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In This Issue

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

Alliance Updates

The Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) Seeks Applications for 2013-2014 Host Sites

If your organization could benefit from a full-time AmeriCorps Member to lead and complete watershed restoration, volunteer recruitment or watershed education activities, join the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) as a Host Organization. The SNAP Program has served the Sierra Nevada Region for the past 7 years and we look forward to continued partnerships throughout the Sierra to protect and restore our wonderful region.

For details on the SNAP Program and how to apply to host amazing SNAP Members, click here and/or contact Mike Thornton, SNAP Program Director! The deadline to apply is June 10, 2013.

Welcome Cami!

We would like to take this opportunity to give a warm welcome to Cami Chavez, our new book keeper!

Cami has lived in the Sierra Nevada Region all her life. Growing up hearing stories of the epic winters in the 40s and 50s from her loving parents helped to foster a love for the Sierra Nevada and Tahoe Region. She has been exploring the back country by horseback/hiking from an early age and last year completed the Tahoe Rim Trail. Cami and her husband have been married for 30 years and have run a towing company for over 28 years. They have raised 4 wonderful children in Alpine County (Woodfords), three daughters and one son. Cami has also been a mentor for Tahoe Family and Youth for the last three years.

We are excited to have her as part of the Alliance family. Please join us in wishing Cami a warm welcome.


Community Capacity and Land Stewardship Grant Program

The National Forest Foundation offers the Community Capacity and Land Stewardship (CCLS) funding program to support local efforts that work toward achieving watershed and landscape restoration objectives. Grants awarded will provide benefits to forest and grassland health, wildlife, fish and rare plant habitat, and USFS Pacific Southwest Region leadership intent on ecological restoration related to sustainable recreation and collaborative stewardship of National Forest System and adjoining private lands. The program is implemented with the support of the USFS Pacific Southwest Region. The CCLS program will provide grants of up to $24,000 to enable community-based organizations and collaborative groups to build their capacity to facilitate and/or implement watershed or landscape-level restoration. Ancillary goals of the program are to build capacity to help meet other objectives associated with the creation of stable, living-wage jobs that contribute to the economic sustainability of communities. Grants will be awarded for a period of one year.

Deadline: July 1, 2013

Click here for more information.

DTSC's Targeted Site Investigation (TSI) Program

The US EPA, the State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) are pleased to announce that the next Keys to Securing Brownfields Funding session will be held as a webinar on Tuesday June 4th at 10:00 AM. You will hear from agency experts about their respective grant guidelines. Topics to be covered include: Applicant and Site Eligibility Criteria; Application Steps; and Success Stories. To sign up for this free webinar, please send an email

DTSC's Targeted Site Investigation (TSI) program will be one of the funding tools highlighted during the webinar. The TSI program is a grant in which brownfields sites are selected to receive environmental investigation services through a competitive application process. For the selected sites, DTSC oversees the investigation and develops a report at no cost to the applicant.

Deadline: July 12, 2013

Click here for more information and application.

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. Click here for more information.

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Position Opening: SNAP Program Assistant, Sierra Nevada Alliance

Description: The SNAP Program Assistant is responsible for assisting the SNAP Director and other staff in supporting the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership program. The Program Assistant will maintain accurate administrative records, gather and analyze timesheets and reporting data from AmeriCorps members to ensure compliance with all AmeriCorps & CalVolunteers policies and regulations. In addition, the Program Assistant will manage logistics for Member Trainings, coordinate other Member Processes and assist staff in managing SNAP program financials. Please contact Mike Thornton, SNAP Program Director or call 530-542-4546 x 312 to apply for this position or for any questions.

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Position Opening: Project Analyst, San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization

Description: The SJVCEO is seeking a full-time Project Analyst to support the implementation of the VIEW 2013-14 program initiatives throughout the San Joaquin Valley. The initiatives cover municipal energy retrofit project management, community outreach and education, and support for the development of city policies that fulfill the goals set forth in the California Long-term Energy Efficiency Strategic Plan. Essential to this position is the ability to work in a dynamic and diverse team environment to provide support and build relationships between utility representatives and municipal customers throughout the region. The Project Analyst will focus on implementing the municipal energy retrofit initiative and supporting Strategic Plan goals. Click here for more information

Location: Fresno, CA

Position Opening: Communications Coordinator, Sequoia Riverlands Trust

Description: The Communications Coordinator works to raise SRT’s profile in the community and region, build relationships with members, donors and other supporters, and ensure consistent and effective branding of SRT. As a member of the Development Department, the Coordinator will provide strategic direction as well as the tools, support and direct action necessary to engage key audiences. She/he will ensure the timely design and implementation of print and digital marketing materials and campaigns. The Communications Coordinator will lead the development of communications plans, messages and materials to support SRT’s mission and programs.

