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October 18, 2017

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Evening Lecture: Winter is Coming

2017 has been a year of extremes. We are just nishing up the hottest summer on record (or close to it for many locations) and whether or not you are ready to admit it, winter is coming. After our relentless 2016-17 winter with ooding, blizzards, historic snowpack, and crazy winds, people are understandably interested in what next winter will bring. Is it time to freak-out yet? Join Chris Smallcomb, Warning Coordination Meteorologist and Tim Bardsley, Senior Hydrologist from the National Weather Service in Reno, for an in-depth look at potential impacts and predictability.

Date: October 26th, 5:30 - 7 p.m.
Location: Tahoe Center for Environmental Sciences, Incline Village

Please click here for more info.

CA Water Boards Public Meetings

Staff from the Central Valley and Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Boards are collaborating on the development of permits to ensure water quality protection and regulatory compliance on lands managed by the USFS and BLM. They are hosting numerous upcoming public meetings related to this permit development project. These meetings will provide a brief background of the permit development process, permitting goals and will solicit public feedback. Meeting will be held in Susanville, Redding, Bishop, Rancho Cordova, Clovis, and Apple Valley.

Date: October through December
Location: Various, see flyer

Please click here for more info.

Symposium: Sacramento San Joaquin Delta and the Sierra Nevada Tributaries; “The Stressors and the Fix”

Join the Mountain Counties Water Resources Association as they analyze what science shows about flow, fish, the stressors and the fix necessary to achieve a healthy and sustainable Delta. Get the information first-hand from top experts in their field.

Date: October 27th
Location: Auburn, CA

Please click here for more details.

Fall Meeting of the CA Biodiversity Council

Join the California BIodiversity Council at their fall meeting as they explore the theme of "Mainstreaming the Integrated Regional Conservation and Development (IRCAD) Program."

Date: November 13th to 14th
Location: Hollister, CA

Please click here for details.

Winter Wildlands Alliance Grassroots Advocacy Conference

Join policy makers, athletes, grassroots activists, scientists, mountain guides, local elected officials and other recreation and conservation stakeholders from across the country for two full days of engaging workshops and discussions on issues important to winter recreation and public lands. Get the latest developments in policy and planning issues, share grassroots successes, meet with public land managers, gain new advocacy tools and spend quality lodge time with colleagues, partners, new friends and allies.

Date: November 9th to 12th
Location: Clair Tappaan Lodge, Donner Summit, CA

Please click here for more details and to register.

Taking on a Global Role: Working in Collaboration to Address Climate Change in California

This symposium will offer all those working towards reducing climate change, whether at the local, state or national level, the opportunity to assess California’s progress in achieving their strategies towards their vision to reduce greenhouse gases. The event will focus on development, shared experiences, lessons learned, challenges ahead, as well as the importance of partnership, research and innovation in reducing emissions and securing a sustainable future for all across the globe.

Date: February 6th
Location: Los Angeles, CA

For more information about the event, please click here.

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Land Use Planning Policy Associate / Senior Land Use Planning Policy Analyst

The League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue) is seeking an experienced, highly-motivated and professional environmental land use expert to work as either a land use planning policy associate or senior land use planning policy analyst to join our program team. The position assists in the implementation of targeted campaigns and programs to help protect, restore and advocate for the health of the Lake Tahoe Basin.

For more info, click here.

Groundwater Modeler

Dudek is seeking a hydrogeologist or engineer in any of their California offices to conduct numerical modeling of saturated and unsaturated groundwater flow. Offices in Auburn, La Quinta, Los Angeles, Oakland, Orange County, Riverside, Sacramento, San Diego, and Santa Barbara.

For more info, please click here.

Farm to School Director

Sierra Harvest in Nevada City is seeking a Director for their Farm to School program. From finding hundred of pounds of the most juicy strawberries for 7,000 children to taste, leading and inspiring 22 Farm to School liaisons who coordinate the diverse Farm to School Program, to writing articles and communicating with local farmers, school personnel and parents - this Director position is varied, its fun, and you get the opportunity to manage exciting programs! Application deadline is October 23rd.

For more info, please click here.


Petition: Encourage the Truckee to Commit to 100% Renewable!

Sign this petition today to encourage Truckee to be the third community in the Sierra to pledge 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and renewable energy by 2050! The Alliance is excited to be working Sierra-wide to organize community coalitions towards this goal as part of our Climate Program. Our goal is to obtain at least 1000 signatures on this petition and a unanimous vote by Truckee Town Council this fall.

