January-February 2010 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club


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January-February 2010 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

  1. 1. A BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB JAN./FEBRUARY, 2010The Roadrunner2010 STATE PARKS INITIATIVE TO PROTECT PARKSSierra Club members commit to 1,000 signatures for ba!ot measure to provide stable parks funding Kern-Kaweah members will be are to have reduced hours or still be charges for camping andhelping to gather signatures for a calendars because of this year’s other special services. The truststate initiative to provide stable budget cuts, and more reductions fund will be sufficient tolong-term funding for our are expected next year. adequately fund state parks,endangered state parks. Your help That’s why park supporters are freeing them from annual budgetis needed now. placing a statewide initiative on cuts and threatened closures. How did California’s 278 state the November 2010 ballot called Spending from the trust fundparks, once the best in the the California State Parks and will be subject to oversight by acountry, sink to being among the Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund citizen’s board, full publicshabbiest? Call it death by a Act of 2010. It will protect state disclosure, and independentthousand budget cuts. Our parks parks and conserve wildlife by annual audits. Money from theare falling apart because of establishing a trust fund in the general fund currently spent onpersistent underfunding. The state state treasury to be spent only on parks will be available for otherstill owns the lands—the state parks, wildlife and marine vital needs, including schools,spectacular vistas, historic sites, conservation, and state health care, social services, andand beaches—but roofs and conservancies. public safety.sewage systems leak, restrooms Funding will come from an We hope that you will want toaren’t washed out regularly (but $18 surcharge on the registration help gather signatures to put thistrails are), and campgrounds and fee for California vehicles, initiative on the ballot invisitor centers are shuttered. including motorcycles and November. Sierra Club will play a The repair backlog in recreational vehicles but not major role in gathering signaturesCalifornia state parks tops $1 larger commercial vehicles, for this initiative. Collection willbillion, and it’s growing. As if mobile homes, and permanent start in Jan. 10 and conclude onthat weren’t enough, twice in the trailers. Surcharged vehicles will April 30. To help, call me atpast two years, the whole state- receive free admission to all state 661.323.5569 or e-mail me atpark system was on the verge of parks. In comparison, park lorraineunger@att.netbeing shut down. Only last- visitors currently pay up to $125minute budget reprieves kept it for an annual pass or $10 to $15 —Lorraine Ungeropen. But nearly 60 state parks per day at most parks. There will Member, Chapter Ex-Com WILDERNESS CONFERENCE COMING TO U.C. BERKELEY IN APRIL Join wilderness enthusiasts from all wild places with climate change and offer over the Western states April 8-11, 2010 training on how to advocate effectively. on the campus of U.C. Berkeley in the San Films, music, fun, networking, join us! Francisco Bay Area. Go to www.westernwilderness.org for Some 800 participants will gather to more information and for “early bird” focus on the role of wild lands in an era of online registration. global climate change and on how to win new allies for preserving wild places. Some scholarships are available. For Plenary sessions, dynamic speakers, questions, contact Vicky Hoover at and intensive workshops will help connect 415.977.5527.
  2. 2. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010 CELEBRATING CHAPTER’S INVOLVEMENT IN ISSUESChapter recognizesleadership at falldinner event Nov. 7 The annual Kern Kaweah Chapterdinner at Bakersfield’s Rice Bowl onNov. 7 featured not only a six-coursemeal, but a remarkable collection ofslides and stories by Chapter OutingsChair Jim Nichols whose hiking skillsand quest for adventure over the yearshave taken him to faraway places suchas Afghanistan and closer realms inthe High Mojave Desert. About 90people attended this year’s dinner,including a couple who came fromLos Angeles.—Photos by Ann Ga"on/Margie Be" ANNUAL FALL EVENT: Chapter Chair Georgette Theotig (center above) helps Maria Polite and Ann Wi!iams ta!y the guest list for the dinner. Evan Be! (left) is catching up on family news with Kathy and Harry Love. Beverly and Richard Garcia of the Mineral King Group (bottom left) are enjoying the dinner at the Rice Bowl. Ara Marderosian &om Kernvi!e and Isabel Stierle &om Bakersfield (bottom row, middle) serve as leaders in the Kern-Kaweah Chapter. Chapter Vice-Chair Gordon Nipp ( bottom row, right) encourages environmental activism in Kern County.
