News Blog

Welcome to the Southern Sierran, published by the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club, serving Los Angeles and Orange Counties.

Want to learn about an environmental issue?  Select an issue from the below list and start learning.

News Archive
April 14, 2021 By Angeles Chapter

Please be advised that the Angeles Chapter Annual Awards Banquet honoring the 2019 Awardees for outstanding volunteer achievements has been canceled for Sunday, May 2, 2021. The recognition for 2019’s awardees will be carried forward to the next Chapter Awards ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 1, 2022. 

April 5, 2021 By Will McWhinney

“There’s too much trash in the parks! Let’s do something about it." That’s what Mathieu Bonin, local Sierra Club activist, said recently. Starting in January, he’s organized three monthly litter collections in 2021 already.

April 5, 2021 By Kim Orbe - Conservation Program Manager

Reading Up on the Connections Between Conservation, Race & Environment- Angeles Chapter Environmental & Social Justice Book Club

April 1, 2021 By Craig Deutsche

The Desert Report is a quarterly publication of one of the subcommittees of the California Conservation Committee of the Sierra Club. Its concern is with conservation in the desert - flora, fauna, cultures, and wildlands. 

March 29, 2021 By Wynne Benti

Of its history, the Desert Peaks Section is perhaps the oldest desert climbing group in California, founded in 1941 by Chester Vesteeg, an insurance agent from Los Angeles and a Sierra mountaineer. 

March 29, 2021 By Jane Simpson

If you have never seen a super bloom or if you have but would like relive the beauty, here are some photos taken in Anza Borego State Park, the Antelope Valley Reserve and Joshua Tree National Park.

March 29, 2021 By Regge Bulman

On a desert excursion years ago a friend remarked, “Remember, everything in the desert is trying to kill you!” While her warning was hyperbole, the desert does have a special ability to protect its secrets and keep outsiders away. From spiny and prickly plants to disorienting terrain, from extreme weather to rare encounters with scary critters, before heading out for a desert adventure, it’s best to, as our Scout friends remind us, “Be Prepared.”

March 29, 2021 By Jane Simpson

In the early 1970’s, Angeles Chapter outings folks saw a need to standardize training and safety management for its hugely popular - and growing - outings program. The result was a first in the Sierra Club: a Leadership Training Committee (LTC), to train candidates, and a Safety Committee to develop policies, grant ratings to leaders and investigate incidents. 

March 29, 2021 By Kim Orbe - Conservation Program Manager

Together, we're driving intersectional, people-powered action on climate from every angle possible—political, cultural, social, and personal—to work toward safer communities and a livable plant for everyone.

March 23, 2021 By Ed Piersa

Do the pros outweigh the cons of western Joshua trees joining California’s endangered species list?

March 18, 2021 By Angeles Chapter
The Angeles Chapter Executive Committee condemned hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during its February meeting. It adopted a resolution in support of Asian Americans facing Violence and Racism. The values of the Sierra Club include social justice and equity. We lean into those values as we push forward against this most recent iteration of racially-motivated injustice.

March 1, 2021 By Charming Evelyn & Chiara Scaramuzzino

Water means different things to different people. By recording—and celebrating—all of the different ways water benefits our lives, we can value water properly and safeguard its value for everyone and everything. So, here’s a little about what World Water Day means for us at the Angeles Chapter. Tell us, what does water mean to you?

March 1, 2021 By John Monsen

In spring 2020 the Angeles Chapter Political Committee decided to put more emphasis on endorsing and supporting water district candidates, especially women and people of color who would help break up the old boy’s network that has historically dominated water boards.

February 25, 2021 By Lore Pekrul and Chuck Gooley

Geographic Information System (“GIS”) mapping technologies provide critical tools for the analysis of data and imagery to support grassroots activism, and provide opportunity to help effect local, regional, national, and global change.

February 25, 2021 By Charlotte Allen - CoChair, Sierra Club California Water Committee

The Water Committee works to protect California’s lakes, streams, rivers, and all the lives that depend on them. It advocates for restoring the Bay Delta ecosystem, promoting water justice for under-resourced communities, and creating a sustainable water future that assures supplies for California’s families, farms, industries, and wildlife. We strenuously promote water conservation and advocate for the beneficial uses of said conserved waters.

February 25, 2021 By Rob Katherman

Climate change is creating enormous Global challenges for the delivery of life-giving water. The good news is that our Southern California water agencies are beginning to act in concert to ensure that the millions of residents they serve have a reliable source of clean water even in the face of climate change and droughts.

February 25, 2021 By Bill Martin, member, Sierra Club California Water Committee and Sierra Club Bay Chapter Water Committee

Forget financial speculation over video games. Financial futures based on water prices began trading last year. Allowing investors to bet and profit on the price of water in California. Here's a short introduction to these water futures.

