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HOG WARS: Dispatches from the Front Lines
By Craig Volland
First the Good News. Hodgeman County voted down corporate hog facilities by a vote of 551 to 529. This vote, which was held April 1, has survived a recount and a ruling in the local court. This is another great victory for Kansas citizens who refuse to knuckle under to Big Ag's plan to turn rural America into a sacrifice zone for unsustainably produced food exports. As was the case in the Osborne County vote last fall, members of Stewards of the Land visited Hodgeman County to help out before the vote. According to data compiled by the Kansas Rural Center, the total corporate hog vote in 19 Kansas Counties since 1994 is 47,657 NO and only 13584 YES. Somebody should have gotten the message by now.
Now the Bad News. Our friends Gene and Sue Yoder of Hutchinson, KS. report that KDHE has just issued a water pollution control permit to C.B. Showalter for the expansion of his hog farrowing facility which was completed several years ago. Apparently Mr. Showalter went ahead and expanded this facility, and then filed his permit application later. Some 247 concerned citizens wrote letters to KDHE asking for a public hearing, but to no avail.
KDHE issued the permit despite evidence presented in court by the highly reputable Terracon Environmental, Inc. that the facility does not meet KDHE's requirement for 10 feet of separation between the bottom of the wastewater lagoon and the water table. Terracon drilled full scale monitoring wells to determine that the separation distance from the base of the lagoon to the static water table was from 4.5 to 7.5 feet. Apparently Mr. Showalter had relied on data supplied by the Soil Conservation Service which used probes, considered by Terracon to be less accurate than monitoring wells. When asked about this on a call-in TV show, shortly before he left office, KDHE Secretary O'Connell said he didn't want to shut down the facility without evidence of groundwater contamination, according to Gene Yoder.
Evidence in this regard was presented in the ongoing litigation filed by Mr. Showalter's neighbors. The first ruling in this case held that the hog farm was a public nuisance because of odors, but only modest damages were awarded. A ruling on the water quality threat is still pending. Regardless of the outcome, Gene says he is in the process of obtaining another set of groundwater quality readings. Gene is doing everyone a big favor because this information may prove important to the current debate about seepage from confined animal wastewater lagoons in Kansas.
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Thank You, Kathy Menzie
The Newsletter Baton Gets Passed and Other Stuff
As has happened in the past and will happen in the future, the baton is passed form one volunteer to another. This time our newsletter editor Kathy Menzie is retiring from her position. Even though the Kansas Chapter does pay our newsletter editor a small fee, you would have to consider it a volunteer position given the time and effort that goes into it. Kathy did a superb job. She was in the right place at the right time, just when we needed her. Thank you, Kathy Menzie, for all your had work!
Your new newsletter editor is yours truly, at least until I come to my senses. I have decided to take on this task probably because I am a bit of a computer nut. I have wanted to combine my computer addiction with the organization of the various components of the newsletter. The challenge is always to inform our members of our legislative challenges, and to let them know how they can involve themselves in local meetings and outings. If you have a great idea of how to make the Planet Kansas more interesting to our members please call, write, fax, or email me (see page 2, lower right box). And now for the best idea Ive heard in a long time
Here is the challenge of the year
Hey, Outings Leaders!! Lend Us Your Photos!! We need more photos of our many outings. For all of you who go on outings, take along your camera and snap a few shutters. We would love to have your outings adventures in the Planet Kansas. Please include a short sentence or two describing the photo so we can include it under the photo.
Many of us are active in issues. And many of us are active in outings. Unfortunately, the issues folks are better oriented to write an article down. Unfortunately, our readers dont realize all the fun outings that we have going as well. So get those photos heading our way.
Other Thank Yous
And while Im at it, here is to all the other issues and outings volunteers who have done such a great job protecting our environment, organizing outings, setting up general meetings, and other thankless tasks all because they believe in "the cause" of protecting and enjoying the environment. It is far too seldom that your efforts are recognized. I cant begin to name even those volunteers whose efforts stand out since someone is sure to be left out. I can tell you that there are a handful of folks who work tirelessly as volunteers, who need more folks to step forward and lend a hand. You can be one of those folks who step forward to lend a hand, too. There is more work to do than can be done. Look on page 2 and 20 for your Chapter and Group leaders and tell them you are ready to lend a hand.
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Reflections of an Environmental Lobbyist on His Rookie Year
by Charles Benjamin
"Okay, so I've got this job as an environmental lobbyist. What I'll do is keep a low profile, attend committee hearings, keep my mouth shut (lest I stick my foot in it), and just do a lot of listening and learning." This was my action plan as I began my new job last January as the Sierra Club legislative coordinator. I thought that this would be a particularly promising strategy given what my predecessor, Bill Craven, had told me would be the most important issue I would deal with during the 1997 legislative session, namely keeping the coalition he had so carefully put together to revamp the Kansas threatened and endangered species act from unraveling. I was into the second week of my new job and my strategy seemed to be working. I hadn't said or done anything that would get me in trouble. Then I attended the meeting of the legislative post-audit committee when they heard from the auditors about KDHE's oversight of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs). I sat behind KDHE Secretary O'Connell and next to a reporter for the Wichita Eagle. The report was handed out and the auditors began their oral presentation. As I listened to the dry, non-emotional tones of the auditors, I rapidly leafed through the report. I found myself getting more and more outraged at what I heard and read. I kept poking the reporter and pointing out various pages of the report to him. After the session adjourned, I found myself surrounded by reporters asking for my reaction to the report. I told them the report was "the most damning report of a government agency I had ever read" and that "the people of Kansas out to be up in arms." As the reporters scribbled furiously to get down my words, I remember thinking "Well, there goes my low profile strategy." During the next couple of weeks I sent the report to anyone I could, trying to spread the word about KDHE's poor performance. I thought, naively, that legislators would be as outraged as I was and demand that KDHE do its job. Instead the response of the legislature was essentially no response. Secretary O'Connell explained to Senate and House committee members that the report indicated there were some paperwork problems at KDHE buy did not demonstrate that there was any pollution problem with CAFOs. This was followed by various agribusiness groups assuring everyone that there was no problem and no need for additional oversight. It didn't seem to make any difference if Secretary O'Connell was talking to legislative committees on agriculutre or on the environment. The response was the same. I was learning that expressing outrage was appropriate for someone in my job. This must be what Bill Craven meant when he said the job was a license to raise hell.
Just as I was getting into the groove with regard to CAFOs, H.B. 2368, suspending provisions of the Clean Water Act was introduced. For the remainder of the session I was to live, breath and think about water quality standards. Bill Craven had warned me that there would be an attempt by agribusiness and municipalities to use the triennial review of water quality standards as an opportunity to lower the standards. I found myself up against the League of Municipalities, the entire agribusiness alliance, the city of Topeka and Johnson County. It didn't take a political genius to figure out that I wasn't going to win "under the dome." I therefore decided fairly early on that I needed to take the environmental message outside the capitol. I tried to identify reporters who were environmentally friendly and explain what was going on.. I think I largely succeeded in turning this into the most important environmental issue of the session and getting our message out to the press in a positive way. However, it was still hard for me to watch as we lost overwhelmingly in the legislature.
I also decided to try to engage the Environmental Protection Agency, since KDHE officials refused to be associated with EPA for fear of a negative reaction from state legislators. I found myself becoming the main conduit of information about H.B. 2368 to the EPA. This was an awkward situation since Sierra Club and KNRC were in the middle of a lawsuit against EPA for their failure to enforce provisions of the clean water act with regard to "total maximum daily loads" in Kansas streams. I, again naively, thought that EPA would stand up to the state legislature. And for a while I thought maybe I was right. In the end I was to learn what others already knew, that EPA would cave in to political pressure, such as that brought by U.S. Senator Pat Roberts. In the end it seems that the environmental community is placed in the position of deciding whether to go to court to get the federal agency to do its job.
My low profile strategy did seem to be working out with regard to the Threatened and Endangered (T&E) Species legislation. Despite my vocal concerns over the legislative post-audit and my very strong opposition to H.B. 2368, no one wanted to take it out on me by trying to kill the T& E bill. That may be because the biggest gainers in the T&E legislation were agricultural interests, who stood to gain property tax relief from providing habitat. Even if the new T&E legislation didn't pass, there would still be the existing T&E legislation. So the burden was not on me to convince reluctant legislators to support the T&E task force recommendations. Instead, the burden was on the agricultural lobbyists to point out that the bill was good for the agricultural constituency.
