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

Alliance Updates

The Sierra Nevada Alliance has MOVED!!!

Over the past week, Alliance staff, board members, and interns painted and moved into our new location. Our new location is still adjacent to a bike path and bus stop and still dog-friendly, but has a larger confernece room, reception area, and plenty of storage. Additionally, staff now has more space and natural light. We are looking forward to being even happier and more productive and able to host meetings more comfortably. We will be hosting an open house on April 17, but feel free to stop by anytime! Our mailing address has remained the same (PO Box 7989, South Lake Tahoe CA 96158) but our new physical address is 2311 Lake Tahoe Boulevard Suite 5, South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150.


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.

REI: Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grant Program

The Access Fund Climbing Preservation Grant Program funds projects that preserve or enhance climbing access and opportunities and conserve the climbing environment throughout the United States. We are most interested in making grants to organizations and individuals that identify and work on the root causes of local climbing access and conservation issues and that approach issues with a commitment to long-term change. Most grants are in the range of $1,000 to $4,000. The Access Fund considers requests for over $10,000, but these projects should have national significance and utilize a high degree of matching funds. If you are requesting more than $10,000 please call the Access Fund before submitting your application.

Click here for more information.

Sierra Grant Program

Bank of the Sierra's branches partner with local schools and community organizations to achieve a common goal: to improve the quality of life for community families, especially the children. The Sierra Grant Program seeks to appropriate grant funds across all market communities in which the Bank of the Sierra has branches. Bank of the Sierra's Sierra Grant Program focuses in these areas: Community, Park Preservation and Education Services. Grants typically range from $1,000 to $5,000.

Click here for more information.


Position Opening: Water Quality Specialist: City of Morgan Hill, CA

Description: The City of Morgan Hill (pop 38,309) is recruiting for the position of Water Quality Specialist in the Community Development Agency, Water Division. Under general supervision, the Water Quality Specialist performs a variety of journey-level work to ensure the continued safe operation of the City’s drinking water systems. Click here to view job brochure.

Location: Morgan Hill, CA

Deadline: March 29, 2013

Position Opening: Temporary Water Efficiency Specialist, Water Use Efficiency Department, Irvine Ranch Water District

Description: This is a 12-18 month temporary position. Under the direction of the Water Efficiency Supervisor, this position is responsible for implementing water conservation programs for IRWD customers, as assigned. Work with customers and conservation staff toward improving water use efficiency. Perform on-site water use water surveys. Provide information on water conservation.

Location: Irvine, CA

Deadline: March 29, 2013

Position Opening: Conservation Analyst, Central Valley & Mountains Region, The Nature Conservancy, CA

Description: The Conservation Analyst provides technical and scientific support and leadership for conservation projects and initiatives through high-level data- and spatial-analysis. This position will be primarily focused on Conservancy projects and initiatives that touch ground in the Central Valley, Sierra Nevada, and Klamath Mountains ecoregions in California. To apply: click here and Search Current Openings using position number 40935 or “Conservation Analyst”.

Location: Sacramento, CA

Deadline: March 31, 2013

Position Opening: Chief Sustainability Officer, City of Palo Alto

Description: The Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) with the City of Palo Alto offers an excellent opportunity for a successful, focused sustainability professional with a demonstrated ability to articulate and shape the vision of sustainability in a game-changing way. The CSO is a newly-created position that will report to the City Manager and serve as an integral member of the senior management team, staffing the in-house Sustainability Board. Please submit resumes online.

Location: Palo Alto, CA

Deadline: April 12, 2013

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."

Voices for Environmental Quality Grow, and Are Hear

Multiple Threats to Key Law Still Exist

March 20, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance

With the exit of Senator Michael Rubio from the State legislature, developers and polluters wishing to undermine environmental protection lost one of their biggest champions in Sacramento. Rubio, as Chair of the Senate Committee on Environmental Quality, set himself up as the leader in weakening the California Environmental Quality Act. His preferred approach to “reform” would have left CEQA a pale shadow of the law we have come to rely upon since the 1970’s in protecting the environment.

Senator Jerry Hill, from the Bay Area, has taken over Rubio’s Chairmanship and has set a decidedly different tone. Nonetheless, Hill, Governor Brown, and a host of other State legislators are feeling significant pressure from some developers and special interests (e.g. those who want to speed up permits for oil and gas drilling) throughout the State.

Legislators have submitted a dizzying number of bills potentially affecting CEQA to the Assembly and Senate. At last count, 23 bills, to be exact. A few of these bills could make CEQA stronger; most would weaken the law.

On behalf of the Alliance, I recently participated in a day-long event at the Capital to rally in support of CEQA. Community groups, labor unions, and conservationists held a press conference on the Capital steps highlighting the importance of CEQA to California, followed by meetings with legislators and their staff. This powerful coalition of interests is having an affect, and the Alliance will continue to work with partners to press for a strong California Environmental Quality Act.

To follow the action, go to CEQA Works or stay tuned right here, where the Alliance will be covering this issue at least through September, when bills arrive on the Governor’s desk.

Sierra Grassroots Organizer Academy This May 15-18 Valuable to Budding Activists and Experienced Conservationists

March 20, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director

“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass

So states the splash page of the website for the Midwest Academy, which has been training community organizers and activists since the 1970’s. The Midwest Academy will be bringing their knowledge of community and regional organizing to the Alliance-sponsored Sierra Grassroots Organizer Academy from May 16-18 (with a dinner reception the evening of May 15), and we invite you to participate. The Midwest Academy trains conservation organizations, campaign managers, unions, and community organizations in the key organizing skills required to develop and run campaigns to create lasting environmental, social, and political change.

