A BI-MONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB

SEPT./OCTOBER, 2009

The Roadrunner
FALL BANQUET PROGRAM NOV. 7 AT RICE BOWL
Outings chair Jim Nichols to offer photos and stories about remote places in the Eastern Sierra
If an evening filled with great friends and conversation, a hot savory Chinese dinner, and a lively, engaging program sounds appealing to you, make plans to join the chapter for the annual fall dinner. This year, we will gather on Saturday, Nov. 7, for a six-course Chinese dinner (with two vegetarian entrees) at the Rice Bowl restaurant, 1119 18TH Street, Bakersfield. The social hour begins at 5 p.m, with a nohost bar. Dinner starts at 6 p.m., followed by announcements and program at 7:30 p.m. The cost of $17 per person includes a complete dinner, tax, and tip. “Gems of the Eastern High Sierra and the High Desert” is our program presented by Chapter Outings Chair Jim Nichols. Jim will combine beautiful photos of scenic 4WD drive and hiking destinations of the High Mojave Desert and the adjacent Sierra Nevada mountain range with Sierra Club Outings information. Ever heard of Malpais Mesa, Haiwee Pass, or Jurassic Peak? Blackrock Wells, Lookout City, or Colorful Canyon? Enjoy visiting these splendid sites from the comfort of your chair as Jim “leads” us to these remote, captivating places. The chapter is looking for new outings leaders, so some of you will be inspired to become leaders as you visit these places during the program. Reservations are a must, to be received no later than Thursday, Nov. 5. Please send checks only, and no walk-ins will be accepted. Questions? Call Georgette Theotig (661.822.4371). Again, please send a check (no cash, please) written out to: SIERRA CLUB, KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER, and mail it to: Georgette Theotig, P.O. Box 38, Tehachapi, CA, 93581. You may use the form on the back page of the Roadrunner. Please note: our reservation policy states that we cannot return checks if you do not attend the dinner. As always, our new 2010 Sierra Club calendars will be available.

Banquet speaker Jim Nichols Don’t miss this evening of lively Sierra Club camaraderie and fun – we are sure you’ll have a great time and maybe even get inspired to become a chapter outings leader! See you Nov. 7 at the Rice Bowl!
—Chapter Chair Georgette Theotig

CHAPTER SUPPORTS CAMP KEEP AT MONTANO DE ORO PARK
Recently the Kern-Kaweah Chapter donated $1000 to support the KEEP Foundation. The Kern County Superintendent of Schools operates their KEEP program to promote environmental education. Their mission promotes a greater respect for our environment and provides non-advocacy environmental and scientific experiences for our youth. Presently the Kern Environmental Education Fund (KEEP) manages one outdoor camp in Montano de Oro State Park. Children who might never get to go to camp, are treated to a one week outdoor experience. Your chapter has made smaller donations in the past, mostly to pay for one or two “camperships,” but this year the Executive Committee felt that a larger sum was needed due to our local economy ailing. Mineral King members are looking into expending a similar sum for SCICON in Tulare County, which has the same mission. —Richard Louv

THE ROADRUNNER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

WATER ISSUES IN VALLEY
San Joaquin Valley aquifer has been shrinking since 1961
California's San Joaquin Valley has lost 60 million acre-feet of groundwater since 1961, according to a new federal study. This is among the findings in a recent massive study of groundwater in California's Central Valley by the U.S. Geological Survey. It helps shed light on the mysteries and dangers of California's groundwater consumption, which is mostly unregulated. According to the study, groundwater pumping continues to cause the valley floor to sink, a problem known as subsidence. Subsidence threatens the stability of surface structures such as the 444-mile California Aqueduct, which delivers drinking water to more than 20 million people. The Central Valley is America's largest farming region; it's also the single-largest zone of groundwater pumping. About 20 percent of groundwater pumped in America comes from under the Central Valley, said Claudia Faunt, the study's project chief. In the Sacramento Valley, the study found groundwater levels have remained stable. Virtually all of the groundwater loss has occurred in the San Joaquin Valley, where aquifer levels have dropped nearly 400 feet since 1961, she said. The current drought has aggravated this problem. "In most years, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, the groundwater pumping exceeds the recharge," said Faunt, a USGS hydrologist. "With recent times, those groundwater levels have dropped back down close to historical lows." The study is part of a project by the USGS to update groundwater data around the country that dates to the 1980s. USGS chose to begin in the Central Valley because the region is so important to the nation's food supply. The study took five years and cost $1 million. California is the only state in which groundwater use is almost completely unregulated. California well owners are not required to report pumping or consumption patterns. After 1900, when large-scale farming began in the Central Valley, water tables dropped significantly as wells were drilled to feed crops. Aquifers eventually dropped about 400 feet compared with pre-1900 levels. This was part of the impetus to build the state and federal canal systems in the 1960s that divert water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Switching farms to this new surface water supply allowed aquifers to recover.

