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In This Issue

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

Alliance Updates

Early Bird Registration ends July 1st for the Alliance's 20th Annual Conference!

Only a short time left for Early Bird prices! Register by June 30th and save up to 37% off Pre Registration prices and up to 50% off Walk In prices! Click here to register.

Conference Scholarships

We are pleased to announce that The Rose Foundation for Communities & the Environment are sponsoring scholarships for Member Group representatives and Sierra activists. Please email Lynn with any questions and for more information.

Come celebrate 20 years of accomplishments protecting and restoring the Sierra Nevada. Reflect on our Sierra heroes, stories and lessons learned, building on our past to guide future actions. Engage generations of leaders to discuss diverse and creative actions we can take today and tomorrow to save our beloved Sierra.

Here are a few of the exciting speakers and programs we will be offering:
  • Bill McKibben - named 'the planet's best green journalist' by Time Magazine - will open the Alliance's 20th Anniversary & Conference on Friday, September 13, 2013.
  • John Muir Laws - naturalist, educator and artist - will give the closing keynote on Saturday, September 14, 2013.
  • Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Tahoe Queen - Help us celebrate 20 years of accomplishments in the Sierra Nevada with a paddle wheel cruise on Lake Tahoe. The night will include dinner, drinks, spectacular views and the 20th Anniversary awards ceremony.

To register for the conference click here

Click here to view the Program and Workshops.


Resources Legacy Fund: Western Conservation Program

A program to provide targeted grants, contracts, and low-interest loans to protect and restore ecologically important lands and corridors, improve resource management systems, and build environmental constituencies in the Sierra Nevada, California Central Valley, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Northwest Mexico, and increase land trust capacity and efficacy throughout the west.

Click here for more information.

Rose Foundation: Northern California Environmental Grassroots Fund

The Grassroots Fund supports small grassroots groups throughout greater northern California that are tackling tough environmental problems including toxic pollution, urban sprawl, sustainable agriculture, climate change, environmental degradation of our rivers and wild places, as well as, of our communities and our health. Maximum grant size is $5,000. There are four applications deadlines each year, and grants are awarded approximately 7 weeks after the deadline. While groups that have $100,000 or less in annual expenses are eligible, most of our Grassroots grantees tend to be very small groups - 60% have annual expenses of less than $25,000, and 80% have expenses of under $50,000.

Click here for more information and application.

California Self-Generation Incentive Program

Get paid to generate your own energy! The Self-Generation Incentive Program provides financial incentives for the installation of distributed generation technologies installed on the customer's side of the utility meter. The electricity generated by the system provides a portion or all of the customer’s electric load. SGIP gives incentives to retail electric and gas customers of the investor-owned utilities in California – Pacific Gas and Electric, Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric. The California Center for Sustainable Energy administers the program within the SDG&E service territory.

Click here for more information.


Position Opening: Ventura County Planning Division, Planning Division Staff Biologist

Description: The ideal candidate for this position will be a person who possesses a combination of education, skills, and experience in the areas of biology and environmental policy planning. This candidate will have experience working on biological surveys including both general surveys and surveys of endangered species or species and habitats of special concern. This candidate will have experience developing environmental policy or regulations within a land use setting. He or she will be a reliable and detail-oriented individual who can identify and solve problems and demonstrates strong written and oral communication skills. The candidate selected for this position will primarily be assigned to perform biological review for land-use permits in the Permitting Section, but will also work with Long-Range Planning staff to develop new policies and draft supporting technical documents for revisions to County ordinances and Area Plans. A Master’s degree in Biology, Environmental Planning, Natural Resource Conservation, or a closely related field, is desired.
Click here for more information

Location: Ventura, CA

Position Opening: Google Sustainability, Associate

Description: As a member of the team, you'll be responsible for defining, evaluating, advocating, and implementing the most impactful environmental strategies for Google, our users, and the world. Working cross-functionally, you can find yourself investing in large scale renewable energy projects or developing smart sustainable business solutions that scale beyond Google. You have extensive technical expertise, and analytical and problem solving skills. Sample projects include: building the strategic framework for clean energy procurement at Google's offices, identifying innovative clean or efficient technologies we can deploy in our own operations, developing supply chain programs to ensure sustainability of our products and vendors, investing in innovative renewable energy projects, developing and implementing green benefit programs for employees, and devising ways to use Google's products to help our users be more sustainable.
Click here for more information

Location: Mountain View, CA

Position Opening: Defenders of Wildlife, California Program Associate

Description: This professional-level position is responsible for implementing assigned work plans for the California Program of Defenders of Wildlife. The primary responsibilities include implementation of programs, strategies, campaigns, and projects focusing on strategic plan priorities in California. This position also involves a wide variety of responsibilities supporting the program and operations of the California Program field office. Programmatic and technical assistance will be provided to the Director and other staff members in the California Program. It serves as the Director’s liaison to other staff, federal and state agency personnel, elected officials and their staff, Defenders’ members and the general public. The California Program Associate must possess a general knowledge of all programs and projects within the California Program in order to assist the Director with oversight, implementation of works plans and compliance with procedures and schedules. This position requires substantial discretion in determining how to meet assigned goals and competing deadlines.
Click here for more information

