Newsletter of the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter
Holidays from the RMC Communications Team! We will not be distributing
the Peak and Prairie in December due to the holidays, so please look
forward to the next electronic edition of this newsletter in
Message from the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter Director, Joshua Ruschhaupt:
"Elections shift paradigms."
More importantly, who
are you volunteering for?
Let's do what we do best,
and organize for a
It's election season, in case you couldn't tell from the avalanche of political ads you're currently buried under.
I'm currently deployed on the Joe Miklosi for Congress campaign, in Colorado's 6th district. Two other Sierra Club staff, Roger Singer and Bryce Carter, are deployed on Ed Perlmutter's and Sal Pace's campaigns, respectively.
With as many undecided voters in Colorado as there are, in spite of, or perhaps because of, the avalanche of Citizens United-enabled political advertisements, this election, across several races, is shaping up to be a razor-thin election based on people who can be pursuaded at the last minute.
And due to the recent census, all the political district maps have changed, making formerly unavailable races suddenly toss-up races. Some races, as the Miklosi campaign predicts, are going to come down to the ground game. How many boots-on-the-ground volunteers we have knocking on doors and making phone calls for these candidates may be the difference that creates Colorado's next decade in politics... in social issues... in environmental stewardship.
If your Sierra Club-endorsed candidate lost by a razor-thin margin, as happened in 2010 in the Colorado State House of Representatives, where we've been dealing with near-gridlock and even vehement opposition on progressive issues for the last two years, would you feel like you could have volunteered and helped be the difference that made the difference for the entire election?
Every campaign office for all of our endorsed candidates are pursuading undecided voters to vote for great candidates, and you could be one of those volunteers.
Feel guilty no more! There are days left in this election that you could be the difference that makes Colorado's next decade one that will protect public lands instead of trying to cede it from the Federal government (that, seriously, was proposed in 2012).
You could be the difference in making Colorado's backcountry, and back-roads, safe from armies of off-road vehicles, clear-cut or biofuel logging, or networks of new roads for mining.
You could be the difference between a Tea Party extremist who wants to "drill baby drill," or a progressive candidate who is going to fight to stem the climate disruption tide with a renewable energy future.
I've always believed that we create the reality we live in. One way we do that is to match our best representitives in government with the power to decide what's best for our nation, our state, and our environment. People-power beats financial power, and right now is the time to stand up and make a difference, more than making sure you and everyone you know votes. In addition to voting, you can volunteer.
Change the political paradigm. You could watch the election (and all of the untruthful or sleazy ads and talking points), or you can take action and get involved to create the world you want to live in. I've chosen the latter. As a Sierra Club member, I hope you do too! Find your Sierra Club endorsed candidate and say, "I'm a Sierra Club member ready to volunteer."
P.S. Please contact me
if you know of a web designer/webmaster who would like to volunteer to
help us upgrade our website. See details in the volunteer
opportunities section below.
Featured State Candidates – Why It Matters
by Jane Ard-Smith
the 2012 General Election just a few days away, the Sierra Club is
actively supporting a number of pro-environment candidates who are
running for federal and state offices. The full list of the Sierra
Club’s endorsements can be found in last month’s print edition of the
Peak and Prairie and on our website. In this month’s e-edition, we’d like to feature a few
candidates who are running for the Colorado General Assembly.
folks are in particularly tight races – if you live in these districts,
we urge you to get to the polls and support these candidates. If you do
not live in these districts, find out which candidates in your area are
endorsed by the Sierra Club.
With all of the attention that the
National Sierra Club is bringing to the federal elections, you may be
wondering why the Rocky Mountain Chapter decided to focus our efforts on
state races. Why do state races even matter? Well, the state
legislature has a great deal of control over the issues that are
priorities for the Rocky Mountain Chapter – including natural gas
development. As an example, in 2012 the Colorado General Assembly
considered a bill that would have given local governments more control
over oil and gas development. It was defeated in the state house. The
addition of one or two pro-environment legislators in the state house
would have meant that local governments – and the citizens who elect
them – would have had a greater say in determining their futures.
