May-June 2003 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

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  • 1. The Roadrunner Bimonthly Publication of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club — May/June 2003 KERN KAWEAH CHAPTER UPDATESDEVELOPMENT IN BAKERSFIELD: Quality Control Board for the Central Valley re- 316 single-family residences on 343.13 acres of scinded a recent policy that would have allowed 800bluffs, canyons, and rolling foothills—that is the factory farms to operate without water pollutiondescription of a proposed housing development tract control permits. The Board’s decision came justin the northeast section of Bakersfield. The area months after a coalition of environmental groupsitself is mostly surrounded by open space approx- including the Kern-Kaweah Chapter took actionimately four miles from contiguous existing devel- against the original decision, stating that the Boardopment in Northeast Bakersfield. violated the California Environmental Quality Act The Bakersfield Planning Commission approved when it approved the waiver program without firstthis project on February 6, 2003. The Chapter analyzing the environmental impacts of its decision.appealed the approval to the City Council, and the The revocation ends an exemption for facilities thatappeal was heard on March 26, 2003. The appeal are smaller than 700 dairy cows, 1,000 beef cattle,was rejected, and the City Council approved the 2,500 pigs, and 125,000 chickens, as well as feedlots.project. TEJON INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX STATUS: The Kern Kaweah Chapter decided to take The Center For Biological Diversity has instigatedfurther action against the development as described a suit against the County of Kern basically on theas well as the inadequate evaluation of the grounds of inadequate analysis of environmentalenvironmental impacts of the project. One of the impacts of this project. The Sierra Club, representedoutcomes hoped for is the recognition that the City by the Kern Kaweah Chapter, is a co-petitioner.should be required to do a full Environmental The Tejon Industrial Complex is scheduled to beImpact Report on this project. located on the east side of I-5, generally opposite the Other hoped-for outcomes include the pulling Tejon Petro Plaza. The acreage involved is 3 timesback of house sites from the edge of the bluffs, the size of the Petro Plaza, and industrial companiesrecognition and mitigation of traffic impact, as well such as breweries and automobile manufacturingas air quality mitigation measures such as solar can be included in this area.source energy. Concerns with the project include the protectionWATER: The battle continues for protecting our of endangered species as well as air quality, traffic,water supplies from pollution. The Regional Water and water impacts. WILDERNESS PROTECTIONS BEING ADJUSTED BY COURT AND ADMINISTRATIVE DECISIONS AS WILDERNESS BILL NEARS ITS 40TH BIRTHDAYThe Department of Interior, headed by Gayle Reagan administration.Norton, suggests that Wilderness designations of The Bureau of Land Management has beenlands under the direction of the Bureau of Land managing much land under its jurisdiction to protectManagement should be arbitrarily limited to 23 its wilderness characteristics. However, this land maymillion acres over the whole country. All surveys of now be opened to mining and wheeled recreationalBLM lands would be stopped and, in addition, activities.wilderness designation would be withdrawn from Congress does have the power to order additionalapproximately 3 million acres in Utah. areas to be protected. At this point in time, the Wilderness areas are those “untrammeled by opening of Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oilman.” The Reagan administration made an in- drilling has been denied by the Senate and isventory of land eligible for wilderness in Utah and predicted to have no chance of being allowed in thisfound that 2.9 million acres were in that category. In year’s congressional session. It is said that the1996 the Department of Interior’s director, Bruce public’s expression of its awareness of the uniqueBabbitt, found 5.9 million acres in the same state and precious qualities of this area to members of thewere eligible. The Department of Interior under the Congress has kept the area free from oil explorationBush administration wants to reduce the Utah po- and could protect other potential wilderness areas.tential wilderness back to the 2.9 million acres of the