  3. 3. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010 Rose and Donnel Lester are waiting for the dinner to start (top left). Solveig Thompson of Tehachapi visits with Dinah Campbe$ (top right). Janine and Mark Harper (bottom left) look forward to Rice Bowl cuisine and presentations. Sierra Club Past-President Joe Fontaine shows speaker Jim Nichols his new book, The Kern Plateau and Gems of the Southern Sierra (2009).Kern Plateau and the Southern Sierra are focus of new book byretired science teacher, Sierra Club Past-President Joe Fontaine Joe Fontaine has recently finished a also a highlight of the book. Detailed MUST READbook on the Kern Plateau, The Kern maps are included for greater insight. FOR 2010:Plateau and Gems of the Southern According to Fontaine, the book Fontaine’s newSierra. The gems of the southern is intended to stimulate interest in our book (2009) isSierra feature giant sequoias and local area and to motivate readers togolden trout among many others. All visit the Kern Plateau and the available atof the areas covered by his book are southern Sierra Nevada. www.Atlaslocated in the Kern/Kaweah Chapter. The author has spent over 50 Books.com The issues covered include years exploring the Kern Plateau and *Those who came before us the southern Sierra. He joined theincluding Native Americans and early Sierra Club 47 years ago to work to Wilderness. Today in those mountainssettlers. protect the natural attributes of these there are hundreds of thousands of *The geologic processes that mountains. His book is an attempt to additional acres of wilderness de-created this spectacular landscape. share the love and knowledge of that signated by Congress and 328,000 *Golden Trout, mammals, birds, corner of the Earth he gained in the acres in the Giant Sequoia Nationalbutterflies, and other wildlife. process. Monument. Without the Sierra Club *Giant Sequoias, conifer forests, The last chapter chronicles the very little of this would haveand a remarkable number of campaigns and successes of the Sierra happened. The book can be viewed atwildflowers. Club and the Kern/Kaweah Chapter. www.AtlasBooks.com and purchased *Stewardship of our public lands. These include the defeat of a for $24.95 on line, or contact Joe at Sketches of some of the natural destination ski resort at Mineral King, 661.821.2055 orfeatures of our mountains by our now in Sequoia National Park, and fontaine@wildblue.com. His addressChapter Chair Georgette Theotig are the over 300, 000 acre Golden Trout is: Joe Fontaine, P.O. Box 307, Tehachapi, CA 93581.
  4. 4. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010FROM THE CHAIRTheotig expresses appreciation for leadership and support It seems that the older I am, the We also wish to welcome Peter Roadrunner.faster the years are speeding by. Clum, our newest member of the The New Year promises to beAll the more reason to make Chapter Executive Committee, full of environmental challenges –every day count – each day is a from Three Rivers. Welcome to but also full of manyunique opportunity, to be grateful all incoming officers of 2010. We opportunities to both enjoy andfor the past and things to come, as already appreciate you, as well! explore the wild places of ourwell as make a difference in the Of great interest is the earth. Celebrate the possibilitiesworld. upcoming Western Wilderness and join us in our conservation On behalf of the Chapter Conference scheduled for April efforts and be a part of making amembership, I would like to 8-11, 2010, at the University of difference in our world!express a heartfelt thank you to California, Berkeley. The Kern- —Georgette Theotigall out-going officers of 2009. Kaweah Chapter is one of the Chapter ChairThe Chapter is grateful for your supporting sponsors of this majorservice. A special thank you is event, which will both launch andextended to Mary Ann Lockhart highlight major westernand Ann Williams for their valued campaigns to preserve wildernessservice on the Executive places from development. LookCommittee. for more information in theState Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley needs protection A wealthy Orange County businessman wants to build a CA 90012motorsports racetrack on 320 acres that is only 1.5 miles Or email HYPERLINKfrom the California State Poppy Reserve in the Antelope "mailto:jsackett@planning.lacounty.gov"Valley. This racetrack would potentially host high jsackett@planning.lacounty.govperformance race vehicles 365 days a