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for people who care about the West

Dear friends


Another special issue

It must be something about the fall that brings to culmination many months of research and interviews. On Sept. 4 we published a special, 24-page issue called Grappling with Growth, which has just gone to a third printing to accommodate requests for copies.

With this issue we offer the first of several special reports on the West's land-grant universities. Like many institutions in the region, these universities are moving-some more quickly than others-to redefine their mission in the changing rural West.

This report focuses largely on Washington State University in Pullman, whose situation in many ways reflects that of colleges of agriculture throughout the West. WSU's position may be tougher than most: Not only is it trying to reconcile the divergent demands of agribusiness and environmentalism, but it is doing so on less and less support. The special issue begins on page 6.


When Chip Rawlins, who has been this paper's poetry editor since 1982, told us he was coming through on his way from Utah to Wyoming last month, we rustled up some 50 interested readers for a poetry reading. Chip has a new book of poems in the works, tentatively called In Gravity National Park, and he also finds time to serve on the boards of two environmental groups, the Wyoming Outdoor Council and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition.

Dropping by the day of Chip's visit were Dick and Jan Scar of Buena Vista, Colo., so we invited them to join us that evening. The couple runs a store for backpackers and mountain bikers called The Trailhead. What's new in their small town, they noted, was the impact of growth: Modular homes are now selling for more than $100,000 "because the Californians are coming."

Other fall visitors include Frank Fiala from Kasilof, Alaska, who works for the National Park Service, and Jean Palmer-Moloney and Jim Moloney from Fairplay, Colo.

* Betsy Marston, for the staff