The Stream
Events, Alerts and News in the W&W Territory

Say "YES" to the Proposed Hackmatack Wildlife Refuge    This is your chance to tell the US Fish and Wildlife Service that we want a refuge in our area. Read more ...
Political Endorsements 2010    Your leaders have been working hard to pick out the candidates that will protect our environment. Your vote on November 2 will make it count.  Read more ...
Vote for Your Club Leaders    Choose who will serve on your local W&W Group Executive Committee. Read more ...
Join the W&W Conservation Committee    Join a team of members committed to protecting our local environment. Read more ...
Party with W&W!    Celebrate companionship with others who care about our environment. Help pull off our next party!    Read more ...
Join the Discussion    Read more ...
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Say "YES" to the Proposed
Hackmatack Wildlife Refuge

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will be hosting 4 public meetings this October to seek input from local residents and user groups for this potential refuge. Open houses are from 4:00 - 8:00 pm at the dates and locations below. Comments may also be made online».

The dream of the Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge on the Illinois-Wisconsin border is moving closer to reality. The proposed refuge would be the first located in the Chicago Metro region; it would also be convenient for visitors from the Milwaukee, Madison and Rockford Metro areas.

Hackmatack Study Area

The opportunity to further protect and restore rare remnant oak savannas, tall grass prairie and and wetland natural communities has led the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service» to study a 55 sq. mile area» containing parts of Walworth, Kenosha and Racine counties in Wisconsin and McHenry and Lake counties in Illinois.

This is the only chance for Sierra Club members to personally tell USFWS staff that we want a refuge in our area that will protect and restore our beautiful oak savanna and tallgrass prairie landscape, among the most rare ecosystems on the planet.

The meetings will utilize an open format allowing members of the public to spend one-on-one time with service staff members to answer questions, offer comments and provide ideas about the refuge.

If you cannot attend one of the public input sessions in person, please send in an electronic comment». You're invited to modify the comments to reflect your own personal experiences with our wildlife refuge system, or to address specific questions that USFWS has for Hackmatack. Here are some ideas to consider:

  • Are there natural resources that you believe need to be conserved?
    (rare plants, rare animals, water, water quality, habitat, wildlife corridors)
  • What are the threats to conservation?
    (habitat fragmentation, light pollution, noise pollution, air pollution, water pollution, sprawl, human abuse, invasive species)
  • What are the best means to conserve the resources of the area?
    (habitat protection, green development methods, stewardship, environmental tourism)
  • Are there specific issues that should be addressed in planning?
    (mass transportation to the refuge, view-shed protection, managed use)

For more information on the proposed Hackmatack NWR, see the Friends of Hackmatack website». Questions? Contact Cindy Skrukrud, Illinois Chapter staff at Thank you for helping to make this dream a reality!

Please come out to these meetings and show your support!

Tuesday, October 12
McHenry County Government Center Administration Building
667 Ware St
Woodstock IL

Wednesday, October 13
Lost Valley Visitor Center in Glacial Park
Harts Rd. & Rt. 31
Ringwood, IL

Wednesday, October 20
Bristol Municipal Building
19801 83rd Street
Bristol, WI

Thursday, October 21.
Lake Geneva City Hall
626 Geneva Street
Lake Geneva, WI

Funds to acquire land for the refuge, if approved, would come from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Migratory Bird Conservation Fund. These funds receive money from: taxes on motorboat fuels, right-of-way fees and sale of surplus Federal real property, Outer Continental Shelf oil and gas leasing fees, the sale of Duck Stamps (the Federal stamps required for waterfowl hunting), import duties on firearms and ammunition, and appropriations from the General Fund. To date, none of the $2.5 billion provided to the states from excise taxes on firearms and ammunition have been spent to buy Refuge land. See more money FAQ's» .

Political Endorsements 2010

Don't get cynical! Protecting our environment relies on your vote. Thanks to a disturbing decision by the US Supreme Court, moneyed special interests are bombarding us with negative ads and spin that makes all politicians look like crooks and liars.

We've looked through all the horserace hype to find candidates who will protect the basic resources that support all life - and a new, job-rich green economy. We hope that you will share our enthusiasm for these candidates, and support them with your time or a donation, but most of all, with your vote.

Here's our slate of endorsed candidates. For more information about them, see our endorsement website: . See which candidates will be on your ballot at

U.S. Senate:

U.S. Senate:

Alexi Giannoulias
Illinois Statewide Offices:
Governor: Pat Quinn
Attorney General: Lisa Madigan
Treasurer: Robin Kelly
U.S. House of Representatives:
District 10: Dan Seals
District 8: Melissa Bean
Illinois State Senate
District 31: Michael Bond
Illinois House of Representatives
District 17: Daniel Biss
District 57: Elaine Nekritz
District 58: Karen May
District 59: Carol Sente
District 61: Scott Pollak
Lake County Board
District 21: Ann Maine
District 23: Anne Flanigan Bassi
Cook County Board
Board President: Toni Preckwinkle
District 13: Larry Suffredin
District 14: Jennifer Bishop Jenkins


Vote For Your Woods & Wetlands Club Leaders

Your W&W Executive Committee consists of seven members who volunteer to lead our local 2100 member Group. We track important conservation issues, approve endorsements, arrange meetings, throw parties, coordinate outings, raise money, and bring it all to you through this e-newsletter (The Stream), our website and our e-mail lists.

