September-October 2009 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club


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September-October 2009 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

  1. 1. A BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB SEPT./OCTOBER, 2009The Roadrunner FALL BANQUET PROGRAM NOV. 7 AT RICE BOWL Outings chair Jim Nichols to offer photos and stories about remote places in the Eastern Sierra If an evening filled with great Blackrock Wells, Lookout City, orfriends and conversation, a hot Colorful Canyon? Enjoy visitingsavory Chinese dinner, and a these splendid sites from thelively, engaging program sounds comfort of your chair as Jimappealing to you, make plans to “leads” us to these remote,join the chapter for the annual fall captivating places.dinner. The chapter is looking for new This year, we will gather on outings leaders, so some of youSaturday, Nov. 7, for a six-course will be inspired to become leadersChinese dinner (with two as you visit these places duringvegetarian entrees) at the Rice the program.Bowl restaurant, 1119 18TH Reservations are a must, to beStreet, Bakersfield. The social received no later than Thursday,hour begins at 5 p.m, with a no- Nov. 5. Please send checks only,host bar. Dinner starts at 6 p.m., and no walk-ins will be accepted.followed by announcements and Questions? Call Georgetteprogram at 7:30 p.m. The cost of Theotig (661.822.4371). Again,$17 per person includes a please send a check (no cash,complete dinner, tax, and tip. please) written out to: SIERRA “Gems of the Eastern High CLUB, KERN-KAWEAHSierra and the High Desert” is our CHAPTER, and mail it to:program presented by Chapter Georgette Theotig, P.O. Box 38, Banquet speaker Jim NicholsOutings Chair Jim Nichols. Jim Tehachapi, CA, 93581. You maywill combine beautiful photos of use the form on the back page of Don’t miss this evening of livelyscenic 4WD drive and hiking the Roadrunner. Sierra Club camaraderie and fundestinations of the High Mojave Please note: our reservation – we are sure you’ll have a greatDesert and the adjacent Sierra policy states that we cannot return time and maybe even get inspiredNevada mountain range with checks if you do not attend the to become a chapter outingsSierra Club Outings information. dinner. As always, our new 2010 leader! See you Nov. 7 at the Rice Ever heard of Malpais Mesa, Sierra Club calendars will be Bowl!Haiwee Pass, or Jurassic Peak? available. —Chapter Chair Georgette Theotig CHAPTER SUPPORTS CAMP KEEP AT MONTANO DE ORO PARK Recently the Kern-Kaweah Chapter donated $1000 never get to go to camp, are treated to a one week to support the KEEP Foundation. The Kern County outdoor experience. Your chapter has made smaller Superintendent of Schools operates their KEEP donations in the past, mostly to pay for one or two program to promote environmental education. Their “camperships,” but this year the Executive mission promotes a greater respect for our Committee felt that a larger sum was needed due to environment and provides non-advocacy our local economy ailing. Mineral King members environmental and scientific experiences for our are looking into expending a similar sum for youth. Presently the Kern Environmental Education SCICON in Tulare County, which has the same Fund (KEEP) manages one outdoor camp in mission. Montano de Oro State Park. Children who might —Richard Louv
  2. 2. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009 WATER ISSUES IN VALLEYSan Joaquin Valley levels have dropped nearly 400 feet since 1961, she said.aquifer has been The current drought has aggravatedshrinking since 1961 this problem. "In most years, especially in the San Californias San Joaquin Valley has Joaquin Valley, the groundwaterlost 60 million acre-feet of pumping exceeds the recharge," saidgroundwater since 1961, according to a Faunt, a USGS hydrologist. "Withnew federal study. recent times, those groundwater levels Then drought came in the late This is among the findings in a have dropped back down close to 1970s, and surface water diversionsrecent massive study of groundwater in historical lows." were cut back, as they have beenCalifornias Central Valley by the U.S. The study is part of a project by the during the current three-year drought.Geological Survey. It helps shed light USGS to update groundwater data In both periods, farmers relied moreon the mysteries and dangers of around the country that dates to the heavily on groundwater, and aquifersCalifornias groundwater consumption, 1980s. USGS chose to begin in the declined again.which is mostly unregulated. Central Valley because the region is so The current drought has caused According to the study, groundwater important to the nations food supply. aquifers to drop again by nearly 400pumping continues to cause the valley The study took five years and cost $1 feet, to near the historic low.floor to sink, a problem known as million. "Overall, theres a loss