  • 2. 2 THE ROADRUNNER Out in the Wilds Projects in the Southern Sierra. Maturango Mu- seum. Ridgecrest. Call 760.375.7967. (Owens Peak). Your May June Calendar, 2003 May 24-26 (sat-mon) Hundred Peaks Hike Sirretta Peak (9977), Cannel Point (8314), Taylor Dome Every Week (8802), Pinyon Peak (6805), Owens Peak (8453):Bakersfield Conditioning Hikes (thurs) 7 PM. 4-5 Car camps. Moderate pace. Saturday, 3200 gain;miles. Corner of highways 178 & 184. Gordon, Sunday 3800 gain; Monday, 3200 gain. Each trip 8661.872.2432 or Larry, 873.8107 (KK Chapter.) miles. Come for 1 or all 3 days. Send email/ 2 saseSunday Strolls (begin in June) 8 AM Meet at Pine to Leader: Sara Wyrens s_wyrens@yahoo.com, 7562Mtn. Club by tennis courts. 1 1/2 hrs in length. Visit Seaspring Dr #202, Huntington Beach, CA 92648.local areas of ecological interest. Call 661.242.0432 Co-Leader: George Wysup. (Hundred Peaks)(Condor Group). May 27th 7:00 PM Kaweah Group Meeting Call Specific Dates 559.781.8897 for more information.May 3rd (sat) 10:00 AM to 4 PM “The Great May 31-Jun 1 (sat-sun) Hundred Peaks HikeOutdoor Adventure” at River Ridge in Springville. Nicolls Peak (6070), Lightner Peak (6430), BaldHiking and wildflower viewing. For the whole fam- Eagle Peak (6181), Onyx Peak #2 (5244): Peakily. Call Theresa at 559.781.0594. (Kaweah). bagging, Lake Isabella area. Some dirt road driving.May 7 (wed ) 5:30 PM Final weekly walk for the Saturday 6 miles, Sunday 13 miles RT, 2700 gain.season at St. John’s Parkway. Visalia (Mineral King Take time to learn about the fauna and flora. Email/Group ). sase, recent conditioning, phone, rideshare to Lead-May 7 (wed ) 6:30 PM (After weekly walk) Dinner er: Kent Schwitkis (schwitkii@ earthlink.net) 4514Social at Brewbaker’s , downtown Visalia. Lenore St, Torrance, CA 90503. Co-Lead: BarryMay 10 (sat) 7:30 AM Lamont Point (South of Holchin. Naturalist: Sherry Ross. (Hundred Peaks).Chimney Meadows along the PCT, 7621 ft, 2100 ft June 7 (sat) 2 PM hike 6 PM potlk/prog Geologygain, 9.6 mi RT) Nice views of the Kern Plateau to Hike, Potluck, Geology Program. Greg Wilkerson,the west and Sand Canyon to the east from this local BLM, Guide and Speaker. Pine Mountain Club-high point along the PCT. Moderate hike due to house. Call Ches, 242.0423. (Condor Group).distance. Meet at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. June 2 (mon) 7PM Mineral King Ex CommMore info? Call Dennis 760.375.7967 or Jim 760. Meeting. Call for further info 559.739.8527.375.8161 (Owens Peak). June 11 (wed ) 6 PM Mineral King Group social atMay 9-11 (fri-sun): Sierra Club 100 Peak List Colima’s . Downtown Visalia. Call 559.739.8527.Finishers’ Special Peaks: [Sewart Mountain (6841), Jun 16 (mon) 7:30 PM Adopt-a-Cabin presentationCobblestone Mountain (6733), White Mountain #2 (6250), by Rich Abele. Excellent slides. MaturangoSnowy Peak (6532), Black Mountain #2 (6202), McDonald Museum, 100 E. Las Flores, R/C. Contact DennisPeak, (6870), Alamo Mountain (7367)]: Car camp and bag 760.375.7967. (Owens Peak Gp.).peaks in Sespe Wilderness of Los Padres National June 21 (sat) WAUCOBA MT. (High point [by 16Forest, near Gorman. Join us for one, two or three ft] of the Inyo Range, east of Independence) 11,123days. Day 1 is Alamo and McDonald, 4 miles round ft, 2000 ft gain in, 686 ft gain out, 13 mi RT) Wetrip, 1050 gain. Day 2 is Sewart, Cobblestone and will use the old 4WD route (now closed WildernessWhite, 18 miles round trip, 6500 gain. Day 3 is Area) from the SW. We will drive up MazourkaSewart (again, if anyone missed it the first time), Canyon and have a nice 4WD approach to theSnowy and Black, 10 miles round trip, 3900 gain. closure gate. We will walk the old Sidehill SpringsExpect some steep, brushy, occasionally slippery road, branching off on the mining road access upterrain, significant part of the gain to be on the the SW. This peak dominates the area and will be areturn. Long dirt road driving requires high clear- good warm-up for our summer adventures. Mod-ance vehicles. Send email/sase, H&W phones, erate/strenuous hike due to hiking distance andconditioning to Leaders: Wolf, Karen Leverich altitude. Meet 7 AM at the Ridgecrest Cinema(karen@mtpinos.com ) P. O. Box 6831, Frazier parking lot. More info? Call Dennis 760.375.7967Park, 93222. (Hundred Peaks) or Jim 760.375.8161. (Owens Peak Group).May 13 (tues) 7 PM Beale Lib. High Speed Rail. Jun 21 (sat) Buena Vista Litter Pick-up. TaftWhy? Where? When? Cost? Your Questions? Pre- Hwy, between Gosford and Buena Vista Rds.senter: Herman Ruddel, degrees in Urban Planning, Wear long sleeves, garden gloves, bringtransportation, public administration. sunglasses, water. More info? Call 833.3795Look for June Program in Buena Vista Flyer to be Jun 21-22 (sat-sun) CNRCC Desert Com/Santapublished. Call 661.832.3382. Lucia Chap Environment of the South Fork KernMay 19 (mon), 7:30 PM Mehmet McMillan of River Carcamp: We’ll camp at the Audubon Kern“Wildplaces” to present a program on Restoration River Preserve which is a part of California’s largest
