Talk:Sierra Club

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Why is there no criticism section? The Sierra Club is routinely criticized by lots of people, including many who use public lands for recreation.Marshaul (talk) 06:04, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree, why is all of the actual history of Corporate subversion of the Sierra Club not even mentioned? The Sierra Club today is nothing like what it used to be, now it's a right wing Corporate front, its leaders are Republican shills and they have some rather extensive finanical questions that they should answer to one-time members for, none of which is covered here. NotSoOldHippy (talk) 02:56, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
There is certainly internal and external criticism along the lines you mention (for the most part, at least -- I don't think I've heard "Republican shills" about an organization that endorses mostly Democrats). The problem is finding coverage of that criticism. I could add some information based on my personal knowledge but that wouldn't meet the verifiability standard. JamesMLane t c 10:32, 13 September 2010 (UTC)
Although criticism sections are not banned on Wikipedia, many editors consider them problematic. Here's a quote from an essay found at WP: criticism sections:
"Separating all the controversial aspects of a topic into a single section results in a very tortured form of writing, especially a back-and-forth dialogue between 'proponents' and 'opponents'. It also creates a hierarchy of fact — the main passage is 'true' and 'undisputed', whereas the rest are 'controversial' and therefore more likely to be false, an implication that may often be inappropriate. Since many of the topics in an encyclopedia will inevitably encounter controversy, editors should attempt to write in a manner that folds debates into the narrative rather than 'distilling' them out into separate sections that ignore each other."
Funny how any wiki entry that falls in line with the liberal/progressive agenda doesn't need a "criticism" section, but anything outside the agenda should. The bias here is evident. --Hamsterjoeb (talk) 14:13, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
As for the substance of NotSoOldHippy's allegations about the Sierra Club, I think that Republican influence in the Club in the early decades was far more prevalent than of late. William Kent who helped create Muir Woods was a Republican, for example. I recently wrote a bio of Norman Livermore, a Republican who was active in the club from the 30s to the 60s, who played a very constructive role on balance, in my opinion. If NotSoOldHippy can come up with some reliable sources that back his/her point, and write up the material from the neutral point of view, then I wouldn't object. Disclosure - I am a Democrat and a Sierra Club member since 1976. Cullen328 (talk) 00:18, 14 September 2010 (UTC)

It's a huge disservice to students not to mention that Sierra Club essentially made global warming worse by getting NRC to destroy any hope of getting away from coal on a reasonable timeframe. (talk) 06:38, 8 October 2019 (UTC)


The previous version singled out one among many Sierra Club policies (restore Hetch Hetchy) and mentioned one of the reasons to oppose that policy (San Francisco need for drinking water). My reaction as a first-time visitor was that it violated NPOV. I expanded the discussion of the policy to show that SC isn't indifferent to SF drinking water. Reference to dams "in California" deleted because SC has opposed dams across the country. I also added a sentence re SC governance. JamesMLane 21:34, 13 Jan 2004 (UTC)


It should be noted that john muir was a preservationist, not a conservationist. A good parrallel between the two would be free software and open source. Here is a comparison between the two:

        Okay well since no one else seems to want to fix it i will
The distinction as you draw it is not commonly accepted. Muir is often referred to as a preservationist but is even more often referred to as a conservationist. I'm restoring "conservationist" but I'll leave in "preservationist" because it's not inaccurate. JamesMLane 19:19, 5 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Somewhere along the line "conservationist" was deleted, so I'm restoring it. JamesMLane t c 10:34, 16 August 2008 (UTC)


Should the article mention the Sierra Club's loss of its tax exempt status for engaging in political activity in 1966? --Blackeagle 17:34, 23 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Certainly. The article should have more history material. Cheers, -Willmcw 03:57, Feb 25, 2005 (UTC)

immigration reform info keeps getting deleted[edit]

please help!!!!

Best thing to do is first ask the person in question on their talk page, as to me it looks like a content dispute rather than vandalism on either side. It may be that Will Beback thinks it's simple vandalism (hence the lack of explaination in the edit summary) as someone called "won't be back" previously inserted the same information. PS. the citation link at the end is broken, you've got an extra "|2" in there somewhere.
In any case, reverting back and forth (see WP:3RR) isn't going to help figure out why each other object to the addition/removal of the text. MartinRe 18:05, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
It could also be a question of notibility and/or potential pov issues. I've done a quick search and allI could find was that the "takeover" canditates got less than 2% of the vote[1] From what I've seen in the search results on this topic, it looks highly charged in the sense that both sides view are far from a npov, making claims and counter claims. I would question the notibility of the election, most elections I've seen have groups that run on a certain issue, but unless they get a substantinal amount of the vote, I woulnd't regard it as particularlly notable. Also, adding a comment about a topic that got that little of the actual vote, might be seen as pushing that pov. MartinRe 18:39, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I believe that the controversy was notable. It was mentioned in the mainstream press [2][3]. The President of the Sierra Club board was quoted as saying that "this entire debate is distracting and keeping us away from our primary focus in order to deal with squabbles like this". It sounds like the controversy definitely affected the club, and deserves at least a mention in the article.
How to handle it in an NPOV way is another issue. Reversion is probably not the correct strategy. -- hike395 22:16, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
I agree reversion is not the correct strategy, but how to deal with it in a npov is tough. From my brief searches to try and get background most results were either very pro or very anti, I don't envy trying to find the middle line. However, as a UK/Irish person that has never heard of either, I offer myself as a sort of somewhat sort of middle ground/sounding board, if needed. MartinRe 23:23, 29 January 2006 (UTC)
One step toward neutrality would be to pick neutral terminology. Immigration "reform" makes it sound like a good thing and is biased against the position of the majority of the Sierra Club Board of Directors. Some of those people referred to their adversaries as "anti-immigration", which those so characterized denied; thus, using that term would be POV in the other direction. I suggest referring to the issue as "immigration reduction", which seems both accurate and neutral. JamesMLane t c 00:37, 30 January 2006 (UTC)

Dams and nuclear[edit]

  • Decomissioning of dams will affect power and water supplies for entire populations, leading to dirtier and less effective means of power production. The easiest solution, burning Coal and other fossil fuels, leads to air pollution and water contamination [[4]]. Solar power is many times more expensive than other forms of energy production and is NOT without pollution when the production of the solar cells is taken into consideration. Nuclear power, which the Sierra Club [opposes], is the only sensible solution. No air or water pollution is emitted, and the fuel rods can be reprocessed, reducing the amount of [waste] to be stored. The remaining spent fuel can be safely buried where it came from. Underground. Even the French have a strong nuclear program [[5]] and they are a net exporter of electricity.

This text, by user:Plainvanilla, does not describe the subject. Rather, it is an argument about the subject's policies. As editors, we should not write original arguments. Our job is to verifiably summarize reliable sources using the neutral point of view. So if we can find a notable critic who says something like, "The Sierra Club foolishly ignores nuclear power", then we use that as a reference. But we can't add it just because we think it is true. -Will Beback 06:01, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Prior to my edit, nuclear power was not even mentioned in the Sierra Club page at all. Unless this page is simply a promotional tool for the Sierra Club, major policies and effects of those policies should be mentioned, especially when such positions have such wide reaching effects. An edit would have been appropriate, not removal....Plainvanilla, July 11, 2006

It would be appropriate to give the Sierra Club's position on nuclear power. It is not appropriate to give your opinion of nuclear power, or to add facts about its use in other countries. Note that the organization has positions on numerous topics. I suppose we could do a better job of listing them all. -Will Beback 04:21, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

I second the notion that It would be appropriate to have Sierra Club's position on nuclear power stated here. Specially due to the looming threat of global warming, and the potential for nuclear power as an alternative energy source to carbon based energy. Also, there's the comment, "Fusion is currently opposed due to the use of the hydrogen isotope tritium" but the Sierra Club's reasoning is lacking. A reference would be appropriate here also. -- 18:21, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

All of the Sierra Club's official policy statements on nuclear power are here: [6] Tritium is mentioned as one of several objections to fusion. ·:· Will Beback ·:· 22:31, 23 July 2007 (UTC)

I stated the Sierra Club's opinions (a.k.a. positions) on nuclear power. I also mentioned the use in France to emphasize that it IS a viable technology. Not using it DOES have large implications to the environment in the form of requiring greater usage of more polluting technologies. Since all the positions are not listed, its appropriate to exclude this MAJOR one? My reference to the Sierra Club's OWN page was even removed. Balance requires that criticism and praise both be listed.

