Paul Larmer

Paul Larmer is the editor of Writers on the Range, a service of High Country News, based in Paonia, Colo.

Enviro learns rural town isn't about Big Timber and Big Mining

“I don’t know what we’re going to do if the mine closes.” The woman’s voice sounds strained and tired through the phone. “I’m going to have to find a job, and we may have to cash in our retirement fund. I guess we’ll move if we have to.” I hadn’t meant to pry. I had just called to remind her of her daughter’s peewee basketball practice that night. But in a small, western town, you can’t help but run into the lives of your neighbors. Like everyone else in town, I had heard about the fire in one of the …

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