Not to sound like a hair implant commercial, but we’re not only sponsoring this event, we’ve been through it. Last November, Regional Climate Change Program Associate Gavin Feiger and I attended a week-long Midwest Academy training in Organizing for Social Change. Regional activists can expect a chance to reflect on how we work towards change in our communities—and learn tools be more effective.

The Academy’s combination of philosophy (altering the relationships of power), methods, and skills training is great for budding activists but perhaps equally valuable for experienced conservationists like myself. It can be too easy to approach the next issue as we approached the last, and the one before that. This training provoked me--after 20 years of campaign experience--to rethink my work, and I have seen that reassessment affecting my thoughts and actions. .

As a bonus, this year’s Organizer Academy will be held at the Yosemite Bug, a rustic resort just outside the park. Sign up to learn successful local campaign planning strategies and gain tactical expertise in coalition building, messaging, public mobilization, and campaign communication from the best national trainers. Pricing is a bargain and scholarships are available. For full details on pricing, scholarships, and registration, click here.


Integrated Water Management Summit

Explore a vision for the future at a half-day Integrated Water Management Summit in Sacramento, April 3, 2013. The Summit provides a unique opportunity to build understanding about California's commitment to improve public safety, foster environmental stewardship, and support economic stability using a holistic approach.

Date: April 3-5, 2013
Place: Sacramento
More Information: Visit Integrated Water Management Summit

The Future of Water in California: Integrating Climate, Water & Policy

From snowpack to regional groundwater, water resources are essential to sustain life, including drinking water, the food supply, ecosystems, and recreation. Meeting these multiple, often conflicting needs will only become more challenging under climate change. An essential element will be improving connections between scientific disciplines and the exchange between science, management, and policy. Join physical and social scientists, water managers, and policymakers at the Future of Water Workshop to discuss how California can meet these challenges. Open to the public and free, but seating is limited.

Date: April 8-9, 2013
Place:University of California— Center Sacramento
More Information: Advance registration for the workshop.

22nd California Water Policy Conference

Once again the California Water Policy Conference Planning Committee is anticipating a stimulating conference agenda that will take the leading water issues of the day head-on and bring all participants into the heart of the debate and problem-solving. The conference will feature speakers who have state and local perspectives as well as workshops on engaging topics.

Date: April 18-19, 2013
Place: Crowne Plaza Los Angles Airport
More Information: Visit California Water Policy 22

Comic of the Month

Newsletter contents prepared by Alex Riemondy.
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

Lake Tahoe Water Clarity Improving
Edward Ortiz, The Sacramento Bee 03.03.13

Sierra Link: According to UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, Lake Tahoe’s clarity has seen an 11-foot improvement since its all time low in 1997. Scientists and regional agency planners are hopeful that clarity will continue to improve, and someday return to the 102-foot level recorded in 1968.

More Blizzards Equal Less Snow - Tahoe's Future Climate Equation?
Axie Navas, Tahoe Daily Tribune 03.06.2013

Sierra Link: Reports reveal that extreme changes in weather patterns are leading to more blizzards in the Tahoe area. But more blizzards do not necessarily mean more snow. The Associated Press recently reported on two upcoming studies that show how higher winter temperatures and more intense, discrete storms could lead to less snow accumulation and decreased snowpack levels.

State News

California’s New No Fishing Zones Appear to be Working, Scientists Say
Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News 03.01.2013

Sierra Link:Scientists are encouraged by a recent study that shows improvements in populations and sizes of several key species of fish in California’s marine protected “no-fishing zones", compared with unprotected ocean areas. California’s network of protected marine reserves may serve as a future model for other states and countries as a possible solution to improving the health of our oceans.

A Last Look at California’s Glaciers
Tim Palmer, San Francisco Gate 03.03.2013

Sierra Link: Around 130 glaciers exist in California today, with most being found on the slopes of the Sierra Nevada. For those who dare to venture high enough to see them, the effects of climate change are clearly visible as our glaciers are disappearing at a rapid rate. Tim Palmer takes a closer look photographing their fleeting beauty.

California May Start Huge Water Project Before Knowing if it’ll Work
Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times 03.14.2013

Sierra Link: Uncertainty surrounds the evolving proposal to restore the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta’s environment and halt reduction in delta water exports. State officials argue that time is of the essence and that doing nothing will continue the deterioration of the delta ecosystem as well as cuts to southbound water deliveries.

National News

Energy Plan Can ‘Break the Cycle’ of Oil Dependence, Obama Says
CNN 03.16.2013

Sierra Link: “After years of talking about it, we’re finally poised to take control of our energy future,”--Obama said at a green energy research lab in Lemont, Illinois last Friday. Obama plans to use revenues collected from drilling on public lands to fund alternative energy research, with the goal to break American oil dependence for good.

Colorado System for Investigating Ski Accidents Raises Concerns
Karen Crummy, The Denver Post 03.17.2013

Sierra Link: The first of a three-part Denver Post investigative series into what happens at ski resorts when someone in seriously injured or dies on a Colorado ski slope. To read on, click the links for the second and third articles.

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.