Archives of Headwaters XIV

An overview of the conference idea

Ed Marston

Publisher, 1983–2003, High Country News

Reading: "An Essay on the Nature of Journalism as practiced by High Country News"

Ed Marston was originally an Easterner who came west and has become a Westerner. Trained as a physicist, he tired of academic life in the early 1970s and moved to Paonia, Colorado, with his wife Betsy (who had a background in television) where they started a local newspaper, the North Fork Times. In the early 1980s they moved up a notch to a more regional publication, founding the Western Colorado Report. Shortly after that, they joined forces with High Country News, with Ed as publisher and Betsy as editor. Over their 19-plus years with HCN, they increased the readership of the journal at least seven-fold, and expanded into radio and a column-syndication, "Writers on the Range." They have also issued a number of useful books on western issues under the High Country News imprint, and Ed has either co-authored or contributed to a number of books about the West and its public lands.

Daniel Kemmis

Director, Center for the Rocky Mountain West, Missoula, MT

Reading: "A New Vision for Governing Western Lands," from, January 15, 2003.

Daniel Kemmis is one of the Mountain West's leading contemporary thinkers on community, regionalism and human society. He has written three books on these issues:

  • Community and the Politics of Place
  • The Good City and the Good Life
  • This Sovereign Land: A New Vision for Governing the West

Most of his perceptions of the West and its future have been shaped in the real world of politics. He served in the Montana Legislature, rising to be House Speaker, and subsequently as the Mayor of Missoula. Since September 1996, he has been Director of the University of Montana's Center for the Rocky Mountain West.

Charles Wilkinson

Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado at Boulder

Reading: "Introduction: The Colorado Plateau," from
Fire on the Plateau: Conflict and Endurance in the American Southwest

Charles Wilkinson is the Moses Lasky Professor of Law at the University of Colorado School of Law. He has worked extensively in Indian rights issues in the Southwest, and on resource and conservation issues. He has written extensively on the West; these are some of his works for general readers:

  • Messages from Frank's Landing: Salmon, Treaties and the Indian Way
  • Fire on the Plateau:  Conflict and Endurance in the American Southwest
  • Crossing the Next Meridian:  Land, Water, and the Future of the West
  • The Eagle Bird:  Mapping A New West
  • The American West:  A Narrative Bibliography and a Study in Regionalism
  • American Indians, Time, and the Law:  Native Societies in a Modern Constitutional Democracy

George Sibley

Special Projects Coordinator, Western State College

Reading: "A New Look at an Old Tension in American Politics"

George Sibley has been teaching and coordinating the Headwaters Conference and other special projects at Western State College since 1988. He is also a freelance writer who has appeared in the pages of High Country News along with many other publications.

Michael McCloskey

Former Chairman, Sierra Club

Reading: "The Skeptic: Collaboration has its limits," from High Country News, May 13, 1996.

Mr. McCloskey will not be at the Headwaters Conference, but in this essay — originally presented to the Board of the Sierra Club, he raises some important caveats concerning the movement toward local resolution of public-lands issues.