Inspire us, don't scare us

  I’d agree with recent criticisms that your paper has taken a turn toward political bandwagoning. It mirrors most of the endless stream of imploring letters from the Sierra Club/Wilderness Society/Audubon Society/Nature Conservancy/Public Land Trust/Trust to Save the Grand Canyon or Silvery Minnow or Spotted Perch, etc., that find their way to my door every week. I agree with these viewpoints (to a large extent), and with the sense of urgency with which they invoke donations, and I give money to these causes when I can.

However, this reporting is too much like the narrow, stuffy, scared reporting that grows out of boardroom discussions, from the head-heavy, weak-bodied, overweight insecurity and fear that drive the actions of most of our country. We live in a country crippled by fear, and therein lies our largest obstacle. We’re afraid of our neighbors, of our children, of ourselves. It doesn’t motivate or encourage; it’s not creative or confident or inspired. It is tired and reactionary and hollow.

Your paper once mirrored some of the rugged newness that the Western landscape inspires. It motivated by example, and thereby offered hope. It embodied a different way of management, the possibility of choosing a different path than that of the East. It talked about the face of the rural West, the face of ingenuity and creativity, of local solutions, of independence, of self-sufficiency, of land and community management. It once was a Western paper.

There are still examples of that reporting, and I seek them out in every issue. However, they are buried behind pictures of Wal-Mart and Supreme Court justices. The fact that your new paper received raving ovations from a board of directors should make you even more worried. Ed Abbey said something along the following: "I can be pretty dumb by myself, but for true stupidity it takes a board of directors."

Mike Rankin
Albuquerque, New Mexico

High Country News Classifieds
  • COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR
    Introduction: Grand Staircase Escalante Partners (GSEP) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with offices located in Kanab and Escalante, Utah. We are committed to the conservation...
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...