Thursday, December 7, 2000

Calendar Sale

To help with your calendar event organization, or with keeping a personal record or log of your activity, or with selecting a gift to give, the White Pine Group still has a few Sierra Club Calendars for sale, 10% off:
  • One 2001 Wilderness Wall Calendar... $10.75
  • Eight 2001 Engagement Calendars... $11.65 ea.
The wall calendar features sequoias, Death Valley, Bryce Canyon, Mojave National Preserve, Havasu Falls, Michigan ferns and sugar maples, Hawthorne leaves, Illinois Tupelo gum and cypress, Yosemite's Sentinel Rock, North Dakota's Little Missouri River, and more.

Weekly photographs in the engagement calendar include wildlife, plants, stones, scenery, etc. from throughout the U.S. as well as a few from beyond our borders: Mexico's monarch butterflies, an Antarctica iceberg at midnight, Australian king penguins. Sept 17-23 features sandstone swirls like those you can see of "The Wave" at the Audubon program on Dec. 14.

Please phone to help finish our 2000 fundraising in this delightful way. Free delivery!

Vote for Group EXCOM and Bylaws

Enclosed with this newsletter is a ballot for our members to use to select our EXCOM for 2001. The Sierra Club has revised the bylaws wording for all Groups allowing certain options to be selected within some sections so a ballot item is included for that vote, also.

Our Group's original bylaws were adopted on Feb. 25, 1981. Club mandated revisions now improve clarity, language, and definition of internal Club ties and elaborate on EXCOM powers, financial matters, and election processes.

The only MAJOR change we are making if the new bylaws options we propose are approved is to lower the number of folks on our EXCOM from 9 to 5.

Other change options we propose ALLOW 11 members to petition for special membership meetings, 11 members to be a quorum for such membership meetings, 10% of membership to petition for special elections, 14 days written notice for special Group membership meetings, EXCOM to fill vacancies in elected positions until the next election, a minimum of 3 EXCOM meetings per year, the chair or 3 ExCom members to call special meetings of the EXCOM, removal by the EXCOM of any EXCOM member missing three regularly scheduled meetings in one year, and 15 members to submit a nomination petition for an EXCOM election.

To receive a copy of the template of the bylaws used to select options and/or for a copy of the bylaws as proposed contact Dick Worm. A copy can be sent by e-mail or by regular mail.

The bylaw revisions may also be discussed at the Dec. 11 Group meeting. See the calendar of events.

See ballot for further election details.

White Pine Group Meeting and Outing Calendar

Meeting/Program: Monday December 11, 2000 7 PM. Firstar Bank, Kennedy and Wacker across from Kennedy Mall (435 JF Kennedy Rd.)
Program: "The Pacific Northwest" by Jim Fahrion (postponed from September).
Meeting: Bylaws revision. Local issues: ATV park near Elkader, Barge Fleeting, Bottle Bill, etc.

Audubon Society Program: Thursday Dec. 14
7 PM, Lyons Nature Center, 8999 Bellevue Heights Rd. (Off US 52 South). Dick Worm of the White Pine Group will present a program about Sierra Club service trips featuring the Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument in Utah and its management plan (threatened by political and western opposition.) Scenes of Cockscomb Ridge, "The Wave", Kodachrome Basin, Colt Mesa work site, Silver Falls Creek Canyon to the Escalante River, Wolverine Petrified Wood Area, and Wolverine Canyon to Horse Canyon will be featured.

Outing: Sunday December 17, 2000
Hike and/or cross-country ski at Wyalusing State Park, located on the south side of the mouth of the Wisconsin River just south of Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Meet at 12:00 noon in Dubuque at Eagle Country Market parking lot near Burger King, 300 South Locust St., near the US 20 Bridge; or meet at Wyalusing's entrance about 1:30 PM. Phone Charlie to confirm attendance.

Outing: Sunday January 7, 2001
Visit the proposed site for an ATV park near Elkader. Cross-country ski and/or hike on the nearby Pony Hollow Nature Trail. Meet at 12:00 noon in Dubuque at the Hempstead High main parking lot (3715 Pennsylvania Ave.); or about 1:30 PM on Highway 13 just south of the Highway 13 bridge over the Turkey River at the intersection with 265th St. Dine in Elkader after the outing.

Meeting/Program: Monday January 8, 2001
7 PM. (Location change!) First Congregational Church, 255 West 10th, Dubuque (10th and Locust) across Locust Street from the city library. Use door from the courtyard at the rear of the church. We will likely use the large nursery room to meet in. Third room straight down the hallway.
Program: "Three Colorado Fourteeners and Arizona's Highest", Dick Worm. (Colorado's Handies, Shavano, and Tabegauche Peaks and Arizona's Humphrey's Peak.)
Meeting: EXCOM election results. Select officers from the new EXCOM for 2001. Local issues.

Meeting/Program: Monday February 12, 2001
7 PM. First Congregrational Church, 255 West 10th, downtown Dubuque (See directions above.)
Program: "Sierra Club Kanab Creek Wilderness Service Trip - North Boundary of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona", Dick Worm. Scenes of trail maintenance work and from a hike down to Kanab Creek and another in Jumpup and Sowats Canyons to be featured. Then meeting.

