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Nov. 4: VOTE!

Nov. 15: John Muir: Univeristy of the Wilderness-Cedarburg Cultural Center Tickets on sale now

Nov. 18: Cruisin' to Cento

Dec. 14: Winter Bonfire at Picnic Point



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Sierra Club Staff

222 South Hamilton Street, Suite #11, Madison, WI  53703
Phone: (608) 256-0565
Fax: (608) 256-4JMC (4562)

Shahla M. Werner, Ph.D.

Chapter Director
Shahla has been the Director of the Sierra Club - John Muir Chapter in Wisconsin since 2008. She earned her MS and PhD in entomology at the University of Wisconsin - Madison where she studied forest beetle biodiversity and an invasive insect called the introduced basswood thrips. She previously worked as an entomologist for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources, in development for WORT-FM community radio and the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, and as the volunteer co-president of the Wisconsin National Organization for Women. She enjoys camping, reading and canoeing with her husband Andy and their children Darwin & Miranda.


Elizabeth Ward
Conservation Programs Coordinator

In her role as the the Conservation Programs Coordinator, Elizabeth works with volunteers and issue committees to strategize, plan, and implement the Chapter's programs, including the Beyond Coal to Clean Energy, Beyond Oil through Clean Transportation, and Our Wild Wisconsin Campaigns, as well as the Chapter's Political work.  . Before her role at the Chapter, Elizabeth attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse where she graduated  with a  Political Science degree and a minor in Sociology and Environmental Studies.  She was the Co-Chair of the UW-L Progressives, Students for Choice, and the No Coal Coalition.  She also interned with the Sierra Club's National Move Beyond Coal Campaign and pushed the university to transition the on-campus coal plant to a cleaner fuel source. 

jacinda Jacinda Tessmann
Chapter Coordinator

In her role as Chapter Coordinator, Jacinda Tessmann oversees office operations for the John Muir Chapter. In this role, she also contributes to the fundraising and volunteer programs. Jacinda has a degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Over the course of her career she has worked in the private and non-profit sectors but has always been drawn to the non-profit "lifestyle." Her interest in pairing her business background with an environmental career was sparked during her time with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources-Forestry Division. She has been with the John Muir Chapter since October 2010 and is pleased to use her business experience in support of the Sierra Club, its volunteers and Wisconsin’s air, water, and wild places.


122 West Washington Ave, #830, Madison, WI  53703-2732
Phone: (608) 257-4994

Judy Hofrichter,
Senior Program Assistant, Beyond Coal Campaign

Holly Bender,
Associate Regional Campaign Director, Beyond Coal Campaign

85 Second Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA  94105
Phone: (415) 977-5500

Membership questions:
Changes of address:



Leadership of the John Muir Chapter of the Sierra Club is entrusted to a 16 member volunteer Executive Committee, selected by and representing our membership. Nine Executive Committee members are elected by the Chapter membership at large and serve staggered 3-year terms. Each of our six local Groups annually appoints a delegate to represent them on the Chapter Executive Committee.

Click here for dates & details on the Executive Committee meeting schedule


Don Ferber

Four Lakes Group Delegate

Don is an avid outdoors person with an appreciation for nature. As a fan and advocate of Aldo Leopold and his Land Ethic, he believes we need to live in an ethical manner as a member of the land community and in concert with nature and other people. He believes that currently, much of what we are doing is either unwise or unsustainable, it doesn't bring us happiness, and we need to take a different direction.  Climate change and energy policy are key areas in determining our future direction and that of the planet.  He works actively on climate and energy to set us on a different course. He also enjoys outreach and communications to engage people and educate them about the environment. Since there is no planet B, I figure we have to figure out how to explore, enjoy and protect this one.

Committees: Clean Energy, Fundraising


Don Ferber

James Kerler
, Chair
At Large Member

Jim has a love of the outdoors that springs from Boy Scout outings and family trips to a Vilas County, Wisconsin lake.  A weekend on the North Fork of the Flambeau with his father, and a subsequent Explorer Scout adventure in Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park, molded him into a committed paddler.  He and his wife also hike, backpack and watch birds.  Jim has hunted and fished most of his life, and values those activities just as he treasures the annual harvest from his vegetable garden.  After studying electrical engineering and business, and a career in computers and data communications, he now enjoys working with those who seek to sustain a healthy and diverse natural environment.  He is active on the board of the Rock River Coalition and monitors local waterways in Southern Wisconsin through Sierra Club's Water Sentinels program.  Jim is a member of the Rock Lake Improvement Association, a volunteer at Madison Audubon’s Faville Grove Sanctuary, and a citizen monitor for the DNR where he conducts frog counts and tracks riverine invasives.  Jim also participates in a local community sponsored energy group that is seeking small-scale, sustainable energy solutions.
Committees: Water Sentinels  

