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In This Issue

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

Alliance Updates

The Alliance's 20th Annual Conference: A Resounding Success!

McKibben Delivers Inspirational Keynote Speech Click here to learn more.

Conference Proceedings

We are pleased to announce that our 20th Annual Conference was a great success. Many of our member groups were able to attend and share their stories of success in protecting and restoring the Sierra Nevada. The panels ranging from local economics, to the latest climate science, to National Forest planning inspired great discussions and acted as great networking opportunities. We would like to extend a big thank you to our member groups. Without your kind support, none of this would be possible.

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Bill McKibben demanding that we draw the line in the sand against Keystone XL and climate change

  • John Muir Laws delivering a very moving speech and leading a crowd of hundreds of people in doing the "Pika Cheer"

  • The Sunset Dinner Cruise on the Tahoe Queen topping off an amazing conference


Captain Planet Foundation: The Captain Planet Foundation Offers Grants for Hands-On Environmental Education Acitivities

The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to promote and support high-quality educational programs that enable children and youth to understand and appreciate our world through hands-on learning experiences that engage them in efforts to improve the environment in their schools and communities. Grants are intended to serve as a means of bringing environment-based education to schools, and to inspire youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities . The foundation will fund projects that do not precisely match the grant guidelines but otherwise promote the foundation's mission of hands-on environmental activities. The foundation makes grants to schools and nonprofit environmental and educational organizations in the United States with annual operating budgets of less than $3 million. Preference will be given to requests seeking seed funding of $500 or less and to applicants who have secured at least 50 percent matching or in-kind funding for their projects. (Projects with matching funds or in-kind support are given priority because external funding is a good indicator of the potential for long-term sustainability of the activities.) The foundation will on occasion consider grants of up to $2,500. For spring and summer 2014 projects, applications must be received no later than September 30, 2013. For fall and winter 2014 projects, the deadline is January 31, 2014. Visit the CPF Web site for complete program guidelines and the application form.

Click here for more information and application.

SeaWorld and Busch Gardens Conservation Fund Accepting Applications for Wildlife, Habitat Conservation Projects

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, a nonprofit organization created by Anheuser-Busch Adventure Parks, supports wildlife research, habitat protection, animal rescue, and conservation education in the United States and around the world. Since its inception in 2003, the fund has awarded more than $8 million in total support, including animal crisis grants to fund rapid response efforts when animals or their habitats are in peril due to either natural or human-caused events and catastrophes.

Click here for more information.


Resource: How to Advocate With Confidence in 2013

Description: Join Alliance for Justice for a eleven-week online seminar designed for attorneys, accountants and other professionals who represent tax-exempt organizations engaged in lobbying and election-related advocacy. This series will begin on September 11, 2013 and will run through November 20. Each weekly online seminar on tax, lobbying and election law will cover the elements of representing nonprofit organizations that lobby for legislation, support or oppose ballot measures, or become involved in candidate elections, as well as the rules of foundation support for advocacy. Register below for all eleven workshops at the discounted price of $195.

Participants will learn the answers to such questions as:

  • How much lobbying can charities do?

  • How can foundations support public policy?

  • What are the rules governing nonprofit coalitions?

  • What are the common pitfalls of reporting lobbying to the IRS (Form 990)?

  • What are the benefits of opening a 501(c)(4)?

Click here for more information

Position Opening: Outreach, Development and SNAP Program Associate, Sierra Nevada Alliance

Job Description:

The Sierra Nevada Alliance works to protect and restore Sierra Lands Water Wildlife and rural communities. The Alliance’s Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) leads a program placing over 25 AmeriCorps members with conservation partners to conduct watershed restoration, monitoring and education. The Outreach, Development and SNAP Program Associate (The Associate) supports the Development & Communications Program and SNAP Program. The Associate is dedicated half-time to co-organize trainings, handle AmeriCorps basic administration, help coordinate the overall SNAP program, and assist in the recruitment and selection process for SNAP members. The Associate also works the other half of their time to help the Alliance’s outreach and development goals through a multitude of projects such as: individual donor cultivation, issuing direct mail and e-appeals, recruiting event sponsorships, leading member group renewals, and other event fundraising. The Associate is involved in donor database management, creating and distributing appeals and supporting materials and doing data analysis and information management. The Associate will report directly to the Development & Communications Director and SNAP Director.
Click here for more information

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Position Opening: Environment Compliance Inspector I/II, El Dorado Irrigation District

Description: Under supervision performs water quality sampling and testing; conducts inspections and testing of backflow prevention assemblies; conducts inspections to ensure regulatory compliance of recycled water systems; and issues Waste Discharge Permits and performs inspections of industrial and commercial wastewater services.
Click here for more information

Location: Placerville, CA

Position Opening: Supervisory Forestry Technician (Fire), USFS

Description: The position serves in a key fire management role as a Wildland Fire Operations Specialist. The primary purpose of this position is to provide operational oversight and planning of wildland fire suppression activities, and specialized expertise in an assigned area.
Click here for more information

Location: Multiple Locations, 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."

Farmers more worried about policies than the effects of climate change, new study claims

September 30th, 2013
By Danny Lapin
Regional Climate Change Intern, Sierra Nevada Alliance

A new study from the University of California Davis states that California farmers feel more threatened by climate policy than by climate change itself. Published in the journal Global Environmental Change, the study claims that farmers are more worried about government regulation as opposed to drought or water shortages.

