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In This Issue

  Events  |  Campaign Updates  |  Resources   |  Funding  |  Comic of the Month  |  Recent NewsNovember 2012      

Alliance Updates

Welcome to Anna and Gail!

The Alliance is pleased to introduce two new members of our team. Anna Olsen is the new Regional Climate Change Program Intern. Anna graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo and has been working in Big Sky, Montana for the last seven years. Besides compiling this newsletter, Anna will be leading the Ski Area Scorecard as well as working on a number of research projects. She is currently working towards her Masters in Sustainability and Environmental Management and will be with us until January, when she leaves to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. We could not do the work we do without amazing intern volunteers like Anna!

Gail Allen is our new Finance and Administrative Director. Gail will be responsible for working with the Executive Director to lead the organization’s financial systems and administration. She has been an accounting and administrative consultant since 1986, helping small businesses with over 20 years experience as an accountant and bookkeeper. Gail has been a resident of the Sierra Nevada region for the past 24 years and looks forward to supporting the Alliance’s mission of protecting the environmental integrity of the region.

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is seeking a Weekly Intern or Volunteer

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is seeking a volunteer or intern to lead The Weekly project. The Sierra Nevada Alliance Weekly is an electronic compilation of news articles, resources, events and tidbits regarding conservation and sustainability issues happening in, or relevant to, the Sierra and sent through a digital marketing service via email every Wednesday to subscribers. We are looking for a volunteer or intern to work 5-10 hours per week remotely after a one-day training and orientation here at the Alliance office in South Lake Tahoe. Start date preference is as soon as possible with a one year commitment. Hours are flexible; with deadline of review on Tuesdays and distribution on Wednesday mornings.

Click here for more details

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Seeking Applications for Host Sites for the 2012/2013 program

The Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP), a program of the Sierra Nevada Alliance, invites Sierra Nevada conservation organizations and agencies to apply to become a Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Host Site. SNAP Host Sites receive full-time AmeriCorps member(s) to serve 11 months at the organization/agency from November 5, 2012 – October 4, 2013, conducting watershed restoration and assessment, watershed education projects, and volunteer recruitment and support. For more information about hosting SNAP Members at your organization, please click here


Green Home Tour/Fundraiser

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is hosting a fundraiser and tour of green homes in South Lake Tahoe, conducted by local green builders and featuring alternative energy solutions for residential structures. Learn how to lower your energy bills $100s/year through a number of simple measures!

Time: 9:30am – 3:30pm
Date: Saturday, November 17
Place: Alliance Parking Lot (map)
Price: $35 with lunch, $25 without
RSVP: Call Scott Terrell at (530) 386-5678 for more information or click here to buy tickets!

Water for Seven Generations: Will California Prepare For It?

The AquAlliance is hosting its 2012 Water Conference. The conference is tailored to reach policy makers, activists, academics, and agencies by providing valuable historical, scientific, legal, political, and visionary information regarding current and planned threats to the Sacramento River and the Delta’s ecosystems, aquatic and terrestrial species, economies, and communities.

Registration: click here to go to the registration page
Date: Thursday, November 29th and Friday, November 30th
Place: Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Chico, CA
click here to learn more

Smart Growth America now accepting applications for 2012 free technical assistance workshops

Smart Growth America is pleased to announce that we are now accepting applications for our 2012-2013 round of free technical assistance workshops. Communities interested in learning about smart growth strategies are welcome and encouraged to submit an application for one of our 12 technical assistance tools.

Click here to read more., "Do the Math Tour"

From Bill McKibben

The strange warmth of the North Atlantic has something to do with so-called acts of nature, but it also has a great deal to do with acts of humanity. It has to do with the single-minded profit-seeking of the fossil-fuel industry. It has to do with ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions, primarily by the nations that are best equipped to deal with the consequences we’re feeling right now, and not by island nations like Haiti with the most to lose. The goal is to jump-start the kind of movement that Bill McKibben discussed in the article he wrote for Rolling Stone about the scary new math of climate change. They bring together musicians, artists and voices from across the movement to work together on directly confronting the financial and political might of the fossil fuel industry. Together we’ll mount an unprecedented campaign to cut off the industry’s financial and political support by divesting our schools, churches and government from fossil fuels.

