Sierra Club Home Page enviro_menu.gif (1228 bytes) acrtex.gif (1175 bytes)
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet  
houston regional group home
calendar
get outdoors
get involved
news
join or give
contact us
lone star chapter
national site
sierraclub.org

Explore, Enjoy and Protect

Houston Regional Group - News - 2006
  backtrack:
News Main
  in this section:
Volunteer News:
 club notes
 Youth
.
Conservation News:
 general conservation
 forestry
 transportation
 clean water & air
 habitat preservation
.
Bayou Banner
 Houston Group newsletters
.
Archives

Feature Articles

Update on Texas State Park Funding
Announced January 24, 2006: State Comptroller Strayhorn certified $4.88 million in funds that will be available to state parks.  The source of the funds is through Rider 27 in Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Appropriations bill. Rider 27 says that if TPWD generates revenue above the Comptroller’s Biennial Revenue Estimate -- which is a forecast made at the start of each legislative session -- that TPWD may be authorized to use that additional revenue in operation and management of state parks. (Mar 06)

2006 News:

Volunteer News:

Club Notes

Lorraine Gibson wins Brom Wilkin Award
Is there anyone in the Houston Sierra Club who does not know Lorraine Gibson? No matter what area of the club’s activities you consider, Lorraine has touched and enhanced it. For six years she has been Treasurer and served on the Executive Committee. During that time, no major fund raising activity for the Sierra Club or Houston Inner City Outings (ICO) has been without her active participation. She has organized and led many adult outings — including one which was rained out except for Lorraine! (Mar 06)
.

Youth

SPROG
Just as Thoreau did when he needed inspiration, I went to the woods.  And just as he did, I came out enlightened, with a wealth of new ideas and new ways of seeing the world. But unlike him, it wasn't just the stars, though they were breathtaking. It wasn't just the bugs, though there were plenty. It wasn't even the pure mountain air that led me to my revelations. It was what brought me to the woods, a wonderful little gem called a SPROG. (Sep 06) 

Conservation News:

General Conservation

State Park System Funding - Your Comments Needed
As an advocate for assuring the state park system a secure and dedicated source of funding, one of the most important actions you can take is contacting your Texas state senator and state representative to tell them that the parks are important to you and that you want him/her to work to fund the state park system.   (Apr 06) 

Update on Texas State Park Funding
Announced January 24, 2006: State Comptroller Strayhorn certified $4.88 million in funds that will be available to state parks.  The source of the funds is through Rider 27 in Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s Appropriations bill. Rider 27 says that if TPWD generates revenue above the Comptroller’s Biennial Revenue Estimate -- which is a forecast made at the start of each legislative session -- that TPWD may be authorized to use that additional revenue in operation and management of state parks. (Mar 06)
.

Forestry

Sierra Club Appeals Two Forest Service Timber Sale Proposals
The Houston Sierra Club (HSC) appealed two U.S. Forest Service (FS) proposed timber sales in October 2006. On October 6th and October 18th the HSC appealed the Caney Creek Project and the Compartment 25 Project that would log huge quantities of pine trees in Sam Houston National Forest. (Dec 06)

Sierra Club Meets About Protecting Lone Star Hiking Trail
On September 9th the Houston Sierra Club (Sierra Club) met with members of the Greater Houston Off Road Biking Association (GHORBA), Lone Star Hiking Trail Club (LSHTC), REI, U.S. Forest Service, and others regarding a proposal by GHORBA to change the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) in Sam Houston National Forest from a long distance, primitive, dedicated, hiking trail to a multi-use trail that mountains bikes and horses can use. (Nov 06)

Court Rules Sierra Club Lawsuit About Wildlife and Logging Can Continue
The Sierra Club and ten other environmental groups won a significant victory in September when the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia restored a lawsuit filed against the U.S. Forest Service (FS) over the lack of inventorying and monitoring for sensitive species of wildlife when logging projects are implemented in national forests. (Nov 06)

Bush Public Land Sell-off Fails - For Now
Let's celebrate now! The proposed Bush Administration sell-off of over 300,000 acres of national forest and hundreds of thousands of acres of Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands has failed, for now, in the U.S. Congress.  (Oct 06)

Forestry Notes, September 2006
1) The Houston Sierra Club (HSC) visited several blackland prairies this year. Some of these prairies are in good condition and some are in poor condition. The biggest problem these prairies have is that they are overgrown by woody vegetation, mostly small seedling and sapling trees like gum bumelia, littlehip hawthorn, and cockspur hawthorn.    (Sep 06) 

