Annual Lake Group Barbecue, July 13, 2007:
a great time and some new directions

On Friday July 13 more than 50 Lake Group members (including two county Supervisors) gathered at the Kelseyville home of Peter and Kathy Windrem for our annual midsummer potluck barbecue. As in previous years the food and wine were both excellent, the setting idyllic, and the conversation stimulating-- and unlike previous years we also took advantage of the occasion to poll our members on the best ways to pursue the Clubıs conservation goals.

The discussion began with accounts of recent and upcoming Club activities, including hikes and participation in CalTransıs volunteer highway cleanup program, followed by some of the many environmental issues facing our community at the present time.

The high point of this portion of the evening was undoubtedly Windrem's eloquent appeal for urgent action to keep the Natural High site in Lakeport (the last remaining Main Street location with than a distant glimpse of Clear Lake) from being sacrificed to commercial development. Although only a minority of barbecue participants or Sierra Club members happen to live in the city, his assertion that the destiny of our county seat rightfully concerns us all met with a warm reception, as did the suggestion that county residents sign a petition against changing the site's present "Open Space" zoning (available at Watershed Books, 310 Main St).

Outings Chair Steve Devoto describes upcoming hikes

Then came a summary of the recent strategy session held by the seven-member Executive Committee (Victoria Brandon, Lars Crail, Cheri Holden, Debra Sally, Steve Devoto, Paul Marchand, and Jim Leonardis), when four primary priorities were selected: managing growth wisely, maintaining and enhancing the health of Clear Lake and its watershed, preserving open space on Mt Konocti, and eliminating herbicide sprays along Lake County roadways. When Conservation Chair Holden went on to ask for input from members ("What do you think we should be doing?"), rapid fire suggestions ranged from the personal ("Eat locally") to the civic ("participate in the General Plan process"). Other recommendations included assembling contact information for local officials and staff (subsequently posted to this website: check it out), encouraging the creation of a comprehensive trail system and parks master plan, creating a Discovery Center for environmental education, collaborating with tribal conservation efforts, working with code enforcement to prevent degradation of the lakeshore, and supporting non-fossil fuel recreation such as the rodeo and tule boat races.

Everyone present agreed that maintaining a healthy lake and clean, sustainable groundwater supplies was vital to both the environmental and economic prosperity of our community. The partyıs over, but the dialogue continues. All concerned citizens are invited to join our 425 members by participating in an on-line survey also posted to this site, or by sharing their views with Group Chair Victoria Brandon at 994-1931.

Host Peter Windrem urges action to preserve open space in Lakeport