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March 2000




Group News


the Bills


Dig Those

Two of Our
Own Lead
a National
Service Trip

LCV Scorecard Flunks!

At a recent press conference held in the rotunda of the State Capitol, the League of Conservation Voters released their most recent 'National Environmental Scorecard.' This annual report has been released each year since the first Earth Day in 1970. Once again, Senator McConnell has extended his unbroken record of scoring "0". This year he is joined by Senator Bunning and Representative Northrup, both of whom managed to avoid casting one single positive environmental vote. At the press conference Chapter Chair Alice Howell and Ray Barry presented the following statements:

The citizens of Kentucky are fighting an uphill battle for safe, clean water, protection from air pollution, against increased flooding due to unchecked development of wetlands, potential loss of Kentucky's small parcel of national forest the Daniel Boone National Forest due to proposed mining, logging, and development. The League of Conservation Voter's Scorecard for the Kentucky contingency in Washington, D.C. is abysmal. Both senators have a score of zero. Our 6 representatives have a combined average of 8.3, with Rep. Northup dropping from 14 in 1998 to zero for 1999.

Against the Environment

Our elected "representatives" have voted against the environment in support of industry on such crucial matters as:

  • Diverting funds intended for building national forest trails to the promotion of timber sales.
  • Allowing the oil industry to avoid paying $66-$100 million a year in royalties for drilling on public lands.
  • Developing wetlands without public notice or environmental review.
  • Exempting small businesses (500 to 1500 employees in some cases) from self-reporting and record keeping information as required by law. Programs affected are those that track hazardous materials, report on hazardous emissions and drinking water contamination, and require meat packers to prevent bacterial contamination.
  • Legalized unlimited mine waste dumping on public lands. These waste dumps often pollute surface and groundwater resources with toxic chemicals like cyanide and sulfuric acid, and heavy metals like arsenic and cadmium. Many mining sites are sited as hazardous waste sites under Superfund with cleanup costs estimated in billions of dollars.
  • And, as many of you are aware, a West Virginia federal district court prevented the West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection from issuing new mining permits that allowed streams to be destroyed by mining wastes. In response to this decision, Senator Byrd of WV attempted to attach a last minute rider to the FY2000 Omnibus Appropriations Bill which would have exempted coal mining operations from anywhere in the country from the Clean Water Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Both Senator McConnell and Senator Bunning supported this anti-environmental rider.

Above are examples of how our elected representatives have represented us. As long as they do not hear our voices, receive our phone calls, e-mail, then they assume that we acquiesce. Inaction on our parts is a form of action. The Cumberland Chapter asks that you contact your senators and representatives to let them know you are disappointed in how they have voted on issues. We ask that you raise your voices by supporting in elections those individuals who will work for a cleaner and safer Kentucky.

óComments of Alice Howell, Chair of Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club

To those of us who keep a close eye on our legislators, the League of Conservation Voters Scorecard is no surprise. The citizens of Kentucky, however, should be outraged. We send our legislators to Congress to look out for us, and so often this is not what happens. Most people can't believe that these folks would deliberately defile the environment. Yet, as the scorecard indicates, the heavily financed special interests win out over our natural environment most of the time.

God's creation deserves better than this. With the rates of human-caused extinction at alarming levels, our legislators are not responding appropriately. A perfect example of this is the Interstate 66 boondoggle. The forces of greed and ambition are running roughshod over some of the best natural areas left in Kentucky. A misguided sense of priorities are wantonly destroying the very web of life that supports our existence. A respect for the greatness of creation and our duty to protect it from our own destructive forces is nowhere to be found.

As the League of Conservation Voters shows us, again our legislators have voted against the health and well being of Kentucky and people. They have failed to defend us from the greedy special interests out to gain wealth by polluting our air and water. They have failed to protect our forests, and failed to protect our land. Instead they have protected those who would harm us for a profit.