  • 3. THE ROADRUNNER 3lowland riparian forest. It was one of the first ten Honorees included Richard and Beverly Garcia ofsites in the U.S. to receive Globally Important Bird the Mineral King Group, who received the CupArea recognition, 332 bird species have been Award, Les Reid of the Condor Group, who receivedrecorded here. Bob Barnes will be our guide to the the Long Trail Award, Dennis Burge of the Owensvarious special places of this area and share the Peak Group, who received the Susan Miller/Ruthvision for the future being created by and for the Allen Award, and Mitch Bolt of the Buena Vistavalley inhabitants. Trip size limited, regular cars OK. group, who received the Chairman’s Award.No pets. For more information and reservations, The Garcias spearheaded a drive to keep ansend large SASE to Ldrs: Cal and Letty French, irrigation canal from being lined with concrete,14140 Chimney Rock Road, Paso Robles. CA 93446 which if allowed would have removed 100 century-or e-mail ccfrench@tcsn.net. old oaks and cut off the water supply to farmers onJune 28 (sat) 8 AM Cherry Creek to Salt Creek either side of the canal. Les Reid, a former member(round trip) San Emigdio Mountains. Compare of the National Board of the Sierra Club, was thenorth slopes to south slopes, see proposed wilderness leading force in convincing the Sierra Club to dealarea. Moderate. Elevation range: 1500 ft. High with worker health, particularly in regard to toxics inclearance vehicles needed. Bring usuals. Meet at the workplace and in the fields. Dennis Burge wastennis courts, PMC. Call Dale, 661.242.1076 or honored for his 12 years of leadership of the OwensChes, 242.0423. (Condor Group). Peak Group. Mitch Bolt was recognized forAug.4 - Aug. 10, (mon-sun), Sixty Lakes Basin “walking the talk” by developing educational pro-Backpack Backpack over Kearsarge Pass and Glen grams about sea turtles and installing solar on hisPass to get to this beautiful lake basin. Trip size home.limited. Not for beginners. Contact leaders Gordon The presentation of Frank Helling representingand Eva Nipp for information and reservations. John Muir was extremely well done and inspiring to661.872.2432. gnipp@att.net. all, another highlight of the evening. Many thanks go to the following local businesses forWhat are HUNDRED PEAKS HIKES? their generous contributions to the traditional raffle. Included in the listing above are hikes sponsored It was the most profitable ever, bringing in nearlyby the Hundred Peaks section of the Angeles Chap- $500. Here are the donors and prizes they gave.ter of the Sierra Club. The purposes of the Section Please don’t forget them when you are outare to encourage its members to explore and enjoy shopping.the mountain ranges of Southern California and tobecome familiar with their scenic resources, and also Bentz Ski Chalet - $230 Down Sleeping Bagto stimulate interest in climbing these ranges; to Richard and Beverly Garcia (Garcia Machine) - $75preserve their forests, waters, wildlife, and wilder- Backpackers Cachenesses; to enlist public interest and cooperation in Trader Joe’s - $50 Gift Bagprotecting them; and to foster among its members Olcott’s - $50 Gift Certificatethe purposes of the Club as stated in the Club Garden District Flowers - $25 Gift Certificate forBylaws: “To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild Plantplaces of the earth; to practice and promote the Great Castle Restaurant - $25 Gift Certificateresponsible use of the earth’s ecosystems and Garden Spot Restaurant - $25 Gift Certificateresources; to educate and enlist humanity to protect See’s Candies - $25 value Gift Certificate for 2-lb.and restore the quality of the natural and human Boxenvironment; and to use all lawful means to carry Outback Restaurant - $20 Gift Certificateout these objectives.” World Records - $20 Gift Certificate White Forest Nursery - California Native Plant ANNUAL BANQUET OF It was a special moment for many when Larry KERN KAWEAH CHAPTER Wailes and his ten-year-old son, William, holding up their ticket, the first to be drawn, approached the FINE OCCASION raffle table and with hardly any hesitation chose the As always, the wonderful rituals of greeting old Down Sleeping Bag.friends, many of whom have not seen each other Larry is the treasurer for the Kern Kaweahsince last year, and making new friends were the first Chapter, a job full of responsibility and requiringmajor highlights of the evening. much hard work. While he attends the Chapter Ex-After a delicious dinner, Paul Gipe, Chair of the com, son William deports himself manfully withKern Kaweah Chapter, as the master of ceremonies great courtesy, sometimes enjoying cookies, thoughled us into the formal program which included one suspects he really would rather be somewhererecognizing special efforts of Sierra Club members. else. Happy camping to you both!
