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A BIMONTHLY PUBLICATION OF THE KERNKAWEAH CHAPTER OF SIERRA CLUB MAY/JUNE, 2010

The Roadrunner
CHAPTER HONORS BABAK NAFICY FOR WORK ON ISSUES
San Luis Obispo attorney focuses energy on winning settlements and lawsuits in Central Vaey
Babak Naficy, who won this The City of Tulare case last
year’s Sierra Club Cup award at March also turned out well
the March banquet, “has done for Sierra Club with a
more than anyone else around to Superior Court judge setting
bring Kern and Tulare counties aside a General Plan because
into the 20th Century,” quipped of land conservation and
Chapter Vice-Chair Gordon Nipp. global warming concerns.
San Luis Obispo attorney Sierra Club’s Rio Bravo
Naficy, who regularly takes on Ranch settlement sends
large law firms and wins, has the message “that we
worked with Nipp for over seven won’t settle with a de-
years to take on environmental veloper who has a terrible
challenges in the Central Valley. EIR,” the attorney said. SHARING COMMON CUPS: Attorney
Naficy migrated to the U.S. However, the future of en- Babak Nacy and Chapter ViceChair
from Iran in 1978 and is a vironmentalism in the U.S. Gordon Nipp celebrate their environmental
graduate of UCLA and Hastings is uncertain these days. ictories over seven years by comparing their
Law School. Nipp learned about “The public is increasingly humble Sierra Cup awards. Photo/Eva Nipp
Naficy when becoming interested wary of global warming, yet we order. Americans are inherently
in contesting a development near still need strategies to blunt its suspicious of science.”
his home in Bakersfield. The rest force.” Naficy also thinks that we must
is history. Naficy is still highly critical of resist the pressure to put all our
As the night’s chief speaker, projects that ignore impacts on resources into global warming.
Naficy pointed out that Sierra climate change, but also advises The majority of Americans do
Club settlements and lawsuits against being too shrill. "People support efforts to reduce carbon
have actually generated millions are experiencing Apocalypse emissions. he said. Also they are
of dollars for cities and counties. fatigue. They are much more beginning to understand that the
One example is replacement of concerned about air and water future prosperity of the U.S. is
school buses in poorer school pollution,” he said. based on green jobs. “People
districts. Conservation easements “Global warming appears need to understand what’s in it for
also are now generally recognized remote in time and space. It runs them.” —Marjorie Bell
as important to save farmland. against the fabric of our social Roadrunner Editor

Chapter looking for volunteer with bookkeeping skis to perform duties


We are looking for a Chapter member who is The duties of treasurer require management
familiar with bookkeeping skills! Our current of the Chapter checkbook and a monthly
Chapter Treasurer, Lorraine Unger, who has financial report to the Executive Committee, as
competently served in this position for many well as some other responsibilities.
years, would like to serve in other ways. If you are interested in this voluntary
position, please contact Georgette Theotig,
Is there a Chapter member out there who 661.822.4371, or at gtheotig@sbcglobal.net,
would consider volunteering for the position of and we can discuss the job description of this
Chapter treasurer? important position.
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010

California Water Service district manager gives background on


on controversial water issues; mandated meters in the works
Tim Treloar, district manager of the California Water on changing codes to require conservation because of the
Service Company, spoke to the Buena Vista Group at the general public sees no need for emergency measures.
brunch meeting April 3 regarding water issues facing our Groundwater supplies, however, are not so secure as the
community. In an informal question and answer format, water tables has dropped precipitously and changing water
current problems, past successes and future plans became standards make reliability of use also unsure.
topics for discussion. Managing water is a big challenge, and as a a part of this
Noting that our water supplies are affected by both effort, Cal Water is the first district to implement “tier”
federal and state water projects, as well as Kern River and rates last year. Users will pay more as they use more. In
groundwater conditions, Treloar pointed out that the future the Central Valley our source of water changes seasonally
of water issues would become more complicated and the with winter use more from surface sources. In the summer,
supplies more scarce. Within the next 15 years, Cal Water 65 percent of use is ground water and the rest is the river.
is mandated to install meters to all customers currently on a The audience brought up various topics of interest,
flat rate (about 35,000 in number). Typically when meters including xeriscape landscaping, conservation programs in
are installed usage reduces between 10 and 20 percent. use elsewhere, the possibility of Cal Water monitoring
These new meters will not be of the “smart” variety, and all planning commission meetings, sale of local water to the
will be read by Cal Water personnel. greater Los Angeles region, and possible informal
Any measure to require conservation are policy issues partnerships between Cal Water and local conservation
needing to be addressed by local government as Cal Water groups. The discussion was lively as well as informative.
is charged only with providing this resource to its service Thanks were given to the speaker for his candid and
area. interesting views on this important topic. Future questions
Treloar also outlined the amount and sources available to could be directed to Treloar at: ttreloar@calwater.com.
the city. He noted that the vision of city government 35
years ago to secure Kern River water rights has created an —Maria Polite
asset worth between one-quarter to one-half billion dollars. Chapter Member
This seemingly reliable supply may have a negative effect

