Sierra Club
The Insider: The official newsletter of the Sierra Club

July 19, 2011: In This Issue
º The Border Wall
º Urban Farms
º Attack on Wildlands
º Electric Vehicles
º Amazing Wave Photography
º Hack Your Bicycle

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Sierra Club trips
Make Some Memories
What does it take to have a memorable outdoor experience with Sierra Club Outings? Not much -- just select a trip and we'll take care of the rest!

With hundreds of options in North America and across the globe, finding the right trip couldn't be easier. Want to explore Tuscan art, cuisine, and culture? Hike, swim, and play games with the grandkids in Tahoe, California? Or fly-fish the creeks and rivers of Virginia's Shenandoahs in the fall?

Find these and hundreds more trips on our website. And be sure to sign up for our Explorer newsletter to get monthly updates on new and featured trips!

View from the Vortex
View from the Vortex
Photographer Clark Little risks his neck to share a vision of the natural world that few ever see for themselves. This Sierra magazine cover story recently won an award from the Western Publishing Association for Best Series of Editorial Photographs.

Photo: Clark Little

Protect Our Communities from Coal Ash
Protect Our Communities from Coal Ash
Sierra Club supporters submitted more than 450,000 public comments during the EPA's rule-making process for regulating toxic coal ash.

Now a U.S. representative from West Virginia has introduced a bill that could stop the EPA from moving forward with strong coal-ash disposal safeguards for our communities. Let's say "no way"!
Protect Our Endangered Species Open Season on Endangered Species?

The U.S. Congress is considering more environmentally damaging legislation than at any time since -- well, since, there's been a U.S. Congress. One of the biggest targets has been the Endangered Species Act.

Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune writes about why this is the worst possible time to turn our backs on species that need protection, whether they are gray wolves in the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem or the whitebark pine of the Northern Rockies.

Up Against the Wall Up Against the Wall

In its attempt to seal the border between the U.S. and Mexico in Arizona, the federal government has ignored its own environmental regulations. As this online-only feature story from Sierra magazine reveals, local ranchers -- and a fragile ecosystem -- are suffering the consequences.

Learn more about why border walls are ineffective, costly, and harmful to both people and the environment -- as well as what you can do about it.

Photo: Will Ferguson

Join the Activist Network
Urban Farms Honey, I Shrunk the Farm

There's a burgeoning movement of city dwellers who carve out a small-scale pastoral existence amid the bustle of the city, reaping the health and environmental benefits of hyperlocal food.

Bay Area photographer Lori Eanes has been documenting the lives of some of these unconventional agriculturalists in her Urban Farm project. Read more about the project and see her intriguing photos.

Photo: Lori Eanes

Save Our Wildlands Save Our Wild Heritage

An extreme bill being pushed through Congress right now would open more than 60 million acres of wilderness-quality and roadless lands to development. If passed, this legislation would condemn some of our country's most treasured wilderness landscapes to road construction, oil and gas development, unchecked off-road vehicle use, and other destructive development.

Please ask your congressional representative to oppose this radical legislation.

Ben Sollee A Cellist Goes on Tour ... by Bike

Can a traveling musician really hit the road with a bike instead of a bus, van, or truck? What about one whose instrument is so big that he has to play it while sitting down?

Cellist Ben Sollee set out to find the answer on a self-propelled musical tour that came with flat tires, a steady diet of Clif Bars, and a lot of new friends.

Photo: Embry Rucker

Electric Vehicle Charging Station Can EVs Set Us Free?

Last week, more than 180 companies and organizations -- large and small -- from nearly every U.S. state joined together to demand local, state, and federal programs that promote plug-in electric vehicles and drive us toward freedom from oil.

Sierra Club Conservation Director Sarah Hodgdon explains in TreeHugger how plugging in could bring us both cleaner air and a stronger economy.

Air Pollution Map How Clean Is Your Air?

Take a deep breath. How clean is the air you just inhaled? It all depends on where you call home.

The Sierra Club Beyond Coal campaign has launched an online air pollution map that shows how much air pollution there is where you live, how many people are at risk for health problems from coal pollution, and how many asthma attacks and premature deaths are caused by coal-fired power plants.

Want to know how clean (or dirty) your air is? Check it out!

Volunteer Vacations Have Fun and Make a Difference

What's it like to come back from a vacation feeling like you changed more than your tan lines? Find out by trying one of the Sierra Club's 90-plus national service trips. Every year, our Outings volunteers donate about 27,000 work hours to state and federal land agencies -- and have fun doing it.

Service trips range from helping with research projects at whale-calving grounds in Maui to assisting with archaeological site restoration in New Mexico. Service trip participants usually team up with forest service rangers or park service personnel to restore wilderness areas, maintain trails, clean up trash and campsites, and remove non-native plants.

Come join us!