Sign the petition here!

Petition: Protect Our Mountains - Help MAP Challenge Martis Valley West

Support Mountain Area Preservation's (MAP) efforts to challenge the approval of the Martis Valley West Parcel Specific Plan project, a 760-unit development located on the pristine Brockway Summit ridgeline, straddling Lake Tahoe and Martis Valley. Impacts to Lake Tahoe including increased traffic, public safety hazards, severe fire danger, diminished lake clarity and loss of our starry nights, highlight the detrimental damage this project will have on the region.

Sign the petition here!

CA DWR Land Use Viewer

The new California DWR Land Use Viewer has been unveiled, giving users access to 30 years of county land use data. The viewer is equipped with filters that provide information on specific crop information, or illustrate how land use has changed over the years. The information will be especially helpful for groundwater sustainability agencies.

To check it out, please click here.

Nevada State Parks Grant Opportunity

Approximately $1.2 million in funding is available for the 2018 fiscal year. The program funds motorized, non-motorized, and educational recreational trail projects.

Applications due: October 26, 2017

For more info, please click here.

Vail Resorts Establishes $58M Charitable Fund to Support Mountain Communities

Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, has established a $58 million charitable fund that will make grants to nonprofit social service organizations in the mountain communities where his company operates.

To find out more about the new foundation, click here!



The Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership is Hiring!

The 11th year of the SNAP program kicked off earlier this week, but we are still looking to fill four positions! We are seeking enthusiastic, conservation-minded people to commit to a year of service to protect Sierra natural resources and sustainable communities. During the year, SNAP members will gain skills and technical training, mentor with outstanding environmental leaders and receive an education award at the successful completion of service. The 2017-18 term runs from October 15, 2017 - September 16, 2018. Please review the available positions below and reach out to Lynn Baumgartner at if interested in applying!

Open Positions:

Conservation Assistant, El Dorado & Georgetown Divide Resource Conservation Districts in Placerville
The member will be working in collaboration with the American River Conservancy (ARC). The RCD and ARC are members of the South Fork American River Watershed Group and share the same goals outlined in the Management Plan. The member will be working towards meeting the goals and projects outlined in the plan. The member will focus on restoration projects and recreation management in collaboration with local stakeholders, assess the health of our watershed using citizen science, recruit volunteers to accomplish project elements and monitoring, and educate students and the community about being responsible stewards of our natural resources.

Natural Resources Field Crew Lead, Butte County RCD/California State Parks in Oroville
The natural resources field crew carries out stewardship projects such as habitat restoration of riparian forest, oak woodlands, grasslands, and mixed conifer forest, invasive plant and animal species control, GPS feature surveys with GIS mapping, volunteer event organization, fence installation, and native plant nursery management.

COSA Education Coordinator, Bishop Paiute Tribe in Bishop
The COSA Educational Coordinator will join the staff of the Bishop Paiute Tribe Environmental Management Office to assist the Natural Resource Program on selected wetland habitat restoration projects; coordination and development of educational activities and to organize and participate in series of selected community environmental outreach events. The main project is assisting with the Bishop Paiute Tribe Conservation Open Space Area (COSA) project and the nearby Fish Slough area located on BLM managed Volcanic Tablelands.

Stewardship Coordinator, South Yuba River Citizen’s League in Nevada City
The Stewardship Coordinator will provide a central role in recruiting and coordinating volunteers from the community to serve in a variety of programs, and will also act as a point person for SYRCL conducting education and outreach for our projects. The Stewardship Coordinator is responsible for the oversight, management and production of a successful River Ambassador Program involving approximately 40 volunteers over the summer. The Stewardship Coordinator is solely responsible for the organization of the River Ambassador program including: hiring, training, and supervising three part-time River Captain employees and the River Ambassador volunteers. The Stewardship Coordinator will be responsible for outreach and volunteer coordination at SYRCL community events, including our annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival and Yuba River Cleanup. The Stewardship Coordinator will develop outreach and training materials; coordinate volunteer trainings; write e-news articles; provide support at all River People events; present to schools and community groups; and participate in grant writing and resource procurement for projects in his/her service plan such as the River Ambassador Program and Yuba River Cleanup.
Sierra Nevada Alliance Member Groups and Supporters: It would be wonderful if you would share these openings with your networks. Thank you for your support!

