Explore, enjoy and protect the planet

North Olympic Group

The North Olympic Group was organized in 2010 and has quickly become a powerful voice for protecting the Peninsula's ecosystem. We have 850 members in Clallam and Jefferson counties. Our operations are governed by seven volunteers with lots of help by our conservation committees. We have no paid staff. Meetings are generally held on the second Thursday of each month. All Sierra Club members are welcome (in fact encouraged) to attend. Since the locations change, it is best to contact one of the ExCom members to find the location of the next meeting.



Upcoming Meetings:

Next Executive Committee Meeting: The North Olympic Group Executive Committee meeting will be held Thursday, November 13, 1:00 p.m in the library at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 100 S. Blake Avenue, Sequim . All Sierra Club members are welcome. Contact Monica Fletcher details.


Click here to read our September - October Newsletter.


Announcement! Check out the North Olympic Group's new Meetup site for the latest on planned outings and events. Click here to join.



Sunday, November 2: Hike the beautiful Elwha Valley

Stroll alongside the Elwha River's churning waters and lounge on its grassy and rocky banks. Snoop around pioneer homesteads, and scope for elk and bear feeding in surrounding pastures. Wildlife and history abound here. We’ll start by heading down the Elwha River trail. This well-trodden path has been delivering visitors into the Olympic wilds ever since the Press Expedition blazed a route across these parts well over a century ago. At Elk Overlook we’ll scan the mighty river flowing 500 feet below. The large grassy bend was once part of the Anderson Ranch homestead and is now a favorite grazing ground for resident elk. We’ll continue through open forest, coming to a junction where we’ll head down to the river itself. A short spur leads to Goblins Gate, a rocky narrow chasm funneling the Elwha's swiftly moving waters. We’ll then follow the Geyser Valley Trail, traversing meadows and fir groves, and rubbing shoulders with the churning river at wide bends and rocky ledges. We’ll follow the river to the Humes Ranch homestead where we’ll stop for lunch. On our return trip we’ll take a short detour to the Dodger Point Bridge at the mouth of the Grand Canyon of the Elwha, an impressive sight to behold. Total round-trip distance: 8-9 miles with an elevation gain of 600 feet. Dress in layers and for wet weather, trip is on rain or shine. Bring lunch and water for the entire day. RSVP required: exploreolympics@gmail.com



SAVOR YOUR SOIL: Know Your Compost!

Saturday October 25 1 PM - 3 PM Port Angeles Library

You should have a Right To Know what is in the compost you buy, mix in your soils, grow your food with, and its safety for pets and children playing in your composted soil. Commercial compost labels may not tell you what you need to know to protect your soil. Attend this Sierra Club presentation to learn more about compost contents, soils and food. The film, Sludge Diet, covers how municipalities may handle wastes, what the wastes may consist of that are turned into fertilizer, how it is marketed, and farmers' points of view. Handouts will be available and there will be plenty of discussion time, including what information citizens would like to see on compost labels and how to get transparent labeling. For more information, contact Darlene Schanfald, darlenes@olympus.net


Tuesday, November 4 at 6:30 PM: The Wilderness Act led by Ruth Scott of Olympic National Park.

This fall, the Port Angeles Main Library is offering an educational presentation series to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the historic Wilderness Act with a discussion of the Wilderness Act led by Ruth Scott of Olympic National Park. During her presentation, America’s Enduring Legacy of Wilderness, Scott will summarize how and why the Wilderness Act came about, its legal implications, and what we can learn from wilderness-protected areas. [Read More]



Clallam County Political Endorsements:

Sierra Club Endorses Sissi Bruch for Clallam County Commissioner.

The Sierra Club endorsed Sissi three years ago for Port Angeles City Council. She has been one of our few environmental heroes on the Council and we feel she will be so as County Commissioner. Prior to her becoming a City Council Member, she served on the Port Angeles Planning Commission. Sissi has been a solid voice for keeping the City expenditures within budget and has helped develop a long term vision for the City. Sissi favors the newly introduced Wild Olympics bill and believes it will be a net positive for the local economy and jobs. As County Commissioner she will urge the County to focus on what it can do about climate change. Currently, Sissi is the Senior Planner for the Lower Elwha Tribe, focusing on community and economic development and state and federal grant writing and management. Sissi Bruch's website.




Jefferson County Political Endorsements:

Sierra Club Endorses Kathleen Kler for Jefferson County Commissioner. A number of important future environmental issues are facing Jefferson County: How to address the many environmental, health and safety issues associated with the proposed mega-resort development at Black Point and the Pit to Pier gravel mining operation on Hood Canal; deciding what changes, if any, are needed to the County’s Critical Areas Ordinance that protects our salmon streams; how to sensibly manage our water resources in light of future scarcity resulting from a reduced winter snowpack due to climate change; and how to ensure that land use decisions promote livable, walkable communities with good public transit access. Our discussion with Kathleen Kler convinced us that she not only understands these issues but also is highly motivated to work on finding solutions that address both the concerns of stakeholders while promoting environmental sustainability and the magnificent natural beauty of our region. Please vote for Kathleen Kler for Jefferson County Commissioner in the November general election. Ballots will be mailed October 17 and are due before the close of business on Election Day, November 4. For further information on Kathleen Kler and how to support her campaign please go to Kathleen's website.


