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Know the West

Dear friends



You’re invited to a High Country News potluck party for readers, board members and staff. As a special treat, some of our former interns will also be in town for the first-ever HCN intern reunion.

Join us on Saturday, June 9, 6 p.m., at the town park in Paonia, Colo. Please bring a dish to share; we’ll provide beverages. To RSVP, call Jason at 970-527-4898 or e-mail [email protected]


Journalist Bruce Barcott, his wife, Claire Dederer, and children Willie and Lucy dropped by during a tour of western Colorado to pay what they called a “thanks-for-your-great-work visit.” Bruce is a contributing editor with Outside magazine, and Claire is a freelance writer. They live in Seattle, Wash., but are temporary residents of Boulder, Colo., while Bruce completes a Ted Scripps fellowship in environmental journalism at the University of Colorado.


As a High Country News reader, you probably also enjoy other small, independent magazines, because you value their diverse viewpoints. But by mid-July, such publications will face a major hike in postage costs — 20 to 30 percent.

Meanwhile, big corporate publications like People and Time will see increases of less than 10 percent, according to a scheme just approved by the U.S. Postal Regulatory Commission. The commission recently rejected a proposal from the U.S. Postal Service to raise mailing rates equally (by about 12 percent) for all publications, large or small. Instead, without public involvement or congressional oversight, the commission opted for a version of a proposal from Time Warner that gives the lowest postal rates to the biggest publishers.

For more than 200 years, postal policy has supported a competitive “marketplace of ideas” in which independent publications of all stripes can thrive. The new rate plan puts small and medium-sized publishers at a distinct disadvantage. Here at HCN, we’re evaluating the increase and figuring out how to absorb the added cost.

The editors of a dozen independent magazines sent a letter to the Postal Board of Governors in protest. See The Nation’s Web site. If you think the disparate rates are unfair, mail, e-mail or phone your congressman and U.S. senators.


Environmental activist and politician Jim Jontz died April 14 in Portland, Ore. The 55-year-old Jontz served as an Indiana congressman from 1987 to 1993, and introduced the Ancient Forest Protection Act in 1991 to fight logging in the Pacific Northwest. In 1995, he became executive director of the Western Ancient Forest Campaign (now known as American Lands Alliance). Under his guidance, American Lands Alliance initiated the Citizen’s Call for Old Growth and Roadless Area Protection petition, which ultimately resulted in the development of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. In 1998, he was elected president of Americans for Democratic Action.