Location: Sacramento, CA

Position Opening: Environmental Defense Fund, Agriculture Project Analyst, Working Lands

Description: EDF’s Land, Water, Wildlife Program works with agriculture producers, foresters and ranchers to improve management practices on private lands. We seek to provide economic incentives for these producers to adopt environmentally-beneficial practices. Our team has worked for several years to develop farming practices that generate greenhouse gas reductions, accounting systems that quantify these reductions, and policies to allow offsets to be sold in voluntary and compliance markets. In addition, EDF has led ground-breaking greenhouse gas protocol development and pilot projects for rice production, rangeland grazing, and fertilizer management to test these incentive opportunities by working with agriculture stakeholders, scientists, and policymakers across the nation. Our goal is to achieve 100 MMT of offset credits from the agriculture and forestry sectors by 2020, worth at least $1 billion in revenue for producers.
Click here for more information

Location: San Francisco, CA

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."

2nd Annual Sierra Water Work Group Summit a Success!

June 20, 2013
By Gavin Feiger
Regional Climate Change Program Associate, Sierra Nevada Alliance

The Regional Climate Change Program had a leading role in the 2nd Annual Sierra Water Work Group (SWWG) Summit in North Tahoe last week. Building on the success of last year’s Summit, we lengthened the Summit to three days to include more robust discussions of legal, tribal, and disadvantaged community issues specific to integrated water management. We also included more networking opportunities. This year was a huge success judging by the attendance (approximately 140); we are still compiling the evaluations. Working with the State Bar of California, Environmental Law Section, we were able to offer free continuing education credits for lawyers and provide a networking reception after the first day of the Summit. As part of our continued work with the Inyo-Mono IRWM group, we offered a full day of speakers, workshops, and discussions focused on both Native American tribes and disadvantaged communities, highlighted by a water ceremony shared by the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California on the shore of Lake Tahoe Thursday morning.

The Alliance has a long history of working with Integrated Regional Water Management (IRWM) groups in the Sierra. IRWMs are regional, collective efforts to more holistically address water-related issues and projects. We help IRWM groups to build capacity, engage diverse stakeholders, plan events, share knowledge, advocate for policy and resources at the state level, and provide climate change knowledge. The Alliance has supported SWWG since its inception and we look forward to continuing our support of the SWWG, the Inyo-Mono IRWM Program, and all of the Sierra IRWM programs in the coming years.

2013 Sierra Water Work Group

Thank You, Alex Riemondy

The Regional Climate Change Program could not be successful in our work without our talented and dedicated interns. Alex has been with us in January 2013 and for the past six months has compiled and published this newsletter each month, updated our Land Use tracker for Sierra Nevada counties, researched and compiled model policy language for county General Plans, and helped plan and organize Program events and trainings. Alex is headed to graduate school at Florida State University to pursue land use and transportation planning. We thank Alex, wish her well in the flatlands of Florida, and hope for her speedy return to the Sierra.

Primary CEQA Bill a Mixed Bag

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

We’ve just past the deadline in the statehouse for bills generated on one side of the building to be passed on to the other (e.g. Assembly bills go to the Senate and vice versa). At this point, barring last minute “gut and amend” bills, we know pretty much where we stand on protection of California’s oh-so-important Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). It appears that we stand on pretty solid ground, with one bill now the main focus of discussion in Sacramento and across the State—SB 731, authored by the Senate’s leading Democrat, Darryl Steinberg.

Ever since Senator Marco Rubio—who was to lead the charge against CEQA’s environmental protections— resigned from the Senate to take a job with Chevron, insiders have assumed that Steinberg’s bill would be the heavyweight in the remaining field of contenders. They were right: SB 371 passed through the Senate on a unanimous vote (bipartisanship is not, evidently, dead) and thus has considerable momentum in the Assembly.

So, what does the Steinberg bill do? It would eliminate analysis of aesthetics in many developments, which has been controversial for many local organizations. In my opinion, this is rarely the biggest issue in a development, and thus an OK concession to make. It would direct that thresholds of significance be published for certain impacts, such as noise, parking, and transportation, primarily in infill development areas. This could help some infill and transit-oriented projects to get faster approvals—arguably a good thing. There are a variety of provisions to smooth the administrative process for CEQA documents, such as requiring that a record of the proceedings (i.e. what people sue on) be prepared simultaneous with the proceeding if a project applicant chooses to. This should allows lawsuits to be decided more quickly—neither good nor bad. The bill would establish a position in the Governor’s office to assist the approval of renewable energy projects—good for the climate, perhaps bad for desert tortoise and other sensitive species. The last provision of the bill that I will mention would require that projects with mitigation and monitoring plans (i.e. most large projects) submit an annual report on compliance with their mitigation measures, and that such reports must be available online. This could be a significant advancement for CEQA, as currently it is often difficult to establish whether mitigation commitment have in fact been complied with.

