Utah in the news
Staff is still
exhausted thinking about the trials of Utah Republican Rep. Enid
Waldholtz. Her tears flowed copiously for almost five hours two
weeks ago while she told the nation she was financially deceived by
her husband. Retiring Democrat Rep. Pat Schroeder of Colorado
minced no words in giving Waldholtz advice: "Resign ... If any
American went out and procured items with illegally gotten money
and it was discovered, they would have to give it back."
Meanwhile, the debate over designating
wilderness on Bureau of Land Management lands in Utah grows hotter
as Congress moves quickly. This issue, much of it by activist and
writer Ray Wheeler, shows just how hot.
A whale of a man
He was a
Grand Canyon boatman named Curtis Hansen, but everyone called him
Whale. He was portly, liked to smoke and drink, and believed in
having a good time (-You bring the backpack, I'll bring the
six-pack'), recalls friend Bob Grusy, who is collecting "Whale
tales' to share with the hundreds - maybe thousands - of people who
knew him over the years. Whale resembled a great big cuddly bear,
says Grusy, and he never talked much about his helicopter duty in
Vietnam. Suffering from ulcers, Whale, 48, killed himself in late
August; since then, two memorial services near the Colorado River
have been held. There may be more.
knew Whale wants to talk about him; to celebrate him, says boatman
Steve Bledsoe. Not just because he was a Falstaffian character, but
also because he embodied a way of the river that's now gone. That
way was unencumbered by many regulations, for back in the late
1960s, recalls Bledsoe, just a "couple thousand" tourists signed up
for boat trips through the canyon; now it's
"We made the rules,"
Bledsoe says, "but now the rules have gotten out of hand."
Popularity has changed the experience from rugged and unpredictable
to something approaching tame. "Whale was the wild days," Bledsoe
If you have a whale tale, send it to the
boatman's quarterly review, whose recent issue includes moving
tributes to Whale by Brad Dimock, Earl Perry and Larry Stevens. The
review's address is P.O. Box 934, Flagstaff, AZ 86002, or call Bob
Grusy at 520/525-1250.
Colorado is the fifth state that
new intern Dustin Solberg has called home in the last five months.
Last June, he joined a harvest crew that followed the ripening
wheat north from Oklahoma to Kansas, and then to South Dakota and
North Dakota. His season of hot, dusty, 15-hour days ended a couple
of miles shy of the Canada border, just as the snow geese and
sandhill cranes began migrating south.
graduating from the University of Montana in geography and
journalism last May, the Grand Forks, N.D., native spent summers
leading teens with Habitat for Humanity projects in Colorado and on
canoe trips through Minnesota's Boundary Waters.
He tells us his hands have adjusted to a Macintosh keyboard again,
though they're still callused from gripping the wheel of a truck
during trips from the field to a grain elevator. After his
internship, Dustin says he'll finish building a 17-foot cedar and
canvas kayak and begin searching for a job in
here we come
board and staff of High Country News invite readers in Colorado
Springs and towns nearby to a potluck get-together Saturday, Jan.
20, from 6-9 p.m. We'll be at Colorado College in the Gaylord Hall
of the Worner Campus Center, 902 N. Cascade Ave. Please call Linda
at 970/527-4898 to confirm. We spread the word early because our
next issue, after a winter break, emerges on Jan. 22,
Thanks to Steve Graham, who works with the
nonprofit Community Resource Center in Denver, HCN has a hefty
407-page Colorado Grants Guide, just published by the center. Steve
is working with three field representatives in the state to help
grassroots groups divine ways to apply for money - no easy feat -
and the guide is part of the expertise he offers. He can be reached
Kathie Wasserman, an
archaeologist in Sitka, Alaska, population 8,000, dropped in to
talk and look at back issues of the paper. On their way to Utah,
Val and Leslie Veirs stopped to talk to staff about the HCN board
meeting and reader potluck set for their town, Colorado Springs.
Val teaches physics and a new environmental science course at
Colorado State University; Leslie coordinates a program for
talented and gifted children in public schools.
We heard from Bill Schneider at Falcon Press in Helena, Mont., a
major publisher in the West. He strongly suggests we revisit the
issue of guidebooks and their role in the region (HCN, 9/4/95 - -I
came, I saw, I wrote a guidebook." ) His position: Books that draw
people to this rugged land and its rivers turn people - almost
always - into advocates; the few bad apples in publishing are
overwhelmed by the responsible ones.
case, Schneider adds, "The answer to overusing a wilderness is more
wilderness. We can deal with overuse more than non-existence."
Marston for the staff