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In This Issue

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

Alliance Updates

Until We Meet Again

We would like to take this opportunity to give a warm “Until We Meet Again” to two of our fellow employees, Kay Ogden and Evan Muchmore.

Kay started with the Alliance in 2006, bringing her passion for the Sierra Nevada to South Lake Tahoe. For the past years she has served as the Alliance’s Associate Director, and has been instrumental in many areas of development, event management, communications and outreach, all while overseeing our Sustainable Sierra Communities program. Kay has been a huge part of making the Alliance an effective organization and a great place to work. She will continue to serve the Sierra as the Executive Director for the Eastern Sierra Land Trust, returning to the part of the Sierra she loves the most with her partner Jeff and their German Shepard Rush.

Evan began his term at the Alliance as a Regional Climate Change program intern, returning to California after completing his Master’s degree at Indiana University. He was later selected for a year of service as an AmeriCorps Vista member, and continued his work at the Alliance as a Program Assistant in the Sustainable Sierra Communities Program. His work as a VISTA member focused on the EmPower El Dorado project, with the mission to alleviate poverty and improve citizens’ quality of life through promoting energy efficiencies, water conservation, and healthy homes. Evan excelled at everything he did in and out of the Alliance, including building the EmPower program and completing the Death Ride.

Please join us in wishing Kay and Evan all the best in their future endeavors.


Rivers and Ranches Program

Assistance is available to private landowners to implement projects that protect surface water from the impacts of grazing operations. Financial assistance is available for 75% of the project costs and can be used for technical assistance, design and implementation of management practices. The total amount available is about $350,000 with grant awards expected to be in the range of $50,000 to $90,000 – however projects costing less or more than this range will also be considered.

Deadline: May 15, 2013

Click here for more information.

Rural Business Enterprise Grants (RBEG) Program

The RBEG program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses, fund distance learning networks, and assist employment-related adult education programs. To assist with business development, RBEGs may fund a broad array of activities.

Click here for more information.

USDA Rural Development Business Grants

USDA Rural Development offers a variety of grant programs that facilitate the development of small and emerging private business enterprises and promote sustainable economic development and job creation projects in rural communities with the most need. Additionally, grants are available to help fund renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in rural America as well as to encourage independent producers of agricultural commodities to furthered refine their products, thereby increasing their value to end users.

Click here for more information.

Job Opportunities

Position Opening: Development and Communication Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance

Description: The Development and Communication Director is responsible for leading the organization’s major donor, individual donor, event, and sponsorship programs. They are also responsible for managing our web communications and producing various organizational outreach communications. The Development and Communications Director reports directly to the Executive Director, supervises an Outreach and Development Program Associate and works closely with the Board and staff on organizational fundraising efforts. Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Position Opening: Bodie Hills Conservation Organizer

Description: The Bodie Hills Conservation Organizer is managed for the Partnership by the California Program Director of the Conservation Lands Foundation, representative of the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership. In addition, the position reports to the Sierra Nevada Alliance. The position seeks a talented individual who enjoys working on short and long-term goals and possesses visionary leadership to direct a coalition of organizations working to protect lands in the Eastern Sierra of California, focusing on the Bodie Hills.

This position requires frequent travel, comfort working with colleagues in remote locations, working in a remote, rural area and considerable flexibility. The successful candidate will possess a keen sense of humor, a passion for organizing in a community- campaign and a spirit for protecting wild lands. To apply please send a cover letter, resume, and references to
Sam Goldman.

Location: Bodie, CA

Position Opening: Science and Policy Analyst, Water Quality, Heal the Bay

Description: Heal the Bay is looking for a leader who is passionate about water quality and watershed health, and who wants to work proactively to improve Southern California’s environment. The Science and Policy Analyst will be responsible for critically evaluating water quality permits, stormwater programs and pollution controls, wastewater issues, Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) and other water quality-related policies and regulations from both a scientific and policy perspective. The Analyst will represent Heal the Bay at public meetings and stakeholder groups and advocate for strong water quality-related policies and regulations. Must be motivated, articulate, organized and a strong problem solver. A strong water quality and regulatory background with experience in the policy arena is preferred. Click here for more information.

