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October 14, 2015

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

US Army Corps to discuss Yuba River ecosystem restoration study at public meetings!

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District, will host a series of public scoping meetings discussing the feasibility of ecosystem restoration in Northern California’s Yuba River watershed.

Dates and Places:

• Weds, Oct. 28, 1–3 pm in Sacramento.

• Thurs, Oct. 29, 5–7 pm in Nevada City.

• Weds, Nov. 4, 5-7 pm in Marysville.

Please view the Official press release here!

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Jenn!

Public Salmon Tours!

Get out on the Yuba River for an all-day rafting exploration of prime salmon spawning habitat between the Hwy 20 Bridge and Sycamore Ranch Park. Get your hands (and feet) wet while learning about the salmon life cycle, their ecology, and human impacts.

Dates: Oct 31st and Nov 7th, 2015
Location: Browns Valley, CA
Fee: $65 for SRYCL members and $75 for nonmembers, proceeds help support the school salmon tour program.

For more information, click here, or contact River Education Coordinator Heather Kallevig or call (530)265-5961 x218!

Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping Book Signing!

Range & River Books is hosting a book signing for the new travel guide, Eastern Sierra And Death Valley Camping With Privacy, the region’s definitive guide to private and secluded campsites. Authors Kimberly and Patrick Wilkes will donate $2 of each book sold to benefit the Eastern Sierra Land Trust, door prizes will be awarded, and the first 20 attendees will receive a free digital portrait taken by photographer Patrick Wilkes!

Date: Sat., Oct. 17th, 3-5pm
Location: Range & River Books, Bishop, CA

For more information, call the bookstore at (760) 873-6882, or visit this event page!

SGMA Information Meetings!

The State Water Resources Control Board and the Department of Water Resources will hold a series of informational meetings at the dates below to discuss implementation of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and to answer questions from the public!

• October 21st - Valley Glen, CA
• October 22nd - Visalia, CA
• October 27th - Sacramento, CA (Webcast)
• November 5th - Redding, CA

• 1 to 4 pm: Technical sessions for Local Public Agencies and organizations
• 6 to 8 pm: Public forums for groundwater users and the general public

More info available here!

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Operations Manager with Friends of the Inyo!

This fantastic non-profit organization seeks a new Operations Manager for their office in Bishop, CA. The position will be responsible for daily operations of Friends of the Inyo, including financial and human resource tasks as well as legal obligations and operations management. This is a full time, year-round, position!

For more information, click here, or contact Friends of the Inyo by email.

Development Director with Eastern Sierra Land Trust!

Want to live and work in an area that is famous for its outdoor recreational opportunities and offers access to world class rock climbing, bouldering, cycling, backpacking, hiking, trout fishing and skiing in the winter? Eastern Sierra Land trust is hiring! They’re looking for an experienced Development Director to join their dynamic team in Bishop, CA.

Full job description available here.

Fish and Wildlife Technician - CA DFW!

The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife seeks a Fish and Wildlife Technician based in their Oroville Wildlife Area location in Butte County.

Job description and application info here.

Rangeland Watershed Initiative Partner Biologist!

Several positions may be available in Mariposa county, as a collaborative partnership between the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Point Blue Conservation Science! This position will focus on providing value added delivery of wildlife conservation programs on working lands through Farm Bill and other federal and state funding programs.

Job description and application info here.


Sierra CAMP: Climate Adaptation & Mitigation Partnership!

Sierra CAMP is a public-private, cross-sector partnership working to promote climate adaptation and mitigation strategies across the Sierra Nevada region.

This online hub for climate action is a wonderful place to find upcoming events and essential resources.

More information available here

California Water Plan E-News!

DWR and the CA Water Plan publish a weekly electronic newsletter on Water Plan news. There has been a lot of news this week!

More information available here.

Soil Health Mini-Grant Request for Proposals!

The purpose of these grants are to facilitate the following:

(1) demonstration of how improved soil health afects grazing lands sustainability;
(2) establishment of conservation partnerships, leadership, and outreach;
(3) education of grazing land managers, professionals, youth and the public;
(4) enhancement of technical capabilities; and
(5) improvement in the understanding of the values and multiple services that grazing lands provide.

Proposals will be reviewed and announced on or before October 27th, 2015.

More information available here.

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Governor Brown Signs
Landmark Water Legislation:
24 Victories for California!

Things are looking up in California this week!

October 9th, 2015: Governor Brown Signs 24 Bills!

Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced October 9th that he has signed the following bills to help boost water conservation, strengthen groundwater management and improve water quality:

• AB 142: Assemblymember Frank Bigelow (R-O'Neals)
Wild and scenic rivers: Mokelumne River.

• AB 401: Assemblymember Bill Dodd (D-Napa)
Low-Income Water Rate Assistance Program. Signing message here

• AB 434: Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella)
Drinking water: point-of-entry and point-of-use treatment.

• AB 496: Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood)
Pupil nutrition: fresh drinking water: funding.

• AB 530: Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood)
Lower Los Angeles River Working Group.

• AB 606: Assemblymember Marc B. Levine (D-San Rafael)
Water conservation.

• AB 617: Assemblymember Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno)

• AB 939: Assemblymember Rudy Salas Jr. (D-Bakersfield)
Groundwater sustainability agencies.

• AB 965: Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia (D-Coachella)
California and Mexico border: water resources improvement.

• AB 1077: Assemblymember Chris Holden (D-Pasadena)
Mutual water companies: open meetings.

• AB 1119: Assemblymember Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood)
Public utilities: municipal corporations: rights of way.

• AB 1164: Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Glendale)
Water conservation: drought tolerant landscaping.

• AB 1390: Assemblymember Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville)
Groundwater: comprehensive adjudication.

• AB 1531: Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials
State Water Resources Control Board.

• SB 144: Senator Richard Pan (D-Sacramento)
Water development projects: Sacramento-San Joaquin watersheds.

• SB 208: Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens)
Integrated regional water management plans: grants: advanced payment.

• SB 226: Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills)
Sustainable Groundwater Management Act: groundwater adjudication.

• SB 355: Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens)
San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.

• SB 485: Senator Ed Hernandez (D-Azusa)
County of Los Angeles: sanitation districts.

• SB 555: Senator Lois Wolk (D-Davis)
Urban retail water suppliers: water loss management.

• SB 637: Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica)
Suction dredge mining: permits.

• SB 664: Senator Robert M. Hertzberg (D-Van Nuys)
Water: urban water management planning.

• SB 758: Senator Marty Block (D-San Diego)
Atmospheric Rivers: Research, Mitigation, and Climate Forecasting Program.

• SB 798: Committee on Natural Resources and Water
Natural resources.

California Governor Brown

For full text of the bills, visit:

So many of these bills benefit us in the Sierra, including the long-awaited
S.B. 637 - requiring Clean Water Act Permits for Suction Dredge Mining!

“This is a great victory for all of us concerned about clean water
and healthy fisheries,” -Elizabeth Martin, CEO, The Sierra Fund.

In April, Governor Brown announced the first-ever
25 percent statewide mandatory water reductions, and Californians have responded with unprecedented conservation efforts, exceeding the Governor’s order in each of the past three months.

To date, guided by the California Water Action Plan, the state has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to emergency drought relief, disaster assistance, water conservation and infrastructure projects. The developing framework for sustainable groundwater management is also in progress for the first time in California’s history, based on legislation signed by Governor Brown last year.

GET INVOLVED by attending upcoming SGMA Implementation Meetings!

To learn more about the state’s drought response, visit: www.Drought.CA.Gov.

Every Californian should take steps to conserve water.
Find out how at

Information used in this highlight was provided by Press Releases from the Governor's Office and The Sierra Fund.

If you would like to support the Sierra Nevada Alliance Initiatives,
please click here to contribute to our funding.

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 Kate Gladstein.
If you have articles, events or announcements that you would like included in this newsletter or if you have feedback,
please email Kate!.

Recent News

Climate Change

Massive El Niño is now 'too big to fail,' scientist says
The Los Angeles Times, Rong-Gong Lin II, 10/9/15

Sierra Link: “There’s no longer a possibility that El Niño wimps out at this point. It’s too big to fail,” said Bill Patzert, climatologist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge. Could this be the winter we have been desperately needing in the Sierra?

Clinton and Sanders Just Came Out Hard on the Issue Republicans Refuse to Talk About
Mother Jones, James West, 10/13/15

Sierra Link: During the first Democratic debate in Las Vegas, climate change roared into focus, while a whopping 4 awkward minutes were spent on the topic at the recent GOP debate. Is climate change not one of the most relevant issues for all Americans?

190 drought maps reveal just how thirsty California has become
The Los Angeles Times, Kyle Kim and Thomas Suh Lauder, 10/9/15

Sierra Link: The majority of California is experiencing extreme to exceptional drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, and the state's condition isn't expected to improve in the near future. The Drought Monitor collects data from 50 different weather indicators, and has shown an increasing trend in California since 2011.


