November-December 2006 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club


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November-December 2006 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

  1. 1. The Roadrunner A bimonthly publication of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of the Sierra Club — Nov. /Dec. 2006CHAPTER FALL DINNER GATHERING, Saturday, Nov.18 Chinese dinner at Bill Lee’sMark your calendars (Sierra Club, of course) for Saturday, November 18, our annual Chapter FallDinner Gathering. Get your taste buds ready for a delicious 6-course Chinese dinner at Bill Lee’sChinese Chopsticks Restaurant, 1203 18th Street, Bakersfield, 661.324.9441, in Bakersfield. An alwayslively no-host Social Hour begins at 6 PM. Dinner will begin at 7 PM. $16 reserves your completedinner, including tax and tip.During the dinner hour, we will be given special updates by our hard-working Chapter activists. This isan opportunity to learn first-hand about the conversation efforts of our Chapter, and find out how youmay become more involved. After dinner we will have a special presentation on the Giant SequoiaNational Monument by Carla Cloer, tireless warrior for the sequoias.You will also have an opportunity to make your upcoming holidays easier …and support financially theSierra Club while doing that. Sierra Club Calendars and a variety of boxed Sierra Club notecards will be available for purchase at this occasion.Reservations are a must, to be received NO LATER than Wednesday, November 15. Questions? Pleasecall Georgette Theotig, 661.822.4371, in Tehachapi. Send a check (no cash, please) written out to: Kern-Kaweah Chapter, Sierra Club, and mail it to: Georgette Theotig, P.O. Box 38, Tehachapi, CA 93581.Don’t miss an evening of good food, friendship, and enlightenment! KERN KAWEAH CHAPTER ELECTIONSYou are needed! Become a vital part of Club decision making process!Here is your opportunity to serve and to grow in your ability to speak out for goodenvironmental decision making. Contact Bugs Fontaine, Nominating Comm. Chair (661.821.2055) to offer to run for one of the two-year term sixseats on the 2007 executive committee. We need to know your willingness to run bymid-November. I will be waiting to hear from you: Ridgecrest, Tehachapi, Visalia,Frazier Park, Porterville, Visalia, Bakersfield and all points in between. There are threecontinuing members of the committee, so there will certainly be old hands to mentorsome new faces! Will you do it? HUGE SEQUOIA MONUMENT VICTORY THREATENED BY NUNES BILL!On July 11, Congressman Devin Nunes of Californias 21st District introduced bill HR 5760 titled the"Giant Sequoia National Monument Transition Act of 2006," which would allow expired timber sales tobe implemented in the Monument. The purpose of the bill is to arbitrarily counteract the court decisionsof 2005 that halted timber sales grandfathered in by the Proclamation and to overturn the recent
  2. 2. 2 THE ROADRUNNERprotective ruling by Judge Breyer on the suit filed by the Sierra Club, Sequoia ForestKeeper, and otherconcerned organizations against the Forest Services management plan for the Giant Sequoia NationalMonument.The bill, if passed, will allow chainsaws into the Monument before the ink has even dried, leaving us nochoice but to watch as the trees we have worked so hard to protect are cut down and removed for profit.A pending rider if passed would allow the Bush Administration to reverse our other court victories thatprevented logging projects, nation-wide, of 1,000 acres or less from being categorically excluded fromenvironmental impact analysis. Thus, if the rider is passed, timber-cutting projects of less than 1,000acres can go forward with no public review. Although it might not sound like much, 1,000 acres is theequivalent of approximately 1.6 square miles (6,660 feet by 6,660 feet), a very large portion of land todenude of its natural cover.If the rider and the bill are approved, the laws of the land would be rewritten so that these violations cancontinue. These sales would be exempt from comment and appeal by citizens.It is beginning to appear that our only hope for Giant Sequoia National Monument protection is thepassing of the Act to Save Americas Forests (S. 1897), which will remove the Giant Sequoia NationalMonument from Forest Service control, and place it in the care of the National Park Service,HR 5760, which was referred to the Committee on Agriculture as well as the Committee on Resourcesfor review, could be voted on in the Resources Committee in the House of Representatives by theResources Committee in the House of Representatives at any time. We are asking you to immediatelycall your members of Congress TODAY and ask them to vote no on the Giant Sequoia NationalMonument Transition Act of 2006 (HR 5760), and to support The Act to Save Americas Forests (S.1897). By Ara Marderosian, Conservation Chair of Chapter and Sequoia Forestkeeper.IT HAS BEEN ASKED…. How are the topics printed in the Roadrunner chosen and presented?Sierra Club newsletters are dedicated to discussing topics of relevance to the goals of the SierraClub as determined by its members. Obviously these topics are centered on our naturalenvironment and the effects of humans on that environment. What stances are taken isdetermined locally, statewide and nationally by the many various means of input offered by theClub.A major part of our Roadrunner articles come from activists in our local Chapter. These personsare part of or are chairpersons of committees that have been formed to discuss and deal withissues of concern and write with that background experience, experience that grants the writers arespected level of authority Other information comes from our national and state staffs, whichare responsive to input from members.In addition: Does every person in the Sierra Club agree with every other person’s views? Not onyour life, as participants in all levels of decision making soon discover. But no matter if one’sviews are accepted or not, being an active part of the process is sure to increase one’sunderstanding of the topics under consideration and the rationales for positions taken.We urge everyone to take up the challenge of mental exploration in addition to physicalexploration of the planet whose future is the hands of decision makers of which you as a voterare one. Take advantage of the opportunities to participate more directly in the Sierra Club’sconservation activities of your choice—local, chapter, state and or national and become an evermore informed and effective decision maker.
