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Rock The Earth
In This Issue of RtE Notes:

» Year in Review: 2004
» Holiday Gift Packages
» Rockin' e-town in December
» Rockin' the National Park Service!
» Interview with David Gans
» How Can You Help?

Year in Review: 2004

Adam Gardner (Guster) with
RtE Executive Director Marc Ross

It has been an incredible year for Rock the Earth and we are extremely grateful for the help and inspiration of our Members, Volunteer Staff, Board of Directors, Advisory Board, family, friends, musicians and music lovers who have helped us achieve so much this year! We thought it would be nice to show you how much we have accomplished in our first year. Expect much more to come in 2005!

In December 2003, RtE did not yet have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and was based in Pittsburgh, PA with a Volunteer Staff of 17 and only five Board Members.

Rock the Earth was granted its official 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status by the IRS in February 2004. We immediately began accepting our first tax-deductible donations and building our membership. Today RtE has an active office in Denver, CO, and is awaiting incorporation in Colorado. We now have a Volunteer Staff of 21, seven Board Members, two Advisory Board Members and our first paid Intern beginning work in January.

In December 2003, RtE did not yet have a website, a newsletter or a membership and outreach program.

Today we have a frequently-updated and informative website with information about Rock the Earth actions, events and membership, as well as details about all of our projects. We also have a very active membership and outreach program that includes regular participation in concert events and festivals nationwide. This year RtE organized its first cross-country Summer Tour, tabling over 50 events in 16 states, raising awareness about RtE and environmental issues such as mining and drilling, pesticide use, ozone pollution, and the importance of wetlands. We currently have over 325 members and over 1,500 people on our mailing list, many whom are interested in volunteering for RtE.

In December 2003, RtE had not written any grant applications or established any partnerships with sponsors.

This year RtE has received two grants and we continue to work on additional funding opportunities for 2005. Thanks to our hard-working Fundraising Committee, consisting of four Volunteer Staff, we received grants that provided two Rock the Earth banners that allowed us to table multiple events across the country this summer, and provided funds for part-time administrative assistance in our Denver, CO office. We currently have several other proposals and applications for funding under review that would provide general operating expenses as well as salaries and training opportunities.

In December 2003, RtE had not approached or collaborated with any musicians on projects or events.

This summer RtE organized an elaborate summer outreach tour with bands such as the String Cheese Incident, Barenaked Ladies & Alanis Morissette, Dave Matthews Band, the Acoustic Planet tour and many festivals from coast to coast. At several of these festivals, RtE organized intimate gatherings with musicians such as Hot Buttered Rum String Band, Railroad Earth and New Monsoon to enjoy music and conversation about the environment.

Last month we held our first benefit show at the Connecticut Yankee in San Francisco, which featured music by the Jambay Trio, the Geo Trio and David Gans. Right now RtE is collaborating with musicians on several projects across the country, including: helping the Alliance to Save the Mattaponi prevent the King William Reservoir Project in Norfolk, VA, a project brought to us by Sugar Hill recording artist Scott Miller; researching the dropping water levels of the Great Lakes at the request of Steven Page of the Barenaked Ladies; and reviewing several environmental issues concerning the St. John's River in Florida at the suggestion of the Trucks Family (both Derek Trucks and Butch Trucks are in the legendary Allman Brothers Band).

We have some incredible momentum at the end of this productive and exciting year and we look forward to many additional accomplishments in our Year in Review for 2005!

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Finish Your Gift List with Rock the Earth Gift Packages!

Are you having trouble finding the perfect gift for friends and family on your gift list? Do want to give them a unique gift they'll love that really makes a difference? Get that special someone a gift package from Rock the Earth!

We have some wonderful gifts for the music lovers and environmentalists on your gift list, each of which comes with a membership to Rock the Earth and will help us continue to Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time. You can choose from several gift packages that include a One Love Vol. 1 2 CD set with music by artists such as Michael Franti, New Monsoon, ALO, and Steve Kimock; a specially designed RtE long-sleeved, organic cotton/hemp blend, winter t-shirt by artist Yvette Chappuis; a JamCam Chronicle DVD, featuring behind-the-scenes festival footage and interviews with Rock the Earth staffers from our 2004 Summer Tour; and signed and numbered seriagraph prints (limited edition of only 500!) printed on 25% hemp/75% post-consumer waste paper by such notable artists as Emek, Jeff Wood, and Gary Houston.

Don't let this holiday season pass you by without purchasing gifts for your friends and family that will make a lasting impression ~ buy them a great gift that also helps to protect the environment! Order by December 15th to make sure it arrives by Christmas!


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Rockin' E-town in December

This month Rock the Earth continues its partnership with e-town as it participates in two more events at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO. E-town is an exciting weekly radio broadcast heard nationwide on public and commercial radio stations. The live taping of e-town brings together today's top musical artists for an intimate performance as well as conversation about the world around us.

