July-August 2009 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club


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July-August 2009 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

  1. 1. A BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB JULY, AUGUST, 2009The Roadrunner LARGE PROJECTS THREATEN GENERAL PLAN UPDATE Supervisors need to hear public discussion of development projects at far edges of Bakersfield area The Metropolitan Bakersfield west of Enos Lane and just south of outcomes in the general plan andGeneral Plan Update (MBGPU) Seventh Standard Road. It is located potentially foreclosing moreprocess has just begun, and Kern on the outer boundaries of the Future thoughtful regional planning.County is already watering it down. Planning Reserve, an area projected In commenting on the MetropolitanThe new plan has yet to go through to develop after 2050. The Bakersfield General Plan Update inthe public input process, but the draft Neighborhood and Bakersfield Land the Bakersfield Californian on Aprilversion proposes to divide the Investment projects are located in the 20, County Planning Director TedBakersfield area into three districts. Urban Reserve, an area projected in James said, "We have legislation that The 2035 Buildout Area is the General Plan Update to develop says we need to get more human-essentially the 210 square mile between 2035 and 2050, not in 2009. oriented. Do we put our heads in thecentral area where some In addition, as if to thumb their sand and ignore the legislation,development has already occurred nose at the public’s input into the ignore the attorney general, ignoreand where new development would General Plan Update process, Kern the impact on transportationbe encouraged. County is beginning the approval systems? Or do we try to find a The Urban Reserve is an area process for a new industrial park on proactive solution?"surrounding the 2035 Buildout Area 340 acres of prime farmland south of A proactive solution would be towhere stricter mitigation measures Bakersfield in the 2050 Future table or reject projects in the Urbanwould be required and where Planning Reserve. Reserve or Future Planning Reservepotential development would occur Under California law, the general until the City and the Countybetween 2035 and 2050. plan serves as the constitution for complete the Metropolitan The Future Planning Reserve is future development. Approving Bakersfield General Plan Update soan area on the far edge of the these projects at this point would that a more informed determinationBakersfield area surrounding the undercut the MBGPU before it even can be made as to whether or not theUrban Reserve where development gets off the ground, making the project is consistent with thecurrently is problematic and which process an exercise in futility. County’s and public’s vision ofmight be developed after 2050. Accommodating a development of sustainable future growth. Let your On June 16, the Kern County this sort prior to completion of an supervisor know that they shouldBoard of Supervisors considered updated general plan sends the impose a moratorium onthree new housing projects that, if message that public input into the development in these far-flung areasapproved, would sprawl to the General Plan Update process is not until you get your input into thehorizon and compromise the valued and embodies poor land-use Metropolitan Bakersfield GeneralMBGPU before it is even adopted. planning. Approval of the projects at Plan Update.The Stonefield project would build this premature juncture would turn —Gordon Nipp1450 residences on prime farmland the process on its head, dictating Chapter Vice-Chair ANNUAL LOBBY DAY COMING AUGUST 23-24 AT STATE CAPITOL Come join us in Sacramento for our annual Lobby through the afternoon. We will then focus on key Day on August 23-24. You will have opportunities remaining bills, including renewable energy, water for interaction with other activists and our conservation, air quality, park protection and professional lobbying staff, as well as with resilient habitats. Participants should expect to pay legislators and their staff at the State Capitol. some costs, but some travel and lodging On Sunday afternoon our advocacy team will train reimbursements will be available, depending on you on how to lobby and brief you on our priority location. For more information, please contact bills so that you can effectively advocate for them. Annie Pham, legislative aide, at On Monday, you will work the halls of the Capitol lobbyday@sierraclubcalifornia.org or 916. as teams, with meetings scheduled from morning 557.1100 ext. 107.