Then drought came in the late 1970s, and surface water diversions were cut back, as they have been during the current three-year drought. In both periods, farmers relied more heavily on groundwater, and aquifers declined again. The current drought has caused aquifers to drop again by nearly 400 feet, to near the historic low. "Overall, there's a loss in groundwater," Faunt said, amounting to about 60 million acre-feet since 1961. One consequence has been land subsidence over vast areas of the San Joaquin Valley. The most severe drop is about 29 feet near Mendota, which occurred before the canals were built, said Al Steele, an engineering geologist at the state Department of Water Resources in Fresno. “That's a three-story building, almost," he said. The...compacted aquifer often loses its ability to store water.” —Matt Weiser The Sacramento Bee (July 13, 2009)

VIEWPOINTS: Water shortages call for intelligent choices
There are better ways to deal with California’s water shortage than to render the Delta smelt or other endangered fish extinct. Doing that only allows us to further degrade the San Joaquin – Sacramento River Delta. That would impact Chinook salmon and other creatures. Delta problems are a chief reason why fishing for Chinook salmon is forbidden this year. Fishing for Chinook salmon used to employ over 300 people. Here is how we can conserve water so that there is enough to maintain Delta flows of fresh water into the sea. One fifth of the water that leaves the delta is for domestic and industrial use. All homes should have low flow toilets and aerator showers and faucets. There are attractive plants that use much less water than the typical suburban lawn and plants. The center divide of roads and the sides of highways should only have plants that require minimal amounts of water. We should not use pools and fountains to decorate our streets, parks or yards; these evaporate water. Four fifths of the water is for agriculture. That water should go to the land that produces the most food or fiber per unit of water. Our cities should not sprawl onto such land. Land that contains a lot of salt, so that it requires water to push the salt down below the root zone, should not be farmed. Westlands water district has such soil. Farmers should also continue to use water more efficiently. This includes much more use of subsurface drip irrigation. California should grow crops that can not be produced in such abundance elsewhere. This includes fruits, nuts and vegetables, not thirsty crops like cotton and cattle feed. California does not need to produce one fifth of America’s milk, especially since most of it comes from concentrated animal feeding operations where cows are given antibiotics and fed a diet not suited to their digestive system so that they produce more methane than grass fed cattle. —Ex Com Board Member Arthur Unger

THE ROADRUNNER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

Club helps dedicate new John Krebs Wilderness on July 25
Two hundred wilderness enthusiasts gathered at Mineral King in Sequoia National Park on July 25 to celebrate the dedication of the John Krebs Wilderness. Long time chapter members will remember that in 1965 Sequoia National Forest proposed developing the Mineral King area as a destination ski resort. The bid to develop the ski area was awarded to the Walt Disney Corporation. The Disney plan called for a year around destination resort that would accommodate 1.7 million visitors per year, 16,000 people at one time in the Mineral King Valley and in the winter 7,000 skiers on the slopes at one time. Numerous ski lifts would radiate out of the valley up to the tops of all the surrounding ridges with warming huts at the top of each lift to provide views of the back country of Sequoia National Park. A high speed highway with a capacity of 700 cars per hour was proposed to replace the winding 25 mile road. Of course you know who would pay for that highway—the taxpayers of California. Alarmed by the magnitude of the project which would create immense environmental damage to Mineral King itself and the pristine remote wild areas of Sequoia National Park,
Photo left to right: Tom Bohegian, aide to Senator Boxer; Kevin Hendricks, Chief Park Ranger; Craig Axtel, the speaker, Park Superintendent; Congressman Jim Costa; and former Congressman John Krebs.

