Fall 2006 River Ties

Document Sample
Fall 2006 River Ties Powered By Docstoc

                                                                                  riVer TieS                                 The newsletter of the
                                                                                                                         Alabama Rivers Alliance
                                                                                                                          AutuMn 2006

   Water Agenda makes big splash
          ttendees at this year's Watershed                                                        course of the next year: instream flow policy and
          Leadership Conference couldn't say
                                                        Alabama	Water	Agenda                       state agency funding. Strategic planning sessions
          enough positive things about our new                                                     were held for these issues in June 2006 with input
                                                           For more information about this
  proactive policy campaign, the Alabama Water                                                     from our peer review group.
                                                             important initiative, contact
  Agenda.                                                                                             We are promoting the development of a compre-
                                                            April Hall at (205) 322-6395.
          Designed to target the biggest threats to                                                 hensive state instream flow policy to deal with the
  Alabama's waters, the Agenda focuses on addi-                                                     many water quantity issues in our state including
  tional protections for our rivers through comprehensive policy changes flooding, drought, water withdrawals, flows from dams, and groundwa-
  at the state level. After talking with grassroots watershed groups, envi- ter protection. Our goal for state agency funding is to ensure that the
  ronmental leaders, and Alliance members, we identified a list of threats state agencies responsible for protecting our aquatic resources, including
  facing our state's waters. That list was prioritized with the help of a peer wildlife, are adequately and efficiently funded.
  review group, and the first six initiatives were announced at this                   The Alliance is seeking volunteers to help promote and advance
  year's conference.                                                                   the Agenda. Volunteer activities include action alerts, form let-
          Chosen based on their widespread impacts on rivers                           ters, lobbying, letters to the editor, and our newly created "News
  and streams and the far-reaching benefits of policy change,                           Watchdog" team. We would also like to schedule presenta-
  the first six agenda items are: instream flow, stormwater,                             tions about the Water Agenda with your civic, environmental,
  state agency funding, suburban sprawl, enforcement, and                               faith-based, recreation, and other organizations.
  agency enhancement and cooperation.                                                 Please contact April Hall at (205) 322-6395 or ahall@alabamariv-
        With our partners, the Southern Environmental                         ers.org to sign up to volunteer to support the Agenda or for more informa-
  Law Center, we are focusing on two campaigns over the                       tion through action alerts and electronic updates.

    River	Revival
                                                                           ‘River Revival’ kicks off
                                                                              birthday celebration
WHEN: October 22, 2006
from 1 to 6 p.m.

WHERE: Kings Bend of the
Locust Fork River                                                                        Get ready to kick off your shoes and renew your spirit as the
TICKETS:	 $20 in advance at:                                                             Alliance hosts its first River Revival fundraiser from 1 to 6
                                                                                          p.m. on Sunday, October 22, 2006 at Kings Bend on the
                                                                                          Locust Fork River near Cleveland, Ala.
locations in Huntsville, Home-
wood, Greystone, Pel-                                                                             The musical festival, sponsored by Whole Foods, Serra
ham, Florence, and                                                                            Toyota, and the Birmingham Weekly, will celebrate our
                                                                                               rivers, each other, and our shared accomplishments over
DEEP	SOUTH	                                                                                   the past decade. Join us at the river to enjoy the music of
FLY	SHOP in                                                                                the Little Memphis Blues Orchestra (Taylor Hicks' former
Birmingham                                                                         band), Eric Essix, The Blue Mules, Sarah Green, Ryan Kinder, Todd
Or, online at our                                                          Coder and Greg Staggs. Tickets are $20 in advance, $30 at the gate and $60
website: www.                                                      for carloads. Proceeds go to support the work of the Alliance. Barbecue and Garden
alabamarivers.org.                                                  Burgers with fixings will be for sale, or you can bring your own picnic.
Tickets may also be pur-                                                  Between sets, we'll hear from our emcee Greg Bass, and speakers Doug
chased for $30 at the gate                                          Phillips, Sam Howell, and Brenda Cummings. If you have questions or would like
or $60 for carpools
                                                                   to help sponsor this event, please contact Jennifer Rupe at (205) 322-6395.

