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Peak and Prairie E-newsletter

Newsletter of the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter

November 2013

Electronic Edition

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

The Never-ending Story...

Bruce Hamilton

Sierra Club Deputy Executive 
Bruce Hamilton, speaking
to a Sierra Club assembly in
Denver on October 29.  He 
rallied us for the EPA carbon
emissions standard listening
session on Oct. 30, where we
submitted our comments. 

It's official!  On behalf of the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter's Communications Team, Lauren Swain, member of the team, traveled to San Francisco and was conferred the 2013 national Sierra Club Communications Award on September 21.  Congratulations to the team!  (That's the award in the upper-right of this newsletter.)

I've said it before, and I'm delighted to say it again and again... I'm so proud of this team.  They work incredibly hard, put in the time, are dependable, eager, seek out ways to improve, and are just good at their work.  It's a real pleasure to coach and work with these volunteers and I am consistently impressed.  

Prior to the awards ceremony, they were even asked to impart their wisdom and success stories for the Council of Club Leaders, a national Club body of delegates from chapters across the country who looked upon this team as a model to follow.

For the record, the team consists of Michael AceJim Anderson, Carol Carpenter, Tiffny Shanaughy, Lauren Swain; formerly on the team and having contributed significantly to this award were Nathan Cook, Mary Coday EdwardsRobin Jones, and new to the team is Karen Dike.  Great work, team!

Speaking of awards...
The Sierra Club RMC has re-formed the Awards Committee, and they seek your timely input!  

If you have an idea for a volunteer, RMC chapter or group entity, elected official, business or professional individual or entity to be honored for their outstanding work, or even if you want to recognize a deserving bad acting company with our "Cow Chip Award," then download the list of awards this committee is developing, and propose your nominees by November 6 to the Awards Committee Chair, Mark Stevens.

The awards ceremony will be at our annual Winter Gala on December 6.  If you don't yet have your tickets to attend the Gala, GET THEM NOW!  As of this writing, there are only 20 tickets left for sale, and we will sell out.  We're excited about some changes we've made to this year's event, which is in a new location, with a great keynote speaker (read the story below), the awards ceremony, drinks, dinner, and some great silent auction items for you to bid on.  See you there!

The never-ending story...
It's the end of the year, and that means a lot of activity in the neverending story of exploring, enjoying, and protecting the planet.  We couldn't make progress on these issues and activities without your never-ending help and support!

Please submit your comments to protect the Colorado sage-grouse.  Please tell the Environmental Protection Agency to make the most significant environmental decision in their history, to limit carbon emissions from power plants.  Because if they don't, we're going to have to keep planning actions like this one from our Beyond Coal campaign.  Please talk to your state legislators about the 2014 legislative session, and what you want your Representative and Senator to stand for (they submit their bill ideas by early December).  In 2014, we hope to see many more incredible stories, like this wonderful wildlife overpass and underpass story!  Is 2014 the year we save the bees?

Thank you for all you do!
Joshua Ruschhaupt, Rocky Mountain Chapter Director

Why should you care about bees and pollinators?

By Cosima Krueger-Cunningham

Sustainable Agriculture Committee Chair
Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group


Photo Courtesy of

James Anderson

The so-called "colony collapse disorder" that is decimating bees and other pollinators around the world has been put forward as a mystery syndrome that needs further study.  In fact, there is no mystery. In the past couple of years independent, peer reviewed research has clearly pointed to toxic chemical pesticides as being the last straw on the proverbial camel's back.
Widely-used neonicotinoid-class pesticides were the first to be directly implicated. Many other commonly used pesticides are also bee-toxic. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's mis-regulation of these chemicals has paved the way for this catastrophe.


Spend a festive evening with Michael Brune at our Annual Winter Gala

By Dave Read

Fundraising Chair
Brune Midshot, Do Not Reuse

Sierra Club Executive Director
Michael Brune

Get your ticket before it's too late! 

On Friday, December 6, you are invited to attend our Chapter's Annual Winter Gala, featuring our special guest Sierra Club Executive Director, Michael Brune.

