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Peak and Prairie E-newsletter

Newsletter of the Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter

April 2014

Electronic Edition

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

"Welcome, Matt Reed!"
 

Matt Reed
Matt Reed

Welcome Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter (RMC) new staffer, Matt Reed! Matt is the RMC's new Conservation Programs Coordinator.  You can send your welcome to him at: matt.reed@sierraclub.org.

Matt Reed is thrilled to return to Colorado and to work with The Sierra Club's RMC. Matt graduated from Gunnison High School on Colorado's Western Slope in 2000, where he developed a passion for wildlife and public lands. He received a law degree from Pace Law School in 2009, with an emphasis on environmental law and policy. He then served as Public Lands Director at High Country Conservation Advocates (formerly High Country Citizens' Alliance) in Crested Butte from 2010 - 2013, where he worked on mining, oil and gas, endangered species, renewable energy and other public lands issues and campaigns. His interests include birding, collecting old books, American history, and hiking and camping with his wife Suzanne.

We're excited to have our second staffer here at the RMC!


"100% awesome!"

Voltarians, as Volt owners have been called within the community, are quite possibly more enthusiastic about their cars than a Prius owner.  Voltarian Nikhil B. says the Volt is “90% electric, 10% gas, 100% awesome!”  But even more interesting, the driver determines just what percentage of overall driving is electric or gas.  

Nikhil may have 90% electric, but there are some who...

Read more...
 


Urgent! Comment now on Eldora ski expansion

By Bill Ikler, Wilderness Chair
Sierra Club Indian Peaks Group
 

Moose in Water

Wildlife like this moose in
Middle Boulder Creek will be
impacted by Eldora Ski Area's
proposed expansion.
Photo by Donna Burbank.

PRG SR Take Action btn 270

Your attention is needed immediately on the proposed expansion of the Eldora Ski Area. The proposal would expand the area for skiing beyond its current boundaries, which will impact the Middle Boulder Creek wildlife corridor and riparian area. The planned expansion will also impact visitors to the Indian Peaks Wilderness and the Jenny Creek Access trail.

The U.S. Forest Service has issued its Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) and is accepting comments from the public until April 14. This is the final and most critical time to comment on the proposed expansion.

Read more...



Let's protect the 'other Colorado'

By Sheppard Hobgood
RMC Sangre de Cristo Group

grasslands
U.S. Forest Service Commanche Grasslands in CO.

When people think of Colorado they normally picture our lovely, scenic mountains. But there is another Colorado—the Colorado of high plains and short-grass prairie. This other Colorado stands in stark contrast to the mountains; with the exception of an occasional deep canyon or a dry creek bed, the land is as flat as a billiard table.


Read more...


Oil and Gas Roundup
Fracking, local control big issues in Colorado

By Catherine Collentine
Sierra Club Beyond Natural Gas Campaign
Colorado Representative
 

Oil & Gas Roundup small

Local control continues to be a topic of discussion across the state.  Citizens in Loveland are gearing up for a special election on July 29th to vote on a two year fracking moratorium – further information on the election can be found here.  Statewide, groups have submitted language for a local control ballot initiative and are ramping up their efforts to begin signature collection.  One of the local groups, Coloradans for Local Control has hit the airwaves with a TV ad that can be viewed here.

Read more...


Boulder couple encourages car-sharing program

By Robert Ford
Sierra Club RMC Member

Careshare Robert and Juliette Ford

The Fords enjoy car-sharing
advantages. 
Photo by eGo CarShare.

My wife, Juliette, and I are serious about finding innovative ways to reduce our carbon footprint. We would like to share what we are doing to make that happen and encourage others to consider taking these actions in your life—one of which is car-sharing.

We moved to Boulder in 2001 and have been a one-car family, while using bikes and buses for additional transportation. Our car, a Toyota Sienna minivan, had to do everything for us, including pulling our pop-up camper.

Read more...


Legislative Update
Our actions make a difference

By Karen Dike
Legislative Committee Chair

Legislative update graphic

Who hasn’t felt at sometime that their actions really aren’t important, that your vote is just one of many or too small to count? Compared to corporations, you write so many letters of protest that generate only a form letter response. Yet, we persist in the face of pessimistic moments with the belief that we matter in this democracy.

For perhaps one of only a few times, I know we really made a difference in the Colorado Legislature this year. It is the kind of difference where the dots were connected and worked.

Read more... 


Media Watch
Journalists' job is to seek the truth

By James Luidl
RMC Communications Team

Media Watch small

As a journalist, I know I'm doing my job when my allies are against me. I never investigated a story with the idea of proving one thing or another, or taking someone's side. I may have had a notion of where a story would go... but generally it was never a straight line. More than once I drew the ire of those who thought they were talking to me because they thought I was on their side.

