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Friday, July 30, 2010

Consider Membership in N3C

Membership in the North Cascades Conservation Council puts you in good company. N3C has fought for 50 years to protect the environment of the northern Cascade range and surrounding ecosystem. Our current initiatives are focused on expanding North Cascades National Park, stopping unlawful use of motorized vehicles and the damage they do, restoring habitat and ecosystem integrity and encouraging non-motorized recreation throughout the region. We need your help to create more national park lands in Washington State.  Your membership will help with recovery of wolves, lynx, grizzly bears, and other species that depend on protected land.

Go to and JOIN US! You'll receive a paper copy of our journal The Wild Cascades, as well as regular communtications about ongoing issues and events.

The Cascades will thank you!

"Irate Birdwatcher" shows TONIGHT in Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle

The Crest Pictures production "The Irate Birdwatcher" will screen tonight at "Meaningful Movies," in Seattle's Wallingford neighborhood.
Keystone Congregational United Church of Christ
5019 Keystone Place N., Seattle
0.4 miles west of the I-5, take the NE 50th St. Exit
Metro Bus Routes 16, 26 & 44 
(Admission to all films is FREE of charge and open to the public, ...donations are kindly accepted)

Friday, JULY 30, 2010, 7:00 to 9:30 PM

(54 min, Robert and Kathy Chrestensen, 2009)
It's all about wilderness preservation … told in the inspiring words of Harvey Manning – the irate birdwatcher. Follow the legendary Northwest writer and conservationist as he discovers the beauty of Washington’s wildest places, and the need to stand up and fight for their very survival. This is Harvey’s story about this state’s unique wilderness … his deep passion for it, his years of ramblings as an avid backpacker and climber, and his own personal crusade to preserve and protect it for future generations.
Honorable Mention for Creative Approach, 6th Annual Montana CINE International Film Festival .
for the evening will include TOM HAMMOND, from the American Alps Legacy Project:
JOE BRESKIN and JOHN NELSON, will be playing guitar music from the film, before the film starts this evening.
Download the flyer HERE. Please help us get the word out!

(Event is FREE and open to the public! ...but Donations are kindly accepted)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Building New History in Wilderness

Wilderness Watch recently alerted its members to the U.S. Forest Service’s (FS) newly constructed Green Mountain “Lookout” in the Glacier Peak Wilderness in Washington’s North Cascades (and also mentioned a number of other outlaw projects we’re dealing with).

It was built with freight helicopters and power tools along with a healthy dose of arrogance. It’s actually not intended to serve as a lookout: the last time a person manned a lookout in the area was the early 1970s. No, this was built to be a visitor center of sorts, complete with its resident ranger leading nature hikes, and directly contrary to the legal mandate that there be no structures or installations in Wilderness. 
Read more here:
Note: N3C takes a special interest in Glacier Peak Wilderness, as it worked for and succeeded at getting it designated even before the Wilderness Act itself was passed. Also, had N3C's original North Cascades National Park proposal been accepted, the G.P. Wilderness would have been included in the Park. N3C also worked to expand GPW in 1984 - these expansions included Green Mountain.

Why the USFS would choose to rebuild this lookout by helicopter is mysterious, since the trail is currently cut-off from vehicle access by a washout at the 12-mile point on the Suiattle River road. The trail itself has probably gotten only minimal if any maintenance. So who were they thinking would come up and see this? Recent trail online reports indicate " Overgrown ... Road to trailhead inaccessible." We can sure imagine more sensible ways to spend money than rebuilding inaccessible lookouts using illegal methods. Makes ya wonder.

The (not-so) hidden cost of illegal off-roading; Washington trust lands facing erosion, damage

It’s not something you see much on YouTube… at least, not yet. A Camas, Wash., man found guilty last May of illegal off-roading on Washington State trust land, was sentenced to go on the video sharing site YouTube and apologize for damage he caused driving his Chevy 4X4 around a locked gate in Yacolt Burn State Forest.

Clark County District Court Judge James Swanger gave Rickey Sharratt, age 28 at the time, a choice between 40 hours of community service on a labor crew or going on YouTube to describe his offense and the damage it caused. Sharratt chose YouTube because, “I thought it would be worth doing this public service announcement to make other recreationalists aware of the situation and how important it was to observe the road signs.”

