Urgent - Take action to preserve Bears' Ear!

By Paget Valentzas

I recently returned from a three day rafting trip through Bears Ears National Monument with two archaeologists and three native guides, and it was incredible! A veritable outdoors museum filled with amazing rock art, ruins of ancient Puebloan communities and fascinating artifacts. Additionally, there are sacred places of Navajo, Hopi, Zuni and Ute Nations, incredible natural history viewed in the layers of the valleys, and great opportunities for all kinds of recreation.

Despite the fact that it perfectly fits the intentions of the Antiquities Act, Secretary Zinke has just recommended it be shrunk. Because the public comments received from 85% of Utah residents and 98% of Americans who commented as a whole wanted to PRESERVE Bears' Ear, the administration has extended the comment period until July 14, hoping to use BIG BUSINESS MONEY to get more public comments in favor of destroying the Monument. 

For more information, go to Friends of Cedar Mesa

Then go to https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=DOI-2017-0002-0001 and make a public comment of your own.

GLS Tree Team

By Pam LoPinto

The GLS Tree Team helped plant twenty trees in Lowell Park, West Oakland, on May 20.  The Sierra Club has planted over 1,000 trees since the City of Oakland Tree Division was defunded in 2009. It was great to attend our first tree planting event and learn from other volunteers. Six of us joined about 15 other planters to dig holes, plant trees, install posts and wooden bracing, spread compost, and water the trees.  We started at about 9:30 AM and finished about 1 PM.

Some of the work was quite difficult; like using pick axes to break up clay, rocks, and roots. There were easy tasks as well, like applying compost, and attaching the posts together by nailing strips of wood into them. It was a hot day and we took water and snack breaks in the shade. It was a lot of fun and very rewarding work! It felt good to made a lasting, positive impact while all the political craziness is going on nationally and our environment is under siege.

All of the GLS participants were enthusiastic about doing the work again. Now that we are trained we can be sent out to neighborhoods on our own to plant. The tree planting season picks up again in November and we hope to get more of you out there with us. Thanks to Maran, Jen, Wendy, Gail, and Susan for taking time out on a Saturday morning to show Lowell Park some love.

Pink Triangle

We see it every year: the large Pink Triangle that overlooks our City on Pride Weekend. This year, as in previous years, Paget Valentzas led a group of GLS members in the early morning to help assemble dozens of pieces of pink canvas to create the triangle that can be seen for miles. 

The pink triangle was one of the Nazi concentration camp badges used to identify male prisoners who were sent there because of their homosexuality. The pink triangle symbol has since evolved into an important reminder for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community of the continuing homophobia and hatred against us and other repressed minorities around the world.

Photo by Pam LoPinto

Photo by Pam LoPinto

 Labor Day at Tuolumne Meadows

Thanks to our volunteers who helped us call into reserve a spot in the lottery, we were able to secure two group sites at Tuolumne Meadows.

If you're interested in camping with us at Tuolumne Meadows over Labor Day, watch for an announcement with details of the trip around the middle of July. Registration will open in the third week of July.

You can help us take even more camping trips by becoming a hike leader or volunteering. Contact us at outings@glshikes.org for more information. 

Memorable Memorial Day Weekend in Mendocino

By Pam LoPinto

Photos by Marina DeCerbo

About 30 campers enjoyed fine weather, food, hiking and camaraderie at VanDamme State Park near Mendocino. Carol led a long hike on Saturday along Fern Creek to Pygmy Forest. On Sunday, there was a kayaking adventure through tunnels and sea caves along the coast, seeing marine mammals, abalone, and sea anemonies hanging from sea caves.

That afternoon, Pam led a trip to the Botanical Gardens. Claudine and Paget led hikes in the Mendocino Headlands. On Monday, Kathie Kinzie led a group to Hendy Woods to explore the old growth redwood forest, followed by a fine picnic of cheeses and crackers, fruit, dip and nuts.

Evening campfires and socializing were delightful. The potluck was scrumptious, with Anita's Thai salad being a real standout. We used the snazzy new GLS stove and heated dishwashing water in no time flat.

Anita dipped her toe in the water as a trip leader and did a great job! Susan was her mentor and organized most of the preparations for the trip. Thanks to all who participated in the fun and made light work of the chores!


We are thrilled to welcome four new hike leaders to GLS - Deborah Hall, Marina DeCerbo, Katrin Wehrheim and Cindy Ike. Thanks to them and our Outings Chairs Susan Fracisco, Paget Valentzas and Beth Bittle for their support.