Join us for a momentous evening of merriment, great food, great company and a delight to the eye and mind as Michael presents us his vision of where we are now and where we are heading as a movement, intertwined with sharing his experience of his cross-country trip across the nation this past summer to key battleground areas in the fight for a cleaner and fairer future.  It is especially thrilling to have Michael here as our state was one of his early stops on his tour.  You can bet he will have a lot to share regarding his time here with us.


Hentzell Park court case to be decided May 2014

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team  

Prairie dog

Prairie dogs were recently trapped
and killed in Hentzell Park

Editorial Note: The September issue of Peak & Prairie contained an article about the city of Denver swapping a portion of Hentzell Park in southeast Denver to construct an elementary school on the property. In exchange for the Hentzell property, the city would get a Denver Public Schools (DPS) office building on Fox Street that would be converted into a domestic violence administrative center. Here is an update from Renee Lewis, president of Friends of Denver Parks, a grassroots citizens' group fighting the land swap, a position supported by Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter. 

Renee Lewis, president of Friends of Denver Parks (FDP), said some people in the Denver area erroneously believe a court case her organization has initiated against the city to stop the Hentzell Park land swap has already been decided in favor of the city. "There is a rampant rumor that we have lost our court case, but our court date is May 19, 2014, and our case has not been decided," Lewis said. 


Go Solar with the Sierra Club

Open house attracts solar-minded homeowners 

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team

Jim Hart and Don Koch at solar open house

Don Koch, left, discusses benefits 
of solar with Jim Hart

About a dozen Colorado residents, mostly from the Denver area, recently saw and heard firsthand how going solar can improve the environmentand save them money.

Attending an October 13 solar open house at the suburban Centennial home of Jim and Karen Hart, participants saw 24 new solar panels that were installed on Jim's roof in late July. They, too, looked at a meter, newly installed by Xcel Energy, which records how the Hart's solar energy use is going up, while their fossil fuel energy use is going down.


Colorado floods another sign of climate change

By Karen Dike
RMC Communications Team

Longmont Flooding 1

The flooded St. Vrain River 
the Martin Street Bridge 
in East Longmont

I watched in amazement and felt horrified as parts of my beautiful state of Colorado and wonderful hometown city of Longmont suffered from the "rains and flooding of biblical proportions" (National Weather Service) in September. The rainfall amounts were staggering. 

According to the Denver Post total rainfalls in Colorado from Sept. 9 to Sept. 15 reached up to 20 inches in some Front Range areas, with the Boulder area receiving the most. My hometown, Longmont, set a new record for September rainfall, with 6.3 inches. The previous record of 6.06 inches was set in 1938. The resulting flooding had a devastating impact, including evacuations and loss of life and massive destruction of homes, roads and other infrastructure.


Birds and Borders tour set for January

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communication Team

Pikes Peak Hiking Outting

A unique outings experience awaits Sierra Club members and supporters on Jan. 24-26, 2014, with the planned Birds and Borders tour in Arizona and Mexico.

Come to beautiful Bisbee, Ariz. on Friday, Jan. 24, to begin the tour. Sponsored by Sierra Club's Border Lands Campaign, participants will arrive that evening, have a delicious meal and settle into comfortable lodging.


Featured Volunteer: Kiera Hatton-Sena

A passion for righting wrongs moves Pueblo volunteer

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team 

Kiera Hatton Sena

Kiera Hatton-Sena

If there's one thing about living in Pueblo that really bothers Kiera Hatton-Sena, Sangre de Cristo Group's (SdCG) Environmental Justice and Communications chair, is that her beloved hometown is often used as an "environmental dumping ground" for larger metropolitan areas in the Front Range.

"Our community already struggles with innumerable challenges, and adding unnecessary environmental toxins and pollution from outside the community is absurd," Kiera states. "Pueblo should not always be the recipient of pollution caused by the not-in-my-backyard mentality of Colorado Springs and Denver."


True Tales of Nice Profitable Eco-Exploration

Facebook Photo Contest

Congratulations to Cindy Sanchez
She is the winner of our September "Organic Gardens, Farms and Harvests" Facebook Photo Contest.  

Enter our Facebook photo contest! 

Did you know that we have a monthly photo contest? The theme for the November contest is "fall colors." Submit your best fall color photos today!  Winner gets a free Sierra Club photo calendar.  Submit your photo now, and tell your friends to LIKE it!