Nuclear power is not just one of the "positions on numerous topics" but is a MAJOR postition that they have taken.

Stop editing the truth, otherwise this truly is just a promotional page for the Sierra Club.

Plainvanilla July 11, 2006

I've added an NPOV summary of the group's position. Neither the cost of nuclear power in France, nor the price of tea in China, are the subjects of this article. I'd have to go check but I'd guess that the Sierra Club's policy on energy proposes using less of it. -Will Beback 07:25, 12 July 2006 (UTC)

The "price of tea in China"? I mentioned only relevant information. No need to insult my contributions. On the other hand, your edits of my information are based on your currently held opinion, rather than clicking on a simple link (provided above). "I'd have to go check but I'd guess...." That really doesnt seem like its in the spririt of attaching attributions to support your statements. I will add NPOV historical or current facts to the article. Not guesses.

WP:California Assessment[edit]

Rated this as Start-class and Mid-importance (could possibly be persuaded to rate it High, but then I'm biased). Feel free to update this, just note here if/when/why you do. --Justin 19:17, 2 May 2007 (UTC)

Take that, trivia section![edit]

Removed Fictional usage section from the article. While a Paranoia player or Clancy reader might want to know who the real Sierra Club is, the article's general audience isn't helped by random unrelated trivia. --Justin 21:21, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

Sierra Club is one of the secret societies in the Paranoia role-playing game. It is also mentioned in Tom Clancy's novel Rainbow Six.

"anti-immigrant hate groups"[edit]

Regarding the revisions of this article: On December 18, user Mervyn Emrys added opinionated language and labeling, in the "Immigration controversy" section of this article. The changes he made presented only one side of the issue, and they also labeled two organizations as "anti-immigrant hate groups." User Will Beback revised this language on January 6, but that was undone, with Mervyn Emrys asserting that the controversial Southern Poverty Law Center organization's actions and positions are ultimately authoritative, and even possibly endorsed by the FBI.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is itself a highly-criticized organization (some of that is addressed in its article), and the FBI has nothing whatsoever to do with the Sierra Club immigration controversy, and has taken no position on that matter. The FBI has worked with many individuals and organizations, on a variety of issues, and because an organization has worked with the FBI before doesn't mean that everything that said group says, from now on, about every other group and individual, has any special authority. (This would be a scary concept, if true, considering that [ironically, perhaps], the SPLC has itself criticized the FBI for working with certain creepy characters.)

Furthermore, I don't think that even the SPLC has called the Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America an "anti-immigrant hate group" - what is your source on this? That organization's leadership consists largely of immigrants and minorities, and the Sierra Club candidate who is on the D.A.S.A. board is distinguished civil rights leader Frank Morris, Sr., the former Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation. Furthermore, this "take over" was orchestrated by incumbent members of the Sierra Club Board of Directors, such as Captain Paul Watson (a new movie is just coming out about him, BTW). Latest news on Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Progressives such as Doug LaFollette and veteran environmental activist Alan Kuper ("The Voice of the Sierra Club," who passed away just last month), and others also supported this effort.

The slanted and opinionated re-wording of the article, is in violation of the NPOV and AWW guidelines, and the labeling of D.A.S.A. is likely an Accuracy violation as well.

This article should immediately be reverted, to Will Beback's revision. (Update: Since I started typing this, I see that an unnamed user has slightly modified Mervyn Emrys' re-working of this article section; the "anti-immigrant" still needs to be changed to "immigration reduction," however.) If we are going to keep Mervyn Emrys' other additions to this article section, then we will likely also have to add additional information, since he has only presented half of the story.

One other thing: The article implies that, since the SUSPS-endorsed candidates received "only 3% of the vote" in the 2004 elections, that that movement is unpopular. No mention was made however, of any of the prior elections, since SUSPS was formed. In the elections right before that one (2002), the main SUSPS-endorsed candidate, Professor Ben Zuckerman, finished in first place, among all of the candidates.

Another fact that should perhaps be added to that section is with respect to David Brower, one of the foremost environmentalists of the 20th century. Among the organizations founded by Brower was the Sierra Club Foundation, and he was the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club itself. After the controversy surrounding the 1998 ballot initiative, Brower quit his own organization, citing the Club's non-action on immigration-based U.S. population expansion as a key issue. The Sierra Club continues to celebrate Brower's legacy nonetheless - as it should be.

David Brower is such a major figure in the 20th century environmentalist movement, and is so highly-regarded by the Sierra Club, and by so many others, that his involvement in this controversy seems wrong to omit. (The David Brower Center will be opening soon, BTW.)

And a personal note, about this situation, before I publish: After I first undid his revisions to this section, Mervyn Emrys told me to "not [do that] again."

Three of us have since modified his changes however, recognizing that they are in violation of Wikipedia policies and guidelines. (The last revision to his changes may be undone soon, I'm afraid.)

After I undid his undoing of Will Beback's revision of his work [i.e. - when I reverted it back to Will Beback's revision this morning (January 6th), he posted on my Talk page, threatening to report me, if I again undid his re-working of this article section.

It is a shame that, over the issue of Wikipedia article content & diction, we cannot resolve disagreements, without that type of dialogue. Pacificus (talk) 06:06, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

