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e - P R A I R I E    F L Y E R    Mar/Apr/May 2001

newsletter of the Sierra Club Prairie Group


General Meetings (March 14, May 9) and Outings
Illinois Power vs. Trees (March 12 Champaign Hearing)
Book Review - Windy City Wild
Mega-Dairy Update
Alloy Engineering Air Pollution

Mar/Apr/May Calendar

Would you like to volunteer for the Prairie Group, or offer ideas for
Prairie Flyer?


Prairie Group General Meetings
Illinois Disciples Foundation, NW corner of Wright and
Springfield, Champaign
2nd Floor, Bondurant Room (enter SW door facing
Springfield and proceed upstairs)

Wednesday, March 14th, 7:30 PM
Effective Tree Pruning Practice:  The Challenge of the
New Illinois Power Tariff Proposal.  Mike Brunk,
Urbana City Aborist, will discuss good and bad methods
of trimming trees in the proximity of power lines and
how these trees could be affected if IP's tariff goes
into effect. (Also see Tree article, and note 7 PM Mon March 12 hearing
Champaign City Hall.)

No April General Meeting.  Please attend a local Earth
Day Event!!

Wednesday, May 9th, 7:30 PM
UIUC Outdoor Adventure sampler.  Bill Saylor will show
slides taken on three Dept. of Campus Rec. trips:
Wind River Range, Wyoming;  Quetico Park (Boundary
Waters), Ontario; and Green River, Utah.
For current info, see:


Shawnee Backpacking Trip!
April 5 through April 8, 2001.

We'll hike a section of the River to River Trail
between Garden of the Gods and Lusk Creek Natural Area
near Eddyville. We will leave a car or two at the
Eddyville trailhead, drive to Garden of the Gods and
hike about 4 miles to camp on a high ridge. The second
day's hike will cover about 8 miles and end at One
Horse Gap.  Saturday's hike will take us another 8
miles or so to Lusk Creek, where we'll camp in Salt
Peter Cave. Then a short 2 miles to the car on Sunday.
 Camping gear for this fairly strenuous trip can be
rented to the general public from the U of I Outdoor
Recreation Center. Inexperienced backpackers welcome.
Breakfast and dinner will be provided during the hike.
$35 fee to  pay for food, register by March 16, limit
10. Contact Jack Kuehn at 356-7206,

For additional info on the areas we'll be hiking:,

Middle Fork Canoe Trip!

Saturday, May 5

Canoe Illinois' only National Scenic River, the Middle
Fork of the Vermilion, 12-mile trip will include about
3-4 hours on the water, the remainder on sandbars and
visiting prairies, Indian mounds etc. along the way.
Meet 9:30 AM at the river bridge in Kickapoo State
Park (just West of Danville); canoe rentals available
at Park. (Advance canoe reservations recommended:
217-354-2060 after April 1.) Leader: Clark Bullard
<> 217-333-1097 evenings.

WWW info about the Middle Fork:

Short report on the Forest Glen Preserve Winter Hike
By Jack Kuehn

It was a cold day with about 6 inches of snow covering
the trail, which we lost several times on the trek.
But we persisted, and found our objective after some
serious compass work (read that guesswork!).  Then we
had a good view from the firetower before heading home
to hot showers.  The hike was about 3 or 4 miles in

Trees Near Power Lines Are Imperiled by Illinois Power Tariff

by Jim Beauchamp

Not for a long time has any environmental issue riled
central Illinois citizens as much as the new Illinois
Power tariff, which spells out their proposed rights
to trim and cut trees in the vicinity of power lines.

Under this Vegetation Management Tariff, which is
under consideration by the Illinois Commerce
Commission, any tree over 20 feet high and within 15
feet or any tree over 40 feet high and within 65 feet
of a utility line could be cut down, despite home
owner's (or city) objections.

This proposal was announced in December, and so many
letters were sent to the ICC during the ensuing
comment period that the ICC decided to delay
acceptance of the plan until more information was
received and weighed.

To combat this proposal, a grassroots citizen's group
called IP Customers United to Save Our Trees has
formed. IPCUTSOT's three goals are 1) to fight the IP
proposal and insure that it is rejected; 2) work with
cities (including Urbana, Champaign, Bloomington, and
Normal) to create a counterproposal to offer in its
place, including a push for research into alternative
energy sources; 3) educate the public about IP's plan
and to mobilize against it.