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

Together as an organized movement we will win!

Legislative Committee Leaders
We're recruiting for the 2014 legislative session!  We have a great set of current Legislative Committee members.  The legislature moves fast and works on everything under the sun in Colorado, so we're recruiting a few more leaders for this committee to learn the ropes.  You can check out our current legislative tracker at  The team is currently preparing for the upcoming session, so join now to learn how to help train volunteers and activists how to be most effective in their lobbying.  Contact this committee at

Communications Team Leaders 
The Communications Team is currently very strong, however, they are looking for webmasters, reporters, media specialists, and Convio and Listserv Administrators.  (Not familiar with Convio or Listserv email systems, but learn fast? Don't worry, we have professional trainers.)  Contact the Communications Team, at

Fundraising Team Leaders
The Fundraising Team is in need of more fundraising volunteer leaders to help us reach our fundraising goals.  Volunteers play a major role in creating the fundraising goals, developing the strategies, and carrying out the Chapter's fundraising plans. If you are experienced with fundraising, from small contributions to working with large donors, or just want to get started, we need your help! Even if you just want to be an assistant to learn and help out, sign up! We're looking for at least three new volunteers. Contact Dave Read,

Legal Committee Leaders

The chapter is currently engaged in some legal battles, and we've re-established a Legal Committee that coordinates with our national Sierra Club lawyers, as well as our volunteer leaders who need advice in mission-related legal matters. We're looking for one to three more leaders. One of the roles we need to fill is a Legal Committee Grassroots Organizer- someone who can build public support for our conservation positions for which we're fighting in the courts.  If you are interested in serving on the chapter's Legal Committee, contact the Legal Committee Chair, Erin Eastvedt, for details, at

Outings Leaders

Colorado is a hiker's mecca. We're looking to build a core core leadership team to work with our outings leaders, and also looking for several outings leaders throughout Colorado.  Have you ever wanted to lead your own fun or conservation-minded hikes?  Or just get out and enjoy the outdoors hikes?  Winter or Summer, Sierra Club is known for great outings with trained volunteer leaders. Let us train you to be one of them!  We're really excited to get our outings program working directly on conservation issues, too! Contact Joshua Ruschhaupt, at

Denver Metro Network Leaders and Activists

The Denver metro area has the highest density of Sierra Club members in the state, and we're very excited to be working on getting it organized.  The new Leadership Team has recently been appointed, and could use your input!  If you're interested in helping out with that effort, just send a quick note to the Leadership Team Chair, Mathew Elsner, at

Continue reading the list of available volunteer opportunities...


2013 National Sierra Club Communications Award for the RMC

Your Sierra Club 
Rocky Mountain Chapter Communications Team won the 2013 national 
Sierra Club Communications Award!

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In this issue:

  • Director's Message
  • Why should you care about bees and pollinators?
  • Spend a festive evening with Michael Brune at our Annual Winter Gala
  • Hentzell Park court case to be decided May 2014
  • Open house attracts solar-minded homeowners
  • Colorado floods another sign of climate change
  • Birds & Borders tour set for January
  • Featured Volunteer: Kiera Hatton-Sena
  • Cartoon
  • Facebook photo contest
  • Volunteer Leadership Openings
  • Sidebar:
    • Donate!
    • Go Solar!
    • P&P Archive
    • Be a member!
    • Facebook
    • Meetup
    • Twitter
    • Must-See Event
    • Featured Outing
    • Wish List
    • Story Idea? 

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Donate online!

Support your Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter.

We depend on your support to do all of our work! 

Contribute on our secure website today.

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Go Solar!

  Sierra Club Solar Homes 2013

If you are the proud owner of a single-family home, and you want to reduce Colorado's climate impact, you can install a solar system on your roof!  

Sierra Club RMC partners with Sungevity to employ local, certified solar installers. 

Get your free
solar iQuote now!

Sungevity supports Sierra Club with a great contribution with the completion of every installation we refer to them.  

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Peak and Prairie

The Peak and Prairie is the official Chapter newsletter.

Read the current and previous issues of our printed and
e-newsletter on the Chapter's
newsletter web page.

    Newsletter Line              Calendar

Visit the Chapter's events calendar 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 "Join Now!" to become a member today at just $15!

