Missouri Chapter

Eastern Missouri Group E-Newsletter

December 2011

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Annual EMG Holiday Party on Saturday, December 17
Celebrate the season with your Sierra Club friends at the Holiday Party, which will again be held at Barb Wall's home, at 1562 Centenary Court in Valley Park.  Bring your own beverage and a dish to share.  Please RSVP to Ann Eggebrecht 314-725-1560 or Marilyn Harlan 314-966-8797.  Our hostess, Barb Wall, can be reached at 636-529-0477. 

St. Louis County Parks
are Safe for 2012, but Sierra Club to Remain Vigilant

The EMG wishes to thank Caroline Pufalt for representing the Sierra Club viewpoint in speaking before the St. Louis County Council on November 15 regarding the potential closure or sale of county parks.
Although the County Parks are now safe for 2012, they could reappear on the chopping block within a year, so we would like to identify members who would be willing to act as "County Park Guardians" as Sierra Club representatives.  Please email Richard Egan egan.egan@att.net if you would like to be part of this group.

2012 Sierra Club Calendars
2012 calendar adBrighten your year with a calendar filled with gorgeous nature photos.  A great choice for holiday gifts that support the environment.  The calendars are available at the Sierra Club office (map), at The Alpine Shop in Kirkwood (map), and at the December 17 EMG holiday party.

If you would like to order your calendars by mail, send $13.95 for each Wilderness Wall Calendar, $12.95 for each Engagement Calendar, plus shipping:  $5 for the first three calendars and $1 for each additional.  Mail your check and order to: Sierra Club EMG, 7164 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis, MO  63143.  Include your email address if you'd like to be notified when your order is taken to the Post Office.                                                                   


Current River, Jim Rhodes

Current River      photo by Jim Rhodes

Sierrans enjoy the Ozark National Scenic Riverways
On a warm weekend in the middle of October, 16 Sierrans paddled the Current River from the put-in at Round Spring down to the Two Rivers takeout.  The trip was led by Toni Armstrong and Richard Spener.  The weather was near perfect and the fall colors were starting to come out.  On day one, the group got a late start and in the afternoon we started to look for places to camp overnight.  Due to our late start, all the really good gravel bars were already taken and we finally decided to camp on one that was barely above the river elevation.  As there was no chance of rain (we hoped), we set up camp and enjoyed happy hour, dinner, and camp stories around the old campfire.

The next day was uneventful except that as we floated up to one fork in the river, we saw there were some boaters who had capsized and were in trouble.  The rescue effort began and we threw the three men who were stranded in the river some ropes to dis-lodge their canoe from a root wad and help them reach the island where we were standing in safety.  I think we made their day!  We then canoed the remaining eight miles or so down to the Two Rivers takeout.  View more photos from this outing on Flickr.  It was a great weekend on the river. 

HIKING MISSOURI'S WILDLANDS: the Beauty, the Challenge.

Sierrans at Bee Bluff

Current River from Bee Bluff
photo by Bob Gestel

Please attend Hiking Missouri’s Wildlands: A workshop on Wilderness and the Ozark Trail at Powder Valley Nature Center (map) on Saturday, January 28 from 9:30 am to 3:45 pm

With the right planning a hike on the Ozark Trail is inspiring!

Those of us who love Missouri’s unique geologic features and clear running streams still have towering bluffs, creeks, fens, glades, quiet places and remnants of wilderness to enjoy. For over 30 years Sierra Club members have been involved in building, maintaining and using trails through some of the most scenic Ozark lands.

On January 28 we have an opportunity to hear from Susan Farrington, the MDC Natural History Biologist for the Ozark Region including Stegall Mountain, Vance Mountain, Barnett Mountain and Peck Ranch. MDC restoration tools are bringing back woodlands, glades and fens on the Current River Section of the OT which support a diverse mosaic of Ozark wildflowers and grasses and some rare species such Eastern collared lizard, cerulean warbler and recently re-introduced elk.

Another of  our speakers is Greg Iffrig of Pioneer Forest who will talk about the Blair Creek Section which was the first section completed on the OT.  The Eastern Missouri Group still maintains the trail on the Pioneer Forest within the Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry.

There will also be practical tips for hiking and backpacking on the Ozark Trail. The list of speakers and registration information is on the EMG website.

The workshop is free but please register here. There will be a cost if you want a lunch.

Blair Creek Flows Free

Blair Creek at the OT crossing

Crossing Blair Creek on the OT
photo by Bob Gestel

A kiosk at Pulltite Campground displays a 1945 map of the dam which the U.S. Army Corps planned to build which would have inundated the upper Current watershed, the Jacks Fork River. and Blair Creek.  Places such as Alley Spring, Round Spring, Eminence and Pulltite campground would have been under dozens of feet of water. Due to citizen pressure and the support of Missouri politicians, Congress preserved the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers by passing a law in 1964 establishing the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. 

The dam would have been on the Current River at the mouth of Blair Creek, upstream from Powder Mill Ferry. This brings home the value of the work our early Sierrans did to share and show off the country that is now called the Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry. Much of the beautiful country north of Powder Mill Ferry is hard to reach except by foot but once you have been there you can revel in the idea that so much is still natural. Because Blair Creek flows free we are also free to connect to those places with our own footsteps. 

Trail Report

We are mid-way into our trail work for the season and we still need your help on some up-coming outings in January and February. If you have not yet volunteered for trail work now is a good time to start. The most important thing to remember is you work as hard as you want. There are many jobs to pick from, so choose a job that fits your skill level. The work can be as easy as putting up trail signs or as hard as tread work, it is your choice. We start our work day about 9:00 and end about 2:30. We generally have to walk about a half-mile or more to the work site. We make sure we take plenty of breaks, including lunch. We always hope to accomplish our goal for the day so we will not have to return at some later date. We hope you can help us on one of our future Trail Outings.

Sunday Jan 22nd at Cuivre River State Park. We will be working in the North Woods Wild Area on the Lone Spring Trail .  There are lots of small trees that need to be removed from the trail along with some other light maintance.

Sat and Sunday Feb 18-19 at Hawn State Park. Join us for the day or the weekend. We will be doing general trail maintance. There will be lots of walking to reach our worksite.

For more information contact Bob Gestel at 636-296-8975, rgestel@sbcglobal.net;  or Paul Stupperich at 314-429-4352, lonebuffalo@earthlink.net.  We hope to see you on the trail soon.

Eastern Missouri Group Outings Schedule

Sierra Club members and non-members are welcome to join Club members on our outings.

Visit the Eastern Missouri Group website for more information about outings, activities, and issues.

Please consider making a donation to the Eastern Missouri Group today!

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Sierra Club - Eastern Missouri Group
7164 Manchester Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143 314-644-0890
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