July-August 2003 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club


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July-August 2003 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

  1. 1. The Roadrunner Bimonthly Publication of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club — July/August 2003 CHAPTER “DEVELOPMENT SUIT” REACHES SETTLEMENT. CLEAN AIR PROSPECTS IMPROVED.SPRAWL. Bakersfield is on the verge of a major explosion of sprawl development. Development interestshave targeted the rolling foothills and bluffs above the Kern River for future housing projects. These scenicareas are mostly undeveloped, but business groups have mounted a major effort to extend water and sewerinfrastructure into these areas, paving the way for home construction. At present, at least twelve differenthousing developments are in the planning stages.CITY IGNORES. The city has ignored the environmental impacts of the proposed developments, insteadissuing perfunctory “negative declarations” under the California Environmental Quality Act. Even thoughBakersfield suffers some of the worst air quality in the country, the city routinely approves developmentprojects without considering increased air pollution caused by development-related traffic and constructionactivities.SUIT & GOALS. In 2003, the Sierra Club’s Kern Kaweah Chapter sued the City of Bakersfield for illegallyapproving a residential development, consisting of 316 single-family homes designed to sprawl over 300acres of bluffs, canyons, and rolling hills northeast of Bakersfield. The Club’s primary goal was to force theCity and/or the developer, through court order or settlement, to adopt sound growth management practicesand to halt the unregulated growth intended for the area. The Club’s secondary goal was to force the city torequire mitigation fees for air quality impacts and habitat loss resulting from future developments.SETTLEMENT POINTS. Under the settlement that has now been reached, the developer must makesubstantive improvements to the development, including: utilizing non-intrusive lighting for surroundingopen space; incorporating solar photovoltaic panels into the first model home and offering photovoltaics asan option on all homes; dedicating 9,000 square feet to the City for a park-and-ride facility; and dedicatingthe viewpoint area to the City. In addition, the developer must fund a study to be conducted by a CaliforniaState professor to identify suitable blunt-nosed leopard lizard habitat in Northeastern Bakersfield. Finally,under the settlement the developer must pay a $1,200 “cumulative air quality mitigation fee” for eachresidential unit to an air quality committee. The mitigation fee will be used for air pollution reductionmeasures, such as purchasing cleaner buses and street sweepers to replace existing diesel vehicles, introducinglong-distance commuter vanpools, coordinating traffic signals, and building bicycle facilities.WATCHDOG COMMITTEE. The air committee will have five members consisting of representatives of theSierra Club, Center on Race, Poverty, and the Environment, San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District,City of Bakersfield, and the developer. In the event the committee cannot agree on how to use the funds, thecommittee will turn the money over to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.PRECEDENT. Establishing an air quality mitigation fee for this project could set a great precedent in theCity of Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District isactively considering imposing an air quality mitigation fee for all new development in the entire San JoaquinValley. In addition, the Club has been trying to convince the City to impose its own air quality fee on all newdevelopment in Bakersfield. This settlement establishes a precedent to be followed by each of these entities.OBJECTIVES ON TRACK. The settlement substantially achieves the Chapter’s objective of forcing thedeveloper to implement improvements aimed at mitigating the air quality and other impacts of the project. Inaddition, the settlement sets an important precedent in the area of requiring developers to pay mitigation feesto fund air pollution reduction measures to offset air quality impacts. The settlement thus represents a victoryfor the Sierra Club and environmental interests in general. - Gordon NippMuch time, effort, and expertise went into planning and carrying out the action described above. GordonNipp is lead person on this Chapter Action and deserves much appreciation for the work he has done in thelast months. Support speakers from the Chapter at hearings included Mitch Bolt, Paul Gipe, Mary Griffin,Monte Harper, Harry Love, and Arthur Unger. Dr. Dan and Rosemarie Grabski, Glenn Shellcross, andLorraine Unger were present also. The Kern-Kaweah Chapter provided initial funds for the suit, all of whichwill be repaid as part of the settlement.
