Help us Protect
Our Local

Here are a few things we’re doing in northern California...

 Protecting Wild Places…


Permanently Protecting the Berryessa Snow Mountain Region:  The Berryessa Snow Mountain region of northern California is one of the most biologically diverse, yet least known, regions of the state. Located less than one hundred miles from the Sacramento and Bay Area metropolitan regions, the area is a dazzling outdoor wonderland rich in unique natural features and loaded with recreational opportunities. Visitors can find California’s second-largest population of wintering bald eagles, float the thrilling rapids of wild and scenic Cache Creek, witness herds of wild Tule elk, and catch a glimpse of black bears. Opportunities for hiking, camping, botany, birding, hunting, and horseback riding abound. The area stretches over 100 miles from blue oak woodlands near Putah Creek in the south to the sub-alpine habitat of Snow Mountain Wilderness to the north.  For more information visit: 

Protecting the Sierra...


Helping Sierra Nevada species survive climate change: Our chapter is partnering with the national Sierra Club in engaging the Forest Service as it updates its management plans for each of the National Forests in the Sierra Nevada. The effects of climate change must be accounted for in the new management plans. As habitats shrink and shift, sufficient high-quality habitat must remain so that species can adapt to climate change.  They will need biological corridors so they can migrate, as optimal conditions for them shift to higher elevations.


Stopping clearcutting in the Sierra Nevada: Corporate greed is driving the clearcutting of hundreds of thousands of acres of forests from Yosemite to Mt. Shasta. Since logging on private lands is regulated by the State of California, Governor Jerry Brown and Resources Secretary John Laird have the power to end this outdated and destructive practice once and for all. We’re organizing a new campaign to call attention to the need for clean water and healthy forests. Visit our webpage on forests


Success in preventing the conversion of forests into subdivisions: Near the North Fork of the American River, developers asked Placer County to allow them to convert protected timberland into ranchettes. Our Placer Group said no. After many letters, many meetings and public hearings, we stopped a rezoning which would have set a terrible precedent in California.

Protecting unique habitat...


New dams threaten the American, Bear & Mokelumne Rivers: In the foothills, Auburn Dam, Garden Bar Dam & a bigger Pardee Dam would collectively flood a hundred miles of river and thousands of acres of habitat, with most of the water to be sent to Southern California. Water conservation and better management of existing supplies are better answers; the Mother Lode Chapter will be in the forefront to save these treasured wild places from inundation.


Saving Walker Ridge: While renewable energy is essential to our clean energy future, some special places with surpassing natural beauty, vital wildlife habitat, and unique recreational opportunities should not see any development at all. Walker Ridge, in California’s Inner Coast Range northwest of Sacramento, is one such place, yet it is threatened by a 29-turbine wind development project. We are working to protect Walker Ridge forever by gaining its designation as an Area of Critical Environmental Concern and its inclusion in the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Conservation Area.


Taking legal action...


Our legal challenge prevented large numbers of new piers & buoys at Tahoe: Joining with coalition partners, we stopped plans by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to allow 138 new piers and thousands of new buoys on the lake, whose cobalt blue waters and pristine clarity has inspired visitors since the time of Mark Twain. New boating facilities would have meant 62,000 more powerboats every year. New construction and traffic would have harmed air and water quality, while new development along the shore would have marred the lake’s beauty forever.


Another legal victory, this one for farmland: We filed a ‘friend of the court brief’ backing Stanislaus County in requiring that developers protect one acre of farmland for every acre that they develop. The court sided with us, and rejected the lawsuit brought by the Building Industry Association, which tried to end the requirement.

At Tahoe, we have filed litigation challenging the Regional Plan Update: The Sierra Club has spent decades striving to protect Tahoe's deep blue waters and scenic beauty. The new Regional Plan that was adopted by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) would bring massive new urban development and traffic congestion to the lake. Dense urban villages with tall buildings would block scenic views of the lake, the forests, and the mountains.   Under the new plan, construction activity will accelerate around the lake, as TRPA will allow the development of 3,200 more residential units, 200,000 additional square feet of commercial space, and 300 acres of new “resort recreation” development. This means more pavement and more pollutants flowing into the lake.  This is not the Lake Tahoe we want to leave for future generations. Read Tahoe - A Shared Vision Betrayed

Cordova Hills development draws a legal challenge from the Sierra Club: Earlier this year Sacramento County supervisors approved Cordova Hills, a 2,700 acre project with 8,000 homes and 1.3 million square feet of shopping, placing it outside the footprint of existing development, demonstrating its unwillingness to give up the disastrous growth paradigm that has helped fuel traffic congestion, air pollution and the loss of habitat and farmland. Read Sacramento County fails to give up on the sprawl paradigm

Recognizing and encouraging smart growth...

The chapter's Placer Group endorsed the Baltimore Ravine project, a compact pedestrian-friendly project in Auburn. To arrive at its decision the group's Executive Committee applied the chapter's Smart Growth Checklist. See the links below.

Mother Lode Chapter Smart Growth Checklist

Baltimore Ravine project rated on the Smart Growth Checklist

We're your local Sierra Club!

Mr. Green’s Cool Home Checklist

Cordova Hills Complaint


Check Out Our Genetic Engineering Committee Pages:

GE Committee's Home Page

Recommended Reading GE

GE Educational Materials and Resources

Sierra Club California:

Urban Growth Management Policy Guidelines

Lake Tahoe Region Environmental Actions:

Tahoe Area Sierra Club (TASC) Comments & Related Documents




Copyright © 2011 Sierra Club Motherlode Chapter
Site Design & Production by: Parallax Design Group