Pay to Play in National Parks?

By Newsroom America Feeds at 1 Nov 2017

The Sierra Club Insider

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Pay to Play

Last Tuesday, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke announced a proposal to more than double entry fees—from $30 per vehicle to $70 per vehicle—at 17 of our most popular national parks during the five-month summer season. If this proposal goes through, U.S. public lands, rightly celebrated as an inspiring example of our democratic aspirations, are at risk of becoming exclusive playgrounds for the well-to-do. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until November 23.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de89b497b9229dfd946a7d2ca55a248e41cb8d848370c753f9cbaa6c0d8816db8795641fc8f7462a3fc0a67a4d7ffa17d89 Read Sierra magazine editor in chief Jason Mark's analysis of what's behind the move.

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Fishy Whitefish Contract Canceled

After a $300 million contract to rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid was awarded to a tiny firm from Whitefish, Montana—Ryan Zinke's hometown—thousands of Sierra Club members and supporters reached out to Congress demanding that this lucrative no-bid deal be investigated. And this past Sunday the governor of Puerto Rico cancelled the deal! The FBI and FEMA are beginning an investigation into how Whitefish Energy, a company with no experience in disaster recovery, but strong ties to Zinke, landed such a plush contract.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de8ad86f259be7570fe999c9d596f8e9ad7821751ce127b8f31d9428920ed334fbf9ba61da41a2287c123b23d9255e753b65fa47110081088ae Tell Congress to keep the pressure on for a thorough investigation of the fishy Whitefish Energy deal.

Photo by U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Kris Grogan

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And in Other Zinke-Related Developments...

The Bureau of Land Management recently finalized protections to stop venting and flaring of fracked gas and other dangerous pollutants on public and tribal lands. But Secretary Zinke wants to weaken these commonsense, cost-effective protections to keep our communities and our children healthier. This is a blatant attempt to give corporate polluters a free pass to dump millions of tons of toxic pollution into our air.

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The Censor and the Coming Storms

More than a million people in the Northeast were left without power on Monday after a massive tropical storm struck on the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy. Storms made more destructive by rising sea levels and warming waters—a trend that began with Hurricane Katrina and includes the storms that devastated Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico this year—will become even more deadly unless we take action.

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Photo shows the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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Winter Wanderings

Crisp air and silent beauty are the hallmarks of these enchanting journeys through frozen landscapes. Cross-country ski or snowshoe a variety of wilderness areas at the peak of winter, or learn to mush your own team of huskies in Alaska.

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Photo by Lina Nilsson

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Delightfully Spooky Wildlife

While many will masquerade as ghouls and ghosts this Halloween, the critters featured in the new, second season of Smithsonian Earth's Strange Creatures, will inspire awe, fear, and wonder exactly as they are. Each of the show's six episodes feature a handful of beautifully bizarre creatures. Whether crawling across a bedroom floor or trolling the depths of the Pacific Ocean, the stars of this show will trick viewers with their outlandish body parts and, thanks to their mesmerizing powers of disguise and adaptation, treat you as well.

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Photo courtesy of Smithsonian Earth

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Kiersey Clemons Is All Ears

How did Kiersey Clemons, the 23-year-old actress who recently costarred in the film Flatliners, spend National Public Lands Day? Touring the new Bears Ears National Monument with local Native American advocates, receiving reiki (you'll find out when you read the story), learning to forage, and gaining new perspective on the national monument, which President Trump and Interior Secretary Zinke want to radically shrink.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de87848299a444b4f383ea922b2577a9306f639357a66e99e8a4da128cd1be4d5a0e0965e8682d2d63e8c066f3e22c085a9 Find out why Clemons vehemently opposes downsizing Bears Ears, and watch a video of her eye-opening visit.

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How to See the Living Forest for the Trees

A new book about forest ecosystems, The Living Forest, shows that within the biosphere all around us, there is an intelligence that is alive to the world. "From soaring heights up above the tree canopy down to the finest filigree of a root stem," writes Sierra magazine managing editor Jonathan Hahn, The Living Forest is "an adventure into the biosphere we call home."

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de8a8fa4ca8f92adf65d293c4a5b9f7709a32011ccb90abcf66d10c37bef7e53c141f73946cb6c63bfb448b693e641b33cb Read on and find out why there's a difference between looking and seeing.

Photo by Robert Llewellyn, from The Living Forest, courtesy of Timber Press (October 2017)

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The Hidden Heroes of Hurricane Season

Thousands of people affected by hurricanes during the past two months owe their lives to brave emergency responders. But what about the wild animals whose habitats have also been destroyed?

