NEW Donate to the Alabama Chapter of the Sierra Club Online

Click the donate button below to make a secure, online donation using PayPal. You don't need a PayPal account to use this option

Note: Contributions, gifts, and dues to the Sierra Club-Alabama Chapter are not tax deductible. They support our effective, citizen-based advocacy and lobbying efforts here in Alabama. Thank you in advance for supporting the Sierra Club's conservation programs in Alabama.


Organ Mountains Desert Peaks Named Newest National Monument

(from Sierra Club National) President Obama has just signed a proclamation designating almost 500,000 acres of the Potrillo Mountains, Sierra de las Uvas, Robledos Mountains and the surrounding desert in southern New Mexico as the nation's newest monument -- Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks.

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks is the crown jewel of the Southern Rockies and is one of the most deserving iconic places in America to receive this designation. The monument is filled with majestic mountains, big horn sheep, pronghorn antelope, rare plant species, petroglyph-lined canyons, the Apollo Mission training sites and historical events in western history that include people like Billy the Kid and Geronimo.

Iconic monument designations don't happen every day. It's important the president knows that when he protects America's special places we have his back.

Send a Thank You Now

In addition to protecting invaluable landscapes, wildlife and cultural areas -- economic studies show this designation has the potential to add more than $7.4 million in additional annual economic activity -- doubling the number of jobs supported by outdoor recreation and tourism industry in the region. This is a win-win for the environment and the economy.

This designation also represents years of hard work by local communities and lawmakers to protect this region and is the president's first large, iconic, landscape-scale monument designation. More than 15,000 New Mexicans submitted public comments in support of a monument, adding their voices to those of business leaders, elected officials, recreation, conservation, Native American and Latino groups and leaders like U.S. Senators Udall and Heinrich and retired Senator Bingaman.

Monument designation is an important tool the president has to protect our wilderness heritage. And thanks to years of hard work by people like you this beautiful landscape will forever be protected and enjoyed by future generations.


Grassroots Activism: Panthers vs. Big Oil

(from Sierra Club Currents) The battle over proposed oil drilling near the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge isn't over, but we achieved a great victory last week. Thanks to the thousands of comments sent in and the many activists who attended and spoke at hearings, the Big Cypress Advisory Committee voted four to one to recommend denial of an exploratory oil drilling permit.

learn more about this battle in nearby Florida here.


PLEASE NOTE!

PROCEDURE FOR SENDING MATERIAL TO THE ALABAMA SIERRAN

Many thanks to Margo Rebar, Roe Hyche, Bob Hastings, and Peggie Griffin for agreeing to be the new newsletter committee.

The newsletter is put together monthly, and material for the newsletter should be sent to plgriffin@comcast.net, with a subject line of "For the Editorial Board" no later than the 15th of the month.

Group newsletter editors may continue sending group meeting information and calendars of events to Joe Watts at joe@joewatts.com, no later than the 25th of each month.

Guidelines for Material:

Join the Alabama Chapter on facebook! (just click the logo below to join the group page)

Join us on facebook

 

June 2014

Help Make Alabama State Parks Work For YOU!

This is a survey about hiking that is being done byLauren Crain, Graduate Research Assistant, Department of Geography at the University of Alabama. They have asked for our input, and it only takes a few minutes to do. I think it is great for us to be able to have an input for info that may help us get more trails and maybe more public lands for us to enjoy. I completed mine before I sent it out so I would have an idea about what it was. You can access the survey at:
https://universityofalabama.az1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_6tV7d1HkTdMw6Nv
Thanks to all who have time to do the survey.
Submitted by Ken Hyche


Strip mining oil sands in Alabama is NOT the path to economic prosperity. In fact, strip mining oil sands in Alabama will likely destroy the great potential we have in the Shoals to build a 21st century economy that creates wealth and jobs for the citizens who've built their lives in the Tennessee Valley and surrounding areas. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please go to this website: https://www.causes.com/campaigns/77963-stop-tennessee-river-watershed-tar-sands. If you would like to get more involved, please contact Adam Johnston at the Alabama Rivers Alliance. Please sign the petition here, http://saveourshoals.com/petition-lead.

Please join the Citizens Rally in Florence in opposition to the proposed strip-mining and processing of oil sands in NW Alabama.

