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November 25, 2015

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Wild & Scenic Film Festival: Where Activism Gets Inspired!

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival, organized and produced by the South Yuba River Citizens League, leaves attendees feeling INSPIRED and MOTIVATED to go out and make a difference in our communities and the world. By activists and for activists, it is the largest event of this kind, and it showcases our work in a broader environmental and social context, serving to remind us that we’re participants in a global movement for a more wild and scenic world.

Dates and Places:

• Dec 3rd in Lone Pine, CA.
• Dec 4th in Mammoth Lakes, CA.
• Dec 5th in Bishop, CA.

Please view festival tour dates here, or visit their website!

“Steps for Snow” event at Mono Lake!

Join the Mono Lake Committee to support a renewable energy future and a commitment to care for our planet with personal action in solidarity with concerned citizens around the world. Lee Vining community members will gather and walk to Mono Lake to show support and hope for positive global climate progress at the Paris Climate Summit.

Date: Saturday, Nov 21 at 10:00am
Location: Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center

For more information, click here!

South Sierra Wilderness Addition Exploration!

Join Friends of the Inyo in exploring the South Sierra Wilderness Addition, a potential recommended wilderness area to the South Sierra Wilderness area in the Inyo National Forest's management plan revision. Much of the potential addition consists of vertical slopes with unique geological features, pinyon and oak woodlands and scattered cactus.

Tour: Combination driving and hiking, no more than 3 mi walking. 4WD required.

Date: November 14, 2015

Location: Lone Pine Interagency Visitor Center, 9am.

For more info or to RSVP, please contact Preservation Manager Jora Fogg!

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

River Policy & Communications Director with SYRCL!

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) seeks a Director who is a seasoned advocate and manager with leadership, communication, community organizing and coalition-building skills. The Director will be highly skilled in using policy advocacy, legal, scientific and communication tools to protect the watershed, and will be experienced at building strategic coalitions, mentoring program staff, and raising funds.

Job description and application info here!

Bodie Hills Conservation Organizer!

The Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership seeks an organizer to work on short and long-term goals and to provide visionary leadership to direct a coalition of organizations working to protect lands in the Bodie Hills in Mono County, CA.

Job description and application info here.

Operations Manager: Friends of the Inyo!

Friends of the Inyo seeks an Operations Manager, responsible for day-to-day operations. Responsibilities include financial, human resources requirements and legal obligations, and operations management. This is a full time, year-round, position based in Bishop, CA.

Job description and application info here.

Development Director: Keep Tahoe Blue!

The League to Save Lake Tahoe seeks a Development Director to grow their annual revenue. The League to Save Lake Tahoe is a solutions-based environmental organization focused on advocating for environmental standards backed by science, devoted to community engagement, and working together to Keep Tahoe Blue.

Job description and application info here.

Volunteers Needed for Bear River Restoration!

Sierra Streams Institute is leading the development of a watershed assessment, monitoring plan, and restoration plan for the Bear River Watershed, including nearly 300,000 acres of forests, oak woodlands, agricultural lands, tributary streams, and human communities.

Learn more about getting involved here.


License Plates for a Greater Purpose!

Show everyone your support for California’s state parks or the Tahoe Fund , and order a plate today! Proceeds from the sales of either of these Plates go towards preservation and restoration throughout California State Parks or directly to environmental improvement projects of the California Tahoe Conservancy and the Nevada Department of State Lands, which include trails, parks, water quality and restoration efforts at Lake Tahoe!

Get TWO FREE Alpine or Nordic tickets to the ski resort of your choice when you buy a Tahoe license plate before April 1, 2016.

More information about the Tahoe license plates and the California State Parks here!

Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan!

The BLM's plan for the California desert, released November 10th, could have lasting benefits for both conservation and renewable energy. A win-win for conservation and clean energy, the plan addresses climate change by designating areas where renewable energy development may be permitted while also designating protected areas in the most sensitive places of the California desert.

For more information on this plan's development, click here!

There will also be an informational webinar on the DRECP on Nov 19th, more info here!

CA’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment: Call for Proposals!

The California Agency of Natural Resources Announces $4.5 million in funding available for 18 Non-Energy research projects! California’s leadership in climate change policy is built on a strong foundation of research addressing the impacts of climate change on the state, as well as strategies to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In turn, the state’s research responds directly to policy needs related to safeguarding California from these impacts.

