Dear Friends


A forest history award

On March 29, 1999, High Country News published Lynne Bama's story about public-land exchanges and the turn-of-the-century politics that led to checkerboarded lands in the West. Her story vividly outlined how private land came to dot public lands, and how attempts by federal agencies to consolidate their holdings led to controversy and lawsuits, many waged by environmentalists determined to halt logging.

Now, to our delight, Lynne's story has been selected as winner of the 2000 John M. Collier Award for Forest History Journalism. Steven Anderson, president of the Forest History Society, Inc., based in Durham, N.C., says her story was selected because of its "depth of research, quality of analysis, clarity of expression and overall significance." We congratulate Lynne, who wins $500 and a woodcut by Vincent Perez, and thank the society, which named its award after John Collier, a working journalist who died in 1987. Collier ended his career by working for the Southern Forest Products Association; he was also a board member of the Forest History Society.

Fall visitors

Joe and Addie Rocchio stopped by to renew their subscription after attending the Colorado Riparian Association's conference in Telluride. Joe said the fall display of colors around Telluride was "just about perfect." The couple hails from Longmont, where Addie commutes to Boulder to coordinate education at the hands-on Collage Children's Museum and Joe heads north to Fort Collins, where he's a wetlands ecologist for the Colorado Natural Heritage Program.

Bishop, Calif., residents and subscribers Connie and Claus Englehardt and their son, Chris, came through Paonia. The couple was visiting Chris, who was ending a summer stint on a timber crew for the Uncompahgre National Forest. Chris had heard HCN publisher Ed Marston speak while attending Colorado State University and had a few questions about the intern program.

In the shuffle of papers and notes, we managed to lose the names of a couple from Seattle who visited us in mid-September. We remember you, but not your names. You were on your way back to the Northwest via Moab and Arches National Park and were planning to spend the winter in Flagstaff. Please give us a call or drop an e-mail and help us out! Capri Wesley and her cousin, Eric Scott, were on a day trip through the North Fork Valley and decided to drop in and see what High Country News was all about. Capri, who is serving as an intern at a small newspaper in Pottsdam, N.Y., had returned home to Rifle for her grandmother's birthday celebration.

"We saw your sign," said Kent and Sue Pierce, subscribers from Mormon Lake, Ariz., who were in the area looking at land. After gardening at 7,000-plus feet, they're searching for a place where it's easier to grow things. They chatted with editorial and production about Arizona's hot topics: Initiative 202 to slow sprawl and Canyon Forest Village, a proposed planned community on the Grand Canyon's South Rim. Bob Kisken, a subscriber from Mobridge, S.D., asked us how many of his fellow South Dakotans subscribe to High Country News. (The answer: About 100.) Bob told us that things are pretty slow in Mobridge and that "a lot of pinochle gets played." And subscriber Gail Binkly, managing editor of the Cortez Journal, stopped in to say hello while on her way to visit her parents in Colorado Springs.

Two tenacious men

Two longtime fighters for the environment and for protection of Alaska's public lands recently died. We salute Sidney Yates, 91, a Democrat who represented Chicago's North Side for 48 years, during which time he worked for the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and the Alaska Public Lands Act, creating vast amounts of designated wilderness. Minnesota Democrat Bruce Vento, 60, had represented St. Paul in the House of Representatives since 1976, and he, too, worked for clean air and water as well as for creation of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Sierra Club director Carl Pope praises both men as tenacious fighters for healthy public lands.

Growing up handy

Subscriber and 80-something Clevenger Kehmeier has been regaling us recently with tales of his youth during the 1920s in western Colorado. He lived on a small farm and was the only helper when it came time for his father to milk 20 cows.

"Milking cows is a dirty business," he writes from Denver, Colo. "When I rode to school, the aroma stayed with me. My teacher, Mrs. Carter, could tell who had milked cows before school and who had not." Milk paid for sugar, salt, shoes and denim work clothes, he adds. "Overalls and a work shirt cost 49 cents each. No tax in 1927."

Kehmeier went on to Western State College in Gunnison, Colo., and a career starting in 1940 as a United Airlines pilot. Once, he tells us, he put his dairy skills to work while on the job. Flying a cargo plane filled with prize-winning cattle from the Iowa State Fair, one cow bellowed in distress during a short stopover in Denver. Kehmeier says it wasn't hard to figure out what was wrong and what to do: "A cargo handler found a large pail that had once held hydraulic fluid. I milked the cow - a 20-minute delay. She gave over five gallons of milk. The cow appreciated the delay."

Kehmeier's letter came in an envelope with the usual 33 cents worth of postage - made up for a change with 11 3-cent stamps. The stamps, mostly from the 1940s, salute "These Immortal Chaplains" and "The Centenary of the Telegraph" and proudly proclaim "AMERICA AND STEEL - GROWING TOGETHER."

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