WVEC Fall Convention
"Back to the Future" Rethinking WVEC
by Donald S. Garvin, Jr., WVEC President
When was the last time you read or thought about our mission
statement? Well, it's time for you to do both. So here it is:
"The mission of the West Virginia Environmental Council is to
facilitate communication and cooperation among citizens in promoting
environmental protection in West Virginia, to assist in organizing
grassroots groups, to facilitate interaction among established
environmental organizations, and to correspond with all appropriate
local, state, and federal agencies involved in the management of West
Now I'd like you to think about those words. I want you to think
about our mission. I'd like you to do this in a serious fashion. And
then I'm going to ask you (a "shameless plea" of another kind)
to attend the 2001 WVEC Annual Meeting this September to share your
thinking with the rest of us.
This year's Annual Meeting, "Back to the Future"
Rethinking WVEC, will center around a discussion of the WVEC
mission. With the assistance of a trained facilitator, we will attempt
to embark on a candid appraisal of the E-Council's past performance in
meeting our mission goals and an open dialogue on WVEC's future
direction. So if we are going to accomplish anything at the Annual
Meeting, it will be because YOU are there to participate. YOU are our
members and representatives of our member groups. YOU are the WVEC.
We have needed to have this discussion for some time now. A lot has
changed since we first got together back in 1989. While we started out
as a coalition or "umbrella" organization, we now have
individual members as well. When we began, groups like OVEC and WV
Rivers Coalition were not in existence. When we first met, there was at
most only one full-time paid staff person in the entire environmental
movement in this state. Things have changed.
When I agreed to serve as your president almost two years ago, I
promised that we would have this discussion. For a variety of reasons
(not to mention some pretty weak excuses on my part), that hasn't
happened. However, it appears to me (and others of you as well) that we
can no longer avoid the issue.
We have some important and crucial decisions to make about the future
of WVEC. At our July meeting the Board of Directors appointed a program
committee for this upcoming Annual Meeting. The committee consists of
Gary Zuckett, Jim Kotcon, Liz Sampson, and myself (all of whom have
served a stint as WVEC president). The committee is working hard to
provide a good forum for our discussion.
In that regard Jim Kotcon has suggested the following theme that we
might want to adopt for the Saturday discussion session:
"Re-creating environmental consensus in WV: Reaching decisions and
taking action!" Jim has further suggested a few questions that
might help us frame our discussions and our thinking:
** How do WV environmentalists create a broader, more cohesive
** What are West Virginia's environmental groups doing about my
** Who are the key players on my environmental issue?
** How do environmentalists accomplish environmental protection in
Charleston and around the state?
** What do we actually do to protect breathable air, drinkable water,
wildlife and special places?
More specifically, I would like to urge those of you who have been
most active in the E-Council, either in the past or the present, to
think about some of the nuts and bolts issues that WVEC faces on a daily
basis, things like organizational structure and funding (I knew I
wouldn't get through this without mentioning money!).
So one final shameless plea: come to the Annual Meeting, particularly
for the Saturday discussion sessions. Come with open minds and open
hearts and help shape the future of the West Virginia Environmental
Council. I look forward to seeing each of you in September.
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Fundraising Workshop Available to West Virginia
by Carl Bolyard, Development Coordinator, WVRC
The West Virginia Rivers Coalition and The Wilderness Society are
pleased to invite you to a facilitated tutorial in fundraising to be
held Saturday, October 6, 2001. The day will be hosted at Elk River
Touring Center in Slatyfork, West Virginia. This will be a full day
designed to share between participants the skills and contacts needed to
raise funds for your individual organization or watershed group. This
one-day session is designed for everyone from the most experienced
person to someone who only recently started seeking financial support or
grants for their group. This workshop is open to everyone involved with
an environmental non-profit in West Virginia.
WVRC and The Wilderness Society believe that real change occurs at
the local level. This Saturday session will facilitate local groups
sharing ideas and empowering one another in fundraising techniques.
Empowering West Virginia's grassroots groups through financial stability
will greatly aid in protecting our natural resources.
