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Mount Baker Group

The Mount Baker group serves Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan counties. Sponsor of many fun outings and gatherings, we focus on water quality issues and development standards to protect the environment.

To reach the Mt. Baker Group please contact:

General email: MtBaker@washington.sierraclub.org

or Stan Parker, parkerstan1@yahoo.com 2520 Jefferson Street, Bellingham WA 98225 360-738-0770

 

See our future outings and events on the Chapter calendar.

 

The Mount Baker Group elected our new Executive Committee.

Early in 2014 several local activists who are members of the Mount Baker Group convened to begin the process of reorganizing the Mount Baker Group, which had gone quiescent after the former chair moved away. The Washington State Chapter provided invaluable assistance and support as the process got underway to elect a new Group executive committee. The first step involved in enhancing the capacity to provide the Sierra Club’s array of services locally.

On July 24th, the Mount Baker Group Election Committee announced the winners. Those elected to serve on the newly reconstituted Mount Baker Group executive committee are Bob Aegerter, Judith Akins, Natalie McClendon, Stan Parker, and Nora Weaver.

The next Mount Baker Group monthly meeting will be on Saturday August 23rd from 10 am to 3 pm at Natalie McClendon’s house at 4682 Wynn Road, Bellingham. It will be a half-day retreat, the agenda to plan the way forward locally. All Sierra Club Mount Baker Group members are welcome to attend. Registration required, lunch provided. For more detailed information and to sign up call Natalie at 360-392-8287.

The ExCom is the local governing group that holds monthly meetings and is responsible for budget, oversight, strategic planning, coordinating environmental activism efforts with other organizations, political endorsements, and fundraising in Whatcom, Skagit, and San Juan Counties.

 

Our Activities and Interests: 

The Mount Baker Group has been active in the Cherry Point Coal Terminal issue and a myriad of other activities which support sound environmental protection policies. The Group Executive Committee is responsible for making local political endorsements and working with elected officials to promote the Sierra Club’s mission.

 

Download and read the July Newsletter

 

Next Volunteers and Leaders meeting - half day retreat:

Sunday August 23rd, 10 am to 3 pm.

Natalie McClendon's house at 4782 Wynn Way, Bellingham. 360-319-8287

All Mount Baker Group members are welcome to attend our monthly meetings.  

Registration required, lunch provided. For more detailed information and to sign up call Natalie at 360-392-8287. 

 

Next Event:

COAL FREE PSE VOLUNTEER MEETING 

Wednesday July 30th, 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Fairhaven Branch Library, Fireplace Room, 1117 12th St, Bellingham

Join fellow community members to learn how we can go coal-free in Bellingham. Puget Sound Energy is the primary owner of one of the largest and dirties coal plants in the West, and we are getting power from it. Governor Inslee has a plan for reducing our carbon and tackling climate change and getting us off of dirty coal is a big piece of that plan. Help us make that happen!

 

Outings:

See the many current Washington Chapter outings: www.cascade.sierraclub.org/events/outings

 

Political News

Campaign season is here! As we reported last month, the Sierra Club has endorsed Seth Fleetwood for the 42nd LD Senate, and we are in the process of interviewing candidates for the 42nd LD House seats. Thanks to our endorsement interview team Betsy Gross, Andrew Zvilna, Stan Parker, and Michael Lilliquist.

The 42nd District (northwest third of Bellingham and most of the rest of Whatcom County) will be where the action is this year. The state senate seat is one of the top races in the state, and Seth is our man.

The Sierra Club has formed a Political Action Committee (PAC) to raise money and make independent expenditures on behalf of our endorsed candidates. Details on their first fundraiser are below.

Also, working internally with our membership, the Sierra Club Mt. Baker Group will be organizing SC doorbelling days and phone-banking nights. By volunteering as a group we can show the impact of the Sierra Club endorsement and build the Club's relationship with our candidates and future representatives. We will need people to step up and help organize these events. Please contact Natalie McClendon at 319-8287 or natalie@nataliemcclendon.com to volunteer to help.

