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August 27, 2015

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Sierra Nevada Alliance's
21st Conference!!

An upcoming community cleanup event will host volunteers from all across CA, and Lake Tahoe, cleaning up litter and debris from our local beaches, rivers, and meadows. The event is part of a larger effort, the Great Sierra River Cleanup, where volunteers will clean waterways in the Sierra Nevada from Mt. Whitney to Lassen National Park, as the largest volunteer event in our state! All ages are welcome and supplies will be provided. Last year, South Shore volunteers alone picked up more than 1,200 pounds of trash. Let’s clean up our home!

Date: Saturday, September 19th
Place: 9am-noon Tahoe City Common's Beach
or 2-5pm in South Lake Tahoe.

Click here and log in to register, or contact Catherine Cecchi at Clean Tahoe (530-544-4210).

California Drought Bus Tour - Itinerary Announced!

The Water Education Foundation's 2-day, 1-night bus tour will travel through the San Joaquin Valley to explore the impacts of California's unprecedented four-year drought on the nation's breadbasket, and what step are being taken to avert disaster.

Date: September 1-2, 2015.
Place: Bus tour begins in Fresno at 7:30am

For more information, click here, or contact Tour Director Dan Scott, (916) 444-6240!

TERC: Faulting and Geologic History of the Region!

UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) will host Courtney Brailo from the UNR Nevada Seismological Lab to discuss faulting and geologic history of our region using newly acquired LiDAR imagery.
A $5 donation is suggested for this event.

Date: Sept 17th, 5:30 to 7pm
Location: Tahoe Science Center, Incline Village NV

For more information, call 775-881-7566, or visit the events website! To register now, click here!

Shirley Canyon Trailbuilding Day with Truckee Trails!

Truckee Trails Foundation (TTF) is a volunteer based organization, creating and maintaining a system of trails to connect people and places, reduce our community’s dependence on automobiles, and improve our physical, social, andenvironmental health. The Shirley Canyon Trail Day, sponsored by Squaw Valley Ski Holdings and PlumpJack Inn, is this Saturday!

Date: Saturday, August 15, 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
Location: Meet at the Olympic Valley Lodge in Squaw Valley

More info here!

Special NOAA training: Climate Adaptation & Planning for Communities!

The Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative, Sierra CAMP's peer collaborative in Sacramento, will host a special NOAA training on Climate Adaptation & Planning for Communities. The event will showcase local climate adaptation efforts from expert practitioners working in California, and identify steps organizations can take to effectively integrate climate adaptation strategies into policies, plans, and programs.

Date: August 18-20, 9am to 4:30pm
Location: Sacramento Metropolitan Air Quality Management District
Cost: FREE!

To register, click here.
More info and full agenda here!

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Energy Technician - Sierra Nevada Energy Watch!

SNEW is a partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric Company to help small/ medium sized businesses and municipalities in the Sierra Nevada region reduce their energy use through the installation of energy efficiency technologies. The Energy Technician supports SNEW Project Managers from the sales phase through the inspection of the completed project.

For more information, click here, or email Resume and Cover Letters to Jen Rosser.

GIS Analyst with TRPA!

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency seeks a GIS Analyst in their Stateline, NV office. Acting under the direction of the TRPA Information Systems Program Manager, the primary responsibility of the GIS/Data Analyst is to assist with the creation, maintenance, organization and analysis of geographic data using ArcGIS.

Job description and application info here.

Defenders of Wildlife seeking CA Program Associate!

This professional-level position is responsible for implementing assigned work plans for the California Program of Defenders of Wildlife. The primary responsibilities include implementation of programs, strategies, campaigns, and projects focusing on strategic plan priorities in California.

Job description and application info here.


Bring Back the Natives/More Fish Grant Program with National Fish & Wildlife Foundation

In order to address threats to native freshwater fish species, NFWF coordinates the Bring Back the Natives/More Fish program with the support of federal agencies and private donors. This program invests in conservation activities that restore, protect, and enhance native threatened fish species, especially on or adjacent to federal lands. Since 1991, over 400 projects and a total of $20 million in NFWF funds as well as $51 million in matching contributions have been generated through this program.

More information available here, or review the 2015 Request for Proposals!

Mildred E. Mathias Graduate Student Research Grant Program!

The Natural Reserve System provides grants to support graduate students at all UC campuses except UCSF for their independent and field science studies at NRS reserves. These grants not only encourage students to conduct research, but also provide experience in applying for grants, meeting deadlines, and managing a budget. Applicants must be enrolled at a UC campus.

More information available here.

Grants Available to Help Protect and Restore Special Status Species and Their Habitat!

