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E-M:/ Backyard Eco Conference '98

Enviro-Mich message from Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination <cacc@macatawa.org>

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                         Backyard Eco Conference '98


How Corporate Abuses affect our Health and Our Rights

Tom Stevens: Corporate Power vs. Our Democracy
Joel Welty: Living Fully in an Alternative Community
Keith Moon: Intersex Fish in Saginaw Bay-What Business Doesn't want in Fish
Stephanie Mills: Surviving the Corporations with Hope and Joy

May 15-17, Mystic Lake Camp- Clare County, Michigan

Join us for a weekend of networking, plenary sessions, workshops and the
opportunity to meet grassroots environmental activists from around the Great
Lakes Basin who are working in their communities on the same issues as you.
Eco gives us all a chance to go back to our roots, to renew our enthusiasm
and friendships, and to return home with restored energy and mission.

Mystic Lake YMCA Camp has 500 acres of wooded land near Lake Station in
southwestern Clare County, and features two private lakes, unique bogs and
the most extensive patch of lady's slippers in the area. The camp
specializes in youth camping, environmental education, and retreats. Lodging
is provided in heated cabins, some with their own bathrooms and the rest
with central bath houses, or Eco participants can camp on the grounds.

Mystic Lake YMCA Camp is owned and operated by the Lansing YMCA, and is
located one mile west of Village of Lake on US -10, or four miles west of
the end of the US-10/M-115 freeway. All conference registrants will receive
a detailed map with their registration packet. Late registrants are urged to
call the Eco Registrar at 517-426-5540 (evenings) to assure space
availability in cabins after May 5.

The Backyard Eco Conference is an annual event hosted by Citizens for
Alternatives to Chemical Contamination (CACC) and designed to bring together
grassroots environmentalists to share a weekend of networking and
information exchange in an informal atmosphere. Eco features a full youth
program with specially designed programs for preschoolers, youth, and young
adults. Enhanced by music and the visual arts and a menu created to please
the eye and the palate, Eco offers a unique opportunity for activists to
renew friendships and create new ones, reinforce their strengths and
beliefs, and go forward into the year with an invigorated sense of purpose.



The CACC Board wishes to welcome you to the 15th Annual Backyard Eco
Conference. We are offering the usual fabulous setting, several wonderful
speakers, music, great food and the company of some of the most dedicated
environmentalists in our state.

In the schedule, you will find slightly fewer options than other years, but
more flexibility. A person will not have to choose between 2 or 3 workshops
for a given time slot. If a certain speaker or video does not "grab you", we
will encourage spontaneous group discussions in the next room or under the
trees. You may need to lay in the sun for 2 hours or drift around Mystic
Lake on a canoe. I predict you will probably come back to the group
refreshed and ready to add to the synergy.

In other words, we will provide a beautiful relaxing camp, nourishment,
companionship, new ideas and information. However...You, our friends will
create this conference. Peace,

                                John Witucki
                             For the CACC Board



Tom Stephens
Tom Stephens is an attorney in private practice employed by the firm of
Goodman, Lister & Peters, P. C., in Detroit. He is a long time member and
chair of the Toxics Committee of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG) which is
dedicated "to the end that human rights shall be more sacred than property
interests." He is also a member of the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association,
the Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste (CCHW), Amnesty International
and Greenpeace.

Mr. Stephens' environmental justice activism began as a founding member of
the Evergreen Alliance, the grassroots Detroit group that spearheaded
resistance to the Detroit trash incinerator from 1986 until 1990. He has
remained involved with grassroots environmental justice struggles around
incinerators in other communities, NAFTA-GATT-MAI, polluter audit secrecy
privileges, energy and transportation policies and other issues. In 1997, he
served as co-counsel with the NLG Sugar Law Center in the landmark
environmental racism case of NAACP-Flint Chapter v. Engler, resulting in an
injunction against the Michigan DEQ granting permits without adequate
consideration of their cumulative health impacts.

Mr. Stephens' talk is entitled: "How the Right Wing Adopted the Arthur Kinoy
Theory of Law, Political Action and Social Change, and What We Should Do
About It: If They're Listening, Keep Talking." He will draw on recent
contributions of CCHW, the Alliance for Democracy, the Program on
Corporations, Law and Democracy and other activists in an attempt to
formulate some practical general principles of organizing that can be
applied in the Great Lakes region to rebuild democracy in the interests of
social justice, environmental quality and sustainable economic development.

