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
  • WATERSHED RESTORATION DIRECTOR
    $58k-$70k + benefits to oversee watershed restoration projects that fulfill our strategic goals across urban and rural areas within the bi-national Santa Cruz and San...
  • CUSTOMER SERVICE ASSISTANT - (PART-TIME)
    High Country News, an award-winning media organization covering the communities and environment of the Western United States, seeks a part-time Customer Service Assistant, based at...
  • OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    We are a Santa Fe-based nonprofit that builds resilience on arid working lands. We foster ecological, economic, and social health through education, innovation, and collaboration....
  • COMMUNITY ORGANIZER
    Come work alongside everyday Montanans to project our clean air, water, and build thriving communities! Competitive salary, health insurance, pension, generous vacation time and sabbatical....
  • CAMPAIGN MANAGER
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  • HECHO DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • REGIONAL REPRESENTATIVE, COLUMBIA CASCADES
    The Regional Representative serves as PCTA's primary staff on the ground along the trail working closely with staff, volunteers, and nonprofit and agency partners. This...
  • FINANCE AND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
    The Montana Land Reliance (MLR) seeks a full-time Finance and Operations Director to manage the internal functions of MLR and its nonprofit affiliates. Key areas...
  • DIRECTOR OF CONSERVATION
    The Nature Conservancy is recruiting for a Director of Conservation. Provides strategic leadership and support for all of the Conservancy's conservation work in Arizona. The...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Amargosa Conservancy (AC), a conservation nonprofit dedicated to standing up for water and biodiversity in the Death Valley region, seeks an executive director to...
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    Parks California Big Basin Senior Project Planner - Climate Adaptation & Resilience ORGANIZATION BACKGROUND Parks California is a new organization working to ensure that our...
  • SCIENCE PROJECT MANAGER
    About Long Live the Kings (LLTK) Our mission is to restore wild salmon and steelhead and support sustainable fishing in the Pacific Northwest. Since 1986,...
  • HUMAN RESOURCES GENERALIST
    Honor the Earth is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on identity. Indigenous people, people of color, Two-Spirit or LGBTQA+ people,...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Colorado Trout Unlimited seeks an individual with successful development experience, strong interpersonal skills, and a deep commitment to coldwater conservation to serve as the organization's...
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