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In This Issue

  Events  |  Campaign Updates  |  Resources   |  Funding  |  Comic of the Month  |  Recent NewsJanuary 2013      

Alliance Updates

Check out our Member Group Directory & Sustainablility Inventory online!!

Updated in September of 2012 for the Alliance's Annual Conference, the Member Group Directory is an online catalog of the Sierra Nevada Alliance Member Groups, while the Sustainability inventory is a directory of non-profit organizations that are working on sustainability issues within the Sierra Nevada. The Alliance prepared both of these directories to assist Sierra conservation organizations, agencies, interested public and the media with locating and contacting conservation organizations in the region. Each are meant to be used as an informational resource for those interested in learning more about the kind of conservation work being undertaken throughout the Sierra Nevada.

To check out our publications, click here


Sierra Avalanche Center’s Ski & Ride Fundraiser Days

The Sierra Avalanche Center is holding their Annual Ski & Ride Fundraisers at Tahoe Area Ski Resorts. Purchase a discount lift ticket at Tahoe Area Ski Resorts and all proceeds benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center. Tickets are only good on select dates throughout the ski season. Tickets may be purchased on-line at

Date: Various, January 26 - March 17, 2013
Place: Various Sierra Ski Resorts
More Information: Call Jenny Hatch at (530) 306-9121 or email her.

38th Annual Symposium of the Desert Tortoise Council

The Desert Tortoise Council is a private, non-profit organization comprised of hundreds of professionals and laypersons who share a common concern for desert tortoises in the wild and a commitment to advancing the public’s understanding of the species. The Council has held an Annual Symposium each spring since 1976 to bring together scientists, managers, and concerned people to share the latest information available on the desert tortoise and its management. If you have an interest in desert tortoises, potential research opportunities related to desert ecology, or networking with other students and scientist who are actively doing research related to the desert tortoise, then we encourage you to attend the Symposium. Graduate and Bachelors students are encouraged to attend because much research is needed to address issues related to the long-term conservation of the desert tortoise throughout its range.

Date: February 15 – 17, 2013
Place: Sam’s Town in Las Vegas, Nevada
More Information:

8th Annual Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is excited to again host this inspiring event with the South Lake Tahoe Earth Day Committee and Patagonia. We're excited to return to the MontBleu Showroom. The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival combines award winning environmental and adventure films with the energy of local activism. This year, we've chosen powerful environmental and adventure films so that attendees are inspired to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world.

Date: March 8, 2013, 7-10 pm
Place: MontBleu, Stateline, Nevada
Cost: $10-15
More Information: Call Lynn (530)542-4546 ext. 305 or email

Sierra Grassroots Organizer Academy

Sierra Nevada Member Groups and local activists across the Sierra are invited to attend the 3rd Sierra Organizer Academy, a three-day training for Sierra activists to learn how to plan strategic campaigns and organize their communities to win concrete changes in people's lives and for the environment. Top trainers from Midwest Academy, a nationally recognized training institution for progressive activists, topics including developing winning campaign strategies, building coalitions, recruiting volunteers, meeting with public officials.

Date: May 16-18, 2013
Place: The Yosemite Bug, Midpines, CA
Information: email Gavin

More Information Coming Soon!

Sierra Water Workgroup Summit

As part of our continued support of the Sierra Water Workgroup, the Alliance has just begun planning the Second Annual SWWG Summit. The Sierra Water Workgroup's mission is to assist regional efforts to protect and enhance water quality, water supply, and watershed health; to develop cooperative regional responses; and to facilitate reinvestment in our watersheds and water resources by all beneficiaries. Working with Liz Mansfield, the Regional Climate Change team planned and held the first Sierra-wide SWWG summit last July. When attendees started calling it an annual event, we knew we had to deliver. Following up on requests and evaluations, this year we are working with the California State Bar to provide more in-depth information on water rights, area of origin issues, and more (MCLE credits will be available). Working with the Inyo-Mono IRWM team, we will be dedicating a large portion of the 2013 Summit to issues surrounding disadvantaged communities (DACs). Visit the SWWG website to learn more about our efforts and sign up to receive information, including updates on the Summit!

