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Ann Daigle - Redmond, Washington
National Outings Leader

Ann DaigleLooking out for others, whether two- or four-legged, is nothing new for outings leader Ann Daigle. "I have been a volunteer my entire life," says Daigle. "I served in the Peace Corps in Borneo. I was a 4-H horse and llama club leader and a softball coach. And I've taken children, parents, friends, family, horses, llamas, and dogs on camping trips."

In her spare time, Daigle takes care of her family's small ranch, which includes 9 llamas, 3 turkeys, 1 pony, 2 goats, 2 dogs, 20 chickens, and a koi pond.

Each year since 1995, Daigle has helped lead an outing in Canyon de Chelly National Monument in Navajo Nation, Arizona. "I've always had an interest in American Indian culture," says Daigle. "These trips have given me the opportunity to make some great friends with Navajo families and to visit incredible archaeological and historical sites.

"I love to help people who look at the trails in Canyon de Chelly and say 'there's no way I can make it up,'" adds Daigle. "I feel great being able to reply with a gentle, 'Follow me, we'll take our time and we'll all make it.' The new sense of accomplishment and self-esteem that one has after completing the trails is wonderful."

You can join Daigle in Canyon de Chelly for a first-ever spring trip in early June or for a fall trip in October. For more information visit www.sierraclub. org/outings/national or call (415) 977-5522.

- Molly McCahan


Bob and Nita Norman - Hanover, New Hampshire
New Hampshire Chapter Excom
Volunteer Conservation Activist

Bob and Nita Norman"When I first joined the Sierra Club 40 years ago," recalls Bob Norman, "I had to get the signature of an existing member in order to complete my application." Now a retired professor of mathematics at Dartmouth College, Bob was on sabbatical in Berkeley, California, at the time. "In 1963, as residents of New Hampshire, we would have been members of the Atlantic Chapter, which stretched from Maine to Florida. That was too amorphous for me, so we joined the San Francisco Bay Chapter."

Bob's initial interest in joining the Club was prompted by an ongoing wilderness conference in San Francisco. "I was particularly impressed with one paper that compared how many thousands of trees needed to be planted to make up for the carbon dioxide that was emitted from a small propeller plane, a large propeller plane, a jet plane, etc."

Back in New Hampshire, he helped establish the Club's New England Chapter in 1970, and thereafter the Twin-State Group for New Hampshire and Vermont. "I was concerned with protecting lands along the Connecticut River," he says, "and I didn't want the river's shores to be split between two groups." Ultimately the two states did form separate chapters, at which point Bob helped found the Upper Valley Group.

"During that time I made a strong effort to erase the then-common impression that the Sierra Club was 'against things.' Our motto was 'Not blind opposition to progress, but opposition to blind progress.' We should always try to think positively." Among other achievements, the Upper Valley Group convinced local banks to offer a reduction in interest rates on loans for energy-saving investments for homes. In 1983, the Normans built a new home for themselves, designed with energy efficiency in mind.

Over the years, the couple has become something of a conservation team. Nita credits her family with instilling in her a conservation ethic from an early age. "Being economical is elegant," she says. Long interested in energy conservation and family planning issues, she believes "population is a big factor in every environmental problem you can name."

It was Nita who took note that Toyota and Honda were developing hybrid cars. She put in an order with the local dealer for a Honda hybrid long before they were available to the general public. When they finally rolled off the assembly line in 2000, she was the first person in the area to own one.

"I became active in promoting it from the get-go," she says. "Bob and I participated in the so-called Tour de Sol in 2000, promoting energy-efficient vehicles. We drove our new Insight from New York City to Washington, stopping along the way at schools, museums, city centers, anyplace we could show off the vehicles. And for the last three years we've taken the car to environmental fairs, solar house tours, auto shops, schools-I give parking lot lectures all the time." The local newspaper recently ran a feature on Nita and her beloved "Green Flash."

"One of the great things about these hybrids," says Nita, "is that you drive them just the way you would a normal car. And there's a readout that lets you know how efficiently you're driving. It's such fun trying to get better gas mileage!"

The couple, who recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, have been avid tennis players for as long. They both continue to play two to three matches per week.

- Tom Valtin


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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