So, as expected, a mixed bag. There will likely be some further amendments in the Assembly, and then the Governor should sign it. As I mentioned above, we will still need to be vigilant regarding the possibility of an August surprise, when an unrelated bill could be gutted and CEQA “reform” language substituted at the last minute. Also, we should be turning our attention to the good CEQA bills—such as those by Senator Evans—which didn’t quite make it this year but have been turned into two-year bills.

As a reminder, you can go to to see the latest on CEQA in Sacramento as well as to peruse some of the great things this fundamental law has done for the Golden State.


South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) River Ambassador Kickoff Party

June 22nd is the River Ambassadors first day on the River, and we will be celebrating the program’s kick-off with fun and games for the whole family. Come play fish pong, paint river flags, guess Yuba River trivia and visit with SYRCL’s mascot Flo. Come down to the river anytime between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm and share in the fun of building community while caring for the River.

Date: June 22nd
Place: Nevada City, Highway 49 Crossing (old bridge), Anytime between 10am and 5pm
More Information: Contact Andrew Collins-Anderson SYRCL’s AmeriCorps Stewardship Coordinator - or (530) 265-5961 ext. 209

Raft the Mokelumne with Foothill Conservancy

Celebrate the Wild and Scenic River-eligible Mokelumne by rafting the river! See the section that would have been flooded if the Foothill Conservancy and partners had not stopped the expansion of Pardee Reservoir. On Sunday, June 23, O.A.R.S. will be running raft trips down the Electra-Middle Bar run of the Mokelumne River for the benefit of the Foothill Conservancy and our efforts to preserve and protect the river. Due to high demand for this trip, we have just added an 8 am trip. Reserve your seats today! The cost for the trips is $70 per person.

Date: Sunday, June 23, Trips at 8am, Noon, and 4pm
More Information: Contact Randy at the Foothill Conservancy office from 9 am - Noon, at 209-295-4900 or by e-mail . Be sure to provide your daytime phone number, e-mail address, number in your party, and preferred time of trip -- 8:00 am, 12:00 pm or 4:00 pm. The noon and 4 trips are nearly full. They will get back to you with confirmation and details.

Sierra Nevada Alliance 20th Anniversary & Conference

Only a short time left for Early Bird prices! Register by June 30th and save up to 37% off Pre Registration prices and up to 50% off Walk In prices! Come celebrate 20 years of accomplishments protecting and restoring the Sierra Nevada. Reflect on our Sierra heroes, stories and lessons learned, building on our past to guide future actions. Engage generations of leaders to discuss diverse and creative actions we can take today and tomorrow to save our beloved Sierra.

Date: September 13-15, 2013
Place: South Lake Tahoe, CA
More Information: Click here to register or email Lynn

Comic of the Month

Newsletter contents prepared by Anna Olsen.
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

Public input sought on removal of Incline Lake dam
Sacramento Bee, Barbara Barte Osborn 06.16.2013

Sierra Link: Comments are being accepted for the removal of the dam at Incline Lake. The removal hopes to restore the groundwater dependant ecosystem to a system of ponds, fens and marshes.

Supreme Court agrees to hear Sierra Nevada forest case
Star-Telegraph, Michael Doyle 06.10.2013

Sierra Link: The outcome of the Supreme Court case, scheduled to be heard during the 2013 term starting in October, can affect the detail of Forest Service management plans, like those governing the 11 Sierra Nevada forests.

State News

California Senate unanimously backs changes to CEQA
Sacramento Bee, Amy Gerbert 05.29.2013

Sierra Link: Senate Bill 731 recently passed without opposition. Among the bill's many provisions, unsubstantiated opinion would no longer be allowed as new evidence in court and project aesthetics would not be be taken into consideration as a part of CEQA review.The bill also seeks to speed up legal challenges and standardize state thresholds for environmental impacts.

Climate change threatens California's stock of native fish
Public Radio International, Steve Curwood 06.12.2013

Sierra Link: Cool water native fishes and amphibians are the ones most vulnerable to the predicted 4-6 degree increasing stream temperatures, which will cause a decline, but this will cause an increase in non-natives like catfish, bass, and carp.

National News

Ski industry demands action on climate change, Robert Kropp 06.07.2013

Sierra Link: Warming winter temperatures and shorter ski season will not only affect the ski industry and the tourism dollars it brings, but also can lead to further decreased snowpack leading to less water to support drinking and agriculture.

Climate change mission shifting focus from prevention to adaptation, Associated Press 06.15.2013

Sierra Link: After years of losing the fight against rising global emissions of heat-trapping gases, governments around the world are emphasizing "managing the unavoidable" and moving towards adapting to changes that are already starting to occur.

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.