year. and/or Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, 500 West The draft EIR has been submitted and the first L.A. Temple Street, Room 869, Los Angeles, CA 90012County Regional Planning Commission hearing was held Or email HYPERLINK "mailto:fifthdistrict@lacbos.org"on Sept. 2. The staff report concluded with a fifthdistrict@lacbos.orgrecommendation to approve this project. There will beanother hearing on Feb. 6 at the Lancaster Branch of the Here are but three of the negative impacts that couldLA County Library, 601 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, be included in a letter:CA 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. HYPERLINK "http:// Sound will be clearly heard on Reserve hiking trails andwww.sio2.com/savethepoppyreserve" www.sio2.com/ in a wide area of Antelope Acres. Hiking through field ofsavethepoppyreserve wildflowers and listening to the drone of high performance Here is what you can do to help: racing engines are clearly incompatible experiences! 81 * Attend the hearing on Feb. 6. The majority of speakers percent of the respondents to a survey of Poppy Reserveat the September hearing were in favor of the racetrack, and visitors indicated that their visits to the Reserve would bewe need all the support we can get at the next meeting. significantly decreased if a racetrack were built nearby. 44 * Write to the Planning Commission and/or Supervisor percent indicated that they would never come again!Antonovich and tell them that you think wildflower Zone change to industrial/ commercial will open thepreserves and motorsports parks don’t make good door to more damaging developments and is completelyneighbors. If you live in L.A. County, in another incompatible with the rural nature of the area and anSupervisor’s district, write or cc them also. Issues that existing state park dedicated to hiking and nature.could be raised are listed on the reverse. Current property owners, who bought and built under- If you would like to more actively help oppose the existing zoning of agricultural and residential, will sufferracetrack, contact HYPERLINK from extreme noise and likely experience devaluation of"mailto:savethepoppyreserve@sio2.com" their properties: after all, who wants to live near asavethepoppyreserve@sio2.com racetrack? Address letters to: Mr. Jodie Sackett,County of Los Angeles Department ofRegional Planning, Room 1382 —Katherine Allen320 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, Regional Conservation Committee
  5. 5. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010 Buena-Vista Group Elections information In accordance with the Sierra Club bylaws, annual group elections are required each year to elect replacement Executive Committee (ExCom) members for those who terms are expiring. All members of the group are eligible to participate in the group election process. Each ballot must contain the membership number of the voter. Membership numbers are located above your name on the Roadrunner address label or on your membership card. There are two spaces for couples so that each person can vote if both are members. HIKING, KAYAKING AND MORE: Exploring the rued Buena Vista Group Ballot coastline on a hike to Nidever Canyon, San Miquel Island is the main goal of a recent group touring Channel Islands Park. Photo/Joan Elect no more than five persons. Mail ballot Jones Holtz by Jan. 31, 2010 to: Dates open for adventurers to plan BVG Election Committee scenic trip to Channel Islands Park 1626 19th St., Suite #3 California’s Channel Islands are May 7-9 Galapagos USA! If you join one Bakersfield, CA 93301 of the Sierra Club groups that will July 16-19 tour Channel Islands National Park Membership Number: next spring and fall, you will August 6-9 ______________________ marvel at the sight of whales, seals, Sept. 10-12 sea lions, rare birds and blazing ( ) ( ) Jeff Hathorn wildflowers. You will also have chances to hike the wild, windswept trails, kayak the rugged coastline and snorkel in ( ) ( ) Donnel Lester pristine waters. Another aspect of these three- and four-day programs is discovering remnants of the Chumash people ( ) ( ) Glenn Shellcross who lived on these islands for thousands of years. Or you could just relax at sea. These “live aboard” ( ) ( ) Lorraine Unger fundraiser cruises benefit Sierra Club’s political program in California and depart from Santa Barbara aboard the 68’ ( ) ( ) Isabel Stierle Truth. The fee ($590 for May7-9 and Sept. 10-12; $785 for July 16-19 and Aug. 6-9) includes an assigned bunk, all ___________________Write-in Candidate meals, snacks and beverages, plus the services of a ranger/ naturalist who will travel with us to lead hikes on each island ___________________Write-in Candidate and point out interesting features. To make a reservation mail a $100 check payable to Sierra ----------------------------------------------------- Club to leaders: Joan Jones Holtz & Don Holtz, 11826 The FOR PDF VERSION OF NEWSLETTER Wye St, El Monte, CA 91732. Contact leaders for more information (626-443-0706; jholtzhln@aol.com) E-mail Lorraine Unger at lorraineunger@att.net and —Joan Jones Holtz ask to be taken off the hard copy list. Log on to http:// Angeles Chapter Political Committee kernkaweah.sieraclub.org/email.html and join the KERN-NEWS email list. ------------------------------------------------------------------
  6. 6. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010KERN KAWEAH ROUNDUPPLEASE READ CAREFULLY IF YOU PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN SIERRA CLUB HIKES:Everyone is welcome, Sierra Club members and non-members, to join in any of the outdoor activities. Requirements: Youmust be in condition for the type of hike, equipped appropriately for the activity and prepared to sign a Sierra Club releasefor liability. You must be willing to follow the leader’s directions. Be sure to bring any personal medicines you might need.Customary appropriate equipment includes good hiking shoes, plenty of water, snack, sunglasses, suntan lotion, and layeredclothing. The following might be helpful but definitely is not required: compass, whistle, matches or lighter, and a good firstaid kit. Long paints are recommended. Unprepared for the prospective hike? It will be a no-go for you. Participation mustbe leader approved. Please let the leader know ahead of time that you are intending to participate. Check individual grouplistings for the desired means of communication.Since unexpected change of plans may be necessary, it is recommended that YOU contact the hike leader the night before tobe assured that the hike is still going to happen.New California legislation designed to protect the consumer requires us to publish this notice: CST 2087755-40. Registration as a sellerof travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. This legislation is designed to protect the user of outdoor activities thatrequire cash payments of more than $50 for participation.BUENA VISTA GROUPMore info? Call Donnel Lester at 661.831.6784 or e-mail donnelc3bvg@earthlink.net or Isabel at661.246.6195.Tuesday conditioning hikes of 4 or 5 miles are at 7 p.m. at the corner of Highways 178 and 184.Contact Gordon (gnipp@bak.rr.com) or Larry (661.873.8107) for more information. Saturday, Dec. 19—Buena Vista holiday party in Bakersfield, 7 p.m. till ??? Come one, come all to socialize and share good food! Arthur and Lorraine Unger are opening their home for a holiday party. Bring an appetizer or dessert to share. Please call for info & directions: 661.323.5569. Saturday, Jan. 2— At 10 a.m., the group will view “The Wild Heart of Red Rock,” a film discussingthe difficulties in establishing protection for Utah wilderness and eliminating exploitation (SC Utah Wilderness Task Force).Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Avenue at the corner of Truxtun and Westwind, just west of Oak St. Brunch isserved for $7.50/person (tip not included). For more information, call 661.319.69963rd Saturday highway cleanup: Until further notice, Adopt-A-Highway will be on hiatus until Caltrans reviews itsstatewide policies and renews permits.Tuesday, Feb. 1—Drop in at 6 p.m. for a conservation dinner.at the Garden Spot restaurant,3320 Truxtun (at Oak St), Bakersfield. Dinner is "Dutch treat" and current conservation topicswill be discussed among those who attend. For information, call Lorraine at 661.323.5569.Saturday, Feb. 6—At 10 a.m., Ray Galvan will discuss the organically grown produce of the South Central FarmersCooperative of Shafter and its implications for community supported agriculture. Join us at Camino Real Restaurant, 3500Truxtun Ave. at the corner of Truxtun and Westwind, just west of Oak St. Brunch is served for $7.50/person (tip notincluded). For more information, call 661.319.6996.Meeting Notices—If you would like to receive Buena Vista Group meeting and activity notices by email,please contact Donnel Lester, at donnelc3bvg@earthlink.net, with Add me to the email list. You can optout of the email notices at any time. We try to limit this to once-a-month emails.
