801 K St
+1 (916) 577-1100
John Muir
1892 (Sierra Club) 1986 (Sierra Club California)

Advocate • Inform • Engage

Sierra Club California


The mission of Sierra Club California is to promote the preservation, restoration, and enjoyment of California’s environment, and enable chapters and grassroots activists to speak as one voice to promote California conservation.


The Sierra Club is California's largest environmental organization with 13 chapters and approximately 160,000 members statewide. The Sierra Club was founded in 1892 in San Francisco by John Muir. Originally, the purpose of the Sierra Club was to protect and preserve the Sierra Nevada and other scenic resources of the U.S. and its forests, waters, wildlife, and wilderness. The Club has become increasingly involved in other environmental policy issues, such as pollution control, energy policy, population, toxic substances, and urban environment, at the local, state, and national levels. At present, there are approximately 800,000 Sierra Club members worldwide.

In 1986, due to the numerous chapters and large number of Sierra Club members within the state of California, Sierra Club Board of Trustees created Sierra Club California to represent the 13 California chapters before the State legislature, Governor’s office, and State agencies. Sierra Club California was created to give California members a strong effective voice in the State Capitol. As a legislative advocacy organization, Sierra Club California lobbies the State Legislature, the Administration, and state government agencies to protect California’s natural resources and to improve the health and safety of Californians.

Sierra Club California's Three Components

  • The California Legislative Office has a staff of advocates who make an incredibly cost-effective defense team against hundreds of well-funded industry lobbyists working in the legislature and state agencies. Our small team, working with Sierra Club volunteer activists from across the state can create an impasse in the Legislature and often prevails over bad industry bills - most of which threaten your health, unique natural resources, or regulations that protect California's air, water and land.
  • The California Conservation Committee has 58 volunteer delegates from across the state who study issues, develop state policy, and coordinate projects and political endorsements that cross chapter boundaries or have multi-state or national implications.
  • The California Legislative Committee has 12 volunteer members who implement the Club's policies by taking positions on legislation, Agency and Legislative appointments, and specific issues before state agencies. The CLC consults CNRCC issue leads and chapter leaders, and then sets priorities for the advocates' lobbying efforts.

What We Do

Sierra Club California works closely with California’s 13 Sierra Club chapters to insure that issues of local concern are addressed at the State Capitol. The office also provides grassroots training at our annual lobby day, provides chapter newsletters with articles and legislative updates, and works with the membership to bring grassroots support to lobbying efforts in Sacramento.

To protect the environment we:

  • Lobby for Environmental Issues
  • Consult and coordinate with Sierra Club experts on policy development and application
  • Coordinate with the national Sierra Club, Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund and other organizations
  • Provide Up to Date Information to Members and the General Public
  • Maintain the Legislative Action Network, an action-oriented email announcement system on legislative and administrative affairs
  • Provide chapter newsletters with articles
  • Publish periodic specialized newsletters and mailings
  • Maintain Sierra Club media presence on California issues
  • Grassroots Training and Outreach
  • Train Sierra Club members in political and organizational effectiveness
  • Mobilize active members in key legislative districts
  • Raise funds for Sierra Club California’s programs

Environmental Issues

Grassroots activists provide clout and credibility to Sierra Club California’s Sacramento-based advocacy staff. A committee of activist leaders from throughout the state, known as the Sierra Club California Legislative Committee, determines Sierra Club California’s positions on environmental legislation and policy. In addition, Sierra Club California has its own Executive Committee and various subcommittees.

Sierra Club California works on the following environmental issues:

  • Forestry
  • Land use, sprawl, air quality, and transportation issues
  • Habitat, wildlife, parks and wetlands protection
  • Water quality and supply
  • Clean energy and energy conservation
  • Recycling, solid waste reduction, and landfills
  • Pesticides, toxics, and hazardous waste
  • Environmental justice
  • Coastal protection