  2. 2. 2 THE ROADRUNNER MORE AND STILL MORE VALLEY AIR NEWSAir: Part 1. Agriculture. Your chapter continues to work on THE big concern of the Valley, Dirty Air. TheSierra Club is working with a coalition of organizations and Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund to implementlegal strategies to force state and federal agencies to take stronger action to reduce the Valley’s air pollution.The Club and its allies recently settled a lawsuit against the US EPA in which EPA agreed that its approval ofCalifornia’s exemption of industrial agriculture from the state’s Clean Air Act was unlawful and that theexemption should be withdrawn by the California legislature.However, in a retreat by EPA from its decision to enforce the Clean Air Act for agriculture, EPA intends toallow agriculture to tell EPA how many hours per year their diesel irrigation pump engines will operate. Abetter accountability process would be to consider that all diesel engines work to full capacity during themain irrigation season, summer, a time when diesel fuels do the most damage because of their contribution toozone production. The latter is a “suggestion” to be made to the EPA. Arthur UngerAir: Part 2. Bakersfield Californian. Air activists are finally beginning to see the fruits of their labors or atleast the beginning of public outrage over the state of the Valley’s air. The Bakersfield Californian, likeValley papers in Fresno and Modesto, has published several hard-hitting stories on the issue within the pastyear. The series by the Californian’s Matt Weiser that began June 14, with an accompanying editorial, was themost extensive yet seen in the South Valley. Weiser’s damning interviews of developers’ and localpoliticians’ attitudes toward air pollution were set against the law and the overwhelming evidence of the situa-tion’s seriousness. One headline cried out “Who’s in charge here?” Indeed, when local leaders don’t takeaction, the public must. While progress is painfully slow, we are finally beginning to see some movement. Paul Gipe TEJON OFFERS TO SELL 100,000 ACRES OF LAND FOR CONSERVATION. Why now? asked the media and so do we!There was a grand announcement of a tentative agreement between Tejon and the Trust for Public Land,complete with free helicopter rides for the press over Tejon lands and other hoopla in June. 100,000 acres ofpristine land are to be saved from development. Could there be any doubts about this bonanza? Yes indeed,there could be and should be—and, as the old cliche goes, the devil is in the details.Here are some questions to start with. What more do you want to ask? 1. What is the motive for offering this land for sale by Tejon Corporation? Conservation ideals or the needfor cash to carry out the development plans of the corporation? Plans include a 23,000-home developmentalong Hwy 138 (Los Angeles County) and 6,000 homes in the mountains around Tejon (Castac) lake (KernCounty). 2. What is the Trust for Public Land? How does it operate? Where does it get its funds? 3. Should financial encouragement be given to the above developments, which undoubtedly will impactair quality, traffic and much more in the area? 4. Precisely which lands would be included in the sale? Those lands that would be truly helpful inprotecting wildlife movement from the Sierras through the Transverse Ranges to the Coastal Ranges or justlands that are considered very difficult if impossible to develop by Tejon Ranch? 5. Who would be assessing the value of the land offered for sale? Would the sale price be so high that itwould make purchase of other lands in other California areas for conservation purposes even more difficultthan it is now? 6. What agency or agencies would be in charge of the land to be purchased? 7. What restrictions might be asked by Tejon Ranch to be put on the land as part of the sale? 8. Should taxpayer money be used to support indirectly the sprawl development of this area? 9. Will the public be continuously informed as the negotiations between the parties are carried out, allow-ing for REAL opportunities for public input? Much discussion will be carried out during the months ahead. What happens can be affected by theactive attention we pay to this concern with the questions we ask and the stands we are willing to take.to the Bakersfield Californian for the excellent coverage they have given to the developments above. Theirwork is a fine example of the American press at its best.
