ANCIENT ROCK ART VANDALIZED, STOLEN NEAR BISHOP, CALIFORNIA
At least four petroglyphs have been cut out of their rocks and taken from BLM land outside Bishop known as the Volcanic Tablelands. A fifth was defaced with deep saw cuts on three sides. A sixth had been removed and broken during the theft, then propped against a boulder near a visitor parking lot. Dozens of other petroglyphs were scarred by hammer strikes and saw cuts. BLM archaeologist Greg Haverstock called it “the worst act of vandalism ever seen” on the 750,000 acres of public land managed by the BLM field office in Bishop. The thieves weren’t on a random hunt: The theft required the use of ladders, electric generators, and power saws had to be driven into the remote and arid high desert site east of the Sierra and south of Mammoth. Thieves gouged holes in the rock and sheared off slabs that were up to 15 feet above ground and two feet high and wide. The land and the art is considered sacred by the Paiute-Shoshone tribe and is on the National Register of Historic Places. That apparently means little; federal officials admit they don’t have the resources to patrol these sacred sites and prevent future thefts. And even the amount offered by the BLM in reward — $1,000 — may not be enough to bring suspects forward. If they are caught, however, they could go to prison for five years. Via L.A. Times.
GLOBAL ADVENTURER, ONCE 50 POUNDS OVERWEIGHT, ABOUT TO SET A RECORD
When Len Stanmore sold his company in 1998 he was 49. Then he got depressed — he’d achieved financial independence, but now what? So in 2001 he climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It was the only mountain he’d ever heard of other than Mt. Everest, and after making it to the top he realized he did have more to do and began to set out on a second life of adventure — and to raise money for a charity. Now his “seven summits and four deserts” challenge funds a group called Trekking for Kids. As for that record: After a 155-mile footrace in Antarctica in two weeks Stanhope will be the first person to have run across the world’s four largest deserts, the Gobi, Sahara, Atacama, and Antarctica, and reach the seven tallest peaks. He’s also an inspiration: “Just get out there and try it,” he says, of any lifelong goal. “I think the worst feeling would be to have a goal or a dream and you never attempt it. Even if you attempt it and you fail, you have to try, right?” Right. Via Christian Science Monitor.
LAST SUMMER’S DROUGHT IMPACTS SNOWMAKING AT A-BASIN
It’s not a great cocktail, mixing a snowless winter with early summer droughts, and it’s causing headaches for some Summit County ski resorts, including A-Basin, which relies on water from the North Fork of the Snake River into a local reservoir, but low stream levels require more moderation in the outflow. The ski area diverts small amounts of water from the reservoir around the clock for snowmaking operations. Snowmaking crews blow snow 10 hours per day. Snowmaking operations are permitted by water rights, but the ski area is required to maintain a minimum bypass flow to ensure stream health. The only thing that can fix the situation is — duh — actual snow falling from the sky, to help create more meltwater so that next season there’s more flowing in area rivers. Not every Summit County resort is suffering from low-water challenges. Copper and Breckenridge both say their respective stream resources are flowing fine for now. Via Summit Daily.
BILLABONG RESCUER COULD COME FROM WITHIN
Surf brand Billabong has been circling the drain for awhile now, losing $275.6 million (Australia) in its 2011-12 fiscal years and then being spurned by both suitors, TPG and Bain Capital. TPG recently yanked its $700 million offer, about twice the current stock price, after taking a close look. Well maybe U.S. president Paul Naude knows something TPG and Bain don’t — he’s taking a six-week leave of absence to put together a possible bid to buy Billabong. He can’t, however, be in touch with any of Billabong’s top shareholders or directors, and, naturally, he can’t share inside information to potential investors. Via News.com.