Environmental Issues



Annual Awards Banquet


  Some issues we're working on...

Demands for new dams: The drought revived it: all we need is to build more dams. We’re helping lead efforts to stop Auburn Dam, Sites Reservoir, and the enlargement of Shasta Dam. The fact is drowning more of our rivers would add little to the state’s water supply, since existing dams already capture 99% of the annual runoff. 

Fracking: We're helping build grassroots support for a moratorium on fracking, which uses water and toxic chemicals to blast open shale to release oil and gas. Fracking contaminates aquifers and increases earthquake risk, while enhancing our reliance on fossil fuels.

Delta tunnels: Pumping more water out of the Delta won’t fix the state’s water supply problems. Instead it would accelerate the decline of the largest estuary on the West Coast, harming important coastal and Delta fisheries.

A future for wolves in California: The famed lone wolf from Oregon is back in our chapter, and biologists predict a pack of wolves will eventually establish itself in California. Hunting and ranching organizations want the right to hunt wolves at will, but we’re fighting for responsible management of wolf populations, including affording them protections under the state and federal Endangered Species Acts. 

Sierra Nevada: Our forests are under siege by a billionaire (Red Emmerson of Sierra Pacific Industries) who plans to clearcut a million acres of Sierra Nevada forests to maximize profits while mortgaging our natural heritage. Our chapter and several of our groups are working together with help from the national Sierra Club to protect old growth forests and stop the practice of forest clearcutting.

Cordova Hills Project in Sacramento County: After we brought forward concerns that the location was inappropriate for new growth, the county approved the development anyway. They defied a plan by the Sacramento Area Council of Governments that established a boundary for future growth in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In approving the Cordova Hills Project outside the boundary, the county set back the fight against climate change, forcing us to go to court to challenge the development.


Some victories...

Stopping the City of Elk Grove’s plans for sprawl: After a six year struggle and five and a half hours of public testimony, the little known but powerful Local Area Formation Commission in Sacramento County denied Elk Grove’s unjustified attempt to expand onto 8,000 acres of farmland and habitat outside its city limits. 

Saving Dyer Mountain: Our 15 year effort working with our partners Mountain Meadows Conservancy and Sierra Watch to save Dyer Mountain and nearby meadows in the Lake Almanor region from development finally succeeded. On January 21, 2014 the Lassen County supervisors withdrew their approval of a ski resort and subdivisions.

Lake Tahoe: We're determined to prevent Tahoe from being turned over to narrow economic interests.

  • Joining with the League to Save Lake Tahoe and Earthjustice, we successfully stopped plans by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to allow 138 new piers and thousands of new buoys on Lake Tahoe, whose cobalt blue waters and pristine clarity has inspired visitors since the time of Mark Twain. The new boating facilities would have resulted 62,000 more power boating trips each year, and the construction and additional traffic would have imperiled quality of the water and the air in the Basin, and compromised the enjoyment of the lake for all except motorized boaters.

  • We stopped the massive expansion of the Homewood Resort, forcing the developers to look at doing a smaller project.

  • We're taking to court Tahoe’s recently adopted Regional Plan, which would roll out the welcome mat for new development without worrying about the environmental consequences.