Sierra Club Home Page   Environmental Update  
chapter button
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
Click here to visit the Member Center.         
Take Action
Get Outdoors
Join or Give
Inside Sierra Club
Press Room
Politics & Issues
Sierra Magazine
Sierra Club Books
Apparel and Other Merchandise
Contact Us

Join the Sierra ClubWhy become a member?

Planet Main
In This Section
pdf September/October 2006
e-mail June 30, 2006
e-mail April 28, 2006


Studying for the Midterms
Renewables in Action
Just Transition
Blue and Green in Ohio
Battle of Blair Mountain, Again
Unseating an Environmental Foe
Gaining Ground
America's Wild Legacy
Car Talk, Sierra Club Style
Sierra Club Insider
Who We Are:
Loyd Cortez
Christine Williamson
Erica Langenbahn


Sewage 101
States Take Lead on Mercury, Global Warming
I Want My MPG
Postcard from Puerto Rico
The Birdman of Baghdad
Advocate for Safe Weapons Disposal Honored
Stop I-3
Family Planning Key to Sustainable Future
Sierra Club Insider
Who We Are
Ken Smokoska
Larry and Vicki Patton
Claudia Hilligoss
Search for a Story
Back Issues

The Planet
America's Wild Legacy

by Tom Valtin

Late last year, taking its cue from the 765 Sierra Summit delegates who met in September, the Sierra Club Board of Directors established “America’s Wild Legacy” as one of the Club’s three priority conservation initiatives. The Wild Legacy campaign seeks to rally a broad spectrum of citizens around the value of protecting wildlife, public lands, and special places, and block threats to these lands from commercial logging, mining, abusive recreation, and overgrazing.

Endangered Species Act: The Endangered Species Act is one of our most effective tools for protecting America’s wildlands and safeguarding our fish and wildlife. Thanks to this landmark law, passed in 1973, wild salmon still spawn in the rivers of the Pacific Northwest, wolves have returned to Yellowstone, and bald eagles have made a comeback from coast to coast. Click here for more.

National Forests: Not For Sale: President Bush’s proposed 2007 federal budget includes a billion-dollar public land sell-off scheme that flies in the face of widespread opposition to recent proposals to privatize some of this country’s most treasured public lands. The president wants to sell off 800,000 acres of National Forest and Bureau of Land Management lands to raise money. The Sierra Club is rallying public opposition to the plan. The Club is also working to defeat the Walden-Baird logging bill to fast-track commercial salvage logging in our national forests. Click here for more on the Walden Bill, and here to sign our petition.

Tongass National Forest: Protecting the Tongass National Forest—the world’s largest temperate rainforest—is among the Club’s top wildlands priorities. Alaska organizers have gotten nearly 100 businesses, including the Municipality of Anchorage, to sign the Club’s Wild Lands for Wild Salmon proclamation, and organized gatherings and outings in Tongass communities to celebrate the benefits of Tongass wildlands and wild salmon on their economy and quality of life. Press events, community potlucks, outings, tabling events, phone banks, and door-to-door canvassing efforts are ongoing in Anchorage and around the state. Click here for more.

Klamath Basin: The plight of Klamath River salmon highlights the importance of the Endangered Species Act. The Sierra Club is working with an array of partners to restore salmon populations after water releases for irrigated farming have devastated their numbers in recent years. Click here for more.

West Virginia Wildlands: The Monongahela National Forest contains some of the most spectacular unprotected wild places in the eastern United States, like the Roaring Plains proposed wilderness pictured above. But the state’s wildlands are now threatened by mining, logging, road-building, and industrial energy development. The Wild Legacy campaign is helping local activists move wilderness support and legislation forward in the state. The West Virginia Chapter has initiated a joint West Virginia Wilderness Campaign with the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy and the Wilderness Society. Click here for more.

Giant Sequoia National Monument: Giant Sequoia National Monument, home to more than half the world’s Sequoia redwoods, was protected by President Clinton in 2001. But the Bush administration is calling for the removal of large, healthy trees up to 30 inches in diameter, even within the sequoia groves, violating the original monument designation and contradicting a proclamation by the first President Bush declaring these forests off limits to commercial logging. In late July, the House Resources subcommittee took up legislation that would allow two commercial logging projects in Giant Sequoia Monument to move forward and would shield the timber sales from any environmental or legal review. The bill would also exempt from review another highly controversial 130,000-acre logging project in the Kings River watershed in nearby Sierra National Forest. Click here for more.

Off-Road Vehicles: Hunters and anglers, native nations, faith organizations, and ranchers are increasingly allied with conservation groups in fighting the rampant growth of ORV use on national forests and other public lands. The Wild Legacy campaign is building constituencies to combat this abuse. Click here for more.

Public Lands in Public Hands: On September 30 comes National Public Lands Day, the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance America’s public lands. Last year nearly 90,000 people around the country participated in trail or historic site maintenance, tree planting, fence pulls, trash and weed removal, habitat restoration, and accessibility improvements. The Sierra Club is joining the effort with its Public Lands in Public Hands campaign to raise awareness about attempts to give away our public lands and engage communities in local restoration projects on Public Lands Day. Club volunteers will be providing photos and accounts detailing their day of action, to be posted on the Sierra Club’s public Web site. To find out about an event near you, see


Photo by Jonathan Jessup

Up to Top