On the issue of using a term like "hate groups", I don't see that it adds anything to the reader's understanding of the subject of this article, which is the Sierra Club, not the immigration-reduction movement. On the Club election more generally, the problem is finding third-party sources. I could add a great deal of information based on emails that I've read. Most notably, the account of the election follows the "establishment" slate's spin that there were only two sides, when in fact there was a third slate, opposed to the increasingly oligarchical nature of the Club but not aligned with the immigration reductionists. Ideally we'd find reliable third-party sources for that information. JamesMLane t c 10:24, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Actually, the full text of my comments at Talk:Pacificus is as follows:
Pacificus, the term used in article on Sierra Club is NPOV and is an official, published designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center which is recognized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. When the FBI is invistigating a suspected hate crime, and wishes to know who is associated with whom in the white supremicist community, it collaborates with SPLC and uses their "social networking" research to develop leads. SPLC has identified both these groups as "anti-immigrant hate groups" and until recently there were refs to sources listed for them on the Sierra Club article. Many Sierra Club members think it important for others to know that these groups attempted to "take over" the leadership of Sierra Club in 2004. In my opinion, it is not appropriate to "sanitize" this article in this manner. The term is appropriate in this context. Please don't revert again or I will report it. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 19:22, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Attempts to mischaracterize those comments here are a bit obvious. For example, I did not suggest the FBI has endorsed SPLC, but only that the FBI has worked with SPLC because (apparently) the FBI recognizes SPLC has better associational data on white supremacists than does the FBI (else why go to SPLC for this information). That is a pretty strong indicator SPLC is a credible source where white supremacy groups are concerned.
My point to Pacificus was that Wikipedia DOES have a policy against triple reverts WP:3RR, and the policy does say one may be blocked for violating that policy, and Pacificus was then one revert away from violating that policy.
Pacificus is correct that SPLC has often been criticized by white supremacists and their sympathizers, including some previous members of the Sierra Club Board such as Paul Watson. It is also accurate to say many members of the Sierra Club, including some Board members, were duped into thinking the 2004 election issue was about population control for environmental reasons rather than for racist reasons, and many now regret that.
Let's face it folks, "immigration reduction" is just a sanitized, weasel wordy euphemism for "anti-immigrant hate group" no matter how you spell it. If you haven't figured that out yet, you're not paying attention to what is going on in the white supremacy movement today. I am. SPLC is also paying attention, but Sierra Club was not, in 2004. And SPLC has a bit more credibility on issues of racism, white supremacy, and the anti-immigrant movement than Sierra Club ever had.
Then, I can say that, because I haven't been spending my time trying to add the names of prominent white supremacists to other Wiki articles where they don't belong, as Pacificus has done.
Oh, and doesn't the fact Sierra Club has prohibited use of "Sierrans" to SUSPS give a pretty good indication Sierra Club does not consider SUSPS a bona fide affiliate of the Sierra Club?
This is all about schisms and factions within the Sierra Club where one group tries to gain the upper hand and control what can be said about its activities. Then, environmental groups have a long, long history of schisms and factions, as Dave Brower knows perhaps better than any of us, having been involved in several. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 21:25, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
The SPLC is indeed a highly-controversial organization, and has been criticized by many more than just "white supremacists and their allies" - the Wikipedia article on that organization deals with some of that controversy.
My point above was that bringing the FBI into this dialogue was unnecessary and irrelevant; they have worked with many organizations, and have nothing whatsoever to do with this controversy.
Furthermore, as pointed out above, it was wrongly asserted (in both the revision to this article, and in the post on my Talk page) that the SPLC has designated the [immigrant & minority-led] 'Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America' as an "anti-immigrant hate group." D.A.S.A isn't even listed on this SPLC web page, and is only tangentially mentioned at all, on the SPLC website.
As others have also pointed out, the use of opinionated adjectives is misleading and inappropriate, considering that this is one section of an article on the Sierra Club, not on the immigration reduction movement. And contrary to the faulty generalization expressed above, if one looks through the article on that movement, one can clearly see that support for reducing immigration it is very diverse, and incorporates groups and organizations from left to right - and many leaders have particularly commented on the positive effects that it could have on minorities... One of the most notable people who has done this is the great civil rights leader and former U.S. Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX) - who was an ally of the SPLC. Was Barbara Jordan a "white supremacist" too? (And I guess that that would also apply to then-President Clinton, who immediately embraced the Barbara Jordan Commission's proposals.)
And the ad hominem characterization above is wrong, and absurd. In the free time I have available, I have tried to add more information to this online encyclopedia. I have added MANY individuals to Categories (not to "articles"), where I thought they would appropriately fit, based on how I understood the editing/revision guidelines as the time. These individuals include those who are white, black, Hispanic, Asian, male, female, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, vegetarian, etc... Among my recent Category-additions have been for articles on individuals as diverse as Michelle Obama, Earlean Collins, Andrea Barthwell, César Chávez, Jim Oberweis, John Huang, Deborah Gore Dean, Deb Mell, and MANY others.
My contributions to Wikipedia have been done, with the intent of improving and expanding this great resource. It is an unfortunate situation, when simply editing this encyclopedia gets users bitten. Pacificus (talk) 22:21, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
And many of your edits were immediately reverted by long-time editors and administrators. Lester Maddox? Roy Moore? Mervyn Emrys (talk) 22:34, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Those reverts only happened to some of my categorizations (and they weren't "immediately reverted"), in which one editor requested that additional sources be provided, before the individuals be placed into the category in question. Overall however, most of my categorizations and edits have never been reverted, and for those that were, it was simply requested that I add to the articles on those subjects, so as to include sources or information, which would reference those categorizations.
As mentioned before, I did not realize at the time what the "synthesis" guidelines were, for categorization. That editor understood this, which is why he requested that I amend those articles, with sources and additional info. Hardly any of my categorizations, while I've been a Wikipedia editor, were "immediately reverted." In fact, the one editor who reverted aforesaid categorizations specifically delayed his reverts, and then specifically stated that I should "feel free" to undo his reverts (in accordance with my categorizing edits), once the requested sources/info were provided.
Please see the last paragraphs of my comment above. As shown there, I have done revisions and categorizations for a very-large and diverse group of individuals and article subjects, based on how I understood the editing/revision guidelines at the time. My contributions have been done with the intent of improving and expanding this great resource. Pacificus (talk) 23:19, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
There is a lesson here for us all, courtesy of Pacificus. Try and understand policy before you go throwing out unsupported edits. The reason Wikipedia is so suspect is because of "well meaning" people like Pacificus who make edits based on a flawed understanding of Wikipedia policies. It is pretty easy to say afterwards that you meant well, and that any damage you caused was of good faith. However that should in itself tell you why the whole process is a giant waste of time. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:15, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

The facts about "anti-immigrant hate groups"[edit]

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been investigating white supremacist hate groups in the U.S. for more than 20 years. Every time SPLC sues a group, they get the groups membership lists. Let’s see if we can get a factual timeline and some associations out in the open.

The following timeline was published in the SPLC’s respected national periodical Intelligence Report in 2004. [“Hostile takeover,” Intelligence Report, Spring 2004, p. 57. Published by Southern Poverty Law Center.] Such periodicals are usually quite careful to be factual, out of concern for libel laws.

1986: Anti-immigration maestro and founder of the “English-only” advocacy group U.S. English, John Tanton wrote private memos naming the Sierra Club as a potential target for anti-immigration activists. The basic idea was to seize the reins of a respected and well-financed liberal group to express immigration restriction arguments that might otherwise draw accusations of racism. As Tanton wrote in one memo: "The Sierra Club may not want to touch the immigration issue, but the immigration issue is is going to touch the Sierra Club."

1988: Tanton’s memos were leaked, and their bigoted language provoked the conservative Republican columnist Linda Chavez to resign as their Executive Director, and advisory board member Walter Cronkite to quit U.S. English.

1996: Sierrans for U.S. Populatation Stabilization (SUSPS) formed by Ben Zuckerman, Alan Kuper and others to lobby the Sierra Club to support restrictions on immigration to the U.S. Volunteer leaders in the Club’s population program informed the Board that new members were coming into the Sierra Club wanting to push immigration as an issue, but there was no evidence U.S. immigration was detrimental to the environment.

1998: SUSPS engineers a Sierra Club ballot proposition committing the Club to immigration restrictions, which fails 60%/40%.

1999: SUSPS begins supporting candidates for Sierra Club Board, Alan Kuper and Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder) are defeated.

2001: A SUSPS-backed ballot proposition opposing urban sprawl, which SUSPS blames largely on immigration, is defeated.

2002: Ben Zuckerman, former board director of Sea Shepherd and anti-immigration group Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America elected to Sierra Club Board.

Spring 2003: SUSPS-supported candidates Watson and Doug LaFollette join Zuckerman on Sierra Club Board.

Fall 2003: SPLC Intelligence Report editor Mark Potok writes five-page letter to Sierra Club President Larry Fahn warning of a “hostile takeover attempt” by anti-immigration forces.

Fall 2003: Tanton’s hate group, The Social Contract Press, asked backers to join Sierra Club to vote for Sierra Club Board candidates concerned with “endless U.S. population growth.”

Fall 2003: SUSPS announces support for five candidates in the 2004 Board elections: Robert vande Hoek, Richard Lamm, Kim McCoy, Frank Morris and David Pimentel.

January, 2004: Groundswell Sierra, a group within Sierra Club opposing anti-immigration candidates goes public. SPLC co-founder Morris Dees announced he would run for Sierra Club Board, not to win, but to urge Club voters to oppose anti-immigration takeover. Ten former Sierra Club presidents wrote an open letter warning of an “organized effort” to take over the Club. Three other past presidents later signed on. Several more hate groups (including urged their members to join the Sierra Club by Jan. 31 to be eligible to vote in the 2004 Board election.

February 9, 2004: Lamm, Morris and Pimentel sued the Sierra Club, demanding “fake candidates” who do not really seek election be forced off the ballot.

February 18, 2004: Lamm, Morris and Pimentel unexpectedly dropped their lawsuit a week after it was filed.

