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Rocky Mountain Chapter

Poudre Canyon Group spreads Sierra Club message at two big events

By Carol Carpenter
RMC Communications Team

Sierra Club’s Rocky Mountain Chapter Poudre Canyon Group (PCG) staffed a successful exhibit/booth at the New West Fest in Fort Collins in early August. They also distributed and discussed important information about Sierra Club at the BioBlitz at Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) at the end of August.

For two consecutive days at the New West Fest, group volunteers handed out nearly 1,000 membership pamphlets and talked to uncounted more festival attendees, including many children, about Sierra Club’s important environmental mission and goals.

PCG volunteers staff booth at BioBlitz
PCG volunteers staff booth at BioBlitz

Shane Davis, chair of the PCG, said the major theme of their booth was hydraulic fracturing. “We engaged hundreds of people in lengthy, meaningful conversations about RMCs position on fracking,” Davis said. “Nearly every person wanted fracking to disappear and thought it was far too harmful to the environment and to human health.”

Volunteers also sold numerous T-shirts and hats with the Sierra Club Logo and the group’s local Website address and nearly 500 oval Sierra Club bumper stickers.

New West Fest is northern Colorado’s largest free community and music festival that is held annually in downtown Fort Collins. The event, which attracted more than 100,000 visitors this year, features many diverse arts, crafts, organization and food booths as well as musical performances by area and national artists.

Davis said their tabling efforts recruited several new volunteers and potential executive committee members for the PCG and one new volunteer for the State of Colorado Oil and Gas Campaign. “Overall, it was a very important event and one that will sustain our energy in the northern part of the state,” said Davis.

BioBlitz also a success

PCG volunteers also participated in late August at the Bio Blitz, one of a series of public events hosted by the National Park Service and the National Geographic Society that counts down to the Park Service centennial in 2016.

The event is held to help the public better understand, appreciate, and protect the nation’s national parks. It brought together 200 leading scientists and naturalists from around the country, thousands of local citizens of all ages, and nearly 1,000 students from around Colorado to learn more about biodiversity at Rocky Mountain National Park.

Past BioBlitzes have been held in national parks in several states, including Indiana, Florida and Arizona.

Davis said the PCG booth handed out and discussed Sierra Club information, including hydraulic fracturing. The booth also provided information by the Rocky Mountain Cat Conservancy (RMCC), whose leaders, Caroline Krumm (also a member of Sierra Club) and Dr. Don Hunter, provided answers to questions about mountain lions in RMNP.

“The BioBlitz brought droves of people who helped catalogue the flora and fauna within Rocky Mountain National Park,” Davis said. “This field inventory is critical to better understand and maintain viable, sustainable ecosystems in the park. I was thrilled to see such a large gathering of environmental stewards in one gathering. PCG is looking forward to the next BioBlitz.”

The PCG plans to attend large fracking events at the New Belgium Brewery and other breweries in Fort Collins between October and December this year.

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