We have good reason to feel hope in these early days of being the resistance to Trump's dark vision of environmental plunder for profit.  A very real movement has sprung to fight back and preserve our democracy, our civil liberties, and our natural heritage, and we need everybody to stay engaged with us.  We also have several reminders of upcoming dates you'll want to mark in your calendar, including our February meeting and upcoming club hikes.

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Tahquitz Rock looms over Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Wilderness, Riverside County.

Hello Democrats and Environmentalists,

On Thursday, we received news that Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was rescinding H.R. 621, titled the "Disposal of Excess Federal Lands Act of 2017", intended to sell off 3.3 million acres of public land in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming. This did not happen because he had a sudden change of heart. Rep. Chaffetz and his Republican colleagues in the House were inundated with a public outcry. Calls were made, and there was much blasting of this proposal on social media and in editorial letters to the press. Outdoors enthusiasts and conservationists gathered to protest the bill across the nation, including a crowd of over 1,000 in Helena, Montana. This is democracy in action. These public lands belong to all of us--and let's never forget that no matter how unfortunate circumstances have allowed right-wing Republicans to hijack our Congress and the White House, that we are among the majority.

We need to keep turning up the heat. There are several more pending pieces of legislation that deserve the same outcry.

Chaffetz has not withdrawn H.R. 622, which would transfer law enforcement responsibilities on Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service land to local sheriffs. Our public lands need well-trained rangers who apply the law consistently within federal guidelines, not erratic oversight subject to the ideology of the currently elected sheriff in any particular county, or the influence of lobbyists on said official.

The White House has enacted an energy policy that calls for drilling for fossil fuels in public lands that have been protected from this kind of commercial exploitation, and H.J. Res. 46, proposed by Rep. Paul A. Gosar (R-Arizona), is still very much alive, which would grant subsurface mineral rights to private enterprises and allow them to build roads out to wherever they want to drill.

We will need to keep a close eye on these two legislators, Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming), Doug Lamborn (R-Colorado), and others. Trump is hoping that his immature and reckless tweets will divert attention away from the real work of demolishing our values and cherished places being done on Capitol Hill. As we saw during the election year, mainstream news sources are all too happy to give more than adequate coverage to Trump's behavior because this grabs viewers and helps them sell advertisements.

Please make sure to use your social media to get these stories out, demand appropriate coverage in the mass media, and most importantly to let your Congressional representative (no matter whom--but especially if your representative is a Republican) know that these hit jobs are unacceptable. The switchboard phone number to reach any member of Congress is (202) 224-3121. You might want to save that in your contacts--we're afraid many more calls will be necessary over the next few years.

SDCDEA Club Meeting - Wed., February 15

Plan on joining us once again at Elijah's Restaurant and Delicatessen, located at 7061 Clairemont Mesa Blvd., in the McGrath Court shopping center just east of the I-805 exit. We will begin meeting at 6:00 p.m. for our social hour and ordering of food and beverages, and the meeting will come to order at 7:00 p.m.

We will be having a special guest speaker, going over some important club votes, welcoming new members, and updates about legislative developments and upcoming events. Additionally, we'll be hearing from Former Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher and Hugh Rothman, Director of Grassroots Organizing for the San Diego County Democratic Party. We look forward to the company and participation of our members, and friends and guests are also welcome.

Club Hike at Tijuana River Estuary - Sat., February 18
Our first club hike for 2017 will be at the Tijuana River Estuary on Saturday, February 18, at 9:00 a.m. With border issues and environmental issues both at the forefront of national dialogue, it's important that we visit our own backyard and see how the wildlife in our border region might be negatively impacted by Trump's actions. We will meet at the parking lot for the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve, located at 301 Caspian Way in Imperial Beach. Our hike will be easy to moderate, as we head south along what is the largest river basin in Southern California. Dress appropriately for the weather, and you'll want to bring along a reusable water container and sightseeing paraphernalia such as binoculars or a camera.

RSVP on our Facebook event page. For any questions, contact club VP Brian Elliott.

2017 Family Climate Action Summit - Thurs., February 9

The San Diego Unified School District, San Diego Unified Council of PTAs and the Sierra Club invite you to attend the 2017 Family Climate Action Summit, being held this Thursday at 7:00 p.m. at the Kearny High School auditorium, located at 1954 Komet Way, just west of the Mesa College Dr./Kearny Villa Rd. exits from either I-805 or SR-163.

This event celebrates the achievements of the school district, students, and partners in the environmental, political, and business sectors toward reducing greenhouse gases and waste, and furthering the SDUSD Climate Action Plan goal of achieving 100% renewable energy in our local schools.

