Fight that knee jerking

  Dear HCN,


I received a great deal of satisfaction from reading Dan Flores' and Susan Ewing's articles on Western subdivisions (HCN, 5/10/99). Here are two essays that aren't the usual blinders-on, cheerleading drivel. As a prelude, I should add that I disagree with the authors on many points. As a range ecologist living in the West, I've seen a lot of grazed-to-dirt, noxious-weed-infested, two-horse ranchettes built-on elk winter range. I believe that the potential for damage from this kind of development is much greater than the potential for responsible living. Dan and Susan sound like they're making sincere efforts to fit into their place, but they surely represent the far end of the spectrum.


What encouraged me about these articles was that they challenged the point of view we usually take for granted, namely, that subdivisions are bad. How many times do we need to be told that dams kill salmon, clearcuts cause stream sedimentation and destroy species diversity, that livestock grazing on public lands is an abuse of the "Commons," and mining leads to boom/bust economies for small towns? It's become environmental-reporting white noise. We need to be challenged to think for ourselves, to understand our own arguments by listening to and understanding different perspectives.


I'd like to apply Lyons' article on nature writing subsidies to this issue. Let's fund a subsidy to prevent environmental reporters from writing an article if the subject has already been covered by, oh, say five other articles. If they can raise new issues or forward new perspectives, then they can go to print; otherwise, paying them to keep their pens in the inkwell is money well spent.





John Beaver


Helena, Montana


NewTowncarShare News Classifieds
  • Southwest Borderlands Initiative Professor of Native Americans and the News Media The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University is...
  • AWF seeks an energetic Marketing and Communications Director. Please see the full job description at https://azwildlife.org/jobs
  • The Southwest Communications Director will be responsible for working with field staff in Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico to develop and execute detailed communication plans...
  • An intentional community designed for aging in place. Green built with Pumice-crete construction (R32), bamboo flooring, pine doors, T&G ceiling with fans, and maintenance free...
  • (CFROG) is a Ventura County, CA based watch-dog and advocacy non-profit organization. cfrog.org
  • Take your journalism skills to the next level and deepen your understanding of environmental issues by applying for the 2019-2020 Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental...
  • WINTER WILDLANDS ALLIANCE POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT: EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Winter Wildlands Alliance seeks an experienced and highly motivated individual to lead and manage the organization as Executive...
  • The San Juan Mountains Association is seeking a visionary leader to spearhead its public lands stewardship program in southwest Colorado. For a detailed job description...
  • The Cascade Forest Conservancy seeks a passionate ED to lead our forest protection, conservation, education, and advocacy programs.
  • Mountain Pursuit is a new, bold, innovative, western states, hunting advocacy nonprofit headquartered in Jackson, Wyoming. We need a courageous, hard working, passionate Executive Director...
  • The Draper Natural History Museum (DNHM) at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center of the West in Cody, WY, invites applications for the Willis McDonald, IV...
  • Couple seeks quiet, private, off-grid acreage in area with no/low cell phone service and no/low snowfall. Conservation/bordering public lands a plus. CA, OR, WA, ID,...
  • 20mi N of Steamboat Springs, majestic views, aspen forest, year-round access, yurt, septic, solar electric, seasonal ponds, no covenants, bordering National Forest. Ag status. $449K....
  • Conservation nonprofit Friends of Cedar Mesa in Bluff, Utah is hiring for two positions: Communications & Development Manager/Director (remote work possible) and a Deputy Director...
  • Former northern Sierra winery, with 2208 sq.ft. commercial building, big lot, room to expand.
  • The dZi Foundation is seeking a FT Communications Associate with a passion for Nepal to join our team in Ridgway, Colorado. Visit dzi.org/careers.
  • Available now for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojaidigital.net.
  • Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • 1400 sf of habitable space in a custom-designed eco-home created and completed by a published L.A. architect in 1997-99. Nestled within its own 80-acre mountain...
  • Suitable for planting hay, hemp, fruit. Excellent water rights. 1800 square foot farmhouse, outbuildings, worker housing.