Goodbye, Hello

  • Friends Sarah Hunkins (left) and Hannah Stevens stopped at HCN's office in Paonia, Colorado, in the midst of a ski-'n'-soak vacation. We almost abandoned our computers to join them, but duty calls.

    Krista Langlois

In January, our board of directors gathered by phone and Web to talk with staff about High Country News' progress over the last four months. There's good news: Print and digital subscriptions are up 1,000 from last year, our coffers are bursting with end-of-year donations (thanks to all who contributed!), and our redesigned website should be ready before summer.

HCN bids fond farewell to departing board members Marley Shebala of Window Rock, Ariz., and Annette Aguayo of Albuquerque, N.M. Both championed our coverage of environmental justice issues, including those facing Native Americans. We're grateful for their vision and the time they invested in us.

We were saddened to hear of the recent passing of Art Ortenberg. Art and his late wife, fashion icon Liz Claiborne, lived part-time in Montana for decades and founded the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation to invest in conservation. Jamie Williams, president of The Wilderness Society and a personal friend, describes Art and Liz as wildlife lovers who were "also deeply respectful of local communities and their ties to the land. They believed that if you invested in local, collaborative efforts that sought common ground, both nature and people could win. And win big. In the process, they helped redefine conservation in the West and internationally."

Botanists Hannah Stevens, of Paonia, Colo., and Sarah Hunkins, of Cave Creek, Ariz., met years ago while working at the New York Botanical Garden. Now that they've both migrated West, the friends reconvened this winter in Paonia to cross-country ski, soak in hot springs and – the icing on an already yummy-sounding cake – tour HCN's office.

Subscribers Judith Hildinger and Eric Meader of San Luis Obispo, Calif., stopped by in early January while visiting family, but couldn't linger: The aforementioned family members were waiting outside in the cold. The pair popped in just long enough to say hello and ensure that we got their names down for Dear Friends.

Thanks to Hank Hassell, principal catalog librarian at Northern Arizona University and author of Rainbow Bridge: An Illustrated History, for catching an error in Paul VanDevelder's Feb. 3 op-ed "Between a rock and a dry place." The essay, Hassell points out, states that " 'Brower ... single-handedly led the fight against building Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River. And lost.' In fact, Brower and the Sierra Club never fought Glen Canyon Dam. They fought Echo Park and Whirlpool Canyon Dams on the Green River in Dinosaur National Monument, and Marble and Bridge Canyon Dams on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon – and won. The subsequent battle Brower waged as founder and president of Friends of the Earth was to save Rainbow Bridge National Monument from being flooded by the waters of Lake Powell, a consequence of Glen Canyon Dam expressly prohibited by the statutes authorizing the Colorado River Storage Project."

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