WHAT WE DO
Our membership includes residents of both New Hampshire and Vermont, and activities occur in both states as well.
All are welcome to attend our monthly Excomm meetings, at which we discuss our future plans and much more. Our next meeting will be at 6:30 pm on Tuesday June 20 at Howe Library in Hanover, NH.
For website questions, please contact Peter Hope, firstname.lastname@example.org.
(from The Engaged Sierran, May 2016) –
(also see separate page)
Ready for 100: Upper Valley Group takes the Lead in NH
We’d love for you to join us and learn more about the campaign! If you have any questions, email the Upper Valley Ready For 100 Sierra Club Community Organizer Ally Samuell: email@example.com
Annual Events include:
Dartmouth “Moving Sale”
Nine years ago the Sierra Club Upper Valley Group helped Dartmouth College students organize their first “Moving Sale”. The plan involved “recycling” the usable materials that graduating students discard when they leave campus in June. Instead of trashing items into local landfills usable furniture and personal items, graduating students donated them to the Moving Sale. The items were collected, sorted, cleaned, priced and stored till the incoming freshman class arrived on campus in September.
The annual program is now organized and managed by Dartmouth’s Office of Residential Life and its Sustainability Office. The week when new students arrive a one day sale makes these reusable materials available to new students. Every year since the program’s inception the Sierra Club Upper Valley Group has provided a dozen or so volunteer cashiers for the Moving Sale.
The 2015 sale grossed over $17,000! Moving Sale proceeds are made available for student environmental organizations for use in funding “green” projects on and off campus.
The photos below capture of the items readied for the ninth annual Moving Sale day in September, 2015 and a portion of the line of students – some with their checkbook bearing parents – awaiting the start of the sale.
(Photos: Courtesy of the Dartmouth Sustainability Office)
The sale is enormously popular – both with students, program administrators and Sierra volunteers. Shirley Montgomery, one of regular Sierra volunteer cashiers noted: “It is always fun to participate. The sustainability students show a lot of enthusiasm. I especially enjoy seeing the incoming students with their parents selecting items for their rooms.” Judith Pettingill, another Sierran offered: “I love watching the incoming students, their parents, and roommates (and a few upper classmen) with their enthusiasm for their life at Dartmouth. The Sierra Club sets a great example of what should be one of their most important personal values – – love for their environment.”
Sierra Club “Social”
UVSC members share their interests as well as hearing from executive committee members about past and future UVSC activities. Last year the event took place on Sunday November 1, at the Norwich Inn.
Please check our calendar regularly for items that may interest you. Here are some past events in 2015, 2016 and 2017:
On Saturday April 29 a number of us participated in this significant nation-wide event, in Washington, Montpelier and Concord.
Mobilizing Local Communities: A Resilient Community is a Strong Community
A Community Forum, on Tuesday, April 25th
The purpose of this forum was tpo:
* Learn why bringing community members together makes them stronger
* Learn about the importance of preparing for storm events and long term climate change
* Learn how to engage communities and move to action
* Learn about the intersection between disaster response and long term preparation
- Anne Goodrich, Upper Valley Strong
- Michael Hillinger, Upper Valley Sierra Club
- Julia Griffin, Town of Hanover
- Sarah Brock, Vital Communities
The forum wass hosted by the Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup
and co-spomsored by the Upper Valley Group of the Sierra Club.
Hanover’s Commitment to 100%
On April 12th at the Hanover Town Hall we cosponsored a forum including Michael Brune, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club!
Cities and towns across the U.S. are transitioning to 100% renewable energy. We leaned much about this movement in the Upper Valley, n Hanover and beyond.
Twenty five cities across the U.S. have committed to a goal of 100% renewable energy, including San Diego, Madison, WI, Abita Springs, LA, Georgetown, TX, San Francisco and Salt Lake City – and this number will continue to rapidly increase as cities embrace the opportunity to transition to a cleaner and healthier energy future.
On May 9th, Hanover residents will be voting during their town meeting to commit to a goal of 100% renewable energy. Hanover will be the first of many towns in the Upper Valley to bring this to a town vote.
Michael Brune, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, the largest grassroots environmental organization in the country, was visiting Hanover next week to discuss Hanover’s upcoming town vote to commit to 100% renewable energy. He also be spoke about the nationwide transition to clean energy, and how cities are taking the lead on clean energy and climate action.
Julia Griffin, the Town Manager of Hanover, NH, told us about what Hanover has already done to work toward a goal of 100% renewable energy, and what they will be doing in the future to support renewable energy and energy efficiency throughout the town. Julia also discussed Hanover’s upcoming May 9th, 2017 vote to commit to 100% renewable energy.