  • 4. 4 THE ROADRUNNER SAVING WILDLIFE HABITATS IN THE OUT OF DOORS. By Chelsea Shew.Excerpts from Chelsea’s application for a Sierra Club Sierra You never knowNevada Scholarship, which she has been awarded. Chelsea is It was a lovely summer morning. The walker waspresently a student at Porterville High School and wishes to not in a hurry. There seemed to be movementbecome a veterinarian. ahead. Yes, something else was following the path, The foothill community of my youth is disap- just ahead of the walker. First glance made thepearing at an alarming rate. In every direction, walker think, dog? A second look and there was nopasture land and oak woodlands are being replaced doubt. It was a coyote, just ambling along, or so itby multiple housing units. As I lift my eyes to the seemed.foothill peaks I am assaulted with the shining re- Then it happened. The coyote disappeared out offlections of dual-pane windows instead of the sight around a corner of the trail marked by a hugesoaring wings of redtail hawks. fir tree. When the walker came around the fir, there As the population explodes, it becomes inevitable was the coyote not scurrying up the trail but lyingthat people want to move from the crowds. Un- flat on the ground, not seeming to move at all. It wasfortunately, it seems the very type of life they are stretched out like a dog might lie in front of the firerunning to is being destroyed by abuse and dis- on a cold winter’s night.respect for the land and its natural state, for along The coyote suddenly, with obviously great effort,with the disappearance of land comes an even more raised its head, its eyes looking directly at thealarming impact. That impact is the destruction of walker. Such a look, a look never to be forgotten. Athe very life cycle that is essential to all of us. look of pleading? A look of sorrow? A look of pure I feel it is vital to not only work to protect the exhaustion? The coyote held its head up for just ahabitats of our natural animals but more importantly few moments. Then it sagged down, trembling, onceto educate the citizens of these small foothill com- more lying flat on the ground.munities on the importance of being good and What to do? The walker stepped back ten feet,faithful stewards in protecting the delicate balance of watching the animal. There was no further move-nature. This type of education began with me at ment. The walker decided that the only thing to dohome, providing a foundation on which I have was to leave this wild animal as it was and go backformed my views on wildlife protection and down the trail. The animal might just have a chancemanagement. I contend that by educating the young to recover if left alone.people in our communities we will have the best After half an hour the walker decided to comeopportunity to create a more caring and aware back up the trail. Going very slowly, very quietly,society interested in saving wild animal habitats. looking everywhere, trying to make sure the animal Communities like mine have been rooted in had not moved off to either side of the trail, thehunting for sport, seeking out wild things and sighting spot was reached. Joy! The coyote wasdestroying what is not understood. By developing gone.classroom programs, providing field trips to see The answer to this animal’s fate can never reallynature up close, and making information available be known, but the optimistic view seems to indicateon different animals, I believe that the sport of that that coyote is once more roaming in thekilling will lose its luster and perhaps picture taking mountains, his home and ours.will replace it as a pastime . . . The walker had never experienced such an The foothills are changing rapidly, and while we encounter in the woods before. It will never becan worry and fight people who do not care, it is forgotten—a wild animal and a “civilized” humanmore important to build a large base of young being sharing such a strong feeling of empathy andpeople who grow up with the knowledge that allows trust in each other and then each going back tothem to understand why they should care. Helping being a part of the world from which each hadchildren to become aware of cause and effect and come.the delicate balance of man and nature could start a by MALchain reaction of responsibility and accountability inthe next generation. With a foundation in the foothill area and a de-gree to back me up, I hope to make a difference andchallenge people to think about nature and itsresources. That is my ultimate goal.
