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Sierra Club Insider July 7, 2004

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The Fires This Time
So far this year, the forests and communities of the West have not been scorched by a major wildfire. But given drought conditions and early snowmelt, the risk of fire remains high. Unfortunately, the Bush administration's forest plan, pushed through Congress last fall claiming it would protect communities from wildfires, has turned out to be more about protecting the big timber companies. The plan allows them to log backcountry forests, far from communities, as evidenced by the recent Biscuit sale in Oregon,the largest timber sale in modern times.

The Sierra Club calls for a Community Protection Plan that would make protecting communities from fires the Forest Service's top priority, with an emphasis on removing flammable materials within 500 yards of buildings. MORE

En Peligro

Zeida Santana tiene miedo de servir pescado a sus hijos, porque puede ser contaminado con mercurio.

The Sierra Club's new Latino Communities at Risk Report, available in Spanish and English, tells the stories of 12 individuals and families--in communities from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Salinas, California--whose health and livelihoods have been hurt by the Bush administration's devastating environmental policies. Like Zeida Santana, at left, a biologist in Florida, who is afraid to feed her boys fish for dinner, because it may be contaminated by mercury. MORE

Supreme Court Punts--What It Means
On June 24, the Supreme Court refused to rule on whether Vice President Dick Cheney must produce documents in the Sierra Club's Energy Task Force lawsuit and sent the case back to the lower court for further consideration. "The good news," says Pat Gallagher, director of the Club's Environmental Law Program, "is that the court rejected the Bush administration's extremist arguments and moved the case forward. The bad news is that the public remains in the dark." MORE

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  Going on Vacation? Bring Your Work Gloves!

Most of us don't pack a pickax for vacation, but as a recent New York Times story (free registration req’d) reports, more and more people are signing up for volunteer vacations, engaging in manual labor to improve wilderness areas. Find out more about Sierra Club service trips. (Pickaxes provided.)

  Who Owns Our Water?

Tune in to Thirst, a new PBS documentary on July 13 that explores how communities from Cochabamba, Bolivia, to Stockton, California, are fighting attempts by multinationals to privatize their water supply.
  Tell Bush to Fund Family Planning

World Population Day is July 11, an opportunity to highlight the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which promotes voluntary family planning and women's advancement in more than 140 countries. Yet the Bush administration has withheld $34 million appropriated by Congress for the past two years, citing false allegations of coercive family planning practices in China. Tell President Bush to release the funds, which will save the lives of women and children around the world.


Kerry (Sharon Farmer) Fire (Roger Zellmer) • En Peligro (Javier Sierra) • Service Trip (Tom Ransburg/Sierra Club Outings) • Thirst (Snitow-Kaufman Productions) • UNFPA (




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