Read More...


Severy Creek restoration postponed
Pikes Peak Restoration

Volunteers restore vegetation
near Pikes Peak. 
Photo courtesy of Rocky
Mountain Field Institute

The Sierra Club Pikes Peak National Service Trip, described in the March Peak and Prairie, has been cancelled. However,work in the Severy Creek Basin will continue later this summer, possibly in August. For more information, visit the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) website at or e-mail them at rmfi@rmfi.org.

Read more...   


Colorado first to regulate methane emissions statewide 

By Catherine Collentine 
Sierra Club Beyond Natural Gas Campaign
Colorado Representative

Colorado's Department of Public Health and Environment Air Quality Control Commission (AQCC) finalized a set of air quality regulations in February that make Colorado the first state in the nation to regulate methane emissions statewide. The rules were finalized following five days of public comment and stakeholder testimony that included many concerned citizens.


Read More...


Featured Volunteer: Dr. Richard Fleck
Denver author leads Hike & Write outings

By James Luidl
RMC Communications Team

Richard Fleck

Dr. Richard Fleck, right,
and Keet Seel at the
Arizona Navajo National
Monument. 
Photo by John D. Sullivan.

Dr. Richard F. Fleck, educator, poet, author and Sierra Club member since 1994, is inspired by the words of Henry David Thoreau: “Too many a man has lived a life, that when he comes to die, he hasn't lived his life.”  His own life reflects Thoreau’s wisdom.

Connecting to the land through the written word has been Fleck's passion since he was a U.S. Park Service Ranger naturalist and professor of creative writing and literature in the 1960s. He continues his passion for writing and nature on the Front Range with his Hike & Write outing series for Sierra Club.
Read More...


Book Review
Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team 

Life on the Brink

It’s the 800-lb. elephant in the room, a subject almost no one wants to talk about—overpopulation. But two dozen or so intrepid, thoughtful and concerned environmentalists and environmental policy makers, scholars and analysts have done just that.

In their 2012 anthology, Life on the Brink: Environmentalists Confront Overpopulation (edited by Philip Cafaro, a professor at Colorado State University, and Eileen Crist, a professor at Virginia Tech), contributors conclude the Earth already has far too many people who are exceeding our environmentally beneficial carrying capacity.

Read more...


Words of Eco-Wisdom!

By James Anderson

Words of Eco-Wisdom

Facebook Photo Contest

Cindy Sanchez, ice
"Ice" by Cindy Sanchez 


Congratulations to Cindy Sanchez
! Cindy is the winner of our March "Ice" Facebook Photo Contest.  

Enter our Facebook photo contest! 

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


 

Volunteer Leadership Openings

The RMC runs on people-power!

Would you believe that the Sierra Club runs more from volunteer leadership than staff leadership? It's true—there are literally thousands of volunteer leaders in different leadership capacities in 63 chapters and over 400 groups nationwide! Believe it or not, there's only one Rocky Mountain Chapter (RMC) staff person right now—the Director—working with over 150 great volunteer leaders in the chapter and groups. So it's critical that you contact us right away, even if you're only remotely thinking about spending a few hours or more per week helping out the environmental movement in Colorado.

Colorado's environment needs your activism and advocacy—the writing's on the wall! You show up, and we'll train you. There's even a lot of stuff you can do right from home. Doesn't matter where you are in Colorado—we're recruiting for the Chapter, and that covers the entire state. If you're interested, we've got a volunteer role to fit your interests, skills, experience, and knowledge.

If, after reading through the roles below, 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!

Outings Leaders

Colorado is a hiker's mecca. We're looking to build a 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 Outings Chair Chris Applegate at: cdapplegate@gmail.com.

RMC Roaring Fork Group leaders (see map)

The Roaring Fork Group is looking for new and energetic leaders to volunteer to help out with fighting oil and gas drilling proposals on the Thompson Divide, west of Carbondale, and south of Glenwood Springs.  The Group is also pursuing Wild and Scenic status for the Crystal River. You should live within the Roaring Fork Group boundary: Pitkin County, Eagle County in the Roaring Fork Valley or Fryingpan Valley, or eastern Garfield County. They're also looking for volunteer leaders interested in helping lead the Group itself. Get in touch with Mark Stevens, RFG Executive Committee member, at mark@designprojectinc.com.

Read More...