This joint project between The Wilderness Society and West Virginia
Rivers Coalition allows us to do some exciting things:
* This brings many years of experience in fundraising for
organizations to the group setting. Liz Coit is the Vice President of
Development for The Wilderness Society and will lead the workshop.
* Host a workshop in West Virginia with one of our national
supporting partners in conservation.
* Direct the learning toward watershed groups and West Virginia
* Offer the workshop FREE OF CHARGE to registered participants.
This will be a great opportunity to learn, share and jump-start your
fall season. The food and accommodations at Elk River Touring Center are
wonderful and warm. Recreation opportunities abound in the area for you
to relax. Slatyfork is just a few hours from most places in the state
and is near Snowshoe resort. A number of lodging options are available
at Elk River Touring Center and nearby for those who can spend the
Details of the workshop:
* 9am to 5pm Saturday, October 6, 2001
* Includes lunch Saturday
* Some scholarship assistance is available for lodging
* Register by calling Carl at 304-637-7201. We will need to have
final numbers by Friday September 14th.
* When you register you will be sent a survey for the workshop. This
survey will be used to adapt the content of the day to our audience.
Topics to be covered Saturday:
* Discuss what is most on people's minds, current issues in fund
* Help create a fundraising sense of self
* Discussion of available funding in West Virginia and beyond the
* Defining and understanding what type of funding your group is
qualified to receive
* Learning skills, instincts and intuition for mastering the art of
* Allowing time to cultivate the sharing of knowledge and resources
* Small group discussions will center on issues that are germane to
I hope you will accept our invitation to attend or send
someone from your group to learn more from this opportunity. Please feel
free to pass this along to other environmental groups as well. Call me to
register and complete your survey as soon as possible so that we have a
great weekend with yourself included.
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by Vivian Stockman, OVEC
Bush the Lesser's national energy policy has grave
implications for southern West Virginia's mountain communities, streams
and forested mountains, not to mention life on earth.
The policy pays whispering lip service to conservation and
alternative energy, but is really a blueprint for drilling, mining and
nuking the guts right out of the planet. Oxymoronic doublespeak prevails
in Dubya's plan, and here in WV, that means a frenzied push for
"clean" coal and "responsible" mountain range removal.
The Republican House just one-upped the Prez-select by
passing a virtually ecocidal energy bill that, among other ghastly things,
rejects higher fuel efficiency measures for gas hog SUVs, while opening up
the near-pristine Alaska Wildlife National Refuge to oil drilling. The
"need" to drill ANWR would be offset by better automobile fuel
The House's dangerously absurd capitulation to campaign
funders reiterates three points we've been harping on for a while:
Democracy has been co-opted by multinational corporations;
We've got to demand real campaign finance reform NOW;
We must act on our own to reduce our use of fossil fuels,
since many of the nation's "leaders" have vision so myopic they
couldn't see their way out of a paper bag.
On July 30, in support of the bill, rising darling of the
Republican Party Rep. Shelley Moore Capito circulated a memo with a
drawing of a cloud and a lump of coal holding hands. The memo headlinedI
am not making this up"Clean coal and clean air go hand in hand,"
asked her cohorts to support "clean" coal provisions of the
Despite being directly handed a fact pack about the myth
of "clean" coal at her "West Virginia's Energy and
America's Future" forum, Capito refuses to get it: from mining, to
transportation, to burning, to disposal of the ash, there is no such thing
as "clean" coal. She really ought to check the news a little
more. Since June, residents of Chester, Ohio, just across the river from
Point Pleasant have been sickened from the fallout of cleaning up coal.
According to an August 3 Columbus Dispatch article:
Pollution controls at AEP facility are causing new
At one of the largest coal-burning power plants in North
America, new pollution controls are belching acidic blue clouds that hover
in the summer sun over a Ohio River village next door.
The clouds of sulfuric acid are an inadvertent by-product
of a $200 million system that American Electric Power installed in May at
the Gen. James M. Gavin plant to reduce emissions of another pollutant,
nitrogen oxide, one of the main ingredients in smog.
Of course, the Democrat-controlled Senate has to come up
with its own energy bill once Congress reconvenes in September.
