Wednesday, September 5, 2001

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, editor, for more details.

September 9, Sunday

Hike at Interstate Power Woods, 1 PM on Old Davenport Road near intersection with Schueller Heights Rd. south of Dubuque. Bring clippers and don't wear shorts if you would like to help with some trail maintenance.

September 10, Monday
JFK, Firstar Bank
Program, 7 PM, "Berg Lake - Mt. Robson Canadian Rockies, Sierra Club Trail Work Service Trip", Charlie Winterwood. Meeting afterwards.

September 11, Tuesday
Work Project
IOWATER, White Pine Group Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring, 10 AM. Help Charlie Winterwood and Dick Worm do the Biological and Chemical/Physical Stream Assessment of a section of Catfish Creek near the west end of University Avenue.

September 15, Saturday
Mines of Spain Fall Seminar
8AM Welcome then three 2 hour sessions beginning at 8:30 are available. See information sheet with this newsletter for details.

Support this event right here in our own spectacular front yard! Lots of topics available.

September 28, Friday
Forestry Field Day, Jackson County, Mensinger Tree Farm. 1-4 PM. 7.5 miles east of Hwy 61 on D61 north of Maquoketa. Carpool with Dick Worm. Deer and Walnut Management and Goat Prairies are among topics to be presented. Free.

October 6, Saturday
Hike to the Marching Bear Mounds, South Unit, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa Rt. 76 north of McGregor/Marquette. Meet at the Monument Visitor Center at 10 AM. Bring a lunch (include some Mounds candy bars?) to carry. Carpool from Dubuque area.

Mines of Spain Fall Seminar

About Forests and Fire

Friday, March 9, 2001

Group Calendar

March 12: Meeting/Program, 7 PM, Firstar Bank, Kennedy & Wacker (435 JF Kennedy Rd.)
Member slide night. Bring any favorite or recent slides to share. A slide tray will be available or bring your own for a Kodak Carousel projector. Charlie Winterwood will have scenes from his recent Sierra Club cross-country ski trip in Yellowstone National Park and from the Group outing at Camp Klaus, for starters.

Monday, March 19: "America's Arctic Refuge" presentation at U. of Dubuque Hadley Auditorium in the Dunlap Technology Center at University Ave. and McCormick St. 7 PM. This is a hot topic within the environmental community and the Bush Administration. Come to ask questions and learn of the issues. White Pine Group is a co-sponsor.

Tuesday, March 20: Same as above, but at 7:30 PM in the NICC Auditorium in Calmar. Check it out!!!

Saturday, March 24: Outing--Prairie Burn School at the Galena Territory Shenandoah Riding Center beginning at 8:30 AM for novices. Jim Rauchy, President of Prairie Enthusiasts will be the instructor. Discuss the role of prescribed burns and how to plan and execute them. With decent weather, there will be an opportunity to exercise the equipment. To carpool, please RSVP to Dick Worm. He will plan to leave from the north end of the Eagle Country Market (300 S. Locust) just south on US 151/61/52 of the U.S. 20 Mississippi River Bridge in Dubuque at 7:30 AM.

Sunday, March 25: Program: "Aconcagua Expedition", by Dick Worm. Group members are welcome to attend a program beginning about 12:30 PM or so, following a Lenten Potluck Luncheon at First Congregational Church, 10th and Locust. downtown Dubuque. Dick will show 140 of his over 550 slides of the Jan. 20-Feb. 5 trek to the 22,840 ft. summit of the highest peak in the world outside the Himalayas. Aconcagua is located in Argentina's Andes Mountains near Santiago, Chile. (A slightly different twist to the program using many different slides will be used as the White Pine Group's Turkey Dinner Fundraiser program on November 3, at the same location.)

Saturday, April 7: Outing--Hike into the new Heritage Addition to Effigy Mounds National Monument (at our own risk!!) Size of group will be limited to no more than a dozen. Contact Dick Worm to secure a space on the hike. We will meet at the outer end of the Effigy Mounds, Visitor Center Parking Lot at 10 AM and carpool to park just off Highway 76 up the hill past the Monument Visitor Center. Wear clothing and footwear appropriate for weather and ground conditions. Bring a daypack with a lunch and beverage, at least. We will plan to return to the Visitor Center by 3 PM at the latest.

