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ARTWORK BY JAMIE MIXON

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Conservation PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS

Follow the money!!!


Coast politicians receive large campaign
donations from Louisiana developers
GULFPORT--In all the press there acres of wetlands that Ward wants Laura Brown, developer, Harvey, Dawkins of Pass Christian. Sen.
has been this year about Mayor to use as mitigation for this huge $1,500; Affiliated Engineers, Metarie, Dawkins, who represents this area,
Ken Combs and the Gulfport City wetlands fill in a flood plain where $1,500; Flag Properties, Harvey, La., has opposed the Turkey Creek
Council’s efforts to push the 350-acre many homes and businesses are apartment owners, $5,000; Perrin wetland fill because of concerns about
wetland fill for Louisiana developer already at threat from flooding. The and Carter, contractors, Metarie, making flooding problems worse.
Butch Ward of Gretna, there hasn’t city also spent millions putting in a $5,500; Lea Corp, Metarie, $5,000 Contributions to Bass from
been a word questioning the large sewer line that runs through North (the registered agent for Lea Corp. is companies based in Gretna, La. include
amount of campaign contributions Gulfport to the area of the Ward Albert J. Ward Jr.), and Mike Carter $500 from JSW Inc., a commercial
from Louisiana developers to the property—while not allowing the Construction, Metarie, $1,500. development company, $500 from
campaigns of Mayor Ken Combs minority residents of North Gulfport Louisiana contributions to J.E.J. LLC, commercial development,
and Councilman Kim Savant. This to hook up to the new sewer even Councilman Kim Savant in the last $500 from Acadian Village
has been brought up several times in though the present sewer system is campaign cycle include $2,500 from Apartments (Thomas J. “Butch” Ward
public comment periods before the antiquated and often overflows during Perrin and Carter as well as $500 is the registered agent for Acadian
city council, but the press evidently storms. from Shrank & Peterson Consulting Village Apartments), $500 from
doesn’t consider this newsworthy. Is the City of Gulfport being in New Orleans, $250 from Rhaoul TJWJ Inc., commercial development,
It is interesting that the Sun run to the benefit of the people of Guillame, engineer, Baton Rouge, and $500 from Wright Center (shares
Herald has published lengthy, front- Gulfport, or Louisiana developers? and $500 from New Orleans architect the same mailing address as Acadian
page articles about the campaign Are people in North Gulfport really Billy Sizeler. These campaign reports Village Apartments), commercial
contributions of trial lawyers to “dumb bastards” for thinking this show that most of the itemized development. There was a $500
judges in Mississippi. But the Coast’s administration cares more for helping contributions to Savant’s campaign donation from David Beard, engineer,
largest newspaper hasn’t published a out-of-state developers than its own came from Louisiana. Sugar Land, Texas. Contributions to
word about campaign contributions people? Now there have also been Bass from local developer interests up
that affect the city’s resulting push Campaign records from thousand in campaign contributions to July totaled $2,100.
to get Ward’s project approved. This 2000 show Combs received $20,000 from Louisiana developers to Long Remember voters, you get
is particularly important since the in contributions from developers, Beach Mayor Robert Bass, who what they (the campaign contributors)
city council voted recently to take a engineers, and other commercial is running against Sen. Deborah pay for!
conservation easement on about 800 interests in Louisiana: James and

Save Turkey Creek! Sierra Club continues


to oppose large wetlands fill in Gulfport
Editor’s note: The Mississippi a simple robe her mother tires, and other trash and up decades’ worth of
Chapter of Sierra Club had stitched for her, Johnson polluted run-off. Johnson polluted soil. As a result, the
continues to oppose plans for walked down the stream is also working to save Army Corps of Engineers
a large proposed wetlands bank and into the clear, cool the predominantly black has intervened, and the
fill near Turkey Creek in water. The reverend, standing community that surrounds it. Sierra Club and NAACP
North Gulfport. The issue has waist-deep in the creek, put have filed a notice of intent
attracting national attention. In recent months, Gulfport
his hands over her mouth and Mayor Ken Combs has to sue the city for violations
The following article appeared nose, and immersed her in of the Clean Water Act.
on the cover of The Planet, the publicly called Johnson
the water, saying, “I baptize and her neighbors “dumb Turkey Creek winds through
activist newspapers for Sierra you in the name of the Father, the city of Gulfport at the
Club, in the July\Aug issue. bastards” for their opposition
the Son, and the Holy Ghost.” to a wetland fill they fear will state’s south end, where the
And so Rose exacerbate flooding in their warm waters from the Gulf
By Jenny Coyle Johnson was saved. of Mexico lap at casinos
On a hot summer day when community. Sierra Club yard
Now, as the first African signs posted in the area for that dot the coast. As the
she was 10, Rose Johnson American chair of the Sierra coveted coastal property
was baptized in Turkey Creek. Earth Day were torn down
Club’s Mississippi Chapter, by city crews. And under the was developed in the mid-
Members of her Baptist church she’s trying to save Turkey 1900s, blacks were banned
congregation in Gulfport, guise of “flood control,” the
Creek-and not just the creek city illegally dredged and from the beaches. So they
Mississippi, gathered shoulder itself, which has become built their own homes and
to shoulder under willow bulldozed Turkey Creek’s
the final resting place forold banks, mowing down large recreated away from the
trees singing hymns. Wearing cement culverts, discarded trees and brush and stirring continued on page 5
Conservation
PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS 3
Raising Awareness and
Support to Save the Oceans
The Campaign to Conserve Our lems and “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of
Ocean Legacy is headed to Missis- Mexico, but most people haven’t seen
sippi offering free presentations and or heard about the devastating effects
information to local groups as part of of factory fishing because the death
a broad national effort to raise aware- of billions of sea creatures is silent
ness and build support for ocean and and removed from our life on land.
fish protection. Across the country, Ocean fish provide a healthy source
a wide variety of groups including of food and recreation for millions of
religious groups, youth groups, school people around the world and in the
groups (from elementary schools U.S. Fishermen and their families
to universities), fishermen, garden are losing out to big multinational
clubs, civic groups, scuba divers, good fishing fleets that are going to be lob-
government groups, river and water- bying this coming year to roll back
shed groups, outdoor retailers, local our laws despite increasing evidence
elected officials, media, and others that the problem is getting worse.
have heard about the problems that Unfortunately, ocean fish and other
are developing in the oceans and are sea creatures are disappearing at an Erika Hartwig, a representative the presentation and we would like to
getting involved. alarming rate. of the Campaign to Conserve Our set up times and locations in advance
We need people in Mississippi to The Ocean Legacy presentation Ocean Legacy, is right now complet- for individual groups. If you would
help save America’s oceans. People uses pictures and video to show how ing a busy presentation tour of eastern like to schedule a meeting at your
travel from throughout the U.S. and pollution, habitat destruction, mis- states in South Carolina and will be convenience, have an event already
the world to the beautiful Gulf coast management, and overfishing have in Mississippi from October 14-21. scheduled that we could be a part of,
and the vast network of rivers and wa- impoverished our ocean resources, Erika’s sole purpose is to give as many know someone else who would be in-
tersheds which connect to the oceans. and have caused over 90% of the presentations as possible for as many terested, or have any questions please
Many of these people decide to stay, world’s large fish including tuna, groups, large and small, as possible call me at (202) 887-1350 or email:
and the populations of cities along swordfish and marlin to disappear and get the word out about the oceans. lcunningham@net.org.
the coast are booming. Most people from our oceans (according to a re- There are many opportunities to see
have heard about the pollution prob- port this year in the Journal Nature).

