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In This Issue of the Sierra Club Insider:
Go On a Virtual Tour and Win a Trip to Peru
New Sierra Club Chronicles Episode
Shop Your Wild Oats, Help the Sierra Club, and Save
Diving Into California's Last Abalone Fishery
Phosphate-Free Dishwashing Detergent = Healthier Ecosystems
EXPLORE: Legacy: Portraits of 50 Bay Area Environmental Elders
ENJOY: Send an E-Card, Spread the Word
PROTECT: Arctic Drilling Update
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Sierra Club Insider April 4, 2006
Pacoima & Peru
Grist's Virtual TourThe tiny community of Pacoima, at the north end of Los Angeles, suffers from nearly every imaginable obstacle to a healthy urban environment: From lead paint and landfills to power plants and overcrowding. In this virtual walking tour -- part of the Poverty & the Environment series from our friends at Grist -- Marlene Grossman and two other leaders of Pacoima Beautiful show how the once-beleaguered neighborhood is transforming itself, becoming both a better place to live and a model of effective community organizing.

While you're there, don't forget to sign up for Grist's free, award-winning environmental news and humor by email. Register by May 5th and you'll get a chance to win a free eco-trip for 2 to Peru. You can choose from irreverent news, cheeky green advice, quick hits on pop culture, eco business trends, and political muckraking. What's not to love?

Range Wars Rage On
Sierra Club ChroniclesUnder the Bush administration, the Bureau of Land Management has sharply increased drilling on public lands across the West. Now ranchers like New Mexicans Chris Velasquez and Tweeti and Linn Blancett say the land and their livelihoods are being jeopardized by sloppy -- and often illegal -- drilling and cleanup practices. Their story is told in Episode 4 of Sierra Club Chronicles, a monthly TV series that shows how ordinary citizens are fighting to protect the health of their environment and communities. Watch "Range Wars Rage On" on Link TV on Thursday, April 13 at 8:30pm Eastern and Pacific Time. To order a free DVD and host a house party, see

Shopping Your Wild Oats
Wild Oats CouponEvery day is Earth Day at Wild Oats and Henry's -- natural and organic supermarkets with locations across the country. That's why they are bringing you this special Sierra Club offer: Just print out this email, bring it to your local Wild Oats or Henry's anytime in the month of April, purchase $50 or more, and 10 percent of your purchase amount will be donated to the Sierra Club. You'll also receive a $5 coupon towards your next visit! Everybody wins!

Like the Sierra Club, Wild Oats and Henry's believe in protecting the health of our planet and preserving it for future generations; they actively recycle in all their stores, choose renewable power sources where available, provide corn-based biodegradable containers in their deli, and feature everything from Fair Trade products and locally grown produce to beef, chicken, and pork raised on sustainable farms, plus environmentally safe body-care and household products.

Feel free to spread the word. Simply forward this email to your friends or send 'em to

How Low Can You Go?
Mark JamesMeet Mark James, former Navy SEAL and Ironman triathlete with a fondness for diving, sans scuba gear, to depths of 50-feet or more in search of abalone. The coveted mollusks were once so plentiful in California that foragers could pry them off rocks at low tide, but overharvesting has pushed them to the brink of extinction. Today the abalone catch is strictly regulated and limited to freedivers like James. Surfer/climber/author Daniel Duane joined him recently for a foray beneath the waves. Learn how he fared in the latest issue of Sierra.

Clean Dishes, Cleaner Water
algae bloom Washington became the first state in the nation to ban residential dishwashing detergents that contain phosphates. A plant nutrient, phosphates create algae blooms that rob underwater ecosystems of oxygen. The law will first take effect in 2008 in Spokane, Whatcom, and Clark counties. Richard Reed, a local Sierra Club activist, was one of the leaders in pushing for the ban. Rick Eichstadt, a lawyer at the Center for Justice who is representing the Sierra Club in cleanup talks on the Spokane River, explained the logic of the law to the Seattle Times: "By taking [phosphates] out of the consumer flow, we are saving money on technology. It's a lot cheaper to get it out of the stores than to try remove it through wastewater-treatment plants."

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

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Enduring Legacy

Despite a population of nearly 7 million souls, the San Francisco Bay Area is blessed with incomparable open space: vibrant hills, seashores, forests, wetlands, and the shimmering expanse of San Francisco Bay. This natural legacy exists not because benevolent governments provided for it, but because stubborn citizens felt compelled to work for its preservation, often against great odds.

Legacy: Portraits of 50 Bay Area Environmental Elders, new from Sierra Club Books, celebrates fifty of these extraordinary individuals with profiles by acclaimed writer John Hart and superb portraits by photographer Nancy Kittle. Subjects include David Brower, Ike Livermore, Margaret Owings, and Edgar and Peggy Wayburn -- men and women whose lifelong commitments to conservation and environmental activism are an inspiration to us all. To order a copy of Legacy, or see other recent releases from Sierra Club Books, go to

Send an E-Card, Spread the Word

The Endangered Species Act (and thus the critters it protects) is under attack. For over 30 years the Endangered Species Act (ESA) has worked to safeguard America's fish and wildlife by preventing the extinction of hundreds of animals across the country. America's fish and wildlife enrich our lives and add more than $100 billion to the nation's economy each year. Thanks to the Endangered Species Act the wolf has returned to Yellowstone, wild salmon still spawn in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest and the bald eagle once again soars in skies from coast to coast.

Now, powerful members of Congress, backed by wealthy developers and other special interests, are trying to gut the ESA. We can't let that happen. Help spread the word about our petition to protect the ESA and have a little fun at the same time -- create and send one of our Sierra Club Postcards!



Arctic Drilling Stopped in House

Responding to bipartisan opposition, the House of Representatives voted on March 30 to keep projected drilling revenues from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge out of its 2007 budget. This is the second time in five months that the House has declined to put Arctic drilling in a budget bill. However, on March 17 the Senate did include Arctic drilling in its version of the budget and, once the House passes a budget bill, a joint House/Senate committee will convene to reconcile the two versions. To learn more, and to find out what you can do to help keep the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge free from drilling, see

Arctic Refuge
Photos: Virtual Tour (Grist) | Tweeti and Linn Blancett (Sierra Club Productions) | Mark James (Anne Hamersky) | Legacy (Nancy Kittle) | Arctic Refuge (USFWS)