2010 Windmill-Wildflower hike WATER WISDOM


planned for Tehachapi May 8 Use native plants for yards, landscaping
Everyone hears so much about using less water in our
TEHACHAPI: The Kern-Kaweah chapter of the Sierra Club will landscapes and in our homes. Recently the Buena Vista Group
lead a hike on the Pacific Crest Trail at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 8 hosted Tim Treloar, District Manager for California Water
near Tehachapi, California. Service. He told us all Cal Water customers will have water
The local chapter sponsors the hike to spotlight a little-known meters installed in the near future. We also heard about native
section of the trail as well as the 3,500 wind turbines in the plants and xeric plantings which make it easier to conserve water.
Tehachapi Pass. The event marks the 25th year of the annual Our Sierra Club friends at the Kern County, California Native
spring hike. More than 750 people, from children to Plant Society have an annual plant sale with many perennials.
octogenarians, have taken the six-mile walk across Cameron Usually the sale is in October at FACT (Facility for Avian Care
Ridge since the event was first launched more than two decades and Treatment) at California State University, Bakersfield. Last
ago. autumn they found themselves with a quantity of leftover plants.
The six-mile hike leaves the trailhead at the junction of If you are interested in xeric or native plants, please look at the
Cameron Road and Tehachapi-Willow Springs Road promptly at 9 CNPS web-site for the specific list: WWW.KernCNPS.org
a.m. Spring weather at 5,000 feet in the Tehachapi Mountains is You can e-mail Debbie Kroeger at decay@att.net or call her at
unpredictable. The temperature can vary from near freezing to 661.323.4259 for prices and advice on which plants would suit
sweltering. Hikers are advised to dress appropriately, bring at least your garden. A sampling of available plants are below:
one quart of water per person (two quarts per person
recommended), and pack a lunch. Cercis occidentalis (Redbud), Chlorogalum pomeridianum
The hike will be led by local Sierra Club member Tony Swan. (Soap Plant), Corylus cornuta californica Western Hazelnut,
A car pool will leave from Bakersfield at 7:30 a.m. For more Dudleya cymosa Hen & Chicks, Encelia actonii Desert
information on car pooling from Bakersfield call Tony Swan at Sunower, Cephalanthus occidentalis Buttonwillow, Cercis
661 363 5106. For more information on past hikes, visit Windmill- occidentalis Redbud, Penstemon laetus (Foothill Penstemon),
Wildflower Hike ( http://www.wind-works.org/articles/ Mahonia aquifolium compacta Compact Oregon grape,
windmillwildflowerhike.html).
Mimulus aurantiacus Sticky Monkey Flower.
—Paul Gipe
www.wind-works.org Lorraine Unger, Membership Chair/Treasurer
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010

