About the Sierra Club
Who is the Sierra Club?
Founded in 1892 by John Muir, the Sierra Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization.
The Sierra Club’s mission is 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 environment; and to use all lawful means to carry out those objectives.
There are over 1.3 million members of the Sierra Club in North America. In addition, approximately 5,000 volunteers nationwide are elected or appointed to leadership positions, such as chapter chair, chapter treasurer, committee chair, and outings leader. To better address regional, state and local issues, the Club is organized into Chapters, which in turn contain local Groups. We are primarily a volunteer organization at this level, dedicated to environmental education and conservation. The structure of the Sierra Club allows us to work on multiple levels to solve problems. Nationwide membership gives the Sierra Club clout with Congress and the White House, while local chapters and groups help us influence city council members, county commissioners, and state officials.
- We are one Club! Any Wisconsinite who joins the national Sierra Club automatically becomes a member of their Wisconsin chapter and local group, if they live in an area where a group is organized!
What is the John Muir Chapter?
The John Muir Chapter (JMC) is the Wisconsin branch of the Sierra Club, and includes about 15,000 members. Our chapter was founded in 1963 by Norm O’Neill of Milwaukee. We currently have eight local Groups and three specialty groups in Wisconsin.
Our Chapter was named after famous conservationist, John Muir, who was born in Scotland but spent his young adult years on a Wisconsin farm near Portage until 1862. He also attended the University of Wisconsin – Madison before trekking west to form the Sierra Club in 1892. John Muir’s philosophy is embodied by the Wisconsin Chapter, who strives to continue his legacy of wilderness conservation into the future. Click here to learn more about John Muir in Wisconsin.
"Oh that glorious Wisconsin wilderness” –John Muir
What does the John Muir Chapter do?
The John Muir Chapter:
- Supports activities of volunteers in local groups throughout Wisconsin.
- Creates conservation Action Alerts to show our members how to take action on environmental issues.
- Works on environmental litigation
- Provides environmental education through our outings, Muir View newsletter, website and media communications.
- Tracks legislation and communicates with legislators on conservation issues.
- Supports the election of strong environmental leaders in state and local elections, since one of our best hopes for long term gains is building a strong legislative base to protect our environment.
- Celebrates our connections with the natural world through activities to explore and enjoy the outdoors such as hikes, biking events, camping trips, water sports, group meetings and potlucks. See our Outings Calendar to see what fun we have!!
A Few Major Accomplishments of the Sierra Club’s John Muir Chapter
√ We cleared the air of coal dust and greenhouse gases in a major legal victory in 2007 bringing state-owned coal plants into compliance with the Clean Air Act.
√ We established a national recreational trail by lobbying Congress and the Wisconsin State Legislature to purchase glacial land formations and create the 1,000 mile Ice Age National Scenic Hiking Trail Corridor.
√ We stopped toxic pollution at the headwaters of the pristine Wolf River when we worked for over two decades with a large coalition of tribes and environmental organizations to stop Exxon’s plans to build a copper-zinc mine near Crandon, Wisconsin.
√ We passed landmark Wisconsin laws as a key player in lobbying for wild and scenic rivers, acid rain controls,, mandatory statewide recycling, the Lower Wisconsin State River Way, pollution prevention and regulation of hazardous waste.
For more information on the Sierra Club – John Muir Chapter, contact us at the office or contact a Local Group or Specialty Group near you!