The Western North Carolina (WENOCA) Group is a part of the North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club. Its area of interest covers the counties of North Carolina west of Buncombe county except for Transylvania, Henderson and Polk counties. Those three counties are covered by our sister organization the Pisgah Group.

The group usually meets on the first Wednesday of each month. The meetings start at 7:00 p.m. with half an hour of social get together, program beginning at 7:30. The meetings are held in Asheville at the Unitarian Church, 1 Edwin Place at Charlotte Street. The form of the meeting is a brief session of announcements and business followed by a presentation about an issue in which the WENOCA Group is interested. A list of the forthcoming programs can be found under WENOCA News.

The WENOCA Group is an all-volunteer group with no paid staff. It is governed by an executive committee of seven members elected by the membership. Contact information for the members of the executive committee is provided on the excom page.

Visit our Volunteer Opportunities webpage to find out how you can get involved in our local outings, educational programs and events, membership recruitment and engagement,  fundraising, and advocacy efforts. There are opportunities to volunteer for many different types of tasks, to fit all types of schedules and time commitments. We need your talents and energy to help green Western North Carolina.

After you learn about our work, please consider becoming a member of the Sierra Club.  You can join on line using our secure server. Join now to receive a Sierra Club backpack as a welcome gift!

If you are a member, you can also renew your membership online via the same secure server. If you are not sure about joining the Sierra Club, follow this link to read why you should join us.

The WENOCA Group and the National Sierra Club are the same 501 C (4) non-profit legal entity. The local WENOCA Group is empowered to speak on behalf of the entire Sierra Club on issues that fall wholly within the Group’s geographic jurisdiction. The Sierra Club engages in the full range of electoral politics allowed by law. Because the Club has registered political action committees at the federal and state level, the WENOCA Group is able to make political endorsements at every level of government within its political boundaries, from US Congress to local county commissioner and council elections.


Wednesday, February 15th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Friday March 3 at 6:00pm: Community Debate on NC Fracking

Asheville High School auditorium  Second debate in 2016-17 community debate series – Friday, March 3, 6:00 PM

ASHEVILLE: On Friday, March 3, 2017, four local experts on North Carolina’s environment and energy policy will meet in the Asheville High School auditorium to debate the resolution “Fracking should be abolished in the state of North Carolina. The debate will run from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free, and the public is invited.

Speaking on the panel will be Representative John Ager, Senator Jim Davis, and Julie Mayfield (with another speaker to be finalized).

The formally structured debate is sponsored by the Asheville High/SILSA Speech & Debate Team. Audience members will have the opportunity to ask questions of the participants at the end of the debate. Elizabeth Propst, a student at Asheville High School, will serve as moderator, and student members of the Asheville High/SILSA Speech & Debate Team will act as timekeepers. Concessions will be sold at the event, and proceeds will go to the team.

About the Asheville High / SILSA Speech and Debate Team

The Asheville High / SILSA Speech and Debate Team competes in speech and debate tournaments throughout the state and nation. Over the last 8 years, the team is number one overall in the Harvard National Cumulative Rankings for the Congressional Debate event. The goal of the Asheville HIgh / SILSA Speech and Debate Team is to provide a public forum for meaningful, thoughtful, and organized discussion of important community issues in an inclusive and respectful manner.


Sunday, February 12th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Call Legislators About Climate Change — Frequently

Our legislators are clear that they rarely get calls asking for intervention regarding Climate Change.  Please note that once a week a tally is reported to the legislators on public generated concerns.  You are not asked for your name or contact information; therefore you can call frequently:
Call our Senators and Congressman and urge them to express their support for science and the work of scientists. Ask them to make sure the EPA has the capacity to conduct, fund, and present research into all environmental issues including climate science.  Public employees and taxpayer-financed studies should not be “gagged” — hidden from the public.
Senator Richard Burr: 202-224-3154, 828.350.2437, www.burr.senate.gov/contact/email, 151 Patton Ave, Suite 204, Asheville, NC 28801
Senator Thom Tillis: 202-224-6342, 828.693.8750, www.tillis.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/email-me1-, 9300 Harris Corners Pkwy, #170, Charlotte, NC 28269
Rep. Patrick McHenry: 202-225-2576, 828.669.0600, www.mchenryhouse.gov/contact/, 160 Midland Ave, Black Mountain, NC 28711
Rep. Mark Meadows: 202-225-6401, 828.693.5660, www.meadows.house.gov/ , 285 N. Main St, #1300, Waynesville, NC 28786

Oppose Scott Pruitt, Trump’s nominee for Environmetnatal Potection Agency.  Call Sen Burr and Tillis. Pruitt is a radical climate-change denier who has repeatedly sued the EPA to block the Obama administration’s  clear air and climate rules.

