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e - P R A I R I E   F L Y E R     Sep/Oct 1999
Newsletter of the Sierra Club Prairie Group
 

= = = Contents = = =

Sept 8 - Prairie Group Mtg - Sprawl & Champaign/Mahomet corridor?

Look for City of Champaign growth recommendations

Sept 10 - Smart Growth meeting in Bloomington

Sept 18-19 - Prairie Conference at Parkland

Oct 9 - Salt Fork River clean-up

Oct 13 - Prairie Group Mtg - Yosemite

Oct 29-31 - Outing to Southern Illinois

Illinois' Conservation Congress

Help Stop Sweatshops!

Industrial livestock update

Elections for Prairie Group Executive Committee (ExComm)

Donations and vols needed for annual fundraising auction in November

Stay in Touch With the Prairie Group Listserv

= = = = =

Prairie Group September Meeting:

Is sprawl coming soon to the
Champaign/Mahomet Route 150 corridor?

7:30 PM, Wednesday, September 8

Illinois Disciples Foundation, corner of Wright and
Springfield, Champaign

As noted in the June Prairie Flyer, a steering committee has been
meeting
for over a year to draft long-term development guidelines for the Route
150
corridor between Champaign, Mahomet, and I-74. The committee is
scheduled to
complete their proposal this Fall.

Norm Stenzel and Scott Bidner, two residents of the Route 150 corridor
will
speak at the September meeting about their objections to the steering
committee's proposal, and alternatives that would preserve farmland and
protect the environmentally sensitive watersheds in this area.

- - -

Upcoming Rt. 150 Steering Committee Meetings:
Sept. 23, 7:00 pm at Village of Mahomet Bldg.
Oct. 28, 7:00 pm at Champaign City Bldg.

Also see the Sierra Club sprawl report:
http://www.sierraclub.org/transportation

= = = = =

Look for City of Champaign Growth Recommendations and
Opportunities for Public Input

    The key Champaign city council meeting may be late Oct/early Nov

Last December the city of Champaign formed  a Growth Areas Task Force
to
evaluate potential areas of growth, classify the relative
appropriateness of
each for urban development, and to help develop and recommend policies
for a
long-term growth and (re)development strategy.

Don Fournier is the Sierra Club Prairie Group representative
on the task force (see his articles in the January and March Prairie
Flyers).
http://kentucky.psych.uiuc.edu/sierra/pf199903.html

Sometime this Fall the recommendations of the task force will be ready
for
public review and input. This will be an important opportunity to have
a say
in the way Champaign grows. For the task force recommendations, and for
dates of public meetings, please contact:

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

Also see the Sierra Club's report on sprawl:
http://www.sierraclub.org/transportation

= = = = =

9:00 AM - 5:00 PM, Friday, September 10, 1999

Greater Illinois Section of the
American Planning Association
Fall Meeting

"Smart Growth Through Intergovernmental & Regional Cooperation"

Jumer's Conference Center, Jumer Drive at Veteran's Parkway,
Bloomington IL,
Hosted by the planners of McLean County

Registration fee, $15 for members and students, $20 for non-members

The original pre-registration deadline has passed, so call to find out
if
space is available for the activities you are interested in attending:

Philip Dick,  (309) 888-5160
McLean County Planning & Zoning
Bloomington, IL

= = = = =

Fifth Central Illinois Prairie Conference

"People and Prairies: Caring for Where We Live"

Saturday and Sunday, September 18 - 19, 1999
Parkland College, Champaign IL

The 5th Central Illinois Prairie Conference is sponsored by Grand
Prairie
Friends of Illinois, Parkland College, and the Champaign County Forest
Preserve District. Additional support was provided by the Illinois
Department of Natural Resources and Conservation 2000.

An Online Registration Form is available. The deadline for registration
is
September 7th. Late or walk-in registration will be $5 extra.

For more information: Call Kristina Hubert at (217) 896-2455
<nature@net66.com>.

http://www.prairienet.org/gpf/conference1999.html

= = = = =

Second Annual Salt Fork River Clean-Up Scheduled

Salt Fork Forest Preserve
2573 South Homer Lake Road
(near Homer, Illinois)

Saturday, October 9, 1999
8:30 a.m. -- 1:00 p.m.
 

Volunteers are needed to help remove debris and garbage from the Salt
Fork
River, one of the most scenic streams in Central Illinois.  Those
volunteers
who bring canoes or other shallow-draft boats will help clean up the
river
channel.  Others will work along the trails in the Salt Fork Preserve
and
along the shorelines of the river, Collins Pond, and Homer Lake.  There
will
be work for all -- children (who should be accompanied by an adult),
teens,
and adults of all ages and levels of fitness.