Monday, April 9: Program/Meeting at 7 PM at Firstar Bank, 435 Kennedy Road, Dubuque. Dick Worm will show slides taken during a national Sierra Club backpack trip in the South San Juan Wilderness in Colorado this past summer. See what a trip with a bunch of folks over age 50 is like! Dick was Assistant Leader on the trip and has some interesting tales of getting "lost" and of altitude sickness to share. 13,172 ft. Conejos Peak, rock pinnacles, and the beauty of 5 major lakes are among the attractions. (For anyone possibly interested, Dick is co-leader for a return trip here on another 50+ Sierra Club outing taking a somewhat shorter and easier route, but still including all the above mentioned attractions, plus Conejos Falls, from August 13-18. See your Sierra Club magazine or call Dick Worm for information.)

Saturday, April 21: John Muir's birthday. Since the Feb. 25 Faraway Farm Pond Party got canceled due to weather and icy lane conditions, how about trying again in honor of the founder of the Sierra Club? There won't be sledding or skating or ice fishing, but hikes, etc. can occur on trails throughout the 150 acre private conservation easement property along the Mississippi River. Trails to the river, along the bluffs, through the woods, and in fields hopefully destined for prairie restoration may be enjoyed. Or, if you prefer, you can bring a saw and/or pruning shears and enjoy a work day clearing brush and pruning walnut trees!!!

Come anytime; but early arrivals will be welcome to make full use of the day. Bring lunch items and some meat to grill, if you'd like, at the shelter by the pond. An RSVP would be appreciated. For more information or directions, contact Dick Worm.

Monday, May 14: Program/Meeting at 7 PM at Firstar Bank, across from Kennedy Mall at Kennedy and Wacker Dr. Dubuque. Program: Dick Worm will show slides of the September Sierra Club service trip he was on in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah. Included will be photos never seen before by Audubon Society or Camera Club members of views of "The Wave", a spectacular rock formation on the Arizona/Utah border featured as the photo with the week of September 17-23 in the 2001 Sierra Club engagement calendar; Utah's Kodachrome State Park; and Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument itself, featuring the old Copper Mine work site, Moqui stones, and hikes through the deep, spectacular canyons to the Escalante River. (Maybe none of this stuff interests you, but it sure would be nice to have over 5 or 6 people show up as we share some of the natural wonder this great old planet has to offer!!) Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument is one of the Clinton era creations that is facing tough sledding within the Bush administration.

Saturday, May 19: Tour d'Sprawl
In cooperation with the League of Women Voters, the White Pine Group is sponsoring a Tour d'Sprawl to help publicize and present issues associated with this often unwise expansion of human development far beyond city centers.

The event will include a field trip by bus to view both good and bad urban and suburban developments, lunch, and presentations following lunch. One key participating presenter will be Brett Hulsey of our Midwest region Sierra Club office in Madison, Wisconsin. Brett heads the Midwest region's Campaign on Urban Sprawl, a national Sierra Club Priority Campaign.

Brett helped lead a similar and well-attended event in the Galena area last year. This event will zero in on the Dubuque area situation.

Registration cost is $15 and is due by Saturday May 12 to assure a space on a bus and guarantee a lunch. Handouts of sprawl-related information will also be made available.

The exact meeting location has yet to be determined. Including your phone number with the registration will assure that you get a phone call providing location information.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Is a Treasure to Preserve

Sara Callaghan Chapell, Sierra Club Alaska staff

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is an amazing and inspiring place. Visitors tell of its stunning vistas, unique wildlife and untouched landscape. Scientists note the importance of the refuge as habitat for hundreds of species and the crucial role it plays in Alaska's web of life.

The Gwich'in--native Alaskans who live nearby--depend on the caribou that give birth in the refuge for food, clothing, and spiritual sustenance. And the refuge is also an important part of America's heritage. But despite the value of the arctic refuge--to people, wildlife, and posterity--President Bush has announced that he intends to open the area to oil drilling.

Doing so would be an unconscionable mistake: just as we would not flood the Grand Canyon for hydropower or cap Old Faithful for steam, we must not drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

The first reason is the simplest: there's not very much oil in the refuge. Estimates by the U.S. Geological Survey find that there is only a six-month supply of economically recoverable oil. Opening the refuge will have no effect on oil prices because the supply is too small and Persian Gulf oil too cheap.