the Kern-Kaweah chapter asked the Sierra Club Board of Directors to make opposition to the proposal a national priority. After a pep talk by David Brower they agreed. The Sierra Club decided to use a new tool to achieve its goal, litigation. The case went all of the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Court did not rule on the merits of our case. Instead they said we did not have proper standing to sue the government. We now had the option to revise our case to create legal standing and go back to court. But that was not necessary. Congressman John Krebs of Fresno was a highly decorated research physicist who was widely known for her contributions to the study of optical surfaces. Bennett received her B.A. in physics from Mt. Holyoke College in 1951 and did her graduate work at Penn State University where she received a PhD in physics in 1955. She came to the Navy Lab at China Lake in 1956. Bennett authored several books, including Introduction to Surface Roughness and Scattering. She also authored or coauthored more than 100 articles in scientific journals, served as a guest professor in several countries, including Sweden, Japan and Australia, and lectured in Europe.

stepped in and introduced a bill to add Mineral King to Sequoia National Park. The bill passed in the fall of 1978. It was an election year and Krebs was not reelected, many believe because his bill precluded development at Mineral King. Therefore it is fitting that the area around Mineral King added to the Wilderness System earlier this year is named in honor of John Krebs. We all owe him a debt of gratitude for his political courage and his determination to do what was right for our fragile wild places. —Joe Fontaine Sierra Club Past-President Russia, Brazil, Japan and Taiwan. An avid outdoorswoman, she was an active member of the Sierra Club. She was a longtime life member and served as the secretary or treasurer of the Owens Peak Group for a number of years. She enjoyed kayaking in the Alaskan wilderness and hiking mountain trails throughout the world. She was proud to be a member of the first group to be allowed to kayak through the Grand Canyon without an official guide. —Dennis Burge, Owens Peak Group

Jean Bennett leaves generous bequest to Kern-Kaweah chapter
Jean M. Bennett (1930-2008) of Ridgecrest has recently left a bequest of $75,000 in undesignated funds to the Kern-Kaweah Chapter of Sierra Club. Paperwork must be completed at the national level before the chapter receives the donation, according to Lorraine Unger, local treasurer. Bennett, the first female president of the Optical Society of America, died on July 18, 2008 after a sevenmonth illness. She was 78. Bennett

THE ROADRUNNER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

KERN KAWEAH ROUNDUP
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY IF YOU PLAN TO PARTICIPATE IN SIERRA CLUB HIKES:
Everyone is welcome, Sierra Club members and non-members, to join in any of the outdoor activities. Requirements: You must be in condition for the type of hike, equipped appropriately for the activity and prepared to sign a Sierra Club release for liability. You must be willing to follow the leader’s directions. Be sure to bring any personal medicines you might need. Customary appropriate equipment includes good hiking shoes, plenty of water, snack, sunglasses, suntan lotion, and layered clothing. The following might be helpful but definitely is not required: compass, whistle, matches or lighter, and a good first aid kit. Long paints are recommended. Unprepared for the prospective hike? It will be a no-go for you. Participation must be leader approved. Please let the leader know ahead of time that you are intending to participate. Check individual group listings for the desired means of communication. Since unexpected change of plans may be necessary, it is recommended that YOU contact the hike leader the night before to be assured that the hike is still going to happen.
New California legislation designed to protect the consumer requires us to publish this notice: CST 2087755-40. Registration as a seller of travel does not constitute approval by the State of California. This legislation is designed to protect the user of outdoor activities that require cash payments of more than $50 for participation.

