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October 17th, 2018

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

River Network Webinar Series

River Network hosts webinars related to clean water, ample water, and strong water champions, providing access to best practices and new ideas and celebrating interesting and novel approaches. In addition, they promote select webinars from other institutions to enhance learning across our community.

Date: September 25- March 14

Please click here for more information.

SNA's October Webinar: “Adapting your Curriculum to Meet Next Generation Science Standards”

California’s adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) provides an exciting opportunity for environmental education programs to market themselves to teachers, who are looking for help teaching these new standards. Join us to learn more about NGSS, participate in a discussion with environmental professionals in the Sierra about the successes and challenges that they have had adapting their curriculum to these standards, and discover resources that exist to support this shift in standards.

Please click here for more information.

Date: Please note event has been rescheduled to: October 19

Please click here to sign up for the Webinar.

Public Lecture: Fire and California Oaks

Rub shoulders with oak experts from around the world at the opening reception to the 9th International Oak Society Conference. Enjoy appetizers and drinks followed by a talk by Dr. David Ackerly on "Recovery and Resilience of Oak Woodlands following the October 2017 Tubb Fire." His studies will help us better predict the long-term impacts of climate change and fire on California oak landscapes.

Date: Sunday, October 21

Please click here for more information.

AEOE Northern Section Fall Conference 2018

The Conference includes 15+ environmental education workshops, a Keynote Speaker, Saturday night campfire entertainment, and free surfing depending upon board availability.

Date: October 19- October 21

Please click here for more details.

Yosemite Peace Symposium

The Yosemite Peace Symposium is “A Gathering of Peacemakers.” We can’t think of a better place to meet than the Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, near the gates of Yosemite National Park, one of the most peaceful places on earth.

Date: October 26- October 27

Please click here for more details.

Water Reuse Summit

The purpose of this event is to focus on the practical design and application of water reuse systems for architects, engineers, and building owners; also, highlight the success of SF’s regulatory process and to address the associated regulatory and permitting challenges in jurisdictions that don’t have a well-defined process or where authority is unclear.

Date: Monday, October 29

Please click here for more details.

Please click here for more details.

9th Annual Sustainable Food and Farm Conference

Join us for Nevada County's premier food and farming event with nationally renowned speakers and cutting edge strategies for improving your farm business, homestead or home garden.

Date: February 7-10 2019

Please click here for more details.

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Eastern Sierra Land Trust- Communications Coordinator

Join Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s growing team in beautiful Bishop, CA, and you’ll be working each day to protect the land, water, and wildlife that make this region so special. We’re looking for a detail-oriented self-starter to become our Communications Coordinator who will be responsible for leading the ESLT team on planning and executing our communications strategies

For more info, click here.

American Rivers - Various Positions

American Rivers protects wild rivers, restores damaged rivers, and conserves clean water for people and nature. Since 1973, American Rivers has protected and restored more than 150,000 miles of rivers through advocacy efforts, on-the-ground projects, and the annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers® campaign.

For more info, click here.

Various Volunteer Positions - Give Back Tahoe

A list of volunteer opportunities in the Tahoe/Truckee area.

For more info, click here.

Educational Assembly Presenter - SYRCL

Each presenter will be responsible for approximately 30 school assemblies in the Fall of 2018. SYRCL office staff will schedule the presentations and handle all pre-assembly logistics.

For more info, click here.

Become a 2018 Member Group of the Sierra Nevada Alliance!

Our goal at the Sierra Nevada Alliance is to protect and restore the Sierra Nevada by strengthening individual efforts and joining together as a region-wide force. The most integral component of the Alliance is our strong network of Member Groups. The goal of the Alliance Member Group program is to increase the value of this network as a resource to all involved through expanding our base of Member Groups. We work to actively facilitate collaboration amongst Member Groups to broaden our collective impact on behalf of the Sierra.
Contact Sara Monson here

For more info, click here.


