Rock the Earth
 
» Preserving Our National Forests
» RtE Elects New Board Members at Annual Retreat
» Bioneers & "I Know I'm Not Alone"
» Earthrocker: Artist Scramble Campbell
» New Source Review – What's Up in Our Air?
» Yonder Mountain String Band NYE Contest!
» Rockin' on the Green Highway
» Take Advantage of Your Member Benefits!
» ALO's Zach Gill Rocks the Earth: Interview
» Rockin' the Earth in Reno, NV: Photo

Preserving Our National Forests

WHAT ARE ROADLESS AREAS?
In our national forests, roadless areas are places where no roads have been built. This translates into national forest land where no logging or other human development has occurred including mining, oil and gas development, or commercial development. To put it simply, roadless areas are the remaining areas of national forest unspoiled by large-scale human activity.

WHY ARE THE AREAS IMPORTANT?
The roadless areas serve as a refuge for vast species of fish and wildlife, including over 1,600 species of threatened or endangered plants and animals. Furthermore, the areas are quiet and pristine and address recreational, aesthetic, and spiritual values. The roadless areas also function as unfragmented watersheds helping to clean drinking water. The creation of roads most often leads to the colonization of nonnative vegetation that force out native vegetation and upset the local ecosystem.

WHAT IS THE ROADLESS AREA CONSERVATION RULE?
In January of 2001, the United States Forest Service implemented the Roadless Area Conservation Rule which was intended to protect that last remaining wildlands. At the time, over 1/2 of all national forests had some type of human development. Under the 2001 roadless rule, 58.5 million acres of national forest are now protected, accounting for nearly 1/3 of all national forests. While the rule protects the land from human development, it does not bar current uses such as public access for recreation, including fishing, hiking, hunting, camping, and mountain biking. Furthermore, the rule protects hundreds of thousands of our nation's most used trails, such as the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail.

SUPPORT vs. OPPOSITION
During the comment period before the final rule was issued in 2001, more Americans commented than during any other rulemaking comment period ever. Of the more than four million comments, the vast majority favored the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. Anglers and hunters were also 86% in favor of the rule as well. However, the timber industry, with help from a huge lobby in Washington DC, opposed the rule and favored a rollback. Furthermore, many former timber industry executives and lobbyists have been appointed to important decision making positions within the government and have voiced strong opposition to the Roadless Rule.

CURRENT BUSH ADMINISTRATION POLICIES
Since taking office, the Bush administration has attempted to dismantle the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. They have repeatedly refused to defend challenges in court and exempted some national forest - including the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, the largest of all national forests - from the rule. Most recently, in July 2004, the federal government announced a plan to eliminate the roadless rule, otherwise called a “rollback” of the rule. As part of this “rollback” rule, modifications require states to petition the federal Department of Agriculture and the Forest Service to continue to maintain roadless protections.

RtE'S POSITION
On November 15, 2004, Rock the Earth joined together with the Southern Rockies Conservation Association to oppose proposed rule modification, which would revise how the “roadless rule” was to be implemented. RtE believes that roadless areas are extremely valuable for a variety of resources, especially protecting biodiversity, and that many inventoried roadless areas are not currently protected from damaging activities. Conservation of roadless areas is consistent with, and necessary for, full realization of the US Forest Service's multiple use mandate and the proposed rule changes would undermine the protection of roadless areas. The proposed rule modifications improperly transfer responsibility for analysis and recommendations for management of roadless areas to the states, thereby eliminating federal protections. Furthermore, the process for states to petition to protect roadless areas would be cumbersome, expensive, time consuming, and the USFS would have total discretion to reject any petition, without the benefit of public comment.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP STOP THE ROLLBACK?
Rock the Earth is joining partners such as American Lands Alliance in a coordinated effort to petition the Department of Agriculture to restore the roadless rule to ensure protection of our remaining national forests. Join us by writing a letter to voice your concerns over the attempted rollback of the Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The letter may sent by mail or email and include any concerns that you may share with Rock the Earth as noted above, or any other concerns or opposition you may have to the rollback. Send your letter to:

Michael Johanns, Secretary
US Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20250

Should you wish to have RtE submit a letter on your behalf, go here to sign the letter.

