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December 23, 2015

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

11th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival - Coloma & South Lake Tahoe!

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: Jan. 31st in Coloma & March 31st in SLT!
Locations: Gold Trail Grange in Coloma & Montbleu Casino in SLT.

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

Crater Mountain Hike!

Looking for a winter hike? 20 miles South of Bishop, at the north end of the Big Pine Volcanic Field sits Crater Mountain. This Wilderness Study Area offers spectacular views of the Sierra and Inyo Mountains. Friends of the Inyo look forward to the hike, and hopefully seeing Tule Elk and many prehistoric cultural sites!

Date: Jan. 3rd, 2016!
Meet Location: The Big Tree at junction 395 and 168, at 9am

For more info, click here!

Conservation Science Webinar!

Conservation Biology Institute and Data Basin collaborate, providing public webinars!

Date: January 7, 10 AM
Topic: How Temperature and Precipitation Trends Have Affected Mountain Hydrology and Ecology.

For more information about webinar topics and presenters, click here!

TERC Monthly Lecture: Exploring Mars with Curiosity

Dawn Sumner from the UC Davis Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences will be leading this monthly lecture. She is also a member of NASA's Mars Science Laboratory, helping the rover Curiosity explore ancient environments in Gale Crater on Mars.

Date: January 28, 2016

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

Details: Seating open at 5:30 p.m. to pre-registered guests, open seating starts at 5:50 p.m. Program starts at 6:00 p.m. $5 suggested donation will be collected at the door.

Please click here to register for this event!

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Executive Director: Sierra Nevada Alliance!

We are seeking an innovative, resilient, and dynamic executive director to lead the organization as it moves into its 23rd year. The executive director will have primary responsibility for pursuing the Alliance’s long-range vision of successful Sierra conservation in concert with member organizations, partners, volunteers, staff, and board.

Job description and application info here.

Development Assistant with SYRCL!

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) seeks an organized, detail-oriented and friendly person to work on our development and fundraising team, part-time, in Nevada City. The Development Assistant will coordinate events and assist in tracking financial contributions, stewarding donors, and doing database entry and funder research.

Job description and application info here!

Ecologist with Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit!

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is currently seeking a candidate for an Ecologist, GS-0408- 9/11 position located at the Supervisor’s Office in South Lake Tahoe, California.

To express interest in this position, please contact Becky Estes at, for a Voluntary Outreach Interest Form, and return it to Adrian Escobedo at by close of business on 1/7/2016

For additional information, please contact Becky Estes at the above email or by phone: 530-642-5161.

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: 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.

Director: Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club!

The Mother Lode Chapter of the Sierra Club seeks a chapter director to provide leadership and to work under the direction of its volunteer leaders to implement the chapter's policies, programs and operations. Start date: March 1, 2016.

Full job description available here!


Yosemite National Park: Public Scoping of Wilderness Stewardship Plan

Yosemite’s Wilderness is currently managed under the 1989 Wilderness Management Plan. The park needs to update this plan to incorporate current information about visitor use patterns, methods of managing visitor use, techniques for trail design and construction, and concepts for managing stock in wilderness.

Yosemite National Park has opened public scoping for planning and environmental impact analysis for the Yosemite Wilderness Stewardship Plan with comments accepted through January 29, 2016.

More information here!

NID Regional Water Supply Project Draft EIR: Notice of Availability and Public Comment Period

The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) is the lead agency for a proposed project to provide reliable, treated water service to properties within the NID service area in and around the City of Lincoln and provide additional raw water supplies to existing customers. As the lead agency, NID has completed a Draft Environmental Impact Report.

NID welcomes comments during the public review period from December 4, 2015 through February 5, 2016!
More information here!

Call for Abstracts - Agricultural Groundwater Conference

The Unique Agricultural Groundwater Conference will be held in San Francisco, June 28-30, 2016. The conference integrates across a wide range of topics specifically focused on this nexus: sustainable groundwater management, groundwater quality protection, groundwater-surface water interactions, the groundwater-energy nexus, agricultural BMPs for groundwater management and protection, monitoring, data management, modeling tools, and agricultural groundwater management, regulation, and economics.

