SC Insider Debuts!
With 700,000 members throughout the 50 states it’s hard
to keep up with everything that’s happening in the Club. Hence,
at long last, the “Sierra Club Insider” e-mail. Fret
not, lover of the printed page—it will not take the place
of Sierra magazine, The Planet, or other Club publications. But
it will show up in your inbox once every two weeks to inform you
about how the Club is exploring, enjoying, and protecting the planet,
and how you can get involved. To sign up, opt out, or to let us
know how you feel about the first couple issues, visit the Sierra
Club Insider. (Much of what’s reported in the Insider
will also show up here, in this new section of The Planet.)
States Sue Feds over Global Warming
With glaciers melting and the hottest years on record following
one after the next over the past decade, the Bush administration’s
resounding response to global warming? Silence. But eight state
attorneys general have taken up the charge to hold coal-burning
utilities responsible. On June 21, the states—including California,
New Jersey, and Iowa—filed suit to force five of America’s
largest energy utilities to cut carbon dioxide emissions—the
heat-trapping gas that causes global warming. The Sierra Club applauds
their efforts! Find out more.
Eastern Gray Wolf Put at Risk
In July, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it plans
to remove the “eastern population” of gray wolves—that
is, east of Montana—from the endangered species list. “Wolves
in Minnesota have thrived under federal protection, proving that
the Endangered Species Act works,” says Ginny Yingling of
the Club’s national working group on wolves. “If properly
managed and protected, wolves could and should be delisted, but
they’re looking down the barrel of a gun under the state’s
management plan.” Minnesota’s plan allows wolves in
the northeastern third of the state—the “wolf protection
zone”—to be killed if a property owner “believes”
they pose a threat to domestic animals. In the rest of the state,
property owners may kill a wolf at any time without cause.
The Buck Stops Where?
Ever get confused about who determines Sierra Club policy on national
issues? Who has the say on federal judge appointments? Who approves
boycotts and lawsuits? While the Board of Directors is the ultimate
authority, it can’t possibly make all the decisions, and as
the Club has grown in size and complexity, it’s become harder
to figure out who’s in charge of what. Enter the “Restatement
of Guidelines on Jurisdiction in the Sierra Club,” which includes
a chart showing which entities establish policy, appoint or select
committees, and endorse political candidates.
Adirondacks Wilderness Conference
The Sierra Club’s Wild Planet Strategy Team invites all wilderness
activists to attend a conference in the Adirondacks from October
10-13, to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act.
The conference will be held at the Fort William Henry Resort Hotel
on Lake George, in the Adirondack Forest Preserve. For more information,
go to www.wilderness40th.org.
In Minneapolis' Minnehaha Park, more than 100 members of the Club's
North Star Chapter greeted Interior Secretary Gale Norton in June
with the perfect metaphor for the Bush administration--walking backwards.
Norton, on a tour to promote outdoor recreation, was greeted by
an orderly line of Minnesotans marching backwards to draw attention
to the administration's reversal of 30 years of environmental progress.
Supreme Court Punts
On June 24, the Supreme Court refused to rule on whether Vice President
Dick Cheney must produce documents in the Sierra Club's Energy Task
Force lawsuit and sent the case back to the lower court for further
consideration. "The good news,” says Pat Gallagher, director
of the Club’s Environmental Law Program, “is that the
court rejected the Bush administration's extremist arguments and
moved the case forward. The bad news is that the public remains
in the dark.”
Take Action: Tell Forest Service to Strengthen Off-Road Rules!
"The Forest Service's proposed new rules acknowledge that
off-road vehicles are a serious threat," says Karl Forsgaard,
chair of the Club's Recreation Issues Committee. "But the proposal
to manage them needs to be strengthened if it is to succeed."
Tell the Forest Service to include a two-year timeframe for putting
the rules into place and an interim prohibition on using existing
unauthorized routes by all-terrain vehicles and dirt bikes.
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