The LCV scorecard points out a dire need for change in our Legislative Delegation. We need a change of heart, a raising of consciousness, an awareness of the problems, and a willingness to pay the costs to do things right. That's why we're here today, to hold accountable our legislators for the miserable job they are doing in protecting the only place in the universe we have. We're here to say to them we don't like the way they are voting on environmental issues and we want to see a change.

óComments of Ray Barry, President of Kentucky Conservation Committee

League of Conservation Voters
1999 National Environmental Scorecard
Senate % Score in 1999
  Bunning (R) 0
  McConnell (R) 0
House of Representatives % Score in 1999
1 Whitfield (R) 13
2 Lewis (R) 6
3 Northrup (R) 0
4 Lucas (D) 19
5 Rogers (R) 6
6 Fletcher (R) 6
Average score for
Kentucky's House of Representativesó8%
Watch Your Mailbox for the Chapter March Appeal (up)

Every March, the Chapter relies on donations from our members to support our conservation work. Appeal letters will be arriving in a few weeks.

Activist Weekend Highlights (up)

óby Lane Boldman, Darren Payne, and Carol Von Lanken

The Cumberland Chapter's Activist Weekend was held January 28-30 at the Kentucky Leadership and 4H center at Jabez, Kentucky. The event was packed with informative programs to equip members for a more active role in their local group.

General Assembly 2000

Tom Fitzgerald, of the Kentucky Resources Council, provided an overview of the bills expected to come before the current session of the legislature. His impassioned plea for involvement on the side of the under-represented side to protect our natural resources was quite moving. He followed up with concrete ways to be involved with our state legislature including the toll-free Legislative Message Line 1-800-372-7181 operated by the Legislative Research Commission (LRC).

Ray Barry and Dick Shore, President and lobbyist respectively for the Kentucky Conservation Committee (KCC) provided more information on the Bottle Bill. House Bill 1, introduced by Greg Stumbo, creates a 5-10 cent deposit on beverage containers including beer, soft drinks, water, and wine at the time of purchase, which will be refunded upon return of the container. Ray then led us in an activity where we wrote a message to our legislator, inserted it into a soft drink container picked up from the roadside, applied a label and 55-cent stamp, and mailed it to our legislator in Frankfort.

Outing Leaders Yearn to Learn

The outing track went fairly well. That is, the indoor meetings went really well; the outdoor activities did not. For the majority of the weekend, it either sleeted or rained. This put a 'damper' on all outdoor activities. At one point, Jorge Hersel and a couple others scouted the cave outing, came back and told me, "I'm not sure we should do this."

As far as indoor outing events, first, there was a two-hour session on how to lead outings attended by about 20 people. Darren Payne and Mary Carol Cooper led this meeting, which covered policy and art of leading an outing. There was a good split of experienced leaders and people who were either new or just interested in leading outings.

In the other two-hour indoor session, Jorge Hersel, an assistant ranger from the Daniel Boone National Forest, Stanton office, led a meeting on the 'Leave No Trace' ethic. This covered minimum impact ideas, why we should use them and how we should use them. He also offered plenty of good handouts to the 25 or so participants.

Next year, we will again have the two-hour 'Outing Training Session' as always, but we will need maybe another one-hour activity (maybe something outdoors) and one or two hours of other indoor training. If anyone has any ideas that they would like to see for next year's outing session, please contact Darren Payne at 606-498-5894 or

For those not attending the outing track, there were two more programs to choose from each hour on a wide array of subjects. Ron Crouch led a program on the effect of population on the environment; Bud Hixson provided a filmed tour of Factory Hog Farms, which was followed up by Hank Graddy on CAFOS (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) which includes both hog and chicken factory farms. Related to the hog factory farms was a presentation by Dr. Nick Crawford from Western Kentucky University that provided the geological perspective on the pollution impacts on karst and caves. He provided information and photos of the collapses of hog waste lagoons in western Kentucky, with our vast system of karst, caves and rivers.