Location: Visalia, CA

Position Opening: Environmental Planner II, Santa Clara Valley Water District

Description: This position is to support environmental planning for the District's $600 million capital program to be delivered over the next 5 years as committed to the voters of Santa Clara County in addition to ongoing watershed stewardship projects. The environmental planner is a core member of the capital team that assesses the project description, develops opportunities and constraints in order to avoid impacts and develops a range of alternatives. This position is the CEQA technical expert that develops the environmental document, typically an EIR for large flood protection projects identified in the capital program. The environmental planner is responsible for contract management of the environmental consultants as well as permit acquisition. Click here for more information

Location: San Jose, CA

Deadline: May 28, 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."

Alliance’s 3rd Organizer Academy Successful

May 22, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance

From May 15th through 18th, the Alliance hosted twenty activists for our 3rd Organizer Academy, this year held at the charming, rustic Yosemite Bug resort in Mariposa County. Judging from the comments received as well as the evaluation forms filled out, the Academy proved both thought-provoking and practical for those involved.

Our trainers came from the Midwest Academy, based in Chicago, which has been training community activists and organizers since the 1970’s. They focus on a philosophy and techniques that they refer to as “direct action organizing,” meaning a focus on techniques to accumulate the power needed to affect change in a given community.

Participants came largely from Alliance Member Groups. In addition, thanks to our recent work in the Southern Sierra counties, a number of participants came from the San Joaquin Valley and Sierra foothill communities in Madera and Mariposa counties. The training included a grounding in the Midwest Academy’s philosophy of social change as well as a number of practical activities in areas such as recruiting new leaders, building coalitions, and compiling a strategy chart to guide organizing campaigns. Participants also had the opportunity to work on a strategy chart and tactics for a real organizing campaign that they were involved with, receiving advice and guidance from the trainers.

Enthusiasm ran high throughout the three-day training, as quotes from the post-event evaluations attest. “We found common ground and support and were able to renew our energy to commit to activism.” “I loved the role-plays: fun and very informative.” Or just simply, “Wonderful training!”

Our thanks to the Midwest Academy for their expertise, to our participants for their commitments to positive social change, and to the funders who made this event possible. Finally, thanks to Alliance staff member Gavin Feiger and interns Anna Olsen and Alex Riemondy for handling the logistics of the event and making sure that all went smoothly.

Turning the CEQA Tables

May 22, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance

At the beginning of this year, we were looking at a well coordinated assault on the California Environmental Quality Act from a variety of business and development interests. They had the ear of both Republicans and some Democrats in Sacramento, and it seemed a lot of work would be needed to hold off what could be a major blow to protection of natural resources and lands in the Sierra and across the State.

What a difference a few months make! Beginning with the resignation of State Senator Marco Rubio—the ostensible leader of the effort to “reform CEQA”—opponents of CEQA have seen one setback after another. An alliance of conservation organizations, labor unions, and community groups have so far succeeded in fighting off the worst of the “gut CEQA” bills in the legislature. Remarkably, a few bills to improve CEQA are winding their way through the committee hearing process in Sacramento and may get to the Governor’s desk in September.

The most important of these good CEQA bills come from State Senator Noreen Evans, a Democrat from Santa Rosa. Her bills, SB 617 and SB 754, seek to make some common sense improvements to CEQA, such as improved electronic record keeping and better mitigation monitoring and enforcement. For more on the progress of those bills and to keep abreast of the action on CEQA in Sacramento and around the State, visit CEQA Works.

The Alliance continues to send letters to our State legislators in support of CEQA and the need for continued improvements in this bedrock environmental law. We have also sent staff to Sacramento to speak directly with those legislators. We will continue to coordinate our efforts with Alliance Member Groups and other conservationists. Hopefully, come September, we can cite this legislative turnaround on CEQA as a major accomplishment of the environmental movement in California for the year.

Alliance Noted for Work in Southern Sierra

May 20, 2013

Regional Climate Change Program Director Craig Breon has been engaging in Fresno County on proposed development in the Sierra foothills and along the San Joaquin River. A recent article in the Fresno Bee quotes Craig, citing concerns that development will march from the Valley floor into the Sierra, while distracting the region from the need to invest in existing communities. To read the full article, click here.

Participants from the 2013 Sierra Organizer Academy


Free Sustainability Webinar Series Hosted by the Sierra Nevada Alliance

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is hosting a series of free webinars! Four months, four webinars. The webinars will range in discussions from extending the growing season in the Sierra to creating local food hubs. The schedule is as follows:
May 22nd from 10-11am: Extending the Growing Season in the Sierra
June 24th: Creating Local Food Hubs
July 24th: Exploring the Cottage Law
August 21st: River Friendly Landscaping in Your Community.