February 23, 2021 By Ray Hiemstra, Angeles Chapter Water Committee

The people behind the Poseidon project feel Orange County residents do not pay enough for water. They feel that residents can and should pay. They see a potential profit in  each glass of water, each shower and each toilet flush.  Their plan is simple, add more expensive water that we do not need into our existing water supply and then charge us more for the water we already own. This idea is so profitable that it resurfaces again and again going on nearly 20 years now, and the Sierra Club has been working hard to keep your water supply inexpensive and abundant.

February 23, 2021 By Charming Evelyn - Chair, Water Committee

Who would think it? Ocean desalination intersecting with affordable housing?- Yet it has, in a little known state government agency called the California Debt Limit Allocation Committee (CDLAC).

February 23, 2021 By Yvonne Watson, Chair of the Angeles Chapter Environmental Justice Committee

Health care professionals have reassured the public that you can’t catch COVID-19 from drinking water, but what if you have other worrisome things in your water?  How do you follow the health guidance about washing your hands when you don’t have access to clean water?

February 22, 2021 By Conner Everts

If you live in the city of Los Angeles, you have 5 commissioners to the LADWP Commission and 5 representatives appointed to the master wholesaler, the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), all appointed by the Mayor. Some other cities have their own water departments and are members of MWD, as are many water agencies. Each city/agency has appointees to MWD, however you can run for seats on the local water district/agency that you get your water from. Here’s my story.

February 22, 2021 By Caty Wagner - SoCal Water Organizer, Sierra Club California

For many years we have opposed this project through its many iterations. The Peripheral Canal of the 80’s, the Bay Delta Conservation Project of the 00’s, the California WaterFix & Eco Restore Project of the 10’s and now the 20’s The Delta Conveyance project. Whether informally known as the twin tunnels, the tunnel boondoggle or the tunnel, we are forever hard at work to preserve and protect the Sacramento- San Joaquin  Delta, the only and largest freshwater tidal estuary on the West Coast.

February 17, 2021 By William Smith

Today, as California governments at all levels sell water rights to private investors, governments run the risk of replacing the exploitive railroad and oil barons who dominated California politics for a century or more with water barons. Driven by climate change and population growth, the price of blue gold (water) is rising as the price of black gold (oil) falls.

February 17, 2021 By Filomena Fuchs, Water Committee Member

As part of the Sierra Club’s long-standing efforts to protect sources, supplies, and just access to water throughout the country, the Angeles Chapter Water Committee is preparing a tool to evaluate drinking water quality in all cities of Los Angeles and Orange counties. Each of the 123 cities will earn a score from A to F,  to be used to visualize and communicate the current state of regulation compliance and infrastructure reliability. 

February 4, 2021 By Inspiring Connections Outdoors (ICO)

The 2-night Inspiring Connections Outdoors Film Festival will take place February 20th and 21st beginning at 7PM Eastern Time (6PM Central/5PM Mountain/4PM Pacific) and can be watched on a  smart TV or computer on Youtube Premieres.The program will feature a range of exciting, touching, and, importantly, diverse films centered on the outdoors. 

February 1, 2021 By Dr. Jim Stewart & Hoiyin Ip

Sierra Club California is launching the Organic Waste Reduction Campaign to feed the hungry, conserve natural resources, and slow down climate change. Now is the time for you to be a local environmental cheerleader, supporting your elected officials to take these actions as part of their compliance effort for Senate Bill 1383.

February 1, 2021 By Everette Phillips, Grassroots Team Lead, Chapter Communications Committee

Sometimes an issue drives a member to take action. A campaign is what we call a collection of members acting together on an issue. Here we outline the three principles of a campaign and tell you how to get started in being involved with one, forming your own, or learning to help others with theirs.

February 1, 2021 By Barbara Hensleigh & David Haake - Angeles Chapter Clean Break Volunteer Organizers

In 2020 we learned that our voices can be heard, progress can happen and we can make a difference.  We will continue our work this year, now focused on getting Los Angeles to phase out oil drilling altogether within the next 5 years and calling for a just transition to protect both the workers and frontline communities .  What a difference a year makes.

January 29, 2021 By Angeles Chapter

As it does each year, the Executive Committee of the Angeles Chapter has named its officers for 2021. . Read more to learn who they are and wish them the best of luck in their new roles! 

January 29, 2021 By Angeles Chapter

You can help decide the direction of the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization by voting in the Sierra Club’s annual board of directors election. National Board members are elected for three-year terms. Read more to see who we've endorsed and how to cast your ballot.

January 29, 2021 By Angeles Chapter

HERE KITTY, KITTY! Watch Beth Pratt, California Regional Executive Director for the National Wildlife Federation, give a talk about coexisting with mountain lions in the second largest city in the country.

