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February 8, 2017

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Full Moon Snowshoe Hike with the Sierra Nevada Alliance!

Join the Sierra Nevada Alliance for a fun and educational evening under the February Full Moon as we hike Hope Valley by snowshoe or cross-country ski. Learn about astronomy while we explore the meadow beneath the full moon. Optional dinner afterward at Sorensen’s Resort.

Date: Friday, Feb 10, 2017, 5:45-8:30pm
Location: Yurt at the intersection of highway 89 and highway 88 at 5:45pm
Details: Join us for a short walk/ski around the meadow. The Alliance will provide a few pairs of binoculars and moon maps, but please bring any tools or maps you’d like! The walk should be easy to moderate with stops along the way to share cultural and science stories about the Moon.

To sign up, click here!

Don’t Miss the Alliance’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival in South Lake Tahoe!

Please join us for our 12th Annual Film Festival in South Lake Tahoe on March 24! Our Wild and Scenic Film Festival On Tour combines award winning environmental and adventure films with the energy of local activism. Each year, we choose powerful environmental and adventure films so that you are inspired to take further action regarding issues that impact our environment, ourselves and our world. Our 2017 Film Festival benefits the Sierra Nevada Alliance & our Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership. If you’re one of the first 25 people to buy tickets for the event, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win an insulated Alliance Kleen Kanteen! Thank you, to our South Lake partners South Tahoe Earth Day and Patagonia Lake Tahoe.

Date: Friday, March 24th
Location: MontBleu Resort & Casino - South Lake Tahoe

Please visit our website for additional details and to buy tickets for the Film Festival.
And please click here to review additional festival dates!

TERC: Sierra Nevada Climate Lecture!

Join the Tahoe Environmental Research Center for a lecture, Climate change and lake temperature in the Sierra Nevada: There's no business like snow business with Dr. Steve Sadro of UC Davis.

Date: Thurs. February 9th, 2017 - 5:30 to 7pm
Location: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, 291 Country Club Dr., Incline Village, Nevada
Details: $5 suggested donation, refreshments and no-host bar 5:30pm, presentation begins at 6pm

Please learn more about and register, click here!

Forest Service OHV Open House!

The U.S. Forest Service has scheduled a public open house in preparation for an annual application to the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division, to request funding for trail maintenance, restoration, development of facilities, law enforcement, and planning for off-highway vehicle (OHV) access. Please join the Forest Service to provide input and review proposals for the application.

Date: Thursday, February 16, 4-7pm
Location: Tahoe National Forest Headquarters in Nevada City

Please click here for more info.

Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training!

Our climate is changing. Do you want to make a difference? Join the Climate Reality Project for a Leadership Corps training, and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet. The training will explain how we can use social media, powerful storytelling, and personal outreach to inspire audiences to take action.

Application Deadline: Jan 24, 2017
Date: March 2-4, 2017
Location: Denver, CO

Please click here for more information!

Carson Valley Trails Association: Annual Meeting and Social!

Date: March 7, 5:30-7:30pm
Location: Douglas County Community Center, 1329 Waterloo Ln, Gardnerville
Details: Please join Carson Valley Trails to find out about current, completed and future projects, upcoming events, and how YOU can get involved. This event is FREE and open to the public, and includes displays, refreshements, a no-host bar, and more!

Please click here for more information!

Yosemite Policymakers Conference!

Join mayors, city council members, county supervisors, city managers, and high-level department heads for the 26th Annual Yosemite Policymakers Conference. This timely and inspirational program will provide tools and support needed in implementing innovative solutions to address society's most pressing challenges. This year's conference focus is sustaining our progress and protecting the American dream.

Date: March 16-19, 2017
Location: Yosemite National Park

For more information and to register, click here!

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Executive Director: Foothill Conservancy!

Foothill Conservancy is seeking a dynamic, outgoing, self-motivated, effective individual to serve as its executive director.

For more information, click here.

Executive Director: Friends of the Inyo!

The Friends of the Inyo Executive Director implements long term strategic direction and administers the organization’s programs.