Kevin Lawrence and Marie Walker provided an update on forest issues, which included information on the upcoming forest plan revision and problems with storm damage and the Southern Pine Beetle in the Daniel Boone National Forest. Donna DePenning led a workshop on becoming a self-confident activist. Terra Gill provided information on organizing student groups, which was of interest to the students attending from Georgetown College and the University of Kentucky. Aloma Dew, the Cumberland Chapter's staff member, provided a review of the first year of the EPEC program here in Kentucky and plans for the upcoming year. Chetan Talwalker provided an informative session on Campaign Finance Reform, an issue that should be of great importance to all of us. The chief opponent on this issue in the U.S. Senate is our own senator from Kentucky, Mitch McConnell.

John Muir Visits

No activist weekend would be complete without a visit from John Muir, the founder of the Sierra Club. Dick Shore, Chapter Excom Member and Lobbyist for the KCC has provided us with many visits with John Muir. This year, John was quite busy with a visit for the youth program as well his usual evening program. In the interim, Dick provided information on a proposal for a national historic trail in Kentucky to commemorate John's Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf of Mexico that began in Louisville in the 1860s.

Friday night the weather turned icy, with ice-covered ground and roadways, making the driving treacherous for those coming down early Saturday morning. The weather and ice caused a cancellation of most of the outdoor activities including a lakeshore cleanup organized by the Georgetown College Group, the 5K Walk/Run and the Cave Trips. Keith Amburgey did have the midnight hike, but it became a solo event, as none were brave enough for the outing. As usual, there were many indoor events planned. Saturday evening's entertainment included the movie Bullworth, rousing games of Gestures and Pictionary, and relaxing with friends around the large fireplace.

Sunday morning the program continued with the video To Save a Land and a People, Leadership Training, a program on water quality and the Watershed Watch program as presented by Ken Cooke. Dave Cooper led a program on how to organize a grassroots campaign. Dave included demos on how to turn a roadside beer ad into a reusable sign for use in demonstrations. Dave had lots of tips to share from his experiences this past year with Neighbors Opposed to Pipeline Extravagance (NOPE) which has fought against a proposed pipeline from the Ohio River to supply the water needs of Lexington. After lunch on Sunday the Chapter Excom convened.

Group News (up)
BlueGrass Group
Learn Trail Building

The next General Meeting will be Monday, March 20th at 7:30 p.m. at Shriner's Hospital, 1900 Richmond Rd. in Lexington (one mile inside New Circle Road). The auditorium where the meeting is usually held will be under renovation, so our program will be held in the hospital cafeteria.

Have you ever participated in a Sierra Club service outing and wondered if you were using proper trail-building techniques? Our March program will be on 'Building and Maintaining Trails,' with instruction provided by members of the U.S. Forest Service. The meeting is free and open to the public. Check the Weekender section in the Friday, March 17th Herald-Leader for more information, or call Program Chair Lewis Warden for directions and program details, (606) 271-9102. Our April 17th meeting will also be held in the Shriner's cafeteria, and is tentatively scheduled to be a program on exotic invasive plants, by members of the Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Our monthly Business Meeting will be on March 6th, 7:00 p.m. at the Community Room at Good Foods Co-Op, 455-D Southland Drive, Lexington. Call Joey Shadowen at (606) 252-3422 for details. The meeting is free and open to the public.

Our Inner City Outings program is continuing to build a foundation to become an 'official' group during this year. We are looking to expand our base of volunteers, and welcome everyone who is interested to come and learn more about this worthwhile program. Meetings are usually the second Monday of each month, 7:00 p.m. at 114 Woodford Drive, (off of Versailles Rd.) Lexington. For information contact Joey Shadowen, (606) 252-3422 or e-mail

Our Conservation Committee will be meeting March 22nd, 7:00 p.m at the Community Room at Good Foods Co-Op, 455-D Southland Drive, Lexington. Please call Hilary Hopper, Conservation Chair, at (606) 299-4054 for more information.

Attention literary lovers! Come join the next gathering of our Book Discussion Group.

In March, we discuss Sy Montgomery's Walking with the Great Apes on the 16th of that month. The discussion group meets at the home of Ray and Mary Barry, 3415 Snaffle Rd. in Lexington at 7:30 p.m. Contact Ray & Mary at (606) 223-0180 or Katherine Ginting at (606) 299-7446 for more information.

