History

   

The Sierra Club was founded in the United States by naturalist and writer John Muir in 1892.  He sparked the public interest in conservation through outings into the Sierra Nevada Mountains, which resulted in their preservation. John Muir (1838-1914) was America's most famous and influential naturalist and conservationist. He has been called "The Father of our National Parks," "Wilderness Prophet," and "Citizen of the Universe."  The Club is founded on Muir's philosophy that interaction with the natural landscape inspires environmental stewardship.

Today, Sierra Club of Canada and Sierra Club US form an international, democratic grassroots organization of over 750,000 friends and neighbors, inspired by nature and working together to protect our communities and the planet.  Over the years, the activities of the Sierra Club have expanded to include issues ranging from climate change and ozone depletion to toxic chemical contamination and loss of biological diversity.

The Sierra Club has been active in Canada since 1963, when a group of members in British Columbia waged a campaign to protect the spectacular forests and lakes of the Nitinat Triangle and West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. There were no Canadian environmental groups working on forest and wilderness issues at that time, so they joined forces with the US Sierra Club-"the world's first environmental activist organization."

By the mid-1980s, there were Sierra Club members across Canada, with two chapters – Western Canada and Eastern Canada. A national office was opened in Ottawa in the fall of 1989 and three years later the Sierra Club of Canada came into legal existence.

Quickly, Chapters formed in each region of the country and offices opened to support the work of many local groups.

In July 2000, the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada was launched with a conference held in in Margaree Harbour, NS. Participants from the four Atlantic provinces attended the launch, including then Sierra Club of Canada Executive Director Elizabeth May. May noted "The Atlantic provinces are victimized by political marginalization. Nowhere else in Canada would people be living next to a toxic soup like the Tar Ponds, and nowhere but in the Third World do you see shoreline oil and gas leases except in the Southern Gulf of St. Lawrence."

On January 1, 2001, the Atlantic Canada Chapter of the Sierra Club of Canada was officially formed. The Atlantic Chapter office is located in Halifax, and there are Local Groups across the region.


The wisdom of John Muir...

" Thousands of tired,
nerve-shaken, over-civilized
people are beginning to
find out that going to the
mountains is going home;
that wildness is a necessity;
and that mountain parks and
reservations are useful not
only as fountains of timber and
irrigating rivers, but as
fountains of life."

"When we try to pick out
anything by itself, we find it
hitched to everything else
in the Universe."

Timeline

1892 - John Muir founded the Sierra Club to protect the Sierra Nevada Mountains

1969 - group of British Columbians launched a campaign to protect local wilderness and joined forces with the US Sierra Club

1989 - Sierra Club of Canada National Office established in Ottawa

1992 - Sierra Club of Canada incorporated and became separate from the US Sierra Club

2000 - conference to launch the Atlantic Canada Chapter held in Margaree Harbour, NS

2001 - Atlantic Canada Chapter officially formed

                                                               
 

   

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