Letters to the editor, August 2022

Comments from readers.

 

SALMON SOLUTIONS?

I found the July 2022 article about the collapse of the Cypress Island salmon farm (“Salmon in Troubled Waters) to be equal parts fascinating, maddening and depressing. I was fascinated by the excellent storytelling about the events of August 2017, maddened by the complete lack of responsibility and humility on the part of Cooke Aquaculture, and depressed by the potential and already-realized impacts on wild salmon populations. What can those of us who love a good salmon dinner do to ensure that we are choosing salmon that are harvested sustainably — for the ecosystem, wild salmon populations and Indigenous peoples?

Ellen Tomlinson
Grand Junction, Colorado

 

HOPES FOR SUCCESS

Thank you for the great article on Willamette Falls (“Fracture at the fallsJuly 2022). I wish the tribes luck on sorting out a solution to gaining public access and restoring fishing rights to the people.

Tim Holmen
Sparks, Nevada

 

COLORADO’S RIVER GENIE

Thank you for Ben Goldfarb’s thoughtful essay on ownership of Colorado’s rivers (“Who owns Colorado’s riverbeds?July 2022). Fifty years ago, when I was a kid fly-fishing on my beloved Gunnison River and its tributaries, we thought little of who owned the riverbeds in which we were wading. But with the dramatic increase in tourism as well as the cost of land ownership, access to those same waters has become exceedingly contentious. Over the years, as I’ve purchased the fishing licenses that help fund state stocking of the rivers I fish, I have done so knowing that I am supporting private landowners who essentially receive well-stocked “private” waters in the deal.

I have fished waters across the U.S., including the fabled trout and salmon streams of Michigan.

In that state’s navigable rivers, private land ownership is inferior to the public trust right to fish. Can the courts be persuaded to reverse Colorado’s long-standing rules regarding private ownership of riverbeds? I certainly hope so, but I doubt that genie can be put back in the bottle.

Barth Hague
Gunnison, Colorado

 

HYDROGEN HUES, BIG-GRID BLUES

Thanks for another excellent Jonathan Thompson infographic in the July issue — this time a succinct and fair explanation of hydrogen “hues.This piece is helpful, but I find it unfortunate that there is so much hype in media and among public officials around centralized “big-grid,capital-intensive energy, and not enough about already available local distributed solar, storage and microgrids. The focus of attention seems to be on serving the interests of investors and corporations over the interests of the people.

Tim Schoechle
Boulder, Colorado

 

CONCISE & POWERFUL

Dina Gilio-Whitaker’s perspective piece on the #LandBack movement (“Environmental justice is only the beginningJuly 2022) was beautiful in the way she concisely and powerfully articulated history, importance and urgency. She explains what land return means in a way that directly confronts the fears that arise when we (descendants of colonizers) imagine turning our homes and properties over to Native peoples. As Gilio-Whitaker explains, this is not the case. It reminded me of my reaction when I first learned the specifics of the #DefundThePolice movement. The phrase evokes fear of a lawless, crime-filled cityscape and, like #LandBack, seems, at first glance, completely unfeasible. I see now, however, that both of these describe a set of systemic changes that not only are feasible but are absolutely necessary to protect human rights and our planet. Truly, we all (including colonizers) would benefit from land return and reallocating funds away from our police.

Michael Rowley
Oakland, California

 

The article “Environmental justice is only the beginningby Dina Gilio-Whitaker is one of the best I’ve ever read in your magazine. She so thoroughly spells out so many truths with such brevity.

David Poling
Grand Junction, Colorado

 

RESUBSCRIBED

It’s been a love-hate relationship since I first subscribed in the Tom Bell days. But every time I’ve canceled I find myself coming back to the fold. A friend just gifted me the May 2022 issue and it’s dazzling, and there is power in a name. High Country News — sign me up again.

P.S. Wonderful to have poetry back in the mix.

Art Goodtimes
Norwood, Colorado

 

I just resubscribed to your journal, and I knew I made the right decision when I encountered the essay about finding home by Diane Sylvain (“When I knew I had made it home,” 6/30/22).

What a gem! Her writing style is so refreshing and descriptive without being trite.

Ken Mitchell
Fort Collins, Colorado

 

SPRINGTIME LOVE

I wanted to briefly give you some kudos for the May issue, from the layout and content right down to the softer paper stock.  I think it is a definite uptick in the quality of the magazine.  Did I say poetry?  Ironically, I think this direction will return some of the old readership, which might have been alienated by the necessary shift in editorial stance, without going backwards.

John Roehling
Denver, Colorado

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