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The Planet
Who We Are

Kendra Kimbirauskas Portland, Oregon
Conservation Organizer

"I’m going for the record of working in the most states as a Sierra Club employee," says Kendra Kimbirauskas. "So far I’ve worked in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and Oregon, plus I volunteered in Illinois while working for another organization."

Prior to moving to Portland last year, Kimbirauskas worked on factory farming and sustainable agriculture. "I grew up on a farm," she explains. "My dad is a sustainable farmer, and I thought everyone farmed that way. I was so naïve I didn’t even realize factory farms existed, let alone that they were putting family farms out of business."

After college, Kimbirauskas worked for a Michigan state senator who sat on the agricultural committee, during which time she came in contact with people in the Club’s Mackinac Chapter office. Before long, she joined their staff, and she’s been on the move with the Club ever since. She met Mabel, pictured here, in Iowa. "A farmer I was working with insisted that I own a pig if I was going to be talking to pig farmers, so he gave Mabel to me. Truth be told, I think he didn’t want to see her go to meat, and if she was ‘mine’ he couldn’t send her. She’s still on the farm in Iowa, where she’ll remain happily ever after."

Kimbirauskas is a lifelong horseback rider; her horse, Snickers, lives 90 minutes north of Portland with family friends. "I used to be very competitive and do 3-day eventing, which is basically the triathlon of riding," she says. "These days I’m too busy for that, but I still try to ride whenever I can. Hopefully I’ll have a lot more time for that after November!"

Dale Stocking
Stockton, California
Delta-Sierra Group Chair and Outings Leader

"I was raised in a hunting and fishing family," says avid backpacker Dale Stocking, "so we generally stayed below 8,000 feet. It’s only in the last few years that I’ve really started going to higher elevations."

The 64-year-old orthodontist summited 14,162’ Mt. Shasta in 1997 and has done so twice since. He also counts Mts. Langley, Tyndall, and Whitney in the Sierra Nevada among the California "fourteeners" he has summited. "I met a 76-year-old guy on Forester Pass [13,200’] recently who was hiking the John Muir Trail solo," Stocking says. "Now that’s inspiring!"

A member of the National Rifle Association and the American Civil Liberties Union, Stocking’s Sierra Club activism centers on water issues. "Water will be the environmental and public health issue of the 21st century," he says. He has lately been involved with the issue of water privatization, currently a hot topic in Stockton. The mayor and a majority of the city council favor contracting out municipal services to a private company for the next 20 years. Stocking opposes the scheme, and has been working with community groups to demand that the public be allowed to vote on the proposal.

Stocking recently helped develop the Sierra Club’s policy on water privatization and commodification as a member of the Club’s national Water Privatization Task Force. He advises people facing privatization of their water systems to organize and get active when they first hear about it. "Water is a human necessity and not a commodity for for-profit trading," he says. "Once you dismantle a functioning public system, it’s not so easy putting Humpty Dumpty back together again."

Stocking is featured in a new documentary film, "Thirst," that will premiere on PBS July 13; check your local listings for time.

Peter Butler
Boulder, Colorado
Webmaster, Indian Peaks Group, Rocky Mountain Chapter

"I was brought up in England," says Peter Butler, "but as an amateur photographer one of my long-time heroes was Ansel Adams. I read all his technical photography books, and there were many references to the Sierra Club. From across the Atlantic this organization seemed very romantic and exciting."

Butler and his wife Deirdre moved to Boulder in 2000, where he now works as a graphic designer. "Deirdre was a Sierra Club member before I was and got me involved," he says. "She’s an outings leader and volunteer coordinator. We love living in the Rockies, surrounded by eagles, elk, deer, skunks, bobcats, and lions. We had a mountain lion talking to our cat Ansel through the French doors last week at 4:15 a.m."

In addition to running the Web site, he designs posters, ads, and other communications materials for the Indian Peaks Group, and serves as Webmaster for the Rocky Mountain Chapter. He also volunteers as a photographer, newsletter editor, and general helper for Greenwood Wildlife, a rehabilitation sanctuary in Lyons, Colorado. "Last year, Greenwood looked after 3,800 animals from 142 different species," he says. "I scrape up lots of duck and raccoon poop, but rewards come from up-close access to rare and unusual animals.

"I love being involved as a Club activist," Butler says. "I feel humble surrounded by so many local Sierrans with gigantic environmental credentials, but I enjoy being a back room boy, acting as the lubricant that helps their activist battering rams slide toward the target more easily."

Tom Valtin

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