When: Thursday, June 5, 2014, 4-8 p.m.

Where: Wilson Park, Downtown Florence, Alabama

What: Live music, speakers, information booth, drum circle and candlelight vigil

Musical Performers Include:

David Walton
The Charlie Rose Trio with special guest Bryan Farris
Susan Shann
Max Russell and the Shakedown Kings
The Wildwood Ruminators
Russell Mefford and friends: David Mackay, Donna Jean Godchaux, Bryan Farris, Daniel Ledford

For more information please call: 256-366-1937 or 256-767-2909 or visit Facebook here.

Please bring your family and friends, lawn chairs, picnic supplies and candles. And please help us spread the word. The Citizens Rally is sponsored by the Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Tennessee Riverkeeper.


Oct 31-Nov 2, 2014 Sierra Club Annual Retreat

Reserve the Dates!

Lakepoint State Park
near Eufaula

Environmental Speakers, Hikes, Boating, Fishing
Birding and Wildlife Viewing at
Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge

For more information, contact
David Norwood – 334-315-6081 or dn355@bellsouth.net

Bob Hastings – 334-324-1071 or bhastings@knology.net


Cahaba Group's Outings Program Is Growing

Sunset on Ruffner Mountain

The Cahaba Sierra Club is working hard to develop a more comprehensive outing schedule for hikers, bikers and paddlers in the area as well as inviting more people to lead events so that we get a diverse offering of events of all types and levels. Many of us have already been participating in frequent outings via the Birmingham Adventure Group (BAG) on www.meetup.com/BirminghamAdventureGroup/. Being that for many outings, we cannot take very large groups, we have been using the MeetUp groups to keep groups to an appropriate size for that event. For example, there is a strict limit of 10 hikers in the Sipsey Wilderness. There are two ways to join one of our activities, you may join the MeetUp website and then join the Birmingham Adventure Group, or you can contact the event host for specific details on the event.

On June 28, 2014, the Cahaba Sierra Club is going to be hosting a First Aid/Sierra Club leadership training day for all interested event organizers so that more and more of our activities can be Sierra Club events. Please contact Lucina Horner at lucinamarie@gmail.com if you are interested in becoming an event leader. Tom Burley has kindly agreed to come up and train the group. It will be an all day training that will take place at the Hoover Library. Basic 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 leadership team, which currently consists of Ken & Roe Hyche, Lucina Horner and Brandon Crawford Smith has been leading regular outings via the BAG meetup.com website. We are working to develop a regular Saturday series, a Sunday series and a weekday evening series as well as a holiday series. The Saturday series will most likely be a hike of longer duration in the more temperate weather, often on the Pinhoti Trail (a wonderful recurring series on the 3rd Saturday of the month led by Ken & Roe Hyche), in Cheaha State Park, Sipsey Wilderness or Lake Martin as well as numerous hikes in the Birmingham area. During the summer, shorter early morning hikes or water activities will be more common. The Sunday series is likely to be a moderate hike of an intermediate level in the Birmingham area. The weekday evening series is a walk of about 3 to 4 miles on flat terrain, walking paths and such designed for beginners and people just looking to add a few more miles to their exercise regimen.

The holiday hikes on Black Friday and New Year's Day have been especially popular. The Black Friday hike is usually led by Brandon Crawford Smith in Cheaha State Park. It is one of our more challenging hikes during the year. Another popular hike is the New Year's Day hike in Ruffner Mountain Preserve. It's an ideal time of year to climb down into the large quarry as well as view Birmingham from overlooks that are often obscured by leaves at other times in the year. Most recently, we had a Sierra Club Sunset hike at Ruffner Mountain led by Brandon Crawford Smith. It was a challenging intermediate hike of about 5 miles through the Ridge and Valley Trail as well as the overlook by the quarry and a visit to the large iron ore crusher.

Hiking with the Cahaba Lilies

Ken and Roe Hyche hosted an outing to see the Cahaba River Lilies near West Blocton, Alabama on Saturday, May 24. The group had a wonderful time walking in the Cahaba River to see the lilies. The Cahaba River Lily is native to only Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Approximately 90% of the lilies are here in Alabama in the section of the Cahaba River that we visited on Saturday. They only occur in fast moving, shallow water that gets lots of direct sunlight. Each bloom only lasts for one day. The group spent a while at the first stand of lilies and then walked down the river to have a picnic lunch in the shade by a creek tributary.