U.S. Forest Service Asked to Allow Mountain Bikes on Lone Star Hiking Trail
The U.S. Forest Service (FS) has been asked to allow mountain bikes on the Lone Star Hiking Trail (LSHT) in Sam Houston National Forest (SHNF), from Double Lake Recreation Area to Huntsville State Park. The 128 mile LSHT is the longest continuous hiking trail in the State of Texas.  (Sep 06)

Spaceport Threatens Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge – Letters Needed Now
The Gulf Coast Spaceport Development Corporation (GCSDC) has chosen a site on Dow Chemical property, about 0.7 miles from Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge (BNWR), for a commercial spaceport that includes a consolidated administration engineering and flight operations facility, upper stage manufacturing and maintenance facility, aero-spacecraft assembly and payload integration facility, runway, propellant loading area, tank farm, cryogenic propellant supply line, aero-spacecraft run-up area, and ejector ramjet run-up area.   (Jul 06) 

Transportation Agency Pushes Road Through Big Thicket
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) continues to push expansion of U.S. 69, from Lumberton 54 miles to Colmesneil, through the heart of the Big Thicket area and adjacent to Big Thicket National Preserve (BTNP). TxDOT held public scoping meetings in May. The Sierra Club and the Big Thicket Association attended those meetings. (Jul 06)

Sierra Club and TCONR Appeal Change to Woodpecker Plan
The Houston Regional Group of the Sierra Club and the Texas Committee on Natural Resources appealed a U.S. Forest Service (FS) environmental assessment (EA) which changes the forest plan for the management of the endangered Red-cockaded Woodpecker (RCW). (Jul 06)

Oil/Gas Drilling Under Big Thicket National Preserve Continues at Speed
The National Park Service (NPS) continues to process/approve oil/gas drilling approvals at record speed for drilling either underneath or inside Big Thicket National Preserve (BTNP). The approval request recently sought by Penwell Energy for the Pine Island Bayou – Little Pine Island Bayou Corridor Unit (PIBLPIBCU) is about the 40th request either submitted or granted to or by NPS since 2002. Most of these requests have been for slant drilling under BTNP within a few 100 feet of the boundaries.  (Jun 06)

Big Thicket Land Acquisition Needs Your Support!!!
Brandt Mannchen Protection of Big Thicket National Preserve (BTNP) has entered a crucial land acquisition phase which will determine if this National Park System Unit survives the 21st Century. With your show of support to key public officials a unique opportunity to add protective buffers and corridors to BTNP will not disappear forever!   (Apr 06) 

Bush Proposes Selling Off Texas and 300,000 Acres of National Forests and Grasslands
The Bush Administration (U.S. Forest Service – FS) proposes the sell-off of 300,000 acres of national forests/grasslands across the country, including 4,812.78 acres in Texas. Letters are needed from you now to oppose this give away of your public lands!  (Apr 06)

Big Thicket Oil/Gas Lawsuit Continues
The Sierra Club/Texas Committee on Natural Resources (SC/TCONR) filed a brief and two declarations in support of their motion for summary judgment against the National Park Service (NPS) and Department of the Interior (DOI) regarding three specific oil/gas projects that were approved for slant drilling under Big Thicket National Preserve (BTNP).    (Feb 06)

National Forest Logging Continues to Lose Money
According to a study by the John Muir Project of the Earth Island Institute, since 1997, the U.S. Forest Service (FS) lost 6.6 billion taxpayer dollars on its logging program from the public’s national forests. This is an annual average loss per year, over seven years, of $835 million.  (Feb 06)
.

Transportation

Grand Parkway Threatens Lake Houston State Park and San Jacinto River – Your Comments Are Needed
Grand Parkway Threatens Lake Houston State Park and San Jacinto River – Your Attendance and or Comments Are Needed - The loop to nowhere, the Grand Parkway (GP), is rearing its ugly head to the northeast and east in Harris, Montgomery, Liberty, and Chambers Counties. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and the Grand Parkway Association (GPA) are holding two public scoping meetings for Segments H and I-1.   (Apr 06)
.