Joel Welty
Joel David Welty is a writer, consultant and trainer who lives in Blanchard,
Mi. He was first elected to the Board of Directors of a consumer
co-operative in 1949. He has since served on operatives and credit unions as
manager, director, organizer and educator/trainer. He is the author of the
book Sylviron and on the Interim Board of Directors for the co-operative
village of the same name, in Osceola County. He will be speaking on the
subject of co-operative communities. The site for Sylviron is 240 acres of
wooded, rolling land, with broad meadows and a half dozen ponds-including a
beaver pond, trails, and beautiful scenery. It is a community in the early
stages of creation.

Environmental Policies:
Sylviron aims to resolve, on the level of a small community, a number of
problems humanity must solve throughout the world.

   * Will produce, by individuals and cooperatively, more food than is
     consumed on site, and will do so on a sustainable, organic basis,
   * Will reduce water consumption to 50% of normal consumption for homes
     and similar resorts,
   * Will reduce carbon dioxide emissions to 1890 (that's 1890, not 1990)
   * Will reduce rush-hour traffic by making it possible for many residents
     to walk to work within Sylviron's offices, studios and workshops,
   * Will reduce energy use to 1890 levels through use of passive solar
     energy, extra insulation, window blankets, internal heat sinks,
     earth-berming, skylights and clerestory windows, appropriate lighting
     equipment, and similar strategies.

Keith Moon
K. Keith Moon is a life long resident of Michigan. Keith has worked for two
publicly held companies, both which were NASDQ listed. One of the companies
was the number two growth stock on NASDAQ in 1988. The company produced a
fuel additive that reduced emissions and improved fuel economy. It was also
useful in replacing lead in gasoline. The product contained no metals or
BTX's, which both laboratory and C A F E testing substantiated. Keith took
these finding to the EPA., and several companies such as Harley Davidson and
Mercury Marine endorsed and used the product. Actor Paul Newman, and U.S.
Ambassador to the U.N. for air quality, Dr. William Mills, Ph.D., also
endorsed the product. Keith left the company in 1993 to pursue other
companies for research and development.

Keith's latest venture is in the field of Aquaculture. Presently, he is CEO
for Perch Research International and one of the founding board members. PRI
was designed to grow pollution free yellow perch, i.e., free from mercury,
PCB's, PBB's, DDT's and Dioxin. During research, Keith discovered that all
fish both ocean and fresh water have toxins. In Michigan every inland lake
has mercury to some degree. Many of these toxins are believed to be
endocrine disrupters. Keith will show what chemicals are in what areas and
the cancers that appear there. Keith will also report on the T.B. outbreak
in Michigan and the toxic pfeisteria outbreak in North Carolina.

Stephanie Mills

Surviving the Corporations and Thriving in the Community of All Beings: How
to be a Mammal in the Twilight of the Dinosaurs
Author and Biological Fundamentalist Stephanie Mills will speak about the
possibilities and practices of working with nature to revitalized our life
places. All around the world people are developing local, ecological
alternatives to the global economy and to megatechnology. Some call it
bioregionalism, some say loyalty to place, respect for all our relations.
However we life, we creatures get our wild energy from the living Earth.
Sharing stories of nature and human creativity. S. Mills will offer Eco-
conferees grounds for joy and hope.

Stephanie Mills has been involved with the ecology movement since 1969. She
is the author of In Service of the Wild and Whatever Happened to Ecology?
She edited Turning Away from Technology and In Praise of Nature. Her writing
has appeared everywhere from Glamour to Garbage. She has been speaking
publicly on a wide range of issues for nearly 30 years. She considers
herself very lucky to be living and working in Leelanau County and is
honored by this invitation to address the hardworking local heroes and
heroines that attend the Backyard Eco Conference.

Merrill Clark
Merrill Clark became active in environmental issues over 20 years ago as a
natural resources director for both the state and local League of Women
Voters organizations. She formed Citizens for Environmental Protection in
the Niles area and, during the same time, served on several other
environmental boards, such as the American Lung Association of Michigan, DNR
Environmental Protection Policy Advisory Committee, and the Michigan State
Recreation Board.

