Rock the Earth
 
RtE to Challenge Colorado River Management Plan
Make a Purchase that Rocks the Earth
Take Advantage of Your Member Benefits
Music Community Steps Up for RtE
Warren Haynes Rocks the Earth: Interview
Member Profile: Michelle Reed

Rockin' the Earth at Kebler Pass: Photo

RtE to Challenge Colorado River Management Plan!

Since our inception three years ago, Rock the Earth has been monitoring the development of a new management plan for the Colorado River. The plan involves the management of the river as it passes through Grand Canyon National Park ("GCNP"). 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 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. The desire of the American public to experience this unique area has dramatically increased over the last 20 years. In 1967, 2,100 people traveled the river through GCNP. By 1972, that number rose to 16,500. While exponential growth of visitors wishing to make recreational use of the river has had an impact on river resources, far more damaging have been the effects from the Glen Canyon Dam.

RtE's Position: The Colorado River is Being Mismanaged

The Colorado River is not being managed by the National Park Service ("NPS") in accordance with the Management Objectives, the terms of the current Management Plan itself, other federal statutory and regulatory requirements, or NPS Guidance documents. Current data warrants the consideration of substantial modifications to the way that the Colorado River is currently managed. In 2002, and again in 2004, we recommended that the NPS and U.S. Department of the Interior should, in reviewing the current Colorado River Management Plan ("CRMP"), 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. This position is based on a wealth of data indicating that the current CRMP adversely impacts endangered species and wildlife, diminishes visitors' experiences, and results in inequitable access to the river. These adverse impacts are due in part to: (1) the way water flow is regulated at the Glen Canyon Dam; (2) allowing the use of motorized river transport; and (3) a disparate system favoring those who can afford to pay commercial river trip guides over individuals and other non-commercial interests.

NPS mandates, as set by U.S. law, NPS guidance documents, and NPS management policy that directs NPS decisions and activity, support our position that natural flows need to be restored to the Colorado River and that motorized river transport needs to be eliminated, in order to stop any further impairment to both the Colorado River and Grand Canyon National Park.

Recent Developments: The 2005 Management Plan

Just this past month, the NPS issued a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the CRMP. The recent draft EIS does not adequately address our 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.

Next Step: RtE's Challenge

RtE is currently in discussions with potential partner organizations like River Runners for Wilderness, evaluating the prospects of forming a pro-wilderness coalition to challenge the NPS's deficient plan. With the aid of veteran environmental litigator and RtE Advisory Board Member Bob Lippman, RtE is in the process of approaching attorneys to represent RtE and other groups in a formal lawsuit against the NPS. If pursued, this will be RtE's first formal, legal challenge and a big step towards our goal of becoming a full-fledged environmental advocacy group, capable of bringing matters to litigation, if necessary. Look for more details in the December issues of Rock the Earth Notes or check our website frequently for the latest news.

Roadless Rule Reminder

As we detailed in the October edition of Rock the Earth Notes, RtE is joining partners such as the American Lands Alliance in a coordinated effort to petition the Department of Agriculture to restore the Roadless Rule to ensure the 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. To add your name to RtE's list of concerned citizens urging for the restoration of the rule, go here.

For more information about the Roadless Rule, see the RtE Website.

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Make a Purchase that Rocks the Earth!

Rock the Earth has new holiday gift packages that include 100% organic cotton/hemp totes, hats and t-shirts, as well as limited edition posters printed on 25% hemp/75% post-consumer waste paper. Give your fellow Earth-rockers a gift membership and great new merchandise from Rock the Earth!

Rock the Earth Holiday Gift Packages
Donation: Gift Description:
$25 New Rock the Earth winter merchandise! Your choice of a new Rock the Earth Hemp/Organic Cotton Tote Bag or a new Rock the Earth Fleece Hat.
$50 Get both new Rock the Earth gifts!
$100 The perfect winter gift package - both new gifts AND a RtE long-sleeved, organic cotton/hemp blend, winter shirt by artist Yvette Chappuis.
$150 An Earth-Rockin' gift for the art lover on your list - a signed and numbered hand-screened print (limited edition of only 500!) printed on 25% hemp/75% post-consumer waste paper, plus a the tote bag and hat. You can choose your limited edition print from our collection of Emek's "Un-natural Resources," Jeff Wood's "Pretty Fly for an Earth Guy," or "Man as Caretaker" by Gary Houston.
$250 A special gift for art collectors!! All three limited edition prints AND the tote bag, hat and RtE long-sleeved winter shirt.
$500 For the Rock Stars! Includes everything above PLUS a One Love vol. 1 2-CD set with music by artists such as Michael Franti, New Monsoon, ALO and Steve Kimock AND a Rock the Earth short-sleeved, organic cotton/hemp blend t-shirt.