Come help with the Lexington-Fayette County "Reforest the Bluegrass" Tree Planting event. Bluegrass members will be working to plant native trees this spring in Lexington parks. Participants will receive a free "Reforest the Bluegrass 2000" t-shirt for their volunteer work. Dates are planned for April 1st and 8th. Contact Lane Boldman, (606) 252-3422 if you would like to help. Volunteers who have previous experience in planting bare-root trees are needed, but all volunteers are welcome!

Now that spring is approaching, the Bluegrass group will be out in force at many upcoming events. We are always looking for volunteers to help with our information booths at these events, particularly around Arbor Day, Earth Day, and Fourth of July. If you have the time to help, please contact Carol Von Lanken at (606) 268-4014. It's easy and a great way to meet your fellow members!

And if you're feeling 'creative' and can hold a paint brush, we are looking for folks to help with the following projects: We have bird houses which need decorating for fund raising activities, and we will also soon be planning our Fourth of July parade float. If you love to paint, do arts & crafts, or just like to contribute ideas, we'd love to hear from you. Call Joey Shadowen, Bluegrass Group Chair, for more details (606) 252-3422.

Act now-there's still time to sign up for the Bluegrass Group's Beginning Backpacking course. Offered through Lexington Community College, the course is being taught by our own Terese Pierskalla, Bluegrass Outings Chair. The class meets on Wednesday evenings, 7-8:30, beginning April 12th and running through May 3rd, with a final class backpack trip on May 6 & 7th. Fee for the course is $52. Time is running out, so call soon. Contact Lexington Community College at (606) 257-2692.

Pennyrile Group
Planning & Hiking

A planning meeting was held on February 3 at the Books-A-Million store in Owensboro. Eleven people were present. We elected several new officers, decided on a meeting place and time, and sketched out meetings for the next six months.

There are several hikes already posted in the Chapter Outings Booklet. More are being planned and scheduled for coming months. We will be meeting at the public library in Owensboro, 1701 McCreary Ave, the third Tuesday of each month. Our meetings will last from 7:00 -8:30 pm, beginning March 21.

On March 2 Tom Gilmore will lead a beginners backpacking training session for the group. Tom will give advice on and assistance in purchasing equipment, food, attire, and safety. At that time a special weekend trip will be arranged for new trekkers.

Danny Stringer will be contact person for the Pennyrile Group. His phone number is 270-926-0930. Call him if you need information about the group, or instructions about how to get to the meetings or outings.

Mammoth Cave
Learn How to Backpack

During the months of January, February, and March the group has been having Hiking/ Backpacking classes during meetings. The first was on January 20, covering clothing and how to leave no trace, and the second was on January 27, on packs and packing.

The class on February17 covered shelters and sleeping; February 24, cooking and food. The next class will be on March 16, on navigation and essentials. The group will be leading a beginner backpack outing at Mammoth Cave after the classes on March 25-26th. Call Merri Hinton 270-726-3141 for more information. Our trail cleanup is scheduled for March 11 at Mammoth Cave; call Jerri Romans 270-843-2282 for more info.

April 15-16 is Spring Fest at Mammoth Cave. They are looking for volunteers to lead wildflower hikes.

As for our fundraisings, calendars are still for sale and we have new tee shirts!

We have lots of good outings planned this spring, we have been working on membership and I have seen a lot of new eager facesókeep up the good work!!

Greater Louisville Group
ExCom and Road Cleanup
Executive Committee Meeting

The next Executive Committee meeting takes place on March 7th. The Executive Committee, comprised of Greater Louisville Sierra Club officers and committee members, invites all GLSC members to attend the meeting, which will be starting at 7:30 pm. at the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church. The address is 4938 Old Brownsboro Road opposite Holiday Manor Shopping Center.

