DOES WAGNER CUSTOM SKIS MAKE THE PERFECT STICKS? Well, we’re huge fans of the skis that Pete Wagner and his crew of nine craft in Telluride and so, apparently, is Forbes. In a glowing story, the business magazine lays out a nice background on Wagner’s methods, how every customer fills out a 12-part “DNA” questionnaire followed by a one-on-one conversation to dial in flex, sidecut, etc. All the skis are built around wood cores and can be layered with alloy for damping or given a carbon wrap for snappiness. When you learn how much goes into customizing your pair, $1,750 seems like a bargain. Via Forbes.
A RARE CHIMP SO UN-USED TO HUMANS THAT it approaches people out of curiosity is gaining new protection in the Republic of the Congo, now that the country has expanded its Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park by 144 square miles. The chimpanzees are called Pan troglodytes and the region that gained protection is the Goualougo Triangle, a remote swamp forest that is also home to forest elephants and western lowland gorillas. The chimpanzees have been described as “naive” since they show instead intense curiosity rather than fear; chimps in other parts of Africa are wary of humans since they are hunted as bushmeat. The deal to save Gualougo Triangle was brokered between the Republic of Congo government and Congolais Industrielle des Bois, a private logging company, which gave up its rights to log the forest. Via Monga Bay.
UTAH IS MOVING TO LEGALIZE SEIZING FEDERAL LAND. Oh, you Beehivers, you just can’t stop poking your finger in the eye of Uncle Sam, can you? In a bid that stands zero chance of making it in law, the Utah House Natural Resources Committee approved by 8-1 vote a bill that would make it legal for cities and counties to seize federal land. Aside from a general antagonism toward most things federal, the Utahns have their eyes on what they see as mighty developable land. Legislative attorneys say the bill is unconstitutional, but Rep. Ken Sumsion, R-American Fork, said, “When it comes to public lands, I consider it a badge of honor to have a constitutional note.” Via SL Tribune.
ASPEN’S LIFT TICKETS ARE ADORNED WITH ART THIS YEAR. Five different designs based on the art of 43-year-old painter and sculptor Mark Grotjahn are appearing on tickets through a program with the Aspen Art Museum as part of its efforts to expose the great unwashed masses to the more aesthetic and esoteric joys of the conceptual. Gotjahn’s work now sells for $500,000 to $800,000, in case you’d like to consider a career change. Gotjahn grew up skiing at Squaw and said being on the lift passes “could be one of the pinnacles of my career.” It doesn’t hurt that he gets free skiing all season in Aspen, either. Via Wall Street Journal.