  3. 3. THE ROADRUNNER 3 KERN KAWEAH ROUND-UPPLEASE READ 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: You must be in condition for type of hike, equipped appropriately for theactivity, and prepared to sign a Sierra Club release from liability. You must be willing to follow leader’s directions. Unprepared for theprospective hike? It will be a no-go for you. Please let the leader know ahead of time that you are intending to participate. Customaryappropriate equipment includes good hiking shoes, plenty of water, snack, sunglasses, sun tan lotion, layered clothing. Long pantsrecommended. Change of plans may be necessary. It is always wise to call before coming to a listed activity.Buena Vista Group More info? Call Donnel Lester, 661.831.6784 or Isabel at 661.246.6195.Buena Vista Group’s monthly free program meetings are the first Saturday of each month, usually heldat 8:30AMat Hill House (700 Truxtun Avenue, Bakersfield, opposite the Beale Library). Breakfast isavailable for about $7.Join us on the Every Tuesday Conditioning Hikes. 7 PM, 4–5 miles. Corners of Highways 178 &184. Gordon 661.872.2432 or Larry 661.873.8107Oct 28 (Sat) (we hope the RR arrrives early enough for you to offer to volunteer) BVG participates inMake a Difference Day Health/Environmental Fair at Mervyn’s Plaza (W of 99 onCalifornia). Volunteers are sought to man a BVG Sierra Club table in two-hour shifts from 8 a.m. to 2p.m. This national event is coordinated locally by Keep Bakersfield Beautiful.Nov 4 (Sat) (Note meeting place change) We are going on location to Lassens Health Food Store -California Ave. in Mervyn’s Plaza just west of Hwy 99. Socialize at 8:30 a.m. and order up a healthybreakfast (optional) for about $5 - $8, program at 9:00. Lassens manager, Jay Escover, will talk aboutorganic foods and answer our questions. Q? Call Donnel at 831-6784.Dec 2 (Sat), were back at Hill House for the film: “The Long View: A Plan to Save Our OceanFish”. Join us at 8:30 at the Hill House, 700 Truxtun Ave., for coffee, optional breakfast anddiscussion.The "Adopt-A-Highway" cleanup - normally scheduled for the third Saturday of each month - will beon hiatus this November, due to the Chapter banquet, and in December due to the holidays. We resumehighway cleanup next year.* In August, Isabel Stierle, BVG member, attended the Sierra Club Statewide Lobby Day inSacramento. Participants received training on lobbying and information on two pending pieces oflegislation: -Senate Bill 1125 (Offshore oil drilling revenue to fund resource conservation) and-Assembly Bill 32 (CA Global warming solutions) which was signed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. This wasan opportunity to meet several of the local legislators*In September, members spoke before Kern Co. Planning Commission in opposition to inclusion ofPoso Creek and its watershed in the 11,000-acre Bakersfield State Off-highway Vehicle Park which is inearly planning stages for just north of Bakersfield on the former Wofford Ranch.*BVG hosted a New Member Pizza Party in October to give newbies an opportunity to get acquainted,socialize and meet some of us oldtimers. We are very happy to report that 12 interested personsattended.Condor Group For further information call Mary Ann Lockhart (661.242.0432) or email: MeetsPine Mountain Club. Call Dale Chitwood, 661.242.1076, for hike info. WANT INFORMATION ABOUT TEJON,WATER, TRAFFIC AND MUCH MORE??? LOOK AT http://www.cuddyvalley.orgNov 24 (Sat) Hike Day but we do not know at this writing where we are going! The Los Padres DayFire (the day after day after day fire)” hiked” all over the land and there has not been opportunity tocheck possible spots. Please call Dale, 661.242.2201 for information.
