In a time when the future of print media remains murky, from the Western Slope comes a true success story–High Country News–which celebrates its 40th anniversary this year.
Based in Paonia, CO since 1983 (when it moved from Lander, Wyoming) this vibrant non-profit enterprise adds to the character and local business mosaic of this coalmining counter-culture town nestled at the foot of the West Elk Mountains and Wilderness.
More to the point, its small-town western roots gives it a unique perspective in covering key public land, environmental and social issues in the West.
High Country News has risen to prominence on its coverage of such Western issues as water, wilderness, grazing, wildlife management, and energy development.
But its mix of perspectives, and opinions, do not always fit neatly into any ideological box. Some see it as pro-environmentalist, although many environmentalists would disagree.
I have had my own disagreements with the paper’s positions and coverage over the years. But none of those discount its value. High Country News provides the kind of in-depth and thoughtful coverage widely absent in today’s soundbite 24 cable culture of fast food news.
All of Colorado should be proud of this Western Slope institution.