Seriously, you don't want to miss this! Beautiful pictures and truly the story of Alabama's critically important place in the biodiversity of the world! Download it and watch it now! (It is a large file--35 megs)
Margaret (Maggie) Johnston describing the images associated with the tribute to Jay Hudson at the Alabama Sierra Club retreat at Camp McDowell in North Alabama in mid November.
2012 Alabama Legislative Session Is on the Way
Most would agree that getting to know the elected officials who represent you is an important component of protecting the things you care about, e.g., air, water, and land -- the special places in your life.
Of course, among those elected officials are members of the Alabama State Legislature -- in particular, your Alabama State Senator and your Representative. If you don't know who they are, you should visit: http://www.legislature.state.al.us/misc/zipsearch.html. If you need contact information for them, visit the web pages that contain the rosters of the Alabama senate and the house of representatives. Links to these rosters are often available along the left side of the legislative web page you are currently consulting.
As you recognize, all of this is to help prepare you for a visit with your legislators. If you need tips on how to proceed to make arrangements and how to conduct an interview, you can learn more from this handout. You may want to include one or two friends in the meetings. Tip: Meet well in advance, and decide on issues and presenters.
One thing you should do while you are visiting your legislators is to share with them the document on climate change indicators, available here. You can indicate that this one-page document can be useful in providing "sound science" to constituents who need information about climate change. Of course, it can also be useful in making the case about climate change to the legislators.
Another item that can strengthen your position is a bar graph concerning the frequency of tornadoes in Alabama over the last 60 years.
This graph obtained from the U.S. National Weather Service in Birmingham. Notice the marked increase in F0 and F1 tornadoes, beginning in 1995.
The 2012 Regular Session of the Alabama State Legislature begins February 7. It is now time to get to know your legislators or to renew your acquaintance. Be ready and go do it. It is important.
Submitted by David Newton
National Sierra Club supports the "OCCUPY" movements
The Alabama chapter of the Sierra Club would like you to be aware of the following position reproduced from the main Sierra Club website. Most polls show that the majority of Americans support the goals of the movement. Understanding that there will be differences of opinion, go to our Facebook page for discussion.
Sierra Club Stands in Solidarity with Occupy Wall Street Protests
TO: Sierra Club Staff and Volunteers
FR: Sarah Hodgdon, Conservation Director and Dave Scott, Vice President for Conservation
For the past several weeks Occupy Wall Street protesters have peacefully held vigil in support of a broad vision for financial, political, and environmental reform in America. From this creative hub of activity, a diverse group of students, members of labor unions, environmentalists, and concerned citizens have helped this grassroots protest spread to more than 1,400 events nationwide. Many Sierra Club staff and volunteer leaders have participated in and/or lent support to these demonstrations standing up for the end to corporate greed. The demands and values of the protesters are very much in line with Sierra Club's strategic priority of confronting the power of the coal and oil industries.
Volunteer leads and staff around the country have requested that we make clear where the Sierra Club stands on these protests. This memo is designed to provide our initial thinking and guidance.
In a vibrant democracy, peaceful protest and demonstration is among the highest form of citizen engagement in the democratic process. Since the founding of our republic, ordinary citizens have accomplished extraordinary things by joining together to express their convictions. It is our heritage to speak truth to power, and our nation's historic respect for peaceful dissent has helped the United States enact civil rights legislation, promote human rights internationally, and end unjust wars. Citizen engagement has brought this country out of its darkest hours and helped us fulfill our promises of justice and equality to millions.
The Sierra Club affirms its support for the exercise of political expression through the Occupy Wall Street protests. Corporations that pollute our air, land and water, that put greed ahead of community good, public health and the nation's economic well-being must be held fully accountable. In our work around the country, we have seen first-hand how international coal and oil companies have wrecked communities, polluted our environment, and dominated the political process. We stand with Occupy Wall Street protesters in saying "enough."
Finally, we want to make clear to all Sierra Club staff and volunteers, that you are authorized to participate in lawful and peaceful Occupy Wall Street protests in the name of the Sierra Club.
The corporate accountability message these protests are carrying fits very well with our strategic priority of confronting the power of coal and oil and contribute to our strategic priorities of building a movement and fostering key partnerships. We will shortly be providing further message guidance and support materials to help the Sierra Club add its voice to this powerful choir.
Interest in New Rails-to-Trails Corridor
There is some interest in the possibility of establishing a multi-access non-paved Rails-to-Trails corridor between the following locations in northeast Madison county:
Start: 741 Naugher Road, Huntsville
End: 858 Colman RD, Huntsville, or to extend all the way into New Market. A map is being drawn up to help highlight the location.
Right now there is a railroad easement where the track has already been removed, but the easement remains. This would be a great location for a trail which would end near Sharon Johnston Parknear New Market and it could eventually run all the way to New Market (7 miles). There would be readily available parking along the trail, particularly at Sharon Johnston.
If anyone is interested in helping to analyze and possibly help pursue this project, any feedback and advice are welcome, especially from like minded organizations looking to preserve beautiful hiking land in Alabama. For more information or to get involved, please contact Jason Rupert at 256-479-5034 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For anyone who is interested, here are some GPS points along the possible trail:
+34° 48' 31.00", -86° 30' 0.00"
+34° 48' 49.4", -86° 29' 30.10"
+34° 49' 9.8", -86° 28' 55.3"
+34° 49' 27.9", -86° 28' 25.7"
+34° 49' 52.6", -86° 27' 47"
+34° 50' 35.9", -86° 27' 25.1"
+34° 50' 59.6", -86° 27' 16.8"
+34° 51' 28.7", -86° 27' 7.0"
+34° 51' 39.3", -86° 27' 3.4"
+34° 53' 2.1", -86° 26' 34.4"
+34° 53' 49.4", -86° 26' 21.4"