A voice in the wilderness

  • Jim Stiles reading The Canyon Country Zephyr, which he published for two decades in Moab, Utah.


For 20 years, Jim Stiles has published one of the most essential alternative newspapers in the West: The Canyon Country Zephyr, based in Moab, Utah (latest motto: "All the news that causes fits"). With sharp, see-all-sides reporting, the independent has taken on the excesses of extractive industry, the failings of the New West economy, and the missteps of the environmental movement (see our May 29, 2006, story, "Clinging hopelessly to the past").

Like so many other publications, the Zephyr has fallen on hard times. Last spring, Stiles announced that it would become Web-only; now, he's hoping to "find enough revenue to keep beans on the table" so he can keep even the online edition going. In an appeal to readers, Stiles writes: "My hope is that the new ‘Planet Earth Edition' can help start a dialogue about the critical issues that face us, from a broader, more culturally and geographically diverse readership." To help keep the Zephyr aloft, see www.canyoncountryzephyr.com.

Not many of you have been coming by the HCN offices this winter. Luckily, local organic farmers Jack Reed and Patch ("just Patch") dropped by to relieve our feelings of isolation. They brought butternut squash, crisp apples and a request for our new interns to come play music with them. (Terray, Jeff and Emily are multi-talented folks who play fiddle and violin and sing.) The staff happily accepted all offerings.

Writer Michael Engelhard has edited a new volume of essays, Wild Moments: Adventures with Animals of the North (Snowy Owl Books), chock-full of HCN contributors: Craig Childs, Daniel Glick, Drew Pogge, Ana Maria Spagna. In Alaska, Canada, Montana and Washington, these writers and others describe their encountors with creatures ranging from river otters and sandhill cranes to wolverines and harbor seals. 

Another new anthology also draws from a plethora of HCN writers. In Going Green: True Tales from Gleaners, Scavengers and Dumpster Divers, novelist Laura Pritchett collects stories by Christie Aschwanden, Shane Bondi, Julianne Couch, Linda Hasselstrom, Eliza Murphy, Michelle Nijhuis (HCN contributing editor), Laura Paskus (former assistant editor) and Susan Tweit, among others. Look for an excerpt from the book, published by the University of Oklahoma Press, in an upcoming issue. 

Former HCN intern Auden Schendler (summer 1991) has been director of sustainability at Aspen Skiing Co. since 2001. He's drawn on that and other experiences as a "sustainability foot soldier" to write a pragmatic new book about how businesses can tackle climate change. Getting Green Done: Hard Truths from the Front Lines of the Sustainability Revolution will be published by PublicAffairs this spring.

High Country News Classifieds