I took a slightly different tack on the governor's major environmental issue of the session, a modified "brownfields" bill that formalized a pilot program already underway within KDHE to allow landowners with property containing low levels of pollution to voluntarily undertake a clean-up under KDHE supervision and then receive a letter of "no further action" in return. While there is understandable suspicion about this types of legislation, I tried to make positive suggestions in the way of adding and deleting the language of the legislation to make it more consistent and to ensure that there was a public notification and participation requirement. When the Governor's staff and I reached a stalemate over the public notification requirement we decided to let legislators decide the merits of our position. It turns out that they agreed with my view. To me this process left me feeling that I could make a positive contribution to legislation if given the opportunity.
The same can be said of legislation dealing with residential energy efficiency standards. I was able to join in a coalition of interests, such as insulators, senior citizens, consumer groups, to convince legislators that disclosure requirements should be maintained. In the end the disclosure requirements of builders of new homes with regard to compliance with the Model Energy Code were strengthened. Similarly, with respect to the Prairie Spirit Trail, I was able to work effectively with a coalition of trail supporters and convince legislators not to place a moratorium on further development of the trail. However, we were unable to convince legislators to place the trail into the state park system. I even found myself on the side of KDHE on a couple of issues, such as our opposition to making the Director of the Division of the Environment have an engineering background and our opposition to a bill to legalize the sale, possession and transport of chloroflourocarbons in Kansas. By the end of the session I felt that I was gaining some respect around the statehouse.
Coming out of the 1997 legislative session I am concerned that agribusiness interests have succeeded in taking over environmental regulation in Kansas. The newly created House Committee on the Environment, while containing some strong pro-environmental legislators, is largely dominated by outspoken anti-environmentalists who favor agribusiness interests, including the chair and vice-chair of the committee. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is not as ideological as the House Environment Committee but is still largely dominated by agribusiness interests. In the governor's office, the governor's environmental liaison is also his agricultural liaison, and was a former lobbyist for chemical companies. As if to add insult to injury, the newly appointed KDHE Secretary, Gary Mitchell, has been described by Lew Ferguson, of the Associated Press, as someone "with scant administrative experience, zero science background and a reputation for being anti-environment."
It's probably a good thing that my low profile strategy didn't work out this year. My learning curve abilities were forced to undergo some severe testing. I also found myself relying on all the skills I have learned from being a professional political scientist, with law school training, and a professional politician for over 15 years. Hopefully, this background, combined with what I have learned from my rookie year, will leave me better prepared to represent environmental interests during next year's election-year legislature.
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STEWARDS OF THE LAND - WESTERN KANSAS CITIZENS COALITION IS BORN
By Craig Volland
A Coalition of citizens concerned about the environment of Western Kansas, and opposed to corporate welfare for Big Ag, agreed on a name and an agenda for action on June 8th in Garden City. The Garden City meeting followed three earlier organizational meetings held since November of 1995. The coalition will be called Stewards of the Land with the subtitle, clean air and water for the next generation. The coalition brings together a diverse group consisting of farmers, stockmen, and small townspeople concerned about the mega hog factories that have invaded southwest Kansas, rapid depletion of the Ogalalla aquifer and nitrate contamination of well water. Stewards of the Land reflects most farmers' traditional concern for the land, rural values, and concern for the livelihood and environment of generations to follow.
The coalition will remain an informal network for now. Laura Carlson of Dodge City, a former Ford County Commissioner, will serve as co-coordinator along with Cliff Smedley of Johnson, Ks. Laura with help from Lila Hill of Liberal, Kansas, will work on problems associated with the huge slaughterhouses in the area. Cliff will coordinate activities directed to the invasion of the hog factories. The Sierra Club will provide legal and technical advice as needed. The Kansas Rural Center will provide organizing and communications assistance, and United We Stand America, Kansas will connect on the corporate welfare and legislative ethics issues.
The coalition has already been active for some time. Last spring Bill Craven provided support to citizens who testified at legislative hearings on hog bills. Together we were successful in turning back an attempt by Seaboard, Inc. to undermine local control on the hog factory issue. More recently we criticized Excel's proposal to get a local tax abatement for the expansion of their slaughterhouse in Dodge City. Excel is a subsidiary of the giant Cargill Corp. with sales in excess of $50 billion. Farmers and stockmen, who are suffering greatly in Western Kansas this year, are not eligible for such tax breaks. The Sierra Club provided technical research and assistance that has helped expose serious groundwater contamination at the Excel slaughterhouse in Dodge City. We have also provided some technical backup to citizens who are questioning KDH&E's regulation of the hog factories in Grant, Morton and Stanton Counties, although they were already very knowledgeable on the issue. In the June 23, 1996 edition of the Wichita Eagle, environment reporter Jan Hayes exposed a number of inadequacies in the KDH&E's oversight of Seaboard's hog factories. The Eagle also pointed out that giant hog producer, Murphy Farms from North Carolina, is also looking for locations in Kansas.
The coalition has also been encouraging people to run for office against supporters of the Big Ag Corporations in Western Kansas. If you would like to help these candidates, would like more information on the coalition, or a copy of Jean Haye's article, please contact Craig Volland at 913-334-0556.
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HELP KEEP AMTRAK in KANSAS
Some politicians want to get rid of Amtrak at the same time they support the many direct and indirect subsidies for air travel, automobiles and highways. Sen. Sam Brownback wants to "privatize" Amtrak (read eliminate all routes except the northeast corridor). Sen. Roberts is non-committal. Amtrak gives Kansans a valuable alternative to autos and airplanes in central and western Kansas where airline service is poor or non-existent. It stops in Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City and Garden City. Please call your Congressional representatives and ask them to support the dedication of 1/2 cent of federal fuel taxes to Amtrak and to support the continuation of Amtrak service in Kansas.
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Johnson County's Sewerage Woes
By Craig Volland
Impacting Small Streams in Neighboring Counties. Many municipalities and sewer districts in the metro area and in the state of Kansas have a serious problem with leaky sewers and aging sewage treatment plants. Johnson County, however, is somewhat unique because several of its sewerage treatment plants are remote from a major river and discharge effluent into relatively small streams. Also, the impact of this effluent and related wet weather sewage bypasses falls substantially on neighboring counties. From 1990 to 1995 the Johnson County Unified Wastewater District (JCUWD)bypassed some 1.2 billion gallons of partially treated sewerage into Brush Creek and its Rock Creek tributary. Bypass events typically occur when rainfall for the previous seven days amounts to about an inch. This happens quite a few times each year. Brush Creek, of course, flows through the Country Club Plaza on the way to the Blue River in Jackson County. We are pleased that the County Commission is now focusing on resolving this problem.
In dry weather, the Turkey Creek/Mission treatment plant effluent constitutes about 95% of Turkey Creek's flow below the plant outfall. Virtually all of the impact of this effluent falls on the four miles of Turkey Creek that flows through Wyandotte County on the way to the Kansas River. In effect Johnson County has expropriated Turkey Creek for its outfall sewer, since it cannot be used for anything else.
Reclaiming Turkey Creek. Turkey Creek flows through the Rosedale section of Kansas City, Kansas near the intersection of Roe Lane and Merriam Lane. This is about a mile below the outfall of the Turkey Creek/Mission sewage treatment plant. A trash barrel near the bank suggests that people come here to walk along the creek. The flow falls over a natural limestone shelf and merges into an extended pool. It could be a beautiful, peaceful spot, but the stream is usually covered with foam and smells exactly like the effluent end of a sewage plant (after all it's 95% effluent). From there it flows past an active swap meeting place at an old drive-in theater along Merriam Lane.
JCUWD has three choices. They could substantially upgrade the level of treatment at the plant, bypass the creek with an outfall sewer to the Kansas River or drag their feet. They've chosen the latter course of non-action with regards to Turkey Creek.
