Hunting issue reverberates
From Montana writer Scott McMillion about our
exploration of some issues surrounding hunting (HCN, 12/11/95):
"The top of the food chain is a pretty good place to be, and don't
forget: More money is spent each year on hunting than on movie
From California reader Bryan Hill:
"Anti-hunters have a moral dilemma because they demand multiple
standards toward living organisms and refuse to admit that humans
are natural ... Fishing is just another form of hunting; why don't
they also complain about fishing?"
Colorado reader Malcolm McMichael III: "I cannot abide anti-hunting
hyprocrites, those who criticize the sport even as they devour a
chicken sandwich. To them, hunting is vile and oafish. Yet these
moralists are untroubled to let others breed, pen raise, then kill
and butcher each evening's entree."
We could go
on. Is there anyone who doesn't have an opinion about hunting in
the West? Staff has always been fascinated by the annual rite of
guys and guns heading for the high country, but we were unaware -
until now - that so many readers shared our
We appreciate the many detailed and
thoughtful responses, and as the bite-size paragraphs reveal above,
most writers lambasted critics of hunting. A handful of writers,
however, such as Montanan Richard Clark, said they have begun
hunting with a new attitude, one that can be summed up as "deep
reverence for my prey." Besides a couple of letters on page 14
about hunting in this issue we also include an essay by writer Jim
Fergus on page 16.
Corrections and emendations
The Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts urges us to note that it is a
good source for information on private conservation options
(-Saving the Ranch," HCN, 11/27/95). The group operates a speakers'
bureau, holds public conferences and also offers workshops for
landowners. You can reach the coalition at Box 1651, Durango, CO
Writer Michael Leccese of Boulder, Colo.,
who told us about a pedestrian conference in Heard around the West
(HCN, 11/27/95) wants us to correct our description of what he does
these days. He is now a freelance writer.
editing error Dec. 25, in a story about raising private money to
restore wolves to Yellowstone National Park, changed the title of
Mike Phillips. He works for the Park Service.
Into a black hole
Several readers have told us that our new area
code, 970, isn't perfectly integrated; a recording sometimes tells
HCN callers that we no longer have a "working number." Not so;
we're working! Our occasional phone disappearance was not aided by
a Denver TV station showing a map that included western Colorado in
an area code meant for southern Colorado.
Robert "Ramon" Amon dropped by just before
beginning his tour on behalf of the Idaho Cove-Mallard area, scene
of arrests and ongoing protests against wilderness logging. For the
next three months you can learn more about what's at stake, plus
meet Ramon and folksinger Robert Hoyt, at their traveling roadshow.
It's booked at various venues in St. Louis, Minneapolis, Illinois,
Ohio, Pennsylvania, northern New York, Massachusetts, Maine and
some points in between where they'll be "casting song and bombast
upon the waters." There's even a booking agent to call: Tony, at
Dorik Mechau and Carolyn Servid,
who run the Island Institute in Sitka, Alaska, stopped by with his
mother, Paula Mechau, who, at 89, is considered the "wise woman" of
nearby Redstone, Colo. The family was saddened by the loss of Paul
Lowdenslager, Paula's son-in-law, who died recently of cancer. He
had been a professor of political science at Western State College
in Gunnison, Colo.
We greeted a new reader,
Susan E. Ayer, who left a job in medical technology in Denver and a
looming monster home next door to move to the town of Hotchkiss,
Colo., population 770 or so.
subscriber Bill Tweed, who works for the Park Service in
California's Sequoia National Park, stopped in after attending
meetings in Denver. Air pollution in Sequoia, he said, remains "the
worst" of any park, thanks to traffic in Sacramento, Fresno and
other populated areas.
They'll be missed
sorry to hear of the death of former congressman Mike Synar, 45, of
Oklahoma, who fought for gun control, higher public-lands grazing
fees, and against the tobacco lobby. "It's a terrific loss for the
country," said Colorado Rep. Pat Schroeder, a fellow Democrat.
"Some Westerners wanted to kill him (because of his stand on
grazing reform). He was absolutely fearless ... he played for
keeps." What she remembers most about Synar, who suffered from
brain cancer: "Right now there are very few leaders like him. It's
a very barren time."
We also heard with regret
of the death of former Forest Service staffer Jim Bradley. He'd
worked since 1987 as a wilderness expert for Democratic Rep. Bruce
Vento's subcommittee on public lands and parks. Bradley, 47, died
And thanks to
Crested Butte, Colo., Mountain Sun reporter (and former HCN intern)
Shea Andersen for sending us a tear sheet from an outdoor catalog
company, MontBell, which is based in Santa Cruz, Calif. We know
it's hard to believe, but there, in the see-through pouch of a
pricey garment bag, is a copy of High Country News. It looks nice
Marston for the staff