Current News: 2014

Read what the Prairie Group Excom is doing!
Accounts from 2011 and from 2012; the minutes of 2013 have been posted on our Minutes Page

You can download our ePrairie Flyer in pdf format.
The August edition of our ePrairie Flyer also has been emailed to members and is available at
Prairie Flyer August 2014.
You can also read the April 2014 ePrairie Flyer at
Prairie Flyer April 2014.
If you missed the 2013 editions
Prairie Flyer December 2013
Prairie Flyer August 2013
Prairie Flyer Aprill 2013

As mentioned in the newsletter, it's time for ...

Elections for Sierra Club Prairie Group's Executive Committee

Four seats are open, and five candidates are running for the excom this time. There will be at least one newcomer -- George Hardebeck and Eva Jehle have been nominated along with incumbents Don Davis, Stuart Levy, and Rachel Vellenga. All terms are for 2 years.

Candidates' statements, and the electronic ballot, are here:
Deadline for voting: Sunday, Dec. 21st (11:59PM).

Any current member of the Sierra Club in this area (Prairie Group of the Illinois Chapter) may vote. You'll be asked for your name so that we can confirm your membership.

If you'd prefer a secret ballot, then please write a letter, listing the names of the candidates you prefer (up to four of the five). Be sure your name appears on the outside of the envelope so we can check that you are a current member. Mail it, postmarked by Saturday, Dec 20th, to:

   Sierra Club Prairie Group
   P.O. Box 131
   Urbana, IL  61803
But you may find it simplest to vote electronically here.

If you have questions, or trouble using the electronic voting system, please write to us at -


Upcoming Outings, Events, and Opportunities

Stand Up To Coal
Dec. 17th - IDNR Public Hearing for Bulldog Mine

The public hearing regarding Sunrise Coal's Bulldog Mine Permit - the next step in the permit review process with IDNR - will be held on Dec. 17th. This hearing will be attended by representatives from IDNR and Sunrise Coal.

IDNR staff and a court reporter will be present, so this is the best time to make comments or ask questions for the public record.

Please plan to attend this important hearing. You may share your comments at the meeting, but you may also just attend to demonstrate your concern about this proposed mine. Comments will likely be limited to keep the hearing time to approximately 2 hours. Speakers will be recorded for the official record to be attached to the permit application.

Both proponents and opponents of the mine had a strong showing at the informal conference in October, so we would like to have even more attendees this time.

What: Public Hearing for Bulldog Mine Permit Application #429
When: Wednesday, December 17, 6:00pm
    Jamaica High School
    7087 North 600 East Rd.
    Sidell, IL 61876

More information about the meeting, including a map, is available on our website,

The permit application is also available on our website.

Here is a flyer that you can share with friends or post for others to see.

If you have any questions about the permit application process or the upcoming informal concerence, feel free to contact either me or Tyler Rotche at Prairie Rivers Network:, 217.344.2371x206.

Thank you for your help in this effort. Over the last five years, the Bulldog Mine has done more to divide the community than improve it. It is time to directly tell the Illinois Department of Natural Resources that our communities deserve better.

    Jonathan Ashbrook
    Stand Up To Coal

Sierra Club endorses Ann Callis
Ann Callis, the Democratic candidate for the 13th Illinois District of the US Congress has been endorsed by the Sierra Club due to the recommendation of three Central Illinois groups.

A fundraiser for Judge Callis is sponsored by the Sierra Club:

5:30-7:00 pm, Tuesday, August 12th
Floyd's Thirst Parlor
210 S. 5th St., Springfield

Sierra Club endorses Carol Ammons
Carol Ammons, the Democratic candidate for the 103rd Illinois District has been endorsed by the Sierra club due to the recommendation of the Prairie Group.
The Prairie Group is co-sponsoring a public listening session for Carol on September 16th at the Urbana Civic Center. A notice on our alerts listserv and our Facebook page will give the time and other details.

Hike at Forest Glen Nature Preserve
Sunday, October 19 - Come and see the fall colors

We will do a 5-mile loop hike at Forest Glen Nature Preserve, southeast of Danville along the Vermilion River. To carpool, meet in the parking lot of the Urbana Schnuck's at noon; we will be on the west side of the parking lot, close to Vine Street. Or else meet us at 1pm in the parking lot for the observation tower at the preserve. Bring water and sturdy shoes, there will be hills and maybe mud. Hike is expected to take two hours.

Directions to Forest Glen:
Take I-74 east toward Danville
Take exit 215A (Route 1) to Westville (5 miles)
At Westville, turn left (east) at Main Street
Follow asphalt road (Co. Hwy. 5) for 7 miles
Park entrance on the left


Saturday, October 25 - Starwatching at Homer Lake

We will join the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society for a public starwatching session at Homer Lake Forest Preserve. Stargazing will take place at the North Boat Ramp from 7-9pm. At 8pm, inside the preserve's Interpretive Center, there will be a talk about the night sky by Dave Leake of Staerkel Planetarium. If the weather is cloudy, this event will likely be cancelled; if unsure, call 351-2567 and there will be a message describing the status of the event.

Know of a local event other Sierra Club members might be interested in? Let Rachel Vellenga know at rlvellenga (at)

Current conservation concerns of the Prairie Group

1. Protecting the Mahomet Aquifer from being contaminated by the Clinton Landfill and supporting its designation as a sole source aquifer
2. Reducing the use and negative environmental impacts of coal by supporting campus divestment and opposing the Bulldog Coal Mine
3. Supporting native plantings by urban developers and planners
4. Supporting City of Champaign efforts to reduce the wasteful consumption of disposable bags
What else is on this Web site?:
  •      This Home page: announcements of coming meetings and other events
  •      Meetings :
    descriptions of previous meetings of the Prairie Group -- back several years
  •      Chapter eNewsletter -- Prairie State Protector 
    signup for the email newsletter of the Illinois Chapter
  •      Illinois Chapter Calendar :
    Events of the State Chapter and the Groups
  •      Contacts :
    a list of who runs the Prairie Group -- the Executive Committee -- links to emailing them, designated positions, phone numbers, biographies
  •      Links :
    links to many local, state, and national environmental organizations
  •      Minutes :
    Minutes of the Prairie Group Executive Committee
  •      Outings :
    Outing of the Chapter and other state Groups
  •      By-Laws :
    the Prairie Group By-Laws in PDF format
  •      Flyer :
    Old issues of the Prairie Flyer newsletter, 1999-2007.

Sierra Club Radio
WEFT, 90.1 FM, Tuesdays 5:30-6:00pm

Sierra Club Radio is now on local community radio station WEFT, 90.1 FM in Champaign, every Tuesday afternoon from 5:30 to 6:00pm. Sierra Club Radio is a nationally produced half-hour radio show about the environment with a focus on what each of us can do to make our world better. Each week host Orli Cotel has in-depth interviews with politicians, authors, celebrities, artists, businesspeople, and activists inspired by nature. There is advice from "Mr. Green", lifestyle tips, and occasional commentary from former Sierra Club executive director Carl Pope.

So listen each week on your radio to WEFT, 90.1 FM on Tuesdays at 5:30 pm as Sierra Club turns the airwaves green.

Click Here to join the Prairie Group Alerts Listserv.

And Here to join the Prairie Group Newsletter Listserv.

Illinois Chapter of the Sierra Club
For Political and Legislative activities of the Chapter use the link Act, then Legislation

signup for IL Chapter newsletter -- Prairie State Protector

National Sierra Club

Join Sierra Club:
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Revision of this Web page by assistant webmaster Dick Bishop, August, 2014.