  • 5. THE ROADRUNNER 5 humans have created ever larger and intrusive WHAT IS ECOLOGY? human-centered ecosystems, everything from aquar- ia to farms, and even space stations! In the process Ecology is the branch of biology dealing with the we have learned to enslave many species of plantsrelationships between living things and their en- and animals and have changed their identitiesvironment. The concept of ecosystem is the tool through breeding programs. We have developedused by ecologists to study the community of all the elaborate tools, harnessed immense sources oforganisms living within it, along with their physical energy, altered courses of rivers, even changedenvironment. Since a mountain forest or a desert weather patterns. We are using up existing resourcesmay cover a huge area, for manageability and con- without clear notions of replacement, and withoutvenience, ecologists study smaller units such as a clear notions of what else to use up when we havemeadow or hillside within a larger area. consumed them. We have vastly speeded up the In a healthy ecosystem, organisms interact with migration rates of different forms of life throughouteach other and their physical environment, in- the regions of the world. And, at present, we arefluencing each other’s lives and evolution. Nutrients producing these changes at an ever-accelerating rate.that allow growth and change in organisms are re- The last two hundred years have seen the greatestcycled over and over and may flow through adjacent impact of humans in all the thousands of years ofecosystems also. A continuous input of energy, pri- our existence. Thus, we are not in balance withmarily from the sun, is required. Elements within the nature and are putting our species in the position ofsystem may change: a tree dies, shifts in populations being self-destructing. We are destroying the pat-of animals may occur, but the basic structure con- terns of nature which provide the water and air ontinues and is sustainable. which our very lives depend. And we are destroying Ecologists tend to categorize the organisms in an the ecosystems within which many other organismsecosystem as producers, consumers, and decom- function.posers. Producers are primarily plants and some What is there to be done? A good beginning is tobacteria and single-celled organisms having chlor- educate ourselves as to the functioning of the naturalophyll or other photosynthetic molecules which world. Consider actions and projects being proposedcapture and store outside energy (mostly sunlight) in our own locale, in the state, and in the nation inas food. All other living things are dependent on terms of their impacts on the natural world as well asproducers. Consumers are organisms, primarily on the human-created world. Take further time andanimals, which take advantage of this stored organic effort to ask questions and express opinions basedenergy for their own needs by either eating plants, on your studies to those who make the decisions asor eating animals that eat plants. Finally, there is a to how things are to be done, whether it is thelarge group of creatures that break down the president of the United States or your spouse!remains, or detritus, of other organisms. These are An excellent source of ecological information forthe decomposers, which include bacteria, fungi, and California, which is so unique in so many ways, ismany microorganisms. The products of decay from Allen A. Schoenherr’s A NATURAL HISTORY OFdecomposers are, in turn, used by green plants to CALIFORNIA, No. 56 in the California Naturalcarry on more photosynthesis. In this way, matter in History Guides, published by the University ofnature is recycled, and balance is established and California Press, 1992. With a basic introduction tomaintained in the cycle of life. the study of California ecology, one can read on to Most ecosystems are only partially understood. specific geographic and ecological areas of the state.They are complex, have developed through vast Well written, well organized, it is a book for theamounts of time, and are continually evolving. layman to adventure into a fuller understanding ofNatural ecosystems do not need to be managed by the natural world of California, and of some of thepeople. They need to be left alone in order to func- changes caused by modern humans.tion fully. What manages ecosystems is evolution of By Lynn Staffordorganisms through time in response to competitiveand predatory pressure from each other and to FOR YOUR INFORMATIONchanges in environmental conditions, such as Non-Sierra Club Events of possible interest.climatic shifts and changes in landforms. Wind Wolves Workdays (once a month, 2nd Sat- This is where the human animal comes into the urday) If you work, you can enjoy BBQ plus a tourpicture. There is considerable evidence that for Sunday morning. Call 661.858.1115many thousands of years, our species maintained May 3, River Ridge Ranch Open House Spring-relatively constant numbers, and occupied fairly ville. Sponsored by Sierra Los Tulares Land Trust,static relationships with nature. However, in the last Phone 559.738.0211 E-mail: info@sltlt.org.few thousand years, that balance has changed as we
