Maine Chapter of the Sierra Club

To explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth

44 Oak St, Suite 301,  Portland ME 04101 

(207) 761-5616, maine.chapter@sierraclub.org

This year -

Celebrate the Wild

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Celebrate the Wild
2014 is America's Wilderness Act's 50th Birthday

Sierra Club Maine is geared up to start a very special year-long birthday celebration. The Wilderness Act turns 50 on September 3, 2014, and celebrations around the Maine and the country will mark this major American cultural and environmental achievement. This will be Maine’s year to “Celebrate the Wild”.

Sierra Club, other wilderness groups, and federal wilderness managing agencies have been organizing for the 50th anniversary. In Maine, a steering committee under the leadership of Sierra Club activist and College of the Atlantic professor Ken Cline, have coordinated a Maine version of the national celebration. Sierra Club Maine is taking the lead in the process. Our goal is to expand appreciation and awareness of our natural heritage so that the public becomes more knowledgeable and supportive about the concept and benefits of wilderness and wild places.

In the coming months, we’ll be having celebrations, outings, and numerous other activities in communities and wild places throughout Maine. A centerpiece of the celebration is a special Sierra Club Maine annual dinner and gathering at the Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell on September 5. The theme of the evening will be celebrating Maine’s wild places. We’re especially excited about our featured speaker, Congressman Mike Michaud, who will share his experiences as an advocate of protecting the state’s rivers and forests and present his vision for public land and protection of our environment if elected governor in November.

Other exciting activities include two wilderness writing workshops, a yoga/meditation wilderness workshop, canoe trips, hikes, several film series, and much more. For more details about Celebrate the Wild activities in Maine click here.

Signed into law in 1964, the Wilderness Act established our National Wilderness Preservation System. The initial 9.1 million acres set aside in 1964 have now grown to over 100 million acres nationwide. Wilderness designation is the strongest protection from development that our laws offer for federal public lands.

Sierra Club has played a major role in the wilderness effort from the start. Not only did the Club, under the leadership of the legendary David Brower, work hard on getting the original 1964 bill passed, but volunteers in the Sierra Club along with dedicated Club staffers have convinced Congress to add many million acres of federal lands to the national system. At present, Maine has three wilderness areas—the Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness in the White Mountains National Forest near Bethel and two wilderness areas in Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge near Calais. Designated Wilderness areas include wild places in national parks, national forests, wildlife refuges, and Bureau of Land Management lands. But in addition to this “big W” wilderness, there are many places in Maine that are managed for their “wild” character—the Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Baxter State Park, Isle au Haut in Acadia National Park, and some of the ecological reserves on state lands as well.

The momentum of the Wilderness Act helped to foster a new mentality about the future of our public lands and protecting natural treasures.

If you love the wilderness please be part of our celebration!

To learn more about the Wilderness Act and the national 50th anniversary celebration check out www.wilderness.net/50th. Or on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/50thAnniversaryOfTheWildernessAct.

Save the Date! Sept. 5th Annual Dinner at Maple Hill Farm in Hallowell
Upcoming Events
April 18, Southern Maine Book Club: The Interrupted Forest, Freeport
April 19, Outing: Peaks Island
April 25, Kennebunk Film: The Meaning of Wild
May 7, Penobscot Bay Film: A Sea Change
May 8, Portland Group Monthly Pub Gathering
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