Location: Santa Monica, CA

Position Opening: California Water Rights Specialist, Trout Unlimited

Description: Trout Unlimited is seeking a qualified individual with experience in water policy and water rights permitting for its successful California Water Program. The individual will join other TU staff working to reform water law and policy and implement cooperative projects with individual farmers and landowners to restore and enhance instream flow. Applicants should send their information to Mary Ann King, Stewardship Manager, California Water Project, at Click here for more information

Location: Berkeley, CA

Deadline: April 30, 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."

Environmental Quality Improvement Bills Advance

April 18, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance

Amidst all the talk about reforming (i.e. weakening or decimating) the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), room remains for those of us who understand that CEQA needs strengthening in many ways, to both improve the public’s right to know about development projects in their communities and to ensure that those projects are thoroughly reviewed for their environment impacts. Luckily, some legislators understand this as well, and a few good bills are making their way through the halls of the Capitol.

From translating certain key documents into other languages in heavily non-English speaking communities, to electronic access for many documents, to ensuring the proper evaluation of natural hazards, good CEQA bills are out there. For a more complete list of the good, the bad, and the decidedly less than attractive, click here.

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.

Will the Sierra Benefit from Cap and Trade?

April 18, 2013
By Alex Riemondy
Regional Climate Change Program Intern

The cap and trade auctions for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions credits have so far produced a relatively small amount of funding for emissions reductions. However, as auctions proceed, the total dollars available should grow rapidly. As a result, the scramble for how to allocate those dollars continues.

The first draft of the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Investment Plan was released on Tuesday April 16, 2013. The draft evaluates opportunities for greenhouse gas emission reductions and identifies priority programs for investment to help further the objectives of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act.

Twenty-five percent of auction proceeds are dedicated to benefit disadvantaged communities statewide, and at least ten percent is to be invested directly into projects located within those communities. There is a potential for investment in the Sierra, but currently no communities in the Sierra fall under the ten percent of disadvantaged communities, as defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s new tool called CalEnviroScreen. This needs to be corrected.

There is a pressing need to invest in disadvantaged communities in the Sierra. There are many opportunities throughout the Sierra to help achieve 2020 GHG Emissions Reduction Targets through environmental initiatives such as water and energy conservation, renewable energy, and managing our lands to sequester carbon. We encourage you to write comments asking for dedicated investment to the Sierra Nevada Region.

To provide comments, before the next meeting on April 25, 2013 please click here.


2nd Annual Transportation Choices Summit Coordinated by TransForm

Join leading community organizations and advocates in Sacramento and help ensure state policies and investments promote effective public transit, great walking and bicycling, and affordable homes. Together we will learn about the hottest issues from leaders like the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing Brian Kelly and Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols as well as leading advocates like James Corless of Transportation for America.

Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Place: Library Galleria, Downtown Sacramento
More Information: Visit Transportation Choices Summit

Watershed Day at the Capitol

This 11th annual event continues the California Watershed Network's annual outreach program that first began in 2002 for watershed restorationists, state agency representatives and legislators. The program will examine the opportunities and constraints in obtaining funding and establishing sustainable jobs for watershed restoration activities throughout the State.

Date: Wednesday, April 24th
Place:CalEPA Building in Sacramento
More Information: Visit California Watershed Network

High Odyssey Presentation: Skiing the John Muir Trail by Art Baggett

Seventy years ago, while Californians were experiencing the security and success of the roaring twenties, a lone mountaineer was skiing his way up the 500 kilometer crest of the Sierra Nevada from south of Mount Whitney toward Yosemite Valley. In spring 2008, Mariposa attorney Art Baggett, his daughter Allison, son Fritz and Lindsey Eilts recreated this great adventure. Join Art Baggett May 10, 2013 as he shares maps and pictures of his trips, discusses experiences and lessons learned, and demonstrates some of the gear they used and its evolution from 1929 to the present.

