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
  • ADOBE HOME
    Passive solar adobe home in high desert of central New Mexico. Located on a 10,000 acre cattle ranch.
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Western Slope Conservation Center Paonia, CO WSCC seeks a dynamic leader who is mission-driven, hardworking and a creative problem-solver. Position Summary: The Executive Director leads...
  • ARIZONA STATE DIRECTOR
    A LITTLE ABOUT US Founded in 1951, the Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all...
  • CONSERVATION MANAGEMENT/HOSPITALITY SERVICES
    Seasoned ranch manager of award-winning conservation ranch seeking position as nature reserve/resort or ranch manager. Visit philipmoonwalker.com for resume and certifications. Contact: [email protected]
  • PART-TIME OREGON GRANT WRITER
    Help advance rights for people, communities, and nature - Part-time grant writer. The Oregon Community Rights Network (ORCRN) has been active over the last six...
  • UTAH PUBLIC LANDS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Job Title: Utah Public Lands Program Director Location: Southern Utah Position: Full Time (40 hours per week) Supervisor: Conservation Director About us: The Grand Canyon...
  • FSBO PROPERTY-SOUTHEAST ARIZONA
    Located in an area steeped in history, this gentleman's ranch sits at the entrance to the renowned Cave Creek Canyon. Enjoy picturesque views of the...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Eastern Nevada Landscape Coalition, based in Ely, Nevada is looking for a new executive director to replace the long-time executive director who is retiring at...
  • LAND CONSERVATION PROJECT MANAGER
    JOIN OUR TEAM! The New Mexico Land Conservancy in Santa Fe is seeking a Land Conservation Project Manager who will work to protect land and...
  • HOME NEAR CAPITOL REEF NP
    Comfortable home at foot of Boulder Mountain, on one fenced acre. Amazing views!
  • STEVE HARRIS, EXPERIENCED PUBLIC LANDS/ENVIRONMENTAL ATTORNEY
    Comment Letters - Admin Appeals - Federal & State Litigation - FOIA -
  • LISA MACKEY PHOTOGRAPHY
    Fine Art Gicle Printing. Photo papers, fine art papers, canvas. Widths up to 44". Art printing by an artist.
  • LOG HOME IN THE GILA WILDERNESS
    Beautiful hand built log home in the heart of the Gila Wilderness on five acres. Please email for PDF of pictures and a full description.
  • NEW MEXICO PROPERTY - SILVER CITY
    20 acres, $80,000. Owner financing, well, driveway, fencing possible, very private, sensible covenants, broker owned. Contact - 575-534-7955 or [email protected]
  • SECLUDED COLORADO HIDEAWAY
    This passive solar home sits on 2 lots and offers an abundance of privacy and views while being only 15 minutes to downtown Buena Vista....
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • 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...
  • 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.