The Salt Fork River Clean-Up is a joint effort by four local
organizations:
Prairie Rivers Network, Champaign County Forest Preserve District, Salt
Fork
River Partners, and Izaak Walton League.  The Clean-Up will enhance one
of
Champaign County's best recreational resources as well as increase
people's
awareness of issues affecting the Salt Fork River.

Again this year, the clean-up will be headquartered at the Salt Fork
Forest
Preserve, 2573 South Homer Lake Road, near Homer, Illinois.  Volunteers
can
follow signs to a check-in station where they will be linked with a
crew
coordinator who will take them to a work site.

All volunteers should wear old clothing that covers arms and legs, and
sturdy footwear that can get muddy.  They should also bring gloves, a
water
bottle or cup -- so we don't create more waste as we clean up! -- and a
sack
lunch if they can stay through the noon hour.

Each of the first 200 volunteers to sign in on October 9 will receive a
handsome free Salt Fork t-shirt.  All will have the chance to win
raffle
items and enjoy beverages and snacks donated by local businesses.
There
will also be informative displays and informal presentations concerning
the
Salt Fork and how volunteers can be involved in other projects to
enhance
and protect this valuable resource.
 

For more information, contact:

Robert Moore <robmoore@earthlink.net>, Prairie Rivers Network
(217.344.2371), Kristina Hubert, Champaign County Forest Preserve
District
(217.896.2455 ), Dennis Wandell, Salt Fork River Partners
(217.688.2969),
Gene Shove, Izaak Walton League (217.367.8865)

= = = = =
 

Prairie Group October Meeting:

Yosemite National Park

7:30 PM, Wednesday, October 13

Illinois Disciples Foundation, corner of Wright and
Springfield, Champaign

"Mountain" Jack and "Yosemite" Sal Paxton visited Yosemite National
Park in
mid-May this year and will share video and comments about the
spectacular
falls, sights, and the 81 year-old rock climber on El Capitan. To keep
people from loving it to death, the Yosemite access policy is being
revised,
and your participation is needed in this National Park Service process.

= = = = =

October 29-31
Outing to Southern Illinois

Jack Paxton will host a Southern Illinois outing to his farm October
29-31. This should be a great time to view fall foliage in a
spectacular,
unglaciated area of Illinois. We will visit the highest waterfall in
the state, and also see Illinois' own "Grand Canyon."

For details contact Jack at 217-367-6554 or <j-paxton@uiuc.edu>  before
October 25. Be prepared to have a great time 'roughing it' in the
rolling
hills of southern Illinois.
 
 

= = = = =

Illinois' Conservation Congress

By Kate Higgs

The Conservation Congress is at the beginning of another three-year
cycle.  Conservation Congress was organized by the Illinois Department
of Natural Resources as a way to assess the needs of organizations that
are interested in natural resource issues.  Organizations from the
Illinois Farm Bureau and the Illinois Corn Growers Association to the
Committee on the Middle Fork River and the Sierra Club Prairie Group
are represented.  Each interested organization sends a representative
and and alternate to the three monthly regional caucuses.

At the first caucus meeting, breakout groups listed areas of concern,
areas we felt deserved IDNR's immediate attention.  The Prairie Group
brought up water quality issues, Illinois's global warming
contributions, the need for increased incentives for clean energy, and
the
ever-present
urban sprawl.

Issues that were brought up by several groups were public access to
private lands, lack of seedlings for reforestation, animal over
population, lack of technical and financial assistance to private land
owners, and water quality issues (including siltation, water pollution
control permits, and  leaching landfills).

During the second caucus, to be held on September 7th, representatives
will vote for the top ten issues.  These ten issues will then be
assessed for challenges, and then possible solutions will be discussed.
 New issues can be raised at the next meeting before voting occurs, so
if you have any topics you feel need addressed or if you have any
questions contact Kate Higgs at 217-359-9207 or katehiggs@yahoo.com.

Illinois Conservation Congress
http://dnr.state.il.us/ildnr/offices/pubsrv/consrv/congweb1.htm

[The Prairie Group rep and alternate delegates to the Congress are Kate
Higgs and DeAnna Belz.]

= = = = =

Help Stop Sweatshops!

By Lindsay Hamman

"What do human rights have to do with environmental protection?
Everything...Many of the worst cases of ecological damage occur in
countries
under the control of authoritarian, rights-repressive regimes, where
affected communities have no way of holding governments accountable for
their actions." --Sierra Club's Human Rights and Environment Alert
Network

All over the world, workers are being exploited just so their employers
can
make more profits.  One example of this exploitation is occurring on
the
island of Saipan in Southeast Asia.  This island is filled with unsafe
textile factories, known as sweatshops, where thousands of workers are
treated like slaves every day.