April, 2004: Anti-immigrant candidates defeated.

According to J. Robert (“Robbie”) Cox, a two-time former Sierra Club President (1994-96 and 2000-01) and member of its board in 2004, in that election SUSPS backed former Colorado Governor Dick Lamm, who had been working very closely with anti-immigration groups and U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo [R., Colo.] who chaired the Congressional Immigration Reform Caucus and was one of the most vocal anti-immigration leaders in Congress. The second candidate backed by SUSPS was Frank Morris, who had more credibility as the former head of the Congressional Black Caucus, and was a board director with Dick Lamm and Ben Zuckerman of the anti-immigration group Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America. The third SUSPS candidate was David Pimentel, who was on the advisory board for that same group.

This cluster of candidates was a pretty tight-knit group, with strong interests in a single issue: immigration, but only weak credentials (if any) on environmental issues. Lamm was also Chairman of the Board of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR, founded by anti-immigration zealot John Tanton) which SPLC had labeled as a hate group. Morris was on the board of another anti-immigration group founded by Tanton, the Center for Immigration Studies and, along with Zuckerman, a member of the board of Californians for Population Stabilization, yet another anti-immigrant group founded by Tanton. Lamm was also on the advisory board for that group. David Pimentel was a board director of the Carrying Capacity Network, another anti-immigration group, which had Frank Morris and Doug LaFollette sitting on its advisory board.

Cox found that organizations directly tied to Lamm, Morris and Pimentel had received over $2.7 million in grants from the Richard Mellon Scaife family foundations of the right-wing Pittsburgh billionaire who financed a number of anti-Clinton political activities in the 1990s, as well as a number of anti-immigration groups. [“Hostile takeover,” Intelligence Report, Spring 2004, p. 57. Published by Southern Poverty Law Center.]

John Tanton is well-known as the founder of many anti-immigration groups (at least ten are known). [”The Puppeteer.” Intelligence Report. Summer 2002.] Under his leadership FAIR was soundly criticized for taking funding for many years from the Pioneer Fund, an organization dedicated to “improving the character of the American people” by promoting the practice of eugenics, or selective breeding, so prominent in Nazi ideology. [Potok, Mark, Editor of Intelligence Report, Letter to Larry Fahn, President, The Sierra Club, October 21, 2003. Reprinted in Intelligence Report, Spring 2004, pp. 59-63.] Tanton’s activities were well-documented in 17 file boxes of archives he donated to the Bentley Historical Library at the University of Michigan. [Beirich, Heidi. “The Tanton Files.” Intelligence Report. Winter 2008.]

These are verifiable sources of information, not hearsay. They are all about the Sierra Club, and only peripherally about other groups. Maybe we should take another look at the manner in which this article has been sanitized by some editors for reasons of their own?

Certainly the reference to SUSPS as an affiliate of the Sierra Club is not accurate and should be removed. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 02:31, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Your header correctly states that you're presenting "facts about 'anti-immigrant hate groups'" -- not facts about the Sierra Club. If we included in this article even a fraction of the anti-SUSPS and anti-FAIR material that you apparently want to see, then WP:NPOV would require that we included contrary views. That would be getting much too peripheral, especially when there's so much information about the Club itself that still isn't included.
As for SUSPS's status, the section on "Related organizations" has a subsection on "Affiliates and subsidiaries", which lists entities like the Sierra Club Foundation, and a separate subsection on "Internal caucuses", which is where SUSPS is listed. The latter subsection section expressly characterizes SUSPS and the other caucuses as "unofficial groups of Sierra Club members attempting to influence Sierra Club policy", which is perfectly accurate. I searched the article for a "reference to SUSPS as an affiliate of the Sierra Club" and couldn't find one. If there is one, then I agree with you that it should be removed. Can you point it out? JamesMLane t c 03:43, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Please don't put words in my mouth. I'm not suggesting all this be included in the article. This is a talk page, not an article page. Isn't a talk page where reasons are given for doing one thing or another? These are reasons, not article text.
If the article is ONLY about the Club, then there is no reason to include "unofficial groups of Sierra Club members attempting to influence Sierra Club policy" by your reasoning. Me and my dog could be such an "unofficial group" and how would you know if we are or are not, if we are "unofficial?" How would you know how many there are? Could be thousands. I can think of several that are not listed. The section on "internal caucuses" adds nothing of value to the article, and is unusual to say the least. If you want to keep SUSPS in the article, you need to make a fair and accurate statement about its role in the elections, not just some weazel words to sanitize what they actually tried to do.
This was not just a little policy disagreement. It was nothing short of a palace coup attempt, as described by MANY former Sierra Club presidents, including Robbie Cox, who signed an open letter to the membership to that effect. Plenty of verifiable documentation to back it up.
Hate groups are only effective when they are tolerated and allowed to present their agendas as legit when they are not legit. They don't like the light of day on their past or present activities. Not much middle ground here, on hate. Which side are you on? Can't have it both ways, logically. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 05:10, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
PS: Robbie Cox was elected to a third term as Sierra Club President in 2007. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 18:51, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
I wasn't putting words in your mouth; I wrote "apparently" to indicate that I wasn't sure exactly what you wanted. If the discussion of internal caucuses is unusual, it's because quite a few advocacy organizations comparable to the Sierra Club don't have member-elected boards, or have elections that turn entirely on personalities rather than substantive issues. The objective facts about the 2004 election are that SUSPS got enough petition signatures to put candidates on the ballot, and that JMS also got enough petition signatures to put candidates on the ballot. When you and your dog accomplish that, we'll mention it in the article. (Actually, we'll probably mention it on the Main Page in "In the News", depending on how many of the sigs your dog gets.)
The article doesn't "sanitize" anything. It says that SUSPS tried to get the Sierra Club to support immigration reduction. That's a fair and accurate statement. Many readers will see that as a deplorable goal. As per Wikipedia's fundamental policy, we let the facts speak for themselves. I will support you in opposing any attempt to remove that information from the article.
As to which side I'm on, I used to represent immigrants before the INS, and I agree with the Board's position of keeping the Club neutral. I voted for the JMS candidates. JamesMLane t c 02:57, 13 January 2009 (UTC)
Sounds like we are not disputing the facts much. Suggestion: if the roles of the various informal factions within Sierra Club are described in the body of the article, retaining the essential content, could the separate section be removed? It seems a bit misleading and/or redundant in parts. There is some repetition. Meaning might be clearer and the article is getting quite long, so this might save a little space. What do you think? Mervyn Emrys (talk) 15:49, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
You're right that there's some overlap, but I don't think it's problematic. The existence of member-based caucuses is an important feature of the Sierra Club, and it makes sense to have a section to summarize them. The same caucuses will appear in the account of the Club's history, but some readers will be interested in the history and some in the list of caucuses. JamesMLane t c 21:24, 14 January 2009 (UTC)

Reliable sources[edit]

It is noted on the WP:Reliable sources/Noticeboard that the SPLC publication Intelligence Report which was questioned by two users "has been named at least twice by the Society of Professional Journalists in their Green Eyeshade journalism excellence awards [7] [8]" and may be used as a Reliable Source. It is also stated there that a link to an audited financial statement on the home page of the audited organization may be used as a Reliable Source, so it seems the objections of the two editors in that regard has no substance. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 05:23, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

But the thing is, the SPLC is itself an activist organization, one with its own share of controversy (which was discussed in its Wikipedia article, especially before said article was recently edited). Its publication is one of many sources, and because it asserts a claim, that does not make the claim authoritative; there are many other sources that do not concur with that labeling. Most media references to F.A.I.R., for instance, regard it as a mainstream activist policy organization, and it is commonly contacted by and referenced by the news media; just a cursory web search reveals that examples of this include PBS [9], the El Paso Times [10], the Scripps Howard News Service [11], the Washington Examiner [12], and the Los Angeles Times [13]. It is also listed as such in the social-science text World Population: A Reference Handbook [14], and is regarded as such by members of the United States Congress [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22], and policy analysts from F.A.I.R. frequently provide testimony in front of both the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
F.A.I.R. has also recently been cited as a source by the United States Department of Justice [23].
So, the evidence cuts both ways. The statement "...which has has been identified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)" should be omitted from this article, since both FAIR and the SPLC have their own articles, and if one side is presented, then the other has to be as well (to maintain NPOV); those matters need to be dealt with, in the articles for those two organizations.
As others have pointed out, this is one section of an article about the Sierra Club, not an article about FAIR or the SPLC.
As has also been pointed out, in an earlier section on this Talk page, it would be best to use third-party sources, rather than the SPLC or FAIR.