Pat Kulick and John Welch honored for


lifetime service to the environment
Two long-time volunteers for the meeting and rallies, and provide any Sunflower dredging project earlier age had trouble keeping up with him
environmental advocacy group Sierra other kind of support needed,” said this year. on the hikes to identify rare trees at
Club have been recently honored Rose Johnson, chair of the Mississippi Kulick and Welch were the preserve.”
for lifetime achievements to protect Chapter of Sierra Club. “She has involved in helping launch the Welch is retired as manager
the health and environment of the been active with the club for 41 years, Mississippi Chapter of Sierra Club of customer services from the U.S.
Mississippi Gulf Coast. which is a remarkable achievement. about 20 years ago. Postal Service in Biloxi. He is a
Pat Kulick and John Welch Few people have done so much Welch, who recently turned volunteer at the Biloxi Public Library,
of Ocean Springs were honored for consistently over the years.” 81, has been a member for 24 years, and active with the American
commitment to work protecting Kulick is a retired helping with numerous projects over Volkssport Association, a walking
the environment spanning decades. engineer who worked with the the years. club.
Kulick has served as treasurer and a National Aeronautics and Space “John is truly a special Kulick and Welch were
board member for the Coast Group Administration, and later for Ingalls person who has donated many hours presented with plaques that recognized
of Sierra Club for many years, and Shipbuilding. She recently celebrated to help the environment,” Johnson their lifetime achievements at a
hosted regional meetings and group her 80th birthday. said. “One recent project included recent Sierra Club meeting. Also
Christmas parties at her home in Kulick, her son Christopher helping with a botanical survey of the marking the occasion was a cake that
Ocean Springs for many years. Verdery, and Coast Conservation Sierra Club Coffeen Nature Preserve included the inscription, “If Pat and
“Pat Kulick has always been Chair Paula Vassey earlier this year in Florida. This was hot and buggy John were trees, they would be old
there when we needed people to write drove all the way to Rolling Fork in work that was very strenuous. Other growth forests.”
letters to the editor, attend public the Delta for a meeting on the Big members on this survey half John’s
4
Conservation PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS

Where are the WMD? Being


incinerated in Anniston, AL
Editor’s note: Sierra Club members There is a much safer alternative possible using the basic infrastructure
from throughout the Southeast including method of disposal, chemical in place for the incinerator. In this
representatives from the Mississippi neutralization, being used in four process the waste is mixed with a
Chapter have been involved in protesting other facilities in Color-ado, Indiana, caustic solution and typically requires
the dangerous incineration of chemical Maryland and Kentucky. Altogether secondary treatment. Advantages are:
weapons in a minority community in there are eight stockpiles of chemical containment of by-products; more
Anniston, Ala., already suffering from weapons in this country. Besides complete analysis of by-products;
PCB pollution. Below is a report from Alabama, Arkansas is also about to low temperatures, which are
Delta Chapter Chair Maurice Coman. be threatened with the test fire its safer for workers; prevention
incinerator and the remaining two sites of uncontrolled release of
Here in Louisiana the threat from are also leaning toward incineration hazardous wastes, even
chemical poisoning is all around us. The Chemical Weapons Working Group, when problems occur; high
Chemicals in are our air, chemicals are an independent non-profit organization destruction efficiency; and
in our water, chemicals are in our food dedicated to the safe elimination of the no dioxin formation.
and with petro-chemical plants lining chemical arsenal, has been working with Still, why should we
the Mississippi River and our coast, the the community and Alabama Chapter be concerned here in
threat is going to be with us for some of the Sierra Club to try to get a court Louisiana? Putting aside that
time. injunction to stop the immediate start the people who will be most
However, the one threat we do not of burning at Anniston. affected are lower income and
have here is the very real possibility of The question is, why isn’t the people of color, there is the threat
being poisoned or killed by our own Army working with the community of that Arkansas incinerator just to
government’s incineration of weapons toward any protection from potential our north. Where do our prevailing members
of mass destruction. We do not have to accidents? The Army is pushing to winds come during the winter? and friends
live with the worry that artillery shells begin burning as soon as mid-July. Plans In order to lend support to our fellow to cancers way above what should be
and rockets containing nerve gas being call for a community-wide program Sierrans and community activists the average for a community of its
burned just a few short miles from our of preventive measures in case the in Alabama fighting the chemical size. A mother, her grown daughter
homes will destroy our lives and the unthinkable release of chemical agents incineration, Harold Schoeffler, and her infant granddaughter were
lives of our loved ones. Yet the good does occur. Barbara Coman, Maura Wood and there to speak to these injustices from
citizens of Anniston, Alabama are One of the most critical is installing Maurice Coman from the Delta PCB exposure (high concentrations
staring at that very real probability equipment to positive-pressure schools Chapter attended the two-day June are in the soil everywhere in West
(possibly by the time you are reading (good air seeping out prevents bad meeting of the Gulf Coast Regional Anniston).
this). air seeping in) and other places of Conservation Committee of the Sierra Another woman who was a
Anniston, Alabama (about 40 miles congregation (churches, halls, etc.). Club (GCRCC) held in Anniston. The schoolteacher was exposed to nerve
east of Birmingham) is one of the The problem is the schools and other GCRCC is the regional level of Sierra gas in her own front yard. Now she
most polluted towns in this country, “shelters” are not pressurized yet and Club conservation program above the has health problems too numerous to
if not the most polluted. Monsanto cannot be finished before October. Chapter. The Gulf Coast RCC covers count. Her sister has to go with her
Corporation (now Solutia) developed In addition, breathing hoods (think the states of AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, everywhere in case she has one kind
poly-chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) the top half of chemical suits you see TN & TX. of attack or another come over her.
there in the late 1920’s or early 1930’s. at clean up sites on the TV news) At this meeting, we were lucky We could not applaud her talk or take
At that time, the dangers were not are not in the community yet (many enough to have Ross Vincent, Sierra photos as the noise or flashes could
known and dumping into waterways residents are too frightened of having Club Chemical Weapons Task Force cause a seizure.
and on land occurred without any to use them that they refuse to even go Chair and Craig Williams, Director of We then had a toxic tour of the
second thought. There are literally pick them up) and there is no plan to CWWG as experts to share the alter- Anniston area and then met the media
high hills of soil with grass growing on deal with special needs residents (the natives to incineration with the public at a gate to the Army depot. Here at
them that are totally polluted with high disabled, the elderly those without their through talk radio shows, a Birmingham least 50 people participated in a protest
levels of PCB’s. own transportation). Basically, there is local morning TV news show, a meeting event that attracted all the major
Now the next insult comes along: no comprehensive plan in place in the with the rotary club and then meeting networks and newspapers and radio. It
The US Army has built an incinerator event of an accident. with county commissioners. The forum was unbelievably energizing!
just to the west at the Anniston Army The infamous Shelter-In-Place held on Saturday attracted at least 70 The Delta Chapter will be making a
Depot to burn their stockpile of scenario (duct tape and plastic to seal people, many of them community $1000 contribution to the CWWG to
chemical weapons that date back at an inside room in a resident’s home) members. help offset the expense of the fight to
least as far as WWII. The destruction is the only solution now offered. It is Our first panel discussion of the stop the weapons incineration. If you
of the stockpile, a good thing on totally irresponsible of the government meeting consisted of citizens who have would like to make a contribution to
anyone’s list, is mandated by the latest to even think of firing up at this time. been permanently injured by years of the CWWG, please send it care of:
chemical weapons treaty. The problem So why burn in Anniston? Simply exposure to PCB’s and nerve gas from a KY Environmental Foundation
is how the Army wants to destroy these because the incinerator is built. Yet leak in the early 90’s. People are both P.O. Box 467
weapons of mass destruction. transforming it to neutralization is scared and angry over the loss of family Berea, Ky 40403
Conservation
PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS
5

Save
Turkey
Creek!
continued from page 2

resorts, in North Gulfport.


“We used Turkey Creek for
fishing, swimming, baptisms,
picking blackberries,” says
Johnson. “We didn’t have
to worry about white people
driving by and yelling ‘Niggers
go home!’ and throwing stuff
at us. Nobody else wanted
this area, so our parents
and grandparents created
these little neighborhoods
and churches.”
But when it rains hard,
Turkey Creek floods, and the