Becoming an organic farmer with her husband, John and sons, Toby and
Lincoln, in the early '80s, she joined Organic Growers of Michigan, of which
she is now vice-president, and was a founding member of the Michigan Organic
Food and Farmer Alliance for which she is secretary. The 1800-acre Clark
Roseland Organic Farms in SW Michigan specializes in beef and grain
production, as well as soy beans, hay, some produce and apple cider; they
market their products at their own farm store, through the mail and at
several regional natural food markets. At the national level, Merrill is on
the Board of Directors of the National Coalition Against the Misuse of
Pesticides (NACAMP), and from 1992-1994 she was a consumer representative
and Livestock Committee Chair of the USDA National Organic Standards Board.

Organic Food Alert: USDA is Poisoning It

Now that the USDA has finally released a proposed rule on Organic Food
Production in the United States, consumers, organic farmers and others who
care about healthy food and a clean environment.

Last year, the conference program indicated that the rule would be released
in July, 1997; in truth it did not appear until December 16, 1997, and the
howls of protest have not yet subsided. The proposed rule completely
undermines the very foundations of organic farming, the speaker believes.
She will review her work on the National Organic Standards Board ('92-'96),
which proposed recommendations to the USDA on organic farming,
certification, processing and marketing, and give a blow-by-blow account of
how the USDA systematically rejected most of the provisions of the fairly
well-received Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which provided for the
NOSB in the first place.

The public comment period on this organic proposal will have passed by May
16, so those reading this program should consider writing immediately to the
USDA (call 616-445-8769 for instructions), However, there is still much to
consider and additional ways to make sure organic standards in Michigan and
elsewhere stay true to the heart and soul of ecological, biologically-based


Youth Programs

The Backyard Eco Conference Youth Program sets this gathering apart from any
other. Activities have been designed to capture the interest and involvement
of the three groups. All young people, other than the tiniest babies, are
expected to be enrolled in Eco's Youth Programs for the duration of the
conference. Unsupervised children are not permitted, as they are not only at
risk for themselves but lead to the disruption of planned activities.

If you have questions about the Youth Programs or want to volunteer to help,
please contact Youth Program Director Graham Hunting at 517-324-0446 or
email him at: huntingg@pilot.msu.edu.

Backyard Eco Preschool

This cooperative program allows parents attend workshops while their
children learn and play. To celebrate their natural sense of wonder,
activities include arts and crafts, music, stories, and imaginative play,
along with nutritious snacks and quiet rest time. As a cooperative, we ask
that parents spend time sharing in these activities. Please help us by
signing up when you register your child.

Youth 6-12

Led by Karrie McLean and other Eco staff, youth from 6-12 will be enjoying
new sights and fun times as they discover Mystic Lake's diverse environment.
>From the bogs to the beaches, our time will be spent exploring, treking and

Michigan's habitats were formed very recently in history, only 10,000 years
ago. We will travel in time this weekend looking for fossils of history and
signs of the future. Hiking and playing games are included in the digging-up
of Michigan's past. As time traveling detectives, we will expose the secrets
of survival methods of plants and animals, looking at their homes and
environments in which they have evolved for thousands of years.

The group will also create crafts from relics we collect to tell the stories
of nature. Using clay, stones and sand, we will make pottery to last the
ages. A time capsule will be created as we ponder the future of human

The 6-12 year olds will also join Victor McManemy as they dig our Great
Lakes bioregion in the beach sand, looking at the flow among the lakes and
ways the receding glaciers formed these deep lakes with time.

Young Adults 13-18

Young Adults participating in the Backyard Eco Conference will find
adventure and confidence.

Friday night will feature a warm campfire of stories and s'mores while
learning about minimal impact daycamping.

The program will allow us to separate from urban limitations by exploring
the little interactions of Michigan's flora and fauna. From the wind in the
pines to the chipmunks burying acorns, the young adults will witness complex
habitats of interdependence.

Leaving the quick action of televison behind, we'll see the actions of the
wind, water, and Earth at a different pace. A great look at the intriguing
and exciting interactions of the natural world.

The Young Adult program is directed by Will Paddock.


Funding for the Backyard Eco conference '97 has been requested from the
Wheatland Music Organization, Remus. Your generous support will help us
offer Eco scholarships to folks who couldn't otherwise attend.

Other Events:

Technical Tree Climbing -- Kathy Snooks. Mystic Lake Staff

One of the many unique programs offered by Mystic Lake Camp is Technical
Tree Climbing, using ropes and gear to scale some mighty trees without
harming them. This 4-hour session will be held after lunch on Saturday and
is limited to the first six who preregister. If you want to participate in
this experience, and join the birds in the treetops, be sure to check it on
your registration.

