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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Michigan Chapter Update - April 19, 2015

Michigan Chapter Update
April 19, 2015

In this Issue:

  • Celebrate 45 years of Earth Day by Taking Action!
  • Sign Up NOW for Citizen Lobby Day on May 6th
  • Sierra Club Protecting the Au Sable River from Fish Farm
  • Urge Your Lawmaker to Oppose "No Stricter Than Federal" Bill
  • Explore and Enjoy! Holly State Recreation Area

    Celebrate 45 years of Earth Day by Taking Action!

    Celebrate EARTH DAY with
    Sierra Club all year long! 
    April 19th at 1:00 pm: DetroitGreen Infrastructure Bike Tour,
    Meet at Rivard Plaza, 1340 East Atwater St.  Southeast Michigan Group and
    Great Lakes Program outing
    April 21st at 7:30 pm: Ann Arbor:"Alternate Energy: The Data and the How", Mathaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N Dixsboro Rd. Huron Valley Group program
    April 22nd at 5:30 pm, Detroit:   Growing Detroit: An Earth Day Conversation about Detroit's Future, Wayne County Community College District, 1001 W. Fort St. RSVP here.  Find details here.

    April 25th at 10:00 am, Detroit: Rain Barrels on the RiverfrontRivard Plaza, 1340 E. Atwater St. Sign up for the event or pre-purchase your rain barrel here
    April 25th at 10:00 am, FlushingNature Hike at Flushing Township Park, 8301 N. McKinley Rd. Nepessing Group outing 

    May 3rd at 2:00 pm, Williamston: "Spring Frogs and Identifying Their Calls" McGrath's Nature Discovery Center, 5900 N. Williamston Rd. Crossroads Group
    May 22nd - 25th, North Manitou Island, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: Service outing sponsored by the Crossroads Group, reservation required.
    On April 22, 1970, millions of Americans gathered across the country for teach-ins and protests to demand a clean environment at the first Earth Day. That amazing effort kicked off 45 years of environmental protections, but today serious problems remain and huge issues like climate change loom large. There is no better time than the present to take your passion for the environment and turn it into action!
    In the box at right are Sierra Club activities in April and May in Michiganthat will inspire and engage you,whether you are looking to talk with elected officials at our Citizen Lobby Day or spend a few days in the wilderness.
    Another great way to honor both Earth Day and someone you admire is to give aCommemorative Gift to Sierra Club Michigan Chapter in their honor. What better way to show you care than by supporting the environmental advocacy work of the Michigan Chapter in the name of someone you care for! Find out more here.
    Sierra Club volunteers meet with Rep. LaVoy
    Representative Bill LaVoy (second from left) meets
    with Sierra Club Citizen Lobbyists Mitchell Barrows,
    Robert Gordon and Bill Gittlen to talk about clean

    Sign Up Now: Citizen Lobby Day on May 6th

    Sierra Club will host our first Citizen Lobby Day of the year on May 6th. This unique and exciting event involves dozens of Club members and supporters who converge on Lansing to educate lawmakers about important environmental issues. You'll have fun meeting your legislators and kindred spirits, like the folks in the photo meeting State Rep. Bill LaVoy. On May 6th, we will discuss the benefits of clean energy and the dangers of fracking with lawmakers. 
    Pre-registration for Lobby Day is required. Find more info on the event and sign up here!

    Sierra Club: Protecting the Au Sable River as Trout Season Opens

    Marvin Roberson, Forest EcologistMarvin Roberson leads the
    Sierra Club's work to protect
    the Au Sable River
    Michigan's Trout season opens on the last Saturday of April, which this year falls on April 25. Thousands of anglers and river enthusiasts will celebrate by getting out onto Michigan’s fabled trout streams.
    This year, the Sierra Club will be celebrating by continuing our efforts to protect the most storied of those rivers, the Au Sable.
    Almost defying belief, there is a proposal to place an industrial fish farm right in the middle of the Au Sable River, just above the section known as the "Holy Waters". The permit for this facility will allow discharge of effluent, nutrients, disease, and whole fish into the Au Sable. Sierra Club has filed suit to stop this facility.
    We are asking for outright denial of the permit which was granted to this facility. Simply put, we do not believe that a facility of this type belongs in a river of this quality, and we do not think that any modifications to a permit can change that.
    The Au Sable is world famous, and justifiably so. Thousands of people come to this magnificent river annually to reconnect with nature, and it deserves better than to be turned into a factory farm. Sierra Club is working to assure that the river gets the protection it deserves.
    Lansing Needs to Protect Michigan's Environment

    Does Your Lawmaker Think Michigan Should Be No Better than the Rest?

    Michigan is surrounded by 20 percent of the earth's fresh surface water supply. But some state representatives want to pass House Bill 4246 which weakens protection for the Great Lakes and all aspects of Michigan’s environment.
    This bill would prohibit the governor and his/her agencies from issuing any rule that is more protective than federal law. In effect it says there is nothing special about Michigancompared with any other state in the union and takes away the governor's power to protect clean air and water. 

    Explore and Enjoy! Holly State Recreation Area

    Sandhill cranes at Holly Recreation Area
    Sandhill cranes on the ice at Holly
    Recreation Area in 2014
           photo by Rebecca Hammond
    Sierra Club is committed to "exploring, enjoying and protecting the planet." The Michigan Chapter Update includes features on exploring and enjoying places in Michigan. Rebecca Hammond brings another great introduction to a wonderful place in Michigan: this time Holly State Recreation Area in northwest Oakland County.  
    Holly State Recreation Area might be Michigan's best-kept secret. A big state park within easy driving distance of both Flint and Detroit, it has a number of small lakes, a nice (and sometimes challenging) trail system, two rental cabins, a beach with amenities on another lake, good fishing, and the best turtle population I've ever enjoyed.
    Holly is our favorite local hike, and a good place to paddle, especially when the sun is going
    Tiny Turtle at Holly Recreation Area
    Tiny turtle at Holly Recreation Area
                         photo by Rebecca Hammond
    down. Silence settles, and wildlife emerges. You can hike all afternoon there, given the size of the trail system, and if you campthere, you can hit the trails right from the campground. There's canoe and kayak rental as well. A tiring (for us) but satisfying day is a picnic, a paddle, and a hike. I once saw, in the evening, something I later read about (or would think I hallucinated it): mice running in circles, playing, maybe two dozen, in and out of the grass, crossing the trail, jumping. The anecdote I read took place in Maine and described an estimated 500.
    Giving back at a place like Holly (as you're completing the circle of exploring, enjoying, and protecting) might mean pulling garlic mustard. I've been both horrified at the amount, and amazed that two people over a few years could make a difference. Garlic mustard is a tame plant brought here from Europe, and stayed contained for a very long time. Its roots secrete a chemical that makes it hard for other plants to compete. Pulling even a little makes a big difference, even if you pull it after the seeds fell.
    Know what else makes you feel you contributed and didn't just benefit? Taking a roll of TP and leaving it in one of the outhouses (usually stocked, not always.)
    Here are Some Great Ways to Support Sierra Club Michigan Chapter and Get Engaged!
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    We welcome feedback on the Michigan Chapter Update - Contact us at michigan.chapter@sierraclub.org.

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