The North Olympic Group was organized in 2010 and has quickly become a powerful voice for addressing environmental issues on the Olympic Peninsula. We have over 900 members in both Clallam and Jefferson counties. Our operations are governed by an Executive Committee and we are always seeking new volunteers as we have no paid staff. Executive Committee meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of each month, alternating between Sequim and Port Townsend. All Sierra Club members are encouraged to attend. We also have quarterly general membership meetings with guest speakers and a monthly outings program to introduce our members to the magnificent wilderness right here in our own backyard.
Contact Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Executive Committee Meeting: April 9th, 1-3 PM at the RoseWind Common House in Port Townsend. Parking in the lot north on Haines St. near the intersection with Umatilla Ave. All Sierra Club members are welcome. Contact email@example.com for details.
Outings: Check out the North Olympic Group's Meetup site for the latest on planned outings and events. Click here to join
April 11, 2015, Lake Ozette, Olympic National Park: With sea stacks, sea otters, sea lions, and America’s wildest coastline south of Alaska, the Ozette Triangle is one of the finest hikes on the Olympic Peninsula. A perfect season opener, but be prepared for lingering winter coastal weather. Level: Moderate. Registration Required before April 4, 2015, 12:00 AM. Contact the hike leader, Peter Guerrero by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make Your Environmental Voice Heard in Olympia
The Washington legislature is already weeks into its 2015 session. Washington has a very short legislative session and this year’s ends in April. Short legislative sessions are notorious opportunities for special interests to have their way in state capitals but exceedingly difficult for average citizens to make their views known. Lobbyists and their interests have been preparing all year to make their special deals while ordinary citizens have but a few weeks to pay attention to matters that affect the very quality of our lives.
Fortunately, there is an easy three-step way to stay abreast of what’s happening in Olympia and to voice your concerns to your legislators. Here’s how:
- First, go to the Environmental Priorities Coalition website and sign up to get their alerts.
- Then, look at each “hot list” of bills to find out which merit your support and which you should oppose.
- Finally, go to the Washington legislature’s website and search on the bill number. Once the bill information comes up then click on “comment on this bill” and you’re on you’re way to becoming an informed citizen and environmental rock star!
Clallam County Shoreline Master Program
NOG recently commented on Clallam County’s update of its Shoreline Master Plan (SMP) asking the County to take into account the effects of climate change as it updates the plan. Localities are required to prepare SMPs under the Washington’s Shoreline Management Act of 1971. This Act seeks to promote public access and protect shoreline natural resources and functions by prioritizing shoreline land use. The State also requires that local SMPs include regulations and standards ensuring that each permitted development will not cause a "net loss of ecological functions of the shoreline”. Our comments on the SMP can be found here.
Pacific Northwest Electronic Warfare Range Environmental Assessment (EA): The Navy has proposed installing and operating communications equipment on an existing tower in the Olympic Military Operations Area at Octopus Mountain and operating a Mobile Electronic Warfare Training System on U.S. Forest Service and Department of Natural Resources lands on the Olympic Peninsula. This equipment will be used for training fighter jet pilots and it is expected to result in hundreds of annual overflights of Olympic Peninsula communities and wilderness areas, including Olympic National Park, a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site.
The Navy and Forest Service initially provided no notice to the larger affected communities and, in response to public protests, has held additional public meetings and extended the comment period for the Special Use Permit that the Forest Service would need to issue for the Navy to proceed with its mobile electronic warfare training on public lands. The Forest Service comment period ended November 28th, 2014.
The North Olympic Group (NOG) of the Sierra Club has commented on the Navy’s EA, finding it deficient, and has called for a full Environmental Impact Statement. In addition, we raised concerns about the impact these overflights would have on the wilderness experience and the adverse consequences for tourism and the economic well-being of communities that depend on Park and wilderness visitors. You can find the final environmental assessment and other documents related to the proposal on the Olympic National Forest NEPA projects website or click here to read our comments. Click here to read our addendum to those comments.
The NOG is continuing to follow developments on the Navy’s plans to conduct electronic warfare testing on the Olympic Peninsula. Although the formal comment period has closed we urge our members to write to our elected officials urging them to stop this misguided project. Your letters should be directed to:
Senator Patty Murray: http://www.murray.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contactme
Senator Maria Cantwell: http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-maria
Congressman Derek Kilmer: https://kilmer.house.gov/contact/email-me
Navy Proposal to Add 36 Additional EA-18G Growlers
The Navy is proposing to add 36 additional fighter aircraft, called Growlers, to the Whidbey Naval Air Station. These additional aircraft will be used both for dangerous touch and go training exercises at an antiquated landing strip in the middle of Coupeville and for electronic warfare training on the Olympic Peninsula. This proposal has the potential to significantly diminish the quality of wilderness and adversely affect our economy which is heavily dependent on tourism and outdoor recreation. The Navy’s proposal can be found here. The comment period closed January 9, 2015. Please read the North Olympic Group's scoping comments and the addendum to those comments.
