Dear friends

  • Former Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, who gave a lunchtime talk during the HCN board meeting

    Courtesy State of Oregon
 

A lesson the First Amendment

Writer and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams came to western Colorado in early October for the 24th annual meeting of the Western Colorado Congress. She spoke to a packed auditorium about the "open space of democracy." Williams, who just published a book by the same name, talked about the differences that have divided this country so drastically over the last four years. Then she asked the crowd of environmental activists to seek out its adversaries and speak with them, listen to them, and find a new space from which both sides can move forward together.

Williams was recently asked not to speak at Florida Gulf Coast University, where she had been scheduled to talk to the incoming freshman class about freedom of speech. University President William C. Merwin explained that many of his regents, trustees and donors have close ties to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the brother of the president — and Williams has been an outspoken critic of the president. Merwin suggested Williams visit after the upcoming presidential election and, she says, added, "If you come back on Nov. 4, I’ll pay you more."

Newspaper or magazine?

Fourteen members of the High County News board of directors headed to Portland, Ore., in late September. Much of the discussion at the board meeting focused on HCN’s journalism. Editor in the Field Ray Ring told the board that he is always on the lookout for stories missed by the mainstream press. Ring’s idea for his recent cover story on life in the natural gas boomtown of Wamsutter, Wyo., came on a cross-country trip, while he was filling up his tank at one of the town’s truck stops. His curiosity was further piqued later when he read a brief news clip about a nasty bar fight in the town.

The discussion of journalism provoked questions from several board members: Is HCN a newspaper or a magazine? And does the answer to this question provide direction for HCN’s evolution? Boulder, Colo., board member Felix Magowan, who publishes several magazines, including VeloNews, which is about bicycle racing, says HCN should embrace its "magazineness," with an even bolder design.

Executive Director Paul Larmer says that while he and the staff are eager to continue improving the design, he likes the fact that HCN is a hybrid, with timely news stories and longer magazine-style pieces. The board directed the staff to lay out its vision for the HCN of the future by the next meeting in January.

Following the meeting, a lively group of readers descended on the Unitarian Church with a variety of tasty dishes. Readers suggested new ways of getting HCN into the hands of more students and activists, cautioned against getting "too slick," and tossed out dozens of story ideas on everything from Portland’s urban planning battles to the proliferation of snowmobiles in the Cascades. Special thanks to Bruce Silverman, who produced a short news piece on HCN for KBOO radio and then helped set up tables at the potluck.

In Memoriam

We were saddened to hear of the passing of environmental activist, teacher and former HCN board member Judy Jacobsen of Boulder, Colo. Judy was an internationally known expert in world population trends and policies, and she worked with a number of organizations, including Zero Population Growth and the Worldwatch Institute. With her husband, John Firor, the director emeritus of the National Center for Atmospheric Research, she penned the book, The Crowded Greenhouse, which examines rapid population growth and human-induced global warming. We will miss her.

High Country News Classifieds
  • STEWARDSHIP COORDINATOR
    Join Skagit Land Trust (the Trust), a not-for-profit conservation organization based in Mount Vernon, Washington, and help protect land for people and wildlife. Skagit Land...
  • 2022 SEASONAL SCIENCE EDUCATOR
    The Mount St. Helens Institute Science Educator supports our science education and rental programs including day and overnight programs for youth ages 6-18, their families...
  • POLICY DIRECTOR
    Heart of the Rockies Initiative is seeking a Policy Director to lead and define policy efforts to advance our mission to keep working lands and...
  • CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
    Self-Help Enterprises seeks an experienced and strategic CFO
  • CONSERVATION SPECIALIST - LAND PROTECTION FOCUS
    View full job description and how to apply at
  • RIVER EDUCATOR & GUIDE
    River Educator & Guide River Educator & Guide (Trip Leader) Non-exempt, Seasonal Position: Full-time OR part-time (early April through October; may be flexible with start/end...
  • LAND AND WATER CONSERVATION DIRECTOR
    The Land and Water Conservation Director is a full-time salaried position with the Mountain Area Land Trust in Evergreen, CO. The successful candidate will have...
  • FOOD SYSTEMS ENVIRONMENTAL FELLOWSHIP
    If you were to design a sustainable society from the ground up, it would look nothing like the contemporary United States. But what would it...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust (RiGHT) is seeking an Executive Director who will lead RiGHT toward a future of continued high conservation impact, organizational...
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Help protect Montana's water quality, family farms and ranches, & unique quality of life. Work hard, meet good people, make the world a better place!...
  • VERDE RIVER PROJECTS TECHNICIAN
    The Verde River Projects Technician (VRPT) provides technical assistance to Verde River Program staff in implementation of the Verde River Streamflow Monitoring Protocol. This consist...
  • 8 FIELD PROJECT SPECIALISTS (POSITION FORMERLY TITLED TRAIL CREW TECHNICAL ADVISOR)
    Are you passionate about environmental conservation and connecting people to the outdoors? The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) is looking for someone with outdoor leadership...
  • SOUTHWEST REWILDING ADVOCATE
    WildEarth Guardians is seeking a full-time advocate in our Wild Places Program to advance a new paradigm of forest management and protection based on the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR UPPER COLUMBIA SALMON RECOVERY BOARD
    Job Location: Wenatchee, WA Job Summary This is an executive management position reporting to the UCSRB Directors. Leveraging collaboration and cooperation among the five-member Board...
  • NEW BOOK:
    True Wildlife Tales From Boy to Man. Finding my voice to save wildlife in the Apache spirit. 365+ vivid colorful pictures. Buy on Amazon/John Wachholz
  • CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER
    with Rural Community Assistance Corporation. Apply here: https://www.marcumllp.com/executive-search/chief-operations-officer-rcac
  • CARPENTER WANTED
    CARPENTER WANTED. Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rainforest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg...
  • WATER PROJECT MANAGER, UPPER SAN PEDRO (ARIZONA)
    Based in Tucson or Sierra Vista, AZ., the Upper San Pedro Project Manager develops, manages, and advances freshwater conservation programs, plans, and methods focusing on...
  • WADE LAKE CABINS, CAMERON MT
    A once in a lifetime opportunity to live and run a business on the shore of one of the most beautiful lakes in SW Montana....
  • PROFESSIONAL GIS SERVICES
    Custom Geospatial Solutions is available for all of your GIS needs. Affordable, flexible and accurate data visualization and analysis for any sized project.