Sharratt, who hunts and fishes, says he now recognizes the damage that 4X4′s and other vehicles can cause to salmon and fish habitat. His sentence also includes reimbursing DNR a little over $2,000 for the damage his truck caused. Soil torn up by vehicle tires is more likely to erode in our rainy winters, causing silt and mud to flow into nearby creeks, many of which have fish, including salmon.

Here’s some of the news coverage so far:

Pacific Northwest Backroad Adventures: The Cost of Illegal Off-Roading

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Holden Mine Remediation meeting in Seattle packed by Village advocates

Holden Village advocates packed the hearing last night at Hart Crowser's offices in Seattle. Out of perhaps 30 or 40 people present, the vast majority were Holden adherents who spoke of the impact to the Village's operations. Just 3 of us spoke-up on behalf of the environment. I was the last of the 3, and just tried to ask that regardless of which of the "Alternatives" is chosen, not to cut corners in the work purely for the sake of keeping the Village's downtime to a minimum. This is astounding, considering the situation at Holden and the environmental law as it stands.

Norm Day, Holden Mine Project Manager for the USFS, speaks to a packed house last night in Seattle

Holden Village's people at the hearing argued very consistently that they had already compromised from their original position. They said they only wanted 1 year of downtime, but of course that's an entirely arbitrary position, like saying they didn't want any downtime so doing any cleanup is a "compromise." The word "community" was their mantra, with the notable absence of what is often heard from the pulpit in the Village itself about the sacredness of nature. I tried to point out that the very presence of so many strong adherents to Holden Village at the meeting made it clear that its constituency was very loyal, and so it would likely recover its visitor base quickly even if an additional year of work was needed to do a thorough job of sealing-off this toxic disaster area.

Perhaps the Holden people have lived so long and so often in the presence of the disaster that they really no longer see it as a threat, rather they see the "clean-up" (containment at best, actually) as the threat, just based on concern for their business model. That's very unfortunate in the long term. This is really the public's one and only chance to get this situation fully under control, and if we do a less than thorough job, future generations will have to suffer with the consequences.

Alternative 14 seems sure to be the choice, as it is now the agencies' "preferred" alternative. It cuts a new trench for Railroad Creek through the woods away from the tailings so the old creek bed becomes a collection trench for leachate which is then treated at the downstream end. Cutting this new creek bed and lining it will required removing many old trees in one of the nicer groves alongside and downstream of the Village. Alt 14 drops the requirement for an impenetrable fabric barrier over the tailings (cost savings), and leaves the door open to not build a retaining wall around the big lower tailings piles (that becomes "Phase 2" to be built only if necessary, and at least 5 years after the rest of the project is finished). Several other capital-intensive parts of the remediation, like a second water-treatment plant, become optional and are only installed if needed. All of which saves the mining company money, and the Village downtime. So the incentives are strong to minimize the work and the cost. It remains up to us to voice our skepticism, remind the players of the very real threats from this toxic mess, and keep these folks on their toes about the true purpose of the work, and the spirit of the law, which is to contain the disaster for the very long term.

Alt 11 is the more thorough alternative that includes all the measures originally planned, but might take 3 years to build. Purely on the basis of being thorough, nobody's debating that Alt 11 would be the way to go. Why the agencies created Alt 14 then marked it as their "preferred" alternative can only be attributed to pressure to "get it done and get it done quickly," to quote the Holden Village website. Perhaps not coincidentally, Holden is offering to house the remediation workers during the work and will receive significant infrastructure improvements out of the "sweet" Alt 14 deal, probably negotiated between themselves and the mining company Rio Tinto, which has a huge direct monetary incentive.

Well at least thanks to the 3 of us, the stenographer's records of last night's meeting will show that somebody outside the Holden community is watching the progress of this to see how it works for the sake of the environment. Hopefully the work itself gets a lot of press and the public is made more aware of the environmental consequences of mining generally, especially mining in sensitive and otherwise pristine areas. Maybe we can someday even get some action to modify the good ol' 1872 Mining Law!

The comment period was extended to Sept. 22 -- we urge you to send your written comments to: 

Norman Day, Holden Mine Project
215 Melody Lane
Wenatchee, WA  98801

or via email to:

Monday, July 19, 2010

Effort to save climbers' rock wall close to goal!