       AlAbAMA RiveRs AlliAnce • 2027 second Avenue noRth, suite A • biRMinGhAM, AlAbAMA 35203
     AlAbAMA RiveRs AlliAnce
       2027 Second Avenue North, Suite A
                                                         When does life of an organization begin?
         Birmingham, Alabama 35203
            Phone: (205) 322-6395                                 As the Alliance enters its 10th year, I've   Foundation, the C.S. Mott Foundation, and
             FAX: (205) 322-6397                         been seeking answers as to when an organiza-          individual donors like you to provide the Alli-
                                                         tion's life truly begins.                             ance with the funding necessary to launch on
                                                                                                               its own.
                                                                 Can you actually track
     The mission of the Alabama Rivers Alliance          the origins of an organization to                                             It took the first board of
    is to protect and restore state rivers through
                                                         a specific date, a specific moment                                  directors to take the responsibil-
    water quality and quantity policy advocacy,
    restoration planning, grassroots organizing,         in time? Is it the first meeting to                                 ity and leadership for the actions
    and watershed education in order to achieve          discuss the concept? Is it the first                                of the organization before and
       clean and healthy watershed ecosystems,           board of directors meeting? Is it                                   after the Alliance petitioned the
    healthy people, strong economies, and a func-        the first dollar that is raised? Is it                              IRS for non-profit status.
     tioning democratic system of government in
                                                         the first event hosted? The first
                      Alabama.                                                                                                     Understanding        the
                                                         comment made? The first budget                                   Alliance's rich history, it helps
                                                         or when that 501c3 letter comes in      Adam	Snyder you realize that the origin of an
              BoarD of DireCTorS                         from the IRS?                             Director's Corner      organization like the Alliance is
                 2006 - 2007                                     Many of you know the his-                                the identification of a need, and
		President	                		Dr.	Robert	Angus           tory of the Alliance. We were very fortunate        the commitment of leaders, supporters, and
                                                         to have a dynamic leader in Brad McLane to          funders to address that need.
		Vice	President			E.	Alston	Ray,	III                    found and build the Alabama Rivers Alliance.
                                                                                                                    The need for healthy ecosystems,
		Treasurer	                		William	East               However, he will be the first to tell you that by   healthy people, strong economies, and good
                                                         no means did he start the Alliance alone.
		Secretary		               		Dr.	Bart	West	 	                                                               government still exists in Alabama. From our
                                                                  It took the vision and leadership of Don     origins to today, the Alliance relies on a multi-
                 David	Branham                           Elder, then executive director of the Cahaba          tude of partners to achieve the vision set forth
                 Casi	Callaway                           River Society, and then Beth Stewart, the cur-        by so many leaders more than 10 years ago.
                  Dr.	Ed	Colvin                          rent director, to incubate and spin off the Al-               Please join us this year in celebrating
                   Sean	Flynt                            liance as a separate statewide river organiza-        10+ years of the Alliance, our shared progress,
             The	Rev.	Mark	Johnston                      tion. It took the leaders of multiple grassroots      and our shared vision for the future. While our
                   Phil	Sankey                           and staffed organizations in the early days of        origins may not be crystal clear, neither are
                 Wendy	Seesock                           the Alabama State Rivers Coalition to set the         our waters. That fact drives us each day to ac-
                                                         direction and tone for what would become the          complish the vision so many of you had when
		Of	Counsel	               		William	Andreen            Alliance.                                             establishing the Alliance once upon a time.
                                                                 It took funders such as the Munson
                aDViSory BoarD
                 2006 - 2007
                Ramble	Ankumah                           New look, new logo                                    meet again by November. While both sides
                   Karan	Bailey                                                                                can claim victories at certain points over the
                                                         As the Alliance enters its 10th year of op-
                    Bill	Bennett                                                                               last few months, it remains unclear if the
                                                         eration, it was time to freshen up our look.
                   Joel	Cochran                                                                                court-ordered changes will harm or improve
                                                         Thanks to board member Phil Sankey and his
                    Ben	Ferrill                                                                                the health of the rivers in question.
               Dr.	Randy	Haddock                         firm Sankey2, we now have a fresh new logo
                 Henry	Hughes                            and new look, featuring our motto “Water
                                                                                                               Highway 98 case settled
               Dr.	Michael	Mullen                        is Life.” Be on the look out for changes and
                                                         updates to our website and a new organiza-            In early 2005, Mobile Baykeeper and the
                    John	Scott                                                                                 Alliance, represented by the Southern Envi-
               Beth	Maynor	Young                         tional brochure.
                                                                                                               ronmental Law Center, appealed the state
                                                         Water Wars heats up                                   transportation department’s finding of “no
