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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
Kern-Kaweah members will be are to have reduced hours or still be charges for camping and
helping to gather signatures for a calendars because of this year’s other special services. The trust
state initiative to provide stable budget cuts, and more reductions fund will be sufficient to
long-term funding for our are expected next year. adequately fund state parks,
endangered state parks. Your help That’s why park supporters are freeing them from annual budget
is needed now. placing a statewide initiative on cuts and threatened closures.
How did California’s 278 state the November 2010 ballot called Spending from the trust fund
parks, once the best in the the California State Parks and will be subject to oversight by a
country, sink to being among the Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund citizen’s board, full public
shabbiest? Call it death by a Act of 2010. It will protect state disclosure, and independent
thousand budget cuts. Our parks parks and conserve wildlife by annual audits. Money from the
are falling apart because of establishing a trust fund in the general fund currently spent on
persistent underfunding. The state state treasury to be spent only on parks will be available for other
still owns the lands—the state parks, wildlife and marine vital needs, including schools,
spectacular vistas, historic sites, conservation, and state health care, social services, and
and beaches—but roofs and conservancies. public safety.
sewage systems leak, restrooms Funding will come from an We hope that you will want to
aren’t washed out regularly (but $18 surcharge on the registration help gather signatures to put this
trails are), and campgrounds and fee for California vehicles, initiative on the ballot in
visitor centers are shuttered. including motorcycles and November. Sierra Club will play a
The repair backlog in recreational vehicles but not major role in gathering signatures
California state parks tops $1 larger commercial vehicles, for this initiative. Collection will
billion, and it’s growing. As if mobile homes, and permanent start in Jan. 10 and conclude on
that weren’t enough, twice in the trailers. Surcharged vehicles will April 30. To help, call me at
past two years, the whole state- receive free admission to all state 661.323.5569 or e-mail me at
park system was on the verge of parks. In comparison, park lorraineunger@att.net
being shut down. Only last- visitors currently pay up to $125
minute budget reprieves kept it for an annual pass or $10 to $15 —Lorraine Unger
open. But nearly 60 state parks per day at most parks. There will Member, Chapter Ex-Com

WILDERNESS CONFERENCE COMING TO U.C. BERKELEY IN APRIL


Join wilderness enthusiasts from all wild places with climate change and offer
over the Western states April 8-11, 2010 training on how to advocate effectively.
on the campus of U.C. Berkeley in the San Films, music, fun, networking, join us!
Francisco Bay Area. Go to www.westernwilderness.org for
Some 800 participants will gather to more information and for “early bird”
focus on the role of wild lands in an era of online registration.
global climate change and on how to win
new allies for preserving wild places. Some scholarships are available. For
Plenary sessions, dynamic speakers, questions, contact Vicky Hoover at
and intensive workshops will help connect 415.977.5527.
THE ROADRUNNER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

CELEBRATING CHAPTER’S INVOLVEMENT IN ISSUES


Chapter recognizes
leadership at fall
dinner event Nov. 7
The annual Kern Kaweah Chapter
dinner at Bakersfield’s Rice Bowl on
Nov. 7 featured not only a six-course
meal, but a remarkable collection of
slides and stories by Chapter Outings
Chair Jim Nichols whose hiking skills
and quest for adventure over the years
have taken him to faraway places such
as Afghanistan and closer realms in
the High Mojave Desert. About 90
people attended this year’s dinner,
including a couple who came from
Los 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 the
guest list for the dinner. Evan Be! (left) is
catching up on family news with Kathy and
Harry Love. Beverly and Richard Garcia of
the Mineral King Group (bottom left) are
enjoying the dinner at the Rice Bowl. Ara
Marderosian &om Kernvi!e and Isabel
Stierle &om Bakersfield (bottom row, middle)
serve as leaders in the Kern-Kaweah Chapter.
Chapter Vice-Chair Gordon Nipp ( bottom
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 left). Solveig
Thompson of Tehachapi visits with
Dinah Campbe$ (top right). Janine and
Mark Harper (bottom left) look forward
to Rice Bowl cuisine and presentations.
Sierra Club Past-President Joe Fontaine
shows speaker Jim Nichols his new book,
The Kern Plateau and Gems of the
Southern Sierra (2009).

