A near visitor
He was probably looking for the High Country News office. Where else would a bear go in Paonia? But it got distracted by its stomach and began lunching on discarded produce at neighboring Don's Market on Oct. 14. The bear temporarily eluded the town's entire police and public works departments - all six people - before it was spotted and then treed next to the elementary school. The Division of Wildlife tranquilized the 250-pound bear and released it near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River.
Bears should be denning by now, but this is a terrible year for them. On the edge of starvation, they are prowling western Colorado's small towns. A short summer, with a resulting lack of berries and acorns, will send them into hibernation badly undernourished. One is reported to have killed a cow outside of Paonia this fall - an unheard-of act for a bear.
Take the pledge
Every other week we are interviewed by Sam Fuqua of KGNU public radio in Boulder about the current issue of HCN. This time when we called KGNU, the phone was answered with: "Good morning, can I take your pledge?"
It is pledge-drive time at public radio stations around the nation, including those two other HCN "affiliates' - KCPW and KPCW in Park City and Salt Lake City, Utah.
And it is Research Fund time at HCN, which can be thought of as a public radio station of print. So we considered answering the scores of calls we get here each day with a cheery: "Good morning - can I take your Research Fund pledge?" But how, we wondered, would that go over with Colorado Sen. Ben Campbell or Idaho Rep. Helen Chenoweth, when they call back to answer a question?
So, low-key as ever, we decided to confine ourselves to a reminder here that HCN's journalism - from the writing to the editing to the fact checking to the photographing - is supported by the Research Fund, and we would very much appreciate your contribution.
In the Hotline about the agreement struck between environmentalists and the Forest Service over logging in the Southwest (HCN, 10/30/95), we edited out what environmentalists gained in the deal. The Forest Service agreed to drop two timber sales and modify two others to protect large trees. That will save about 12,000 old-growth trees altogether, says Kieran Suckling of the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity in Silver City, N.M. In addition, the agency has agreed to conduct research into declining songbird populations in ponderosa pine forests. Suckling says the gains are significant given that the court-ordered injunction on the remaining 131 timber sales will likely be shortlived. The Forest Service is completing its consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over protection measures for the Mexican spotted owl, and federal judge Carl Muecke could lift his logging injunction by December.
* Ed Marston for the staff
A near visitor