BUENA VISTA GROUP
More info? Call Donnel Lester at 661.831.6784 or e-mail donnelc3bvg@earthlink.net or Isabel at 661.246.6195.
Saturday, Sept 5, 10 a.m.—“Cameroon, Africa: A Traveler’s Observations on Environmental and Global Issues by Isabel Stierle, chairperson of Buena-Vista Group, Sierra Club and professor of biology at Bakersfield College. Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Avenue at the corner of Truxtun and Westwind, just west of Oak St. Brunch is served for $7.50/person (tip not included). Info: 661.246.6195. Saturday, Sept. 19, 9-11 a.m.—Adopt-A-Highway cleanup. Meet at the corner of Old River Road and Highway 119. Bring water, a hat, and good hiking shoes. We will provide gloves and cleanup gear. For info call 661.319.6996. Saturday, Oct 3, 10 a.m.—Documentary movie: “Flow” (2007). This movie sheds light on the worldwide issues associated with the dwindling supply of water and the ever-increasing corporate movement to privatize and profit from this limited resource. (http:// www.flowthefilm.com/) Camino Real Restaurant (See location in Sept 5. entry) 661.246.6195. Saturday, Oct 17, from 9 - 11a.m.—Adopt-A-Highway cleanup. Meet at the corner of Old River Road and Highway 119. Bring water, a hat, and good hiking shoes. We will provide gloves and cleanup gear. For info call 661.319.6996. Saturday, Oct. 24—City of Bakersfield “Make a Difference Day” Fair. This event from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Lassen’s on California Avenue will feature eco-friendly products to the public and offer residents a chance to drop off various recyclable and reusable items, such as used motor oil filters, e-waste (computers, televisions, cell phones, etc), clothes, tires, and polystyrene (styrofoam). Buena Vista is planning a booth at the fair. For more info, call Olimpia Frederick 326.3114 or 326.3535. Meeting Notices—To receive Buena Vista Group meeting and activity notices by email, please contact Donnel Lester, at donnelc3bvg@earthlink.net, with Add me to the email list. You can opt out of the email notices at any time. We try to limit this to once-amonth emails.

CONDOR GROUP
More info? Mary Ann Lockhart 661.242.0432. LOCAL HIKES: Meet at PMC Clubhouse, 8 a.m. Bring a little lunch, personal medicines, and water. Wear good shoes. Please call Dale Chitwood to make your reservation: 661.242.0432.

THE ROADRUNNER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

Saturday, Sept 26—Our local San Emigdio Range. It’s a walk on the road up to the top and then over to the quarry. Grand views from the top toward the Valley on one side and the Mt. Pinos Range and beyond on the other side. 4.8 miles. 7500 ft altitude on top. Meet 8 a.m., PMC parking lot. Call 661.242.0432 to make reservation. Saturday, Oct 3— ELK, from birth to fulltime residents at Bittercreek Wildlife Refuge. Mike Stockton, manager of the refuge, will tell the story and present his pictures of these relatively new additions to the wonders of this protected area. Great pictures and a lively presentation will assure a most informative and pleasure-filled evening. 6 p.m., potluck, 7 p.m. program. Pool Pavilion Room, Pine Mountain Clubhouse. All are welcome. Saturday, Oct 10—A Visit to Bittercreek Wildlife Refuge. .You will see a feeding and roosting site for condors and hopefully, condors. Departure is from PMC parking lot 8 a.m.. Return noon or so. Bring your cameras, a snack, and dress for an outing. Limited walking! You must sign up for this trip:call 661.242.0432) and be sure to call 661.242.0432 the day before to make sure it is a go! There will be no hikes scheduled for October (because of the dangers of hunting season.

KAWEAH GROUP
More info? Call Pam Clark at 559.784.4643 or Diane Jetter at 559.781.8897.
Thursday, Sept. 17—Ex Com and event planning meeting. 7 p.m. at Clark house. Call 559.784.4643 for details.

OWENS PEAK GROUP
More info? Chair Dennis Burge at 760.375.7967 or e-mail dennis93555@yahoo.com. Jim Nichols, hikes at 760.375.8161 or e-mail jnichols@ridgecrest.ca.us.
Saturday, Sept. 19—SPARKPLUG MINE (20 mi NE of Biship in the White Mnts, 9100 ft max elev, 3200 ft elev gain (1500 ft optional), 8.2 mi RT (4.2 mi optional)) The Sparkplug Mine is a photographic, geologic, and historic treasure without peer. From the trailhead at 5,900 ft, we climb two miles and 1,700 feet to the mine camp, and an additional two miles and 1,500 feet to the mine. We will depart A J’s Market in Chalfant (13 miles north of Bishop on Highway 6) at 8 a.m. This early start will allow us time to take in the mine camp museum, assess the historic role of andalusite, and explore the andalusite mine itself. This is a moderate hike to the mine camp, and a strenuous hike to the mine itself due to altitude gain. Call Nick Panzer at 760.446.0822 for more information. Saturday, Oct. 17—ASPEN GROVE TOUR (Kern Plateau, ~8500 ft elevation, ~ 1500 ft gain; 6 mi RT) Leisurely hike to visit and photograph the best of the groves turning golden with fall splendor. The locations will depend on climate, seasonal variations, and maybe the current fire limitations. Hooker, Jackass, McConnell, Albanita and other meadows will be considered. We will learn to identify the trees and how they respond to the changing seasons. Easy/moderate due to length and elevation gain. Meet Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Dennis Burge or Jim Nichols for more info. Monday, Sept. 28, 7:30 p,m.— Ridgecrest BLM representative. A talk about leasing BLM administered land for large energy projects such as solar, wind and geothermal. Maturango Museum. Monday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m.—Red Rock Canyon Talk. Stan and Jeanie Haye will give an update on planning for Red Rock Canyon State Park and on the state parks situation in general. Maturango Museum.