With regard to the three candidates, I think that either 1) their names should be completely omitted from this section, or 2) if they are going to be mentioned, then their titles - "former Governor," "ecologist" (Dr. Pimentel is one of our country's most eminent ecologists), and "former Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Executive Director" - should be placed before their names as well. Since this could be too wordy, it might be best to omit the names altogether.
In addition to the three candidates mentioned in this section however, there were two additional candidates supported by those who were challenging the establishment candidates: Kim McCoy, who was then a leader in the Chicago chapter of the Sierra Club, and is currently a member of the Club's national Sustainable Consumption Committee, and a very-dedicated environmental activist, and well-known ecologist Robert "Roy" van de Hoek, who was an Executive Committee Member of the largest Sierra Club chapter (Angeles), and is an immigrant himself.
Other candidates ran, also challenging the Club establishment, and were critical of the tactics they used, against the aforementioned candidates (a fact that another Wikipedia editor mentioned, in an above section of this Talk page). This article by national environmental activist & writer Karyn Strickler, from Common Dreams, provides an overview of this situation.
The bottom line is that this article-section needs to be either amended, or truncated, so as to achieve NPOV. Considering that it is one section of an article on the Sierra Club, not an article on FAIR or the SPLC, it would probably be best to do the latter. Pacificus (talk) 21:07, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
No, the bottomline is that somebody is defending the actions of white supremacist anti-immigrant groups in attempting to takeover a major environmental organization and objects to this information seeing the light of day.
Intelligence Report does not write about SPLC or about itself, and has won national awards from yet another reliable source for its investigative reporting, cites for which are linked above. SPLC is a reliable source on the activities of FAIR. FAIR supporters may not like it, but it's true.
The statement that FAIR "has has been identified as a "hate group" by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC)" is an accurate factual statement sourced to a reliable source and should therefore stay in the article. It also helps explain why Dees ran for election and why he opposed the election of others affiliated with FAIR, so it is directly about the Sierra Club and its elections of 2004. It has explanatory power in this context because it helps the reader understand the controversy. Deleting it from the article would merely serve the goals of those who support keeping the role of FAIR a secret.
The statement that "Most media references to F.A.I.R., for instance, regard it as a mainstream activist policy organization" is patently false because the writer has no way to know what most references say, based on the mere handful provided--and if he did, he would be pushing original research, which is not allowed here. What survey of such sources has been conducted by a reputable researcher, published, and cited by a reliable source? None.
All of this is about the Sierra Club. Efforts to strip away information that helps the reader understand the situation are biased attempts to "sanitize" the article and make it less understandable. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 21:16, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
PS: And Karyn Strickler is hardly an objective source. She was one of the other candidates in the 2004 Sierra Club election who lost big, coming in 14th of 17 candidates in an election where only five were elected. In fact, she finished a mere 700 votes ahead of Morris Dees, who urged Sierra Club voters NOT to vote for him, so how popular was she in her own right? Sour grapes there, nothing more. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 15:05, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
If you look at Southern Poverty Law Center#Fundraising, you'll see the criticism that SPLC is a "scam". Given that SPLC clearly tried to influence the Sierra Club election, should this article include criticisms of SPLC? I'd say no, for the same reason that it shouldn't include the criticisms of FAIR that you want to add. The criticisms of SPLC are cited to reliable sources, but they belong in the article about that organization, not this one. The tangential connection to the Sierra Club doesn't justify turning this article into a pro-and-con about FAIR or SPLC. That's what wikilinks are for. (And, yes, it would be a pro-and-con. If we were to report SPLC's negative statement about FAIR, we'd have to report the opposing point of view as well.) JamesMLane t c 21:48, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
There is a rebuttal to the SPLC label in the FAIR article. But how does the reader of the Sierra Club article understand this controversy unless this limited reference is given in the Sierra Club article? Pacificus appears to want a revisionist view of history. Is that what you want? You know, it is often difficult to draw distinct dividing lines between related things. Do you seek a clear bright line of separation where none is possible without sacrificing information important to the reader's ability to understand something? Mervyn Emrys (talk) 21:59, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Before going any further into the discussion about this article, I am requesting that user Mervyn Emrys' repeated ad hominem statements about myself (and several others), on this page, and in recent posts on other discussion boards, not continue. These repeated remarks, in recent days, are baseless and untrue, as I also discussed above, in an earlier section of this page - and that's not just because I myself am a non-white, "first-generation" immigrant. These ad hominems, over the past several days, are also in violation of several Wikipedia guidelines and core principles.
It is very difficult to have a constructive dialogue, when it seems like, in every recent post on a Talk page (and on my User page as well), there are personal statements and implications made, by that User, about myself and others.
As I said in the section above, my contributions to Wikipedia have been done with the intent of improving and expanding this great resource. And as also mentioned before, we should be able to deal with these article-editing issues, without discussing each other personally (as was done on this page earlier, and which I responded to, and which has recently been done on other Wikipedia discussion boards as well), and without making implications and assumptions about one another.
Thank you. Pacificus (talk) 23:04, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Don't know what "attacks" this user refers to, but if one defends and promotes the causes of anti-immigrant white supremacists, one must expect some push back. Poor baby. Perhaps one reads things not said into the writings of others? Paul Watson is an immigrant, and it did not prevent him from sponsoring anti-immigrant candidates and making a hypocrit of himself. It just seems to be part of that "now I'm here and get the benefits, nobody else should be allowed to come here" thing. Oh, and if you'd like an autographed copy of Watson's Ocean Warriors, I've got one I'll let you have real cheap. Thanks to you too. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 15:13, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

PS, there is nothing on Pacificus' user page--that's why his signature shows up in red. He/she doesn't have one active. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 20:29, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Notable directors[edit]

This section is totally arbitrary and somewhat silly -- especially the list of more recent Board members. I'm not going to single out names because I don't want to embarrass people. But David Brower and William O Douglas were notable directors. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Enviroleader (talkcontribs) 21:51, 17 March 2009 (UTC)

I think that we should define "notable director" as a director notable enough to have his/her own Wikipedia article. So those on this list who aren't linked to an article about them should either be removed or have articles written about them. Jim Heaphy (talk) 16:18, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree. Dwalls (talk) 16:36, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
I wrote an article yesterday on William Siri and added links to articles I've written on Richard M. Leonard, Bestor Robinson, Jules Eichorn and Glen Dawson. Jim Heaphy (talk) 15:46, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Nice work! Dwalls (talk) 16:58, 9 January 2010 (UTC)
I've also written an article about Leland Curtis. Jim Heaphy (talk) 20:49, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

A disproportionate number of those listed as "notable" have served since 2000. Nothing against any of those people, but there is no standard being used here at all. Somebody puts you up as notable (or you put yourself up), and you're notable. This part of the article is absurd. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Enviroleader (talkcontribs) 11:35, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

Enviroleader, since you started this discussion a year ago, I've written and linked to articles about the following directors: Leland Curtis, Glen Dawson, Jules Eichorn, Richard M. Leonard, Bestor Robinson and William Siri. I've expanded and corrected the articles on many other Sierra Club leaders. All of these were very notable and accomplished individuals whose Sierra Club board service ended decades ago. This is the enclyclopedia that anyone can edit. If you feel that some directors in the last decade don't meet the threshold of notability, then explain your reasoning and propose deletion. Or join me in writing articles about notable directors of the 19th and 20th centuries, or on any other topic related to Sierra Club history. My goal here is to offer a balanced view of Sierra Club history going back to 1892. Cullen328 (talk) 02:51, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

