Dear Friends


Congratulations one and all

Our lead story about Utah's coming Olympics was written by staffer Greg Hanscom, who has another reason to feel proud: Tara Thomas, whom he met while both were students at Middlebury College in Vermont, has agreed to marry him this fall. Tara, from Baltimore, Md., is working on her master's degree in environmental studies from the University of Montana; former HCN intern Greg grew up in Park City, Utah, and was in the middle of his master of science degree in environmental studies at Missoula when High Country News snatched him away.

Congratulations to poet and essayist Reg Saner, who sometimes says he "writes by the foot, and the fact is, I do hike a good deal." The University of Colorado English professor recently received the 1998 Wallace Stegner award from the university's Center of the American West. Saner's latest book is Reaching Keet Seel: Ruin's Echo and the Anasazi, published by the University of Utah Press.

The West has become a hot topic in the world of publishing - at least that's what we deduce from the flood of books published on everything from hiking desert canyons to wading in prairie potholes. Here's an initial sampling: There's a new, updated paperback edition of Tom McNamee's fascinating month-by-month account of The Grizzly Bear, published by Lyons & Burford; Steve Allen has produced, another in his series of guides, Canyoneering: Loop Hikes in Utah's Escalante, published by the University of Utah Press; and on-the-ground personal essays are featured in Janice Emily Bowers' wonderfully titled Fear Falls Away and Other Essays From Hard and Rocky Places, published by the University of Arizona Press.

Two former interns at High Country News have recently published books as well: Ann Vileisis' is a well-researched and well-written account, Discovering the Unknown Landscapes: A History of America's Wetlands, published by Island Press, and Susan Tweit's beautifully illustrated - by Kirk Caldwell - Season in the Desert, A Naturalist's Notebook, is published by Chronicle Books in San Francisco.

Closer to home, Chuck Worley, an environmental activist and plumber who just turned 80, sent us his Ruminations of a Certified Groundhog. It includes poems and essays about his life, including the five years he spent in jail as a conscientious objector during World War II, an experience, he says, that was a lot like living in a slave labor camp. The book is published by Chuck Worley, 2531 P Road, Cedaredge, CO 81413.

To writers and publishers we've failed to mention here, our apologies; we'll try to incorporate books and book reviews more frequently into High Country News. Review copies don't gather dust in the office, however. We give them to libraries or to readers passing through who tell us they stock schools, local libraries and offices of nonprofit groups with these latest books about the West.

Newsletters galore

High Country News is compiling a list of groups that use consensus and collaboration to solve natural resource problems. If you know of such a group, please mail its name, address and a contact person to: Ed Marston, Box 1090, Paonia, CO 81428; email: [email protected]; fax: 970/527-4897.

A month ago, we asked readers to send in newsletters published by small groups. We have 19 now, and are stunned at their diversity, their geographic spread and their wide-ranging concerns. They range from one-page sheets to slickly produced, multicolor publications; they are concerned with everything from neighborhoods to the Great Salt Lake; and the groups that publish them have from a few to a large number of members. If you have a newsletter not listed here, please forward it here to Ed Marston. We originally planned to just do a listing and brief description of each newsletter; now we're shooting for something more ambitious. Already here: Bitterroot Canary Call, Wild Covenants, Hamilton, Mont.; the North Fork Current, the North Fork River Improvement Association, Hotchkiss, Colo.; The Flow, Friends of the Santa Cruz River, Tubac, Ariz.; Forest Health Coalition of Lincoln County, Ruidoso, N.M.; The Survivor, Desert Survivors, Oakland, Calif.; Wildland Firefighter, North American Wildfire Ltd., Mount Hood, Ore.; Friends of Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City; Wild Sentry, Northern Rockies Ambassador Wolf Program Inc., Hamilton, Mont.; Terra Firma, NewFarms, Rociada, N.M.; New Bearings, Ecotrust, Portland, Ore.; View of the Valley, the Oro Valley Neighborhood Coalition, Oro Valley, Ariz.; Durango Nature Studies, Durango, Colo.; Valley Voice, Valley Land Conservancy, Montrose, Colo.; Notes from Friends, Friends of Skagit County, Mount Vernon, Wash.; Focus, Foothill Conservancy, Pine Grove, Calif.; The Web, the Utah Society for Environmental Education, Salt Lake City; News, Indianola Land Trust, Indianola Wash.; Defending the West, Western Environmental Law Center, in Eugene, Ore.; Friends of the West, Clayton, Idaho.

Strictly anonymous

A would-be subscriber wrote to say he or she would like to subscribe to HCN - "I really like it" - but "having just spent two years clearing my name from all mailing lists, I will not do business with anyone who doesn't have a published policy like the one enclosed."

The policy was from the Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, and it said: "FSEEE doesn't share its mailing list with anyone. Your name is completely confidential."

Our policy is to trade our mailing list with similar organizations or publications (we never sell names), and to withhold the names of subscribers who ask us to do so. Unfortunately, we couldn't explain this policy to the writer: Consistent with his or her fear of getting on some list, no name or address was enclosed.

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