Sierra Notes

EPA: Timetable for Global Warming Regulations
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson sent a letter yesterday to Senator Jay Rockefeller in response to a letter he and seven other senators sent to EPA on Friday, February 19. Jackson's letter outlines EPA's plan for moving forward with new regulations for the largest carbon polluters beginning in 2011, while smaller facilities will have until 2016.

The letter also responds to several concerns raised by the senators, including the economic costs of regulation and raises red flags about the ongoing campaign to gut the Clean Air Act.

Turtles: Nesting Grounds Under Threat
The Northeast Ecological Corridor, which includes a string of pristine sandy beaches on the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico, is among the last remaining American leatherback nesting sites and still holds a significant population of the endangered turtles. In October of last year Puerto Rico's governor, Luis G. Fortuño removed the area's designation as a nature reserve, opening it to harmful development.

The Sierra Club petitioned the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to restore these critical protections. Learn more about efforts to protect this valuable nesting ground and prime eco-tourism destination.

April 2010

Group Notes

See outings for all the groups here>>>

Cahaba Group

Check out our website: http://alabama.sierraclub.org/cahaba/index.html

Coosa Vally Group

Outings

Coosa Valley Sierra Club HikeIn February, seven folks and a beautiful husky went out to Ebel Mountain to see what they could see. On this 65 degree day ---they actually got to see a lot! The views were beautiful from the top trails looking out to the high walls at Rosa on one side and over the golf course in the valley back into Oneonta on the other. While hiking we stopped at several sites along the way to learn about the different trees that were present from our own "trail narrator", Randall Harvey! Tulip Poplar, Blackjack Oak, Basket Oak and the Pignut Hickory were just a few of the trees we got to see there. We can't wait to return to Palisades Park when we can see these trees when they leaf out.

Just a little extra information:  Quercus prinus is a medium large oak reaching 60 to 70 feet height, with a similar spread. The growth habit is dense for an oak, and rounded. It is relatively fast growing, can put 12 to 15 feet on in less than 10 years. The bark is very dark brown to almost black with a high tannin content. Foliage is a dark yellow-green in summer, turning orange-yellow to yellow brown in fall. The acorns are a rich brown, borne singly or in pairs, eaten by squirrels, bears, and deer. Found on rocky, dry upland soils in the wild, it makes the best growth on moist and well drained soil.  The Basket Oak can be started from seed with no stratification.  It is native from Maine to Ontario, to South Carolina and Alabama.  This tree has been cultivated since 1688.

Meetings

In February Adam Snyder, of Conservation Alabama, spoke at the monthly Sierra Cub Meeting.  Conservation Alabama is the state's only full-time environmental lobbying organization.  Snyder, Executive Director of the group, discussed sound environmental policy relating to Alabama politics. He gave us a look at the legislative events during this session, including the return of the infamous Hog Farm bill, energy legislation.  Adam also talked about legislation to change the way landfills and quarries are sited.

Montgomery Group

Don’t miss our Monthly Meetings! The second Thursday of each month at the:
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
6610 Vaughn Road
Montgomery, AL 36116
(334) 272-6152

North Alabama Group

Tuesday Night Hikes are Back on Monte Sano
Beginning Tuesday, March 16, after daylight savings time begins, the hikes will return to Monte Sano and will leave from the Monte Sano State Park Hiker's Parking Lot also at 6:00pm. There is a small hiker fee to enter the park. All dogs must be on a leash while in the parking lot and while on the trails.
- Alan Greene

Hike Leaders Needed
The North Alabama Sierra Club needs new hike leaders at all skill levels. Leaders are needed for the Tuesday night hikes and weekend day hikes. Most of our new members come from our outings. You must be a Sierra Club member to lead hikes. Your help would be appreciated in introducing people to hiking. This is an opportunity to share your favorite hike with others.

The Sierra Club requires that all hike leaders complete training before leading group hikes. A Hike Leader training will be held Saturday, April 24th, in Huntsville to certify new hike leaders to lead day hikes and car camps. Red Cross First Aid certification will be covered in the morning. Hike leadership, hike planning, and hiking etiquette will be covered during the remainder of the day. The training is free. For more information contact Michael Stewart at 256-656-5836 or athikerstew@yahoo.com

City-Wide Cleanup April 10
The city of Huntsville Operation Green Team is sponsoring a city-wide clean up on Saturday, April 10. One of the cleanup sites will be along the banks of the Flint River near Big Cove. This will be a good opportunity to meet and talk with some of the city Green Team employees. For more information, call Soos Weber at 427-5116.

Check the North Alabama Group's website for the most up-to-date outings information!

WEST ALABAMA GROUP

Check us out on the web:
Visit our website for up-to-date info.: alabama.sierraclub.org/west-al.html.