Sierran Masthead

Chapter Passes Several Environment-Related Resolutions

The Chapter Executive Committee has adopted resolutions on several environment-related issues.

Calumet National Heritage Area

Recognizing that the Calumet region of northeast Illinois and northwest Indiana has a rich cultural, industrial, and environmental history, the Chapter Executive Committee adopted a resolution supporting the clean up, restoration, and protection of the area.

"The Calumet region, even with all its contaminated sites, is the breeding ground for many species of migratory birds, including the Midwest's largest nesting area of the threatened black-crowned night heron and is home to several other threatened or endangered species," states the resolution. In the resolution, the Chapter declares that it backs the establishment of the Calumet National Heritage Area and urges Indiana congresspersons to support such a bill.

Hoosier National Forest Hiking Trails

Concerned with the condition of hiking trails in the statešs only national forest, the Executive Committee adopted a resolution on the issue. The resolution states that the current trail system has faced significant widening, wear, and erosion from a growing number of horses and bicycles. Repairing this damage "requires the expenditure of significant budget resources."

Hiking trails, according to the resolution, must be narrow in order to keep hikers in close contact with their surroundings. The resolution adds that the Hoosier National Forest Management Plan makes no provisions for hiking-only trails.

The resolution encourages the Forest Service to amend its plan to include a separate hiking trail system. The Chapter pledges to help map, construct, and manage hiking-only trails. Teaming with Wildlife

A national proposal to raise funds for non-game wildlife conservation and education projects has received the support of the Hoosier Chapter. A resolution passed by the Executive Committee endorses the Teaming with Wildlife proposal for a federal tax on outdoor recreational equipment. The tax would be returned to states for conservation purposes that need more funding. Teaming with Wildlife is modeled after programs that tax hunting and fishing equipment to fund game species conservation. The resolution was sent to the Teaming with Wildlife program at the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and the Chapteršs name will be added to the list of groups that support the proposal. A bill on Teaming with Wildlife will be introduced to Congress.

Light Pollution

The negative effects of light pollution have been addressed in a resolution passed by the Executive Committee. The resolution cites energy waste, flora and fauna damage, and poor night sky viewing‹all due to constant, unnecessary lighting. The resolution calls for state and local governments and government agencies to review their lighting use and adopt policies to reduce light pollution. (See related story.)

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Winter 1998-1999