<span id="lblNoFrames"><h1>Sierra Club SD Feb 2012.pdf</h1><br/>Pines & PrairiePines & PrairiePines & PrairieOffering the environmental perspectiveA newsletter published by the South Dakota Chapter of the Sierra ClubProtecting the environment and public health are as vital to our civilization as building the economy.February 2012Natural PassagesEach issue of Pines & Prairie will feature an excerpt from a book written by a Sierra Club member who resides in South Dakota. The book and/or the excerpt will be relevant to the Sierra Club’s objectives of protecting the environment and appreciating nature. This issue features the writing of Jerry Wilson. Jerry, who lives near Vermillion, is active in the Sierra Club’s Living River Group and serves on the Clay County Commission. The excerpt is taken from Jerry’s 2008 book titled Waiting for Coyote’s Call: An Eco-memoir from the Missouri River Bluff. This book was published by the South Dakota State Historical Society Press. As spiritual people of all faiths know, every time and place is suitable for communion with the Creator and with creation. But spring at the spring is my favorite time and place to pray. At the spring, I find it possible to commune without complaining or begging, expressing only hope and thanks. In American Indian traditions, communion with the Great Spirit is continuous, a way of life. In the Christian tradition, Sunday is a particular day of worship, reflection, prayer, and rest. Though I rarely find my way to the little church up Frog Creek Road, my rule of thumb for Sundays is to do creative work—or at least to be mindful of creation. When I do join my neighbors in church, I find myself listening through frosted windows to the songs of birds in the elms and pines outside. But most Sundays, my place of worship is out of doors, and instead of a hymnal, I hold some tool in my hands. The best sanctuary in our neighborhood is the grove of bur oaks in the heart of the woods. The arching limbs rival the beams of the finest cathedral, many of which are also made of oak. It takes a stiff breeze to make the aged oaks sway, but the slightest breath inspires the leaves with whispered prayers. In place of stained glass, we have the blue of jays, the brown of thrashers, the yellow bills of cuckoos, and shafts of golden sunlight on greenish leaves. Though I am the “priest” of my private communion, on occasion a cardinal comes to preside. I have experienced no more-satisfying communion than trimming the brush that transforms an ash from bush to aspiring tree, and I have no doubts about the mindfulness of hoeing potatoes or picking beans. Planting, tilling, harvesting and eating from the vegetable garden, picking fruit, laying in firewood, hunting morels to sauté with scrambled eggs, or picking a wildflower bouquet for Norma, these are acts of reverence and awe.IndexIssue Alert!Management approaches to the<br/>Missouri River may take another<br/>turn for the worseIf there has ever been a time for floodplain developers to be held<br/>accountable, it is nowOur society’s desire to control flooding and disregard natural systems, as well as our illogi-cal tendency to build homes and businesses on the most flood-prone parts of a floodplain are influencing the process of managing the Missouri River, and this shortsighted phi-losophy is pushing management decisions further and further from an ecosystem-based approach. The river system is becoming increasingly industrialized and less natural. Make no mistake, the emphasis of river management for the past century has been to eliminate the river’s natural character, but small victories achieved by environmentalists in recent decades are being threatened as interests focused solely on protecting and enabling flood-plain development prepare to take even greater control of the river.The status quo response to the flood of 2011 has not been to question the wisdom of settling so much on the most flood-prone parts of the floodplain, but to build more and larger levees and to manage dams and reservoirs to accommodate additional development on vulnerable floodplain. The best way to minimize damage to buildings and development along the river is to exer-cise wise restraint and to avoid development on the floodplain, particularly on those parts continued on page 2XL Pipeline ......................................pg 2Solar progress ................................pg 3Science & climate change ..............pg 3Overgrazing study...........................pg 4Tar sands .........................................pg 4Re-greening agriculture .................pg 5Hyperion ..........................................pg 6Missouri River .................................pg 7Group activities ...............................pg 7Outings ............................................pg 8Photo courtesy of Bill Goehring</span>