Outing: Sunday February 25, 2001
Faraway Farm Pond Party. Come to Dick and Jane Worm's Echo Valley Pond and Faraway Farm Conservation Area and the neighboring Echo Valley Farm for an afternoon of whatever the ground conditions allow: ice skate or ice fish on the pond, cross-country ski and/or hike the trails along the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, sled down the lanes to the pond, enjoy hot chocolate at the shelter, roast marshmallows on the bonfire. A tractor and trailer will be available to help folks down and/or back up to the lane and from the pond area. Parking will be at Dick and Jane's home.

Elkader ATV Park

The following letter was sent to us by Thomas Gifford. Since then, is has been reported that the Elkader Development Commission (responsible for bringing development to Elkader) voted 8-0 to oppose the park in writing. "Things may be looking up, but we definitely cannot let our guard down."

I live in Elkader in northeast Iowa. If you've visited the area, you know that we are blessed with several rivers, wooded bluffs, and a rolling terrain that is unique to this corner of the state. That is why I chose to move back here from St. Louis.

I am writing to ask for your help to stop the DNR's proposal to locate an ATV/OHV park along the Turkey River near the confluence of Robert's Creek on land adjoining Elkader. I can't imagine a worse location! The proposed ATV park includes 240 acres stretching approximately 1 1/2 miles along the Turkey River just south of the highway 13 bridge. Not only does this land border the river for 1 1/2 miles, it also includes sinkholes and algific slopes, steep hillsides, wooded areas and yellow lady slippers. Obviously, it is home to wildlife as well. In fact, in the fall, I have personally counted over 25 bald eagles on a stretch of river no more than 2 miles downstream. Friends of mine have counted over 50!

The Turkey River is a popular canoing stream. The length of river between Elkader and Motor Mill (5 miles) is the most heavily canoed stretch and is arguably the nicest canoing water in Iowa. With this park, approximately 1/3 of the trip will be lost to ATV noise and disruption. (The ATV enthusiasts argue that the noise would be no worse than the traffic on Hwy 13. However, what they neglect to mention is that the highway crosses the river at one point, while the ATV park traverses the river for 1 1/2 miles!).

The only house or farm building on the river in this area is the Helle farm (proposed sellers). With most of Iowa already plowed under, we need to cherish and protect the few "wild" places we have left. There are several other reasons to object to this site, not the least of which are, proximity to two parks and a county nature trail, and the closeness to residential neighborhoods in Elkader.

We have a growing base of local support for our efforts to derail this project. However, we need more broad-based support from the environmental community if we are to effect any change on the DNR's position. I do not live by the proposed park. However, I an an avid kayaker, hiker and closet environmentalist. I have also been a member of the Sierra Club off and on over the past several years and am currently sending in my renewal for next year. Can you use your weight to apply pressure to stop this? We have been writing letters to the DNR (Arnie Sohn in particular), but could use e-mails from across the state. I really can't afford to push this much further locally, but it would be an outrage to lose this beautiful valley to something like this. Any help you could give us would be greatly appreciated.

Thomas Gifford
Elkader, IA

Group Member Communication

Dick Worm, editor

Just prior to our Turkey Dinner Fundraiser, I took the opportunity to phone nearly all of our Dubuque members to touch base, invite them to the dinner, and remind them to vote on Nov. 7. It was neat to get to talk to many of you. Many others just got a voice mail message. A very few others received an e-mail message. I tried to NOT phone folks who have requested no phone calls for any reason.

If you would send us your e-mail address, we could try to communicate to members that way. It was nice to hear back from some via e-mail.

Winter Sundays at E.B. Lyons

The Friends of the Mines of Spain are hosting free programs at the E.B. Lyons Nature Center on the second and fourth Sundays during January, February, and March. Center opens at 1 PM; programs at 1:30 PM.

1/14: Out-of-doors fiction and non-fiction, library

1/28: Pueblo Archeology, Nancy Wright

2/11: Bird identification and banding, Dave Shealer

2/25: Indoor and outdoor animals, animal hospital

3/11: Boating, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary

3/25: A Family's Heritage in Mines of Spain Area (8999 Bellevue Heights Rd., off US 52 S.)

Travel Adventure & Backpacking

Dick Worm will be off to South America from Jan. 17-Feb. 10 to try to trek up to Mt. Aconcagua's 22,840-ft.summit near Santiago, Chile, with an Alpine Ascents International expedition.

Charlie Winterwood will be on the Sierra Club's "Winter Wildlife and Hot Springs of Yellowstone Park, Wyoming" cross-country ski trip from Feb. 10-17.

For folks interested in trying a backpack adventure, contact Dick Worm about three such trips he will do this summer, 2001:
  • July 29-Aug. 4, lead Sierra Club trip, Wind River Mtns, WY
  • Aug. 6-11, local folks trip, Weminuche Wilderness, Colorado
  • Aug. 13-18, assist Sierra Club trip, South San Juan, Colorado

2000 White Pine Group Executive Committee

Chair: Charlie Winterwood (Dubuque) ('01)
Vice Chair: Jim Fahrion (Dubuque) ('01)
Turkey Dinner: Jane Worm (Bellevue) ('01)
Treasurer: Mike Muir (Dubuque) ('01)
Newsletter/Membership: Dick Worm (Bellevue) ('00)
Conservation: Gretel Winterwood (Dubuque) ('00)
Outings/Sierra Society: Steve Neyens (Dubuque) ('01)
EXCOM: Kevin Kane (Dubuque) ('01)
EXCOM: Dan Ernst (Dubuque) ('00)

Friday, September 1, 2000

Calendar of Group Events

Please mark these events onto your handy wall calendar:

Note: All Group Program/Meetings will be on the second Monday night of each month at Firstar Bank Meeting Room, 435 JF Kennedy Rd., (Kennedy at Wacker, across street from the main east side entrance to Kennedy Mall off U.S. 20 on Dubuque's West end.) Phone Dick Worm for further details.