insubsidence. Subsidence threatens the California is the only state in which groundwater," Faunt said, amountingstability of surface structures such as groundwater use is almost completely to about 60 million acre-feet sincethe 444-mile California Aqueduct, unregulated. California well owners 1961.which delivers drinking water to more are not required to report pumping or One consequence has been landthan 20 million people. consumption patterns. subsidence over vast areas of the San The Central Valley is Americas After 1900, when large-scale farming Joaquin Valley. The most severe droplargest farming region; its also the began in the Central Valley, water is about 29 feet near Mendota, whichsingle-largest zone of groundwater tables dropped significantly as wells occurred before the canals were built,pumping. About 20 percent of were drilled to feed crops. Aquifers said Al Steele, an engineeringgroundwater pumped in America eventually dropped about 400 feet geologist at the state Department ofcomes from under the Central Valley, compared with pre-1900 levels. This Water Resources in Fresno.said Claudia Faunt, the studys project was part of the impetus to build the “Thats a three-story building,chief. state and federal canal systems in the almost," he said. The...compacted In the Sacramento Valley, the study 1960s that divert water from the aquifer often loses its ability to storefound groundwater levels have Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. water.”remained stable. Virtually all of the Switching farms to this new surface —Matt Weisergroundwater loss has occurred in the water supply allowed aquifers to The Sacramento Bee (July 13, 2009)San Joaquin Valley, where aquifer recover.VIEWPOINTS: Water shortages call for intelligent choices There are better ways to deal with California’s water shortage Four fifths of the water is for agriculture. That water should gothan to render the Delta smelt or other endangered fish extinct. to the land that produces the most food or fiber per unit of water.Doing that only allows us to further degrade the San Joaquin – Our cities should not sprawl onto such land. Land that contains aSacramento River Delta. That would impact Chinook salmon and lot of salt, so that it requires water to push the salt down belowother creatures. Delta problems are a chief reason why fishing for the root zone, should not be farmed. Westlands water district hasChinook salmon is forbidden this year. Fishing for Chinook such soil.salmon used to employ over 300 people. Farmers should also continue to use water more efficiently. This Here is how we can conserve water so that there is enough to includes much more use of subsurface drip irrigation. Californiamaintain Delta flows of fresh water into the sea. should grow crops that can not be produced in such abundance elsewhere. This includes fruits, nuts and vegetables, not thirsty One fifth of the water that leaves the delta is for domestic and crops like cotton and cattle feed. California does not need toindustrial use. All homes should have low flow toilets and aerator produce one fifth of America’s milk, especially since most of itshowers and faucets. There are attractive plants that use much less comes from concentrated animal feeding operations where cowswater than the typical suburban lawn and plants. The center are given antibiotics and fed a diet not suited to their digestivedivide of roads and the sides of highways should only have plants system so that they produce more methane than grass fed cattle.that require minimal amounts of water. We should not use poolsand fountains to decorate our streets, parks or yards; theseevaporate water. —Ex Com Board Member Arthur Unger
  3. 3. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009Club helps dedicate new John Krebs Wilderness on July 25 Two hundred wilderness Photo left toenthusiasts gathered at Mineral King right: Tomin Sequoia National Park on July 25 Bohegian,to celebrate the dedication of the aide toJohn Krebs Wilderness. Senator Boxer; Kevin Long time chapter members will Hendricks,remember that in 1965 Sequoia Chief ParkNational Forest proposed developing Ranger;the Mineral King area as a Craig Axtel,destination ski resort. The bid to the speaker,develop the ski area was awarded to Park Super-the Walt Disney Corporation. The intendent;Disney plan called for a year around Congressmandestination resort that would Jim Costa;accommodate 1.7 million visitors per and former Congressmanyear, 16,000 people at one time in John Krebs.the Mineral King Valley and in thewinter 7,000 skiers on the slopes atone time. Numerous ski lifts would the Kern-Kaweah chapter asked the stepped in and introduced a bill toradiate out of the valley up to the Sierra Club Board of Directors to add Mineral King to Sequoiatops of all the surrounding ridges make opposition to the proposal a National Park. The bill passed in thewith warming huts at the top of each national priority. After a pep talk by fall of 