The US Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Bureau of Reclamation announce approximately $2.1 million in grants availble to improve conditions for federally-imperiled species and their habitats impacted by the Central Valley Project (CVP). This project has established 13 specific Priority Actions for impacted species and their habitats, each action supported by a threatened or endangered species recovery plan.

More information available here.

How is California Water Used? Info sheets here!

These State issued fact sheets detail how water is used in California. The two-page document covers environmental, agricultural and urban use. Charts further illustrate California water use and related facts.

More information available here.


The Alliance's 21st Conference: Back to Our Roots
September 25-26th in North Lake Tahoe

Foothills Water Network
Sierra Nevada Alliance 21st Conference in King's Beach!

The 2015 Conference will present background, challenges, and information on how Climate, Forest Management, Drought/Water, and Natural Capital/Environmental Markets are impacting the Sierra.

Featured speakers on the Opening Panel include Dr. Michael Anderson, State Climatologist of the CA Department of Water Resources; Lucy Blake, President of the Northern Sierra Partnership; and Dr. Malcolm North, Research Plant Ecologist at the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station.

The Conference will look to activate the Alliance we have built over the last 21 years by engaging and exciting our Member Groups and individual activists around environmental issues affecting the Sierra. The Alliance will act as a hub to coordinate and provide accountability, connections, and resources. There will also be plenty of networking opportunities, educational and inspirational speakers, good food, and a beautiful venue. As always, Alliance Member Groups receive an additional discount.

Join us for the Alliance's 21st Conference! Online Registration is now open:

Alliance or Member Group Member Pricing:
  • Regular: One Day - $72, Two Days - $120 – August 1-September 18th; or
  • Walk In: One Day - $105, Two Days - $175 – September 18-26th.

Non Member Pricing:
  • Regular: One Day - $90, Two Days - $150 – August 1-September 18th; or
  • Walk In: One Day - $105, Two Days - $175 – September 18-26th

Please visit The SNA website for more information on the program schedule, sponsorship options, workshop descriptions, venue and registration details.

For more information on sponsorship, volunteer or scholarships opportunities, please contact

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!.

Celebrating the American Cowboy:
A July 25th BLM event celebrated the American Cowboy in Alabama Hills. These rugged public lands are perfect settings for those western movies we love so much. Here, John Wayne stars in The Lawless Range.


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Recent News

Climate Change

The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
Rolling Stone, Eric Holthaus, 8/5/15

Sierra Link: The worst predicted climate change impacts are starting to happen — and much faster than expected. This article examines MANY recent scientific developments that are cause for concern... and action.

Hog Island Oyster Co. Talks Ocean Acidification, Katherine Spiers, 8/4/15

Sierra Link: Ocean acidification refers to the gradual pH change in seawater by oceanic coupling of atmospheric carbon dioxide. UC Davis's Earth & Planetary Sciences professor Tessa Hill and the Bay Area's Hog Island Oyster Co. is studying the effects of ocean acidification on sea life. In this article, KCET meets Professor Hill and Terry Sawyer of Hog Island, to discuss their work.

Monster El Niño Makes Record-Hot Year Look Inevitable
Bloomberg Business News, Tom Randall, 7/20/15

Sierra Link: Holy animations, detailed graphic charts, and pictograms!!! This document presents El Niño, utilizing truly progressive visual tools built on National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) climate data dating back to 1880.


The Cost-Benefit Analysis of Aerial Firefighting
High Country News, Kelsey Ray, 8/3/15

Sierra Link: When large wildfires blaze, we look to airplanes to put them out. Pilots fly air tankers over alpine terrain and drop fire retardant — up to nearly 12,000 gallons per trip — on dense forests below. Politicians and the media clamor for more, but it appears that aerial firefighting is dangerous, expensive and environmentally damaging. What does this mean to our Sierra communities?

Plants that burn fastest in a wildfire
High Country News, Gloria Dickie, 8/3/15

Sierra Link: It’s rare for rainforests to catch fire, but this year the Olympic Peninsula saw its driest spring in over a century, and the Paradise Fire has burned more than 1,600 acres, with fire officials expecting it to continue until summer's end. This article examines how different plants burn at different rates and intensities.

Climate Change: Killing Cloud-Side Forests
Nature World News, Brian Stallard, 8/9/15

Sierra Link: Many high-altitude forests rely on the moisture and cover of passing clouds. With climate change altering global atmospheric currents, experts estimate that many of these forests are in trouble, and many endemic high-altitude plant species will not likely survive in their current locations past the year 2080.