For more information, click here.

Volunteer Opportunity: Reclaiming the Sierra 2017 with the Sierra Fund!

The Sierra Fund is preparing their fourth biennial conference, Reclaiming the Sierra 2017: Headwater Resiliency, scheduled May 8-9, 2017 in Sacramento. Volunteers make these important events possible. If you are willing to donate at least 5 hours to a volunteer shift, the Sierra Fund will offer a FREE one-day conference pass which may be used on either Monday, May 8 or Tuesday, May 9.

To claim your spot on the volunteer team, please fill out this volunteer questionnaire to be placed in the perfect role. Please contact Kelsey Westfall with any questions, either by email or by calling (530) 265-8454 x217.

The Sierra Fund: Development Assistant!

The Sierra Fund is currently seeking a half time Development Assistant to join their team of passionate and dedicated staff in their Nevada City office.
Please click here for more information!

League to Save Lake Tahoe: Finance and Human Resources Director!

The League to Save Lake Tahoe is seeking an experienced and enthusiastic nonprofit professional to provide a wide range of finance, human resources and administrative functions.
Please click here for more information!

Sierra Business Council: Office & Operations Manager!

The Sierra Business Council is seeking an Office & Operations Manager, responsible for the day-to-day administration of their Truckee office and who will provide key logistical support in planning events, quarterly Board meetings and bi-annual supporter mailings.

For more information, click here!


Start the Year Off Right, With Clean Energy!

Our energy concierge partner, MyDomino’s, mission is to reduce global fossil fuel use. They help individuals take meaningful actions to lower their carbon footprint and save money by switching to renewable energy. MyDomino is currently offering Alliance supporters a free one-year membership to their servces, and they’ll donate $50 to the Alliance on your behalf when you have a conversation with a MyDomino advisor (no purchase or obligation required). Your membership allows you to save money and the environment by following MyDomino's clean energy recommendations for your home, whether you rent or own. Use our Partner Code “ALLIANCE” at to redeem the offer, initiate the donation, and begin your switch to clean energy! The Sierra will thank you!

Draft Forest Carbon Plan!

CalFIRE, Natural Resources Agency, and Cal EPA released the draft Forest Carbon Plan and is requesting comments by February 23rd. ARCCA will be developing a comment letter and is requesting comments for consideration and inclusion to be submitted to by February 13th.

Drought Resiliency Projects and Drought Contingency Planning Grants!

The Drought Resiliency Projects aim to increase the reliability of water supply, improve exchange of water, and provide benefits of fish, wildlife, and the environment to mitigate the impacts caused by drought (up to $750,000 per award). The Drought Contingency Planning Grants seek to support collaborative planning efforts that use a proactive approach to build long-term resiliency to drought (up to $200,000 per award). Applications to both due February 14, 2017.


Eastern Sierra Land Trust:
$8 Million Fund Created to Improve Water Quality and Conserve Greater Sage-Grouse in the Eastern Sierra


Thanks to a collaborative local partnership between ranchers, conservationists, private organizations, state and local officials, and public land managers, successful efforts to keep the rare Bi-State greater sage-grouse off of the Endangered Species list have recently won national acclaim.
Photo © Bob Wick, Bureau of Land Management.

In a landmark victory for local conservation and the long-term health of the Eastern Sierra, the USDA’s Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) has created an $8 million fund to support initiatives conserving the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse and enhancing ranch water quality in the region.

Sage-grouse thrive in wide-open areas with abundant sagebrush, native grasses, and wet meadows – a landscape known as the sagebrush ecosystem, frequently found on working ranches. The RCPP will ensure that sage-grouse, along with other wildlife species that rely on the sagebrush ecosystem, will continue to exist harmoniously on ranchlands for years to come. This funding is available to landowners in the Bi-State area along the California-Nevada border.

Local non-profit Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT) spearheaded the funding request with ten other national, state, regional, and private partners.