1978. It was an election yearlift to provide views of the back David Brower they agreed. The and Krebs was not reelected, manycountry of Sequoia National Park. Sierra Club decided to use a new tool believe because his bill precluded A high speed highway with a to achieve its goal, litigation. The development at Mineral King.capacity of 700 cars per hour was case went all of the way to the Therefore it is fitting that the areaproposed to replace the winding 25 Supreme Court of the United States. around Mineral King added to themile road. Of course you know who The Court did not rule on the merits Wilderness System earlier this yearwould pay for that highway—the of our case. Instead they said we did is named in honor of John Krebs. Wetaxpayers of California. not have proper standing to sue the all owe him a debt of gratitude for Alarmed by the magnitude of the government. We now had the option his political courage and hisproject which would create immense to revise our case to create legal determination to do what was rightenvironmental damage to Mineral standing and go back to court. for our fragile wild places.King itself and the pristine remote But that was not necessary. —Joe Fontainewild areas of Sequoia National Park, Congressman John Krebs of Fresno Sierra Club Past-PresidentJean Bennett leaves was a highly decorated research Russia, Brazil, physicist who was widely known for Japan and Taiwan.generous bequest to her contributions to the study of An avid outdoors- optical surfaces.Kern-Kaweah chapter Bennett received her B.A. in woman, she was an active member of physics from Mt. Holyoke College in Jean M. Bennett (1930-2008) of 1951 and did her graduate work at the Sierra Club.Ridgecrest has recently left a bequest Penn State University where she She was a longtimeof $75,000 in undesignated funds to received a PhD in physics in 1955. life member and served as thethe Kern-Kaweah Chapter of Sierra She came to the Navy Lab at China secretary or treasurer of the OwensClub. Paperwork must be completed Lake in 1956. Bennett authored Peak Group for a number of the national level before the several books, including Introduction She enjoyed kayaking in the Alaskanchapter receives the donation, to Surface Roughness and wilderness and hiking mountainaccording to Lorraine Unger, local Scattering. She also authored or co- trails throughout the world. She wastreasurer. authored more than 100 articles in proud to be a member of the first Bennett, the first female president scientific journals, served as a guest group to be allowed to kayak throughof the Optical Society of America, professor in several countries, the Grand Canyon without an officialdied on July 18, 2008 after a seven- including Sweden, Japan and guide.month illness. She was 78. Bennett Australia, and lectured in Europe. —Dennis Burge, Owens Peak Group
  4. 4. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009KERN KAWEAH ROUNDUPPLEASE READ CAREFULLY IF YOU PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN SIERRA CLUB HIKES:Everyone is welcome, Sierra Club members and non-members, to join in any of the outdoor activities. Requirements: Youmust be in condition for the type of hike, equipped appropriately for the activity and prepared to sign a Sierra Club releasefor liability. You must be willing to follow the leader’s directions. Be sure to bring any personal medicines you might need.Customary appropriate equipment includes good hiking shoes, plenty of water, snack, sunglasses, suntan lotion, and layeredclothing. The following might be helpful but definitely is not required: compass, whistle, matches or lighter, and a good firstaid kit. Long paints are recommended. Unprepared for the prospective hike? It will be a no-go for you. Participation mustbe leader approved. Please let the leader know ahead of time that you are intending to participate. Check individual grouplistings for the desired means of communication.Since unexpected change of plans may be necessary, it is recommended that YOU contact the hike leader the night before tobe assured that the hike is still going to happen.New California legislation designed to protect the consumer requires us to publish this notice: CST 2087755-40. Registration as a seller oftravel does not constitute approval by the State of California. This legislation is designed to protect the user of outdoor activities thatrequire cash payments of more than $50 for participation.BUENA VISTA GROUP More info? Call Donnel Lester at 661.831.6784 or e-mail or Isabel at 661.246.6195. Saturday, Sept 5, 10 a.m.—“Cameroon, Africa: A Traveler’s Observations on Environmental and Global Issues by Isabel Stierle, chairperson of Buena-Vista Group, Sierra Club and professor of biology at BakersfieldCollege. Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Avenue at the corner of Truxtun and Westwind, just west of Oak St. Brunch is served for$7.50/person (tip not included). Info: 661.246.6195.Saturday, Sept. 19, 9-11 a.m.