  • 6. 6 THE ROADRUNNERMay 3, (sat) 9AM 2003 Windmill-Wildflower landscape linkage between the Transverse Ranges,Hike. Hear about wind energy while viewing 5,000 Peninsular Ranges, and the Sierra Nevadas. Thiswind turbines in the Tehachapi Pass. An easy six- linkage is essential to maintaining a functionalmile walk starting from Cameron and Tehachapi- wildlands network, and is key to any regionalWillow Springs Road. Starts promptly at 9:00 AM. conservation strategy. "Spring weather at 5,000 ft. Be dressed prepared for What is the threat? Housing development pro-wind and sun, bring at least one quart of water per posals in the mountain area for two areas exceedingperson, pack a lunch. More info? Call Paul, 661. 30,000 homes and industrial development in the325.9590 grasslands areas on the southern edge of the SanMay 17. (sat) all day. Lilac Festival. Pine Joaquin Valley.Mountain Club. Parade, Sky Divers, Booths. Good Why Los Padres National Forest (LPNF)?time to walk in the woods, enjoy the local ambience. Quoting: “The southern district of the Los PadresJune 7 (sat) National Trails Day. Non-competitive National Forest marks a transition zone betweenbike ride, walk, jog, dog-walk or in-line skating central and southern coastal California, where warm,along the trails downtown. Visalia event will begin dry climates to the south meet cool, wet climatesat Carl’s Jr. on Ben Maddox and go to McDonald’s from the north. Adding to the effect, the (Trans-at Demaree. More info? call Rich Garcia. 559.592. verse) mountain range is a rare phenomenon due to9865 its east-west axis. Transition zones of this type create a higher density of biodiversity—this region is home TEJON RANCH, LOS PADRES to more than 1,500 native plant and animal species." NATIONAL FOREST ARE TWO OF What is the threat? Targeting of an estimated TEN AREAS LISTED AS MOST 140,000 acres for permitting oil and gas drilling. THREATENED IN CALIFORNIA. This acreage includes several proposed wilderness areas, archaeological and cultural sites, well known By whom and why? The California Wilderness trails and Areas of High Ecological Significance, aCoalition, made up of 200-plus groups concerned Forest Service designation indicating special qual-with the protection of natural lands, issues a list of ities and including habitat for endangered species.most threatened California areas every year in order If you would like to have more information on Cali-to draw the attention of California citizens to threats fornia’s 10 most threatened areas, contact the Californiato their natural heritage. Wilderness Coalition for this publication. Address: 2655 What is considered in the choice of this desig- Portage Bay East, suite 5, Davis, CA 95616, 530.738.0380nation “most threatened?” “Severity of the prob- or www. calwild.org.lem” . . . “the permanence of the damage” . . . SEQUOIA MONUMENT DEIS“the urgency of the threat . . .” among other IGNORES NON-LOGGING ALTERNATIVES.things. STILL TIME TO EXPRESS YOUR OPINIONS Why Tejon? Here is the largest contiguous land-holding in the state of California, heretofore being The Draft Environmental Impact Statementused primarily for cattle grazing and agriculture. (DEIS) developed by the Forest Service and pub-Now it is being transformed by real estate ventures. lished on 18 December 2002 is vague, unclear, and Quoting from the report: “There is compelling specifies logging in name of fuels reduction,scientific evidence that Tejon Ranch plays a crucial restoration, maintenance, and public safety.role for the conservation of biodiversity on regional, The DEIS process must be restarted and muststate, and national levels. This region has been produce alternatives in compliance with the Procla-identified by conservation biologists as an irre- mation mandate to protect the objects and notplaceable core habitat area for numerous endan- produce a product.gered species including San Joaquin kit fox, In addition, the DEIS justifies alternatives becauseBakersfield cactus and more. It contains designated they maintain jobs. But the Proclamation does notcritical habitat for the endangered California Condor direct the Forest Service to manage the Monumentand supports healthy populations of other raptors as to maintain jobs in the timber industry.well as American badger, mountain lion, tule elk and False claimsmule deer, which require large and intact wildlands The Forest Service tries to justify logging in theto survive.” Monument with the false claim that logging prevents “Spanning the headwaters of 14 creeks and an catastrophic wildfires.elevation range of more than 8,000 feet, the Tejon But logging and thinning remove the leastRanch includes 27 different vegetation communities flammable of the forest materials, the tree trunks.ranging from coastal type riparian range to montane Logging and thinning remove the forest canopy,forests, oak savannas and desert scrub. It is a critical which is what keeps the forest moist and cool The brush fields that would replace these logged
