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January 20, 2016

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!

Rim Fire Reforestation Volunteer Opportunities!

During February and March 2016, volunteers will be planting trees in the Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite National Park, reforesting areas damaged by the 2013 Rim Fire. This project is ideal for groups and families; join us!

To find out more about how you can help, sign up here, contact: Seth Connolly or call 949-533-2346.

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!

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!

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.

Tahoe Rim Trail: Outdoor and Youth Program Manager and Trail Ops Coordinator!

Working for the Tahoe Rim Trail Association (TRTA) is more than just a day job! Be a part of 'a trail like no other' and help build a legacy for the future. The Tahoe Rim Trail currently seeks two enthusiastic individuals to join the team.

Take a look at our current job opportunities here.

Climate Change Program Specialist!

Specialist will be assigned to the USAID/Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and Environment, Global Climate Change (GCC) Office. The USAID GCC Office is responsible for coordinating and reporting on USAID’s contribution toward the USG Global Climate Change Initiative, implementation of USAID’s Climate Change and Development Strategy, coordinating with international organizations, donors, and processes that deal with climate change and development, and for providing thought leadership to advance climate-resilient, low emissions development.

Announcement closes Monday January 11 2016 at 11:59pm.

For full description, please apply on USA Jobs!

TEMPORARY SEASONAL position with Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU)!

The Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) will soon be filling TEMPORARY SEASONAL (1039hrs) positions. Openings will be available at the GS- 03 – GS-09 levels in different departments (i.e., Sivilculture, Trails, Recreation, etc) which may or may not be filled dependant on staffing needs. The purpose of this Outreach Notice is to inform candidates interested in applying for the positions at the LTBMU. Announcements will open January 25th, 2016 and close on January 29th, 2016. (Please note that announcements open on Eastern Standard Time, so they will close on January 29th at 9:00pm PST).

Job description and application info 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!

Science Communication Fellowship Training Program!

The Powerhouse is creating a cadre of well-trained Science Communication Fellows who educate and inspire people of all ages about the wonders, possibilities, even the responsibilities of science and its related fields. Science Communication Fellows are scientists, engineers, graduate students, researchers, and other science-based professionals.

They are accepting applications now through January 24th. A total of twelve participants will be chosen for the program. To view the program application, click 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!

Action Alert

Your Response Needed! Sierra Nevada Alliance Member Group Database

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is creating a Member Group Database and needs your input! Please fill out this linked questionnaire. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete. Please contact Shannon by email or via phone at 530-542-4546 ext. 703.

Thank you so much for your time and input. We truly appreciate it.



January 14, 2016 - Placerville, CA

On Wednesday January 13, Rural Communities United continued its efforts to protect rural character by filing a case challenging the County’s massive rezoning and gutting of the voter approved 2004 general plan. Rural Communities United is an organization of local residents who seek to protect the County's rural character for current and future residents.

The County doesn't acknowledge Hwy 50 traffic conditions - service level 'F' exists now, yet many more parcels have been approved for development.

The case was filed to protect rural groundwater supplies, fire safety, and traffic circulation. The case alleges that the mass rezoning of thousands of parcels fails to respect the 2004 general plan protections for the County's rural resources. According to the case filed in El Dorado County Superior Court, “These planning blunders have transformed El Dorado County’s general plan and zoning ordinance into the antithesis of orderly planning.”

El Dorado County's rural character is at risk now with approved changes favoring development.

The case was also filed to protect the rights of local citizens to fair hearings. The case scolds county planning commissioners and supervisors for not giving fair hearings to those who expressed concerns regarding the effects of the rezones on their homes and neighborhoods. According to the case, the County’s deliberate indifference to the rights of its residents has, “caused good people to question their faith in the integrity of their government.”

The case will likely be heard by a judge later in the year in El Dorado County Superior Court. Ellen Van Dyke of Rural Communities United said, “We hope to inspire people throughout El Dorado County to protect the things that make this a great place to live.”

For more information about Rural Citizens United, click here, or email Ellen Van Dyke.