MINERAL KING GROUP
More info? Call 559.761.0592. Please also visit mineralking.sierraclub.org for more info.
Friday, Sept. 11—Movie night and social. “The Shaman’s Apprentice” is a story of survival against the odds. It interweaves the luminous rain forest world of phenomena and legends with western science and the grim realities of extinction. In the story of Ethno botanist Mark Plotkin’s quest to preserve the ancient wisdom of our species, we find intelligence, cooperation and hope that could save one of the most glorious places on Earth. Join us at Café 210 located at 210 W. Center St., Downtown Visalia. Film starts at 7 p.m. Informal dinner at 6 p.m. Café menu includes sandwiches, salads, coffee, desserts. Contact Kim at kim.loeb@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org for more information. Saturday, Sept. 12—Needles Lookout hike. We will hike to the Needles Lookout above Springville. This will be a moderate 6-mile round trip hike with a great view from the lookout tower. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078 for meeting time and location. Saturday, Oct. 3 —Monarch Lakes hike. We will hike to Monarch Lakes in Mineral King. This is a strenuous 9=mile round trip hike over sun-exposed, loose rock. Call Dave at 688.4813 or e-mail at COACHK24@aol.com for meeting time and location.

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

Wednesday, Oct. 7—Dinner/Social. Please join us at 6 p.m. for a “no host” dinner at Thai Basil Restaurant, 1423 E. Noble Ave., Mary’s Vineyard Shopping Center, Visalia. Contact Beverly Garcia for reservations at bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org or 559.624.0199. Saturday, Oct. 17—Kings Canyon hike. We will hike in Redwood Canyon in Kings Canyon National Park. This is a moderate 6 mile round trip hike in a beautiful redwood grove sprinkled with dogwood trees that just may be in fall color. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078 for meeting time and location.