FROM THE CHAIR

Theotig sends wildower bouquets of thanks to all


The generous rains this winter Third, bouquets
brought bountiful displays of colorful of poppies
wildflowers for us all to marvel in. to Lorraine
Stunning carpets of orange, white, Unger for
blue, and yellow wildflowers organizing
decorated our local hillsides and our signature
desert landscapes. We offer large collecting
bouquets of perfumed wildflowers to for the State
all those who helped in Chapter Parks Initiative.
activities during March and April! Many thanks
First, a large bouquet of white to all who have
popcorn flowers to the hard-working helped
crew which gathered for the March circulate the
Appeal letter in early March, and to petitions for
all those who work on the this important
Roadrunner every two months. In drive to keep
addition, we thank the many our state
members who have already parks open.
responded to our Appeal letter with
your donations for Chapter Last, we offer a large
conservation issues. mixed arrangement of
Second, scented bouquets of flowers to our dedicated
lupine to those who made our Annual activists who tirelessly
Banquet on March 13 a big success! I attend to various environ-
extend special gratitude to the mental issues, making the
Banquet committee for their efforts, world a better place for
as well, as Babak Naficy, our special all living things. You are
guest speaker for the evening. appreciated!
Congratulations to our three Chapter During the months of
honorees: Kim Loeb, for the Susan May and June we hope
B. Miller Award (presented by to see you at a Chapter
Joanne Dudley), Ann Gallon, for the event. Do something
Chairman’s Award (presented by good for the environment
Chair Georgette Theotig), and Babak today! Top: Ann Gaon steps up to the podium at th
Naficy, for the Special Certificate of Banquet to receive the Chairmans Award o
Appreciation and Sierra Cup Award —Georgette Theotig Chapter Chair Georgette Theotig. Bottom: Donnel
(presented by Georgette Theotig and Chapter Chair Lester discusses issues with CSUB students
Dennis Burge). Adeline Ramirez and Tony Parson.

FOR PDF VERSION OF FROM FRIENDS OF THE CHAPTER:


NEWSLETTER The rst annual Kern River Parkway Fest
will be on May 22 from 10 a.m. till 6 p.m. at
E-mail Lorraine Unger at Hart Park Section 7, close to the river and
lorraineunger@att.net and ask to be the ranger s adobe house. Admission is free.
taken off the hard copy list. This is a family event with music, food and
fun...including food booths, a rock climb,
kids activities, nature hikes, jumping booths
Log on to http:// and a beer garden. For details call Rich
kernkaweah.sierraclub.org/email.html O Neil at 706.1096.
and join the KERN-NEWS email list.
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 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, April 17—Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup. Meet at 9 a.m. Old River Road and Hwy 119 (Taft Hwy). Park at the
Monte Carlo lot. We will bring equipment. Bring a hat, good hiking shoes/boots, and water to drink. Inclement weather
cancels this event. Call to confirm your attendance:
661.246.6195.

Saturday, May 1—Sea Turtle Ecology. Inez Devlin-Kelly, Professor of Biology at Bakersfield College and Levan
Scholarship winner will discuss “The Ecology of Sea Turtles: Requiem or Hope?” Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun
Avenue at the corner of Truxtun and Westwind, just west of Oak St. Optional brunch is served for $7.58/person + tip. Info:
661.246.6195.

Saturday, May 15—Highway Clean-up. Adopt-A-Highway cleanup: Meet at Old River Road and Hwy 119 (Taft Hwy).
Park at the Monte Carlo lot at 9 a.m.. We will bring equipment. We recommend that you bring a hat, good hiking shoes/
boots, and water to drink. Inclement weather cancels this event. Call to confirm your attendance: 661.246.6195.

Saturday, June 5—Brunch with Bee Expert. Joe Traynor will present "Current problems with bees; comments on the
health benefits of honey." Traynor is the owner-manager of Scientific Ag Co. doing agricultural consulting and brokering of
bee rentals. Camino Real Restaurant, 3500 Truxtun Avenue at the corner of Truxtun and Westwind, just west of Oak St.
Optional brunch is served for $7.58/person + tip. Info: 661.246.6195.

Saturday, June 19—Highway Clean up. Adopt-A-Highway cleanup at 9 a.m. Follow same directions as for May 15.

BVG Recycles—Bring your household batteries to our meetings, and we’ll recycle them for you.

Also, visit our Facebook page at:


http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sierra-Club-Buena-Vista-Group/359839178824?v=wall&ref=mf
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010

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

Saturday, April 24—Carrizo Plain Trip. Hawks? Condors? Antelopes? Flowers? and Earthquake Faults for sure on a trip
to the Carrizo Plain. Approximately an hour west of Pine Mountain Club. Easy walking, bring lunch, etc. Leaving PMC at
9 a.m. More info? For sure make reservations. Call 661.242.0432

Saturdays, May 22-June 26— Wildflower Hikes.


Destinations to be determined by blooming site.
Call for information as the day approaches.
prepare to meet at 8 a.m. at the Pine Mountain
Clubhouse parking lot. Call 661.242.0432 for
more information.

