Tehipite Chapter

Potluck Banquet and Awards — Saturday, March 9 at 5:30 pm

Mark your calendars for our renewed annual Potluck Banquet and Awards night, with keynote speaker William Tweed, retired Chief Naturalist at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, presenting "A Shaping Force: How the Early Sierra Club Shaped the Southern Sierra.” At the First Congregational Church (Big Red Church), 2131 N. Van Ness, in midtown Fresno just north of Fresno High School.

ExCom election results

William Fjellbo and Carlos Garcia were re-elected to the Tehipite Chapter Executive Committee for second consecutive terms. Pilar Aurea Calderon and Gary Lasky begin new terms as well on our ExCom. Our fifth-place vote-getter, Olivia Seideman has been appointed to finish out the second year of Jennifer Jensen's term. Each term on the ExCom is two years, and members are temporarily termed out after four years. 

Tehipite Chapter officers and committee chairs are appointed by vote of the Chapter Executive Committee. The officers and chapter committee chairs for 2024 are listed on the Contact Us page of this website. 

Join us for an IN-PERSON meeting at the Woodward Park Library on Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 PM when Brian Sarvis will share his adventures... "Hiking 400 miles of The Condor Trail in Los Padres National Forest."

More details below. Pre-registration is not required, but if you would like to receive an email reminder, click here.

The Sierra Club is a national, member-supported environmental organization, which seeks to influence public policy in both Washington and the state capitals through public education and grass-roots political action.

The Tehipite Chapter Mission Statement:

  • To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth;
  • To practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources;
  • To educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environments.

Read more about us here

Our meetings are currently being held via Zoom. We will resume in-person meetings when the state and county deem public gatherings safe to hold again. See below for information about our next general meeting.

Conservation and Executive Committee meetings are also being held virtually for now. If any Tehipite Chapter members want to observe or participate in these meetings, contact Chapter Chair Gary Lasky for permission and instructions.

Go to our Facebook page  and "Like" us to help spread the word. New outings and events are posted there first.

Join us for an IN-PERSON meeting at the Woodward Park Library on Thursday, February 22 at 7:00 PM when Brian Sarvis will share his adventures...

Hiking 400 miles of The Condor Trail in Los Padres National Forest

Brian has hiked the trail twice and wrote the guide book, so there's no better person to share this adventure with us than Brian. Registration is not required but if you'd like to receive a reminder email the day before, Click Here!

Cover of the Condor Trail Guide shows a tent in a high meadow at sunset

Stretching more than 400 miles across the length of Los Padres National Forest, the Condor Trail is a distance hiking route that travels coastal mountain ranges and canyons deep in the backcountry of our Central Coast. Running through seven wilderness areas from Lake Piru near Castaic to Bottcher’s Gap near Carmel, this challenging trail highlights outstanding natural features, wild and scenic rivers, hot springs, wildlife sanctuaries, and some areas that will test a hiker’s pathfinding ability. The route follows a number of existing trails, some of which are severely overgrown, but in other sections there are no trails at all. It is easy to get lost in some sections along the route and limited water availability could make it deadly, especially in summer. It is not unusual to hike the trail for three or four days at a time without seeing a single person. Only a handful of people have hiked the entire route. Brian Sarvis is the second person to complete a thru-hike of the entire trail, burying food resupply canisters about every 50 miles along the route. And he has published a trail guide so others can enjoy it without getting lost! Join us at the library February 22 for this unique program.

Brian Sarvis has long been attracted to adventures — running long distances, climbing mountains at extreme altitude, trekking in Africa, the Andes, and the Himalayas, world travel. He was happily “stuck in Lodi” for years, raising children on a horse ranch he shared with a hungry beaver colony, and moved to Santa Barbara with his wife, Ann, 23 years ago. An educational psychologist specializing in learning, he has degrees from a number of universities with postdoctoral work at Stanford. Brian was promoted through a number of careers, but took a break from his adventures when he served as superintendent of Santa Barbara Unified School District for many years.

