The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418 Message #2287401
Posted By: Rapparee
13-Mar-08 - 11:17 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
City ranks No. 5 for fishing, hunting
BY JOHN O'CONNELL
PO CATE LLO — To local outdoorsman the news is likely as welcome as finding a stranger casting in a favorite fishing hole . The
community's public officials , on the other hand , must be feeling like they've landed the big one .
Either way, the Gate City has been discovered as one of the
nation' s best communitie s for outdoorsmen.
Outdoor Life magazine's March 20 edition will rank Pocatello as the fifth best place in the U.S. for hunters and anglers to live. Mountain Home, Ark., Lewiston, Idaho, Sheridan, Wyo., and Cody, Wyo., finished in the top four.
According to the magazine, Pocatello made the list largely for its "legendary trout fishing, high-country elk and trophy mule deer."
Outdoor Life has a circulation of about 1 million.
"I'm a westerner, and I see that attention is always a double-edged sword," said Andrew McKean, hunting editor of Outdoor Life. "You've got the folks who are there who don't want anybody to see the great merits of those places, and then you've got people who are looking for places to live."
McKean said other factors were also considered in the rankings including: proximity to public lands, culture, crime rate, quality of education, commute times and affordability of housing.
McKean, who has traveled through Pocatello many times, said the Gate City scored major points for its proximity to public land.
"You must know how rare that is. That is an intangible that a lot of people don't have in this country," McKean said.
He said Pocatello also received high marks for its diversity of game species and fish — nine huntable species and seven fishable species can be found in Southeast Idaho.
"From a hunting perspective, you've got elk, mule deer, unbelievable waterfowl, good upland birds, and you're getting more turkeys all the time," McKean said.
Pocatello also has some of the most affordable housing he's seen among towns with such great opportunities for outdoorsmen.
"The median home price was remarkable to me because it still is an affordable western mountain town," McKean said.
McKean docked Pocatello for its crime rate, which he said was high relative to the other 199 communities that made the list. As a benchmark for crime, he compared the number of car thefts per year based on a 100,000 population.
Large cities, with the exception of Sacramento, Calif., didn't score well on his list based on high crime rates and long commute times.
"We looked at towns over a 4,000 population. Our main focal point was towns 6,000 and above," said McKean, whose own home town, Glasgow, Mont., is too small to make the list.
For all of the outdoor wonders readily available to Pocatello residents, McKean quickly noticed the community doesn't seem to have the positive image to match.
Indeed, three responses were posted to McKean's article on his magazine's Web site, and two were about Pocatello. Both were negative.
"Yup, keep driving south right to UTAH. We got plenty of people showing up to hunt. Kinda spoiling it. Pocatello is the Armpit of Idaho," one posting read.
Another person wrote: "Soda Springs, Idaho. If you stay in Pocatello, you will drive to Soda to hunt and fish."
But McKean isn't interested in "glitz and glamour," and the last thing he wants on his list is a city that employs a large public relations staff but can't live up to the hype. He believes readers would prefer to find quiet, lesserknown places.
"There are a lot of towns that have really inflated views of their own quality of life. One of the things that I like that went into the basket of 200 were towns that were really authentic," McKean said. "These are places that may not have grandiose views of themselves, or their neighbors may not think they're remarkable places to live. Even places that may not think they're heaven on earth do really well. The towns that are quiet destinations are real, authentic places, and they're the places our readers like, as well."