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for people who care about the West

Dear friends


Summer visiting season is in full swing. Ned Ames and Jane Sokolow, both of New York City, stopped by after visiting some friends in Hotchkiss, just down the road. They were on their way back to New York from their Fort Union Ranch in Watrous, N.M., which has been in the family since 1882.

Greg Tieman, an environmental consultant from Charlottesville, W.Va., came to see us during a stay in nearby Vail. Even though he's never lived out West, he's been a reader for 24 years. "High Country News has helped me understand a lot of issues back home," he says. "Some of the topics -- like resource extraction and energy issues -- are the same."

On a driving tour of "Colorado's wine country," Ellen Winiarczyk and Nicole Nicotera stopped in. Locally, the Denver, Colo., women visited Stone Cottage and Terror Creek wineries. We don't know which of them was the designated driver.

Dennis Carty from Berkeley, Calif., swung through after spending several weeks piloting a raft down the Grand Canyon and visiting family in Colorado. The former professional raft guide took the opportunity to sample some of our local whitewater runs, and had good things to say about them.

From the Trieves region of southeastern France (in the Alps), S.K. Levin and her husband, Bernard Baron, came to visit our offices after camping in the nearby mountains. S.K., a former journalist and avid gardener, reads HCN on the Internet.

Hannah Nordhaus' feature story "Silence of the Bees" received a special citation from the judges of the 2008 James V. Risser Prize for Western Environmental Journalism (HCN, 3/19/07). Said one judge, "The ease with which this piece puts pen to paper -- and leaves lasting images in the reader's mind -- belies the enormous amount of work that went into her exceptional reporting."

The Native American Journalists Association recognized Terri C. Hansen's news story "Tribal Victory" as the Best News Story of 2008 in the monthly/bimonthly category (HCN, 6/11/07).

In our Aug. 4 issue, due to an editing error, the essay "A measure of Lake Tahoe's blues" stated that Lake Tahoe's clarity has declined each year that it has been measured since 1968. It's true that the clarity in the lake has steadily declined over that time. But in some individual years, particularly during droughts when runoff is reduced, the clarity has improved.

We were saddened to hear that one of the nation's great public-lands protectors, John Seiberling, died on Aug. 2 at the age of 89. Seiberling, who represented the Akron, Ohio, area in Congress for 16 years, took a national outlook and spearheaded wilderness bills across the country. As HCN board member Andy Wiessner, who worked with Seiberling as counsel to the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks and Public Lands, told us, "John  did his homework better than anyone, and literally outworked the opposition to gain tens of millions of acres of new wilderness from Alaska, to Florida, to Maine, and in every Western state. It can truly be said that today's wilderness and national park systems would be significantly smaller if it had not been for John's incredible efforts."