  • 7. THE ROADRUNNER 7trees are more flammable than the trees they replace. Only their situations were different.Objects listed for protection ignored: Most figures in the canyon are dramatic en- The DEIS does not even mention a number of actments of hunting. Bighorn sheep were abundantthe objects discussed in the Proclamation as needing in a world far different from the present desert. Noprotection. doubt the canyon was once a rushing river or stream, The DEIS fails to analyze the negative impacts to since its floor consists entirely of sand and polishedthe most charismatic or well known of the objects rock, and high watermarks along the rock walls areincluding The Giant Sequoia ecosystem, the Pacific still in evidence. The evolution of hunting tech-Fisher & the California Spotted Owl. niques is clear, from spears, and inventions to Even though the official comment period has facilitate stronger and more accurate throwing, to theended, if you have not already commented on the bow and arrow. Other rock pictures seemed to haveinadequacy of the draft management plan for the as their theme the fertility both of animals and ofMonument, please send a comment letter expressing man. Many images defy interpretation except asyour opinion about: they evoke a sense of some connection with the (1) The inadequate DEIS, (2)the need to restart supernatural or divine. Perhaps in a world so richthe development process based on the Proclamation, with the fundamental necessities of life, some idea(3) the need to call for the Scientific Advisory Board evolved of human dependence upon the good willto reconvene to give the Forest Service guidance of a provident being.from the beginning of the process. Especially compelling to me was the discovery on You can address all comments to: my own of a long line of human figures walkingGiant Sequoia National Monument Planning Team very close to each other, starting near the top of the Sequoia National Forest Headquarters canyon and descending to the extent of the long 900 West Grand Avenue, Porterville, CA 93257 rock upon which they were carved. I felt sure that those people were in migration, and for reasons that MIDGEBUZZINGS were not benign.“Let the storms blow through the streets of cities; the And while I stood beneath that depiction ofroot is safe. When the last seared hand has flung the human flight, I thought of other desert people nowlast grenade, an older version of that hand will be in terror and running, driven not by the vicissitudesstroking a clinging youngster hidden in its fur, high of nature, but by the horrors of an ambitious war. Ifup under some autumn moon." Loren Eiseley: "The I had not fully shared their emotion before thatFirmament of Time" moment, I could not escape it now, made immediate to me by the skill and empathy of an artist who When I first read this passage some thirty years worked thousands of years ago to tell a story thatago, I wept. Since then I have frequently repeated never ends.the phrase “the root is safe.” I suppose that is the Did he believe the root is safe? Do they? And willfundamental precept of religion, and perhaps the we believe it, when the long aftermath of this waronly valid one. acquaints us intimately with terror born of seething The passage came into my mind just four days hatred and puts us, also, to flight? I cannot say.ago in Petroglyph Canyon, a dramatic cleft in the By Ann WilliamsCalifornia desert, the walls of which are etched withscenes from the lives of people who lived thousandsof years ago. So sacred was this place that some of Want to receive personalized informationthe most ancient figures have been carved over, and re: Kern Kaweah Chapter concerns?differently, by more recent people, say one or two Send email request to alunger@juno.comthousand years later. Our docents were not scientists, so their answersto our questions were probably no more accuratethan our own. We wondered, for example, why onerock had been carved by many artists for centuries,while others of the same composition wereuntouched. No one really knew beyond someeducated guessing, and even experts, apparently, canonly speculate. The visitor is left with at least twoprofound impressions: mystery, and a strong senseof kinship with the artists. In the end, one’s own lifeexperiences are the best bases for interpretation.These people were made of the same stuff as we are.