—Adopt-A-Highway cleanup. Meet at the corner of Old River Road and Highway 119. Bring water, a hat,and good hiking shoes. We will provide gloves and cleanup gear. For info call 661.319.6996.Saturday, Oct 3, 10 a.m.—Documentary movie: “Flow” (2007). This movie sheds light on the worldwide issues associated with thedwindling supply of water and the ever-increasing corporate movement to privatize and profit from this limited resource. ( Camino Real Restaurant (See location in Sept 5. entry) 661.246.6195.Saturday, Oct 17, from 9 - 11a.m.—Adopt-A-Highway cleanup. Meet at the corner of Old River Road and Highway 119. Bring water, ahat, and good hiking shoes. We will provide gloves and cleanup gear. For info call 661.319.6996.Saturday, Oct. 24—City of Bakersfield “Make a Difference Day” Fair. This event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Lassen’s on CaliforniaAvenue will feature eco-friendly products to the public and offer residents a chance to drop off various recyclable and reusable items, suchas used motor oil filters, e-waste (computers, televisions, cell phones, etc), clothes, tires, and polystyrene (styrofoam). Buena Vista isplanning a booth at the fair. For more info, call Olimpia Frederick 326.3114 or 326.3535.Meeting Notices—To receive Buena Vista Group meeting and activity notices by email, please contact Donnel Lester,, with Add me to the email list. You can opt out of the email notices at any time. We try to limit this to once-a-month emails.CONDOR GROUPMore info? Mary Ann Lockhart 661.242.0432. LOCAL HIKES: Meet at PMC Clubhouse, 8 a.m.Bring a little lunch, personal medicines, and water. Wear good shoes. Please call Dale Chitwood tomake your reservation: 661.242.0432.
  5. 5. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009Saturday, Sept 26—Our local San Emigdio Range. It’s a walk on the road up to the top and then over to the quarry. Grand views fromthe top toward the Valley on one side and the Mt. Pinos Range and beyond on the other side. 4.8 miles. 7500 ft altitude on top. Meet 8a.m., PMC parking lot. Call 661.242.0432 to make reservation.Saturday, Oct 3— ELK, from birth to fulltime residents at Bittercreek Wildlife Refuge. Mike Stockton, manager of the refuge, willtell the story and present his pictures of these relatively new additions to the wonders of this protected area. Great pictures and a livelypresentation will assure a most informative and pleasure-filled evening. 6 p.m., potluck, 7 p.m. program. Pool Pavilion Room, PineMountain Clubhouse. All are welcome.Saturday, Oct 10—A Visit to Bittercreek Wildlife Refuge. .You will see a feeding and roosting site for condors and hopefully, condors.Departure is from PMC parking lot 8 a.m.. Return noon or so. Bring your cameras, a snack, and dress for an outing. Limited walking!You must sign up for this trip:call 661.242.0432) and be sure to call 661.242.0432 the day before to make sure it is a go!There will be no hikes scheduled for October (because of the dangers of hunting season.KAWEAH GROUPMore info? Call Pam Clark at 559.784.4643 or Diane Jetter at 559.781.8897.Thursday, Sept. 17—Ex Com and event planning meeting. 7 p.m. at Clark house.Call 559.784.4643 for details.OWENS PEAK GROUPMore info? Chair Dennis Burge at 760.375.7967 or e-mail Jim Nichols,hikes at 760.375.8161 or e-mail, Sept. 19—SPARKPLUG MINE (20 mi NE of Biship in the White Mnts, 9100 ft max elev, 3200 ft elev gain (1500 ftoptional), 8.2 mi RT (4.2 mi optional)) The Sparkplug Mine is a photographic, geologic, and historic treasure without peer. From thetrailhead at 5,900 ft, we climb two miles and 1,700 feet to the mine camp, and an additional two miles and 1,500 feet to the mine. We willdepart A J’s Market in Chalfant (13 miles north of Bishop on Highway 6) at 8 a.m. This early start will allow us time to take in the minecamp museum, assess the historic role of andalusite, and explore the andalusite mine itself. This is a moderate hike to the mine camp, anda strenuous hike to the mine itself due to altitude gain. Call Nick Panzer at 760.446.0822 for more information.Saturday, Oct. 17—ASPEN GROVE TOUR (Kern Plateau, ~8500 ft elevation, ~ 1500 ft gain; 6 mi RT) Leisurely hike to visit andphotograph the best of the groves turning golden with fall splendor. The locations will depend on climate, seasonal variations, and maybethe current fire limitations. Hooker, Jackass, McConnell, Albanita and other meadows will be considered. We will learn to identify thetrees and how they respond to the changing seasons. Easy/moderate due to length and elevation gain. Meet Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at theRidgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Dennis Burge or Jim Nichols for more info.Monday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p,m.— Ridgecrest BLM representative. A talk about leasing BLM administered land for large energy projectssuch as solar, wind and geothermal. Maturango Museum.Monday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m.