A decade late, High Country News has caught up to George Orwell's 1984. With the help of a grant from the Surdna Foundation, a team here has begun to create an electronic index and archive of back issues.
Almost certainly we will introduce new errors as we transfer information from print to electrical blips. But we also have the chance to erase past mistakes: We can move the logging town we placed in California back into Oregon; we can change Sen. Dennis DeConcini from the U.S. Senator from New Mexico back to Arizona; we can correct the numerous times we've called the GAO the Government Accounting Office (instead of the General Accounting Office); and we can correct the two times we've mistaken the gender of a Grand County, Utah, commissioner.
But the very act of making these corrections will introduce new mistakes, in the sense that we normally correct mistakes in Dear Friends or publish letters from readers. Should we, then, go through subsequent issues and remove the apologies, corrections and excoriations?
Some corrections will have to be made. For example, about 10 years ago, in letters an inch or so high, we misspelled buccaneer on the first page of the paper in a story referring to financier James Goldsmith. But what about factual mistakes? For example, should we go back and correct the first story referred to in the correction below? We'd appreciate suggestions.
Corrections - ours and theirs
Tom Murphy of Chicago, Ill., writes to correct HCN's regional-centrism. He writes that in the 10/4/93 issue and again in the 5/16/94 issue, HCN refers to a pack of wolves as the first known breeding pack east of the Continental Divide in the lower 48 states. "Perhaps it is time to point out that wolves have been breeding in Michigan, Minnesota and perhaps Wisconsin for many years," Murphy writes.
Two young men from Grand Junction, Colo., recently pushed a large boulder over the edge of a cliff into a canyon on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management. The boulder crushed the cliff edge, causing a slide that killed one man and injured the other. The local daily, the Grand Junction Sentinel, described the injured man as a "climber" in a headline. "Vandal" would have fit just as well, and been accurate.
The correct address of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance is 1471 S. 1100 E., Salt Lake City, UT 84105. In the May 30 issue, we moved Maricopa County from Arizona to another state. It's the county where someone dumped marijuana into an irrigation ditch.
Thanks to the Sublette County Library in Pinedale, Wyo., for sending us several telephone directories.
Julie Hansmire, a sheep rancher from Utah and Colorado, Janice Grauberger with the National Wool Growers in Denver, and Pamela Avery of the All Media Group in Denver stopped by to talk lamb.
Lee de la Houssaye and Becky Garcia, subscribers from Dallas, swung through Paonia on their way from Canyonlands National Park in Utah to Santa Fe.
Ken and Mary Cline and sons Jeremy and Benjamin stopped by on their way from Bar Harbor, Maine, to California, much of it on U.S. 50.
Congratulations to HCN board member Lynda Taylor and to Robert Hasple on their wedding in Santa Fe on May 29.
First summer intern
HCN's new intern, Alexei Rubenstein, arrived in Paonia from Portland, Ore., where he did free-lance environmental reporting at KBOO-FM, a community radio station. He also worked as volunteer coordinator for the Willamette Pedestrian Coalition, a group working to make the city friendlier to pedestrians.
This summer Alexei hopes to combine his past radio experience with his work at HCN. "I am excited about producing feature radio stories dealing with some of the environmental issues HCN covers," he says.
Alexei has worked as a cargo handler in Antarctica, an assistant film editor in Washington, D.C., a hut caretaker for the Appalachian Mountain Club, and a trail crew supervisor for the Student Conservation Association. Alexei tells us he plays the guitar - "three-chord Woody Guthrie songs mostly" - and enjoys backcountry skiing, dips in ice-cold creeks, good films, bowling and backpacking.