In fact, because the United States has only 3 percent of the world's oil reserves, opening all of our coasts, forests and wild places to drilling would barely nudge world oil prices.

Many proponents of drilling have pointed to recent price spikes as a reason to drill. But any oil discovered in the refuge would not be available for at least a decade. And getting this oil down to the lower 48 states will be no small feat, either. It will require environmentally destructive pipelines, pumping stations and sprawling industrial infrastructure.

When Congress protected the arctic refuge from exploitation, the oil industry blocked efforts to safeguard a crescent of land called the coastal plain. The problem is that this sliver of coastline is the biological heart of the refuge--it's where polar bear have their dens, where massive herds of caribou come to birth their calves, and where migratory birds from every state flock in the summer. Drilling for oil will destroy the unique plants on which caribou, musk oxen, wolves, polar bears and other animals depend for survival.

Those who are in favor claim that new "environmentally friendly" techniques will reduce the impact. But in Alaska we've learned that you cannot drill for oil without spilling oil. And if nearby Prudhoe Bay is any indication, drilling for oil in the refuge will surely destroy it.

Prudhoe Bay oil fields generate twice as much air pollution as Washington, D.C. The area suffers more than 400 spills a year of oil or related pollution. In February, a BP Amoco facility dumped thousands of gallons of oil into the environment. In January 20,000 gallons of drilling "mud" (a petroleum-based lubricant) spilled from one of Prudhoe Bay's newest facilities.

The upshot is that there are far better, easier, and cheaper places to drill for oil--not to mention a host of ways to make better use of the oil and gas we already have. Requiring SUVs and light trucks to get the same mileage per gallon as cars would save more oil within 10 years than would ever be produced from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

For these reasons we should encourage our Representatives in Congress to support permanent protection for the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Legislation sponsored by Representatives Ed Markey (D-MA) and Nancy Johnson (R-CT) in the House and Senator Lieberman (D-CT) in the Senate would do just that. The House bill, HR 770, and its Senate counterpart, S.411, would provide much deserved permanent protection to this vast and unique wilderness.

Sara Callaghan Chapell is the Sierra Club's Alaska representative.

Bottle Bill E-mails

Here is an interesting series of Bottle Bill events related to debate going on in Iowa:

From: "Emerson, Myra"
To: "Rex L. Bavousett"
Subject: Bottle Returns at John's Grocery
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 16:47:00 -0600

Hi Rex,

I was going to write to both you and Joe Bolkum, but couldn't find his e-mail address. The other day my husband and I were returning some bottles to John's Grocery here in Iowa City. We have done this before--they have a brand of ginger beer that we can't find anywhere else around here. But this time they said they have a new bottle return policy, which is that you have to go down a creaky stairway into their cellar, wind around many cases of beer, etc., and finally get to a small table where you return your bottles. I had to call out "Hello" before anyone came to give us a refund. Then we wound our way back to the stairs, and actually had to pull on a string to open the cellar door to get back on the main floor! I heard the person at the counter telling someone else they had to do this too, and there was a hand-lettered sign announcing their new bottle policy.

I believe this new "policy" was put in place to discourage people from returning their bottles. This will cause lots of bottles not to be returned anywhere, because John's carries many brands of beer (and wine too, I think) that aren't sold anywhere else in town. I think this at least goes against the spirit (and possibly the letter) of the Bottle Bill which is still the law.

From: "Foege, Ro"
To: "Rex L. Bavousett"
Subject RE: Bottle Returns at John's Grocery
Date: Wed, 7 Mar 2001 17:56:37 -0600

Actually, I've returned bottles and I have had the interesting experience of going to the "cellar". Since "Dirty John's" has one of the best selection of wines anywhere in the state, we go there frequently. I personally did not have a problem with returning the bottles and retailers can evidently set the return policy. It is their decision whether or not to accept bottles or cans which could impact their business.

Thanks for taking time to let me know about this concern.
Ro Foege

Rep. Ro Foege
House District 50
Des Moines, IA 50319

Representative Foege,

You may not mind going down into a dirty cellar to return bottles, but what about people who are disabled and can't navigate the stairs? What about people who might be afraid to e down there alone? Also, I am not sure I agree with your interpretation of the law that retailers can refuse to accept bottles "which could impact their business." The law clearly sets out circumstances under which returned cans and bottles can be refused. John's Grocery's return policy applies to all cans and bottles that people bring back there.

