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In This Issue of the Sierra Club Insider:
Major Victory for Wild Forests
$15 Sierra Club Membership with Free Backpack!
Sierra Club Energy Film Festival - Coming to Your Town?
Rising Sea Levels in San Francisco?
Who Knew Milwaukee Was "Cool?"
The Green Life: Ideas for Living Well and Doing Good
EXPLORE: Public Lands in Public Hands
ENJOY: Dog Days of Summer Winner Announced!
PROTECT: E. coli in Alabama Water? Not if Water Sentinels Can Help It.
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Sierra Club InsiderSeptember 26, 2006
Major Victory for Wild Forests
President Clinton established the "Roadless Area Conservation Rule," which protects 58 million acres of roadless wild forests, in 2001, after receiving a record-setting million-plus public comments in support of it.

The Bush administration, however, blocked the rule on its first day in office, and later replaced it with a process requiring governors to petition the federal government to protect roadless forests in their states.

Four states and 20 environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, subsequently sued, and last Wednesday, a federal judge overturned the Bush rule and reinstated the original Clinton policy.

Of course, at least one timber company has already filed an appeal, and the Bush administration was quick to suggest that legal challenges and different interpretations are likely. Whether these wild forests will remain unspoiled is still uncertain, but we've come one giant step closer.

Compass. All Over the Map!

Don't Miss Out -- $15 Membership with Free Backpack!
As an Insider subscriber, we know you're a strong supporter of wildlands and wildlife protection and by signing our petitions you've helped hold elected officials in Washington and corporate polluters accountable for their actions.

Now, with critical elections coming up in a matter of weeks, it has never been more important to step up your support. Won't you take the next -- and most important -- step in protecting our natural heritage by becoming a full-fledged member of the Sierra Club?

Saturday, September 30, is National Public Lands Day -- what better time to show your commitment to the planet? Become a Sierra Club member before Saturday, September 30, for just $15 and join more than 750,000 other Americans protecting our wildlands and wildlife.

Don't miss this special offer -- join the Sierra Club today and get a Sierra Club Expedition Backpack free!

Got Mercury? It's toxic. Get Tested.

Lights. Camera. Energy.
The Sierra Club Energy Film Festival is coming to cities across the country this fall. Featured selections include episodes of Sierra Club Chronicles as well as acclaimed documentaries like Homeland, Kilowatt Ours, and the HBO special Too Hot Not to Handle. Sound serious? Never fear: The TBS global warming comedy special Earth to America! and animated shorts will add much-needed levity.

Expert panelists will be on hand to discuss energy solutions, and festival attendees will walk away with energy-saving tips and energy-giving inspiration. Check out the films and a growing list of festivals in the works. Interested in helping to host a film festival in your area? Email us at

"Submerging" Pier 39 -- More Than an Art Project
On the last day of summer, men and women wielding rolls of blue tape wrapped an aquarium and adjacent buildings on San Francisco's Pier 39 as part of a collaborative art project designed to demonstrate the potential consequences of rising sea levels from global warming.

"Future Sea Level," a joint project of the San Francisco Environment Department, the Sierra Club, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, is the first time the effects of climate change have been projected onto a public streetscape.

The ribbon of tape flutters 7 meters above sea level, high enough that pedestrians around the aquarium have to jump up to touch it, and representing the waterline if half the Greenland ice sheet and a portion of the Antarctic ice sheet were to melt.

Milwaukee the Latest Cool City -- Inching Towards 300
Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett became the 296th mayor to sign the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, pledging to reduce global warming emissions. Local Sierra Club organizer Rosemary Wehnes reports that the Club approached the mayor last November, asking him to join other "Cool Cities" and followed up by collecting supportive postcards from city residents, building alliances, and meeting with the city's new sustainability director. (Shouldn't every city have one of those?)

Coinciding with the announcement, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel published this clever ad as part of its Building Partners for Humanity Program.

Get Into the Green Life
Green LifeWhat's it like to go an entire year without buying anything new? How did one couple turn their suburban Kansas lawn into an edible, organic oasis? Can a purse made out of old plastic bags really be chic? Find out in the latest edition of "The Green Life," in Sierra magazine's September/October issue, where you'll also read about a pair of California moms who are doing their part to reduce waste and a manufacturer of disposable underwear (?!) that's doing just the opposite. As always, the section is chock-full of ideas for living well and doing good, including cocktail-party facts, book reviews, the latest green gossip, and eco-advice from Mr. Green.

Not a Club Member? Join Now and Help Protect Endangered     and Threatened Wildlife and Preserve the Places You Love

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Public Lands in Public Hands

The Sierra Club celebrates Public Lands Day on September 30 with dozens of volunteer activities like restoring and cleaning up special local natural areas.

In northern Illinois, a coalition of groups is removing invasive species from Spring Creek, a 3,910-acre forest preserve. In Nevada, the Club's Great Basin Group is building a walking trail in Little High Rock Canyon. In Washington, D.C., the Sierra Club and Earth Conservation Corps are doing a cleanup along the Anacostia River.

Check out the full list of Sierra Club Public Lands Day events.

Public Lands Public Hands
And the Dog Days of Summer Winner Is...

Did you vote for your favorite Dog Days of Summer photo? Did your favorite weiner win? Find out here. And thanks to the hundreds of Insider readers who submitted photos and the thousands of you that voted!

Dog Days of Summer Winner


Citizen-Collected Water Samples Stand Up in Court

When Willard Jones, a retired refinery manager from Alabama, crawled along the creek bank near his home to collect jars of water samples, he had no idea he'd be making history. But the water samples collected by Jones and other Sierra Club Water Sentinels volunteers helped win a $100,000 court settlement from a neighboring factory hog operation, which was polluting local waterways with dangerous levels of E. coli.

This is the first time citizen-collected data has been used successfully in a lawsuit brought under the Clean Water Act. The evidence included a two-year "odor log" kept by a neighbor who couldn't go outside many days because of the stench.

Willard Jones
Photos: Midterm (Annie Leary) | Fossil Ad (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) | Green Life (Fritz Haeg) | Willard Jones (Peggie Griffin)