It's spring break time again!

  • Julia Guarino and David Meens made the trek over the Rockies from Boulder, Colorado, to our office in Paonia.

    Christi Turner

In mid-March, as snow melts and crocuses bloom in our hometown of Paonia, Colo., HCN staff takes one of our four annual publishing breaks. Look for the next issue, a special issue on unusual travel experiences around the West, to hit your mailbox around April 14. And in the meantime, visit for fresh news and opinion.

April 12 is the 90th birthday of High Country News founder, Tom Bell. Most of our readers know that Tom, a wildlife biologist, rancher and passionate conservationist, started HCN in 1970 in Lander, Wyo. Early issues were filled with stories fiercely decrying some of his fellow ranchers, along with the politicians and corporations that he felt were destroying the West's lands, water and wildlife. In 1974, Tom turned over the reins to a new group of editors, who continued to focus on Western natural resource issues, albeit with a less activist, more journalistic approach. All of us owe Tom a huge debt of gratitude for starting a publication that, 44 years later, is still keeping an eye on the American West and telling its most important stories. Warmest birthday wishes, Tom!

For more than four decades, High Country News – and its loyal community of readers – have been committed to informing and inspiring people to work on behalf of the West we all love. What better place to accomplish that mission than at a public library?

Unfortunately, many U.S. libraries have suffered budget cuts and aren't able to carry all of the magazines they'd like to offer. But you can help fill the gap by ordering a subscription to HCN in a library's name. Visit for more information, or see our ad below.

Also, please join the thousands of subscribers who've shared their email addresses with us. Sending electronic versions of subscription renewals and other important notices has helped us slash our paper usage.

Please visit and update your account records to include your email address. We promise not to share it with other companies. Together, we can save a forest.

"Friends and accomplices" Julia Guarino and David Meens of Boulder, Colo., swung by our Paonia offices while exploring the state's Western Slope in February. David, who coordinates the INVEST Community Studies program at the University of Colorado Boulder, has been here before, taking undergrads interested in energy and the environment on weeklong service trips. Julia, a "big subscriber" with an equally big smile who works in natural resource law at CU's Getches-Wilkinson Center, was visiting Paonia for the first time.

Steven Threndyle, a journalist in North Vancouver, B.C., who writes for the Vancouver Sun, popped in to say hello. The longtime subscriber was in Colorado on a skiing trip for journalists. (Who says this job has no perks?) We gave him a handful of issues to share with other journalist buddies waiting in the car.

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