How big should we be?

  • Colorado Art Ranch founder Grant Pound.

    Paul Larmer
 

In late September, the board of directors of High Country News descended on HCN's hometown of Paonia to pass a new budget, look over a new three-year strategic plan and enjoy western Colorado's beautiful fall weather. At the meeting, a lively discussion broke out over how many subscribers our print magazine should gain in the next three years. Veteran board member Andy Wiessner of Old Snowmass, Colo., said he believed that the current number of paid subscribers –– 22,500 –– could be doubled with more aggressive marketing, given population growth in the West and increasing interest in the environment. Other board and staff members cautioned that just holding onto the existing subscriber base is an achievement, given the recession and the decline of print media in general, and argued that HCN has a nonprofit business model that works at its current scale. If you have thoughts on our "growth potential," please drop us a line at [email protected]

The three-year strategic plan approved by the board takes the middle road. It calls for increased marketing efforts to grow the print subscriber base by 5 percent a year, along with much more rapid growth in online readership: We hope to increase visitors to hcn.org from 67,000 per month to 107,000 per month by 2012. Our key challenge will be to convert at least some of those Web visitors into paid subscribers.

ARTISTS AND ACTIVISTS
The same weekend the board met, one of our readers was holding an Artposium (a term he coined) in nearby Cedaredge. Grant Pound, who started the nonprofit Colorado Art Ranch after leaving a wildlife biology career, describes an Artposium as an "exploration of the role of the arts in problem solving." The Cedaredge event, which focused on food, brought together some 50 participants, including chefs and farmers, to discuss how food is grown, harvested and prepared, and how it affects our relationships with each other and with the planet. Grant's next Artposium takes place in Salida, Colo., May 21-23, and is titled "Wade in the Water." For more information, go to coloradoartranch.org.

Donna LeFurgey of Taos, N.M., and Brittney Maestas of Albuquerque dropped by our office on their way from Ouray to Vail. The duo, who were first paired up 10 years ago through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, were wrapping up the summer with a road trip through Colorado before Brittney returned to nursing school.

For more than 40 years, Sibylla and Dean Fleming have been living in the wilds near southern Colorado's Sangre De Cristo Mountains. The artsy couple –– Dean paints large abstract landscapes and Sibylla creates stained glass –– moved from New York City to Libre, a community of 11 people, back in 1968, when they bought their land for $35 an acre. The couple comes to Paonia in the fall to glean fruit from the orchards, but this was their first visit to HCN, although they've been longtime subscribers.

Fresh-faced from hiking in Utah, the environmental activist and barely nonagenarian Katie Lee stopped in on her way to Aspen, where the Aspen Historical Society planned to honor her for her work on behalf of the West's wild places, especially the Colorado River. The last time we wrote about Katie, a former model and singer who lived in Aspen during the '60s, was during the race for the Democratic nomination for president. Katie backed Hillary Clinton with a big sign in front of her house in Jerome, Ariz., but it was no ordinary plug. Along with three giant-size red, white and blue bras, the sign read: "Support Hillary." Before heading to a Mexican lunch in town, Katie reminded us that she remained "frisky, mad and working at it." She was accompanied by her longtime companion, Joey Van Leeuawn, who admitted to being "a mere 77." Katie Lee turned 90 on Oct. 23.

High Country News Classifieds
  • CARETAKER
    2.0 acre homestead needing year-round caretaker in NE Oregon. Contact [email protected] for details.
  • MEMBERSHIP MANAGER
    For more information visit www. wyofile.com/careers/
  • THRIVING LOCAL HEALTH FOOD STORE FOR SALE
    Turn-key business opportunity. Successful well established business with room to grow. Excellent highway visibility.
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    For more information, visit www.wyofile.com/careers/
  • SONORAN INSTITUTE, CEO
    Chief Executive Officer Tucson, Arizona ABOUT SONORAN INSTITUTE Since 1990, the Sonoran Institute has brought together diverse interests to successfully forge effective and enduring conservation...
  • STAFF ATTORNEY
    STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION OPENING www.westernlaw.org/about-us/clinic-interns-careers The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a high-impact, nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 27-year legacy using...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Position Summary Join our Team at the New Mexico Land Conservancy! We're seeking a Project Manager who will work to protect land and water across...
  • SEEKING PROPERTY FOR BISON HERD
    Seeking additional properties for a herd of 1,000 AUM minimum. Interested in partnering with landowners looking to engage in commercial and/or conservation bison ranching. Location...
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • WILDLIFE HAVEN
    Beautiful acreage with Teton Creek flowing through it. Springs and ponds, lots of trees, moose and deer. Property has barn. Easy access. approx. 33 acres.
  • ARIZONA CONSERVATION CORPS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    Arizona Conservation Corps is seeking a Program Director in Flagstaff or Tucson
  • COPPER STAIN: ASARCO'S LEGACY IN EL PASO
    Tales from scores of ex-employees unearth the human costs of an economy that runs on copper.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...