Eastern Missouri Group E-Newsletter
May 22, 2014, Sierra Club General Meeting
7:00 to 8:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Litzsinger School, 10094 Litzsinger Road at Lindbergh Blvd., Ladue, MO 63124 (map)
Forest Recreation Manager Nancy Feakes will talk about hiking and recreational opportunities in the Mark Twain National Forest. She will also touch on volunteer opportunities in trail maintenance and wilderness management.
June 26, 2014, Sierra Club General Meeting
The June General Meeting will be a pot-luck picnic in Shaw Park at the South Shelter (map). Bring your drink and a dish to share and enjoy the company of your favorite fellow Sierrans! The picnic will be starting at 6 p.m.
Celebrate National Trails Day, Saturday, June 7
Join us on June 7 as we celebrate National Trails Day at Frontier Park, St Charles with the First Missouri State Capital State Historic Site. Save the date and show up on June 7 for kid friendly activities, a bicycle rodeo, bicycle safety programs and demonstrations on outdoor gear. Please volunteer to help us at the Sierra Club booth for an hour or two. Contact Becky Denney.
The Trails Committee has been busy this spring at Hawn State Park and on the Ozark Trail. We want to thank everyone who came out and helped. Starting at Hawn we removed about 1.5 mile of barbed wire from the back country along with about 2 miles of maintenance. On the Ozark Trail and the Brushy Creek Trail we maintained over 10 miles of trail. We are now looking ahead to this fall and the October work week in the Pioneer Forest. We hope you will be able to join us then.
Michael Bollinger will be stepping down as Vice Chair of the Trails Committee. We want to thank Michael for all of his hard work. Brigid O'Malley has agreed to take over as Vice Chair. We hope to see you at National Trails Day on June 7 at Hawn State Park or the St Charles Frontier Park. For more information on trails and other events please email Paul Stupperich or Brigid.
Legislative and Political Update
The Missouri legislative session is coming to a close this week. The Missouri Chapter Legislative Committee has been busy with four Lobby Days to Jefferson City and four In-District meetings throughout the state. You can see the legislation we have been following here - if you are interested in being part of the Legislative Committee for 2015, please contact Michael Berg at 314-644-1011.
Spend any time at the capitol in Jefferson City and it becomes obvious that we need to elect many more environmental champions to the State House and Senate. We need your help this election season to make this a reality. To get involved you can contact EMG Political Committee Chair Ross Hunt at 314-395-8251.
Concerned About Air Quality?
On Thursday May 29 at 9 a.m. the Missouri Air Conservation Commission is holding a Public Hearing at 7545 S. Lindbergh, Ste 220, Saint Louis, MO 63125 about ozone pollution in the St Louis area. If you can attend, contact John Hickey at 314-644-1011.
Milkweeds for Monarchs
monarch butterfly on marsh milkweed
On Earth Day this year, Mayor Slay announced that St Louis City will plant 50 gardens specifically to aid the survival of monarch butterflies. He encouraged citizens of St Louis City to plant 200 additional gardens so that we will reach 250 in the year we are celebrating the 250th anniversary of the founding of St. Louis. A basic plan on the St Louis City website is for a 3' by 3' garden with a variety of milkweeds plants because monarchs only lay their eggs on milkweed plants.
You can sign up for the latest news about this campaign as well as other sustainability actions on the St Louis City's sustainability website. They also have information on where to find plants and seeds for your Milkweed for Monarchs garden.
Also, find more information about monarchs in the Missouri Chapter article Earth Day in Eldon—Protect the Monarch Butteflies.
The second largest of Missouri's eight wilderness areas is 60 miles off I-44, SE of Springfield. What keeps drawing me back to Hercules Glades Wilderness Area is the amount of hiking that can be done in a long weekend, and the views while tracking along the knobs. The glades are giving way to cedar trees, but it still offers differences from hiking in the eastern part of the state.
Water is the central issue when planning a multi-day visit. The lower part of Long Creek, from the falls/spring on towards the west is the only year-round source. Your hiking needs to include a stop there to fill up. Camping at the two trail intersections with the creek means lots of visits from horseback riders and Boy Scout troops. I've camped at five different spots, all north of, and uphill from the creek.
Look among the pictures in Google search results for snapshots of the tan map brochure to help with your planning. OuachitaMaps sells maps, and suggests that the USGS Hilda quad covers the area. Cairns mark the intersections for the four routes to get from the northern trail down to the creek.
The eastern trailhead, south of the town of Hercules, no longer has the fire tower, but offers a small campground, an outhouse, and at least one picnic table. If you take the northern trail from there, look for the foundations of buildings that the rangers once used.
One possible plan is to have a base camp near the eastern trailhead and bring in extra water the first day. Each subsequent day should include time at the western half of the creek to filter water to be brought back to camp.
Upper Pilot Knob is forested and at the western edge of the wilderness. Lower Pilot Knob has no established trails leading to the top, but at night offers a marvelous view of the southern sky and the lights of Branson.
The "elephant footprints" are one of the more interesting geological features you'll encounter on the trail. There are caves along the main creek, and swimming holes. If the water is running, the falls will be active, with several sunning/napping rocks nearby.
Yes, there are tarantulas in the wilderness area. If you get lucky, you may spot a collared lizard. Don't forget to allow time to do the Pees Hollow loop before you leave!
Save the date --
Green Time TV - Doing the Right Thing
Green Time appears in four Missouri areas. In the St. Louis area it airs at noon on Saturdays on Channel 24-1 and at 8 p.m. on Mondays on Channel 24-2 on these dates:
June 7 & 9: "The Right to Farm or the Right to Harm?" Wes Shoemyer explains that Missouri law guarantees rights to family farmers; but the so-called "Right to Farm" would extend these rights to corporations. That could give advantages to CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and huge corporations that are not even headquartered in Missouri.
June 14 & 16: "Horse Slaughtering." Bonnie Boime explains how horse slaughtering can ruin the environment and economy of a town where a plant is located. She asks if laws require the humane slaughter of horses, how many jobs are really created, and how we can protect horses and communities from the practice.
June 21 & 23: "The Story of Broke." Fredric Raines, and Rev. Elston K. McCowan discuss making federal and local money available for environmental and social justice needs.
June 28 & 30: "Food Fight — What Are We Eating?" Eleeahsah Ben Israel, of the Hebrew Israelites, and Christine Jackson, of Healthy Effective Alternatives to Live, discuss self-destructive eating and drinking habits and changes that people could make.
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!