On April 6 and 8 we had two Volunteer Nights, whose purposes included discussion of our current projects, writing letter to the Editor, submitting comments to the NH Public Utilities Commission regarding Liberty Utilities proposal to build a natural gas pipeline in Lebanon and Hanover, with LNG brought in by truck, and planning hoe to raise community support for 100% renewable energy in the Upper Valley, starting with Hanover.
Muslims, Science and the Travel Ban
President Donald Trump has made statements and issued Presidential Executive Orders regarding Islam, Muslims and Arab immigrants to the US. A similar rhetoric has often been used to stigmatize people of Islamic faith.
Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the dynamic of cultural interactions that define Muslim communities and the way these interactions are used in domestic and international politics. Gender-related issues and radicalization of Muslims – and even science – are topics that frequent the headlines. Dr. Salman Hameed addressed these issues and took questions from the audience.
Salman is a visiting Fellow with Dartmouth’s Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement. He serves as the Charles Taylor Chair and Associate Professor of Integrated Science & Humanities and the Director of the Center for the Study of Science in Muslim Studies at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA.
Sponsors included: The Institute for Cross-Disciplinary Engagement at Dartmouth; Sierra Club Upper Valley Group; Upper Valley Refugee Working Group; Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Languages and Literatures; Religion Department at Dartmouth; OTHERS (pending).
Capitol Hill Days
March 24 – 26, in Washington, DC
Activists lobbied Congress concerning women’s reproductive health issues, particularly funding for developing countries.
Soak up the Rain: Help the Climate
Presentation on rainwater retention, by Michal Kravčík, from Slovakia.
on Monday March 13, at the Montshire Museum of Science, Norwich, VT
Sponsored by the Vermont Sierra Club and Voices of Water for the Climate
“What’s Happening to our Native Pollinators?”
A program at the Montshire Museum on Norwich, on March 9. 2017 Speakers:
Kent McFarland & Sara Zahendra, Vermont Center for EcostudiesAround the globe and right here in our own backyards, biologists have been buzzing about pollinator decline. From moths to native bumble bees and butterflies, some of these species have already disappeared. Who are the pollinators? Which species are in conservation trouble? What has caused these losses? A panel of local biologists who have studied pollinators discussed what the issues are and how we might reverse declining pollinator populations.Taylor Ricketts has examined the crossroads between pollinator decline and economics, and what we can do about it. With the help of corps of citizen scientists, biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra have studied bumble bee and butterfly populations across Vermont helping to inform land managers and decision-makers. They covered the causes and the implications of the decline, and how together we might help keep pollinators working across the landscape into the future.
Climate Change Seminar
On March 2 we co-sponsored an afternoon seminar: Climate Change in New England: Trends, Impacts, and Solutions by Dr. Cameron Wake
Dr. Cameron Wake is a Research Professor at the Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans and Space at the University of New Hampshire and is the Josephine A. Lamprey Professor in Climate and Sustainability at the UNH Sustainability Institute.
Cameron leads a research program investigating regional climate change through the analysis of ice core records and historical and instrumental data. Cameron also helps lead “Climate Solutions New England, lead a collaborative effort to secure healthy, prosperous, and sustainable communities through the pursuit of integrated solutions that include building energy self-reliance and weather resilience.
Dr. Wake’s collaborative research on several regional climate assessments in the northeast United States has been shared with municipal, state, and federal agencies and representatives, has been covered widely in the media, and has been cited by several as motivation for policy action. In recognition of his engaged scholarship around the issue of climate change, Cameron was awarded the UNH Faculty Award of Excellence in Public Service in 2010.
Read more: http://www.eos.sr.unh.edu/Faculty/Wake
Panel Discussion on Renewable Energy
That same evening our Group’s Ready for 100 sponsored a
Panel Discussion – How Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Can Save You Money: Success Stories from Our Community
The presenters covered examples of financial savings and reduced energy consumption through renewable energy projects and energy efficiency.
Representative Lee Oxenham, a member of the New Hampshire House Science, Technology and Energy Committee, joined us to update us on renewable energy and energy efficiency policies in NH.
John Rooney, Hypertherm ~ Energy Efficiency
Peter Kulbacki, Town of Hanover ~ Solar
Pooh Sprague, Edgewater Farm, Plainfield, NH ~ Solar
Erik Russell, Enfield Resident ~ Solar & heat pump water heater
Bill Knight, Plainfield School ~ Energy Efficiency
Lee Oxenham, New Hampshire State Representative, Plainfield, NH
Event co-sponsors: Enfield Energy Committee, Cornish Energy Committee, Plainfield Energy Committee, Lebanon Energy Aggregation Committee, Sustainable Hanover Committee
Before the Flood
On February 28 this Climate Change documentary film was screened at the Woodstock Town Hall Theater.