Saturday, June 5—Tracking Local Animals. A talk


about behavior and biology and basics of tracking by
Jim Lowery, a local naturalist and nationally-known
tracking instructor. Lowery is also the author of
The Tracker’s Field Guide. Meet in the Pool Pavilion
Room, PMC Clubhouse, at 6 p.m. for the potluck and
7 p.m. program. Please bring your table settings a
a dish to share.

Saturday, July 24—Traditional Peak-to-Peak Hike.


From Mt. Pinos to Cerro Noroeste, this hike is six to
seven miles. Meet at 8 a.m. at the Pine Mountain IN BLOOM: Bush lupine among tiny gold owers,
Clubhouse parking lot. This hike is strenuous. owls clover, phacelia, and an occasional India
paintbrush made a stunning appearance around
Sunday Morning Strolls. These start the first Sunday in Easter weekend on Highway 58 west of Carrizo Plain.
May continuing till the end of August. These are short Photographers and others made the trek om a
walks in the neighborhood of PMC, usually one hour directions to see vivid displays. Photo/Marjorie Be
in length. Meet at 8 a.m. at the PMC Clubhouse. Children
accompanied by adults are welcomed.

All-Day Tracking Class: We are planning an all-day tracking class with James Lowery, author of The Tracker’s Field
Guide. Our plan is to meet sometimes on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday in June, the exact date yet to be determined.
The location for the class will be the Frazier Mountain Pine Mountain Club area. The cost: $57 per person. If you are
interested in participating and have questions, please call Mary Ann Lockhart at 661.242.0432 as soon as possible.

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

Wednesday, June 16—Potluck in Zalud Park. Join us at 6 p.m. Bring a favorite dish. Iced tea will be provided. Call
Pam for more info.

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.
Monday, April 26—Desert Microbial Life Matters. At 7:30 p.m. Jane McEwan will share her photographs as well as
photomicrographs taken by Wayne Lanier, PhD. They have been investigating microbial mats growing in Poison Canyon.
The microbial mats are highly photosynthetic producing oxygen and carbohydrates.They are the foundation of the food
chain, providing food and shelter for brine fly larvae, which are eaten by kildeer that live in the canyon. Maturango
Museum.
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010
Monday, May 24—Steve Smith Program. 7:30 p.m. Steve Smith will present a program on his recent trip to China,
Borneo and Hainan Island. Maturango Museum.

Saturday, June 12—Cottonwood 6th and 7th Lakes. We will hike to the 6th Lake just under the precipitous S wall of mt.
Langley. Climbing to the west, we will check out the ephemeral 7th. Good workout, not too steep but really bracing warm-
up for summer. Meet June 12 at 7 a.m. at the Ridgecrest Cinema parking lot. For more info, call Dennis or Jim (numbers
above).

MINERAL KING
Please visit mineralking.sierraclub.org for more info. Also find Mineral King Group on Facebook!
Tuesday Evening Conditioning Walks. During April, May and June we will be doing conditioning walks in Visalia at 6:30
p.m. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078 for details.

Saturday, April 17—Earth Day Event. Come join us at Visalia's Earth Day event. Mineral KIng Group will have a booth
which will be located at the Golden West High School parking lot from 11 am to 1 p.m. Volunteers and volunteer teams are
also invited to participate in the "St. Johns River Clean Up Event." Come out and join a team, or bring your own "Green
Team" to the registration booth at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 17 at the Ross and Vallarta's parking lot near the corner of Hwy
63 (Dinuba Hwy) and Riggin Ave.

Wednesday, April 21— Dinner/Social. Please join us at 6 p.m. for a "no host" dinner at Panera Bread Café, 4103 S.
Mooney Blvd., Visalia. Contact Beverly for information at bev.garcia@kernkaweah.sierraclub.or or 559.624.0199.

Monday, April 26 —Executive Committee Meeting. This is the business meeting where we plan our events, goals, and
activities. All Sierra Club members are welcome. Please call Bev at 559.624.0199 to attend. Location: Colima's Restaurant
on Noble Ave, in the former Von's shopping center (on Noble in Visalia near Roller Towne)

Saturday, May 1—Easy Hike. Come join us on an easy 3.5 mile round-trip hike to beautiful Tokepah Falls in Sequoia
National Park. We will have a potluck picnic after the hike. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078 for details.

Monday, May 24—Executive Committee Meeting. (See description under Monday, April 26. All are welcome.)

