Spread the news, and take us higher

As we gear up for another 50 years, we’re working to raise $10 million.


High Country News editorial staff and colleagues at a 2018 editorial retreat.
HCN photo

Dear Friends,

Since 1970, High Country News has sought to capture a region that holds a special place in the hearts and minds of people like us — a place that humbles me.

Back when I was an HCN intern in 1996, before I became the editor, I learned to appreciate this organization’s important role in leading the conversation about the ever-evolving West. Now, as publisher, I know that we must continue to do so in these new and very different times.

Today, as local and regional news organizations struggle to survive, we find ourselves in a unique position, thriving and even expanding our work thanks to the wholehearted support of readers like you. Did you know that you provide $3 out of every $4 that fund this independent, nonprofit organization?

You are what makes HCN different from most other media, and you are the reason we are strong and growing.

This year, HCN turns a remarkable 50 years old. Now, to gear up for the next 50, we’ve set out to raise $10 million.

Those dollars will allow us to rebuild our website, turning it into an engine that draws in new subscribers. They will help us make better use of social media and discussion platforms to draw people into the conversation about where the West is headed. And they will endow an intern program that has already nurtured more than 250 people who have gone on to be leaders in government, business, academia and journalism.

I know this goal sounds daunting. The good news is, we’ve already raised $5 million, thanks to the commitment of several major donors and members of our board of directors. We’re relying on you and hundreds of others like you to help with the rest.

Read on to learn more about the work that we’re doing, and please consider a gift to help us on our way. You can use the envelope in this issue, or visit hcn.org/50-years

Thank you, dear readers, for being the heart and soul of this Western institution for the past 50 years. Here’s to 50 more.

Greg Hanscom, executive director and publisher

We’d like to hear from you!

In the next 10 issues of the magazine, we’ll be revisiting some of the most poignant, pivotal moments HCN has brought you over the last five decades — and we’d love you to join us on this stroll down memory lane. Send us your pictures and tell us your stories, and some of them will be shared here on these pages: What were the defining issues for the West in the 1980s? Let us know: hcne.ws/my-west

Inspired by the women’s movement and its use of the term “male chauvinist pig” to mock men who saw themselves as superior, a friend of Jan and David Robertson’s affectionately dubbed Jan’s all-women crew of intrepid hikers and skiers the “Female Chauvinist Pigs.” In this 1974 photo, Jan’s husband, David, smiles as he displays the flag he sewed to honor the adventures of her group.
Courtesy of Jan Robertson

“I’ve been reading High Country News for a long time. I wrote some articles and had photos published, too. The first article I wrote for HCN was in 1976. My late husband, David, and I got to know Ed and Betsy Marston well over the years. And I’ve enjoyed watching the publication grow and change — even as our world is changing, and we’re really seeing effects of things like climate change.

“Of course, High Country News is on top of it. Reporting.

“What I appreciate most is how they report the facts, and journalists who can write well about them. And I think the people who write for High Country News are excellent.”

Jan Robertson, Boulder, Colorado,
reader and contributor since 1975

High Country News has always been about making the world a better place. Now, we see that journalism is under attack — a major attack on an institution that is so central to our democracy. And it’s an amazing fact that HCN hasn’t bent at all. They continue doing their important work as journalists. And so that’s what I admire, and …  I hope we can get better-paid journalists and more of them, you know?”

Luis Torres, Santa Cruz, New Mexico,
reader and board member since 1995

High Country News interests me as a source of the kind of information and commentary that I don’t usually see in the news that I normally look at on the web. HCN covers the day-to-day issues that affect people who live in the West, as well as environmental and energy policy. You can read about the direct impacts and implications for people who live in the West.

I really appreciate information on overlooked regions or overlooked groups of people — hearing different perspectives on what’s happening and what’s meaningful.

I’m also interested in history, and I feel that HCN provides an important lens into the history of the West from the perspective of Indigenous people.”

Leslie Kautz, Los Angeles, California, reader since 2018

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

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