This problem has been evident for many years, and the KDHE and EPA have been attempting to tighten permit limits since the existing permit expired in 1991. The JCUWD's Turkey Creek/Mission plant does not comply with the 1987 water quality standards relating to ammonia. Ammonia is toxic to aquatic life. The EPA also says they discharge too much general organic pollution (BOD).
Hoping for a less stringent ammonia standard, the District has challenged the stream's "expected aquatic life support" use designation. Expected aquatic life support means that if the JCUWD quit polluting, indigenous small plants and animals would return. But the JCUWD maintains that Turkey Creek has been substantially channelized and, in some places, functions essentially as a storm sewer, and can't be restored. There's some truth to this. Most urban areas use their creeks as storm sewers to get rid of all the water running off roofs and pavement. People used to say the same thing about Brush Creek, though, before it was transformed into a beautiful landmark. Delaying the Water Quality Standards. An administrative appeal procedure exists called a use attainability study, currently underway at EPA. But the JCUWD didn't wait for the results of this study. Along with other cities and counties they allied themselves with agribusiness interests. Big Ag told the state legislature to delay the enforcement of the 1994 water quality standards, including atrazine, for two years. When Big Ag says, "Jump!", the Kansas State Legislature says, "How High?" This alliance is curious since the urban areas of Kansas are downstream from all the Ag pollution.
The JCUWD has also been looking at building a pipeline to the Kansas River to take advantage of the greater dilution volume ... under the novel theory that dilution is the solution to pollution. But the lower Kansas River is designated for "special aquatic life support." JCUWD complained that certain endangered fish species wouldn't necessarily return even if they spent a lot of money upgrading their plant. However, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks and the EPA have designated the river as a high priority fishery. The National Park Service has designated it a resource of Outstanding Remarkable Value with respect to scenery, recreation, fish, wildlife and cultural value. Well, maybe it's not too scenic in Kansas City, Kansas right now, but that stretch of the Kaw should certainly be able to support a lot of fish and wildlife.
Clean Streams Are a Real Asset. When you cut to the chase, JCUWD is arguing that Turkey Creek and the Kansas River are already degraded so they should be able to keep doing it. This challenges the whole basis of the Clean Water Act which is to eventually produce fishable and swimmable waters and to eliminate water pollution altogether. Hopefully, one of these days, our politicians will begin to see what an aesthetic and economic asset clean streams can be to a state on the bottom of everybody's list as a vacation Mecca.
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Arkansas River Coalition Needs Sierra Members Help!
By DeEtte Huffman
July 19 and 20 Wichita paddlers will host a fundraising float to benefit the newly formed "Arkansas River Coalition." It is great to see the formation of another river friendly, grassroots group in Kansas. The coalition has goals to work toward the improvement of water quality and preserve the natural habitat of the river environment.
Plans are to launch south of Harry Street (water level permitting) and float to Derby. Registration is 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. On the river at 9:00 a.m. Cost is $15 per person which provides a boat, pfd, and paddle. Those with their own equipment are encouraged to contribute $5+ per person to the Coalition. We ask that no alcohol be taken on the river. Children need to be at least 4 years of age. Children under the age of 10 are free. Those 10 and above need to be accomodated as adults in a boat. Sierra members are welcome to camp in Cliff's backyard
Larry Ross and Bill Cather will give talks at the lunch break to inform paddlers about the condition of the river and perils in the river's future. Cliff Long, Larry Ross, Bill Cather, DeEtte Huffman, Mikall Ryan, Rick Arnold have committed their resources. Now I NEED EACH KANSAS SIERRA CLUB MEMBER'S HELP TO BENEFIT WATER QUALITY AND RIVER HABITAT IMPROVEMENT. Please consider helping by bringing boats, pfd's, paddles and you! The more experienced river runners that help, the better we will be at giving new paddlers a fun and safe day. If we help others see what we see along the rivers we can build public support.
I need Sierra members to help fit pfd's, check out equipment, work the registration table, provide river safety and assistance, work with the press to obtain media coverage, help with shuttles, fix lunches (we will sell lunches at $6 to paddlers on a reservation basis) etc. Let me know how you would like to help and what boats and equipment you can bring. Send a note, call or e:mail Eddy Beard, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita, KS 67204 e:mail<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Eddy Beard Coordinator, Arkansas River Float
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June 7-8, 1997 - KANSAS PADDLE POWER -Section Leaders Training trip
From 1993-94, an event called KANSAS PADDLE POWER!! (KPP) brought interested canoeists, kayakers, and rafters together from all over the Midwest. The general public was invited along with numerous organizations and recreational clubs that include paddling as a part of their event schedules. The event was a collection workshops, safety seminars, used equipment sale, BBQ, hiking trips, and river trips that occurred over a two day period in the Manhattan, KS area. I had the privilege of organizing the event over those years. As the event got bigger, the schedule grew more complex, and unfortunately, the number of volunteers dropped off. Thus, its demise.
For the past three years, I have been often been asked to revive the event. In response, KANSAS PADDLE POWER!! is being resurrected for 1998 in a brand NEW format. In the new format, KPP 1998 will be a three-day event, in June, that features river trips, exclusively. There will be no pre-registration, no formal instruction, no seminars, no group meals. In its simplest form, just show up .and PADDLE. The focus is an awareness of streams, water quality, and river ecosystems in Kansas. With enough volunteers, we may expand this and we definitely plan to move the event around the State.
To test the waters for the larger 1998 event, a KPP section leaders only training float trip is being scheduled for the weekend of June 7-8, 1997. During this two day period, we will meet, again, in the USACOE (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) Tuttle Creek reservoir Tuttle Cove camping area (just like previous KANSAS PADDLE POWER!! events). We will divide up into small groups and enjoy some new river sections. In the Manhattan area, we are fortunate in having six major rivers with nearly 15 different sections to paddle. My goal is to train enough volunteers to act as section leaders in the 1998 event. You need only have to have an interest to volunteer and enjoy the rivers!! You need not be an expert paddler.
Friday eve. (June 6): Camp at the Tuttle Cove USACOE camping area. They now charge $4.00/per site and will collect in person. A large bathroom is on site. Bring water. Sign-up sheets with section leaders for the section of your choice will be posted at the Registration area (the 19 Parawing). No registration fees are planned for the 1997 section leaders event. Just show up .and PADDLE.
Saturday (June 7): Meet 8:30am - Brief discussion of 1998 KANSAS PADDLE POWER!! Break up into small groups and paddle section of your choice. Sign-up sheets with section leaders for the section of your choice will be posted at the Registration area. Bring road maps. The new Kansas Gazetteer would be helpful. Saturday eve. - Potluck supper near the 19 Parawing and Registration area.
Sunday (June 8): Meet 8:30am - Brief discussion of yesterdays events. Break up into small groups and paddle section of your choice. Sign-up sheets with section leaders for the section of your choice will be posted at the Registration area. For more details, contact: T.J. Hittle, P.O. Box 83 - Manhattan, KS 66505-0083,Voice: 913.539.7772 or Email: email@example.com
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Environmental Education in Kansas
By Iralee Barnard
As Sierra members, we all know that environmental education is extremely important to Kansas. Environmental education 1) fosters knowledge about and awareness of the conservation of our natural resources, 2) increases understanding of the interdependence of people and their environment, and 3) facilitates finding solutions to environmental problems. Through prosesses that enhance critical thinking, problem solving , and effective decision making, individuals can better understand the complexities and interrelatedness of environmental issues and make informed, balanced, responsible decisions. But how can we promote this critical thinking and encourage strong, reliable environmental education in Kansas?
Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE) is a private, non-profit, 501(c) (3) association directed toward education as a way to encourage citizen awareness of stewardship of our natual resources. It is a private/public partnership, composed of representatives from environmental groups, university and K-12 teachers, nature centers and museums, private business and professional, and federal, state and local government. KACEE's purpose is to: 1) serve as a medium for the exchange of environmental information among member agencies and organizations; 2) cooperatively develop programs to promote and encourage the teaching of an understanding of the environment and responsible use of resources; 3) serve an an advisory council to the Kansas State Board of Education.
