In difficult times, community matters

Supporting each other helps us all do our best.

 

“On the Road to 50” is an ongoing series of the publisher and editor's notes to our readers, as they travel the region and plan for our 50th anniversary – through community gatherings, individual meetings, and other listening sessions.

As the COVID-19 pandemic blazes through cities and sends red-hot embers drifting into the rural West, I think of the people working on the frontlines — people, and work, that I know well.

I spent nine years, from 1998 to 2007, moonlighting as an emergency medical technician in Paonia, Colorado, HCN’s hometown. The North Fork Ambulance was the first line of defense for the roughly 10,000 residents of three small towns and the surrounding farmland and mesas. We hauled people out of car wrecks and collapsed mines, handled drug overdoses and emergency childbirths, and rushed people to the nearest hospital whenever their serious ailments or age necessitated specialized care.

As I write, there have been six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Delta County — with one death — but if those sparks of virus ignite a conflagration, it will hit this community hard, and the North Fork Ambulance squad will be called into service. 

On Associate Editor Tristan Ahtone’s last day of work, HCN staffers get together digitally to wish him a fond farewell. Ahtone is shown top row, second from left.

For our part, the High Country News staff — in the North Fork Valley and across the Western U.S. — has dispersed to our homes, most of us under “stay at home” orders. Associate Editor Paige Blankenbuehler is heading a team that publishes regular stories on our website, where all of our COVID-19 coverage is available for free.

To allow staff to focus on this critical work at a difficult time, and to ensure that every issue contains the best journalism possible, we are shifting to a straight monthly publication schedule, canceling the three special issues we’d planned for later this year. Apologies in advance for any confusion this creates. If you subscribed (or renewed) hoping for those “bonus” issues, we will extend your subscription to include additional monthly issues of the magazine. 

Through your subscriptions and donations, High Country News readers provide three-quarters of the revenue that keeps this organization going.

We have also delayed the public rollout of our 50th anniversary fundraising campaign and postponed our anniversary gala to June 4, 2021. We want to give this magazine and its readers the celebration we all deserve. Watch for more information in the coming months.

But we still need your support — now more than ever. Through your subscriptions and donations, High Country News readers provide three-quarters of the revenue that keeps this organization going.

We hope you’ll consider contributing to our spring fund drive. There should be a donation envelope inside this issue; a letter with more information will arrive in your mailbox soon. If finances are tight — as no doubt they are for many of you — please consider giving in smaller, monthly installments, or making a legacy bequest. For more information, visit hcn.org/support or email [email protected].

Thank you, as always, for your support. We will do our best in the months ahead to provide the clear, accurate and essential information you rely on. We need the community’s help to do it.

Greg Hanscom is the publisher and executive director of High Country News. Email him at [email protected] or submit a letter to the editor

High Country News Classifieds
  • DEPUTY DIRECTOR
    The Methow Valley Citizens Council has a distinguished history of advocating for progressive land use and environmental values in the Methow Valley and Okanogan County...
  • ACTING INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS DESK EDITOR
    High Country News is seeking an Acting Indigenous Affairs Editor to oversee the work of our award-winning Indigenous Affairs Desk while our editor is on...
  • GRANTS PROGRAM DIRECTOR
    The Cinnabar Foundation seeks an enthusiastic, team-oriented and knowledgeable Grants Program Director to work from their home in Montana. Established in 1983, the Cinnabar Foundation...
  • ARTEMIS PROGRAM MANAGER
    The Artemis Program Manager will work with National Wildlife Federation sporting and public lands staff to change this dynamic, continue to build upon our successful...
  • ALASKA SEA KAYAK BUSINESS FOR SALE
    Well-known and successful sea kayak, raft, hike, camp guiding & water taxi service. Sale includes everything needed to run the business, including office & gear...
  • MEMBERSHIP AND EVENTS PROGRAM COORDINATOR
    Great Old Broads for Wilderness seeks a detail-oriented and enthusiastic Membership and Events Coordinator to join our small, but mighty-fun team to oversee our membership...
  • PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT FACILITATOR
    ABOUT THE HIGH DESERT MUSEUM Since opening in 1982, HIGH DESERT MUSEUM has brought together wildlife, culture, art and natural resources to promote an understanding...
  • LAND STEWARD, ARAVAIPA
    Steward will live on-site in housing provided by TNC and maintains preserve areas frequented by the visiting public and performs land management activities. The Land...
  • DEVELOPMENT WRITER
    Who We Are: The Nature Conservancy's mission is to protect the lands and waters upon which all life depends. As a science-based organization, we create...
  • CONNECTIVITY SCIENCE COORDINATOR
    Position type: Full time, exempt Location: Bozeman preferred; remote negotiable Compensation: $48,000 - $52,000 Benefits: Major medical insurance, up to 5% match on a 401k,...
  • EXECUTIVE ASSISTANT
    ArenaLife is looking for an Executive Assistant who wants to work in a fast-paced, exciting, and growing organization. We are looking for someone to support...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Mountain Lion Foundation is seeking an Executive Director. Please see our website for further information - mountainlion.org/job-openings
  • WASHINGTON DC REPRESENTATIVE
    Position Status: Full-time, exempt Location: Washington, DC Position Reports to: Program Director The Western Organization of Resource Councils (WORC) is seeking a Washington, DC Representative...
  • REGIONAL CAMPAIGN ORGANIZER
    Position Title: Regional Campaign Organizers (2 positions) Position Status: Full-time, exempt Location: Preferred Billings, MT; remote location within WORC's region (in or near Grand Junction...
  • DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR
    Driggs, ID based non-profit. Full time. Full job description available at tvtap.org. Submit cover letter and resume to [email protected]
  • ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONSTRUCTION GEOPHYSICS
    - We find groundwater, buried debris and assist with new construction projects for a fraction of drilling costs.
  • SPRING MOUNTAINS SOLAR OFF GRID MOUNTAIN HOME
    Located 50 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada in the pine forest of Lee Canyon at 8000 feet elevation. One of a kind property surrounded...
  • MAJOR GIFTS MANAGER - MOUNTAIN WEST, THE CONSERVATION FUND
    Cultivate, solicit and steward a portfolio of 75-125 donors.
  • NATURE'S BEST IN ARAVAIPA CANYON
    10 acre private oasis in one of Arizona's beautiful canyons. Fully furnished, 2123 sq ft architectural custom-built contemporary home with spectacular views and many extras....
  • HEALTH FOOD STORE IN NW MONTANA
    Turn-key business includes 2500 sq ft commercial building in main business district of Libby, Montana. 406.293.6771 /or [email protected]