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The Planet

Don't Just Recreate, Advocate

Sierra Club activist outings for 1997.

The Planet, May 1997, Volume 4, number 4

By Vicky Hoover

Activist outings, the newest category of Sierra Club national outings, focus on areas that need help and provide advocacy training so participants can better work for preservation when they return home.

"Activist outings are great because they inspire you to advocate for the land by letting you see up close what you're working for," says Reno, Nev., attorney Henry Egghart. After participating in one of the Club's first activist outings in 1994 to Utah, Egghart helped produce a slide show on the trip, showed it to his local group and chapter, authored several articles in Club publications and continues to encourage fellow activists to write letters in support of Utah wilderness.

The Sierra Club is offering five activist outings in 1997. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge outing is full, but the following trips are still open:

Endangered Places of the Northern Rockies, Montana

July 27-Aug. 5 (Trip #97-102) $545
Leader Bill Evans will guide forest and wilderness advocates into threatened areas in the Northern Continental Divide and Cabinet-Yaak ecosystems that environmentalists want to see designated as wilderness. Via several short backpacks plus dayhikes, participants will visit an ecosystem that harbors all major American megafauna (except bison) as well as the only inland temperate rainforest in the lower 48. They'll meet with local wilderness advocates, including Native Americans, to learn how to help pass wilderness legislation for Montana and the entire Northern Rockies ecosystem.

Everglades to the Coral Reefs, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary

Aug. 23-28 (Trip #97-103) $435
Join Otto and Vivian Spielbichler for a combined field and classroom venture to experience coral reefs, mangrove wetlands and seagrass beds. With mask, snorkel and microscope, participants will experience and study the interdependence and the health of Florida Bay and the Everglades. Accommodation on this nonstrenuous trip is in dormitories; all meals and field equipment are provided.

Sail a Tall Ship to the Gulf Islands of British Columbia

Sept. 21-27 (trip #97-104) $890
A shipside tour aboard the 100-foot historic schooner Adventuress with leader Craig Miller includes hands-on sailing experience. The trip features mild fall weather, side hikes, marine biology lessons, natural and human history of the area, sailing instruction and advocacy for the broad coastal area. Members will help with general shipboard chores.

Defending the Dirty Devil, Robber's Roost, Utah

Oct. 12-21 (Trip #97-105) $485
Leaders Marie Cecchini and Les Wilson will show participants some of the remarkable areas proposed for wilderness designation by the Utah Wilderness Coalition. From the hamlet of Hanksville in central-south Utah, the trip travels east and includes several days of winding descent along beautiful slot canyons, ledges and talus slopes to the Dirty Devil River. This historic mission incorporates on-the-ground fieldwork, a national publicity campaign and congressional and administrative lobbying in Washington, D.C.

For more information: Contact Vicky Hoover at (415) 977-5527; e-mail: <>. Partial scholarships are available. For a trip brochure and application form, call the Outing Department at (415) 977-5630.

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