Kern Plateau and the Southern Sierra are focus of new book by
retired science teacher, Sierra Club Past-President Joe Fontaine
Joe Fontaine has recently finished a also a highlight of the book. Detailed MUST READ
book on the Kern Plateau, The Kern maps are included for greater insight. FOR 2010:
Plateau and Gems of the Southern According to Fontaine, the book Fontaine’s new
Sierra. The gems of the southern is intended to stimulate interest in our
book (2009) is
Sierra feature giant sequoias and local area and to motivate readers to
golden trout among many others. All visit the Kern Plateau and the available at
of the areas covered by his book are southern Sierra Nevada. www.Atlas
located in the Kern/Kaweah Chapter. The author has spent over 50 Books.com
The issues covered include years exploring the Kern Plateau and
*Those who came before us the southern Sierra. He joined the
including Native Americans and early Sierra Club 47 years ago to work to Wilderness. Today in those mountains
settlers. protect the natural attributes of these there are hundreds of thousands of
*The geologic processes that mountains. His book is an attempt to additional acres of wilderness de-
created this spectacular landscape. share the love and knowledge of that signated by Congress and 328,000
*Golden Trout, mammals, birds, corner of the Earth he gained in the acres in the Giant Sequoia National
butterflies, and other wildlife. process. Monument. Without the Sierra Club
*Giant Sequoias, conifer forests, The last chapter chronicles the very little of this would have
and a remarkable number of campaigns and successes of the Sierra happened. The book can be viewed at
wildflowers. Club and the Kern/Kaweah Chapter. www.AtlasBooks.com and purchased
*Stewardship of our public lands. These include the defeat of a for $24.95 on line, or contact Joe at
Sketches of some of the natural destination ski resort at Mineral King, 661.821.2055 or
features of our mountains by our now in Sequoia National Park, and fontaine@wildblue.com. His address
Chapter Chair Georgette Theotig are the over 300, 000 acre Golden Trout is: Joe Fontaine, P.O. Box 307,
Tehachapi, CA 93581.
THE ROADRUNNER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

FROM THE CHAIR

Theotig expresses appreciation for leadership and support


It seems that the older I am, the We also wish to welcome Peter Roadrunner.
faster the years are speeding by. Clum, our newest member of the The New Year promises to be
All the more reason to make Chapter Executive Committee, full of environmental challenges –
every day count – each day is a from Three Rivers. Welcome to but also full of many
unique opportunity, to be grateful all incoming officers of 2010. We opportunities to both enjoy and
for the past and things to come, as already appreciate you, as well! explore the wild places of our
well as make a difference in the Of great interest is the earth. Celebrate the possibilities
world. upcoming Western Wilderness and join us in our conservation
On behalf of the Chapter Conference scheduled for April efforts and be a part of making a
membership, I would like to 8-11, 2010, at the University of difference in our world!
express a heartfelt thank you to California, Berkeley. The Kern- —Georgette Theotig
all out-going officers of 2009. Kaweah Chapter is one of the Chapter Chair
The Chapter is grateful for your supporting sponsors of this major
service. A special thank you is event, which will both launch and
extended to Mary Ann Lockhart highlight major western
and Ann Williams for their valued campaigns to preserve wilderness
service on the Executive places from development. Look
Committee. for more information in the

State Poppy Reserve in Antelope Valley needs protection


A wealthy Orange County businessman wants to build a CA 90012
motorsports racetrack on 320 acres that is only 1.5 miles Or email HYPERLINK
from the California State Poppy Reserve in the Antelope "mailto:jsackett@planning.lacounty.gov"
Valley. This racetrack would potentially host high jsackett@planning.lacounty.gov
performance race vehicles 365 days a year. and/or Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, 500 West
The draft EIR has been submitted and the first L.A. Temple Street, Room 869, Los Angeles, CA 90012
County Regional Planning Commission hearing was held Or email HYPERLINK "mailto:fifthdistrict@lacbos.org"
on Sept. 2. The staff report concluded with a fifthdistrict@lacbos.org
recommendation to approve this project. There will be
another hearing on Feb. 6 at the Lancaster Branch of the Here are but three of the negative impacts that could
LA County Library, 601 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, be included in a letter:
CA 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. HYPERLINK "http:// Sound will be clearly heard on Reserve hiking trails and
www.sio2.com/savethepoppyreserve" www.sio2.com/ in a wide area of Antelope Acres. Hiking through field of
savethepoppyreserve wildflowers and listening to the drone of high performance
Here is what you can do to help: racing engines are clearly incompatible experiences! 81
* Attend the hearing on Feb. 6. The majority of speakers percent of the respondents to a survey of Poppy Reserve
at the September hearing were in favor of the racetrack, and visitors indicated that their visits to the Reserve would be
we need all the support we can get at the next meeting. significantly decreased if a racetrack were built nearby. 44
* Write to the Planning Commission and/or Supervisor percent indicated that they would never come again!
Antonovich and tell them that you think wildflower Zone change to industrial/ commercial will open the
preserves and motorsports parks don’t make good door to more damaging developments and is completely
neighbors. If you live in L.A. County, in another incompatible with the rural nature of the area and an
Supervisor’s district, write or cc them also. Issues that existing state park dedicated to hiking and nature.
could be raised are listed on the reverse. Current property owners, who bought and built under
- If you would like to more actively help oppose the existing zoning of agricultural and residential, will suffer
racetrack, contact HYPERLINK from extreme noise and likely experience devaluation of
"mailto:savethepoppyreserve@sio2.com" their properties: after all, who wants to live near a
savethepoppyreserve@sio2.com racetrack?
Address letters to: Mr. Jodie Sackett,
County of Los Angeles Department of
Regional Planning, Room 1382 —Katherine Allen
320 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, Regional Conservation Committee
THE ROADRUNNER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