(sponsored by Sustainable Woodstock and Pentangle Council on the Arts)
On Saturday January 21 Upper Valley Sierrans joined thousands of progressive citizens in the March in Montpelier. We need to stay active and ever-vigilant in this time of the Dark Force!
On a recent Thursday we joined with members of the Vermont Sierra Club at a Woodstock Green Drinks evening – Fun was had by all!
Climate Change Film Screening
Billings Farm and Museum, 69 Old River Road, Woodstock(VT), Sunday Nov. 20th
In How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can’t Change, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox (GASLAND) continued in his deeply personal style, investigating climate.
Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledged that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, “What is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?” After the screening we had a lively discussion. The event was hosted by Sustainable Woodstock, The Upper Valley Sierra Club, VNRC, The Upper Valley Young Liberals, and Billings Farm and Museum.
Peak to Peak
A very successful elebration in the Park and on the Woodstock Green, on October 15, with guided NPS hikes up Mt. Tom and Mt. Peg, with our UVSC Outings Leaders participation.
Deep Change for Climate Justice: Coalescing a Transformational Movement
The Sierra Club Upper Valley Group, Our Children, Climate, Faith Symposium and VT Interfaith Power & Light are collaborated on the annual conference, Deep Change for Climate Justice: Coalescing a Transformational Movement, held on Oct. 15 – 16, White River Junction.
We joined with people from VT, NH, and beyond to connect and draw courage to do the work that’s needed, and to engage others to take action on global climate change!Registration is open.
Roaring Brook Loop
Three of us enjoyed an Adirondack jaunt this past Sunday. We first walked to the base of Roaring Brook Falls, a 520 foot cascade. There was but a trickle of water coming off it, so I am surprised we did not see rock climbers for whom this is a favorite multi-pitch climb. We then climbed to the Giant’s Washbowl, an attractive mountain tarn, beside which we lunched (sitting on comfortable pine needles). we were amazed to see a kayaker on the Washbowl – the portage up to it cannot have been easy! We then continued up the Giant’s Nubble, where there was finally a partial view. The fog / clouds prevented the usual wonderful views of the Great Range. And finally wee looped down to the start, where we feasted on the usual chocolate. As usual in the Adirondacks, we encountered eroded trails, but conditions were much better than I had experienced on the northern LT the Sunday before.
Mount Tom, South Peak
On September 6 four of us braved the sporty Precipice Trail, in Marsh-Billings-Rockeller National Historic Park, Vermont’s only National Park.. We climbed from the Mansion up this fairly steep and somewhat rough route, with exposure that is protected by a cable, to the South Peak carriage road turn around, with its spectacular views.
St. Gaudens National Historic Site
As of our celebration of NPS-100, on August 31 thirteen of us enjoyed a combined GMC- Sierra Club outing to New Hampshire’s only National Park, in Cornish(NH). We explored the attractive trails (which do need some maintenance), admiring the wetlands, the old stone bridge and Blow Me Down Mill. And afterwards we had time to admire the great art, especially the new Standing Lincoln, the original of which is in Chicago.
August 13 – 11 am to 3 pm Boots to Boats River Splash! Kilowatt Park South in Wilder, VT. Co-sponsored by the National Park Service, L.L. Bean Outdoor Discovery School and Bold Paths Adventures, this free event offered participants the chance to try out a kayak or stand-up paddle board with certified instructors, learn fly-casting or spin-casting, and explore water safety principles and ecosystem health with our exhibitors. There were also land-based games and crafts for toddlers through teens.
Lower Slade Brook
On August 3 four of us enjoyed a 2 mile walk in this lovely conserved area,\ in Hanover(NH). For much of the way we followed Lower Slade Brook, attractive even at low water levels.
North Pack Monadnock Outing
On June 26 six of us climbed North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield(NH), om another NPS-100 hike. Most of the route lies within the Wapack National Wildlife Refuge. We climbed Ted’s Trail and descended Carolyn’s Trail, on a very attractive loop. The company was great, and the views good! But it was hot! And the mosquitoes came out in force toward the end of the hike. But we all had a great time despite!
