Wildlands: Keeping California Forests Healthy, Habitat Viable, and Wildlife Safe
California is one of the ecologically richest regions in the continental United States. It has deserts, mountains, valleys and coasts and all the weather, geologic, plant and animal variation appropriate to such diverse topographies.
In the spirit of Sierra Club's lead founder, naturalist, hiker, writer, parks advocate and environmental activist John Muir, Sierra Club California volunteers and staff actively work to protect the state's natural areas. Our goal is to ensure that they remain vibrant places still available as havens for native plants and wildlife and soul-enriching respites for people.
In just the last two years, Sierra Club California has successfully advocated to:
• Keep California's 278 state parks open and reverse Governor Brown's plans to close 70 of those parks due to budget cuts;
• Ban the brutal practice of "hounding" in bear and bobcat hunts;
• Ban the sale of shark fins, the harvest of which threatens to wipe out; and
• Beat back legislation that threatened to increase unsustainable forestry practices on private lands.
Our members and staff are currently participating in a planning process to prepare for wolf reintroductions to California. We are also working to ensure that proposed reforms to logging practices on private lands help advance sustainable forestry, not clear cutting.
In clear cutting, all trees within an area are cut down, and then, typically, herbicides are applied to eliminate any undergrowth before new plantations of seedling trees are planted. One of Sierra Club's key forest-related projects is to raise legislators' awareness about unsustainable clear cutting of private forests in the Sierra Nevada, most overtly practiced by Sierra Pacific Industries on almost half of the nearly 2 million acres of forest land the company owns in California.