The island of Saipan is a U.S. territory, but U.S. labor laws do not
apply
to the businesses on the island.  Thus, workers are paid $3.05 or less
an
hour, and they are forced to sign contracts that deny them their basic
human
rights, such as the freedom to attend religious services, join unions,
quit,
or marry.  If a worker becomes pregnant, she is told to have an
abortion or
else she will lose her job.

The workers in Saipan are mostly women from China, the Philippines,
Bangladesh, and Thailand.  They must pay $2,000 to $7,000 to go to what
they
are told is the U.S.  They soon find out, however, that they will be
indentured servants in textile factories that make clothing for
companies
like Gap, Levi-Strauss, and Tommy Hilfiger.

In the past month, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of the
federal government filed two lawsuits against the Sako Corporation in
Saipan, a firm that produces clothing for Gap.  The law suits charge
that
the corporation denied pregnant workers their mandatory pregnancy
benefits
and fired Carmencita Abad for trying to organize a union.  The lawsuits
are
still pending.

On May 1st and July 3rd, the Sweatshop Task Force, a group of concerned
community members and U of I students, picketed outside of the
Marketplace
Mall in Champaign to protest Gap's use of sweatshops.  Following the
initial
two pickets, members of the United Steelworkers of America also joined
the
campaign and held a picket at the mall on July 22nd.  Anti-sweatshop
activists choseto target first Gap  since it is an industry leader, and
because it claims to be a leader in the effort to stop sweatshops, even
though the reality in Saipan is quite different.  If Gap stops using
sweatshops, then hopefully, other companies will follow its example.

Corporations like Gap must become accountable for their actions.
Thousands
of workers in Saipan are suffering in virtual slavery every day just so
companies like Gap can make more profits.  Gap's 1998 net earnings were
$824.5 million, an increase of 54% over 1997!

You can help stop sweatshops in Saipan in a number of ways.  You can
call
Gap at 1-800-333-7899 and tell them to support workers rights and be
honest
with consumers.  You can also write a letter to Donald Fisher,
Chairman, The
Gap, Inc., One Harrison Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.  Finally, you
can
attend future Sweatshop Task Force demonstrations to show your support
for
workers' rights.

If you would like to join the Sweatshop Task Force, or if you would
like
more information, please contact Lindsay at 217-352-7702 or
lhamman@uiuc.edu.

[All of the information in this article was provided by Global Exchange
(415-255-7296, http://www.globalexchange.org/ ) and Sweatshop Watch
(http://www.sweatshopwatch.org/).]

Sierra Club's Human Rights and the Environment Alert Network (202)
675-6691
http://www.sierraclub.org/human-rights/
http://www.sierraclub.org/sierra/199711/humanrights.html
Sierra Club National Office (415) 977-5500

The Octopus (Champaign, IL), August 20-26, 1999
Students Struggle Against Sweatshops, by Tate Hausman
http://www.cuoctopus.com/1999/aug20/act.html

Daily Illini (Champaign, IL), March 23, 1999
University signs sweatshop labor conduct code
http://www.illinimedia.com/di/mar_99/mar23/news/news02.html

= = = = =

Industrial livestock update

In August, the US EPA released new feedlot runoff guidelines that the
Sierra
Club and other environmental groups have criticized as having no teeth
and
falling far short of what is needed.

In Illinois, a ridiculously low fine was finally issued for an 800,000
gallon spill that happened in 1997, the Attorney General has sued a
Henderson County hog operation for offensive odors, the Inwood 1,250
head
dairy in Peoria County has been cited for air and water pollution
violations, and on Sept. 28 the Supreme Court will hear the Knox County
appeal challenging the agricultural exemption from local zoning claimed
by
industrial livestock operations.

For more info:

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

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

= = = = =

Elections for 2-year terms on the Prairie Group Executive Committee
(ExComm)
will be this Fall. Please consider joining the ExComm...contact Ted at
217-344-0867 or <ted@net66.com>.

= = = = =

Donations and volunteers are needed for the annual Prairie Group
fundraising
auction in November. Combine rides, guided canoe and hiking trips, as
well
as many great items from members and area businesses have been
highlights of
past auctions.

This is the main fundraiser for the Prairie Group, so please make a
donation
of volunteer by contacting Ted Tourlentes at 217-344-0867,
<ted@net66.com>.

= = = = =

Stay in Touch With the Prairie Group Listserv

To receive legislative and local notices/alerts, subscribe
to the new 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

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