Then there’s the stuff we do that doesn’t show, but which makes it all possible. Our Treasurer tracks our finances, we get together for planning meetings and track our progress with agendas and minutes. And without a Membership Chair, we all pitch in to involve you and the public.

Three seats on the Woods & Wetlands Group’s ExCom are up for election this year. Please use a scrap of paper or print out this ballot to vote for up to three candidates, and mail it to the address listed in the box. Make sure that your name(s) appear on the outside of the envelope, not on the ballot.

The following candidates have been nominated to serve two-year terms beginning in January 2011:

Sierra Club W&W Elections
P. O. Box 876 Grayslake, IL 60030


  • Barbara Bell joined Woods and Wetlands in 2003 and became a member of Ex-Com in 2004. A 21-year resident of Lake County, Barbara serves as outings chair and fund-raising chair. She organized a silent auction and lottery in 2009 that raised about $500 for Woods and Wetlands. In addition, she has led outings to the Indiana Dunes, the only canyon in the Chicago area, a prairie in the Grayslake area, Rollins Savanna in Grayslake and canoe trips on the Nippersink River. She believes committed volunteers can make a difference in their community.

  • Barbara Klipp is a relatively new member of the Sierra Club. She had the chance to work with the Woods and Wetlands Group over the last year during the anti-incinerator campaign. She co-founded the group incineratorfreelakecounty from scratch and worked alongside W&W to stop the incinerators. She is currently serving on the Lake County Recycling Task Force to raise the recycling rate from 30% to 60%. She would like the chance to help Woods and Wetlands in their other endeavors in the coming years as an Executive Committee member.

  • John Massman (incumbent) John has been active in W&W for the last 15 years and has served as Treasurer for the last 4 years. He remains very concerned about the impacts of rampant development in and around northwestern Lake County’s watersheds.

  • Doug Ower (incumbent) is a longtime Sierra Club member and is completing his second term as the Recording Secretary for the W&W ExCom. He’s very concerned about the decommissioning of the Zion Nuclear plant and protection of Lake County wetlands. He also enjoys being involved with the Political Committee and lobbying for Sierra Club issues.

BALLOT - vote for up to 3 Voter 1 Voter 2
Barbara Bell ______ ______
Barbara Klipp ______ ______
John Massman ______ ______
Doug Ower ______ ______
__________________________ ______ ______
__________________________ ______ ______

Join the W&W Conservation Committee

Meet Mike Wager, our lonely Conservation Committee Chair. Mike's been doing a pretty good job all by himself attending important public meetings and planning Sierra Club training events. Recently these have included

  • whether to have a golf course at the Lake County Fort Sheridan Forest Preserve (something Sierra Club activists who fought for that land never heard about until after the deal was signed),
  • Transportation priorities for Lake County
  • Water Sentinels 

Mike needs your help to track more crucial issues and get the word out to our members and the public to protect our local environment. For instance, Lake County is developing a wind turbine ordinance and Mike needs help improving it. Jot an e-mail to him at saying you'll spend some time every month giving the environment a voice.

Party with W&W!

If you came to our Winter Blues party in January, you enjoyed the company of dozens of other members and policy makers in a fun party atmosphere. Wouldn't it be great to have more parties? We need a few talented people people to help us pull us all together more often. If you have any of these skills, we need you:

  • You like to talk on the phone.
  • You can use a calendar.
  • You like Facebook or twitter.
  • You can make brownies.
  • You know how to buy ice.

Give me a shout to say you'll flip for a party at .

Join the Discussion

The Activist Network

Every Sierra Club member is invited to find local friends in the Club's on-line network. Then use it to find out about conservation teams and projects already in swing, and to collaborate with other members to address local environmental issues with the Club. Get started by finding or creating your profile at .

The W&W ISSUES Discussion List

Trade e-mail with other local members by subscribing to our ISSUES list. You can control, suspend or discontinue your subscription anytime.

To sign up, address an e-mail message to LISTSERV@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG and then include the following command in the body of the message :
SUBSCRIBE IL-WWG-ISSUES firstname lastname
(substituting your name) and send the message.

You can also visit the on-line archives of this list, which allows you to join, at ISSUES . If asked for a password, make one up (the same one is good for all Club lists) and follow the links.

Then watch for a confirmation e-mail and reply according to the instructions. Once you've subscribed, send your concerns to the list at

Click here for back issues of THE STREAM and the W&W News.

Help unite Woods & Wetlands members eager to have public meetings. See Help W&W! to join our membership committee.