Going downhill


I agree with letter-writer John Mumaw (“Letters,” HCN, 10/15/18). HCN is really going downhill. I’m not ready to pull the subscription plug yet, but will cut back on donations. I think you should read, and re-read, daily if necessary, tributes to Ed Marston and Tom Bell. I don’t think either of those guys would have produced this latest lame issue (10/15/18). The article on the Navajo police was good, and the op-ed on hunting was good. But two pages on loony Lewis Arthur? He deserved two paragraphs max, unless you could find some depth there. What you published was entirely superficial. And six pages on someplace in Southern California? Sorry, guys, that is not the Mountain West. And the article on prison strikes was so divorced from the land it could have been in Boston or New Orleans. I would beg you to salvage your original mission: Stories of people in the Mountain West as they connect to the land, and the mountain land itself.  And stick to it. Content on politics should be measured and minimized, as it makes everything shallow. Focus on human purpose, effort, values and relationship, as they connect to our natural history and geography.

Peg Ferm
Monroe, Washington


A response from the editor

The mission of High Country News is “to inform and inspire people — through in-depth journalism — to act on behalf of the West’s diverse natural and human communities.” I think about that mission all the time. And even though the magazine started in the Intermountain West, we have steadily expanded what we cover, to tell the larger story of a region bound by history and geography. The editors believe that the way extremist groups operate in the West is important, as it can perpetuate harmful stereotypes and other mistruths about under-represented groups, which is why we reported on Veterans on Patrol, in Arizona. We also believe that the way humans treat other humans has a direct bearing on how we treat the land, water, air and the non-human beings we share the planet with, which is why we report on prisons and the justice system. And we strongly believe that climate change presents a clear and present danger to the entire region, including the coasts, where many Westerners live, which is why we reported on Imperial Beach, California. We value all of our readers, subscribers and supporters, and we believe that, over time, our reporting will lead people to act on behalf of the entire region, not just one segment of it. Meanwhile, we love getting letters, so please keep them coming. We may not always agree, but we’re still part of one community. You can “snail-mail” them to the editor at P.O. Box 1090, Paonia CO 81428; or email [email protected].

Brian Calvert
Gunnison, Colorado

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