                         STaff                                                                                 significant environmental impact” on the
                                                         The seemingly cold war of the tristate water
                                                                                                               realignment and expansion of U.S. Highway
          Executive	Director                             negotiations is heating up, as quite a bit of
                                                                                                               98 in Mobile County. After nearly a year of
    Adam	R.	Snyder				asnyder@alabamarivers.org          activity has been happening the last several
                                                                                                               discussion, the highway department did
                                                         months. Georgia leaders have accused the
                                                                                                               further studies about the impacts of the road
    Watershed	Protection	Specialist                      Corps of releasing too much water from Lake
                                                                                                               and alleviated some of our organizations’
     April	Hall,	P.E.					 ahall@alabamarivers.org       Lanier, threatening Atlanta’s water supply.
                                                                                                               concerns about threats to the primary drink-
                                                         The released flows provide water to, among
         Watershed	Leadership	                                                                                 ing water supply for Mobile. As a result of
                                                         other things, the delicate mussel beds in
              Coordinator                                                                                      the settlement, the highway department has
                                                         Apalachicola Bay in Florida. Negotiators from
     Cindy	Lowry						clowry@alabamarivers.org                                                                 more extensive information for their study,
                                                         all three states have met under the direction
                                                                                                               and they are working with local stakeholders
        Development	Coordinator                          of Judge Karon Bowdre on several occasions
                                                                                                               to improve public involvement in highway
      Jennifer	Rupe					 jrupe@alabamarivers.org         this summer to determine flow needs to
                                                                                                               projects in the area.
                                                         prevent additional mussel kills. During the
         OSM/VISTA	Watershed	                            month of August, Alabama Governor Bob Ri-
                                                                                                               Rivers win at high court
              Coordinator                                ley and Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue met
      Anna	Keene						akeene@alabamarivers.org           to discuss the situation, and have pledged to         The right of states to permit water discharged
                                                                                                               from hydropower dams was called into ques-
       Cover and Page 2 background photo (c) Bill Snow
                                                            River Ties        2       Water Is Life
                                                         AlliAnce notes
Welcome Anna Keene                                                 events, such as Earth Day at the Gardens at the Birmingham
                                                                   Botanical Gardens.
The Alliance’s newest member to the team is Anna Keene
who began serving the third year of the Americorps OSM/
                                                                   Goodbye Lauren Fine
VISTA position in June. Anna graduated from the University
of Alabama’s New College with a degree in Environmental            Lauren has been with the Alliance
Studies in 2005 and recently completed two semesters work-         since January 2004. She served her
ing as an Environmental Educator at Camp McDowell in               first two years as the OSM/Ameri-
Navuoo, AL. Anna has been a member of the Friends of Hur-          corps VISTA for Hurricane Creek,
ricane Creek for several years and brings renewed energy and       doing an outstanding job on issues
ideas to their organization. We’re very excited to welcome         of poverty, acid mine drainage, and
Anna and look forward to seeing her in action.                     assisting the Friends of Hurricane
                                                                   Creek. For the past six months,
Welcome Jennifer Rupe                                              Lauren has been “full-time, short-
                                                                   time” staff at the Alliance helping
                                                                   with the conference, the Alabama
                                                   joined the                                             Lauren meets a furry friend at the Watershed
                                                                   Water Agenda, and developing
                                                   staff as a                                                       Leadership Conference.
                                                                   our latest publications, the River
                                                                   Protection Essentials. Lauren is
                                                                   heading to Penn in Philadelphia to study environmental is-
                                                   in 2005. In
                                                                   sues in graduate school. We wish her well and will miss her!
                                                                   Thanks Farley Lord
                                                   became the
                                                   Alliance's      Farley joined the Alliance as a summer intern as part of the
                                                   full-time De-   Hess Center Fellowship program through Birmingham-
                                                   velopment       Southern College. Farley was one of a handful of students
     Jennifer plays the guitar at the Watershed
               Leadership Conference.              Coordinator     that applied and was accepted to the program that places
                                                   and is han-     students with advocacy-oriented non-profits. From June to
dling all aspects of donor relations. Before joining our staff,    August, Farley researched ADEM issues and drafted a paper
Jennifer worked on contract with the Birmingham Regional           regarding the proposed Northern Beltline in Birmingham.
Planning Commission. She also has formed a grassroots              We wish her the best as she graduates in December.
organization and has extensive experience planning special