Electronic Communications: Email, the Internet, and Beyond -- Joseph Badura

Building on a similar sessions offered in previous years, Joseph will offer
one-on-one and small group assistance with negotiating the resources of the
world wide web, establishing an email account, and the basics of electronic
communication. A sign-up sheet will be available at Registration to schedule
times for individual assistance. Small group sessions will be offered
throughout the weekend.

Eco Food:

The conference opens with a potluck supper Friday evening, so remember to
bring a dish to pass. We'll supply beverages.

The Eco cooks have planned a delicious menu of natural foods, with an
emphasis on whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Their creations are
sure to please the eye as well as the palate.

Volunteer help is always appreciated in the kitchen, especially at the end
of the conference for clean up!

Eco Auction:

The Eco Auction is an opportunity to bring something special to the Eco
Conference to donate to help support the work of CACC. A silent auction will
be held throughout the weekend, with individual items being auctioned off
before the group. Previous "prizes" have included handmade cards, artwork, a
water filtration kit, composter, and a bed and breakfast weekend.

One items to be featured this year is the group project from Eco '97 -- a
collage of pictures and verse, with drawings and found materials.

All contributions donated for this purpose are, of course, tax deductible
and will be acknowledged.

Eco Arts and Music

Victor McManemy has been a feature of all of the past Eco Conferences. His
songs are a call to action, whether describing the mistreatment of
indigenous peoples or the abuse of our environment. It has been said that
the waters of the Great Lakes flows in the veins of this life-long
Traverse-area resident.

Dr. Youngdog and Rock Therapy Our favorite Motor City rock and rollers are a
sure prescription to work out the kinks from sitting all day and will lift
you to new heights in energy and exuberance. Led by glass artisan Albert
Young, the band has been featured at past Eco Conferences, as well as events
in Grand Marais.

Fine Arts Exhibit As in past years, Gretchen Michaels is coordinating the
collection and display of arts that celebrate the Earth through painting,
sculpture, drawings, photography, and writings. If you want to exhibit art
at Eco, contact Gretchen at 810-628-7463 in the evening.

The Eco Fine Arts Program is partially underwritten by the generous support
of the Wheatland Music Organization, Remus. the sponsors of the annual
Wheatland Music Festival and the Traditional Arts Weekend May 23-25.



Medical Alert! An outbreak of Affluenza has been reported in your area.
Swollen Expectations, Hypercommercialism, Shopping Fever, a Rash of
Bankruptcies, Fractured Families, Chronic Stress, Social Scars and Resource
Four out of five doctors recommend the PBS primetime special Affluenza for
instant relief.

Affluenza is a fascinating look at one of the greatest social maladies of
our time: overconsumption and materialism. Hosted by National Public Radio's
Scott Simon, Affluenza explores both the comical and sobering aspects of our
consumerism and its enormous impact on our families, communities and the

In response to this materialistic lifestyle, many people are opting out of
the consumer culture. Some are turning to one of the fastest growing trends
in our country, voluntary simplicity, which is just one of the many "cures"
that are explored in Affluenza.

Marilyn Waring on Sex, Lies, &Global Economics
When Marilyn Waring was elected to the New Zealand parliament in 1975 she
thought she might one day return to her first love, classical music.
Instead, the 22-year-old MP was re-elected three times and blazed a trail
that eventually overturned her government on the nuclear issue and launched
her as the foremost spokesperson for global feminist economics.

Witty, irreverent and accomplished in what she calls "the art of the dumb
question," Waring challenges the myths of economics, its elitist stance, and
our tacit compliance with political agendas that masquerade as objective
economic policy. Why isn't the unpaid work of women counted in the gross
domestic product? Why is there no place in the national accounts for
negative figures or costs such as damage to the environment? Why is the
market economy all that counts? WHO'S COUNTING? is an entertaining primer
for anyone who suffers from what Waring refers to as "economic anxiety." See
it and the evening news will never be the same!

   * Gold Apple, National Educational Media Competition
   * GENIE Award
   * CHRIS Award, Columbus International Film & Video Festival
   * Silver Plaque, Chicago International Film Festival



Friday, May 15

3:00 - 8:00 Registration

5:30 - 7:00 Potluck Dinner (Please bring a dish to pass!)