California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee Desert Committee Outings
For questions about, or to sign up for a particular outing, please contact the leader listed in the write-up. For questions about Desert Committee outings in general, or to receive the outings list by e-mail, please contact Kate Allen at kj.allen@wildblue.net or 661.944.4056.. Friday-Sunday, July 10-12— Nevada Wilderness Service. Eastern Nevada's White Pine County has MANY new wilderness areas. We'll help the BLM's Ely office enhance wild values as we put up vehicle barriers, rehab old routes, or remove old guzzlers; specific area to be known later. Three-day car camp service trip with Vicky Hoover; with central commissary ($15); vicky.hoover@sierraclub.org or 415.977.5527. CNRCC Wilderness Committee Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 22-23—Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Carcamp. Come with us to the beautiful White Mtns to camp, hike and just relax. On Saturday, we’ll hike the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest on a moderate five-mile loop interpretive trail, followed by a picnic lunch and a short optional hike to a nearby old mining cabin. Back at camp we’ll enjoy Happy Hour, a potluck feast and a campfire. Sunday pack up and head home. Group size strictly limited. Send $8 per person, 2 large SASE, H&W phones, email, rideshare info to Reserv/Ldr: Lygeia Gerard, P.O. Box 294726, Phelan, CA 92329, 760.868.2179. CNRCC Desert Committee Friday-Sunday, Sept. 25-27 —Service And Hiking in the Carrizo Plains. This is an opportunity to visit and to assist a relatively unknown national monument. There will be an optional and scenic hike high in the Caliente Mountains on Friday. Others may join us for National Public Lands Day on Saturday when we will work on improvements for the Soda Lake Overlook. On Sunday we will tour historic, prehistoric, and geologic sites. Leader Craig Deutsche: craig.deutsche@gmail.com, or 310.477.6670. CNRCC Desert Committee Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 3-4—Antelope Protection Work Party -Carrizo Plain Nat’l Monument. Fence removal project in the Carrizo Plain with resource specialist Alice Koch. Camp at Selby Campground, bring food, water, heavy leather work gloves, and camping gear. Potluck Saturday night. Leaders: Cal and Letty French, 14140 Chimney Rock Road, Paso Robles, CA 93446, (805-239-7338). Prefer email: lettyfrench@gmail.com Santa Lucia Chap/CNRCC Desert Committee Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 5-6—Work Party in Death Valley National Park. Help finish the conversion of an old road near Red Wall Canyon to a trail. Potluck Monday night. Ranger lead hike on Wednesday for those who can stay over. Group size limited. Leader: Kate Allen 661.944.4056 or kj.allen@wildblue.net (email preferred). CNRCC Desert Committee Saturday-Sunday, Oct. 17-18—Exploring the Soda Mountains, Mojave Desert: Explore this Wilderness Study Area, located east of Barstow and north of I-15. Arrive late Saturday afternoon at the camping area in the open flats near the Cronese Lakes. Potluck Saturday night. Hike on Sunday is moderately difficult. Leader: Craig Deutsche, (310.477.6670) or craig.deutsche@gmail.com. CNRCC Desert Committee Friday-Saturday, Nov. 6-8— Mojave National Preserve Service Trip. Help the Mojave National Preserve clean up a large illegal dump that has built up over the years. Work Saturday and until noon on Sunday. Barbecue dinner on Saturday evening. Hike on Friday morning, Ranger talk on Friday evening. Camping is rustic, but there will be a portable restroom. Leader: Rich Jurichich 916.492.2181 or rich.sac@pacbell.net,. CNRCC Desert Committee Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 7-8—”Bowling Alley” Car Camp & Hike: The bowling alley is a narrow strip of land between Death Valley National Park and Fort Irwin. With unique and beautiful geology, several perennial springs, and habitat for desert tortoise and bighorn sheep, we’ll have lots to explore! Potluck dinner Saturday night. Leader: Carol Wiley 760.245.8734 or desertlily1@verizon.net . Reservationist: Kate Allen at kj.allen@wildblue.net 661.944.4056. CNRCC Desert Committee

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

Meetings focus on rewriting the Giant Sequoia National Monument plan; draft document is coming in November
Sequoia National Forest is in the process of developing a management plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The Proclamation that designated the Monument directed the Forest Service to develop a management plan using the requirements in the Proclamation. When the first management plan was made public the Sierra Club and other groups sued the Forest Service asserting the plan was not in compliance with the Proclamation. The court remanded the plan back to the Forest Service declaring it incomprehensible. Now Sequoia National Forest has undertaken a process to rewrite the plan. Over the past several months there have been several meetings called by Sequoia National Forest to explain how they will rewrite the plan. For those attending the meetings it has been confusing. Now the Forest is preparing management alternatives to be presented in a Draft Environmental Impact Statement scheduled to be released in November. In June the Forest held a public meeting in Porterville to give concerned citizens a preview of three different alternatives. The three alternatives were A No Action, B the alternative preferred by Sequoia National Forest, and C an environmentally oriented alternative. The alternatives were far from complete but at least we got a heads up about what will be in the draft plan. When the draft plan is released it will be important for as many Sierra Club members as possible to submit

Sequoias in Mineral King provide shade for visitors and habitat for varieties of critters. Photo/Joe Fontaine

comments. The Sequoia Task Force will be prepared to inform our members this fall about what is proposed in the draft plan so that we can express our opinions to the Forest Service before a final plan is adopted next spring. So your comments will be needed to influence the final outcome. More information will follow in the next Roadrunner. —Joe Fontaine, Sierra Club Past-President