September 11, Monday
Program/Meeting: 7 PM, Firstar Bank, 435 Kennedy Rd., Dubuque. Join local participants of the July 16-21 South San Juan Wilderness Colorado backpack trip as they see Dick Worm's slide program and share photo albums and experiences regarding the trip.

September 15, Friday
Outing: 1:30 - 4 PM, Mines of Spain Nature/Bird hike led by Charlie Winterwood as part of the National Audubon Society's Conference on the Upper Mississippi River. Meet at the Iowa Welcome Center at the Mississippi River Museum, E. 3rd St., Dubuque.

Other field trip options are also available by registering for the Audubon conference.

Come and meet fellow Northeast Iowa Sierrans at these events: 

September 16, Saturday
Event options available:
1. Mines of Spain Fall Seminar. See enclosed registration brochure describing this "Day Field School" of events. Two morning and one afternoon session provide over 20 options for learning about and exploring Mines of Spain environs with professional interpreters.

2. Audubon Conference continues at Sinsinawa Mound Conference Center with concurrent sessions in the morning and afternoon featuring Audubon and Mississippi River issues and programs. A 7 PM concert by environmental troubadours, Bill Oliver and Glen Waldeck closes out the day.

3. Assist with a White Pine Group/Sierra Club exhibit on River Issues at the Sinsinawa Audubon Conference between 7:30 AM and closing after the concert.

October 7, Saturday
Iowa Chapter/Sierra Club Annual Dinner. See Iowa Sierran Autumn newsletter for details.

October 9, Monday
Program/Meeting: 7 PM, Firstar Bank, 435 Kennedy Rd., Dubuque. Experience early June along the South Shore of Lake Superior from Wisconsin's Apostle Islands to Michigan's Copper Harbor. In between see the waterfalls of the Black River and of the Presque Isle River Unit of Porcupine Mountain Wilderness State Park, Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains, "Sam Hill" trail in Twin Lakes State Park, Copper Bay's Fort Wilkins and Estivant Pines Wilderness Nature Sanctuary, lake shore sunsets, beach at McClain State Park, Lake Gogebic, Agate and Bond Falls, and Rhinelander's Hodag. Dick Worm's slides and photo album will highlight all of these 36th wedding anniversary trip attractions.

October 14, Saturday
Outing: Hike the Jackson County Recreation Trail along the Maquoketa River for some birding and peaceful admiration of nature. Leaves may be in Autumn coloration. Meet at 10 AM at the Banworth Udelhoven Furniture Store parking lot at the corner of US 52 and 61/151 on the south edge of Dubuque or phone Charlie Winterwood for trailhead location.

October 29, Sunday
Outing: Hike at Pine Valley near Canton. Meet at Eagle Country Market parking lot, north end near Burger King, 300 South Locust (just south of the U.S. 20 Julien Dubuque Mississippi River Bridge) at 12:00 noon. For hike location details, phone Charlie Winterwood.

November 4, Saturday
Turkey Dinner Fundraiser. (see separate insert for event description and registration brochure.) At First Congregational Church, 10th and Locust, downtown Dubuque. Social begins at 5:30 PM. Dinner at 6:15.

Program at 7:30:
"End Commercial Logging on Public Lands" by Shelia Bosworth, member of the Sierra Club's national committee involved with this Club Priority campaign. Shelia, from Princeton, Iowa, helped support Club endorsement of Rep. Jim Leach, a sponsor of legislation to end such logging. Shelia also serves as chairman of the Sierra Club's Mississippi River Basin Ecoregion Task Force.

November 7, Tuesday
Gore Lieberman

November 13, Monday
Program/Meeting: 7 PM, Firstar Bank, 435 Kennedy Rd., Dubuque. "Scenes of the Pacific Northwest" by Jim Fahrion features slides taken this past summer. This is an area facing the dilemma of the future of logging in the U.S.

November 18, Saturday
Outing: Hiking at Camp Klaus Boy Scout Camp near Colesburg. A roster of participants must be turned in before our arrival! So please contact Charlie Winterwood before or at the November 4 Turkey Dinner. You can sign up at the September and October meetings, also. A waterfall and lake are among the various scenic attractions that enhance the outdoor experiences of scouts in this region. Come and share a "scouting experience" with us.

Leave at 9 AM from the Hempstead High main parking lot (3715 Pennsylvania Ave., Dubuque) or at Camp Klaus at 10 AM. We will try to find a nearby eatery to have a late lunch together.

Volunteers Welcome: White Pine Group/Sierra Club Exhibit

On Saturday September 16, for the Audubon Conference, we will put up a display of Mississippi River related information at Sinsinawa. The Midwest Office of the Sierra Club has provided some copies of the Club's Ecoregion Program. It features articles regarding the natural and human aspects of life on the Mississippi River Basin. A video, "America's River: The Mississippi," produced for Sierra Club Midwest will be available for preview. Information about the Sierra Club, in general, will also be available.

To help with this project in any way you can, please contact Nancy Nolley. Maybe you have some Mississippi River photos or information to share or could help with table set-up and supervision.

