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Old Baldy, Canada | photo by Cameron Schaus
Chapter Chair's Column
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February 2010

This year the Chapter will focus on parks, wilderness, and coastal issues, and we hope you will help us spread the word. Currently we are asking members to volunteer to circulate initiative petitions to collect signatures of registered voters to ensure that the State Parks will have permanent, stable, long-term funding. The campaign kicked off in January and will last until April 17. We are urging you to help gather enough signatures to get the measure on the ballot for next November. If you are unable to circulate a petition, be sure you sign one. For more information contact Mary Gale, 626-3565 (Monterey County) or Patricia Matejcek, (Santa Cruz County).

Ten years have passed since the last big assembly of grassroots wilderness advocates met in California. April 8-11 the Ventana Chapter will be a sponsor for the Western Wilderness Conference at UC Berkeley. The focus of the conference is on wildlands preservation in today’s historic time of climate change. There will be a program of over 40 speakers, workshops, hikes, films and other activities. Consider attending this gathering to learn more about how you can help preserve these lands and wildlife, make new friends, and effect political change. See page 6 for more information.

Later this year, the Chapter is planning to have a celebration of the 50th anniversary of one of the most remote places on earth —the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—recently the scene of some of the most hard-won battles for the environment and a symbol of America's will to protect special places from commercial exploitation. We will have presentations, slides, and film clips of the Arctic's rolling tundra, deep lakes, sparkling coastal waters, and wildlife. Home to over 200 species of visiting and nesting birds, caribou, muskoxen, wolverines, grizzly and polar bears, this fragile area remains under threat of oil drilling and climate change. If you are interested in helping with this program, please contact the chapter at .

—Rita Dalessio

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