<span id="lblNoFrames"><h1>MP38429 SierraClub NLT OPT.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.August 2012Natural PassagesEach issue of Pines & Prairie features excerpts from a book written by a Sierra Club member who resides in South Dakota. The book and/or excerpts are relevant to the Sierra Club objectives of protecting the environment and appreciating nature. In 1987 Michael Melius, son of a Faulkton, SD-area farmer who had by then relocated to run a small organic farm some 30 miles southwest of Rapid City, decided to intimately acquaint himself with the landscapes of his home state and write about what he saw and how he felt. He began his journey by boldly hiking into remote badlands-area country on the eve of a March blizzard, and he continued his explorations through much of the state on foot or bicycle during spring, summer, and fall of that year. Equipped with pencil and pad, Melius vowed to “scatter eraser dust in every major watershed in this state.” In 1991 his book True: A Last Book was published. The following are three excerpts from that ambitious and quirky literary adventure.This book is urged on by my apprehension that our landscape and time, and the very feeling of how it is to be alive here and now, go unnoticed and unrecorded and in time are forgotten. As they change and the people who remember them pass, neither the landscape nor the feeling can be recovered. This may be true of any age, but in ours the changes are on a scale that makes the forgetting profound. Change, forgetting, change, on and on until we can’t remember or imagine how our lives could be otherwise. [excerpted from page 1][April 28] So many of the open-country birds have expansive courtship flights and calls. As if they had the whole sky and were bound to use it all. The ducks airborne show nothing fancy, just straight-out winging, tried by strength and endurance. But the others seem unbounded, flying in spiral columns, skyrocket bursts, or great arcs and undulations, and always with exuberance, or exaggeration: the harrier’s heart-stopping rolls, the hawks’ paired free falls, the short-eared owl’s applause, the curlew’s long waves, and the horned lark, petite but with a courtship flight that is spiraling and binding of the air with wings and song. [excerpted from page 17][July] Consider the prairie, figure the wildlife, count the people. Now subtract them all. This would be a mere IndexIssue Alert!Wilderness campaign continuesBy Jim Margadant, Rapid City. Jim Margadant is the Conservation Chair for the South Dakota Chapter of the Sierra Club.For more than 12 years Sierra Club activists have been working with other South Dakotans to add the Chalk Hills, Indian Creek, and Red Shirt areas of the Buffalo Gap National Grassland to the National Wilderness Preservation System. In 2010 Senator Tim Johnson introduced legislation that would have established those rugged, scenic, and ecologically valuable 48,025 acres in southwest South Dakota as America’s first official wilderness formed from national grassland areas. Unfortunately, Sen. Johnson’s bill did not make it out of committee, and the legislation has not been reintroduced.Last summer, during a lobby visit, South Dakota Sierra Club members learned that Senator Johnson is interested in reintroducing a grassland wilderness bill. We are pleased Senator Johnson remains com-mitted, but given the upcoming elections and ongoing congressional deadlock, the question remains: When is the optimal time to introduce South Dakota wilderness legislation?Over the years the national Sierra Club invested substantial funding and staff time into the effort to have these areas designated as wilderness. The campaign was primarily directed at winning the support of local politicians, ranchers, sportsmen, and residents in southwestern South Dakota for a wilderness bill. Though progress was made, it was not sufficient to help Senator Johnson’s bill. Then, when the national economy soured in 2010, the Sierra Club discontinued funding the program and staff engaged in the wilderness work. Black Hills Group Sierra Club activists began reassessing the wilderness campaign. It was concluded that the campaign needed to expand its grassroots capacity and change tactics. In order to continue advocating for the creation of grassland wilderness, the South Dakota Chapter agreed to establish a Wilderness Committee to lead the effort. continued on page 2Saving wilderness ..........................pg 2Grid parity .......................................pg 3Energy transition ............................pg 3Net metering needed ......................pg 4Hyperion update .............................pg 5New ERG Chair ................................pg 5Big Sioux pollution .........................pg 6Comfy pine beetles .........................pg 7Earth heats up .................................pg 7Listening to silence ........................pg 8continued on page 2The areas proposed for wilderness designation in southwestern South Dakota include native, un-plowed grasslands, and scenic, badlands-like terrain. Photo courtesy of Jim Margadant</span>