                                                                                    RiveR Roundup
tion again. Fortunately, the Supreme Court maintained the          Alliance goes to Washington
valuable state’s right in the S.D. Warren vs. Maine Board of
                                                                   Adam Snyder joined leaders from Black Warrior Riverkeeper,
Environmental Protection case. Permitted under Section 401
                                                                   Mobile Baykeeper, and grassroots leader Ralph Timberlake in
of the Clean Water Act, a state has the right to permit fed-
                                                                   Washington D.C. for American River's River Lobby Day. The
eral projects that impact water quality. With a unanimous
                                                                   Alabama river delegation met Congressman Jo Bonner as well
9-0 decision, the Court found that the operations of hydro-
                                                                   as congressional staff of most of Alabama's House and Senate
power dams are considered to be “discharges” as defined in
                                                                   representatives. The representatives were asked to support
the Clean Water Act and are therefore subject to Section 401
                                                                   the "Clean Water Authority Restoration Act" to clean up
permitting. Hydropower dams can have adverse impacts on
                                                                   confusion set forth by the Rapanos isolated wetlands ruling
water quality and Section 401 ensures that states may apply
                                                                   by the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as the Senate version of
conditions to the water discharged from the dams to ensure
                                                                   the Water Resources Development Act, which is designed to
that water quality standards are met.
                                                                   modernize the Army Corps of Engineers.
Supreme Court isolates wetlands
                                                                   New publications on their way
Our nations wetlands and streams were also under attack
                                                                   The Alliance is creating a series of publications called River
in the nation’s highest court. At issue was the Clean Water
                                                                   Protection Essentials. Designed to provide citizens with
Act’s jurisdiction over “isolated” wetlands, which are not di-
                                                                   helpful information that can be used to protect their local
rectly connected to other water bodies and are wholly locat-
                                                                   watersheds, these simple, straight-forward pamphlets will
ed on private property, and tributaries to navigable waters.
                                                                   cover a number of topics including how to contact elected
In two cases, Rapanos v United States and Carabell v U.S.
                                                                   officials, how to review and comment on permits and how to
Army Corps of Engineers, the Supreme Court issued a split
                                                                   be a river watchdog. Look for the series on our website soon.
5-4 decision to vacate the previous rulings and remand the
                                                                   The first two publications cover topics on how to report a
cases back to the lower courts. While the decision doesn’t
                                                                   water quality problem to the Alabama Department of Envi-
settle the case, the opinion issued by Justice Kennedy may of-
                                                                   ronmental Management (ADEM) and how to perform a file
fer precedent in future court cases in favor of protecting these
                                                                   review at ADEM.