Buena-Vista Group
Elections information
In accordance with the Sierra Club bylaws,
annual group elections are required each year
to elect replacement Executive Committee
(ExCom) members for those who terms are
expiring. All members of the group are
eligible to participate in the group election
process. Each ballot must contain the
membership number of the voter.
Membership numbers are located above your
name on the Roadrunner address label or on
your membership card. There are two spaces
for couples so that each person can vote if
both are members.
HIKING, KAYAKING AND MORE: Exploring the ru'ed Buena Vista Group Ballot
coastline on a hike to Nidever Canyon, San Miquel Island is the main
goal of a recent group touring Channel Islands Park. Photo/Joan Elect no more than five persons. Mail ballot
Jones Holtz by Jan. 31, 2010 to:
Dates open for adventurers to plan BVG Election Committee
scenic trip to Channel Islands Park 1626 19th St., Suite #3
California’s Channel Islands are May 7-9
Galapagos USA! If you join one Bakersfield, CA 93301
of the Sierra Club groups that will July 16-19
tour Channel Islands National Park Membership Number:
next spring and fall, you will August 6-9 ______________________
marvel at the sight of whales, seals, Sept. 10-12
sea lions, rare birds and blazing ( ) ( ) Jeff Hathorn
wildflowers. You will also have chances to hike the wild,
windswept trails, kayak the rugged coastline and snorkel in ( ) ( ) Donnel Lester
pristine waters. Another aspect of these three- and four-day
programs is discovering remnants of the Chumash people ( ) ( ) Glenn Shellcross
who lived on these islands for thousands of years.
Or you could just relax at sea. These “live aboard” ( ) ( ) Lorraine Unger
fundraiser cruises benefit Sierra Club’s political program in
California and depart from Santa Barbara aboard the 68’ ( ) ( ) Isabel Stierle
Truth. The fee ($590 for May7-9 and Sept. 10-12; $785 for
July 16-19 and Aug. 6-9) includes an assigned bunk, all ___________________Write-in Candidate
meals, snacks and beverages, plus the services of a ranger/
naturalist who will travel with us to lead hikes on each island ___________________Write-in Candidate
and point out interesting features.
To make a reservation mail a $100 check payable to Sierra -----------------------------------------------------
Club to leaders: Joan Jones Holtz & Don Holtz, 11826 The FOR PDF VERSION OF NEWSLETTER
Wye St, El Monte, CA 91732. Contact leaders for more
information (626-443-0706; jholtzhln@aol.com) E-mail Lorraine Unger at lorraineunger@att.net and
—Joan Jones Holtz ask to be taken off the hard copy list. Log on to http://
Angeles Chapter Political Committee kernkaweah.sieraclub.org/email.html and join the
KERN-NEWS email list.
------------------------------------------------------------------
THE ROADRUNNER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

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.
Tuesday conditioning hikes of 4 or 5 miles are at 7 p.m. at the corner of Highways 178 and 184.
Contact Gordon (gnipp@bak.rr.com) or Larry (661.873.8107) for more information.

Saturday, Dec. 19—Buena Vista holiday party in Bakersfield, 7 p.m. till ??? Come one, come all to
socialize and share good food! Arthur and Lorraine Unger are opening their home for a holiday party.
Bring an appetizer or dessert to share. Please call for info & directions: 661.323.5569.