  3. 3. THE ROADRUNNER 3 SEQUOIA MONUMENT CONTINUOUS PRESSURE VIA LEGISLATORS, LETTERS TO THE EDITOR NEEDED TO EFFECT CHANGE IN MONUMENT PLANS. $$$ NEEDED FOR POTENTIAL LEGAL ACTION. The following words were included in the Procla- managed with prescribed fire is in a healthy andmation that created the Giant Sequoia National resilient condition. Trees are are cut only when theyMonument in April 2000: are a potential hazard to buildings, campgroundsThese forests need restoration to counteract the and other developed areas.effects of a century of fire suppression and logging. What we think. The Sequoia Task Force advocatesNo portion of the Monument shall be considered to exactly the same kind of forest management for thebe suited for timber production. Monument. If trees need to be removed from the Monument, the Forest Service should make a site-Removal of trees, except for personal use fuel wood, specific formal finding that there is no alternative.from within the Monument area may take place onlyif clearly needed for ecological restoration and Making a broad statement that 10,000 million boardmaintenance or public safety. feet per year of trees need to be logged to reduce the threat of fire cannot be considered a science-USFS Proposal. The Forest Service was directed to based finding that justifies hauling trees to thedevelop a plan to manage the Monument. They sawmill.released their draft plan in December. Their pre-ferred alternative, number 6, recommends logging What pressures? Why is Sequoia National Forest so10 million board feet of timber per year. Trees up to committed to logging as their primary management30 inches in diameter could be cut. That would tool? Are they being forced into this by the presentmean over 3,000 truckloads of logs would be hauled administration or are they just simply unwilling toto the sawmill in Terra Bella each year. Logging face up to the damage they have done to the forestwould be more intensive inside the Monument than with their intensive logging practices? Only theyunder current management direction in Sequoia themselves can honestly answer that question whichNational Forest outside of the Monument. The door we continue to ask.is even left open for cutting giant sequoias. What we are doing. The Sequoia Task Force isQuestion. Does that sound like it complies with the using its energy and resources to investigate whichProclamation that created the Monument? The agency can do a better job of managing the Mon-Sierra Club’s Sequoia Task Force believes it does ument, the Forest Service or the Park Service. Whennot. The proposal is not in legal compliance with the the Forest Service announces its final managementProclamation, the basic legal mandate that governs decision, we will have our answer. At this point wemanagement of the Monument. The Forest Service are not optimistic that they will turn away from theirmaintains that logging is necessary to reduce fuels logging initiative.and prevent catastrophic wildfire. Help us! Keep alert to reports on the developmentSequoia Park Management Plan. Right next to the of the Monument Plan. Contact any member of theMonument, Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park Kern-Kaweah Chapter Executive Committee or Joehas been managing exactly the same kind of forest Fontaine at 661.821.2055 or by email at fontaineand ecosystem with an entirely different approach. @lightspeed.net with any questions you may have.For over thirty years they have been using pre- You will be hearing much more about these ques-scribed fire to reduce fuels and the chance of catas- tions in the Roadrunner, so stay tuned.trophic wildfire. The results have been excellent. Joe Fontaine, Sequoia Task ForceTheir Giant Sequoia groves are in good conditionwith low fuel loading and robust reproduction of the SEQUOIA DOLLARS? Send to Sequoia Task Force,young sequoias needed to replace the older trees as Janet Wood, POB 3499, Visalia, CA 93278.they die. The conifer forest in the Park that has been BE THE CHANGE YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE IN THE WORLD. Ghandi
  4. 4. 4 THE ROADRUNNER HEALTHY FORESTS, MY EYE!The Healthy Forest Restoration Act is a bill that has been passed in the House of Representatives overdevastating criticism and an alternative bill put forth by congressional opponents. If you speak out now,,perhaps it will have a different fate in the Senate. Write or call our Senators now.Healthy Forests—what a charming, beguiling name, but what a bad joke! There is nothing in this bill thatprovides for forest health. Restoration refers only to “restoring” carte blanche the privilege of the timbercompanies to cut, cut, cut.Protection, Prevention. This bill is being sold in the want to deal with it. That fact is part of the rationali-name of protection of communities and fire pre- zation for cutting forests on public lands: to pay forvention. So let it be noted, after the Los Alamos fire fire prevention clearing around communities. Tim-and other community