Give that photo a rest

  Dear HCN,

Just when I begin to believe that you guys are presenting a fair picture of what's happening on the environmental front in the West, you dash my hopes once again.

In the recent issue, in the Hotline section (HCN, 6/8/98), you have the famous John Horning overgrazing picture that's been used to death a million times in the past few years. I think you know that there are locations where that picture could hold true, but also just as many locations that would show private land overgrazed and barren and neighboring public lands in great shape.

The only thing that you could possibly do to redeem yourselves is to begin to address the real environmental problem facing the west today - the problem of people and the damn absurdity of all of the limited resources being gobbled up by wealthy refugees from California and back East. Development is the real culprit here.

Ranchers and others who have been sensible for generations with their use of the lands in the West deserve at the very least unbiased reporting from the people who would have us believe you love the West. My guess at this point is that the West you are all so in love with is the West as produced by Walt Disney.

As for development and its effect on Western communities, I believe in your rag a couple of years ago, you referred us to The Western Planner and an article by a Montana professor who documented the results of 20 years of immigration into the West and its results. Please reread that at some point before you print another Horning photo.

Sam Taylor

Tres Piedras, New Mexico

High Country News Classifieds