News about acquisition of part of the Index Town Wall.  Much of the Wall is already in Forks of the Sky State Park, adjacent to DNR's Reiter Forest.  The boundary between Reiter and Forks of the Sky is near the top of the Wall.

The KIRO video includes Doug Walker and Jonah Harrison.  Jonah has attended several of DNR's Reiter Focus Group meetings in Everett.

there is also a story in the Everett Herald:

Everett Herald - Thursday, July 15, 2010
Effort to save climbers' rock wall close to goal

INDEX — A group of rock climbers is nearly finished raising a mountain of money to preserve an internationally renowned granite wall near this mountain town.

The Washington Climbers Coalition has pulled together about $228,000 in the past year to buy the Index Town Wall. It hopes to raise another $72,000 by September.

Volunteers with the coalition are so confident they will meet their goal that plans are under way now for a mid-September celebration.

“That would be true,” said Doug Walker, 59, of Shoreline. “I think we can get this done.”

The group's mammoth fundraising effort will help rescue the 500-foot wall from possible development.

That was a real threat in March 2009, when climbers visiting the rock formation were shocked to see “No Trespassing” signs. Many didn't know the wall was on private property — or that the owner was considering leasing it to a quarry.

Climbers wanted to prevent that from happening.

The Seattle-based Washington Climbers Coalition secured a $10,000 loan from the Access Fund, a climbing advocacy group based in Boulder, Colo.

The money let the coalition secure an option in June 2009 to buy the land. It then had 18 months to raise enough cash to close the deal.

The coalition set its goal at $300,000. About $150,000 could cover the cost and closing fees on the 20-acre property. Another $150,000 may be used on new facilities — a parking lot, a restroom — and maintenance.

Money poured in. Three unnamed individuals gave $25,000 a piece, Walker said. The American Alpine Club publicized the effort to climbers nationwide. A fundraiser at a Seattle climbing gym raised $10,000.

Most money came from climbers in their teens and twenties, however, who donated $10 or $20 each, Walker said.

“It's been gratifying to see the breadth of the support,” he said.

If the sale goes through, the coalition plans to give the property away. It wants to name the wall in honor of Stimson Bullitt, the former president of King Broadcasting and rock climber who died last year at age 89, and then offer the land to Washington State Parks.

The state may be happy to accept the gift.

“There's also some money involved to help maintain the property,” said Lynn Harmon, a property and acquisition specialist for the state parks. “There is no cost to the people of Washington at this point.”

More than anything, the coalition wants to ensure the wall stays open for future generations of climbers — along with the climbers who know its granite slopes well.

Walker first scaled the site in 1974, and it's still not old to him. His most recent climb was about a week ago.

“What's amazing about Index is you'll do a climb there and every inch of every pitch is just stellar,” he said. “You often don't get that experience.”

Watch it: KIRO's report on the Index Town Wall fund raising campaign.

Andy Rathbun: 425-339-3455;

The Washington Climbers Coalition continues its fundraising efforts to buy the Index Town Wall. Learn more at

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Small Hydro "Green Energy" in the North Cascades

Finding sources of green energy is only one effort that faces us in our effort to save the planet as we know it, and I am personally committed to helping the process. The idea of small hydro can work to help our overall goal, along with solar, conservation, and possibly tidal, geo-thermal and other concepts being researched. I personally support small hydro on the condition that it does not disturb otherwise valuable resources such as fisheries, wilderness, wildlife, reasonable forestry, and the like.

In the case of the North Cascades, small hydro projects have the potential to disrupt existing ecosystems for the following reasons:

• The extensions or upgrade of roads into forested and/or roadless areas.
• Construction of power lines typically require clear-cutting a corridor to route the power to consumers.
• In cases with low head, higher volume, small dams or weirs are necessary to provide intake structures and storage for the generation facilities themselves.
• When regulating water levels in the streams it is difficult to replicate nature to the extent that fisheries will not be affected.
• There is the potential to block recreational access to stretches of the affected streams in order to protect the facilities and the public.
• Wildlife is always impacted by construction and maintenance activities as well as from displacement caused by habitat loss.
• Other multiple-use options such as forestry, and recreation, etc., are possibly ruled out by a single use of an area.
• By definition, small hydro tends to be somewhat uneconomic because the economy of scale is just not there.