burnings were analyzed, the ber companies would be given access to cut onfindings arrived at as the most important things to forest lands out of sight of the public, in the backdo to save homes and communities were: country, on roads built by and paid for by the Forest1. to clear flammable materials within 100 to 200 Service. These logged areas, as described above infeet of buildings. Fire Prevention 101, will give rise to more wildfires in the near future. Now does this plan make sense?2, to require the installation of flame resistant sidingand roofing materials on homes. Timber Welfare In just dollar terms this timber company welfare does little good in paying for3. to clear around the borders of communities. protection costs. This administration, that is soFire Basics. A pause for Fire Prevention 101. Fire involved in cost-effectiveness, hasn’t looked over thehas always been a force in the life history of forests. past records. For example: A 1998 GeneralFire was the handbroom of nature, sweeping through Accounting Office study found that the Forestthe forests to clear out the underbrush. Fire was used Service timber program costs the Federal Treasuryby humans who quickly recognized that clearing more than 1 billion dollars annually. The Forestcertain areas helped to increase the production of Service, when all the costs are figured in, has neverfoods and other products they needed. made a profit from the timber sale. They have beenRepressing all fires, though well-intentioned, has lucky if they come out even. Should the money thatturned out to be a big mistake which we must cor- is supposed to be protecting communities be spentrect. It took many years to get to this point of on timber subsidies?heavily overgrown forests; it will take many years to Public Input. On top of all of this, calling on theget things back in order. fear of wildfires to justify these actions, the ForestThis bill would allow the big trees to be cut, the big Service will be ordered to limit public input bytrees that are the most fire resistant, the big trees that cutting down on time for comment and analysis byprovide shade to keep the underbrush from growing persons like ourselves and by outside experts notto the point of being out of control in the forest. under the restrictions of the government. TheWhen the big trees are gone, more sunshine reaches rationale is that this comment time limits the abilitythe forest floor. More sun leads to the growth of to prevent fires because of multitudinous court cases,more underbrush and grasses. If fire is started in etc. Let it be known that in the past less than 1% ofthose areas of nature’s new kindling pile, that logging plans have been challenged in courts.vegetation will burn easily and build up to the point We hear a lot of trumpeting for democracy aroundthat the big trees will be ignited. the world. What is happening here needs to bePresent Bill. The way this bill is presently written watched carefully too. Besides cutting back on thewill take us backwards in achieving our goals. You rights of us, the citizens who own the lands, to havecan easily guess that the underbrush that needs to be our say, the result in this case will be the furthertaken out is not saleable, Timber companies don’t needless destruction of our natural resources.
  5. 5. THE ROADRUNNER 5 SUMMER GETAWAYSSunday Strolls. Every week June through August. 8 View various ecotones. Strenuous. Altitude: AboutAM to 9:30 AM. Short walks in area of Pine 7000 to nearly 9000 ft.. 8 to 9-plus mile hike. BringMountain Club. Children accompanied by adults a sack lunch, water, wear sturdy shoes. As a carwelcomed. Meet at the tennis courts by Clubhouse. shuttle is involved, PLEASE call two days beforeMore info? Call 661.242.0432. (Condor Group) hike date or we may not be able to say Yes to yourJuly 12 (sat) CNRCC (California-Nevada Region- request to join the hike. 661.242.0423 or 661.242.al Conservation Committee, South) meets at 1076. (Condor Gp)Sierra Club LA office, 10 AM. Call 909.624.5522 August 2nd (sat) Trout, Streams, Restorations andfor more info. More. Lloyd Wiens, local Frazier Park business man,July 12 (sat) Blanco Mtn And County Line Hill will present plans, views for life in these mountainLoop. (Just south of the Crooked Creek Laboratory areas. 6 PM potluck, 7 PM program. Pool Pavilionin the White Mtns, 11290 ft, 2100 ft gain for the Room. Pine Mountain Clubhouse. (Condor Gp)loop, 6 mi total) Superb views of the southern White Aug.4-Aug. 10 (mon-sun) Sixty Lakes BasinMtns. Learn about the habitat of the bristlecone Backpack. Hike over Kearsarge and Glenn Passes topines. We should be right in the middle of the beautiful lake basin. Trip size limited. Not forwildflower season in this area. Moderate hike due to beginners. Contact leaders Gordon and Eva Nipp fordistance and altitude. Meet at 7:30 AM at the information and reservations. 