Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Why my family joined the Sierra Club - and why
yours should too before January 31, 2004!

By Teresa Platt, Executive Director, Fur Commission USA

I work in the mink biz and my family's work
resumé includes agriculture and commercial
fishing. Most of my friends are professional
farmers, ranchers, fishermen, hunters and
trappers, loggers and miners, whalers and
sealers, resource providers from all over the
world. Such people are more often on the
receiving end of Sierra Club campaigns, as
opposed to members of Sierra Club.
So why has my family joined the Sierra Club?
Because a joint membership purchased before
January 31, 2004 entitles our family to two votes
in the March 2004 Sierra Club board election. For
as little as $32, a joint membership gives you
TWO votes in what is a vital election. (1) The
Sierra Club is locked in a life and death battle
for control of the Club's $100
million-dollar-a-year treasury. (2)
The man leading the hostile takeover attempt is
Paul Watson, who claims to have invented tree
spiking and leads the eco-vigilantes of the Sea
Shepherd Conservation Society. Among crewmembers
on his rag-tag fleet of vegan vessels, Watson has
mentored convicted felon/arsonist Rodney Coronado
and Alex Pacheco, co-founder of People for the
Ethical Treatment of Animals (PeTA), plus dozens
of eco-anarchists with lengthy arrest records
earned via crimes committed globally. (3) 2004
started off with a bang for Sea Shepherd when
Watson's wife was arrested for lying to a grand
jury about use of a leased truck which appears to
have been used in the Pacific Northwest on an
eco-terrorist road trip. (4)
Watson claims he is now but three seats away from
controlling the 15-member Sierra Club board. (5)
Imagine the damage Watson, and the people he
supports, could do with access to hundreds of
millions of dollars!
Since most Sierra Clubbers don't vote, it only
takes about 30,000 votes for a candidate to win a
seat on the board. That's only 15,000 families
with joint membership. Executive Director Carl
Pope noted that 18% of Sierra Club members fish
and/or hunt (about 140,000 of the 780,000 Sierra
Club members) and he worries that they will be
driven out of the Club by the vegan/animal rights
agenda pushed by Watson.
"It's important to have hunters and fishermen in
the Sierra Club," Pope told the Los Angeles
Times. "We are a big-tent organization. We want
the Sierra Club to be a comfortable place for
Americans who want clean air, clean water, and to
protect America's open spaces."
Your joint membership must be in good standing by
January 31 to get your two votes in order to play
in this game!

SIDEBAR: To make this fray even more interesting,
the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has earned
respect for over twenty years of battling white
supremacists and the Ku Klux Klan, claims some of
the groups backing some of the Sierra Club board
and 2004 candidates have ties to racist groups.
The SPLC is so concerned by the turn of events,
its director, Morris Dees, is running for a seat
on the Sierra Club board, in order to "sound the
alarm." You must visit

(6) See also "Election Becomes a Fight Over
Sierra Club's Future: Animal-rights activists and
anti-immigration advocates are teaming in a bid
to control the board, to the dismay of
traditionalists," Los Angeles Times, January 18,

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