Workshop on Comprehensive Efficiency Approach for Your Home
We learn the best way to invest in the comfort, health, and long-term energy affordability of our buildings and home, now and into retirement.Presenters explained the comprehensive energy audit process and how to take the first steps toward a complete and holistic approach to energy efficiency. Then we learned how to incorporate solar power (at no upfront cost) and create the energy we need at home.The also demonstrated some common diagnostics, including a blower door test, right on site!The workshop included an overview of heat pump heating options, as well as the eHome program offered by Green Mountain Power. Financial incentives, including up to $2,500 from Efficiency Vermont, and low-interest financing options were discussed.Presenters: certified energy auditor John Birch, HEAT Squad, Efficiency VT, Green Mountain Power, Zero Energy Now, solar installers Norwich Technologies and Solaflect
Ashuelot Headwaters Outing
On Saturday May 29 we explored Ashuelot Headwaters Forest, Lempster(NH). 7 of us visited lovely Sand and Long Ponds, then 4 of us climbed Sllver Mt.. to lunch on the summit ledges. Because of low cloud cover, we missed the usual good views. Nevertheless we all had a great time!\ Peter Hope
Catching the Sun
On Wednesday May 25 at the Howe Library in Hanover we partnered with the League of Conservation Voters and other groups to present this free screening of this documentary film that tells of happenings in the expanding solar industry in the US and in China.
|Break Free A Big Green Rally for a Just Transition
Saturday April 30, 1 pm, on the Hanover Green This rally was organized as part of the build-up to Break Free week, a global wave of resistance to keep coal, oil and gas in the ground and transition to 100% renewable energy. Break Free from Fossil Fuels is the first mass global campaign, following the COP21 climate talks in Paris, to put pressure on governments to uphold their commitments in the Paris agreement. Break Free Week is being coordinated by a collaboration of international organizations, including 350.org.
In the Upper Valley, we wanted to highlight, and escalate some of the local fights against climate chaos, and efforts to transition the area to a more sustainable future. These efforts include, but are not limited to;
The Sierra Club Upper Valley Group wass a co0-sponsor of this important event.
CHANGING CLIMATE, CHANGING MINDS SEMINAR
On April 8 and 9th at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH we co-sponsored presentations and discussions of these guiding questions:
How do we face difficult truths about climate change without retreat to denial or despair?
How do we align local interests with the global necessity to address climate change?
How do we act in urgency without compromising wisdom and compassion?
On Friday the Keynote Address was given by Terry Tempest Williams, American author and conservationist; Provostial Fellow teaching at Dartmouth.
On Saturday a panel discussion included: Jim McCarthy, Alexander Agazziz Professor of Oceanography, Harvard University; Member of the International Panel on Climate Change David Loy, Buddhist scholar, teacher, and author; Co-editor of Buddhism’s Response to the Climate Crisis Reverend Canon Sally Bingham, President and Founder of the Regeneration Project and its Interfaith Power and Light Campaign
This Sustainability Café eventwass brought to you by the Porter Family Fund for Sustainability in the Curriculum, the Dartmouth Sustainability Office, the Dartmouth Special Programs and Events Committee, Harmon Family Foundation, Upper Valley Sierra Club, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Dartmouth Zen Practice, White River Shambala Center, Wonderwell, and Valley Insight Meditation Community.
Energy and Climate in the Upper Valley
Many of you attended the community forums that were organized by Energy & Climate- Upper Valley, and co-sponsored by the Sierra Club Upper Valley Group. The October 2015 forum focused on concerns over the proposed Liquefied Natural Gas project in Lebanon and Hanover and the January 2016 event discussed our goal of a 100% Renewable Energy Future in the Upper Valley.
The organizers of Energy & Climate were thrilled to see so many folks at the first public planning meeting on March 8th– with over 55 people in attendance! At this second meeting, the group built on the action planning that began during the March meeting, and continue to work toward Energy & Climate- Upper Valley’s mission.
Energy & Climate’s Mission
1) We’re working to make the Upper Valley 100% renewable by 2050.
2) We want to prevent new fossil fuel infrastructure from being developed in the Upper Valley and we want to lend our support to groups around our broader region that are opposing the development of fossil fuel projects in their communities.
We’re looking forward to working with you, and hearing your great ideas! If you have any questions. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, contact Allyson Samuell <email@example.com>
Trescott Lands Outing
On Monday February 15 (Mon.) Peter Hope led a very successful Outing on the newly opened Trescott Lands in Etna, NH. We hiked as loop trip from Dogford Road, passing historic sites on old Wolfeboro Road as well as viewpoints on the hills above the reservoirs. A great time was had by all!
Our Upper Valley Group has decided to work with the Upper Valley Trails Alliance and the Hanover Conservancy on improving the trails on this conserved woodland.
|What Does a 100% Renewable Energy Future Look Like?
National, State, Local, and Personal Perspectives
Forum given on January 20, 7-9 pm, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.
