Michigan Chapter

Legislative Scorecard
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Conservation Issues

Tiny white-spotted fawn waiting for its mother in the woods, by John RebersAs members of the Sierra Club we seek to restore a true sense of environmental responsibility and stewardship to Michigan.

Sierra Club leaders have seen our state — the state of great lakes, great times, and pleasant peninsulas — buffeted through most of the nineties by an extraordinary contempt and disregard for the need to protect the natural values and environmental quality on which we all depend for a healthy, safe, livable future. The Michigan Chapter's conservation priorities are geared to addressing some of Michigan's most pressing environmental problems.

Every two years the Michigan Chapter's conservation committee and executive committee map out the chapter's priority campaigns. While these issues are established as Michigan Chapter conservation priorities, this priority setting does not preclude members from working on other issues of interest to individuals or Groups. The purpose of these priorities is to focus our Chapter's energies where they'll provide the greatest benefit.

For help in analyzing these issues, there are topo and other maps provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Clean Energy Future

The shift to clean energy in Michigan is well underway - but our political leaders are holding us back by promoting coal and nuclear power.    Learn more about how you can be part of the solution to Michigan's energy needs for the future.

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Healthy Great Lakes, Healthy Michigan

Castle Rock, Lake Superior, Michigan

Michigan’s landscape is shaped by our Great Lakes.  They’re the first place we think of on a hot summer day.  The Lakes provide drinking water and recreation, and Michigan jobs in industry, tourism, and agriculture.  The Sierra Club is working to protect the lakes from animal factories and other toxic pollution.  Plus we’re teaching volunteers and students to test water, and we’re cleaning up trash.  Find out how to help here.

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Healthy Communities

 

All people have a right to a clean and healthy environment and Sierra Club believes that empowering communities to protect themselves from pollution and destruction of their quality of life is fundamental to our mission. 

As a grassroots environmental organization, Sierra Club members and activists work to clean up toxic sites and stop polluters, promote sound energy and solid waste policies, work for sound land use and protect open spaces, farmland and wild places.  Sierra Club members and staff use all legal means to engage the public and protect communities, from going door to door, to testifying at hearings, to working for the election of environmental champions.

Michigan has a lot at stake when it comes to water quality.  Right now Sierra Club’s Michigan Water Sentinels are working on three of the biggest threats to our waters, and you can help with these efforts.

1)      Large scale concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs or factory farms) are hurting water quality in Michigan’s lakes and streams, including the Great Lakes. These massive operations produce more sewage than small cities, but they don’t treat it the way that cities must.  We're working to document pollution and to get better enforcement of clean water laws.  We’re also working to strengthen our laws and permits to prevent pollution from these facilities. You can help – contact CAFO Water Sentinel Rita Chapman to find out more.  

2)      Michigan is experiencing a new boom in Natural Gas production.  A relatively new technological approach, called Hydraulic Fracturing, is being utilized by gas companies to extract even more gas out of shale formations.  Because there is a high potential for groundwater and surface water contamination if the hydraulic fracturing, or Fracking, is not done properly, the Michigan Chapter is working for stronger regulations to protect our water and our communities. 

As we find and develop more materials, we'll create a new webpage dedicated solely to Fracking, that will contain resources and take-action opportunities.  For now, you may download our Hydraulic Fracturing in Michigan slideshow that we presented to our Great Lakes Clean Water Team at their meeting on January 28, 2011.  Download the slideshow either in the larger full-size slides version (4MB) or the smaller 2-slides-per-page version (1.5MB).

3)      Metallic mining is making a resurgence in the Upper Peninsula, and Sierra Club’s Michigan Water Sentinel volunteers are monitoring water quality in streams near the sites of new proposed non-ferrous mineral mines to document their current clean water quality. (Defending precious resources from harm depends on knowing what’s at stake.)  You can help with this vital effort – contact Rita Chapman to learn more.

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Michigan's Wild Places

   Michigan's forests are at a crossroads in their history. One hundred years ago, these forests were razed by timber barons, with no thought for the future. For the past century, these forests have been recovering from devastating logging. They are on the verge of recovering the beauty, grandeur, and biological diversity which was the norm in Michigan before they were decimated. We as a society must decide whether to let this recovery happen, or tragically to allow industrial pressure to set the clock back a century again.

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Chapter News Releases

VICTORY!Governor GRANHOLM Slams the Brakes on Coal Plants; Adopts Aggressive Clean Energy Plan


Sierra Club Michigan Chapter's Conservation Priorities:

Clean Energy Future

Healthy Great Lakes, Healthy Michigan

Healthy Communities

Michigan's Wild Places

 

     
     

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