Dear friends

  • Cartoon of llama spokesanimal without opposable thumbs

    Diane Sylvain

Odds and ends

Thanks to Boulder, Colo., reader Evan Cantor who sent us 10 years of back issues of High Country News. They've been snapped up by Paonia High School, which school secretary Judy Briscoe tells us has become much involved in interdisciplinary teaching. And thanks to Evergreen, Colo., writer Dyan Zaslowsky, who passed on an instructive bit of consumerism from BMW. Of the "20 things you should do in this lifetime," BMW tells us in an Atlantic Monthly ad, number three is: "Fly over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter." "I'm canceling that BMW I had ordered," says Dyan, a lover of quiet in the outback.


In his Heard around the West column Sept. 2, Ed Marston erred in saying Ansel Adams photos were stolen from Los Alamos National Laboratory. The framed pictures were stolen from Sandia National Lab in Albuquerque, N.M.

An editing error in Tony Davis' story in the Sept. 2 issue exaggerated the amount of money the Forest Service has spent on corraling protesters of salvage logging in Oregon and Washington. The correct amount is just over $500,000.

Fall visitors

On Sept. 19, the day after nearby mountains and then the town turned white with snow, we visited with Jane and Don Hall of Golden, Colo., who had been driven out of a camping spot by the sudden change in weather. He is a forester with the Bureau of Indian Affairs; she tests and analyzes seeds for a private company.

Earlier, we talked to Jeanne and Roger Falk of Montrose, Pa., who confessed that their son Glenn, of Madison, Conn., was the subscriber who suggested they drop in. From Berkeley, Calif., came Professor Carolyn Merchant, who teaches environmental history at the University of California, Berkeley, and her husband, Charlie Sellers, who retired from teaching history there. The couple were traveling in a van that seemed just right for workaholics: it featured solar panels and room for battery-powered computers and a cellular phone. The couple is working on a book about the West.

Peter Thompson stopped by with his wife, Sabine Jessel, and his son, Sky. Long-time subscribers from Washington's Olympic Peninsula, they came to see HCN's home and also to visit staffer Elizabeth Manning, who knows the family from her days at Kalaupapa National Historical Park, where Peter was superintendent. Everyone's feet showed the Hawaii connection: Instead of the silence of river sandals, the office was filled with the flap of flip-flops. And instead of a kayak, an outrigger canoe was strapped to the roof of their car.

Two readers came from Santa Fe, N.M., and one is staying. The new Paonia resident is Hal Brill, a specialist in socially conscious investing. His friend, Mark Garland, works as an engineer for the Santa Fe National Forest and fixes, among other things, blown-out logging roads and worn-out outhouses.

We also talked to Ted Goudvis, who dropped in from Aspen, Colo., with his daughter, Pat, a documentary filmmaker, and that night we heard a talk by scientist Theo Colborn at Paonia's Town Hall. Theo, who was a pharmacist in Paonia for many years, told some 200 people about some of the research connecting chemicals in the environment to infertility and other health problems, as documented in her new book, Our Stolen Future.

Web wanderings

Associate publisher Linda Bacigalupi has both bad and good news. She's not pleased that access to the paper's website has been difficult recently; she is pleased that access is finally available through our own "domain': Because many pathways have been forged to our site during the last two years, she adds, groups and individuals should start changing their links over to our new address. Previous addresses such as will be maintained for awhile, but eventually will be phased out. We thank readers for their patience as we switched servers and inadvertently introduced glitches. Please check us out since we've introduced some new features, and give Linda B. a call at 970/527-4898 if you have questions.

Llamas, continued

Finally, we heard from a llama itself, thanks to Kate Booth Doyle, who owns and operates an outfitting business, La Garita Llamas in Del Norte, Colo. From a llama's "personal account," we learned that its favorite game is king of the hill, with the hill needing to be only a slight hump on the ground. But our llama informant was puzzled by the intense need of humans to compete over which pack animal was better. Tony Hopson, of Idaho Llama Outfitting, said the dispute between llamas and other animals in the backcountry could finally come down to this: "If you can't walk, you can't own a llama. They're perfect for hikers and light on the land." No horses or burros have written in yet.

* Betsy Marston for the staff

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