  4. 4. 4 THE ROADRUNNERDec 2nd (Sat) Holiday Happenings. We are not sure what we will be doing! But it will be in the PoolPavilion Room of the PMC Clubhouse. 6 PM Potluck followed by ???????. (Local members will get apostcard reminder.)Kaweah Group More info? call Pam, 559.784.4643 or Diane, 559.781.8897.Holiday party is coming up. Call Pam for place and time.Mineral King Group. More info? Call Chair Kim Loeb. 559.798.1764. Please visit mineralking. formore info on group events and activities.Nov 8 (Wed) 6 PM – Dinner Social at Royal Indian Cuisine, 4545-B W. Noble Ave., Visalia. PleaseRSVP to Bev at 559.732.3785 or 18 (Sat) 8 AM – Outing – Hike to falls in Wishon area above Porterville – This is amoderate hike of 6 miles round trip. Meet at 8 AM in the parking lot by Taco Bell in MarysVineyard. Call Joanne at 732-2078 or Allen at 739-8087 if you plan to go or for more info. All minorsmust have a signed parent form.Nov 27 (Mon) 5:30 PM – Executive Committee Meeting at Baker’s Square Restaurant, 3301 S.Mooney Blvd., Visalia. All members welcome. To RSVP, contact Bev at 732-3785 15 (Fri) 5:30 PM – Dinner Social at El Tarasco with Audubon Society, 208 W. Main St.,Visalia. Please RSVP to Bev at 559.732.3785 or 15 (Fri) 7 PM – Joint Meeting of the Tulare Co. Audubon Society and the Mineral KingGroup – At this year’s joint meeting, the Bicycle, Pedestrian & Waterways Committee of Visalia willbe giving a presentation. In addition to current projects, committee representatives will be discussingsome great future projects they have planned. This meeting will be at the Tulare County Office ofEducation at the corner of Woodland and Burrel Avenues in Visalia.Dec 16 (Sat) 9 AM – Outing – Come see the Grant Grove in winter with the nationsChristmasTree covered with a blanket of snow – We will explore the Grant Grove area and possibly go on asnowshoe walk if we can coordinate it with the Park Service. In any case, this will be a great time to seethe redwoods in winter. We will meet at Taco Bell at Marys Vineyard at 9 AM. Be sure to bring warmclothing and chains for your vehicle. Major winter storm on the day of the outing or road closurescancels. Call Allen at 739-8087 if you plan to go or for more info. All minors must have a signed Peak Group For further information call Dennis Burge, Chair 760.375.7967 Jim Nichols, Hikes760.375.8161 email: Ridgecrest, Maturango MuseumNov 18 (Sat) HAIWEE PASS (Haiwee Pass is a low point on the Sierra Crest W of Haiwee Reservoir,8180 ft elevation; 3100 ft gain; 8.2 mi RT) This will be a good Nov workout. And since you will comeback the same trail, you can turn around wherever you want and get however strenuous a workout youwant. Haiwee Pass is a route to the S Fork of the Kern River, and this trail is used by hunters, horsemen,and fishermen. There is supposed to be a "Soda Springs" along the way and we will attempt to find itwith GPS. Moderate hike due to distance and elevation gain. Meet Sat, Nov 18 at 7:30 AM at theRidgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Dennis Burge at (760) 375-7967 or Jim Nichols at (760)375-8161for more info.Nov. 27(mon.) AUSTRALIA-NEWZEALAND COMBO 7:30 pm. Steve Smith will show and tell usabout his trip to Queensland, Australia and the North Island of NewZealand. At Maturango Museum.Dec 9 or 10 (Sat or Sun) LOOKOUT CITY AND STONE CANYON ( Lookout Mtn, Lookout City,and Stone Canyon are just S of Panamint Springs on the W side of Panamint Valley, 5600 ft elevation;2500 ft gain, 9 mi RT) Date TBD after Oct 16. Lookout City housed the miners and smelters that used
  5. 5. THE ROADRUNNER 5the charcoal from the Wildrose Charcoal Kilns. The city was on the eastern approach to Darwin, wherethe charcoal was also used. There are ample ruins at the mines and city sites we will explore first. Wewill then follow the road up Stone Canyon as it heads for Darwin. There are cabins and mines along thisroute. Time and the short day will determine how far up the canyon we can get. Great photo ops andmuch history here. Moderate due to length and elevation gain. Meet Sat or Sun (TBD), Dec 9 or 10 at7:30 AM at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. We will notify as to which date by email or call DennisBurge at (760) 375-7967 or Jim Nichols at (760) 375-8161 after Oct 16 for more info. IN FOND REMEMBRANCE Jim Clark, beloved Chapter elder, passed away last spring, at the age of 99 years young. Jim’scommitment to the Sierra Club and environmental protection can be honored in a special way. You canmake a memorial donation in Jim Clark’s honor in one of two ways 1) Send a