 

 

In this issue:

  • Director's Message
  • Urgent! Comment now on Eldora ski expansion
  • Let's protect the 'other Colorado'
  • Oil & Gas Roundup: Fracking, local control big issues in Colorado
  • Boulder couple encourages car-sharing program
  • Legislative Update: Our actions make a difference
  • Media Watch: Journalists' job is to seek the truth
  • Severy Creek restoration postponed
  • Colorado first to regulate methane emissions statewide
  • Featured Volunteer: Dr. Richard Fleck
  • Book Review: Life on the Brink
  • Cartoon
  • Facebook Photo Contest
  • Volunteer Leadership Openings
  • Sidebar:
    • Must See Event!
    • Donate!
    • Go Solar!
    • P&P Archive
    • Be a member!
    • Facebook
    • Meetup
    • Twitter
    • Featured Outings
    • Story Idea? 

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Must-See Event:

Help remove harmful weed in
Wheat Ridge

teaselhead week

Teasel Weed in Wheat Ridge

Save the date!

What does Wheat Ridge do when its Clear Creek Greenbelt Open Space acquires an infestation of an exotic weed (teasel)? And what does it do when that same wetland harbors an endangered plant and an endangered mouse, both of which could be harmed by spraying herbicides?

The Rocky Mountain Chapter Water Quality and Wetlands Committee has been helping out the city for years by manually removing and reducing the weed population, and we will continue that work in 2014. Our work sessions this year will be:

  • Saturday, June 7, teasel rosette digging
  • Saturday, August 2, teasel seedhead removal
  • Saturday, August 9,
    teasel seedhead removal

We work from 9:30-11:30 a.m. each day, and then eat lunch in Wheat Ridge. For more information, e-mail Betty Jo Page or call 303-232-9105.

The Water Quality Committee also holds regular meetings and works on other aspects of water quality in Colorado. E-mail Kirk Cunningham or call 303-939-8519 for more information on that aspect of the committee's work.

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Donate Today
 


Please support your Sierra Club Rocky Mountain Chapter.

100 percent of your contribution stays here in Colorado!

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, and you also get $750!  

     
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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.

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        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!

Meetup.com/sierraclubrmc
Twitter

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

 

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Featured Outings

Meetup logo

Spring Clean in Denver (Part 2 of 4)

When: Saturday, April 19
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Dazbog, 3773 Cherry Creek North Drive (map)

We'll be meeting this Saturday at 9am and cleaning along the Cherry Creek for about three hours.  We'll split into two groups with one group headed North towards 11th and the other group headed South towards Dakota Ave.   We'll meet back at Dazbog between 12:15-12:30.  I will be getting materials (trash bags and trash grabbers) from the city's Keep Denver Beautiful Program; however, supplies are on a first-come first-served basis so there might not be enough trash grabbers for everyone.  Please bring your own work gloves to protect your hands, wear old clothes that can get super gross, and bring plenty of water, appropriate clothing, and sunscreen.  As always, I do not have a cell phone so if you have questions/concerns please contact me no later than 8am the day of the outing.

I want to make a special note that this work is very physical and exhausting though it is definitely rewarding.  Be prepared to work hard.

All outings are limited to 12 people total and children 13 and over are certainly welcome to join with their guardian(s). 

Let's keep Denver beautiful y'all!

Contact Colleen Finnerty at 303-388-1058 for more information.

Meetup logo


Spring Clean in Denver (Part 3 of 4)


Paris on the Platte 


When: Saturday, May 3
9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Where: 1553 Platte St, Denver, CO (map)
   
We'll be meeting this Saturday at 9am at Paris on the Platte for part 3 of Denver Spring Cleaning and cleaning along the Platte River for about three hours.  We'll split into two groups with one group headed North towards 47th Ave. and the other group headed South towards Phil Milstein Park.  We'll meet back at Paris on the Platte between 12:15-12:30.  I will be getting materials (trash bags and trash grabbers) from the city's Keep Denver Beautiful Program; however, supplies are on a first-come first-served basis so there might not be enough trash grabbers for everyone.  Please bring your own work gloves to protect your hands, wear old clothes that can get super gross, and bring plenty of water, appropriate clothing, and sunscreen.  As always, I do not have a cell phone so if you have questions/concerns please contact me no later than 8am the day of the outing.

I want to make a special note that this work is very physical and exhausting though it is definitely rewarding.  Be prepared to work hard.

All outings are limited to 12 people total and children 13 and over are certainly welcome to join with their guardian(s). 

Let's keep Denver beautiful y'all!

For more information, please contact Colleen Finnerty at 303-388-1058. Hope to see you on the trail!


 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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Story Idea?

If you have a story idea for
the Sierra Club Rocky
Mountain Chapter Peak and Prairie, just send a quick email to rmc-communications-team@lists.sierraclub.org.  

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!




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Header Photo Credit: Communications Team volunteer Bill Bruner.