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Re: NFC: Sierra Club

I wish I was a member so I could say; "YEAH! What he said!"  Good letter
Robert. It is sad when a potentially good group like this falls under the
spell of politics. They get so caught up in the lobbying and such that they
become demagogues. It becomes more fun to force your views on others then
to stick with the original charter or intent.


 Dear Editor Sierra Magazine,

It is with sadness that I write this note. I will not be  renewing my
membership or furthering any advocacy of the Sierra Club.The Sierra
Club has sadly become so entrenched, in politics each issue of Sierra
magazine now reads like the liberal manifesto. So much for enjoying,
exploring  and protecting the planet. How about changing the motto to
exploring, enjoying  and protecting the liberal agenda.

The typical response to such a comment is that only liberals  care about
the environment. Nothing is of course farther from the truth. I am a
republican and a bit of conservative who has spent most of his adult life
working for and caring about conservation. What do I mean by care? I spend
20  plus hours a week volunteering with organizations that do conservation
work, I  donate my money to conservation causes. Basically I am the
grassroots hands on  type of guy that makes things happen locally like so
many others are. Folks  who work for love, not money. We clean the streams,
pass out the fliers, educate  the kids and do all the dirty little jobs
because we believe conservation  matters. Yet, you belittle us because we
don't follow the political winds of the  Democratic Party. I was so
offended to see the Sept/Oct issues waxing on  about the virtues of Ru486.
Please! Where in the world is it written that  you must be pro abortion to
be a conservationist? How offensive. If an article  about creationism
appeared in the Sierra magazine exposing the point that only  those who
believed in a creator could be conservationist the Sierra  Club would be up
in arms. Instead of moral and social commentaries perhaps  we could discuss
the science and ways to make a difference.

Somehow or another folks leading the Sierra Club have  made the mistake to
so align themselves with a particular party that they have  become nothing
more than a pawn of the democratic party. Claiming that  republicans want
dirty water and air as part of their legacy is just  foolishness. Most
likely the "offenders" as you call them are ill informed, not  malicious,
however being called vile names in a national publication does  nothing to
help the conservation cause.     How do I know? I have sat  across the
table with many supposed evil republicans senators and congressmen
discussing conservation issues in my home state of Florida. Did I get all I
wanted? No, did we make progress YES. Better, not perfect laws were passed,
dialogs were started and relationships formed.

 Being rude and  insulting will not help the conservation cause. It will
however start fights and  make enemies. Take our pupfish's for example.
Most of them have no intact  conservation plan because of the type of name
calling silliness you guys are  engaged in. Lets demonize the other guy so
that he becomes so entrenched that  the fish goes extinct. Follow your
motto instead of an article on RU486 in the  Sierra Club magazine, how
about an article on one of the pupfish's and  their conservation. Perhaps
the Blue Pike, or the Shasta trout, or the  black-footed ferret,
or greenway laws or examples of local efforts  etc

Have you ever considered that most folks love the natural  world we have
been given and are willing to support its conservation? This  unpleasant
cycle of constant bickering is very unproductive and I am sure Mr.  Muir
would be aghast at your wasting of precious print resources to espouse
partisan politics and RU486 propaganda. Please do better.

I write this with sadness because the Sierra Club could have  been so much

Robert Rice
President of the Native Fish  Conservancy