An interesting factoid about Washington, D.C. is that it dwells in no state. That’s right—it’s not in Virginia and it’s not in Maryland. What this means, aside from unique bragging rights, is that inhabitants of the district have a minimal voice in Congress, as they have no senators and just one non-voting representative.
It’s irked the city’s 580,000 residents for quite some time—call it a racial issue, an example of Federalist oppression, or just plain District Envy—and no one’s been able to do anything about it. As of press time, even the noble D.C. Statehood Green Party hasn’t been able to add a star to the American flag.
A moral victory was won, then, when the phrase “Taxation Without Representation” was added to D.C. license plates in 2000. President Clinton outfitted the presidential limos with the new plates. On “taking” office, Dubya had them removed.
What does this prove? Not much, except that in our society of internal combustion, license plates can be an effective way to get your message out.
Which brings us to the point: See the license plates to the right? One of the four will be the new license plate to support the Buffalo Field Campaign’s efforts to protect the Yellowstone buffalo herd. If, that is, they can decide which plate to print and raise the necessary funds, which is where you, dear friend of wild thangs, come into play.
Visit buffalofieldcampaign.org/montanalicenseplate.html to vote and/or donate. Alternately, you can send your vote to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And they’re off!
Two early events contend for our attendance. First, the Montana Natural History Center knows how important knowledge is to love, and they’re supplying the former during their Volunteer Naturalist Training at 4 PM on Thu., Nov. 1, at 120 Hickory St. The “Reason for the Season” program will teach you to teach kids about seasonal change, and it all begins when you call 327-0405.
At roughly the same time, geologically speaking, madcap adventurer Will Cross— who, despite having Type 1 Diabetes, has trekked to both the North and the South pole, as well as to the highest point on every continent—executes an electrifying presentation and travelogue at 4:50 PM in UM’s Urey Lecture Hall on Thu., Nov. 1. Call 243-4291 to challenge Cross to a walk-off.
With the first hints of the chill-to-come glistening on the bike paths and roadways of our morning commutes, it’s easy to see why some people are getting ready to glide down snow-frozen waves. For all you Snowbowl fans, REI-Missoula saves you a trip up Grant Creek Road this weekend as they host Snowbowl Picture Day at noon on Sat., Nov. 3—come get your season pass photo taken and grab tickets for the new Warren Miller flick, Playground, which hits the Wilma Theatre on Nov. 9 and 10. (See Mountain High next issue.)
Of course, some of us aren’t ready to strap anything on just yet, unless you’re talking about a well-worn pair of hiking boots, that is. The Rocky Mountaineers are ratcheting up the stakes this week with a trip that’s described as “a lot of elevation gain over a relatively short distance.” Join them on Sat., Nov. 3, as they head deep into the Mission Mountains to scale Mount Calowahcan (the hill formerly known as Mount Harding), which stands at 9,061 feet, give or take. You’ll want to be in good shape, have some familiarity with technical climbing, have your own harness, belay device and tribal recreation permit, be ready for crappy weather and call Forest at 721-6384 or 240-7612.
Birds are on the move these days, heading for warmer climes to while away the coming season. Tag along with ardent bird stalker Larry Weeks, Five Valleys Audubon’s field trip chairman, as he leads a waterfowl-watching sojourn to the riparian areas by the Smurfit-Stone Container mill on Sun., Nov. 4. You’ll meet at 9:30 AM in the UM Fieldhouse parking lot, or if it’s more convenient, hang out at the mill’s main gate, where the birding posse will pick you up at 10. Call 549-5632 if birds are your bag.
The powderheads have us just about surrounded, I’d say. And REI-Missoula’s doing nothing to dissuade them. On Wed., Nov. 7, big mountain skiers Chris Davenport and Cody Townsend present a multimedia heli-skiing experience in Room 106 of UM’s Gallagher Building. Hear them talk about gear and helicopters, and then catch sneak peeks at their roles in Warren Miller’s Playground. And you can win tickets to see the film when it shows at the Wilma on Fri. And some signed Warren Miller books and DVDs. And you can win a weekend in a converted meat locker with Warren Miller. Or with Arts Editor Skylar Browning. Just kidding about that last one. Call 829-0432.
Finally, the Montana Native Plant Society reminds you to shower quasi-regularly, so that flies don’t mistake you for one of the Carnivores, Rotting-Flesh Mimics and Other Crazy Plants of Southeast Asia—see Jedediah Brodie’s presentation on the above at 7:30 PM on Thu., Nov. 8, in the Gallagher Building’s Room L14.
Now go vote on your favorite license plate. And quit driving so much. Unless you’re recreating, that is.