Saturday, June 12 —Moderate Hike. We will hike eight miles round-trip to Mist Falls out of Cedar Grove in Kings
Canyon National Park. This is a moderately difficult hike. It will be important to have adequate water and good hiking
boots. Call Joanne or David at 733.2078 for details.

June 26: Paradise Peak-Mineral King Hike. This is a strenuous hike of just under 10 miles round trip with 3000 foot
elevation gain. The hike will pass through the Atwell Grove of giant Sequoias and lead to the top of Paradise Peak (elev.
9400 ft.) for nice views of the Great Western Divide. For more information contact Dave Keller at 688.4813 or
COACHK24@aol.com.

Find the Mineral King Group on Facebook! Sierra Club Mineral King Group has a new Facebook page! Visit our page
for up-to-date information on outings, social events, and our conservation efforts in Tulare and Kings Counties.
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010

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.

Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25—Owens Valley Work Project. Project will probably be bashing tamarisk along the Owens River, but
could change. Work on Saturday and enjoy the extensive birding opportunities on Sunday. Camp at Diaz Lake just south of Lone Pine.
Group potluck on Saturday night Bring all camping gear, or stay in a motel in nearby Lone Pine. For more information, contact
leaders Cal and Letty French at lettyfrench@gmail.com Santa Lucia Chapter and CNRCC Desert Committee

Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25—Exploring the Mojave National Preserve. We will meet Saturday morning 9 a.m. at the Teutonia
Peak trailhead on Cima Road and hike to Teutonia Peak and out on Cima Dome. Primitive car camp at Sunrise Rock. Sunday morning,
visit the museum/visitor center at Kelso Depot and then on to hike Kelso Dunes. These dunes have various nicknames including the
singing dunes and the moaning dunes due to the sounds that they often make, but whatever you call then, they are impressive. For those
who want to spend another night, we can camp at the Granite Mountains. For reservations contact leader: Carol Wiley at 760.245.8734 or
desertlily1@verizon.net CNRCC Desert Committee

Saturday-Sunday, April 24-25—Rock Art in Eastern California. Comfortable spring weather is an ideal time to go exploring. On
Saturday, we visit three rock art sites in the southern Owens Valley area bordering the Coso Mountains. On Sunday we will be escorted to
(the astonishing) Little Petroglyph Canyon on the China Lake Naval Weapons Station. As government restrictions apply here, all
arrangements and confirmations must be completed by April 1 (no joking). High clearance 2WD sufficient, day hiking, Saturday evening
potluck. Group limit, 14 participants, Contact leader Craig Deutsche at 310.77.6670, craig.deutsche@gmail.com. CNRCC Desert
Committee

Friday-Sunday, April 30-May 2—Kingston Mountains Wilderness Restoration. We will assist the BLM in restoring a cultural site in
this wilderness area just a little north of Mojave National Preserve. Meet mid-afternoon Friday and car-caravan on gravel roads to the
campsite. Work will end around lunchtime on Sunday. Bring camping gear, work gloves and clothing for a range of temperatures from
very cold to very hot. Central Commissary available ($15), otherwise participants are responsible for their own food. Leader: Vicky
Hoover 415.977.5527, vicky.hoover@sierraclub.org, or co-lead Carol Wiley 760.245.8734. CNRCC Wilderness Committee & Mojave
Group

Saturday-Sunday, May 1-2—Fence Removal, Hiking, & Carcamp. To allow pronghorn antelope greater mobility on the Carrizo Plain
we will help remove fences left from earlier ranching days. Weather may be warm, flowers may, or may not, be still blooming. Work
Saturday, camp and potluck dinner that evening. Hike Sunday. Leaders will be at Selby Camp on Friday night for those who want to arrive
early. More information from leaders: Cal and Letty French, (805.239.7338). Prefer e-mail lettyfrench@gmail.com. Santa Lucia Chapter,
CNRCC Desert Committee, and Los Padres ForestWatch

Saturday-Sunday, May 1-2—Lone Pine Lake, Alabama Hills & Manzanar. Join us at our beautiful creekside camp in the high desert
near Lone Pine. On Sat, we'll hike a moderate 6 mi rt, 1600' gain from Whitney Portal to beautiful Lone Pine Lake, followed by Happy
Hour, a potluck feast and campfire. On Sun, we'll caravan to Manzanar, the WWII Japanese internment camp to visit the museum with its
moving tribute to the internees held there during the war. Group size strictly limited. Send $8 per person (Sierra Club), 2 large SASE,
H&W phones, email, rideshare info to Ldr: Lygeia Gerard, P.O. Box 294726, Phelan, CA 92329, 760.868.2179. CNRCC Desert
Committee