Sierra Club Elections Information
In accordance with Sierra Club bylaws, an annual chapter election and group elections are required in the fourth quarter of each year to elect replacement Executive Committee (ExCom) members for those whose two year terms are expiring. Because all members of the chapter are eligible to participate in the chapter election process (and group members in the group election process), our chapter utilizes the Roadrunner publication to accomplish the election process. The election process consists of several steps; the first step is the nomination process where names are placed in nomination through the Nominating Committee (NomCom) or by petition requiring 15 chapter member signatures submitted to the NomCom. Once the nominations have been verified by the Nominating Committee and the nomination period has expired, the nominees are published in the election slate for chapter (or group) members to cast their votes. Finally, the ballots are counted by the Election Committee and the results are reported to the ExCom for entry into ExCom records. Kern-Kaweah Chapter Nominations Nominations for the Chapter ExCom will be received by the Chapter Nominating Committee from the initial date of the September-October 2009 Roadrunner publication until Oct, 1, 2009. Nominations (or petitions) may be submitted to the NomCom by mailing them to the Kern-Kaweah Chapter Nominating Committee, 1626 19th Street, Suite #3, Bakersfield, CA 93301, or HYPERLINK "mailto:bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org" bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org or HYPERLINK "mailto:donel.lester@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org" donel.lester@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org and must include the name and contact information of the person submitting the nomination. Nominations will not be accepted after Oct. 1, 2009. Chapter Voting The ballot and instructions will be published in the November-December 2009 Roadrunner and ballots cast by chapter members will be received until Dec, 1, 2009. The results will be published in the January-February Roadrunner.

THE ROADRUNNER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

FROM THE CHAIR

CALENDARS, GEMS, AND STARFISH
Want to know three simple ways to participate and make a difference in chapter efforts? One way is to support our annual calendar sales. We will once again be offering the large wilderness calendars and the smaller engagement calendars for sale. Look in the Roadrunner for contact names. Second, join us for the annual chapter fall dinner, Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Rice Bowl. Our own Jim Nichols, Chapter Outings Chair, will make a photo presentation titled, “Gems of the Eastern High Sierra and High Desert.” Join us for a very special program, and support this chapter dinner. Last, I have a short story to share, attributed to Loren Eiseley. An old man walking along the beach at dawn saw a young man picking up starfish and throwing them out to sea. “Why are you doing that?” the old man inquired. The young man explained that the starfish had been stranded on the beach by a receding tide, and would soon die in the daytime sun. “But the beach goes on for miles,” the old man said, “and there’s so many! How can your effort make a difference?” The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and without hesitating threw it to safety in the sea. He looked up at the old man and said, “It will make a difference to that one.” Each of you has a special gift to offer . You may not be able to change the world, but you can make a difference where you live. I encourage you to give of yourself, your time, to the chapter and help make a difference in a positive way. Imagine the difference if everyone did something . —Georgette Theotig, Chapter Chair

OUTDOORS: Clair Tappaan Lodge offers attractive destination
Fall at Clair Tappaan Lodge is golden. Located at 7000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, the lodge experiences sunny days and crisp nights. In late September and October the leaves turn and change the color of the mountains. The Clair Tappaan Lodge and Hutchinson Lodge are located at 19940 Donner Pass Road in Norden/Soda Springs, California. This fall there are two national outings and fall program offered by lodge staff. Sept. 4—Full Moon Hike national outing Sept. 20-26—50+ Ridgetop Rambles, Tahoe National Forest, California. A Sierra Club National Outing. Sept. 25-27—Weekend Lodge Work Parties. Come and help spruce up the Lodge you love. Volunteer for six hours on both Saturday and Sunday in exchange for free lodging and meals during the weekend. We’ll also send you home with a 20% discount for a future weekend. Let us know if you have any special skills that you’d like to show off and share. Tasks during the weekend range from lodge cleaning and painting to firewood splitting and stacking and everything in between. Oct. 4-10—Pastel Painting along Sierra Trails, Tahoe National Forest, California. Sierra Club National Outing. Oct. 31/Nov. 1—Halloween party and Day of the Dead commemoration. Bring a costume, pumpkin(s) to carve and your tools, and a remembrance of a loved one who is no longer in this world. Nov. 26 (Thursday)—Thanksgiving dinner at Clair Tappaan Lodge is always a fun event. Dec. 31 (Thursday)—New Year’s Eve. Plan now to attend the traditional and wonderful New Year's celebration at Clair Tappaan Lodge. Since New Year's Day is on a Friday, plan on a whole weekend of enjoying this wonderful area. Reservations are required for all activities. Call 800. 679.6775 for information and reservations or check out ctl@sierraclub.org (our website). —Olivia Diaz, Sierra Club Staff

Executive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter
Chair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371. Vice-chair: Gordon Nipp (Bksf), 661.872.2432. Secretary: Ann Williams (Bksf), 661.324.1055. Treasurer: Lorraine Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Donnel Lester (Bksf), 661.831.6784. Richard Garcia (Min King), 559.624.0199. Mary Ann Lockhart (PMC), 661.242.0432. Ara Marderosian (Kernville), 760.378.4574. Arthur Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569 Chapter ExCom Meetings: All Sierra Club members are always welcome to attend these meetings. Call 661.323.822.4371 to confirm all meeting dates as well as location and time.