Ginal, HD 52 (Fort Collins)
A Master Naturalist for the City of Fort
Collins, Ms. Ginal cares deeply about preserving the special places that
make our state a nationally-recognized place to buy a home, start a
business, receive an education, or retire.
She notes that she is
particularly concerned about “water sustainability, protecting the
quality of our rivers, especially the Poudre—due to the High Park Fire,
and making sure that fracking has the proper regulatory oversight and
field studies to determine if it is safe.”
To learn more about Joann
Ginal, please visit http://joannginal.com.
Pete Lee, HD 18
A 25-year + member of the Sierra Club, Rep. Lee is
an avid skier, hiker, and runner. He received a 100 percent score from
the Colorado Conservation Voters and has been a vocal proponent of
According to Rep. Lee, “Colorado must remain a global
leader in the renewable energy economy – we have created thousands of
good-paying, clean technology jobs here in Colorado by supporting
renewable energy. We must continue to do so.”
http://www.peteleecolorado.com to learn more.
Andy Kerr, SD 22
After six years in the state house, Rep. Andy Kerr is
running for this open senate seat because of his commitment to strong
local schools and education.
A geography teacher, Rep. Kerr recognizes
the link between the environment, sustainability, and education. He also
recognizes that the sustainable choice is most often the best economic
choice. “That’s why I sponsored legislation that helps schools stretch
their tight budgets by making energy efficiency part of their designs.”
To find out more about Rep. Kerr, visit http://www.andykerr.org.
Tyler, HD 23 (Lakewood)
In his first year in the legislature, Rep. Max
Tyler was prime sponsor of House Bill 10-1001 that expanded Colorado’s
renewable energy portfolio to 30% by 2020.
His rationale? “The sun will
always shine for free, the winds will always blow for free, and our
energy production will be cleaner. Renewable energy, green jobs, and a
cleaner future — what’s not to like?” We couldn’t agree more Rep. Tyler.
To find out more, visit http://www.maxtyler.us.
John Fielder to highlight two decades of lottery-funded GOCO improvements
Event book sales support Rocky Mountain Chapter
By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team
you like the opportunity to meet one of the world’s greatest landscape
photographers and also see and hear how state lottery funds have made
Colorado a better place to live? If so, plan to attend “Colorado's Great
Outdoors: Celebrating 20 Years of Lottery-Funded Lands” in Denver on
Friday, Dec. 7.
World-renowned photographer, John Fielder, will
showcase his incomparable landscape photography and highlight his
preservation work with Great Outdoors Colorado (GOCO) over the past two
Featured Action: Support local control of oil and gas impacts!
by Shane Davis
The state of Colorado has sued the city of Longmont for passing ordinances setting reasonable standards for oil and gas production in a residential community.
Eighty-seven public officials from twenty-seven city and county governments in Colorado have rallied in support of the City of Longmont as it attempts to protect its citizens from the negative health, environmental, and financial impacts associated with oil and gas development.
Their letter, sent to Governor Hickenlooper states, "we are surprised and disappointed by your administration's decision to sue the City of Longmont for adopting rules to protect its residents from the risks and potential adverse impacts of oil and gas drilling within its geographic jurisdiction."
Please respond to this Rocky Mountain Chapter alert and tell Governor Hickenlooper to drop the lawsuit and recognize that local governments have both the right and responsibility to take action to protect the public health and well being of citizens and the environment.
Election is ‘super critical’ for this Political Committee volunteer
By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team
With the national election just days away, getting the right people
elected into office is “super critical,” says Will Walters, a volunteer
with Rocky Mountain Chapter’s (RMC) Political Committee.
