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In This Issue

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

Alliance Updates

Register for the Alliance's 20th Anniversary Conference!

Pre-register and save $20 to $30 off the walk-in rate! 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.

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.


Resource: How to Get Things Done in Small Towns

Description: This guide by Elissa Chandler provides a detailed account on how to mobilize change in small towns and advocate for sound planning policies from the "bottom up." The link provided below grants users the opportunities to participate in a knowledge exchange where they can share lessons learned, comments, questions or concerns.
Click here for more information

Position Opening: City of Oakland, Park Services Manager

Description: The City of Oakland is currently recruiting to fill a Park Services Manager vacancy in the Parks and Tree Division of the Public Works Agency. The incumbent, under administrative direction, uses operational decision making in the direction and coordination of work in a division; plans, organizes, manages and directs the review and implementation of the City’s landscape assets including medians, grounds at City facilities, park and tree maintenance activities; and performs related duties as assigned.
Click here for more information

Location: Oakland, CA

Position Opening: Assistant Water Resource Planner, Alameda County (Zone 7 Water Agency)

Description: Under supervision, performs routine to difficult planning studies and projects, and monitors planning efforts and policy issues by other agencies; performs other related duties as required. Assistant Water Resources Planner, Zone 7, is the journey level class in the professional planning classification series. Incumbents perform routine to difficult planning work and are expected to exercise professional judgment within established parameters. Incumbents may be assigned to work with a small group of planners and technicians engaged in planning work, or in a specialized function. While some of the duties of this class may overlap with some of the tasks performed by civil engineers engaged in Zone 7's planning effort, engineers are typically more involved in the technical details of project and alternative development, impact assessment, and comparison of alternatives, such as hydraulic network analysis, determination of system capacity, sizing and citing of facilities, and feasibility studies. This class is distinguished from the next higher one of Associate Water Resources Planner, Zone 7, in that the latter is the advanced-journey level of the classification series and will be assigned lead responsibilities.
Click here for more information

Location: Livermore, CA

Position Opening: Sustainability Generalist, New Belgium Brewing Company

Description: The Sustainability Generalist supports the work of the Sustainability Team by answering inquiries from customers, collecting and maintaining metrics and data, and acting as an internal resource for coworkers who are trying to improve sustainability in their area. This ¾-time position shares responsibilities with a ¾-time Sustainability Specialist. Together, the job share team ensures all responsibilities are properly managed throughout the year. The opportunity to incorporate an additional ¼-time job at New Belgium does not exist within this role. The candidate will need to satisfy the skill requirements not only for the position itself, but also those for a viable job share partner.
Click here for more information

Location: Fort Collins, CO

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."

SB 731—Last CEQA Bill Standing

August 14, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance

After all the discussion of reforming the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) this year, there’s only one bill left with a month to go in this year’s legislative session. At this point, Senate Bill 731 would make only modest changes to CEQA, marking a victory for the conservation community and for communities across California. However, the Governor’s office, through the State Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has proposed amendments to SB 731 that would fundamentally compromise CEQA, undermining the environmental protections and good governance principles that have protected California and Californians for over four decades now.

Governor Brown signaled early this year that he was siding with developers and polluters in the CEQA fight, to his discredit. Luckily, a majority of our State Legislature didn’t agree with the Governor, resulting in bills like SB 731’s taking a very moderate course towards reform. However, it is difficult to know what actions the Governor and his representatives are taking behind the scenes in Sacramento as the deadline for this year’s legislation approaches.

If accepted, OPR’s proposed amendments to SB 731 would:
• Allow CEQA exemptions for certain residential projects, relying on environmental documents from as long back as 1980. Such documents are clearly out of date, and relying on them would allow many developers to seriously damage natural resources and existing communities with little oversight.
• Allow cities to set their own “environmental standards” which, if adhered to, would allow development projects to bypass much of the investigation and public comment currently required by CEQA. Clearly, some cities would abuse this provision, and environmental protection in California would suffer greatly.
• Limit or eliminate various public notice currently in the law, cutting citizens out of the very discussion that will so affect their lives.

There’s more, but that should give a sense of how devastating OPR’s proposed amendments could be. The environmental community is rallying, opposing the OPR amendments in the legislature and in a letter to the Governor, signed by numerous environmental, labor, and community organizations, including the Alliance. If you’re a member of a conservation organization, consider contacting the Planning and Conservation League ( to sign your group onto the letter. As an individual, please consider writing a letter of your own to the Governor’s office opposing the OPR amendments to SB 731.

