Get the answers to some frequently asked questions about the Sierra Club.

What is the history of the Sierra Club?

The Sierra Club was founded in 1892 as a California mountaineering club with an early focus on saving Yosemite through early National Prak designation. In its 100+ year history, the Sierra Club grown to be the leader in the environmental movement, playing key roles has continued to play key roles in local, regional, national, and international efforts while also continuing to connect people to the outdoors.

Find out more:
Timeline | History | Origins and Early Outings

Who leads Sierra Club? Where are decisions made?

The Sierra Club is a volunteer-led organization, beginning with its Board of Directors, which is elected by the Club membership. The Board provides oversight and direction to the Club's Executive Director and 579 national staff throughout the country. The Club's 63 chapters are similarly structured, led by volunteer, membership-elected executive committees that are responsible to the national organization but are empowered to make leadership decisions at the state and local levels.

Find out more:
List of Sierra Club Presidents

What conservation issues are the Sierra Club focused on nationally? How do I get more involved?

The Sierra Club has designated working to stop climate disruption as our national conservation priority. Working with some of the world's top climate scientists, engineers, and energy experts, the Sierra Club developed a Climate Recovery Agenda comprised of a number of campaigns & programs working locally and nationally to combat climate disruption and its effects on our natural resources.

Find out more:
Sierra Club Climate Recovery Agenda | Sierra Club Programs

What are Sierra Club "Outings?" Can I go on one?

Since 1901, the Sierra Club volunteers have been connecting people to the outdoors - locally, nationally and internationally on outdoor activities such as hikes in the park, overnight campuouts and much more. Connecting people to nature is a Sierra Club imperative - as stated in our mission to "Explore, Enjoy & Protect." We are expanding the conservation movement by providing access to outdoor experiences for more people from more communities each year through our Local, National, International and Inner City Outings Programs.

Find out more:
Local Outings | National Outings | Inner City Outings | Mission Outdoors

How does the Sierra Club protect the environment?

The Sierra Club has been working to connect people to the outdoors and for common sense environmental policies that protect our air, water, climate, and wild places for over a century! The Sierra Club's power comes from our large base of passionate volunteer activists and organizers who both lead America outside as well as lead strategic campaigns to engage the public and decision-makers to enjoy, explore and protect our shared environment.

Does the Sierra Club work on elections?

Yes, we do! The Sierra Club Political Program works to elect people to office who will further the goals of the Club's conservation and outdoor activity programs. When we help a strong environmental candidate win, we have made an investment in sound environmental policy that will bear fruit for years to come. Our Chapters play a key role in endorsing federal candidates for House and Senate. In addition, they lead the efforts to elect good environmental candidates to state and local offices.

Find out more:
Poitics & Elections Program

Is the Sierra Club affiliated with a political party?

No, the Sierra Club is a non-partisan organization committed to connecting America to the outdoors and protecting the wild places of this country and our shared right to clean air and clean water. The Sierra Club is a big tent organization that welcomes people from all walks of life who share a passion for the outdoors and a commitment to protecting it.

How can I stay up to date on the Sierra Club's work?

We have a variety of ways to insure you have access to the information you want - from our local outings system which will tell you how to get outside in your hometown to local newsletters and national electronic updates, to Facebook postings and Twitter feeds, we can keep you up to date with the latest environmental news and action!

Find out more:
Sierra Club Facebook | Twitter | E-Newsletters

Why should I become a member?

There are many benefits to membership, the first being the knowledge that your dues and those of your fellow 600,000+ members goes to supporting our work to explore, enjoy and protect the planet. The Sierra Club a member-driven organization. As a member, you get to vote on who leads your local group, your local chapter and the national organization's board. To serve in a leadership role, you must be a member as well - and as a leader, you have access to the Club's many resources, which not only benefit your role in the Club but can also enhance your leadership skills in other aspects of your life. We value your time and your donations, but why not take the next step and make a statement of commitment to the Sierra Club by being a member?

Find out more:
Join the Sierra Club

How do I get involved locally? How do I find out what is happening locally?

You can get involved locally through your Chapter or your Group. Each state is a Chapter (except California where the first 13 chapters were founded) and each Chapter may have several regional Groups. You and your fellow environmentally minded community members can learn about what the local environmental issues are, go on an outdoor activity or even become a Club Leader in your area.

Find out more:
Find your chapter

How do I find the Sierra Club group that's closest to me?

You can find local Sierra Club Chapters (mostly state level), Groups (smaller sub-sections of chapters) by going to and clicking on "Local". Most chapters have a "Contact" page, with names, numbers and/or emails of local leaders. You can also visit our online activities page to find out what is going on in your area.

Find out more:
Find your chapter | Online activities

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