—Red Rock Canyon Talk. Stan and Jeanie Haye will give an update on planning for Red Rock Canyon StatePark and on the state parks situation in general. Maturango Museum.MINERAL KING GROUPMore info? Call 559.761.0592. Please also visit for more info.Friday, Sept. 11—Movie night and social. “The Shaman’s Apprentice” is a story of survival against the odds. It interweaves theluminous rain forest world of phenomena and legends with western science and the grim realities of extinction. In the story of Ethnobotanist Mark Plotkin’s quest to preserve the ancient wisdom of our species, we find intelligence, cooperation and hope that could saveone of the most glorious places on Earth. Join us at Café 210 located at 210 W. Center St., Downtown Visalia. Film starts at 7 p.m.Informal dinner at 6 p.m. Café menu includes sandwiches, salads, coffee, desserts. Contact Kim at kim.loeb@kernkaweah.sierraclub.orgfor more information.Saturday, Sept. 12—Needles Lookout hike. We will hike to the Needles Lookout above Springville. This will be a moderate 6-mileround trip hike with a great view from the lookout tower. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078 for meeting time and location.Saturday, Oct. 3 —Monarch Lakes hike. We will hike to Monarch Lakes in Mineral King. This is a strenuous 9=mile round trip hikeover sun-exposed, loose rock. Call Dave at 688.4813 or e-mail at for meeting time and location.
  6. 6. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009Wednesday, Oct. 7—Dinner/Social. Please join us at 6 p.m. for a “no host” dinner at Thai Basil Restaurant, 1423 E. Noble Ave., Mary’sVineyard Shopping Center, Visalia. Contact Beverly Garcia for reservations or 559.624.0199.Saturday, Oct. 17—Kings Canyon hike. We will hike in Redwood Canyon in Kings Canyon National Park. This is a moderate 6 mileround trip hike in a beautiful redwood grove sprinkled with dogwood trees that just may be in fall color. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078for meeting time and location. California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee Desert Committee OutingsFor questions about, or to sign up for a particular outing, please contact the leader listed in the write-up. For questions about DesertCommittee outings in general, or to receive the outings list by e-mail, please contact Kate Allen at or 661.944.4056..Friday-Sunday, July 10-12— Nevada Wilderness Service. Eastern Nevadas White Pine County has MANY new wildernessareas. Well help the BLMs Ely office enhance wild values as we put up vehicle barriers, rehab old routes, or remove old guzzlers;specific area to be known later. Three-day car camp service trip with Vicky Hoover; with central commissary ($15); or 415.977.5527. CNRCC Wilderness CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, Aug. 22-23—Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Carcamp. Come with us to the beautiful White Mtns to camp, hikeand just relax. On Saturday, we’ll hike the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on a moderate five-mile loop interpretive trail, followed by apicnic lunch and a short optional hike to a nearby old mining cabin. Back at camp we’ll enjoy Happy Hour, a potluck feast and a campfire.Sunday pack up and head home. Group size strictly limited. Send $8 per person, 2 large SASE, H&W phones, email, rideshare info toReserv/Ldr: Lygeia Gerard, P.O. Box 294726, Phelan, CA 92329, 760.868.2179. CNRCC Desert CommitteeFriday-Sunday, Sept. 25-27 —Service And Hiking in the Carrizo Plains. This is an opportunity to visit and to assist a relativelyunknown national monument. There will be an optional and scenic hike high in the Caliente Mountains on Friday. Others may join us forNational Public Lands Day on Saturday when we will work on improvements for the Soda Lake Overlook. On Sunday we will tourhistoric, prehistoric, and geologic sites. Leader Craig Deutsche:, or 310.477.6670. CNRCC Desert CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, Oct. 3-4—Antelope Protection Work Party -Carrizo Plain Nat’l Monument. Fence removal project in the CarrizoPlain with resource specialist Alice Koch. Camp at Selby Campground, bring food, water, heavy leather work gloves, and camping gear.Potluck Saturday night. Leaders: Cal and Letty French, 14140 Chimney Rock Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805-239-7338). Prefer e-mail: Santa Lucia Chap/CNRCC Desert CommitteeMonday-Tuesday, Oct. 5-6—Work Party in Death Valley National Park. Help finish the conversion of an old road near Red WallCanyon to a trail. Potluck Monday night. Ranger lead hike on Wednesday for those who can stay over. Group size limited. Leader: KateAllen 661.944.4056 or (email preferred). CNRCC Desert CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, Oct. 17-18—Exploring the Soda Mountains, Mojave Desert: Explore this Wilderness Study Area, located east ofBarstow and north of I-15. Arrive late Saturday afternoon at