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November 19, 2014

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Yosemite Sustainability Conference

Yosemite Gateway Partners is hosting the first Yosemite Sustainability Conference in Yosemite National Park on December 8 through December 10, 2014. The conference is a three-day learning and networking forum dedicated to helping local and state businesses, government agencies, and non-profit organizations transition to economic, environmental, and social sustainability through best practices.

The New Gold Rush

Held April 20-21, 2015 in Sacramento, California. The Sierra Fund’s bi-annual conference, hosted at the heart of the glitter and devastation of what was California’s original Gold Rush, is the state’s primary venue for collaboration and action around addressing the ongoing effects of historic mining.

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Over 75 local agencies need your help - Volunteer!

Everyone is invited to share their time and talents with Nevada County non-profits, public agencies, and schools. Over 75 local agencies need your help. View more volunteer opportunities here or call (530) 271-0255.


The U.S. Forest Service announces the 2015 continuation of the Community Capacity and Land Stewardship grant program.

In partnership with the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Region, the National Forest Foundation is pleased to announce the 2015 continuation of the Community Capacity and Land Stewardship grant program benefitting the National Forests of California. This program supports collaboratives and community-based groups remove barriers to watershed- and landscape-scale restoration. This year the program will feature two distinct funding tracks based on organizational capacity, and the grant terms are extended to 18 months. Proposals are due on or before December 16th, 2014 and must be received hard-copy. Please review program guidelines and application details on our website.

University of California Santa Barbara, The Bren School announces Group Project RFPs

The Bren School invites any agency, company, organization, or individual that has an environmental problem to submit a proposal for a Group Project. This is a valuable opportunity to have a group of talented master's students tackle the problem and make recommendations to address it. It is also an excellent opportunity to establish a working relationship with the Bren School.


Green Your Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to indulge in delicious meals and visit family and friends to tell them how thankful you are to have them in your life. Indulgence, travel, and shopping all impact our environment and health. Here are a few ideas to minimize that impact without giving up those things you are so thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving!

1. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Paper or plastic? Neither! While shopping for the big meal, don’t forget to bring your reusable grocery bags to reduce the impacts of both manufacturing and waste.

Reduce your food waste. You may have heard that 40% of food grown in the U.S. is wasted. That means wasted water, fuel, land, calories, and labor. The easiest way to reduce your food waste is to make the appropriate amount. Tradition tempts us to make a huge feast with plenty of leftovers. Do you really need that twenty-pound turkey and three types of pies? How many leftovers did you end up throwing away last year? Focus on the foods that do not last as leftovers very long – salads, fried foods, appetizers, and whipped cream. Food that lasts longer is more appropriate for leftovers – turkey, veggies, and soup. Get creative and use leftovers as an excuse to try some new cuisine. Here are some ideas or use an internet search for “leftover Thanksgiving recipes.” Use fresh instead of canned and packaged ingredients. Commercial canning of vegetables uses 3 billion kWh of energy per year — enough to run 8,571,428 refrigerators for an entire year. Using fresh and bulk ingredients to make your Thanksgiving feast is healthier, better tasting, more rewarding; and reduces the preservatives, energy, and waste associated with machinery and packaging.

2. Choose Organic and Local

We are thankful for a lot of things at Thanksgiving. A healthy world, healthy life, and healthy economy can all be pursued by choosing to spend a little extra and make the extra effort to purchase local, seasonal, and organic food.

Organic matters. Organic produce is grown without pesticides or synthetic fertilizers, and organic turkeys are raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic foods create a healthier earth – fewer pesticides and chemicals seeping into the soil and running off into waterways supports healthier soil and more stable ecosystems. To find out what is in season where you live, try this site or this site.

The policy of the Resource is to include articles that appear in local or major media outlets relevant to Sierra conservation. We also include news releases, event notices, funding opportunities and job announcements sent to us from our Member Groups and friends. If you as a reader disagree with the content of a submission we encourage you to submit a letter to the editor of the issuing publication to reach the broader audience who read the article. You are welcome to forward your letter to the editor to the Alliance for inclusion in our new "Letters to the Resource" section. We also invite Letters to the Resource to be directly submitted on any article with which you're concerned.

Newsletter contents prepared by Kelly Miller.
If you have articles, events or announcements that you would like included in this newsletter or if you have feedback, please email

Recent News

Climate Change

Keystone XL pipeline debate: What do I need to know?
CNN, Jeremy Diamond, 11/19/14

Sierra Link: Bill McKibben, who spoke at the Alliance’s 20th Anniversary conference, often describes the pipeline as “game over for the planet” - if the pipeline is approved, it will affect all of us and diminish the work we have all done to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.


Logging rules timely and just
HeraldNet, 11/16/14

Sierra Link: The Department of Natural Resources is now requiring more geotechnical information when planning timber harvests after the deadly landslides in Washington. With drought conditions, increased fire scars and timber harvests in the Sierra -- Washington is setting a good example for requirements of timber land.


Epic Discovery summer plans receive green light
VailDaily, Melanie Wong, 10/20/14

Sierra Link: The USFS is setting a precedent at Vail Resorts in Vail, Colorado giving the go ahead for summer adventure plans. The plans include ziplines, alpine coasters and trails. With Vail Resorts owning quite a few resorts in the Sierra, what could this approval in Colorado mean for what’s to come in the Sierra?


California water bond wins passage
The Sacramento Bee, Jeremy White, 11/4/14

Sierra Link: The passed water bond could mean construction of some controversial projects but it may also mean money to fund environmental restoration and projects in the Sierra, too.

Innovators Are Chasing a Cheaper Future for Desalination
Next City, Sarah Goodyear, 11/12/14

Sierra Link: Southern California is looking for solutions to the ever-growing water problem in California. This may mean less dependence on Sierra waters but what does it mean for our oceans?

Why natural conservation methods matter for the future of urban water supplies
Mother Nature Network, Matt Hickman, 11/18/14

Sierra Link: The Nature Conservancy’s most recent tool, Urban Water Blueprint, makes it easier for cities throughout the Nation and California to understand how protecting watersheds in key areas (ie the Sierra) can improve water quality in their respective cities.


Endangered species: Food and fuel pursuit pushing animals to extinction — especially fish
The Independent, Zachary Davies Boren, 11/17/14

Sierra Link: The IUCN’s 50th annual Red List has been published and the findings are not good. With the decline of species increasing worldwide, our Sierra microcosm is definitely going to be affected.

Other Articles

Growth-control measures rejected in El Dorado County
The Sacramento Bee, Peter Hecht, 11/5/14

Sierra Link: Measures M, N, and O were defeated on election night. Could this mean more sprawl and development in Sierra?

John Muir's legacy questioned as centennial of his death nears
LA Times, Louis Sahagun, 11/13/14

Sierra Link: There are so many great conservation movements and organizations that John Muir started or inspired, especially in the Sierra. As the 100th year after his death nears, this article brings up an interesting perspective on Muir’s legacy.

Placer Land Trust's Assistant Director Receives "40 Under 40" Award
YubaNet, Placer Land Trust, 11/18/14

Sierra Link: Jessica Daugherty, Assistant Director of the Placer Land Trust, is being recognized as one of the top young conservation professionals in California.

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.