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  November/December 2002 Features:
Water Sentinels Go 'Knee-Deep'
A More Visible Battlefield
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The Planet

By Laura Fauth

No More Garbage For Grizzlies | Congratulations, Amir | Club Mourns Passing of Sally Reid | Club Pays Tribute to Senator Paul Wellstone

No More Garbage For Grizzlies

Grizzly BearThe Sierra Club's Grizzly Bear Project scored a victory recently when the waste management firm for Big Sky, Montana, agreed to switch to bear-proof dumpsters. The fast growing community of Big Sky is located only miles from the border of Yellowstone National Park and directly in the middle of ideal bear habitat.

Last summer, local wildlife managers could hardly keep up with the number of bears trying to find human foods, says Monica Fella, coordinator of the Grizzly Bear Project. "In many cases, residents are unaware of how to properly dispose of their garbage and secure other food sources," says Fella. "Unfortunately, this results in the deaths of many bears." Human activity led to the deaths of 42 grizzlies in the Yellowstone and Glacier areas in 2001 alone.

The Sierra Club began mounting a campaign for bear-proof dumpsters early this year, organizing a public hearing in front of Gallatin County commissioners to discuss how sanitation affects bears. The Club invited representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks, who all testified on the importance of bear-proofing Big Sky. The Club also started an on-the-ground campaign, distributing flyers and information packets and holding meetings about the issue. The transition to bear-proof dumpsters is now complete, making life a little safer for Big Sky bears and people alike.

Congratulations, Amir

Amir NadavHigh school junior Amir Nadav, one of the student leaders of the School Bus Diesel Campaign, was honored recently with a 2002 National Brower Youth Award. The School Bus Diesel Campaign is a top priority for the Minnesota Air Toxics Campaign, part of the Sierra Club's Great Lakes Program.

Each year Brower Youth Awards are given to six environmental activists ages 13 to 22 whose work on behalf of the environment epitomizes the principles of conservation, preservation, and restoration.

Nadav helped lead the campaign to reduce Minnesota students' exposure to dangerous diesel exhaust. His efforts culminated in the passage of statewide legislation that bans excessive bus idling in front of schools and directs schools to relocate air-intake valves away from bus parking zones. Nadav and co-leaders circulated petitions, organized a rally of students on the capitol steps, appeared on news programs, and lobbied for and won endorsement of the bill from both Republican and Democratic leaders in the legislature. "The presence of student activists revitalizes the sometimes dull, bureaucratic baby-boomer monopolization over political decisions," notes Nadav. "The days of lazy teens are over."

Club Mourns Passing of Sally Reid

Sally ReidThe Sierra Club is mourning the recent death of Sally M. Reid, a member of the Board of Directors from 1984 to 1990 and vice president from 1987 to 1989. Reid was chair of the Angeles Chapter in the late 70s, as well as of the Southern California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee. Reid, who was honored with the Club's William E. Colby Award in 1990 and the Walter E. Starr Award in 1994, considered her role in enactment of the Sespe Condor Range and River Protection Act of 1992 her greatest personal achievement. She also worked on the California Wilderness Act of 1984 and on the campaign to save Alaskan public lands. A biology graduate from Stanford University, Reid taught in the Los Angeles City Unified School District for more than 20 years before retiring in 1980.

Club Pays Tribute to Senator Paul Wellstone

The Sierra Club family was deeply saddened by the tragic death of Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone and five others in a plane crash on October 25. The Sierra Club ran a tribute in the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune on October 31.

"It is hard to imagine a rally of labor union members and environmentalists without Senator Wellstone's voice, a Senate debate without his passion, or a tough policy decision without his integrity," said Sierra Club President Carl Pope. "Senator Wellstone was a role model for me and for thousands of Sierra Club volunteers. He spoke with zeal, intelligence, and commitment, in a roar that can be heard from coast to coast."

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