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e - P R A I R I E    F L Y E R    Nov/Dec 2000

newsletter of the Sierra Club Prairie Group



Nov 8 - Yosemite slide show
Dec 13 - Slide show by you!

VOTE Tues Nov 7!

Next Auction: Nov 2001

Yosemite: Your park and your problems

Sierra Club 2001 Calendars

Call Governor about land auction by Allerton Park

Vermilion County Coal Mine

4,000-head Bellflower mega-dairy no longer a rumor



Nov 5 Fundraiser for Greens and Independent Media at Highdive
Grand Prairie Friends
Heartland Pathways
Common Ground Food Co-op
Prairieland Community Supported Agriculture
Green Radio


Prairie Group General Meetings
Illinois Disciples Foundation, corner of Wright and Springfield,

7:30 PM, Wednesday, November 8

Slide show about Yosemite National Park by Jack Paxton...see Yosemite

7:30 PM, Wednesday, December 13

Slide show by you! Bring slides and/or prints of hikes or places you'd
to share for an informal friendly get-together.


Election Day!
Tuesday, November 7

Why Vote?

This November all three branches of government are up for grabs. We
win this time. (Sierra Magazine online, Sept. 2000,

Project Vote Smart



Next Auction: November 2001

Thanks to the success of the 1999 fundraising auction and calendar
and reduced newsletter costs, the Prairie Group is able to skip the
November auction this year. Many people and local businesses helped
with the
1999 (and previous) auctions, and the Prairie Group is very grateful
this widespread community support.


Yosemite: Your park and your problems

Yosemite is one of the most spectacular places on earth -- mecca to
rock climbers, hikers, backpackers, fishermen, and photographers as
well as
multitudes of casual visitors.

John Muir unsuccessfully battled long and hard to save the Hetch Hetchy
valley from a dam and water supply project for the city of San
Hetch Hetchy valley was the twin to spectacular Yosemite Valley, but
valley to the north in Yosemite National Park. The Department of
recently proposed to remove this dam and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley.

The National Park Service is currently working on a National Wild and
River Comprehensive Management Plan for the Merced River, which flows
through Yosemite Valley. In addition the National Park Service is
working on
revising the Yosemite Valley Plan for future development of Yosemite
National Park. Your involvement in both these projects is requested by
National Park Service.

There are lots of ORVs in Yosemite Valley...ORVs is gov-speak for
Outstandingly Remarkable Values! You can get a notion of what these are

Jack Paxton will present a talk and slide show November 8th on the
of Yosemite, and discuss what you can do to help save this unique and
park, which has several million visitors per year.


Sierra Club 2001 Calendars

When you purchase these from the Prairie Group, you get a discount off
retail price and help raise funds for the local group. For 2001 the
Club is publishing two calendars: the engagement format (about 6 by 8
inches, one page per week with a photo on the facing page), and the
calendar (one photo per month).

To buy calendars, and to volunteer to help with calendar sales, contact
Trent Shepard <>, 217-344-2822.


Call Governor about land auction by Allerton Park

Please call Governor Ryan at 217-782-6830 (Springfield number) or
312-814-2121 (Chicago number) and ask him to protect Allerton Park and
than double its size by buying the adjacent land that is being
auctioned on
November 29th.

The Art Institute of Chicago is selling 2800 acres of farm land and
adjacent to Allerton Park. The land will be sold in pieces at public
on Nov. 29th. By buying this land the State will:

- Protect 1.5 miles of the Sangamon River upstream from Allerton Park
is habitat for 36 fish species and 21 mussels).

- Connect Allerton Park with two other parcels owned by the University
Illinois (one parcel is 158 acres of floodplain forest along the
River and the other is a 242 acre farm).

- Protect the largest great blue heron rookery in East Central Illinois
nests in 2000).

- Protect the scenic gateway to Allerton Park from suburban sprawl. A
of subdivisions are already encroaching on the park.

- Preserve a 285 acre block of forest along the Sangamon River to
benefit 21
area sensitive woodland birds known from the area.

- Provide the opportunity to restore 1000 acres of grassland habitat
(prairie bird populations have shown the steepest most consistent
of all North American birds over the last 20 years).

- Expand and protect habitat for 5 state listed species.


Vermilion County Coal Mine

By Marc Miller, Prairie Rivers Network

Black Beauty Coal Company plans to open an underground mine along one
of the
finest streams in Illinois, the Little Vermilion River near Georgetown
Vermilion Grove.

The river is listed on the state's Natural Areas Inventory, and is one
the top ten aquatic ecosystems in Illinois. It is home to three state
endangered species (the slippershell mussel, little spectaclecase
and bigeye shiner) and the riparian corridor is home to one federally
species, the Indiana bat.

Storm water discharged from the proposed 440 acre mine site will
sediments, metals, and acid mine drainage, posing a major threat to
Georgetown, the drinking water supply for Georgetown and Olivet. Also
threatened is the Carl Flierman River Nature Preserve, a short distance

Three state permits (for mining, and air and water pollution) are
before the proposed mine can begin work. The public comment periods for
three permits have closed recently, so letters to the Governor are

Please write Governor Ryan, and request that the permits for Black
Coal be denied. Let the Governor know your disappointment about the
procedures the state agencies followed during the permitting process,
your concerns about protecting the Little Vermilion River.

