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E-M:/ Just one week until Eco '99!

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


NOTE: Feel free to print out the registration form below and submit it to
our registrar.


                         Backyard Eco Conference '99


We CAN Control Multinationals - Successes And Organizing around the Nation

Jane Ann Morris: Alliance for Democracy-"Corporate Shape Shifters"
Tom Stephens: National Lawyers' Guild-"How We Got In This Mess"
Karen Willard-Fred Fuller: -"Watershed Gods: Drain Commissioners And the
Battle over the Drain Code"
Dave Dempsey/ Stephanie Mills/ Michelle Hurd-Riddick/Ward Hodge

May 14-16, 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) since 1983. CACC is a
grassroots environmental education and advocacy organization dedicated to
the principles of social and economic justice, reduction of corporate
domination of American/World politics, pollution prevention, citizen
empowerment, and the protection of the Great Lakes Eco system. CACC is a
member of the Michigan Environmental Council, the Michigan United
Conservation Clubs, Great Lakes United, and the Environmental Fund for



Perhaps over the years, youve watched the themes of the ECO Conference
change to a greater social / enviro justice focus. This has been due mainly
to the rapid and even accelerating rates of ecosystem damage in our world.
Although good habits such as composting and weather-stripping our windows
still have obvious value in reducing our impact on the earth, corporations
are merging daily and mestacizing ever faster. They are constantly
tightening their domination of our social, legal and political lives. This
is not just another conspiracy theory this is the innate nature of modern
multinational corporations.

IIn addition, the developing nations emulate and often resent our lavish
Western lifestyle which is now stripping their natural resources as we have
used up our own. (Our newest gold standard is the $50,000 3-ton Lincoln
Blackwood pickup truck with tropical mahogany bed rails to protect the
owners golf clubs!). The devastation of the worlds resources to pamper 10 or
20% of its inhabitants is a sin and a terrible injustice and the
corporations will sell us the golden rope for the right price. Getting our
hands a little more busy in politics is not that hard and as you know, power
is either money or numbers. Campaign finance reform to limit corporate soft
money still has a good chance of passage with the new Congress if sufficient
numbers demand it! That one reform could do much to end the prostituting of
our politicians and help end the threat of GATT, MIA, and even NAFTA.

I admit its often hard for us to see the destruction and the oppression
(often of children to make our toys and electronic gadgets) when our society
is at the top of the heap. Lets help swing the momentum to change this
scenario. Well all be better human beings for trying at least. Work for
peace with justice so we can all enjoy lifes journey. Please help make a
difference by sharing your energy, ideas and experiences at this years ECO.

                                John Witucki
                             For the CACC Board



Fred Fuller
is the St. Claire County Drain Commissioner. He is married to Karen Willard.
While a State Representative, Karen helped formulate an extensive revision
of Michigans half-century-old drain code.

Both Fred and Karen are very knowledgeable and concerned about the
concentrated and sometimes abused power in the office of each countys drain
commissioner. Powerful, well connected developers and corporate livestock
mega farms have coerced some drain officers to empty wetlands, ditch streams
and even flood land downstream. The benefits go to the upscale subdivision
developer or the mega farmer, but the original residents along the drain pay
for the costs. Currently citizens have few appeal rights.

Fuller and Willard will tell about the powers and horrors of the Drain Code
and the pitched battle that ensued last year when the Michigan Association
of County Drain Commissioners attempted to push a new drain code bill which
contained few of the needed reforms, through the state legislature. It was
stopped by grassroots activists, but the battle will be back again in 1999.

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 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.

Jane Anne Morris, Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy
Over the last century and a half, corporation operatives have systematically
downsized the democratic process in this country. They have accomplished
this by rewriting laws and reformulating legal doctrines in order to
restrict the rights of human persons while inflating the rights of corporate
persons. The system of regulations and agencies set up to give people power
over corporations, has instead accomplished the reverse shielding both
corporations and government officials from the will of the people and from
the influence of small, independent businesses.

Jane is a corporate anthropologist now living in Madison, Wisconsin, and
working with the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy (POCLAD). She
has been an activist since the early 1970s, and spent most of the past
twenty-five years in the Southwest US. During the 1990s she worked on energy
related issues and was involved in a long struggle central Texas against
lignite strip-mining. The title of her talk will be:

Corporate Shape-Shifters: The Manipulation of Constitutional Rights

Corporate managers use a constitutional fig leaf to enable them to control
our political process and deny people their democratic rights.

Ironically, most activism does not even mention, much less address, the
distortion of fundamental doctrines that makes this possible.

Even more ironically, many of the doctrines that could restore our democracy
were once the laws of the land, but our political culture has somehow
forgotten them. Morris hopes to provoke both remembrance, and the new


Kevin Kamps and Gabriela Bulisova are both heavily involved in the health
issues involved with nuclear power. They have traveled to and worked to aid
the impacted residents of the Chernobyl area. Through their involvement with
the Kalamazoo Peace Center, the Chernobyl Childrens Project is the focus of
their efforts. Aiding visually impaired children, this project has trained
specialists for the blind, sent medicine to Russia and brought injured
children to Michigan for treatment. They are also promoting the Nuclear-Free
Great Lakes Action Camp, a week long teaching and training camp to be held
in mid August near the Cook nuclear plant. The theme of the event is
sustainable energy for the new millennium.