Lexington Road Cleanup

Join us for "Coffee on the Club" and the Lexington Road Adopt-A-Highway cleanup. We will meet at Heine Brothers coffee shop on Frankfort Avenue at 1 p.m. on Sunday, March 12th for coffee or tea, and then proceed to Lexington Road between Cannons Lane and Grinstead Drive. We have a need for volunteers to help meet our commitment of keeping our section of Lexington Road garbage free. All cleaning supplies will be provided! For more details, call Bill Carroll at 458-0008 or Lena Masterson, 893-9295, or email

New Members Unite!

Barbara Hedspeth will be having a new member potluck at her house on March 12 at 5:30 PM. All new members are welcome to come and learn more about Sierra Club and meet other members. Please bring food or drink to share. Please contact Barbara to RSVP and for more information at 896-0242 or email her at

To Steal an Orchid

John Laroche is not your ordinary plant collector. Matter of fact it could be said there is virtually nothing ordinary about him at all. The Orchid Thief is set in south Florida and follows the exploits of Mr. Laroche as he moves in the underworld of black market orchid trade. The book, written by Susan Orlean, is full of wonderful scenery, characters and of course orchids. Join the group at our next meeting will be March 16th in the cafe at the Barnes and Noble bookstore located on Hurstbourne Lane starting at 7:00 PM and share your thoughts about the book. For more information call Tony Acree at 228-6325.

Meet the Candidates

All four Democrats running in the primary for the Third Congressional District have accepted invitations to speak at a forum organized by the Greater Louisville Sierra Club during our next General Meeting. Ms. Cameron Lawrence, Director of Radio Programming at the University of Louisville and host of the respected daytime program, 'State of Affairs', will moderate the program, set for Tuesday, March 21, at 7:30 p.m. The Candidates are:

  • Ms. Eleanor Jordan
  • Mr. Chad Jennings
  • Mr. Burrel Farnsley
  • Mr. Ray Abbott.

Each candidate will introduce him or herself and then will respond to questions posed by Ms. Lawrence on a variety of environmental issues. Time permitting, the audience will also have an opportunity to present written questions.

The forum will take place at the Thomas Jefferson Unitarian Church, 4938 Old Brownsboro Road (near Lime Kiln Lane, opposite Holiday Manor Shopping Center). In addition, the Sierra Club will have, for public review, a copy of the Republican incumbent's "environmental scorecard," which was prepared by the League of Conservation Voters in Washington, DC. Two years ago, the incumbent scored "19" out of a possible 100 on environmental votes tracked by the LCV. There is no Republican primary for this seat, this year. For more information about local Sierra Club events, phone 897-3335 for a recorded message.

Barbeque for You

The next Greater Louisville Sierra Club Social Dinner will be held at Mark's Feed Store located at 1514 Bardstown Road on March 23rd starting at 7 PM. This is a great opportunity for Club members to get together and relax with some great food. For more information call Lena Masterson at 582-9707 or Bill Carroll at 458-0008.

Conservation Meeting

The Conservation Committee's regular meeting will be on Wednesday, March 29th at 7:30 pm. We meet at the church on the last Wednesday of the month. For further information contact Leslie Barras at or call at 899-5845. The public is encouraged to attend.

Northern Group
Watershed Watch

At our January Northern Kentucky Group meeting, Ron Lusby was honored for his many years as our group chair. Ron shared that he will be devoting more time to the Alexandria Park Board. He will be involved in writing grants for trails and preservation of A. J. Jolly Park. Thanks go to Ron for his continued commitment to the Sierra Club!

On March 11, the Midwest Regional Conservation Committee will sponsor a Regional Stream Monitoring Workshop form 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn Riverfront in Covington. This training is offered in conjunction with the Licking River Watershed Watch Training Program. Many new volunteers are needed to get involved with the Watershed Watch in Northern Kentucky; the Watershed Watch involves only a minimal commitment of time. After taking the training, you will be invited to volunteer for three test days, about 2 or 3 hours a day. Volunteers are also invited to the conference the Watershed Watch provides at the end of each year. If you want to get your feet wet with water quality stuff, here's your chance. Please make a reservation to attend the March 11 training by contacting Susan Patton at (606) 356-8582 or Hank Graddy at (606) 846-4905.