RSVP through the Facebook event page, or contact Pete Hasapopoulos of the Sierra Club.

S.D. Climate Mobilization Rally - Tues., February 21

Join our friends within the San Diego Climate Mobilization for a Climate Change Rally on Tuesday, February 21 at 6:00 p.m. The rally will be held at the Edward J. Schwartz Federal Building located at 880 Front Street in downtown San Diego, and we will be calling upon the President and members of Congress to recognize the dire threat posed to mankind from global climate change and to take urgent action to transition the nation to renewable energy.

The theme of the rally will be “Climate Change Is Not A Hoax And Make Your Voice Heard" and we encourage attendees to bring signs and help send a clear message that the citizens are fed up with science-denying nonsense and demand meaningful action to address the future of life on this planet. Speakers will include Wesley Clark, Jr., organizer of U.S. military veterans against the DAPL; Diane Takvorian, executive director of the Environmental Health Coalition; Ruben Arizmendi, chairman of Sierra Club San Diego; and Cody Petterson, vice president of Impact Assessment

Go here to sign the pledge:

RSVP at the Facebook event page. or via the Sierra Club. For any questions, contact event organizer Nancy Casady.

Club Hike at El Monte County Park - Sat., March 4

Our second club hike will be at El Monte County Park in Lakeside, the same area we trekked through in April 2016. We want to revisit this locale because it is an important habitat for many species of plants and wildlife not found elsewhere in the county, and because of the ongoing threat of a sand mining project in the El Monte Valley, opposed by residents and environmentalists. We'll put out more information about this hike; for now, mark your calendars and you can RSVP on our Facebook event page.
Join San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action

At this critical moment, consider joining San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action. Help us push our elected officials to stand fast against outrages like drilling for oil in National Parks, to stop the proposed sand mine development in Lakeside's El Monte Valley, ensure a responsible implementation of the city of San Diego's climate action plan, close the loophole that enables developers to circumvent CEQA by placing development on the ballot as land-use issues, and help shape a renewed, transparent California Coastal Commission that fully abides by the letter and spirit of the California Coastal Act.

Support San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action today. You can join at the regular member rate of $25 per person, or purchase a couple or household membership at $40 for two people.

If you want to give more, consider coming on board as a sustaining member at $100 per year, or as a patron member for $150 per year.

We'll see you on February 15 at our club meeting at Elijah's Restaurant. Remember to like and follow us Facebook if you're not already, and please use the hashtag #SDEnviroDems in your social media posts about the club and our activities.
Environmentally Yours
Tommy Hough
San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Actio

The Refugio Oil Spill fouled Santa Barbara area beaches with 21,000 gallons of crude in May 2015.
Patron Members
Barbara Bry and Neil Senturia
Kathryn Burton and Ethan Bier
Cara Furio
Fred Rogers
Lawrence Taylor

Michael Torti

Sustaining Members
Laurie Black
Michael Gelfand
Sylvia Hampton
Joe LaCava
Susan Mazza
Diane Nygaard
Omar Passons
Steve Rivera
Ruth Rollins
Albert Velasquez
Susan Wayo

Newest Club Members
Mary-Boyd Boudreau
Marty Flores
Michael Gelfand
Elizabeth Hetherington
Jeff and Janet Meredith
Barbara Reedhead
Beverly White

Latest Renewals
Toni Atkins
Ned and Kimberly Beatty
Merrill Bobele
Laurie Fisher
Vivian Moreno
Elizabeth Studebaker

Board Members
Tommy Hough, president
Brian Elliott, vice president for programs and outreach
Fred Rogers, vice president for political action
Brett Fisher, treasurer
Cara Furio, secretary
Lori Kern, events and fundraising
Richard Ram, communications
Alex Kiwan, board member at-large
Photo Credits
Tahquitz Rock photo by Tommy Hough
Helena, MT protest photo by Jack Schwarz
January club meeting photo by Kathy Stadler
Tijuana River Estuary photo courtesy of Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve
Horsetail Falls, Desolation Wilderness photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
El Monte Valley club hike photo by Richard Ram
Refugio Oil Spill photo courtesy of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Cedar Breaks National Monument photo courtesy of the National Park Service
About San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action
Chartered in 2014, San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action seeks to foster active interest in the Democratic Party, encourage greater support of the California Democratic Party environmental platform, contribute to party leadership and responsibility, provide a constructive role for volunteers in Democratic politics, promote an activist base, and assist and enable Democratic candidates to run – and win – on environmental principles.
Ashdown Gorge at Cedar Breaks National Monument, Dixie National Forest, Utah.
Copyright © 2017 San Diego County Democrats for Environmental Action, All rights reserved.

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