KACEE publishes a quarterly newsletter which is packed with information on environmental internet resources, other publications,
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Questions and Answers About Atrazine
1. What is atrazine?
Atrazine is an herbicide in the family known as "chlorinated triazines". Triazines have a common mode of action and similar toxicology. It is used to control weeds in corn, sorghum, and some other crops. It acts by inhibiting photosynthesis. The crop plants are not affected because they contain an enzyme that breaks down atrazine.
2. What are the health effects of atrazine?
Long term low level exposure to atrazine in animals has been shown to cause cancer, increased mortality, reduced weight gain, increased irritability, anemia, enlargement of the heart, and irregular heartbeat. Two-day exposure to low levels resulted in chromosome breakage in hamsters. Epidemiological studies also link atrazine to birth defects.
3. Atrazine supporters claim that if atrazine had caused any heart effects, then one would expect an increased incidence of heart attack deaths in a highly exposed population. Is this true?
No. The effect is an enlargement of the heart and arrhythmia, not heart attacks.
4. What are the ecological effects of atrazine?
Because atrazine is an herbicide and interferes with photosynthesis, it affects all types of ecosystems. On dry land, it can eliminate sensitive plants where it is present because of drift or runoff. Earthworms exposed to atrazine experienced weight loss, reproductive failure, and death. However, atrazine breaks down relatively quickly when exposed to light and air.
Atrazine has more lasting impacts on aquatic ecosystems because it decomposes more slowly there. Some of the chemicals it decomposes to have similar effects to atrazine. Atrazine affects the species composition of algae, which has impacts on animals that eat the algae and animals that eat them. "Algae", like "grass" or "broad-leaved plant" refers to not one species, but many. To say that a chemical is harmless because it encourages growth of some algae while discouraging others is like saying it's fine to spray 2,4-D on a soybean field because even though the soybeans will die, other plants will grow even better. Some algae support fish life better than others. Some algae are even toxic.
Another effect that atrazine has on aquatic ecosystems is that it kills large aquatic plants. Large aquatic plants serve some important functions in the aquatic ecosystem. First, they serve as a surface on which other organisms--algae and aquatic invertebrates--can live. Those organisms are food for many fish. When we eliminate the large plants, those small organisms have fewer places to live, so the fish have less food. Another major function of those large plants is to provide refuges for small fish, where they can escape predators--sometimes their parents. In some of the experiments, atrazine resulted in major impacts on reproduction in fish because the young had no refuge from predators. Atrazine is also known to affect the endocrine system of animals. Exposure of alligator eggs to atrazine has resulted in sex reversal. Recent reports of frogs with gross malformation suggest that some environmental toxin is probably affecting frogs.
5. What levels of atrazine are harmful to humans?
There is no known safe level of exposure to atrazine. Any level can be expected to increase the chance of getting cancer or endocrine system disruption.
6. What levels of atrazine are harmful to ecosystems?
Concentrations as low as 0.1 ppb have been shown to have significant impacts on ecosystems.
7. Atrazine supporters say that atrazine only causes one kind of tumor in one strain of rat. Is this true?
It is false. Atrazine has been shown to cause tumors in the mammary glands, testes, lymph system, and uterus in rats of two strains. Another test on another strain performed under contract to Ciba Geigy by IBT, which had submitted fraudulent test results to EPA, was discarded. It also showed that atrazine caused cancer. A test in mice commissioned by Ciba Geigy was inconclusive, but another test performed by an independent researcher found that atrazine caused cancer of the lymph system.
Some of the epidemiological studies were unable to focus on atrazine since farmers who used atrazine also use other herbicides. Studies of farming communities in this country have found a positive association between non-Hodgkins lymphoma and atrazine use. A study done in Kansas came to the conclusion that although triazine use (alone and with 2,4- D) was associated with increased incidence of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, only the association with 2,4-D use was statistically significant. (This study was designed to look at the effects of 2,4-D and related chemicals.)
Other epidemiological studies showed that women who were exposed to triazine herbicides were 2.7 times as likely to develop ovarian cancer as those not exposed.
Despite all of this evidence, EPA's cancer classification was based solely on one rat study and the equivocal mouse study because EPA's pesticide registration system relies almost completely on studies submitted by the manufacturer, and the second rat study submitted by Ciba Geigy was not completed at the time the cancer review was performed. EPA is now performing a Special Review of the triazines, and the additional studies are under review.
8. Atrazine supporters say EPA's Scientific Advisory Panel has twice rejected quantitative risk assessment for atrazine. Is this true?
Yes. Nevertheless, EPA decided that it was appropriate to perform a quantitative risk assessment.
9. Atrazine supporters say that atrazine is not estrogenic. Is this true?
No. Both Ciba Geigy's own studies and those of researchers at Tulane University and the University of Florida demonstrate that atrazine is estrogenic. The findings are not, as atrazine supporters claim, limited to one strain of rat. EPA has never accepted Ciba Geigy's interpretation of the hormonal effects. In some animals, it binds with the estrogen receptor. In others, it binds with the progesterone receptor and also increases the production of estrogen.
10. Atrazine supporters say that work on atrazine at the University of Kansas supports a 20 ppb aquatic life protection standard. Is this true?
No. Experiments at KU by DeNoyelles, Dewey, and Kettle showed significant ecological impacts at all concentrations tested, including 20 ppb, which was the lowest concentration they tested.
11. Do environmentalists have any concerns about the impacts of the current atrazine criteria?
If the agricultural community cannot reduce their chemical dependency, they may end up using other chemicals that are equally hazardous in some respects. If they use more 2,4-D, more people will be exposed through drift to this carcinogen. If they use more sulfonylureas, it may result in serious ecological problems, since these chemicals cause problems at concentrations below which they can be detected. EPA and the state should ensure that any pesticide applied to fields stays on the field and does not move off in air, soil, or water.
_______________________________ 1EPA, 1994. The Triazine Herbicides: Atrazine, Simazine and Cyanazine. Position Document 1, Initiation of Special Review.
2D.P. Biradar and A.L. Rayburn, 1995. Flow cytogenetic analysis of whole cell clastogenicity of herbicides found in groundwater. Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology 28:13-17.
3V.F. Garry et al, 1996. Pesticide appliers, biocides, and birth defects in rural Minnesota, Environ Health Perspect 104:394- 399.
4EPA, 1994. The Triazine Herbicides: Atrazine, Simazine and Cyanazine. Position Document 1, Initiation of Special Review.
5EPA, 1994. The Triazine Herbicides: Atrazine, Simazine and Cyanazine. Position Document 1, Initiation of Special Review.
6 W. Dean Kettle, et al. 1987. Diet and reproductive success of bluegill recovered from experimental ponds treated with atrazine. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 38: 47 - 52; G. Gluth, and W. Hanke. 1984. A comparison of physiologic changes in carp, Cyprinus carpio, induced by several pollutants at sublethal concentration. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 79(1): 39 - 45; E. Fischer, 1989. Effects of atrazine and paraquatcontaining herbicides on Eisenia foetida (Annelida, Oligochaeta). Zool. Anz. 223(5/6): 291-300; S. Dewey, 1986. Effects of the herbicide atrazine on aquatic insect community structure and emergence. Ecology 67(1): 148 - 162.
7Lou Guillette, 1997. Speech the National Pesticide Forum, March 17, 1997, Washington, DC.
8A. Marie Ramirez Torres and Larrance M. O"Flaherty, 1976. Influence of pesticides on Chlorella, Chlorococcum, Stigeoclonium (Chlorophyceae), Tribonema, Vaucheria (Xanthophyciae) and Oscillatoria (Cyanophyceae), Phycologia 15(1):25-36.
9California Department of Food and Agriculture. 1990. Summary of toxicology data: Atrazine. Sacramento, CA; A. Pinter et al. 1990. Long-term carcinogenicity bioassay of the herbicide atrazine in F344 rats. Neoplasma 37(5): 533 - 544.
10EPA, 1994. The Triazine Herbicides: Atrazine, Simazine and Cyanazine. Position Document 1, Initiation of Special Review.
11Donna, A. et al. 1981. Preliminary experimental contribution to the study of possible carcinogenic activity of two herbicides containing atrazine-simazine and trifuralin as active principles. Pathologica 73: 707-721.
12Weisenburger, D.D. 1990. Environmental epidemiology of non- Hodgkin's lymphoma in eastern Nebraska. Amer. J. Ind. Med. 18: 303-305.