Meanwhile, in state, Gov. Bob Wise has convened an energy
task force to figure out the state's energy policy. Surprise! So far,
there is nary a coalfield resident on the panel. Nor a rep from any
organization actively organizing in the coalfields with a commitment to
ending mountain range removal.
Surprise! WV Coal president Bill Raney is on the panel,
even though the Charleston Gazette just exposed his back room
dealings to drop a lawsuit that could recover $400 million the coal
industry owes the state for worker's comp. Even though some of Bill's
rhetoric, was just exposed as um, ill-informed, in the Sunday New York
What to do:
Track down your Rep over recess (go to www.house.gov
to find members' home office info) or call their DC offices and tell 'em
what you think of their vote.
SCOLD Capito at 202-225-2711 and Mollohan at 202-225-4172
for their votes on the energy bill (HR 4).
THANK Rahall at 202-225-3452. He voted against HR4 and he
tried to insert and amendment that would have helped endangered species.
CONTACT Senators Byrd at 202-224-3954 and Rockefeller at
Tell 'em to swipe some of those billions from
"clean" coal research, and instead invest in alternative energy
(wind, solar, hydrogen fuel cells) manufacturing jobs in the coalfields.
CONTACT Gov. Wise at 888-438-2731 or 304-558-2000. Things
he needs to hear:
There is no "responsible" mountaintop removal;
The state must start enforcing federal mining laws;
Bill Raney has no place on the energy task force;
The European Union is committed to dramatically increasing
the use of alternatives energies. If Europe can do it, why can't we?
There are jobs, jobs, jobs to be had in the field of
alternative energy--jobs with a future!
I'm not sure we want to ask Wise to get coalfield
residents onto the task force. If it's anything like Underwood's task
force on mountaintop removal, it will just be a big waste of time and
If you need more information on any of this, contact email@example.com
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"I know there is a lot of ambition in Washington,
obviously. But I hope the ambitious realize that they are more likely to
succeed with success as opposed to failure." George W. Bush, 1/18/01
OVEC National Finalist For Outstanding
Community Leadership Award
(excerpts from an OVEC press release)
The Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition (OVEC) has been
named a national finalist of the Ford Foundation's Leadership for a
Changing World awards program. OVEC is one of 36 finalists selected from a
pool of over 3,000 nominations and is now eligible to become one of the 20
national award winners who will receive $100,000 each to advance their
work and an additional $30,000 for supporting activities. Winners will be
announced on September 13, 2001.
OVEC has organized citizens to fight for sustainable and
environmentally sound development and through community activism and
tireless political action, has led many successes. It forced dramatic
pollution reductions at a huge oil refinery, resulting in cleaner air and
water. It spearheaded successful efforts to fight off new, heavily
polluting industries, including a toxic waste incinerator and landfill,
and the planned largest-on-the-continent pulp mill whose owners refused to
use clean technologies. OVEC has also initiated numerous lawsuits which
resulted in stronger environmental enforcement. They co-founded the
Peoples' Election Reform Coalition, to work on an underlying cause of
environmental destruction - our current political campaign finance system.
OVEC's biggest issue is its battle against mountaintop removal/valley fill
strip mining, which continues to threaten West Virginia's environment,
long-term economy, and coalfield communities.
The Leadership for a Changing World has three goals: to
recognize the achievements of outstanding leaders, to provide financial
and other support for their continued leadership work, and to study how
leadership is perceived, created and sustained. It recognizes individual
leaders and leadership teams who have worked for at least two years in
fields such as economic and community development, human rights, the arts,
education, sexual and reproductive health, religion, media and the
For info, visit www.leadershipforchange.org
or e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org),
phone (202) 777-7560 or by writing to Leadership for a Changing World,
Advocacy Institute, 1629 K St., NW Suite 200 Washington, DC 20006-1629.
WVEC congratulates Dianne Bady, Janet Fout and Laura
Forman for receiving this honor and wishes them luck with the Ford
Foundation's decision next month!