Drought damages trees' ability to store carbon
High Country News, Cally Carswell, 7/30/15

Sierra Link: Research on tree species during drought conditions has provided surprising results. This article describes what may happen to some of our beloved tree species.


Options for disabled adventurers on the rise in California
Sacramento Bee, Ben Egel and Brenna Lyles, 8/12/15

Sierra Link: More than 200 California parks are to be revamped for disabled use by 2022! Disabled park lovers will also enjoy wider access to rock climbing, water-skiing, and off-roading along with trails to hike or roll on. Trail improvements will also include blind-accessible websites! Now everyone will enjoy Sierra Nevada parks!

Panel focus on aquatic weeds in the Tahoe Keys
Tahoe Daily Tribune, Greyson Howard, 7/31/15

Sierra Link: The Tahoe Keys Property Owners Association hosted an expert panel and public workshop this week to discuss their plan to fight aquatic invasive weeds. The workshop provided an opportunity for the interested public to learn more about the problem and proposed solution, which was described as a combination of manual and chemical removal strategies.


California drought renews push for water storage projects
High Country News, Paige Blankenbuehler, 8/5/15

Sierra Link: The last four year's devastating drought has added new urgency to a decades-old debate in California about whether new dams or efficiency measures are the best ways to secure reliable water supplies. While the debate continues, a long-standing proposal to enlarge Shasta Dam gets a boost from the Bureau of Reclamation. How do these environmental impacts affect our lives in the Sierra Nevada?

Monitoring Wells to be Drilled near Mammoth Lakes
US Bureau of Land Management News Release No. CA-CC-13-44, Collin Reinhardt, 7/29/15

Sierra Link: The Bureau of Land Management Bishop Field Office, in coordination with the Inyo National Forest Mammoth Lakes Ranger District, has approved construction of three groundwater monitoring wells near the town of Mammoth Lakes.

It's critical El Niño hits Northern California. Why experts are growing optimistic.
LA Times, Hailey Branson-Potts and Rong-Gong Lin II, 7/23/15

Sierra Link: The possibility of El Niño hitting the Sierra Nevada is critical because California's vast waterworks rely on rain and snow from the Sierra to supply farms and cities. By contrast, much of the rain that falls in Southern California ends up in the ocean. This article brings some interesting points to the surface.


Deadly Fungus is Killing US Snakes, Leaves None Alive
Nature World News, Brian Stallard, 7/19/15

Sierra Link: Scientists have been investigating "snake fungal disease" (SFD) since reports of disturbing mass rattlesnake deaths emerged in the early 2000s. SFD impacts include severe skin lesions, swelling, and body contortions. SFD has spread to over 15 states, infects a wide variety of species, and none infected have survived. We worry for Sierra snakes!

Drought Could Hurt Endangered Fish Caught in Water Fight
The New York Times, The Associated Press, 8/4/15

Sierra Link: California's historic drought is pushing the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta's smelt to the brink of extinction. In July, a key index of delta smelt abundance hit zero for the first time in the survey's history. Several other native fish species, such as the longfin smelt, green sturgeon and Chinook salmon are also threatened. This is so concerning for us in the nearby Sierra.

Climate-vulnerable pikas may be surprisingly resilient to wildfire
High Country News, Ben Goldfarb, 7/22/15

Sierra Link: As the West is gradually defined by hotter summers and drier winters, research surprisingly suggests that the adorable, high-elevation dwelling American Pika is well prepared to survive the flames. These creatures are special to our Sierra homes!

Other Articles

#drylandsCA: The difference between knowing something and seeing something
LA Times, Diana Marcum and Robert Gauthier, 8/6/15

Sierra Link: This striking #drylandsCA post documents the drought effects on Lake Oroville with chilling photos and poignent text, "We’ve seen a lot of low lakes this trip. But this was different[...] If you live in California, chances are very good you’re somehow tied to Lake Oroville: It supplies drinking water to more than 23 million people [and] only Shasta can hold more water".

Murkowski unveils new energy plan for USA!
High Country News, Krista Langlois, 7/28/15

Sierra Link: Today, the US energy landscape looks entirely different than the last time we updated our energy strategy. While we are overdue for reform, the plan unveiled by Senate Energy Committee Chair Lisa Murkowski has been opposed by 11 major environmental groups, including the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council and American Rivers. This article outlines what we may be facing in the West and in the Sierra.

Officials OK Herbicide Use to Control Invasive Plants in Great Lakes, staff editorial, 7/22/15

Sierra Link: This is particularly important to document, since the use of specialized herbicides is currently being considered within the Tahoe Keys community of South Lake Tahoe, struggling to control excessive invasive plant species.

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.