This section is far better than it was. But Doug LaFollette served one three year term and did nothing particularly notable while he was on the Sierra Club board. I also fail to understand where Jim Dougherty belongs in an all time list of notable directors. This should really be reserved for the Browers and Ansel Adams's. [2013]

Doug LaFollette is Secretary of State of Wisconsin, and is clearly notable for several reasons in addition to his Sierra Club board service. I believe that this section should list every notable person (by Wikipedia standards) who has served on the board, no matter how briefly. As for Jim Dougherty, I haven't researched him, but a quick glance tells me that it might be wise to delete him. Cullen328 Let's discuss it 04:51, 9 July 2013 (UTC)
I've added an article about Norman Livermore, an amazing man who served on the Sierra Club board in the 1940s. Check it out. Cullen328 (talk) 06:08, 27 May 2010 (UTC)

Have reorganized this section, breaking out presidents of the club (some missing), executive directors (incomplete), and members of the board of directors. The latter subcategory is most problematic with respect to notability, in my view. From the latter list, removed redlinks (WP:NLIST). Regards, DA Sonnenfeld (talk) 10:00, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Have completed the short list of executive directors of the club. Several are now redlinks... Their notability can be discussed. McCloskey served a long time, including during the Reagan presidency; his leadership was quite notable, in my view... DA Sonnenfeld (talk) 10:33, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Sierra Club hasn't had so many presidents or executive directors that they can't just be listed, which saves editors from making judgment calls about notability. The director section seems problematic. EL 13 July 2013. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Enviroleader (talkcontribs) 23:13, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Enviroleader, you have been complaining vaguely about this section for years. One of your complaints was that too many of the leading figures were contemporary. In response, I wrote well-referenced biographies of quite a few historical leaders of the club. It is well-established on Wikipedia that we list notable people, whether or not they now have biographies. We make decisions based on notability all the time. This is an encyclopedia, after all. So, what is your specific plan to improve encyclopedic coverage of Sierra Club leaders? Jim Heaphy Cullen328 Let's discuss it 23:45, 13 July 2013 (UTC)

Internal caucuses[edit]

The section on "Internal caucuses" is uninteresting to the general reader and contains no references substantiating the claim groups listed are "unofficial groups of Sierra Club members," so should be removed. The fact Sierra Club has prohibited use of "Sierrans" to SUSPS gives a pretty good indication Sierra Club does not consider SUSPS a bona fide affiliate of the Sierra Club, so this information is not accurate.Mervyn Emrys (talk) 01:52, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

In the overall club, these caucuses seem minimally important. There's no way of gauging the size of the caucuses, but it seems unlikely that any are larger than a few hundred people. By comparison, some chapters have tens of thousands of members yet we don't even mention them. It's also not clear what any of these caucuses have accomplished, again compared to the scores of notable achievements of chapters and groups that aren't even mentioned. While we might want to mention caucuses that are notable as part of the history of the club (as demonstrated by secondary sourcesa), I think that devoting a whole section to them is undue weight.   Will Beback  talk  05:23, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Mervyn Emrys writes that "Sierra Club does not consider SUSPS a bona fide affiliate of the Sierra Club, so this information is not accurate." Mervyn, we've had this conversation before. There's a section about affiliates and subsidiaries. There's a different section about internal caucuses. SUSPS is listed in the latter but not in the former. Your argument depends on a false implication about what the article actually says.
As for the objective indication of which caucuses are important, the current article lists those that played a notable role in a Sierra Club election. The information about internal disputes is part of the history of the organization -- qualitatively different from particular conservation achievements of chapters or groups. Of course, there's no harm in adding such achievements to the article. JamesMLane t c 08:05, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
There have probably been over a hundred elections. While one of them may have received more attention in the press than most it didn't result in any actual change in the leadership and there hasn't been any reporting on the caucuses since then. The problem is that there are so few secondary sources on these caucuses at all. Take the first listed one, "John Muir Lives!" We can't tell if it's even a real caucus or just a website. There certainly aren't any listed secondary sources for it and I couldn't find anything on Google or Proquest about it. I doubt we could find secondary sources for more than three of these. By comparison, I bet there are literally hundreds of stories in regional newspapers that have covered state and local activities by club entities besides these caucuses. ["sierra club" "atlantic chapter"] gets 269 mostly solid hits on Proquest, but the Atlantic Chapter gets no mention in the article. The caucuses and the election-related immigration issues should both be folded into a more comprehensive history section. I suggest that we put these caucuses into the context of the history of the club in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, and simply summarize what we find in reliable sources. (And that we add more about the activitivies of the more prominent parts of the club).   Will Beback  talk  09:15, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I repeat that I have no objection to including more information about activities of Sierra Club entities -- especially the Atlantic Chapter! (For those of you missing the in-joke, Will knows that I'm a volunteer with the Atlantic Chapter.) It's conceivable that, with enough such additions, the article could grow to the point where "History" would have to be spun off as a daughter article. In that case, only a summary would be left behind. Some of this information might not qualify for the summary. Until then, however, the article isn't overlong, and, as you note, this disputed election did garner a high level of media coverage (see this story, for example). JamesMLane t c 19:18, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
The election may have garnered attention, but the caucuses less so. The cited article doesn't mention any of them by name. I'm fine with mentioning, in the appropriate context, caucuses that have received media attention. But some of these so-called caucuses appear to be little more than websites. I'm going to go delete "John Muir Lives", which doesn't even claim to be a caucus.   Will Beback  talk  19:28, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I agree with Will Bebeck that this whole section is undue weight, and lacks reliable sources, both serious shortcomings. Moreover, the only significant accomplishment of SUSPS appears to be a failed attempt to hijack the Sierra Club and turn it into an anti-immigrant, zero-population-growth organization instead of a positive and venerated environmental organization. As a life member of Sierra Club, I find that action and attempts to memorialize it rather offensive, and contrary to the purpose of an encyclopedia article. It adds no value whatever to this article. If SUSPS needs an article page (which I doubt), it should make its own. Turns out Morris Dees is a much better friend to the Sierra Club than SUSPS is. He could have simply called a press conference and condemned the Club as a racist hate group, but he chose not to. That would have gotten MUCH more national media than the election did, and Sierra Club would have been forever stained by it, no matter what happened later. But Dees didn't do that, taking a more direct, and quieter approach via the electoral process. All members of Sierra Club should thank him for it, not try to glorify SUSPS by giving them attenion they do not deserve.Mervyn Emrys (talk) 20:29, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
I don't think we should exclude SUSPS from the article, because it did receive attention as part of a notable election. But our coverage of it should be in reference to that election. Likewise, Groundswell Sierra and Sierra Democracy were apparently active only during the 2004 election. The John Muir Sierrans is the only entity with wider notability, but even it is mostly notable in the context of national elections a decade ago. So the best thing would be to mention the caucuses in the context of the elections in which they were prominent rather than placing them in a separate section as if they were all ongoing enterprises, and making unsourced assertions about them.   Will Beback  talk  20:53, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
As a compromise, I think that sounds reasonable, and will reduce the current undue emphasis placed on them. Still, they should only be included if there are third-party reliable sources to cite. This is not a vanity press, is it? Mervyn Emrys (talk) 02:16, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
The "Immigration controversy" section already has a paragraph about SUSPS, so the later material is redundant anyway. I believe there is at least a source or two for Groundswell Sierra, but it might be sufficient to simply say that other groups formed to oppose or support SUSPS without naming them. And then that section should be integrated as a subsection of the history section. The JMS will take a little more work, but I see that there are several reliable sources that discuss the logging controversy of the 1990s, which might deserve some space too. How does that sound?   Will Beback  talk  06:53, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
Sounds fine to me. Go for it. I'm with you. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 21:59, 9 May 2009 (UTC)

Lamm & Morris[edit]

  • Of the three candidates, two (Frank Morris and David Pimentel), were on the board of the anti-immigration group Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America [1][2] and two (Richard Lamm and Frank Morris) were on the board of directors or the board of advisors of the Federation for American Immigration Reform;[3] both had also held leadership positions within the NAACP.[4]


  1. ^ “Hostile takeover,” Intelligence Report, Spring 2004, p. 57.
  2. ^ Potok, Mark, Editor of Intelligence Report, Letter to Larry Fahn, President, The Sierra Club, October 21, 2003. Reprinted in Intelligence Report, Spring 2004, pp. 59-63.
  3. ^ “Hostile takeover,” Intelligence Report, Spring 2004, p. 57.
  4. ^ "Tacoma Seeking Segregation Curb." Spokane Daily Chronicle. July 15, 1966.


