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.


Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Wed, Sept 6, 7pm Sierra Club presents “Electric Vehicles, Local Movement, Global Impact”

Dave Erb, automotive engineer at the University of North Carolina Asheville, and Pana Columbus, film director, will discuss transforming transportation in Western North Carolina and beyond.

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, August 5th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Tell regulators: Don’t Raise Our Electric Bills to Pay for Duke’s Coal Ash!

Duke Energy wants to hike customer’s rates by 15%, charging customers $311 million to pay for cleaning up the toxic coal ash pits Duke has neglected for decades. Take action: click Here.

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Wed, Aug 2: Can Science Save Us From Climate Change, and from Ourselves?

Sierra Club presents “Can Science Save Us From Climate Change, and from Ourselves?”
Robert Cabin, Professor of Ecology & Environmental Studies at Brevard College, will discuss the power and limitations of Science to address climate change.

Date & Time: Wed, Aug 2, 7pm
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, July 8th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Saturday, July 22 Noon-4: 8th Annual Sierra Club Summer Picnic

Come one, come all to the 8th Annual Sierra Club Summer Picnic on Saturday, July 22. (There will be no first Wednesday Sierra Club meeting in July. Aug 2 will be our next meeting on “Can Science Save Us from Climate Change, and from Ourselves?”
The picnic is scheduled from noon to 4:00 p.m. at the Blue Ridge Parkway sheltered picnic grounds located on Bull Mt. Rd. near the VA Hospital on Riceville Rd.
This event is free and will be held rain or shine.
Please bring a pot luck dish to share and your own place settings. Drinks will be provided. Badminton and horseshoes will add to the festivities.
Directions: Exit 7 on I-240; go east on Tunnel Rd for 2 miles; turn north on Riceville Rd; go past VA Hospital, turn left on Bull Mt. Rd. The fenced-in, sheltered picnic area is on the left about ½ mile up the road.
Contact Judy Mattox, judymattox@sbcglobal.net, 828-683-2176

Monday, June 5th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Alert: contact Buncombe County Commissioners to support this year’s budget for energy efficiency.

Attend & speak Tues, June 6 at 5 pm (200 College St, 3rd floor), or email the following 7 commissioners:     
brownie.newman@buncombecounty.org , jasmine.beach-ferrara@buncombecounty.org, alfred.whitesides@buncombecounty.org, ellen.frost@buncombecounty.org, joe.belcher@buncombecounty.org, mike.fryar@buncombecounty.org, robert.pressley@buncombecounty.org
Talking points:
We strongly support full funding of the local clean energy proposals by the Energy Innovation Task Force including recommendations for low-income weatherization, helping improve energy efficiency for non-profit and other community organizations, and exploring broader use of renewable energy on public buildings, including schools. The 2017/18 budget to fully implement these recommendations is $560,000, with future yearly goals of $500,000.
It would be great to have some people speak at the beginning of the Buncombe County Commission meeting about the importance of prioritizing clean energy at the community level. Each person has up to 3 minutes to comment.
Alert: Contact Tim Moore, NC House Speaker, or your Representative if outside Buncombe County, to oppose “Billboard Protection Act.” Vote will be in the next few days.
Talking Points to be against:
The bill would allow as many as 10 digital billboards per mile; would take away local governments authority to regulate billboards; would make NC taxpayers pay more money to billboard companies for removals and relocations; would allow more cutting of trees around billboards.
If you live outside of Buncombe County, please contact your state house representatives (contact your Representative) and ask them to oppose  House Bill 581 as soon as possible because it will be voted on in the next few days, and let them know that you don’t want your city or area to look like Gatlinburg.  If you live in Buncombe County contact House Speaker Tim Moore and ask him not to support HB 581, 919-733-3451, Tim.Moore@ncleg.net.

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017
Written by Deborah

June 7 at 7pm: How We CAN Prevent a 3rd Gas Powered Electric Plant by Duke Energy, An Update on the Energy Innovation Task Force

Join us on June 7 at 7pm as we welcome Julie Mayfield of Asheville City Council, Brownie Newman of Buncombe County Commission, and Jason Walls of Duke Energy, who will provide an update on the County-City-Duke partnership to reduce energy use in Buncombe County and to avoid construction of a new natural gas peaking unit.  The Energy Innovation Task force has been working for just over a year and has made recommendations to the City and County for new programs and investments, and Duke has made groundbreaking announcements on deployment of new technology in our area.  Come hear the update.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Pl, corner of Charlotte & Edwin
Contact: Judy Mattox, judymattox@sbcglobal.net, 828-683-2176

Sunday, April 30th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Wed, May 3 at 7 pm “Flowers, Trees, and Mountains of our Appalachian Spring”

Sierra Club will present on Wed, May 3 at 7 pm “Flowers, Trees, and Mountains of our Appalachian Spring” with Scott Dean, naturalist and photographer.
Scott has been a part of both UNCA & Great Smoky Mountain Spring Pilgrimages for years, and teaches at the Arboretum.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 1 Edwin Pl, (corner of Charlotte & Edwin) in Asheville
Contact: Judy Mattox, judymattox@sbcglobal.net, 828-683-2176.
Free & open to the public

Thursday, April 27th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Friday April 28, 9:00 am, UNCA

UNCA Student Environmental Center has been granted the right to speak to the UNCA Board of Trustees to present a request for divestiture from fossil fuel funds; UNC Asheville at Brown Hall #217,  contact James Smith, jsmith18@unca.edu, 919-724-5087; UNCA students are requesting the community to come and support

Thursday, April 20th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Fri, Apr 21: Climate Change Film from Leonardo DiCaprio

Follow Leonardo DiCaprio, United Nations Ambassador for Climate Change, as he travels around the globe to witness first hand the effects of climate change and what can be done to solve the problems, through interviews with global leaders such as Pope Francis and former President Obama.
Location: Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Asheville, 1 Edwin Place (corner of Charlotte and Edwin)
Sponsors: WNC Sierra Club (WENOCA) and Creation Care Alliance of WNC.
Contact : Jane Laping, janelaping@sbcglobal.net or 828-277-7342  Donations requested.

Thursday, April 20th, 2017
Written by Deborah

Sat April 29 10-2 pm. Peoples’ Climate March in Asheville

Vance Monument, downtown Asheville, Sponsors: Indivisible Asheville WNC and 350 Asheville; contact: Ken Brame, kenbrame@sbcglobal.net, 828-423-8045 to march under Sierra Club banner or volunteer to help.