Here in Paonia, Colo., the peaches and tomatoes are finally ripening and High Country News is still welcoming lots of summer visitors.
Dale Benjamin and his son, Jordan, of Vancouver, Wash., dropped by the office with Dale's cousin, Hal Brill, a Paonia local. A USDA consumer safety inspector back home, Dale said he was glad to escape the uncharacteristic hot spell in the Pacific Northwest. The two were visiting to help celebrate -- Hal and his longtime partner, Allison Elliot, were getting hitched that weekend.
Mitchel White and Linda WhiteTrifaro, from Alpine, Ariz., visited this month after a two-week tour of Colorado. The couple camped at national forests all across the state, so it was sort of a busman's holiday: They both work for the Forest Service. Linda, a biologist, is helping the agency with the Mexican gray wolf recovery plan.
Aspen Daily News photographer Heather Rousseau stopped by the office to say hi in early August. She was in town working on a feature story on the coal-mining community of Somerset, just down the road. In three weekends, the project has taken her from the depths of the Oxbow coal mine to the barstools of the Loose Moose (a Somerset watering hole) and beyond.
From Fort Collins, Colo., came longtime subscriber John Stokes, wife Deborah Warshaw and daughters Maya and Hannah. They stopped by for a tour following a four-day backpacking trip in the nearby Raggeds Wilderness. John works for the city of Fort Collins as the director of the Department of Natural Resources.
Longtime HCN contributor Susan Tweit came to visit from her home in Salida, Colo. She was working on a story about an organic orchard in nearby Dominguez Canyon for Zone 4, a Western gardening magazine. It was her first visit to the HCN office since the late ‘80s. At the time, Susan was trying to convince former editor/publisher team Ed and Betsy Marston to upgrade their computers. They finally made the switch, although Ed was somewhat reluctant: "I will never have a computer on my desk," he told Susan. "I don't need one." For the record, Ed is now on Facebook. My, how times change.
Several letters responding to Gary Nabhan's opinion piece on Jon Jarvis's appointment as chief of the National Park Service (HCN, 8/3/09) claimed that it was riddled with factual errors. We followed up on these claims and found that while many were simply differences in opinion or interpretation, two of Nabhan's points did beg clarification:
1. Nabhan wrote: "The Drakes Bay Oyster Company has been in operation here since 1932." That's not quite right. Commercial oyster farming has taken place at Drakes Bay since 1932, but the current operators -- Kevin and Nancy Lunny -- purchased the operation from the Johnson Oyster Co. in 2005.
2. Nabhan wrote: "... Jarvis and current superintendent Don Neubacher have decided to phase out … ranching around Drakes Bay." In fact, Neubacher and Jarvis have never publicly expressed a decision to phase out ranching. Nabhan based his statement on verbiage in a National Park Service report; and a 2005 PhD dissertation by Vernita Lea Ediger on rancher/NPS conflicts at Point Reyes.