7:00 - 8:00 CACC's Annual Meeting

8:00-10:30 Main Event-Faulty Fish Advisories and Cancer Hot Spots: The
Michigan Corporate Connection--Keith Moon

10:30-12:00 Informal Reception (music, socialization)--Victor McManemy &

Saturday, May 16

7:00 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 - noon Registration Continues

8:30 - 10:30 Panel w/ Tom Stephens and Carl Bielby: Corporate Power vs.
Citizen's Rights.

11:00 -11:45 Workshop- Community Organizing Tips and requesting a health
study-Bill Freese, HEAL-Alpena

noon - 1:00 Lunch

1:15 - 3:00 Workshop A or group- Living a less stressful Alternative
Lifestyle--Joel Welty

3:15 - 5:00 Workshop B or group--Video: "Who's Counting"

5:00 - 6:30 Dinner

6:30 - 7:00 Free time (Walk in the woods, visit, etc)

7:00 - 7:30 Eco Awards, Auction

7:30 - 9:00 Speaker: Organic Food Alerts: The USDA is poisoning it--Merrill

9:15 - 1 am Dance: Dr. Youngdog and Rock Therapy, Campfire Music with Victor
and friends.

Sunday, May 17

7:00 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 - 9:45 Freetime or two options-Video:"Affluenza" or Roundtable
discussion groups-Organizing/Issue Brainstorming

10:00 - 10:30 Children's presentation

10:30 - 11:15 Closing speaker: Being Grounded and Surviving/Finding
Peace--Stephanie Mills

noon Closing Circle - Pine Point

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch

1:30 Socialize, Clean up, Pack up, Departure.

Registration Form:

Name _____________________________________________
Address ___________________________________________
City                                 State/Province        Zip ___________
Telephone day (___)__________ evening (___)___________
List the persons registered with this form.  Please give complete names and
information on each person.  Attach additional sheet if necessary.
Name                                     Adult (M/F) Child Age ___ (M/F)
Name                                     Adult (M/F) Child Age ___ (M/F)
Name                                     Adult (M/F) Child Age ___ (M/F)
Name                                     Adult (M/F) Child Age ___ (M/F)
[  ]  Reservation for Technical Tree Climbing (limited to 6 adults)
Conference Fees:
Adult Registration      50.00 x _____  =     $ ______
Student (with ID)       25.00 x _____ =         $ ______
Youth Program       25.00 x _____ =      $ ______

Meal Pass - 5 meals 25.00 x _____  =     $ ______

Single Meal ticket                         5.50 x _____  =               $

Child's Meal Pass     12.00 x _____  =           $ ______

Single Child's Meal    3.00 x _____ =    $ ______
(Child 8-14, free below 8, 15+ adult rate)

Cabin (per person)         20.00 x _____  =      $ ______

Rough Camping (tent, per site)  5.00 site = $ ______

RV Parking (no hookups)   7.50  site  =      $ _______

CACC Membership:

        Individual      25.00        $ _______
        Family          30.00        $ _______
        Organization    50.00        $ _______

Donation                                     $ _______

Total Amount                    $ _________

Send with your check made to CACC:
Eco Conference Registrar
564 Parkway
Gladwin, MI    48624

Attention College Students -- A discounted registration fee and free
camping is offered to students with college/university identification.
Please bring your ID with you to the conference to confirm your discount.
Early Registration Bonus!  All adult registrations postmarked by May 5 will
receive a Backyard Eco Conference tote bag, featuring the CACC logo.
Registrants after that date will have the opportunity to purchase a bag at
 Scholarships -  A limited number of work scholarships are available.  Call
the CACC office at 517-544-3318 for details.

Full refunds granted prior to May 5, no refunds thereafter.

Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination is a grassroots
environmental education and advocacy organization dedicated to principals of
social and economic justice, pollution prevention, citizen empowerment, and
protection of the Great Lakes ecosystem. CACC is governed by an annually-
elected Board of Directors, and is a member of the Michigan Environmental
Council, Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Great Lakes United,
Fund for Michigan, and the Michigan Energy Reform Coalition.


Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination
8735 Maple Grove Road
Lake, MI  48632-9511
(517) 544-3318
And don't forget...
Backyard Eco Conference '98
May 15th, 16th, and 17th.
Mystic Lake Camp.

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