Dear friends

by Deanna Belch, Lissa James and Matt Jenkins

Potluck

High Country News’ next thrice-yearly board meeting will take place in Portland, and we’d love to have you join us for a potluck party on Saturday, Sept. 25. It will take place at the First Unitarian Church, on the corner of 12th and Main, from 6-9 p.m. Beverages will be provided; please bring a dish — and your opinions and story ideas — to share. Please RSVP by Sept. 22 to Elissa at 970-527-4898 or elissat@hcn.org.

New interns

We’re pleased to welcome two new interns to the staff of HCN. Lissa James says Paonia might be the largest town she’s ever lived in, and it’s definitely the driest. Lissa’s roots are firmly planted in Lilliwaup, Wash., on the Olympic Peninsula, where her family homesteaded in the 1890s and has been involved in logging ever since. Lissa grew up working on her family’s oyster farm while watching her father laboriously decipher the mounds of regulatory paperwork necessary to maintain his state timber-cutting permits. After graduating from Middlebury College in Vermont with a major in English literature, she returned to the West to develop her interest in environmental policy and land management. She hopes to better understand the balance between natural resource extraction and ecosystem protection, and "to help interpret and share information between the administration and those trying to make a living." Lissa wonders how she’ll manage a desk job, since her previous work included packing mules with her brother for an outfitting service this summer in Pinedale, Wyo., and working at a sheep dairy, milking ewes and making cheese.

Born and raised in the coal country of southwestern Pennsylvania, Deanna Belch headed West in 1989, and has never looked back. A graduate of Pennsylvania State with a degree in general arts and sciences, ("for people," she says, "who don’t know what they want to do"), Deanna lived in Aspen for eight years and spent a couple of years in Idaho, where she wrote scripts for children’s science and nature videos. She moved back to Colorado six years ago, setting up camp in Rico, a hamlet tucked away in the San Juan Mountains. Life in Rico brought out her political side; she recently joined the local planning commission, and is an active supporter of the town’s bid to secede from both its county and school district.

The HCN internship will provide Deanna with a much-appreciated break from her job as the Telluride Ski and Golf Resort’s environmental program director. In Telluride, she is in charge of "greening," a process that involves everything from facilitating waste reduction to leading interpretive snowshoe hikes.

Deanna hopes to use her four months at High Country News to gain a broader understanding of Western politics — the better to serve Rico — and to learn about nonprofits. A lifelong photographer, she says she also wouldn’t mind beginning a career in photojournalism.

Corrections

In our recent story about global warming (HCN, 7/19/04: Global Warming's Unlikely Harbingers), we misreported researcher Diana Tomback’s academic affiliation. She works for the University of Colorado at Denver.

Richard Mayol from the Grand Canyon Trust wrote that we mistakenly stated that the Kane Ranch in northern Arizona, which the Trust recently purchased an option to buy (HCN, 8/2/04: Buying ecological leverage), "harbors imperiled species such as ... the Mexican spotted owl." Mayol wrote, "While the Kane Ranch contains habitat potentially good for the Mexican spotted owl, none currently occupy the ranch property."

© High Country News