661.872.2432. gnippRidgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Dennis Burge at @att.net.760.375.7967 or Jim Nichols at 760.375.8161 for August 23rd (sat) Hike Piedra Blanca Nationalmore info. (Owens Peak Gp) Recreation Trail. Destination is the Beartrap Camp-July 17-19 (thur-sat) Visit the Rincon Roadless ground. 10 miles round trip, elevation change 1500Area on the Kern Plateau in Sequoia National feet. Moderately difficult hike. The trail is through aForest. This area was included in Senator Barbara beautiful section of Pine Mountain following alongBoxer’s California Wild Heritage Act last year as an a usually flowing stream shaded on both sides. Willaddition to the Golden Trout Wilderness. Last sum- discuss characteristics of riparian areas. Bring lots ofmer the 150,000 acre McNally Fire burned most of water, snacks and have good hiking shoes. Hats,the Rincon Roadless Area. We will car camp at a sunscreen, sunglasses recommended. Call Ches,base camp on the Kern Plateau and take day hikes 661.242.0423 or Dale, 661.242.1076. (Condor Gp)into the Roadless Area to inspect fire impacts and August 23rd (sat) Sardine Canyon And Rexprogress of recovery a year later. Montis Mine. (just north of Kearsarge Pk, 10700 ft, We will investigate Forest Service plans for 3600 ft gain, 13.2 mi RT) Sardine Canyon is therehabilitation of fire impacts, how they will affect the historically interesting route to the location of therecovery of the various ecosystems, and the status of Rex Montis mining area, on the north flanks ofthe Roadless Area. There has been a lot of infor- Kearsarge Pk. We will learn the history of mining inmation and misinformation about the effects of this area and see first hand what the winters and thewildfire on conifer forests. Advocates of commercial snow avalanches can do to man’s efforts to strike itlogging have been proclaiming that logging reduces rich.the possibility of holocaust-type fires. Join us and Strenuous hike due to hiking distance and elevationmake your own evaluation based on direct on-the- gain. Meet 7:00 AM at the Ridgecrest Cinemaground observations of options to deal with the parking lot. Call Dennis 760.375-.967 or Jim 760.problem of fire in our western conifer forests. 375.8161 for more info. (Owens Peak Gp) For more information contact Joe Fontaine at661.821.2055, or by e mail at fontaine@lightspeed. HIKERS: Good shoes, water, snack, hat, suntannet. For a trip sheet explaining the details of the lotion, light jacket, call before c o m i n g. Leaderouting send a self addressed stamped envelope to must ask you not to participate if you are n o tJoe Fontaine PO Box 307 Tehachapi, CA 93581. fit enough for trip, or come unprepared. UnderJuly 26th (sat) Sally Reid Memorial Peak to Peak 18? Must be accompanied by adult. Please b eHike. A beautiful hike from Mt. Pinos to Cerro sure to call before joining a hike.Noroeste in Los Padres, near Pine Mountain Club.The trail threads through high pine forests, a cooldelight and a wonderful respite from summer heat.
  6. 6. 6 THE ROADRUNNER Midgebuzzings recognize. Nevertheless, there is good news. The oak trees, “Nothing endures but change.” which have been lovely, but small and uncompetitiveFrom Heraclitus (540-480 BC) we have this idea, all these years in the shadows of towering giants, arevoid of judgment, but verifying the observation that doing very well, thank you. Their tap roots are sip-all of us make who are paying attention. ping comfortably at deep water sources well below the reach of pine and cedar. Perhaps, without heavyVisits to any of the great canyons of Utah or Ari- shade from conifers, the oaks will thrive andzona, and some quiet hours looking into their eventually dominate the mountain. Furthermore, Idepths, will give us a sense of geologic time and our have never seen such a year for yucca. Their whiteplace in it. Closer to home, but no less profound, are plumes are flourishing in great numbers, as havebristlecone pines in the White Mountains. Core wildflowers all through this remarkable spring insamples of those ancients, whose beginnings stretch California. Every week, here at home, we get anotherback nearly 5,000 years, inform us, among other report from Alison Sheehey, our wildflower guru,things, of great climate changes and of the factors complete with exciting pictures of what is bloomingthat influenced them. The Little Ice Age, from 1300 in the mountains right on into summer.to 1850, was a mere breath of that time, yet a studyof its dire consequences to human history makes Maybe, as far as nature’s choices are concerned, itone humble in the knowledge of what we cannot would be healing for us sometimes to think ofcontrol. change, not as tragic but as newly good. That, at least, could take some of the sting out of loss.These were my thoughts during much of the annualMemorial Day Weekend gathering of my family at Ann Williamsour home in the San Bernardino Mountains abovethe city of Redlands. We have gone there for what to Help Prune the Bushie Politicianssome of us is a lifetime, and our histories are JOIN AN ACTIVIST LIST!wrapped in memories of wind