Sierra Club Accomplishments since 1916 – Stop The Attack on The Environment

Taken from Sierra Club Literature  October 2017 Michael Brune, Executive Director 

2101 Webster Street, Suite 1300, Oakland, CA 94612 – 415-977-5500 –

Introduction by Jean Furs:

We as citizens and stewards of this great country of ours need to do everything in our power to defend the attacks on our environment which include our Air, Water, and Wildlife.  This is not a time in history to sit back and watch the devestation that is about to occur. We have fought for a long time to keep our Air, and Water safe and Wildlife in balance, and now they are all in grave danger.  Grave danger for something some of us call progress, and greed.  So tell me about progress. Progress is something that we all think is good and about moving things forward. The price of progress should never be at the expense of other species and the safety of humanity. Yet  some humans believe that their accummulation of wealth is more important to them than the good of the whole, the whole of who they share this planet with; our Air, Water and Wildlife. This is very far from the truth.  Things that move us back towards harming our environment is never a good thing.  Please read below what the Sierra Club has to say.  

“In the last eight years, partisan rancor ran extremely high. But we worked with leaders in Washington and at the state and local levels to make historic achievements on the environment.  From new clean air standards, to millions of acres of new public lands, to improved automotive mileage, to progress on the threats of climate disruption that put wildlife and our planet at risk, we came together to do the right thing.”

“However, on January 20th, everything changed. Instead of simply promising to undo President Obama’s climate legacy, Donald Trump began strangling it, initiating an ATTACK ON THE ENVIRONMENT that will make us all casualties of his regressive, pro-pollution industry policies.”

“He declared it when he promised to revive the coal industry rather than create clean energy jobs… when he nominated noted climate denier and oil company cheerleader, Scott Pruitt, to sabotage the EPA from the inside…when he made oil company tsar, Rex Tillerson, his Secretary of State…when he ordered his minions to scrub all climate change data from the White House and EPA website and instituted a gag order at the EPA and other environmental agencies…and when he started methodically undoing President Obama’s climate advances, one executive order after another. ”

That was just the start. In the coming months and years, our opponents will do everything in their considerable power to take irreversible actions against the air we breathe, the water we drink, the threatened species we love and seek to protect, and the pristine natural lands we intend to pass on to our children and grandchildren as part of their natural inheritance.”

“I promis you the Sierra Club will not back down from this fight. We never have and we never will. but we can’t fight alone. WE NEED ALLIES. That is why I hope you can do two very important things today.”

  1. Contact our supporters in Congress: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, urging them to stand strong, and promising we have their backs. Now, more than ever, they need to know the environment matters to you.”
  2. Join the Sierra Club to support our efforts to save vulnerable wildlife and wilderness.

“The wildlife you love and the natural resources – like air and water- you depend upon to survive are all under attack.”

What would you call it when…

  • Fossil Fuel Executives and Climate Deniers are handed the reins to America’s most important environmental agencies and departments – including the office of the Secretary of State – with the understanding that they will subvert the ultimate mission of those agencies.
  • Donald Trump’s First Acts repealed the Stream Protection Rules, allowing coal companies to dump toxic coal waste – including arsenic and heavy metals – near streams that communities depend upon for their water supplies.
  • The Trump Team Greenlighted the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines allowing millions of gallons of oil to possibly spill and contaminate water aquifers or find their way into the atmospher.
  • EPA Head and Oil Company Cheerleader, Scott Pruitt, is given marching orders to immediately rewrite the Clean Power Plan in order to gut emission standards to slow and prevent climate disruption.

“I can only call it an ATTACK ON THE ENVIRONMENT. It’s not just an attack on polar bears, moose, bison, and other wildlife – it’s an attack on you and me and the people we love, too! “

“But Donald Trump didn’t launch a single attack.  He launced FOUR, when he chose anti-EPA litigator Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency, Keystone XL supporter Ryan Zinke to head the Department of the Interior, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, and career climate denier Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy. ”

“Here is what Pruitt says about climate change: “Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind.” 

You probably don’t spend your days worrying about the EPA or who leads it.  You simply want to trust that officials are doing their jobs to keep your air clean and your water safe.  That’s what you should expect as an American citizen.”

You expect that regulations will be followed, rules will be obeyed, and toxic spills will be cleaned up by the companies who created them – not be left for the citizens who are harmed.”

But I can tell you that the EPA is the single most important American government agency protecting the environment and the health of Americans, including you and me and our children and grandchildren.

Yet, Trump’s proposed budget takes an axe to the EPA’s budget,slashing it by 31 percent from its current level of $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion , and cutting 3,200 positions, including more than 20 percent of the agency’s staff of environmental enforcers.