Myra Emerson

America's Arctic Refuge: Our Last Great Wilderness

America's Arctic Refuge: Our Last Great Wilderness
--a free slideshow presentation

Alaskan wilderness guide to talk about wildlife and oil drilling in the Last Frontier
Images of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

The Alaska Coalition presents a photographic journey through the Arctic home of the Porcupine Caribou Herd.
  • Dan Ritzman--wilderness guide, photographer, and former Alaska resident.
  • Incredible photography from "America's Serengeti," the threatened coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, depicting dall sheep, musk oxen, caribou and all the life, splendor and beauty of America's Arctic wilderness.
  • The story of the Gwich'in culture, a 20,000 year cycle of life with the caribou in Alaska and northern Canada.
  • An exploration of the awesome beauty of the Arctic Refuge, its ecological and cultural significance, the life of the Gwich'in Indians, and Alaska's oil industry.
The Alaska Coalition is a group of over 400 conservation, sporting, and religious groups working to protect Alaska's public lands.

WHERE: Hadley Auditorium, University of Dubuque, Dunlap Technology Center, University Ave. at McCormick St.
WHEN: Monday, March 19, 7:00 PM
Sponsored by: White Pine Group/Sierra Club; Dubuque Audubon Society; University of Dubuque, Environmental Science Dept.

Sen. Frank Murkowski (R-AK) has unveiled his National Energy Policy bill, which includes a measure to open the Arctic Refuge to oil drilling. In addition. Reps. Edward Markey (D-MA) and Nancy Johnson (R-CT) along with Sen. Joe Lieberman (R-CT) introduced measures in Congress on Wednesday, Feb. 28 to protect the Arctic Refuge coastal plain as Wilderness.

Tuesday, March 20, 7:30 PM, Northeast Iowa Community College, Auditorium
Sponsored by the Upper Iowa Audubon Society

Monday, March 19, 8:40 AM, WDBQ with Tom Berryman, NewsTalk 1490 AM
Pending, Monday, March 19, Between 1- 5 PM, KDTH with Gary Edwards, 1370 AM

2001 White Pine Group EXCOM

Results of the election of five members to the White Pine Group Executive Committee were reported at the January 8 Group meeting.

The balloting also showed unanimous support for the bylaws changes including the reduction in size of the EXCOM from 9 to 5. Therefore, the three candidates receiving the most votes got 2 year terms while the next two got a one year term. Next year, the 2002 election will choose two folks to serve for two years.

The EXCOM for 2001 in order of votes:
Dick Worm: Newsletter/Membership
Charlie Winterwood: Vice Chair
Jim Fahrion: Chair
Gretel Winterwood: Conservation
Jane Worm: Dinner Fundraiser

Elkader ATV Park

An outpouring of opposition helped set the stage for the withdrawal of a plan to create an ATV park near Elkader. Thomas Gifford, whose letter describing reasons to oppose the plan appeared in the Winter Needle, has expressed his appreciation for White Pine Group efforts in helping the cause.

George Reavis Memorial

Mae Reavis, in memory of her husband, George Reavis, has presented the White Pine Group with a $100 contribution. George and Mae attended and contributed to our Fundraising Dinners even though they were not Sierra Club members.

Their youngest daughter, Georgia, was a freshman student of mine when I took my first group of high schoolers on a summer Sierra Society backpack trip in 1973. She went on each trip for the next three years and talked her older sister, Ann, into going along on the fourth of those trips in 1976 to the rugged and awesome Glacier Peak Wilderness in Washington's Cascade Mountains.  I also had their son, David, in class at Washington Junior High before my backpacking years at Hempstead High.

George and Mae participated in a 1981 trip to the Canadian Rockies that I organized for adults and families. George helped me stay awake late one night by listening to my far-fetched tale on the origin of lightning as I drove our old school bus while trying to get back on schedule after a long day of power steering pump reattachment. He also enjoyed a spectacular hike to a high ridge between the Bonney and Illicilawat glaciers in Canada's Glacier National Park.

George enjoyed the "End Commercial Logging on Public Lands" program last November 4. He had the local library transfer from Madison, Wis., a book about the Tongass Nat. Forest mentioned at the program and Mae reports he read it all.

George was a talker with sound viewpoints on all matters. He passed away suddenly during the Christmas Holiday. The contribution will be used for a special project at Group discretion.