Dear friends

  • Evan Tea and Fletcher Jacobs, in Paonia as fall interns

    Kerri Brown


New HCN intern Fletcher Jacobs arrived in town only to find that the "off-the-grid" solar-powered house he’ll be living in for the next few months was recently struck by lightning. Until the home’s electrical system can be repaired, it’s back to flashlights and candles.

Fletcher spent the last two years in Washington, tearing out weeds and restoring streams in the urban jungles of Seattle for the national service program AmeriCorps. He first got interested in journalism as a student at Kansas State. While studying geography and environmental science, he worked for the school paper and radio station. Fletcher sees the internship as a chance to combine his academic background with his interest in writing. While he’s not sure where the experience will lead him, he’s excited to be in Paonia … and hoping to get the power back on soon.

Evan Tea has traded a semester of books for a four-month writing tour of duty at HCN; he’s taking a hiatus from law school at the University of Utah. Growing up in Salt Lake City with HCN back issues around the house, Evan always had a fondness for the paper. He realized how much he enjoyed writing during his first year of law school. "I figured this would be a good time to get some real-world experience," he says. He’s considering a career in legal journalism or public interest law.

After graduating from Utah State in Anthropology and Environmental Science, Evan spent two years with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. He learned fluent Swahili while teaching people about forestry, how to raise milk goats and rabbits, and ways to control erosion. During college summers, Evan worked as a river runner; he’s spent the last seven summers guiding in the Grand Canyon, a blazing hot place he calls "the coolest place in the world."

In memorandum

We were saddened to hear that longtime Sierra Club organizer Larry Mehlhaff died after a long struggle with cancer. For two decades, Larry was the Club’s Northern Rockies field representative, working to protect roadless areas and rivers along the Rocky Mountain Front and in the Great Plains. As the Sierra Club’s Bruce Hamilton noted at Larry’s memorial service, Larry

had a remarkable sense of humor, which not only served him well in his conservation work, but helped him cope with his own mortality: "I still remember Larry wearing his "I have a brain tumor, what’s your excuse?" button at a Sierra Club managers, staff retreat, and all of us wore our "I have no excuse" buttons to express solidarity. It was classic Mehlhaff, Bruce said. Our condolences to Larry’s family and friends.


We didn’t mean to start any rumors: Joyce Haines and Mac Nelson are not married, nor do they share a house, as we reported in the Aug. 21 Dear Friends. In fact, they’re "not exactly a couple," writes Mac. And Mac is penning a book on U.S. 20, which runs from Boston to Oregon, not on Interstate 20, which runs from South Carolina to Texas. Our apologies.

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