  2. 2. THE ROADRUNNER JULY-AUGUST, 2009BUENA VISTA GROUP: FILMS , SPEAKERS AND ICE CREAM AT FACTCSUB animal rehab facility aides community knowledge of environment A highlight of this spring’s Buena Vista groupprograms was a trip to the Cal State University-Bakersfield Facility for Animal Care and Treatment onJune 6 where FACT Co-ordinator Marlene Bentonshowed members through the heavily wooded 20-acrefacility, including habitat for the care and treatment ofeagles, hawks, falcons and owls. The tour included thelarge tortoise habitat and cactus garden. Citizens often bring wounded birds and other animalsto FACT where staff members are trained inrehabilitation, upkeep and maintenance. “A localveterinarian will often do X-rays. That’s one of ourbiggest costs,” Benton said in her talk to the group. “Ourgoal is to release the injured animals back into the wild,so we have to be very careful about imprinting by offeringonly minimal human contact.” From October through March, FACT is open the firstSaturday of each month (except for January). Thesummer schedule is already filled for June and July. Toschedule a tour or field trip, call the facility at 654.3167. The Buena Vista group could be viewed as “the farmteam of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter as well as for state andnational activism,” according to Vice-Chair Ann Gallon.Formed in 2000, the group offers monthly programs formembers and the public to educate on issues critical topersonal health (like water and air quality) and the healthof the planet (e.g., forests, oceans and global climate MATTER OF FACT:change). About 15 members of “Our goal is to inspire people to become informed, tospeak up (or write letters to the editor) on these important the Buena Vista groupissues, and to hold elected officials accountable,” Gallon met at FACT at CSUBsaid. The group sponsors speakers such as Dr. Ted early in June.Murphy, retired CSUB biology professor, to talk about Volunteer Stephenissues of importance, but also casual events such as pizza Cooley talks aboutparties and wine and cheese socials. succulents and cacti “ Some great issues discussions take place at these in the desert gardensocial gatherings,” Gallon said. (far lefft) near the entrance. A pair of barn owls (top) gaze suspiciously at visitors. Vice-chair Ann Ga)on munches on an ice cream cone (middle) affter the FACT tour. Some cactus flowers are blooming (directly lefft) in the sun. Photos/ Isabel Stierle Buena Vista Chair
  3. 3. THE ROADRUNNER JULY-AUGUST, 2009 carbon dioxide savings would be the same as taking moreExperts advocate switch than half a million cars off of U.S. roads. Other points: Globally, we feed 756 million tons ofto less meat to solve grain to farmed animals. As Princeton bioethicist Peter Singer notes in his new book, if we fed that grain to the 1.4environmental problems billion people who are living in abject poverty, each of them would be provided more than half a ton of grain, or If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the about three pounds of grain/day—twice the grain theyU.S. would save: would need to survive, not including the 225 million tons1) 100 billion gallons of water, enough to supply all the of soy that are produced every year, almost all of which ishomes in New England for almost four months; fed to farmed animals.2) 1.5 billion pounds of crops otherwise fed to livestock, Singer writes, "The world is not running out of food.enough to feed the state of New Mexico for more than a The problem is that we—the relatively affluent—haveyear; found a way to consume four or five times as much food3) 70 million gallons of gas—enough to fuel all the cars as would be possible, if we were to eat the crops we growof Canada and Mexico combined with plenty to spare; directly."4) 3 million acres of land, an area more than twice the A recent United Nations report titled “Livestocks Longsize of Delaware; Shadow” concluded that the meat industry causes almost5) 33 tons of antibiotics. 40 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than all the If everyone went vegetarian just for one day, the U.S. worlds transportation systems. The report also concludedwould prevent: that factory farming is one of the biggest contributors to1) Greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 1.2 million the most serious environmental problems at every level.tons of CO2, as much as produced by all of France; In its report, the U.N. found that the meat industry causes2) 3 million tons of soil erosion and $70 million in local and global environmental problems even beyondresulting economic damages; global warming. It said that the meat industry should be a4) 4.5 million tons of animal excrement; main focus in every discussion of land degradation,5) Almost 7 tons of ammonia emissions, a major air climate change and air pollution, water shortages andpollutant. pollution, and loss of biodiversity. Source: Adapted from a A favorite statistic is this: According to Environmental Huffington Post article by Kathy Freston, April 2, 2009 at:Defense, if every American skipped one meal of chicken http://www.alternet.org/environment/134650per week and substituted vegetarian foods instead, the —Contributed by Ara Mardarosian
