Tom Knudson’s Pulitzer Prize winning series of articles entitled “Sierra in Peril” prompts statewide attention to the oft forgotten Sierra.


First Board Meeting of the Sierra Nevada Alliance and the Alliance is incorporated in 1993 as a charitable organization.


Laurel Ames is hired as the first Executive Director and 10-12 member groups join!


First Annual Conference at Mammoth Lakes. The Alliance conference grows over the years to over 200 participants and includes keynotes from renowned authors, state leaders, and national conservation directors.


Engages public participation in the congressionally funded Sierra Nevada Ecosystem Project.


Sierra Nevada Alliance receives first private foundation grant.


Sierra Futures Fund begins and over the next 5 years $30,000 mini-grants are given to 25 groups.


The Alliance Co-Sponsors Range Rides with California Cattlemen’s Association and California Rangeland Trust and supports the West Point Renewal Project with Foothill Conservancy.

Alliance releases its first major publication, Watershed Council Toolkit.


The Watershed Principles created by the Alliance and Regional Council of Rural Counties are adopted by the State. Sierra Nevada Alliance begins convening the first meetings of land trusts in the region that spawns the Sierra-Cascade Land Trust Council.


The first Watershed Director is hired. The Sierra Land-Use Handbook is released.


The Alliance completes 8 regional meetings in one year.

Sierra Nevada Alliance joins Ski Area Citizens Coalition and releases First Ski Area Citizens Coalition Report Card in the Sierra and California, garnering statewide media attention. This goes on to become an Annual Event, with national attention and over 500 articles on ski area environmental performance over the years.


troubled waters of the sierra

Alliance produces and releases at news conferences throughout California Troubled Waters of the Sierra showcasing how all Sierra rivers are impaired and polluted and calling for increased state investment in watershed restoration and protection in the region.

The Alliance established a new electronic alert system, issuing alerts to hundreds of individuals and groups on cutting edge conservation issues from our network of activists around the range. This continues through FY 12-13, providing over 200 alerts since it began.


After three years of legislative effort, The Sierra Nevada Conservancy legislation passes thanks to The Alliance, The Sierra Fund, Sierra Business Council, Sierra Cascade Land Trust, and other allies! The Alliance receives an award from The Sierra Fund for helping create the new Conservancy.


The Alliance completes training of over 150 water quality monitors in seven watersheds throughout the Sierra with the assistance of Sout Yuba River Citizens League. This continues over the years, creating nine ongoing watershed monitoring programs throughout the Sierra.


The first Sierra Climate Change Toolkit is released. Over the years, three editions are released, and over 2000 copies are distributed. Publication is recognized by the state and United Nations as cutting edge resource on climate adaptation. Over 20 groups take the pledge to champion greenhouse gas reductions and climate change adaptation.

Sierra Nevada Alliance releases a report, Planning for the Future, chronicling growth and development threatening our rural way of life and ecosystems. News conferences are held throughout the State, with stories appearing in over 80 newspapers, including The San Francisco Chronicle, LA Times, and Washington Post.


state of sierra waters cover

The Alliance celebrates the Mariposa General Plan adoption that helps save 37,000 acres of open space and includes model elements. The teamwork of the Mariposans for the Environment and Responsible Government (MERG), the Alliance, Laurie Oberholtzer, and Tom Infusino were crucial in helping the plan pass.

The Alliance releases State of Sierra Waters: A Sierra Nevada Watersheds Index. Simultaneous press conferences were held in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Reno, and a total of fourteen television stations, seven radio stations, and sixteen newspapers carried the story (including a front-page, above-the-fold article in the Reno Gazette-Journal).

The Alliance hosts the first Sierra Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) Conference in Sacramento, bringing together IRWM leaders for the first time.

The Alliance celebrates the completion of the first Clean Water Act 319 grant, in which funds were regranted to more than 25 watershed efforts in the Sierra, produced a restoration guide, and provided funding and guidance for community demonstration projects, which included tours for hundreds of Sierra residents.


SNAP logo

The Alliance releases a report at four news conferences, Dangerous Development: Wildfire and Rural Sprawl in the Sierra Nevada, which reviews how wildfire and population growth are on a collision course and how current land-use policies fail at-risk communities. The story reaches a national audience through an NPR story and AP stories nationwide, in addition to ten local TV stories.


Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) is founded. SNAP members complete their first year, monitoring 389 sites, restoring over 4,100 acres, educating 30,000 individuals, and recruiting over 3,300 volunteers.


yard and garden cover

Alliance watershed program launches new Sierra Nevada Yard and Garden project, beginning distribution of a new guide and training community homeowner consultation programs. This continues throughout the years, creating demonstration gardens, home consultation programs, distributing over 2,500 guides, and working with Truckee, providing more than 180 unique workbooks for homeowners resulting in over 100 best practices being implemented.

The Alliance releases a new resource with the Local Government Commission, Planning for Water-Wise Development in the Sierra, and then conducts six Land & Water policy forums throughout the region, as well as presentations at the Calaveras Planning Summit, 2009 National River Rally in Baltimore, and the Sierra Business Council conference.

The California Adaptation Strategy adopted principles for adaptation that were symbiotic with Alliance principles to ensure natural resources are protected while sustaining healthy communities.

The Alliance also launched a new collaborative effort called the Sierra Water Work Group to champion Sierra water issues and coordinate among plans, agencies, and NGOs, and share strategies and best practices for protecting Sierra waters. The SWWG continues to this day, and now the Alliance hosts an annual Summit on integrated water management for local and state water agencies, conservation leaders, tribes, and attorneys.


The Sierra Spokes free sustainability e-newsletter is launched.

The Regional Climate Change Program helps shape a strong Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s Climate Action Plan for the entire Sierra region, the first of its kind!

The Alliance’s leadership with the Sierra Climate Change Adaptation Principles inspires the California Adaptation Strategy to adopt similar principles for the entire state.


The Sustainable Sierra Communities Program secures an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer and designs a new model sustainability project, EmPower El Dorado, that helps homeowners save money and protect their health, as well as saving energy and water. This project reached over 200 residents and provided consultations to 49 homeowners on ways to improve their homes, producing lessons on how to replicate this effort throughout the Sierra.


The Regional Climate Change Program founds the first Sierra Community Organizer Academy, with 25 activist attendees to learn effective campaigning. This becomes an Annual Sierra event and trains over 75 conservation leaders as of 2013.

The Regional Climate Change Program also organizes a Sierra Meadow Forum with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, sharing cutting-edge strategies to restore the meadow ecosystems of the region.


Celebrated through a partnership with the Truckee River Watershed Council, the Truckee River-Friendly Landscaping project has over 100 river-friendly practices implemented by homeowners, over 180 unique home workbooks provided to homeowners, and more than 1,800 Sierra Yard and Garden Guides distributed throughout Truckee.


The Alliance celebrates its 20th anniversary with Bill McKibben as the keynote speaker at the annual conference.


SNAP Member Sara Kokkelenberg is named the Catherine Milton California AmeriCorps Member of the Year.


The 10th year of the SNAP program concludes.

Snap group photo


The Alliance organizes and facilitates community grassroots coalitions that achieve 100% renewable energy resolutions from the cities of South Lake Tahoe, Nevada City, and Truckee.

climate resolution


The Alliance receives its fifth 3-year SNAP grant, supporting the continuation of the program into 2021.


The Alliance receives seed funding from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and initiates a forest health workforce development program for the Sierra that helps place Sierra Corps Forestry Fellows with eight organizations to coordinate forest health projects in four subregions of the Sierra.

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