Laura Menefee
At Large Member
I have served as Wolf Issues Chair on the Conservation Committee for the John Muir Chapter since succeeding Jim Olson in 2008. I am also a professionally trained volunteer Carnivore Tracker for WDNR and on the Advisory Board of the National Wolfwatcher Coalition. Because of my work in wolf advocacy, I was offered honorary membership by Defenders of Wildlife in 2009. I have also served as a volunteer biologist for USFWS and on the Board of Directors for League of Women Voters, Door County, WI.  As a tenured, Assistant Professor in Humanities, I learned the importance of education and collaboration and the power of ideas to change the world. As an environmental writer, I continue to educate and inspire my readers to take action. I am inspired by the renewing powers of nature and I am passionate about sharing that experience with others. My top environmental issue is wildlife conservation, especially predator conservation and habitat preservation. There is no “Wilderness” without wildlife. “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything in the universe.” ~ John Muir.

Committees: Conservation

Liza Peckham,
At Large Member

Liza resides in Plover, and loves enjoying Wisconsin's beautiful outdoors with family, friends, and her beloved dog.  While studying at UW-Madison, Liza interned at the Chapter Office for the Sierra Club, and quickly learned how much work is necessary to preserve and maintain our great states most valuable assets.  After earning her degree in Biological Aspects of Conservation and Psychology with a certificate in Integrated Environmental studies, she continued to volunteer for the Club.  Now as a member of the Executive Committee, she continues to make further contributions by serving as the Chapter Secretary and working to maintain, build, and diversify Sierra Club's constituency as part of the Membership Committee!
Committees: Membership

LD Rockwell
Vice Chair and Council of Club Leaders Delegate
At Large Member

joined the Sierra Club in 2000 after working with the League of Conservation Voters. He is an active member of the chapter's Southeast Gateway Group serving on their executive and conservation committees. LD advocates for clean water and land conservation that includes more green space. After serving twenty-years in the military he worked as a purchasing agent for numerous companies. He currently serves as Vice President of Veterans for Peace of Milwaukee.

Committees: Political

Judy Rockwell
Southeast Gateway Group Delegate

I grew up on a farm near Sturgis, South Dakota and my dad was an environmentalist although it wasn't called that then. Soil conservation was especially important to him. Living near the Black Hills made me aware of the necessity of preserving the wilderness and I've been more or less active since Earth Day 1972. I am retired from Burlington Public Library so now  look forward to being more involved with Sierra Club activities. I am particularly interested in climate change issues. 

Jane Schley
At Large Member

Jane is a founding member of the Chapter's Chippewa Valley Group. She has maintained an active role in the group, organizing an annual Bird Seed sale fundraiser and the Earth Green Awards, which recognize local business & community members for environmental and leadership/projects. She has also organized letter writing campaigns on current environmental legislation. As a small business owner for 32 years, Jane sees collaboration between environmental groups, small business, farmers, hunters and fishers as one of the keys to keeping our environment safe and healthy for future generations. She is passionate about Mother Earth and looks forward to using that passion as well as her knowledge of current conservation issues to help guide the chapter during her term.
Committees: Conservation

Alyssa Shelstad
At Large Member

I'm a recent graduate of University of Wisconsin working as a Marketing Communications Specialist for CUNA (Credit Union National Association) in Madison.  I joined the Sierra Club in the fall of 2009 as a volunteer after transferring to the UW-Madison campus. While in college, I also served as the Marketing Director for a start-up student-run non-profit, The Madison Fund, which provides microloans for green energy business initiatives. I also served as the primary contact for the Wisconsin Sierra Student Coalition, where I focused on engaging students in state-based environmental issues. My Agricultural and Applied Economics degree exposed me to a variety of farming practices and the issues that arise with large-scale farming. I strongly believe it is humanity’s responsibility to take action now to protect the environment for future generations. Growing up in Milwaukee and having lived in Sheboygan, I have seen first-hand, the need to protect the Great Lakes. I believe protecting the Great Lakes and all of Wisconsin’s 30,000+ lakes, rivers and steams is both one of Wisconsin’s greatest challenges but also greatest opportunity.