On December 5th e-town featured inspiring and energetic performances by the legendary Mavis Staples and singer-songwriter-surfer, Donavon Frankenreiter. Rock the Earth volunteers were thrilled to be able to participate in this wonderful show that featured songs off Ms. Staples' new CD, Have a Little Faith, including a wonderful version of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" and "God is Not Sleeping." She brought the crowd to their feet with sing-along-versions of "I'll Take You There" and "I Ain't Gonna Study War No More." The highlight of the show was when Donavan Frankenreiter joined her for a wonderful version of The Band's "The Weight," a song that Ms. Staples has made her own since appearing with the legendary band in the Martin Scorsese movie, "The Last Waltz." In between the music were interview interludes in which Ms. Staples regaled the audience with stories about opening for Jimi Hendrix and meeting Martin Luther King, Jr., while Donavon Frankenreiter spoke of surfing in Iceland.

The December 16th taping of e-town will feature Shawn Colvin with David Lowery and Johnny Hickman from the bands Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven for another inspiring night of music and conversation.

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Rockin' the National Park Service!

The Colorado River needs your help. In October, the National Park Service (NPS) released a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) addressing how the stretch of the Colorado River which travels through Grand Canyon National Park will be managed. The Colorado River courses through some of the most spectacular scenery in North America. As a scientific resource, the Grand Canyon is a mecca for geologists, geographers, and biologists throughout the world. It is also a place of tremendous natural and historic interest; a place of beauty, peace, quiet or exciting adventure. The Colorado River within the Grand Canyon National Park ("GCNP") is the longest stretch of recreational whitewater in the world and offers one of the most sought-after river trips in the United States as well.

In 2002, RtE had commented that the Colorado River is not being managed in accordance with law and policy and that substantial modifications were warranted to the way that the Colorado River is managed. We recommended that the NPS consider altering management of the Colorado River so as to implement policies and corrective actions that remedy the problems that protect against further impairment to park resources and values. Alternatives that should have been considered should include: a restoration of natural flows to the Colorado River; the elimination of motorized river transport on the Colorado River; and the equalization of access to the river that does not favor commercial interests over others.

The recent draft EIS does not adequately address these concerns, ignores the deleterious impact of the Glen Canyon Dam on species and biota in and along the river, continues to allow for motorized transport through the canyon, maintains access discrimination against private boaters in favor of commercial interests and recommends changes that actually increases the number of people who may travel the river, thereby increasing the damage to the environment.

The deadline to comment on the draft EIS is January 7, 2005. While RtE will be submitting extensive legal and technical comments on the draft EIS, there is strength in numbers. We encourage you to write individual letters/emails to the NPS on this important issue. You can submit your comments to:

CRMP Project
Grand Canyon National Park
PO Box 129
Grand Canyon, Arizona 86023
Fax: 928-638-7797
E-mail form:

In your comments, we recommend that you make the following points:

  • Motorized transport on the Colorado River should be phased out to protect the wilderness character of the Grand Canyon and restore the natural soundscapes along the river.
  • Visitation Levels should be reduced so as to protect and restore the Colorado River's disappearing beaches.
  • Access should be made fair and equitable by adopting a common pool reservation system in which private and commercial interests have equal access to river trips.
  • The EIS should take into consideration the negative impact that the Glen Canyon Dam is having on the wilderness character of the river.

Background and more information about this issue can be found at

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Interview with David Gans

David Gans with RtE Treasurer Glenn Fee

We've added a new section to our newsletter so that you can hear from musicians, members and other environmentalists about their environmental concerns and inspiration! This month we are featuring David Gans -- musician, producer, author, music journalist, and long-time host of the nationally syndicated radio show, The Grateful Dead Hour. He was one of many musicians that participated in our first benefit show last month in California and is an inspiring musician and person who is also a passionate environmentalist. Here's what David had to say...

RtE: What environmental issue(s) do you consider to be the most critical at this time?

DG: I don't know. There are so very many - global and regional and local - that it's hard to prioritize. I suppose we should start at the global end and see what can be done about global warming, air and water pollution, and making resources available to everyone. This would entail reducing the growth of corporate power and curtailing/reversing privatization of public infrastructure. But it's also really important to deal with regional and local matters such as suburban sprawl, destruction of wetlands and wildlife habitat, recycling and waste disposal, etc.

RtE: What has inspired you to combine environmental activism with your music?

DG: Being alive and awake in the last half of the 20th Century. I was at San Jose State College on the first Earth Day, in 1970, when they buried a car -- a gesture whose hamfisted symbolism was soon reconsidered. But the seeds were planted early, and people of my generation came of age with a firm belief that it's the obligation of individuals to tread lightly on the Earth and keep it clean.

RtE: Where is your favorite place in nature to go to find solace or inspiration?

DG: Southern Utah. The history of the planet laid bare! Every ridge, reef and canyon shows a different view of the story, and every time I go there I see something new and inspiring.

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How Can You Help Rock The Earth?

» Volunteer! We are always looking for people across the country to help table events, write grants or newsletters or help publicize local events. If you would like to help please send your name, volunteer interests and contact information to

» Let us know if there is an environmental issue in your neighborhood or anywhere else that you would like to see us work on! You can email your suggestions to

» Spread the word! Forward this email to friends and family to let them know how they can Rock the Earth!

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