Saturday-Monday, May 15-17--Service and Hiking in the Bright Star. This little known Wilderness Area (northeast Ridgecrest, CA)
climbs from riparian canyons, to sagebrush hills, to pinyon and ponderosa forests. Our first day will be spent helping Marty Dickes from
the BLM in monitoring and signing a small northern unit of this wilderness. The next day we’ll work along the interior Open Vehicle
Corridor. On the third day, those that can stay, will take a long, loop hike in one of the riparian canyons and then over the highlands. More
info and sign-up with leader Craig Deutsche, at 310.477.6670 or at craig.deutsche@gmail.com CNRCC Desert Com

Saturday-Monday, May 29-31--Birch Canyon Backpack and Dayhike. Birch Canyon descends through a steep and narrow canyon
into the Hammil Valley north of Bishop. We’ll backpack to the mouth of the canyon on Saturday and spend Sunday exploring upstream,
returning on Monday by the route we came in on. Participants are responsible for their own meals. Leader: John Wilkinson at
johnfw1mac.com or at 408.876.8295. CNRCC Desert Committee

Saturday-Monday, May 29-31—Death Valley Wilderness Restoration. Help with wilderness restoration in the Panamint Mountain
area of the park. Continuation of the clean up of mining debris from a site in between Middle and South Park as well as a couple of
wilderness restoration of old roads and cleaning up of trash at Madeline’s cabin in South Park. We will meet Saturday at noon, car caravan
to the campsite and begin some of the cleanup. Work Sunday and half a day on Monday. Happy hour/potluck Sunday night. Bring work
gloves, camping equipment, and food and water for the weekend. Leader: Kate Allen, kj.allen@wildblue.net, (661.944.4056). CNRCC
Desert Committee
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010

