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A CRASH IN WESTERN COLORADO

  • Energy development near Grand Junction, Colorado. What will the tourists think? BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT

  What happens when an energy boom collides with an amenity boom? Join High Country News and a panel of experts on Thursday, May 15, at Mesa State College in Grand Junction, Colo., for a rousing discussion exploring whether a gas-field town and a recreation and retirement community can coexist. Hear multiple viewpoints about one of the biggest issues in the region. Panelists include State Sen. Josh Penry; Gabe Preston, long-range planner; Tresi Blair Houpt, Garfield County commissioner; and George Orbanek, former editor and publisher of the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel. The discussion begins at 7 p.m. and audience participation is encouraged. Meet HCN staff and board at a reception afterward. Visit www.hcn. org/crash.jsp for more details.

MORE NODS TO NIJHUIS

A new National Geographic special report, "Changing Climate," features the work of HCN contributing editor Michelle Nijhuis. The report discusses the signs and impacts of global warming; Michelle's story, "Village Green," describes what state and local governments are doing to fight climate change despite the lack of federal action.

Michelle also won the 2008 Media Award from the American Institute of Biological Sciences for her invasive species stories "Beetle Warfare" (Nov. 26, 2007) and "Bonfire of the Superweeds" (Aug. 20, 2007). Congratulations, Michelle!

JUST THE THING FOR SHRIKE-SPOTTING

Subscribers Doug Newton of Tucson, Ariz., and Alan McCready of Sierra Vista, Ariz., dropped by while on a birding trip through western Colorado. After stops in Wray and Gunnison, they popped in at HCN to let us know how much they appreciate the newsmagazine. They also appreciated the lovely olive-green color of some of our T-shirts. "Good for blending in when bird-watching in, say, the forest," says Alan.

Cam Scott, a poet and fly-fishing shop manager who grew up with HCN, came by the office in his waders to say hi and tour the digs. Before returning to his home base in nearby Basalt, Colo., Cam penned a poem about our town and the West on a paper plate:

Cat at the Window, Paonia

Basin-ranges are my lullaby. Sagebrush is my honeypie.

I drive to the other side of the mountains like switching from celery root to roasted chiles.

A town where I am middle-class again, not on the edge of survival, and drink in the people as slowly as my beer.

It takes hours the next morning to leave - blowing through like a piece of tumbleweed, the cat's got claws.

I spend half my nights on the road. Sure, there are trout and rivers. Maybe a woman. But I am certain this isn't running or searching. It is the long run.

Through all these changes the dusty West keeps leaping in my lap, pushing down the keys.

What more could I ask for? Tilting back toward the sun for another go-around.