the camping area in the open flats near the Cronese Lakes. Potluck Saturdaynight. Hike on Sunday is moderately difficult. Leader: Craig Deutsche, (310.477.6670) or CNRCC DesertCommitteeFriday-Saturday, Nov. 6-8— Mojave National Preserve Service Trip. Help the Mojave National Preserve clean up a large illegal dumpthat has built up over the years. Work Saturday and until noon on Sunday. Barbecue dinner on Saturday evening. Hike on Friday morning,Ranger talk on Friday evening. Camping is rustic, but there will be a portable restroom. Leader: Rich Jurichich 916.492.2181,. CNRCC Desert CommitteeSaturday-Sunday, Nov. 7-8—”Bowling Alley” Car Camp & Hike: The bowling alley is a narrow strip of land between Death ValleyNational Park and Fort Irwin. With unique and beautiful geology, several perennial springs, and habitat for desert tortoise and bighornsheep, we’ll have lots to explore! Potluck dinner Saturday night. Leader: Carol Wiley 760.245.8734 or .Reservationist: Kate Allen at kj.allen@wildblue.net661.944.4056. CNRCC Desert Committee
  7. 7. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009Meetings focus on rewriting the Giant Sequoia NationalMonument plan; draft document is coming in November Sequoia National Forest is in the process of developing amanagement plan for the Giant Sequoia NationalMonument. The Proclamation that designated theMonument directed the Forest Service to develop amanagement plan using the requirements in theProclamation. When the first management plan was madepublic the Sierra Club and other groups sued the ForestService asserting the plan was not in compliance with theProclamation. The court remanded the plan back to theForest Service declaring it incomprehensible. Now Sequoia National Forest has undertaken a processto rewrite the plan. Over the past several months there havebeen several meetings called by Sequoia National Forest toexplain how they will rewrite the plan. For those attendingthe meetings it has been confusing. Now the Forest ispreparing management alternatives to be presented in aDraft Environmental Impact Statement scheduled to be Sequoias in Mineral King provide shade for visitors and habitatreleased in November. for varieties of critters. Photo/Joe Fontaine In June the Forest held a public meeting in Porterville togive concerned citizens a preview of three different comments. The Sequoia Task Force will be prepared toalternatives. The three alternatives were A No Action, B inform our members this fall about what is proposed in thethe alternative preferred by Sequoia National Forest, and C draft plan so that we can express our opinions to the Forestan environmentally oriented alternative. The alternatives Service before a final plan is adopted next spring. So yourwere far from complete but at least we got a heads up comments will be needed to influence the final outcome.about what will be in the draft plan. More information will follow in the next Roadrunner. When the draft plan is released it will be important for asmany Sierra Club members as possible to submit —Joe Fontaine, Sierra Club Past-President Sierra Club Elections Information In accordance with Sierra Club bylaws, an annual chapter election and group elections are required in the fourth quarter of each year to elect replacement Executive Committee (ExCom) members for those whose two year terms are expiring. Because all members of the chapter are eligible to participate in the chapter election process (and group members in the group election process), our chapter utilizes the Roadrunner publication to accomplish the election process. The election process consists of several steps; the first step is the nomination process where names are placed in nomination through the Nominating Committee (NomCom) or by petition requiring 15 chapter member signatures submitted to the NomCom. Once the nominations have been verified by the Nominating Committee and the nomination period has expired, the nominees are published in the election slate for chapter (or group) members to cast their votes. Finally, the ballots are counted by the Election Committee and the results are reported to the ExCom for entry into ExCom records. Kern-Kaweah Chapter Nominations Nominations for the Chapter ExCom will be received by the Chapter Nominating Committee from the initial date of the September-October 2009 Roadrunner publication until Oct, 1, 2009. Nominations (or petitions) may be submitted to the NomCom by mailing them to the Kern-Kaweah Chapter Nominating Committee, 1626 19th Street, Suite #3, Bakersfield, CA 93301, or HYPERLINK "" or HYPERLINK "" and must include the name and contact information of the person submitting the nomination. Nominations will not be accepted after Oct. 1, 2009. Chapter Voting The ballot and instructions will be published in the November-December 2009 Roadrunner and ballots cast by chapter members will be received until Dec, 1, 2009. The results will be published in the January-February Roadrunner.
