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  Climate Change  |   Forestry  |   Recreation  |   Water  |   Wildlife  |   Other Articles

July 28, 2015

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Tahoe Environmental Research Center's
Children's Environmental Science Day 2015!

Come to Commons Beach for a fun, carnival-style science festival including hands-on science activities and games, facilitated by Tahoe basin's leading environmental organizations!

Date: Sunday, August 2nd, 2015, 12:30 - 3:30pm
Place: Tahoe City Common's Beach Lawn, East
Price: FREE!!!

For more info or to volunteer, click here, or contact TERC's Education & Outreach Director, Heather Segale, by email or calling 775-881-7562.

Sierra Water Workgroup Summer Workshop 2015!

This year’s SWWG event is a full-day workshop focused on issues and tools with the theme “Protecting Our Water.”
Pre-determined issues include: Quantification; Beneficial and Reasonable Use; Quality; and Interacting with State Pressures and Interests.

Date: Monday August 10, 2015
Place: North Lake Tahoe Event Center,
8318 N Lake Blvd, Kings Beach, CA

SWWG 2015 Workshop Agenda!
To register, click here!
For more information, click here!

Invasive Species Awareness Day with the Alpine Watershed Group!

The Alpine Watershed Group is hosting an Invasive Species Awareness Day at Grover Hot Springs State Park! Volunteers will be provided lunch and informative presentations on invasive plant prevention, and will participate in an invasive weed pulling session!

Date: Wednesday, July 29 from 10:00am-2:00pm
Place: Grover Hot Springs State Park, Markleeville, CA

For more information or directions, please email Nicole Lutkemuller or call 530-694-2327!

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Operations Director, Office Manager Vacancies with Sierra Foothill Conservancy!

The Operations Director is responsible for managing the internal operations of Sierra Foothill Conservancy.
The Office & Bookkeeping Manager is responsible for managing accounting practices and providing administrative assistance.

For more information about available positions, visit the SFC Open Positions page, or email Conservation Assistant Jessica Krebsbach.

Scientific Aid, CA Water Resources Control Board!

Opportunity to work with the State Water Resources Control Board in South Lake Tahoe! The Scientific Aid will work with technical staff under direct supervision of the Senior Water Resource Control Engineer.

Job description and application info here.

Environmental Scientist, CA Department of Fish and Wildlife!

Part of the Northern Region’s Interior Fisheries Program, located in Shasta County. Incumbent will conduct biological investigations focused on listed anadromous salmonids, as well as preparing reports summarizing field data.

Job description and application info here.


California Financing Coordinating Committee Funding Fair in Truckee!

The CFCC Funding Fairs provide info about currently available infrastructure grant, loan and bond financing programs!
Attendees may receive copies of all presentations and useful infrastructure financing material.
The Funding Fairs also allow attendees to speak directly with program staff about projects and issues affecting their community!

Date: August 5th, 2015, 8am - 3pm
Place: Truckee Town Hall—Council Chambers
10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA 96161
Price: FREE!!!

Register by clicking here!
More information available here!


25 fire scientists from around the world released a new publication “The Ecological Importance of Mixed-Severity Fires: Nature’s Phoenix” published by Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

More information available here.

Wallace Global Fund Grants Available!

The mission of the Wallace Global Fund is to promote an informed and engaged citizenry, to fight injustice, and to protect the diversity of nature and the natural systems upon which all life depends. Grants are being reviewed on a quarterly basis in March, June, September and December.

More information available here.

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival!!

Mammoth Lakes Film Festival is committed to screening new movies by inspired and innovative filmmakers. MLFF is a five-day festival that will screen 50 films in Mammoth Lakes, California from May 27 – 31, 2015!

More information, including a full schedule and lineup available here.


Nevada Irrigation District Land Grab Threatens Public Access to Bear River;
Foothills Water Network Asks NID to Rescind!

Foothills Water Network
Foothills Water Network:
Conserving the Yuba, Bear, and American Rivers for future generations.