Iowa Sierran Features Our Group

The White Pine Group was one of the eight Iowa Chapter Groups to be featured in the Iowa Sierran newsletter. An article about the Group's history, happenings, and hopes was published in the Autumn 2000 issue. Take a look at the article and see where we have been, where we are, and what could be. How could you fit into the picture? What is the real strength of the Sierra Club? In what way can each of us help the Sierra Club in our area make a difference? How can we best utilize the reputation, clout, and expertise of the club to better protect what nature now has to offer so it may be explored and enjoyed by generations to come? Are you sharing, exploring, and enjoying as much as you could with like-minded citizens to help us focus some activism?

Sierra Club Groups are the basis of the grassroots strength of the Sierra Club. The White Pine Group would enjoy more active participation.

Group Bylaws Development

A new, revised Sierra Club Group Bylaws Development Handbook has been developed and all Sierra Club Groups have been encouraged to adopt bylaw revisions. These revisions would resequence bylaws for clarity, eliminate vestiges of sexist use of language, better define and strengthen ties between Club levels, elaborate on existing EXCOM powers and financial matters, expand upon the election process and timeline, and provide an enhanced template for meeting procedures and decision making.

The major change we are considering as an allowed variation for local circumstances is to reduce our number of Group EXCOM members from nine (9) to five (5). This may help us meet a bylaw requirement that there always be an election with at least two more candidates than openings available and to better assure having a quorum at EXCOM meetings. Ballot to be in the next newsletter.

Our original intent for 9 on the EXCOM was to have a broad base of decision-making and enough officially elected leaders to cover all committee and other available duties. Reality now encourages stepping back but with the incentive and flexibility to find non-EXCOM volunteers and appointees to provide more Group leadership.

Candidates for EXCOM Sought

Election 2000 opens up 4 EXCOM positions. Please consider offering to serve the grassroots Sierra Club cause as a leader of the White Pine Group. You may be able to provide ideas and enthusiasm to bolster Group activity.

If you do not feel that the EXCOM is for you, you can volunteer to serve in some other capacity. We would like to hear from you.

There will be a ballot in the Winter newsletter for both the EXCOM election and the bylaws revisions. A copy of the revised bylaws will be available at the next three program/meetings and at the Turkey Dinner. You are encouraged to review these. Learning how the the Sierra Club is supposed to operate may help you decide that this is an organization you would like to serve as a Group EXCOM leader!

Volunteers Welcome: Turkey Dinner Fundraiser

Our White Pine Group has never asked for the allotment of funds from the national Club that we are entitled, letting the Iowa Chapter keep it as a contribution to Chapter operations from our Group. Our only official sources of income have been proceeds from the Turkey Dinner and Sierra Club calendar sales.

Volunteers help make the Turkey Dinner an actual fundraiser. Volunteers provide a variety of items for the meal: cranberry salads, pies, cakes, etc. Volunteers roast the turkeys in their own ovens. Volunteers help with the table set-up the night before the dinner. Volunteers contribute door prizes and and centerpiece decorations. Volunteers help clear tables and wash dishes. Volunteers sweep the floor. Some who are unable to attend, volunteer dollars to help with expenses. Some volunteer to have a night out and attend the dinner getting to meet fellow Sierrans and other attendees including our Audubon Society, Mississippi Trails Hiking Club, and other conservation-minded friends. Sierra Society youth have volunteered to carve pumpkins or create dried plant bouquets for nursing home decorations. See the Turkey Dinner form to VOLUNTEER!!

Friends of the Upper Mississippi River Refuges

You can be a Friend of the Upper Mississippi River Refuges. An organizational meeting was held on August 22nd for the establishment of a new chapter of the Friends of the Upper Mississippi River Refuges. This tri-state chapter would be fostered through the support of the Mississippi River Discovery Center now in the planning stages. The Center will serve as an interpretive center for Region 3 of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 20 more members are needed to establish a Dubuque area Chapter.

A potluck meeting will be held at 6 PM on October 3rd at Eagle Point Park. You are encouraged to participate to help serve the goals of the organization:
  • Support the Multi-use concept
  • Inform the public about the benefits of the National Wildlife Refuges
  • Provide opportunities for volunteers
  • Locate funding for projects and activities to enhance the Refuges
  • Inform elected officials about refuge issues

Membership dollars will:
  • further public awareness along the river
  • provide educational environmental programs
  • expand opportunities for public use of the refuges
  • improve and create sites for the observation of birds and other wildlife
  • support the restoration and preservation of the wetlands and prairies
  • be used to help maintain and establish hiking and canoe trails
To conserve the natural and cultural resources of Upper Mississippi River, the Friends group will work with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service supporting a complex of national wildlife refuges.

Charlie Winterwood was chosen to be vice chair of the proposed Friends Chapter. Ed Cawley is the chair.See the membership form included with this newsletter.

Sierra Club Trips

Dick Worm, editor

One thing I have been impressed with while being a member of two Sierra Club Service Trips this past year is the variety of folks who participate. The Top of Texas trip last October included a number of unmarried young people who took vacation time to serve as trail work volunteers. One young lady was a medical student. I suppose, without family obligations, these folks could more easily justify such an outing.

One married couple on the Kanab Creek Wilderness Service Trip had grown up in the Dubuque area, one attending Senior High School, the other attending the Western Dubuque High School in Epworth. They had operated a dairy farm in Minnesota but decided that lifestyle was too stifling, sold their farm holdings, and now found time to enjoy their first wilderness adventure by doing trail work as Sierra Club volunteers.

