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January 6, 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!

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!

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!

Senior Environmental Scientist!

The California Department of Parks and Recreation - Natural Resources Division seeks a Senior Environmental Scientist (Specialist) to work towards the protection of botanical resources throughout the California State Park System. Working with the Natural Resources Division and State Parks District natural resource staff, the successful applicant will provide technical expertise and assistance, policy guidance, and program and project management on issues related to vegetation management and natural resource conservation throughout the State Park System.

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.


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!

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!

SFEWS Online Journal Now Available - Vol. 13, Iss 4, Dec 2015

The University of California's John Muir Institute for the Environment announces the latest issue of the San Francisco Estuary & Watershed Science online journal. Articles cover such topics as fish conservation, Delta nutrient load trends, genetics, and endangered habitat management, among others.

Read the full journal here!


2015 Southwest Climate Summit:
Southwest Climate Science Center (SWCSC) Event!

This story adapted from original, written by Kandace Knudson, JMIE Academic Coordinator - Environmental and Community Outreach, on January 7, 2016.


More than 250 scientists, land managers, and climate science professionals gathered last month in Sacramento for the 2015 Southwest Climate Summit, facilitated by the UC Davis co-led Southwest Climate Science Center (SWCSC). Summit sessions focused on the data-informed problem-solving that scientists and land managers must engage in as a means of protecting natural resources from the dramatic impacts of climate change.

JMIE director and conference co-chair Dr. Mark Schwartz welcomes the 200+ attendees to the Summit.

Keynote speakers including The Nature Conservancy Public Policy Director Lynn Scarlett and climate change researcher UCLA Professor and John Muir Memorial Chair of Geography Glen M. MacDonald called for collaboration between managers and scientists, between government agencies and non-profits, and between all of those entities in order to address the intractable challenges of climate analysis and effective modeling—all for the purposes of better management of natural resources.

Specifically, keynotes called for the breaking down of academic silos in order to produce:

* collaborative research between scientists and land managers
* more effective data modeling designed for land managers
* Tribal-informed decision-making in adaptation projects and planning
* agency-academy-land manager cooperative decision-making structures

Former Sec. of Interior Lynn Scarlett addresses attendees of the 2015 Summit

As Scarlett explained, these collaborative solutions are critical, considering that “no challenge is more complex than climate change.” Instead of just drought, climate change brings us complications such as “hot drought.” In that context, scientists aim to understand the additional complications while those managing the natural environment need to work even harder to understand the increasingly complex science. As one summit participant quipped, land managers need ‘science intermediaries’ or ‘climate therapists’ to navigate the tension between science’s need to explain and managers’ need to act.

For more information about the 2015 Southwest Climate Summit, visit

The Southwest Climate Science Center (SWCSC) is one of eight regional Climate Science Centers managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center. The SW CSC is a collaborative partnership among USGS scientists, resource management agencies, and a consortium of six academic institutions from across the region. Including UC Davis.

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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

In Wild Winter, Warm North Pole Storm Chills U.S. Forecast as Flooding Threatens Levees
The New York Times - Dot Earth, Andrew C Revkin, 12/30/15

Sierra Link: This is a really interesting article outlining many elements of our climate changes in the US, between El Niño and the less mentioned Arctic Oscillation, tornado outbreaks, flooding, and other factors. A good read for all Americans, including Sierra Nevadans.

Warm El Niño Water Meets a North Pacific Already Disrupted By The Blob
BayNature, Drew Baldwin and Eric Simons, 12/16/2015

Sierra Link: El Niño events in the past changed California’s marine ecosystem, but 2015 was different – in part because the Pacific Ocean was extraordinarily warm for months before the warm tropical water driven across the Equator and up the coast by this winter’s record-strength El Niño had even arrived. Read in detail with the above link.

Jerry Brown declares emergency around Southern California gas leak
Sacramento Bee, David Siders, 1/6/16

Sierra Link: Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency around the massive natural gas leak in Southern California, which has been venting massive amounts of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, since October.


Progressive forest canopy water loss during the 2012–2015 California drought
PNAS, Gregory P. Asner, et al., 11/30/15

Sierra Link: Here you will read an abstract from a fascinating scientific paper examining forest health models using airborne laser-guided spectroscopy and satellite-based models to assess losses in canopy water content of California’s forests between 2011 and 2015. Please contact Kate Gladstein to read the full PDF.

New maps show spread and impact of drought on California forests
LA Times - Science Now, Sean Greene, 12/31/15

Sierra Link: California’s forests have already lost millions of trees in recent years due to rising temperatures, the drought and a plague of bark beetle infestations. According to a study published this week, if the drought persists, millions of more CA trees could die.


Is the era of dam-building over? Backers of several major projects say it shouldn't be.
Los Angeles Times, Bettina Boxall, 12/27/15

Sierra Link: Drought, climate change and environmental curbs on water deliveries are fueling campaigns for more water storage in California. However, a handful of resurgent proposals challenge the notion that the era of big dam building is over.

State of Jefferson supporters plan bill seeking independence from California
Sacramento Bee, Alexei Koseff, 1/6/16

Sierra Link: Now tallying 21 counties among their ranks, supporters of the movement to carve an independent “State of Jefferson” out of Northern California plan to introduce a bill this session seeking sovereignty. How will this divide us in the Sierra? Many of the counties involved are at least partially Sierran...

Yosemite concessionaire wants $44 million for trademarked park names
Sacramento Bee, Michael Doyle, 1/5/16

Sierra Link: Yosemite National Park’s former concessionaire surprised federal officials by quietly trademarking high-profile park names and then “grossly” overvaluing the intellectual property in an unjustified bid for millions of dollars, government lawyers contend in a new legal filing this week.


California Wants to Store Water for Farmers, but Struggles Over How to Do It
The New York Times, Justin Gillis, 12/21/15

Sierra Link: The prolonged drought of recent years has prodded California into political action to prepare for a likely more difficult future due to climate change. The state must decide how best to save the water that arrives between the drought years, weighing billion-dollar construction projects against smaller and less expensive measures.

VIDEO: California relocates residents whose wells have gone dry
High Country News, Zoe Meyer, 1/5/16

Sierra Link: In its fifth year of drought, Tulare County, California, is among the worst hit areas in the state. This video shares the stories of three county residents and their perspective on the relocation program. Deeply sad and disappointing, we stand with you, Tulare.

California drought endangers millions of trees
Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler, 12/29/16

Sierra Link: As many as 58 million large California trees are facing severe danger because of the drought, according to a new scientific study released Monday by the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C.


Pesticide is threat to bees, EPA says
Sacramento Bee, Geoffrey Mohan of the LA Times, 1/6/16

Sierra Link: A widely used insecticide threatens honeybees, federal environmental regulators said in a decision that could lend impetus to efforts to ban imidacloprid, a nicotine-imitating chemical found in at least 188 CA farm and household products. This is painfully relevant to so many of us.

New plan seeks to safeguard giant garter snake habitat in California
Sacramento Bee, Edward Ortiz, 12/24/15

Sierra Link: A new regional recovery plan for the giant garter snake, a threatened species endemic to the Central Valley, seeks to protect large blocks of its habitat in in two separate blocks in each of nine Central Valley areas from Butte County to the Tulare Basin.

Other Articles

In ‘Gold Fame Citrus,’ the nascent genre of cli-fi looks to California
High Country News, Ben Goldfarb, 1/4/16

Sierra Link: A new "climate fiction" novel predicts a dystopian West of sand and refugees.

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.