                                                          River Ties      3       Water Is Life
                                                                                                         he Alabama Rivers Alliance 8th
                                                                                                         Annual Watershed Leadership
                                                                                                         Conference was held on March

                                                                                                         24-26, 2006 at the Alabama
                                                                                           4-H Center in Columbiana, Alabama. The
                                                                                           Conference brought together more than 75
                                                                                           citizens and grassroots leaders for three days
                                                                                           of learning, networking, and, of course, having
                                                                                           fun. This year’s participants represented nine
                                                                                           of Alabama’s 14 major watershed basins, and
                                                                                           numerous sub-basins as well.

                                                                                                They came from grassroots organizations,
                                                                                           government agencies, corporations, local busi-
                                                                                           nesses, regional and national organizations, and
                                                                                           several statewide organizations.
                                                                                                 Topics covered at this year’s conference
                                                                                           ranged from bio-diesel and solar power to water
                                                                                           quality standards and “water wars.” Experts
                                                                                           from a variety of fields - such as politics, water-
                                                                                           shed restoration, and environmental law - were
                                                                                           invited to provide information-packed sessions
                                                                                           designed to give citizens the tools they need to
                                                                                           take action in protecting their local watersheds.
                                                                                                The Alliance is extremely grateful to all of
                                                                                           those who participated in, sponsored, and vol-
                                                                                           unteered for the 2006 conference.

                                                                                              2006 RiveR celebRAtion AWARds

                                                                                                 The 2006 River Hero awards were given
                                                                                           to Susan Weber of the Flint River Conservation
                                                                                           Association in Huntsville, Ann Biggs-Williams
                                                                                           of the Conecuh/Sepulga Watershed Alliance
                                                                                           in Brewton, and John Wathen, the Hurricane
                                                                                           Creekkeeper in Tuscaloosa. These three river
                                                                                           lovers have been long-time supporters of the
                                                                                           Alabama Rivers Alliance and have been very
                                                                                           successful in protecting and preserving their
                                                                                           local watersheds.
                                                                                                 The Watershed Organization of the Year
                                                                                           award was given to Black Warrior Riverkeeper,
                                                                                           who has grown substantially over the past year
                                                                                           and is making a huge difference in the Black
                                                                                           Warrior watershed.
Top: Alliance director Adam Snyder presents the River Hero Award to Soos Weber with the
                     Flint River Conservation Association in Huntsville.                         The Alliance is so proud to be able to work
Above: Members of the staff of Black Warrior Riverkeeper accept the Watershed Organiza-
                                                                                           along side these dedicated individuals and orga-
 tion of the Year award. From Left - Snyder, Mark Martin, John Kinney, David Whiteside,    nizations.
                           Nelson Brooke, and Charles Scribner.

                                                          River Ties        4       Water Is Life
                     MAny thAnks                                               to ouR                       sponsoRs!
         ConferenCe SponSorS                                               Break SponSorS                                   SeSSion SponSorS
                                                                         Alabama 4-H Center                                    Bill Andreen
            Sankey 2, Inc.                                                                                                      Bill Bennett
                                                                         Higher Ground Coffee
               EBSCO                                                   Johnny Greenseed Wines
                                                                                                                             Boutwell Studios
                                                                                                                           Cahaba River Society
                                                                                                                           Deep South Fly Shop
             Day-Long SponSorS                                          SChoLarShip SponSorS                                      Bill East
                  Ed Colvin                                            Birmingham Canoe Club                                    Sean Flynt
                                                                Conecuh/Sepulga Watershed Alliance
              James V. Fairley, Jr.                           Friends of Chewacla and Uphapee Creeks
                                                                                                                          FoodSource Lure Corp.
                                                                                                                     Friends of the Locust Fork River
                Henry Hughes                                           Friends of Shades Creek                      Wilcox Friends of the Alabama River
                 Alston Ray                                       Pierson Environmental Consulting
                                                                            Ragsdale LLC
                                                                                                                            BanD SponSor
                  MeaL SponSorS                                         Save Our Sougahatchee
                                                                    Saxon Environmental Services                    Acoustic Cafe - Steve Masterson
                  Ross Land Design                                        Water So Pure, Inc.
                   Mark Johnston

Above: Ann Biggs-Williams of the Conecuh-Sepulga Watershed
Alliiance shares a photograph of her favorite river after receiving
                      the River Hero award.

  Right: Joe Turnham, chair of the Alabama Democratic Party,
     stressed the importance of active environmental voters.

