For some, January is a time to hibernate from the cold and ease slowly into the new year. Again, that’s true for some folks, but certainly not for Sierrans.
2014’s first edition of Footnotes online is full of events, outings, and meetings to add to your calendar. Sierrans are hard at work and determined to make sure that 2014 means more exploring, enjoying, and protecting special places in North Carolina. The only question is: are you ready to join us?
We hope so.
Your staff at the NC Sierra Club
Local Group Tackles Statewide Issue
On Thursday, February 13, the Sierra Club’s newly revived Headwaters Group in Durham will hold a forum addressing concerns about water quality and the evolving role DENR is playing in the McCrory administration. The meeting will be held at the South Branch of the Durham Library (map) at 7:00 pm.
We know Sierrans care about clean water. Everyone does. But is there really a need for a forum on DENR and water? Yes. Yes there is.
Over the last three years DENR has experienced staff and funding cuts. At the same time, the water quality section of DENR has been reorganized and merged with the Division of Water Resources. The Department has become greatly politicized with a large expansion of at-will jobs. And last year DENR rejected two EPA grants totaling nearly $600,000 for water and wetlands research.
The Headwaters Group will host a panel of former DENR employees with expertise in water quality to address these questions and more.
The Only Real Science that Jordan Lake Might See for a While
If you missed the Op-Ed that Dr. Ken Reckow co-authored for the News & Observer last summer, you missed the chance to hear from a scientist who cares passionately about protecting the lake. And he’s not alone. Thousands of Sierrans took action last year to help protect the Jordan Lake Rules. Dr. Reckow wasn’t alone then and he certainly won’t be alone on February 8 when he leads an educational hike along the lake’s New Hope Overlook Trail.
Group size for the educational hike is limited. So, if you are interested in going on a 2.7 miles hike with moderately challenging hills, sweeping views of the lake, mature hardwood forests, groves of mountain laurel, lush creek crossings and a variety of wildflowers and ferns, you should probably RSVP on the Capital Group’s Meetup page at: http://www.meetup.com/Sierra-Club-Capital-Group/events/159641642/
Dr. Ken Reckhow is a Professor Emeritus at Duke University in the Nicholas School of the Environment. During his 30-year tenure as a Professor at Duke, Dr. Reckhow taught courses course on water and the environment, published two books and wrote over 100 papers, principally on water quality modeling, monitoring, and pollutant loading analysis, with a focus on uncertainty, risk, and decision analysis.
So he knows his stuff. Click here to join the discussion about the uncertain future of the lake.
If you want to do your homework before the hike, here are a couple of articles to get you started.
Fifty and Looking Better Than Ever: Wilderness Act
On September 3, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the bill creating the National Wilderness Preservation System (NWPS) protecting an initial 9.1 million acres for the American people. The original pact set aside 13,400 acres in North Carolina to create Shining Rock Wilderness and 7,655 acres as Linville Gorge Wilderness. Revisions to the bill in 1975 brought in an additional 18,600 acres.
With strong support from the NC Sierra Club, the NC Wilderness Act was passed on June 19, 1984, bringing in a whopping 68,700 acres of designated wilderness and preserving an additional 25,816 acres as wilderness study areas. Today, North Carolina protects nearly 130,000 acres in 12 Wilderness Areas across the state.
We think that’s worth celebrating – all year long! Watch for more information and special events around the state to recognize these wild areas in NC and the people who help protect them. If you have a suggestion, a story or photo to share, or if you’d like to help plan the party, contact Nancy Card at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Outings & Events
January 16 – 7:00 pm – Capital Group Meeting on the EPA Carbon Rules – Raleigh, NC
Guest speaker Jeremy M. Tarr from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions will provide an overview of these EPA regulations and other critical issues. Then, Harvey Richmond will review actions you can take to support strong and fair EPA rules.
