- Club Targets Shooters
- Innovative Ohioan
- Roadkill Rendezvous
- Sticks and Stones
- Club Nominee Wins Goldman Prize
- Alabaman Honored
- Club Employees Recognized
- New Directors Elected
- Locate that Leader
- Demystifying the Post
The proposal for an airport in the middle of the Katy Prairie, home to America's
largest concentration of wintering waterfowl, near Houston, Texas, has created
unusual alliances between the Sierra Club, the National Rifle Association, the
Women's Shooting Sports Foundation and others. More recently in Houston, at the
Ladies' Charity Classic, the nation's largest sporting clay shoot for women, the
Club joined groups such as the Katy Prairie Conservancy and set up an
information booth amid advertising for hunting and fishing outfitters.
Despite some initial suspicion from all sides of the new alliance, Club
activists felt they'd hit a bull's eye. "This first-class event went far in
furthering public relations and enhancing the Club's image," says Marge
Hanselman, Houston Group conservation chair. "It will also serve as a model for
other such events around the country. Most of the hunting and outdoors media
here now have our story. We hope their getting involved will spread the Sierra
Club message to more people and lead to future environmental victories."
For more information:
Contact Marge Hanselman at (713) 666-7494; e-mail:
The Ohio Chapter is getting the environmental message out to more people these
days thanks to the innovative ideas of George Coder, Northeast Ohio Group
Executive Committee member. Coder recently completed work on a media project
that enables the chapter to fax press releases statewide in a matter of minutes
to targeted newspapers in a given legislative district. To accomplish this he
gathered circulation data on every newspaper in Ohio, while volunteer John
Brookings wrote a computer program cross-referencing Coder's data with state
district maps. "In the future we'll add radio and television markets to the
database," says Coder.
Coder has also created a Web page that affords citizens easy access to Toxic
Release Inventory data. "Our next step is to list actions citizens can take to
eliminate or reduce the sources of pollution," he says.
For more information:
Contact George Coder at (216) 221-6319; e-mail:
More than 80 activists from across the country are doing their part to ensure
Utah wildlands remain roadless. For more than two years, volunteers from the
Utah Wilderness Coalition, of which the Sierra Club is a member, have been
mapping every road claim filed by county commissioners. Not only have they been
able to provide documentation of erroneous claims by the county, but they're
making sure that there are no roads included in the citizens' proposal to
protect 5.7 million acres in southern Utah. To celebrate the culmination of
their hard work and to thank the many individuals who were committed to the
project, the volunteers gathered this April at Kodachrome Basin State Park,
adjacent to the new Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument.
"The event was also an effort to finish documenting the claims on the
wilderness-quality lands in southern Utah," says Liz McCoy, a Utah Wilderness
Coalition staffer. "Over 75 claims have been completed. A huge success!"
If being called "Nature Nazis" by a motorcycle group makes members of the Sierra
Student Coalition nervous, they're not showing it. The Sahara Club, an
organization of off-road vehicle enthusiasts, blasted the SSC in its newsletter
recently and accused it of jamming politicians' phone lines and allowing only
the Sierra Club's message to get through when anti-environmental legislation is
"We're glad they've noticed our work," says SSC President Kim Mowery. "Thanks to
our 30,000 student members, the SSC has developed a powerful activist network
and the ability to respond in force when the environment is threatened."
For more information:
Contact the Sierra Student Coalition at (401) 861-6012;
The 1997 Goldman Environmental Prizes were recently awarded to six environmental
heroes from around the world.
Among the winners is Alexander Nikitin, a retired
Russian naval officer, who was nominated by the Sierra Club.
Nikitin exposed the
potential for nuclear catastrophe in northwestern Russia, where the nation's
crumbling submarine fleet is based (see
March/April Sierra magazine).
As a result of the report he co-authored with the Norwegian environmental group
Bellona, Nikitin was imprisoned and charged with treason; the report was banned.
While international public pressure contributed to Nikitin's release from
prison, the charges have not been dropped, and he is not allowed to leave St.
Petersburg, where he is awaiting trial.
only crime was to embarrass the Russian government in an
attempt to protect the environment," says Stephen Mills, director of the Club's
Human Rights and the Environment Campaign. "The Club is calling on Vice
President Al Gore to see that the espionage charges are investigated and that
Nikitin has a chance to clear his name in court."
The other Goldman Prize winners are Terri Swearingen of Ohio for her work to
halt the construction of toxic waste incinerators; Paramount Chief of the
Bentian Tribal Council Loir Botor Dingit of Indonesia for galvanizing national
attention to the sustainable conservation practices of Kalimantan's indigenous
peoples; Juan Pablo Orrego of Chile for repeatedly foiling dam construction
plans on the Bio Bio River, one of the world's last free-flowing rivers; Nick
Carter of Zambia for taking the lead in creating the world's first multinational
enforcement body to fight illegal wildlife trade; and American Paul Alan Cox and
High Chief Fuiono Senio of Western Samoa for their combined efforts to stop
logging in a lowland rainforest, establish a preserve and build a new school for
The Sierra Club is seeking nominations of environmentalists for the 1998 prize.
The nomination deadline is Aug. 29, 1997.
For more information:
Contact Stephen Mills at (202) 675-6691; e-mail:
Rebecca Falkenberry, a longtime Club leader and teacher of environmental issues
at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, has received the Alabama
Environmental Council's highest honor, Volunteer Conservationist of the Year.
This award is given to individuals who dedicate their lives to protecting
Alabama's environment through volunteer service. Falkenberry was honored for her
activism with the Club at the local, state and national levels. After serving
six years on the Sierra Club Board of Directors, Falkenberry has again become
actively involved with the Alabama Chapter as a speaker and organizer on behalf
of the environment.
Four Club employees were selected in April to receive awards honoring their
service to the Club or the community.
Mary Catherine Dino, data systems manager in San Francisco, is this year's
winner of the Virginia Ferguson Award, which honors an employee who has worked
at the Club for at least three years and who has demonstrated exemplary service
to the Sierra Club.
There were two winners of the Special Achievement Award this year. Alita Paine,
director of volunteer and activist outreach, was commended for her improvements
to the quality and efficiency of volunteer services. Chris Douglas, computer
systems manager for the Washington, D.C., and field offices, was recognized for
improvements he has made to the Club's data and communications systems.
The Community Service Award, given to honor individuals who help others through
public service in a non-Sierra Club cause, went to Kirk Koepsel, regional
representative for the Northern Plains field office, for his long history of
community service. Koepsel is president of the Lion's Club as well as chairman
of the county Democratic Party in Sheridan, Wyo., and has been a volunteer with
Big Brothers of America.
The results are in for the 1997 Sierra Club Board of Directors election. Elected
to three-year terms are Phil Berry, environmental lawyer and past Club
president; Michael Dorsey, environmental activist and Ph.D. candidate at Johns
Hopkins University; Betsy Gaines, member of the Montana Chapter Executive
Committee and environmental outreach director of the Alliance for the Wild
Rockies; Chad Hanson, Club activist and forest protection advocate; and Adam
Werbach, the Sierra Club's president. The board was preparing to elect its
officers for the year as the Planet went to press.
-- Pat Veitch
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