If your membership has expired, don't forget to renew your RtE membership before the end of the year! All renewing members will receive a JamCam Chronicle DVD, featuring behind-the-scenes festival footage and interviews with Rock the Earth staffers from our 2004 Summer Tour. You can also take advantage of these great holiday packages, so renew now!

Order by December 15th to ensure Christmas delivery!

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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! Just email us at Membership@RockTheEarth.net to find out how.

A special New Year's Eve offer for RtE Members - RtE is giving away 2 tickets to see Yonder Mountain String Band on December 30th and 31st! They will be joined by the Neville Brothers on the 30th, and Peter Rowan, Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman and Uncle Earl on the 31st for a NYE bluegrass extravaganza! Email us at Membership@RockTheEarth.net to enter now; all members can enter once and get additional chances to win through gift memberships and renewals.

Join or renew now to take advantage of your membership benefits!

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Music Community Steps Up for Rock the Earth!

Rock the Earth is thrilled and honored to have been chosen as a recipient of very generous grants from Jack Johnson and the Rex Foundation. These grants are further indication of the concern within the music community about the state of our most precious natural places and put Rock the Earth on a more solid footing as we move forward on some important environmental issues.

A goal of Rock the Earth is to have musicians help identify environmental issues of the importance to them and their fans. Jack Johnson has done just that. Jack has asked that Rock the Earth work directly with KAHEA, the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, to protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The Northwest Hawaiian Islands are a network of coral reefs, islands, atolls and shoals that extend more than 1200 miles through the Pacific Ocean northwest of Hawaii. Rock the Earth is dedicated toward working with Jack Johnson and KAHEA to protect this natural heritage.

The Rex Foundation is one of the oldest and most generous foundations in the music community, having been started in 1983 by members of the Grateful Dead and friends. Rex has granted nearly $8 million dollars to more than 1,000 recipients since its inception, helping many small nonprofit organizations leverage support as they grow and move forward. Rock the Earth intends to do just that as we gather partners to challenge the National Park Service's Colorado River Management Plan.

Rock the Earth and its members thank all musicians who have the courage to step forward and help fight for a sustainable future!

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Warren Haynes Rocks the Earth: Interview

Warren Haynes has to be the hardest working guitarist in the world. Not only does he regularly play and tour with his band, Gov't Mule, as well as with the Allman Brothers Band and the latest incarnation of The Dead, but he has been known to be a regular in Phil Lesh's experimental combo known as Phil and Friends. Warren has also sat in with numerous artists throughout the music industry, such as Dave Matthews, Widespread Panic, the String Cheese Incident, moe., the Funky Meters, and Kid Rock (to name a few) and has collaborated with country music stars Garth Brooks and David Allan Coe. Warren's work ethic, skill and flat-out versatility not only have led to him being nominated for a Grammy, but also to be selected by Rolling Stone as the 23rd greatest guitarist of all time!

In addition to being an extremely talented musician, Warren is an extremely generous humanitarian as well, donating his time and music to numerous worthwhile organizations. Now in its 17th year, his annual Christmas Jam in his childhood town of Asheville, NC, not only draws some of the top talent in the music industry, but all of the post-production proceeds are donated to the local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. This year's line-up includes Warren Haynes, Gov't Mule, Trey Anastasio & Mike Gordon, Electric Hot Tuna, Audley Freed, Kevn Kinney, Ray LaMontagne, Edwin McCain, John Medeski, Ivan Neville, Dave Schools, John Scofield, Dr. Ralph Stanley, Marty Stuart, and Patterson Hood and Jason Isbell from the Drive-By Truckers. More artists will be announced as they are confirmed.