 Below: Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen inspires the crowd
       after being presented with the River Hero award.
                                                                                    nAtionAl                    enviRonMentAl
                                                                                   leAdeR to keynote in                                     2007
                                                                              	      The	2007	Watershed	                 Most	recently,	he	was	named	presi-
                                                                              Leadership	Conference,	to	be	held	         dent	of	the	Apollo	Alliance,	a	young	
                                                                              March	16-18	at	Camp	McDowell,	             coalition	of	organized	labor,	envi-
                                                                              will	be	a	River	Reunion	celebrating	       ronmental,	business	and	civil	rights	
                                                                              10	years	of	the	Alliance.		So,	save	the	   leaders	determined	to	free	the	U.S.	
                                                                              date	today	and	join	us	for	the	cel-        of	dependence	on	foreign	oil.	
                                                                                                                         	      A	Louisiana	native,	Ringo	
                                                                              	       The	keynote	speaker	for	           spent	20	years	in	that	state’s	pet-
                                                                              the	2007	conference	will	be	Jerome	        rochemical	industry.	After	early	
                                                                              Ringo.		Earlier	this	year,	Ringo	was	      retirement,	he	founded	Progressive	
                                                                              elected	chairman	of	the	board	of	          Resources	Inc.	to	help	communities	
                                                                              the	National	Wildlife	Federation,	         affected	by	the	refineries.		
                                                                              the	first	African	American	in	such	        	      More	information	about	the	
                                                                              a	leadership	position	at	a	major	          conference	will	be	coming	soon.
                                                                              national	environmental	group.		

                                                                      River Ties     5      Water Is Life
                        GRAssRoots voices
                            Sweet Home Alabama River
                           The Alabama Rivers Alliance is privileged to hear heart-warming          on that river. We looked around Selma and found a realtor,
                        stories about how river lovers found their way to their favorite river or   but he didn’t have much that was of interest to us.
                         got involved in the river movement. We will be featuring some of these
                                                                                                            After several trips to the Camden area, we decided
                          stories of grassroots leaders in their own voice in our newsletter and    to check with one of the local banks to see if they knew of
                         would love to hear from you about your story. If you have a story you      anyone who had property. Maybe some property was go-
                            would like to submit, please e-mail clowry@alabamarivers.org.           ing to be sold because of taxes! When George went into the
                                                                                                    Vice President’s office, the Vice President was meeting with
                       By	Judy	Ulrich
                                                                                                    a gentleman who actually had property on the river. He of-

                                                                                                    fered to show us the property.
                                        e knew we wanted to get out of Atlanta - all
                                        the traffic and rude people! So we began our                        We followed in our car, and driving outside of Cam-
                                        search.                                                     den, both George and I were becoming more interested. In
                                                                                                    fact, the fellow who owned the property was someone we
                                                                    In October 2004, we             had been searching for. One of the contacts we had made
                                                               started going out every              on an earlier trip mentioned that we might want to look up
                                                               weekend. We looked                   “Moose Henderson” because she thought he had some land
                                                               all over Georgia, initially          he was interested in selling. I just happened to have the
                                                               looking for acreage. We              clipboard with his name written on it, and he confirmed that,
                                                               looked around the coast;             indeed, he was “Moose.”
                                                               we went north, south,
                                                               east and then west. We                      We followed him into the “subdivision” which was
                                                               went into South Carolina,            being planned. We “oohed” and “ahhed” the whole way. We
                                                               and then we looked at the            parked and Moose said there were still several lots for sale.
                                                               map to see what was in               We walked several, all on the bluff of the Alabama River. We
                                                               Alabama. We had decid-               went back the next day to be sure because we had looked
                                                               ed after many meander-               so much, and we just wanted to be really sure. When we
George and Judy Ulrich enjoy a laugh and smile for the cam- ings that we wanted to                  stopped on the lot where we now live, we knew we were
era while talking with the Wilcox Friends of the Alabama River be near water - not just a           home.
             founders Jennie and Slaton Crawford.
                                                               stream - usable water!                      We closed on the property and started planning our
                               We started looking around Alabama, up around the                     home. We’ve now been here a little over a year, and one
                       Tennessee River, but decided that wasn’t for us. We looked                   thing we know for sure: we’re never moving again!
                       around Lake Martin. In fact, we spent several weekends                               Every morning, we watch the sun rise over the beau-
                       driving over to Alabama from Atlanta. One day, we decided                    tiful water. Every evening, we sit on our back porch and
                       to go into Selma since we’d heard so much about it. Plus, on                 marvel at the wonder of it all. My mother, who passed away
                       the map, it looked like a pretty good-sized body of water run-               in December of 1997, was born and raised in Alabama. I’m
                       ning right through Selma.                                                    sure in my heart that she had a hand in our finding “home.”
                                We had lunch at a little Mexican restaurant, and
                       when we looked out the rear window, there was a HUGE                          Judy and George Ulrich are members of Wilcox Friends of the River in
                       body of water! We started asking everybody in that restau-                    Camden, Alabama working to protect and preserve the Alabama River.
                       rant if they knew of anyone who had land they wanted to sell                  For more information, you can contact Judy at wilcoxdev@pinebelt.net.

