In late March, High Country News was one of the sponsors of our hometown's inaugural Paonia Film Festival. Twenty-two short films by western Colorado filmmakers were presented at the Paradise Theatre, including HCN Online Editor Stephanie Paige Ogburn's stop-motion animation about boots in love. The Audience Choice award for "Most Environmentally Conscious" film -- a prize sponsored by HCN -- went to Paonia High School student Kai Funk for his film on area farmers, Paonia Organics. Festival organizers, including HCN Web/IT Manager Mike Maxwell, put more than 1,500 hours of their "spare time" into the festival and were thrilled at the overwhelmingly positive response. They're already planning for next year.
High Country News editorial fellow Emilene Ostlind and wildlife photographer and National Geographic Young Explorer Joe Riis presented their project, Pronghorn Passage, at Cornell University on April 20. Using maps, photography and video, Passage tells the story of a western Wyoming pronghorn antelope herd that migrates 170 miles between Grand Teton National Park and the Red Desert. One of the longest intact migration routes in the Western Hemisphere, the pronghorn corridor is threatened by energy development and residential sprawl. The presentation was sponsored by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, the David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and Cornell's Department of Natural Resources. For more information, see the YouTube video.
GUITAR MAN COMES TO CALL
In mid-April, we had a visit from HCN subscriber Bevan Frost, who was in our western Colorado neighborhood to help a friend build an off-the-grid cabin. A native of Wyoming, Frost and his wife, Robyn Paulekas, currently live above an RV garage in Frisco, Colo., where Frost hand-builds Big Hollow Guitars.
Longtime HCN contributor Craig Childs just received the sixth annual Desert Writers Award from the Ellen Meloy Fund for Desert Writers. The $2,000 grant will support work on his latest book, which is about climate change and the relentless advance of deserts around the world. Childs has published a dozen books on his desert experiences; the latest is Finders Keepers: A Tale of Archaeological Plunder and Obsession. Craig's most recent HCN story can be read at bit.ly/f7VNot.
The award honors the memory of Utah artist, naturalist and author Ellen Meloy, who died in 2004. Her best-known books include Eating Stone: Imagination and the Loss of the Wild and The Anthropology of Turquoise: Meditations on Landscape, Art and Spirit. The Fund "provides support to writers whose work reflects the spirit and passions embodied in Ellen's writing and her commitment to a 'deep map of place.' "
In the April 18 issue, we ran a review of Southern Paiute: A Portrait, which stated that the Church of Latter-day Saints "apologized" for scapegoating the Paiute in the 1857 Mountain Meadows Massacre. The review should have used the word "acknowledged." In 2007, the LDS Church issued a statement of "profound regret" over the massacre and added, "A separate expression of regret is owed to the Paiute people who have unjustly borne for too long the principal blame for what occurred during the massacre." There has been no formal apology from the LDS Church, though. HCN regrets the error.
A caption for the cover photo of that same issue misstated the level of Lake Powell in 2003. The lake level at that time was 100 feet below full pool.