Dear friends

  • Jenny Emery

    Cindy Wehling
 

Deep in the banana belt

Sunny, still weather has persisted here into December, and at the Diner coffee shop on Grand Avenue, talk turns inevitably toward fear of drought. The West Elk Mountains, our backyard hills, look merely dusted with snow, and old-timers say this is shaping up as an "open winter."

Not to borrow trouble, but no snow now could mean no irrigation water this summer, and that would mean no summer hay or fruit crops.

Meanwhile, deeper in the Rockies, ski areas are preparing to harvest their lucrative Christmas crop, thanks to several recent dumps that have given them what we assume ski-town old-timers call a "closed winter."

New for the winter

When new intern Jenny Emery heard Paonia was a small town, she expected something like Corral, Idaho, with its one building. Instead, she found a movie theater, two grocery shops, and even a knitting store on Paonia's two-block main street. In place of the nondescriptive word "small," she classifies Paonia as "bustling."

Jenny grew up in a place some would call small - Twin Falls, Idaho. And over the summer, while working on a BLM fire crew fighting range fires, she became a connoisseur of small towns that had momentarily become fire camps. She especially remembers the food.

"When we camped in a city park," she says, "local restaurants sometimes catered dinners consisting of veal parmesan and chocolate cake. That was a welcome change from "ready-to-eat" military meals."

Jenny graduated in June from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., where she majored in English. After HCN, she'll decide about graduate study in either law or literature.

Corrections and emendations

An editing error in Pat Dawson's essay Nov. 27 transformed Dusty Steinmasel's hope for reward money into certainty. Though Steinmasel turned in his friend for shooting a wolf, the prosecution made no deals, says Dawson.

Logan Norris of Oregon State University wrote to tell us we mistakenly identified him as the teacher of courses in forest genetics and forest protection in a story in our Nov. 13 special issue on forestry schools, "Seeing the Forest and the Trees." Norris doesn't teach the courses, but directs the Forest Science Department in which they are taught. In the same story, we misidentified John Beuter as a member of the OSU faculty. He used to work at OSU, but went on to work in the Bush administration's Department of Agriculture and is now a private forestry consultant in Corvallis.

The issue explored the painful change Western forestry is undergoing. We sent the issue to a couple of thousand members of the Society of American Foresters, and their responses were predictably fragmented.

Some subscribed, some emphatically declined ("Your paper is made from my trees," one wrote from Eugene, Ore. "Take it and stuff it." ) And a subscriber from Idaho wrote that her father, an 86-year-old former logger, "read every word of the issue with a magnifying glass."

Research Fund appeal

If third-class mail is working, you may have received a letter asking you to make a contribution to the High Country News Research Fund. We rely on the Research Fund to make this nonprofit newspaper work: It avoids the constraints that advertising creates and binds us ever more tightly to you, our readers.

We ask readers to contribute only once a year and every year, 20 to 25 percent of HCN's subscribers help keep the operation afloat. If you did not receive a letter this past week, it probably means you responded promptly to our first appeal - over 1,600 of you did - and we thank you.

NewtWatch and us

During the week of Dec. 4, HCN's internet website was featured as the Site of the Week by "What's New in Activism Online," a project of Seattle-based Progressive Networks, which also makes RealAudio, a program that allows users to replay sound-recorded material on their computers. Part of HCN's site-of-the-week gig was a tape-recorded interview with HCN's publisher and associate publisher, Ed Marston and Linda Bacigalupi. Visitors to "What's New" can play back all or part of that interview as well as others such as NewtWatch, the Endangered Species Act On-line Guide, the Critical Mass Energy Project and Mitch's Environmental Action Page. You can find "What's New" and download RealAudio at: http://www.wnia.org/WNIA/.

Holiday gathering

We will host a holiday get-together Dec. 19, at 5 p.m. at the HCN office, and readers within range or passing through are invited to join staff for food, song and good cheer. As with most HCN events, this one is potluck; please bring an hors d'oeuvre to share and call 970/527-4898 to tell us you're coming.