                           OSM/VISTA	program	renewed	for	third	year
                               In its third year, the purpose of the position of OSM/                       Additionally, the VISTA program and the Friends are
                       VISTA Watershed Coordinator for Hurricane Creek is to                        working to develop new relationships in the community. We
                       empower impoverished communities in southwestern Tus-                        recently initiated a unique partnership with the University
                       caloosa County through education, outreach, and organiza-                    of Alabama students to develop messaging and marketing
                       tional development as well as to identify areas with acid mine               materials for the Friends. The Friends are working to build
                       drainage problems and to attempt to remediate these areas.                   partnerships with the business community. The VISTA is
                                                                                                    continuing the work with area schools to coordinate educa-
                               Over the past two years the program has helped the
                                                                                                    tional opportunities in the watershed.
                       Friends of Hurricane Creek grow in membership, increase
                       community involvement and raise their annual budget. With                            The role of Anna Keene, and Lauren Fine before her,
                       the assistance of the VISTA program, the Friends were able                   as a VISTA is to connect people with the common goal of
                       to hire a Hurricane Creekkeeper for the organization and wa-                 clean water and facilitate these relationships. By working
                       tershed. This is a significant accomplishment for the Friends                with a diverse group of stakeholders and fully utilizing the
                       as they relied only on volunteers in the past. This year, we                 wealth of resources around the watershed, the Friends can
                       are working to recruit and retain volunteers to sustain the                  ensure watershed health and continue in their mission to
                       organization for the near and long-term.                                     rehabilitate and protect the Hurricane Creek watershed.

                                                                River Ties          6        Water Is Life
  ADEM	Reform	makes	strides	in	2006
        At the end of the 2006 legislative session, Governor    participation in stakeholder committee meetings, public
Riley made four appointments to the EMC. Two Commis-            comments, and meetings with EMC members. The final
sioners, who had been serving expired terms for more than       draft of the new Plan is scheduled to be out for public com-
18 months and who have historically cast votes against the      ment this fall, so stay tuned for notices on this.
best interest of citizens and the environment, were reap-
                                                                        Appreciating every victory be they large or small is
pointed. One Commissioner, Pat Byington, who has cham-          of utmost importance when tackling an initiative as broad
pioned many initiatives during his term that have helped to     and challenging as reforming ADEM. The ARC has had
improve environmental protection at ADEM, was replaced.         many victories during its four year existence and we re-
                                                                main steadfast in our commitment to achieving the goals
Our voices were heard                                           set forth in the Blueprint for ADEM Reform (recently re-
        This was a disappointing blow to the ARC, but it
was not taken lying down. Members rallied, writing letters
                                                                vised and updated). The more members we have, the more
                                                                capacity the Coalition will have to grow.                                    RiveR
to the editor, making phone calls and visits to their Sena-
                                                                       If your organization is interested in joining the                dAtebook
tors and attending the Senate Confirmations vote at the         ADEM Reform Coalition, please contact Mark Johnston
statehouse. Many elected officials and citizens across the      at mark@campmcdowell.com or Cindy Lowry at clowry@
state are now more educated and aware of the importance         alabamarivers.org.
                                                                                                                                       Oct. 16
of EMC appointments due to the efforts of ARC and its                                                                                          Coastal Cleanup
member groups.                                                                                                                                  www.wolfbaywatch.org
                                                                The ADEM Reform Coalition (ARC) is a group of 41 member organi-
       Other ARC efforts led to new funding from the             zations from all across Alabama who have joined together to reform
General Fund Budget for an Environmental Justice Unit           the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. ARC aims           Oct. 21-22
at ADEM and town hall meetings held around the state to            to transform ADEM into an agency with the mission, leadership,      Lake Guntersville Trip
gauge the success of the EMC’s 2004 Strategic Plan and           capacity, and commitment to serve the people of Alabama in order to     www.birminghamcanoeclub.org
the progress of Director Trey Glenn. The EMC began the           protect Alabama’s environment, safeguard human health from envi-
process of a new strategic plan in the spring of 2006 and                ronmental causes, and pursue environmental justice.           Oct. 22
ARC members are following this process closely through
                                                                                                                                                   River Revival