  4. 4. THE ROADRUNNER JULY-AUGUST, 2009KERN 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 seller oftravel 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 GROUP More info? Call Donnel Lester at 661.831.6784 or e-mail donnelc3bvg@earthlink.net or Isabel at 661.246.6195. Buena Vista Group (BVG) upcoming breakfast programs are on summer hiatus. We will resume meeting in September on the first Saturday of the month. We hope to have presenters discussing the fateof bats in the age of wind energy and xeriscape landscaping, to sponsor a visit to CALM as well to link art and nature in anart show. We welcome ideas and suggestions from members.The executive committee of BVG will continue meeting in the summer to plan fall events. If you would like to attend,provide or suggest future programs, please contact Isabel at 661.246.6195 for meeting dates and times.Highway clean-up is also on summer hiatus due to the hot temperatures. We are expected to pick up again in September onthe third Saturday each month. Have a great summer!Meeting Notices—If you would like to receive Buena Vista Group meeting and activity notices by email, please contact Donnel Lester, atdonnelc3bvg@earthlink.net, with Add me to the email list. You can opt out of the email notices at any time. We try to limit this to once-a-month emails.CONDOR GROUPMore info? Mary Ann Lockhart (661.242.0432). Hikes? Dale Chitwood (661.242.1076)Saturday, July 25—Peak to Peak Hike. Traditional (18 years) adventure hiking from Mt. Pinos (nearly 9000 foot altitude)to Cerro Noroeste (nearly 9000 foot altitude). Five to seven hours. Wonderful views on all sides, wildflowers stillblooming, condors may be seen overhead. Good trail with lots of ups and downs within 1000 ft band. Need to be in goodcondition, wear good shoes, bring a little lunch snack, plenty of water, and personal needs which you may require. Leave at8 a.m. from Pine Mountain Club. Pick-ups can be arranged along the way for persons not in Pine Mountain Club area.Reservations are required for this hike. Call 661.242.0432 for reservation and more info.Saturday, Aug. 1— The Forest Service and the World Around It. Los Padres National Forest, Mt. Pinos District RangerTom Kuekes is retiring Sept. 30 of this year. Tom will be presenting a retrospective of his years as a ranger and aprospective of years ahead. Tom, always responsive to the frequent requests from our group, will be sorely missed. Meetingat the Pine Mountain Clubhouse. 6 p.m. potluck, 7 p.m. program.
  5. 5. THE ROADRUNNER JULY-AUGUST, 2009Saturday, August 29—Toad Springs Trail Rescheduled. Meet 8 a.m. Pine Mountain Club parking lot. Here we go, outinto the woods, up and down on a mountain trail with beautiful grand views in all directions, with mini-views by our feetand at our finger tips. In the far distance the Temblor and Caliente ranges of the Carrizo Plain appear. In the near distanceQuatal Canyon appears with its many colored canyon walls. Sometimes there is fog, sometimes clouds and then spectacularclear days. That is the beauty and the challenge of the Toad Springs Trail beginning just a short drive west of PineMountain Club. Seven miles round trip. Need to be in fit condition. 5000 ft altitude. Bring water, little snack, all personalneeds. Call for reservation, more info. 661.242.0432Every Sunday morning at 8 a.m.—Sunday Strolls. Meet in the Pine Mountain Clubhouse parking lot. 1 and 1/2 hourwalk in near vicinity of community on local trails over grasslands, through woods. No need for reservations. Childrenwelcome accompanied by adults. A great beginning to a pleasant day. More info? Call 661.242.0432Nature Fest was a great success. This potpourri of exhibits and hands-on activities drew families of all sizes and all ages.Highlights were compound microscope viewings, water tasting, play role as a firefighter, a drum circle and more. Over150 people attended this free event prepared by the Condor Group.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, June 20—Pine Creek Trail to Pine Lake (first lake reached on the Eastern Lateral Access Trail from the PineCreek Trailhead, 9942 ft max elevation, 2500 ft elevation gain, 7 mi RT) This hike is part of our program of exploring themajor eastern access trails to the Sierra. The Pine Creek Trail leads to Italy Pass and Pine Creek Pass. This will be anmoderate hike. Meet Sat, June 20, at 7:30 a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. For more information, call DennisBurge at 760.375.7967 or Jim Nichols at 760.375.8161.Saturday, July 11—Bench Lake Loop, Onion Valley. Southwest out of Onion Valley, 10880+ ft max elevation, 2250 ftelevation gain, 5.4 mi RT. We will hike cross country to tour several of the little visited lakes (Little Pothole, Slim,Matlock, Bench, and Gilbert) of Onion Valley. Moderate hike, due to length and elevation gain. Meet Saturday, July 11, at7:30 a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. For more information, call Dennis Burge at 760-375-7967 or Jim Nichols at760-375-8161.Saturday, Aug. 15—Cottonwood Pct Loop to the Source of the S Fork of the Kern. 11050 max elevation, 2000 ftelevation gain, 8.5 mi RT). As part of our program to explore segments of the PCT, we will climb to Trail Pass and followthe PCT past Trail Peak to the saddle W of Poison Meadow. We will drop a few hundred feet W of the saddle to see if wecan find the springs that are the source of the S Fork of the mighty Kern River. We will return via Poison Meadow. Thiswill be a moderate hike. Meet Saturday, Aug. 15, at 7:30 a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. For more information,call Dennis Burge at 760.375.7967 or Jim Nichols at 760.375.8161.MINERAL KING GROUPMore info? Call 559.761.0592. Please also visit mineralking.sierraclub.org for more info.Friday, July 10— Movie Night. “MONUMENTAL, David Browers Fight for Wild America.” Director Kelly Duaneexplores the dramatic and lyrical story of Brower and his colleagues unrelenting campaigns to protect and establish some ofour most treasured National Parks. 210 Café, 210 W Center St, Visalia. Join us for coffee or sandwiches at 6 p.m., movie at 7p.m. Contact Kim at kim.loeb@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org for more info.
