HCN bugles in the season

We experience some creature encounters and say a few goodbyes.


Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert guessed elk would appear around 7 p.m. Sure enough, they crossed the ridge at 7:01 p.m.
Elena Saavedra Buckley/High Country News

As autumn temperatures drop on Colorado’s Western Slope, High Country News staffers have been having interesting encounters with local wildlife, some of them intentional and others entirely unsought.

Our editor-in-chief, Brian Calvert, went scouting for elk before hunting season, wandering the Gunnison National Forest for weeks, practicing his bull elk bugling and getting spotting help from editorial fellow Jessica Kutz and intern Elena Saavedra Buckley. Once the season began, however, the elk proved elusive. Associate Photo Editor Luna Anna Archey, on the other hand, was not looking for the packrat that moved into her Prius, building nests in the trunk and hood. Apparently, the critter decided it didn’t like the neighborhood, and Luna repaired the damage herself. Our editors never fail to be resourceful.

In Paonia, we’re sad to say goodbye to Tammy York, a longtime star in our customer service department, who left her post at the end of October. We appreciate all the time and care she’s given to HCN and its subscribers, and we will miss her tremendously.

Some of our editors and writers appeared on the airwaves: Graham Lee Brewer, a contributing editor for our Tribal Affairs Desk, discussed Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test and claims of Native ancestry on WNYC’s The Takeaway. (Bottom line: It’s more complicated than you think.) Jason Plautz, who co-authored our last cover story, “When Your Neighborhood Goes Boom,” spoke about the piece on KGNU in Boulder.

Joseph Belli visited our Paonia headquarters by way of Hollister, California, leaving us a copy of his new book, The Diablo Diary. (In August, we published his essay on ecological changes in a landscape he loved as a child.) Joseph also stopped by our satellite editorial office in Gunnison to talk shop with Brian. Meanwhile, in Paonia, Development Director Laurie Milford, through moonlight grant writing, helped secure $29,000 for the North Fork Montessori at Crawford Elementary School for a new playground.

We would like to honor the memory of longtime readers and supporters: Bart Butterfield, a biologist and GIS specialist at the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, was an avid birder devoted to the natural world, and to HCN; he asked that donations be made in his memory. Libby Kirkpatrick, a vibrant philanthropist in the Denver area, treasured her family and the land of the West and spent as much time as she could on her cattle ranch near Steamboat Springs; and Norma Biggar of Las Vegas, Nevada, was a career geologist who always made time for hiking, traveling, propagating desert plants and Contra dancing. Our hearts are with their families and friends.

And, finally, two corrections. In our Oct. 15 cover story, “Nature Retreat,” we mischaracterized Imperial Beach’s federal lawsuit seeking to hold oil companies responsible for climate change damage: It was lowered to a state court, not dismissed. In “When Your Neighborhood Goes Boom” (HCN, 10/19/18), a photograph of the Erie Skate Park showed an oil and gas maintenance rig, not a drill rig, as the caption stated. We regret the errors.

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