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The Planet
Insider


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.

Backwards Walking

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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