In the meantime, the Cities of Urbana and Champaign
held public hearings. Mike Brunk, Urbana City
Arborist, opposed the tariff, and in a memo dated
December 7, 2000 he stated: "...this tariff is ... too
broad and gives unprecedented discretion to Illinois
Power over tree and shrub removal/pruning on private
and public property. The proposed vegetation
management zones reach far beyond present easements
and far exceed present ANSI Z133 guidelines."

If the tariff is approved by the ICC, it has the
potential to become a statewide standard.

Trees provide habitat for wildlife, and aesthetically
pleasing neighborhood landscapes.  Urbana is proud to
be known as "The Tree City." They also provide shade,
and insulation that helps reduce energy bills in
summer and winter.

The final decision is up to the ICC, and they cannot
be directly influenced except through open comment
periods and hearings. The next ICC hearing, it turns
out, is on March 12th at 7 PM in the Champaign City
Council Chambers.  The final hearing is in
Springfield, June 4-7.

What can you do? Write your State Representative or
Senator or the Governor opposing the IP tariff. You
can join IPCUTSOT by attending a meeting, making a
donation, and/or getting on their email list. Contact
Laura Huth, group coordinator, at 384-0830, or email Web site:

Book Review by Jeannine Wisniewski
Windy City Wild: Chicago's Natural Wonders,
photography by Jason Lindsey and Robert Shaw

When planning a hike or walk this Spring, here's a
book that will awe and inspire you. Windy City Wild:
Chicago's Natural Wonders makes you realize the wonders
of nature in Illinois that many people never see.  As
my permanent residence is in the Chicago suburbs, I
was shocked to see breathtaking photographs taken
right in my area.  All of the photographs in the book
are taken within a short drive from Chicago's downtown

Such pictures captured are white trilliums in full
bloom across the floor of Messenger Woods and the
trees in peak fall color hanging over the Rock Creek
Canyon in Kankakee River State Park.  With each
landscape you see, you are taken aback by the calm
majesty that Nature lays before us.  But then the
authors will remind you of how precious these natural
areas are with more intimate pictures such as the
captured motions of a sandhill crane flying over the
Fox River and the water lily cover of Lake Defiance in
Moraine Hills State Park.

This book is about more than just capturing a
beautiful image in a photograph; it is trying to
capture your heart with images of the wilderness that
is still in Chicago.  The authors come to us with a
purpose; they are inspiring us to take action to
protect our beautiful lands.

For more information or to purchase, visit or email Jason
Lindsey at

Mega-dairy update

A 3000+ head dairy is still planned for Bellflower (NW of Mahomet),
twice as many animals as the largest Illinois dairy in Elmwood which
recently dumped over 2 million gallons of waste from an overloaded
and been sued by the Illinois Attorney General and by lenders.

For more info: (217) 897-6171, Quad County Clean Air and Water
Coalition,; and Families Against Rural Messes

IEPA says air problems near Alloy to improve

Published Online March 2, 2001
Copyright 2001 The News-Gazette

CHAMPAIGN ­ Residents who live near Alloy Engineering &
Casting Co. can expect to see fewer air pollution problems this
spring, said an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency official...

Suit filed against Alloy

Published Online March 3, 2001
Copyright 2001 The News-Gazette

CHAMPAIGN ­ A 450-count lawsuit has been filed against
Alloy Engineering & Casting Co. by 45 neighbors of the foundry.
The lawsuit, filed Thursday, alleges the company caused
personal injury and property damage beginning in October 1999
to residents living to the south and east of Alloy's location at
1700 W. Washington St., C...


The following are not sponsored by the Sierra
Club Prairie Group but are listed as a service to our


March 17, 24, 31, April 21, Allerton Park
Nature Presentations, Friends of Allerton Series (FAS)
Various presentations on the ecology of Allerton Park,
see Calendar in this newsletter for presentation
titles and dates.
For more info or to make reservations, contact: RAPCC
Visitors Center (217) 244-1035

Monday, March 26, 2001, 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. on WILL-TV
PBS Special...
Journalist Bill Moyers and producer Sherry Jones report on how the
revolution of the past 50 years has produced thousands
of man-made chemicals that have not been tested for
their effect on the public's health and safety.