Hope to see you February 22 at 7 PM at the Woodward Park Regional Library, 944 E. Perrin Ave, Fresno. There is plenty of free parking.

Email Karen Hammer at ecuagirl45@yahoo.com if you have any questions or suggestions for future programs.

Tehipite Chapter has posted recordings of recent Zoom General Meetings on YouTube. Click on the titles below to view the videos. Only our Zoom meetings are recorded.

December 14, 2023 — Giant Sequoia Regeneration After Recent Fires in the Sierra with Dr. Chad Hanson

October 26, 2023 — Beavers: Building Climate Resilience Across California

April 19, 2023 — What's the Buzz Around Regenerative Agriculture with Jeff Mitchell

February 15, 2023 — Save the Cougars! Building the Wallis Annenberg Wildlife Crossing

January 19, 2023 — The Return of Gray Wolves to California with Beth Pratt

November 16, 2022 — Mountain Men of the Sierra Nevada with Shirley Spencer

October 19, 2022 — The History of Bears in the West with Tyler Coleman, National Park Service Biologist

September 21, 2022 — Fresno State Students Go Backpacking

June 15, 2022 — Community Choice Energy with Kirsten Andrews-Schwind of Peninsula Clean Energy

May 18, 2022 — Bring Back the Pollinators with Dave Kollen, Ambassador for the Xerces Society

April 20, 2022 — Western Artists and Their Influence on the National Parks

March 16, 2022 — Fresno Bee Reporter Marek Warszawski Discusses Mysteries and Lessons of the Creek Fire and Status of Development of San Joaquin River Parkway

February 16, 2022 — Glaciers and Climate Change

January 19, 2022 — Indigenous and Environmental Resource Center on the San Joaquin River

December 15, 2021  Iceland's Remarkable Beauty

October 20, 2021 — In the Struggle Book Talk: A Call to Action in an Ongoing Battle against Industrial Agriculture

September 15, 2021 North Coast Redwoods: The Heart of Interpretation

June 16, 2021 International Rivers (part 1), International Rivers (part 2) 

May 19, 2021 — Wild Utah! America's Redrock Wilderness

March 17, 2021 — Archaeology of the Sierra National Forest

February 17, 2021 — Salmon Restoration on the San Joaquin

Candidate Statements for the 2023 Tehipite Chapter Executive Committee Election [candidates are listed alphabetically]


Pilar Aurea Calderon

My name is Pilar Calderon. I am a UC Berkeley Alum and a graduate from the University of San Francisco, School of Law. Above all, I consider myself a community organizer and activist. A number of passion projects over the decades illustrate my legal and social activism, namely assisting in development of the legal defense for principal Water Protectors arrested during the Standing Rock demonstrations, monitoring new environmental laws affecting the operation of large-scale copper mines in Chile, and assisting the First People of Yosemite Valley to obtain status as a federally recognized Indian tribe.

I am a native of California and have, for the last fifteen years, resided in Mariposa County – a gateway to Yosemite National Park. In my years of experience I have learned to appreciate the power of public education and the essential role that communication plays in transforming good intentions into positive action. I am passionate about living sustainably and about providing a better world for my young children. I would like to continue my work by serving as a committee member of the Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club. Please cast your vote by mail or online for this Executive Committee election.

William Fjellbo

Fellow Sierra Club Tehipite Chapter members, I am asking for your vote to elect me to the Executive Committee for another term. I am currently a member of the Committee and have served as Chapter Chair, Political Chair, and Outings Chair in the past along with many other roles. I am very proud of the work this chapter has done on conservation, climate change, and environmental justice. We are engaged with local, state, and national office holders on these issues and many others. We have engaged in pioneering litigation on urban planning issues and won. We are currently engaged in litigation to protect the Giant Sequoias in the Sierra Nevada. In the next year we will all have to increase our involvement in the political process if our democracy and all the freedoms we hold dear are to survive. I look forward to continuing to be a part of the Tehipite Chapter’s efforts and am asking for your vote.

