Board meeting updates and HCN family visitors

Plus, a look at our strategic planning and a graffiti correction.

  • Jack Albertson says hello.

    Brooke Warren

Fueled by strong coffee, sunny weather and exuberant readers, the High Country News board of directors met in Portland, Oregon, on Sept. 18 and 19. The weekend kicked off with a talk by Michelle Nijhuis, HCN contributing editor, on wildfire and climate change in the Pacific Northwest. The more than 150 HCN fans in attendance sparked a lively discussion on how climate change, fire suppression and exurban development have encouraged repeated mega-fires in the region. The next day, the board approved a strategic plan and budget designed to deepen HCN’s coverage of critical issues while increasing its reach. We discussed the lessons learned from HCN’s coverage of the early August mine blowout that polluted the Animas River in Colorado. Led by on-the-scene reports by senior editor Jonathan Thompson, hit a record, with more than 200,000 visitors in one week; eight radio programs interviewed Jonathan. All the attention, driven largely by social media, showed how HCN can substantively contribute to a breaking national story. Our new strategic plan calls for, among other things, expanding our corps of field reporters and learning how to turn the occasional floods of new online readers into invested members of our community.

Here in HCN’s hometown of Paonia, Colorado, as the cottonwoods and aspens shimmer toward gold, we’ve welcomed several fall visitors.

In late August, Anjillee Schwarz and Dharmajan Vilardi came from La Veta, Colorado, to visit family in Paonia — the family in question being our very own Associate Designer Brooke Warren and her partner, Bodie Cabiyo. Anjillee, who has 20 years’ worth of issues piled in her house, said HCN’s fracking articles helped her understand how to fight fracking in her own area.

From Eagle, Colorado, came Jack Albertson, to visit and pick up some issues of the magazine. He sells wine across the Western Slope and had just attended the Telluride Film Fest.

James Hannigan and his daughter, Cat, made a pit stop in Paonia on their way back from a horseback trip through the Weminuche Wilderness in the southwest part of the state. James, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, studies atmospheric chemistry, and works on projects in Hawaii and Greenland. He was especially eager to read our Aug. 31 feature, “Unlocking the Methane Mystery.”

Alert reader Mark Adams of Livingston, Montana, dropped us a note: “In the August 31st issue the box ‘Wild Graffiti’ states that the damage done to Yellowstone Kelly’s grave was in Yellowstone National Park. In fact, his grave is on the rim rocks above Billings, Montana. His nickname Yellowstone (real name Luther) has more to do with his years exploring and guiding in the Yellowstone river valley than any association with the park.”  Thanks for the historical info, Mark!

In our Sept. 16 issue, we included The Vendetta of Felipe Espinosa by Adam James Jones in a list of self-published books. However, the publisher is actually Five Star Publishing, an imprint of Gale, not Five Star Publications, a self-publishing service.


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