Since the summer of 2005, RtE has been honored to be invited by Warren and his band, Gov't Mule, to have a presence at their shows, generously donating signed posters most nights for RtE to use as additional fundraisers. We thank Warren, Gov't Mule (Matt Abts, Danny Louis and Andy Hess), his wife, Stephanie, and all the kind folks in the road crew and at Hardhead Management for their generosity and support.

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

WH: I think global warming is the most critical issue we are facing right now. There is no indication that its not the cause of the hurricanes, tsunamis etc that are devastating the world as we speak, and even though the current administration doesn't acknowledge it, the scientific community definitely does.

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

WH: Musicians tend to relate to environmental issues. In fact, its often left up to people in the art community in general to do something about these issues. Our current administration, as well as ignoring a lot of environmental issues, is also eliminating art programs and funding for the arts in schools. Kids in public schools today actually have to pay for music classes because there is no funding. There is a definite connection between people that want to make the world a better place through art and people who want to make the world a better place by saving the environment.

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

WH: My favorite places to bond with nature are Big Sur, California and Maui, especially in Hana, Maui. Both of these places are breathtaking.

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RtE Member Profile: Michelle Reed

Michelle Reed is a very special teacher. She teaches elementary school at Donner Trail School in Kingvale, California, located just past Donner Summit. She is one of those teachers who knows how to find each students "light switch" and turn it on. She is the teacher you want your kids to have. As a result of her never-ending enthusiasm for teaching and for the environment, she has done some amazing work with her students.

When asked about the Yuba River project her students have been working on since last year, Michelle gets wound up and takes a deep breath. "When we first started we knew that we wanted to get the kids excited about science. We thought we could use the Yuba River near the school as a teaching tool and developed our River Study project." The students started by studying the habitats around the river, the plants and wildlife that live nearby and depend on the river for survival. Then they focused on the habitats within the river itself: the waterbody, the riverbed and sediments, and the banks. They also studied food webs and the ecology of the area, again using the river as subject matter.

According to Michelle, once all of this information started really coming together for the kids, they decided that they wanted to give something back to the environment. One of the issues in the greater Tahoe area is the increased soil erosion caused by development, and how it impacts the water quality of the many rivers and lakes in the region. Michelle recalls that there had been an oil spill near the river which impacted about an acre of land. However, even after the clean up process was complete and the oil was removed, they noticed that the land was barren, the soil was lacking the nutrients and microorganisms needed to sustain plant life.

In order to prevent continued erosion on the site, the students started what has turned out to be an on-going restoration project, involving several different types of habitat such as lodgepole pine stands, scrub, grasslands and riparian habitats. The students planted willow cuttings along the banks to prevent erosion, and various other native plants and grasses in other habitats as appropriate. Although the plantings are not always completely successful, Michelle uses this as another teaching tool. This year, healthy dirt, natural fertilizers and native plants were donated to the school, and along with some tools purchased with grant money, the students went to work again fine-tuning the process and learning something new about "how dirt works" everyday!

Some other projects have been developed a result of their initial work on the Yuba. The students have participated in water quality monitoring and recording the health of the Yuba River through parameters such as turbidity, oxygen levels, temperature and pH levels. They also have started collecting and identifying the tiny organisms that live in the water (another indicator of water quality). The students then report their water quality results to the World Water Monitoring Day database, which promotes awareness to positively impact the health of rivers, lakes, estuaries and other waterbodies around the world. In 2005, the database received data from sites in 50 countries.

When asked specifically about what she sees the students walk away with after these projects, Michelle states, "After we complete a project we will review the process, look at pictures, etc. The students are sometimes surprised at the results of their work, surprised by what a bunch of kids can do in one day, and by the changes they are making in their environment." She noticed that they tend to take ownership of it, not only of the actual work they have done, but of the results and long term effects of their work. They take away a greater sense of community and responsibility for their environment.

Michelle lives in Truckee with her husband Chip Reed and their two wonderful children Whitney and Holden. She does one of the most important jobs in the world.

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Rockin' the Earth at Kebler Pass: Photo


RtE Board Member and Secretary Barbara Ross, overlooking Kebler Pass
from the Dark Canyon Trail, outside of Crested Butte, Colorado.

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For more info, visit www.rocktheearth.org

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