Date: Friday, May 10, 2013
Place: Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave, Fresno CA
More Information: Visit Sierra Nevada Alliance's Calendar of Events

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
More Information: Visit Sierra Grassroots Organizer Academy or email Gavin

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! Early bird registration is now available.

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


Carpe Diem West

We are pleased to present Carpe Diem West's new report, New Visions, Smart Choices - Western Water Security in a Changing Climate, which spotlights successful, sustainable and economically sensible steps ten communities are taking to make sure they will have water in the decades to come. As the climate warms and weather extremes become undeniable, having a clean, safe water supply - for our communities, our economy, our environment and our farms - is becoming a huge challenge. The stories in this report all tell us this: yes, climate change is overwhelming and even frightening, but there is so much we can do now, together, to build a more secure water future and protect our rivers. As you read these stories, we invite you to consider actions that you and your community could take. Actions that will ensure our children and theirs will have what we enjoy now - clean, abundant water and healthy rivers.

Seize the Day! - Kimery Wiltshire

Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

Many California residents don't know that thousands of acres of our state's private forests are clearcut each year and then sprayed with herbicides to kill all the resprouting native plants. A recently completed video takes you directly to clearcut, denuded mountainsides and on an aerial flight over heavily clearcut forest lands in the Sierra Nevada region. Please take the time to watch this 6-minute film, and then encourage friends and family to view it as well. Spread the word that it is "time to stop clearcutting in California!" To watch the video: Click here

- John Buckley

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

Forest Mangers Told To Protect Sierra Rivers
Dana M. Nichols, The Record (Stockton) 4.2.2013

Sierra Link: In 2012 the Forest Service adopted a new rule mandating that forest planning must make sustainability a priority, and adopt practices that are “intended to insure just as much clean water for fish and people in the future.”

Pine Creek Watershed Land Going Into Easement
Julie R. Johnson, Corning Observer 04.02.2013

Sierra Link: Just under 14,000 acres of working ranch land in Tehama County is in the process of going into conservation easement. The acreage encompasses four large ranches in the Pine Creek Watershed, which is home to vital habitat for migratory animals and deer winter forage, according to the state.

CCWD Chief Warns of Water Grab
Joel Metzger, Calaveras Enterprise 04.09.2013

Sierra Link: Sierra water supplies are facing an increased pressure as California’s population continues to rise. Between new projects such as the Central Valley Delta water plan, and below-average precipitation throughout the Sierra, communities wonder what the future holds for their water supply.

State News

Two New Bills Aim to Save California Farmland from Rampant Sprawl
Susie Cagle, Grist 04.03.2013

Sierra Link: American Farmland Trust reports that California cropland is shrinking by more than 1 percent each year. In order to protect productive farmland from sprawling development, and even solar projects, two new bills, AB 551 and AB 823 have been introduced.

Remove 4 Dams on Klamath, Study Urges
Peter Firmrite, SF Gate 04.04.2013

Sierra Link:On March 28, 2013 The U.S. Department of the Interior released a study supporting what would be the biggest dam-removal project in California history. If completed, the project would open 420 miles of historic habitat, restore fish migration patterns, and reduce toxic algae blooms that result from stagnant water.

National News

Climate Maverick to Retire From NASA
Justin Gillis, The New York Times 04.01.2013

Sierra Link: After 46 years, climate maverick Jim Hansen retires from NASA, giving himself more freedom to limit greenhouse gases through political and legal efforts.

Keystone Emissions Seen as Equal to 46 Coal Power Plants
Mark Drajem & Brian Wingfield, Bloomberg 04.16.2013

Sierra Link: Legislation to issue a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline project without presidential approval was advanced by a subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, as oil-industry interests push for swift approval of Keystone proposal. Opponents continue to fight the project, citing the most recent report, which concludes that the pipeline would increase greenhouse-gas emissions by 181 million metric tons.

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.