Dear Friends

  • March 2002 Colorado River mouth, Baja California Norte Mexico. Sea bass are unloaded from a Cucapa tribal fishing panga on the Rio Colorado to be gutted and cleaned

    John Trotter, from his project No Agua No Via, The Slow Death of the Colorado Delta


A rite of winter here is climbing out of bed to tune in to the morning avalanche report, which is usually delivered with aplomb by Knox Williams, the head of the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. We were pleasantly surprised when Williams and Vince Matthews, the director of the Colorado Geological Survey, showed up on our doorstep for a visit. Since the snow was already long gone from our neck of the woods, they performed a Rutschblock test on the pile of paper creeping over the lip of editor Greg Hanscom’s desk and promptly rated the danger "extreme."

Despite such peril, Bill and Molly Pochciol from Glenwood Springs, Colo., came in to renew their subscription while en route to Ouray for some R&R; Paonian Randy Cracroft ventured in to renew as well.

We also got a visit from freelance photographer John Trotter, who stopped by while in the area to take photos of the Colorado River. Trotter lives in New York, but spends a couple months a year photographing the land and people of the Colorado River Delta in Mexico. He has a long list of projects and awards under his belt. His recent projects include "No Agua, No Vida: The Slow Death of the Colorado Delta," which can be seen on the Blue Earth Alliance’s Web site (, as well as six pages of Colorado Delta photos in U.S. News & World Report’s "The Future of Earth" special issue, on newsstands now.


John Horning, who was an intern at High Country News in 1990, is better known as the executive director of the Santa Fe, N.M.-based nonprofit Forest Guardians. The group strives to "protect and restore the native biological diversity and watersheds of the American Southwest" and has been an unflinching advocate of endangered species and critical habit designation by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service — as well as a perennial burr under the saddle of public-lands ranchers. In April, the Seattle-based Wilburforce Foundation recognized Horning’s work with its Conservation Leadership Award.


We’re sad to note that June Sylvain, the mother of HCN’s copyeditor and in-house artist Diane Sylvain, passed away on March 31 at the age of 72. A native of Jacksonville, Fla., June came West and worked as a tour guide at the Old Homestead House Museum in Cripple Creek, Colo., where she became well-known for the flamboyant Victorian outfits in which she led her tours. She was, in Diane’s words, "a fierce liberal," too, and as a town council member, she led a spirited fight against gambling in Cripple Creek — a move that eventually led to her recall. In the early ’90s, June and her husband, Russ, moved to Paonia, where she directed some of her limitless energy to baking huge quantities of Christmas cookies for the HCN crew. We’ll miss June, and we extend our sympathies to her entire family.

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