In the next few months, you can expect to see the EPA budge slashed, existing science-based regulatons shredded or eliminated, and Trump allies from the oil, coal, and timber industries reaping even more dirty profits.


Join us today in membership, you will take ACTION to conserve our nation’s imperiled species, preserve our environment, press for new national parks and monuments, fight for a clean energy future, and STAND UP TO THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION AND THEIR FOSSIL FUEL CRONIES. You’ll also continue to be eligible for many benefits, including a subscription to the aware winning Sierra magazine and membership in your local Sierra Club Chapter! 

Best of all, you’l help energize our more than three [3] million members and activisits to do what we do best:

  • Fight to protect our air, water,climate, and wildlife.
  • Take action in the courts to ensure the letter of the law is followed.
  • Expose the dangers of fracking, coal mining, oil pipelines, and other toxic by-products of dirty energy extraction and exploitation.
  • Help prevent Big Timber from clear-cutting our national forests and extraction industries from spoiling our beautiful wildlands and pristine places, starting with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Insist that President Trump retain all elements of the Clean Power Plan in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat climate change.

Our Opponents may have a chest stuffed with billions of dollars and a cadre of lobbyists and lawyers. They may have many members of Congress ready to do their bidding, with anti-environment majorities in both chambers of Congress.  There will be a cabinet full of aggressive pro-industry and pro-polluting nominees, along with the opportunity to stack the Supreme Court with justices who will try to unravel our progress.


Here are a few highlights of the impact your support has achieved:

  • 1916  National Park Service is created with the support of Sierra Club and others.
  • 1920  Sierra Club blocks a proposal for major dams in Yellowstone National Park.
  • 1940  Kings Canyon National Park is established after a long Club campaign.
  • 1967  After a hard-fought national campaign led by the Sierra Club, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation abandons plans to build two dams in the Grand Canyon on the Colorado River.
  • 1968  President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, establishing a National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.  Club leads effort to create Redwood National Park.
  • 1970  Sierra Club efforts lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency [EPA].
  • 1973  Congress passes the Endangers Species Act – one of America’s strongest and most successful conservation measures – to protect plants and animals in danger of extinction.
  • 1976  Club promotes passage of the National Forest Management Act.
  • 1980  Club campaign helps pass the Alaska Lands Act, adding 103 million acres of national parks, wildlife refuges, and wilderness areas.
  • 1984  Sierra Club succeeds in having 6.8 million acres of wilderness designated in 18 states.
  • 1991  Club wins drive to prevent oil exploration and drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • 2000  Sierra club pushes successfully for the creation of eight new national monuments, including protection for rare Giant Sequoias and threatened sections of the Grand Canyon.
  • 2003  Sierra Club leads effort to defeat energy production bill that would open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil development and would subsidize new nuclear and coal-fired power plants.
  • 2006  Club lawsuit protects Giant Sequoia National Monument from President Bush’s commercial logging plan.
  • 2009  Sierra Club leadership paves the way for passage of historic lands protection bill that includes more than 2 million acres of new wilderness and establishes 3 new national park units, a new national monument, 3 new national conservation areas, 1,000+ miles of national wild and scenic rivers, and 4 new national trails.
  • 2011  Sierra Club and allies save over a million acres of public land near Grand Canyon National Park from mineral exploration and mining.
  • 2012  Sierra Club is instrumental in getting Fort Monroe, Fort Ord, and Chimney Rock designated as the newest national monuments.
  • 2013  Influenced by Club petitions and member support, the U.S. Department of the Interior officially signed a plan to protect 11 million acres of the Western Arctic Reserve from oil and gas drilling – the largest adminstrative lands conservation action in oover 30 years.
  • 2014  Our Beyond Coal Campaign – the most successful campaign of the environmental movement in decades – passed the historic milestone of retiring the nations 178th coal-burning power plant.
  • 2015  After a 7 year campaign, with the help of tens of thousands of members and petition signers, Sierra Club and our allies stopped the Keystone XL pipeline.  The president acknowledged that avoiding the worst forms of climate change will require some fossil fuels remain in the ground.
  • 2016  3.5 million acres – including California Deserts Monuments – designated with the support of the Sierra Club.
  • 2017  Club celebrates 125th Anniversary.
  • For 125 years, Sierra Club members have been protecting the environment.  To learn more visit

It won’t be easy, but we have you, and millions of others who care. And if we stand together at this critical moment in our history, we will make a difference!

Stand with us.  This is a fight we must win.  And if we work together, this is a fight we will win – for our Air and our Water, for our natural places and for the legacy we have been entrusted to hand down to future generations. 


Michael Brune

Executive Director




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