In other words, it takes quite a lot of environmental and fiscal capital to produce very little in return. As a result, the economic justifications are difficult to honestly make in many cases. Having said all this, I would certainly support small-scale projects in some areas, particularly where development is already a fact.

Personally I do not think it makes much sense to build electrical facilities in the backcountry, far from electrical load centers and that have a lot of environmental questions difficult to answer. The proposals in the North Cascades tend to look good in some cases because land seems to be “free” since it is in public ownership and there tends to be a lot of water with high-energy availability (high head). Unfortunately, it is easy to overlook wilderness, fisheries, and wildlife. There are locations where small-scale hydro projects make sense. They tend to be where there are small loads in the vicinity of high head-low water volume sources or are close to developed areas. A good example of this, I think, are the communities in Stehekin and Holden Village. The NCCC, along with other river protection groups, will continue to keep investigating small hydro proposals.

-Marc Bardsley, President, NCCC
From the Spring 2010 issue of The Wild Cascades

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Winchester Mountain July 5-7, 2010

[Note the Winchester area is not included in the American Alps proposal. Lands from Church Mountain to closely W of Tomyhoi Peak are part of a conversation effort called CASCADES WILD.]

I’m going to keep this trip report brief since it involves a bailout, disappointment and things I’m not used to in the North Cascades.
The plan was to climb Mount Larrabee (aka Red Mountain) last week, but the weather was lousy and stubborn, and thus my departure kept getting pushed back back back. Finally it appeared the big break would happen Monday. So there I was Monday early, headed for the backcountry! Only it was raining so hard at times on the drive N that visibility went to zero on a number of occasions. Indeed, I found myself napping in the car at the trailhead for an hour waiting for the rain to let up. Finally it did, so I saddled up and began the approach. I should note this would be my first full climbing pack: all of the (heavy) gear on-board (shovel, crampons, axe, full fuel, etc)—so it was a hefty 50lb pack. The first couple miles were easy, then came the traverse section. I had thought it would be a mile of benches, but instead it was 3 miles, 1.5 of which was below huge sagging cornices off Winchester Mountain, and above incredibly steep snow/rock. I got about .3 miles out on the traverse and it started raining. Hard.
Cornices were breaking and avalanching all over, and my footing and footwork were terrible. I could barely make out the route through the shifting mists and driving rain, and right there, on a 35 degree slope with my pack trying to pull me off the hill, I realized I might not make it. I decided I could, with severe discomfort from my injured foot and sore knees, make it to the other side of the traverse, and maybe to high camp, but the thought of returning two days later under 80 heat was too much: I turned back. I felt so weak, not just out of shape, but out of mental shape too. As I worked my way back to easier terrain, I decided to climb Winchester Mountain. There is a lookout at the top, and from what I could tell, I was the only person on the mountain, so why not? It would offer shelter from this weather, and the blistering sun expected to show up. I have been to Winchester some four times over the past 20 years, so it didn’t really hold much for me in terms of mountaineering, so I was less than enthused to be honest.
My mountaineering interest was piqued when I found myself on more super-steep snow slopes—this climb was more difficult than I remembered! Oh wait: then I was in my 30s and had a much lighter pack…
I felt some excitement and challenge, and then I was at the lookout. The Mt. Baker (Climbing) Club has done a remarkable job restoring the facility. It was as nice as Hidden Lake, except for mice.
Yep, instead of goats, or bears, or some other cool fauna, I was stuck with mice. Many many mice. There was mice feces covering EVERY surface in the lookout—tables, chairs, cooking area, stove, BED, everywhere….
I finally convinced myself I could clean up enough to make it work, and began to remove the mattress. This action revealed momma mouse nursing a whole bunch of little ones, and a few other mice ran around my feet. And so much rice crap it made me squint with squeamishness. Lovely. So I moved the mattress back, and let the mice know I’d camp outside, and they could stay inside. So I set up the tent outside and made the best of it.