Date: June 11-13, 2013
Place: North Tahoe Event Center, King’s Beach, CA
More Information: Visit Sierra Water Workgroup


Citizens' Institute on Rural Design Issues RFP for Rural Communities Facing Design Challenges

CIRD (formerly known as "Your Town") works to help rural communities with populations of 50,000 or fewer enhance their quality of life and economic vitality through facilitated design workshops. Successful applicants will receive a $7,000 grant and in-kind design expertise and technical assistance valued at $35,000. The Request for Proposals is on the new CIRD website.
Eligible entities: include but are not limited to: municipal, tribal, or county governments; local non-profit entities such as main street organizations, preservation groups, historical societies, or chambers of commerce; regional planning organizations; university community design centers located within 50 miles of the community; or local for-profit businesses.
Deadline: March 5, 2013. Pre-application assistance calls will be held.

Click here for more information.

Hewlett Foundation Environmental Grants

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is offering grants through its Environment Program, which aims to conserve the Western United States for wildlife and people, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ensure that the energy supply is clean and consumption is efficient. The program invests in a range of efforts to help build broad-based support for conservation and ensure that Western ecosystems and species thrive. Key strategies include: protecting large open spaces; restoring river flows and conserving areas near rivers and streams; reducing fossil fuel development and increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy sources; and building broad-based support for land, water, and energy goals among key stakeholders.
Eligible entities: nonprofit organizations.
Deadline: ongoing.
Past awards have ranged from $20k up to $5m. No information is provided regarding total available funding, and matching funds do not appear to be required.

Click here for more information.

Rose Foundation

A great friend of the Alliance, the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment has a variety of funds dedicated to different purposes, including Grassroots Funds that award small grants to small organizations; Watershed Protection Funds that focus on specific watersheds; and several other Funds including place-based funds in Madera and Kern Counties. You can also sign-up if you would like to receive notification of any grants that may become available through various Rose Foundation's Funds.

Click here for more information.

Campaign Updates

Our monthly update on projects the Regional Climate Change Program is working on as part of our effort to maintain and improve the health of our beautiful "Range of Light."

Tracking Potential CEQA Reform

January 17, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance

Once again, our go-to law for protecting the natural and human communities of the Sierra is under assault. This time, however, the threat appears more viable. For the Alliance and those of our 85 Member Groups working on land use, development, natural resources, and climate change, there’s no more important California law than the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

This article begins a series in which we hope to keep you abreast of possible CEQA reforms in the State legislature. At some point in this process, we will no doubt be asking you to weigh in with your legislators.

For the CEQA initiate, the law dictates that most large-scale development projects conduct environmental analyses and draft an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) prior to project approval. More importantly, CEQA outlines how the public can participate in that project approval process and allows citizens to enforce the law against developers and local governments when the process goes astray.

As examples, in just the last few months, the Alliance has contributed CEQA comments on the Plumas County General Plan, the widening of Highway 65 at the base of the Sierra foothills in Tulare County, and the Tahoe Basin Forest Management Plan. Recently, we have been supportive of, though not a party to, CEQA lawsuits against the Tulare County General Plan and the large-scale Dyer Mountain development proposal in Lassen County.

The economic downturn gave anti-CEQA legislators, developers, and businesses a reason to say that CEQA has delayed or halted too many projects, and thus is a "job-killer." Not very true, but it sounds good. Just consider that CEQA has in place during California's astronomical economic growth. Since 1970, California’s population has increased from 20 million to 39 million and the State’s Gross State Product has increased from approximately $111 billion to more than $2 trillion. When you compare the economic growth of California to other states—most of which do not have an equivalent of CEQA—our percentage of the National GDP has grown from around 11% in 1970 to more than 13% today.

In other words, if activists are using CEQA to drag down California’s jobs and housing growth, we are doing a lousy job of it.

Anti-CEQA activists generally cite specific examples of CEQA abuse when calling for reform, because when you look at broader statistics, abuse is near impossible to find. For example, State Senator Marco Rubio (D), who has just been appointed Chair of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee (which oversees CEQA), talks of how misuse of CEQA has delayed Los Angeles mass transit projects. Instances of abuse are out there (and we’ll cover this topic in a future Resource), but they have been and will be blown out of proportion in an attempt to literally pave the way for ill-advised development projects statewide.

