The Allegheny Group was organized in April 1970. It is one of 10 groups comprising the Pennsylvania Chapter. Other Western Pa. groups are centered in State College and Erie.
The Allegheny Group’s first projects involved legal battles to oppose granting strip mining permits which threatened irreplaceable local water supplies. It also fought in and out of the courts to protect the Clarion River from pulp mill wastes. The Group also did a study of lands in the Allegheny National Forest that might qualify as wilderness areas under the 1964 National Wilderness Act. It was instrumental in getting bills introduced in Congress to protect three areas as wilderness, and succeeded in obtaining wilderness status for the Hickory Creek area and a number of Allegheny River islands. The Group also played a role in restricting the use of off-road vehicles on the Allegheny National Forest.
Members may become involved in various conservation committees that work on such issues as air quality, clean water, endangered species, oil and gas, public lands, recycling and political education.
In 2004, the national Sierra Club opened a Field Office in Pittsburgh. The Pittsburgh office houses two national staff members: Rachel Martin manages national staff in the North East states and Randy Francisco is organizer for the Beyond Coal Campaign. The Allegheny Group also uses the office for committee meetings and activities. The office is in a building that can be reached from Bigelow Blvd or Craig St, in Suite 202. The building’s Bigelow address is 3875 Bigelow Blvd. The mailing address is:
- 425 N. Craig St
- Suite 202
- Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Huplits Wildlife Grants
The Allegheny Group is responsible for managing an annual contribution from the Huplits Family Trust. Each year the Huplits Wildlife Grants Committee conducts a competition for grants to protect wildlife and wildlife habitat.
Sierra Club: General Information and History
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Sierra Club consists of ten Groups, of which the Allegheny Group is one. In addition to managing the overall functioning of the Groups in Pennsylvania, the Chapter Executive Committee oversees the operation of the Club’s Harrisburg office. Executive Director Joanne Kilgour is in charge of lobbying on state legislative and regulatory issues. With delegates from the Allegheny Group, the Chapter Executive Committee meets four times a year, including an annual family retreat weekend.
About the National Sierra Club
The Sierra Club was founded in California in 1892. It has long been recognized as one of the nation’s most active and effective national groups working for environmental integrity through public education, lobbying, and legal action. In recent years the Sierra Club has focused its environmental advocacy on clean air and water, open space and wild places, conservation of natural resources, wise use of land, and improved mass transportation. For more information regarding the national Sierra Club activities or for membership information, go to: www.sierraclub.org
The Sierra Club has a number of programs aimed at broadening the base of public commitment to the conservation ethic and environmental protection through environmental advocacy in the political arena. These include:
Washington DC Lobbying Office
The National Sierra Club sponsors about 300 trips yearly, both national and international, for people of all ages and skill levels. A few of the dozen or so trip categories are: base-camp, canoe-kayak, backpacking, ski-touring, river rafting, cleanup. Most local groups sponsor weekend outings also. Details are available at www.sierraclub.org or in The Sierra magazine.
Sierra Club Foundation
This non-political arm of the Sierra Club receives tax-deductible contributions for such purposes as research (forestry, wildlife, wilderness-impact, etc.); sponsoring conferences, producing films, books, and other educational material; purchasing land, paying for public-interest lawsuits, etc.
Numerous outstanding publications on environmental matters are produced by the national Sierra Club. These include professional-quality films, slide shows, photographic essays, The Sierra (the bimonthly magazine of the Sierra Club), soft-cover books, and group- and chapter newsletters.
Environmental Law Program
In 2000, the Sierra Club launched an expansion of its legal program. Working with grassroots activists, the expanded Environmental Law Program brings the national might and vision of the Sierra Club to the local level, and fights for the rights of local communities using the resources and reach of the nation’s oldest and largest environmental organization.