Nevada and Placer County taxpayers, water rate payers, landowners, hikers, anglers, boaters and river conservationists have just discovered a last-minute, far-reaching amendment proposed by Rep. La Malfa, as part of drought bill HR 2898! Foothills Water Network asks NID to rescind request!

LaMalfa’s amendment would require the Nevada Irrigation District purchase two parcels totaling 430 acres for an undisclosed amount of tax and rate payer’s money at “fair market value.” The Nevada Irrigation District (NID) may not have intended that the public lose guaranteed access to the area or to rollback new improvements and protections for the Yuba and Bear rivers, but that is exactly what LaMalfa’s amendment would do.

This Amendment will:

  • Force sale of publicly-owned lands to local water agency,
    (potentially limiting public access);

  • Remove public input to improvements for recreation, healthy fish,
    and water quality, eliminating the path for citizens to help control
    impacts of the proposed Centennial Dam on this free flowing river;

  • Jeopardize 10+ years of carefully negotiated improvements and
    protections for the Yuba and Bear river watersheds; and

  • Set an alarming precedent for federally orchestrated land grabs
    using local taxpayer money to sell public lands, access, and input to
    high risk water and energy development projects.

  • Keep public lands in the public’s hands.
    Ask the Nevada Irrigation District (NID) to rescind their request.

    For more information, please contact
    Foothills Water Network Coordinator Traci Sheehan, or call 530-919-3219!

    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 Gladstein.




    Recent News

    Climate Change

    Study Finds: Most of State’s Fracking Waste Left in Unlined Pits
    SFGate, San Francisco Chronicle, David R. Baker, 7/9/15

    Sierra Link: More than half of the wastewater from fracked oil wells in California is disposed of in open, unlined pits, and could contaminate groundwater, according to a recently-issued state-mandated study of hydraulic fracturing. How does this affect state needs and pressures placed on the Sierra for clean water supply?

    Another View: California Can’t Let Up on Climate Change
    Sacramento Bee, Kevin Johnson & Steve Frisch, 7/14/15

    Sierra Link: Since California passed it’s landmark climate change law (AB 32), we have seen a decade of naysayers claiming that policy implementation would damage our state’s economy and raise energy costs. None of these predictions materialized; California flourished instead. This article examines how effective policy has improved individual family and the state’s overall economy.

    Strong El Nino weather pattern spurs hope of drenching California winter
    Sacramento Bee, Bill Lindelof, 7/10/15

    Sierra Link: A federal report indicates that an El Nino weather pattern is gaining in strength – making the chances better that this winter will be a wet one for Northern California and the Sierra Nevada.


    More Logging Won’t Stop Wildfires
    The New York Times, Opinion Pages, Chad T. Hanson & Dominick A. Dellasala, 7/23/15

    Sierra Link: It is fire season once again in the West, and House Republicans are using the public’s fear of forest fires to advance their agenda, which some say all but gives away public forests to logging companies. What does this mean for our Sierra Nevada forests?

    Wildfire Recovery Debate Ongoing
    The Union Democrat, Guy McCarthy, 7/24/15

    Sierra Link: Management of federal forest lands, especially fire suppression and recovery efforts in the wake of giant blazes like the 2013 Rim Fire, could change if two recently proposed laws pass in Congress. This article examines them and potential Sierra impacts.

    Wildfire watching: Rangers in towers are out, Cameras are in
    Sacramento Bee, Scott Sonner, 7/26/15

    Sierra Link: Scientists in Nevada and California are helping federal land managers develop technology to expand a network of high-definition cameras to monitor forest fires, including one in northern Nevada that recently captured a blaze in real-time over 100 miles away.

    Drought, beetles preying on weakened California forests
    Sacramento Bee, Ryan Sabalow, 7/10/15

    Sierra Link: Twelve million trees across California recently have died from a lethal mix of bugs and long-term drought. Needle-covered trees are unable to secrete the sticky resin to fight off bark beetle infestations.