THE ROADRUNNER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

MIDGEBUZZINGS

Though I am no longer able to carry a pack into wilderness, memories of days and nights in the high country are abundant. For twenty-five years I experienced the incomparable delights that our senses are heir to in the Sierra Nevada, mostly in summer and fall, but occasionally when snow was deep, and when cold and silence were our most eminent hosts. Of all the places I visited, none was more beautiful than Beck Meadow, not far from where the South Fork of the Kern River has its beginnings. It was a day’s gentle walk through varied botanical zones, all of them beautiful. Especially lovely were clear streams through lush little meadows along the way. In time, we began to think of Beck as sacred and to regard the journey there as a kind of pilgrimage. For some of us it became a religious experience, even to the extent of an unspoken agreement to keep silence in the last mile before it came into view. I don’t remember a time when we did not see at least one bear in the distance, peacefully occupying a meadow. We were careful to hang our food high in trees at the campsites, and not once in all those years was it disturbed. For me, the bear became symbolic of wilderness, and wilderness became a metaphor for the eternal. I offer the following poem in that spirit. The Meadow After Black Rock Station, the world recedes. We are walking on an ancient trail to a familiar meadow, a high sanctuary in the great cathedral of the mountains. Soon, out of deep silence, sacred music rises: A courting grouse drums; a thrush answers its own fluted question from the darkness of deeper and more distant woods; wind sings an anthem composed by the redolence of warm pine resin and ancient humus. Far off, a raven is cantor in a language we know without footnotes or translation. Somewhere, invisible to us now, is the bear. We have seen his signs, and know that he is lord of the meadow. Then, in the long shadows of late afternoon, standing on a hilltop above the place toward which we have always been coming, we hear the first thunder, witness distant flashes of sheet lightning, and draw in the sweet smell of rain. This night we will make camp here. When morning comes, we will walk into the meadow. —Ann Williams

THE ROADRUNNER

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER, 2009

Sierra Club calendars for coming year available for $10 each
Once again, the chapter is offering the most beautiful calendars for sale: large wilderness calendars and the smaller engagement calendars. And once again, they are offered at the bargain basement price of only $10 each ! What a deal! You get resplendent photos to gaze at every day, and the chapter has more funds with which to work on conservation efforts. And if you’re concerned about the processing, the calendars are printed on paper containing a minimum of 50 percent recovered waste, of which at least 10 percent of the fiber content is postconsumer waste. The virgin content of the paper is chlorine free and entirely from tree farms. Here are the contacts:
Bakersfield—Isabel Stierle (661.246.6195) Porterville – Pam Clark (559.784.4643) Tehachapi – Georgette Theotig (661.822.4371) Frazier Park – Mary Ann Lockhart (661.242.0432) Ridgecrest – Dennis Burge (760.375.7967)

The Roadrunner

2815 La Cresta Dr. Bakersfield, CA 93305-1719

Non-Profit Org. U.S. POSTAGE PAID Permit No. 498 Bakersfield, CA

STAYING INFORMED:
Join our KERN-NEWS & KERN FORUM e-mail lists at: http://kernkaweah.sierraclub.org Submit articles (your own or suggestions for reprints) to The Roadrunner at sierraroadrunner@gmail.com. To contact Marjorie Bell, the editor, by phone, call 661.322.4891. The Roadrunner is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper.

DINNER RESERVATION FORM
I/we will attend the Fall Chapter Dinner on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2009, at the Rice Bowl Restaurant, in Bakersfield. Please make check out to: SIERRA CLUB, KERN-KAWEAH CHAPTER. Mail check to: Georgette Theotig, P.O. Box 38, Tehachapi, CA 93581. Reservation deadline is Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. Enclosed is my check for_______reservations @ $17 per person for a total of _______________________ Names of those attending:_________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________________________

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