in tall conifers, the The e-mail world is wonderful! Relieve your stressplay of light through oak leaves, morning voices of with “hot” letters to our legislators the easy way.jays and chickadees, comic antics of raccoons, and We are grateful indeed for those of you who have alreadywild cries in the depths of the night from hungry joined in on the Sierra Club Action Networks: the national,and ravaging coyotes. Some of us who are graying the state and our own chapter-local version, (now 64 strong,now remember summer days in childhood building up from 5 just a few years ago) plus the mini Condor Grouplittle rock dams in the creek that tumbles down from version (12 plus).Forest Falls. Less benignly, we have permanentrecollections of recurring shocks from a succession With 1600 members in our Chapter, there are obviouslyof floods that have in some winters transformed the many more of us who could do the same, especially nowchild-friendly creek into a monster, devastating lives, that it is easier to participate than ever before. Here’s how!property and timberlines. But in all that time, the 1. Go to the Sierra Club Home Page. Click onmost constant presence has been that of the conifers, the Take Action (right side of page). Directions popgiving voice to the wind, shading and nurturing wild up for you to follow. Once signed up, action alertscreatures, and defining the life there. on federal legislation will come your way.Now they are dying. Half are gone already, and the 2. Go to the My Backyard on SC home page.other half have been weakened, with no end in sight Click on California. Click on Take Action list. Signof the drought that has claimed them. The lakes at in there. Once signed up, action alerts on stateArrowhead and Big Bear are dangerously low, and environmental legislation will come your way. .neighbors are at odds with neighbors over what to (Need more background info? find it in Actiondo. There is concern in our own community as Network. Includes an editable letter that will beopportunists have sensed potential profit in the emailed or faxed automatically to your official.possibility of buying up little century-old cabins, 3. For very local issues, send an email to alungerand of tearing them down to build huge, artless and @juno.com and join the 64 other local sierra clubanomalous houses as a suburb to the cities below. members who are receiving the alerts sent out by ourSuch structures are common in resorts everywhere own Art Unger,now, but so far they have been rejected on ourmountain. Most of our neighbors have not yielded This is a great way to get your citizen’s duties donetheir historic and aesthetic values to the concept of with plenty of time to enjoy the temptations of“real estate.” But without conifers the old values summer.will be gone, or will change to something we will not
  7. 7. THE ROADRUNNER 7 AMERICA AT ITS BEST or POPCORN PLAYGROUNDS? Our National Parks. Which will it be? Are there answers to be found in these quotes from speeches made by National Park Historian, Michael Frome?“ The point is that national parks cannot be all things and still be national parks. Prudent and intelligentpeople must realize that unrestrained pressure on the parks for profit is not progress. It serves to make onegeneration rich and to impoverish the future.A place of beauty is like a theatre; it may be built to seat 500 persons—if it is, you dont try to cram 1,000persons into those 500 seats or to give them free reign to do whatever they want.” Michael Frome, “Protecting the Golden Goose” - 1987"National parks, monuments and historic shrines constitute a gallery of America and Americana at theirbest. Unfortunately, over the past half century I have witnessed many, many changes in the parks, some fewfor the better, but others highly damaging and cause for serious concern. Simply stated, these preciousplaces are overused, misused, polluted, inadequately protected, and unmercifully exploited commerciallyand politically—more so in the recent reactionary corporate-controlled Congress than at any time inmemory. Clearly, we the people need to redefine and reassert the rightful role of national parks in the fabricof contemporary high-tech, materialist-driven society. We need to rescue the national parks from beingreduced to popcorn playgrounds." Michael Frome, “National Parks or Theme Parks” - 1998 AROUND THE CHAPTERHighway Handypersons. The Buena Vista the Chapter as possible, everywhere from PineGroup continues to keep their section of the Mountain Club to Visalia. In the month of May thehighway in trim. Not an easy job especially in the Chapter Excom made it to Ridgecrest. Thanks go tosummer heat, but guaranteed to provide a real Stan Haye & Jeanie Stillwell-Haye, Dolph Amster,feeling of satisfaction that comes from doing a Dennis Burge, and Jean Bennett, who hosted thatphysical job with a positive result. Call Glenn meeting. After a friendly discussion of the currentShellcross for further details, 661.832.3382—and political climate over