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Sierra Club Insider August 4, 2004

Wildlands at Risk
Since taking office, the Bush administration has opened up an area larger than Texas and Oklahoma combined to logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling -- including some of the most environmentally sensitive places-- stripping protections from 10 percent of America's public lands.

You can read about 25 special places -- such as Idaho's Owyhee Canyonlands, above, in "Wildlands at Risk," a new Sierra Club report.

Not Exactly the Road Map to Peace, but...
One part Mideast peace initiative and one part hybrid-car evangelizing, the West Coast "I Will Evolve" tour was as untypical a road trip as its participants. Ilana Malleam, an Israeli Jew, and Mohammed A. Taher, a Jordanian Muslim, both graduate students at Israel's Arava Environmental Institute and summer interns at the Sierra Club, joined Brendan Bell of the Club's global warming team to share a 2,000-mile drive from Seattle to San Diego in a Toyota Prius.

Malleam and Taher's message: Environmental problems affect everyone and must be solved by everyone, regardless of national boundaries. Also, you can get terrific mileage, and help curb global warming, by driving a hybrid car.

Polluter Pays? Not Any More
It used to be that the industries that created toxic waste also paid to clean it up. That was the principle behind the original Superfund law. But the Bush administration has abandoned the "polluter pays" principle and, this year, taxpayers will pick up virtually the entire bill for the cleanup of orphaned toxic-waste sites.

Superfund works. By June 2004, the program had cleaned up nearly 900 of the nation's most contaminated sites. A new Sierra Club report, "Communities at Risk," uses EPA data to identify health threats at 111 Superfund sites, and another 158 sites where the EPA has insufficient data about whether or not a threat still exists. The report includes a state-by-state breakdown of those 269 sites. One in four Americans lives within four miles of a Superfund toxic waste site.

Bye-Bye Boston
The convention is over, but the chatter around the coffeepot is still going strong. Check here for Club Executive Director Carl Pope's final thoughts on the Democratic convention.

Note: If you missed any of the first three issues of the Insider, you can find the archives here

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  Inside Inner City Outings

In almost 50 U.S. cities, the Sierra Club Inner City Outings (ICO) program brings low-income, inner city youth to parks and wilderness. ICO's volunteer leaders take 12,000 kids on trips each year. The kids below are hiking at William Heise County Park in San Diego County.

Find out more about Inner City Outings in your community.

  Is Your Relationship in Trouble? Seven Danger Signs

It's summer, time to take stock of your relationship with your president. Check out these seven warning signs and see how your relationship stacks up.

1. He says one thing, does another.
2. He won't introduce you to his friends.
3. He lets his friends make a mess and not clean up after themselves.
4. He doesn't believe in using birth control.

  Keep Roadless Rule Intact

In July, the Forest Service essentially dismantled the Roadless Area Conservation Rule by requiring governors to petition for protection for national forests. The Sierra Club and allies have set an ambitious goal of generating 1 million comments by the end of the public comment period on September 14.

Tell Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth that you support protecting all national forest roadless areas from logging, roadbuilding, and other damaging activities.

And don't miss this hilarious Mark Fiore animation about the roadless rule.


photos/illustrations: Owyhee (Mike McCurry) road trip (Brian Vanneman) Superfund (Jessica Frohman) kids hiking (Andreas Marek, San Diego Chapter ICO) heart (John Byrne Barry) roadless rule blowout sale (Mark Fiore)




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