Irreverent newspaper writers and easy-peasy science

Mishaps and mayhem from around the region.

  • OREGON Oregon Dunes National “Wreckreation” Area?

    Richard LeBlond
 

WYOMING
It must have been a terrifying few moments for the three snowboarders. The young men were traversing a cliff in rugged country near the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, when the going became increasingly icy. Losing control, they slid toward the edge of the cliff and then tumbled over, falling 200 feet into the snow below. Two were seriously injured, and rescue was difficult because they landed in a narrow area; they were flown out by helicopter, dangling in stretchers, reports the Jackson Hole News&Guide. One guy wore a helmet that probably prevented a more serious injury; it was found in the snow, “shattered in the fall.”

UTAH
The Salt Lake Tribune makes no bones about it: It occasionally lacks respect for the state Legislature. This February, the paper called politicians “seriously deluded” if they think Utah has a prayer of gaining control of the 31 million acres of federal land within the state’s borders. In fact, said a recent editorial, a bill from Republican Rep. Mike Noel “might just as well be titled the Utah Public Lands Fairies and Unicorns Act, for all the chances it has of actually setting the rules for any territory.” Noel argues that his bill outlines a plan for ranking priorities for managing those lands. “It’s not a drill rig on every piece of ground,” he insists. “I don’t see that happening.” The editorial board doesn’t see it happening either, because Noel’s bill is merely an “illusion.” Still, it concedes: “The dog that keeps chasing cars should probably be praised for making a plan for what to do with the first one he actually catches.”

IDAHO
Science is really as easy as pie: Just ask an Idaho state legislator.  Worried about the impact of fossil fuels on the world’s climate? “Listen to Rush Limbaugh once in a while,” advised Republican Rep. Dell Raybould. “He’ll tell you that this is just a bunch of nonsense.” Raybould’s skepticism is particularly interesting because he is the chairman of the House Resources and Conservation Committee. Meanwhile, Idaho Republican Rep. Tom Loertscher has his own explanation for global climate change, reports the Idaho Falls Post Register. “We get climate change four times a year,” he said. “It’s called the four seasons. I think we’re pretty vain if we think we can control the climate.”

THE NATION
“Clueless” is just one of the harsh words a former press officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service chose to characterize the Interior Department’s recent “share your love” campaign. No sentimentalist, David Klinger, who worked for the federal agency from 1977 to 2012, said that by asking online for couples’ videos of their marriage ceremonies and “bachelorette blowouts on federal lands,” the Interior Department demeans the “sacredness” of the nation’s parks and refuges, which are not “enlarged platforms for private partying.” Klinger allows that he might be old-fashioned, “but I regard Yosemite as the public’s Sistine Chapel of American conservation, not an inexpensive and tawdry wedding chapel.” Undaunted, the Interior Department shared some of the public-land-based love stories and videos it received at www.facebook.com/USInterior/videos/951270304926651/

CALIFORNIA
How do you sell 117 boxes of Girl Scout cookies in two hours? Just park yourself outside a medical marijuana dispensary, reports the Los Angeles Times. That’s what 12-year-old Danielle Lei and her mother did, near a pot outlet called Green Cross, in San Francisco. They got so busy that 45 minutes later, they had to call for more cookies. “I’m not saying go out in the streets and take marijuana,” said Lei’s mother. She added, though, “I can be a cool parent for a little bit.” Because all the money stays in local chapters, each one makes decisions on how to run a program, and Lei’s chapter said it had no problem with her location. Girl Scouts of Colorado, however, said that it disapproved of the “situation” in San Francisco, adding that Girl Scout cookies must not be sold in the Centennial State near pot shops, liquor stores or bars. Incidentally, Green Cross happens to sell a new variety of marijuana it calls “Girl Scout Cookie.”

IDAHO
Wolf hating might be considered a religion in Idaho, says one longtime resident, who prefers to remain anonymous owing to the extreme emotions the issue provokes. She looked into one charge against the animals — that wolves feast on too many elk — and talked to several outfitters. Most told her they weren’t convinced wolves were to blame for spotty hunter success. One had his own theory: “It’s not easy to haul yourself thousands of feet up into the mountains,” he told her. “Plus you need to be stealthy, not sucking wind. The primary reason that hunters fail to bag an elk has nothing to do with wolves. It’s because more hunters are out of shape. Or, to put it bluntly, fat.”

Tips and photos of Western oddities are appreciated and often shared in this column. Write [email protected] or tag photos #heardaroundthewest on Instagram.

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...