Luckily, the remaining appointees to the Senate Environmental Quality Committee include several CEQA boosters, so it looks like a fair debate will be held in Sacramento. However, powerful interests are aligning on the anti-CEQA side, including our own Governor Brown and influential business associations such as the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.

Thus, the Alliance, and this publication, will be focusing on protecting CEQA this year. We’ll keep you informed of the discussions in Sacramento, and we hope you’ll raise your voice when needed. CEQA deserves it.


The Sierra Nevada Alliance is seeking an Intern

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour combines award winning environmental and adventure films with the energy and local activism. The Sierra Nevada Alliance is excited to host this inspiring event, and we are looking for an energetic and dynamic intern to help make the 8th Annual our most successful Film Festival yet! We are seeking a talented and hardworking intern to provide a wide range of special event organizing support to help achieve this goal. The Film Festival intern’s primary responsibility will be to assist in planning, coordinating and implementing the 8th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour held on March 8, 2013 in South Lake Tahoe, California. We hope Film Festival Attendees will be inspired to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world!

Contact: Lynn by email or call (530)542-4546 ext 305

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Seeking Applications to host AmeriCorps Members from April to September 2013

The Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP), a program of the Sierra Nevada Alliance, invites Sierra Nevada conservation organizations and agencies to apply to become a Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Host Site for a new upcoming 2013 half-term placement program. AmeriCorps member(s) serve 6 months at the organization/agency from April 8th, 2013 – September 28, 2013, conducting projects the host site needs completed that are related to, watershed restoration and assessment, watershed education projects, and volunteer recruitment and support.

For more information contact: Mike Thornton by email or call 530-542-4546 ext. 312
Deadline: Jan. 17, 2013
Click here to read more and download the 2013 SNAP Host Site RFA.

UC – Santa Barbara looking for your environmental problems that need solving

Description: The Bren School of Environmental Science & Management is now accepting proposals for 2013-2014 Master's Group Projects. The Group Project serves as the master's thesis for Bren School graduate students, and the next cycle of projects will be carried out from April 2013-April 2014. The Bren School invites any agency, company, organization, or individual that has a problem related to an environmental issue to submit a proposal.

Application Requirements: For complete information on the request for proposals and appropriate proposal topics, please review the RFP, available on the Bren website. All proposers are encouraged to contact Assistant Dean for Academic Programs Satie Airamé as a first step in proposal development. She will offer guidance on how to write a strong group project proposal.

Location: Santa Barbara, CA - project proposals accepted from anywhere
Submissions: Proposal submissions should be sent by email to Amy Burgard by Friday, January 25, 2013 at 5pm.

Position Opening: Two Program Analyst II vacancies, City of Oakland Public Works Agency (PWA), Environmental Services Division.

Description: Under general supervision, Program Analyst II's perform program planning, research, analysis and development; write grant proposals and submit applications; implement and monitor programs; prepare reports and draft proposed programs; perform needs assessment; provide assistance to community organizations, district boards and citizen advisory bodies; provide lead direction to assigned staff; and perform related duties as assigned.

Location: Oakland, CA

Applications Due:Feb. 1, 2013, 11:59pm Pacific Time

Contact Information:
Department of Human Resources Management, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 2nd Floor, Oakland, CA 94612-2019 by 5:00 pm. You may also call (510) 238-3112 for information.

Click here for more information.

Position Opening: Public Land Manager II (PLM II), California Tahoe Conservancy

Description: The PLM II position is assigned to manage the activities of multiple Conservancy programs and supervise staff from among the following program areas: Land Acquisition, Land Coverage, Forest Habitat Enhancement, Special Uses, and Resource and Urban Land Management. In addition, the position will be involved in internal and external policy, coordination and liaison activities.

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Contact Information:
Penny Stewart (530) 543-6013

Click here for more information.

Comic of the Month

Check out the date on this one!

Newsletter contents prepared by Gavin Feiger.
If you have articles, events or announcements that you would like included in this newsletter or if you have feedback, please email

Recent News

Sierra News

Snow Pack Looks Good, but Dry January is Looming
Associated Press, Tracie Cone and Rich Pedroncelli, 01.02.13

Sierra Link: An early season report on Sierra snowpack – implications for water resources and tourism.