Rain in Mississippi contains problem has worsened over


the years as a result of wetland
development in the area.
high levels of mercury The neighborhoods have no
curbs, gutters, or sidewalks.
Mississippi rainfall contains Water is channeled into open
between Hattiesburg and the Coast. As usual, the Mississippi
alarming levels of mercury, according ditches that run in front of
Mississippi has fish consumption Dept. of Environmental Quality
to a report released by The National advisories across the state because of
the simple houses. When the
downplays the risk. DEQ’s Phil Bass
Wildlife Federation (NWF). Most of mercury contamination in fish, but water rises, one church fills
was quoted in the Sun Herald as
the mercury released in Mississippi many fishers and consumers don’t saying: “I don’t think people need to
waist-deep with creek water.
comes from two old, polluting know about it. be worried,” Bass said. Breathing down the necks
coal-fired power plants operated by According to NWF, the The Mississippi Public Service of these already flood-prone
Mississippi Power Company on the average rain sample in Mississippi Commission (PSC) has oversight for communities is a massive
Coast. was twice the EPA’s human health spending for pollution control from development proposed
Mercury air emissions from standard for mercury in lakes. Mississippi Power. But the PSC allows by Butch Ward, a well-
power plants and industrial sources Advisories issued by the state MPC to spend hundreds of thousands connected Louisiana man
fall to the ground and water, and have recommended limiting fish to evade pollution control rather who plans to build a multi-use
accumulate in large, predatory consumption from seven rivers and than requiring them to clean up the commercial development in
fish. People who eat the fish are at three lakes in Mississippi. emissions. Mercury in fish isn’t the North Gulfport. He has applied
danger for health problems. It is Currently the Bush only problem. The power plants are for an Army Corps permit to fill
estimated that one in ten women Administration’s proposed Clear also the number one source of smog 350 acres of wetlands, which
of childbearing age in the U.S. has Skies initiative would relax the on the Coast, contributing to asthma, Johnson says is bound to
enough mercury in her body to harm regulations on polluting power plants other respiratory and early deaths. increase flooding. Wetlands
a developing fetus. across the country. Mississippi Power also has serve as natural sponges,
Mark Van Putten, president Unlike Southern Company higher rates than sister companies absorbing and filtering run-off.
of the NWF, said that the report on sister companies like Gulf Power who who have installed greater emissions
Mississippi and 11 other Southern and
Johnson and her neighbors
have taken steps to reduce pollution controls. This is proof that the PSC
Eastern state reveals that rain falling have fought the development,
such as mercury with scrubbers, is the lapdog of the power company,
over these states contains ominous a fact that deeply disturbs
Mississippi Power Company has instead of the watchdog. Sierra Club
levels of mercury and threatens the the mayor, who has received
refused to clean up its pollution. That recommends against voting for any
health of people and wildlife. makes it the low cost energy provider
large campaign contributions
of the incumbent public service
The Environmental for Southern Company, meaning that from Louisiana developers.
commissioners.
Protection Agency recorded Coast air emissions are even higher Mississippi Power leads the
In an April meeting with the
high mercury content in rain at a in order to produce power for other entire state in toxic air emissions on editorial board for Gulfport’s
station in Perry County, which is states that more highly value their the state’s toxic release inventory.
own air quality. continued on page 8
6
Conservation PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS

