Peak & Prairie

Rocky Mountain Chapter's
Online Newsletter
April / May 1998


Sierra Club Activist Outings Breathe Fresh Air into Conservation Activism
by Vicky Hoover, Activist Outing Subcommittee Chair

Your Six Routes to Adventure and Advocacy in 1998

John Muir believed the best way to convince people to defend the wilderness was to take them out and let them experience wild splendor for themselves. Muir started Sierra Club outings in 1901. The same inspiration motivates Sierra Club outings today. Activist outings carry this theme a step further. Activist outings not only showcase areas that need help; they teach participants to become advocates for preservation.

In 1998 we offer six trips. Three go to areas where we've never hosted an activist outing: Hawaii, Nevada and Minnesota's Boundary Waters. Three others return to areas in need of protection: the Arctic, California's giant Sequoia forests and Utah, the site of our first activist river trip.

Explore and Protect Beautiful Maui

Hawaii, with its many endangered species, is a perfect setting for an activist outing. "Hawaiian Hot Spots" ventures to Maui from November 21 to 28. The theme is "Malama Maui" (care for Maui). Issues include the overuse of Maui's main water supply, the 'Iao aquifer, and development that threatens native plant, animal and sea life habitat.

Exciting activities include exploring Ma'alaea Bay, home to humpback whales, sea turtles and other tropical sea life, traveling to a rain forest with a local biologist, snorkeling at a coral reef, and helping to eradicate exotic plants and restore native plants. Join leaders Jennifer Taddei and Lucienne de Naie in this eco-vacation. Trip Number 98108A, price $995.

Hike Rugged Nevada, Paddle Wild Minnesota

"Nevada Wilderness, Our Magnificent Hidden Treasure" is an eight-day car camp trip from July 4 to 11 with vigorous day hikes. You'll visit some of the least known unprotected country in the West. Nevada's rugged mountain ranges and vast basins need advocates. Be one of the first to carry the message that Nevada is <not> casinos and wastelands but soaring peaks, volcanic plateaus, rushing streams, and ancient aspen and bristlecone groves. Nevada has the greatest percentage of public lands in the country. Leaders Vicky Hoover and Marge Sill enliven the trek from Reno to the state's eastern edge. Trip Number 98105A, price $355.

The "North Woods Wild" canoe trip will be led by Bill Sheppard, veteran of many trips to this gem of the midwest, Minnesota's Boundary Waters. The big issue is proposed motorized use in a designated wilderness area. Come paddle a few of the 1,100 lakes in this region and learn the issues. Trip Number 98106A, price $595.

Utah, Alaska's Arctic and Sierra Nevada Need Your Help

Utah and Alaska's Arctic have seen more activist outings than any other areas as the focal point of two vital Sierra Club wilderness campaigns. We return to Utah this year, visiting threatened areas by water. This trip is divided into two segments; you can join one or both. First is the "Wild Utah" canoe trip from June 27 to July 1, traveling 70 miles of the Green River through the colorful 800-foot deep gorge of Labyrinth Canyon, with veteran leader Marie Cecchini. Next is the "Wild Utah" raft trip from July 1 to 5, 100 miles down the Green and Colorado Rivers. Enjoy Stillwater and Cataract Canyons with leader Muir Macpherson. Both segments will emphasize the need to promote "America's Redrock Wilderness Act" in both the Senate and the House. The canoe trip is Number 98103A, price $695. The raft trip is Number 98104A, price $795. Combined price $1410.

The "Midnight Sun Activist Backpack" to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, June 13 to 22, features accomplished leader Wilbur Mills. There will be several layover days on the trek from the Brooks Range to the North Slope calving grounds of the Porcupine caribou herd, a remote sanctuary threatened by oil industry drilling proposals. Trip Number 98102A, price $1,895.

In the heart of California's Sierra Nevada, "Trek to the Tall Trees" is a scenic advocacy outing to the awesome giant Sequoias, which are threatened by logging. This week-long car camping trip from July 19 to 25 features day hikes and a probable overnight backpack with leaders Bill Evans and John Rasmussen, and local activists Joe Fontaine and Carla Cloer. Learn about our proposed reserve system for the magnificent Sequoia habitat. Trip Number 98107A, price $395.

What you can do:

For more information on any of these outings, call Vicky Hoover at (415) 977-5527. Ask about partial "scholarships" for applicants for whom cost is a deterrent. For a brochure and application, call the Outing Department's 24-hour voice mail at (415) 977-5522, or check the Club website at
To apply send completed form with a $50 deposit to Sierra Club Outings, Dept. 05618, San Francisco, CA 94139. Or call (415) 977-5588 (8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. PST) to place a credit card deposit. You may fax a credit card deposit to (415) 977-0636.