Red Mountain Park, which is a Birmingham City Park with lots of historic mine buildings and structures is opening up two more treehouses in addition to the zipline and the single treehouse. Lucina Horner will lead a hike at 9am on Saturday, June 7 to go and see the two new treehouses, which are on the way to the Grace's Gap Overlook. The hike will be about 5 miles and will be a beginner/intermediate hike due to several hills of moderate difficulty. Lucina Horner has also been leading the weekday 6pm walks in the Birmingham area. The ones in May have included the Shades Creek Walking Path, Jemison Park, and Heardmont Park. Upcoming walks will be on Tuesday, June 3, 10 and 17 at the Botanical Gardens, Veterans Park and the Vulcan Trail. These walks are 3 - 4 miles at a moderate pace and include little to no hills.

Lucina Horner, Cahaba Group of the Sierra Club


TSCF Forward Fund Seeks Proposals from Chapters for Energy Solutions Work

The Forward Fund is a new fund housed at The Sierra Club Foundation (TSCF). The Forward Fund is seed-funded by a generous donation from an anonymous funder keenly interested in helping the Club move to a more solutions-oriented approach. Chapters can apply for grants of up to $25,000 to create or expand efforts to promote clean energy solutions. Grant details and the Request for Proposals (RFP) can be found here on Clubhouse. Questions? Contact Ben Avery or Gwyn Jones.


Chill-Out on the Mountain with the North Alabama Sierra Club

Ready for a picnic on the mountain? Come join the Sierra Club on Saturday, June 14 for a picnic, hikes and great company in Monte Sano State Park. Stretch your legs in a choice of two morning hikes (see Outings below for details) or bring a chair and lounge, enjoy the outdoor sounds, camaraderie and tantalizing aroma of Chef Steve's Dutch oven chili and blueberry cobbler! Lunch will be served at 12:00 in the small pavilion. A non-refundable fee of $6.00 per person includes regular and veggie chili, sides, dessert and drinks, for age 7-years plus. Age 6 and under eat for free. A lunch reservation is required, funds due on or before June 7. For all information about the picnic, call 256 337- 9702. Checks may be mailed to Sierra Club, PO Box 1893, HSV 35807. We'll also keep you posted on our Facebook page. A torrential rain storm cancels. At the Park gate, say you are going to the small pavilion.

The next gathering of the North Alabama Sierra Club will be Thursday, July 17 in the training room of the National Children’s Advocacy Center at 210 Pratt Avenue. Becky Collier from the Coosa River Science School will be speaking. Sierra Club meetings are open to everyone. Come join us!


Voice for Clean Air: Mark Johnston

Rev. Mark Johnston is a priest in the Episcopal Church and executive director of Camp McDowell. He helped found GASP and is the current board chair. Rev. Johnston has long been an advocate for clean air, health and the environment, actively pursuing social justice issues in Alabama. from Voices for Clean Air.


Another One Bites the Dust

NV Energy has announced that it will close three of its four coal-fired units at the Reid Gardner power plant in southern Nevada by the end of this year, and the fourth by 2019. The Sierra Club has worked for years with the Moapa Band of Paiutes to retire heavily polluting Reid Gardner, which sits next door to the Moapa Paiute reservation. Soon the tribe will build a 200-megawatt solar array -- the first commercial solar project on Native American lands -- from which the city of Los Angeles will be purchasing enough energy to power over 110,000 homes. read more (from Sierra Club Insider)


New Fridge? Does Efficiency Pencil Out?

Buying a newer energy-efficient refrigerator means you'll use fewer kilowatts -- and maybe never have to look at the color "avocado" again. But how long will it take for the energy you save to offset the energy it took to manufacture your shiny new fridge? (learn all about it from Sierra Club's "Mr. Green" here. (from Sierra Club Insider)


Sierra Club Outings

Summer is here! It's time to get out! Take a great hike. Or just enjoy gathering with friends to discuss environmental issues!

Come join us on the trail or just out for a stroll in the city! Great outings and meetings from North Alabama all the way to the Gulf! more>>>