13S.K. Hoar, 1986. Agricultural herbicide use and risk of lymphoma and soft tissue sarcoma. J. Amer. Med. Assn 256(9):1141- 1147.
14Donna, A. et al. 1989. Triazine herbicide and ovarian epithelial neoplasms. Scand. J. Work Environ. Health 15: 4753.
15EPA, 1994. The Triazine Herbicides: Atrazine, Simazine and Cyanazine. Position Document 1, Initiation of Special Review.
16EPA, 1994. The Triazine Herbicides: Atrazine, Simazine and Cyanazine. Position Document 1, Initiation of Special Review.
17P.M. Vonier et al, 1996. Interaction of environmental chemicals with the estrogen and progesterone receptors from the oviduct of the american alligator, Environ Health Perspect 104:1318-1322.
18Lou Guillette, personal communication, March 15, 1997.
19F. deNoyelles et al., 1989. Use of experimental ponds to assess the effects of a pesticide on the aquatic environment. In Voshell, J. (ed.) Using mesocosms to assess the aquatic ecological risk of pesticides: Theory and practice. Lanham, MD: Entomological Society of America: W. Lampert, 1989. Herbicide effects on planktonic systems of different complexity. Hydrobiologia 188/189: 415-424; G. Stratton, 1984. Effects of the herbicide atrazine and its degradation products, alone and in combination, on phototropic microorganisms. Arch. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 13(1): 35-42; R. Kosinski, 1984. The effect of terrestrial herbicides on the community structure of stream periphyton. Environ. Poll. 36: 165-189; D. Correll, and T. Wu. 1982. Atrazine toxicity to submersed vascular plants in simulated estuarine microcosms. Aquatic Botany 14: 151-158; W. Dean Kettle, et al. 1987. Diet and reproductive success of bluegill recovered from experimental ponds treated with atrazine. Bull. Environ. Contam. Toxicol. 38: 47 - 52; G. Gluth, and W. Hanke. 1984. A comparison of physiologic changes in carp, Cyprinus carpio, induced by several pollutants at sublethal concentration. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. 79(1): 39 - 45; E. Fischer, 1989. Effects of atrazine and paraquatcontaining herbicides on Eisenia foetida (Annelida, Oligochaeta). Zool. Anz. 223(5/6): 291-300; S. Dewey, 1986. Effects of the herbicide atrazine on aquatic insect community structure and emergence. Ecology 67(1): 148 - 162
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Reauthorize Federal Transportation Legislation
Peter Dreyfuss, President
Metropolitan Energy Center
Public investment in transportation has profoundly changed American societythe way we live, the way our country looks, the quality of life in our communities, our access to jobs, friends, opportunity. We have enjoyed great success in solving the most basic transportation problems of past generationshow to get from one place to another. To do this we built roads, and then more roads, and then 44,000 miles of Interstate highway.
But whereas this approach once promised to satisfy our demand for better living through increased mobility, the unintended consequences of our past success have been sobering. Air pollution, dependence on foreign oil, the loss of open space, global warming, and a host of other problems all threaten to overwhelm the benefits gained from our transportation system.
The very life of our cities is threatened by the sprawling new development that all this road-building promotes. Expensive new roadspaid for by tax dollars raised in existing communitiesopen up new lands for development. Existing communities are left with a dwindling tax base and fewer jobs, and an increasing concentration of poor and unemployed people who require increasing social services.
Kansas City has not escaped these vexing issues. Area communities now compete to see how many tax dollars can be given to existing businesses to move to other communities. Even though we have more highway lane miles per capita than any city in the world, our air quality has declined and congestion has increased. We have had problems connecting people with jobs as more service industries move to the suburbs where transit is often sparse.
This is the context in which the federal government is right now having to make important decisions about federal transportation policy. The debate has begun in Congress over whether to reauthorize the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), legislation that allocates more money than any other federal program save Medicaid.
Instead of a one-size-fits-all approachbuild new highwaysto solve the mobility problem, ISTEA allowed communities to also choose to fund transit or other innovative projects that reduce the demand for transportation. Instead of making the decisions about what kind of transportation projectshighwaysto fund at the federal level, authority over decision-making was handed down to state and local officials with more knowledge about local problems and local solutions.
Instead of creating another unfunded federal mandate, ISTEA recognized that transportation systems have a disruptive and negative effect on natural and human environments. Through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement program and the Transportation Enhancements program, ISTEA provides funding for transportation projects that help us make progress toward cleaning up the air, conserving energy and creating transportation options so people dont need to drive a car.
And ISTEAs transfer of power out of Washington was accompanied by a new system for long-range planning and basic guarantees of accountability, including requirements for fiscally constrained planning, public participation in decision-making and guaranteed funding for metropolitan areas.
In Kansas City, ISTEAs local decision making and flexibility allowed us to save $2.2 billion on construction of an outer beltway when citizens and elected officials decided it was not a good investment. ISTEA allows Johnson County to promote a commuter rail line from Olathe to Kansas City; and it allows Kansas City to pursue a regional light rail system.
Currently, three major bills have been introduced in the Senate to set a framework for ISTEA reauthorization. ISTEA Works, with 32 Senate cosponsors, reauthorizes ISTEA with the structure from the current program retained. On the House side, a companion bill to ISTEA Works will be the starting point in House debate.
ISTEA Works is in marked contrast to the STEP-21 proposal that has as its main features the gutting of many of the components of ISTEA and a recalculation of federal funds going back to the states. Some states have pushed STEP 21 to ensure that they get back from federal taxes, at least as much as they put in. But instead of just adjusting the federal funding formula, the bill eliminates many of the positive features of ISTEA, such as local control and flexibility, citizen involvement and support for all modes. It is often seen as the highways only bill.
The third proposal is called STARS 2000. This bill is supported by western senators wanting to get more highway money for their states. It also cuts out the Interstate Maintenance Program and cuts CMAQ.
ISTEA has been good for Kansas City and good for the nation. And just as it took us 35 years to complete construction of a first-class Interstate highway system, its going to take more than the five years that ISTEA has been in effect to build an intermodal system that integrates public transit and other transportation options with our vast system of highways. We should stay the course and reauthorize ISTEA. Now is the time for you to call your Representatives and Senators and request their support for reauthorization of ISTEA and support for the ISTEA Works bill.
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by E. DeEtte Huffman.
The Arkansas River Coalition along with more than 140 groups joined testimony supporting appropriations for Corps environmental restoration projects with American Rivers. Since the Great Flood of 1993, American Rivers has lobbied Congress and the Clinton Administration to reform the Corps of Engineers. The main objectives of the testimony are to:
Promote Non-Structural Solutions for Flooding.
This involves voluntary relocation, land acquisition, setting back levees, improved watershed management and other non-structural alternatives.
Discourage Development in Floodplains By assuming responsibility for flood control and relief, federal levees and dams often encourage development in flood-prone areas, multiplying the consequences of a structure's inevitable failure. Although Congress recently increased responsibility for flood loss reduction by increasing the local share for flood control projects from 25 to 35 percent and by requiring flood-prone communities to develop and implement flood plain management plans in order to be eligible for federal projects, American Rivers will continue to press for reforms. The goal is to have greater state and local responsibility for flood loss reduction and to oppose Corps flood control projects which encourage future floodplain development.
Promote Corps of Engineers restoration projects.
This means continuing to promote appropriations for Corps restoration and programs. It means encouraging the Clinton Administration to reform Corps planning guidance which ignores the costs and benefits of natural floodplains.
The testimony included a request for Congress consider appropriations of $10 million for the Missouri River Mitigation Program and $2 million for the Missouri River Recreational River program in the Energy and Water Appropriations Bill for FY 1998. These points were made:
Major alterations of the Missouri caused by the construction and operation of federal water projects have eliminated nearly all of the habitat critical for the survival of the river's native fish and wildlife. Most river species have fallen to 10 percent or less of historic population levels.
The Big Muddy prior to its damming and channelization was characterized by continuous bank erosion, multiple channels, and numerous islands and sandbars. Erosion and occasional floods maintained the structure and diversity of river habitat, provided seasonal access to floodplain habitat for spawning, and contributed the trees and other debris consumed by aquatic life.
