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Know the West

A meeting of the minds in Gunnison

The editorial staff of High Country News converges to plot the future of the magazine.


August brought most of our editorial team together at our new satellite location in Gunnison, Colorado. Over the course of two days, we discussed the future of High Country News and how best to produce a magazine that continues to inform and engage our readers. One of our decisions involves a renewed focus on regional coverage through North, South and Tribal Affairs desks. The desks will be headed by Associate Editors Kate Schimel (North), Maya L. Kapoor (South) and Tristan Ahtone (Tribal Affairs). As we approach our 50th anniversary in 2020, we’re proud of the decades of work that have brought us here and excited about what we hope will be many more to come.

HCN staff and compatriots (and dogs) get together after the editorial meeting to celebrate.
Evan Bolt for High Country News

One of the highlights of our meeting was a guest appearance by copy editor extraordinaire Ryun Patterson. Ryun worked with Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert at The Cambodia Daily in the ’90s and early 2000s and is the author of Vanishing Act: A Glimpse into Cambodia’s World of Magic. We appreciated his training session and happy-go-lucky vibes. Thanks, Ryun!

The dog days of summer have also sent us in search of high alpine lakes to cool off in. On one sunny August weekend, eight editorial staff members and four rambunctious dogs headed up to Spring Creek Reservoir, above Gunnison. Almost all of us took the plunge into the chilly lake as clouds played peek-a-boo with the midday sun.

August brought us several visitors in Gunnison and Paonia. Nathaniel Minor from Colorado Public Radio stopped by our Gunnison office during a reporting trip to nearby Crested Butte. And Creighton Hart, a subscriber from Alta, Utah, dropped into our Paonia office, as did Peggy and Bob Slater and Alida Franco. Longtime subscribers Mark and Sandy Doumas also stopped in to say hello.

Visitors to our Paonia office in the next couple of weeks might encounter a bit of a construction zone. As our writers and editors disperse across the West, we’re sprucing up our headquarters to give our circulation, information technology, development and advertising staff members a little more space to stretch their legs.

Finally, a few corrections: In a photograph of Lucia Gaspar and her children (“Estranged in America,” HCN, 8/20/18), we switched the names of her two daughters. Alexandra, her elder daughter, is standing, and Anna, her younger daughter, is sitting. Also, since the photos were taken, Lucia no longer works at Ortega Middle School; in June, she got a job helping young adults with disabilities further their educations and build careers. And in the same issue, we misstated which California agency is responsible for enforcing labor laws as they relate to farmworkers paid a piece-rate (“Heat Casualties,” HCN, 8/20/18); it is the Labor Commissioner’s Office, not Cal/OSHA. We would also like to clarify that immigrants and their descendants will make up 30 percent of the U.S. population by 2065, not 30 percent of U.S. population growth (“This land is their land, too,” HCN, 8/20/18). We regret the errors.