Dear friends

  • John Winn took inspiration for a new song from a Writers on the Range column


Spring is coming to our valley, but visitors are still far and few between. Wilf Bruschke of nearby Montrose, Colo., came by recently to check us out and start a new subscription.

Singer/songwriter John Winn of Grand Junction, Colo., tells us his latest CD, Wild Stallion, contains a song titled “Mother Earth” that was inspired by one of our Writers on the Range opinion columns. “Just bury me out on the lone prairie” appeared on Jan. 12, 2004, and described author Patricia Walsh’s wish for a “natural, environmentally sound burial.” John writes: “Patricia talks about her desire to be buried without embalming in her favorite flannel shirt and sweatpants and sheepskin slippers, wrapped in one of her favorite flannel sheets, out in the prairie somewhere. I always had the thought that I’d like to be buried in a Kansas cornfield in a similar manner, refertilizing the soil.”

Young reader Claire Anderson sent us a note about her November trip to Mexico on an animal welfare mission. The Boulder, Colo., teen traveled to an area south of Cancun, where she helped a nonprofit group, Dignidad Para Los Perros (on the Web at, spay, neuter and vaccinate 181 dogs. Claire writes: “Some of what I saw with the animals and living conditions made me sad and heartbroken, but it was so amazing to see that my help is needed. Here in Mexico I am not insignificant because of my age or my lack of professional experience. I can really help!” She concludes, “Just as the water and the land and the sky and birds and fish are one, we are all just one big community and we must learn to work together. And let each other have our own beliefs and ways but always be open to change, and most of all be kind and equal in age, gender, beliefs and everything else.” Well said, Claire.


Mark Walker, director of marketing and media relations for EnergySolutions in Utah, tells us his company does not merely “run a nuclear waste dump on public land,” as reported in Heard Around the West Jan. 22. More accurately, the company operates almost entirely on private land, though it surrounds and maintains about a quarter-acre of public land from the Department of Defense. Like much of the company’s land nearby, the site sequesters low-level nuclear waste from a uranium mill.

The March 5 Editor’s Note implied that California covers less than 40 million acres; in fact, the state encompasses nearly 100 million acres.

In our March 19 story “Driven to Fight,” it was President Nixon, not President Carter, who issued an executive order in 1972 to control off-road vehicles.

—Jodi Peterson for the staff

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