Despite dramatic declines in fish and wildlife and dam releases designed to support barges, river recreation still produces five times as many economic benefits as commercial navigation. By restoring lost habitat and creating opportunities for tourism, mitigation and recreation programs help create jobs in riverside communities and reverse the decline of river wildlife.
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SURFACE TRANSPORTATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY (2): We can't go on like this
by Wayne Sangster
This is the second in a continuing series on the future of surface transportation. Along with some other Sierra Club members I recently got a rude awakening trying to find parking for a meeting with a county commissioner (to talk about commuter rail). Downtown Olathe, Kansas (the county seat) has a parking problem!
Before focusing on local problems, a return to the statistic reported last time is in order -- perhaps only one in ten persons in the world now has an automobile. About one in two persons the U.S. has a car. What if, while car ownership in the U.S. remains constant, the rest of the world (China, India, etc.) where the part of the population that has a car is much smaller, manages to catch up? Wolfgang Zuckerman in End of the Road calculated that the tenfold increase in the world's car population would require a highway around the equator 60 lanes wide just to park all of them. Then, what about all the energy and materials required to make these vehicles, the fuel to power them, the roads to drive them on, and the environmental sinks to absorb their emissions and junk them into? What would happen to the cities where bicycles are dominant now? And all the time the population itself is going up and up. Not a pretty picture.
Zuckerman quotes microbiologist, cancer researcher, and social philospher Frederic Vester, who warns us that:
We have begun to act more and more like tumor cells, without being aware that we begin to destroy our host organism, the biosphere. Teaching managers and politicians to be aware of this development is as difficult as teaching a tumor that what it thinks is its greatest rves if the topic of conversation is irritating or riders aren't punctual.
Some things which could result in much higher ridership on public transportation are: (1) a substantial rise in the price of gasoline; (2) much stiffer parking fees and/or lack of convenient parking; and (3) increased freeway congestion. Number (1) is bound to come later if not sooner as world oil production starts to decline early in the next century. With regard to (2) our cities would be more livable if there were fewer parking lots, not more! With regard to (3) it is becoming ever harder (and more expensive) to add lanes or otherwise increase freeway capacity. So in order to improve our cities (even smaller ones such as Olathe!), better public transit is needed; that's a better solution than building more parking lots and garages! People are more likely to ride rail than buses belching out black smoke; rail transit must be aggressively sought. Since commuters tend to travel long distances these days, planning for an entire metropolitan area is a must.
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What is so Rare as a Day in June?
by James Russell Lowell
And what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days;
Then Heaven tries the earth if it be in tune,
And over it softly her warm ear lays;
Whether we look, or whether we listen,
We hear life murmur, or see it glisten;
Every clod feels a stir of might,
An instinct within it that reaches and towers,
And, groping blindly above it for light,
Climbs to a soul in grass and flowers;
The flush of life may well be seen
Thrilling back over hills and valleys;
The cowslip startles in meadows green,
The buttercup catches the sun in its chalice,
And there's never a leaf nor a blade too mean
To be some happy creature's palace;
The little bird sits at his door in the sun,
Atilt like a blossom among the leaves,
And lets his illumined being o'errun
With the deluge of summer it receives;
His mate fells the eggs beneath her wings,
And the heart in her dumb breast flutters and sings;
He sings to the wide world, and she to her nest,-
In the nice ear of Nature which song is the best?
Now is the high tide of the year,
And whatever of life hath ebbed away
Comes flooding back. with a ripply cheer,
Into every bare inlet and creek and bay;
Now the heart is so full that a drop overfills it,
We sit in the warm shade and feel right well
How the sap creeps up and the blossoms swell;
We may shut our eyes, but we cannot help knowing
That skies are clear and grass is growing;
The breeze comes whispering in our ear,
That dandelions are blossoming near,
That maze has sprouted, that streams are flowing,
That the river is bluer than the sky,
That the robin is plastering his hard by;
And if the breeze kept the good news back,
For other couriers we should not lack;
We could guess it all by yon heifer's lowing,
And Hark! how clear bold chanticleer,
Warmed with the new wine of the year,
Tells all in his lusty crowing!
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The Big Muddy made big news in April. It was deemed the most endangered river in North America by American Rivers, an advocacy organization in Washington D.C. Five decades of damming and channelization, carried out primarily to maintain a passageway for barges, have severely compromised the river's integrity. The islands' sandbars, wetlands and braided channel that defined the river for most of its life are now largely gone.
About one-fifth of the species indigenous to the river are in trouble. Three of them -the least tern, piping plover and the pallid sturgeon - are endangered species. It appears that the pallid sturgeon has not reproduced in the Missouri River in 30 years -a stark reflection of the depth of the system's ills.
And all of this to support a paltry barge industry. Originally forecast to carry 12 million to 20 million tons of cargo yearly, barges now carry about 1.5 million tons.
And while this industry takes in about $15 million annually, taxpayers thus far have shelled out an estimated $6 billion for the costly interference required to to maintain the river as a barge channel.
Much more promising are tourism and recreation, which the Army Corps of Engineers says bring in $87 million annually.
A committee of Sierrans and Auduboners have been working for several months to raise the river's profile, to organize recreation along it, and to communicate with the Corps, the Congress and other decision-makers about our desire for a more natural Missouri P<iver.
If you'd like to join us - you could write letters, lead field trips, helping with publicity and education - please call Karen Uhlenhuth at (816) 561-1371.
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by Tom Thompson, Kanza Group Chair
The Kanza Group is active and busy on the Kansas side of the Kansas City Metropolitan area. Its general meeting is on the second Thursday of the month at 7:30 p.m. at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church at 67th St. and Nall in Mission, KS. The Kanza Group Executive Committee has been developing committees to work on issues important to the Sierra Club. Committees are busting with ideas for the enjoyment and improvement of our environment.
Outings, the Have Fun Committee
Since the Kanza Group is very interested in enjoying the environment, Jeff Pierce, the Outings Chair, and his committee have been developing a calendar of events that is oriented around "Acting Locally." In the next few months many activities should meet the needs of both individuals and families alike.
On May 31st plans are being made to drive south to Prairie State Park in Missouri. Hikers will get the idea of how rolling tall grass prairie once looked. A walk through Powell Gardens on June 8th will educate the gardener in all of us. The Kanza Group will join with Thomas Hart Benton Group members from KCMO on June 21st to celebrate the Summer Solstice--stay tuned for plans.
On July 11th we will see the Kansas version of the prairie with a hike through the Prairie Center just west of Olathe. Another local trip in July includes a trip all the way to Overland Park on the 19th to walk through the Arboretum. Organicity is the theme July 26th for a tour being planned at an organic farm. Then it will be time to go out for a ball game August 4th when the Kanza Group will travel to the "K" to see the Royals play.
Kanza Group members have no excuse for not going out and having fun. Call Jeff Pierce at 599-3966 if you have questions or check the outings schedule posted in this edition for specific outing leaders.
Garage Sale, Reusing at the Max
By the time you receive this newsletter the Kanza Group will have had their annual garage sale. A committee lead by Jim Horlacher planned the event to raise money to support many of the activities of the Group. Success of the sale also helps us underwrite some of the expenses of our lobbyist in Topeka, Charles Benjamin. Other committee members include Carol Wagner, Steve Hassler, and Mary Thompson. Thank you goes to these individuals and anyone else who helped by volunteering or donating items.
Membership Committee, the More the Merrier
The members of the Kanza Group are very important for its success. Without active members, the Kanza Group would not be able to have impact on environmental issues or to have successful outings.
Diane Stewart has been brainstorming with her committee to come up with ways to attract future activists and to better utilize our members. The more volunteers we have the more we will be able to do. Diane has her work cut out for her. Please don't wait for her to find out about you. If you want to get involved or know of a potential activist, call Diane at 642-0687 or me, Tom Thompson at 236-9161.
The Kanza Group Conservation Committee regularly meets with the Legislative, Political, and Population Committees on the first Thursday of the month (except July and August) at 7:00 p.m. at Cedar-Roe Library in Roeland Park. Craig Volland, the current Conservation Chair keeps us up to date on hog farming, transportation, clean air and water, and other issues. Recently we have been having a battle with Johnson County Waste Water Dept. over surface water standards especially concerning ammonia. Craig found himself discussing the issue on radio station KCUR, public radio. He was featured on a panel on the Walt Bodine Show discussing clean water standards. Come to the next meeting and get involved with the environment on a real grassroots level.
This and other battles need volunteers to track them and be active with. Some issues arise suddenly, others seem to drag on and on. Our efforts must be constant. Call me now to get involved at 236-9161.
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Flint Hills Group (Manhattan Area)
James E. Sherow, Chair, (913) 539-3162 (H),
(913) 532-0375 (W), firstname.lastname@example.org, 2821 Arbor Dr., Manhattan KS 66502
Bonnie Lynn-Sherow, Vice-Chair, Programs,
(913) 539-3162, email@example.com
Robert Wilson, Conservation Chair, (913) 395-4242, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ruth Douglas Miller, Secretary and Treasurer,
(913) 537-7254, email@example.com
Iralee Barnard, Membership Chair, Chapter Delegate, (913) 949-2857, firstname.lastname@example.org
J. Scott Smith, Publicity, Newsletter Editor,
(913) 539-1973, email@example.com T.J. Hittle, Web Site Master, At-Large Member, (913) 539-7772, firstname.lastname@example.org
Kanza Group (Kansas City)
Tom Thompson*, Group Chair, Political Chair,
(913)-236-9161, 5001 Rock Creek Lane, Mission, KS 66205 3047
Jan McIntyre*, Vice-Chair, (913)-384-5911
Alan Colen*, Treasurer, Communications Chair
Wayne Sangster*, Secretary, (913)-362-5896
Craig Volland*, Conservation Chair, (913)-334-0556
Jim Horlacher*, Fundraising Chair, (913)-492-7818
Jeff Pierce*, Outings Chair, (913)-599-3966
Diane Stewart*, Membership Chair, Program Chair,
Carol Wagner*, Publicity Chair, (913)-831-1939
Bob Wilshire*, (913)- 441-2449
Craig Wolfe*, (913)-299-4443, (FX) 913-299-4441, email@example.com
Carolyn Hogan, Legislative Chair, (913)-492-3639
Craig Lubow, Calendars, Population Chair,
* Executive Committee Member
Prairie Oaks Group
(Southern Sedgwick County)
Ray Cowin, Chair, (316) 788-3126 (H), 9857 S Hydraulic, Wichita, KS 67233-7211
Jack Shumard, Vice-Chair, Conservation Chair and Outings Chair, (316) 776-2564
Mary Heinrich, Secretary, (316) 788-2498
George Heinrich, Treasurer, (316) 788-2498
Dan Carpenter, Membership Chair, (316) 488-2762
Barbara Shumard, Communications Chair,
Prairie Rattlers Group (Hays area)
David Ebbert, Chair, (913) 754-3860
Dennis Johnson, Treasurer, (913) 628-3355
Ross Wichman, Outings Chair, (913) 726-3582 (H)
Gary Millhollen, Political Chair, (913) 628-1311
Southwind Group (Wichita)
Bill Skaer, Chair, (H) 316-683-4323, (W) 316-683-4641,
Tom Kniel, Vice Chair, Membership, Chapter Representative, (H) 316-744-1016, (W) 316-978-3240
Don Skokan, Secretary, (H) 316-744-0033
Larry Daggett, Treasurer, (H) 316-687-9557
Margaret Miller, Conservation Chair, (H) 316-686-2555
Vicki Skaer, Fundraising Chair, (H) 316-683-4323
Larry Ross, Outings Chair, Carrying Capacity,
DeEtte Huffman, Arkansas River Coalition Chair, Stream Team, (H) 316-685-7303
Gary Wright, Political Chair, (H) 316-684-8467
Wakarusa Group (Lawrence)
Steve Wharton, Chair, Treasurer, Chapter/Group Representative, (913) 842-9614, 2216 New Hampshire, Lawrence, KS 66046-3048
Carol Holstead, Secretary, Membership Chair,
Al Herring, Outings Chair, Program Chair, (913) 843-1571
Frank Norman, Political Chair, (913) 887-6775
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June 26, July 24, August 28. (4th Thursday). 7:00 pm
Elected governing body of the Kanza Group Time and site. 5960 Dearborn in lower level. Contact: Tom Thompson, (913) 236-9161.
Joint Action Committee
June 5, 7:00 pm,
Conservation, legislative, political and population issues. Roeland Park Library. Contact: Craig Volland, (913) 334-0556. No meetings in July or August, will resume September 4.
Metropolitan Committee for Sensible Transportation
June 19, July 17, August 21, 7:00 pm,
Works on environmentally and fiscally sound transportation alternatives to sprawl-inducing freeway construction and expansion (especially the proposed 21st Century Parkway) Time: (call contact for site). Contact: Claus Wawrzinek, (816) 561-7863. Upcoming meetings (third Thursday)
First Sunday each month, 6-9 p.m.
All members welcome. Call Bill Skaer, 683-4323 or Tom Kneil, 744-1016, for location.
Southwind Conservation Committee
Scheduled as needed.
All members welcome. Call Margaret Miller, 686-2555 for dates, times and location.
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Flint Hills Group
July 25, TDM Factory in Manhattan
TDM is a new plant specializing in electric vehicles. This is an exciting new industry that we need to find out more about.
General Information: Our meetings are held the second Thursday of the month at St. Michael and All Angel's Episcopal Church, 67th & Nall, Mission, KS at 7:30 pm. For more info contact Program Director, Diane Stewart, 642-0687.
June 12th, 7:30 pm, Restoring the Bid Muddy
The Missouri River, or Big Muddy, has been named the nations most endangered river by a national river protection group called American Rivers. The problems stem from the extensive manipulations designed to aid barge traffic which threaten wildlife and recreational uses. Decisions will soon be made that will either restore the Missouris health or continue its dramatic decline. As the Army Corps of Engineers is considering the rivers future management, Bill Griffiths will present a slide show on this subject at our June 12th General Meeting.
July 10th, 7:30 pm, Whats New in EPA Region VII?
Dennis Grams, Regional Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agencys Region VII, will discuss EPAs role in regulating environmental quality in our region, recent developments in environmental regulation, and current topics such as EPAs dealings with the Kansas Department of Health And Environment following the legislatures issuance of less stringent water standards. A question and answer session will follow his presentation at our July 10th General Meeting.
Prairie Oaks Group
General information: The Prairie Oaks Group meets the third Tuesday of the Month at 7:30 pm Derby Recreation Center (DRC) 801 E. Market, Derby
June, July, August
Prairie Oaks General Meetings are "on vacation". Next meeting in September.
General Information: Second Friday of each month at the Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th N, Wichita. Supper/social hour at 6:30, program at 7:30. Open to the public, free (small charge for supper). This is a handicap-accessible facility.
June 13, 7:30 pm, Family Night: Living With Urban Wildlife"
Come see a live baby fox and other urban wildlife, brought by Connie Hay of the Great Plains Nature Center! Charles Cope, urban wildlife specialist with the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks will present an interactive program on the wild animals in your backyard. Come find out about the controversial Teal Cove beavers! Are they pests invading our neighborhoods, or are we bad neighbors? Bring the kids and find out all about it!
July & August
Southwind General Meetings are "on vacation". No Southwind General Meetings. Have a terrific summer vacation, enjoy the great outdoors, and well see you in September!
General information: The Wakarusa Group is "on vacation" in the summer. In the fall, the Wakarusa Group will again meet the third Thursday of each month, 7:30 pm, Castle Tea Room, 1307 Massachusetts, Lawrence.
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Below is the combined list of all outings by the Kansas Chapter and Groups. The number in [brackets] indicates the area of the outing as shown on the map.
 Every Tuesday Evening, 6:15, Duck Pond Bicycle Ride. Central Riverside Park, north of Duck Pond near Nims & Murdock. Family event. Travel along paths & low traffic residential streets.
 June 7 (Sat.) National Trails Day Our annual hike to promote National Trails Day will take us to another section of the Mill Creek Streamway Park. Jeff Pierce, (913) 599-3966.
 June 8 (Sun.) Powell Gardens In Kingsville, MO, a brand-new visitors center and several other recent additions await us. Well also hike several of the trails, including a nature trail. Lee Ann Googe, (816) 453-8558.
 June 8, Canoe Arkansas River Start and finish points subject to rain. Canoe arrangements available. No whitewater. Numerous sandbars & scenic vistas. Call 682-0988 48 hrs prior to date for current information
 June 14, Low Impact Outing at Wichita Botanical Gardens Easy outing to view the beautiful plants and flowers at the Botanica Gardens. Jack Shumard, (316) 776-2564
 June 15, Father's Day Walk Along the Arkansas River Meet at 2 pm at Price Woodland Park Just south of Douglas Ave. Bridge. 2-5 mile walk through downtown & Central Riverside Park.
 June 20, Kansas Canoe Association Raft Trip The Sierra Club will join the Kansas Canoe Associations Raft trip on the Kansas River. Call T.J. Hittle for details (913) 539-7772.
 June 21-22 (Sat.-Sun.) Summer Solstice Campout When else can you get done with dinner and still have sunlight left? For more details, call Claus Wawrzinek, (816) 561-7863.
 June 21-26 Current River, MO. Enjoyable 5-day canoe trip through the Missouri Ozarks about 50 miles. Gravel bar camping, swimming, sightseeing. Call 316- 522-4741 (day) or 316-943-5258 (after 5) ask for Frank D. Akerman.  June 22 (see June 8 Canoe Ark Riv)
June 28, Z-Bar Ranch Trip Sierra will lead a field trip to the new Z-Bar Ranch, a federal Tallgrass prairie park 60 south of Manhattan in the Flint Hills. Contact Jim Sherow or Bonnie Lynn- Sherow for time and place of departure. (913) 539-3162.
 June 29, Sand Hills State Park/Dillon Nature Center Field trip to Hutchinson vicinity. Carpool. Call 682-0988 for details.
 July 12 (Sat.) Prairie Center, Olathe, KS Join us as we explore whats new at the Prairie Center since becoming a state park (yes, its even in the 1997 Kansas Travel Guide on page 10). Bob Wilshire, (913) 441-2449.
 July 19 (Sat.) Overland Park Botanical Garden Come see whats new at the Overland Park Botanical Garden (still under development) and Arboretum, located at the southern edge of Overland Park. An easy hike and a good outing for families. Claus Wawrzinek, (816) 561-7863.
 July 20 (see June 8 Canoe Ark Riv)
 Aug. 4 (Mon.) Royals Night At Kauffman Stadium See the 1997 Royals take the field as the 1997 pennant chase starts to heat up. Remember, this is half-price night in the upper deck. Dan Fuller, (913) 362-2266.
 Aug. 9 (Sat.) "Star Party" at the Powell Observatory In Louisburg, KS, join us again this year as a member of the Kansas City Astronomy Club takes us on an observational tour of the summer night sky. Bob Wilshire, (913) 441-2449.
June 8, July 20, August 23, September 28, a river in Kansas (the locations would depend on the stream flow at trip time), Cliff Long, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita Kansas 67204, (316) 832-0602.
June 21 (Sat) KATY Trail bike ride. This is the first installment in the new Big Muddy Field Trip Series, a series of hikes, bike rides, canoe trips, wetland tours and other close encounters with the Missouri River. The bike ride will start at Rocheport, the trails west end, and continue for a couple hours. Bikes may be rented at Rocheport. For details on when and where to meet, call Russ Pulley at (816) 478-9016.
August 2-17, Missouri River, Montana The Wild and Scenic section from Fort Benton to James Kipp access, 149 miles, Cliff Long, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita Kansas 67204, (316) 832-0602.
 August 30-September 1, Cooldown Float, Arkansas River, Salida, Colorado, Various classes of whitewater available. Cliff Long, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita Kansas 67204, (316) 832-0602. X. October 25-26, North Fork of the White River, Missouri, Cliff Long, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita Kansas 67204, (316) 832-0602.
 September 22-23. Rolling Down the River Festival Sierra will have an information and sales booth at this two-day event in Manhattan. This is part of a week long floating celebration of the Kansas River beginning at the confluence of the Kansas and Republican Rivers in Junction City and terminating in Kansas City, Kansas. Call Latane Donelin for local details at (913) 537-0967 or Ldonelin@aol.com.
 November 8-9, Arkansas River in Kansas, Cliff Long, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita Kansas 67204, (316) 832-0602.
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CM June 1. Southwind Group Executive Committee Meeting. 6-9 pm
CM June 5. Kanza Group Joint Action Committee Meeting. 7:00 pm
Out June 7 (Sat.) National Trails Day Hike. Kanza Group. call Jeff Pierce, (913) 599-3966.
Out June 8 Powell Gardens. THB Group. call Lee Ann Googe, (816) 453-8558.
Out June 8, July 20, August 23, September 28, River Trips in Kansas. Southwind Group. call Cliff Long, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita Kansas 67204, (316) 832-0602.
Out June 8, Canoe Arkansas River. Call 682-0988 48 hrs prior to date for current information
GM June 12th, 7:30 pm, Kanza Group. Restoring the Bid Muddy
GM June 13, 7:30 pm, Southwind Group. Family Night: Living With Urban Wildlife"
Out June 14, Low Impact Outing at Wichita Botanical Gardens. Prairie Oaks Group. call Jack Shumard, (316) 776-2564
Out June 15, Father's Day Walk Along the Arkansas River. Southwind Group. meet 2 pm.
CM June 19. Kanza Group Metropolitan Committee for Sensible Transportation Meeting. 7:00 pm
Out June 20., Kansas Canoe Association Raft Trip. Flint Hills Group. call T.J. Hittle for details (913) 539-7772
Out June 21-22 (Sat.-Sun.) Summer Solstice Campout. THB Group. call Claus Wawrzinek, (816) 561-7863.
Out June 21-26 Current River, MO. Southwind Group. call 316-522-4741 (day) or 316-943-5258 (after 5) ask for Frank D. Akerman.
Out June 22, Canoe Arkansas River. Call 682-0988 48 hrs prior to date for current information
CM June 26. Kanza Group Executive Committee Meeting. 7:00 pm
Out June 28, Z-Bar Ranch Trip. Flint Hills Group. call Jim Sherow or Bonnie Lynn-Sherow for time and place of departure. (913) 539-3162.
Out June 29, Sand Hills State Park/Dillon Nature Center. Call 682-0988 for details.
CM July 6. Southwind Group Executive Committee Meeting. 6-9 pm
GM July 10th, 7:30 pm, Kanza Group. Whats New in EPA Region VII?
Out July 12 (Sat.) Prairie Center, Olathe, KS. Kanza Group. call Bob Wilshire, (913) 441-2449.
CM July 17. Kanza Group Metro-politan Committee for Sensible Transportation Meeting. 7:00 pm
Out July 19 (Sat.) Overland Park Botanical Garden. THB Group. call Claus Wawrzinek, (816) 561-7863.
Out July 20, Canoe Arkansas River. Call 682-0988 48 hrs prior to date for current information
CM July 24. Kanza Group Executive Committee Meeting. , August 28. (4th Thursday). 7:00 pm
GM July 25, Flint Hills Group. TDM Factory in Manhattan
Out August 2-17, Missouri River, Montana. Southwind Group. call Cliff Long, 1405 W. 35th N., Wichita Kansas 67204, (316) 832-0602.
Out Aug. 4 (Mon.) Royals Night At Kauffman Stadium. Kanza Group. call Dan Fuller, (913) 362-2266.
Out Aug. 9 (Sat.) "Star Party" at the Powell Observatory. Kanza Group. call Bob Wilshire, (913) 441-2449.
CM August 21. Kanza Group Metropolitan Committee for Sensible Transportation Meeting. 7:00 pm
CM August 28. Kanza Group Executive Committee Meeting. 7:00 pm
Out August 30-September 1, Cooldown Float, Arkansas River, Salida, Colorado. Various classes of whitewater available. call Cliff Long (316) 832-0602.
Out September 22-23. Rolling Down the River Festival. Flint Hills Group. call Latane Donelin (913) 537-0967 or Ldonelin@aol.com.
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