Protest of National Forest Management and Outing


Planned at Black Creek November 8
By Davis Mounger timber sale if the agency can say The Forest Service in Mississippi specific issues listed above. If we
The Sierra Club will hold a that it is merely “implementing the has since 2000 continued to move get involved enough, maybe the
protest and outing at the Black plan”. All Forest Service actions back the timetable for renewing FS here will be compelled to do
Creek Scenic Trail November are based on its management the plan process. No public the same.
8 beginning at noon. We will plan: a bad plan would mandate meetings or communications with Black Creek
address forestry management bad decisions on the land. Recent the public on forest planning have Since 1999 there has been a
practices occurred since the spring of dramatic increase in recreational
proposed 2000. We cannot recall the uses in Mississippi National
in DeSoto Forest Service explaining Forests, particularly in use of the
National through normal media Black Creek Corridor and the
Forest’s the channels that the process had Wilderness in Desoto. The shift
River Runs stopped and that it had stopped in the state’s population to the
Through It due to changes in planning Gulf Coast part of Mississippi
Ve g e t a t i o n
Management
Project. Join
us to advocate
better forest
management
practices and
also enjoy a
short hike
and tree
identification
talk on the
Black Creek
Scenic Trail.
The National
Forests in
Mississippi
have not
pursued the
management regulations and funding. The has put much greater demands
plan revision agency at minimum should for recreation and solitude. Such
process that agency actions, like the horrible have at least made a sincere changes typify the reasons that
is required by the National Forest clearcutting planned near the effort to explain in the print and a management plan revision is
Management Act every 15 years. Black Creek Trail in DeSoto, are electronic media the halting of needed.
The existing plan is from 1985 good evidence that reform is not the planning process, as well as The Desoto District has a large
and is out of date. The 1985 plan on the minds of many agency new planning regulations that number of projects that are either
is a pro-industry document that personnel. Appeals of this decision have gone into effect and their pending or are being developed
considers 50 year-plus trees to have failed, because the agency is relevance to Mississippi. including 16 in addition to the
be old (‘late seral’) and calls for “in compliance with the plan”. Repeated requests for re-opening River Runs Through It. Many of
high volume cutting, preferably The purpose of keeping a revised the process to public meetings these projects are part of the Black
with clearcuts and seedtree cuts. plan in place is for the agency to have not been successful. The Creek watershed. The agency
We need to have real public have updated scientific, recreation, agency’s latest bulletin claims that should consider the cumulative
input, where the Forest Service economic, and other data from meetings will begin this fall, with impacts of its actions as a whole,
has to address real, specific which to base its decisions, as a new plan ready next year. If so, not just in isolation from project
issues: biodiversity, management well as to hear public concerns. conservationists need to be there to project.
indicator species, recreation, road A lack of current data keeps in numbers. You can bet that This district has by far the most
volume, silvicultural practices, the Forest Service from making the FS will try to pull a couple of ongoing timber sales in the state.
water and soil quality. Otherwise, sound decisions. All timber sales meaningless meetings that address If one watershed or a district has
the agency will slip a plan through should be suspended until a new nothing substantial, and call that several timber sales occur in a
that is just as poor as the old one. management plan is in place. public input. Most forests have short period of time, this would
It will be difficult to appeal a bad planning meetings that address continued to page 7
Conservation
PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS
7
Protest of National Forest Management and Outing
Planned at Black Creek November 8
continued from page 6
certainly have a great potential to be primary. Yet commercial impacts. species
to have significant impacts on interests dominate this proposal. It is hard to understand how 8. a need for more agency
soil, water, and wildlife quality. This is contradictory to the intent an area that contains a National resources; much of the agency
Other forests that have had a of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act Recreational Trail and National budget goes towards road
large number of timber sales have and the National Scenic Trails Wild and Scenic River would maintenance.
undertaken Environmental Impact program. warrant the already great numbers Other districts in Mississippi,
Statements (EIS) that are required This proposal continues a of roads that exist in a small space. notably Bienville and Tombigbee,
of major projects. disturbing trend for the DeSoto The Forest Service map shows are making real strides to road
The River Runs Through It district. The DeSoto has, along commissioned roads, temporary reform, efforts that predate the
(TRRTI) management unit is with the Homochitto, the highest roads, and “unclassified road Roads Rule. This district’s own
one of the most heavily used in road densities in the state. The construction” running up to the economic data puts a price
the district and in the National proliferation of old logging and trail and Black Creek itself. How tag of over $800,000 for the
Forests in Mississippi as a whole. user-created roads in this district can the district justify allowing construction, reconstruction, and
Major portions of the Black Creek has created a problem that the this? There needs to be a “purpose “restoration” of roads for this sale,
National Scenic River and Black new Roads Policy initiative was and need” explaining why all several of which were not listed as
Creek National Recreational designed to correct. It clearly these roads are needed to disturb part of the transportation system
Hiking Trail lie within it. states that roads are not needed a National Trail and Wild and a year ago. It makes no sense to
This timber sale would have unless a clear purpose and need Scenic River. Allowing roads into add thousands of dollars to the
208 acres of clearcuts, 358 acres are given by the agency. this corridor damages the trail, taxpayer burden by adding roads
of shelterwood cuts, 95 acres of In accordance with Forest causes user conflicts, and becomes to the Forest Service system, an
seedtree cuts, and 1142 acres Service regulations, when an entry point for all kinds of expense that will compound over
of thinning planned, and 24 managing NFS roads, responsible activities that are best kept off the the years in maintenance costs.
miles of road construction and officials are to: trail.
reconstruction. 1. Address both the access The National Forests in “Restoration”
The Black Creek Trail is benefits and ecological costs of Mississippi is proposing an One of the main stated goals
already under new pressures from road -associated effects. amendment to its ORV policy, of this proposal is to “reestablish
the Forest Service. The CCC 2. Give priority to reconstructing which will become a part of the the longleaf ecosystem.” Yet the
Camp F-7 timber sale calls for and maintaining needed roads and Management Plan Revision. cutting out of 358 acres of mature
the relocation of a portion of the decommissioning unneeded roads, Desoto has a serious problem with longleaf contradicts this goal.
trail only a couple of miles from or, where appropriate, converting user-created roads. ORVs have free Other districts in the South are
the TRRTI area. This is already a them to less costly and more use of most of the system roads, as not restoring longleaf by clearing
significant disruption of our state’s environmentally beneficial other well as use of undocumented roads, out longleaf (a shelterwood cut
premier hiking trail. uses. and the forest as a whole. eventually takes out all mature
This current proposal wishes 3. Use a roads analysis process trees). We have contacted rangers
to bring further disruption. Four (FSM 7712.1) to ensure that road The results have in Alabama, and their responses
of the shelterwood cuts would be management decisions are based on brought: show that they do not cut out
within sight of the trail. Many identification and consideration of 1. stream degradation longleaf. Mature longleaf is left
outdoors people use trails starting social and ecological effects…. 2. erosion and compaction of alone, or sometimes thinned, but
points to experience the forest 3. Add new roads only where not cleared. The goal here does
soils
as a whole, and it is natural that resource management objectives not seem to be a reestablishing
3. an increase in user
they digress from the trail to and benefits are clearly of the longleaf ecosystem, but a
explore, as the trail provides a safe demonstrated and where long- conflicts purely commercial interest.
reference point for the hiker to term funding obligations have 4. increased littering and Some of the stands slated for
keep one’s bearings. The repeated been carefully considered. (FSM wholesale dumping of trash and Longleaf Restoration are said
experience of clearings would not 7703.2, para.3) rubbish to possibly have a few existing
be desirable. Unfortunately, the road proposals 5. increased burden for law mature longleaf trees. Why cut
The primary point of a scenic for TTRTI do not fit this direction. enforcement them if longleaf restoration is the
trail is its scenic value. Outside of Instead, like the areas that have goal for these stands? These trees,
6. a reduction in habitat for
the Black Creek Wilderness, the had recent EAs (Walls Creek, if healthy, would seem to provide
wildlife that require large, remote
Scenic Corridor is one of the one CCC Camp F-7, Cross Roads good stock for future longleaf,
of the few places in the National Chapel, Deep Creek), the district areas especially since these are trees
Forests in Mississippi where scenic does not address the problem of 7. an increased number of
and aesthetic values are supposed high road densities and high user “entrance points” for invasive
continued to page 8
8
Conservation PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS

Protest of National Forest Save Turkey


Management and Outing Planned
at Black Creek November 8
Creek!
continued from page 5
daily newspaper,
continued from page 7 Combs was asked
The 25-foot buffer standard about the North
is inadequate in light of Gulfport community’s
studies www.gophertortoise opposition to
council.org/ that show that development plans.
burrows can extend further. “We’re dealing with
There is a risk of heavy some dumb bastards,”
machinery collapsing a he said. “I’m not
burrow with this standard. running for re-election,
If logging is to occur near so I guess I can say that.
None of those people
burrows, the district must
voted for me anyway.”
consider more buffer space
Ella Holmes-Hines, the
for this species.
city councilwoman
Please let our congress who represents
people know that the the Turkey Creek
agency needs to be in area, called for his
compliance with 36 CFR resignation, as did the
219 and engage the public local NAACP. Meanwhile, in May, the Sierra Club distributed
in revising its outdated yard signs in North Gulfport that read, “We can clean up
plan. Lott and Taylor Mississippi’s air and water.” They were a big hit, says Chapter
are the only ones so far Director Louie Miller. “All 250 of them were placed the first
who have at least looked day.” Several days later, city crews yanked signs they said
into this. For further were placed in the public right-of-way, which stretches 20
information, contact Davis feet each way from the center of the road. Signs placed
that have proven themselves to
Mounger (wdmounger@yahoo.com), on front lawns, but within that zone, were removed.
be adequate for the area in which Howard Page, co-chair of the Club’s Gulf Coast
Sierra Club forestry chair and
they live. Group, who has gone door-to-door in North Gulfport to
a representative of Friends of
Other districts engaged in rally support, says the city was selectively enforcing the
Mississippi Public Lands (friends
longleaf restoration do not do this. sign ordinance as retribution for community opposition
ofmississippilands.org), 662-320-
To not do this brings into question to the Ward development. The signs have since been
6645.
the “reestablish longleaf” goal of returned and properly placed, and more signs are on
Sierra Club members are
this proposal. their way. But the worst was yet to come. In late May,
encouraged to write or call the
One of the ways that the in what the city claims was an effort to solve North
following:
environmental assessment Gulfport’s flooding problems, crews with bulldozers
Judith Henry
justifies cutting mature longleaf illegally dredged and scraped the banks of a 1,500-foot
District Ranger
is that these compartments are stretch of Turkey Creek. The Army Corps ordered the
DeSoto National Forest
not designated as red-cockaded city to stop until it obtained state and federal permits.
654 W. Frontage Rd. Debbie Dawkins, a state senator and former Mississippi
woodpecker management areas.
Wiggins, MS 39577 Chapter chair, walked the area with Councilwoman
Why does this matter? Wouldn’t
601-928-4422, extension 12. Holmes-Hines. “There are definitely issues of racism and
anyone want to see an endangered
U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor classism at work here,” Dawkins says. The Sierra Club
species thrive, increase its numbers
1314 Government St. and the NAACP filed an intent to sue, which gives the
and its range, and become a viable
Ocean Springs MS 39564 city 60 days to comply with the law. “At the very least
species again with a healthy
228-872-7950 (Ocean Springs) they have to remediate the damage caused by this
population? A forest needs to be
228-864-7670 (Gulfport) unpermitted, illegal activity,” says Denise Hoffner-Brodsky,
concerned with all native species,
228-466-3972 (Bay St. Louis) an environmental justice attorney for the Sierra Club.
and not focus on only one, but if
601-582-3246 (Hattiesburg) Rose Johnson is up for the fight whether it takes place in
an endangered species can move
court or in her front yard. “These Turkey Creek neighborhoods
into a part of a forest, whether
Sen. Trent Lott may not look valuable, but if they flooded us out you can
or not that area is “designated” is bet they’d be in here with bulldozers and in time you’d see
3100 South Pascagoula Street
moot. highrises and other commercial development,” she says.
Pascagoula, Mississippi 39567
Another species of concern is “They think we’re dumb bastards? Just watch us keep our
(228) 762-5400 or FAX: (228)
the endangered gopher tortoise. homes and neighborhoods.”
762-0137
Election News
PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS 9

Nominations open for club offices


VOTE FOR ENVIRONMENTALLY

Nominations are being sought planning and carrying out chapter or group excoms, call
for candidates to run for election activities such as meetings, or e-mail one of the following:
to the MS Chapter Sierra Club outings, working on conservation Coast Group, Rose Johnson,
executive committee, and to campaigns, attending public afrorose10@aol.com, 228-863-
the executive committees of the hearings, responding to requests 3677; Central Group, Doc
Central, Gulf Coast and Golden from the public for help, and Hicks, 601-898-1826, ghicks@m
FRIENDLY CANDIDATES!

Triangle groups. raising funds for our programs. edicine.usmed.edu; and Golden
Nominations are open for How much time does it take? Triangle Group, Jamie Mixon,
members to serve on the group As much as you want to give. At a jbm2@ra.msstate.edu, 662-325-
and chapter executive committees minimum chapter excom members 1904.
(excom) of Sierra Club in are required to attend four meetings The deadline for nominations
Mississippi. Terms are for two per year. The meetings are usually is November 15. Ballots will go out
years. held in Jackson. in the December newsletter.
Excom members help with To nominate someone for the

