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Chapter Conservation and Legislative Priority Campaigns
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by Dave O’Leary | 2009

Throughout the summer and fall, chapter volunteers and staff were hard at work researching, planning and meeting to decide on chapter priorities for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010. We looked into the wide range of issues covered by the Sierra Club national Climate Recovery campaigns, and considered the many issues facing us here in Maryland. At an annual planning meeting in September, the chapter leaders decided to focus on two conservation priorities: reducing global warming pollution through smart energy solutions, and protecting natural places and resilient habitats.

Throughout the summer and fall, chapter volunteers and staff were hard at work researching,  planning and meeting to decide on chapter priorities for the remainder of 2009 and into 2010.  We looked into the wide range of issues covered by the Sierra Club national Climate Recovery campaigns, and considered the many issues facing us here in Maryland.  At an annual planning meeting in September, the chapter leaders decided to focus on two conservation priorities: reducing global warming pollution through smart energy solutions, and protecting natural places and resilient habitats.  The lead smart energy solutions campaign is stopping bad transmission line projects, as described in detail in the previous issue of the Chesapeake, and in the update in this issue.  The natural place we are focusing on is Mattawoman Creek in southern Maryland, which is also described in more detail in this issue.  I encourage everyone to learn more and get involved in these campaigns through the articles and also on our chapter website—http://maryland.sierraclub.org.  These two campaigns were selected as priorities because they are particularly representative of the broader issues facing us here in Maryland;  specifically, poor choices about energy use, and poor decisions about land use and transportation.  There are many other examples throughout the state that deserve our attention, and the local Maryland Chapter groups are taking on many of these issues.  Information about local campaigns and local group contact information can be found in this issue and on our web site. 

Tied to our conservation priorities are our legislative priorities for the 2010 Maryland General Assembly session, which begins in January.  As described elsewhere in this issue, the Chapter legislative team has decided to focus on waste reduction legislation and energy efficiency (specifically the disclosure of energy use in commercial and government buildings).  We also expect to work with other groups from around the state on legislation in the General Assembly, including protecting environmental programs in the state budget, reforming our transportation prioritization process, and increasing the focus on stormwater pollution.  The latter two issues relate closely to the campaign to protect Mattawoman Creek.  Another likely effort in the state legislature in 2010 is a proposal to develop a process for comprehensive energy planning in Maryland.  This issue relates closely to our transmission line campaign. 

Many urgent challenges face us in the upcoming year, and there are many opportunities to get involved and make a difference.  Please contact Alana in the chapter office at 301-277-7111, or Dave O’Leary, Chapter Conservation Chair at dave.oleary@mdsierra.org, or your local group leaders, to find out how you can help.

> 2009 Table of Contents

   
   

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