Bob Burns will lead a popular spring hike on March 18: a five-mile urban hike starting in Devou Park in Covington, past the Millennium Peace Bell in Newport, and over the bridge to Mt. Adams and Eden Park in Cincinnati. Call Bob at 37-7591 before 9:00 p.m. for a reservation.

Backpacking Slide show

Everyone is invited to join in our bimonthly group meetings. They are held at 7:00 p.m. at Thomas More College in the Chancellor's Room. They next meeting date is March 27. We will have a special feature program entitled 'Backpacking the National Parks: Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and Yellowstone.' Jack Wells, an experienced backpacking trip leader, will narrate a slide presentation on his journeys out West. (Note: this is also a chance to learn about Jack's Smokey Mountain National Park Backpacking trip the weekend of April 21.) members are encouraged to join us for this fun evening. Following the program there will be a brief business meeting.

The Northern Group commends all those involved in organizing the Activist Weekend held at Lake Cumberland in January. We had ten members attend, and we came away with not only a higher level of understanding of various environmental issues, but also renewed spirits from the camaraderie of the Cumberland Chapter at large. Special thanks go to Susan Patton for all her efforts as a presenter and leader of the children's activities.

The Northern Group now consists of around 367 members. As group leaders, we are committed to doing anything possible to help our group progress successfully in the new millenium. The newly named group officers are interested in hearing any and all suggestions on how we can nurture membership growth and involvement. If anyone has any suggestions on future directions or would like to know more about how to get involved, please contact any of the following group officers: Claudia Hilligoss, Chair, (606) 689-5706; Jack Wells, Vice Chair and Treasurer, (606) 244-3364; and Ron Lusby, Secretary, (606) 635-9221.

No news was received from the Great Rivers Group. Call John & Lila Waldman at (502) 436-5405 for information.

Highlands Group is presently inactive.

Sierra Club Supports Campaign Finance Reform (up)

by Dave Cooper

There have been some rather misleading statements made in the news media recently regarding the Sierra Club's position on Campaign Finance Reform. The Sierra Club's policy on campaign finance reform consists of four principles:

  • The Sierra Club supports public financing for campaigns;
  • The Sierra Club supports limits on campaign spending;
  • The Sierra Club supports limits on "soft money" contributions to political parties;
  • The Sierra Club believes there should be no limits on the ability of nonprofit organizations to communicate with the public on policy issues.

These principles were unanimously accepted by the National Club Board of Directors in March, 1999.

Strings Attached?

The flood of campaign money flowing into the 2000 Presidential campaign should make us all uneasy. Governor George W. Bush has already raised over $65 million. It would be naive to assume that all this money was donated without strings attached. Bush's fundraising and spending has escalated the need for other candidates to raise similar amounts. Other candidates have been struggling to keep up with Bush's war chest. Publisher Steve Forbes dropped out after spending $67 million of his own money.

Many good candidates are unable to compete in modern elections, not because they don't have good ideas, or lack leadership ability, but simply because they are unable to raise enough money. Elizabeth Dole dropped out after being outspent by ten to one. She may have made a great President, but we'll never know, because she dropped out months before even the first primary in New Hampshire. Voters never got to decide, the big money campaign donators and PACs already decided that Governor Bush was their party's nominee.

Meanwhile, leading candidates Bill Bradley and John McCain have made reform of political campaign financing a centerpiece of their campaigns. McCain was co-author of the McCain-Feingold reform bill in the Senate, which was defeated by a filibuster lead by Kentucky's own Sen. Mitch McConnell. Vice President Gore supports reform as well.

Governor Bush opposes campaign reform because, in his words, "it would hurt the Republican Party." His words had to be a great embarrassment to McConnell, who cloaks his defense of the status quo in First Amendment gibberish, claiming that restricting money is like restricting free speech.

Major Setback

But on January 24, the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in a Missouri case that limiting individual contributions to $1075 was in fact constitutional, that money is not equivalent to speech.

Justice David Souter wrote in the majority opinion, "There is little reason to doubt that sometimes large contributions will work actual corruption of our political system, and no reason to question the existence of a corresponding suspicion among voters."

"This (ruling) is a major setback for self-styled constitutional scholars like Senator Mitch McConnell, who has been lecturing us for years about how the Court would overturn contribution limits" said Ellen Miller, Executive Director of Public Campaign.

No doubt the string of setbacks will have little effect on McConnell, who has dug himself so deep a hole that there is no way for him to get out gracefully. As long as McCain continues to do well in the primaries, McConnell will find himself more and more isolated from the voters of the Republican Party.

It's enough to make an environmentalist smile.

Follow the Bills (up)

Although it may be depressing and a little scary, we all should be following the activities of the current legislature. This can be done on the Chapter web page, through the Kentucky Conservation Committee link.

The Kentucky Conservation Committee has employed two lobbyists and is also attempting to keep interested persons advised of the current status of all environmental bills with evaluations of the bills and suggested action. Check out:

Summary of Executive Committee Action (up)

The Chapter Executive Committee met January 30, 2000, at the conference center at Jabez, Kentucky. Six Executive Committee members were present, as well as the Chairs of two of the Groups.

  • The proposed budget for the year 2000 was presented, discussed and adopted. Officers for the coming year were elected: Alice Howell, Chair; Tom House, Vice Chair; Mary Carol Cooper, Secretary; Oscar Geralds, Treasurer.
  • The date for the next ExCom was changed because of many calendar conflicts. It will be held on March 25 at the Salato Wildlife Educational Center in Frankfort.
  • The Bylaws Committee reported and their proposal was adopted and sent to National for approval.
  • Groups are to submit their Bylaws by the next ExCom meeting.
  • Discussion of Kentucky Conservation Committee was held. More participation was urged. $5,000.00 was allocated to KCC to assist in employing the lobbyists at the current legislative session.
  • Lane Boldman will head the March Window fundraising drive.
  • It was agreed that the Chapter would undertake a portion of the expense of the Louisville workshop on smart growth.
  • Habitat for Wildlife solicited the Chapter's comments on a proposal which addressed increasing wilderness areas and phasing out grazing. The request was tabled pending further study, particularly on the grazing issue.
  • The possibility of pursuing Cagles litigation further was discussed and was referred to the Litigation Committee for a report at the next ExCom.
  • A Watershed Watch Committee was appointed with representatives from each of the watersheds involved.
  • Hank Graddy was directed to write the citizen's monitoring report.
  • Aloma Dew reported on her work as a staff person, and reviewed plans for the year 2000. The proposed plan was approved.
  • Leslie Barrett reported on the proposed development at Ft. Knox. The Commander has agreed to have a full environmental impact statement prepared. The Chapter will monitor and comment.
  • Earth Day plans were discussed, including a large outing on the Green River.
  • It was announced that the Chapter web page was ready to be fully functional.
  • After Group reports from Louisville and Bluegrass, the meeting adjourned.
Dig Those Service Outings! (up)
óBy Darren Payne

Attention all hikers, please answer these questions:

  • Have you ever said 'We had a wonderful hike' or 'It was a beautiful trail'?
  • Have you ever been on a trail that had no litter on it?
  • Have you ever wondered how a bridge was built that is miles down the trail with no apparent roads nearby?
  • Have you ever been thankful for all those rocks that have been strategically placed over a wet or unsafe area?
  • Have you ever appreciated having trail signs and markers? Or been lost without them?
  • Who puts up shelters way back in the woods (or moves them!)?
  • Have you ever hiked a straight up, rough trail with erosion problems and gone back the next year and there's a better way that is better for both you and the trail?
  • Have you ever noticed how the trail is nice and flat, but all of the area around it is on a slope?
  • How did we get several hundred miles of trail here in Kentucky in the first place?

The list goes on. These things all happened because there are service trips. It requires many people and a lot of work to make these trails. Then, it requires many people and a lot of work to maintain them.

Service Outings Planned

Our Chapter has some great outings planned for this upcoming year. From March 1, 2000 through March 1, 2001, there are 120 events in the Cumberland Chapter. Of those 120 events, 99 of them are outings. Here comes the most impressive statistic: this year, over 15% of our outings are service trips. Read upcoming issues of the Cumberland for details on these outings. Other service outings may be added during the year and will be posted as the year goes along. I urge you to attend any of these wonderful trips.

  • Mar. 11, Bernheim Forest, Bill Carroll
  • Mar. 11, Mammoth Cave, Jerri Romans and Roger Hankins
  • Mar. 25, Natural Bridge State Resort Park, Darren and Martha Payne, Carol Von Lanken
  • Apr. 8, Fayette Co., Lane Boldman and Joey Shadowen
  • Apr. 29, Red River Gorge, Carol Von Lanken
  • May 6, Clark Co., IN, Bill and Maggie Adams
  • June 3, Daniel Boone National Forest, Carol Von Lanken, Martha and Darren Payne
  • June 3, Alexandria, Ron Lusby
  • June 17, Mammoth Cave, Jerri Romans, and Roger Hankins
  • Sept. 15-17, Red River Gorge, Kate Cunningham
  • Sept. 23, Mammoth Cave, Jerri Roman and Roger Hankins
  • Sept.30, Big Bone Lick State Park, Claudia Hilligoss, Ron Lusby
  • Oct. 14, Red River Gorge, Carol Von Lanken
  • Nov. 4, Mammoth Cave, Jerri Roman, and Roger Hankins
  • Nov. 4, London, Kate Cunningham
Pull Garlic Mustard

We will have a variety of tasks on these service trips. Bill Carroll will either improve or build a new trail. Jerri and Roger's four service trips will all work with park rangers to improve the trail system and the backcountry campsites at Mammoth Cave. Darren, Martha and Carol will reroute part of the Hood's Branch Trail to protect an endangered species. Lane and Joey will help plant thousands of trees in Fayette Co. Carol will lead at least two outings this year maintaining the Gray's Arch Trail which the Bluegrass group adopted. Bill and Maggie will pull garlic mustard at the Falls of Ohio. Darren, Martha and Carol will maintain or build a trail with the Daniel Boone National Forest. Ron Lusby will build bridges, put in some steps and do trail markers in a community park. Claudia and Ron will repair existing trails. Kate will pick up litter and pull garlic mustard. Picking up litter and general trail pruning will probably be done on all of these trips.

Several years ago, Martha Crabtree (Payne), Donna DePenning and I went down to the Big South Fork to do some hiking. Many of the trails were closed due to winter damage, but we found one that looked pretty good. The trail was the Gentlemen's Swimming Hole Trail near Rugby, TN. As we hiked it, we noticed that many of the downed logs near the trail had been chain-sawed and a lot of rhododendron had been removed so we had a wonderful hike.

The week after our hike, a friend of mine, Karen Samelson called and wanted to know what I had been doing lately. I told her about our hike, the trail repair and what a wonderful time we had. She said thank you and informed me that she, Bill Carroll, and some others had been down there the week before we were there and worked all day on that trail. Thank you again Bill, Karen and others!

Service trips are a wonderful way for us to be stewards of the land. Cleaning up the trails and creating more trails will encourage more people to get out on the trails. The more the people hike the trails, the more people we will have to protect these areas. Sounds like self-preservation, doesn't it? John Muir, founder of Sierra Club, once reasoned that "If people in general could be got into the woods, even for once, to hear the trees speak for themselves, all difficulties in the way of forest preservation would vanish."

Two of Our Own Lead a National Service Trip (up)

Doug Hindman and Claudia Hilligoss will be leading a National Service Trip from May 7-13, 2000. Participants will help build part of the 283-mile New Cumberland Trail which will go from Cumberland Gap to the Tennessee River Gorge. Space is limited so call as early as possible. Watch for next month's Cumberland for more information on this wonderful opportunity. You can also check this out on National Sierra Club's website or call Doug at 606-985-5706 or Claudia at 606-689-5706.

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