  6. 6. THE ROADRUNNER JULY-AUGUST, 2009Saturday, Aug. 1—Weaver Lake. Lets get out of the summer heat andhike to Weaver Lake in the cool Jennie Lakes Wilderness Area at 8700 ft.This will be a moderate seven-mile round trip hike with 1000 feet ofelevation gain (aka aerobic!). Join us by calling Joanne or David at559.733.2078.Saturday, Aug. 22 —Pear Lake. This is a moderate to strenuous 13-mileround trip with a 2,250 foot elevation gain. The trail runs through aSequoia grove and passes a few alpine lakes before reaching Pear Lake.For more information contact Dave Keller, COACHK24@aol.com,559.688.4813. California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee Desert Committee OutingsFor questions about, or to sign up for a particular outing, please contact the leaderlisted in the write-up. For questions about Desert Committee outings in general, orto receive the outings list by e-mail, please contact Kate Allen atkj.allen@wildblue.net or 661.944.4056..Friday-Sunday, July 10-12— Nevada Wilderness Service. Eastern NevadasWhite Pine County has MANY new wilderness areas. Well help the BLMs Elyoffice enhance wild values as we put up vehicle barriers, rehab old routes, orremove old guzzlers; specific area to be known later. Three-day car camp servicetrip with Vicky Hoover; with central commissary ($15);vicky.hoover@sierraclub.org or 415.977.5527. CNRCC Wilderness CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, July 11-12—White Mountains Canyon Exploration. Wellcamp in the Hamill Valley east of Bishop and explore Pellisier and Birch Canyonsin two day hikes. We may not get past the formidable-looking narrows shown onthe Pellisier Canyon topo map, but we will take a look. The Birch Canyon narrowscan be surmounted, but there may be some route-finding involved. We wontattempt any real rock-climbing. Limit 12. Leader: John Wilkinson,johnfw1@mac.com 408. 876.8295. CNRCC Desert CommitteeTuesday-Sunday, Aug. 11-16—Southern Sierra Backpack – Olancho Peak.Arrive at Kennedy Meadows above Owens Valley (not to be confused withKennedy Meadow near Sonora). Hike in two miles from the trailhead to a camp bythe Kern River. Continue up the Kern for the next two days to our highest camp at9300 ft. Day 4 is the hike with day packs through the wildflowers and an optionalhike to the top of Olancho Peak at 12,123 ft., then back the four miles to theprevious night’s camp. Next day hike eight miles to the first night’s camp, thentwo miles out the last day. Much of the trip is on the Pacific Crest Trail. Ldr:David Hardy 702.875.4549, hardyhikers@embarqmail.com-email preferred).Southern Nevada GroupSaturday-Sunday, Aug. 22-23—Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Carcamp.Come with us to the beautiful White Mtns to camp, hike and just relax. OnSaturday, we’ll hike the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on a moderate five-mileloop interpretive trail, followed by a picnic lunch and a short optional hike to anearby old mining cabin. Back at camp we’ll enjoy Happy Hour, a potluck feastand a campfire. Sunday pack up and head home. Group size strictly limited. Send$8 per person, 2 large SASE, H&W phones, email, rideshare info to Reserv/Ldr:Lygeia Gerard, P.O. Box 294726, Phelan, CA 92329, 760.868.2179. CNRCCDesert CommitteeFriday-Sunday, Sept. 25-27 —Service And Hiking in the Carrizo Plains. Thisis an opportunity to visit and to assist a relatively unknown national monument.There will be an optional and scenic hike high in the Caliente Mountains on Friday.Others may join us for National Public Lands Day on Saturday when we will workon improvements for the Soda Lake Overlook. On Sunday we will tour historic,prehistoric, and geologic sites. Leader Craig Deutsche: craig.deutsche@gmail.com,or 310.477.6670. CNRCC Desert Committee