“Clean water and ranch stewardship are priorities that span state and party lines, and the Bi-State demonstrates that spirit of collaboration. This award is an affirmation of the work we are doing together and the power of partnership,”

- Susanna Danner, Land Conservation Program Director at ESLT.


Ranchers in eastern California and western Nevada are encouraged to apply to receive financial assistance from the new $8 million RCPP project in order to enhance sage-grouse habitat and improve ranchland water quality on their property. Photo © Dwayne Leonard, Ranch Memories Photography.

Administered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the RCPP is a new and highly-competitive program created in the 2014 Farm Bill. The RCPP awards innovative projects across the country that improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat, and protect agricultural viability.

One of only 88 projects funded nationwide, this investment is a direct result of the Bi-State Local Area Working Group (LAWG), a dynamic, cross-state partnership formed in 2002 to conserve sage-grouse habitat and protect rangeland health. The LAWG is composed of ranchers, conservationists, private organizations, state and local officials, and public land managers. In 2015, this group played a pivotal role in keeping the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse off the Endangered Species List, effectively working together to solve a problem before additional regulation was necessary.

“This is an outstanding example of what can be achieved when people come together with a focus on solving a problem by harmonizing the diverse interests of all those involved,”

- Pete Pumphrey, Eastern Sierra Audubon Society Conservation Chair.


What is the Bi-State Sage-Grouse?

When early explorers first surveyed the Great Basin, greater sage-grouse were so plentiful that the sky was said to darken when flocks took to the air. But after facing two centuries of habitat destruction and other threats, sage-grouse are now much rarer in the American West. Once numbering more than 16 million across the western United States, there are now only an estimated 500,000 of these birds left.

Found in eastern California and western Nevada, the Bi-State sage-grouse is a unique population of greater sage-grouse – one that is now considered to be much stronger thanks to years of conservation work by the LAWG.

It is also a bellwether species: the health of sage-grouse populations is indicative of the condition of the land itself. Where sage-grouse are in trouble, it’s more likely that other wildlife – like pronghorn, golden eagle, and more than 350 other species that rely on the sagebrush ecosystem – are in trouble, too.

Building On Success

Eastern Sierra Land Trust and its ten partners have agreed to leverage the RCPP’s $8 million investment by contributing an additional $20 million in funding and in-kind support to bolster sage-grouse conservation and water quality improvements.

According to Steve Nelson, field manager for the Bureau of Land Management’s Bishop Field Office, “The conservation and enhancement of working ranch lands is a fundamental component of the cooperative, landscape scale effort to conserve greater sage-grouse in the Bi-State area of eastern California and western Nevada.”

The impact of this funding will be far-reaching. In the Eastern Sierra, it means the protection of habitat for sage-grouse and other wildlife, clean water for local families, and the conservation of the region’s ranching heritage for future generations.

To Kay Ogden, Executive Director of Eastern Sierra Land Trust, the RCPP award is a major success for the community as a whole.

“From conservationists, to birding enthusiasts, to ranchers, to fishermen – this is a victory for everyone.”

About the Fund

The $8 million fund will be available for five years to landowners in portions of Inyo, Mono, and Alpine Counties of California and portions of Douglas, Lyon, Carson City, Mineral, and Esmeralda Counties in Nevada – an area of 7,000 square miles. Ranchers can apply to receive funds from this pool in order to complete projects that will enhance sage-grouse habitat and improve water quality on property they own and manage. In addition, local organizations such as Eastern Sierra Land Trust will be available to advise landowners and assist them in the application process.

NRCS will implement RCPP conservation contracts through three existing NRCS programs: Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program – Grasslands of Special Significance, and Wetlands Reserve Easements. Examples of eligible projects include EQIP contracts to restore wetlands, construct wildlife-friendly fencing, prevent erosion by planting native grasses and shrubs, and reduce nonpoint source pollution to creeks and rivers. The RCPP also prioritizes voluntary conservation easements on private ranches and wetlands that provide sage-grouse habitat.

Any land owner interested in pursuing a project that will benefit the goals of the RCPP is encouraged to contact Susanna Danner, ESLT Land Conservation Program Director, at (760) 873-4554 or

Become a 2017 Member Group of the Sierra Nevada Alliance!


