometimes there is a happy ending. After someone unwisely dumped a bowl full of goldfish into a 12-acre lake in Boulder a few years ago, the inevitable occurred: A handful of fishies morphed into some 4,000 goldfish. This alarmed Colorado wildlife officials, who feared they were taking over the ecosystem. One suggestion was to shock the fish, then scoop them up and feed them to hungry raptors at a rehabilitation facility; another was to drain the lake to kill all the fish, reports the Boulder Daily Camera. But a fortuitous fix occurred when passerby pelicans — birds usually found at the seashore — dropped down and scooped up almost every single goldfish. “Isn’t it fantastic?” said Fish and Wildlife spokeswoman Jennifer Churchill. “It has totally happened naturally.”

NEVADA
Somewhere near Area 51, in remote south-central Nevada, there’s a brothel that claims to be the nation’s “only themed” bawdy house, reports the Sacramento Bee. The “Alien Cathouse” is its official moniker, and its employees call themselves “Cosmic Kittens.” This legal enterprise in the middle of the desert is so weirdly entertaining that Savannah Sunshine, its madam, boasts that some visitors drop in just to tour. They might be missing something by not participating: “Decency prevents me from listing the services,” says reporter Sam McManis, “but let’s just say that some of these Cosmic Kittens are amphibious and most can do unusual things with pudding.”

High Country News Classifieds
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    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...
  • DYNAMIC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    VARD is seeking an Executive Director to lead a small legal & planning staff dedicated to the health and sustainability of Teton Valley Idaho and...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • CAMPAIGNS DIRECTOR
    Southeast Alaska Conservation is hiring. Visit https://www.seacc.org/about/hiring for info. 907-586-6942 [email protected]
  • FINANCE & GRANTS MANAGER
    The Blackfoot Challenge, located in Ovando, MT, seeks a self-motivated, detail-oriented individual to conduct bookkeeping, financial analysis and reporting, and grant oversight and management. Competitive...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....
  • CONTRIBUTING EDITOR, BOOKS, CULTURE AND COMMENTARY (PART-TIME, CONTRACT)
    High Country News is seeking a Contributing Editor for Books, Culture and Commentary to assign and edit inquisitive, inspiring, and thought-provoking content for HCN in...
  • STATEWIDE COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    ABOUT US Better Wyoming is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy organization that educates, organizes, and mobilizes Wyoming residents on behalf of statewide change. Learn more at...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    TwispWorks is a 501(c)3 that promotes economic and cultural vitality in the mountainous Methow Valley, the eastern gateway to North Cascades National Park in Washington...
  • CLEAN ENERGY ADVOCATE OR DIRECTOR
    Location: Helena, Montana Type: Permanent, full time after 1-year probationary period. Reports to: Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs. Travel: Some overnight travel, both in-state...
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Restore Hetch Hetchy, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, seeks experienced development professional to identify and engage individuals and institutions who are inspired to help underwrite...
  • PUBLIC LANDS COUNSEL
    The successful candidate will be the organization's lead counsel on public lands issues, including reviewing federal administrative actions and proposed policy and helping to shape...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES DIRECTOR
    Solar Energy International (SEI) is a 501(c)3 non-profit education organization with a mission to provide industry-leading technical training and expertise in renewable energy to empower...
  • TRAINING MANAGER
    This is a full-time position based out of our Paonia office. This position is responsible for organizing all of Solar Energy International's renewable energy trainings....
  • GUIDE TO WESTERN NATIONAL MONUMENTS
    NEW BOOK showcases 70 national monuments across the western United States. Use "Guide10" for 10% off at cmcpress.org
  • RARE CHIRICAHUA RIPARIAN LAND FOR SALE
    40 acres: 110 miles from Tucson: native trees, grasses: birder's heaven::dark sky/ borders state lease & National forest/5100 ft/13-16 per annum rain
  • ENVIRONMENTAL GEOPHYSICS
    "More Data, Less Digging" Find groundwater and reduce excavation costs!
  • LUNATEC ODOR-FREE DISHCLOTHS
    are a must try. They stay odor-free, dry fast, are durable and don't require machine washing. Try today.
  • 10 ACRES OF NEW MEXICO HIGH DESERT
    10 Acres of undeveloped high desert land in central NM, about 45 minutes from downtown Albuquerque. Mixed cedar and piñon pine cover. Some dirt roadways...