Deadline for Submittal is 3 pm PST, Friday, December 4, 2015

For more information on the Assessment and to review Request for Proposal descriptions, please visit The Agency of Natural Resources website!

Become a 2016 Switzer Environmental Fellow!

The Robert & Patricia Switzer Foundation has launched the application period for 2016 Switzer Environmental Fellowships. Switzer Fellowships are given to top graduate students in New England and California who demonstrate outstanding leadership potential, and who are committed to a career in environmental improvement.

The Switzer Fellowship provides:
• A one-year $15,000 cash award;
• Access to other Switzer grant programs and career support, and
• Membership in the Switzer Fellowship Network of over 570 local and global environmental leaders

The Switzer Fellowship focuses on leadership potential than any particular research project. Applications due January 11, 2016!

More information available here.


Sierra Club: Thousands File Opposition Comments on Giant Tunnels

Sierra Club
This article is originally posted on the Sierra Club website.

More than 30,000 Californians, including thousands of Sierra Club members, filed comments with the Natural Resources Agency last month, opposing the Brown Administration’s proposed San Francisco Bay Delta tunnels project.

As reported by Kyle Jones, the project would build a pair of giant, four-story-high tunnels to move water out of the San Francisco Bay Delta system to parts south. The effect of the tunnels construction and operation would be to further damage water quality in the Bay Delta and rivers that feed into the Delta. They would destroy habitat for already endangered species, and likely destroy certain key fisheries.

The tunnels project would also divert tens of billions of dollars of investment that would be better spent on smart water projects that would increase regional resilience and help Californians better respond to changing rainfall and drought patterns.

The overwhelming number of public comments opposing the tunnel came in response to the combined Draft Environmental Impact Report/Supplemental Environmental Impact Report. That report is a key document required before the state can begin to apply for permits for building the tunnels.

Federally, the tunnels must get permits from the Army Corps of Engineers under the Clean Water Act because it involves dredging of waters. The tunnels must also pass the muster of the Fish and Wildlife Service’s duties under the Endangered Species Act. At the beginning of the year, the State Water Resources Control Board will hold hearings on the Department of Water Resources request to move the tunnels project’s water diversion from the current pumping facilities in the southern part of the Delta farther upstream to the Sacramento River. The Board will also handle the permitting for water quality under the Clean Water Act.

The environmental documentation has been done poorly, with much information missing as proponents attempt to fast track the process. Even so, it also clearly demonstrates that species and habitat will be seriously harmed.

Sierra Club California continues to oppose the tunnels. We believe the Delta should be restored and that ratepayer funds are better spent improving local water supplies through more sensible programs, including conservation, efficiency, recycling, stormwater capture, and groundwater cleanup.

The tunnels are a distraction from the real issues facing California’s water supply and the Delta ecosystem, and should be dropped in favor of a plan that is sustainable.

Please visit The Sierra Club Website to view the original article written by Kyle Jones.

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!.

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Recent News

Climate Change

AM Alert: Jerry Brown, climate change and public opinion
Sacramento Bee, Jerry B. White, 11/11/15

Sierra Link: Climate change has sat squarely at the center of Gov. Jerry Brown’s record fourth term. This article reviews some notable triumphs and obstacles.

Biggest global economies still backing fossil fuels
Climate News Network, Alex Kirby, 11/12/15

Sierra Link: A recently published “Empty Promises” report on the G20 Group's subsidies to oil, gas and coal production says researchers found that G20 support to fossil fuel production now totals $452bn. That is almost four times the entire world’s subsidies to the rapidly growing renewable energy sector in 2013 ($121bn).

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High Country News, Gloria Dickie, 10/6/15

Sierra Link: El Niño tends to skew weather patterns across the West whenever it hits. And even though this year’s is predicted to be one of the most severe in the last century, each El Niño manifests differently. We hope the drought does not worsen.


Jerry Brown declares emergency for dying trees
Sacramento Bee, David Siders, 10/30/15

Sierra Link: Lamenting “the worst epidemic of tree mortality” in the state’s modern history, Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday sought federal aid to remove dead trees from California forests and called for more controlled burns to reduce the risk of wildfire.