Like other Sierra Club members, Will knows how critical it is to
elect the best candidates, whose votes will determine our environmental
future. This is why he joined the Political Committee─to be part of the
process of endorsing appropriate candidates from Sierra Club’s point of
“A lot of environmental protection can and must be
accomplished in the political legislative arena, to preserve wilderness
and habitat and mandate air and water quality and other things,” Will
says. “Conversely, a lot of damage can be done there when politicians
sell out to monied interests who want to exploit the environment.”
Frack-Free Colorado features celebrity speakers, galvanizes local activists
Shane Davis speaks against fracking.
Photo by Carol Carpenter.
Hundreds of Colorado citizens, environmentalists, government officials and visitors from around the country converged on Denver’s Civic Center Park on Oct. 23 to voice their growing concerns about hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in Colorado.
Included among the noted speakers, performers and supporters at the Frack-Free Colorado event were actresses Daryl Hannah and Mariel Hemingway, members of the Wallflowers and Elephant Revival, and Suzanne Jones, Boulder councilwoman.
Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter’s own “fractivist” Shane Davis also spoke at the event. Gravely concerned about the oil and gas industry’s increased drilling in the state, Davis said fracking─the procedure of injecting large amounts of water, sand, and toxic chemicals into the earth to release oil or gas from underground shale formations “is harmful to the environment.” “We have a moral conviction to fight this--nothing about fracking is safe or natural,” he told the audience.
First Step Strong, Save Our Lands Hike-A-Thon fun, memorable
September volunteers and hikers descended upon Roxborough State Park to
take part in Rocky Mountain Chapter’s first annual Step Strong, Save
Our Lands Hike-A-Thon. We enjoyed a great day of fun, sun and activism
in one of Colorado’s most beautiful parks.
Hikers carried a
scorecard they presented at various check-points, where they received a
stamped, colored dot for each trail they completed. Some brought pledge
forms and sponsor donations. There was also a competition for prizes
based on pledges. Congratulations to Linda Batlin, who won first prize
for the highest number of pledges and Suzie Ahlers who came in second.
thanks to all volunteers who helped that day: Linda Batlin, Jonathan
Fair, Jolynn Jarboe, Betsy Kelson, Lorita Kinman-Agarrat, Kathi Knipfer,
Suzanna Koeller, Valerie Love, Kristina and John Palan, Sandy Reavey,
Kathy Reiner, Hansi Rhead, Joshua Ruschhaupt, Sharon Sherman, Brett
Travett, Rachel Van Schooneveld, and Mike Whiteley.
Updated: Volunteer Leadership Openings!
If, after reading through the available roles, 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 http://rmc.sierraclub.org/volunteer.shtml.
Together as an organized movement we will win!
Priority Conservation Campaign: Oil & Gas Campaign
The Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter's most organized campaign is launching, and you can help! We're working on recruiting the few final candidates for the core leadership team, and we're also looking for volunteers throughout the state who can organize, or help an organizer in your home, city, town, or rural area. The goal is to build a network of volunteers throughout the state who learn about the industry, its practices, and what you can do about it locally. Sign up with Joshua Ruschhaupt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Communications Team Leaders
The Communications Team is currently very strong, however, they are looking for reporters, a webmaster, and a social media specialist. Depending on your level of experience, skillsets, interests, and available time, some of the above can be combined into one volunteer role. Check out our ad on Craigslist for a volunteer webmaster. The Communications Team is also seeking reporters to help develop content for our digital and print communications (including this newsletter!). Contact the Communications Team at email@example.com.
Colorado is a hiker's mecca. We're looking for a few more core-team leaders, and several outings leaders. Are these you? Sierra Club is known for great outings with trained volunteer leaders. Let us train you to be one of them! Contact Mike Whiteley at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
Continue reading the list of available volunteer opportunities...
|In this issue:
- Director's Message
- State candidates
- John Fielder event
- Support local control of oil and gas impacts
- Featured volunteer: Will Walters
- Frack-Free Colorado
- "True" Tales of Eco-Disaster Comic
- Volunteer Leadership Openings
- P&P Archive
- Be a member!