El Dorado Hills Endowment 2018 Grant Application

Welcome to the 2018 El Dorado Hills Endowment Grant Application. This Grant is open to all nonprofits serving the residents and community of El Dorado Hills. Proposals of up to $5,000 will be accepted. By design, the Grant does not have a specific focus with the intention of inspiring new ideas that respond to unmet community needs. Applications are due before 11:59pm October 21, 2018. Recipients will be announced and awarded in January 2019.

Learn more here.

The Truckee Core Values Event Fund

The Truckee Core Values Fund is a community event fund created by the Truckee Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Town of Truckee and powered by Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.  The fund supports nonprofit organization events or events that partner with nonprofit organizations who align with at least one of the Truckee Core Values: Healthy Lifestyle Family Friendly Natural Beauty Community Minded Arts, Culture, History

Learn more here.

Grants for California Residents that Qualify as Lower-Income

The Clean Vehicle Assistance Program provides grants and affordable financing to help low-income Californians purchase a new or used hybrid or electric vehicle. Their goal is to make clean vehicles accessible and affordable to all who qualify.

Learn more here.

Information about Lake Tahoe Fall Prescribed Fire Program

The Lake Tahoe Basin Fall Prescribed Fire Program will begin as early as this week under the management of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team, which includes local, state and federal fire and land management agencies. This resourse includes a map with project locations and details.

Learn more here.

Answers to your Questions about Climate Change

We know that global warming is daunting. Here are 17 often asked questions with straightforward answers.

Learn more here.


WeeGreen is the green campaign platform designed for communities and organizations like yours. Let's get started on a campaign that engages your residents, employees and even members of your favorite community group. And remember with each campaign - and with each purchase at the Marketplace -- your organization earns 20% of the net revenues.

For more info, click here.


Sierra Nevada Alliance's Climate Program is in Full Swing with CivicSpark members Meredith and Sam, leading the Charge!

Go to W3Schools!

Our Background in Climate Change Work

The Sierra Nevada Alliance has a long history of supporting sustainable planning. Since 1998 Alliance staff have actively partnered with member groups and allies to develop and implement local and regional resource plans, which have served as models for a resilient and thriving Sierra region amidst rising economic, environmental and societal challenges due in large part to climate change.

The Alliance prioritizes working with grass root community groups and jurisdictions to create and adopt plans based on smart-growth objectives and principles. Actions incorporated into these plans have included fighting for the protection of open space, participating in efforts to develop model Sustainable Community Strategies, engaging with the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative, and supporting the adoption of 100% renewable resolutions throughout the Sierra. These projects as well as other regional efforts, such as the creation of the robust Sierra Integrated Regional Water Management Plan and the adoption of National Forest Plans, demonstrate our commitment to preserving the area’s resource in the face of climate change.

In 2018, the Alliance has begun to expand the focus of technical assistance to communities who passed 100% resolutions in 2017. Alliance In order to help achieve the 100% resolutions in SLT and Truckee (the Alliance facilitated) it is apparent that immediate capacity building and actions are needed. The Alliance has hired two new staff through Local Government Commission’s CivicSpark AmeriCorps program, which seeks to help build capacity for local governments and nonprofits as well as build community resilience. Climate Fellows Meredith Anderson and Sam Ruderman have joined the Sierra Nevada Alliance team y focused in three areas: Greenhouse Gas Inventorying and Forecasting for the City of South Lake Tahoe; developing and implementing specific guidelines for Sustainability Actions for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency; and working regionally to collaborate on and promote climate actions and initiatives throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin. The hope is that their efforts will later template and duplicate itself across the Sierra.

AmeriCorps’ CivicSpark Program

CivicSpark is a Governor’s Initiative AmeriCorps program dedicated to building capacity for local governments to address community resilience issues such as: climate change, water resource management, and access to opportunities. Sam and Meredith will serve for 11 months (September 2018-August 2019), and in collaboration with local government staff, they will implement a a number of sustainability projects, while also building long-term capacity to ensure the work is sustained after their service year is completed. They are fired up to be working on such important climate initiatives and are excited to contribute to making a positive impact in the Sierra. The Alliance’s Executive Director, Jenny Hatch, is thrilled to be building the Climate Program capacity and encourages other communities to reach out if they are interested in this type of support.

