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The Planet

A Capitol Showing

The Planet, May 1997, Volume 4, number 4

Sierra Club leaders meet with Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) during the National Advisory Council's visit to Washington, D.C. From left to right: Dr. Edgar Wayburn, Sally Hambrecht, Victoria Stack, John Nelson, Lawson LeGate and Bill Hambrecht.

Outside a committee hearing room, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) thanked members of The Sierra Club Foundation National Advisory Council for their work, telling them their interest was crucial to the progress of environmental legislation."We don't get to talk about the environment around here anymore," she said.

The visit with Boxer was just one of many stops for the NAC, a group of Sierra Club major donors and leaders, which convened in Washington, D.C., in March for a series of briefings and visits to members of Congress.

Before meeting their representatives and senators, NAC members heard from Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth on population and climate change; EPA Administrator Carol Browner on the tough fight for new clean air standards; and Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) on his bill, H.R. 919, which would charge fair-market value for public resources such as water, gold and timber.

During the briefings and visits, NAC members were told again and again that elected officials need a strong show of support from constituents to advance environmental issues. "Hearing members of Congress stress that they depend on the Sierra Club to build grassroots support in their community for the environment reinforces the importance of the Club's work," said newly named NAC Chair Guy Saperstein from Piedmont, Calif.

The NAC also celebrated the designation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument with a dinner featuring Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.). Hinchey, a strong proponent of Utah wilderness, praised the Club members who "surveyed the land, took photographs, brought the message to Washington, D.C., and financed the volunteer efforts that resulted in the monument."

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