- Must-See Event
- Featured Outings
- Wish List
- Story Idea?
- Photo Contest!
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
Visit the Chapter's events calendar page to find out about outings, conservation and political activities, and more.
Not a Sierra Club member yet? No problem -- just click on the "Join Now!" button to become a member today at just $15!
Become a fan of the
Rocky Mountain Chapter on Facebook to get our latest updates and relevant news, or Meetup to join our latest activities, activism, and avocacy events. We're on Twitter, too!
Colorado's Great Outdoors — Celebrating 20 Years of Lottery-Funded Lands
WHAT: John Fielder will treat us to a slide show featuring
his captivating photography accompanied by beautiful music married to
the images from his ongoing work with Great Outdoors Colorado.
and after the presentation, John Fielder's classic photo books,
calendars, and two new books will be available for purchase and signing
by Mr. Fielder.
December 7, 2012, 6:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
WHERE: Unity Church of Denver, 3021 S.
University Blvd., Denver, CO 80210 (map)
COST: Only $10/person.
Please consider making a
donation of $40 for this event to commemorate the 40th anniversary
of the passage of the Clean Water Act.
of gross proceeds from the sale of books and calendars will be donated
to Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter and Colorado Clean Water Action
for our ongoing conservation and advocacy work.
Questions: Dave Read, email@example.com.
Click here for more information, and get your tickets today!
Over the Hills, Through the Meadows, To
Frazer Cabin We Go!
Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Saturday, Nov. 10
8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Over the Hills, Through the Meadows, To
Frazer Cabin We Go!
We will hike from Blue Grouse trailhead, down Horseshoe, and then over to
Ralston Roost in Golden Gate Canyon State Park.
This hike is 4.5 miles with 700 feet elevation change. On this hike, which requires a car
spot, we will pass through meadows and forest on our way to Frazer
cabin. We will briefly explore some of the area north and west of
Most of the elevation is at the start where we will
switch back up a hillside to a ridge with views of the Gore Range and
James Peak wilderness. After that, it is mostly flat and downhill with the
exception of a short steep section before the end of the hike
to connect with a ridgeline leading to Ralston Roost.
We will hike at a "photographer’s pace" (if the weather cooperates), allowing
time to take photos or just take in the views. After the hike, we may stop for coffee and tea in Golden.
This is a child and dog friendly hike (dogs must be leashed).
Since this hike is in a state park, there is a $7 fee for all vehicles.
clothing, rain gear, food, water, and the ten essentials.
contact Annie at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-671-2486.
Easy Snowshoe Saturday
Saturday, Dec. 1
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Snow typically comes to the Pikes Peak region in late November. Join Pikes Peak Sierra Club Group for a moderate snowshoe hike to the best available local snow: a warmup for winter.
Length and altitude gain will depend on location. Beginners welcome. Although this hike is intended as a snowshoe hike, if snow conditions are light, we will conduct it as a regular hike.
Bring lunch, water, and appropriate clothing and footgear.
For information and to register, contact Jim Lockhart (719-385-0045).
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, and tent);
Repair Kit (tools, knife, cord, and 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
holiday treat you to an upgrade from your old computer? Don't throw it
out! The RMC is waiting with open arms to receive your well-loved
equipment. As the saying goes, one person's trash is another person's
treasure! If you can offer any of the following in working order, we'd
be very grateful! Please do not offer anything that will take more time
and/or money to repair than if we spent the money to buy it.
-Working desktop or laptop; PC computers with functional screens and at minimum Windows 2003 as an operating system.
-Flat screen monitors.
-Portable projection screen.
Thanks in advance! Contact Chapter Director Joshua Ruschhaupt right away!
If you have a story idea for the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter Peak and Prairie, just send a quick email to
Did you know that we have a monthly photo contest? Check out the August "Mountains" theme photo contest winner. The theme for the September contest is "water." Submit your best water photo today!
Enter the photo contest!