    Obama designates three more national monuments
    High Country News, Elizabeth Shogren, 7/12/15

    Sierra Link: Vast stretches of Nevada and Northern California are now protected, including Basin and Range National Monument, 704,000 acres of desert solitude Nevadan BLM land containing ancient cultural artifacts, as well as biodiversity hotspot Berryessa Snow Mountain in Northern California, stretching nearly 100 miles and ranging nearly 7,000 feet in elevation.

    Private-land camping startups offer alternative to public lands
    High Country News, Sarah Gilman, 7/20/15

    Sierra Link: Airbnb-like websites spring up in response to overcrowded public campsites. Meanwhile, the potential supply of private land is enormous, and campsites and event spaces can provide landowners with extra income and incentive to keep it undeveloped. How does this affect our Sierra Nevada lifestyle?

    Public-lands visitation and recreation, by the numbers
    High Country News, Marshall Swearingen, 7/20/15

    Sierra Link: This is an incredibly informative pictogram displaying backcountry fatalities, trips, ATVs and Denali summit attempts over time!


    Study finds contaminants in California public-water supplies
    Fresno Bee, Associated Press, Ellen Knickmeyer & Scott Smith, 7/15/15

    Sierra Link: Nearly one-fifth of the raw groundwater used for public drinking water systems in California contains excessive levels of potentially toxic contaminants, according to a decade-long U.S. Geological Survey study that provides one of the first comprehensive looks at the health of California's public water supply and groundwater.

    Environmental groups blast Delta twin-tunnels plan
    Sacramento Bee, Ryan Sabalow, 7/22/15

    Sierra Link: Activists are challenging revised environmental-impact documents as part of a controversial $15.5-billion plan to build two massive tunnels in the north Delta to ship the water to pumping stations in the South, continuing to funnel water from the troubled estuary. How will our governing bodies' inabilities at recognizing basic hydrologic principles affect our Sierra future?

    California regulators, after setback, issue new water rights curtailments
    Sacramento Bee, Dale Kasler, 7/5/15

    Sierra Link: State drought regulators issued new water rights curtailment notices to thousands of Californians in an effort to keep a crucial water-use regulation regime on track, though major implementation issues remain. The State Water Resources Control Board delivered notices to 4,600 rights holders, telling them to stop diverting water from California’s rivers and streams.


    EPA to study effects of Roundup on 1,500 endangered species
    High Country News, Gloria Dickie, 7/17/15

    Sierra Link: the EPA has announced it will spend the next five years studying the effects of glyphosate (more commonly referred to by its trade name, Roundup), atrazine, and two other commonly used pesticides on 1,500 endangered species, including many threatened in our own watershed.

    Bats Could Help Walnut Growers Control Costs
    Capital Public Radio, Amy Quinton, 7/14/15

    Sierra Link: Walnuts are one of the highest value crops in California, bringing in almost $2 billion annually, but protecting the crop from destructive insects can be costly. Scientists are studying if walnut growers could reduce their pest control costs by employing hungry bats.

    Conservation funds to bolster Hat Creek fisheries, meadows
    Sacramento Bee, Jane Braxton Little, 7/11/15

    Sierra Link: Hat Creek, a classic trout stream bubbling out of Lassen Volcanic National Park and into the Pit River, is about to get a $2 million conservation boost to its fisheries and meadows.

    Other Articles

    Brewmaster captures rare water spout on Lake Tahoe
    SF Gate, San Francisco Chronicle, Kale Williams, 7/9/15

    Sierra Link: Lake Tahoe was treated to a rare weather occurrence Wednesday July 8th, as a water spout, essentially a very weak tornado over water, formed near the mouth of Emerald Bay along the west shore, just after 9 p.m.

    The counties that actively oppose a federal lands transfer
    High Country News, Tay Wiles, 7/14/15

    Sierra Link: Ownership of public lands and public roads is a major ongoing issue, particularly in Western states. Over the past few years, many Western states have passed or proposed legislation to study the possibility of transferring ownership of federal lands from the American public to states. This article attempts to identify the issue.

    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.