This summer, I served as the assistant leader for a Club backpack trip in the South San Juan Wilderness in Colorado (right after the trip with the group from here). One member of that trip was a heart attack survivor. He and I walked together a lot at the back of the group during the first couple of days as we climbed over 3000 ft. from about 9000 ft. to over 12,000 ft. He took many short breaks to catch his breath and just pump up for the next section of the trail.

He wrote to me after the trip: "...the backpacking trip was a big deal. Getting back into shape; then going on the trip itself did prove to myself that yes I can still do it." He added, "Guess at times adults can act as adults and still have a good time like kids."

When leading youth on such trips during 25 previous years, I knew they were taking the time to go along. Now, with adults, I see them making the effort to participate. The driving force is just a little different.

For more information about such trips, I hope you were able to see my articles in the past two Iowa Sierrans. You gain much more respect for what we are trying to protect by actually getting out there and exploring and enjoying the natural wonders first hand. See you at our Programs?

Turkey Dinner Fundraiser

Saturday November 4, 2000
First Congregational Church, 10th and Locust
Downtown Dubuque

The public is welcome (reservation required)
Traditional Turkey Dinner

5:30 PM - social hour, apple cider, calendar sales, exhibits, Gateway Natural Foods video

6:15 PM - buffet-style traditional turkey dinner

7:00 PM - welcome, introductions, door prizes, pumpkin decorating and "bouquet" awards

7:30 PM - program: "End Commercial Logging on Public Lands", Sheila Bosworth, Sierra Club Priority Campaign Committee. This topic is one of four of the National Sierra Club priority campaigns for 2000. Shelia, a member of the Iowa Chapter's Eagle View Group, lives in Princeton, Iowa, and is served in Congress by Rep. Jim Leach, a sponsor of legislation to end public land commercial logging in national forests, national parks, wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management holdings. A former member of the Sierra Club's national membership committee, Shelia now also serves the Club as chair of the Mississippi River Basin Ecoregion Task Force. Her presentation will include the Sierra Club video, "This Land Is Your Land", describing forestry issues and economics. She reports that a recently released study finds that more money can be made by letting forests stand instead of cutting them down. Sheila says, "Iowans visit national forests. Iowa's members of Congress vote on national forest issues. We have a stake in what happens to those forestlands."

8:30 PM - clean up, dish washing/drying, calendar sales. VOLUNTEERS WELCOME.

2000 White Pine Group Executive Committee

Chair: Charlie Winterwood ('01)
Vice Chair: Jim Fahrion ('01)
Turkey Dinner: Jane Worm ('01)
Treasurer: Mike Muir ('01)
Newsletter/Membership: Dick Worm ('00)
Conservation: Gretel Winterwood ('00)
Outings/Sierra Society: Steve Neyens ('00)
EXCOM: Kevin Kane ('01)
EXCOM: Dan Ernst ('00)

Iowater Monitoring

The White Pine Group is responsible for monitoring the water quality of a section of Catfish Creek in Dubuque. Charlie Winterwood has taken the training and has the equipment necessary to conduct these tests. Dick Worm, so far, is his only official assistant. Additional helpers would be welcome.

We will perform our first testing session on Tuesday or Wednesday, Sept 12 or 13. Testing takes about 2 hours. We have kept the time somewhat flexible to hopefully fit the schedule of other volunteers. If you could help at any time (morning, afternoon, or early evening) on either of those days, please contact Charlie. Additional hands would be very welcome!

Wednesday, March 1, 2000

Calendar of Events

Please mark these events onto your handy wall calendar.

March 5, Sunday
Outing: Eagle Roosting Site and adjoining 330 acres near Hopkinton. Meet at Hempstead High Parking Lot at noon, or at the lane leading south to Hardscrabble Park at 1:00 PM just across the Maquoketa River bridge, west of Hopkinton on County Road D47.

This property, owned by White Pine Group member John Stone, is south of Hardscrabble Park and includes Maquoketa River shoreline, wooded bluffs, and fields. A small in-holding owned by another person threatens the quality of the roosting area if opened to the public for snowmobiling. We will learn of the issues associated with access to and use of this property.

For more information, contact Dick Worm.

March 10, Friday
Hike Dick and Jane Worm's Faraway Farm Conservation Easement property, 150 acres along the Mississippi River, with Jill Daniel, as she conducts the annual monitoring of the easement agreement. Learn about "easements" and join in on discussions of prairie restoration, invading plant removal, and other plans as we walk the property.

Phone Dick Worm for the time to begin (either late AM or early PM), yet to be confirmed, and for directions to 3680 Echo Hills, 2 miles east of US 52 South on St. Catherine Rd.

March 12, Sunday
Mines of Spain program at E.B. Lyons Nature Center, 1:30 PM, "Caves and Mines", Ruby Pruszco

March 13, Monday
Program/Meeting: Hempstead High School Auditorium, South Pod; enter at Moody Gym entrance and continue straight past gym to auditorium entrances (3715 Pennsylvania Ave., Dubuque). 7 PM: Sierra Society Youth meeting.

7:30 PM, Public Program: "Caprock Canyons and Palo Duro Canyon State Parks, North Texas". These parks were featured in the May 1999 Backpacker, Magazine of Wilderness Travel special edition featuring a "Central Hiking Guide". These two were included in the South Central section. Dick Worm will show slides, photo album pictures, and maps from his October sunrise, sunset, and perfect weather hikes there on the way home from "Top of Texas" Sierra Club Service Trip. (The same magazine also featured Yellow River State Forest, Iowa, in its Upper Midwest Section.)

