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Sierra Club Insider June 7, 2005
"How Come I Haven't Heard This Before?" They Ask
RFK Jr. Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., one of the featured speakers at Sierra Summit 2005, delivers about 100 speeches a year, and when he talks about corporate accountability, he says he gets the same response in red states as blue, except for one thing -- "Red-state voters are always asking, 'How come I haven't heard this before?'"

In an interview with the Sierra Club's Tom Valtin, he lambasts the media for shirking its responsibility. "Eighty percent of Republicans are Democrats who don't know what's going on," he says. Find out more about why Kennedy supports reinstating the Fairness Doctrine and sees a sea change in regard to global-warming consciousness, and check out our interviews with other Summit speakers like comedian Bill Maher and filmmaker Ric Burns.

ACT FAST: The Early Bird Registration for the Summit, which runs September 8-11 at San Francisco's Moscone Center has been extended for Sierra Club Insider subscribers. Sign up today and save $75.

Federal Salmon Plan Ruled Illegal...Again
salmonThis year's low return of spring chinook salmon in the Columbia and Snake Rivers has been devastating for Northwest tribal, sport, and commercial fisheries. So Federal Court Judge James Redden's May 27 ruling against the Bush administration's salmon recovery plan for these two rivers is a desperately needed victory for salmon. In many places along the rivers, fishing was closed down almost as soon as it was opened. Boats are in dock, river guides are idle, and millions of dollars destined for river communities won't be realized this year.

Redden, finding for plaintiff Earthjustice, said the plan is legally flawed in four different respects. The same judge ruled in 2003 that an earlier Bush administration plan was illegal, ordering it replaced, and now has ruled the replacement plan illegal as well. Now he is considering a request from Earthjustice to establish specific protections for migrating Columbia and Snake River salmon this summer. Find out more on this victory at the Sierra Club Website.

Meet the New Sierra Club President
Lisa RenstromAbout ten years ago, shortly after she moved back to the United States from Mexico, with her husband and young child, Lisa Renstrom went to a Sierra Club new members meeting in Charlotte, North Carolina. She fit right in, and after a few meetings she says, "all of a sudden I was group political chair, even though most of my experience was with Mexican politics." Fast forward to May 2005: Renstrom is elected the Sierra Club's 51st president.

The Sierra Club may be 750,000 strong but, as president, Renstrom wants to focus the organization on enlisting our friends and neighbors, even those who may, at first glance, disagree with us. The key, she says, is to "listen to what turns them on, find the seed of sameness, and build on that. It might be children's health, fiscal responsibility, or caring for God's creation." Learn more about Lisa Renstrom's background and challenges ahead at the Sierra Club's Website.

How Pickup Trucks Can Help Curb Global Warming
Gary TurneyIn rural communities, in construction and many other trades, and for small businesses everywhere, the pickup truck is an essential tool with countless practical uses. Unfortunately, pickup trucks get some of the worst fuel economy of any vehicle on the road. With gas prices hitting record highs over the past year, pickup truck owners, like Gary Turney, at right, from DeMossville, Kentucky, have become painfully aware of this.

Good news: Automakers can use existing technology to improve the fuel economy of pickup trucks without sacrificing power or safety. Bad news: They're not. Find out how much money and pollution would be saved if automakers built better trucks using readily available fuel-saving technology.

Please Oppose Nomination of Janice Rogers Brown
This week, the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of Janice Rogers Brown to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Help the Sierra Club defeat the nomination of Brown, whose avowed hostility to federal regulation poses a threat to clean air and clean water standards.

View previous editions of the Sierra Club Insider at the Insider Archives.

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Summer Is Here -- It's Time to Get Outdoors

Summer is finally here and we're all looking forward to getting back to our favorite hiking spot. Before you head outside, explore the hiking and outings section of the Sierra Club Website.

Not only does the Sierra Club have a wealth of hiking information and host more than 350 outings a year locally and internationally, but we also are working hard to protect the places you enjoy.

If you are a hiker, camper or backpacker, we urge you to help protect the places you love and join the Sierra Club today. It's secure and easy, and together, with your help, we can protect the wild.

Join Today
Summer Fun

If you're hankering to get out and enjoy some of those wonderful places we've all been working to save, have a look at The Getaway Guide to the John Muir Trail. Written by Sierra Club Foundation President Guy T. Saperstein, this new book offers inspiration and solid practical advice for completing one of the classic backpack trips in the nation: the 200-mile-long John Muir Trail.

"The days of carrying heavy packs had long passed me by and the question I faced was whether an underfit 58-year-old retired lawyer could get in good enough shape to not only survive hiking the John Muir Trail, but to hike it comfortably and enjoy every day." The answer was yes. But it took a lot of careful research: How do you get in shape? How far can you go in a day? What if you're prone to blisters? Saperstein has answers to all these questions, as well as the biggie: Why do it?

Order this book by July 30 and receive a free copy of the The Getaway Guide to California.

John Muir Trail


Mountain Movie Madness

Unfortunately, the animals are no longer the wildest things in the Appalachian mountains. Watch "Mining Gone Wild!" and help us stop the madness of mountaintop removal mining.

Mining Gone Wild
Photos: Salmon (David Danz) | Pickup Truck (Gary Turney) | John Muir Trail (Tom Valtin) | Mining Gone Wild (Mark Fiore)