Regarding the last part, which was just added. The text of the article is here: [24] That source is dated 1966, so it isn't clear how it's related to the controversy over the 2004 election. Likewise for Lamm - how is his having been the vice president of an NAACP chapter in college relevant to the election?   Will Beback  talk  04:40, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

In that election, Morris had the endorsements of several NAACP leaders, and Lamm's NAACP & other civil rights leadership & activism were brought up (and mentioned in the press), to refute charges made against them (a web search will reveal this; here is one example).
The same counterargument was raised in later media coverage of this debate (and was still being discussed, as recently as ten days ago).
Furthermore, the NAACP does deal with immigration issues.
User "Mervyn Emrys" added the specific mentions of the DASA & FAIR memberships, for those 3 candidates, to this article section (which was previously stable), along with some blatant POV-pushing; much of that was soon subsequently reverted. However, if we are still going to single out those 3 candidates, and mention their memberships in DASA & FAIR, while omitting their strong environmentalist credentials, then their civil rights involvement should at least be mentioned - It certainly was deemed relevant to this dialogue, including by the media, during the 2004 Sierra Club elections, and up through the present time. Pacificus (talk) 18:35, 17 August 2009 (UTC)

David Pimentel[edit]

I thought that David Pimentel is a Cornell agronomist who is concerned about the ecological impact of animal agriculture. Why this sudden charge against him? MaynardClark (talk) 16:36, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Is there a Wikipedia page for the Diversity Alliance for a Sustainable America? If not, why not?

Further, open discussion on universal efforts to reduce population migrations seem welcomed in ALL nations where unrestricted migration from unsettling wars, political oppression, famines and ecological disasters, lack of opportunity and other economic distress, and more prove unsettling to the host populations. There may be some "US-ocentric bias" in calling a discussion topic contemptible, and that bias overlooks or discounts how serious the question really is in ecological terms; such US-ocentric bias tends to disenfranchise American discussants on some really serious ecological topics (e.g. population dislocations).

Remember, concern about population disruptions and dislocations (that send many people INTO neighboring or other targeted regions, often peoples with little sense of how that host nation an population do things, understand things, and try to manage their affairs ecologically) is itself a correlate of ecological concern. Sierra Club SHOULD be a venue where such dialogues (when civil) are enabled.

Peoples with a developing ecological consciousness who receive dislocated peoples (or even other opportunistic migrants) may wish to address the needs for 'social orientation' of those received migrants.

Discussing ecological downsides of immigration is not itself anti-immigration; indeed, once the issues are made clear (e.g. "Are these people on the same page with us on social and ecological goals?"), the educational interventions can be developed and instituted, enabling a much smoother immigration AND integration into the host society and the host society's various peoples. MaynardClark (talk) 16:49, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

This page is not a forum for the discussion of global immigration issues, or U.S. immigration laws, or even the Sierra Club's policy on immigration. This page is for improving the accompanying article. The article would not be improved by including general comments about immigration -- what's appropriate is information about how the immigration dispute has played out in, specifically, the Sierra Club. JamesMLane t c 20:08, 25 October 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. And its the same Pimental, who apparently can't help it that he's gone over to "the dark side" on this issue. Mervyn Emrys (talk) 02:09, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Revisiting the population control and immigration section[edit]

I believe that the following sentences should be deleted:

"Henry Fairfield Osborn, a friend of John Muir, was a founder of the American Eugenics Society. Osborn is considered by the Sierra Club to be one of the "influential people in Muir's life"

Here's why I think these sentences don't belong. There is no doubt that Muir and Osborn were good friends, but Osborn was a respected paleontologist and had many scientific interests beyond eugenics. He didn't found the American Eugenics Society until 1922, 8 years after Muir died. My search of two biographies of Muir - (Wolfe 1945) and (Clarke 1979), a short biography of Osborn (Gregory 1937) and a history of the early Sierra Club (Cohen 1988) yielded no evidence that Muir shared Osborn's beliefs about eugenics, or that Osborn's views on eugenics influenced the early Sierra Club in any way. Unless some reliable source to the contrary can be furnished, I think this sentence is a case of "guilt by association". Comments? Jim Heaphy (talk) 03:26, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

I agree. The bio article on John Muir mentions his friendship with Osborn with a wikilink to the Henry Fairfield Osborn article. The latter article mentions Osborn's interest in eugenics, though not his role in founding the American Eugenics Society.
The Osborn bio could do with amplification on the eugenics topic, including his role in the Society. Any solid information about Muir and eugenics should go in the Muir bio. As you point out, inclusion here as an assertion of fact would require evidence that Osborn's views on eugenics influenced the Sierra Club.
We might, however, consider reporting facts about the opinion. It would be proper, for example, to say something like "Critics of the Sierra Club have charged that the desire of some Club members to restrict immigration is a continuation of a xenophobic approach followed by some conservationists over the years," with a citation to the Cockburn article. The question is whether this criticism is sufficiently notable to merit inclusion. JamesMLane t c 00:17, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
Thank you, James. I agree that if a reliable source can be furnished that ties Muir to eugenics, then that belongs in Muir's bio. Similarly, if eugenics was part of the early history of the Sierra Club, then that belongs in this article as well, as long as it is properly referenced. I've found no such evidence. As for Alexander Cockburn (who I enjoy reading), he seems to be arguing in a pretty inflammatory fashion that, if the Sierra Club passed the anti-immigration measures, then that would prove that they were a racist organization. Are such inflammaory references appropriate in this article today when the Sierra Club defeated those proposals, essentially taking Cockburn's side of the argument? In the spirit of full disclosure, I am a long-time rank and file member of the Sierra Club, although I have never held a leadership position. Jim Heaphy (talk) 02:12, 2 February 2010 (UTC)
I've deleted the sentences, and made some other minor changes such as linking a later mention of Osborn to his article and correcting Anne Ehrlich's red link. It is still my opinion that this section gives undue weight to this particular controversy given that the anti-immigration stance has been voted down twice. Other opinions are welcomed. Jim Heaphy (talk) 07:18, 9 February 2010 (UTC)

"Save the Whales"?[edit]

Is the Sierra Club still pursuing anti-whaling activities?
After a quick survey of their website I see few promising pages (among many blog links):

I'm also wondering about the split with former director Paul Watson, now of Sea Shepherd fame, since there's at least one page still onsite that's critical of his violent methods: Statement Regarding Comments of Paul Watson.
PrBeacon (talk) 10:48, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

why is editing locked[edit]

why is editing locked on the sierra club? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

Editing is locked because one or more users have made repeated attempts to make controversial edits that do not comply with WP:NPOV and WP:RS. These edits appear to be WP:OR. Click on these links for detailed descriptions of the relevant Wikipedia policies. Edits must be based on consensus among interested editors. Discuss your concerns on this talk page. Thank you. Cullen328 (talk) 03:26, 4 October 2010 (UTC)

New jobs[edit]

What dose the sierra club intend for the workers in the so called dirty jobs to do for work?

Many place here in the United States do not have many jobs and the ones that pay the best are the so called dirty jobs.

Eb17816 (talk) 11:36, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Jobs come and go from every industry, and that's never easy on anyone except the bosses. Henry Ford did not provide a subsidy to the makers of buggy whips. Thomas Edison did not make plans for the future jobs of candle makers. When the mining companies develop new machines or techniques that cuts jobs, do they find positions for the displaced workers? Dirty jobs, done in a dirty way, harm the same workers who take home the paychecks. What wage compensates for a premature death due to black lung? Or children whose development is stunted due to mercury pollution?
But we're not here to discuss these issues. Wikipedia is an encyclopedia. When we participate here it's as encyclopedia writers. As such, it's our (not-so-dirty) job to verifiably summarize reliable sources using the neutral point of view. If there are sources who criticize the subject for failing to account for job loses, then we can add that. But we can't use our own views and opinions as a basis for editing the article. If there's a coal mining union publication article, for example, that addresses the issue then it may well be appropriate to include a summary of its views.   Will Beback  talk  13:00, 7 October 2010 (UTC)
Eb17816, you should read this report commissioned by the Sierra Club: Economic Impacts of Restricting Mountaintop/Valley Fill Coal Mining in Central Appalachia. You will discover that, according to the Sierra Club's analysis, residents of coal mining regions would be best served by transitioning away from economic dependence on coal. This applies to jobs opportunities, health and the environment. Cullen328 (talk) 19:27, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

WikiProject United States Public Policy/Assessment[edit]

After reading the article and looking over the copious comments made on the talk page it appears a decent amount of improvement can still be made to this article. I personally am not an expert on the Sierra Club history or current policies and thus after reading I found the article satisfactory in expanding my knowledge of the organization but it did not present any fascinating further information that wanted me to learn more. The B-grading reflects this response I had to the article. However from looking over the talk page it appears neutrality of the article has been compromised with various writers writing over each other to have their position on the club reflected in the article. This is an unfortunate outcome that has hurt the article and prevented it from transitioning out of the B grading and towards a GA rating. I thinking overcoming this issue and focusing on the getting the neutrality of the article back in order as well as expanding the section on the club's policy and overall look of the article will greatly improve it. IR393ANDRICA (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 17:24, 1 December 2010 (UTC).

alternative energy[edit]

How do you plan to meet the energy needs of the world with out coal? How do you generate power when the wind is not blowing and it is night time — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:45, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject. -- Bgpaulus (talk) 21:49, 25 June 2012 (UTC)

Chesapeake Energy controversy[edit]

I was surprised that the article has no mention of the Chesapeake Energy secret donations affair. Not to blow it out of proportions, but it seems (to me) to be an interesting event in the history of the organisation: manipulation by industry through substantial donations; possible excess zeal (in the fight against coal) leading to serious short-sightedness; covert policy change brought by new leadership and, finally, discovery and disclosure.

Sources abound; for example:

Anyhow, I am not sure whether (or how best) this would fit in the article. I will therefore let interested parties be judge and, if they wish, act upon the suggestion. Thanks.
Wlgrin 06:31, 1 August 2012 (UTC)


Light bulb iconBAn RfC: Which descriptor, if any, can be added in front of Southern Poverty Law Center when referenced in other articles? has been posted at the Southern Poverty Law Center talk page. Your participation is welcomed. – MrX 17:21, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

Proposed merger[edit]

A user has proposed that the Sierra Student Coalition article be merged into this one. I oppose the suggestion.

The Sierra Club has more than 60 chapters. Each covers a defined geographic area (usually a state). The exception is the Sierra Student Coalition, which is unique within the Club in that it is treated organizationally like a chapter but is nationwide in scope. The article about the SSC is a good place, per summary style, to go into more detail about this component of the Club, with only a brief mention in this main article. Incorporating all that detail about SSC into the main article would be clutter. JamesMLane t c 02:28, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

I proposed the merge due to:
1. the Sierra Student Coalition currently doesn't pass notability WP:ORG due to only having primary sources.
2. it is part of this topic (although admittedly a spin-off) - they both share the same domain, so are clearly organisationally highly coupled
3. article size not large and content is overly detailed considering no secondaries, so should be able to fit in Widefox; talk 20:25, 24 April 2013 (UTC)

This merger proposal has been about for well over a year. Only two folks have spoken: one in favor, one opposed. Thus I conclude that the decision is: No merger. Sunray (talk) 16:24, 31 July 2014 (UTC)


I have not seen any policy statements on recommendations from the Club regarding the use of fireworks. I enjoy them as much as anyone, but...they cannot be good for the environment ! July 4th is obviously the biggest use day of the year, but they are fired hundreds and possibly thousands of times every summer for something as earth-shaking as a home rum. Is is worth it ????? (talk) 20:21, 27 February 2014 (UTC)

Sierra Club Gatherings[edit]

Would it be appropriate to add the reference information on national Sierra Club gatherings currently found here ( to the History section of the club's entry? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Zheem (talkcontribs) 20:57, 31 October 2014 (UTC) Zheem (talk) 00:07, 4 November 2014 (UTC)

Membership Figures[edit]

According to the infobox, the club has 2,100,000 members, citing the official website, which as of today even claims 2,400,000. This seems huge, especially since in a 2012 Q&A on a New York Times blog Michael Brune talks about 601,000 members in 2011. The "about" page actually counts "members and supporters"; as the definition of a "supporter" can be quite flexible, I suppose that is where the discrepancy comes from. So: should the number in the infobox be replaced? Mwarf (talk) 15:52, 23 November 2014 (UTC)

I know this is a little old, but the problem still remains. I actually think membership should be cut if no reliable third party source is found. Toad02 (talk) 13:59, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
That's what inline attribution is for. A self-published and WP:PRIMARY source is considered as a WP:Reliable source for what it says about itself. Putting that altogether, WP:Verification is satisfied with article text saying, in some fashion or other, According to the Sierra Club, as of date X their membership was y.(cited references). NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:06, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
However, I do see your point. Their marketing stuff does say "members and supporters". So I looked up their legal pleadings, where the courts don't give a crap about online petitions and small donations. In 2017 one of these said membership was "over 750,000 nationally", so I'll update the infobox with that figure and ref. Thanks for calling it to our attention @Toad02:. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:24, 29 July 2019 (UTC)
That seems reasonable. Thank you! Toad02 (talk) 14:30, 29 July 2019 (UTC)

Russian links[edit]

The only source cited is a partisan news source, which alleges connections through several intermediaries, evidentially relying heavily on information provided by special interest groups. I'm not certain that it should be included in the article, at least without some corroborating sources. (talk) 14:06, 6 February 2015 (UTC)

I am skeptical also, but the top priority here is that we should have a top-down analysis of the budget. I've added some not very good sources for the 2011-2013 overall budget amounts in a new section "Budget and funding". I folded the "controversy" section into this part, because it's all about money. We should have a pretty detailed breakdown of where the money comes from, who donates it and so forth. Once we have the data in context we can analyze its controversies more meaningfully. Wnt (talk) 22:33, 7 April 2015 (UTC)

Sierra Club and Sierra Club Foundation[edit]

There should be disambiguation between the Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Foundation. Charity Navigator does not rate the Sierra Club because of non-disclosure. Sierra Club Foundation has high ratings, however, Sierra Club accepts the most donations. See also:

2601:C:A500:12BE:61ED:151:AF70:770C (talk) 20:27, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

I'm not sure exactly what your question is. We currently have two pages, the Sierra Club and the Sierra Club Foundation about two legally separate but related organizations. Are you suggesting we merge the two pages into one? Thanks. Safehaven86 (talk) 20:54, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

It would be even worse to merge the pages. This would facilitate the public's confusion of Sierra Club actions, with Sierra Club Foundation ratings by independent watchdog groups. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

Ok, is there an action item here? Thanks. Safehaven86 (talk) 20:03, 14 June 2015 (UTC)

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