8:15 PM, White Pine Group meeting. Discuss local, state, and national election endorsements, etc.

March 15 - April 1
Dick Worm travels to Arizona for the Sierra Club's Kanab Creek Trail Maintenance Service Trip backpacking around Jumpup Pt. into N. rim wilderness canyons, Also plans hikes at Crazy Jug Pt., Mt. Humphrey's, Mund's Mt. Wilderness, Wilson Mountain, etc.

March 26, Sunday
Mines of Spain program at E. B. Lyons Nature Center, 1:30 PM, "Building a Prairie", Clarke College Science Education.

April 8, Saturday
Group outing: Mossy Glen State Preserve. Meet at Rupp Hollow Road, Heritage Trail Parking Lot at 9 AM, or at Bixby State Preserve just north out of Edgewood at 10 AM. Mossy Glen is just northwest of Bixby, where we may also hike some later. Bring a lunch and beverage for the day. Return to Dubuque by 4 PM. Phone Charlie Winterwood for more information.

April 10, Monday
Program/Meeting: Hempstead Science Learning Center, C-270. (Not auditorium). Use Flagpole Circle Drive Entrance using doors to the left of the gated open entry to the courtyard. Go up one flight of stairs, follow long hall westward to the meeting room on the left.

7 PM: Sierra Society Youth meeting.

7:30 PM, Public Program: "John Muir: The Man, The Poet, The Legacy", 50-minute video, as seen on PBS. Slides and print photos that Dick Worm took this past summer at the John Muir National Historic Site, Martinez, California, and at Muir Woods National Monument and Muir Beach will also be shown.

8:40 PM: White Pine Group Meeting. Decide election endorsements, consider Earth Day event options, and other matters.

April 22, Saturday: Earth Day 2000
(Middle of Easter vacation, but do what you can to remember the day. Attend our March and April meetings to help consider some appropriate action.)

May 6, Saturday
Group outing: French Creek Wildlife Management Area/Hog Confinement issue tour. Walk along the trout stream and get a sense of the setting as related to the nearby confinement. See the update in the recently received Spring 2000 Sierran. Meet at Hempstead at 8 AM, or at French Creek about 10 AM.

French Creek is located about 7 miles west of Lansing on IA 9, then north on a road near Churchtown. There is a sign on IA 9 showing where to turn north. Or, maybe the sign I once saw was at French Creek Road, about 4 miles further west; or, at Road X20, a blacktop, about another mile west (or about 4-5 miles northwest of Waukon at Lycurgus where there is a church), then proceed north on X20 about three miles to a poorly marked Ebner Drive where you turn right (east). If the X20 blacktop has turned to gravel, you have gone too far. Go about 1.6 miles east on Ebner Dr., and turn left at the bottom of a steep hill onto French Creek Drive. It is about 1 mile to the primitive campground on the left. That is where we will try to meet. There is a trail from the campground to the stream. The confinement area is on eastward on French Creek Drive, up a steep hill, then another 0.5 mile. (Hope my Gazetteer is sort of close!)

Later May 6 - 7 (Saturday - Sunday)
Outing continues: After visiting French Creek, we plan to continue on up into Minnesota to camp and bicycle. We may drive up to Beaver Creek Valley State Park near Caledonia off Rt. 76 in Minnesota; then, continue on to Rushford, where we may drop off one vehicle at the east end of the Root River Trail. Then, drive scenic route 16 west to Preston and on to Forestville-Mystery Cave State Park where we will camp. Try to visit the cave or bicycle a short branch of Root River Trail that begins at Fountain as time in the day permits. Bring your own food for camping or plan to eat in Preston or Lanesboro or some such to help local economies..

We would plan to bicycle from Preston to Rushford on Sunday. Return to Dubuque by 4-5 PM.

May 8, Monday
Program/Meeting: Hempstead High Science Learning Center, C-270 (not auditorium). Enter via Flagpole Drive entry, etc. as described for the April 10 meeting. Signs will be posted.

7 PM: Sierra Society Youth meeting.

7:30 PM, Public Program: "Oklahoma's Black Mesa and New Mexico's Valley of Fires and Capitan Mountains Wilderness". Slides and album photos from Dick Worm's hikes on his way to the October "Top of Texas" Sierra Club Service Trip.

Black Mesa is "The Top of Oklahoma" at 4973 feet. Valley of Fires is a National Recreation Area of volcanic lava flows. El Capitan Mountain at 10,083 ft. is the highest peak in the Capitan Mountains Wilderness near Capitan, N. M. and Smokey the Bear National Historic Site. The hike up El Capitan was on a clear, deep-blue-sky sort of day with golden aspen scattered among the green pine. Come and EXPLORE.

8:15: Group meeting.

More Spring/Summer Calendar 2000

June 2000
No meetings/outings.

July 2000
No meetings/outings. However, if you or anyone you know might be interested in going on a backpack trip into the South San Juan Wilderness just southwest of Alamosa, Colorado, contact Dick Worm.

The idea is as follows: Since Dick MAY be helping with a national Sierra Club outing in that same wilderness from July 23-29 because of his past experience in that wilderness in 1991 and 1997, he is planning to lead a trip for local Sierra Society youth and adults into the same area, backpacking from July 16-21. Jim Fahrion, White Pine Group past Chair, who helped lead the 1997 youth outing there; Mike Marty, Hempstead Science Dept. Chair, who has helped lead many previous youth outings the last being in 1996; and 2 or 3 other adults and one college-age youth are interested, if dates and such work out. DIck is willing to take anyone interested in such an adventure.

