A new venue and a bittersweet goodbye

A satellite office to open in Gunnison, and a staffer moves on.


We have some exciting news to share: In July, High Country News will open a provisional satellite office in Gunnison, Colorado, in collaboration with Western State Colorado University. Our headquarters will remain in Paonia, where we’ve been since 1983, but a handful of staffers will move to Gunnison for a yearlong experiment. This partnership will allow us to work with and learn from students and professors at Western’s School of Environment and Sustainability, as our organizations grow and grapple with the West’s defining issues.

The winter months usually keep visitors at home, but this unseasonably warm January brought a number of guests to our Paonia office. We offered a tour to a local women’s club, which counts among its members our own Betsy Marston, Writers on the Range editor. The Neighborly Neighbors of Lamborn Mesa was formed during World War II and has welcomed newcomers to the mesa ever since. The group raises money for nonprofits and hosts excursions to local points of interest — in addition to HCN, they’ve also visited community radio station KVNF, area wineries and an artist’s foundry. “We like to find out where we live,” Betsy says.

Claire Brase, a student from Reed College, who came to learn about the magazine production process.
Brooke Warren/High Country News

The neighbors swung by the same week we hosted an undergraduate student guest, Claire Brase. Claire “shadowed” us for several days, observing the magazine production process and learning how our writers, editors and other staffers got to where we are now. Claire came to us from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, where she’s majoring in environmental studies and biology. “I’ve always been a nature kid,” she says, happy poking around in Oregon’s tide pools and fascinated by science and nature. So are most of us, Claire — we enjoyed showing you a professional path that welcomes such interests.

Late in January, Marie Bourgeois and Ross Nelson, both from Helena, Montana, stopped by and remarked on the lack of snow here. An engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency until 2015, Marie is currently steeped in the world of biomimicry — creating human systems by co-opting nature’s designs. Ross, a playwright, is committed to “wild and whirling words.”

Finally, some bittersweet news: At the end of January we bid a fond farewell to Elizabeth Shogren, our Washington, D.C., correspondent since 2015. This month, she joins Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, as a science reporter. In addition to her strong news sense and razor-sharp writing skills, Elizabeth brought a sense of professionalism and camaraderie to the magazine that we will sorely miss. She is also an unfailing supporter of our interns, fellows and other young journalists, offering advice and encouragement at every step of the story (and career) process. “I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such a creative, warm and talented group of people,” she says. “I have learned so much from each of my colleagues and grown as journalist and person because of them.” We wish you the best of luck, Elizabeth, and we can’t wait to see what new stories you dig up.

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