City of South Lake Tahoe

In April 2017, the City Council of South Lake Tahoe passed a resolution committing to the goals of achieving 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2050. This effort was led by the Alliance with assistance and support from a variety of partners and stakeholders throughout the Basin. To reach these goals--as well as the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction targets set by California’s SB 32 legislation--it is necessary for the City of South Lake Tahoe to have an accurate understanding of the current state of their GHG emissions. Completing an updated, city-specific Greenhouse Gas Inventory is therefore the vital next-step before the CSLT can move forward in its climate planning. Once the Inventory is completed, it will be necessary to model and forecast future emissions across a number of likely scenarios, taking into account factors such as historical data, population growth rate, local economic trends, technological innovation, and expected development. These projections can then inform the decisions of those working on climate planning and can allow them to consider which actions are best suited to reduce emissions. A Climate Action Plan (CAP) can then begin to be drafted to lay out the steps needed to reach renewable energy and GHG emissions reductions targets. Ultimately, the Alliance hopes to assist in developing and implementing a CAP for the CSLT. Reducing the carbon footprint of its own government operations is another objective that has been identified by the City, and the Climate Fellows will be examining a number of opportunities to achieve this goal. Installing solar on municipal buildings is one option that is currently being explored, as is the transformation of the government vehicle fleet over to all electric vehicles. Facilities Energy Audits will also be a key component in identifying further emissions reductions opportunities.

Tahoe Regional Planning Agency

Recognizing the need to embrace sustainability and all planning and implementation activities in the Lake Region, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) published a Sustainability Action Plan in 2013. The purpose of this report was to provide tools to assist local governments, agencies, businesses, residents, visitors and community groups with prioritizing and adopting consistent sustainability actions throughout the region. The Sustainability Action Plan represents an integrated approach to reducing GHG emissions and striving toward zero-impact in all aspects of sustainability. The Plan includes numerous sustainability and GHG reduction actions that can be undertaken by Regional agencies and local jurisdictions. The Alliance is examining this menu of actions in order to determine which are the most appropriate for the CSLT and may be the most effective in reducing emissions. Other considerations include the associated environmental co-benefits, both private and public costs, job generation, and overall feasibility.

With a focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy, our Climate Fellows have decided to investigate El Dorado County’s current Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing Program, which offers financing to property owners for energy efficiency retrofits and renewable energy installations. This allows property owners to invest with minimal financial risk. Simultaneously the municipality benefits by gaining progress toward emissions reductions targets with little or no investment from general funds.

In conjunction with this Action, we will be pursuing capital improvements to reduce energy consumption through energy efficiency retrofits and upgrades in public facilities. Incorporating renewable energy installations at these facilities will also be a priority. Together, this may look something like replacing old street lights with new, solar powered LED light bulbs. These measures will act to reduce energy consumption, increase monetary energy savings, and improve the energy independence and resiliency of the region.

While a majority of Sierra Nevada Alliance’s climate work will be happening in the South Lake Tahoe area, the Fellows will engage in regional coordination with other climate-focused organizations and support the implementation of climate actions within the Basin and Town of Truckee. Through these local climate initiatives, Sierra Nevada Alliance hopes to generate valuable resources and provide guidance for other communities within the Sierra. Ultimately this will allow the Basin to most effectively and efficiently take on the challenge of tackling climate change.

A Summary of the New Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Report

By Kif Scheuer, the Climate Change Program Director for CivicSpark

Major Takeaways

In model pathways with no or limited overshoot of 1.5°C, global net anthropogenic CO2  emissions decline by about 45% from 2010 levels by 2030 (40–60% interquartile range),  reaching net zero around 2050 (2045–2055 interquartile range). For limiting global warming  to below 2°C11 CO2 emissions are projected to decline by about 20% by 2030 in most  pathways (10–30% interquartile range) and reach net zero around 2075 (2065–2080  interquartile range). Non-CO2 emissions in pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C show  deep reductions that are similar to those in pathways limiting warming to 2°C. (high  confidence).

Pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C with no or limited overshoot would require  rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including  transport and buildings), and industrial systems (high confidence). These systems transitions  are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep  emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of mitigation options and a significant  upscaling of investments in those options(medium confidence).

Estimates of the global emissions outcome of current nationally stated mitigation  ambitions as submitted under the Paris Agreement would lead to global greenhouse gas  emissions in 2030 of 52–58 GtCO2eq yr-1 (medium confidence). Pathways reflecting these  ambitions would not limit global warming to 1.5°C, even if supplemented by very challenging  increases in the scale and ambition of emissions reductions after 2030 (high confidence).  Avoiding overshoot and reliance on future large-scale deployment of carbon dioxide removal  (CDR) can only be achieved if global CO2 emissions start to decline well before 2030 (high  confidence). {1.2, 2.3, 3.3, 3.4, 4.2, 4.4, Cross-Chapter Box 11 in Chapter 4} Strengthening the capacities for climate action of national and sub-national authorities,  civil society, the private sector, indigenous peoples and local communities can support the  implementation of ambitious actions implied by limiting global warming to 1.5°C (high  confidence). International cooperation can provide an enabling environment for this to be  achieved in all countries and for all people, in the context of sustainable development.  International cooperation is a critical enabler for developing countries and vulnerable regions  (high confidence). 

Projected Risks

Extreme hot days in mid-latitudes warm by up to about 3°C at global warming of 1.5°C and about 4°C at 2°C, and extreme cold nights in high latitudes warm by up to about 4.5°C at 1.5°C and about 6°C at 2°C (high confidence).

By 2100, global mean sea level rise is projected to be around 0.1 metre lower with global  warming of 1.5°C compared to 2°C(medium confidence).

Marine ice sheet instability in Antarctica and/or irreversible loss of  the Greenland ice sheet could result in multi-metre rise in sea level over hundreds to thousands of  years. These instabilities could be triggered around 1.5°C to 2°C of global warming (medium  confidence).

Of 105,000 species studied, 6% of insects, 8% of plants and 4% of vertebrates are projected  to lose over half of their climatically determined geographic range for global warming of 1.5°C,  compared with 18% of insects, 16% of plants and 8% of vertebrates for global warming of 2°C  (medium confidence)

Approximately 4% (interquartile range 2–7%) of the global terrestrial land area is projected to  undergo a transformation of ecosystems from one type to another at 1ºC of global warming,  compared with 13% (interquartile range 8–20%) at 2°C (medium confidence). This indicates that  the area at risk is projected to be approximately 50% lower at 1.5°C compared to 2°C (medium  confidence). 

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C rather than 2°C is projected  to prevent the thawing over centuries of a permafrost area in the range of 1.5 to 2.5 million km2  (medium confidence).

Coral reefs, for example, are projected to decline by a  further 70–90% at 1.5°C (high confidence) with larger losses (>99%) at 2ºC (very high confidence).  The risk of irreversible loss of many marine and coastal ecosystems increases with global warming,  especially at 2°C or more (high confidence).

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C,  compared with 2°C, could reduce the number of people both exposed to climate-related risks and  susceptible to poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050 (medium confidence).

Limiting global warming to 1.5°C, compared  to 2°C, may reduce the proportion of the world population exposed to a climate-change induced  increase in water stress by up to 50%, although there is considerable variability between regions  (medium confidence).

Reduction Pathways

In 1.5°C pathways  with no or limited overshoot, renewables are projected to supply 70–85% (interquartile range) of  electricity in 2050 (high confidence)…In modelled 1.5°C pathways with limited or no overshoot, the use of  CCS would allow the electricity generation share of gas to be approximately 8% (3–11%  interquartile range) of global electricity in 2050, while the use of coal shows a steep reduction in all  pathways and would be reduced to close to 0% (0–2%) of electricity (high confidence).

