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The Planet

Club Beat - Notes From All Over

East Texas Group Hosts Sierra 'Cubs' Camp

Gettin' Green in Piney Woods: Even as many Texans are still shaking off winter's icy grip-parts of south Texas saw their first snowfall since 1895-it's not too early to start looking ahead to summer. Adrian Van Dellen, newsletter editor for the Lone Star Chapter's PineyWoods Group, writes to say that a Sierra Club Cubs Camp may be just the ticket. For five mornings in June (exact dates still to be determined), two dozen or so 'Cubs' from 6 to 10 years old can explore the natural world in a camp setting among the pines and hidden waterfalls of east Texas. In groups of four or five, led by a volunteer counselor, kids engage in hands-on learning about local ecosystems and wildlife, capped off by a canoeing activity where they learn about water quality and how to win water fights. That's Eric Clifton, a participant in last year's PineyWoods Cubs Camp, pictured below with a friend.

The PineyWoods (Nacogdoches area) camp is part of the Lone Star Chapter's Environmental Education Program. For more information, go to

No, You Can't Pollute More: Mackinac Chapter Conservation Chair Anna Holden reports from Detroit that the chapter won a 'really great decision' from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, which on January 24 denied a proposed permit to change the classification of the Hamtramck medical waste incinerator to a combuster, which would have allowed higher emissions of pollutants. In addition, the department will begin steps to revoke the existing permit to burn medical waste, which is still active despite a state law suit against the owner for some 50 violations. The Mackinac Chapter has been active on this issue for years, and many local Club activists testified at hearings leading up to the January decision.

Wisconsin Teen Named to Newspaper Advisory Board:

Colleen O'Conor
On January 15, Colleen O'Conor, a 14-year-old high school freshman from Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, was named to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reader advisory committee-that's her at left volunteering with the Sierra Club's voter education efforts this past October. O'Conor, who is helping start a Sierra Student Coalition group at her high school, was one of 10 chosen from 150 applicants to advise the newspaper's editorial board.

("We had an overwhelming response," wrote Editorial Page Editor O. Ricardo Pimentel, "though the only pay promised was cookies.") The next day, the Journal Sentinel published an editorial opposing drilling the Arctic Refuge and supporting more conservation and fuel efficiency. Quick work by O'Conor on her first day? Hmmm....

Nominate a Local Hero: Do you know a Sierra Club volunteer who deserves national recognition, or a local politician, reporter or photographer whose work has helped protect the environment? Nominate them for one of the Club's 22 national awards, several of which include cash prizes. Deadline is June 1. You can find nomination forms, award descriptions, and previous winners at Awards will be presented during the Sierra Club's annual meeting in September. For more information, contact Awards Committee Chair Ellen Davis at or at (505) 522-9768.

Roger and friends
800 hours: That's how many hours volunteer extraordinaire Roger Cole, above in the aqua jacket, devoted to building environmental community in Portland, Oregon, last year. With him are Club Staffers Robyn Conroy, Erika Alabarca, Kelly Ward, and Kendra Kimbirauskas.

- Tom Valtin

Dragonfly photo: Adrian Van Delen; used with permission.
Wisconsin teen: John Bryne Berry; used with permission.

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