Letters to the editor, March 2022

Comments from readers.


Justice for farmworkers

I wanted to commend your recent article on the farmworker movement for environmental justice (“Sowing Change,” February 2022). The article speaks poignantly to the economic inequality in this rich region and the unequal impacts of the climate crisis.

Lisa Citron
Cascadia College, professor, environmental economics
Seattle, Washington


First of all, muchas gracias for the terrific article “Sowing Change” in your February issue. The fact that the pandemic has placed a heavier, often lethal, burden on migrant workers in the U.S. is a huge but undercovered story. Second, it must be acknowledged that the “man with a sombrero and exuberant mustache” on the posters of the Tierra y Libertad cooperative is no doubt an image of the famous Mexican revolutionary Emiliano Zapata. His Zapatista revolutionaries fighting in the 1910s to restore their lost lands marched under the banner and slogan “Tierra y Libertad” (“Land and Liberty”). Zapata’s example no doubt inspires the work of this Washington organization.

Bert Kreitlow
Waukesha, Wisconsin


Resist replication

The unavoidable pain of the transition to a green economy does not mean that we approach it indifferent to the inequality of impacts on those directly impacted (“Electric vehicles drive up demand for ‘green metals,’” February 2022). As we seek to correct income inequality as a hideous feature of our current economy, we must resist a replication of that inequality when it comes to beating the burdens of changes that will, ultimately if not immediately, benefit us all.

William DePaulo
Lewisburg, West Virginia


Lamprey love

Thank you for your recent piece in HCN on the lamprey (“I pray, you pray … ,” February 2022). It is so rich in meaning and information, and so compelling. I recall the excitement when, after a small dam was removed on a tributary in the Connecticut River Basin in Massachusetts, lamprey returned to spawn. Your piece adds so much history, culture and context to this wondrous being. 

Sandra Postel
Corrales, New Mexico


I’m actively working on getting over my “horrified fixation on the oral disc.” Thanks for the great article on the lamprey, Brian Oaster and HCN

Christine Pearcy
Bozeman, Montana


Very interesting story in the February High Country News. Hard, however, to read a lamprey story without the mention of Elmer Crow Jr., who died heroically eight years ago saving his young grandsons from drowning in the Snake River. Elmer was the strongest promoter of the Pacific Lamprey in the Columbia, Snake and Salmon rivers for years. He was a legend among the Nez Perce and conservationists throughout Lapwai, Orofino and the Clearwater Valley.

Steven K. Berg
Boise, Idaho


Trashed sooner

Thank you for an awesome review of the recent metaphor by Ben Goldfarb, and the insight into the hyperobject concept (“How do you make a movie about a hyperobject?” February 2022). The only thing I have to disagree with is that final statement, that the humans who will bear the brunt of this don’t yet exist. I’m pretty sure that if we continue with business as usual, growing our population by 1% per year while increasing carbon dioxide emissions yet another 30%, our planet will be thoroughly trashed in just 30 years. My grandkids will experience all this ugliness, Ben will probably be around for this, and, who knows, I might even still be here.

Julie Smith
Golden, Colorado


Communications for humans

I wanted you to know how much I appreciated the article “Digital Natives” (January 2022). I also long for a purer communications network that supports humanity. Connections on all levels need to be available so community can thrive without exploitation. I feel if enough of us would like to see this happen, it will manifest.

Kenneth L. Williams
Boise, Idaho


Illuminating and level-headed

Your article “Gold Country” (January 2022) was a deeply illuminating and superbly well-researched piece of journalism and investigative reporting. I found your approach to the various layers surrounding these issues to be thoughtful and level-headed; you put them in the context of the broader commercial statewide trends for northeastern Nevada’s long-term economy and global gold mining, while effectively humanizing the gold mine employees and tribal members whose livelihoods are directly affected by the expansion of the mine.

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland has expressed greater support for accommodating tribal reservation land claims. Do you think she might play a tangible role in facilitating the geographic and legal relationship between Nevada Gold Mines and nearby tribal nations? I was surprised she was not mentioned in the article.

As a Nevadan who was a former employee for Barrick Gold in their Goldstrike Mine back in summer 2017, I found your reporting insightful, reasonable and compelling.

I hope to come across similar work in the future, as in-depth local journalism that examines long-term issues in the state make me glad to support High Country News.

Eddy Torres 
Mesquite, Nevada


Hope in grief

What a wonderful, hopeful story in the midst of so much grief for our planet — and us (“See the Channel Islands’ stunning ecological recovery,”)! I could feel the spirit of my late son, who died in the ocean off Santa Barbara, crying for appreciation and joy with me.

Mari Vlastos
Berkeley, California

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