  8. 8. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009FROM THE CHAIRCALENDARS, GEMS, AND STARFISHWant to know three simple ways to participate and make a difference in chapter efforts? Oneway is to support our annual calendar sales. We will once again be offering the large wildernesscalendars and the smaller engagement calendars for sale. Look in the Roadrunner for contactnames. Second, join us for the annual chapter fall dinner, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Rice Bowl.Our own Jim Nichols, Chapter Outings Chair, will make a photo presentation titled, “Gems ofthe Eastern High Sierra and High Desert.” Join us for a very special program, and supportthis chapter dinner.Last, I have a short story to share, attributed to Loren Eiseley.An old man walking along the beach at dawn saw a young man picking up starfish and throwing them out to sea. “Why areyou doing that?” the old man inquired. The young man explained that the starfish had been stranded on the beach by areceding tide, and would soon die in the daytime sun. “But the beach goes on for miles,” the old man said, “and there’s somany! How can your effort make a difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and without hesitatingthrew it to safety in the sea. He looked up at the old man and said, “It will make a difference to that one.”Each of you has a special gift to offer . You may not be able to change the world, but you can make a difference where youlive. I encourage you to give of yourself, your time, to the chapter and help make a difference in a positive way. Imagine thedifference if everyone did something . —Georgette Theotig, Chapter ChairOUTDOORS: Clair Tappaan Lodge offers attractive destination Fall at Clair Tappaan Lodge is golden. Located at 7000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, the lodge experiences sunny days and crisp nights. Inlate September and October the leaves turn and change the color of the mountains. The Clair Tappaan Lodge and Hutchinson Lodge arelocated at 19940 Donner Pass Road in Norden/Soda Springs, California. This fall there are two national outings and fall program offered by lodge staff. Sept. 4—Full Moon Hike national outing Sept. 20-26—50+ Ridgetop Rambles, Tahoe National Forest, California. A Sierra Club National Outing. Sept. 25-27—Weekend Lodge Work Parties. Come and help spruce up the Lodge you love. Volunteer for six hours on both Saturdayand Sunday in exchange for free lodging and meals during the weekend. We’ll also send you home with a 20% discount for a futureweekend. Let us know if you have any special skills that you’d like to show off and share. Tasks during the weekend range from lodgecleaning and painting to firewood splitting and stacking and everything in between. Oct. 4-10—Pastel Painting along Sierra Trails, Tahoe National Forest, California. Sierra Club National Outing. Oct. 31/Nov. 1—Halloween party and Day of the Dead commemoration. Bring a costume, pumpkin(s) to carve and your tools, and aremembrance of a loved one who is no longer in this world. Nov. 26 (Thursday)—Thanksgiving dinner at Clair Tappaan Lodge is always a fun event. Dec. 31 (Thursday)—New Year’s Eve. Plan now to attend the traditional and wonderful New Years celebration at Clair Tappaan Lodge.Since New Years Day is on a Friday, plan on a whole weekend of enjoying this wonderful area. Reservations are required for all activities. Call 800. 679.6775 for information and reservations or check out (ourwebsite). —Olivia Diaz, Sierra Club StaffExecutive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah ChapterChair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371. Vice-chair: Gordon Nipp (Bksf), 661.872.2432. Secretary:Ann Williams (Bksf), 661.324.1055. Treasurer: Lorraine Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Donnel Lester (Bksf),661.831.6784. Richard Garcia (Min King), 559.624.0199. Mary Ann Lockhart (PMC), 661.242.0432. AraMarderosian (Kernville), 760.378.4574. Arthur Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569Chapter ExCom Meetings: All Sierra Club members are always welcome to attend these meetings. Call661.323.822.4371 to confirm all meeting dates as well as location and time.
