Jars of jam and a lot of joy

Harvest season meant conferences, visitors and a wonderful wedding.


It’s getting cold here in Colorado, both at our Gunnison, Colorado, satellite office and our Paonia headquarters, and we both had our first snow — at least a very light sprinkling of white — in early October. Still, autumn is holding on, and the quaking aspen are scattering lovely gold across the surrounding hillsides. 

Things have been busy for our dispersed editorial staff, even by High Country News standards. Associate Editor Emily Benson, Assistant Editor Carl Segerstrom and intern Helen Santoro, all from our West-North Desk, got together in Missoula, Montana, in early October for a public-lands conference at the University of Montana’s law school. Carl and Helen even got to take a trip up to Lolo Pass to learn about wildfires and geology. 

HCN was well represented at the mid-October Society of Environmental Journalists conference in Fort Collins, Colorado. Editor-in-Chief Brian Calvert, Associate Editor Maya L. Kapoor, Assistant Editor Anna V. Smith, Contributing Editor Josh Zaffos and Kalen Goodluck, our editorial fellow, attended and spoke on a range of panels. Meanwhile, in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida, Associate Editors Emily Benson and Paige Blankenbuehler attended the Poynter Journalism Institute’s Leadership Academy. The training gathered promising leaders in journalism — people like our own Emily and Paige — who returned with new skills for working effectively with reporters.

High Country News Folks — Your writing is not depressing. Being informed is power.” 

Back in Gunnison, reader Alan Rose stopped by the office with a grim message: HCN’s journalism, while excellent, often makes him sad. Then, later on, he returned with a postcard that read: “High Country News Folks — Your writing is not depressing. Being informed is power.” That encouraging postcard now hangs in our office. The best part? He gave us three jars of homemade jam. Two of them are plum and one is an “experimental variety,” according to Rose. It bears the label “BIRuGi.” We’re still trying to figure out what that means.

Warren and Teresa Carlson from Utah visited the Paonia office just days after attending our “On the Road to Salt Lake City” event, where they joined 100 other enthusiastic people for food, drink and conversation about the region’s important issues. And longtime readers Gil and Barb Cerise visited from Seattle, joined by another faithful subscriber and supporter, Edna Loehman, from Denver. Gil and Barb shared fond memories of an expedition they took with HCN in 2017 to Bears Ears National Monument. 

Indigenous Affairs Desk members Kalen Goodluck, Tristan Ahtone, Anna V. Smith and Graham Brewer surround Jolene Yazzie and Hannabah Blue.
HCN Staff

And last, but most certainly not least, Jolene Yazzie, our dear editorial intern, just got married to Hannabah Blue in Lupton, Arizona, Jolene’s hometown, with a beautiful reception the next day in Upper Fruitland, New Mexico, where Hannabah grew up. Family members and friends from all over attended for mutton stew and lots of merrymaking. Congratulations, Jolene and Hannabah, from all of us at HCN!

We have a correction, from “California’s contradictions embody the West,” (HCN, 9/2/19): Tuolumne, both the county name and the name of the local Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians, is spelled Tuolumne, not Tuolomne.

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