NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – September 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club


The Wilderness Act of 1964 not only defined the term ‘wilderness,’ but it protected over 9 million acres of land. The act became law 50 years ago this month. Over 100 million more acres of wilderness have been protected in the last 50 years. That’s certainly cause for celebration, and that’s exactly what we’re planning to do.

The NC Sierra Club’s Wilderness Celebration will be held on September 26 & 27 at Morrow Mountain State Park and will be our largest event of the year! If you haven’t signed up for the celebration yet and want to learn more, click here to read about the free programs and outings! We hope you can join us for a chance to celebrate wilderness and the outdoors in North Carolina.

However, this edition of Footnotes isn’t solely about wilderness.  There are a few time sensitive issues where we urge you to take action! See the links below for ways you can speak up to protect the red wolf and call for stronger fracking rules!

Thanks for all that you do,

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

Take Action Center

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Red wolves were extinct in the wild until a program started in the late 1980’s to re-introduce them to a small portion of North Carolina.  The program is being reviewed and may be ended!

Click here to send in your comments urging the Fish & Wildlife Service to protect the program and save the red wolf!Less than two weeks remain in the public comment period for the proposed fracking rules for North Carolina.
Click here to make sure your voice is heard on making sure our communities and waterways are protected!North Carolinians are traveling to New York City this weekend to take part in the largest climate march in history!

Click here to learn more about the march and to see if there’s a spot for you on a bus leaving from NC!


2014 Legislative Review


Rarely does an environmental issue rise to the top of the legislative agenda, but this year our elected officials were compelled to respond to the February Dan River coal ash spill, the third largest in the nation.

Click here to read our full Legislative Review that covers coal ash, fracking, public transit, and more!

Citizens Climate Hearing in Charlotte is a Success

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The Central Piedmont Group partnered with the Myers Park Baptist Church in Charlotte to host a Citizens Climate Hearing earlier this month.

Stakeholders, public health advocates, faith leaders and concerned citizens provided their testimony on the EPA’s proposed Clean Power Plan. All testimony was recorded by a certified stenographer and is being submitted to the EPA as official comments on the plan.

Read more about the public hearing and see the media coverage of the event on the Central Piedmont Group’s website.

Wilderness Spotlight: Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness

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This month’s featured wilderness area is written by Brent Martin. Brent is the Southern Appalachian Regional Director for the Wilderness Society and will be the keynote speaker for the Wilderness Celebration on September 27.

Click here to read the short article on the Joyce Kilmer – Slickrock Wilderness written by Brent Martin that was originally featured in The Laurel magazine.

Meet Jacquie Ayala


Please help us in welcoming the newest member of our team, Jacquie Ayala!  Jacquie began work this month as an associate field organizer, based in Raleigh.

Jacquie may be new to the NC Sierra Club, but she is certainly not new to organizing.  She was first inspired to organize after participating in the Greenpeace Change It! Program in 2008, where she learned about how the environmental movement and other social justice movements created real, concrete change in the world through community organizing. After the program, Jacquie went on to work with Repower America on comprehensive climate change legislation.

Jacquie will be working with the NC Chapter’s local groups to bring clean energy to North Carolina, protect the state from dirty and dangerous fossil fuels, and defend our resources to make sure we have clean air and water in the state.

Feel free to send Jacquie a welcome note at

Wilderness Celebration Festivities

The wilderness celebration at Morrow Mountain State Park is sure to draw a big crowd for its Saturday evening program.  If you plan on coming, but haven’t placed your dinner order yet, this is your last chance!

However, the dinner isn’t the only event and the outings are filling up, too! Below is a list of outings and events that are part of the wilderness celebration. Click here for a full description all of the events, or click on a particular outing to make sure you have your spot reserved!

Friday, Sept. 26, 1:00 pm, Birkhead Wilderness Hike

Friday, Sept. 26, 6:30pm, Group Dinner at Jay’s Seafood

Saturday, Sept. 27,  8:30am, Canoeing on Lake Tillery, Yadkin-Pee Dee River and Hidden Lake

Saturday, Sept. 27,  9:00 am, Hiking the Fall Mountain Trail

Saturday, Sept. 27,  11:30am, Kron Restoration Tour

Saturday, Sept. 27,  1:00pm, Mountain Biking Uwharrie National Forest

Saturday, Sept. 27, 1:30pm, Service Outing, Three Rivers Trail and Fall Mountain Trail Shoreline

Saturday, Sept. 27, 1:30pm, Hiking the Rocks Trail

Saturday, Sept. 27,  5:30pm, Wilderness 50 Celebration (check-in 5pm) This is the NC Sierra Club’s biggest celebration of the year!

