Apache Gold Casino, Arizona

Summer is definitely the right season to be reading something like this:

The casino sits at the edge of the San Carlos Reservation. Inside, the air is smoky and dim. Barry White plays on the sound system. Then Weezer. Slot machines ding, buzz, and simulate the sound of smashing glass. The gift shop sells straw hats and rhinestoned flip flops, nail polish and soda. Enlarged black-and-white photos hang in the hallway.. There is a picture of an Apache woman, head bowed, face in shadow, holding a child in the cradleboard. There is a photo of Geronimo, whose hand reaches for the pistol tucked into his waistband. The roulette and blackjack tables are empty, draped in heavy drop cloths. Retired couples and scattered loners gaze intently at screens, pulling levers and punching buttons. According to casino promotional materials, “At the Apache Gold Casino Resort, the magic of the ‘Apache Gold Legend’ lives on. Untold riches lie in this desert oasis, awaiting discovery.”

— Chapter 4, Oak Flat: A Fight for Sacred Land in the American West, by Lauren Redniss

Required Reading: Wolves in the American West

Back in February, Montana’s Republican governor killed a wolf without a proper permit. Greg Gianforte, who is best known for body-slamming a reporter on the campaign trail in 2017, trapped the creature after it strayed out of Yellowstone National Park and onto a private ranch owned by one of his political donors — the director of Sinclair Broadcast Group, whose 191 local TV stations might not frown on trapping liberals. A satirist could be proud of this Western. It also exemplified what Chris Servheen, a wildlife biologist in Missoula, describes as a new bout of “anti-predator hysteria in state legislatures in the northern Rocky Mountains.

Lawmakers in Montana and Idaho have recently passed a slew of measures to reduce the number of bears and wolves in their states. In Idaho one law allows wolf-hunting from snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. It devotes money to private contractors tasked with hunting the animals down and removes limits for the number of wolves one person can kill. The law says that wolves can be killed so long as their number still exceeds the state’s recovery goal of 150 animals. That means 90% of the Gem State’s 1500 wolves are at risk.

The Economist, pp 24 – 25, m

Flower of the Day (FOTD), 4 June 2021: Geraniums

Thanks to Cee Neuner for this wonderful Photo Challenge.

Her geraniums are spilling over their containers, including a huge Chinese pot. Self thinks they look better from afar.

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