  9. 9. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009 MIDGEBUZZINGS Though I am no longer able to carry a pack into wilderness, memories of days and nights in the high countryare abundant. For twenty-five years I experienced the incomparable delights that our senses are heir to in theSierra Nevada, mostly in summer and fall, but occasionally when snow was deep, and when cold and silence wereour most eminent hosts. Of all the places I visited, none was more beautiful than Beck Meadow, not far from where the South Fork ofthe Kern River has its beginnings. It was a day’s gentle walk through varied botanical zones, all of thembeautiful. Especially lovely were clear streams through lush little meadows along the way. In time, we began tothink of Beck as sacred and to regard the journey there as a kind of pilgrimage. For some of us it became areligious experience, even to the extent of an unspoken agreement to keep silence in the last mile before it cameinto view. I don’t remember a time when we did not see at least one bear in the distance, peacefully occupying a meadow.We were careful to hang our food high in trees at the campsites, and not once in all those years was it disturbed.For me, the bear became symbolic of wilderness, and wilderness became a metaphor for the eternal. I offer thefollowing poem in that spirit. The Meadow After Black Rock Station, the world recedes. We are walking on an ancient trail to a familiar meadow, a high sanctuary in the great cathedral of the mountains. Soon, out of deep silence, sacred music rises: A courting grouse drums; a thrush answers its own fluted question from the darkness of deeper and more distant woods; wind sings an anthem composed by the redolence of warm pine resin and ancient humus. Far off, a raven is cantor in a language we know without footnotes or translation. Somewhere, invisible to us now, is the bear. We have seen his signs, and know that he is lord of the meadow. Then, in the long shadows of late afternoon, standing on a hilltop above the place toward which we have always been coming, we hear the first thunder, witness distant flashes of sheet lightning, and draw in the sweet smell of rain. This night we will make camp here. When morning comes, we will walk into the meadow. —Ann Williams
  10. 10. THE ROADRUNNER SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009Sierra Club calendars The Roadrunner Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGEfor coming year 2815 La Cresta Dr. PAIDavailable for $10 each Bakersfield, CA 93305-1719 Permit No. 498 Once again, the chapter is offering the Bakersfield, CAmost beautiful calendars for sale: largewilderness calendars and the smallerengagement calendars. And once again,they are offered at the bargain basementprice of only $10 each ! What a deal! Youget resplendent photos to gaze at everyday, and the chapter has more funds withwhich to work on conservation efforts.And if you’re concerned about theprocessing, the calendars are printed onpaper containing a minimum of 50 percentrecovered waste, of which at least 10percent of the fiber content ispostconsumer waste. The virgin content ofthe paper is chlorine free and entirely fromtree farms. Here are the contacts:Bakersfield—Isabel Stierle (661.246.6195)Porterville – Pam Clark (559.784.4643)Tehachapi – Georgette Theotig(661.822.4371)Frazier Park – Mary Ann Lockhart(661.242.0432)Ridgecrest – Dennis Burge (760.375.7967) STAYING INFORMED: Join our KERN-NEWS & KERN FORUM e-mail lists at: Submit articles (your own or suggestions for reprints) to The Roadrunner To contact Marjorie Bell, the editor, by phone, call 661.322.4891. The Roadrunner is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper. DINNER RESERVATION FORM I/we will attend the Fall Chapter Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, at the Rice Bowl Restaurant, in Bakersfield. Please make check out to: SIERRA CLUB, KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER. Mail check to: Georgette Theotig, P.O. Box 38, Tehachapi, CA 93581. Reservation deadline is Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. Enclosed is my check for_______reservations @ $17 per person for a total of _______________________ Names of those attending:_________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________