Also thanks to our veteran leaders who have led a number of wonderful hikes this past quarter - Marian Stainbrook, Russell Hartman, Beth Bittle, Carol Palecki, Pam LoPinto, Paget Valentzas, Sylvie Hessini, Hennie Sholars, Claudine Offer, and Sally McFadden all contributed their time and expertise to help us enjoy time out in nature.

If you're interested in becoming a Hike Leader, contact us at outings@glshikes.org for more information.

Lake Chabot led by Marian

Photo by Marian Stainbrook

West Marin Osprey Hike led by Paget and Sally

Photos by Linda

Mt. Tam Circumnavigation led by Marian

Photo by Deborah Hall   Photo by Marian Stainbrook

Cataract led by Marian

Photos by Marian Stainbrook


Sibley led by Beth

Sketch by Vivian Photo by Maria L.

Windy Hill Loop led by Hennie and Deborah

Photos by Deborah Hall

Mt. Tam: Mill Valley to Muir Woods Loop led by Sylvie

Photos by Marian Stainbrook

Kayak in Elkhorn Slough led by Beth

Photo by Beth Bittle

Earth Day Volunteering in Diablo Foothills led by Beth

Photos by Beth Bittle

San Bruno Wildflowers led by Russ

Photo by Russ Hartman

The Governing Committee

Have you ever wondered how all of the wonderful hikes, camping trips, social events, website and newsletter of GLS happen? It's a joint effort between you, the GLS members who volunteer, and the Governing Committee. The Governing Committee is a small, hardworking group elected by the membership to lead GLS and ensure the smooth running of the Club.  It maintains the GLS website and Meetup site, handles membership of close to 500, produces newsletters, organizes at least 3 camping trips a year as well as a summer picnic and a holiday party, trains outings leaders, and provides outings that include hikes, environmental, educational and social activities.  Additionally, the Co-chairs are the official spokespersons of Club, the Secretary keeps minutes of meetings, and the Treasurer is charged with handling the Finances.

We would like to introduce you to our current GovCom and look forward to meeting you on a hike, outing, or camping trip soon. Please feel free to reach out to us via email or in person with suggestions on how to improve your experience with GLS. If you are interested in volunteering or joining a future Governing Committee, even better! We look forward to an amazing 2017 with you out in nature!

Beth Bittle

Co-Lead and Outings Chair

Beth is an avid hiker and traveler who enjoys exploring new places and meeting new people. She's excited to share her love and knowledge of the outdoors to get people interested in being out in nature. Beth also serves as a National Sierra Club trip leader. This is her second year serving as Co-Lead of the Governing Committee.

Contact her at: chair@glshikes.org

Susan Fracisco

Co-Lead and Outings Chair 

Susan has been a GLS Member for three years, this is her first time volunteering for the Governing Committee.

Contact her at: chair@glshikes.org

Paget Valentzas

Outings Chair

Paget has been an active member of GLS since 2001.  During that time she has acquired the nickname "Tam ma'am", been introduced to amazing places in the Sierra, learned how to use a compass and guy lines, bought a tent that comes with coffee slings, and made a lot of friends.

Contact her at: outings@glshikes.org

Pam LoPinto

Treasurer and Activism Chair

Pam joined the group when it was still "Committee to Form GLS" in 1985. The group was mostly men and was trying in earnest to have women get involved. Pam was on the first Governing Committee in 1987 and served as Membership Chair. Our roster grew to 1,200 members, with about half being women. Pam led hikes, camping trips, and events regularly, but has been sidelined in recent years due to injuries. GLS is still near and dear to her and this is her third time serving on GovCom. She assumed Angie Romagnoli's duties as GLS Treasurer.

Contact her at: treasurer@glshikes.org

Becky Skaife

Membership Chair

Becky is a longtime GLS member who joined the Governing Committee to give something back and help the club to thrive. This is her second year volunteering for the Governing Committee.

Contact her at:membership@glshikes.org

Kris Anderson

Website, Newsletter and Secretary

Kris has been a GLS member since 2012 and credits the club with introducing her to the great outdoors and the joy of hiking and camping. She is a strong believer in building community and sees volunteering for the Governing Committee as a positive and fun way to do that while at the same time supporting the mission of the Sierra Club. This is her second year volunteering for the Governing Committee.

She would love to hear from you if you can contribute writing, photography, or design to the website and/or newsletter.

Contact her at: newsletter@glshikes.org

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