Here's a memo from Board Director Lane Boldman on changing the chapter boundaries between Maine and New Hampshire.
April 20, 2012
TO: New Hampshire Chapter Leaders and Maine Chapter Leaders
FR: Lane Boldman, Director, and Chair, Volunteer Leadership Committee
On behalf of the Sierra Club Board of Directors I want to let you know that the Board has begun a discussion about revising the Maine and New Hampshire chapter borders. We invite and urge you to share your thoughts with us on the Clubhouse Comment Board.
Directors began this discussion on a call in March as a follow-up to recent issues raised by your chapters regarding your historical territories. However we do not want to proceed any further without hearing from you.
The Border Between Maine and New Hampshire Sierra Club Chapters
Currently the Sierra Club New Hampshire Chapter includes 8 zip-codes within the state of Maine along the border. The following towns and zip codes in Maine have historically been part of the New Hampshire Chapter.
03901 Berwick, ME
03903 Eliot, ME
03904 Kittery, ME
03905 Kittery Point, ME
03908 South Berwick, ME
03909 York, ME
03910 York Beach, ME
03911 York Harbor, ME
In the past, the Sierra Club created a number of chapters across the country whose borders were not strictly along state lines. In recent decades, as state level lobbying and state political activity has become a key part of many chapters’ work, the Club has moved to align chapter borders with state borders.
Both the Maine and New Hampshire chapters have active state lobbying and state based political and campaign organizing programs. For this reason the Board believes it may be in the best interest of the Club to align the chapter border with the state line.
Considerations for Members in This Area
There are 128 Sierra Club members who live in the areas in Maine that are currently part of the New Hampshire chapter. We invite each of these households to comment on this proposed action, and urge each to make their preference clear.
Regardless of what decision the Board makes about the chapter border, Club households in the area can always choose to be part of whichever chapter they wish. And, Club members are encouraged to participate in either chapter’s activities regardless of the border. In today’s world of internet communication it is easier than ever to get information about activities and programs from more than one chapter.
Questions regarding chapter fundraising and program work in this area brought the border issue to the attention of the Board. The Board created the Maine and New Hampshire chapters in 1993. Previously there had been one multi-state New England Chapter.
Since that time, both chapters have built strong lobbying, political, and campaign organizing programs focused at the state level. It just seemed time to re-examine whether it is still in the best interest of Club members in this part of Maine to be part of the New Hampshire chapter or whether aligning the chapter border with the state border is in the best interest of the Club now.
In addition to soliciting your comments here, we will invite leaders from both chapters to join the Board discussion when this decision is on the agenda, likely in June 2012.