Doc's Legacy


Ed Marston's essay, "Goodbye, Doc," in the April 16, 2012, issue particularly resonated with me. As co-editor with my partner, Mark Schiller, of northern New Mexico's journal of environmental and social justice, La Jicarita News, I've contributed articles, butted heads with editors, and written letters of complaint to High Country News over the years. We often conflicted over analyses of the causes of environmental degradation that pitted urban environmentalists against land-based communities. But I always appreciated Ed's move to broaden the paper's coverage beyond environmentalism sin gente.

In my work with La Jicarita News, I have come to know so many folks who, like Doc and Connie Hatfield, embody the hard work and land ethic necessary to keep farming and ranching viable. But the Hatfields' story means something more to me: Mark also was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and lived for 18 months before he died on Nov. 27, 2010.

La Jicarita News ended its 16-year run as a monthly, hard-copy newspaper in December of 2011. We are now an online journal,, in collaboration with the American Studies Department at the University of New Mexico. We continue to cover the politics of natural resource use in northern New Mexico but with a broadened view of how these issues affect all of New Mexico's communities, both rural and urban.

Kay Matthews
Editor, La Jicarita News

Chamisal, New Mexico