memorial contribution toNational Audubon Society-Kern River Preserve Friends (NAS-KRPR), P.O. Box 833, Weldon, CA,93283 or, 2) Send a memorial contribution directly to Sierra Club, Kern-Kaweah Chapter, P.O. Box 38,Tehachapi, CA, 93581. to be used you know how.Mark Ganopole Hickok, one of the founders of the Kern Kaweah Chapter and honored with thesecond Kern Kaweah Cup Award in 1956, died on June 19th in Alaska. After her move to the far north,she was instrumental in founding the Anchorage Sierra Club Chapter. She worked diligently to save theNorth Slope, now a part of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge. In addition, she served four years on the NationalSierra Club Board. A inspiring example of activism and persistence for all of us in these difficult times.Mary Ann H. Henry of Ridgecrest passed away on August 11, 2006. She lived a full life of 88years, 59 of those in Ridgecrest. Mary Ann had a love of the beauty and natural history foundin the mountains and deserts. She taught herself the local flora and was a respected amateurbotanist who eagerly shared her knowledge. She was a tenacious and prodigious campaignerto protect the area. She helped get wilderness protection for three areas in the Southern Sierra,and helped place the Eureka Valley Sand Dunes into Death Valley National Park. Mary Annand her husband Ronald received the Sierra Club Cup award, as well as the Long Trail Award.The Kern Kaweah Chapter extends on behalf of its members most sincere condolences to all thefamilies of the loyal supporters whose passings have been recorded above. KERN KAWEAH CHAPTER OFFICERS AND MEMBERS for 2006:Chair: Lorraine Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569; Vice-chair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371; Secretary: HarryLove (Bksf), 661.589.6245; Treasurer: Janet Wood (Min King); Treasurer liaison: Richard Garcia (Min King), 559.592.9865; Mary Ann Lockhart (PMC), 661.242.0432; Ara Marderosian (Kernville), 760.378.4206, Gordon Nipp (Bksf),661.872.2432; Arthur Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569 Meetings: All Sierra Club members welcome to attend. Call Chair to verify meeting times, places.
  6. 6. 6 THE ROADRUNNER Voters Must Make Critical Decisions November7th In what has become the norm, the November7th ballot will be filled with a wide range of issues placedthere by the Legislature and by advocates pushing initiatives. Sierra Club California has taken positionson a number of these measures because they directly relate to the issues we care about. Some of thesemeasures are very controversial and the stakes are high, so you strongly encouraged to read-up andvote! A summary of each measure with the position adopted by the statewide conservation committeeand Sierra Club California Executive Committee follows. Proposition 1b – Transportation Bond: NO POSITION or neutral.Proposition 1c – Housing Bond: SUPPORT. $2.85 billion bond measure. will facilitate affordablehousing, provide money to local governments to provide infrastructure for transit-oriented developmentand money for planning for infill development. . Proposition 1d – Schools Bond: SUPPORT. This is a $10.4 billion bond measure for schoolmodernization and to reduce school overcrowding.Proposition 1e – Levees and Flooding Bond: NEUTRAL. This is a $4 billion bond measure that wouldallow deteriorating levees in the Sacramento River system, including the Delta, to be fixed. Thelegislation that authorized this measure provides for a streamlined permitting process, but not anexemption for any environmental review or permitting process. Also, the footprint of the levees cannotbe expanded. Proposition 84 – Water Supply/Quality and Parks Bond: SUPPORT. This is a $5.3 billion bond thatwould allow for improvements to quality of local drinking water supplies, conservation of open space,streams, and forests through increased purchase of parks and conservation easement, and water qualitywork including for clean beaches. Monies from the park bond measures passed by voters over the lasteight years are nearly gone. Proposition 85 – Parental Notification for Abortions: OPPOSE. Would require parental consent or acourt order prior to a woman under the age of 18 receiving an abortion. Many health care groups opposethe measure because it could encourage illegal, unsafe, amateur abortions. Sierra Cub has had takenpro-choice positions since 1969Proposition 87 – The Clean Energy Initiative: SUPPORT. $4 billion dollar effort to reduce California’sdependence on gasoline and diesel by 25% over 10 years, through incentives to