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by Tom Valtin

Club Director Runs for Ford Board | Missing Link | Hummer Bummer | Goin' Fishin' | Call for Nominations

Club Director Runs for Ford Board
Former Sierra Club President Robbie CoxThe Sierra Club wished Ford Motor Company a happy 100th birthday by announcing that former Club President Robbie Cox will run for the company's board of directors to push for more fuel-efficient vehicles. "I want to help make Ford an innovative, technologically advanced company," Cox says. "By making fuel economy a priority, Ford can recapture lost market share, keep pace with foreign competition, and help protect the environment."

Cox, who served as Club president from 1994 to 1996 and again from 2000 to 2001, will publicize his candidacy in the coming months by appearing on live radio talk shows and meeting with supporters across the country. "We all want to see Ford continue to create jobs for its workers and profits for its shareholders," he says. "To do that, it needs to embrace 21st century technology and innovation. That's why I'm running for Ford's board."


Missing Link
Picture Boston in the early 1900s-men wearing tails and bowler hats and women in bustles had to hop in a hansom (horse-drawn taxi) to get from South Station (then the nation's busiest train station) to North Station, just one mile away. This scenario was repeated thousands of times daily as people tried to get across the city or through the region by rail. Boston and the region are beset by the same problem today, in that there is still no rail link connecting North and South Stations-the only physical break in Amtrak's rail network the entire length of the eastern seaboard between Maine and Florida. To dramatically call attention to the problem, Sierra Club members recently made that same one-mile trip in horse-drawn carriages.

Jeremy Marin of the Club's Boston office reports that on Sunday, May 18, a group from the Maine Chapter took Amtrak's Downeaster from Maine to North Station, where they met Massachusetts Chapter members and took a horse and buggy ride, just like in 1900, to South Station. Club members throughout New England are working to make the rail link between North and South Stations a reality to make travel faster and easier, and to improve air quality. According to state studies, building the North/South Rail Link will take 55,000 cars off the road every day. That's the equivalent of 583 tons of carbon dioxide that will not be emitted daily.


Hummer Bummer
In May, half a dozen Hummer owners convened in South Bend, Indiana, to attend the Hummer Driving Academy, also known as Hummer camp. According to a May 30 New York Times story, hundreds of "students" have passed through the camp-open only to Hummer owners-each year since General Motors started marketing Hummers in 1999. "They said they had their own trucks. I was, like, 'I'll come,'" said one participant, whose scratched-up H2 loaner became so bogged down it had to be pulled out of the mud with a winch.

Attendees shell out $5,250 per person for the four-day H1 camp, $3,575 for the two-day H2 camp. (GM recently came out with the H2, a "smaller" alternative to the Hummer H1.) Students learn mapping, use of the Global Positioning System, and other off-road skills, but the main draw is the privilege of tearing around obstacle courses and 300 acres of muddy, thickly wooded terrain in company Hummers. "You can't be afraid," said another participant. "This vehicle really brings out that inner strength you didn't know you had."


Goin' Fishin'
"Fishin' Along the Lewis and Clark Trail: A Guide to 10 Spectacular Spots," a recently released Sierra Club publication, explores fishing holes along the Missouri, Niobrara, Yellowstone, Jefferson, Bitterroot, Lochsa, Clearwater, Grande Ronde and Columbia rivers. Authored by Drew Winterer, a Sierra Club member and fly-fishing guide in western Montana, the guide also includes opportunities to help protect these rivers and adjacent wildlands. The guide was released in June, and is targeted at fishing and outdoor media, angling shops, and outfitters across the regions traversed by the Corps of Discovery.

"This guide gives anglers a chance to experience the history of the expedition, catch magnificent fish, and protect the fishing holes we all enjoy," says Bill (Fish-Fear-Him) Arthur, Sierra Club's Northwest regional director, pictured at right. "Future generations of anglers ought to be able to explore and fish these great rivers with the same sense of excitement Lewis and Clark felt 200 years ago."


Call for Nominations
The Sierra Club's Nominating Committee is seeking experienced Club leaders to run for the Board of Directors in the 2004 National Sierra Club Election. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply. If you are interested, or know of someone who is qualified, please contact any member of the Nominating Committee by mid-July: Barbara Coman (chair), bcv23@aol.com; Allison Chin, Achin@Geron.com; Mark Pearson, mpearson@frontier.net; Margaret Pennington, penningt@sonic.net; Rene Voss, rene.voss@johnmuirproject.org; Liz Walsh, ewalsh@utep.edu; Connie Wilbert, cwilbert@fiberpipe.net.


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