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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!

Giving Law Space: A Legal Geography Symposium!

This UC Davis symposium will bring together scholars, students, and community members to address the manifold conflicts and social hierarchies that have been, and continue to be, engendered through spatial expressions of law.

Date: December 4, 2015 - 10am to 4pm
Location: International House Davis, Community Room

For more information, click here!

Workshop: Development of a Long-Term Plan for CVRP and Light-Duty Vehicle Incentives

The Air Resources Board (ARB or Board) invites public participation in a workshop to discuss long-term planning for the Clean Vehicle Rebate Project (CVRP). Senate Bill (SB) 1275 (De León, Chapter 530) requires a CVRP long-term plan. At this workshop, staff will present an overview of CVRP and the SB 1275 requirements, discuss initial thoughts on the long-term plan, hear from researchers conducting studies to inform the plan, and request public input.

Date: December 8, 2015 - 10am to 3:30pm

Location: California Air Resources Board, Monitoring and Laboratory Division. 1927 13th Street, Sacramento

For more information on any of these programs or the workshop itself, please click here!

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.

Development Director: Eastern Sierra Land Trust!

The Development Director is responsible for the leadership, strategic direction and management of all fundraising and development for Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT).

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!

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!

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!

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.


Eastern Sierra Land Trust Wins Over $900,000 to Fight Climate Change

Eastern Sierra Land Trust is helping to fight the effects of climate change by protecting agricultural land in scenic Bridgeport Valley. Photo © Stephen Ingram.

Statewide program aims to avoid increases in greenhouse gas emissions by funding protection of Bridgeport Valley ranchland.

As reported by Kay Ogden, ESLT Executive Director in a November 19th Press Release, efforts to prevent increases in greenhouse gas emissions throughout California have found an ally among Eastern Sierra land conservationists. A new statewide program that aims to fight the effects of climate change has awarded Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT) a grant for $917,500 – funds that will go directly towards permanently protecting Bridgeport Valley’s historic Sceirine Point Ranch.

“Preserving open space, agricultural resources, and wildlife habitat here in the Eastern Sierra is ESLT’s goal, and Bridgeport Valley is one of those special places that embodies our region’s identity in so many ways,” commented Kay Ogden, ESLT Executive Director. “Knowing that our efforts to protect the Sceirine Point Ranch have been recognized as not only valuable to maintaining the legacy of our region, but also critical to the health and future of our entire state – it’s a real victory for everyone.”

The Sustainable Agricultural Land Conservation (SALC) program selected ESLT from amidst a highly competitive pool of applicants from across the state partly due to the Bridgeport Valley’s potential for development. Recently introduced by California’s Strategic Growth Council and administered by the Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program, the SALC awards California Climate Investments assets that result from the state’s cap-and-trade auctions. By funding land conservation projects such as ESLT’s on the Sceirine Point Ranch, the SALC aims to prevent emissions increases that result from developing farmland.

The Sceirine Point Ranch has been owned and operated by the same ranching family for over 130 years. In 2013, the property’s landowners approached ESLT to learn about tools to preserve their ranch’s agricultural value and wildlife habitat for future generations. At over 2,400 acres, the ranch has productive irrigated meadows that provide vital summer range for cattle as well as key habitat for wildlife – including the Greater sage-grouse, which uses the property year-round.

A rare bird species that has recently been considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act, the Bi-State population of Greater sage-grouse is often found co-existing with well-managed grazing operations, such as those at the Sceirine Point Ranch. In 2014 the Natural Resources Conservation Service awarded ESLT a $3 million grant through their Agricultural Conservation Easement Program to protect this property because of the important role that its irrigated pasture lands play as sage-grouse habitat.

But an estimated $4 million was required to pay the fair market value of the conservation easement that would protect the Sceirine Point Ranch against future development – so ESLT turned to the new SALC program to obtain the additional funding needed. Now with support from federal, state, and local levels, ESLT and the landowner can move forward towards safeguarding Sceirine Point Ranch forever.

With other conservation easements nearby, establishing one at the Sceirine Point Ranch would add to the protected land in the area. Under the terms of the easement, land ownership would remain private, keeping the property on Mono County tax rolls, and the landowner would continue to be responsible for managing the property. Purchased from the landowner with funds awarded by the SALC and the federal Agricultural Conservation Easement Program, the easement would restrict certain future uses and limit building and subdivision in order to protect important habitat, as well as the agricultural and scenic values of the land.

“There’s still so much work to be done – these grant funds cannot cover all of the operational costs required to get to the point where we can purchase this and other agricultural conservation easements,” commented Kay Ogden. “To achieve this success, ESLT will ultimately rely on the continued support of our Eastern Sierra community.”

Nevertheless, the SALC award represents a major step towards the permanent protection of the Sceirine Point Ranch, and supporting landowners throughout the Bridgeport Valley to limit poorly-planned development and harmful emissions increases. “Funding sources are tighter than ever these days. Without the SALC grant, completing this large-scale project might have been impossible,” continued Kay. “This award is a momentous honor for ESLT.”

Thank you to California Climate Investments!

Please visit The ESLT Website to learn more about this organization!

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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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.