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for people who care about the West

Our winning writer, and so long to a good friend


As summer fades, we’re wrapping up our annual photo contest, in which we solicited images of the West’s national parks. While it’s too late to submit a picture, you can still vote for your favorite until Sept. 15 at  hcn.org/photos16.

Meanwhile, we’ve been busy catching up with visitors. Dave Morris, who works at the Wild Rockies Field Institute in Missoula, Montana, stopped by. He has been a subscriber for many years and always wanted to see HCN headquarters, where we hatch some of our best ideas (and squash some of the worst). As a teacher in Gothic, Colorado, Dave used HCN articles in some of his classes.

Paula Peterson came by on the way to a concert by Tim O’Brien at Pickin’ in the Park, a weekly concert series that runs every August. Paula, the recreation manager for Eagle-Holy Cross Ranger District in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, has worked for the Forest Service for 26 years and is a HCN fan.

We’ve also had reason to celebrate: Our Paonia-based correspondent, Sarah Tory, was awarded a reporting fellowship and residency from the Carey Institute for Global Good Nonfiction Program, which supports writers working on environmental, human rights and justice topics. Sarah will focus on a California town that has come to rely on private prisons to support its once-agricultural economy. Congratulations, Sarah.

Gene Lorig in 1982.
Courtesy Margo Lorig

We were saddened by news of the death of longtime HCN subscriber, lawyer and activist Gene Lorig, who spent his last years in Paonia. Gene and his wife of 58 years, Margo, spearheaded a successful grassroots effort in the 1980s and 1990s to prevent Adam’s Rib, a proposed major ski resort, from being built in the narrow valley of East Brush Creek, 15 miles south of Eagle.

Gene’s life spanned the old West and the new. He was born in 1927 in Telluride, where his parents owned a store that sold clothes to miners’ families. At 16, Gene began working in the mill at Telluride’s mine. He graduated from Western State College and Denver’s Westminster Law School, then served a term as district attorney before settling in for a career as a general practice lawyer.

An avid hiker, camper and Nordic skier, Gene climbed numerous 14,000-foot peaks, and, according to his daughter, Dorothy, rarely encountered a jeep road he couldn’t tackle with the family’s 1965 Toyota Land Cruiser.

Some corrections to the Aug. 22 issue: In “A Backup in the National Parks Jobs Pipeline,” a sidebar indicated that Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Monument is in Illinois. It’s located near Concord, California. Contributing Editor Glenn Nelson was misidentified as a member of Green 2.0. He is not. In the review of Harnessing the Wind, the photo collection should have been credited to the Center for Art + Environment Archive Collections, Nevada Museum of Art. We also incorrectly described the goal of Bryan Burke, a recent visitor to our office, who is “running” the entire Colorado River system. Bryan is river-running, as in on a boat, not on foot.