2003 Election
Endorsements
by Louie Miller, Sierra Club
Legislative Director

Governor water quality certification permit Sierra Club endorses the candidacy of
Ronnie Musgrove for the Big Sunflower River Dredge Senator Barbara Blackmon for Lt.
Over the past four years, Gov. Project, and the 401 permit for the Governor. The position of Lt. Gov. is
Musgrove’s administration has Turkey Creek development just to by far the most powerful office in State
shown little leadership in the name a few. The Sierra Club government.
political action The Lt.
committee felt, Gov.’s main
despite this power lies
administration’s in his or her
lackluster appointments
performance, of committee
that a Haley chairmen
B a r b o u r in the
administration Mississippi
would be little State Senate.
more than a He or she also
throw back appoints the
to the days of membership
Gov. Fordice. of the
environmental arena. As you may Barbour’s track committees,
know, the Mississippi Department record as a Washington lobbyist as well as assignment of legislation
of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) representing numerous “Fortune to these respective committees. This
director serves at the “will and 100” polluters speaks volumes in process essentially sets the agenda
pleasure” of the governor. The Sierra regard to the unlimited access that for the Senate. Under Amy Tuck,
Club has almost without exception polluters would have to a Barbour we have had to fight the absolute
been at odds with the Department administration. Haley Barbour would worst, anti-environmental agenda in
on environmental protection issues amount to the proverbial fox guarding my sixteen years in the Mississippi
including swine confined feeding the henhouse. Legislature. The chairman of the
animal operations (CAFOs), delisting Senate Environment committee was
of water bodies under the “Total Lt. Gov hand-selected by the special interests,
Maximum Daily Load Program” Barbara Blackmon thus destroying any chances of
(TMDL), the issuance of the 401 It is with great enthusiasm that the continued to page 10
10
Outings & Events PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS
The Sierra Club Political Action Committee (PAC) has a goal of
giving just $200 each to each pro environment legislative candidate

2003 statewide. We need to raise about $10,000. Despite the other side out-
spending us ten to one in the primary, we had 13 candidates win and

Election 11 lose. It is very important to support these candidates, and too bad
it can’t be much more significantly. Know that this is an investment
in clean air and water in Mississippi. The bad guys have pulled out all

Endorsements stops to defeat particularly the black caucus members who have con-
sistently voted for the people and the environment over the interest of
big corporate polluters.
continued from page 9
progressive legislation seeing the light dumpers”. Before passage of this CONSIDER THAT THIS CHANCE TO ELECT
of day. With Tuck’s approval, special
interest legislation has flourished over
legislation, Mississippi was one of
three states in which dumping of PRO ENVIRONMENT LEGISLATORS ONLY
the past four years.
Sen. Barbara Blackmon’s voting
toxic waste was a misdemeanor. This
legislation removed the incentive
COMES ALONG ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS!!!
record and interests in environmental for dumpers to come to Mississippi
protection and public health speaks and dispose of their loads illegally. Don’t sit on your wallets and then wonder for the next four years why
for itself. Over the years, Sen. As evident by these two landmark we get such lousy legislation passed in Jackson.
Blackmon has consistently supported accomplishments and many others Please consider a generous donation today...I sent in $200, figuring
and promoted progressive legislation too numerous to list, the Mississippi that is an investment of only $50 per year.
affecting our great state and its Sierra Club enthusiastically endorses Any if anyone has some fundraising ideas, let me know...Adrian
citizens. Unlike most state legislators, Jim Hood for Attorney General. Lawler has donated some of his honey if anyone would like to purchase
Sen. Blackmon holds the honor of that. If anyone else is cash poor, but has something to donate--artwork,
being one of few to have a 100 percent Secretary of State services etc.--maybe we could have a silent auction or Internet auction
positive voting record on Sierra Club Eric Clark
or something. Please also consider calling anyone you think would be
related legislation. Incumbent Secretary of State
interested in donating.
Eric Clark has been a major friend
Attorney General to the environment in his role as
Jim Hood custodian of the state’s valuable Send donations to
The Sierra Club is very excited tidelands. Clark has held the line Sierra Club PAC
about the candidacy of Jim Hood P.O. Box 4335 • Jackson MS 39296-4335
for Attorney General. Jim Hood
is no stranger to environmental
protection in Mississippi. His
stellar career includes his tenure as
MOTHER EARTH THANKS YOU!!!
Division Director of Environmental
Enforcement under Attorney General
Mike Moore. Mr. Hood worked
tirelessly to help pass precedent-
setting legislation in 1995 known
as the “Bad Boy” legislation. This
legislation required the Mississippi
Department of Environmental
Quality (MDEQ) to perform a
on commercial uses of tidelands,
background check on applicants
refusing to issue tidelands leases
for hazardous waste permits. It also
in cases where development was
gave the MDEQ permit board the
clearly not appropriate or in the
authority to deny a permit based on a
public’s interest. He was involved
company’s track record in compliance
in brokering a deal to purchase Deer
with environmental laws and the
Island near Biloxi to help preserve
subsequent violation of laws in other
the island and add it to the state’s
states. As many remember, 1995
coastal preserve system. Clark has
was a year in which Mississippi was
also made campaign finance records
being targeted by numerous multi-
available on the Internet so voters
national hazardous waste companies
can see which special interests are
wishing to turn Mississippi into the
contributing to individual candidates
dumping ground for toxic waste from
campaigns. Please support the re-
all over the world. Thanks to Jim
election of Eric Clark.
Hood’s love for Mississippi and its
For information regarding
people, this nightmare never became
individual State Legislative House
a reality. As District Attorney, Mr.
and Senate races, please contact
Hood played a major role in passing
Louie Miller, Legislative Director
felony legislation for “midnight
(601)-352-1026.
Outings & Events
PRESERVE THE NATION’S FORESTS, WATERS, WILDLIFE AND WILDERNESS 11
Gulf Coast Group
OCTOBER important for protecting water quality.
Wednesday, Oct. 15, 9:30 a.m. The U.S. Public officials are particularly welcome to
attend.

