Dear Friends

  • BLAST OF WINTER: This tree survived

    Cindy Wehling photo
  • SHADOW, CABEZA PRIETA: On display in Tucson

    Michael Berman photo
 

First snow

It was like getting hit in the face with a cream pie: A wet snow dumped on much of western Colorado early this month. Trees, still laden with leaves, bent low, some breaking, some perilously stretching power lines, and until the mist cleared, all seemed heavy and ominous. Then the sun chased the foreboding away and also cleared most of the roads. Now we've got that startling contrast back: The temperature drops to 20 degrees or below at night, then zooms up to 50 degrees or more during the day. In a word, it's bracing, or if we're permitted another word, exhilarating.

Vestiges

Scratch a photographer in the West and most often you'll find a passionate defender of wild lands. In Arizona, photographer and High Country News subscriber Michael Berman is no exception, his passion being the Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge. Agreeing with Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt, who said vehicle trails "slice and dice" the refuge, Berman wants wilderness managers to eliminate road tracks and restore the area. You can see Michael Berman's photos of this spectacular sanctuary at his exhibit called "Vestiges: Wilderness in Arizona & New Mexico." It's installed at the Temple Gallery, 330 South Scott Ave., Tucson, Ariz., until Dec. 2 (520/624-7370).

Fall visitors

Brett Greene stopped by after finishing a summer of research at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab in Gothic, Colo. He got out just before snow closed the road for the winter, he said. He and HCN staffer Michelle Nijhuis were recent classmates at Reed College in Oregon.

Bill Cunningham, a writer in Montrose, Colo., told us about his "Rocky Mountain Tough" series of books, and a couple from Santa Barbara, Calif., Benjamin and Susanne Sawyer, chatted with us about her job at an independent book store that's so successful "people come from out of state to shop there." They were accompanied by their dogs Buddy and Chester, littermates.

We also said quick hellos to Denise Boggs, from Utah's Glen Canyon Institute, Pete Kolbenschlag, director of the Grand Junction office of the Colorado Environmental Coalition, Susan Tixier, state CEC director based in Denver, and Jeff Widen, who represents the coalition in Durango.

Susan Easton and Charlie Fautin, a Laramie, Wyo., couple just back from working for Oxfam United Kingdom in Sri Lanka, informed us they'd regularly received their copies of High Country News abroad, "and even read the paper while sitting beneath a papaya tree."

Marion and Rachel Ross said hello during their mother-daughter road trip from Southborough, Mass., to Santa Cruz, Calif.; and Art Roscoe and Nancy Nightingale told us they'd gotten to know the paper better by listening to reporter Blair Fuelner interview HCN publisher Ed Marston on public radio KPCW, Park City, Utah.

Honored

Feeling a bit like postal workers - "neither rain nor snow nor sleet ..." - representatives of five rural western Colorado organizations journeyed through the first storm of the winter to downtown Denver on Nov. 10, to be honored for their work on some of the West's most intractable problems: grazing, logging, mining and population issues.

The occasion was the Investment in Excellence Dinner put on by the University of Colorado at Denver. The Wirth Chair in Environmental and Community Development Policy, set up to honor former Colorado Sen. Tim Wirth, made the following awards:

High Country News for its reporting on building understanding and consensus concerning sustainability. Board member Dan Luecke and publisher Ed Marston attended the dinner.

The Gunnison Ranchland Conservation Project, which promotes a voluntary, landowner approach to preservation. Susan Lohr attended.

The Western Slope Environmental Resource Council, based in Paonia, which has been working with ranchers to improve grazing in the West Elk Wilderness. Tara Thomas attended the dinner.

The Delta-Montrose Public Lands Partnership, which attempts to build consensus around the idea of using traditional industries to improve and protect ecological systems. Allan and Cathy Belt attended the dinner.

Dr. Richard Grossman of Durango was honored for his efforts to create awareness of the damage population growth causes through his monthly newspaper column in the Durango Herald. Dr. and Mrs. Grossman attended.

"Junkyard dogs"

The High Country Citizens Alliance of Crested Butte, Colo., held its annual dinner on Nov. 5. The outfit is 21 years old, but only this year did the group get around to making its first Junkyard Dog Award. It went to Gunnison County Commissioner Marlene Zanetell, in part because she helped block the paving of Cottonwood Pass (HCN, 12/22/97). She described the citizens of her county as "junkyard dogs' when it comes to defending their land.

* Betsy Marston for the staff

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