Club Honors Volunteers at Annual Banquet
Just because a critical election is fast approaching doesn't mean Club
volunteers and staff can't stop for a moment to savor accomplishments
and recognize those who have contributed to them. The 1996 annual
awards banquet, held Sept. 20 in San Francisco, was dedicated to Dr.
Edgar Wayburn, honorary president of the Sierra Club, who recently
celebrated his 90th birthday. Wayburn was presented with a copy of his
oral history (see page 2), which documents his legendary achievements
protecting the environment.
The banquet also featured guest speaker Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.),
who praised the Sierra Club for "turning the anti-environmental
Six other awards were presented at the banquet. Club director Denny
Shaffer received the William Colby Award -- which honors a volunteer for
outstanding leadership, dedication and service -- for being the
"watchdog of our finances, father of the Club's modern membership
development program and leader who looked beyond the obvious."
The Walter A. Starr Award, which acknowledges the continuing work by a
former director, was presented to Richard Cellarius, former Club
president and current Books Committee chair.
John Edginton, chair of the Club's Insurance Committee and member of
the national Outing Committee, received the Oliver Kehrlein Award,
honoring the highest standard of volunteer service to the Outing
Program. Edginton, a volunteer for 30 years, was instrumental in the
restoration of Sierra Club mountaineering and water trips.
The Special Achievement Award, which recognizes a Club member,
committee, group or chapter for a single act of particular importance,
was presented to the Oregon Chapter for its "successful efforts in the
Oregon senatorial race, proving the importance of the environment in
the political arena." (Chapter-supported candidate Ron Wyden eked out a
victory over Gordon Smith in a January special election.)
Lawrence Downing, former Club president, received the Centennial
Campaign Award in recognition of his outstanding leadership and
excellence in fundraising.
The Sierra Club and The Sierra Club Foundation presented the Richard
Leonard Award to major donor Maurice Holloway for providing
"inspirational guidance in creating, leading and supporting the
Centennial Campaign and in garnering major donor support for the cause
Project ACT Selects Six Pilot Projects
The Project ACT Task Force on Organizational Development recently
announced the six groups and chapters selected as pilot projects to
develop programs aimed at strengthening the Club's organization at the
The Atlantic Chapter, which faces a big challenge uniting its urban
groups with its more isolated rural groups, will be kicking off an
initiative dedicated to creating a stronger, more dynamic chapter that
shares a common vision and pursues common goals. Project ACT will help
with increased training, leadership development and support at the
group level -- enhancing activist networks and improving communication
links between the groups.
The embryonic Delaware Chapter will be embarking on a pilot project to
develop an effective, sustainable grassroots organization that can
serve as a model for other new or struggling chapters. This will be
achieved through increased training of grassroots activists in
direct-action organizing, fundraising and organizational development.
The projects of the Mississippi Chapter and the El Paso Group of the
Rio Grande Chapter will focus on outreach to communities
under-represented in the Club. The Mississippi Chapter aims to improve
partnerships with the African-American community. The El Paso Group
plans to work on developing common goals with its predominantly
The San Diego Chapter's project aims to better integrate its outings
and conservation programs by developing communication networks among
leaders in both areas and working on joint fundraising efforts.
The East River Group of the South Dakota Chapter will attempt to
increase the influence of the Club in the state -- particularly
challenging in a sparsely populated region where the Club is often
regarded as extremist. The project will focus on coalition-building and
development of a media strategy for greater Club visibility.
For more information: Contact Glen Besa, task force chair, at (301)
In order to do more to protect trees, the Greater Fort Worth Group is
printing its monthly newsletter on tree-free paper.
This Texas group has used kenaf paper for several issues of its
newsletter, the Sierra Club Crier, which is now featured in a
manufacturer's promotional brochure as one of the first newsletters in
the country to be printed on this fiber. Veteran volunteer Gatlin
Mitchell introduced the group to kenaf, a hardy, fibrous plant related
to okra and cotton that can be grown anywhere cotton can.
Carlton Conley, conservation chair, said that group leaders originally
shied away from continuing to print on tree-free paper because it cost
more. But they decided it was worth the extra charge. The group plans
to experiment with printing on bamboo paper for the rest of this year.
"Using recycled paper is great," said Group Chair Pam Kerr, "but the
sludge created in the de-inking process can be an environmental problem
and the paper still started off as a tree."
"Tree-free paper is comparable in quality to tree-based paper, and the
cost is coming down," said printer Mark Shippy, who produces the Crier.
"It's not much more expensive than 100 percent post-consumer recycled
paper." To find out more about printing on kenaf, call Carlton Conley
at (817) 626-6063 or Mark Shippy at (817) 921-3670.
Road to Ruin Paved with Pork
In Texas, Arizona and other states, Club activists are joining taxpayer
groups to draw attention to costly and environmentally hazardous
highway development projects by releasing "Road to Ruin," a report that
assails 22 pork projects in 15 states that would waste $10.6 billion.
The report was published by Taxpayers for Common Sense and Friends of
the Earth and is generating widespread media coverage.
In Texas, the Houston Group and other environmental organizations are
fighting a proposed fourth beltway, 35 miles from downtown Houston.
Called the Grand Parkway, it would bisect the Katy Prairie, winter home
to America's largest concentration of migratory waterfowl.
"We've dubbed this project the Grand Porkway," said Marge Hanselman,
group conservation chair. "It serves no purpose and will only worsen
traffic congestion and air quality problems."
In northern Arizona, the Club's Sedona/Verde Valley Group used the
report to help fight the construction of a $30 million bridge and
highway over Oak Creek at the scenic Red Rock Crossing in Sedona on
Forest Service land.
"We have an international treasure in our county," said Bennie Blake,
group vice chair, "and the most creative thing our supervisor can think
to do with it is to pave it, drill into the bedrock and secure a bridge
the length of almost seven football fields." In addition to calling
attention to the project, members of the Sierra Club and the Public
Interest Research Group in Arizona are getting ready to challenge it
during the upcoming permit process.
Copies of "Road to Ruin" are available for $10 from Taxpayers for
Common Sense at (202) 546-8500 ext. 101. The report is also available
on the World Wide Web at:
Divided Factions Join Forces
Following a bitter fight this summer in Colorado between two rivals
for the Democratic nomination for the Senate, the Indian Peaks Group in
Boulder has successfully united the opposing factions within the Club
group and the community. Tom Strickland and Gene Nichol both claimed to
be the better environmental candidate. In August, Strickland won the
primary, and the Club subsequently endorsed him.
The group recently announced the endorsement of Strickland at a large
fundraising event where losing candidate Nichol spoke on behalf of
Strickland. Ticket sales for the event were brisk, in large part
because this was the first time these two former rivals had appeared in
public together since the primary. Many locals who had supported Nichol
viewed the Club event as their only real opportunity to hear from him
why they should support Strickland.
"It might be a good idea for other Sierra Club chapters and groups to
look for opportunities to make it okay for people who supported the
primary loser to start supporting the primary winner." said Group Chair
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