Christmas tree permits to go on sale in the Lake Tahoe Basin
YubaNet News, Lisa A. Herron, 11/12/15

Sierra Link: The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit will begin the sale of Christmas tree permits.


Feinstein pushes Obama to create desert monuments
The Desert Sun, Sammy Roth, 10/14/15

Sierra Link: More than 1,000 people packed the Whitewater Preserve on October 14th, as they cheered — or booed — Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s calls for President Barack Obama to establish three national monuments in the desert. She has been pushing for three desert protection bills over the last six years, which would create the Sand to Snow and Mojave Trails national monuments.

200 Miles of Awesome in California
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Sierra Link: From trailheads to trail towns, US 395 in California serves up the ultimate road trip for hikers. This great article in Backpacker highlights some of our favorite Sierra trails!

‘Legal monkey-wrenching’ on Western trails
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Sierra Link: One man’s guerrilla trail work aims to improve public access to public land. This story is particularly interesting, considering how much public land in the Sierra has similar stipulations.

Park Service may strengthen its oil and gas regulations
High Country News, Elizabeth Shogren, DC Dispatch, 10/27/15

Sierra Link: There are currently 534 oil and gas operations on 12 national park units, and the National Park Service has only weak authority to regulate oil and gas drilling on its property. What will that mean for our Sierra parks?


Environmentalists sue over Sacramento River water, fish perils
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler, 11/11/15

Sierra Link: A coalition of environmental groups sued Central Valley farmers and the federal government over the possible extinction facing an endangered run of salmon. The claim: The Bureau of Reclamation is violating federal law by devoting too much water to agriculture and not enough to fish, such as the threatened juvenile Chinook salmon and Delta smelt. This story hits close to home.

California sees minor improvement in drought conditions
Desert Sun, Robert Hopwood, 11/5/15

Sierra Link: For the first time in months, the weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map shows some improvement in drought conditions across a number of northern counties.

Mono’s streams fare better than expected
The Mono Lake Newsletter, Lisa Cutting, pg. 6, Fall 2015

Sierra Link: A surprising thing happened this year in Lee Vining: record-breaking spring and summer precipitation which, thankfully, minimized drought-related stress on vegetation and trout in Mono Lake’s tributary streams.


USFS issues 90-day Finding on Petitions to List the California Spotted Owl
Sierra Forest Legacy, Staff Report, 9/18/15

Sierra Link: On September 18th, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service accepted a petition to list the California spotted owl under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. Following this positive finding, the USFWS opened a 60-day comment period requesting additional scientific and commercial data. Please comment here to support this native Sierran forest-dweller.

Investigating Eared Grebe mortality at Mono Lake
The Mono Lake Committee, Robert Di Paolo, 11/6/15

Sierra Link: Nearly half of all the migratory Eared Grebes in North America visit Mono Lake every autumn by the hundreds of thousands to feed on trillions of brine shrimp. But in the last two months, there has been a startling scene of hundreds of dead juvenile Eared Grebes on the shores of Mono Lake.

News Release: Wildlife Conservation Agreement - BLM & CA DFW!
News Release, US BLM & CA DFW, 10/16/15

Sierra Link: The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) have signed a key conservation agreement, providing innovative tools to manage impacts to wildlife and their habitats in California. This key development will help protect Sierra Nevada wildlife! Read the full agreement here!

Other Articles

Lawsuit filed against Monsanto for Contaminating Oakland Waterways and San Francisco Bay with PCBs
YubaNet News, Gomez Trial Attorneys, 11/12/15

Sierra Link: Monsanto produced PCBs for approximately 50 years until the U.S. Congress banned them because they endanger human and environmental health. Despite the 1979 ban, today PCBs are a common environmental contaminant that is found in all natural resources including water and plants as well as the tissues of marine life, animals and humans.

To build or not to build, that’s the dam question in dry California
PBS NewsHour, Spencer Michels, 11/3/15

Sierra Link: Across California, after years of punishing drought, reservoirs that normally fill canals and make crops bloom are greatly depleted or empty. Incredulously, some people are saying that getting more water into storage by building more dams is key, despite substantial research or a basic understanding of hydrology. Read on, to see where our water bond money is going!

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.