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The Planet

3 Minus 20 Equals Negative 17
President Bush marked Earth Day with a visit to the Wells National Estuarine Research Reserve in Maine, pledging to "create, improve, and protect" at least 3 million acres of wetlands over the next five years. But last year, the Bush administration ordered the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers to stop enforcing the Clean Water Act for as many as 20 million acres of wetlands. "An Earth Day photo-op can’t hide the damage the Bush administration’s policies are doing to America’s wetlands," said Sierra Club environmental quality expert Ed Hopkins.

Club Opposes Patriot Act
In February, the Sierra Club adopted a position opposing key provisions of the Patriot Act. Under the Act, Sierra Club members could be labeled terrorists by the Justice Department and stripped of constitutional rights. The Club’s Board of Directors acknowledges that tightened security measures are necessary, but believes that the Bush administration has moved too far toward resticting the rights of innocent people. The Club also opposes state and local attempts to restrict environmental advocacy under the guise of combating terrorism.

Engaging Our Members
Sierra Club groups and chapters are engaging their members in community gatherings around the nation. The gatherings are focused on the Bush administration’s misguided policies on local air quality. Led by experienced organizers, they facilitate small group dialogues that get people talking and listening to each other and foster action. The Virginia Chapter was the first to hold a gathering. Says one participant: "I didn’t know what I was going to say to my neighbor [about the Bush administration record], and now I do." Join or hold a gathering!
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