New Lake Tahoe Plan to Allow Higher Density Development
Los Angeles Times, Bettina Boxall, 12.25.12

Sierra Link: Tahoe updates regional plan for the first time since 1987, approving denser development in order to keep working with Nevada and provide more redevelopment and bike/pedestrian facilities.

Climate Change may Drastically Alter Region
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Paul Gabrielsen, 01.02.13

Sierra Link: While this report focuses on Tahoe, the trends and potential economic impact are similar for the rest of the Sierra.

Snowshoeing/skiing on Donner Summit
Conservation groups recently finalized their purchase of the
3,000-acre Royal Gorge property on Donner Summit to
shield it from development.
(Hugo Martin / Los Angeles Times / January 3, 2013)

Conservation Groups buy 3,000 Acres on Donner Summit
Los Angeles Times, Bettina Boxall, 01.03.13

Sierra Link: A success story providing inspiration for conservation work across our Range of Light: a partnership of land trusts along with private and public funds protects an amazing piece of the Sierra crest and important habitat connectivity from residential development.

Merced River Status a Slippery Slope?
The Record (Stockton), Dana M. Nichols, 12.27.12
     Video from Friends of the River:

Sierra Link: Congress could set a dangerous precedent for Sierra rivers by reducing the Wild and Scenic River boundary on the Merced to allow raising a reservoir level downstream.

State News

Governor's Budget Restores Environmental Oversight for Logging in California
Center for Biological Diversity, 01.10.13

Sierra Link: With 35 new and reinstated staff positions at the Department of Fish and Wildlife, Sierra wildlife is given more protection on private forest lands.

Bales: UC Merced Helping to Develop Better Ways to Manage State's Water
The Modesto Bee, Roger Bales, 12.22.12

Sierra Link: For California's Sierra Nevada, climate warming means a shift from snow to rain, more intense rain storms and more year-to-year variability, including droughts. Relatively small investments in satellite and aircraft remote-sensing data, ground-based measurements and information systems can reduce uncertainty about water availability.

Dan Walters: California's Water Wars Breaking Out Again
The Sacramento Bee, Dan Walters, 01.02.13

Sierra Link: A new water bond bill is likely to come up on the 2014 ballot. We must stay engaged to ensure that the source of about 2/3 of California’s water – the Sierra – is protected from over-allocation.

National News

Resorts Sound Off on Perils of Climate Change
The Aspen Times, Scott Condon, 12.24.12

Sierra Link: Higher-ups in Vail Resorts, Inc. and Aspen Skiing Co. have differing opinions on climate change action. Vail has three resorts in the Sierra and keep an eye out for the Ski Area Scorecard coming out in early February.

Why Doesn’t the Public Respond to Climate Change
Ecology, Cameron Brick and Michael Conrardy, 01.07.13

Sierra Link: Understanding the psychology behind climate change action, inaction, and denial is imperative for activists to affect positive change.

2012 temperatures in the U.S. compared to normal(High Plains Regional Climate Center)

2012’s Surreal Record Warmth in the U.S.
The Washington Post, Jason Samenow, 01.03.13

Sierra Link: The Sierra registered some very high temperatures in 2012, are there more to come?

Climate Change Set to Make America Hotter, Drier, and More Disaster-Prone
Grist, Suzanne Goldenberg

Sierra Link: A report, drafted by a 60-person Federal Advisory Committee provides the fullest picture to date of the real-time effects of climate change on U.S. life, and the most likely consequences for the future. The report includes a focus on Rural locations and Regions, such as the Southwest, where California is detailed. The Grist story includes a link to “the 32 most alarming charts from the government’s climate change report”.

Sierra Nevada Alliance

P.O. Box 7989
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158

phone: 530. 542. 4546
fax:530. 542. 4570

Since 1993 the Sierra Nevada Alliance has been protecting and restoring Sierra lands, water, wildlife and communities. The regional climate change program shapes and implements county and regional resource plans that promote smart land use, incorporate sustainable water management practices, aggressively reduce greenhouse gases and adapt to climate change.