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

El Niño makes snow now, but warmer winters still ahead
Reno Gazette-Journal, Benjamin Spillman, 1/11/16

Sierra Link: The El Niño weather pattern that's fueling a snowy start to 2016 for the Lake Tahoe region is among the strongest on record and likely to continue bringing storms to the region. But the long-term climate prognosis for the Sierra Nevada and the planet as a whole is more troubling.

Nicholas Pinter, El Niño expert
NewsReview, Rachel Leibrock, 12/24/2015

Sierra Link: In this interview with US Davis geosciences professor Nicholas Pinter, this winter’s predicted El Niño weather pattern is about the opportunity to correct past environmental neglects.

Massive leaks are an everyday occurrence in gas fields
High Country News, Jonathan Thompson, 1/18/16

Sierra Link: California’s Aliso Canyon is a reminder that methane emissions are widespread, poorly regulated — and ongoing.


2015 wildfires burned a record-breaking 10.1 million acres
High Country News, Gloria Dickie, 1/11/16

Sierra Link: The summer of 2015 was unlike anything most career firefighters had ever seen. Across the United States, fires erupted not only in dry woodlands, but also in grasslands, rainforests, and tundra, ignited by lightning strikes and careless campers. We know this all too well in the Sierra.

Study: Logging Forests Won't Increase Water Supply
KCET News, Chris Clarke, 1/20/16

Sierra Link: A controversial 2015 report that suggested logging California's forests could increase the state's water supply got it wrong, according to a new study released late last week.


Amid court battle, Yosemite park plans to change some iconic names
Sacramento Bee, Michael Doyle, 1/14/16

Sierra Link: In an extraordinary move, the National Park Service announced Thursday that it was changing the names of The Ahwahnee hotel, Curry Village and other beloved park sites. The move, officials say, was forced on them by an intellectual property dispute with the park’s departing concessions company.

Why the Government Owns So Much Land in the West
New York Times: The Upshot, QUOCTRUNG BUI and MARGOT SANGER-KATZ, 1/5/16

Sierra Link: The history of federal land ownership has been largely one of divestiture and public use, not acquisition. As the United States expanded across the continent, it did so by purchasing or taking the land that became new states.


As with lakes around world, water temperature in Lake Tahoe rising
SF Gate, David Perlman, 1/18/15

Sierra Link: Lake Tahoe, like many lakes around the world, is rising in temperature. Tahoe's surface temperature reached 53 degrees last summer, the highest in more than a century.

Drought-ravaged Folsom Lake Rises 28.5 Feet in Just One Month
SF Gate, Amy Graff, 1/6/16

Sierra Link: Water-starved Folsom Lake is beginning to slowly fill up and recover from its lowest water levels ever.

Update: New tests show no bacteria for Pocket/Greenhaven drinking water, but city advisory remains in effect

Sierra Link: The advisory is believed to be unprecedented in a city where residents have long trusted tap water as a reliable drinking source at the confluence of two major rivers.


To Save Its Salmon, California Calls In the Fish Matchmaker
New York Times, Matt Richtel, 1/15/16

Sierra Link: At a hatchery on the Klamath River, biologists are using genetic techniques to reduce inbreeding, though some argue natural methods are more effective.

Protect Greater Sage-Grouse From Mining, Urge Conservation Groups
YubaNetNews, American Bird Conservancy (ABC), 1/20/16

Sierra Link: More than 80 bird and habitat-conservation organizations have signed a comment letter supporting a proposed 10-million acre mineral withdrawal to protect Greater Sage-Grouse habitat from hard rock mining.

Event tallies up eagles in Tahoe
Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton, 1/9/16

Sierra Link: The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science held its annual midwinter bald eagle survey Friday.

Other Articles

Stop the rock-stacking
High Country News, Robyn Martin, 7/7/15

Sierra Link: This controversial op-ed piece argues that egotistical rock cairns infringe on the intrinsic value of wild areas.

Nevada decision guts the state’s thriving solar industry
High Country News, Elizabeth Shogren, 1/14/16

Sierra Link: In nearby Nevada, electric utility pushed an effort to sour economics of rooftop solar.

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.