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Footnotes Issue #71: March 22, 2013
Get Outside this April!
Click on each event for more information and to sign up. A suggested donation of $25 will help support our work to protect these special places!
Tuesday March 26 - Restless Fires Book Signing - To kick off our 2013 John Muir Outing series this April, the Georgia Chapter is sponsoring a FREE James Hunt lecture and book signing of Restless Fires at The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum at 7pm. Join us as we journey back to a time so critical to the environmental maturity of John Muir.
Saturday April 6 - Take a Ride on the Lovejoy - The proposed commuter rail line connecting Atlanta to Macon has been in the works for over a decade. If Clayton were to join MARTA, the missing piece of the operating money would finally be in place for these plans to move forward. Take a ride to check out some of the stops along the way! We'll depart via bus from the East Point MARTA station and make stops at the Ford Plant/Hapeville, Fort Gillem, Clayton State/Reynolds Nature Preserve, and Jonesboro.
Saturday April 6 - Coastal River Paddle on Skidaway - Our Georgia coasts are an integral part of our state's beauty and healthy environment. Join the Coastal Group and guest speakers, Dr. Clark Alexander, professor at the Skidaway Institute of Oceanography and David Kyler of the Center for a Sustainable Coast, for a discussion of the impacts that climate change is already having on our Georgia coast. This three mile loop takes you south on the Skidaway River from Butterbean Beach and up into a small tidal creek where the low tide reveals large oyster reefs where shorebirds like to feed, continuing past a little marsh hammock and then back out to the river and Pigeon Island to view nesting bald eagles before returning to the start.
Saturday April 13 - Sierra Club 101 - Each quarter we host Sierra Club 101, a presentation about our organization and chance to learn about our forms of activism. We would like to take an opportunity to also highlight a bit of history about our founder and our vision for a more sustainable Georgia! Join us and learn more about the Sierra Club and how to get involved in our local efforts. Bring a friend! Breakfast will be provided.
Saturday April 20 - Etowah Paddle - The Beyond Coal Campaign and Coosa River Basin Initiative will lead a beautiful 10-mile jaunt down the Etowah River outside Euharlee Georgia on arguably the most scenic stretch of the Etowah in Bartow County. This stretch of river features numerous Native American fish weirs, the Island Ford island complex, a beautiful "rock garden", and has had numerous Otter and Bald Eagles sitings. This section is also highlighted by a large threat to Georgia’s precious water resources:one of the largest carbon polluting coal-fired power plants in the country, Plant Bowen. We will spend the early morning examining the threat of archaic coal-power to Georgia’s beautiful fresh waters, and the afternoon exploring the scenic natural wild river.
Saturday April 27 - Ellicot Rock Wilderness Hike - Join our Wildlands and Wildlife Committee for a 7 mile moderate hike as we explore Georgia’s only designated Wild and Scenic River, the Upper Chattooga, which forms the border of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia in the middle of the Ellicott Rock Wilderness. Brent Martin, Southern Appalachian Regional Director for the Wilderness Society based in Sylva, NC, will provide an overview of some of the threats faced in this area and how increased protection is needed to make sure that commercial encroachment and overuse do not occur. Wilderness areas are necessary protectors of wildlife, bio-diversity, and watersheds and provide critical habitat corridors that will be needed for species to adapt as our climate continues to change.
QuickLinks - Take Action!
The last day of the Legislature is next Thursday, March 29th, so we are in the homestretch. We just have a few bad bills left that we need your help with. Tell your State Representative to vote NO on SB 213. The bill revises the Flint River Drought Protection Act of 2000 (FRDPA), which originally set up an irrigation auction to address historic low stream flows. Since 1980, flows on the upper Flint River have declined 50-70 percent while flows on the lower Flint have dropped by around 30 percent. Today, summertime flows are routinely so low you can’t even float a kayak down the upper reaches of the river, and several major tributaries in the lower Flint completely dry up.
The FRDPA needs comprehensive revision because the original act has failed to protect Flint River flows due to lack of funding for the auction, high crop prices, and technical and enforcement difficulties. Unfortunately, this bill is not comprehensive, it authorizes the state to invest in “flow augmentation” projects, and it restricts Georgians’ downstream use of augmented water.
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