Get Involved

There are many ways to take action in our community, from volunteering to lobbying, letter-writing to joining our executive committee. Read below to see how you can get involved with the Niagara Group:


Attend a Sierra Club meeting

We hold Group meetings the fourth Tuesday of the month at Daemen College, in room 229 of Dun Scotus Hall. The campus is located at 4380 Main Street in Amherst. Our meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are packed with discussion of current environmental issues. Meet other people and learn about on-going issues and local campaigns. All meetings are open to the public, so come join us. We look forward to meeting you.

Subscribe to our Email News List

Subscribers receive announcements of our group’s activities, speakers, lobby opportunities and local environmental news, usually about once or twice a month. We promise not to fill your in-box, and we don’t share our email list with anyone.
To subscribe, send a request to sierraclubangela@gmail.com with the words “Subscribe” and your first and last name in the body of the email.

Join the Sierra Club

Members automatically receive the Niagara Group and Atlantic Chapter Newsletters, the Sierra Magazine and discounts on Club merchandise. Importantly, the more members we have in the Niagara Group, the more attention we get from elected officials and others. Although the Niagara Group is a low-budget, volunteer-led outfit, members’ dues are crucial in supporting the state- and national-level Sierra Club from which we receive so much support. For more information about Club membership, please click here.

Write a Letter to Support Legislation and Give Comments

It is VERY IMPORTANT that YOU as a citizen of the state send your comments! If covering various topics, feel free to send more than one letter.

Here is a sample letter to DEC:
Attention: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Re: High Volume Hydraulic Fracturing-Revised Proposed Regs., ID No. ENV-39-11-00020-RP

To: Joe Martens, Commissioner of DEC
I am writing to urge that the Cuomo administration ban fracking in New York State.
No type or amount of regulations can make fracking safe.  It is inherently dangerous with risks to our water, air, and food that cannot be adequately addressed by regulations.

Among other concerns, the proposed regulations:
- Allow the use of dangerous toxic chemicals whose identity can be kept secret from the public (Section 560.3)
-  Don’t address that air and water pollution can travel beyond weak, arbitrary setbacks. (Section 560.4)
- Don’t protect our drinking water from chemicals moving underground (Section 560.4)
- Don’t prevent the hazards of radiation and radon in fracked gas (Section 560.7)
- Don’t have a plan for the treatment or disposal of toxic wastewater (Section 560.7)

Letters can be sent:
(1) By regular mail to the DEC:
Attn: Draft HVHF Regulations Comments
625 Broadway
Albany, NY 12233-6510

(2) You can submit comments on the web at the New York State High-Volume Hydraulic Fracturing Comments page of DEC’s website    http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/76838.html

(3) You can go to the Sierra Club’s Atlantic Chapter website  www.newyork.sierraclub.org
On the cover page you will find “30 Days to Save NY from Fracking” where there is information on the proposed regulations, ideas on drafting a letter as well as a “Take Action” button.

Additional sites for responding to the Fracking Regulations are:
http://www.thirtydaysoffrackingregs.com/dec.reg.php
http://nyagainstfracking.org/take-action/urgent-comment/
Food and Water Watch Petition:
https://secure3.convio.net/fww/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=241

So much of the environment is defined by policy at the state and local level. Written letters of support for proposed legislation is essential for change. We have letter writing campaigns for many pressing issues. Please view our Issues Page to learn about legislation, view sample letters, and to submit your comments. Every comment is important to bring about positive change to our local and global environment!

Join our Lobby Days

A few times a year, we organize lobby days to meet with local and state politicians in Western New York or Albany. We encourage our representatives to support legislative bills that promote environmental causes, such as support for the renewable energy industry, green jobs, climate change measures, protection and funding for our park systems and water resources, and the moratorium on hydrofracking. No experience is necessary to join us. We welcome new comers interested in learning how to lobby, and educate themselves and our representatives on the issues. If you’d like to organize a lobby day, please contact one of our committee members. We are leading a Lobby Day on May 11, 2011, please see “Events” for more information.

Write a Letter to the Editor

The Buffalo News publishes short letters to the editors. There’s no easier way to reach an audience of thousands! Letters to the editor must be under 300 words, and must be accompanied by your name, address, and phone number (so they can call to confirm that you wrote the letter). If you’d like some feedback on a draft of your letter, feel free to email it first to one of our officers. When your letter is finished, you can submit it by email to LetterToEditor@buffnews.com. See articles our members have published under In the News.

Lead an Outing

If you have a favorite place that others should know about, why not lead a Sierra Club outing to visit it? While many of our outings are “just for fun,” we also encourage educational trips to learn more about environmental issues, and service projects to clean up an area or repair a trail. To lead an outing, you must be a Sierra Club member.

Participate in Local Decision Making

Many of the most important environmental decisions are made at the local and state level. We encourage everyone to vote in local elections, attend candidate forums and town meetings and public hearings, and otherwise get to know their local public officials. Often it takes just one interested citizen to educate a local official and make a real difference.