June, 2008
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Upper Cumberland Group of the Sierra Club  
Sierra Scene, Vol. 14, No. 5
In This Issue
Cookeville City Council to Vote on Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory
Federal Judge Orders TVA to Halt Work on Buck Mountain Transmission Line
Some Brief Field Notes by Richard Simmers
Save These Dates
Monday, June 16
Cookeville City Council Planning meeting
City Hall- 11 am
Thursday, June 19
Cookeville City Council Meeting
City Hall - 6 pm
Sunday, June 22
 3-6 pm, UCG  Cookout/Picnic at  Burgess Falls State Park,(From I-40, take Exit 286. Turn South off the 286 ramp onto State Highway 135. Proceed on Hwy 135 for 7 miles following the signs to the park).
July 25-27
Tn Chapter Summer Meeting
Laurel Fork Lodge
1511 Dennis Cove Rd. Hampton, TN, hosted by the Watauga Group, Chair: Gloria Griffith, gla4797 @ earthlink.net
The City of Cookeville Electric Department (go Tony!) has received a grant from to do a small pilot program on LED lights. Keep your eyes open to news about it Upon installation the city will be soliciting citizen feedback before making further decisions on LED light use.
ENVIRONMENTAL VIDEO TAPES housed with our former UCGroup Chair Peggy Evans and available for viewing/sharing  

Let the River Run (Journey into Glen Canyon) Sierra Club Video 20 minutes
Our Vanishing Forests (narrated by Pulitzer Prize-winning N. Scott Momaday) -1 hour
Dreams of Green Sierra Club summary of its concerns about biotechnology,
genetically engineered organisms about 15 minutes

This Land Is Your Land (National Forestry Management) Sierra Club video 19 minutes 2 copies
Citizens Protecting America's Parks National Parks & Conservation Asso. Video 13 minutes
Earth Cop: Office of the Riverkeeper (TN riverwatch). 1 hour 2 copies
End of the Road (Sierra Club video on National Forests) 18 minutes 2 copies
Logs, Lies and Videotape (Green Fire Production Video on Forestry Issues)12 minutes
Cherokee National Forest Campaign (Sierra Club video on the End Commercial Logging in National Forest Campaign) 11 minutes 2 copies
Heartbreak in the Heartland: The True Cost of Genetically Engineered Crops. 25 minutes
Natural Connections (PBS) The interconnectedness of all nature. 1 hour
Frontline: Endocrine Disrupters Overuse of these chemicals is causing health problems. 1 hour
Affluenza/cure for Affluenza (PBS Programs on America's unnecessary overconsumption as a lifestyle). about 2 hours

