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The Sierra Club - Protecting Nature - America


The Sierra Club - Protecting Nature - America s premier grassroots environmental organization Barry Wulff, Ph. D. Vice President, International Affairs – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Sierra Club - Protecting Nature - America

The Sierra Club - Protecting Nature -Americas
premier grassroots environmental organization
  • Barry Wulff, Ph. D.
  • Vice President, International Affairs

The stimulus for founding the Sierra Club
  • The battle to save the Yosemite valley and
    federal legislation making it a National Park in
    1890, all due to the lobbying efforts of John
    Muir and Robert Underwood Johnson.

The Original Purposes of the Sierra Club (founded
in 1892)
  • To explore, enjoy, and render accessible the
    mountain regions of the American Pacific Coast
  • to publish authentic information about their
    beauty and biodiversity
  • to enlist the support and cooperation of the
    people and the government in preserving the
    forests and other natural features of the Sierra
    Nevada Mountains.

Sierra Club Timeline - the early years
  • 1892 Our first conservation effort was to defeat
    a proposed reduction in the boundaries of
    Yosemite National Park.
  • 1899 Worked with Congress to establish Mt.
    Rainier National Park by legislation based on a
    statement prepared by the Sierra Club and other
  • 1907 Sierra Club submits resolution to Secretary
    of the Interior opposing the damming of Hetch
    Hetchy Valley in Yosemite.

Citizen Action at Work
  • John Muir wrote
  • "We held a Sierra Club meeting last
    Saturday--passed resolutions and fanned each
    other to a fierce white Hetch Hetchy heat.
  • "I particularly urged that we must get everybody
    to write to senators and the president keeping
    letters flying all next month thick as storm snow
    flakes, loaded with park pictures, short
    circulars, etc. Stir up all other park and
    playground clubs, women's clubs, etc. .. "

Hetch Hetchy Valley Before 1914
Hetch Hetchy A Lost Campaign
  • We lost the battle.
  • Congress approved the dam in 1913, and Muir died
    in 1914.
  • Some say he died from a broken heart at the loss.

An outings program was developed.
  • While battles over preservation of the valleys
    took place, a campaign to take people to the
    mountains began.
  • Why? To instill within the public an
    appreciation for the beauty and value of the
    natural world.

Outings To Explore and Enjoy
...If properly conducted the outing will do
an infinite amount of good toward awakening the
proper kind of interest in the forests and other
natural features of our mountains, and will also
tend to create a spirit of good fellowship among
our members.
Will Colby
The 1905 Climb of Mt. Rainier
Sierra Club Timeline - The middle years
  • 1920 We successfully opposed dams proposed for
    Yellowstone National Park.
  • 1940 With the help of Ansel Adams, who became a
    famous American landscape photographer, armed
    with photographs, our efforts led to the
    establishment of Kings Canyon National Park.
  • 1964 U.S. Congress passes Wilderness Act, first
    wilderness protection in the world, after years
    of battle.
  • 1968 Sierra Club succeeds in a campaign to stop
    the damming of the Grand Canyon.
  • Redwood National Park established after long

Sierra Club Timeline - recent years
  • 1975 Sierra Club wins long-sought additions to
    Grand Canyon National Park.
  • 1978 Sierra Club wins a 48,000 acre addition to
    Redwood National Park, protecting the watershed
    of the world's tallest trees.
  • 1980 Congress passes Alaska National Interest
    Lands Conservation Act, designating more than 103
    million acres of parks, wildlife refuges, and
    wilderness areas.

Sierra Club Timeline - recent successes
  • 1986 Sierra Club wins designation of 270,000
    acre Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area in
    Oregon and Washington states.
  • 1989 Sierra Club presses World Bank to withdraw
    500 million loan to Brazil, which kills plans to
    build 147 dams and flood large areas of Amazon.
  • 1994 California Desert Protection Act signed
    into law, after an 8-year effort led by the Club.
  • 1996 Club's Utah Wilderness campaign helps
    pressure President Clinton to create Grand
    Staircase-Escalante National Monument, thereby
    protecting 1.7 million acres in Utah.

The Sierra Club Purposes Today
  • To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of
    the earth
  • to practice and promote the responsible use of
    the earths ecosystems and resources
  • to educate and enlist humanity to protect and
    restore the quality of the natural and human
    environment and
  • to use all lawful means to carry out these

How we do it
The Sierra Club has over 200 staff and 5,000
volunteers working in every state and in Canada.
Our tools include
  • public education,
  • lobbying to influence elected and appointed
  • litigation of government agencies and private
  • books and other publications, and
  • participating in elections by endorsing
    candidates with strong environmental records.

A rally against toxins in our rivers
Current Sierra Club Priorities
  • Stop sprawl end runaway growth,
  • Protect America's wildlands,
  • End commercial logging on public lands,
  • Protect water from factory farms.
  • Energy and global warming,
  • Human Rights and the environment,
  • Population stabilization,
  • Responsible trade also
  • Ending the toxic threat.

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge America's
National Treasure in Peril
  • A current campaign is to save the Alaskan Arctic
    National Wildlife Refuge from being drilled for
  • Why?
  • Threatens the integrity of the entire Alaskan
    tundra ecosystem.
  • Threatens the local caribou herds.
  • Defeats the goal of energy conservation.

Organization of the Sierra Club
  • National offices in San Francisco Washington,
  • State and provincial chapters across North
  • Local groups throughout many communities.

Sierra Club Chapters across North America
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Today, we offer more than 350 trips each year to
unique destinations around the world for people
of all ages.
Printed membership application forms
Raising funds and membership through calendar
Communicating with our members with brochures,
cards, newsletters and automobile bumper stickers
National Volunteer CommitteesPresently 110
committeesSome examples
  • Global Warming Clean Energy Program
  • Marine Wildlife Habitat
  • Genetic Engineering
  • National Parks Monuments
  • Group Chapter Outings
  • Radiation
  • Toxins
  • International

The International Committee
Mission To protect and restore the global
environment through three main grassroots-based
  • Empower communities and individuals globally
  • Reduce the global environmental impact of
    US-based activities
  • Promote environmental perspectives and protection
    in international agreements and actions

The Sierra Club
85 Second Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco,
California 94105 Tel 415-977-5500 FAX
A healthy environment will support a healthy
Golden Lake, Oregon Cascades
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Sequoia National Monument 2000
Wild Forests Campaign
  • As Americans, we treasure our National Forest
    heritage. But over half of our National Forests
    have already been scarred by logging,
    roadbuilding, mining, and oil and gas drilling.
    This year, we have an historic opportunity to
    protect 60 million acres of the last unspoiled
    wildlands in our National Forests. Your help is
  • Take Action to Protect Our Wild Forests
  • Send an e-mail to President Clinton and Secretary
    of Agriculture, Dan Glickman.
  • How to Get Involved
  • Tool kit for Wild Forest activists and
  • Off-Road Vehicles
  • Damaging America's Threatened Wilderness
  • One Million Comments Delivered
  • An estimated one million comments in favor of
    increasing protection for wild forests were
    delivered to the Forest Service by the July 17th
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