lunch, we moved to the Kerr-keep up the good work. McGee Center for our afternoon business meeting.Looking to the Future. The Kaweah Group met There we heard about topics of concern to ourrecently to plan programs and activities for the fall. desert activists, including management of theNew members are joining the group and things are expanded Red Rock Canyon State Park.really looking up with interesting and attractive Angeleans, Kern Kaweans Meet. Reps of theplans for the days ahead. Next ex-com meeting will Angeles Chapter and Kern Kaweah’s Condorbe held October 28th. It will include discussion of Group met in Palmdale and Lancaster to talk aboutrecent developments of local issues. Call common concerns and began to plan some559.784.4643 for details. “borderline” activities together for the future. TheRaffle Rage. The Condor Group’s meetings trip over from PMC started in a light rainfall andalways have a raffle, a raffle which brings out a lot ended up in a full-blown snowstorm, “icing on theof laughs and good sports. The drawing of cake” of a great meeting with new friends.numbers is a big occasion. The choice of items is Flowers everywhere. Everywhere in the Chapteroutrageous—not to be forgotten is the area there have been wildflowers in greatTransylvanian ”great vampire wine.” The con- abundance. The Gorman Hills were beyond belief.tributors who donated it were not surprised to see it Thousands of people came to take thousands ofreturned to the raffle supply at the next meeting. pictures. (Or was it hundreds of thousands?) In theTaken again as a choice by unwitting raffle winners, Mt. Pinos District of Los Padres there is (nowthose “lucky” folks brought it along to a star- was?) a fantastic display of mariposas in meadowsgazing rendezvous. One taste and it was decided west of PMC. The basic color of the mariposathat the contents should be returned by libation to petals is white with orange-red decorations, withthe vampires if there were any around. occasional deep maroon colors. This year yellowChapter ExCom visits Ridgecrest. Paul Gipe, as and lavender versions of this flower appeared, anchair of the Chapter ExCom, has tried to hold amazing surprise for local flower-lovers.Chapter business meetings in as many locales within
  8. 8. 8 THE ROADRUNNER SIERRA FRAMEWORK THREATENED. HELP!The Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment is a result of 14 years of planning, research, conservation efforts,and a major policy tug-of-war. The Sierra Nevada Framework decision, although far from perfect, is a majorpositive step toward ecologically based conservation planning for this mountain range.In 2001, this historic plan to preserve old growth forests and wildlife in the Sierra was signed by the ForestService. The plan, the Sierra Nevada Framework, changed the direction of the Forest Service fromoverlogging and roadbuilding toward more balance in the forests. It also set in place guidelines to removebrush and small trees near communities to decrease the risk of catastrophic forest fires, while protectingancient forests.But now the Forest Service, under a new administration, wants to weaken protections and let timber companiescut large old growth trees deep in the forest. This plan would go back to the old days of overlogging,threaten the future of many species of wildlife, and double logging in our Sierra Nevada national forests.Tell the agency to keep the Framework in place as agreed to in 2001. Don’t let the Forest Service do anabout-face! The result would be a forest policy indistinguishable from the overcutting of the 1980s, the veryabuses that led to the Framework plan in the first place. Send your comments as soon as possible to the following, deadline September 12:Email: snfpa@fs.fed.us Fax: (801) 517-1014U.S. Mail: Sierra Nevada Forest Plan Amendment SEIS, P. O. Box 221090, Salt Lake City, UT 84122-1090.Copies to the president and other officials of the Forest Service (see below) will help also. FOR YOUR INFORMATION Roadrunner: Next deadline, August 5. Email: jmal@frazmtn.com Mail: PO Box GG, Frazier Park, 93222Federal Government Numbers:President: White House Comment Line: 202.456.1111 e-mail - president@whitehouse.govMail: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, Washington, DC 20500US Capitol Switchboard - 202.224.3121.Sen Barbara Boxer: Sen Diane Feinstein: Common address: 1130 O Street, Ste 2446 Fresno, CA 93721Boxer phone: 559.497.5109 - Fax 559.497.5111Feinstein phone: 559.485.7430 - Fax 202.228.3954California Government Numbers;Gov. Davis: 916.445.2841Calif. Legislative Switchboard (receptionist will help you ID your Senator and Assembly member if you areunsure): 916-322.9900.Local Officials: Check your local phonebook. Often under Government.Other Officials, Agencies Frequently Contacted:Dept of Interior Dir. Gale Norton, Department of the Interior, 1849 C Street, NW, Washington, D.C.US Forest Service: Dale Bosworth. USDA Forest Service, P.O. Box 96090 Washington, D.C., 20090-6090,phone 202.205.8333