January 2015 Supplement to the Navy's January 2014 Northwest Training and Testing Draft Environmental Impact Statement (NWTT DEIS)
This is a vast Pacific Northwest ocean-based plan that proposes a heavy use of sonar and explosives off our coast and in Puget Sound with no planned additional mitigation. The Supplement also fails to substantively address cumulative effects, climate change and very importantly lacks any increase in mitigation for sonar testing injuries and deaths of marine mammals, sea turtles, fish and birds. You can read about the Supplement here and then click here to read the North Olympic Group's comment Letter to the Navy concerning the NWTT DEIS.
North Olympic Group joins Earthjustice and nearly two dozen other environmental organizations to protest the Navy's indiscriminate sonar and explosives testing in Puget Sound and the Pacific. By the Navy's own estimates these tests will result in hundreds of thousands of deaths and injuries to marine mammals. No areas, including the Olympic Coast Marine Sanctuary, are off limits. Click here to read the comments signed by 23 environmental organizations and then click here to read comments from Robin W. Baird, Ph.D., biologist for the Cascadia Research Collective, about the vulnerability of marine mammals that are rarely exposed to MFA sonar.
Sierra Club North Olympic group believes these five Navy proposals — often delivered with little publicity or substantive public process (Electronic Warfare Range in particular) are a piecemeal, fragmented array of obscuring divisions that in such a short period of time will effectively overwhelm criticism and larger understanding of the issues and impacts.
Wild Olympics Campaign:
After extensive engagement and discussion with residents and local business leaders on the Olympic Peninsula, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014 in the Senate and House of Representatives. As part of an ongoing effort to preserve and grow jobs on the Olympic Peninsula, this legislation would protect some of the most environmentally sensitive parts of our region for future generations while protecting access to outdoor recreation opportunities and private landowners’ rights. It would designate 126,554 acres of existing federal land as wilderness in the Olympic National Forest and designate 464 river miles across 19 rivers and some major tributaries on the Olympic Peninsula as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The wilderness designation permanently protects old growth and ancient forest habitat throughout the region. For more information, please go to the Wild Olympics Campaign Website.
Chair: Robert Sextro
Vice Chair: Peter Guerrero
Secretary: Bill Volmut
Treasurer: Monica Fletcher
Norm Baker: Marine Issues, Endangered Species (Marine), Biochar, Global Warming
Ken Bleyer: National Forests/Navy Issues
Monica Fletcher: Treasurer, Jefferson County Conservation Chair, Air Quality
Peter Guerrero: Outings Chair, Jefferson County Political Chair, Air Quality, OARS
Darlene Schanfald: Clallam County Conservation Chair, Parks, Waste
Robert Sextro: Chair, Chapter Delegate, Air Quality, Energy Issues, Wild Olympics Campaign.
Bill Volmut: Secretary
Other NOG Leaders:
Bob Lynette: Climate Change, Wild Olympics Campaign
Janet Marx: Membership Chair, Newsletter Editor, Genetic Engineering/Modification (GMO)
Mary Porter-Solberg: Membership Co-Chair, Webmaster, OARS
John Woolley: State/National Forests, International Population, Wilderness, Wildlands, Wetlands
|Wed, 04/01/2015||National Forest Committee Meeting (Seattle)||
7:00 PMWashington State Chapter
180 Nickerson Street #202, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
|Tue, 04/07/2015||Monthly Leaders/Activists Meeting||
6:30 PM to 8:30 PMSouth King County Group
21844 Southeast 248th Street, Maple Valley
|Thu, 04/09/2015||North Olympic Group Executive Committee Meeting (Port Townsend)||
1:00 PM to 3:00 PMNorth Olympic Group
3101-3139 Haines Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368, USA
|Sat, 04/11/2015||Lake Ozette Outing (Olympic Peninsula)||
8:30 AM to 5:00 PMNorth Olympic Group
Ozette Lake, Olympic National Park, Washington 98326
|Tue, 04/14/2015||Snohomish Group Volunteer's meeting (Edmonds)||
7:00 PM to 8:30 PMSnohomish Group
1124 2nd Avenue South, Edmonds, WA 98020
|Wed, 05/06/2015||National Forest Committee Meeting (Seattle)||
7:00 PMWashington State Chapter
180 Nickerson Street #202, Seattle, WA 98109, USA