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Explore, Enjoy and Protect

Article: "Warning!"

General mailout of the Bayou Banner will cease after the June-July, 2014 issue.

by George Batten, Editor

Many of you readers get the Bayou Banner as a mailed paper copy; others read it via the Internet. This notice is for both, but it is especially important for mailed-copy readers.

The Bayou Banner has always been mailed free to members and some others (supporters, libraries, political office holders, etc.). The cost of printing and mailing is substantial; almost $7,000 in 2013. All of this came out of locally-acquired funds; the Houston Sierra Club gets nothing from annual dues that members pay to the national Sierra Club (a few years ago we got a small subvention from those funds, but that is no longer the case).

Perhaps I should remind you that the Houston Sierra Club has no paid staff. All of the management, operation, and support; including writing, editing, and layout of the Bayou Banner - are done by volunteers. We do pay a commercial printer and a mailing company for services necessary for printing and mailing.

Before 2011 the Bayou Banner was published in ten issues each year. In an effort to balance the budget, this was reduced to six issues each year beginning in 2011, and members were encouraged to see it online and opt-out of getting mailed paper copies (approximately half of our members have done so, if you haven't done this, just get on the listserve; see below for more details).

Income from our activities has not kept up with expenses, so for 2014 the ExCom set the budgeted amount for Bayou Banner publication, including mailing, at $4,025; a little more than half of the cost for 2013.

In the past the Bayou Banner has been essential to operation of the Houston Sierra Club. It was the only way to inform all members of outings, trips, meetings, and special activities by the club and by other organizations. Electronic communication has changed that.

Our web site ( provides that for most of our members and many others. Moreover, our Meetup site ( Houston-Sierra-Club-Outings) is an easy-to-use calendar of events which reaches many people who are not members, and our Facebook page ( promotes discussion about environmental issues.

Also, the bimonthly publication schedule has created other problems. In order to allow for editing, layout, publication, and mailing, events announced in the Bayou Banner must be scheduled three months in advance. While this is not a great problem for many activities, it does put a strain on those leaders planning local outings.

The Executive Committee of the Houston Sierra Club has reviewed this situation and has decided to terminate large-scale free mailouts of the Bayou Banner.

We are investigating possibilities, and we expect to have a subscription plan for mail delivery of paper copies. This likely will require subscribers to pay a small fee (probably no more than $10.00 per year). See the next issue of the Banner (or our web site) for details.


How to join the listserve:

Subscribe to the Houston Sierra Club's E-mail alert list to get timely alerts on Houston area conservation issues, and occasional announcements of interest to Houston Sierra Club members. (Whenever you want to drop from the list it is easy to unsubscribe yourself-those instructions will be included.)

Send FROM the E-mail address to which you want to direct the messages. Subscribe by sending TO:


Subject: [this line may be left blank]

Message Body


Insert YOUR name in place of "FirstName LastName")

That's it. You will receive confirmation messages. from the listserve. Thanks for your interest. If you have any difficulty, contact frankblake@

Last updated:  04/01/2013.   Content © 2013-2013 by the Sierra Club.