The Iowa Chapter of Sierra Club's members are approximately 5,000 of your friends and neighbors. Inspired by nature, we work together to protect our communities and the planet. The Club is America's oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.
The Iowa Chapter will take action so all Iowans can enjoy clean air, clean water, clean and renewable energy, expansion and protection of natural areas and wildlife and a government that represents people not polluters.
Annual Meeting Planned for October 10, Crown Point Community Center, Johnston
The Iowa Chapter annual meeting will be held on October 10 at the Crown Point Community Center in Johnston. Sierra Club members from across the state gather to talk about the environment, enjoy a meal, and hear a great speaker. The schedule is
11:00 to 12:00 - registration
12:00 - Meal
After the meal, the speaker will be Steve Horn and awards will be presented.
Cost is $25 per person. Pre-pay by sending a check to Sierra Club, Iowa Chapter, 3839 Merle Hay Road, Suite 280, Des Moines, Iowa, 50310
The Chapter will be presenting awards to individuals and groups that have done outstanding work in protecting the environment. For more information on the nominations.
Guest Speaker is Steve Horn. Steve Horn is a Research Fellow at DeSmogBlog and a freelance investigative journalist based out of Madison, Wisconsin. He previously was a reporter and researcher at the Center for Media and Democracy.
In his free time, Steve is a competitive runner, with a personal best time of 2:43:04 in the 2009 Boston Marathon. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, majoring in political science and legal studies, his writing has appeared in Al Jazeera America, The Guardian, Vice News, The Nation, Wisconsin Watch, Truth-Out, AlterNet and elsewhere. Steve’s published work includes dozens of articles published on alternative news websites such as CounterPunch.org. He has covered local and regional Midwestern issues as well as national and international concerns on energy, environmental and political issues. Topics he has covered include “greenwashing” of hydraulic fracturing and the Keystone XL pipeline by fossil fuel front groups; the Obama administration’s embrace of fracking; the ties binding major U.S. oil and gas companies with Russian state oil and gas companies; the prospect that the Keystone XL could not only carry tar sands but also oil extracted via hydraulic fracturing from North Dakota’s Bakken Shale basin; and the people and money behind an industry-friendly Environmental Defense Fund methane emissions study in an article titled, “Inside Frackademia’s Latest Assault on Science.”
Dear Legislators: Leave an Environmental Legacy
UPDATE: This bill did not make it through the 2015 session; however, it could come back in 2016. Please let your legislators know that funding the Natural Resources & Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund is important to you.
Iowa voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment in 2010 that would dedicate 3/8 of one cent to the Natural Resources and Outdoor Recreation Trust Fund. The Trust Fund would provide funds allowing increased investment in Iowa’s parks, recreation and clean water. Senate File 504 increases the sales tax by 3/8 of one cent. If passed, the increased tax would be deposited into the Trust Fund. Let legislators know you support the Trust Fund.
Protect Iowans' Land from Eminent Domain
UPDATE: Neither of these bills made it through the 2015 legislative session.
Two bills -- SF506 and HSB249 -- are currently making their way through the legislative process. These two bills impact landowners from the taking of their land for huge utility-related projects -- pipelines and high-current electricity transmission. Both bills passed their subcommittees on April 28, 2015, and are expected to be considered by both chambers' Goverment Oversight Committees. Find out more and contact your legislators to let them know you support these two bills.
Topsoil a Dirty Topic
Topsoil became a dirty subject for conservationists arguing to retain 4" of topsoil after new development construction and developers who say it's simply too expensive. Reasons for the topsoil restoration are to help increase water infiltration into the soil, to prevent runoff and erosion, to retain healthy soil and to lessen the degradation of water quality. Topsoil retention will aid the homebuyers in their efforts to establish landscaping on their lots – grass, trees and gardens. The Environmental Protection Commission voted to approve the proposed rules at its June 16 meeting. The next step is the Administrative Rules Review Committee (ARRC). You can write the members of the ARRC prior to their meeting to tell them that you do not want them to approve the new rule.
Home construction. Photo credit: USDA NRCS, Lynn Betts
Pipeline Proposed to Cross Iowa
Iowans are fired up in opposition to the prospect of a crude oil pipeline crossing our state from one corner to another. See the Sierra Club Iowa Chapter’s webpage dedicated to this proposal and check back often for updates. Energy Transfer Partners (ETF), also doing business as Dakota Access, announced plans for a proposed oil pipeline that will run diagonally across Iowa, through 18 counties. It will carry crude oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Illinois where it will link with another pipeline that will transport the oil to terminals along the Gulf of Mexico. The Iowa Utilities Board is not accepting letters in oppostion of the pipeline. Check the issues page for more information.
2015 Legislative Session Wraps Up
Legislators finished their session business and closed on June 5. See the environmental issues addressed by the Iowa legislature during the 2015 session. Check our 2015 Legislature webpage for information and articles about environmental bills that were debated and the Chapter's priorities for the legislative session.