Sunday, Sept. 28,  8am, Birding Along the Fall Mountain Trail

Other Outings and Events

Clean Energy for Raleigh Public Workshops

Clean Energy for Raleigh is hosting three free educational events for the public to learn about the program and technologies, meet the installers, ask questions, and get the details about tax credits, utility rebates, and financing options.

If you have thought about putting solar power on your house, these forums are sure to answer the questions you have!

September 22, 7:00-8:30pm at AIA NC Center for Architecture and Design, 14 East Peace St. Raleigh, NC (map)

October 14, 7:00-8:30pm at the Church of the Nativity, 8849 Ray Rd., Raleigh, NC (map)

November 6, 7:00-8:30pm at the Community United Church of Christ, 814 Dixie Trail, Raleigh, NC (map)

Click here to RSVP to any of the three forums and find out how you can be a part of the clean energy future in North Carolina!


October 1 & 15, 4:00 – 5:00 – Walking on Wednesdays – Durham, NC

Join Sierrans for this monthly fast-paced, mid-week walk on the Al Beuhler Trail.

The trail circles the perimeter of Washington-Duke Golf Course, offering shade, moderate hills, and natural scenery. The leader will set the pace to complete the 3-mile course in 1-hour although you are welcome to go your own pace and do as many laps as you would like. Rain cancels. The trailhead is located off Cameron Blvd, just east of Science Dr. Look for parking area at GPS Coord: 35.993851, -78.945780

There are no restroom facilities at this trailhead.

Contact for October 1: Contact Jae (

Contact for October 15: Contact Ginny (


October 3-5 – Waccamaw River Paddle and Camp – Lake Waccamaw

The group will paddle Friday until 4:00 or 5:00 pm to find a good spot for an overnight camp site.  Paddle will be approximately 4 to 5 miles on Friday, 12 to 14 miles on Saturday, and 6 miles for Sunday morning.

Contact Information: Jerry Weston at

For a full description, visit:

ROBERT REDFORD: “Fracking Puts Our Drinking Water at Risk” (So Submit Comments on the NC Fracking Rules)

Just 2 days left (midnight, Sept 30th) to submit comments on the proposed NC fracking rules!

Submit Written Comments on Fracking Rules

Don’t forget, the Sept. 30th deadline for submitting written comments on the fracking rules is tomorrow! Check out the Frack Freee NC resource page here, for more information and bullet points to focus your comments on the rules.

To send a quick comment, go to Last Call for Fracking Comments – Sept 30th!

For more detailed taking points to really make an impression, click below and write and send a personal message!

NC Fracking RulesMEC-rules-1-page_WNC_8-28

Public Hearing Comments on the Proposed Weakened Stormwater Ordinance

Read two of the comments made at the September 22nd Public Hearing on the proposed weakening of our stormwater regulations. And while you’re at it, mark for calendar for October 27th for the City Council vote on this ordinance. We’ll need your voice, signs, and emails and calls to the Charlotte City Council!

Public Comments of Bill Gupton on the PCCO Revisions

Char Global Enviro Leader

Mayor Clodfelter, members of City Council, City Staff and others,

My name is Bill Gupton and I currently serve as Conservation Chair on the Charlotte based Sierra Club Central Piedmont group.

I apologize for not appearing tonight before you tonight for this public hearing as planned. This past weekend, in 34 hours, I was part of 3 buses full of 165 concerned Charlotte area citizens that traveled 1,300 miles as we joined 7 other North Carolina buses and over 400,000 people in New York City in the largest March in world history to call for action to address the Climate Crisis and Environmental Injustice. I’m exhausted, aching, I have no voice, yet I’m committed more than ever that we must address issues at the local, state and national level.

I’m a Charlotte native who grew up in the Oakdale Community on the west side of the County in the late 50’s and early 60’s. It was rural. My friends and I romped through the woods, camped out, and explored the woods, streams, and hills. We spent much of our time at “The Creek”, a stream where we waded and played. Some days we couldn’t get in the water because it was covered in red or blue foam. On other days it was covered with an oily sheen. We didn’t know why.