Saturday, Jan. 2— At 10 a.m., the group will view “The Wild Heart of Red Rock,” a film discussing
the difficulties in establishing protection for Utah wilderness and eliminating exploitation (SC Utah Wilderness Task Force).
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). For more information, call 661.319.6996

3rd Saturday highway cleanup: Until further notice, Adopt-A-Highway will be on hiatus until Caltrans reviews its
statewide policies and renews permits.

Tuesday, Feb. 1—Drop in at 6 p.m. for a conservation dinner.at the Garden Spot restaurant,
3320 Truxtun (at Oak St), Bakersfield. Dinner is "Dutch treat" and current conservation topics
will be discussed among those who attend. For information, call Lorraine at 661.323.5569.

Saturday, Feb. 6—At 10 a.m., Ray Galvan will discuss the organically grown produce of the South Central Farmers
Cooperative of Shafter and its implications for community supported agriculture. Join us at Camino Real Restaurant, 3500
Truxtun Ave. at the corner of Truxtun and Westwind, just west of Oak St. Brunch is served for $7.50/person (tip not
included). For more information, call 661.319.6996.

Meeting Notices—If you would like 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-a-month emails.
THE ROADRUNNER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

CONDOR GROUP
More info? Mary Ann Lockhart (661.242.0432). Hikes? Dale Chitwood (661.242.1076)

Saturday, Feb. 6—”Local Geological Glimpses” (information and photos) presented by Dave Koskenmaki. Come at 6 p.m.
for the potluck, 7 p.m. for program. Meeting place: Pool Pavilion Room, Pine Mountain Clubhouse. Hikes will begin
again in March.

KAWEAH GROUP
More info? Call Pam Clark (559.784.4643) or Diane Jetter (559.781.8897).

OWENS PEAK GROUP


More info? Chair Dennis Burge (760.375.7967) or e-mail dennis93555@yahoo.com. Jim Nichols,
hikes (760.375.8161) or e-mail jnichols@ridgecrest.ca.us.

Saturday, Jan. 16 —ALABAMA HILLS ARCHES (W of Lone Pine, about 5000 ft max, maybe 500 ft gain total, 3 - 4 mi
total) We have the GPS positions for several of the finest granite natural arches in these famous hills at the base of the Sierra
Nevada mountains, the gateway to Mt. Whitney. As a treasure hunt, we will track down the best of the arches. Learning to
shoot the arches will be a great photographic challenge. This series of short hikes should make for an easy day. If time
permits, we may climb nearby "Rattlesnake Hill" and visit the "Ashram" up Tuttle Creek. Meet Saturday, Jan. 16 at 7:30
a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Dennis Burge at 760.375.7967 or Jim Nichols at 760.375.8161 for more
info.

Monday, Jan. 25—At 7:30 p.m. Laurel Williams, Desert Field Organizer for the California Wilderness Coalition,  will
present "Exploring and Preserving Wilderness Areas" (such as Surprise Canyon).  Maturango Museum.

Saturday, Feb. 13 —GREAT FALLS BASIN (Argus Wilderness, 3320 ft max elevation, 1500 foot gain, 5 mi total) Hike
starts at the mouth of Indian Joe Canyon, proceeds up canyon to lush, lower Indian Joe Gardens. Hiking cross country, via
Allen Springs to Twin Springs, we will study the unique geology in the scenic Great Falls Basin. We continue cross country
to skirt the massive falls at the base of Great Falls Basin. An optional two hundred yard hike at the Great Falls Basin road
head takes us to the swimable pool in a sheer-walled grotto between the first and second falls. Moderate due to cross-country
routing. Four-wheel drive needed due to sandy conditions. There will be a 4 mi car shuttle. Meet Saturday, Feb. 13 at 7:30
a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. Call Nick Panzer at 760.446.0822 for more info.

Monday, Feb 22—At 7:30 p.m., Jim Nichols, Kern-Kaweah Outings Chair, will present "Gems of the Eastern Sierra and the
High Desert," a reprise of the Chapter fall dinner program given in Bakersfield. An expedition, a classic climb, and historic
film footage will illuminate the roles of great outing leaders. Maturango Museum.

MINERAL KING GROUP


More info? Call 559.761.0592. Please also visit mineralking.sierraclub.org for more info.

Wednesday, Jan. 20— Please join us at 6 p.m. for a “no host” dinner at Panera Bread, 4103 S Mooney Blvd.,
Visalia. Contact Beverly for reservations at bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org  or 559.624.0199.

Monday, Jan 25—ExCom meets at 6 p.m. at Colima's, 500 South Linwood St., in Visalia. Contact
Beverly at bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org or 559.624.0199 for reservations. All members are welcome.