Date: Wednesday, May 22, 2013-August 21, 2013
More Information: To sign up and receive more information email Taylor

A Benefit Concert for the Sierra Nevada Alliance and Sierra Fund Featuring Alex DeGrassi

Join acoustic guitar virtuoso Alex de Grassi at the Valhalla Grand Hall Saturday, May 25, for a solo guitar performance that Vintage Guitar Magazine calls “nothing short of brilliant.” Proceeds will benefit the Sierra Nevada Alliance and Sierra Fund.

Date: Friday, May 25, 2013 6:00-10:00 pm
Place:South Lake Tahoe, Valhalla Grand Hall
More Information: Visit The Sierra Nevada Alliance

2nd Annual Tahoe Bike Path Clean Up

Join in the 2nd Annual Tahoe Bike Path Clean Up and help get the bike paths clean and ready for spring! Please join in at any of the designated sites – snacks will be provided in addition to gloves, trash bags and brooms. Bring your own water bottle.

Date: Thursday, May 30, 2013 3:00-6:00 pm
Place: North or South Lake Tahoe, CA
More Information: Visit Sierra Nevada Alliance's Calendar of Events

Keys to Securing Brownfields Funding Webinar

The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA), the State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) and the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) are pleased to announce that the next Keys to Securing Brownfields Funding session will be held as a webinar on Tuesday June 4th at 10:00 AM. You will hear from agency experts about their respective grant guidelines. Topics to be covered include: Applicant and Site Eligibility Criteria; Application Steps; and Success Stories. To sign up for this free webinar, please send an email to DTSC .

Date: June 4, 2013 10:00am
More Information: Visit CA Department of Toxic Substances Control's website

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

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

Now in Congress: Bills to Expand Yosemite for First Time in 75 Years
Los Angeles Times, Richard Simon 04.23.2013

Sierra Link: Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif) has introduced a measure to grow Yosemite National Park by 1,600 acres. If approved, it would be the first expansion of the park in 75 years and incorporate lands first proposed for inclusion by conservationist John Muir.

Madera County, Fresno Reach Settlement on Tesoro Viejo Development
The Fresno Bee, Kurtis Alexander 05.09.2013

Sierra Link: The City of Fresno has dropped its lawsuit concerning the proposed Tesoro Viejo mega-development along Highway 41 in Madera County. Under the settlement, the developer will be able to proceed with their 5,200-home Tesoro Viejo community without legal threats, but will pay the city a nominal fee for every house that’s built. The new development will mean an increase in traffic, air pollution, added burdens on city services, and more.

Plans to Split Lake Tahoe Oversight Called Off After Compromise
The Sacramento Bee, 05.14.2013

Sierra Link: Proposals to divide the governance of Lake Tahoe were put to rest after an agreement to continue the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency—the first bi-state regional environmental agency—was reached last Tuesday. California and Nevada have debated in the past over preserving the natural environment versus allowing more development to take place in the basin.

State News

Rain and Fire is a ‘Double Jeopardy’ Situation, Scientists Say
Los Angeles Times, Hector Becerra 05.14.2013

Sierra Link: Scientists at NASA and Chapman University have collected satellite data showing the effects of a four-day period of rainfall at the end of January on increased vegetation growth and potential wildfire fuel in Southern California. Scientists are confident that these satellite images and others will help fire agencies to project where the greatest dangers of the fire season may lie.

Governor Brown Proposes to Borrow $500M from Cap-and-Trade Revenues
Environment & Energy Daily, Anne C. Mulkern 05.15.2013

Sierra Link:Gov. Jerry Brown has proposed borrowing $500 million in revenues from the cap-and-trade auction to balance the general fund budget. Many argue that this proposal will delay opportunities to fund projects that are in critical need to reduce global warming pollution in California.

National News

Why a Hotter World Will Mean More Extinctions
Time Magazine, Bryan Walsh 05.13.2013

Sierra Link: Carbon concentration in the atmosphere finally passed the 400-par-per-million threshold, meaning carbon levels are higher now than they’ve been for at least 800,000 years. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has estimated that 20% to 30% of species are at an increasingly high risk of extinction, with manmade climate impacts threatening their way of life and destroying their habitats both on land in the sea.

America’s First Climate Refugees
Grist, Suzanne Goldenberg 05.15.2013

Sierra Link: The people of Newtok, Alaska will most likely become America’s first climate change refugees, as their village slowly disappears. This article is part of the Guardian series on climate refugees.

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.