Toiyabe Chapter Priority Issues
In fall of 2017, the Toiyabe Chapter Executive Committee completed our strategic plan, which guides us to focus on the following issues:
- Political Team
- Legislative Priorities
- Racial Justice
- Federal Defense
- Zero Waste
- Clean Transportation for All
- Public Lands, Waters & Wildlife
- Clean Energy & Climate Change
- Community Engagement, Local Campaigns
Volunteers are needed to help on all of these issues. In 2020, our Executive Committee and staff pivoted to include Racial Justice as a critical, intersectional issue our chapter focuses on. Read through each issue below, then sign up to volunteer. Grassroots activists like you are how we win.
All of these issues are good reasons why we need environmental champions elected (and in some cases, protected) at federal, state, and local offices that have sway over environmental decisions.
The Toiyabe Chapter Political Committee has worked toward electing environmental champions in 2022. We researched issues and candidates to make endorsements, and continue to educate voters, campaigning for our environmental champions.
Our Political Team will reconvene in Summer of 2023. In the meantime, we continue our work on the Legislative Committee, preparing for the 2023 Legislative Session. Join us on the Legislative Committee.
The Nevada Legislature is where the "rubber hits the road" for many policies that speed Nevada's transition to renewable energy, reduced carbon, protection of our state's rare and precious waters, and creates justice for everyone, regardless of their zip code or background. Click here to learn about Sierra Club's legislative priorities for the 2021 Nevada Legislature and how you can help prepare for the 2023 Legislative Session.
Since George Floyd's murder, the Sierra Club nationally, and the Toiyabe Chapter locally, have begun to evaluate how our organization has perpetuated harm or stood by complacently while Black Americans continued to be oppressed. To begin meaningful work, the Toiyabe Chapter created an Anti-Racist Team to center everything the Chapter does around justice. How does our work intersect with and perpetuate racism? How can we move toward justice together? We have begun a series of conversations that create space for all of us to reflect, share, and learn together.
Join us — learn more and take action here!
The previous Trump Administration regularly attacked our environment in numerous ways; We have been working to reinstate many protections:
- For our national monuments, including Gold Butte, Basin & Range, and others across the country;
- For new legislation to stop those "energy-first" policies that fast tracked oil and gas leasing and exploration across more than a million acres of Nevada, impacting sensitive wildlife habitat, watersheds, and some of Nevada's favored landscapes like the Ruby Mountains and the Toiyabe Range;
- From the Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, fuel-efficiency standards, to the Clean Water Act, and other actions.
The Sierra Club nationally and locally is standing up to these federal efforts to remove protections for our air, water, lands, wildlife, and communities. Your donations and activism will help us defend what matters most. Sign up to volunteer!
We've adopted a zero waste practice as a Chapter that interrupts the need for recycling, and places the focus on a new and improved set of Rs taking it from the 1970's three (3) to five (5): Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Rot, & Recycle.
Read more about the Toiyabe Chapter's Zero Waste teams and how to get involved.
Thanks partly to Sierra Club's hard work nationwide, hundreds of coal-fired power plants have closed. Combined with the transition to renewable energy from solar and wind, transportation is now the leading cause of carbon dioxide and other toxic emissions. And here in Washoe and Clark counties, sprawl remains the go-to development scheme. It's time to re-think how we build our communities and move people around. The Sierra Club's Clean Transportation For All campaign is working to do just that.
There are numerous ways you can get involved — read more and become part of the solution!
Founded to protect Yosemite and other iconic landscapes, the Sierra Club now works to protect public lands, wildlife habitats and waters wherever they’re threatened. In Nevada and the Eastern Sierra, the Toiyabe Chapter is working on the following campaigns:
- Defending Lake Tahoe from Aquatic Weeds and Herbicides.
- Defending the Desert National Wildlife Refuge and Fallon wildlands from expanded military bombing activities.
- Protecting the Great Basin from habitat-destroying vegetation management proposals.
- Protecting Nevada’s public lands from oil & gas exploration and mining.
- It's Time to Protect 30% of the Planet by 2030.
- Protecting open space and proposed wilderness areas in Washoe County and Clark County from legislation that could promote sprawl development.
- Developing comments on major NEPA actions by federal agencies in Nevada and eastern California.
- Introducing growing numbers of members and non-members to our public lands through outings, service trips, and conservation programs or talks. (Check with your local leaders.)
When Trump promised to pull out of the Paris Climate Accord it ironically resulted in positive climate action, because it has inspired states, municipalities, companies and individuals to act when our federal government will not. The 2019 and 2021 Nevada Legislatures passed, and the governor signed, a raft of climate- and energy-related legislation. In addition, South Lake Tahoe and Truckee committed to 100% renewable energy by 2050. And Reno passed a Sustainability & Climate Action Plan.
But this is just the beginning. Good things are happening, but so much more work is necessary if we are to avoid the worst climate impacts.
Currently, in response to Nevada's commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2050, numerous companies are proposing more than a gigawatt of solar installations in the Nevada desert. While we strongly support replacing fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy, a full reliance on industrial scale installations on our public lands will seriously challenge wildlife populations, such as the federally threatened desert tortoise as well as numerous other species of concern.
If we are serious about both decarbonizing our economy AND minimizing the impact to our precious wild lands we need to first install solar panels (as well as other forms of electricity generation) on every building, parking lot and highway median where they make sense, and in such a way as to repair the inequities that our present energy production system has exacerbated. This means pursuing Community Solar, better net metering options, and feed-in tariffs to prioritize urban energy development. We also need to pursue brownfield development, preferring to generate energy on lands that have already been impacted, such as reclaimed mines over wilderness destruction.
Some issues are local, like our goal to protect Tahoe’s clean water and muscle-powered recreation, or our efforts to protect our precious rural water from urban water grabs. Let us know where you live, and we’ll connect you with good work happening locally. And if there needs to be a campaign, and you don’t see one, contact us. Let’s get something started to protect the issue you care about most.
Telling our stories better, educating and engaging members and the public to make a difference on issues that matter.
Building our tools to do everything better from an organizational capacity. Getting our systems in place, entering data, managing our operations and volunteers, and raising the funds necessary to continue our work on behalf of you, our air and water, public lands, wildlife and a future based on clean, renewable, just and locally produced energy. If you’re a behind-the-scenes person, who likes to build better tools, systems, and structures, we’d love to have you involved.
Interested? Let us know by signing up to volunteer! We’ll be in touch soon.
Thanks for caring!