  7. 7. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010CONDOR GROUPMore info? Mary Ann Lockhart (661.242.0432). Hikes? Dale Chitwood (661.242.1076)Saturday, Feb. 6—”Local Geological Glimpses” (information and photos) presented by Dave Koskenmaki. Come at 6 p.m.for the potluck, 7 p.m. for program. Meeting place: Pool Pavilion Room, Pine Mountain Clubhouse. Hikes will beginagain in March.KAWEAH GROUPMore info? Call Pam Clark (559.784.4643) or Diane Jetter (559.781.8897).OWENS PEAK GROUPMore info? Chair Dennis Burge (760.375.7967) or e-mail dennis93555@yahoo.com. Jim Nichols,hikes (760.375.8161) or e-mail jnichols@ridgecrest.ca.us.Saturday, Jan. 16 —ALABAMA HILLS ARCHES (W of Lone Pine, about 5000 ft max, maybe 500 ft gain total, 3 - 4 mitotal) We have the GPS positions for several of the finest granite natural arches in these famous hills at the base of the SierraNevada mountains, the gateway to Mt. Whitney. As a treasure hunt, we will track down the best of the arches. Learning toshoot the arches will be a great photographic challenge. This series of short hikes should make for an easy day. If timepermits, we may climb nearby "Rattlesnake Hill" and visit the "Ashram" up Tuttle Creek. Meet Saturday, Jan. 16 at 7:30a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Dennis Burge at 760.375.7967 or Jim Nichols at 760.375.8161 for moreinfo.Monday, Jan. 25—At 7:30 p.m. Laurel Williams, Desert Field Organizer for the California Wilderness Coalition,  willpresent "Exploring and Preserving Wilderness Areas" (such as Surprise Canyon).  Maturango Museum.Saturday, Feb. 13 —GREAT FALLS BASIN (Argus Wilderness, 3320 ft max elevation, 1500 foot gain, 5 mi total) Hikestarts at the mouth of Indian Joe Canyon, proceeds up canyon to lush, lower Indian Joe Gardens. Hiking cross country, viaAllen Springs to Twin Springs, we will study the unique geology in the scenic Great Falls Basin. We continue cross countryto skirt the massive falls at the base of Great Falls Basin. An optional two hundred yard hike at the Great Falls Basin roadhead takes us to the swimable pool in a sheer-walled grotto between the first and second falls. Moderate due to cross-countryrouting. Four-wheel drive needed due to sandy conditions. There will be a 4 mi car shuttle. Meet Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:30a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Nick Panzer at 760.446.0822 for more info.Monday, Feb 22—At 7:30 p.m., Jim Nichols, Kern-Kaweah Outings Chair, will present "Gems of the Eastern Sierra and theHigh Desert," a reprise of the Chapter fall dinner program given in Bakersfield. An expedition, a classic climb, and historicfilm footage will illuminate the roles of great outing leaders. Maturango Museum.MINERAL KING GROUPMore info? Call 559.761.0592. Please also visit mineralking.sierraclub.org for more info.Wednesday, Jan. 20— Please join us at 6 p.m. for a “no host” dinner at Panera Bread, 4103 S Mooney Blvd.,Visalia. Contact Beverly for reservations at bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org  or 559.624.0199.Monday, Jan 25—ExCom meets at 6 p.m. at Colimas, 500 South Linwood St., in Visalia. ContactBeverly at bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org or 559.624.0199 for reservations. All members are welcome.Saturday, Jan. 23 —Come on a short, easy stroll around Bravo Lake in Woodlake. There are usually some birds on the lakeand nice views of the Sierras. After the hike, well return to the Dudleys for some chili. Call Joanne or David for time andmeeting place: 733.2078.Saturday, Feb. 13—We will hike the Wishon trail above Porterville. This is a moderate 6 mile round trip hike with a lovelywaterfall for our lunch venue. Rain or dense fog cancels. Call Joanne or David for meeting time and details 733.2078
  8. 8. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010Saturday, Feb. 20—Well be hiking to Mankins Flat (10 miles, moderate difficulty). Contact Dave Keller at 688.4813or COACHK24@aol.com for meeting place and time.Monday, March 1—ExCom meets at 6 p.m. at Colimas, 500 South Linwood St., in Visalia. Contact Beverlyat bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org or 559.624.0199.for reservations. All members are welcome.Election results for Mineral King Group Ex-Com:Beverly Garcia, Richard Garcia, Brian Newton, and Janet Wood were reelected to another two-year term. The Ex Comwelcomes new member Dave Keller. California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee Desert Committee OutingsFor questions about, or to sign up for a particular outing, please contact the