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New England News

Arizona and Vermont Feud Over Fall Foliage

Arizona Highways/Vermont Life

Magazines on opposite coasts, famous for their photography, are engaging in a tongue-in-cheek rivalry over fall foliage. Arizona Highways is talking on Vermont’s fall foliage, and Vermont Life Magazine has taken up the gauntlet.

Arizona Highways Magazine’s October cover has a spellbinding photo of a waterfall surrounded by green and orange foliage with a yellow-leaved canopy of trees above. Captioned “Autumn in Arizona,” it adds “And Why It’s Better Here Than It Is in Vermont”.
Vermont Life Magazine Editor Mary Hegarty Nowlan says they had no idea what their sister publication was doing, and it came as a bit of a shock.

Calls to Arizona Highways Editor Robert Stieve were not returned in time for this broadcast. But he blogged that “The comparison....isn’t about quality of fall color, but rather the length of our respective fall seasons.” In his tongue-in-cheek analogy, he notes that autumn in Arizona begins in early September and lasts until early  December. He does concede that Vermont is the nation's gold standard when it comes to fall foliage.
But Vermonters take one of their most cherished icons, fall foliage, seriously — even in fun.
It took Vermont Life Magazine staffers, according to editor Nowlan, about a half hour to come up with a cover in response. It features a picture of Quechee Gorge captioned “Why Quechee Gorge is Grander than the Grand Canyon” and a sidebar noting millions of foliage tourists can’t be wrong. But this cover, she explains, won’t be seen on newstands.

At the same time the fabricated feud flares, Vermont has, for the first time, begun video reporting of the fall colors.
In the past, the state has provided photos, audio or printed observations, but now Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing Spokesperson Jen Butson will host and post videos of the changing colors.

The video foliage reports will be updated weekly.

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