SOMEWHAT BRIEFLY: FONTAINE’S NEW BOOK: Retired Kern County science


teacher and past national Sierra Club president Joe Fontaine has
EXTINCTION CRISIS CONFERENCE: This symposium is completed his new book about the Kern Plateau. The title is The
an all-day topical immersion on Friday, May 28 (from 9 Kern Plateau and Gems of the Southern Sierra. All of the areas
a.m.-3:30 p.m. at the Telluride Conference Center in Colorado. in his book are located in Kern County.
It includes presentations, panel discussions and audience Q&A. Of particular interest to locals should be Fontaine’s history of
Admission includes lunch from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Other events the campaigns and successes of the Sierra Club and especially
follow during the weekend. the Kern Kaweah Chapter. The book can be viewed at
Festival Director David Holbrooke says, “The statistics are www.AtlasBooks.com and purchased on-line for $24.95.It is
staggering. We’re currently experiencing the worst spate of also available by contacting the author at 661.821.2055 or
species die-off since the loss of dinosaurs 65 million years ago. fontaine@wildblue.com.
Some scientists predict that between 30 and 50 percent of all
species will be extinct by mid-century.” PG&E’s PROP. 16 INITIATIVE: PG&E has qualified
Symposium organizers have yet to finalize all speakers, but Proposition 16 for the June 2010 ballot using the initiative
this year’s line-up will include Greg Carr, Cristina Mittermeier, process to do exactly the opposite of what it was designed to do.
Dave Foreman, Paul Nicklen, Maya Lin, Rick Ridgeway, The California Legislature enacted the modern day initiative
Thomas Lovejoy and Joel Sartore. To learn more about the process in 1911 as part of a package of reforms that were
symposium, go to: http://www.mountainfilm.org/festival/2010/ designed to protect the people of California from the unchecked
symposium.asp To learn about Mountainfilm, go to: http:// power of a major corporation.
www.mountainfilm.org/tv/ Prop. 16 uses the initiative process to solidify the monopoly
power of one company at the expense of California citizens.
CHANNEL ISLANDS: The Angeles Chapter Political Specifically, the measure requires local governments to obtain
Committee is again extending an invitation for Sierra Club the approval of two-thirds of voters before providing electricity
members to explore the windswept islands of Channel Island to new customers or expanding service to new territories if any
National Park during one or more of the upcoming sessions (May public funds or bonds are involved. The measure would make it
7-9, July 16-19, August 6-10 or Sept. 10-12). very difficult for local communities to switch from PG&E and
The fee is $590 for May and September; $785 for July and other investor-owned utilities (IOUs) to municipal-owned
August. For reservations, mail a $100 check, payable to Sierra utilities (MUNIs) which have been proven to have cheaper rates.
Club to: Joan Jones Holtz and Don Holtz, 11826 The Wye St., El To date, PG&E has been the sole contributor to the Yes on
Monte, CA 91732. Prop. 16 political action committee (PAC)—contributing a total
For more information: 626.443.0706: jholtzhln@aol.com of $19 million to support the measure as of March 9, 2010.
California lawmakers and energy experts blasted Prop. 16 at a
BLACK BEAR TASK FORCE: The Sierra Club filed a letter legislative hearing held at the Capitol last month with many
in March opposing a California Department of Fish and Game participants using harsh and colorful language to describe the
(DFG) proposal to expand the use of dogs by bear hunters. If measure.
approved, the DFG proposal will increase the hounding of bears City and County Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi said he was
by dog packs, as well as expand black bear hunting into San Luis amazed at the “brazen arrogance” of PG&E in submitting Prop.
Obispo County and other areas of the state. It will remove the 16 and compared the company to the tobacco industry in the
current 1,700 season limit of bears “harvested,” and allow an 1990s when they said “smoking is good for you.”
unlimited number of bears to be killed by California hunters Assembly member Mark Leno (D) was highly critical of the
during bear season, which usually runs concurrently with deer measure and said he thought it was “astounding” that the
hunting season. California Chamber of Commerce would support a measure that
The Sierra Club has called upon the Commission to adopt would limit competition in the energy markets.
regulations that require dogs be in the physical control of hunters John L. Geesman, former chair of the California Energy
at all times, as required by the Fish and Game Code. Commission, urged lawmakers to “do what you can to put this
We strongly oppose uncontrolled hounding of bears, a practice mongrel down.”
which results in gruesome injuries to bears and dogs. DFG On its face, Prop. 16 may appear to some voters to benefit
regulations make it a crime to hunt cubs and mother bears. The them by setting a higher bar, namely requiring a new two-thirds
uncontrolled packs of hounds do not read or follow those rules. vote requirement for the use of taxpayer funds; however, a closer
When a mother bear stands and fights to protect her clubs, dogs examination of the measure reveals that Prop. 16 is not really
may be seriously injured or killed. about protecting taxpayers at all.
The DFG proposal will allow the use of GPS devices and tip- —Adapted from an article from Kersten Communications
switches. The tip switches signal the hunters that a bear has been A Public Policy Research & Analysis Company
treed. The hunters follow the GPS signals to the dogs and shoot research@kerstencommunications.com
the terrified bear out of the tree.
Hounding places dogs, bears, and other forest animals such as TULARE COUNTY GENERAL PLAN UPDATE: The
endangered species like the Pacific Fisher at risk. The use of revision of the Tulare County General Plan of 2008 has been
dogs to hunt bears is the favored method of bear poachers, released on March 25 as the Tulare County 2030 General Plan
legitimizing hounding will lead to more poaching. Allowing Update with a new draft IREIR. The revision, which is 2200
dogs and bears to fight is illegal under the state’s animal cruelty pages long, is available for public examination up to May 27 on
laws. Californians should not get an exemption to these laws by the Tulare County website. For more detail about the updated
buying a hunting license. plan, feel free to contact Peter or Carole Clum at 599.561.4661.
—Richard J. Garcia, Sierra Club-CNRCC —Peter Clum
Chair Black Bear Task Force Mineral King Group, Chapter ExCom Member
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010

