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Peak and Prairie E-newsletter
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

Newsletter of the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter

July 2011

Electronic Edition

Message from the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter Director, Joshua Ruschhaupt:

We're better than nature.

Lords of Nature, Green Fire Productions

Top Predators hold a key to
life itself. Can people and
predators coexist?
Can we afford not to?

Estes Park, CO -- Who are the real Lords of Nature? This evening (July 13th) at the Estes Park Museum is a free showing of the Peter Coyote-narrated film Lords of Nature: Life in a Land of Great Predators, sponsored by WildEarth Guardians and the Poudre Canyon Group of the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter.

Afterwards will be a panel discussion Q and A with the audience. The movie is all about who the real lords of nature should be. You will be reading this days later without the benefit of being able to attend, so I'll share a few thoughts.

Our government seems to be of the opinion that we're better than nature. When it comes to "managing" our "natural resources," agencies like the Forest Service, Division of Wildlife, Wildlife Services, and Bureau of Land Management seem to be named to do things that help the various parts of the landscape.


FEATURED ACTION: Help protect Middle Boulder Creek from the expansion of Eldora Ski Resort

By Bill Bruner, Communications Team

RMC Eldora before
RMC Eldora after

The Indian Peaks group and several other groups have come together to form the Middle Boulder Creek Coalition.

This coalition has
been created to oppose the expansion of the Eldora Ski Resort.

As you can see from the pictures here, this expansion is extensive and will extend the boundaries of the ski resort beyond their approved Special Use Permit (SUP).

Coalition members
believe this proposed expansion beyond the current borders will negatively affect the ecosystem in this beautiful wilderness.

Read more and take action...

FEATURED GROUP: Roaring Fork Group (RFG Counties: Garfield, Pitkin, and southwest Eagle)

By Maggie Pedersen, RFG Executive Committee Chair

Reducing Use of Plastic Bags and Bottles in the Roaring Fork Valley

Bag It, the Movie.

Over 100 people attended our energy film festival in May. A few shorts about gas and oil drilling and the film Bag It were shown.

This 65-minute film featuring Jeb Berrier, from Telluride, is a real eye opener and should be seen by everyone.

People who attended our showings were impressed and had great solution ideas during follow-up discussions.

In the film, Jeb wonders about one-use plastic bags (like those from local markets), cups, and bottles and finds that in general, they are not recycled and are in our environment forever. It is a great educational film and even the "tweens" that attended our showings were impressed.



For more information about the Roaring Fork Group check us out on Facebook or at our website

If you're not in the Roaring Fork Group, you can check out all of the latest actions the other groups are involved with by finding your group at

Featured Volunteer Opportunity: Communications Team

By Bill Bruner, Communications Team


Are you interested in becoming more involved with the Rocky Mountain Chapter? Are you looking for a way to showcase your talents? We are always looking for volunteers to help us with the many things we do throughout the state.

Our new communications team is currently in need of a webmaster. So if you have the ability to create, update and monitor our chapter's website we can use your talents today. In addition, we're looking for reporters/writers for our monthly e-newsletter and a videographer to help us cover various events throughout the state.

If any of these positions sound interesting to you, log onto our website and fill out a volunteer form today.

Updated: Volunteer Leadership Openings!

The RMC Runs on People-Power!

Would you believe that the Sierra Club runs more from volunteer leadership than staff leadership? It's true -- there are literally thousands of volunteer leaders in different leadership capacities in 63 chapters and over 400 groups nationwide! Believe it or not, there's only one RMC chapter staff person right now, the Director, working with over 150 great volunteer leaders in the chapter and groups. So it's critical that you contact us right away, even if you're only remotely thinking about spending a few hours or more per week helping out the environmental movement in Colorado.

Colorado's environment needs your activism and advocacy -- the writing's on the wall! You show up, and we'll train you. There's even a lot of stuff you can do right from home. Doesn't matter where you are in Colorado -- we're recruiting for the Chapter, and that covers the entire state! If you're interested, we've got a volunteer role to fit your interests, skills, experience, and knowledge.

If after reading through the roles below you're still unsure of where you might fit in, that's no problem. Just fill out the volunteer interest form on our website at

Together as an organized movement we will win!

Outings Leaders

Colorado is a hiker's mecca. We're getting ready for a great summer and autumn full of outings. Right now, we have a task force that is searching for potential outings leaders! Is that you? Sierra Club is known for great outings with trained volunteer leaders. Let us train you to be one of them! We're looking for four to seven team leaders. Contact Michael Ledesma at for additional information.