Governor George Ryan
207 Statehouse
Springfield, IL 62706

For more info: Marc Miller <>, Prairie Rivers
Network, Champaign, 217-344-2371.


4,000-head Bellflower mega-dairy no longer a rumor

Watch for November special McClean County Board Meeting

Oct. 17 the Illinois Dept. of Agriculture received formal notice of
to build the largest dairy in the state between Bloomington and
It's very likely that the McClean County Board will scedule a special
meeting sometime in November or December for public comment on
the proposed diary.

For more info: McClean County Clerk 309-888-5190, McClean County Board
online calendar) ; Families Against Rural Messes ; Sierra Club



January 13, 2001. Forest Glen hike.

Meet at Bagelman's (401 W. Kirby Ave. Champaign, across from Hessel
Park) at
9:00 AM for breakfast (9:30 departure, sharp), then drive 1 hour to
Glen County Preserve near Westville.

Forest Glen Preserve is rated third in the state for the number of
botanical species. It includes a 40 acre restored tall grass prairie, a
acre tree research area, and 25 miles of trails, many along the scenic
Vermilion River. (

The hike will depend on snow cover, and cross country skiing may be
possible. An overnight stay at the primitive campsite is a possibility
adventurous souls. Pack a lunch and bring your warm duds. Contact Jack
for maps and signup, 356-7206,


April 5 through April 8, 2001. Shawnee Backpacking trip.

We'll hike a section of the River to River Trail between Garden of the
and Lusk Creek Natural Area near Eddyville. We will leave a car or two
the Eddyville trailhead, drive to Garden of the Gods and hike about 4
to camp on a high ridge. The second day's hike will cover about 8 miles
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
Camping gear for this fairly strenuous trip can be rented to the
public from the U of I Outdoor Recreation Center. Inexperienced
welcome. Breakfast and dinner will be provided during the hike. $35 fee
pay for food, register by March 16, limit 10. Contact Jack Kuehn at

For additional info:,


(The following events are not sponsored by the Sierra Club Prairie
but are listed as a service to our members.)


Fundraiser for Greens and Independent Media

7:30 PM, Sunday, November 5
The Highdive, 51 E. Main, Champaign

Admission is available on a sliding scale of $10-$50 ($5-$10 for
students or
individuals with limited incomes).

The Prairie Greens Party and the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media
(UCIMC) will celebrate "Free Politics, Free Press," at a joint
event featuring entertainment by the Poster Children, Paul Kotheimer,
Newspoetry, and the School for Designing a Society, as well as speeches
progressive community leaders and information from local organizations.
UCIMC will celebrate the opening of its website, an important tool for
distributing grassroots, civic news programs.

The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, entirely volunteer
and supported, was founded in September by people seeking to cover
news often overlooked in the mainstream media. UCIMC is inspired by the
international Independent Media Center movement that has grown
since the 1999 Seattle WTO protests, with centers now in over 60 cities

For more information contact:

Jim Buell, Prairie Greens, 217-355-5001

Sarah Kanouse, Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center, 217-384-5346


Grand Prairie Friends

Saturdays, November 4 & 18: Busey Woods Work Parties 9:00 - 11:00 AM.
a woodland close to home. Refreshments, guided tour, and (usually) wild
animal viewing provided. Meet at the Anita Purves Nature Center, 1505
Broadway, Urbana, at 9:00 AM. For more information, call the Nature
at 384-062. For seed cleaning workdays, contact Paul Tessene at


Heartland Pathways

Volunteers are needed to help collect and clean prairie seeds, and for
maintenance. For more info: Dave Monk <>,

Thanks to all who helped make the Oct. 15 Heartland Pathways
Master Run and Walk for the Prairie a successful event.  Meadowbrook
with its restored prairie is an ideal setting.

ART SHOW....Heartland Pathways (HP) has a photgraphy exhibit on the
floor of the Levis Center, 919 W. Illinois, Urbana, till Nov 18. The
features prairie plants located on HP rail bed that runs just north of
Allerton Park. The sale of pictures, seeds and plants helps HP do
preservation work.

Visit the downtown urban prairie, opposite the HP office at 111 N.
Champaign, next to WEFT. Think of making a windshield or bike tour of
Heartland Pathways prairie railbeds to the east along the old ConRail
(now CSX) from Urbana to Danville...the bed parallels Route 150.


Common Ground Food Co-op

The Common Ground Food Co-op is a program of the Illinois Disciples
Foundation,  providing wholesome food at the lowest possible prices,
promoting an environmentally sound, economically viable, socially just
production and distribution system.

610 East Springfield Avenue (corner of Springfield & Wright)
Champaign, Illinois 61825


Prairieland Community Supported Agriculture

Fresh produce, locally grown, once-a-week during the growing season.

PCSA shares for next year are available now - Price is $261 for 24
with a $20 discount for those who sign up early. A pre-season (prior to
5/29/01) veggie share may also be offered, depending on weather, which
include peas, salad greens, rhubarb, and possibly asparagus. Brochures
contracts: Anna Barnes at (217) 239-3686,


Green Radio

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

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

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