*Betsy Marston for the staff

High Country News Classifieds
  • SOCIAL MEDIA AND DIGITAL ADVERTISING SPECIALIST
    The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance (SUWA), Utah's largest conservation organization, has an immediate opening for a full-time Social Media and Digital Advertising Specialist. This position...
  • SPRING-FED PARCELS ON THE UPPER SAC RIVER
    Adjacent parcels above the Upper Sacramento river, near Dunsmuir. The smaller is just under 3 acres, with the larger at just under 15 acres. Multiple...
  • DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR
    Greater Yellowstone Coalition seeks a development professional to coordinate the organization's individual giving program. The position description is available at http://greateryellowstone.org/careers Please email a letter...
  • IDAHO STATE DIRECTOR
    The Wilderness Society is seeking a full time Idaho State Director who will preferably be based in Boise, Idaho. At least 8-10 years of experience...
  • COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER AND BEARS EARS EDUCATION CENTER MANAGER
    Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions. We seek a Communications Manager to execute inspiring and impactful communications...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    Wilderness Volunteers Wilderness Volunteers (WV), a 24-year leader in preserving our nation's wildlands, is seeking a motivated person with deep outdoor interests to guide our...
  • HECHO POLICY AND ADVOCACY MANAGER
    Hispanics Enjoying Camping, Hunting, and the Outdoors (HECHO) was created in 2013 to help fulfill our duty to conserve and protect our public lands for...
  • FISHERIES BIOLOGIST
    Under the direct supervision of the Director of Shoshone-Paiute Tribe's Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in coordination with the Tribal Programs Administrator and the Tribal Chairman,...
  • REGIONAL EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NORTHERN ROCKIES, PRAIRIES & PACIFIC REGION
    Founded in 1936, the National Wildlife Federation has grown into America's largest and most trusted grassroots conservation organization with 53 state/territorial affiliates and more than...
  • STEWARDSHIP MANAGER
    STEWARDSHIP MANAGER Job Vacancy and Description Posted June 2, 2021: Open until filled The New Mexico Land Conservancy (NMLC) is a non-profit, regional land trust...
  • KSJD - MORNING EDITION HOST/REPORTER
    KSJD is seeking a host/reporter. Please see for www.ksjd.org for more information. EEO compliant.
  • ON THE EDGE OF CEDAR MESA/BEARS EARS
    Quiet, comfy house for rent in Bluff, Utah. Walk to San Juan River. Bike or hike to many nearby ruins and rock art sites. Beautiful...
  • CARPENTER AND LABORER WANTED.
    Come to Ketchikan and check out the Rain forest on the coast, Hike the shorelines, hug the big trees, watch deer in the muskeg meadows,...
  • PROJECT MANAGER
    Title: Project Manager Reports To: Program Director Salary Range: Negotiable; starting at $60,000 Location: Bend, OR The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Project Manager to...
  • PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Deschutes River Conservancy seeks a Program Director to join our dynamic team in restoring streamflow and improving water quality in the Deschutes Basin. WHO...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR - TWISPWORKS
    Established healthy nonprofit in the Methow Valley of Washington state, TwispWorks is hiring the next Executive Director. Terrific opportunity to strive for our mission to...
  • BOARD DIRECTOR
    Help us achieve our mission of promoting excellence in the professional practice of wilderness stewardship, science and education to ensure the life-sustaining benefits of wilderness....
  • TEMPORARY FULL-TIME RANCH OPERATIONS ASSISTANT
    Twin Willows Ranch in Ocate, NM is seeking to immediately fill a Temporary Full-Time employment position as Ranch Operations Assistant for Facilities, Equipment, Land, and...
  • RANCH OPERATIONS ASSISTANT
    Twin Willows Ranch in Ocate, NM is seeking an individual to fill the Regular Full-Time position of Resident Operations Assistant for Technology, Hospitality, Gardening, and...
  • POEM+ NEWSLETTER
    Start each month with a poem in your inbox by signing up for Taylor S. Winchell's monthly Poem+ Newsletter. No frills. No news. No politics....