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Rock the Earth Elects New Board Members at Annual Retreat

The week of October 7-14, 2005, will go down as one of busiest weeks to date. Not only did the Staff and Board of Rock the Earth converge on Denver, meeting in our new offices in the Alliance Center for a weekend retreat to plan for the coming year, but new Board Members were elected, a fundraising reception was held, and Rock the Earth kicked off Bioneers with a benefit concert and film with Michael Franti. It was truly a busy, but productive week. The new Board of Directors is as follows:

Marc Ross (Denver, CO) – President
Jeff Hansen (Ft. Collins, CO) – Vice President
Deana Zosky (Allentown, PA) – Treasurer
Barbara Ross (Denver, CO) -- Secretary
Matt Conway (Phoenix, AZ)
Deanne Herman (San Francisco, CA)
Sean McNamara (Saratoga Springs, NY)
Lori Gray (Denver, CO)

Congratulations to our new Board of Directors! In addition, one of our founding Board Members, Glenn Fee, departs our Board after serving the organization for three years. Glenn will still head up our Public Relations Committee and will remain very involved in the organization, but will be greatly missed from helping to direct the organization as a Board Member. We thank Glenn for his service and look forward to working with him in the future as he continues to increase RtE's public presence in the media and amongst the music, environmental, and nonprofit communities.

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Bioneers & "I Know I'm Not Alone" Wrap Up


Photo by Colby Miller

On Thursday, October 13 at the Boulder Theatre, Rock the Earth partnered with Bioneers to present the world premiere of Michael Franti's movie “I Know I'm Not Alone” Rock the Earth member Glenn Fee kicked of the evening with a heartfelt introduction of Franti, an artist who embodies much of the values behind the work that RtE strives to do.

The movie chronicles the journey of Michael Franti and fellow activists through the war in the Middle East, and will be a certain hit as it makes it way to film festivals and theatres around the nation. After the movie, Franti graciously answered questions from the sold out audience and took the crowd through a stirring 90-minute set of music. Rock the Earth raised more than $1200 over the course of the evening and brought together a great Front Range crowd, which soaked up an evening of music and social activism.

Special thanks to longtime friend Marianne Martin from the University of Colorado Environmental Center for working her magic in making this incredible evening, and the entire Bioneers weekend, come together!

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Earthrocker: Artist Scramble Campbell

Visionary artist Keith “Scramble” Campbell has long been a friend of Rock the Earth, donating limited edition prints of his unique concert paintings to us for fundraising efforts. Most recently, Scramble has loaned Rock the Earth several original pieces currently on display in the Rte office and authorized us to use an amazing painting of Michael Franti and Spearhead from the Denver Fillmore for poster reproduction to benefit Rock the Earth. To commemorate five years of creating artwork from his dream studio, Red Rocks Amphitheater, Campbell's art is being featured in a retrospective called Visions of Red Rocks. This exhibition will feature 50 works representing Campbell's use of movement, environment, and light.

Included in the show are new, monumental canvases from 2005 which seem to synthesize a densely layered, dreamlike reflection of this most remarkable, and consistently influential, artist's journey. Dense brushstrokes reminiscent of Van Gogh, and splatters of color like Jackson Pollock, Scramble's style is the originality of his own vision.

Please join the artist at the opening reception on November 12, 2005 from 4-8pm at the Red Rocks Visitors Center, located upstairs at the Amphitheater.

For more information please contact:
Shay Campbell: 303-362-1676 or 407-421-9287 | shay@scramblecampbell.com
Mike Derrington: 720-984-5293 | miked@scramblecampbell.com

Visit Scramble online at www.scramblecampbell.com.

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New Source Review – What's Up in Our Air?

The New Source Review (NSR) Program is a federal program for regulating air emissions from major sources of air pollution. Facilities affected by this program include power plants and oil refineries, as well as some large industrial manufacturing plants. NSR has been around since 1977, but has been in flux for the last several years.