Will Stahl,
Conservation Committee Chair
Fox Valley Group Delegate

In additon to being the Sierra Club John Muir Chapter's Conservation Chair and delegate for the Fox Valley Group, Will Stahl serves as a member of our Water Sentinels Team.  Will frequently represents the Club at public hearings and in written testimony, where he draws upon his writing experience.  Will earned bachelor's and graduate degrees in education ftom Western Illinois University & Illinois State University respectively.  He has 26 years of teaching experience and he is on the board of Northeast Wisconsin Paddlers.  He used to write a column on environmental issues for the Scene magazine.

Committees: Conservation, Water Sentinels

Will Stahl


Jim Steffens
At Large Member

Jim has previously served as Chair of the John Muir and Delaware Chapters.  He has been the John Muir Chapter Delegate to the Council of Club Leaders, which consists of delegates from each of the 65 Chapters and the Sierra Student Coalition.  He previously Chaired the Council of Club Leaders Executive Committee, where he helped shape Sierra Club's national conservation agenda.  Jim is also a member of the National Sierra Club Honors and Awards Committee.  Jim resides in Ridgeway in Iowa County and he is retired from Lands End, where he volunteered on their Sustainability Committee.  He is an avid collector and admirer of carabid (and tiger) beetles.

Committees: Personnel


Jim Steffens

Caryn Treiber
Chippewa Valley Group delegate
Caryn Treiber has been a member of the Sierra Club since 1982.  In addition to serving on the Executive Committee, she is active with her local Chippewa Valley Group, and she serves on the Fundraising Committees of the John Muir Chapter. In her role as a member of the Fundraising Committee, she was instrumental in planning an event to highlight our work for renewable energy at a house party held in 2011. Caryn is also a passionate supporter of progressive politics, and she has helped the Sierra Club make the difference to elect environmental candidates for years on the Chapter's Political Committee.

Committees: Fundraising

Caryn Treiber,

Eric Uram

Outings Chair
At Large Member

Eric has been an avid angler since childhood, giving him an understanding of the need to protect water resources. This passion led to his involvement in the Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter as a member of the Executive Committee and the Water Sentinel's Team. He also leads Sierra Club outings to Quetico Provencial Park where participants have the chance to enjoy and explore this remote, beautiful area of the Boundary Waters. Eric is also the Executive Director of SafeMinds, a non-profit organization that advocates to end Mercury related neurological disorders.
Committees: Outings

Eric Uram

Rosemary Wehnes
Great Waters Group Delegate
Rosemary worked with the Sierra Club in our Milwaukee regional office for years, where she was instrumental in building relationships with labor unions and making the connection between clean energy solutions and jobs.  She worked on our Cool Cities and Building Environmental Communities programs to encourage local climate action. Rosemary loves sailing with her husband and spending time with her grandchildren.
Rosemary Wehnes

Liz Wessel
At Large Member

Liz Wessel owns Green Concierge Travel, a business that merges two passions fundamental to the Sierra Club – outdoor recreation and environmental activism.  Her top environmental issue is reducing transportation's contribution to climate change.  As a Pollution Prevention Specialist for Citizens for a Better Environment, Liz worked on programs to clean up the lithographic printing, dry cleaning and auto industries. She also served as the Executive Director of Clean Wisconsin. Liz's community involvement dates back to the 1990's when she judged nominations for the Wisconsin Governor’s Award for Excellence in Hazardous Waste Reduction. She has also served on the board of Community Shares of Wisconsin, the City of Madison’s Commission on the Environment, the board of Green America (previously Co-op America) and the board of the State Environmental Leadership Program.  Liz and her husband Bill became life members of the Sierra Club in 1984.  They enjoy berry picking, fly-fishing, picnicking and hiking together.
Committees: Fundraising, Membership, Personnel

Liz Wessel


Awards Committee
Lacinda Athen,

Conservation Committe
Will Stahl,

Fundraising Committee
Liz Wessel,

Grants Committee
Barbara Thomas,

Legislative Committee
Caryl Terrell,

Membership Committee
Liz Wessel,

Muir View Newsletter Committee
Karen Pope

Outings Chair
Eric Uram,

Personnel Committee
Jim Steffens,

Political Committee
Dave Blouin,