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The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is a non-profit
organization that seeks to transform public understanding of environmental
issues by training and supporting visionary, action-oriented emerging
leaders. Through its fellowship program, ELP provides training and project
support to 25 talented individuals each year from nonprofits, business,
government, and higher education. ELP is committed to fostering a
reflective, diverse environmental movement capable of responding to our
complex social and environmental challenges.
The ELP Fellowship is an innovative national program
designed to build the leadership capacity of the environmental field's
most promising emerging professionals. We define emerging professionals as
practitioners who are relatively new to the environmental field with
approximately three to ten years of experience. Each year, a new class of
fellows is chosen to join a select group of environmental professionals
from diverse backgrounds, sectors, and areas of expertise. The three-year
fellowship offers unique networking opportunities, intensive leadership
and skills training, project seed money, technical assistance, and
mentoring. Fellows receive a $2,000 participation stipend; travel and
accommodations for four training retreats; access to funding for capacity
building leadership activities; and national recognition through the
program. The ELP Fellowship provides an opportunity for talented
individuals to have a unique and substantial impact on the environmental
movement through collaboration with other emerging leaders.
Applicants for the ELP Fellowship must commit to
participating in four retreats over three years-two retreats in the first
year and one retreat in the summer of each subsequent year
Participation in all ELP retreats-in their entirety-is a
mandatory component of the fellowship. ELP pays all retreat travel and
accommodation costs. In addition, each fellow conducts a leadership
building project with support from the ELP Activity Fund
Applications must be mailed to the ELP Fellowship Office,
and postmarked by Monday, October 1, 2001. Final decisions will be made
and all applicants will be notified by December 21, 2001.
Applications and further details are available at www.elpnet.org.
ENVIRONMENTAL LEADERSHIP PROGRAM P.O. Box 446 Haydenville,
MA 01039413.268.0035, Fax: 413.268.0036 email@example.com
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Governor's Energy Task Force
by Norm Steenstra, WV-CAG Executive Director
Early this month, Governor Wise appointed his energy task
force. The charge of the task force is to "maximize use of resources
to develop energy production and generation guidelines, develop
environmental solutions, and optimize economic development in the
Like many GREEN readers, WV-CAG took an interest on who
would serve on this task force. We've been involved in virtually every
energy-related issue for the past 27 years, from oil and gas to windmills,
coal to electric deregulation. It was our hope that the task force would
be a balanced group that would look not only at the present day realities
of increased coal and oil and gas production but also the opportunities
for increased conservation and the development of new green energy
technologies. In addition, we had hoped that several environmental and
grassroots groups would be among the task force members.
At face value, the task force appears tilted heavily
toward the promotion of fossil fuels. Of the sixteen members appointed,
nearly all of them represent business and academic interests. I was the
lone "citizen appointment." The only elected official appointed
was Secretary of State Joe Manchin.
Although the composition of the task force is
disappointing, the good news is that this group is actually the Process
committee that will develop an overall plan in which more specific issues
can be examined. These include energy conservation, green technologies and
coalfield-oilfield quality of life concerns.
The tendency is to look at this task force as just another
example of government promoting special interests. While it may turn out
that way in the end, I believe it is an opportunity for the environmental
movement to play a key role in defining what the "post-coal"
economy will look like. Currently it's our only "official"
process to promote new technologies and make conservation a matter of
policy not just personal virtue.
My understanding is that this task force is just the first
tier of public involvement. Many more citizen and green representatives
will eventually serve on specific issue committees. I'm going into this
thing rather lonely, disappointed in the balance but optimistic that
herein lies a chance for us to put some real pro-active, green thinking
into the future energy policy of West Virginia.
This task force is not the arena for issues such as valley
fills, blasting, power plant emissions or drilling fluid disposal. In the
current political climate with coal as Czar, victories will be rare. But
we can do something that coal won't. We can think thirty years into the
future where coal and oil and gas really don't care what happens to the
next generation. I'm in great need of support, opinions, and information
on energy policies, so please contact me and broaden our input. My e-mail
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WVEC Fall Convention:
"Back to the Future" Rethinking WVEC
Camp Pioneer, Beverly, WV
September 21 23, 2001
This year's Annual Meeting, "Back to the
Future" Rethinking WVEC, will focus on re-examining the
WVEC mission and re-establishing a consensus on the functions, needs, and
processes of an environmental council among the environmental community of
WV. We will seek input from both organizational members and individual
members on what they need from WVEC, how WVEC has been working, and how it
can work better. Our goal is that these discussions will result in
recommendations for positive and constructive changes that will set the
course of WVEC toward improved service to the environmental community and
more effective environmental advocacy.