Mark Jacobson of Stanford University (via Skype)
(National Perspective with Focus on New Hampshire)
Clay Mitchell, New Hampshire Renewable Energy Association
(State Perspective with Focus on Upper Valley)
Lisa Hogarty, Vice-President of Campus Services at Dartmouth
(College Perspective within Context of Upper Valley)
Solomon Diamond, Thayer School of Engineering
Sponsored by the Sierra Club Upper Valley Group, the Department of Sustainability at Dartmouth, Sustainable Hanover, Energy and Climate Upper Valley, the Donnella Meadows Institute, NextGen Climate, and Dartmouth Club of Hanover..
Animals of the North: What Climate Change Will Mean for Them
A program with Sue Morse was given on on Saturday November 21 in Etna . Organized by the Hanover Conservancy. For details, Animals of the North_Poster_Etna Library_112115 (2)
- What is the proposed liquid natural gas plan and what it means for the Upper Valley
- Whether natural gas is a bridge or a barrier to renewables
- Dartmouth College’s course to renewable energy
- Possible pathways for Hanover and Lebanon to become 100% fossil-fuel free by 2050
Proposed Jim Jeffords State Forest Outing
On Sunday October 4 the Vermont Sierra Club sponsored a hike on what we hope will become Vermont’s newest State Forest. 3 Sierra Club Leaders from our Upper Valley Group were among the participants. Even though much of the land has been logged over, the property remains very special. Highlights include good views of Mendon and Bald Peaks from open uplands, as well as an attractive trail along lovely Mendon Brook. For details of the preservation plan, Jim Jefford State Forest poster. And to help out, you may contact the Trust for Public Land.
“Bird-dogging” refers to attending public forums for presidential candidates and asking relevant questions to get the candidates “on record” on the important policy issues we face. This does not involve “civil disobedience”; rather we respectfully pose diplomatically phrased questions seeking concrete, relevant responses. We had a Training session for this in West Lebanon on September 10.
Experts in modern wood heating discussed:
Central residential and commercial wood pellet heating technology, including efficiency
How pellets are processed, delivered, stored and automatically fed to the boiler
Environmental considerations (sustainable harvesting, short vs. long term carbon release, particulates, etc.)
Pricing and availability of boilers and pellets
Economic benefits of wood heat
Incentives and financing
This program was held on September 15 at the Montshire Museum.
Free screening of this important documentary film for everyone who cares about saving our planet and the life on it. Learn what is truly the #1 cause of climate change, global warming, ocean dead zones, deforestation, species extinction, and destruction of our natural resources. When our rain forests are gone and our oceans are empty, nothing else will matter. We still have time to recover, but not much time. The time to educate yourself and ACT is now. This was shown in West Lebanon on June 16 last year. View the trailer here: www.Cowspiracy.com.
A documentary film exploring the complexity of the Northern Pass Project, by New Hampshire conservation photographer and filmmaker Jerry Monkman, at the Montshire Museum in Norwich(VT) , shown last May.
An interesting presentation about Electric Bicycles, at the Woodstock(VT) Library, also last May. And watch this video
taken in Montpelier!
Kelly McGlinchey & Leehi Yona reflected on their experience as youth delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru. Dartmouth College and Howe Library, Hanover(NH) , May of 2015.
Ice Cores, Climate, and your Wallet
Free public lecture by Mary Albert, PhD, of the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, who heads the US Ice Drilling Project. She discused what ice cores from Greenland and from Antarctica tell us about our changing climate, as well as ways in which we can mitigate the ill effects. April 2015.
Bees or Not to Be
An all day program at Vermont Law School, with the morning devoted to the problems facing honeybees, and with the afternoon to a discussion of native pollinators. April 2015.
The Appalachian Trail: Conserving and Connecting Habitats
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy New England staff and a Vt. Center for EcoStudies staff discussed how the Appalachian Trail offers a means to conserve wildlife habitat. Howe Library, March of 2015, with ten co-sponsors.
World’s Greatest Endurance Athletes- The Sled Dogs of the Iditarod and the Yukon Quest
Lecture by Charlie Berger, DVM. Part of Arctic Alaska Wilderness Week. VINS, February 2015.
A Photographic journey to Northern-most Alaska with photographers Stephen Gorman, Robert Thorpe and Richard Kahn
Sierra co-sponsored this with the Alaska Wilderness League as part of Arctic Alaska Wilderness Week in the Upper Valley. Montshire Museum, also last February.
Presentation by Mark Schapiro, author of Carbon Shock
This book describes the rapid changes in our science-based understanding of climate disruption and the costs and consequences of climate change. Howe Library, February 2015.
Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate
Book Discussion, Bugbee Senior Center, WRJ, January last year.