Saturday, Jan. 23 —Come on a short, easy stroll around Bravo Lake in Woodlake. There are usually some birds on the lake
and nice views of the Sierras. After the hike, we'll return to the Dudley's for some chili. Call Joanne or David for time and
meeting place: 733.2078.

Saturday, Feb. 13—We will hike the Wishon trail above Porterville. This is a moderate 6 mile round trip hike with a lovely
waterfall for our lunch venue. Rain or dense fog cancels. Call Joanne or David for meeting time and details 733.2078
THE ROADRUNNER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

Saturday, Feb. 20—We'll be hiking to Mankin's Flat (10 miles, moderate difficulty). Contact Dave Keller at 688.4813
or COACHK24@aol.com for meeting place and time.

Monday, March 1—ExCom meets at 6 p.m. at Colima's, 500 South Linwood St., in Visalia. Contact Beverly
at bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.org or 559.624.0199.for reservations. All members are welcome.

Election results for Mineral King Group Ex-Com:


Beverly Garcia, Richard Garcia, Brian Newton, and Janet Wood were reelected to another two-year term. The Ex Com
welcomes new member Dave Keller.

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, Jan. 22-24--Wilderness Restoration - Death Valley National Park. Come help protect Death Valley National Park from
abuse by illegal off-road traffic. This wilderness restoration project along the park's scenic eastern boundary in the Amargosa Valley
involves the installation of signs, raking out of vehicle tracks and moving rocks. Meet late Friday afternoon, or early Saturday morning;
work Saturday and part of the day on Sunday. Camping Friday and Saturday night will be in a Park Service camping area (no water,
portable toilets). Leader: Kate Allen, kj.allen@wildblue.net, 661.944.4056. CNRCC Desert Committee

Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 30-31--Fencing a Wilderness – Golden Valley Wilderness Area. During the past year, a long fence has been
constructed along the northern boundary of the Golden Valley Wilderness to prevent illegal motorized vehicle entry. Where this fence is still
high above the ground, we will assist Marty Dickes of the Ridgecrest BLM office in placing reinforcements. Our reward will be in learning
a trade and in knowing that intrusions have become more difficult. For those who wish to stay over on Monday, there will be a hike up one
of the nearby peaks. Car camping; potluck Saturday evening. Contact leader: Craig Deutsche, 310.477.6670), craig.deutsche@gmail.com.
CNRCC Desert Committee

Monday-Wednesday, Feb. 15-17--Gold Butte Introductory Tour. Come explore this proposed National Conservation Area in Southeast
Nevada. See many beautiful and interesting sights, including petroglyphs and Joshua trees. Climb one of the areas peaks and enjoy the
splendid views. Central commissary. Leader: Vicky Hoover, 415.977.5527, vicky.hoover@sierraclub.org. CNRCC Wilderness & Desert
Committees

Saturday-Sunday, Feb. 27-28--Mecca Hills Carcamp. Join us as we explore the Mecca Hills Wilderness Area east of Indio, Calif. We
will hike through the gravel washes and rocky hills to several spectacular sites. Saturday we visit Hidden Springs and the Grottos, and
Sunday we will explore Painted Canyon. Carcamping will include potluck supper, and campfire Saturday night. Limit 12 participants. Ldr:
Craig Deutsche, craig.deutsche@gmail.com 310.477.6670. CNRCC Desert Committee

Saturday-Sunday, March 6-7--Death Valley National Park Exploratory Tour. Beginning in Shoshone on Saturday morning, we will
travel north on Hwy 178 with a stop at Badwater, and easy two-mile hikes at Natural Bridge and Golden Canyon. Camp at Texas Springs
($14/site). If time allows, drive to Zambriskie Point and Dante’s View. Sunday morning, visit the museum and visitor center in Furnace
Creek, see the rare pupfish at Salt Creek, and take a two-mile hike to the highest sand dune. Possible hike into Mosaic Canyon. For those
who want to stay Sunday night, camp at Stovepipe Wells ($12/site). Option of primitive camping on Friday night. For reservations, contact
leader, Carol Wiley at desertlily1@verizon.net or call 760.245.8734. CNRCC Desert Committee
THE ROADRUNNER
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