  • 8. 8 THE ROADRUNNER The Roadrunner: What do you think? articles, information deadline A ROADRUNNER SURVEY June 5th for July August edition Please check your choices, No. of issues per year: What do you think is bestSpecial thanks to all those who contribute regularly for you? Issues bi-monthly? ___ quarterly? _____ to the Roadrunner Would an “e-mail only” edition meet your needs? Without their willing help there would be no If yes, (please notify alunger@ juno.com)____ Roadrunner. If no, please check here ___Dennis Burge, Diane Etter, Glen Shellcross, Which information is most important to you?Paul Gipe, Harry Love, Jim Nichols, Art and (check as many as you wish)Lorraine Unger, Ann Williams, Harold Wood Activity information (hikes, meetings, etc)____ Information on local enviro concerns_____Michelle Hoffman, Lorraine Unger, Ann tate concerns _______ national concerns_____Williams, mailing. Harold Wood, web site. Other?________________________________ _ What features do you like most in the RR? Contact Sources nature?____ places to visit?_____ hikeRoadrunner Address jmal@frazmtn.com or descriptions?_______groups newsEditor, Roadrunner, P. O. Box GG, Frazier Park, Other features you would like in the Roadrunner?CA 93222 Leaders, Kern-Kaweah Chapter/Groups Please mail your filled-in form to Roadrunner, PO GG, Frazier Park, CA 93222.Excom, Kern Kaweah Chapter 661.324.1923 You do not have to sign your name unless you wish aChair, Paul Gipe; Vice Chair, Harry Love; Sec- response or care to do so. Thank you.retary/Conservation, Ara Marderosian; Treasurer, Name___________________________________________Larry Wailes; Membership, Lorraine Unger; Address:Roadrunner, Mary Ann Lockhart; Richard Garcia;Gordon Nipp; Glenn Shellcross; Art Unger.Buena Vista Group (Bksf) 661.832.3382Chair, Glenn Shellcross; Secretary, Elaine White;Treasurer, Keith Dilday; Conservation, MitchBolt; Community Issues, Art Unger; Membership/Delg.Excom, Georgette Theotig.Condor Group (Pine Mtn Club, Frazier Parkarea) 661.242.0423Chair, Ches Arthur; Vice-Chair, Dale Chitwood;Secretary/Membership, Fay Benbrook; Treasurer,Marta Bigler; Conservation, Mary Ann Lockhart.Kaweah Group (Porterville) 559.781.0594Chair, Pam Clark; Vice-Chair, Lori Kessler; Secre-tary, Diane Jetter; Membership, Sara Lee Gershon;Conservation, Carla Cloer; Outings, TheresaStump.Mineral King (Visalia) 559.739.8527Chair, Harold Wood; Vice-Chair/Publicity, CynthiaKoval; Secretary, Betty Berk; Asst. Secretary,Joanne Dudley; Treasurer/Environmental Educ.,Janet Wood;Owens Peak Group (Ridgecrest) 760. 375.7967Chair, Dennis Burge; Vice-Chair, Steve Smith;Secretary, Jean Bennett; Treasurer, Dolph Amster.