March 26-27, UIUC Illini Union
UIUC Environmental Horizons 2001
Environmental Scientific Research Posters, Visual and
Performance Art, Job/Exhibit Fair, Speakers.  The
keynote speaker will be Dr. Paul Portney,
environmental economist and President of Resources for
the Future Inc.

March 27, 2001, Tuesday, 7:30pm
What's a Landscape For? Smart Growth and Liveability in the 21st
Third Floor Levis Faculty Center
919 West Illinois Street, Urbana
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Gerald W. Adelmann
Executive Director, Openlands Project of Illinois

This talk is held in conjunction with the Environmental Horizons 2001
Conference, March 26- 27. For more information, contact the
Council at 217-333-4178 or see

Every Tuesday, April 3 - May 15, 5:10-6:30 PM.
Spring Wildflower Expeditions, led by Frank Hassler, Busey Woods Site
Steward. Anita Purves Nature Center, Urbana, Sign up at front desk of
University YMCA, 1001 S. Wright, Champaign, 217-337-1500.

Thursday Apr 12, 2001, 7 PM
Illini Union Board Spring Lecture series.
Foellinger Auditorium. Free admission.
For more info: IUB 217-333-3663, or by email:

Also see:

Fri, April 20, global warming/energy efficiency day.
U of I Students for Environmental ConcernS
Earth Week (details not available at press time)
For more info:

Monday, April 23, 2001, 7:00 pm
Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour
Sponsored by Eagle Creek Travel Gear, National Geographic Society
and Champaign Surplus

Savoy 16 Theater
All ticket proceeds are donated to Boy Scout Prairielands Council.

If you enjoy films filled with the adrenaline pumping excitement of
extreme sports and intimate looks at real-life adventurers testing
endurance, survival skills and tenacity, you are in luck.  Each
November the
Banff Centre for Mountain Culture, located in the city of Banff,
Canada hosts a world-renowned three-day international film competition,
featuring the years finest films and documentaries with mountain
{if page 3 space is needed, delete this paragraph}

Tickets are $10 and may be purchased at Champaign Surplus, 303 S Neil
Downtown Champaign or from their website at  Tickets are also available at the
Lee Scout Service Center, 3301 Farber Drive in Champaign.

Saturday, April 28, 10 AM to 5 PM
Davis Caves Annual EarthFest
Armington, IL, Southwest of Bloomington on U.S. Rt.
136, 8 miles east of I-155 (old Rt. 121) & 7 miles
west of I-55. Free admission and parking.

Environmental Displays, Construction Demos, Workshops,
Tours of Earth Sheltered Homes, Crafts & Antiques, and
Roof-Top games for kids.           {if page 3 space is needed, delete

For more info: 309-392-2574;

Saturday, May 12.
Grand Prairie Friends Native Plant Sale
GPF's native prairie plant sale
always has a wide variety of native perennial prairie
and woodland plants that grow well in home gardens.
This year, the sale will be held in front of The
Knollwood Shoppes, 2215 S. Neil, Champaign, near
LePeep Restaurant. For more information, contact Ruth
Green at or Jim Payne at

June 2 and 3, 2001 Pow Wow
The Grand Village of the Kickapoo Park
Emmett Farm, LeRoy, IL
Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sun 11 AM-5 PM
Call Dixie (309) 962-4106

June 22-24, 2001 Energy Fair, Amherst, WI
Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Illinois Renewable Energy Association

June 29th, 2:00 PM through June 30th, 2:00 PM
Biodiversity Blitz at Allerton Park
The Illinois Natural History Survey will be conducting
a 24-hour all taxa survey at Allerton Park.  Teams of
scientists from the Survey will be identifying and
cataloguing the diverse organisms of Allerton.  Watch
for more information in our June newsletter!  For more
information, contact Kate Higgs at

Interested in helping with Prairie workdays?

Grand Prairie Friends: Contact Rick Larimore at or Jamie Ellis at for more information.

Heartland Pathways: Contact Dave Monk at

The Prairie Greens of East-Central Illinois meet at 7 PM the first
of each month. For more info about their several e-mail lists and other
meetings: <>,

Champaign-Urbana Critical Mass celebrates bicycling and clean
transportation. A ride meets on every last friday of the month at 5pm
Green and Wright (by the Alma Mater statue, Green and Wright, Urbana).

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