Dear friends

  • Matt Jenkins (top) bids farewell to Paonia -- with flair. Also pictured are Paul Gibb, HCN fincancial advisor; Brett Wilkison, intern; Kerri Brown, designer/production assistant; and Ed Marston, former publisher

    HCN photo
  • Laura Davis and Joe Dyer visited

    HCN photo
 

LOCAL GRASSROOTS ACTION

WSERC ("wuh-serk"), this valley’s local environmental group, has been called many things, including, of course, berserk. For a small group started around a kitchen table, the Western Slope Environmental Resource Council has accomplished a lot in its 29 years: It stopped a major powerline through the valley, convinced local coal companies to install railroad crossing gates, and started a conservation-easement program.

But its board decided that the group needed a new name, and at the organization’s packed annual meeting in March, it proposed one: Mountain Valley Conservation. Not so fast, said most attendees, some of whom thought the new name more appropriate for a yogurt company or a subdivision. After lengthy discussion, the change was tabled.

WSERC also gave an award to a remarkable homegrown success, Chaco Sandals, which started in 1989 and employs 120 people in the valley. Founder Mark Paigen puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to sustainable building and support for conservation.

The North Fork River Improvement Association also held its annual meeting in March. Over the past 10 years, this local watershed organization has worked with riverfront landowners — and a sturdy corps of volunteers — on a broad array of river restoration projects.

At the meeting, longtime residents recalled growing up along the North Fork River. Before an upstream dam tamed the river in the early 1960s, fierce spring floods sometimes shaved acres off riverfront property, swamped orchards, and swept horses and their riders downstream. Local farmer Robert Lund said his brother used to tie one end of a string to a riverside cottonwood, and the other end to a cowbell in his bedroom. If a flood felled the tree at night, he reasoned, the bell would alert him in time to escape the rising water.

VISITORS

In February, Cindy Purcell and Ron Mitchell of Drake, Colo., stopped in on their way back from Zion National Park, where Cindy was a backcountry ranger for six years. They were headed to Rocky Mountain National Park, where she’s now the east district ranger.

Pam Fitzpatrick and Paul Dix of Livingston, Mont., came by while touring the country to present a talk titled "Nicaragua: Living with the Consequences of U.S. Policy," about the long-term effects of the Contra war of the ’80s. Locals Jack Miller of Ridgway and Chris Jarus, from Montrose, accompanied them.

Joe Dyer, a dogsled musher in Snowmass, Colo., and Laura Davis, a Fulbright scholar headed for Chile, came over from Aspen to try grilled banana bread at the local diner.

Nan Floyd, a Forest Service firefighter from Winthrop, Wash., dropped by to check out our internship program on her way to visit friends in Durango.

FROM THE "WE SHOULD BE SO LUCKY" DEPARTMENT

Here at the office, we recently received a marketing flier addressed to "Bruce Babbitt, Secretary, High Country News." Bruce, if you’re reading this, we could use some help with our filing.

High Country News Classifieds
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  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Field Seminars for adults: cultural and natural history of the Colorado Plateau. With guest experts, local insights, small groups, and lodge or base camp formats....
  • PLANNED GIVING OFFICER
    National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), the nation's oldest and largest national parks nonprofit advocacy organization seeks a Planned Giving Officer. Do you find energy in...
  • DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    The Methow Valley Citizens Council has a distinguished history of advocating for progressive land use and environmental values in the Methow Valley and Okanogan County...
  • ACTING INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS DESK EDITOR
    High Country News is seeking an Acting Indigenous Affairs Editor to oversee the work of our award-winning Indigenous Affairs Desk while our editor is on...
  • GRANTS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Cinnabar Foundation seeks an enthusiastic, team-oriented and knowledgeable Grants Program Director to work from their home in Montana. Established in 1983, the Cinnabar Foundation...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Artemis Program Manager will work with National Wildlife Federation sporting and public lands staff to change this dynamic, continue to build upon our successful...
  • ALASKA SEA KAYAK BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Well-known and successful sea kayak, raft, hike, camp guiding & water taxi service. Sale includes everything needed to run the business, including office & gear...
  • MEMBERSHIP AND EVENTS PROGRAM COORDINATOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a detail-oriented and enthusiastic Membership and Events Coordinator to join our small, but mighty-fun team to oversee our membership...
  • PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FACILITATOR
    ABOUT THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM Since opening in 1982, HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, culture, art and natural resources to promote an understanding...
  • LAND STEWARD, ARAVAIPA
    Steward will live on-site in housing provided by TNC and maintains preserve areas frequented by the visiting public and performs land management activities. The Land...
  • DEVELOPMENT WRITER
    Who We Are: The Nature Conservancy's mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create...
  • CONNECTIVITY SCIENCE COORDINATOR
    Position type: Full time, exempt Location: Bozeman preferred; remote negotiable Compensation: $48,000 - $52,000 Benefits: Major medical insurance, up to 5% match on a 401k,...
  • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
    ArenaLife is looking for an Executive Assistant who wants to work in a fast-paced, exciting, and growing organization. We are looking for someone to support...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Driggs, ID based non-profit. Full time. Full job description available at tvtap.org. Submit cover letter and resume to [email protected]
  • ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSTRUCTION GEOPHYSICS
    - We find groundwater, buried debris and assist with new construction projects for a fraction of drilling costs.
  • SPRING MOUNTAINS SOLAR OFF GRID MOUNTAIN HOME
    Located 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada in the pine forest of Lee Canyon at 8000 feet elevation. One of a kind property surrounded...
  • MAJOR GIFTS MANAGER - MOUNTAIN WEST, THE CONSERVATION FUND
    Cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of 75-125 donors.
  • NATURE'S BEST IN ARAVAIPA CANYON
    10 acre private oasis in one of Arizona's beautiful canyons. Fully furnished, 2123 sq ft architectural custom-built contemporary home with spectacular views and many extras....