Click here to learn more.

Or to read Bill McKibben's article, Cut the power of fossil fuel, regarding what needs to be done to cut our carbon emissions and reduce the perks for the fossil fuel industry,
Click here .


Hewlett Foundation Environmental Grants

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation is offering grants through its Environment Program, which aims to conserve the Western United States for wildlife and people, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and ensure that the energy supply is clean and consumption is efficient. The program invests in a range of efforts to help build broad-based support for conservation and ensure that Western ecosystems and species thrive. Key strategies include: protecting large open spaces; restoring river flows and conserving areas near rivers and streams; reducing fossil fuel development and increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy sources; and building broad-based support for land, water, and energy goals among key stakeholders. Eligible entities: nonprofit organizations. Deadline: ongoing. Past awards have ranged from $20k up to $5m. No information is provided regarding total available funding, and matching funds do not appear to be required.

Click here for more information.

Rose Foundation

A great friend of the Alliance, the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment has a variety of funds dedicated to different purposes, including Grassroots Funds that award small grants to small organizations; Watershed Protection Funds that focus on specific watersheds; and several other Funds including place-based funds in Madera and Kern Counties. You can also sign-up if you would like to receive notification of any grants that may become available through various Rose Foundation's Funds.

Click here for more information.

Loans for Energy Efficiency and Energy Generation Projects

The California Energy Commission is providing loans with a low interest rate of 3 percent that can help local jurisdictions invest in energy efficiency, save money, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and build new jobs and industries for their communities. Projects with proven energy and/or capacity savings are generally eligible. Loans may have a term of up to 15 years. Eligible entities: cities, counties, special districts, public schools and colleges, public care institutions, and public hospitals. Deadline: none given. Loan applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The maximum loan amount is $3m; there is no minimum. $3.6m is available.

Click here for more information.

Hazardous Wood Roof Replacement Grant Opportunity

Lake Valley Fire Protection District is pleased to announce, in cooperation with the California Emergency Management Agency (Cal EMA) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a Hazardous Wood Roof Replacement Grant for eligible homes in the El Dorado County portion of Tahoe: Lake Valley, Meeks Bay, City of South Lake Tahoe and Fallen Leaf Fire Protection Districts. The Hazardous Wood Roof Replacement Grant program is designed to encourage homeowners with hazardous wood roofs to replace them with a full Class A Assembly, non-combustible, non-wood roof.
Funding: This grant program will provide eligible, participating homeowners with a 70% reimbursement (to a maximum reimbursement of $6,000) for the costs of replacing an eligible wood roof.
Deadline: none given.

Click here for more information.

Campaign Updates

Here are just a few of the projects the Climate Change Program is working on as part of our effort to maintain and improve the health of our beautiful "Range of Light."

Again, welcome to the new newsletter from the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s Climate Change program – The Sierra Resource!

For the past couple of years, we have provided you with Sierra-specific campaign updates, resources, events, and top news regarding Climate Change and Land Use through two different monthly newsletters. By combining these two newsletters, we believe we will be able to more effectively keep you updated on the Regional Climate Change program, which focuses as much on land use and resource planning as climate change, as well as related information from Alliance Member Groups, partners, and the wider world.

We want to make sure this newsletter is valuable to you, so please send us your feedback at any time!

What does the election mean for Climate Change?

By Anna Olsen
Regional Climate Change Program Intern, Sierra Nevada Alliance

The first mention of climate change during the election came during the President’s victory speech - only ten words out of the 2000 words:

"We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet."