NASA satellite images show deep burn scars from Valley fire
LA Times, Veronica Rocha, 9/24/15

Sierra Link: Flames from California’s third-most destructive wildfire on record left deep burn scars that can be seen from space. Are we employing wiser forest management strategies as our drought continues or repeating our mistakes?

California drops plan to let violent inmates fight fires
Santa Cruz Sentinel, Don Thompson, 10/14/15

Sierra Link: California corrections officials on Tuesday dropped a plan to include prisoners with violent backgrounds in the nation's largest and oldest inmate firefighting unit, a day after the proposal was reported. This is a relevant issue to those of us who live in the forest!

We're About to Cause the Worst Coral Die-Off in History
Mother Jones, Karl Mathiesen, 10/9/15

Sierra Link: Scientists have confirmed the third-ever global bleaching of coral reefs, and warned that we may see the biggest coral die-off in history. Since 2014, record numbers of corals have been dying in every ocean. By the end of this year, 38 percent of the world's reefs will have been affected, with 5 percent permanently gone. What does this loss of biodiversity mean to us?


Drought Leads To Smaller California Pumpkins for Halloween, More Shipments From Oregon
CBS San Francisco, Juliette Goodrich, 10/7/15

Sierra Link: The lack of winter rain and the recent high temperatures have caused California’s pumpkins to ripen early, some withering on the vine. Many California farmers will be importing pumpkins from Oregon to get them through Halloween season.

Military tech is helping fight wildfires
Military Times, Trevor Hughes of USA Today, 10/11/15

Sierra Link: From heat-seeing cameras to drones to night-vision goggles and satellite trackers pinpointing firefighters' exact locations, military technology is helping fire managers better deploy air tankers above, and fire crews on the ground. Interesting that managing the advanced wildfires of 2015 require this high a level of technology.


Restrictions on water rates get newfound opposition from Gov. Jerry Brown
The Los Angeles Times, Chris Megerian, 10/10/15

Sierra Link: Gov. Jerry Brown is ready to fight a 20 year old law that can make it difficult to increase water rates. Says Brown, "Proposition 218 serves as the biggest impediment to public water systems [while]...too many Californians still lack affordable, safe drinking water".

California drought: Leaky water pipes losing billions of gallons targeted by new state law
San Jose Mercury News, Paul Rogers, 10/9/15

Sierra Link: Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed into law a measure aimed at reducing the billions of gallons of water lost every year across the state from leaks in aging and cracked water pipes in hundreds of city water systems.

The Feds Just Got Sued for Letting Nestlé Bottle Water in California’s Drought Country
Mother Jones, Julia Lurie, 10/14/15

Sierra Link: A group of environmental organizations sued the US Forest Service on Tuesday, claiming that it allowed Nestlé to illegally divert millions of gallons of water from the San Bernadino National Forest to Arrowhead bottled water. Nestlé has been operating under a permit which expired in 1988. With similar water right battles taking place here in the Sierra, this case is particularly relevant.


Wildlife groups seek federal protection for the California spotted owl
The Los Angeles Times, Louis Sahagun, 9/18/15

Sierra Link: The latest round in a 15-year legal battle to keep the California spotted owl safe from U.S. Forest Service logging policies continues, as federal wildlife authorities reconsidering denying the timid raptor protection under the Endangered Species Act. What does this mean for Sierra Nevada owls?

Cue the greater sage grouse lawsuits
High Country News, Jodi Peterson, 9/22/15

Sierra Link: A recent Federal Fish and Wildlife Service decision to not protect the greater sage grouse under the Endangered Species Act is suspected to be due to the potential impact a listing would have on energy production and development across huge swaths of the West. If the FFWS crumbles this easily under political pressure, we worry for our Sierra wildlife.

Other Articles

Watching the Planet Burn
The New York Times, James Balog and Philip Connors, 9/16/15

Sierra Link: These "unearthly images of fire in the West" tell a story that is far too familiar all the time. But this story is told beautifully.

The Los Angeles Times, Diana Marcum and Robert Gauthier, 8/19/15

Sierra Link: Two journalists. One dog. A road trip during California's drought. We have shared this blog many months ago, but the stories here continue to touch us deeply in the Sierra.

Sierra Nevada Alliance

P.O. Box 7989
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158

phone: 530.542.4546

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.