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Be Social!

Like us on Facebook now!

Follow us on Facebook to
get our latest updates and relevant news, or on Meetup 
to join our latest activities, activism, and advocacy
We're on Twitter, too!

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Must-See Event:

Annual Winter Gala

Get your ticket before it's too late!

Tickets are selling fast!

You are invited to attend this special, momentous occasion and hear from a national leader in the environmental cause and the Executive Director of Sierra Club, Michael Brune, as he presents us his vision of where we are now and where we are heading as a movement, intertwined with sharing his experience of his cross-country trip across the nation this past summer to key battleground areas in the fight for a cleaner and fairer future. It is especially thrilling to have Michael here as our state was one of his early stops on his tour. You can bet he will have a lot to share regarding his time here with us. 

Seating is limited to 100 people, and as of 11/1 there were only 20 tickets left for sale, so get yours now.  You'll be getting in some holiday shopping at our auction, and supporting your Chapter.

Event Details:

  • WHAT: Sierra Club
    Rocky Mountain Chapter's Annual Winter Gala with Sierra Club's Executive Director, Michael Brune, dinner, volunteer awards ceremony, and silent auction.
  • WHEN: Friday, December 6, 2013, 6:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
  • WHERE: The American Mountaineering Center, 710 10th Street,
    Golden, CO 80401 (Map)
  • TICKETS: $35 - includes limited drinks and a delicious, satisfying barbecue buffet dinner (vegan/vegetarian option available) with sides and all the fixin's.

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Featured Outings

Birds and Borders Tour

Bisbee, Arizona
January 24-26, 2014

A unique outings experience awaits Sierra Club members and supporters, with the planned Birds and Borders
tour in Arizona and Mexico.

Come to beautiful Bisbee, Ariz. on Friday, Jan. 24, to begin
the tour. Sponsored by
Sierra Club's Border Lands Campaign, participants will arrive that evening, have a delicious meal and settle into comfortable lodging.

The estimated cost per person will be under $200, which includes van rental, five meals, and lodging; the total cost may vary depending upon number of participants. A secure online meetup site will be established in November for people to pay for trip costs.

Sierra Club requires upfront payment for "fixed costs," i.e., lodging and van, in advance. If a person cancels and that person can be replaced, then 100 percent of any deposit (minus a $5 Website administration fee) would be refunded.

Air fare to southern Arizona is not included. While Tucson is closest to Bisbee, pickup could be arranged also from Phoenix. While Sierra Club doesn't arrange carpooling, it is strongly encouraged. If anyone is interested in carpooling, this information could be provided by Kathy Glatz, trip organizer.

Kathy is also leaving early to volunteer in Agua Prieta before and after the trip and could take passengers with her, but that would mean several extra days added to the main trip. A passport would be needed to return to the U.S. from Mexico for all participants.

If you are interested in taking the trip or need more information, please contact Kathy at 720.233.4567 or

Sierra Club RMC Gay and Lesbian Sierrans (GLS) at Boulder Pridefest! (Volunteers needed.)

Boulder, Colorado

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Help spread the good word about GLS! GLS will have a booth at Boulder County's largest LGBT event of the year, and we need your help to staff it!  This event is rescheduled due to the historic September floods.

We need volunteers to staff the booth for 1 to 2 hour shifts between 3 and 8 PM, and also helpers to set up and break down the booth.  All you need to bring is a friendly, smiling face and a desire to say lots of good things about GLS.  You'll be rewarded with the pleasure of meeting lots of nice people (and perhaps some homemade treats).  Contact Phil at to volunteer.

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 leader.

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Election Day is
November 5th...

vote graphic resized


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Wish List!

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, XP preferred.

Thanks in advance! Contact Chapter Director Joshua Ruschhaupt right away!  Contributions of equipment to the Rocky Mountain Chapter of the Sierra Club support our effective citizen-based advocacy and lobbying programs and, therefore, are not tax-deductible.

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Story Idea?

If you have a story idea for
the Sierra Club Rocky
Mountain Chapter Peak and Prairie, just send a quick email to  

Be sure to get in touch with
the Communications Team if you are a RMC volunteer interested in being featured
in an article -- we want to let others know the great work you're doing and who you are!

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.