Clean Water & Air

State Admits New Ozone Control Plan Cannot Meet Standard
On October 5, 2006 the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) held an informational meeting about the new proposed Houston- Galveston-Brazoria (HGB) Eight Hour Ozone State Implementation Plan (SIP) that it is working on. The TCEQ must submit the SIP to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by June 15, 2007.   (Dec 06) 

City Air Agency Remains Weakened
During the spring and early summer of 2006 the Houston Sierra Club (HSC) unsuccessfully lobbied Mayor White and Houston City Council to add five air quality investigator positions to the City of Houston's (COH) budget. The funding and creation of these air quality investigator positions would begin rebuilding the City's Bureau of Air Quality Control (BAQC).  (Sep 06) 

City of Houston Takes Step Forward Toward Reducing Climate Change
On June 30, 2006, the City of Houston (COH) announced that it will join The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) and develop and implement a greenhouse gas emissions reduction plan (GGERP).  The COH will conduct an emissions inventory of greenhouse gases, adopt emissions reduction targets, develop and implement a GGERP, and monitor progress toward the emissions reduction targets.  (Sep 06)

Calls/Comments Needed for Restoration of City Air Bureau for 2007 Budget
In fiscal year (FY) 2006 the Bureau of Air Quality Control (BAQC) was down-sized by the City of Houston (COH) when it failed to reach agreement with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) on a new air quality contract ($1.5 million).  The disagreement centered on how enforcement cases would be handled and how much enforcement authority the COH had. (Mar 06) 

Sierra Club Begins Monitoring State & City Air Pollution Agreements With Chemical Plant
The Houston Regional Group of the Sierra Club (HSC) has begun a multi-year citizen oversight effort to ensure that separate Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and City of Houston (COH) agreements with Texas Petrochemicals (TP) are implemented. (Mar 06) 
.

Habitat Preservation

Named One of America’s Most Endangered Rivers
American Rivers has named the San Jacinto River as one of "America's Most Endangered Rivers" in its yearly report. The report focuses on some of the worst or most polluted rivers in our Nation due to sewage, over development, and energy impacts.   (Jun 06)

A River Under Assault: The Plight of the San Jacinto River
When they think of the San Jacinto River, many people focus on its location near Galveston Bay. This part of the river is has been overshadowed by the Houston Ship Channel. While important for commerce and economic development, cleaner than it once was, and home to salt and brackish water ecosystems, other parts of the San Jacinto River that lie upstream also contain important ecological features and are threatened with degradation and loss.  (Feb 06) 
.

Bayou Banner - Houston Regional Group newsletter (.pdf format Get Acrobat Reader): rss.gif (1202 bytes)

December 2006/January 2007 - (0.8mb) 
ExCom Election
State Admits New Ozone Control Plan Cannot Meet Standard
Sierra Club Appeals Two Forest Service Timber Sale Proposals

November 2006 - (0.8mb) 
Texas State Parks in the Marketplace of Ideas
Court Rule Sierra Club Lawsuit About Wildlife and Logging Can Continue

October 2006 - (0.6mb) 
Bush Public Land Sell-off Fails - for Now
Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary Management Plan Review

September 2006 (0.6mb)
Lone Star Chapter Legislative Priorities
The Human Environment - An Editorial
City Air Agency Remains Weakend

July/August 2006 (0.7mb)
The San Jacinto River is in Trouble
Spaceport Threatens Brazoria NWR
More Privitization - CEQ Chairman proposes dumping of private lands at ARC meeting

June 2006 (0.6mb)
$100.5 Million NPS Budget Cut Proposed
Key Environmental Issues for 2006
Houston ICO Trip - Lone Star Trail with Kipp High School

May 2006 (0.6mb)
Bolivar Bridge Looming
A River Under Assault: The Plight of the San Jacinto River
Resolution on Texas State Parks
Update on Metro Transit Plans

April 2006 (0.7mb) 
State Parks Conference
Say "No" to Privatization
ICO:  My Weekend at Bastrop State Park

March 2006 (0.7mb) 
Maintaining Ecosystems
Stop the Noise! (at Memorial Park)
Bill Increases Clear-Cutting
Building Environemental Communities in Houston - 2006

February 2006 (0.9mb) 
Down-Sizing of City of Houston's Bureau of Air Quality Control Continues
Status of Texas State Parks Funding Crisis
Sierra Club Superfund Report


Archives:    2005     2004     2003      2002     2001

Up to Top

Last updated:  11/20/2010.   Content 1999-2010 by the Sierra Club.