Today, while some areas of our surface water are better, we are at a critical junction. 81% of our streams in Mecklenburg County are officially labeled as “Impaired”. Almost every stream in our area suffers from pollution to some degree. The good news is that where we have decided to act, we have made a big difference such as in the Little Sugar Creek.
On August 10, 2014, City staff made a presentation to the City Environmental Committee that stated “CHARLOTTE will become A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER” and “Charlotte will lead BY EXAMPLE” (see above). If you believe that this is true and accurate, you must reject the proposed revision to the Post Construction Control Ordinance (PCCO) as it would weaken stormwater control across our City and continue to degrade our area streams, lakes and rivers.

As scheduled now, on October 27th you will vote on this ordinance. I personally consider this one of the most important environmental votes of record by this City Council. By rejecting this change you will be telling developers that the cost of onsite mitigation of stormwater pollution is not an “incremental cost” but a “cost of doing business” in today’s world to protect our environment and the surrounding residents. By rejecting this ordinance you will send a message to Charlotte residents that you support environmental justice where we do not allow pollution controls to be weakened in areas of re-development that would allow the surrounding neighborhood streams to suffer. By rejecting this ordinance you will be telling Charlotte voters that you will not allow cost shifting of stormwater control and cleanup costs from developers onto the taxpayers. By rejecting this weakening of our stormwater controls you will be demonstrating real environmental leadership.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. This was an act designed to assure that every resident deserves clean streams flowing through their neighborhood. We’ve come a long way but we have much more to do. I strongly urge you on October 27th to reject the proposed weakening of stormwater controls for the future of our City and the quality of life and health of our community. Should you vote to approve this ordinance, I would request that you ask City Staff never to use the phrases “CHARLOTTE will become A GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL LEADER” and “Charlotte will lead BY EXAMPLE” because it just won’t be true.

Thank you.


Public Comments from Sustain Charlotte

Good Evening Mayor Clodfelter and Members of Council,

My name is Shannon Binns and I am the founder and Executive Director of Sustain Charlotte, a local nonprofit whose mission is to inspire choices that lead to a healthier and more vibrant community for generations to come.

I have just one question for you tonight:  Do you want Charlotte to be a leader when it comes to protecting our environment and growing our city in a sustainable way?  Right now our city sustainability staff in neighborhood and business services are putting together a plan, and the overarching guiding principle is for “Charlotte to be a global environmental leader.”

However, what you will be asked to support one month from now is a policy that is nowhere near leadership.

Leaders when it comes to managing stormwater runoff are requiring a range of on-site mitigation options to capture heavy metals, oil, trash, and other forms of pollution before it enters local waterways. As we learned from city stormwater staff at the last environment committee meeting, the city of LA already has installed 10,000 pollution filters, for example. Seattle’s county, King County, is requiring these filters as well, they mentioned.  These cities are two of the leaders because they require best practices as part of their ordinances.

In 2011 our local real estate industry asked for relief from our ordinance citing the downturn in our economy. So a three-year temporary option to bypass our onsite mitigation requirement by paying a fee was granted. That three-year period expired in April but this council agreed to extend it for six months so that the environment committee and staff could explore our options. During this time, my organization and three other local nonprofits who have professional expertise on environmental science and policy issues asked staff and members of the committee to require at least some best practices rather than simply extending the option to pay a fee instead of manage stormwater on site.

Unfortunately, none of our recommendations were included.

We want our city to be a leader. We want our children to be able to safely play in their backyard streams and creeks again. We want our city to thrive for generations. But if that is going to happen we must move beyond the rhetoric and we must begin taking the actions that leading cities take.  So we urge you to vote against allowing developers anywhere in our city to simply pay a fee instead of complying with one of our most important local laws. After all, doing business in this community comes with responsibilities to this community. And I hope you will hold those who wish to profit in our city accountable to these basic responsibilities.

This is not a zero-sum game. We can have economic development AND we can protect our natural resources. This is called sustainable development, and we urge you to be a champion for sustainable development, not a champion for short-term economic development that sacrifices our quality of life.
Thanks for your service to our community and if we can provide additional expertise on this issue, please let us know.

Last Call for Fracking Comments – Sept 30th!

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club


Thousands of North Carolinians showed up and spoke up during public hearings on fracking this summer. But we need you to speak up too!

