Dear Friends

  • Rosemary Winters, Stephanie Tidwell and Pixel

    JoAnn Kalenak

A new look, same old spunk

Here it is, at long last — the new High Country News. As promised, the paper has a lively new look, but what’s inside remains largely the same: sagacious reporting, balanced perspective, a skeptical edge. Here’s hoping you like what you find.

To research the cover story, our editor in the field, Ray Ring, traveled to Boise, Idaho. There, he worked side-by-side with freelance radio journalist Guy Hand, who has produced part of a three-part series on fire, which will air on public radio stations around the region on Radio High Country News.

We’ll also be compiling a special collection of fire stories from the HCN archive for the Web site,, and publishing a booklet called Fire in the West, with the highlights of HCN’s fire coverage from the last two decades (see page 19 for details). It’s all part of our effort to pull more folks into this community of hard-thinking, solution-minded people who care about the West.

The new crew

New HCN intern Rosemary Winters thinks that sewing can be an exercise in environmentalism. She recycles old clothing, ripping discarded scarves and pillowcases apart and remaking them into colorful skirts.

Rosemary just received double bachelor’s degrees in mass communication and environmental studies from the University of Utah. Although sustainable agriculture is the topic that interests her most, she has been involved in a range of environmental issues. She has volunteered with Wasatch Community Gardens, worked with the Utah Rivers Council to keep the Bear River from being dammed, and helped convince University of Utah students to add a dollar to their student fees so the school could buy wind power. When she’s not busy saving the world, she likes to telemark ski.

Stephanie Tidwell descended to Paonia from her perch at 10,000 feet at the edge of Colorado’s Indian Peaks Wilderness. For the past two years, she’s been the sole resident of Caribou, an abandoned mining town near Nederland. Stephanie spent her time chasing off-road vehicles from fragile alpine wetlands and completing a master’s degree at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in journalism and environmental policy.

Stephanie became interested in journalism after five years of protecting prairie dogs and fighting public-lands grazing. She also worked for the National Forest Protection Alliance and Ancient Forest Rescue, and trained activists in nonviolent protest. An avid rock climber, she has been known to scale trees in the name of preservation.

You’re invited

Join the staff and board of High Country News for a potluck picnic in our hometown, Paonia, Colo. The event will be held Saturday, June 7, at 6:30 p.m., at Paonia Town Park, on the corner of 4th St. and North Fork Ave. Please bring a dish to share. Drinks will be provided. RSVP to Gretchen A-P at 970-527-4898, or e-mail [email protected]

While you’re in the neighborhood, check out the exhibit of pastel landscapes by HCN’s inimitable Diane Sylvain. Her paintings of orchards, mesas and mountains bring out colors and light that only an inspired eye could see. The show will be at Gallery Connections in Hotchkiss.

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