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The Planet
Who We Are

By Sarah Wootton

Ursula Wilson-Booth & Howard Booth - Boulder City, Nev.
Members, Southern Nevada Group

Ursula Wilson-Booth & Howard BoothWhen Howard Booth moved to Las Vegas, Nev., in 1957, the city's population was 60,000. It has since mushroomed - and sprawled - to 1.5 million, but Booth and his wife, Ursula Wilson-Booth, who moved to Nevada nearly 20 years ago, are staying put.

"It's a desert area that has numerous mountain ranges of all sizes, dramatic scenery," says Booth. "It's austere but so colorful with so many opportunities." Wilson-Booth agrees. Taking advantage of the opportunities, the pair led Club Outings in southern Nevada for many years and now hike and camp as much as they can in Nevada. After retiring from work as a meteorologist (Howard) and cardiovascular nurse (Ursula), they added the Pacific Northwest and Europe to their hiking circuits.

They've also worked hard to protect the places they know so well - their detailed knowledge of southern Nevada's wild places has helped the Club's southern Nevada wilderness campaign. They no longer volunteer as the "eyes and ears" for the BLM's wilderness inventories, but continue to comment on management plans.

"Things are changing so fast," says Wilson-Booth.

"In 10 years, we'll need every bit of wilderness that we have," says Booth.


Chris Bedford - Hyattsville, Md.
Member, National CAFO Working Group and Chair
Maryland Chapter Farm, Food and Water Committee

Chris BedfordNot many people can cram as much into a week - or a life - as Chris Bedford. As a member of the national Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations committee, Bedford recently spent the weekend at a conference on agrarianism in Kentucky. On Monday, he was in a radio production studio in Maryland taping a month's worth of programs for Watershed Radio, an award-winning natural history program about the Chesapeake Bay produced by Maryland Chapter volunteers.

A self-employed advocacy filmmaker with more than 100 films under his belt, he also works full-time as an organizer for the Humane Society of the United States on animal farm and sustainable agriculture issues.

"The idea of having one career is in the past - you have to be adaptable and find your niches where you can," says Bedford.

After realizing that he "thought visually" while working for an ad agency in the 1970s, Bedford turned to film. An apprenticeship with Charles Guggenheim, a three-time Academy Award winner, gave Bedford the hands-on training he needed to become an independent filmmaker, which he's been since 1975.

His most recent film, "The Next Industrial Revolution," showcases architect William McDonough and was viewed at several environmental film festivals, on Maryland Public Television and most recently at the National Press Club.

A sequel on the ecology of food - "it's all connected" - is in the works. When asked when he finds the time to develop these ideas, Bedford said, "What's sleep?"


Ben Gore - Middlebury, Vt.
Chair, Communications and Publications Dept., and Founder, Student Action on Global Economy Program
Sierra Student Coalition

Ben GoreIn many ways, Ben Gore is ahead of the curve. His version of goofing off in elementary school was programming his laptop to make music. During his 9th grade summer vacation he and a friend published an alternative magazine of political commentary and poetry. And at 15 he started an activist group to promote student rights and youth autonomy and says, "We got bus schedules posted in all the high schools so kids could get around without their parents."

Gore, now a sophomore at Middlebury College, studies environmental issues and writing, writes about "radical politics in an unconventional way" for the campus newspaper and enjoys mountain biking.

Naturally for Gore, that's not all. As a leader for the Sierra Student Coalition, Gore spearheaded a committee on globalization that organized around free trade issues and the World Bank. His current SSC project is to create a streamlined communications and publications department, with a revamped Web site and a newsletter "to make the exchange of ideas easier for SSC leaders and volunteers," says Gore.

Given his track record, it sounds like he's the man for the job.

Know someone whose story is deserving? Contact us at The Planet, 85 Second St., Second Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105; planet@sierraclub.org.


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