A series of surveys were distributed throughout Yolo County to several farmers and ranchers to gather a sense of how climate policy was viewed amongst this key stakeholder group. In Yolo County, 54 percent of farmers believed that climate change while 35 percent out of that 54 percent acknowledged that humans played a role in climate change.

Farmers expressed distrust over new policies that required them to alter their practices stating that such policies would alter traditional practices that have been carried on for generations. Farmers viewed climate change as a far off threat that lacked the precedent to compete with day to day concerns.

Despite the negative initial findings of the study, 48 percent of the farmers said that they would participate in an incentive based program to implement climate conscious practices on their property. Supporting this finding was the fact that many farmers felt that they were able to trust policies that have been around for long enough and have demonstrated tangible benefits.

This study indicates a few key things for advocates and activists in and around the Sierra. First, there is a gap in the communication of climate policy and climate change to farmers and ranchers. Strong climate policy is developed through a series of short term goals leading up to a long term reduction in climate-related risk. Second, the messaging around climate change needs to be less centered on threats and the traditional doom-and-gloom paradigm but rather be centered on how business can be retooled to be successful in a changing climate.

Farmers and ranchers represent a key demographic in both the Central Valley and the Sierra and this study shows that climate messaging targeting this sector needs to be stepped up.


TERC monthly lecture: Just Downstream: Water Culture & Water Governance at Pyramid Lake

By Dr. Kate Berry, Professor of Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno. Water is significant in shaping the social dynamics of communities, most especially in arid lands. Yet communities within the same watershed often have different interests, aesthetics, geographies and histories, many of which may connect back to the role of water. This is true along the Truckee River, whose 100+ mile course connects Lake Tahoe with Pyramid Lake. This presentation provides insight into the roles that water has for the Pyramid Lake Paiute Reservation, considering how it has shaped the tribe’s water culture and water governance. This is part of the Tahoe Environmental Research Center's monthly lecture series.

Date: November 14, 2013 5:30 PM
Place: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, Room 139 & 141 291 Country Club Dr., Incline Village
More Information: Click Here

Second North Lahontan Regional Forum on Water Management and Planning

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR), in cooperation with local entities and organizations, is holding a Regional Forum to gather and share information relating to the California Water Plan and statewide and local Integrated Water Management. The Forum will also evaluate DWR’s regional approach, asking for feedback on ways to improve outreach.

Why Participate?

  • The Forum agenda will provide an overview of the Public Review Draft for Update 2013 of the Water Plan. Information will focus on new and revised content, with details on how to submit comments on the document.

  • Extra time will be spent discussing the North Lahontan regional report, which describes regional water conditions and the water management planning context.

  • Discuss regional funding challenges, opportunities and lessons learned. Information and conversation will consider grant programs and match requirements.

  • Hear updates on related programs: USFS – Forest Plan Revisions and Watershed Management Program (invited), Flood Future Report, and IRWM strategic plan.

  • Influence DWR’s future outreach efforts.

  • Representatives of water agencies and regional groups; local, state, Tribal and federal government; watershed and community groups; conservancies; and the public are welcome and needed for successful dialog.

Date: October 10
Location:South Lake Tahoe
More Information: Click here to register

Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch Film Festival

Chatom Winery, Murphys EPFW is hosting several evenings of films this year.

Enjoy environmental films with your neighbors.

September 28, Chatom Winery, Murphys

November 9, Columbia College, Columbia

Date: November 28th, 2013
Place: Columbia, CA
More Information: Click here for more information

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

Water Agencies Sound Alarm Over PG&E Move
Sacramento Bee, Ed Fletcher 09.19.2013

Sierra Link: Maintaining public-private partnerships is key for Sierra water managers to effectively manage their water resources. The proposed move by PG&E to potentially sell off some its water infrastructure has Placer County water managers concerned.

Rim Fire's Effects Likely to Last for Decades to Come
Los Angeles Times, Bettina Boxall 09.23.2013

Sierra Link: The Rim Fire was a massive focusing event for people Sierra-wide to become aware of the importance of proper forest management practices. With the fire pretty much over, it's time to ask the question will forest management reigmes change or will there be more of the same?

State News

Report: New Center to Prepare National Transportation for Extreme Weather, Climate Change
UC Davis News and Information 09.24.2013

Sierra Link: This article raises hope for the continued increase of partnerships between academic and public institutions to develop implementable policies to help address climate change.

Water, Water, Everywhere--But Not A Drop to Drink
Los Angeles Magazine, Wade Graham 09.17.2013

Sierra Link: This article provides a basic overview of the current state of California's water supply. With the Sierra Nevada providing over 60% of California's water, it is more important than ever to understand the vulnerabilities of our water supply systems.

National News

A Slow-Motion Disaster: One Community's Fight to Protect Itself from Climate Change
Think Progress, Kiley Kroh 09.25.2013

Sierra Link: The lack of proper climate change mitigation policies have forced this Virginia City to take drastic adaptation measures to protect itself from climate change. While Sierra communities are not as affected by climate change as Norfolk, the time is now to start thinking about climate change mitigation strategies.

Author Warns About Climate Change at Lake Tahoe Conference
Associated Press 09.14.2013

Sierra Link: World renowned author and climate activist Bill McKibben delivered a resounding message that it is our mission as environmental advocates to actively increase awareness of the effects of climate change throughout the Sierra.

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.