   Forests integral to watershed health
                                                                                                                                       Oct. 27-28
                                                                                                                                        Trash, Treasures, and
                                                                                                                                                   Plant Sale
By	Bud	Watson                                                   upstream headwaters areas.                                                      www.wolfbaywatch.org
Co-Director, Model Forest Policy Program                                Agency problems – State forestry agencies are
        I attended the March 24-26 Watershed Leadership
                                                                generally allied with the forest industry in protecting the            Nov. 3-4
                                                                status quo. Concerted efforts by sustainable forestry and
Conference and was very favorably impressed with the                                                                                      Wilderness First Aid
                                                                watershed water quality interests can have positive effects                   www.alabamawildlife.org
interest and vigor the ARA groups were directing toward
                                                                on improving watershed water quality without requiring
water quality issues in the Alabama Water Agenda. Most
importantly, I noted that while the six issues identified for   modification of existing interest group priorities.                    Dec. 2
action in the Agenda:                                                   Funding – Forestry agencies and programs are as
                                                                                                                                          Historic Mines Hike
                                                                under-funded as other water quality agencies and pro-                        www.ruffnermountain.org
 •      urban and rural stormwater                              grams. Concerted, allied across-the-board lobbying by
 •      agency problems                                         forestry and water quality groups in both areas can result
 •      enforcement                                                                                                                    Feb. 3
                                                                in across-the-board improvement at the watershed level.
 •      funding                                                         Instream flow – Intact forests and timber harvests             Locust Fork Invitational
 •      instream flow                                                                                                                                    www.flfr.org
                                                                in accordance with sustainable forestry practices pro-
 •      suburban sprawl                                         tect watershed water quantity as well as water quality.
do not explicitly mention forestry, each of the issues has      The resulting water holding and release characteristics of             Mar. 16-18
an important forestry dimension, around which MFPP              properly managed forestlands reduce storm surge and bal-                 Watershed Leadership
could offer positive input without the need for any of the      ance it out over time, with consequent beneficial results for                     Conference
Alliance-affiliated groups shifting their priorities within     instream flow.
the Agenda’s implementation scheme. The net benefit for                 Suburban sprawl – This is one area where conser-
watershed groups would be a better understanding of both        vationists and the forest industry agree – too much forest
the impact of poor forestry practices on water quality and      land is being lost to development – with consequent detri-
solutions to those problems provided by healthy forests         mental impacts on the forest industry, local communities,
and sustainable forestry practices. A brief summary of these    and water quality. There are potentially great benefits for
relationships follows.                                          dialogue and cooperative efforts with these interests over
                                                                reducing sprawl.
        Urban and rural stormwater – Intact forests and
timber harvests in accordance with sustainable forestry
                                                                        MFPP looks forward to working with the Alli-
practices protect watershed water quality and promote
                                                                ance and grassroots groups to capitalize on these common
healthy local economies and communities. Inattention to
                                                                interests between forest and water quality groups. Please
retaining riparian forest buffers and use of good standards
                                                                contact me (804-798-0988 or Bmwatson3@aol.com) if I can
for forest road construction, use, and closing results in
                                                                be of assistance with any of your watershed issues.
excessive stream sedimentation, especially in important

                                                          River Ties      7       Water Is Life
       RAin    oR   shine!

                                    NONPROFIT ORG.
                                     U.S. POSTAGE
2027	Second	Avenue	North,	Suite	A
   Birmingham,	Alabama		35203
                                     PERMIT NO. 2348
                                    BIRMINGhAM, Al