Genetically Engineering Foods 60 Minutes March 2001. about 15 minutes
Earth on the Edge Bill Moyers 1 hour
Arctic Quest by Jeff Barrie 1 hour
Frontline: Modern Meat 1 hour
Empty Oceans 1 hour
Trade Secrets: A Moyers Report on the Chemical Industry 2 hours
Frontline: Xenotransplantation (transplanting pig organs into humans) 2 hours
Planet Neighborhood Overview of State of the Planet. 3+ hours
Wallace Stegner 1 Hour
Subdivide or Conquer 1 hour
Hemlocks at Risk 1 hr.
Environmentalists under Fire: 10 Urgent Cases of Human Rights Abuses - Sierra Club video 20 minutes
E.j. in Louisiana P.O.V. (Point of View) PBS series1 hour
PBS: Ansel Adams 1 hour
"The Hudson River" Bill Moyers PBS film 1 hour
HARVEST OF FEAR (GM Foods) PBS Frontline series, 2001 1 hour
GMO Foods Bill Moyers' NOW PBS 1 hour
The Corporation film by Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott & Joel Bakan. 145 minutes  DVD. Forty corporate insiders & critics (including Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein & Milton Friedman) explore the nature & spectacular rise of the most pervasive institution of our time. Hidden Dangers in Kids' Meals: Genetically Engineered Foods,* DVD*
60 minutes//The Impact of Healthy Food on Learning & Behavior at a Wisconsin School,/15 minutes.
Planet Earth (As You've Never Seen It Before). The Complete BBC Video Series
five DVD discs -- many, many hours of viewing
Too Hot Not to Handle, HBO Documentary Film Laurie David executive producer.  1 hour  DVD. Heat waves. Melting glaciers. Rising sea levels. Catastrophic storms. Migrating viruses. Population displacement. Over the past 100 years, the mass consumption of fossil fuels, especially in America, has contributed to a dangerous warming of the earth that has adversely impacted the way we live. The cautionary documentary offers a guide to the effects of global warming in the United States. 
Dear UCG Sierrans. sun
We're almost in summertime party mode.  A couple VERY important tasks week after next on our Cool Cities campaign to get the City of Cookeville to join ICLEI (International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives) and do an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions.  See the related article and Save These Dates column.  We need a big turn out at June 19 City Council meeting and contacts to city council members to vote in favor of the resolution.
Then we'll have our UCG Cookout/Picnic Sunday June 22, 3-6 pm at Burgess Falls State Park Natural Area.  Come meet fellow Sierrans, hang out and eat with us, and take a short easy hike to the waterfalls at our closest (to most of us) jewel of a State Park/Natural Area.  We'll provide the soft drinks, burgers, hot dogs and fixin's.  Bring a side dish, chips or dessert to share - BUT MOSTLY BRING yourselves!  The six of us or so who are active in the UCGroup need to see some faces to put together with these email addresses!
Then we'll take a break for the summer.  We'll put out another newsletter in September, and start back with our regular fourth Thursday of the month Group meeting at the Library.
Hope to see you on June 19 AND the 22d!
Mary Mastin, UCGroup Chair
red maplered mapleCookeville
Cookeville City Council to Vote on Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventory
By Deborah Sam
Come one, come all on Thursday, June 19, 2008, 6:00 p.m. to the Cookeville City Council meeting. Show your support for the city's next big step towards reduction of fuel use, reduction of carbon emissions, a more sustainable operation/existence, and climate change effects preparation.

There will be a resolution in front of the Council to join ICLEI (International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives )-Local Governments for Sustainability. Cookeville will then have access to ICLEI's renown greenhouse gas emissions inventory and reduction planning software as well as a host of expertise, technical support, and other resources. Sierra Club Cool Cities has partnered with ICLEI because they believe ICLEI to be an outstanding tool towards "solving global warming one city at a time."

So, come and bring one other person and let us fill the council chamber to show our representatives that the citizens of Cookeville want this. And if you have the time and energy to talk with a council member in the next two weeks, please contact xxx, as we will coordinate chats/visits with Jean Davis, Ricky Shelton, and/or Ryan Williams.
TVA towerFederal Judge Orders TVA to Halt Work on Buck Mountain Transmission Line
by Mary Mastin
US District Court Judge William Haynes last Friday ordered TVA to temporarily halt work on the controverssail new transmission line running up Buck Mountain.  TVA just a week earlier had released an "Environmental Assessment " (EA) and a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) and was rushing to start construction of the powerline on Buck Mountain.

