A Letter From The Publisher, Dec. 15, 1980

Richard Woodbury did not plan it that but this week's cover story on the booming, environmentally fragile Rocky Mountain West coincides roughly with his — and TIME'S — return to the region. Born in Manhattan, Woodbury worked for newspapers in Denver and Grand Junction, Colo., in the 1960s. Earlier this year TIME marked the Mountain West's growing importance by reopening its Denver news bureau after a 13-year hiatus, and by installing Woodbury as chief. He barely had a chance to unpack his skis before this week's story propelled him on a two-week,...