As always, you can follow the fun at or contact us at the Alliance for how you might get involved.

Welcome Danny Lapin

The Regional Climate Change Program could not be successful in our work without our talented and dedicated interns. Danny is the Alliance’s new Regional Climate Change Intern. Danny grew up exploring the Eastern Sierra and fell in love with the beautiful lakes and rivers in the region. That passion led to a B.S. in Environmental Sciences with the University of California at Riverside and the pursuit of an M.S. in Environmental Policy at Bard College in New York. He has worked with the Regional Water Quality Control Board and is focusing his research on studying and implementing resilient water planning policies for the Sierra Nevada Region. He has been involved in several projects involving water supply management, promoting efficient and sustainable irrigation practices in the global south, designing green infrastructure projects, and Sierra snowpack issues. Danny is excited to use his background in water and climate policy at the Alliance. When he’s not working, Danny can most likely be found running, cooking for people, or dancing Argentine Tango.


Eastern Sierra Land Trust Lands & Legacy Celebration Dinner

ESLT's Lands & Legacy is an annual event to celebrate the work we do to preserve vital lands. Hosted by Rusty Gregory and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, this annual fundraiser includes a walking tour on one of our conservation projects, followed by our celebration dinner and silent auction. ESLT is thrilled to announce that our keynote speaker will be Rand Wentworth, President of the national Land Trust Alliance.
In addition to our events on Saturday, there will also be an optional Friday evening reception and classical concert at the Mammoth Lakes Music Festival, featuring the Felici Piano Trio and other noted musicians. Guests must reserve separately for this event.

Date: August 3rd
Place: Mountainside Conference Center - Mammoth Mountain
More Information: Click Here

League to Save Lake Tahoe “Eyes on the Lake Training Session”

Eyes on the Lake is a new volunteer effort focused on stopping aquatic invasive plants in their tracks. If you are a water lover at Tahoe (swimmer, boater, paddler, fisherman, or casual beachgoer) then we need your help.
As a participant in Eyes on the Lake you will learn how to:

  • Identify aquatic invasive plants threatening Tahoe,
  • Conduct simple surveys for these plants while you are out enjoying Tahoe’s waters,
  • Report what you find AND
  • Help the Lake Tahoe Aquatic Invasive Species Program halt the spread of these invasives before they destroy Lake Tahoe’s pristine waters.

Date: North Lkae: July 29, South Lake:July 30
More Information: Click here to register

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 Danny Lapin.
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

Clarity, climate change at forefront of Lake Tahoe research by UC Davis
Sacramento Bee, Janelle Bitker 08.12.2013

Sierra Link: Lake Tahoe is the lynchpin of our local economy thus it is of the utmost importance to not only understand the effects of climate change on the lake but to help create an effective monitoring regime to address these effects.

Heavenly Mountain Resort applies for expansion of its summer mountain activities
San Francisco Examiner, Jefferey Weidel 07.20.2013

Sierra Link: Heavenly's proposed plan for summer activities designed to "educate through play" represents a crucial balancing act between tourism and land preservation. Increased tourism rates create increased environmental awareness but at the same time raises concerns regarding environmental degradation.

State News

Report: Climate change is impacting California's water, forests animals
Washington Post, Associated Press 08.07.2013

Sierra Link: This article provides a strong overview of the effects of climate change being felt all over the state and the threats that they pose with water issues in the Sierra taking center stage.

The Pollutants' Spread: Central Valley Fungicides Are Found in Sierra Nevada Frogs
Coachella Valley Independent, Sarah Keller 08.09.2013

Sierra Link: This article highlights the ability of pollutants to be transported through watersheds and bioaccumulate in certain species in the Sierra.

National News

How Two Reservoirs have become Billboards for what Climate Change is Doing to the American West
Think Progress, Tom Kenworthy 08.12.2013

Sierra Link: The situation in the Colorado River Basins regarding water planning provides planners in the Sierra a very strong reminder of the importance of long term water management planning.

Fracking Vs. The Drought: They call It Texas Tea, But You Can't Drink Oil
Joe Romm,Think Progress 08.12.2013

Sierra Link: while this article focuses primarily on Texas, fracking is being considered in California as and poses a multitude of environmental hazards that must be seriously considered by policy makers.

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.