Mice weren’t the only ones not cleaning up. Every ski party (about half-dozen) that has come through since Winter has defecated right outside the lookout on the snowfield. It was a mine field of disgusting. Sacrilege! Finding clean drinking water would take me out on the huge summit cornice—very dangerous, but there was no other choice. I felt so let down, by myself and my fellow human. I would NEVER be so selfish, or so unconcerned with others—common courtesy alone would dictate these people take some responsibility…
And so it is with the profusion of high tech ski gear that the back country is not as protected as it used to be, even 10 years ago. I see there is a new usage challenge to consider as we work to protect and enhance our North Cascades.
I should note I haven’t been to the lookout since 1998, so I did have some new experiences—beyond the bad ones.
You see, I was there, living on the top of a mountain in the North Cascades, for three days and two nights. And I saw summer arrive…

One of the best experiences one can have in the mountains is watching the end of a storm, and the way the clouds and mists lift and shift, revealing first mountains close by, then mountains in the middle distance, and finally, mountains as far as the eye can see. Ocean too—I looked down upon the Straits of Georgia and out to the Pickets in the opposite direction. Awesome!

The cloud lift really was one of the most spectacular I’ve ever seen, as evidenced by the many photos I took. I was in a rainbow, and then I was in alpenglow. Water is so powerful. The number of waterfalls, and the intensity of their flows as the weather warmed over the three days was impressive—what a collection of wonderous sounds. Oh, I did have three nice wildlife experiences: ptarmigans each night with their raucous cries, a grouse that tried to court me (full plumage display), and two spirit birds that tried to steal the tent.

I kept expecting hikers, skiers and others to show up: the lack of courtesy shown by the people who preceded me had me convinced the place is overrun, but not so—the steep snow kept humans at bay, so I had the summit of a mountain to myself for three glorious days. I saw some folks mill about Twin Lakes (covered in snow still, just the rims melting out), but nobody wanted to take on the steep snows and cornices.

I am again humbled and thankful for the experience. And lest I communicate that this bailout was wimpy, or otherwise sounding negative for the lack of “high mountain experience” remember this is the North Cascades. Even the small peaks have character . My ego was boosted a bit on the hike out. After some nice route finding and steep snow down-climbing, I was on the road, less than a mile from the car. A young couple was hiking up to visit Twin Lakes, and it looked like they were ready for a picnic. Flip flops, swim suits, beach towels and sunglasses. Hilarious! They took one look at me, with full boots/gaiters/gear and cautiously asked “How far to the lake”? CLASSIC! I responded as dead-pan as possible that the lakes were only about a mile and half, but it was another thousand feet up, and the lakes were under a meter of snow. It wasn’t five more minutes and they were driving past me on the way out as I stripped my boots and clothes off. I saw numerous other parties in automobiles sightseeing and looking for lakes to picnic at. North Cascades!

[note: also saw border patrol there, so the warnings issued are quite real. Snowpack is about average/”normal” for this time of year, and now melting fast—about a foot a day in this heat. 87F in Seattle as I type this.]

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"America's Great Outdoors:" Interior Dept. seeks public input

The public meetings are over, but online comments are still being accepted at the Dept. of Interior's America's Great Outdoors website:

We encourage you to enter your comments. Advocates for off-road-vehicles are posting comments en masse to reduce restrictions. We hope you will stres the need to limit motorized use whereever possible, as it damages the land, sometimes beyond restoration.

Send your comments to:

Joel Connelly on access

It's a perennial issue -- wheeled, motorized access deep into wild country. Some argue that without plenty of it, not enough "ordinary citizens" will see the splendid scenery to want to protect it. Others say there need to be limits on wheels to keep pristine places from being overrun and "loved to death." N3C would rather err on the side of preservation, on the principle that once it's trampled it takes a very long time to "re-wild." Many of the access roads built up the Cascade river valleys over the years are tenuous at best, and when storms cut them to shreds the cost of rebuilding them alone is often enough to de-facto make it possible for these roads finally be cut back to size. But there are some tireless adocates of wheeled access by family station-wagon, often those whose childhood memories of such long drives up bumpy roads were formative. The debate will doubtless rage on. Currently the Stehekin River road is the flash-point, as it has been many times in the past. Seattle P-I commentator Joel Connelly weighed-in recently.