What Does NSR Do?
Despite the name, NSR does not only apply to new facilities. An existing facility that expands or modifies in a way that increases its air emissions beyond specific thresholds also has to comply.

The major requirements of NSR are:

  • The facility must obtain a federal air permit, which can take years and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
  • The facility must install the latest, state-of-the-art air pollution control equipment to minimize air emissions. The new equipment, which can include filters, scrubbers, and catalysts, can sometimes reduce air emissions by more than 98%.
  • Using computer modeling, the facility must demonstrate to the EPA that the increase in air emissions will not cause a violation of air quality standards.
  • In some regions, all of the new emissions must be offset by reductions in air pollution. These reductions can be from elsewhere in the facility or can be obtained from other nearby plants.

What's Changing?
Industry has objected to some of the NSR requirements almost since the beginning, saying that the rules inhibited them from making necessary improvements. These complaints received a new hearing by the Bush Administration. In 2002 and 2003, the EPA issued new regulations, relaxing many of the old NSR requirements. Most of these new provisions are only relevant to existing facilities; new plants must generally still follow the old rules.

The most important changes to the program are:

  • Emission Increases - Changes to the way emission increases are calculated will make it less likely that a particular modification will trigger the NSR process.
  • Facility Upgrades – The new regulations established an Equipment Replacement Rule to allow for more comprehensive upgrades to facilities without triggering the NSR process. This exemption applies even if the new equipment results in the generation of more air pollution.

If fully implemented, these changes would allow hundreds of heavily-polluting, older facilities to expand further, generating many thousands of tons per year of additional pollution with no controls or regulatory review.

What is the Status?
Emission Increases – During the summer of 2005, several Federal courts issued rulings on lawsuits challenging the modifications to the NSR program. These rulings essentially upheld the new way of calculating emission increases. To fix minor discrepancies among the court rulings, the EPA must now issue new regulations clarifying and permanently establishing the change; they issued draft regulations on October 13.

Facility Upgrades – The Equipment Replacement Rule is still on hold. A previous court decision asked the EPA to reconsider this rule. In June, the EPA decided that the new rule did not need any changes. Environmentalists have initiated new court cases and there will not likely be resolution on this issue for a year or more.

What Can I Do?
For more information on NSR, the proposed draft regulations and how to comment, go to epa.gov/nsr/public.html.

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Yonder Mountain String Band New Year's Eve Contest!

Our friends in the Yonder Mountain String Band have generously donated two tickets to each of their New Year's Extravaganza concerts. Rock the Earth will randomly select two lucky winners to receive two free tickets to either the December 30 or 31st shows at the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver. You must be a member of Rock the Earth to win. You may only enter the contest once, but for every member/renewal that you sign up, you get another chance to win. For example, if you renew your membership in Rock the Earth and get two more people to sign up for membership (or buy two memberships for others), you get three chances to win! You can enter by sending your name to info@RockTheEarth.net. Winner will be drawn on December 1!

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Rockin' on the Green Highway

Rock the Earth is honored to join Bonnie Raitt's Green Highway Tour this fall, which features eco-friendly products and nonprofit organizations bringing attention to, and hopefully resolution of, many of today's serious environmental threats. RtE has partnered with Green Highway in 2005 at several Big Summer Classic shows, and on the Au Natural Tour in 2004 with the Barenaked Ladies and Alanis Morissette. We are thrilled to be joining them again for seven shows on their fall tour! With two shows already under our belt in the northeast at the Palace Theatre in Albany, NY and the Memorial Auditorium in Burlington, VT, we look forward to seeing some you at following shows where you can find out how to help Defend the Planet One Beat at a Time:

Rte on the Green Highway Tour with Bonnie Raitt:
– Orpheum Theatre in Omaha, NE on Nov. 7th
– Fillmore Auditorium in Denver, CO on Nov. 8th
– Schnitzer Hall in Portland, OR on Nov. 11th
– Paramount Theatre in Seattle, WA on Nov. 12th
– Hult Center in Eugene, OR on Nov. 14th
– DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC on Dec. 6th
– Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN on Dec. 8th

We are also excited to join Gov't Mule's fall tour in several cities this fall after a very fun and successful summer run! Rte joined Mule for seven shows this summer and are now on board for four more, including shows at The Catalyst in Santa Cruz and the Warfield in San Francisco. Look for us at the Murat Centre in Indianapolis on Halloween and the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN on November 16th and enter our raffle to win tour posters signed by the band!

Go here for the latest Rock the Earth tour dates!

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Take Advantage of Your Member Benefits

RtE membership has its privileges! Become a member for $25 or more and receive 20% off any merchandise from the String Cheese Incident when purchased through their website, www.scigear.com! Email us at Membership@RockTheEarth.net to find out how.

Members can also purchase discounted concert and festival tickets at various times throughout the year, and purchase specially priced RtE merchandise, as well as t-shirts, posters, DVDs and concert photography from your favorite artists and musicians! Look for announcements on our website, www.RockTheEarth.org, and in your monthly newsletter.

RtE has a new membership benefit! RtE members can now download 10 songs FREE through emusic WITHOUT needing to register with a credit card! Just email us at Membership@RockTheEarth.net to find out how.

Special sale for members only!

Actual poster size: 9.75 x 17
This month's members-only sale includes a very special, limited edition print of a Scramble Campbell painting of Michael Franti that was released for the Rock the Earth/Bioneers special screening of Franti's I Know I'm Not Alone. The screening was held at the Boulder Theater in Boulder, CO as an opener of the Boulder Bioneers Conference, and was followed by a Q&A session and solo acoustic performance by Michael Franti. It was a very memorable evening for this Boulder-based crowd and we are offering the remaining posters, all SIGNED AND NUMBERED out of a series of 200 by artist Scramble Campbell for only $17!

Also available for members this month are copies of ALO's new CD Fly Between Falls signed by the band for only $17! Their new release is described as "laid-back and funky" and "a soulful arrangement of quirky-yet-thoughtful songs." It also features special guest Jack Johnson on the international love anthem "Girl, I Wanna Lay You Down".

Hurry, as we only have a few of these rare items. If you are a member (or want to become one!) and are interested in any of these items please email us immediately at Membership@RockTheEarth.net so we can process your order! Take advantage of this limited time offer while it lasts!

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Zach Gill Rocks the Earth


Zach Gill and Jack Johnson | Photo by Kim Johnson

Zach Gill sings and plays piano, keyboards, accordion and ukulele in Jack Johnson's band as well as with his own band, the Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO). As the newest member of Jack's band, he has toured Australia, Europe and throughout the United States and has appeared with Jack on VH-1, MTV, Saturday Night Live, Jay Leno and David Letterman. Zach and his band, ALO, are currently on a national tour of the United States.

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

Well, one of the closest environmental issues to me is the proliferation of automobiles. My wife, Jessica, used to run a sustainable transportation nonprofit called COAST (Coalition For Sustainable Transportation). I learned a lot through her work there. COAST promotes alternative transportation options for those living in Santa Barbara County, identifying unmet transportation needs, publishing safe paths to schools, and providing resources to create walkable communities.

Driving around the country also reminds me how out of balance we really are. The problem goes well beyond the need for there to be less cars on the road and more fuel efficient vehicles, but as a result, whole cities are being designed for cars, as opposed to people, leading to sprawl and strip malls. These days, kids can't even ride their bike to school let alone walk because of the traffic patterns that have been developed around this automobile-centered society.

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

My personal view is that it is everyone's responsibility to look after the environment. No matter what profession you're involved in. Whether it is music, teaching, working in an office, etc. Even if I weren't in music, I would still seek to combine my profession with the environment to create a more sustainable environment overall.

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

West Marin Country, California, tucked up against Mt. Tamm and the Samuel P. Taylor Forest. It's an amazing spot. Actually, all of Marin is beautiful. I also like to get out of the cities and go to places like Big Sur. Places like that really give me inspiration.

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Rockin' the Earth in Santa Barbara: Photo


RtE Summer Tour Intern Sarah Engel rockin' it at the
Jack Johnson show in Santa Barbara.

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For more info, visit www.rocktheearth.org

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