A third speaker is Irene Kock who has extensive knowledge of radioactive
health issues and the environmental damages brought on by uranium
processing. Irene, as a Canadian native has direct knowledge of the nuclear
industrys damage to the Great Lakes.

Dave Dempsey from Lansing is the policy director of the Michigan Environment
Council. He has extensive knowledge of many of the issues facing the
citizens of Michigan and also has intimate experience with the workings, and
non-workings of Michigan politics.

Michelle Hurd-Riddick from Saginaw has been working heavily for several
years in the issue of testing children for lead exposure. She has worked
with several area hospitals and the State Department of Health in setting up
a model program in Saginaw. She also has extensive knowledge of the
political processes in the state.

Stephanie Mills is a very talented speaker & writer who has produced books
on turning away from excessive technology. She has also written on successes
in healing parts of the earths ecosystems. She lives in a peaceful home in
Maple City.


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.



Affluenzais the name coined for the epidemic of rampant consumerism and
materialism ailing Americans that was first diagnosed in the prize-winning
PBS documentary Affluenza. This sequel offers the antidotes to debt, stress,
waste and over-consumption.

Escape from Affluenza is hosted by the engaging Wanda Urbanska, co-author of
Simple Living: One Couple's Search for a Better Life.

With stories ranging from America's simplicity capital Seattle, to the
Netherlands, Escape from Affluenza uses expert commentary, thought provoking
vignettes and humor to show how people can reduce consumption and simplify
their lives.

Wonderful! "The messages in this program might help the planet, but they
will definitely help your life". Bill McKibben, Author, Hope: Human and Wild
"Thank you again for addressing this deeply entrenched problem in the fabric
of our society and providing people with creative and workable ideas for
evaluating and changing consuming habits." Rev. Sara Burress, Presbyterian

We All Live Downstream 30 Minutes

America's most historic river, the Mississippi, has become a 2300-mile toxic
waste waterway. Over half the industrial toxic waste discharged into our
lakes and streams is dumped directly into the Mississippi. Cancer and
mortality rates are among the highest in the nation along the chemical
corridor stretching from Baton Rouge to New Orleans.

Entire towns have been shuttered as the direct result of unchecked air and
groundwater pollution. Meanwhile, the debate rages between environmentalists
and government officials over how dangerous the pollutants are and what
regulations should be put in place or enforced. WE ALL LIVE DOWNSTREAM
explores the problems and the stories of people who live along the river,
many of whom are now fighting to save the Mighty Mississippi.

**JUROR'S AWARD, New York Film Expo
**U.S. Environmental Film Festival
**American Film Institute Festival

"Stories of corporate indifference and human suffering give dramatic
perspective to this huge environmental tragedy". --American Film Institute

Conference Schedule

Friday, May 14

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 Karen Willard - Fred Fuller Trout streams or New
Ditches-Watershed Gods Drain Commissioners vs. People's Rights

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

Saturday, May 15

7:00 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 - noon Registration Continues

8:30 - 10:00 Introduction-Taking Charge of Corporations Jane Ann Morris

10:00  11:00 Group Discussion, Questions and Answers 11:00 -11:45 Panel on
Radiation Issues Irene Kock, Kevin Kamps and Gagriela Bulisova

noon - 1:00 Lunch

1:15 -2:30 Video  Escape from Affluenza -The Sequel

3:00 - 5:00 Panel  Don't just hold your breath for 4 years- "Living with
Bad Boy John and Children's Lead Exposure", Dave Dempsey and Michelle

3:00 - 5:00 Alternate Group Discussion...AFD Issues, Citizen Organizing 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 - 8:30 Tom Stephens and Jane Ann Morris-Michigan Corporate Law, in
brief. Corporate and citizen 1st amendment rights, National Trends

9:30 - 1 am Dance: Dr. Youngdog and Rock Therapy, Campfire Music with
Victor, Tim and friends.

Sunday, May 16

7:00 - 8:30 Breakfast

8:30 - 9:45 Freetime or Round Table discussion-"State/National
Update"-w/Ward Hodge, Harold Stokes

10:00 - 10:30 Children's presentation

10:30 - 11:15 Closing speaker: "Seizing the Teachable Moment"--Stephanie

noon Closing Circle - Pine Point

12:30 - 1:30 Lunch

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

Registration Form:
NOTE: CACC will offer a $20 discount to first time attendees!

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, reduction of corporate domination of
American/World politics, pollution prevention, citizen empowerment, and the
protection of
the Great Lakes ecosystem.

CACC is governed by an annually-elected Board of Directors, and is a member
the Michigan Environmental Council, Michigan United Conservation Clubs,
Lakes United, Environmental Fund for Michigan, and the Michigan Energy




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