January 28, 2021 By Morgan Goodwin - Senior Director, Angeles Chapter

February is Black History Month, and we take this moment to celebrate the contributions of Black leaders to the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter. The following members have received Chapter leadership awards, which we highlight here.

January 28, 2021 By Morgan Goodwin - Senior Director, Angeles Chapter

February is Black History Month, and we’re taking this opportunity to shine a light on the Black history of the Sierra Club’s Angeles Chapter. This article is based on documents1 from the Sierra Club archives, as well as interviews conducted by the Oral History Program of the California State University in Fullerton and the Sierra Club History Committee.

January 28, 2021 By Jonathan Howard

In honor of Rosa Parks' historic act of resistance—refusing to give up her seat on a bus—sparking the Civil Rights Movement, Transit Equity Day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the rights of all people to accessible, affordable public transit that runs on clean/renewable energy. 

January 8, 2021 By Hoiyin Ip

About the progress made during 2020 on Conservation issues in Orange County and the next round of actions needed in 2021.

January 7, 2021 By The Grassroots Outreach Team

How owls the size of small bean cans help activists protect coastal land from illegal development.  

January 7, 2021 By Simone Kuhfal, Angeles Chapter Volunteer

Microplastics from synthetic clothing like tech chinos and 'athleisure' are ending up in our waterways, marine life, and even our stomachs.

January 7, 2021 By Marcia Hanscom

The early (Winter) birder get the bird. Winter brings thousands of migratory birds to SoCal. Here are a few species birding enthusiasts and conservation activists should look out for.

January 7, 2021 By Everette Phillips, Chair of the Communications Committee

Has something ever bothered you enough that you felt compelled to take action, but you did not know where to start? As a member in the Sierra Club, you have access to the tools and resources to actually take meaning action and make a difference. This article reviews how to get started, which is to first develop a plan that has four components. Then let us help you execute the plan.

January 7, 2021 By Mia Samson, Communications Volunteer

Along with many difficulties presented from the pandemic, fire season has become increasingly worse and longer since the 1970s. We interviewed San Francisco Fire Department Captain Julie Mau to better understand the severity of the fires, changing behaviors, environmental impacts, and precautionary steps for citizens to take. Are you properly prepared for the next fire season?

December 3, 2020 By Simone Kuhfal

This holiday season, do your part and take the necessary steps to reduce your food waste.

December 2, 2020 By Carol Henning

Multiple choice question: If you are an ambitious Capitalist and you want to build a natural gas or coal-fired power plant, where will you build it? You may choose more than one answer: 1.) Beverly Hills, 2.) behind Mar-a-Lago, 3.) Native American land, 4.) across the street from Trump Tower, 5.) South Los Angeles, 6.) next to a public housing project, 7.) Malibu, 8.) East Los Angeles, 9.) Griffith Park, 10.) nowhere on this planet.

December 2, 2020 By Felicity Crossland

We cannot solve the issues of the climate crisis unless we include the knowledge of nature and agriculture of the Indigenous communities. Hopefully we can experience a revolution from the heart and start to see ourselves as part of the web of life and not apart from it.

December 7, 2020 By John Monsen

LA County Water District Efforts to Support Desert-Damaging Water Mining Project Falter as Cadiz Inc. Suffers Major Election Setbacks.

November 30, 2020 By Angeles Chapter

Four newly elected members of the Executive Committee will take office in January at the first board meeting of the year. They will join at-large Bettie Pearson, Debbie Drezner, Dyana Peña, Juana Torres, and Liliana Griego, as well as delegates from each of the 14 regional groups, on the board.

November 19, 2020 By Helen Maurer

An open letter to the Angeles Chapter community about health and safety this holiday season.

November 18, 2020 By The Angeles Chapter

Getting cabin fever? Why not go on the "Classic Wilshire Walk"? For its 25th year, organizers have decided to go virtual. That means you can do all 16 miles at your own pace. Complete it in one day and you'll get a certificate. Pick your day, between 11/14 and 11/29. Click for details.

November 17, 2020 By The Angeles Chapter

Presented by Bow Seat Ocean Awareness Programs, Sierra Club Angeles Chapter, Newport Beach Chamber of Commerce and Newport Beach Arts Commission, the Youth Ocean Art exhibit calls for the care of our friends in the oceans.  

October 29, 2020 By Morgan Goodwin

Morgan shares some of adrianne maree brown's principles of emergent strategy, and how we are growing as the Sierra Club in the Angeles region.

October 29, 2020 By Mallory Martin, Communications Volunteer

After a two decade long battle, Bill AB1426 permanently protects San Onofre State Beach from road development.