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)