Golden Triangle
Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation
Board will consider a staff report concerning
the explosion that occurred at the First NOVEMBER

Group
Chemical plant on Oct. 13, 2003. Following Nov. 8: Participate in a peaceful protest of
the report, there will be an opportunity for forest management for DeSoto National
public comment. (See story at bottom of Forest and enjoy an outing along the Black
this page.) Creek Scenic Trail Saturday Nov. 8 at noon.
For more info: 228-872-3457 or 662-320-6645
Friday, Oct. 17, 8:30 a.m., Vernada, Pelican (See accompanying article on this subject
Landing, Moss Point. The City of Moss Point on page ADD PAGE NUMBER HERE)
and NOAA Restoration Center will have a
celebration of the completion of Phase 1 Note: Because of the Thanksgiving holiday, Sierra
of the City’s “Shoreline Restoration Project.” Club will not meet the regularly scheduled fourth
Wednesday in November.
The event will highlight a community-based
habitat restoration project and provide
an opportunity to thank volunteers and DECEMBER
partners who made the project a success. Sunday, Dec. 7, 4 p.m. Ocean Springs Yacht
Club. Join us for our annual Christmas party.
Saturday, Oct. 18, Environmental Justice Bring one of your favorite holiday dishes to
Blues in the Hood. 5 p.m., Isiah Fredericks share for the potluck. Also please consider
Community Center, Martin Luther bringing a nice item for the auction. This
King Ave., Gulfport, Sierra Club and can be a white elephant item, a piece of
community partners including Gulfport your artwork or handicraft, or a donation
Concerned Citizens Coalition, Turkey Creek from a merchant that you know supports a
Homeowners Association and Turkey Creek clean and healthy local environment. Our
Civic Club will have a major event releasing treasury has been depleted by so many
an engineering study of Turkey Creek, and issues this year, plus the election. So please
presenting a proactive plan for preserving be generous! Yacht Club rules require that
the Turkey Creek basin. Come out for a all drinks be purchased at the Yacht Club
fish fry, musical entertainment and an so please don’t bring beverages. More
environmental rally. Please put this on your info: 872-3457.
calendar! This will be an exciting event and
we could really use good turnout. More JANUARY
info: 863-3677. Wednesday, January 28, 2004, 6:30 p.m.,
Ocean Springs Yacht Club. Please join us
Oct. 22 at 6:30 p.m. Sierra Club will meet for the first meeting of 2004, and bring a
at the Ocean Springs Yacht Club for a dish for the potluck. We will be discussing
presentation on new federal stormwater the 2004 legislative session and local
regulations from environmental specialist environmental issues.
Gordon Crane. These regulations are very

Central Group Events


Public Meetings:
Public meetings are held at 6:00 pm, on the second Thursday of each month at The
Artery, a coffee shop in the Fondern area, at 3220 North State Street, Jackson. Sierra
Club members and non-member are encouraged to come. After the meetings, we go
to a restaurant nearby for food, fun and lively conversation.

November 13 - Recycling - Larry Estes is the speaker, dinner afterwards is at the Thai
House. For additional information contact Ann Somers, 362-1195.

December 11 - Holiday Pot Luck - Bring your family, friends and a favorite dish to enjoy
a holiday feast at the old Masonic Lodge at the Agriculture & Forestry Museum on
Lakeland Drive. The festivities begin at 6:00 p.m. For more information contact Linda
Nesbit, 992-2736.

Central Group Outings


Call Ann Somers, 601-362-1195, for additional information for all outings
listed below.
October 17 & 18 - Great Delta Bear Affair - Rolling Fork, Mississippi

November 8 - Watson Brake Mound Group - Tour Guides: Sam Brookes


and Joe Saunders
Non-Profit
Organization
Mississippi Chapter Sierra Club U.S. Postage
P.O. Box 4335 PAID
Jackson, Mississippi 39296-4335 Permit No. 329
Jackson, MS

Consider donating to the


Sierra Club in your will. Go online to
www.sierraclub.org for details or
talk to your financial counselor

MISSISSIPPI STATE CHAPTER


Rose Johnson, ExComm Chair 228-863-3677
Christine Liberto, Central Group Rep 601 981-7784
John Schneider, Golden Triangle Rep 662-323-5277
Becky Gillette, Gulf Coast Group Rep, Cons. Chair, Vice Chair 228-604-1673
Ann Somers, ExComm, Treasurer 601-355-1895
Howard Page, Co-Chair 228-604-1673
Michael Berk, ExComm 662-323-2528
Jamie Mixon, ExComm 662-323-5975
Louie Miller, Field Staff, Legislative Director 601-352-1026

CENTRAL GROUP
Ann Somers, ExComm, Chair 601-355-1895
Jim Garner, Conservation Chair 601-605-8696
Christine Liberto, ExComm 601 981-7784
Denise Krause, ExComm, Vice Chair 601-981-6728
Linda Nesbit, ExComm, Secretary 601-992-2736
Don Potts, ExComm 601-366-9218

GOLDEN TRIANGLE GROUP


Juliet Tang, Chair 662-465-8767
David Cross, Vice Chair 662-465-8767
Lois Connington, Treasurer 662-324-2594
Joan Embree, Outings Chair 662-324-0410
John Schneider, ExComm 662-323-5277
Frances Thompson, ExComm 662-323-7379
Harold Thompson, Conservation Chair 662-323-7379

GULF COAST GROUP


Richard “Kim” Marsh, Co-Chair 228-864-1650
Visit the Mississippi Howard Page, Co-Chair
Becky Gillette, Treasurer
228-604-1673
228-872-3457

Sierra Club Website


Jeanne Lebow, ExComm, Conservation Chair 228-872-0508
Steve Shepard, ExComm 228-872-0508
Paula Vassey, ExComm 228-497-1644

now being built at… Dr. Adrian Lawler, ExComm


Faye Brown, ExComm 228-863-0035

www.mississippi.sierraclub.org Christopher Verdery, Outings Chair 228-875-5261

601-359-1026 - MS Sierra Club #


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