In response, we can only wonder why he didn't more accurately title his column, "Let Our Wheels In." Closing roads that are washed-out not only saves a lot of money, it results in more level walking for those who may not be physically able to do more strenuous, steep trails that tend to start from roads like the Stehekin valley road, so in fact those who advocate for "access for the rest of us" should, we feel, welcome road closures which then yield easy valley walking.

We welcome his positive comments on the American Alps proposal:
The conservationists have a wider agenda, called the American Alps Legacy Project. The North Cascades Conservation Council and The Mountaineers want to expand the 505,000-acre national park by almost 50 percent. The North Cascades Highway; would actually travel through its namesake national park. The magnificent Cutthroat Pass-Snowy Lakes country, north of Rainy Pass on S.R. 20, would become part of the park. So would Thunder and Big Beaver Valleys, where Seattle City Light once plotted hydroelectrica [sic] projects. It's a worthy goal, given current crazy park boundaries.

Seattle Times: Guide to driving Hwy 20 over the North Cascades

The Seattle Times printed a succinct guide to driving Hwy 20 over the North Cascades in last Sunday's paper. Makes us want to hit the road!


Ross Lake Nat'l Rec Area General Mgmt Plan

The National Park Service has released the Ross Lake NRA Draft General Management Plan and EIS for comment. The place to start is the NPS website:

There you can download the Executive Summary by clicking "Download Newsletter #3 - The Executive Summary of the Draft Plan"

American Alps advocates for the conversion of substantial amounts of this NRA into National Park designation, but this plan review process is on a fixed schedule so it will be proceeding before the American Alps proposal will come to fruition. We urge you to attend one or more of the public hearings and/or write comments in support of Alternative "C," which NPS identifies as offering the greater conservation values for this area now, until it can be converted to Park.

The public comment period ends Sept. 30, 2010.

Public hearing schedule:

Wednesday, July 21, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Sedro-Woolley, WA
North Cascades NPS Complex Headquarters
810 State Route 20

Thursday, July 22, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Marblemount, WA
Marblemount Community Center
60055 State Route 20

Saturday, July 24, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Newhalem, WA
North Cascades Visitor Center

Tuesday, July 27, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Seattle, WA
REI Seattle Flagship Store, North Room
222 Yale Avenue North

Wednesday, July 28, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Bellingham, WA
Bellingham Senior Center
315 Halleck Street

Thursday, July 29, 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Winthrop, WA
Winthrop Barn
51 N Highway 20

Monday, July 5, 2010

Popular Skagit Tours Suspended for 2010

From Seattle City Light:
Seattle City Light announced cancellation of its very popular Skagit Tours and Dam Fine Dinner program for 2010.

“We regret having to cancel the tours,” Seattle City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said.  “The tour program has operated since 1928 and is enormously popular with City Light customers and employees and with visitors from all over the country and world.  However, the difficult budget years in 2009 and 2010 and ahead in 2011 leave us with no better options.”

This is only the third time in the 82-year history of the tours that they have been canceled.  The last time was in 2002 as a result of the financial impacts of the energy crisis and the heightened security issues following the terrorist attack of 9-11.  The tours were reinstated the following year.
“The tours are educational and recreational, providing visitors with important information about our hydroelectric operations while enjoying the beauty of the North Cascades,” said Colleen McShane, manager of Natural Resources an Environmental Planning for City Light.  The three-dam Skagit hydroelectric project is unique since it is situated with the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and is part of the North Cascades National Park Complex.  The Skagit hydro project is the only such energy generating facility of its kind operating within a National Park.

There are still many things to see and do in this beautiful area, added McShane, “We encourage visitors to enjoy the programs and services offered by our neighbors including the North Cascades National Park, The North Cascades Institute, and the communities of Marblemount and Concrete, Washington.”
Seattle City Light’s Skagit General Store in Newhalem on the North Cascades Highway remains open as do the many trails and campgrounds in the area. Ferry service across Diablo Lake to Ross Lake Resort is scheduled to resume in early June, in time for the opening of fishing season. The National Park Service’s North Cascades Visitor Center near Newhalem is open daily June through September. Visit their website at The North Cascades Environmental Learning Center operated by North Cascades Institute offers overnight programs for all ages. See

Harvey Manning biography on

Everybody who knew Harvey Manning, it seems, has a story. Some of the best are collected in a short biographical essay on, at: