As we close out the year, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on all the amazing work that has happened this year. From the shores of Lake Michigan to the bluffs of the Mississippi, we've worked together to protect Wisconsin’s wolves, elevate the call to shut down Line 5, push for more clean energy, pause the proposed golf course next to Kohler-Andrae State Park, and so much more.
Here's a quick recap of the major highlights from the year:
- Ben Jealous started his first day as Executive Director of the Sierra Club by spending time with and listening to Wisconsin Chapter leaders.
- Hundreds called for an environmentally friendly, equitable solution for the I-94 corridor through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation’s public comment period.
- The Sierra Club Chapter Director traveled to Washington, D.C., to ensure strong implementation of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in Wisconsin.
- The Public Service Commission began an investigation on additional low income and energy affordability programs in We Energies territory.
- Thousands of comments were submitted in response to Wisconsin’s draft Wolf Management Plan. Hundreds of Sierra Club members submitted comments.
- Sierra Club members advocated for a Wisconsin state budget that supports clean air, clean water, public lands and public transportation.
- EPA released new PFAS “Forever Chemical” drinking water standards
- Sierra Club-endorsed Janet Protasiewicz was elected to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court.
- Conservation Congress Results showed support for lands, water and wildlife.
- Local groups hosted Earth Day events around the state.
- The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) program that made $9.7 billion available for electric co-ops to reduce emissions and move to clean energy was announced.
- Fun was had at our 2023 Locally Grown, Nationally Known annual fundraiser. We raised $11,295!
- We celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Endangered Species Act.
- The Water Team hosted a fantastic screening of Kiss the Ground. Over 70 people attended and learned about sustainable agriculture and what is possible.
- A federal judge ordered the shutdown of Line 5 where it crosses the Bad River reservation, by 2026.
- Advocates called for a transit-friendly and multi-modal transportation solution for the Beltline Highway corridor in Madison through the Department of Transportation’s Planning and Environmental Linkages Study.
- Issue teams raised over $7,000 in their Team Sierra Campaign.
- More than 100 Dairyland electric co-op members called on the utility to submit an application for IRA funding to transition off of coal and gas and build out clean, renewable energy. Later in the year, Dairyland submitted an application.
- The DNR finalized a strong draft Wolf Management Plan.
- Dozens, including elected officials, pledged to participate in World Car Free Day.
- Sierra Club volunteers took to Washington, D.C., to call for the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
- Legislation that allows fourth graders and their families to access state parks for free passed the Wisconsin Assembly Committee on Forestry, Parks and Outdoor Recreation.
- We celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Crandon Mine purchase.
- Superior, WI, local elected officials opposed the Nemadji Trail Energy Center gas plant proposal.
- Hundreds submitted comments against a We Energies rate increase.
- The Natural Resources Board passed a science-based Wolf Management Plan.
- Five fantastic chapter volunteers and two partner organizations received Chapter Awards.
- The Public Service Commission protected solar benefits for Alliant Energy and Madison Gas and Electric customers.
- The Sierra Club and Friends of the Black River Forest held a rally and met with the governor’s office about protecting Kohler-Andrae State Park and the lakeshore from being developed into a golf course.
- Sierra Club staff and volunteers took to Washington, D.C., to call for the shutdown of Line 5.
- We welcomed our new Volunteer Coordinator, Heather Wittrock to Sierra Club Wisconsin Chapter staff.
- Lake Michigan’s shoreline was protected from Kohler’s proposed golf course following a Court of Appeals ruling.