Saturday, July 2, 2011
Now...for some local Pet Peeves!
Okay, enough of the feds. Let's look at some local pet peeves that have me just as hopping mad as federal interference in legitimate state laws. Some of these have been building for some time, others not so much. What I will do is start with the worst, and go on in diminishing order of priority.
1) The Target Shooters near Pike National Forest.
Look, I have enjoyed target shooting (mainly with .22 rifle using hollow points, and shotguns) as much as the next person. But do some target shooters REALLY need to pepper areas of the much-used Pike National Forest? A recent report from Forest Rangers disclosed as many as one hundred large trees felled merely from people shooting them up, including using large caliber weapons: AR-15s, Uzis, Kalashnikovs and other fare (as well as large caliber pistols, e.g. .44 Magnums). IS this really necessary?
People (with kids) hike in the forest. It has many trails, also clear brooks for keeping cool. I usually venture out there in August with the wife, to hike and enjoy a pot luck lunch with friends. Must we now wear body armor in order to go over there and enjoy a simple outdoor lunch? Must we call on the feds (ATF) to do a real job for once, as oppposed to an ersatz one (raiding medical dispensaries that stock MJ for cancer pts.?)
Inquiring minds want to know! Would you like it if a place you enjoyed was a primary place for target shooting? Hey, I know some of you guys are either ex-military or current (what with all the soldiers around the area, most moved in from Ft. Hood, TX) but can't you guys find an outlet at a regular, target shooting range ...you know ...where people aren't hiking, or lunching or whatever?
2) Feeding Mama bear and cubs (see photo):
Seems some lamo tourists (or local dimwit losers) got the brilliante idea that buying Double Whoppers at a Burger King in Eagle, then hand-feeding them to Mama Bear and her cubbies was a capital idea! Actually, it was barbaric and insane. Not only have these bozos now put citizens at risk (because the bears have lost their fear of people) but the bears as well- by becoming addicted to human fast food chock full of salts and fats. As a Wildlife Agency officer (Ron Velarde) pointed out:
"This is an extraordinary example of stupid and irresponsible behavior by people. Because of their reckless action, the sow and cubs now know that people mean food. This dramatically increases the likelihood that these bears will get into trouble and have to be put down."
Wildlife Officers are also requesting public assistance to identify the bear-feeders. Anyone caught feeding major predators in Colorado, including: black bears, wolves, and mountain lions, is subject to felony wild animal feeding - and hefty fines and-or imprisonment of up to 90 days. As Perry Wills, a local wildlife official put it:
"Locals and visitors alike need to understand that we will not tolerate anyone putting putting our citizens and wildlife at risk."
Here's what I don't get. According to the press reports, witnesses -several of them- reported the suspects entering BK then emerging with bags of giant whoppers. Then, they withdrew the giant burgers and approached the bear family to hand-feed them. Why in hell didn't any of these upstanding citizens step in and say: 'Hey! You can't do that! You'll risk people's lives by making the bears into pests and prone to attack, and also risk the bears being shot by wildlife officals as threats! Use your damned heads!"
But no one did.
Meanwhile, some advice to these bear-feeding miscreants: Next time you want to endear yorself to a critter and feed 'em by hand, please take a jet to Miami International, get a motel on U.S. 27 near the Everglades, and go in there with some double whoppers to feed one of the 30,000 Burmese pythons (up to 14' long each) now estimated to be on the loose. I am sure any one will appreciate it...or mayhap one of the large gators wandering around! (If either doesn't ingest you first!)
3) Driving Cattle along Tejon St. (See photo).
Okay, okay, I know Colorado above all other states is the heart of the Old West. (After all, 'Durango Kid' was one of my favorite comics in the fifties). I also know the Big Brand Ranch Rodeo is tonight. But must the cowpokes use the main drag of Colorado Springs (Tejon Street) for their cattle drive - leaving roughly 1,000 pounds of cattle poop for the overworked city workers to clean up? (Not to mention forcing holiday traffic to take major detours- clogging up other arteries).
How 'bout no more of these mini -cattle drives with longhorns, especially along city streets? Or, if you must do it- how about at night- when it'll at least keep the hoodlum element at bay? (As opposed to having fifty bar fights in the dives along Tejon and its side streets.)
I've got some more peeves, but this is enough for now..