Please consider submitting an abstract to this unique conference focusing on groundwater in key agricultural regions in California, North America and throughout the world!

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 15, 2016! More information here!

Free Memberships Available: The Citizen Science Association

The Citizen Science Association is now inviting inaugural members. At this time, there is no cost for membership. As this new organization is being established, inaugural members can help to shape the Association through opportunities to vote on key decisions about direction, priorities, and leadership.

For more information, click here!

CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship

California's State Legislature is looking for a few good scientists and engineers to trade their lab coats for business suits, and swap molecules and equations for committee hearings and bill analyses!

Applications for the 2017 Class of our CCST Science & Technology Policy Fellowship open onTuesday, December 1st.

For more information, click here!


The Sierra Nevada Alliance launches the 10th year of the Sierra Nevada Americorps Partnership (SNAP) Program!

2015 SNAP Members!

The Sierra Nevada Alliance has been awarded the 2015/16 Sierra Nevada Americorps Partnership (SNAP), launching the 10th year of the program, under direction of SNAP director Lynn Baumgartner.

"This years program involves 28 AmeriCorps Members who will focus on watershed restoration and monitoring, environmental education and outreach, and volunteer recruitment and support", says Baumgartner.

SNAP Members are placed at sixteen environmental nonprofits, agencies and tribes throughout the Sierra. Tuolumne River Trust in Sonora and the US Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station in Fresno hosting SNAP Members for the first time. Returning SNAP Host Organizations include Alpine Watershed Group (Markleeville), American River Conservancy (Coloma), American Rivers, Sierra Streams Institute, South Yuba River Citizens League, The Sierra Fund (Nevada City), Bishop Paiute Tribe, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Friends of the Inyo (Bishop), Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation, El Dorado County & Georgetown Divide RCDs (Placerville), Sequoia Riverlands Trust (Visalia), Trout Unlimited Truckee Chapter (Truckee), and UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (Tahoe City).

Members will complete projects such as mapping and restoring illegal OHV trails in the El Dorado National Forest, running the 2016 Sierra Trout Camp in Truckee, leading volunteer crews in the restoration of the Rim Fire burn area, and organizing the Field Trip Program at Kaweah Oaks Preserve in the Southern Sierra.

Since 2007, SNAP Members have restored more than 13,000 acres, educated more than 150,000 individuals, recruited more than 30,000 volunteers, and contributed more than 425,000 service hours. If you are interested in joining the SNAP Program as a Host Organization or Member, contact Lynn at

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

Is the West prepared for climate change?
High Country News, Sarah Tory, 12/16/15

Sierra Link: A new report shows most states are vulnerable to future increases in extreme heat, drought, and flooding. states in the West faces some of the greatest threats from climate change. California ranks second in wildfire and inland flooding risk and third in extreme heat. This resonates with our recent history in the Sierra!

Understanding El Niño
The New York Times, Jonah Bromwich, 12/16/15

Sierra Link: Rain in California. Fires in the tropics. Floods in the southern United States. Unseasonably warm weather on the Eastern Seaboard. All have followed El Niño events in past years. This article is particularly relevant to us in the Sierra.

Who really killed Keystone?
High Country News, Cally Carswell, 12/7/15

Sierra Link: An unusual coalition of farmers, ranchers and Native Americans who live along the proposed Keystone XL pipeline route, are fighting new fossil fuel infrastructure, and they're starting to win.


The last stand of the West's fire lookouts
High Country News, Gloria Dickie, 12/7/15

Sierra Link: Approximately 4,000 fire lookout towers once dotted Western forests, staffed by dedicated lookouts who scanned the surrounding woods for any hint of smoke. Fire detection is becoming more technologically advanced, as the old-fashioned watchtower goes extinct.

