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In This Issue

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

Alliance Updates

Check out our Member Group Directory & Sustainablility Inventory online!!

Updated in September of 2012 for the Alliance's Annual Conference, the Member Group Directory is an online catalog of the Sierra Nevada Alliance member groups, while the Sustainability inventory is a directory of non-profit organizations that are working on sustainability issues within the Sierra Nevada. The Alliance prepared both of these directories to assist Sierra conservation organizations, agencies, interested public and the media with locating and contacting conservation organizations in the region. Each are meant to be used as an informational resource for those interested in learning more about the kind of conservation work being undertaken throughout the Sierra Nevada.

To check out our publications, click here


Wild and Scenic Film Festival

The 2013 Theme is “A Climate of Change." The Festival will be featuring films, art and workshops on climate change, as well as highlighting the change makers who are helping rethink how we inhabit our planet. Over 100 films are shown in Nevada City, CA, in early January, with music, a children’s parade, an activist center and street theater making the town come alive. This year the festival has added another day, Thursday, to screen 3D films and events in neighboring Grass Valley. Tickets go on sale December 1st, so save the date!

Date: Jan. 10-13, 2013
Place: Downtown Nevada City, CA
Tickets: Online beginning Dec. 1st. In person at SYRCL office (216 Main St.) beginning Dec. 1 until Jan. 10, Monday-Thursday, from 12-5pm.
More Information: Call (530) 265-5961 ext. 215 for more information or click here to buy tickets!

Annual California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Summit and Rangeland Science Symposium

The agenda features a list of presenters that includes ranchers, conservation organizations, university researchers and political leaders. Details on the summit and symposium are available here.

Registration: click here to go to the registration page
Date: January 24-25, 2013
Place: University of California, Davis
Freeborn Hall - 1 Shields Avenue Davis, CA
Contact: Tracy Schohr by email or call 530-868-6626

8th Annual Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is excited to again host this inspiring event with the South Lake Tahoe Earth Day Committee and Patagonia. We're excited to return to the MontBleu Showroom. The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival combines award winning environmental and adventure films with the energy of local activism. This year, we've chosen powerful environmental and adventure films so that attendees are inspired to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world.

Date: March 8, 2013, 7-10 pm
Place: MontBleu, Stateline, Nevada
Cost: $10-15
More Information: Call Lynn (530)542-4546 ext. 305 or email

Sierra Grassroots Organizer Academy

Sierra Nevada member groups are invited to attend the 3rd Sierra Organizer Academy, a three-day training for Sierra activists to learn how to plan strategic campaigns and organize their communities to win concrete changes in people's lives and for the environment. Top trainers from Midwest Academy, a nationally recognized training institution for progressive activists, topics indcluding developing winning campaign strategies, building coalitions, recruiting volunteers, meeting with public officials.

Date: May 16-18, 2013
Place: The Yosemite Bug, Midpines, CA
Information: email Gavin

More Information Coming Soon!

Sierra Water Workgroup Summit

As part of our continued support of the Sierra Water Workgroup, the Alliance has just begun planning the Second Annual SWWG Summit. The Sierra Water Workgroup's mission is to assist regional efforts to protect and enhance water quality, water supply, and watershed health; to develop cooperative regional responses; and to facilitate reinvestment in our watersheds and water resources by all beneficiaries. Working with Liz Mansfield, the Regional Climate Change team planned and held the first Sierra-wide SWWG summit last July. When attendees started calling it an annual event, we knew we had to deliver. Following up on requests and evaluations, this year we are working with the California State Bar to provide more in-depth information on water rights, area of origin issues, and more (MCLE credits will be available). Working with the Inyo-Mono IRWM team, we will be dedicating a large portion of the 2013 Summit to issues surrounding disadvantaged communities (DACs). Visit the SWWG website to learn more about our efforts and sign up to receive information, including updates on the Summit!

Date: June 11-13, 2013
Place: North Tahoe Event Center, King’s Beach, CA
More Information: Visit Sierra Water Workgroup


WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for 2013

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is accepting applications for $21 million in water project grants. The WaterSMART Water and Energy Efficiency Grants for 2013 will provide funding for a variety of water projects, including those that improve conservation or sustainability. An eligible applicant is a State, Indian tribe, irrigation district, water district, or other organization with water or power delivery authority. The program is expected to fund 50 projects. The maximum award will be $1.5 million. 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.

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.

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."