Doors open 6:30 pm, program starts at 7:00 pm and refreshments at 8:30 pm. In case of inclement weather, check Facebook page for Capital Group Sierra Club. Location: Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh, 3313 Wade Avenue, Raleigh, NC (map)
January 18 – 3:00 pm – Outing: Crowders Mt. Pinnacle & Ridgeline Trails – Kings Mountain, NC
This is a moderately strenuous 8.4 mile hike on the Pinnacle and Ridgeline trails. The first 2 miles will be from the Visitor Center to the Pinnacle. This will be the most strenuous part of the hike and will include a 920 foot elevation gain. Then we will follow the Ridgeline trail south 6.2 miles to the Boulders Access Area at the southern end of the park. Hikers should be fit and capable of hiking 8.4 miles including a 920 foot elevation gain. We will meet at Crowders at 9:00 am and should be finished by 4:00 pm including breaks and shuttling between start and end points. Limit 15.
Contact David Underwood at email@example.com or 704-675-2390.
January 19 – 2:00 – 4:00 pm – Outing: Wetland walk on Raleigh’s Walnut Creek Trail – Raleigh, NC
Enjoy a brisk walk on a flat, paved trail through a wetland, approximately 1.5 miles each way and only 2 miles from downtown Raleigh. Outing begins and ends at Walnut Creek Wetland Center, located at the corner of State Street and Peterson Street in Raleigh. Participants are invited to view exhibits at Wetland Center before or after trail walk. Dress to be outdoors and wear comfortable broken-in walking shoes or hiking boots, no special equipment or skills needed.
January 29 – 4:30 pm & 6:00 pm – NC Museum of Natural Sciences Research Collection Tour
Because we can only accommodate a small group at a time, we will offer this tour twice, once at 4:30 pm and again at 6:00 pm, please select which time suits you better.
View prepared fish and mollusk specimens in a one hour tour of the NC Museum of Natural Sciences Research Laboratory. Scientists use the approximately 3 million specimens in this collection for identification and comparison purposes. Facility is located at 1671 Gold Star Drive off Reedy Creek Road, across the street from the National Guard entrance, and sharing the same gate with Prairie Ridge Ecostation. Not physically strenuous, wear shoes comfortable for walking and standing, no special equipment or skills needed.
January 31 - February 2 - Overnight Outing:Trayfoot Mountain and Black Rock – Virginia
Rated strenuous for elevation and potential weather conditions. The trailhead is located on the Skyline Drive at MP 85 north of Waynesboro and east of Grottoes, VA. About 3 ½ hours from Greensboro.
Trayfoot Mt. is the second highest peak in SNP’s South District and Black Rock is close to the Skyline Drive. The trip is weather dependent. There is almost certain to be snow on the ground in the area and at this elevation. We access the trailhead on the Skyline Drive, which can be closed for weather conditions. Group size is limited depending on experience of participants. More information at http://nc2.sierraclub.org/outing/trayfoot-mtblack-rock
$25 per person required and is refundable-at-the-trailhead. For information, contact Jerry Weston at firstname.lastname@example.org or 336-856-1431. Telephone calls before 9:00 pm please.
February 8 – 10:00 am – Outing: Jordan Lake Hike and Educational Outing – Jordan Lake
Join the Capital Group for a short but somewhat strenuous hike at Jordan Lake’s New Hope Overlook trail. The hike covers the Blue Trail which is 2.7 miles long. This is the most challenging trail with several steep hills. Hikers will enjoy sweeping views of the lake, mature hardwood forests, groves of mountain laurel, lush creek crossings and a variety of wildflowers and ferns. Dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy hiking boots, and bring water.
A thoughtful discussion on the controversial Jordan Lake cleanup project will be led by Dr. Ken Reckhow, Professor Emeritus at Duke University in the Nicholas School of the Environment.
Click here for more information. Registration required. Group size is limited.
February 12 – 4:00 – Outing: 2nd Wednesday Winter Hike Series – NC Botanical Gardens – Chapel Hill, NC
Enjoy a 3-mile, fast-paced hike on footpaths through meadows and hilly woodlands right in the heart of Chapel Hill. The group will trek through a former golf course green given back to nature and stop to see a wonderful bird blind built by local birding enthusiasts. We start promptly at 4:00 pm finish before sunset. Group size is limited to 12 participants. Sorry, no pets. Advance registration required. For more information and to register, contact Jae at SeeingTrees@gmail.com.
Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.