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Advancement Committee Update

Helen Applebaum

A major goal in funding Sierra Club Connecticut is supporting advocacy to protect resources that you want to pass on to the next generation. We seek to pass on the best our state offers. But that takes effort and planning.


What are the Threats?

If we take undeveloped land and convert it to crop land, we are uprooting native grasses for a crop, such as corn or a development for housing or business. Similarly, but much worse, is the tearing up of pristine land to get one resource such as shale gas. When that continues to occur, the land becomes wasted and its beauty and wildlife depleted. The gas companies that are responsible also produce and keep most of the economic value.


Are there Alternatives?

Miriam Horn in her book Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, suggests conservation easement is an alternative strategy. The landowner can sell development rights to a land trust to hold in perpetuity. Weantinogue is my local land trust in Litchfield County. The trust then partners with those making a living off the land, as in farming or ranching, but the land stays with its owner and that person’s descendants.


When private lands such as we just identified are connected to protected public lands, the merger provides vital connectivity. In fact many have higher rates of plant and animal biodiversity than public lands. That seven inch wide bear claw print on our Facebook page last month is from private farm land adjacent to a land trust.


How to Prevent Land Grabs

It takes hard work. Plain spoken but persistent letters to one’s representatives and newspaper editors is essential, as is speaking at every public meeting held by the state or the Bureau of Land Management. Travel to Washington, DC to speak to the appropriate bureaucrats may be critical.

How Sierra Club Connecticut Helps

We fight for the things we love, and that’s why we ask you to become a champion of Sierra Club Connecticut by becoming a monthly investor in our goals. We use our grassroots

activity to support clean energy for the health of our climate, protect our land and water (including Remington Woods, Pachaug Forest and our watersheds) and lobby our representatives to adopt our policies.

When full environmental impact studies were instituted in the 1990s against oil and gas leases, the results showed that the projected drilling wells and miles of new road would:

  • Muck up streams with eroded sediments

  • Poison fish with toxic chemicals

  • Fragment the habitat of game species like elk and deer

  • Reduce reproductive success of game species


“Mining companies sell dreams then leave you with the junk, taxpayers clean it up and you lost the wildlife.”


Please help us end fossil development, and leave the junk in the ground. You are invited to be a Sierra Club Connecticut champion. Donate here or just go to Sierra Club Connecticut and click on the red button at the top right that says DONATE. A monthly investment of even $5 goes a long way to help us clean up Connecticut and keep it intact for those who are yet to come.


Helen Applebaum is Lead Volunteer for Advancement at Sierra Club Connecticut. To discuss how you can become a champion, contact her at 860.946.9946.

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