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
Written by Deborah

March 1: Sierra Club presents “Preserving a Picturesque America” at 7pm

Scott Varn has been locating hundreds of beautiful sites of America identified by artists of the 1800’s and is describing them in stories, art and photographs, attempting to seek ways to preserve them. Join us for his presentation March 1 at 7:00 pm.

Location Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin place, corner of Charlotte  and Edwin.
Contact: Judy Mattox, judymattox@sbcglobal.net, (828) 683-2716
 Free and open to the public

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Public Land for sale: Chaffetz says no

“US Representative Jason Chaffetz says he no longer wants to sell off public lands in Colorado, and other States.”  The bill, which Chaffetz has introduced before, would have sold off 93,000 acres in Colorado and 3.4 million acres nation wide and put proceeds toward the national debt. Read article here

Saturday, February 11th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Dakota Access Pipeline approved

Politico: “The Trump administration cleared the way for the Dakota Access Pipeline to be be completed, approving an easement for the oil project that had triggered months of protests from Native American tribes and environmentalists.” Read more

Friday, January 27th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Radioactive waste shipments from Canada to South Carolina

Trucks full of liquid high-level radioactive waste may soon be rolling down interstate highways from Canada to South Carolina—unless they’re stopped by a lawsuit that the Sierra Club and six other environmental organizations have filed.

The Department of Energy plans 100 to 150 shipments of more than 6,000 gallons of waste from the Fissile Solution Storage Tank in Chalk River, Ontario, to the DOE’s Savannah River Site in Aiken, South Carolina. The most direct route would pass through New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and North Carolina to South Carolina. Alternate routes might take the shipments through Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia (or Kentucky), and North Carolina (or Tennessee). Read more.

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Wed Feb 1 Sierra Club Meeting at 7pm: “Grounded Hope for the Climate”

Sierra Club and Drew Jones of Climate Interactive, recently returning from the UN climate summit in Marrakech and before that in Paris, will present “Grounded Hope for the Climate.”  He will use simulations to focus on regional actions to address climate change
Location Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin place, corner of Charlotte  and Edwin.
Contact: Judy Mattox, judymattox@sbcglobal.net, (828) 683-2716
 Free and open to the public

Thursday, December 22nd, 2016
Written by Deborah

President Obama protects Arctic Ocean and part of Atlantic Ocean from offshore oil and gas drilling

Despite a difficult end, 2016 has been a year of incredible victories for our movement to protect the climate and create safe, healthy communities powered by clean energy. Just yesterday, we celebrated President Obama’s announcement to permanently protect nearly the entire Arctic Ocean and a significant part of the Atlantic Ocean from the threat of offshore oil and gas drilling—a historical act of preservation that cannot be rescinded by future administrations. Your contributions, determination, and leadership have been essential to our success, and we’re grateful for your support.

We’ve put together a short video featuring a few of this year’s accomplishments, which you—along with an increasing number of allies and partner groups—helped make possible. These victories show how people power can and will shift the needle of progress in the right direction, even in challenging times and against difficult odds. They are also powerful examples of why the Sierra Club earned the #2 spot on Forbes magazine’s list of the best “big bets” in philanthropy, and why we must keep fighting to advance clean energy solutions, wildlands protection, and climate justice.

Thursday, December 15th, 2016
Written by Deborah

Jan 4 meeting: “Birds around the World with Simon Thompson”

Simon Thompson of  Ventures Birding Tours and world-renowned birder will  present” Birds around the World” at Sierra Club January 4 , 7 pm.
Location Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin place, corner of Charlotte  and Edwin. Contact: Judy Mattox, judymattox@sbcglobal.net, (828) 683-2716  Free and open to the public.

Thursday, December 8th, 2016
Written by Deborah

How the Sierra Club is engaged in the electric sector – phasing out coal and replacing clean energy