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Click here to let the Mining and Energy Commission (MEC) know that the proposed rules do not do enough to protect our communities and water supplies!

The legislature promised that North Carolina would have the strongest fracking rules in the country; however, the proposed rules are far from acceptable. The MEC’s proposed rules would allow for fracking permits to be issued without a clear solution for safely disposing of wastewater from fracking operations. 

The only way the MEC will add protections and standards for toxic wastewater is if enough people send in comments urging them to address this missing part of the rules.

This is why we need YOU to stand up for strong protections from fracking for North Carolina – click here to submit your comment to the MEC today!

Together, we’ll make sure the MEC realizes that North Carolinians expect rules that are the strongest in the country.

Click here to send in your comments today!

Thanks for all that you do,

Jacquie Ayala

Associate Organizer for the NC Sierra Club


P.S. – The public comment period closes on Sept. 30, so send in your comments today to make sure the MEC knows that North Carolinians truly deserve the best rules in the country!

Sept 26, Final Day to Take Action – Save the NC Red Wolf

Friday, Sept 26th, is the final day to submit comments!

Red Wolf


The only wild red wolves left are in Eastern North Carolina.  The only reason we have any at all is because the Red Wolf Recovery Program was started in the late 1980’s to help bring these wolves back from extinction. Friday, Sept 12, is the final day to submit comments!

Right now the US Fish & Wildlife Service is evaluating the whether or not to continue the program and we need you to speak up for the program and for the wolves!

Please email your comments of support, but the comment window ends on Friday!

Click here to learn more and how you can send your comments online!

Thanks for taking the time to speak up for the red wolf.  This beautiful creature almost went extinct once already. We cannot let it happen again!

Thanks for all that you do,

Zak Keith

Lead Organizer for the NC Sierra Club

P.S. – The deadline to submit comments and protect the red wolves is this Friday! Click here to send in your comments now before it’s too late!

The New Climate Movement Has Begun – Be a Part of the Change!

The People’s Climate March has ended but the real March to Change has just begun.

This is our moment in history to create a Movement.

Take some form of action everyday and every week until we have the change we seek.

Start today!

Here’s how the new Climate Change Movement has begun….


We said it would take everyone to change everything — and everyone came.

With world leaders coming to New York City for a landmark summit on climate change, people around the world took to the streets to demand action to end the climate crisis.

Now, more than ever, we are a big, beautiful, unified movement. We are coming together around the world like never before to demand a brighter and more just future for everyone.

This wrap-up is just a snapshot of how profound and important the People’s Climate Mobilization was.

PCM Numbers

PCM 2646 Events

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I couldn’t go to the People’s Climate March. What can I do to take action?

I couldn’t go to the People’s Climate March. What can I do to take action?

There are lots of things! Today, right now, tell President Obama that you want the promises kept and to act on the Climate Crisis!

BREAKING: President Obama calls on world leaders to act on climate.

Take action!

Take action now to support strong international climate leadership!

BIG NEWS: President Obama just finished speaking to the United Nations about climate change and you’re going to want to see what he had to say.

In a speech at the UN Climate Summit in New York, the president announced new actions that the US will take in confronting climate change and climate impacts at home and abroad. He laid out the shared responsibilities of all nations, and committed the United States to ambitious next steps.

Tell President Obama that America is ready for him to follow through on the promises he made today.

The president called on the assembled world leaders to act, saying, “Our citizens keep marching, we cannot pretend we cannot hear them. We have to answer the call.”

And he’s right — the People’s Climate March drew 400,000 people to the streets of New York City before today’s historic meeting of the United Nations. Those voices calling for climate justice and clean energy got the world’s attention. They set the stage for President Obama’s announcement today.

In his speech, the president said:
– America will meet our goals on reducing greenhouse gas emissions
– We will set ambitious reduction targets on the table for next year’s UN climate meeting
– That all of the world’s major economies have a responsibility to do the same

Take action now to make sure that these promises become reality. Send the president 50,000 messages by midnight so he’ll know America is ready to lead.

When world leaders meet again next year in Paris, they’ll remember the president’s speech today and they’ll remember the huge energy of the People’s Climate March on Sunday. It’s up to you to make sure they’ll also remember that America is ready to keep its climate promises.

Michael Brune
Sierra Club Executive Director