  7. 7. THE ROADRUNNER JULY-AUGUST, 2009 MIDGEBUZZINGS Not long ago I was standing in a short line at our little local Green Frog Market, waiting for the cashier tofinish with the customer ahead of me. Just as she was ready for me, a man in the line began a loud diatribe, whoknows for what reason, against “Kids Today.” It was apparent that this was a favorite theme, possibly met amonghis acquaintances with approval and similar complaints. One of said “Kids” was serving as bagger, and Irecognized him as being among the most pleasant and helpful members of an unfailingly pleasant and helpfulstaff. According to this critic, among the failings of “Kids Today” is their rudeness, their lack of interest inanything serious, their ignorance of good manners (my, how ironic!) and their indifference to tradition. Thecashier looked uncomfortable, as did others in the line, so I took it upon myself to share my own observations.Quietly, and with total honesty, I said, “I think they’re better than they’ve ever been.” At that the cashier said,“Oh, thank you.” Whereupon the critic scowled at me and offered what he seemed to think was the ultimateinsult: “You must be a teacher!” Though I’ve been retired from teaching since 1995, my response was “I am.” And what a wonderful profession it is, as most of us who have practiced it will tell you. True, the pleasuresof the day are punctuated with annoyances and trivialities, but most of those are connected with the business ofadministering an institution. For the most part, the daily reward for our efforts is “The Kids.” I speak from theexperience of a high school teacher who, like all of us, averaged five classes a day with a total of around 175students. I can remember many times turning the key in the lock of my door after the last class and thinking, “Ishould be paying them for this, and not the other way around.” Of course I never advocated that, nor were alldays so glorious that it became a mantra. There were, indeed, some stinkers in every level of instruction,including the highest. If you want to get a good idea of “Kids Today,” volunteer to judge a forensics event at one of the highschools. In this connection you will be refreshingly brought up to date with encouraging evidence of theirsophistication in many areas, very much including environmental issues. I have heard freshmen, all of fourteenyears old, fervently debating such issues as “cap and trade,” housing vs. preservation of species, the virtue ofpublic transportation over the automobile culture, and the pros and cons of ethanol. Certainly the vast canyon between elder discomfort with technology and youth’s passion for it is one of themost baffling and possibly even alienating issues for both sides. Many of us have to admit that while we admireour grandchildren’s easy solution to computer problems that raise our blood pressure to dangerous heights, westill regard many of the latest innovations in communication to be frivolous, wasteful and culture-killing. What,for example, is texting doing to the language? All that abbreviation posturing as words! And don’t such fast-developing phenomena as My Space, YouTube and Twitter foster narcissism and separation of the generations? I would argue that the propensity of youth for frivolity and vice has not changed one bit since it was soclearly evident when I was a “Kid.” Visit a public high school some day and you will step into a microcosm ofthe real world, both for better and for worse. Over all, I think you will come away pleasantly surprised, and morehopeful for the future than you were when you arrived. —Ann WilliamsExecutive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah ChapterChair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371. Vice-chair: Gordon Nipp (Bksf), 661.872.2432. Secretary:Arthur Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Treasurer: Lorraine Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Donnel Lester (Bksf),661.831.6784. Richard Garcia (Min King), 559.624.0199. Ann Williams (Bksf), 661.324.1055. Mary AnnLockhart (PMC), 661.242.0432. 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.
  8. 8. THE ROADRUNNER JULY-AUGUST, 2009 Non-Profit Org. The Roadrunner U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 498 Bakersfield, CA PDF INFO: Want to stop extra trees being cut down for a paper Roadrunner? Write to Harold Wood and ask to receive the newsletter on-line. harold@planetpatriot.net He will also notify you when it is published. 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 at sierraroadrunner@gmail.com. To contact Marjorie Bell, the editor, by phone, call 661.322.4891. The Roadrunner is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper.