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January-February 2010 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

January-February 2010 Roadrunner Newsletter, Kern-Kaweah Sierrra Club

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Published by: Kern Kaweah Sierrra Club on Dec 30, 2010
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12/30/2010

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 A BI
-
MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERN
-
KAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB
 JAN./FEBRUARY, 2010
 The Roadrunner
2010 STATE PARKS INITIATIVE TO PROTECT PARKS
Sierra Club members commit to 1,000 signatures for ba
 ! 
ot measure to provide stable parks funding 
Join wilderness enthusiasts from allover the Western states April 8-11, 2010on the campus of U.C. Berkeley in the SanFrancisco Bay Area.Some 800 participants will gather tofocus on the role of wild lands in an era of global climate change and on how to winnew allies for preserving wild places.Plenary sessions, dynamic speakers,and intensive workshops will help connectwild places with climate change and offertraining on how to advocate effectively.Films, music, fun, networking, join us!Go to
 www.westernwilderness.org 
formore information and for “early bird”online registration.Some scholarships are available. Forquestions, contact Vicky Hoover at415.977.5527.
WILDERNESS CONFERENCE COMING TO U.C. BERKELEY IN APRIL
Kern-Kaweah members will behelping to gather signatures for astate initiative to provide stablelong-term funding for ourendangered state parks. Your helpis needed now.How did California’s 278 stateparks, once the best in thecountry, sink to being among theshabbiest? Call it death by athousand budget cuts. Our parksare falling apart because of persistent underfunding. The statestill owns the lands—thespectacular vistas, historic sites,and beaches—but roofs andsewage systems leak, restroomsaren’t washed out regularly (buttrails are), and campgrounds andvisitor centers are shuttered.The repair backlog inCalifornia state parks tops $1billion, and it’s growing. As if that weren’t enough, twice in thepast two years, the whole state-park system was on the verge of being shut down. Only last-minute budget reprieves kept itopen. But nearly 60 state parksare to have reduced hours orcalendars because of this year’sbudget cuts, and more reductionsare expected next year.That’s why park supporters areplacing a statewide initiative onthe November 2010 ballot calledthe California State Parks andWildlife Conservation Trust FundAct of 2010. It will protect stateparks and conserve wildlife byestablishing a trust fund in thestate treasury to be spent only onstate parks, wildlife and marineconservation, and stateconservancies.Funding will come from an$18 surcharge on the registrationfee for California vehicles,including motorcycles andrecreational vehicles but notlarger commercial vehicles,mobile homes, and permanenttrailers. Surcharged vehicles willreceive free admission to all stateparks. In comparison, park visitors currently pay up to $125for an annual pass or $10 to $15per day at most parks. There willstill be charges for camping andother special services. The trustfund will be sufficient toadequately fund state parks,freeing them from annual budgetcuts and threatened closures.Spending from the trust fundwill be subject to oversight by acitizen’s board, full publicdisclosure, and independentannual audits. Money from thegeneral fund currently spent onparks willbe available for othervital needs, including schools,health care, social services, andpublic safety.We hope that you will want tohelp gather signatures to put thisinitiative on the ballot inNovember. Sierra Club will play amajor role in gathering signaturesfor this initiative. Collection willstart in Jan.10 and conclude onApril 30. To help, call me at661.323.5569 or e-mail me at
lorraineunger@att.net 
—Lorraine UngerMember, Chapter Ex-Com
 
THE ROADRUNNER
 JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010
CELEBRATING CHAPTER’S INVOLVEMENT IN ISSUES
Chapter recognizesleadership at fall  dinner event Nov. 7 
The annual Kern Kaweah Chapterdinner at Bakersfield’s Rice Bowl onNov. 7 featured not only a six-coursemeal, but a remarkable collection of slides and stories by Chapter OutingsChair Jim Nichols whose hiking skillsand quest for adventure over the yearshave taken him to faraway places suchas Afghanistan and closer realms inthe High Mojave Desert. About 90people attended this year’s dinner,including a couple who came fromLos Angeles.
 Photos by Ann Ga
on/Margie Be
 ANNUAL FALL EVENT:
Chapter Chair Georgette Theotig 
center above
 )
helps Maria Polite and Ann Wi 
 ! 
iams ta
 ! 
 y th
  guest list for the dinner. Evan Be
 ! 
 
 le
 f)
iscatching up on family news with Kathy and  Harry Love. Beverly and Richard Garcia of the Mineral King Group
bottom le
 f)
ar 
 enjoying the dinner at the Rice Bowl. Ara Marderosian
 & 
om Kernvi 
 ! 
e and Isabel Stierle
 & 
om Bakers
 fi 
eld 
bottom row, middle
 )
  serve as leaders in the Kern
-
 Kaweah Chapter.Chapter Vice
-
Chair Gordon Nipp
botto
 m
  row, right 
 )
encourages environmental  activism in Kern County.
 
 
THE ROADRUNNER
 JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010
 Rose and Donnel Lester are waiting for the dinner to start 
top le
 f)
. Solveig Thompson of Tehachapi visits with Dinah Campbe
 $ 
 
top right 
 )
. Janine and  Mark Harper 
bottom le
 f)
look forward to Rice Bowl cuisine and presentations.Sierra Club Past 
-
 President Joe Fontain
  shows speaker Jim Nichols his new book,The Kern Plateau and Gems of th
 Southern Sierra
 2009
 )
.
Joe Fontaine has recently finished abook on the
Kern Plateau, The KernPlateau and Gems of the SouthernSierra
. The gems of the southernSierra feature giant sequoias andgolden trout among many others. Allof the areas covered by his book arelocated in the Kern/Kaweah Chapter.The issues covered include*Those who came before usincluding Native Americans and earlysettlers.*The geologic processes thatcreated this spectacular landscape.*Golden Trout, mammals, birds,butterflies, and other wildlife.*Giant Sequoias, conifer forests,and a remarkable number of wildflowers.*Stewardship of our public lands.Sketches of some of the naturalfeatures of our mountains by ourChapter Chair Georgette Theotig arealso a highlight of the book. Detailedmaps are included for greater insight.According to Fontaine, the book is intended to stimulate interest in ourlocal area and to motivate readers tovisit the Kern Plateau and thesouthern Sierra Nevada.The author has spent over 50years exploring the Kern Plateau andthe southern Sierra. He joined theSierra Club 47 years ago to work toprotect the natural attributes of thesemountains. His book is an attempt toshare the love and knowledge of thatcorner of the Earth he gained in theprocess.The last chapter chronicles thecampaigns and successes of the SierraClub and the Kern/Kaweah Chapter.These include the defeat of adestination ski resort at Mineral King,now in Sequoia National Park, andthe over 300, 000 acre Golden TroutWilderness. Today in those mountainsthere are hundreds of thousands of additional acres of wilderness de-signated by Congress and 328,000acres in the Giant Sequoia NationalMonument. Without the Sierra Clubvery little of this would havehappened. The book can be viewed at
www.AtlasBooks.com 
and purchasedfor $24.95 on line, or contact Joe at661.821.2055 or
 fontaine@wildblue.com
. His addressis: Joe Fontaine, P.O. Box 307,Tehachapi, CA 93581.
Kern Plateau and the Southern Sierra are focus of new book byretired science teacher, Sierra Club Past-President Joe Fontaine
 MUST READ FOR 2010: Fontaine
’ 
 s newbook
2009
 )
is available a
t
 
 w
ww.Atlas Books.co
 m

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