Carlos Garcia

Hello, my name is Carlos Garcia. I have been a Sierra Club life member since 2000. I am currently serving on the Executive Committee with the Tehipite Chapter and as a co-chair for the Air Quality Conservation Committee.

Protecting our earth’s natural resources from continuing decline for our future generations has never been more important. My top priorities are to improve valley air quality, eliminate fossil fuel use to fight climate change, preserve and expand open spaces, reduce sprawl, and re-establish healthier aquifers and river systems, taking on this work through legislation, government programs and policy, and elections.

I would like to ask for your vote to again represent you on the ExCom. Thank you.

Gary Lasky

Tehipite Chapter members: please vote in our 2023 Executive Committee election. I would appreciate your vote. In 2023, our small, but mighty, chapter of 1,500 members notched these accomplishments:

• We sued the Sierra National Forest to stop an outrageous plan to log a grove of giant sequoia trees south of Yosemite, and persuaded the national Club to launch a campaign to protect all sequoia trees in our region.

• We successfully joined with environmental justice and taxpayer groups in Fresno and Madera Counties to fight off an extension of the county transportation sales tax late last year, giving us time to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

• We persuaded national Executive Director Ben Jealous to sign our letter of support for the original Yosemite Valley tribe, the Southern Sierra Miwuk, to become a federally-recognized Indian tribe.

• In 2024, I will chair a new California Wetlands Committee, with delegates from our dozen chapters. In the San Joaquin Valley, nearly all lands identified for governmental protection are wetlands habitat.

With your vote, I will continue to serve our members and protect the needs of our communities and San Joaquin Valley and Sierra foothill habitats. Thank you for your vote.

Kasey Madden

Through my experiences exploring California's wilderness, I have witnessed firsthand the need for robust environmental policies, conservation efforts, and community engagement. My passion for outdoor activities has heightened my awareness of the environmental challenges we face. I am committed to contributing actively to the Sierra Club's mission of environmental conservation, sustainability, and advocacy.

Being on the Sierra Club's board would allow me to channel my love for the outdoors into impactful initiatives. I am eager to bring my enthusiasm, dedication, and firsthand knowledge of California's landscapes to contribute to the strategic decisions and actions of the Sierra Club. Together, we can continue to protect and preserve the natural beauty that makes California a haven for outdoor enthusiasts like myself.

I am 35 years old and have dedicated my life to standing for justice and equity. I bring a unique blend of skills, including research, writing, and data management, along with a strong commitment to environmental conservation. As a proactive individual with a proven track record in project management and community engagement, I am eager to contribute my multifaceted skill set to drive the Sierra Club's initiatives forward.

Olivia Seideman

Hi! My name is Olivia Seideman and I’m running for Sierra Club Tehipite Chapter ExCom. I’m originally from Castro Valley, the Bay Area, and moved to Fresno in February 2021 to be the Civic Engagement Coordinator for Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability. Since February 2022, I've been the Climate Policy Coordinator for LCJA, where I lead statewide advocacy on climate and transportation issues. I also support local and regional climate and transportation campaigns in the SJV and ECV. 

I am running for Sierra Club ExCom because I care deeply about making environmentalism and the outdoors more accessible, just, and inclusive. Growing up, I rarely did outdoor activities with my family. Then, on a camping trip for the first time in high school, I fell in love with the outdoors and decided to pursue environmental science in college. In the course of my studies, I realized that I was less interested in the natural science aspect and more interested in the intersections of sociopolitical issues – namely race, class, and gender – with environmentalism. I hope to bring my experience working on environmental policy and in organizing and community outreach to the Sierra Club, working to expand the Chapter’s environmental justice advocacy. Thank you!