========================= Sierra Club PAC Washington State Fundraiser to Reclaim the Environmental Majority in the Washington State Senate Tuesday, July 15, 2014, 6:00pm to 8:00pm

At the home of Doug Howell and Nancy Hirsh, 1950 4th Avenue West (top of Queen Anne), Seattle, WA 98119. RSVP at (206) 284-9222, or email seattlehowell@gmail.com

Please join Denis Hayes and Washington State Senators Jeanne Kohl-Welles and Sharon Nelson to learn what is at stake. We have a rare opportunity to move forward on important climate, clean energy and environmental issues, but this cannot and will not happen unless we re-capture an environmental majority in the Washington State Senate.

If you cannot attend but can contribute:

Donations are not tax deductible. THANK YOU!

 

Ongoing Issues we care about. New Volunteers Encouraged!

Wildlife Working Group This is a new committee that meets at 6:30 PM on the third Thursday of the month. We deal with issues impacting the Marbled Murrelet, Northern Gray Wolf and many other species. Carolyn Sarah Woods is the chair. Most members call in for these meetings. Contact Bob Aegerter at boba@openaccess.org for more details

Legislative Committee This committee deals with issues coming before the Washington State Legislature. During the legislative session they hold telephone strategy meeting once a week. Meetings are more sporadic based on need the remainder of the year. Over 3,000 bills are introduced in a typical year. About 150 are of concern for environmental advocates. We help set priorities with our part time lobbyist and often go to Olympia to testify as volunteer citizen lobbyists on legislation of specific interest. Brian Kilgore is the chair. Contact Bob Aegerter at boba@openaccess.org for more information.

Gateway Pacific Terminal Project Judith Akins, Mount Baker Group, Sierra Club Since the Environmental Impact Hearings have closed on the proposed Gateway Pacific (Coal) Terminal in Ferndale, WA the three co-lead agencies (WA Department of Ecology, US Army Corps of Engineers, and Whatcom County Council) have made some decisions and contracts have been signed. Two contracts were signed on February 27, 2014; there is a contract between CH2M Hill and Whatcom County for preparation of the draft and another between the Council and Pacific International Terminals and BNSF for payment of all related to the completion of the EIS. The cost has been estimated at $7-8 million dollars. You can review the contract and related information at the Whatcom County website. There are several important aspects to be aware of and what individuals can do to help in the development of the EIS final review. "The scope of the report describes what and how the aspects of the environment should be studied including methodologies, schedules and costs. The guidance given to the consultant on how to study impacts may evolve based on the information assembled along the way." This is where the public can be involved and insist on an open process so that there is ongoing conversation about the information being gathered. We should be expecting the draft EIS to be completed in 2015 or later. (There will actually be two separate EIS documents.). After the release of the draft EIS, Whatcom County staff will prepare a staff report for submission to the Whatcom County Hearing Examiner. Recommendations from the Hearing Examiner will be given to the County Council, who will be the ultimate decision makers. Permit decisions by other agencies will follow the decision of the Council if the Council approves the project. During this time when the draft is published there will be a period open to public comments and hearings and by 2016 or later the final environmental statements will be published. Please stay tuned and vigilant as to what is being reviewed and how it is being studied and let the agencies know what your concerns are because we all have a stake in the future of our environment.

Information and quotes taken from: Whatcom County: www.co.whatcom.wa.us/pds/plan/current/gpt-ssa WA Dept. of Ecology: www.ecy.wa.gov/news/2013/197.html Scoping Report: www.eisgatewaypacificwa.gov

Blue-Green Alliance speaks out. If you read the Bellingham Herald's editorial page on Monday March 24th, you probably noticed the editorial our own Robin Everett, Organizing Representative for the Sierra Club's Coal Free Washington Campaign, co-authored with Mark Lowry, President of the Northwest Washington Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Representing Washington's Blue-Green Alliance, they expressed their concern that congress may fast-track the TPP agreement, which would "...take away Congress' ability to debate TPP, amend it or do little more than vote yes or no." If you missed it, here is the link to the article online:  www.bellinghamherald.com/2014/03/24/3543080/blue-green-alliance-asks-congress.html?sp=/99/122/291