The Buck Mountain Community Organization (BMCO) filed the  lawsuit in Federal Court, in Nashville, claiming TVA's Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) violates the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and asked the judge, asking for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO).  The judge's verbal stop work order is only temparary, pending a written opinion to come out later this week on BMCO's request for a preliminary injunction.  We're hopeful the decision will be a good one.
The UC Sierra Group submitted comments to TVA opposing the project as unneeded, as ignoring energy conservation and efficiency initiatives, ignoring archaeological and environmental impacts and causing unecessary harm to hundreds of acres of undisturbed forest going up Buck Mountain, habitat for the at-risk Cerulean Warbler  We (your undersigned attorney chair and law partner/husband Brina Paddock were in court with NC attorney Gary Davis, for the BMCO, and were very happy to see Judge Haynes take such an interest in the case.  (He has had nine hours of in-court hearing so far on it).  It's been a long time since TVA has been ordered by a federal judge to halt a project.  (The last time in our memory is the Tellico Dam project, temporarily halted twice, once on a NEPA claim and once on the Endangered Species case.  See my article in the last UCG Newsletter on the Snail Darter).
The BMCO needs our support. See the  Buck Mountain website
Some Brief Field Notered maples  by Richard Simmers, Phd.
Since I own over a hundred acres of forest, and wish to be a responsible steward, I am interested in research reports on the effects of acid rain, destructive disease and so forth. An article in Nature (Vol. 368, pp. 446-448, 31 Mar 1994) by graveland and others documents poorer reproduction recently by great tits in holland in areas of acidified soils; the egg-laying females need calcium-rich sources at rather steady high rates, usually supplied by snail shells, sometimes by shells of poultry eggs. Liming the poor acid soil built up snail population levels. Jenkins and others (Ecol. Appl. 17 (3) 869-881, 2007) have found that dogwood anthracnose (Discula), prevalent locally, has adversely affected calcium cycling in oak-pine and oak-hickory forests, since flowering dogwood has one of the highest calcium levels (17, 302 mg/L) in its foliage of native trees, exceeded only by basswood (22,000 mg/L) and tulip tree (17,400 mg/L) of those studied. On the other hand, hemlocks do not cycle calcium much and tend to increase the soil acidity. Additional trees with relatively high Ca foliage levels (above 9500 mg/L) include white ash, sugar maple, hornbeam, silverbell, hickories, black birch, and magnolias (cucumber tree, etc.). Oaks, red maple, and black gum averaged lower, sourwood a bit lower (9120 mg/L). I recommend this article for people wishing to study calcium cycling in our native forestland; the study was made in the Great Smoky Mountains.
Toxic effects of Roundup (glyphosate) have been studied in Argentina by Perez, et al. On freshwater microalgae (Ecol. Appl. 17(8): 2310-2322), and in Pennsylvania by Relyea and others on aquatic (larval) and terrestrial amphibians (toads, tree frogs and true frogs) (2005; Ecol. Appl. 15 (4): 1118-1124; 1125-1134). The Argentina study showed considerable losses of diatoms and various microalgae with huge cyanobacterial (blue-green "algae") blooms; the Pennsylvania studies showed major losses of the amphibians studied at high levels of Roundup usage, plus considerable toxicity at lower doses. 
Problems with nitrogen (N) pollution in ecosystems;
(a) Articles in Acres USA suggest that using synthetic N fertilizers (nitrates, ammonium compounds, etc.) "burns up" soil organic carbon because this stimulates various bacteria which use this S.O.C as their energy source and therefore put more CO2 into our air. Natural nitrogen fixation by Rhizoblum root nodules on legumes (clovers, alfalfa, peas, vetch, beans, etc) and presumably also by Frankia root nodules on alders, autumn olive, and various other plants including Casuarina (note Jared Diamond's account of silviculture by New guineans (Papuans) in Collapse, p. 282) avoids this problem because the root nodule bacteria (or actinomycetes) take carbohydrates from their host plants for their energy sources, rather than use the soil organic carbon. Natural soils are a major "sink" for carbon.
(b) A recent letter in Nature (Vol. 451, 7 Feb. 2008, pp. 712-715) by Clark and Tilman shows loss of plant species after chronic low-level N deposition onto prairie grasslands in Minnesota. Species such as the (prairie climax) little bluestem (Schizachyrium) became less frequent with N addition, but recovered once N (ammonium nitrate addition ended in 1992; with increased N, weeds such as quackgrass (Agropyron repens) became dominant and invaded plots where this previously was absent. This study began in 1982 and early results were written up by Tilman in 1987 (Ecol. Monographs 57(3):189-214). Total and available soil N increased with natural succession; other elements (P,k, Ca, Mg, S, trace metals) were not limiting. Nitrogen deposition (mostly "wet") from atmosphere is estimated currently at rates of 5-20 kg N/hectare per year.
(c) Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a greenhouse gas. According to Ehalt et al. (2001; in Climate change 2001: the scientific basis, pp. 239-287), N2O has increased at a rate of 0.25% 0.05% per year between 1980 and 1998 in the traposhere; major sources of N2O are bacterial production during nitrifixation and dentrification, in tropical rainforest soils, agricultural fields and the oceans. N2O enrichment factors in Amazonian soils were studied by Perez et al. (2006; Ecol. Appl. 16 (6): 2153-2167). These authors also report that a significant ( 30%) increase in agriculturally deprived N2O has occurred. (Presumably some from synthetic "chemical" N sources - my comment).
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Roaring River Chapter Save Our Cumberland Mountains | c/o 2861 Spring Creek Road | Cookeville | TN | 38501