Sierra Club Endorses Kenneth Collins and Tony DeLeo for Jefferson County PUD. There have been major problems with the newly expanded Jefferson County PUD: it failed to continue financial assistance programs that PSE had in place for helping people pay their winter heating bills; it is now faced with the prospect of turning back hundreds of thousands of dollars earmarked for conservation because of a failure to publicize and aggressively market these programs; and finally, despite the fact that Jefferson County has one of the highest solar adoption rates in the state, the PUD failed to make solar one of its priorities. Challengers—Tony DeLeo and Kenneth Collins—won the primary election and are now running in the general election. After interviewing the candidates multiple times, North Olympic Group is comfortable endorsing both of them. Both candidates understand the important role the PUD can play in advancing conservation and solar and in decreasing its reliance on nuclear and coal. Additionally, both understand the many administrative and management challenges facing the PUD as it transitions from being just a small water utility to becoming the electric utility for Jefferson County. Please go to the respective candidate websites to find out more information to help you in making an informed choice in this important race. Then please volunteer to help your candidate of choice win! To learn more about each candidate, please check their websites at Kenneth Collins for PUD Commissioner, District 2 or Tony DeLeo 4 PUD. Tony can also be reached by email at deleo4PUD@gmail.com



The Sierra Club endorses Derek Kilmer for re-election to Congress representing District 6. During his first term, Congressman Kilmer has earned a distinguished 93% score on the League of Conservation Voters Scorecard that tallies how often a member votes favorably on key environmental legislation. Additionally, Congressman Kilmer co-introduced, with Senator Murray, legislation to add additional protections to the Olympic wilderness, including the first Scenic and Wild designation of the Peninsula’s pristine salmon rivers. Congressman Kilmer has made an exceptional effort to listen to his constituents’ concerns, sponsoring many town meetings throughout District 6. He knows how important jobs are to his district and how critical strong environmental protections are to economic prosperity today and for future generations.






State Representative #2, District 24 - Rep. Steve Tharinger is running for a third term. Steve is a long time leader of salmon habitat restoration and protection. He is a member of the Puget Sound Partnership Ecosystem Coordination Board. Steve was also instrumental in securing appropriations from the 2013 State Legislature to fund air monitors for Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend to measure ultrafine particles from biomass plants. He sits on the Governor's task force to increase funding for mass transit, bike, and trails. Steve co-sponsored legislation requiring oil companies to fully disclose the amount of oil entering our state, the route of oil trains, and other information on the movement of oil which our communities and first responders need to know. He favors renewable energy, funding for pedestrian projects, and making funds available for conservation priorities such as Puget Sound Cleanup and stormwater management. He worked on strengthening water conservation rules and worked on this issue for years while a Clallam County Commissioner.




State Representative #1, District 24 - Rep. Van De Wege has a strong environmental voting record which includes led on the Neah Bay Rescue Tugs and banning flame retardants in commercial products, and serves on the House Leadership environmental group. He was successful in having the 2013 State Legislature appropriate funds for air monitors in Port Angeles, Sequim and Port Townsend to measure ultrafine particles from biomass plants. Kevin co-sponsored legislation requiring oil companies to fully disclose the amount of oil entering our state, the route of oil trains, and other information on the movement of oil which our communities and first responders need to know. He supports renewable energy, funding for mass transit, bike, and pedestrian projects, making funds available for conservation priorities such as Puget Sound Cleanup and stormwater management, and wants to see more revenue for the Department of Ecology and Parks.





Chair: Monica Fletcher

Vice Chair: Robert Sextro

Secretary: Bill Volmut

Treasurer: Monica Fletcher


Executive Committee:

Norm Baker: Marine Issues

Monica Fletcher: Chair, Treasurer, Jefferson County Conservation Chair

Peter Guerrero: Outings Chair, Jefferson County Political Chair

Darlene Schanfald: Clallam County Conservation Chair, Clallam County Political Chair

Robert Sextro: Vice Chair, Program Chair, Air Quality, Energy Issues, Wild Olympics Campaign.

Bill Volmut: Secretary


Other NOG Leaders:

Bob Lynette: Climate Change, Wild Olympics Campaign

Janet Marx: Membership Chair, Newsletter Editor

Mary Porter-Solberg: Membership Co-Chair, Webmaster


Wild Olympics Campaign:

After extensive engagement and discussion with residents and local business leaders on the Olympic Peninsula, Senator Patty Murray and Representative Derek Kilmer introduced the Wild Olympics Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 2014 in the Senate and House of Representatives. As part of an ongoing effort to preserve and grow jobs on the Olympic Peninsula, this legislation would protect some of the most environmentally sensitive parts of our region for future generations while protecting access to outdoor recreation opportunities and private landowners’ rights. It would designate 126,554 acres of existing federal land as wilderness in the Olympic National Forest and designate 464 river miles across 19 rivers and some major tributaries on the Olympic Peninsula as Wild and Scenic Rivers. The wilderness designation permanently protects old growth and ancient forest habitat throughout the region. Go to the Wild Olympics Campaign Website.