Friday, September 21
5:00 PM - on---Registration/Free Time/Social Time
Saturday, September 22
7:30 8:30 AM---Breakfast $5 or bring your own
8:45 Noon---Registration continues
9:00 AM---Welcome: Don Garvin, WVEC President
9:10 Noon---"Back to the Future" Rethinking
WVEC Session One This is the opening session of a day-long facilitated
discussion. We will begin with an abbreviated "We All Live on A
Dot" Session, the WVEC traditional method of introducing
ourselves and our concerns. During this first session the group will
decide, with the aid of the facilitator, on the process and structure to
be used for the remainder of the discussions.
Noon 1:30 PM---Regional Meetings and Lunch Bring
your own lunch or share, meet with your region, discuss/ identify local
issues, elect regional board members.
1:30 4:00 PM---"Back to the Future"
Rethinking WVEC Session Two
4:00 5:00 PM---Free Time
5:00 7:00 PM---Pot Luck Supper Bring a dish to
7:00 9:30 PM---"Back to the Future"
Rethinking WVEC Session Three
All Evening---Silent Auction (to conclude at 10:00
10:00 PM---Camp Fire Bring your musical
Sunday, September 23
7:30 8:45 AM ---Breakfast $5 or bring your own
8:30 9:00 AM---Universal worship service
(NOTE: Sunday's schedule is subject to change, based on
the outcome of Saturday's discussions)
9:30 10:00 AM---Regional Reports (5 minutes/region)
Introduction of new Board members
10:00 Noon---2002 Legislative Session: Setting
priorities and identifying initiatives
Noon---Wrap Up and Clean Up
12:30 2PM---WVEC Board Meeting
Plan on donating something to the auction. Food, art, a
service, and/or white elephants cluttering up your home are excellent (and
fun) things to bring. The more creative you get, the more fun and funds
we'll bring in. For more details and suggestions on how you can support
the auction, call us at 346-5905.
DIRECTIONS TO CAMP PIONEER
From Elkins, WV go south on Rt 219 to Beverly. In Beverly,
turn left on Files Creek Road. Travel approximately 3 miles to 4-H Camp
Rd., turn right and you're there! If you have any problems, call the camp
at (304) 636-3638.
WVEC Fall Convention: "Back to the Future"
September 21 -23, 2001
Camp Pioneer, Beverly, WV
Please register for meals in advance. Saturday lunch is on
your own. Saturday supper will be covered dish, so bring an entree to
share! You can also register on-line: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
with your name, number in your group, number of nights, number of meals,
and specify camping or dorm accommodations. If you have questions, please
call 346-5905 or 346-5891.
____Registration ($10 Adult/$5 Student) ____Tent Camping
____Saturday Breakfast ($5 ea)
____Sunday Breakfast ($5 ea) ____Dorm Bunk
($12/night/person, bring linens)
____ I can't make it this year but am enclosing a
____ I am enclosing my membership renewal ___$10 ___$25
___$50 ____ Other.
Total Enclosed: $_________
Make checks payable to WVEC and mail to: 1324 Virginia
St., East, Charleston, WV 25301
Finally - A Bottle Bill for West Virginia?
West Virginia Citizen Action Group's (WV-CAG) Board of
Directors announced that among the group's top legislative priorities is
the passage of a container law in West Virginia. WV-CAG plans on making a
formal request of support at the WVEC's annual convention next month.
Any GREEN readers who would like to work on a public
education campaign aimed at the eventual passage of a bottle bill in West
Virginia should contact Linda Mallet at 346-5891 or email@example.com.
The campaign will stress the potential energy conservation rather than
just landfill avoidance.
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