MIDGEBUZZINGS
Tomorrow a tree company will come to cut down a redwood I planted 14 years ago. It is one of
three on my front lawn which are not doing well in this soil, though I see members of their family growing
beautifully in other parts of town. For the first ten years they were so beautiful that I never came home
without driving by to look at them on my way to the garage at the back of my property. Then the changes
began, subtle at first, but becoming more and more definite. I’ve been told that in some soils and climates
redwoods do well only for the first few years, and then as their roots go deeper, they are unable to get the
water they need. The experts I’ve consulted have advised me against trying to save them. They
recommend taking them all out, but I can’t bring myself to allow more than one execution at a time
And yet, if the predictions of the majority of scientists are to be taken seriously, such losses are only
the beginning of those we will experience in the near future from the effects of climate change, which most
people now acknowledge even as they disagree about the cause. The loss of landscaping around homes
and golf courses and the shutting down of ski resorts will be the least of our worries if the scientists are
right. What will concern us more will be a rationing of water for the farming which we all depend upon
for sustenance, both in our own small gardens and throughout the state, as well as throughout the nation.
While there is vivid debate over the particulars of this kind of change, one thing we all agree upon is the
inevitability in all our lives of loss, our very mortality being evidence enough of that certainty.
On the last morning of November this year I sat looking out my front window, brooding over the
doomed tree situated at the front of the lawn and grieving over its unavoidable fate. I was looking past the
two maples planted closer to the house, when suddenly I became aware of the morning light that caught
their color and enhanced the swift movements of little birds flashing about after insects that were
apparently plentiful for them there. What a gorgeous sight! And what a gift of good fortune to be there at
that moment to witness it!
Who says that autumn glory lives only in the east, or across the northern border, or anywhere but
here? On that morning, at the end of November, in this flat valley with its dull miles of spent crops and
blighted air, light pierced those leaves at the very finish of their lives, and carried beauty through them to
temper my black mood and alter it, after a time, to a kind of anticipation. Songs, unheard in spring and
summer, burst from the throats of the birds that had come, as they do every autumn, to feast upon what
they harvest from the trunks and branches of the maples, life so diminutive that it can only be assumed
from the exuberant all-day dartings of their chase.
We often turn to the classics, or to sacred texts, for the
harvesting of wisdom that acquaints us with hope. But that
morning, in that time and place, I had a sense of both the
mystery and the splendor of finalities, and the assurance,
coming from somewhere, of continuance beyond our
seasons and our tenure here.
—Ann Williams

Executive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter


Chair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371. Vice-chair: Gordon Nipp (Bksf), 661.872.2432. .
Treasurer: Lorraine Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Donnel Lester (Bksf), 661.831.6784. Richard Garcia (Min
King), 559.624.0199. Ann Williams (Bksf), 661.324.1055. Arthur Unger (Bksf), 661.323.5569. Peter Clum
(Min King), 559.561.4661. Ara Marderosian (Kernville), 760.378.4574.

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
JANUARY/FEBRUARY, 2010

NEWS BRIEFS
The Roadrunner Non-Profit Org.
U.S. POSTAGE
GREATER BAKERSFIELD GREEN EXPO: 2815 La Cresta Dr. PAID
On April 17, groups will be joining with Bakersfield, CA 93305-1718 Permit No. 498
Bakersfield Mayor Harvey Hall and Greater
Good for Kern County to showcase recycling Bakersfield, CA
and renewable energy businesses throughout
Kern County while recognizing student talent in
all 44 county high schools. An attendance
between 5,000-10,000 is expected at Yokuts
Park. Representatives from Keep America
Beautiful and Keep California Beautiful will
also be present along with other state, county
and city officials. Students and vendors with
the ability to download applications for the
event should check this site:
www.gbgreenexpo.org. All fees for the 85
booth spaces will go directly to student
scholarships. Fees should be sent to the Arts
Council of Kern, one of the event’s sponsors.
Application deadline is March 1.

SAVE THIS DATE:


The annual Kern-Kaweah
Chapter spring banquet is
March 13, a Saturday, at
Benji’s French Basque
restaurant. Please mark your calendars if there is
a chance you will be able to attend.

WELCOME TO THE EX-COM: Peter Clum,


who has lived in Three Rivers since 1992, is
new to the Ex-Com. He has been a member of
environmental organizations for 20 years, and
from 1998 to 2008 was a summer volunteer for
the National Park Service in Kings Canyon.
Since late 2007, he has worked on the Tulare
County General Plan Update and the Boswell
Corporation's Yokohl Ranch proposal and has
attended a variety of one day environmental
workshops.

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. Please email photos of events or people in the JPG format. To
contact The Roadrunner editor Marjorie Bell by phone, call 661.322.4891.
The Roadrunner is printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper.

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