leader listed in the write-up. For questions about DesertCommittee outings in general, or to receive the outings list by e-mail, please contact Kate Allen at kj.allen@wildblue.net or 661.944.4056..Friday-Sunday, Jan. 22-24--Wilderness Restoration - Death Valley National Park. Come help protect Death Valley National Park fromabuse by illegal off-road traffic. This wilderness restoration project along the parks scenic eastern boundary in the Amargosa Valleyinvolves the installation of signs, raking out of vehicle tracks and moving rocks. Meet late Friday afternoon, or early Saturday morning;work Saturday and part of the day on Sunday. Camping Friday and Saturday night will be in a Park Service camping area (no water,portable toilets). Leader: Kate Allen, kj.allen@wildblue.net, 661.944.4056. CNRCC Desert CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, Jan. 30-31--Fencing a Wilderness – Golden Valley Wilderness Area. During the past year, a long fence has beenconstructed along the northern boundary of the Golden Valley Wilderness to prevent illegal motorized vehicle entry. Where this fence is stillhigh above the ground, we will assist Marty Dickes of the Ridgecrest BLM office in placing reinforcements. Our reward will be in learninga trade and in knowing that intrusions have become more difficult. For those who wish to stay over on Monday, there will be a hike up oneof the nearby peaks. Car camping; potluck Saturday evening. Contact leader: Craig Deutsche, 310.477.6670), craig.deutsche@gmail.com.CNRCC Desert CommitteeMonday-Wednesday, Feb. 15-17--Gold Butte Introductory Tour. Come explore this proposed National Conservation Area in SoutheastNevada. See many beautiful and interesting sights, including petroglyphs and Joshua trees. Climb one of the areas peaks and enjoy thesplendid views. Central commissary. Leader: Vicky Hoover, 415.977.5527, vicky.hoover@sierraclub.org. CNRCC Wilderness & DesertCommitteesSaturday-Sunday, Feb. 27-28--Mecca Hills Carcamp. Join us as we explore the Mecca Hills Wilderness Area east of Indio, Calif. Wewill hike through the gravel washes and rocky hills to several spectacular sites. Saturday we visit Hidden Springs and the Grottos, andSunday we will explore Painted Canyon. Carcamping will include potluck supper, and campfire Saturday night. Limit 12 participants. Ldr:Craig Deutsche, craig.deutsche@gmail.com 310.477.6670. CNRCC Desert CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, March 6-7--Death Valley National Park Exploratory Tour. Beginning in Shoshone on Saturday morning, we willtravel north on Hwy 178 with a stop at Badwater, and easy two-mile hikes at Natural Bridge and Golden Canyon. Camp at Texas Springs($14/site). If time allows, drive to Zambriskie Point and Dante’s View. Sunday morning, visit the museum and visitor center in FurnaceCreek, see the rare pupfish at Salt Creek, and take a two-mile hike to the highest sand dune. Possible hike into Mosaic Canyon. For thosewho want to stay Sunday night, camp at Stovepipe Wells ($12/site). Option of primitive camping on Friday night. For reservations, contactleader, Carol Wiley at desertlily1@verizon.net or call 760.245.8734. CNRCC Desert Committee
  9. 9. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010MIDGEBUZZINGS Tomorrow a tree company will come to cut down a redwood I planted 14 years ago. It is one ofthree on my front lawn which are not doing well in this soil, though I see members of their family growingbeautifully in other parts of town. For the first ten years they were so beautiful that I never came homewithout driving by to look at them on my way to the garage at the back of my property. Then the changesbegan, subtle at first, but becoming more and more definite. I’ve been told that in some soils and climatesredwoods do well only for the first few years, and then as their roots go deeper, they are unable to get thewater they need. The experts I’ve consulted have advised me against trying to save them. Theyrecommend taking them all out, but I can’t bring myself to allow more than one execution at a time And yet, if the predictions of the majority of scientists are to be taken seriously, such losses are onlythe beginning of those we will experience in the near future from the effects of climate change, which mostpeople now acknowledge even as they disagree about the cause. The loss of landscaping around homesand golf courses and the shutting down of ski resorts will be the least of our worries if the scientists areright. What will concern us more will be a rationing of water for the farming which we all depend