make alternative fuelvehicles and fuels more widely available. $ to be raised by tax on all barrels of oil extracted fromCalifornia land or water areas .Proposition 89 – The Clean Money Initiative: SUPPORT. Enact public financing of politicalcampaigns, set new limits on political contributions and expenditures.Proposition 90 – Eminent Domain and Damages: OPPOSE. Defeating this measure is of the highestpriority for all environmental groups in the state. This measure is an extremely important for all thatthe Sierra Club works on. The proponent, a wealthy East Coast developer and well-known Libertarian,claim it’s just about stopping the abuse of eminent domain by local governments; hence they call it the“Save Our Homes” initiative. But, we have re-labeled is as the “Taxpayer Trap” initiative because of ahidden provision that says that basically any regulatory action a city, county, or state agency takes couldbe termed as “damaging” the value of private property. This amendment to the State Constitution wouldboth result in billions of dollars of taxpayer money being spent on litigation and payouts for bogusdamages, and in local and state agencies being reluctant to regulate the uses that affect our air, water,and land. The Coastal Commission, the State Air and Water Boards, Fish and Game, and local zoningand planning bodies would all be adversely affected if this passes. By Bill Allayaud, State LegislativeDirector, Sierra Club California
  7. 7. THE ROADRUNNER 7 Midgebuzzings Intensity in the pursuit of environmental problems can only be good. Locally, such scrutiny andfocus have resulted in some remarkable achievements, the Golden Trout Wilderness and the SequoiaMonument being stellar examples. Currently, concessions by the housing industry are being made,thanks to hard work by Sierra Club members. The result is more responsible building by developers. Even so, those of us who remember the early days of the chapter find ourselves thinking of simplertimes when environmental gatherings focused as much on such things as outings and shared experiencesin wilderness as they did upon serious problems. Our friend Christena Geyer was chapter chair in the 80’s at the advent of the Reagan administrationand the appointment of James Watt to the post of chief environmental officer for the nation. In additionto her many responsibilities as chair, Chris was an excellent backpacker who never missed any of thehikes led by Joe and Bugs Fontaine in celebration of the new Golden Trout wilderness area. She boastedthat rain wouldn’t dare come when she was on a backpack, and it never did. Chris could walk all day,and then whip up a good dinner on her little stove before bedding down for a sound sleep on anysurface, from snow to bare granite. Her stories were among the funniest and best around the campfires.But for all her toughness and sense of fun, she couldn’t ignore the escalation of serious threats to theenvironment that now take up most of our energy as environmentalists, and.she remains a strongsupporter of efforts to preserve the health of the earth.Today Chris is eighty years old, and sports a new hip. She is a resident of the Rosewood RetirementCommunity where, consistent with her incredible luck, she landed the suite with the most beautifulview. From her apartment on the fourth floor, she looks out through sliding glass doors into the boughsof huge redwood trees, so she is still in her beloved woods. And if you think “retirement” meanshanging around Rosewood, forget it. A few weeks ago she took her young granddaughter to theGalapagos Islands, and she has just returned from a cruise on a cousin’s yacht in Puget Sound. More than seven years her junior, I told her with great excitement about my first experience of kayakingthis summer. I assumed that she’d given that sort of thing up years ago. In fact, she informed me that shehad kayaked with her granddaughter in the ocean off the Galapagos, and then again from the yacht inPuget Sound! Now the two of us are talking about renting kayaks in Moro Bay some time soon. I thinkChris will appreciate this “expression” that came from my first kayaking experience across HuntingtonLake and back. Here it is, in dedication to her spirit: How could I know the way it feels? A paddle going deep, pulling my fiberglass shuttle through the woof of wind and wakes of sailboats leaning against their keels; an osprey crying out over the lake with his catch in one talon, cutting through swoops of competitive eagles as I cut through whitecaps and the traffic of summertime sailors. Oh when shall we do this together?