Alliance Takes On Ski Area Report Card

For the last eight years, the Alliance has helped produce and popularize the Ski Area Environmental Report Card. Unfortunately, Rocky Mountain Wild (a merger of Center for Native Ecosystems and Colorado Wild), which led the report card efforts these many years, will no longer be able to devote staff time to the annual effort. As a result, the Alliance’s Climate Change Program was asked if we would be willing to take over the project for the 2012/13 season and be the permanent lead on the Ski Area Report Card going forward. We agreed and now have our amazing intern, Anna, going full-steam ahead on the project.

The Ski Area Environmental Scorecard grades western U.S. ski resorts on their environmental policies and practices. The grades of the scorecard are based on a point system of individual criterion. The criterion is grouped together into four categories: Habitat Protection, Protecting Watersheds, Addressing Global Climate Change, and Environmental Practices and Polices, which then form an overall grade of A-D.

This is a big undertaking, and we expect to release the Report Card later than usual this year, but in time for the big skiing weekend around President’s Day. Check out the 2011 report card here and stay tuned for the 2012 Report Card (confusingly released in 2013 this year)!

Plumas General Plan Into the Home Stretch

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

It seems absurd that it can take more than five years to develop a 20-year growth plan, but that is now common. Plumas County started their latest General Plan Update (GPU) in 2006, and it appears we will see final approval in the spring of 2013. From most accounts, it seems to have been worth the wait.

In terms of on-the-ground results, Plumas has moved towards focusing future development into existing developed areas, such as in and near Quincy or around Lake Almanor. This decision has been driven largely by the high cost of providing services to far-flung subdivisions as well as the increasing risk of forest fire associated with the intrusion of development into the forests. The proposed Plumas standards for future subdivisions—which depend significantly on the availability of services—may make a good model for other Sierra communities to consider.

Plumas also gets credit for creating a sound public process for the GPU—not just the required window-dressing, but actually taking citizen input seriously. As a result, a recent Plumas Planning Commission workshop on the Environmental Impact Report for the GPU went smoothly, with citizens speaking from diverse perspectives but nearly all supporting the general thrust of the plan.

While projected population growth for Plumas County is modest, there’s still potential for more than 30,000 developable lots in the County—much of which would be second homes for vacationers. Thus, while the GPU may provide a good structure, there are still considerable risks to the counties natural resources and community character. The Alliance continues to work with our local Member Groups and others to improve the GPU as it moves towards completion. For more information, see the Plumas General Plan web page here .


The Sierra Nevada Alliance is seeking an Intern

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour combines award winning environmental and adventure films with the energy and local activism. The Sierra Nevada Alliance is excited to host this inspiring event, and we are looking for an energetic and dynamic intern to help make the 8th Annual our most successful Film Festival yet! We are seeking a talented and hardworking intern to provide a wide range of special event organizing support to help achieve this goal. The Film Festival intern’s primary responsibility will be to assist in planning, coordinating and implementing the 8th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour held on March 8, 2013 in South Lake Tahoe, California. We hope Film Festival Attendees will be inspired to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world!

Contact: Lynn by email or call (530)542-4546 ext 305

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Seeking Applications to host AmeriCorps Members from April to September 2013

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 for a new upcoming 2013 half-term placement program. AmeriCorps member(s) serve 6 months at the organization/agency from April 8th, 2013 – September 28, 2013, conducting projects the host site needs completed that are related to, watershed restoration and assessment, watershed education projects, and volunteer recruitment and support.

For more information contact: Mike Thornton by email or call 530-542-4546 ext. 312
Deadline: Jan. 17, 2013
Click here to read more and download the 2013 SNAP Host Site RFA.

Position Opening: Air Pollution Specialist, California Air Resources Board

Description: Qualified Air Resources Engineer candidates are encouraged to apply. This position will primarily focus on criteria pollutant and greenhouse gas issues in the Southern California region, in addition to operating as part of the overall team working with a wide variety of public stakeholders, local, regional, and state agencies to develop and implement plans, programs, and projects that will help California protect public health through air quality and transportation plans that result in more sustainable communities.

Application Requirements: Completed standard State application (STD 678), one page cover letter, and any other relevant documents (e.g. unofficial transcript, copy of degrees, resume, etc.)

Location: Sacramento or El Monte, CA
Contact Information: Jennifer O'Hara, 916-322-0285 or email
Click here for more information.

Position Opening: Program and Communications Manager, Ubuntu Green

Description: The Program Manager will oversee the organizations programmatic and communications work. This will include UG’s Green Youth Leadership Team (G-Squad), a team of youth that work in the community to maintain a community garden and promote environmental stewardship and healthy eating and living; the Home and Community Garden Project, which promotes community engagement through building home and community-based gardens; the 350 Edible Garden Campaign, which is promoting the building of 350 home, school and community gardens in the Sacramento-region and volunteer engagement coordination.