Becoming a Member Group means becoming a part of a Sierra-wide network that works to protect and restore the Sierra Nevada region. Being a part of a network like this comes with immeasurable benefits that have the potential to catalyze progress for both your organization and the region. Non-profit organizations whose work aligns with the mission of the Alliance are invited to apply. We are accepting applications for 2017 Member Groups until February 15, 2017. More information here.

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

Former EPA head Gina McCarthy: “I don’t know why climate change got to be a religion”
The Mercury News, Katy Murphy, 2/8/2017

Sierra Link: Former EPA administrator Gina McCarthy says she has deep concerns about the agency’s direction under the Trump administration and is urging California and other states to take the lead on slowing climate change.

U.S. Faces Huge Crop Losses If Temps Keep Rising
Climate Central, Alex Whiting, 1/21/2017

Sierra Link: If global temperatures continue to rise, the United States faces big drops in harvests of major food crops by 2100, which may push up global food prices, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said on Thursday.


The Forest Service relaxes restrictions on recreation
High Country News, Anna V Smith, 1/23/2017

Sierra Link: The Forest Service recently announced that it is modernizing and streamlining its recreation permit process to encourage groups to use its land, not restrict access.

Latest: California’s tree die-off is bigger than you thought
High Country News, Lyndsey Gilpin, 12/12/2016

Sierra Link: In mid-November, a USFS aerial survey revealed that drought has killed an additional 36 million trees since May 2016, bringing the total to 102 million since 2010. Most have been in the central and southern Sierra Nevada.


Federal hiring freeze hits Western land agencies
High Country News, Anna V Smith, 1/25/17

Sierra Link: President Donald Trump announced a freeze on all federal hiring, eliminating any vacant positions and prohibiting the creation of new positions as of noon on Jan. 22. The presidential memorandum will affect all federal agencies except the military.

Placer Land Trust Protects Nisenan Cultural Land
YubaNet News, Placer Land Trust, 2/8/2017

Sierra Link: Placer Land Trust has announced the permanent protection of 27 acres of oak woodlands and wetlands in Granite Bay – land with special historical significance to local Native Americans.


As the snowpack piles up, is California's drought over? No, say experts.
Christian Science Monitor, Ellen Powell, 2/4/2017

Sierra Link: Though heightened snowpack in California’s Sierra Nevada is cause for optimism, reducing water use remains as important as ever, scientists say.

Lake Tahoe Gained 8.7 Billion Gallons Of Water In Just 2 Days
Forbes Media, Trevor Nace, 2/7/2017

Sierra Link: Lake Tahoe has had a great month. The National Weather Service calculated that since Jan. 1 of 2017 the lake has gained over 40 billion gallons of water.


Lawsuit claims wolves aren't an endangered species
Record Searchlight: USA Today, Damon Arthur, 1/31/2017

Sierra Link: Listing the gray wolf as an endangered species was unjustified and based on erroneous information, said Damien Schiff, a lawyer for the Pacific Legal Foundation, who filed the suit on behalf of the CA Cattlemen’s Association and the CA Farm Bureau.

Floodwaters Create Crucial Habitat In Yolo Bypass
Capital Public Radio, Amy Quinton, 2/7/2017

Sierra Link: Recent heavy precipitation have initiated exciting changes in our aquatic habitats, and great research along the Yolo Bypass. Scientists are now finding abundant Sacramento pike minnow and baby salmon, smaller than guppies, with full stomachs and lots of baby fat.

Other Articles

California’s big bright renewable future
San Francisco Gate, Geisha Williams, 1/9/2017

Sierra Link: Renewable energy is on the rise across America, and California is leading the way.

Professor Smith Goes to Washington
The Atlantic, Ed Yong, 1/25/2017

Sierra Link: In response to the new president’s stances on a range of issues, more scientists are preparing to run for political office.

Sierra Nevada Alliance

P.O. Box 7989
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158

phone: 530.542.4546

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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.