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de86531b22d11aa52718ae09bfdca88e41d0110cb2109bc9aa73f35b23213390719816d800f7b2b09ff115e30a0b1740540 That's where wildlife rehabilitators, or "rehabbers," come in.

Photo courtesy of Austin Wildlife Rescue

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The Garden, Reconsidered

Eleven years ago, as the urban farming movement was beginning to take hold, Jason Mark cofounded an inner-city farm that now produces some 22,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables annually. But for all his sense of wonder at what can be coaxed from the earth on "a smidgen of land in one of the most densely populated cities in the United States,: he now wonders if the garden metaphor has outlived its usefulness.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de8ab2e6a867ee897a4076ab84e1e3b69a3d2adececdff99900d24331c2b21f9b7fb55492d675285f8914bf478bea8ca905 Find out why one gardener thinks it's time to reconsider whether the garden is the best symbol for forming a right relationship with the rest of nature. .

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The Hummingbird Whisperer

Ask around the UCLA campus for the hummingbird lady, and you'll be directed to the office of Melanie Barboni, a post-doctoral fellow who oversees a fairyland of hummingbirds in the geology building. More than 200 of the diminutive sugar-fiends perch on feeders and nest in the surrounding trees. Some even fly into her office and perch on her fingers for belly rubs. Barboni is so bonded with the hummers that she has named 50 of them.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de83f58533de60d5ed64d8a336e56a0399795668fb25e4605755fdff5ca3c2c00c24e299cc97b51299261ec96221bd79473 Reporter Jason Daley asked Barboni how she became "the hummingbird whisperer" and how to get a few of the beautiful birds in our own backyards.

Photo courtesy of Melanie Barboni

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Whales Like Us

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins, and porpoises) might have culture -- and the brains to go with it. According to a new study, cetaceans independently evolved the kind of complex social behaviors that are usually considered the exclusive attributes of humans and other primates, despite having gotten there with a very different brain structure.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de82a7d697c6e0c6ea65e48f05bfc9325dccb799f7523d321ad85a9eb01f23536702b1b4cf11a6c5fdf160c6cae93a0c148 Sierra news editor Heather Smith examines the new findings.

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Finding Direction in the Aftermath of War

Evan Bogart served three tours of duty as a U.S. Army infantryman in Afghanistan and Iraq. The violence and destruction he witnessed left him feeling angry and guilty; he distinctly remembers a moment in Iraq when "an old woman told me I was a bad man, and I realized I agreed with her." Bogart mustered out of the Army with an honorable discharge, but transitioning to civilian life proved to be a bumpy road that led to alcohol and drug abuse. For five directionless years, he lived with "something of a death wish."

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de80b7f1cffddb981ff0f22ee81bc2378608c6c5cf32c9709b00c74be6498fb086a1220933c98b1ebe039a8aebed4f3881a Find out what turned this veteran's life around.

Photo by Robert Vessels

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Take This Pipeline and...

Enbridge, Inc., the Canadian company behind the biggest inland oil spill in U.S. history, wants to build... drum roll, please... a new pipeline! Line 3 would bring up to 760,000 barrels per day of tar sands oil through the Mississippi River headwaters region, threatening the drinking water supply for millions of people and cutting through treaty-protected tribal lands and sacred wild rice beds. Enbridge shouldn't be allowed to profit at the expense of clean water, tribal lifeways, and public health.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de8d51488bf3b45aaf78192e6caee3e530ac79192ef073ffbbc715d2b371b9b379714235d20db81c191cbdd7a7c4e60c388087aa3cc15009da7 Tell the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to reject the Line 3 pipeline and keep tar sands in the ground.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de8931b862ec9da8810cf089b87c33112fae905bd528b0e350b4ddcb111ebd09bd8a26a0bee67948c0f6d81eca19cd130558ebbcdc6b0b26d69

Chill the Drills

The House and Senate have passed budget resolutions that pave the way for oil and gas drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. But they still need to pass budget reconciliation measures that would allow them to change the law and open the Refuge to drilling. House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell want to pass a budget bill by the end of the year, so time is of the essence if we are to stop the most dire threat the Refuge has faced in decades.

http://click.emails.sierraclub.org/?qs=b1d7f4955c100de8931b862ec9da8810cf089b87c33112fae905bd528b0e350b4ddcb111ebd09bd8a26a0bee67948c0f6d81eca19cd130558ebbcdc6b0b26d69 Tell your members of Congress that you strongly oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge.

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