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Florida Sierra Club chapter suspended

Infighting leads to four-year ban:

The Sierra Club’s national board voted to remove the leaders of its 35,000-member Florida chapter on March 25 – an unprecedented step that some said was necessary to end years of infighting.

The leaders of the Florida Sierra Club (the nation’s fourth-largest Sierra Club chapter) were suspended, and the environmental group will be governed by an appointed steering committee for the next four years following a controversial move to end years of unrest among top club leaders.

The Sierra Club’s national board voted to suspend the Florida chapter’s executive committee (a 27-member volunteer panel elected by the state’s 35,000 members) after national leaders spent several months investigating complaints of “dissatisfaction, anger and frustration” among its members.

The national Sierra Club board voted 10-2 to suspend the chapter for four years, the first time the 116-year-old environmental group has ever taken such harsh action against one of its state organizations.

According to a Palm Beach Post article by Robert P. King on March 25, the leadership of the Florida chapter had been highly critical of the national board’s decision in mid-December 2007 to allow The Clorox Company to use the Sierra Club’s name and logo to market a new line of non-chlorinated cleaning products called “Green Works.” In return, Clorox Company will pay Sierra Club an undisclosed fee, based partly on product sales.