Plan is to leave Dubuque on July 14, camp in Kansas, and get to Alamosa on the 15th, camping at the local KOA. Dick's vans and Sierra Society's trailer could be used, or other private vehicles. Dick might take his car so he could stay there with it while others return to Iowa after the backpacking.

Backpacking would begin on July 16th from a trailhead just north of the Conejos Campground on the Conejos River on a Forest Service Road south of Platoro Reservoir. (This is straight west of La Jara on U.S. 285. Conejos Peak, 13,172 ft., which is also shown on my Rand McNally and State Farm Road Atlases, would be one of our day-hike objectives.)

At the trailhead, we may have to wade across a spring run-off overflow channel in order to get to the bridge that crosses the main channel of the Conejos River. We would then backpack westward, upstream along the south fork of the Conejos less than 5 miles wading a couple of tributary streams to camp at the mouth of Canon Verde. Elevation gain is only from 8960 ft. to 9600 ft. A good little hike to help with the acclimatization to altitude. There is a little swimming hole upstream in Canon Verde and a nice ridge to scramble up at this campsite.

On July 17th we would continue 5 mi. upstream along the south fork, past the mouth of Canon Rincon (which we backpacked down in 1997), and on up on new trail to me within about one mile of Blue Lake which sits right on the continental divide. We would camp at about 11,200 ft. still on the s. fork. The last part of this trail seems to be the steepest and ascends through forested terrain. We could take a hike over to Blue Lake that evening or the next morning. (Blue Lake is a prime objective on this trip as Dick has not been to it before.)

July 18th, we would backpack on up along the S. Fork northeastward about 3.5 miles to its source, the 12,000 ft. Glacier Lake. Here, we could leave our packs, and day-hike on up to the summit of Conejos Peak. It is a pretty gentle climb of another 1172 ft. stretched out over about 3 miles. Afternoon storms are common so we'd want an early start that day. We would return to Glacier Lake, descend a fairly steep slope (maybe do dome snow sliding) to the upper end of Canon Rincon and camp near Twin Lakes at about 11,680 ft. Camp here two nights.

July 19th, a day of rest; or hike up Conejos Peak if not done due to weather or whatever yesterday; or dayhike down slope about 2 miles south to the 11,335 ft., Timber Lake which sits on the edge of a narrow ridge between Canon Rincon and Hansen Creek. It is a really neat scene with the west end of the lake very near a 880 ft. almost vertical drop to Hansen Creek. A windswept desert-like landscape of volcanic rock and pinnacles on the edge of the ridge add to the unique setting. Continuing past the lake another mile could provide a look down into the S. Fork Canyon we had come in on about 1200 ft. below. Another interesting scramble from the west end of the western-most Twin Lake is up to a camel-shaped rock pinnacle eroded out of volcanic breccia (boulders fused together). Lots of other weirdly shaped pinnacles also dot that slope.

July 20th, backpack eastward past the south face of Conejos Peak on nearly level terrain looping northward around the heads of Hansen Creek and Canon Bonito to the Conejos Trail for about 4.5 miles. Usually see elk in this region. Maybe drop packs and ramble up a slope to a 12,555 ft. vista down onto Bear Lake about 1000 ft. below. The trail begins to descend now towards Roaring Gulch. Camp at the base of a steep section of trail at about 11,600 ft. after another 1-2 miles. Could hike from camp over to a 12,105 foot vista down onto Bear Lake again to watch the sun set.

July 21, backpack 5 mi. southeast down to trailhead. Camp at Alamosa KOA, again.

July 22-23: Drive back to Iowa.

August 19, Saturday
Group Potluck Picnic at Dick and Jane Worm's Faraway Farm, noon.

Grills will be provided. Bring your own meat to grill, a dish to share, utensils, etc. Jane may provide a cake as it is Dick's birthday on the 19th. Bring lawn chairs. Picnic tables are in the shelters.

Come early to fish, swim, and/or canoe in the pond and/or hike to the Mississippi River or on the numerous trails through forest and fields, to the Big Bluestream Prairie Grass site; along the Mississippi Bluffs, and to the high ridge. Find sink holes, fossils, fern covered rock faces, etc. And/or all are welcome to do the same after the picnic, also.

A Group EXCOM meeting to plan Fall calendar will be held after lunch. Stay for an evening campfire. Gate will open at 8 AM and stay open until whenever. Camp for the night, if you'd like.

There is a small shelter close to the parking area and a large shelter at the pond. Four canoes, paddles, life jackets, and a flat bottom boat will be available. A variety of tents can also be made available for anyone wanting to camp out but has no tent.

Insect repellant may be a wise accessory but Deep Woods Off will be available. Off trail wanderers may encounter poison ivy.

Campers may camp on the dam at the pond near the shelter, outhouse, and fire ring; at at a couple of bluff top locations (one with a nearby outhouse and fire ring), or at a remote location by the gully at the far southeast corner of the property. All these sites are on mowed grass. There is also a mowed site by the old stone foundation on the high ridge top. It is on the same level as the Echo Hills Lane and can be easily hiked to from Dick and Jane's house.

Faraway Farm is located 2 miles east on St. Catherine Road from US 52, 6 miles south of Dubuque city limits. Turn left at the Echo Hills sign and take the center lane down onto gravel, over a cattle guard, straight through a gate, and down to the parking areas above the pond.

