Dear friends

  • Mongolian visitors enjoy Paonia's sunshine during their Colorado tour

    Jonathan Thompson


Seventeen Mongolians, including environmentalists, politicians, journalists and representatives of the mining industry, showed up on HCN’s doorstep in late September as part of a tour around Colorado. The tour, organized by the San Francisco-based Asia Foundation, was intended to "establish a foundation for trust and relationship-building between participants" in order to yield "viable approaches and collaborative solutions for Mongolia."

The participants grilled HCN Web editor Paolo Bacigalupi and associate editor Jonathan Thompson about freedom of the press, mining in Colorado, and how to give fair coverage to polarized issues. Many were also interested in land-use issues; privatization of property in Mongolia only arrived during the last five years, and now the country is trying to deal with a land rush. That’s on top of a huge gold rush that’s creating a great deal of tension between the industry and environmentalists.


Local conservation legend Chuck Worley dropped in with his son, Tim, who wanted to let us know that California is making headway toward the "life after the lawn" envisioned in our Aug. 21 cover story. Tim is assistant manager of external affairs for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, which provides water to 18 million people in and around Los Angeles. Tim says the Met has been promoting "California Friendly" drought-tolerant landscaping, working with developers to create demonstration landscapes, and even offering small grants to help retrofit the grounds of public buildings. The district also puts out a booklet called Care and Maintenance of Southern California Native Plant Gardens, in both Spanish and English. For more information, contact Lynn Lipinski at 213-217-6603.


Reader Priscilla Robinson dropped us a note to say that we should have featured the "elegant" yards of Tucson in that story, rather than "all those clunky lawn and shrub neighborhoods in Phoenix." "As for Las Vegas, they have come very late to the (water) conservation party," she adds, "but we always welcome sinners to the faith as long as they are sincere."


On Sept. 15, The Wilderness Society presented its highest citizen honor, the Robert Marshall award, to noted author, wilderness advocate and HCN contributor Terry Tempest Williams. The group also gave a lifetime achievement award to Tom Bell, founder of both HCN and the Wyoming Outdoor Council. Tom, 82, has been "fighting the good fight for about 35 years," said Bob Ekey, the group’s Northern Rockies regional director, "and I imagine he’ll be doing it for the next 35 — at least."


Our Oct. 2 Research Fund page incorrectly put Benefactor Mary Carol Staiger in Idaho, rather than Alta, Wyo., where she actually lives. Not only that, but we also listed her husband, Dick, as co-donor; in fact, only Mary supports HCN.

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