We need a vacation!

Don’t be surprised that High Country News isn’t in your mailbox two weeks from now. Each summer, we skip an issue, to give staffers a chance to crawl out of their cubicles and frolic in the hills. Your next issue should arrive August 4.

The board comes to Paonia

The High Country Foundation board of directors recently came to HCN’s hometown to spend a few days poking around the office and talking business. The board welcomed four brand-new members: Mark Harvey, of Aspen, Colo., Dave Nimkin, of Salt Lake City, Utah, Loris Taylor from the Hopi reservation, and Marc Sani of Dana Point, Calif. Former board member Dan Luecke of Boulder, Colo., also returned for another spin. The board meeting featured a lunchtime talk from an investment banker, of all people. Hal Brill, who co-authored the book Investing With Your Values: Making Money and Making a Difference, runs an investment house called Natural Investment Services Inc., with his father and one other partner.

Brill says people are becoming fed up with companies where overpaid CEOs, sweatshop labor and environmental damage are the mode of operation, so they’re finding ways to invest in socially and environmentally conscious companies. High Country News is helping in its own small way, he said. Last year, he attended a social investment conference, and there found a coalbed methane driller, who was promoting his product as a “clean-burning,” socially responsible investment.

“Because of what I’d read in this paper, I was fairly horrified,” said Brill. “It sparked some really interesting dialogue.”

The board meeting was capped by a picnic in the Paonia town park with a jovial troop of local readers, who brought all sorts of home-cooked eats. Thanks to our friends at New Belgium Brewery for providing the beer at the potluck. And thanks, also, to Rob Kayberry, who sent along two gigantic, delicious and beautifully made loaves of bread from his Durango, Colo., bakery, which is called “Bread.”

Visitors

David Sanchez of Corrales, N.M., dropped by the office at the tail end of a three-week odyssey around the West, visiting family and fly fishing. Conway and Jan Leovy of Index, Wash., said hello. Carol and David Farmer of Taos, N.M., stopped by during a photography expedition to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. Vicki Rooker of Fairfield, Calif., paid a visit. And David George, who lives in Idaho Falls, Idaho, cruised through town in his pretty car on the way to the MG Car Club rally in Glenwood Springs.

Bill and Beth Isaeff, longtime subscribers from Reno, Nev., stopped in en route to Beth’s nephew’s wedding in Pueblo, Colo. Beth recently spoke to her 20,000th person on the virtues of recycling and waste reduction. After years of practicing water law, Bill produces a monthly TV show about water awareness.

We also got a visit from Spencer Lennard, program director for the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center in Williams, Ore. He said his group is fighting to gain wilderness protection for the 46,000-acre Zane Grey roadless area in southwest Oregon. The Zane Grey is the largest forested roadless area managed by the BLM, he said. It’s not protected by the Clinton-era “Roadless Rule,” and the Bureau of Land Management is claiming it needs to log big trees to prevent severe wildfire.

Nice work, Karen!

Finally, congratulations to former HCN intern Karen Mockler, who has just published her first novel, After Moses. The book was published by MacAdam/Cage, and has already been selected for Barnes and Noble’s “Discover Great New Writers” section.