Union of Concerned Scientists “was founded in 1969 by scientists and students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. That year, the Vietnam War was at its height and Cleveland’s heavily polluted Cuyahoga River had caught fire. Appalled at how the U.S. government was misusing science, the UCS founders drafted a statement calling for scientific research to be directed away from military technologies and toward solving pressing environmental and social problems.” They offer a variety of resources as well as their Take Action link.

Southern Environmental Law Center works in 6 southern states and has an office in Asheville. With a team of qualified and dedicated attorneys, this satellite of our state headquarters office in Chapel Hill serves the land and people of western North Carolina, with a special focus on protecting the rivers, streams, and forests of the Southern Appalachians.

Key Allies

MountainTrue is the oldest grassroots environmental non-profit in Western North Carolina, with offices in Asheville, Hendersonville, Murphy and Boone. Their mission is to champion resilient forests, clean waters and healthy communities in our region. MountainTrue engages in policy advocacy at all levels of government, local project advocacy, and on-the-ground environmental restoration projects. Primary program areas include public lands, water quality, clean energy, land use/transportation, and citizen engagement. MountainTrue houses the Creation Care Alliance of WNC, a network of congregations and people of faith working to preserve the environment, and the Asheville Design Center, a socially equitable community planning program for Asheville and surrounding counties. They are also home to Riverkeepers for the French Broad, Watauga, Green and Broad Rivers, who are the primary defenders and spokespeople for these waterways.

Get involved: Connect with Susan Bean at susan@mountaintrue.org or (828) 258-8737, ext 216.


Southern Alliance for Clean Energy “works to find clean energy solutions to help reduce the impact of Global Climate Change; identifies problems and creates effective, real-world solutions through our experience in promoting healthy communities throughout the Southeast; builds bridges among environmental, business, agricultural and governmental interests that affect our overall quality of life; works directly with diverse stakeholders and industries on energy issues affecting the region; and promotes policy change through education and outreach to improve public health, the environment and the economy.”

Get involved: At this point, the best way to connect is to email at info@cleanenergy.org.


Citizens Climate Lobby works in a bipartisan fashion to lobby Congress to take comprehensive action on climate change. CCL’s specific proposal involves putting a price on carbon by means of a carbon fee, with the revenue returned to citizens on a per capita basis. They have monthly meetings, regional and national conferences, and many online resources to help citizen lobbyists be more effective.

Get involved: Local contact emails are LouisLieb2@gmail.com or steffi@evolv.com.  


The WNC chapter of the Sierra Club covers Buncombe and counties west except for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania. As the nation’s oldest, largest, grassroots environmental organization, they work to protect our environment at the local, state, and national level.  Their website lists regular meeting dates and times.

Get involved: Contact local leader Ken Brame at ken.brame@sierraclub.org or (828) 683-2176.


The North Carolina Council of Churches works to improve our environment through the NC Interfaith Power and Light.

Get Involved: To learn more or help, contact Director Susannah Tuttle at susannah@ncipl.org.