All pathways that limit global warming to 1.5°C with limited or no overshoot project the  use of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) on the order of 100–1000 GtCO2 over the 21st century.  CDR would be used to compensate for residual emissions and, in most cases, achieve net  negative emissions to return global warming to 1.5°C following a peak (high confidence).

 Most current and potential CDR measures could have significant impacts on land, energy,  water, or nutrients if deployed at large scale (high confidence).


Total annual average energy-related mitigation investment for the period 2015 to 2050 in  pathways limiting warming to 1.5°C is estimated to be around 900 billion USD2015 (range of 180  billion to 1800 billion USD2015 across six models17). Global model pathways limiting global warming to 1.5°C are projected to involve the annual  average investment needs in the energy system of around 2.4 trillion USD2010 between 2016 and  2035 representing about 2.5% of the world GDP (medium confidence).

Approach to Solutions

Future climate-related  risks would be reduced by the upscaling and acceleration of far-reaching, multi-level and cross sectoral  climate mitigation and by both incremental and transformational adaptation (high  confidence).

A mix of adaptation and mitigation options to limit global warming to 1.5°C, implemented in  a participatory and integrated manner, can enable rapid, systemic transitions in urban and rural areas (high confidence).

Redistributive policies across sectors and populations that shield the poor and vulnerable can  resolve trade-offs for a range of SDGs, particularly hunger, poverty and energy access. Investment  needs for such complementary policies are only a small fraction of the overall mitigation  investments in 1.5°C pathways. (high confidence) 

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 content is prepared by Sara Monson, Education and Communication Director with the Sierra Nevada Alliance.
If you have articles, events or announcements that you would like included in this newsletter or if you have feedback,
please email Sara.

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Recent News

Climate Change

Major Climate Report Describes a Strong Risk of Crisis as Early as 2040
Coral Davenport, The New York Times, October 7, 2018

Quick Link: A landmark report from the United Nations’ scientific panel on climate change paints a far more dire picture of the immediate consequences of climate change than previously thought and says that avoiding the damage requires transforming the world economy at a speed and scale that has “no documented historic precedent.”

The Climate Outlook Is Dire. So, What’s Next?
Somini Sengupta, October 9, New York Times, 2018

Quick Link: Now that the bad news has dropped, what is the world going to do?


Trump Officials Blame ‘Environmental Terrorists’ for Wildfires. California Loggers Disagree
Dale Kasler and Ryan Sabalow, The Sacramento Bee, October 04, 2018 

Quick Link: Ryan Zinke knew exactly whom to blame for the catastrophic wildfires that have scorched California and the West this year. ‘Lifeboats’ Amid the World’s Wildfires
Carl Zimmer, New York Times, October 12, 2018

Quick Link: Islands of greenery, called refugia, survive even the worst fires, sheltering species and renewing charred landscapes.


A Network of Trails Span the Country
Brooke Warren, High Country News, October 5


As States Near Deal on Colorado River Shortage, California Looks at Water Cuts of as Much as 8 Percent
Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, October 10, 2018

Quick Link: After years of stop-and-go talks, California and two other states that take water from the lower Colorado River are nearing an agreement on how to share delivery cuts if a formal shortage is declared on the drought-plagued waterway.

A Great Day for Free-Flowing Streams
Jay Harrod, October 02, 2018, The Nature Conservancy

Quick Link: Army Corps Announces Support for Dam Removals as Mitigation for Stream Development


Criminals, Wild Animals, and the Great Outdoors: California’s Fish and Wildlife Officers do it All

Quick Link: Patrick Foy has been in a lot of precarious situations. He’s helped save a drowning woman and been in car chases with criminals. Working for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife isn’t all about trapping and tracking animals.


A Rainbow Greets Geese on the Pacific Flyway in the Sacramento Valley
Jim Morrise, the Sacramento Bee, October 4, 2018

Sierra Link: A beautiful morning in a Sacramento rice field is complete with a rainbow and an active grind of geese. The big Pacific Flyway migration is underway in the Sacramento Valley, with millions of birds expected in the coming months.

Sierra Nevada Alliance

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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.