But does that mean major changes on the climate change front? The President will likely stay the course he is currently on in regards to energy and environmental policies. His environmental initiatives from the first term including stricter fuel economy standards and regulations on coal-fired power plants are less likely to be repealed. Additionally, a second term means the Obama administration will need to carry out U.S. commitments made in climate talks at Copenhagen and Durban to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 4 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and to craft a global agreement by 2015 to combat climate change.

Going into his second term, President Obama is again likely facing opposition in Congress, but again can utilize the EPA to create new standards. But this time, experts and environmental groups are wary of how to achieve a clean-energy future and say the biggest chance of passing initiatives is by circumventing Congress entirely. The makeup of Congress is not changing much, so the question comes down to if the Republicans in the House will be as uncompromising as they have been in the past few years, or if they are feeling the effects of climate change themselves.

The amount of Americans that believe global warming is real has also grown. According to a 2012 study by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, 70 percent believe in global warming, a 13 percentage percent increase from two and half years ago. Additionally, 54 percent of Americans believe global warming is caused mostly by human activities, an 8 percent increase just since this past March. With the public more aware, will this open the door for more sweeping climate change reform.

You can read more about the information presented at:

Climate Change Action and More Drilling Likely in Obama’s Second Term
Scientific American, David Biello , 11.07.12

Is Washington Ready to Act on Climate Change?, Miranda Green, 11.09.12

California State Issues

The major issue with respect to Climate Change in California was Proposition 39, named the "Clean Energy Jobs Act". The measure is to raise $1 billion annually for the state, with the money to be split between the general fund and a new $500-million program to promote green buildings.

With the passage, the state will create the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund. Money from the fund will be used to create jobs in California improving energy efficiency and expanding clean energy generation by focusing on retrofits to schools and other public buildings. Additional funds will go to job training programs and Property Assessed Clean Energy programs in public-private partnerships.

The measure passed overwhelmingly 60.2% to 39.8%

Sierra Nevada Issues

There were several Supervisor openings within the Sierra Nevada counties. The county supervisors are vital for land use changes playing an important role in determining the patterns of growth and development.

Click here to view the changes for Sierra Nevada County Supervisors


Position Opening: Executive Director,
The Foothill Conservancy

Description: The Executive Director is responsible for program development and management, capacity building, fundraising, personnel management, board support, community and media relations, communications, finance, and planning. The executive director position requires extensive public contact and sound judgment to ensure that Foothill Conservancy activities are managed consistent with the organization’s approved policies, procedures, principles and strategies.

Location: Pine Grove-Pioneer, CA

Contact Information: no later than Friday, November 23. No calls, please

Click here for more information.

Position Opening: Advocacy Coordinator,
American Lung Association in California, Fresno

Description: The Advocacy Coordinator will focus on advocacy and outreach activities to promote the smart growth requirements of Senate Bill 375, California’s Sustainable Communities and Climate Protection Act. The Advocacy Coordinator will represent the American Lung Association at local and regional meetings related to land use and transportation planning, identify and recruit health organizations, physicians and health professionals in the San Joaquin Valley to engage in the SB 375 process, join the lung association’s advocacy network, the Health Professionals for Clean Air. The Advocacy Coordinator will raise awareness among local and regional elected officials and the public of the health impacts caused by air pollution and climate change; and advocate within regional planning processes for the inclusion of health-promoting land use and transportation strategies.

Application Requirements: TWO documents, both in Word or pdf format: 1) Formal Cover letter that includes your specific qualifications for this position, salary requirements and why you are interested in this position; and 2)Resume

Contact Information:
American Lung Association in California
Human Resources Department
424 Pendleton Way
Oakland, CA 94621
Fax: 1-866-522-1681

Click here for more information.

Announcing a new online home for the
National Complete Streets Coalition

After a summer of working on the details of this transition, we are proud to announce a new online home for the Coalition. The new web home has all the same great resources for Complete Streets advocates and practitioners. Learn about what makes a Complete Street, discover how local leaders are changing policy across the country, find out about bringing the Coalition to your town or city, and see other ways you can get involved.