Location: Sacramento, CA

Start Date:Jan. 28, 2013

Contact Information:
Send resume to No phone calls please.

Click here for more information.

Position Opening: Public Land Manager II (PLM II), California Tahoe Conservancy

Description: The PLM II position is assigned to manage the activities of multiple Conservancy programs and supervise staff from among the following program areas: Land Acquisition, Land Coverage, Forest Habitat Enhancement, Special Uses, and Resource and Urban Land Management. In addition, the position will be involved in internal and external policy, coordination and liaison activities.

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Contact Information:
Penny Stewart (530) 543-6013

Click here for more information.

Regional Ecologist, Central Valey & Mountains Region, The Nature Conservancy (California)

Description: The Regional Ecologist provides technical and scientific support and leadership for projects and initiatives of The Nature Conservancy in the Great Central Valley and Mountain Region of California, with emphasis on the Sierra Nevada ecosystem and associated watersheds. The Regional Ecologist leads and supports conservation planning, prioritization, and monitoring projects, and supports implementation of land protection, threat abatement, and restoration strategies. S/he independently identifies conservation issues, and applies the scientific approach to address those issues. S/he develops and leverages a network of external scientific colleagues, collaborators, and partners to deliver information needed to advance the Conservancy’s conservation objectives. S/he conducts field surveys and assessments, manages data, writes project reports and proposals, and coordinates fieldwork and logistical support for research. S/he develops adaptive management plans and conceptual models, and participates on multidisciplinary teams to develop cutting-edge ecosystem conservation strategies.

Location: Sacramento, CA

Click here for more information and to apply.

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

Conservationists team up with ranchers, loggers
Mercury News, Gosia Wozniacka, 12.15.12

Finegold Creek Preserve, owned by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy that's raising its own beef herd to benefit the environment and to improve its bottom line.
Finegold Creek Preserve, owned by the Sierra Foothill Conservancy

Sierra Link: The Sierra Foothill Conservancy is breaking new ground by raising its own beef herd, using cattle to benefit the environment and to improve its bottom line. Conservation groups in partnership with ranchers are using cattle to restore native plant species by grazing invasive grasses. The Sierra Foothill Conservancy manages grazing to minimize impact on species, leaves some areas ungrazed, and keeps cattle out of riparian habitat.

Sierra Meadows and Climate Change
UC Davis Center for Watershed Science, Chris Bowman, 12.03.12

Sierra Link: Researchers at the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences examined climate change impacts would affect meadows in the Sierra and the many “ecosystem services” they provide, from water filtration to grazing and key habitat for fish and wildlife.

State News

Jerry Brown proposes new California 'fracking' regulations
Sacramento Bee, David Siders, 12.19.12

Sierra Link: Most of the hydraulic fracturing occurs in Kern County. In California, the process is most commonly used for oil; in other states, its use for natural gas has created controversy.

More Forest Communities Look to Trees To Make Electricity
Capital Public Radio, Kathleen Masterson, 12.18.12

Sierra Link: Placer County is proposing a biomass energy facility in an effort to reduce wildfire risk and produce electricty. Wildfire as a threat to people is ranked as ‘very high’ in the Lake Tahoe region. The biomass facility would turn wood biomass into energy.

California appoints carbon watchdogs for cap-and-trade program
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler, 12.15.12

Sierra Link: Under Cap and Trade, sustainable forest management may be able to sequester carbon on a marketable level.

National News

Snowmaking in Tahoe

Climate Impacts on the Winter Tourism Economy in the United States
Protect Our Winters and Natural Resources Defense Council, Elizabeth Burakowski & Matthew Magnusson, 12.12

Sierra Link: Estimates show that California has the 2nd highest level of economic activity from winter sport tourism, with 24,000 employed and $1.4 billion in economic value added. California saw an average 5 percent fewer skier visits during lowsnowfall years compared to high snowfall years, creating a revenue difference of nearly $100 million across the state and 1,200 fewer jobs in the local economy.

Will the West ever solve its water woes?
The Washington Post, Brad Plumer, 12.13.12

Sierra Link: A sizable chunk of U.S. agriculture relies on Sierra water — about 15 percent of the nation’s crops and 13 percent of its livestock. The Sierra provides a large portion of the water for the Central Valley and as climate change speeds evaporation and shrinks the snow pack, droughts are more likely.

Chicago likes bikes — and it’s about to prove it in a big way, Lori Rotenberk, 12.14.12

Sierra Link: Studies have proven that bike lanes help fuel the local economy. Bikeable communities within the Sierra can not only boost the local economy, but help reduce vehicle emissions.

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.