Winter Outings Report

On January 22, five of us tried out our cross country skis on the Pony Hollow Trail just east of Elkader. The trail was pretty flat so I only fell down about three times on my new skis. And we only had to dodge snowmobiles twice. A nice stream runs along the trail adding to the scenic values. First time out so good testing of the groin muscles! Stiff and sore.

We enjoyed lunch at the Keystone Cafe in Elkader overlooking the Turkey River. A large hawk sat in the snow on the deck railing for quite a while adding to our pleasure.

I had to miss the Feb. 19 outing to Yellow River Forest but Charlie Winterwood and I got in some more skiing on Faraway Farm and on a Jackson County Trail on old railroad bed along the Maquoketa River southwest from County Road Z34 north of Preston to Spragueville. This 3.8 mile trail provides nice vistas of the meandering Maquoketa, has shelters and tables, and geologic time markers put in place by a Preston elementary school class. A hamburger, raspberry shake, and Citra at a cafe in Spragueville rounded out that morning outing.

The Faraway Farm ski trails are a lot less flat. The lane down the southeast (right) side of the ridge to the fields got down to being only a two-faller for me. A wee bit fast for my meager skills. Once onto the fields on the bench above the river bluffs, the going was better, peacefully serene, and scenic with views toward Galena across the Mississippi River Valley. Lots of deer tracks on the trails and evidence of turkey scratching. Good exercise. But, this summer, I will mow the trails with less sharp turns and angle down slopes rather than go straight down where ever possible. Those 90 degree turns at the bottom of the slopes at the edges of the fields overlooking the river were a little brutal!!! Tailbone brakes worked well and did not create serious tailbone breaks.

By building bridges across a couple of gullies, there will be about a half mile of nearly level trail along the river bluff. Nice project to work on over the next couple of years.

The Feb. 14 Sierra Club slide show on the "Battle for the Everglades" was very good.

Action Needed to Protect Everglades and Biscayne National Parks and the Coral Reef!

The Clinton/Gore Administration is considering allowing a major commercial airport to be built on the edge of two national parks - Biscayne and Everglades.

The proposed airport at Homestead, Florida, lies just 1.5 miles from Biscayne national Park and 8.5 miles from Everglades National Park and next to the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. It would be the largest commercial airport next to a national park in the United States, hosting 236,000 flights per year in its first phase... that's a plane every few minutes.

The Administration is also considering a commercial space port at the site, which would pose similar noise, water and air pollution problems.

Please immediately phone and e-mail Vice President Al Gore's office with the following message:
I (and/or Sierra Club your chapter) urge(s) the Clinton/Gore Administration to protect Everglades and Biscayne National Parks by NOT conveying the former Homestead Air Force Base for commercial aviation or space port uses. Such uses will cause unacceptable, permanent impacts to two of America's treasured national parks as well as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.

The Everglades, once a wide, slow moving river, also suffers due to damming, diverting, draining, and urban sprawl.

Iowans Fear Bush Record on Factory Farm Pollution

Des Moines, IA - The Sierra Club today called on Texas Governor George W. Bush to take action to stop water pollution caused by manure from factory farms in Texas. Livestock operations in Texas generate twice as much manure as the second-leading state, and the Bush Administration made it much easier to build new factory farms in Texas. Iowans are very concerned about Gov. Bush's record on factory farm pollution because they also suffer from significant contamination from Hawkeye state operations.

"Animal manure from factory farms poses a growing threat to Texas' drinking water, streams, lakes and groundwater," said Ken Kramer, director of the Lone Star Chapter (Texas) of Sierra Club. "Instead of encouraging more factory farms in Texas, Governor Bush should stop existing operations from polluting our water, and place a moratorium on new factory farms."

"Factory farms that soil rivers, streams, and drinking water are an unfortunately familiar sight and smell here in Iowa, too," said Steve Veysey from Iowa Sierra Club. "Because of Iowa's problems, we are very concerned about Gov. Bush's poor record on factory farm pollution to support our efforts to clean up Iowa by advocating a moratorium on new operations."

Factory farms are large chicken, pig, cattle or dairy farms that house thousands of animals in relatively small confines. These animals produce billions of pounds of manure, and cause water pollution when the large volume of manure the operations apply to the land runs off into rivers and streams, contaminating the water with bacteria, nitrogen and phosphorus. Texas livestock operations produce 220 billion pounds of manure annually, twice as much as the second leading state, California. Manure runoff, along with other sources of pollution, contributes to making 27 percent of Texas' waters unfit for swimming. In addition, factory farms generate unbearable odors that can cause illness and drive residents indoors.

Near Perryton, Texas, for example, where Texas Farms, Inc. has grown to 249,000 hogs in the last two years, the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission denied neighbors an opportunity to participate in a hearing on the facility's permit. Now the odors from the hog operation cause neighbors to suffer from nausea and headaches and even prevent them from opening their windows on the evening, according to Donnie Dendy, President of ACCORD AG, a group of small family farmers and ranchers interested in protecting the environment.

"Governor Bush and the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission have streamlined the process to remove public involvement and the right to know," said Dendy, a lifelong area resident and farmer. "Gov. Bush and the TNRCC have turned a deaf ear to rural residents."

"These factory farms are driving family livestock farmers out of business," noted Kramer. "Stronger protections to make sure that factory farms protect the environment will level the playing field for smaller livestock operations."