Click here to explore the NCSC's new online home.

California Climate Change Vulnerability and Adaptation Study

In 2012 California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE) concluded two years of work involving over 120 researchers from seven UC campuses and other institutions. Comprised of over 30 reports, this expansive study of California’s vulnerability to climate change addresses questions like: What do rising sea levels mean for coastal communities? With the vital Sierra snowpack shrinking, can California ensure ample water for homes and for its world-leading agriculture and wine industries? And, as temperatures climb, where is California most at risk for devastating wildfires or public-health threats to our most vulnerable citizens? The results reported below give planners, public-health officials, land-use managers, and others the research-backed basis they need to develop strategies to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Click here for more information.

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

My Turn: Land Trust purchase of Royal Gorge needs support
Sierra Sun, Anne Chadwick, 11.09.12

Lake Tahoe
Lake Tahoe

Sierra Link: The Truckee Donner Land Trust, The Trust for Public Land, with the Northern Sierra Partnership, have agreed to purchase Royal Gorge property at Donner Summit after the current landowner, wanting to develop a 950-home community, went into foreclosure. The Land Trust hopes to create a management plan that includes open space, recreation, habitat protection, fire suppression, and forest health.

Warming Lakes: Effects of Climate Change Seen on Lake Tahoe
National Geographic, Lisa Borre, 10.17.12

Sierra Link: Warming temperatures and warming waters in Lake Tahoe is prolonging summer stratification, leading to reducing oxygen at the lake bottom and causing a release of phosphorus. This phosphorus release can lead to algae growth, thus reducing the lake’s clarity. This has the potential to impact tourism; the less clear the water, the fewer number of people that want to recreate in it.

State News

The Problem Is Clear: The Water Is Filthy
New York Times, Patricia Leigh Brown, 11.13.12

Sierra Link: The Central Valley is dealing with contaminated drinking water resulting from more than half a century of chemical fertilizers, animal wastes, pesticides infiltrating aquifers and groundwater and eventually into the tap. An estimated 20% of small public water systems in Tulare County are unable to meet safe nitrate levels.

West Coast at risk for hybrid storms, too
San Francisco Chronicle, Peter Fimrite, 11.03.12

Sierra Link: The weather pattern changes are likely to cause the Sierra snowpack to shrink. This reduction in snowmelt that fills California's reservoirs and provides drinking water and agricultural irrigation throughout the state could lead to water shortages, reductions in hydropower production, destruction of river ecosystems and could devastate ski-dependent communities.

National News

The dark Manhattan skyline
in the wake of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy Uncovers Strength and Simplicity of Renewable Energy Systems, Elisa Wood, 11.01.12

Sierra Link: The Northeast’s wind and solar farms caused little public anxiety when Hurricane Sandy hit, unlike the nuclear and fossil fuel infrastructure. Wind and solar help the grid come back quickly from extreme weather situations; it can take nuclear plants a week or more to come back online. Wind and solar do shut down during extreme weather conditions, but can be back up and produce power quickly.

Study: We’re Headed To 11°F Warming And Even 7°F Requires ‘Nearly Quadrupling The Current Rate Of Decarbonization’, Joe Romm, 11.06.12

Sierra Link: It may be too late to limit global warming to a 2°C increase. The prospect of getting to a 4°C scenario would imply nearly quadrupling the current rate of decarbonization. This greater increase in temperature has the potential to greatly affect water levels and snowpack levels.

Spotlight on Sustainability: The unique challenges of smart growth in rural Montana, Nicholas Chang, 11.06.12

Sierra Link: Many regions in Montana are similar to that of the Sierra with a dotting of rural communities. By adapting smart growth strategies to solve regional issues, local planners are able to achieve the same goals communities everywhere strive for: creating a resilient local economy, providing better choices for residents about where to live and how to get around, and keeping a place great for current and future residents.

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.