MIDGEBUZZINGS
Throughout this year’s shadowed and rainy winter, I reached the point where tolerance ends and pessimism sets
in. In early March my nectarine tree bloomed more extravagantly than ever in glorious defiance of the soggy
weather, but still the wet and overcast days came on, and with them my increasing gloom. Checking the tree
every day, I could see only a solitary bee here and there, and then only in the brief rainless moments we were
afforded. Clearly few bees meant a meager crop, if any. Instead of being encouraged by the abundant blossoms, I
saw them as beautiful but barren. Inclined to worst case scenarios, I envisioned trouble for growers all over the
valley and a crash in the agricultural market.
In the meantime the national news grew grimmer and seemingly more hopeless every day, with a level of
violence and verbal vitriol unprecedented in my lifetime. The old “hell in a hand basket” cliché haunted me,
though more cheerful friends presented plenty of evidence to the contrary. I have to admit that in those
conversations I resembled the grandfather in the tale of Peter and the Wolf. All through the story he admonished
his optimistic grandson with repeated predictions of doom. And even when Peter succeeded in his triumphant
capture of the ferocious wolf, the grandfather had the last word: “This is all very well. But what if you hadn’t
caught him? What then?”
As if in divine rebuke of this soul-curdling pessimism, the first really sunny day did come, and walking out to
the nectarine tree I was surprised to find multitudes of thin, green extensions from the centers of the withered
blossoms, and with them the promise of an abundant crop. I must say that I had the grace to rejoice in this
evidence of the failure of my doomsday thesis. Such defeats can be precious.
Then on a glorious day Margie Bell and I set out, on the advice of a friend, to find wildflowers along Shell
Road, just 16 miles this side of Santa Margarita on Highway 58. It was a gorgeous experience from start to finish,
and I want to share the route with those who may not know it.
After Buttonwillow, just as you reach McKittrick, turn right at the Santa
Margarita sign and proceed upwards into those low mountains of the ever
fascinating Temblor Range. In our case on that bright April morning, there
was nothing but beauty from the beginning of the ascent. We stopped by a
vast green field to delight in a flock of sheep and listen to the bellwether’s
music, and then proceeded through rich displays of owl’s clover, phacelia,
lupine, poppies and the bright ground covering waves of yellow flowers
that nobody can name and that define those hills every spring. After miles
of rich pastures and trees just leafing out and grazing cattle, the sign for
Shell Road appeared on the right. Painters and photographers were there
ahead of us, as well as others just looking. And yet, there was no sense
whatever of crowding. We found a place above a small running stream for a picnic, and continued to celebrate
every moment of our time there.
For those who may not know that route to the coast, I think it only fair to warn that in summer it can be rather a
bleak journey, all hot and brown. But consider, as I now do, that the amazing versatility of the area can be a living
metaphor for the rise and fall of ecstasy and despair in human experience, and keep it in mind as a balm for hard
times to come.

—Ann Williams

Photos/Marjorie Bell
THE ROADRUNNER MAY/JUNE, 2010

ATTENTION STUDENTS NonProt Org.


Sierra Club fosters the involvement of youth
in today’s critical issues through the Sierra
The Roadrunner U.S. POSTAGE
Student Coalition (SSC), an on-line 2815 La Cresta Dr. PAID
community offering information about issues, Bakerseld, CA 933051718 Permit No. 498
newsletters, and connections with activists Bakerseld, CA
throughout the country as well as guides to
outings and meetings worldwide. Students
can enjoy being part of an enthusiastic team
that’s working to preserve and protect the
Earth and its wildlife.
Of special interest are one-week summer
leadership grassroots training programs in
various locations, including Washington State
(June 14-21), Texas (July 18-25), Alabama
(July 25-Aug. 1) Louisiana (Aug. 8-15), and
Virginia (July 10-18). Skills include learning
team building, strategic campaign planning,
communication skills, and grassroots tactics.
Costs for the programs (all-inclusive for on-
site activities) are between $250-$450
depending on family circumstance and
income. Early bird registration before May 15
allows a $50 discount. The trip to the program
would be an extra cost. Our local Kern-
Kaweah Chapter may be able to help
financially as well as other community groups
or businesses.
Applications for summer training programs
are available at the SSC website at
www.ssc.org.
Information about SSC and its other
activities is also available at the above
website.

STAYING INFORMED:
Join our KERNNEWS & KERN FORUM email lists
at: http://kernkaweah.sierraclub.org
Submit articles your own or others 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.

Executive Committee of the Kern-Kaweah Chapter


Chair: Georgette Theotig (Tehachapi), 661.822.4371. Vice-chair: Gordon Nipp (Bksf), 661.872.2432. Secretary:
Ara Marderosian (Kernville), 760.378.4574. 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. Chapter ExCom Meetings: All Sierra Club
members are always welcome to attend these meetings. Call 661.822.4371 to confirm all meeting dates as well
as location and time.