Conservation Support Team Leaders

We're looking for specialists to serve on this new support team. If you answer yes to any ONE of the following questions, then you're probably a great fit to join the Conservation Support Team: Are you a people-person? Are you good with technology? Are you a practiced media-wrangler? Can you shape up any group of passionate people into an organized, goal-driven team? Is "coordination" practically your middle name? Are you familiar with the basic principles and practices of fundraising? Can you teach time management and workload management practices that help volunteers manage their commitments? We're looking for an entire team of people who can do any one or more of these things! We're looking for three to six leaders. If you're a "Jack or Jill of all trades," or a quick learner, we want you for this team! Sign up with Charlotte Tournay now at

Read the full list of volunteer opportunities...

Donate Online

Ensure a healthy environment for Colorado!

Support your
Rocky Mountain Chapter.

We depend on your support to do all of this great work!

Contribute on our secure website today.

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Peak and Prairie

The Peak and Prairie is the official Chapter newsletter.

You can read the current
and previous issues of our printed and e-newsletter
on the Chapter's
newsletter webpage.

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Outings Calendar
Visit the Chapter's events page to find out about outings, conservation and political activities, and more.

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Join the Sierra Club

Not a Sierra Club member yet? No problem -- just click on the "Join Now!" button to become a member today.

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Like us on Facebook now!

Become a fan of the
Rocky Mountain Chapter on Facebook and get our latest updates and relevant news. We just surpassed 425 new Facebook friends!

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Must-See Event:

Queen of the Sun Poster

Acclaimed director Taggart Siegel

What: Queen of The Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us? Documentary premier showing.

July 20th-24th

The Dairy Center for the Arts, Boulder

Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from acclaimed director Taggart Siegel.

Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists, and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk, and Vandana Shiva.

Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

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Featured Outings

Big Union Proposed Wilderness Hike
(Park County)

Moderate Hike
Saturday, July 23rd
7:30am - 6:30pm

Big Union Proposed Wilderness forms a huge horseshoe around the north end of Buffalo Peaks Wilderness, adding to it key lower elevation habitat and backcountry recreation.

But Big Union's westside is threatened by potential road building and OHV use.

Our moderately strenuous eight-mile, 1,200-foot elevation gain hike--even our drive to the trailhead--will assess roadless boundaries and wilderness qualities we have not examined for several years. A Friday night car camp near the trailhead is optional.

Learn about other nearby roadless areas on the trip, sponsored by Pikes Peak Sierra Club Group, Wild Connections, and Central Colorado Wilderness Coalition. Well-behaved, leashed dogs allowed.

For more information and to register, contact trip leader John Stansfield at 303-660-5849 or by 5 pm, July 21st. Pack the Ten Essentials.

Hike the Craig Crest Trail
(Mesa County)

Moderate Hike
Saturday, July 30th

While it will probably be hot in the Grand Valley, the Uncompahgre Group will be hiking the Crag Crest Trail on the Mesa, where it will be cool, with great vistas. The trail is about six miles one way, and climbs to around 11,000 feet.

This area has some rocky terrain, so bring appropriate footwear. Please RSVP for this trip by Thursday, July 28th. Contact Shelly at 243-5138. Pack the Ten Essentials.

THE "TEN ESSENTIALS" -- The Sierra Club recommends the following be carried at all times when hiking in the backcountry:

Navigation (map and compass);
Fire (matches, lighters, and accelerant);
Signaling Device (whistle or mirror);
Sun Protection (sunglasses and sunscreen);
Insulation (extra clothing);
Nutrition (extra food);
Hydration (extra water and tablets);
Illumination (headlamp or flashlight);
First Aid Kit;
Emergency Shelter (tarp, bivy sack, tent);
Repair Kit (tools, knife, cord, tape).

OUR RMC WEBSITE HAS OTHER OUTINGS INFO THAT MIGHT BE OF INTEREST -- A Sierra Club Sign-In and Liability Waiver form must be signed before participating in outings -- if you desire to review a copy, please contact your trip leader.

Rocky Mountain Chapter | 1536 Wynkoop Street, 4th floor, Denver CO 80202, 303-861-8819 | Contact Us

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Header Photo Credit: Communications Team volunteer Bill Bruner.