  8. 8. 8 THE ROADRUNNER HAPPY HOLIDYS enjoy any and all, whatever, however you choose FOR MANY, IT IS ALSO GIFT TIME and here are some simple suggestions 2007 Sierra Calendars wall and engagement, $10 each Call Georgette (661-822-4371), or Pam (559-784-4643) in Porterville. SIERRA CLUB NOTECARDS $12 PER BOX, VARYING SCENES All items available at Nov banquet. Create an Environmental Legacy Bequests have played a key role in the Sierra Club’s environmental successes over the years. Planning now may make your gift more meaningful, reduce taxes on your estate. Call John Calaway director of gift planning 800.932.4270 or WANT ADSJob: Banquet chair, spring banquet Job: Treasurer of Kern Kaweah ChapterExperience required: None Experience required: Love of numbers, balancedcheck book,Equipment needed: computer, telephone Equipment needed: computer, telephone,Job Description: make contact with caterer, Job description: Compiling financial information from all groupssend out flyer, collect reservation money, write Roadrunner article in form required by National Sierra club and IRSTime of employment: January–April every year Time of employment : all year jobSalary: smiles, gratitude, and success Salary: smiles, much gratitude,Tools Given: contact info binder, Tools: training, assistance when neededdisk with general information, many volunteer helpers. Interested? Want more information? Contact LorraineInterested? Want more information?Contact Harry Love (661.589.6245),retiring banquet chair. Available as a consultant.
  9. 9. THE ROADRUNNER 9 Touches of Beauty and Pleasure amidst those objects of passionate and much needed protection, the SequoiasFolks from all over California enjoyed one of the best Sequoia National Monument Outings yet. Peoplestarted arriving at Quaking Aspen on Friday afternoon and by nine oclock, tents dotted the landscapeand voices of friends meeting for the first time filled the crisp night air.On Saturday morning, 25 people ages 8 to 70 hiked from our campground down the Nelson Trailthrough golden quaking aspen trees and clear mountain breezes. We wound through the Wheel Meadowand Belknap Groves on what is now the only remaining gentle natural trail in Sequoia NationalMonument.We stopped at the sequoia stand called the Five Sisters in memory of Dan Utt, the founder of the TuleRiver Conservancy, then broke for lunch in a delightful clearing along the south fork of the middle forkof the Tule River. Later, we made our wishes at the Wishbone Tree and crossed Boulder Creek towaiting shuttle cars.In the afternoon we climbed Dome Rock to see the glaciated Kern Canyon, the ever-changing site of theMcNally Fire, and glimpses of distant peaks in Sequoia Park. Our last stop was the Trail of 100 Giantswith its recently cleared slopes, countless stumps, and denuded stream reminding us that even in thisshowcase for Forest Service sequoia management we were not going to find sensitive treatment.Happy hour led to our potluck dinner and an amazing variety of foods. A few more folks joined us andas the temperature dropped we gathered closer to the fire and toasted new friends and a fewmarshmallows.On Sunday morning we hiked the newly reconstructed Freeman Creek trail. Participants called it a dustylogging road and questioned where all that loose dirt was going when the rains came. We walked twoand three abreast noting that the trail was banked so that bicyclists wouldnt have to slow on the curves.All agreed that no historic trail should have such bulldozed treatment--ever. After spending time in aunique group of sequoia, we left to pack for home.This outing was gratifying because of the genuine concern of the participants. They understood howmany times we have celebrated victories that supposedly saved this wondrous place, and how eachvictory has been followed by yet more threats.Agreements are ignored and proclamations are perverted; our recent court victory is now threatened byCongressman Nuñess attempt to circumvent the ruling in a Congress blinded by corporations. As Muirnoted, this is indeed an eternal battle.As I departed the deserted campsite, Oregon juncos were scurrying through the bushes while thecampground chipmunk scavenged for tidbits. Rain began to fall, erasing the evidence we had ever beenthere. Would that decades of damage from irresponsible management could be as easily remedied! Ipray that future managers find the wisdom to nurture these ancient forests so that unborn generations canexperience the same awe and renewal of spirit as we did -- and that somehow we find the heart to keepfighting. Note: The Sequoia Task Force Outing is an annual event. It was held September 29-October1. Leaders were Carla Cloer, Ara Marderosian and Rich Kangas.