E-Mail for the rural West

by Staff

The West's great distances, geography and weather often isolate its communities. That can make for a high quality of life but difficult communications. The Helena, Mont.-based computer non-profit WestNet hopes to overcome those barriers by providing a computer-based bulletin board service. With a computer and a modem, anyone - from ranchers and loggers, to Native Americans, historians and conservationists - can research and debate regional issues. Current "electronic conferences' on-line include the wilderness debate in Montana and the Northern Rockies, tracking the wise-use movement, a forum on Montana politics and a six-week discussion called "Next West" with Western writers and scholars such as Charles Wilkinson and Karl Hess. Other resources include computer training for non-profits and the use of Graphical Information Systems to benefit conservation groups. To sign up for a 30-day trial, dial WestNet at 406/442-3697 from your computer. Parameters are 14,400 bps or slower, 8 data bits, 1 stop-bit, no parity and VT100 or ANSI terminal emulation. Or contact Marshall Meyer at Desktop Assistance, 324 Fuller Ave, Suite c2, Helena, MT 59601-5029 (406/442-3696), E-mail at desktop@igc.apc.org via the Internet. © High Country News