uponfor sustenance, both in our own small gardens and throughout the state, as well as throughout the nation.While there is vivid debate over the particulars of this kind of change, one thing we all agree upon is theinevitability in all our lives of loss, our very mortality being evidence enough of that certainty. On the last morning of November this year I sat looking out my front window, brooding over thedoomed tree situated at the front of the lawn and grieving over its unavoidable fate. I was looking past thetwo maples planted closer to the house, when suddenly I became aware of the morning light that caughttheir color and enhanced the swift movements of little birds flashing about after insects that wereapparently plentiful for them there. What a gorgeous sight! And what a gift of good fortune to be there atthat moment to witness it! Who says that autumn glory lives only in the east, or across the northern border, or anywhere buthere? On that morning, at the end of November, in this flat valley with its dull miles of spent crops andblighted air, light pierced those leaves at the very finish of their lives, and carried beauty through them totemper my black mood and alter it, after a time, to a kind of anticipation. Songs, unheard in spring andsummer, burst from the throats of the birds that had come, as they do every autumn, to feast upon whatthey harvest from the trunks and branches of the maples, life so diminutive that it can only be assumedfrom the exuberant all-day dartings of their chase. We often turn to the classics, or to sacred texts, for the harvesting of wisdom that acquaints us with hope. But that morning, in that time and place, I had a sense of both the mystery and the splendor of finalities, and the assurance, coming from somewhere, of continuance beyond our seasons and our tenure here. —Ann WilliamsExecutive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah ChapterChair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371. Vice-chair: Gordon Nipp (Bksf), 661.872.2432. .Treasurer: Lorraine Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Donnel Lester (Bksf), 661.831.6784. Richard Garcia (MinKing), 559.624.0199. Ann Williams (Bksf), 661.324.1055. Arthur Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Peter Clum(Min King), 559.561.4661. Ara Marderosian (Kernville), 760.378.4574.Chapter ExCom Meetings: All Sierra Club members are always welcome to attend these meetings. Call661.323.822.4371 to confirm all meeting dates as well as location and time.
  10. 10. THE ROADRUNNER JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010 NEWS BRIEFS The Roadrunner Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGEGREATER BAKERSFIELD GREEN EXPO: 2815 La Cresta Dr. PAIDOn April 17, groups will be joining with Bakersfield, CA 93305-1718 Permit No. 498Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall and GreaterGood for Kern County to showcase recycling Bakersfield, CAand renewable energy businesses throughoutKern County while recognizing student talent inall 44 county high schools. An attendancebetween 5,000-10,000 is expected at YokutsPark. Representatives from Keep AmericaBeautiful and Keep California Beautiful willalso be present along with other state, countyand city officials. Students and vendors withthe ability to download applications for theevent should check this site:www.gbgreenexpo.org. All fees for the 85booth spaces will go directly to studentscholarships. Fees should be sent to the ArtsCouncil of Kern, one of the event’s sponsors.Application deadline is March 1.SAVE THIS DATE:The annual Kern-KaweahChapter spring banquet isMarch 13, a Saturday, atBenji’s French Basquerestaurant. Please mark your calendars if there isa chance you will be able to attend.WELCOME TO THE EX-COM: Peter Clum,who has lived in Three Rivers since 1992, isnew to the Ex-Com. He has been a member ofenvironmental organizations for 20 years, andfrom 1998 to 2008 was a summer volunteer forthe National Park Service in Kings Canyon.Since late 2007, he has worked on the TulareCounty General Plan Update and the BoswellCorporations Yokohl Ranch proposal and hasattended a variety of one day environmentalworkshops. STAYING INFORMED: Join our KERN-NEWS & KERN FORUM e-mail lists at: http://kernkaweah.sierraclub.org Submit articles (your own or suggestions for reprints) to The Roadrunner atsierraroadrunner@gmail.com. Please email photos of events or people in the JPG format. Tocontact The Roadrunner editor Marjorie Bell by phone, call 661.322.4891. The Roadrunner is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper.