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e - P R A I R I E   F L Y E R        Jan/Feb 2000
Newsletter of the Sierra Club Prairie Group

= = = = =   Contents

The WTO & the Environment - January 12

Thanks for another successful auction!

Sierra Club Calendar Thanks

Industrial Livestock Update

Medical Waste Incinerator Application Thrown Out

Dioxin Elimination Event - January 15

Prairie Group Outing - January 22
Forest Glen Preserve

Commentary on the Route 150 Corridor Plan
January 27 - Final meeting of Rt. 150 Committee

Watch for City of Champaign Growth Recommendations

Cooking Classes at Common Ground Food Co-op (CGFC)

Tour of NEG Micon Wind Turbine Plant - February 9

Prairie Group Outing - February 19
Allerton Park

Help Save Trees

Stay in Touch With the Prairie Group Listserv

Green Radio
 
 

= = = = =   Prairie Group January General Meeting:

The World Trade Organization & the Environment
7:30 PM, Wednesday, January 12

Illinois Disciples Foundation, corner of Wright and
Springfield, Champaign

Several Champaign-Urbana residents, including Mollie Stentz and Peter
Miller, traveled to Seattle for the protests at the recent World Trade
Organization (WTO) meeting. Mollie and Peter will discuss some of the
key
points of protest about the WTO, what was happening on the streets in
Seattle, and what's next.

Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope was also in Seattle to protest
the
WTO, and the Sierra Club has a Responsible Trade campaign campaign
calling
for trade that is "Clean, Green, and Fair." For more info:
http://www.sierraclub.org/trade, Dan Seligman, 408 C St., NE,
Washington, DC
20002, 202-547-1141(p), 202-547-6009(f), <dan.seligman@sierraclub.org>.
 
 

= = = = =   Thanks for another successful auction!

If you happen to see or visit the following people and businesses,
please
let them know you appreciate their support of the Prairie Group.

The November 1999 annual auction raised $1,326 -- over $200 more than
the
1998 auction. Many thanks are in order: to the donors listed below, to
auctioneer Don Denny, to Jack Paxton, Kate Higgs, Mark Pomatto for
their
help organizing the auction, and to the bidders!

Art Theatre
Brown-Woods & Assoc. (Legacy Sugar Maple Tree)
Clark Bullard (Canoe Trip)
Champaign Cycle
Champaign Surplus
Common Ground Food Coop
Courier Cafe
Dandelion
John Dickel (Observatory Tour)
Durst Cycle
Espresso Royale
Belden Fields (Electric Mower)
Follett's
Eric Freyfogle (Signed Books)
Fruited Plain Cooperative Society
Great Impasta Restaurant
Bruce Hannon (Clock Repair)
Heel to Toe
Dixie and Gary Jackson (Middle Fork Hike)
Sue Korn (Oregon Goodies)
Krannert Center for the Performing Arts
Mass Transit District
Dave Monk (Prairie Plants)
Jack and Sally Paxton (San Diego B&B)
Pomatto Carpentry & Landscape Lighting 217-359-8628
Prairieland Community Supported Agriculture
Priceless Books
Record Service
Debra Richtmeyer (Saxophone Lesson)
Silvercreek Restaurant
Sinfonia da Camera
Jerry Sosebe (Allerton Park Tour)
Sweet Betsy's
Sandy Volk (Cheesecake)
Wild Birds
Wild Country
Allen Williams (Combine Ride)
 
 

= = = = =   Sierra Club Calendar Thanks

Calendars and the annual auction are our two biggest sources of
fundraising,
so the Prairie Group thanks Trent Shepard for leading the sales effort
for
calendars, and thanks also to Kate Higgs for assisting with this.
 
 

= = = = =   Industrial Livestock Update

December 2 the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that mega-feedlots are
"agricultural." For years, many citizen groups have urged the Illinois
legislature to change outdated laws -- so the definition of
"agricultural
operations" takes into account the impacts of a rapidly changing
livestock
industry. This court ruling highlights the need for legislative change
--
and editorials in the Bloomington Pantagraph, Peoria Journal-Star, and
Galesburg Register-Mail have called for such change.

Christian County voted in late December against the siting of a
proposed
3,000+ head dairy (around 2,000 more than the largest dairy now in
Illinois). Unfortunately, this vote is only advisory -- the final
decision
rests with the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

December 7 was the start of a 45-day public comment period on Illinois
livestock rules, including public hearings January 12 in DeKalb,
January 18
in Effingham, and January 20 in Springfield.

For more info:

Pam Hansen, Illinois Stewardship Alliance <philstew@fgi.net>
217-498-9707.

Families Against Rural Messes
http://www.netins.net/showcase/megahoglaws
 
 

= = = = =   Medical Waste Incinerator Application Thrown Out

In December, the Vermilion County Board voted to throw out the permit
application for a medical waste incinerator proposal for a site near
Rankin.
The vote was based on a special hearing at which it was found that all
pre-filing notification requirements had not been met.
(http://www.news-gazette.com/story.cfm?Number=6197)

Citizens for the Protection of Butler Township (CPBT) led the fight
opposing
the incinerator, with assistance from the University of Illinois
Medical
School student chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR)
and the
Sierra Club Prairie Group. CPBT members spent many many hours gathering
information and getting it out to the public and to elected officials
--
winning resolutions opposed to the incinerator by Butler Township, the
Village of Rankin, and Ford and Iroquois Counties.

Before the application was thrown out, CPBT was preparing for the
scheduled
public hearing, and in early December received a $5,000 grant to
support
these efforts from the PSR Health Care Without Harm campaign. At this
point,
it appears unlikely that the incinerator application will be submitted
again
-- which would start the whole county review process over from the
beginning. However, just in case, CPBT remains well prepared. [Two news
articles after Jan. 15, 2000 quote the developer saying he intends to
either
appeal or re-apply for a permit.]

Directly related to this issue is the following event.
 

-----   People's Public Hearing on Dioxin Elimination

Noon-4:00 PM, Saturday, January 15, 2000

Chicago Room, University of Illinois Chicago 828 S. Wolcott Street,
Chicago

By Scott Sederstrom

This Fall, Lois Gibbs' Center for Health, Environment and Justice
released
"America's Choice: Children's Health or Corporate Profit - The American
People's Dioxin Report,"
(http://www.essential.org/cchw/campaign/policy.html) a report detailing
the
latest science on dioxin's health effects, sources, and recommendations
for
eliminating dioxin exposures.  A series of community organized events
to
call on policy makers to protect public health by eliminating dioxin
are
being conducted across the country.

Expert panelists will provide testimony to elected officials,
regulators,
and opinion leaders on why dioxin exposures should be eliminated and
how it
can be done while minimizing harm to the economy, workers, and
communities.
Confirmed panelists include Lois Gibbs, Jack Weinberg, and Dr. Peter
Orris.

Dioxin is a toxic by-product of industrial processes that contain
chlorine,
including waste incineration and the use of chlorine chemicals to
bleach
wood pulp in paper manufacturing.  Dioxin exposure produces a wide
variety
of toxic health effects, and these effects are produced at extremely
low
levels of exposure, measured in the parts per trillion.

Despite recommendations for preventive measures from a wide variety of
bodies and associations, including the American Public Health
Association
and the Chicago Medical Society, existing government policies are
inadequate
to protect the public and do not prevent the creation and release of
dioxin
to the environment.

For more information, contact Scott Sederstrom at 312-355-1877 or via
email
at <sseder1@uic.edu>.
 
 

= = = = =   Prairie Group January Outing

Saturday, January 22 - Forest Glen Preserve, East of Georgetown, IL.

Meet at 11:00 AM at the Colonial Pantry Food Store, 500 N. Main St,
Georgetown, IL (10 miles South of Danville on US-150/IL-1). Hike will
last
approximately 4 to 5 hours.

Forest Glen Preserve is rated third in the state for the number of
different
botanical species. It includes a 40 acre restored tall grass prairie, a
20
acre tree research area, and 25 miles of trails, many along the scenic
Vermilion River. (http://www.vccd.org/geninfo.html)

For more info, call Prairie Group Outings Chair Matt Nowlan,
217-352-4610.
 
 

= = = = =   Commentary on the Route 150 Corridor Plan

By Norman Stenzel

I am not a farmer, but I did grow up in the country and the farm on my
wife's side is still in the family and in operation, so, I am
sympathetic
with the farmer's side of many issues.

Recent events have led me to this commentary.  First, the National
Resources
Report showing that the loss of farmland in Illinois was about 146,000
acres
in a recent five year period; and second, a joint three government
committee
set up to plan for the 9 mile stretch between Champaign and Mahomet
prepared
a draft of its final report.

The numbers from the national report may seem distant, but it is easy
to see
urban sprawl and the loss of prime farmland right here in central
Illinois--pick your favorite example.  And now the Route 150 Corridor
Planning Committee has set the stage for governmental collaboration in
the
loss of farmland.

All of this is disturbing to me.

It is disturbing because one committee member is employed by one of
central
Illinois' largest land speculators.  Three of the nine committee
members
representing Mahomet  have as their motivation making sure that the
committee report would not interfere with Mahomet's proposed tax
increment
financing district (TIF) to the east of the town--in what is now
farmland.
There are no farmers on the committee.

It is also disturbing for in earlier meetings the committee voted
against
establishing a green line to limit the loss of neighboring farmland;  a
committee member announced that it was not the task of the committee to
preserve farmland and he concluded that a plan to do so was no plan at
all;
committee staff reported that some blank space on their map would be
filled
in as soon as they had consulted with the land speculator who owned the
land
to determine their plans for use, while at the same time the staff have
not
consulted with individual farmers about the future of large tracts of
farmland--some of them hundred-year-old heritage farms.

And it is disturbing because the committee's report virtually assures
filling the open space between Champaign and Mahomet with businesses,
offices, and light industry. This is what the committee commends as the
model for future collaboration between governing bodies.

Where are the stewards of the land protecting central Illinois farmland
from
sprawl? Farmers elsewhere have participated in land preservation
trusts, and
the purchase of development rights.  And farmers elsewhere have worked
politically to get governments to require land speculators who wish to
convert land from agricultural production to other purposes, to
purchase an
equal number of acres for conservation.  What will the farmers of
central
Illinois do?

(This commentary originally aired on WILL-AM radio in December.)

For more info:

Norman Stenzel <nstenzel@prairienet.org>, 217-863-4030.

For a copy of the Route 150 Plan: Gale Price, City of Champaign
Planning
Dept., 217-351-4486.
 

----- 7:00 PM, Thursday, 27 January
Final meeting of Rt. 150 Committee...
Rt. 150 plan is scheduled to be adopted
Mahomet Administrative Building, 503 E. Main Street, Mahomet

The Route 150 Plan then has to be voted on by the Champaign County
Board,
Village of Mahomet, and City of Champaign.

December 1999 Press Release from American Farmland Trust: Nation's need
for
effective farmland protection greater than ever <info@farmland.org>,
202-331-7300 ext. 3029 http://www.farmland.org/news/120699.htm

National Resources Inventory data on farmland loss
http://www.nhq.nrcs.usda.gov/CCS/NRIrlse.html
 
 

= = = = =   Watch for City of Champaign Growth Recommendations

December 1998 the city of Champaign formed a Growth Areas Task Force,
and
they may finalize their recommendations to the city council in late
January.

Don Fournier is the Sierra Club Prairie Group representative on the
task
force (see his article in the March Prairie Flyer
http://kentucky.psych.uiuc.edu/sierra/pf199903.html#0323_sprawl_mtg).

For the task force recommendations, and for dates of public meetings,
please
contact:

Christine Newbold, City of Champaign Planning Department, 217-351-4486
<christine.newbold@city.champaign.il.us>

Don Fournier <d-fournier@cecer.army.mil>, 217-373-7282.

http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/
 
 
 

= = = = =   Cooking Classes at Common Ground Food Co-op (CGFC)

CGFC is offering a series of Saturday afternoon (3:00 - 5:00 PM)
cooking
classes at no cost to CGFC members. Others are welcome to attend by
joining
the Co-op, which requires a one-time equity deposit of $30 per adult in
the
household.

Feb 6 - Cooking with whole foods
Feb 13 - Vegetarian basics
Feb 20 - Vegan cuisine
Feb 27 - Big cookies

For more info, 217-344-4640 or 352-3347, Common Ground Food Co-op,
corner of
Springfield & Wright, Champaign.
 
 

= = = = =   Prairie Group February General Meeting:

Tour of NEG Micon Wind Turbine Plant
7:30 - 8:30 PM, Wednesday, February 9

NOTE meeting location:
NEG Micon, 301 Mercury Drive, Champaign, IL
(Off N. Market Street, about a half-mile North of I-74, near the Neil
Street
exit and the Mall.)

Last Spring, NEG Micon, one of the leading wind turbine makers in the
world,
opened their first U.S. assembly plant right here in Champaign! Come
hear
about the dramatic growth of U.S. and worldwide wind energy, and tour
the
assembly plant for these impressive turbines that harvest electricity
from
breezes.

For more info: http://www.neg-micon.dk/English/

American Wind Energy Association http://www.awea.org/
 
 

= = = = =   Prairie Group February Outing

Saturday, February 19 - Allerton Park, Monticello, IL

Meet at Noon at the Allerton Conference Center parking lot. Hike will
last
approximately 4 hours.

"Allerton Park offers over twenty miles of trails which wind through
fifteen
hundred acres of upland and lowland forests, restored prairie, and
landscaped gardens along the Sangamon River."
(http://www.conted.ceps.uiuc.edu/rapcc/)

For more info, call Prairie Group Outings Chair Matt Nowlan,
217-352-4610.
 
 
 

= = = = =   Stay in Touch With the Prairie Group Listserv

To receive legislative and local notices/alerts, subscribe to the
Prairie
Group listserv by sending a message to: LISTSERV@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG

Include this one-line command in the message body: SUBSCRIBE
IL-PRAIRIE-ALERTS  Yourfirstname  Yourlastname
 
 

= = = = =   Green Radio

NPR's Living On Earth can be heard at 5:00 PM each Saturday on WILL-AM
580.

The Prairie Monk can be heard at 11:00 AM each Sunday on WEFT-FM 90.1.

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