Waters named Courier news editor

Photo credit Marlys Hersey.

ALAMOSA– Eighteen-year journalism veteran John Waters has joined the staff of the Valley Courier as news editor and will contribute coverage for the San Luis Valley including Alamosa, Conejos and Costilla counties for both the Courier and the Conejos County Citizen.

Waters has been a part-time resident of the San Luis Valley for over 10 years, and moved to Alamosa full-time in September 2021. He previously co-owned and published The Big Bend Gazette in Alpine and Terlingua, Tex., which he sold last fall before moving to the valley.

The Big Bend region of west Texas, which includes Big Bend National Park, has a lot of similarities to the SLV, such as the national park, the Rio Grande, and the isolation.

Aside from being publisher of the Gazette, Waters served as the publication’s lead reporter, photographer, and advertising manager. He also volunteered on the boards of directors of two local non-profits.

Prior to running the Gazette, Waters worked in various natural resource jobs, including as a biological science technician at both Big Bend National Park, and for the Bureau of Land Management in Boise, ID. For 10 years, he worked as an interpretive naturalist and writer at various national parks and monuments across the United States.

His stints included duties at Mount Rainier National Park (WA), Everglades National Park (FL), Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument (WA), and Crater Lake National Park (OR), as well as other assignments for Rocky Mountain National Park (CO) and Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument (WA).

Interviewing public officials, including former Secretary of the Interior and valley native Ken Salazar, and former President George W. Bush were among Waters' favorite interviews. Bush, who was famous for creating nicknames for people called Waters, “Local Newspaper Guy.”

Waters and his wife Marlys Hersey are outdoor enthusiasts who live in Alamosa.

“The amazing hiking, biking and mountain biking in the area was a big draw for us,” Waters said. “I’m excited to cover the valley and be part of the great tradition that is the Valley Courier.”

Prior to working at Rocky Mountain National Park, Waters and two backpacking companions were struck by lightning there in the early 1980s, an experience that enhanced his respect for the power of nature.

John Waters can be reached at 719-589-2553 or [email protected]

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