More California farmland could vanish as water shortages loom beyond drought
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler, 11/26/15

Sierra Link: The relentless groundwater pumping that has kept hundreds of farms going the past four years is coming to an end. California’s Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, set to take effect in 2020, will limit how much groundwater can be extracted. While details are still being fleshed out, water policy experts say many farmers will gradually have their water supplies curtailed. Will this alleviate the strenuous Sierra demand or have an unexpected detrimental effect?


Yosemite National Park Distributed Approximately 1,000 Free Park Passes to Fourth Graders So Far This Year
NPS News Release, Yosemite, 12/14/15

Sierra Link: Yosemite National Park has distributed approximately 1,000 free park passes to Fourth Graders through the “Every Kid in a Park” program. Fourth graders from across the country brought their vouchers to Yosemite to receive the free park pass. The passes are intended for fourth grade students and their families to visit more than 2,000 federal recreation areas through August 31, 2016. What a great Sierra opportunity!

2 House bills would open California public lands to off-road vehicles
Sacramento Bee, Michael Doyle, 12/6/15

Sierra Link: Off-road vehicles could again be roaring under bills weighed recently by a House panel. While the separate legislative packages would designate new wilderness areas for protection, the bills emphasize public use of federal lands. What does this indicate for the work that has been done on this issue here?

Truckee Donner Land Trust and Access Fund Complete Acquisition on Donner Summit
Yuba Net News, Truckee Donner Land Trust, 12/12/15

Sierra Link: The Truckee Donner Land Trust and the Access Fund are pleased to announce the acquisition and protection of a significant set of climbing areas on Donner Summit, located just west of Truckee, California.


Tahoe gets 6.4 billion gallons of water in 24 hrs.
San Francisco Gate, Evan Sernoffsky, 12/22/15

Sierra Link: Since midnight Monday, the lake has gone up 1.92 inches, the equivalent of 6.39 billion gallons of water. The water comes as a winter storm slams the Sierra, bringing several feet of snow to higher elevations and rain at lake level, which sits at roughly 6,223 feet.

Amid complaints about secrecy, California water bill bogs down again
Sacramento Bee, Michael Doyle, 12/4/15

Sierra Link: Facing criticism from fellow Democrats, and with key details still unresolved, Sen. Dianne Feinstein conceded Friday that the water legislation needs additional work despite “significant progress.” Her call for more time undermines efforts to add the water provisions to must-pass legislation to fund the federal government. What does that mean to us in the Sierra?

California’s future: the end of bathtubs, lawns, city government
San Francisco Chronicle, Matt Weiser, 12/16/15

Sierra Link: California’s ongoing drought has put the state at a crossroads. Like advanced societies that have come before, the Golden State is at risk of being undone by water scarcity. This is a funny article about our drought crisis, assessing "risks" with a sense of humor.


Rescue for Recovery: Biologists Team up with Zoos to Save Frogs on Brink of Extinction
NPS News Release, Colleen Bathe, et al., 12/16/15

Sierra Link: Critically endangered tadpoles emergency evacuated from the high Sierra and transported to Oakland Zoo and San Francisco Zoo have successfully morphed into healthy mountain yellow-legged frogs. The precious cargo, carefully collected by National Park Service biologists in August, was airlifted from remote locations in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

New Yosemite Nature Notes Episode Features Bighorn Sheep
NPS News Release, Yosemite, 12/16/15

Sierra Link: The Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep is the only federally endangered mammal in Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon. This animal was listed in 2000 after the population plunged to a low of about 100 individuals. The population has since increased to over 600 sheep!

Other Articles

California Solar Plan Snarled by Controversy
PublicCeo, James Poulos, 12/4/15

Sierra Link: In California, a new conflict over alternative energy has broken out, pitting lawmakers, regulators, customers and the solar power industry against one another. The dispute centered around how much solar users ought to be charged — and how much solar power ought to be incentivized.

It’s time to let Lake Powell go
High Country News, Eric Balken, 12/1/15

Sierra Link: The concept of filling Mead makes more sense with each passing year as the Colorado River declines. Lake Powell might once have served a purpose. But in today's "new normal," there is simply not enough water to maintain both Lake Powell and Lake Mead. It's time to fill Mead first.

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.