We are accepting applications for these positions on a rolling basis and aim to fill them as soon as possible! Click here to apply!

CaliforniaVolunteers Update on Wildfire Relief Efforts

CaliforniaVolunteers is designated as the state lead for Volunteers and Donations Management as part of the State Emergency Plan (Emergency Function 17).  A key role that CV has in the immediate aftermath of a disaster is to support critical-life saving organizations such as Cal OES, the American Red Cross, and service-providing national and local nonprofit agencies in the affected areas.  The focus of our efforts is to ensure that people in dire need are connected with food, shelter, and support – and that people wishing to donate time, goods, and money can do so in an effective manner.

CaliforniaVolunteers is currently supporting emergency management efforts in the following ways:
  • We have two staff in the State Operation Center (SOC), and a team of three in the field working with the American Red Cross in Sonoma.
  • Working with the Joint Information Center at CalOES, CV continues to push out messaging on what the public can do if they are looking for shelters, where to donate or sign up to be a volunteer, etc.  We are directing people to our “Current Disasters” webpage for donations and volunteering information. The CalOES and CalFIRE incident pages are linked there as well.
  • We are working with the Department of Social Services to support evacuee sheltering operations and are in the process of deploying seven members of the California AmeriCorps Disaster Team to Sonoma County.
  • We have coordinated with the Napa County Office of Education to deploy a team of CalSERVES Expanded Learning members to support operations at the Sonoma County Volunteer Center and at various shelters across Santa Rosa.  Our members are providing critical support from assessing survival needs, answering calls either potential volunteers seeking to help or connecting survivals with resources from the community.
  • We are coordinating with CNCS as needed on how best to deploy other national service programs such AmeriCorps NCCC, FEMA Corps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps.
CaliforniaVolunteers is continuing to monitor the situation through their participation in the SOC and are waiting to hear about increasing needs.

The Alliance is poised to do what we can to help and encourages those wanting to donate to do so through the resources provided above by CaliforniaVolunteers.

Win two free VIP tickets to our March 30, 2018 Wild and Scenic Film Festival in S. Lake Tahoe!


To show our appreciation for our supporters, all donations to the Alliance of $100 or more between now and November 1st will earn an entry into a drawing for 2 free VIP tickets to our 13th Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival in South Lake Tahoe on March 30, 2018!

Our Wild and Scenic Film Festival combines award-winning environmental and adventure films with the energy of local activism. Featured films will include exciting outdoor adventures, environmental battles and inspirational stories of people making a difference. The film festival and all donations support the Alliance’s work to protect and restore the Sierra.

Donate here today!

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 Carley O'Connell, Program Associate 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 Carley.

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Recent News

Climate Change

Climate Change Could Bring Much Earlier Water Runoff in Sierra Nevada by Century’s End
Rebecca Ash, UCLA Newsroom, 10/10/17

Sierra Link: UCLA climate research shows another way rising temperatures could affect California’s water resources. Changing Sierra snowpack runoff timing is projected to change significantly.

Flights Worldwide Face Increased Risk of Severe Turbulence Due to Climate Change
American Geophysical Union, YubaNet, 10/4/17

Sierra Link: A new study published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, has calculated that climate change will significantly increase the amount of severe turbulence worldwide by 2050-2080.


Unusual Fall Color Season Finally Arrives in California
Douglas Zimmerman, SF Gate, 10/7/17

Sierra Link: During an average fall color season, the leaves peak at the highest elevations in September and descend about 500 feet a week until reaching sea level in November. This year, some lower mountains are peaking in color before higher elevations.

Nevada Park at Lake Tahoe Infested with Moths
Reno Gazette Journal, 10/13/17

Sierra Link: Nevada officials say a state park on Lake Tahoe has an outbreak of white satin moths that could lead to tree stress and defoliation.


Why this Remote, Sierra Nevada Hot Spring is Worth the Effort
Benjamin Spillman, Reno Gazette Journal, 9/21/17

Sierra Link: A personal account of a journey to Iva Bell hot springs outside Mammoth Lakes.

California Ski Resorts Invest Millions Following Record Season
First Tracks, 10/17/17

Sierra Link: Following record-setting snowfall during the 2016-17 winter ski season, Ski California and its 32 member resorts are looking ahead to an exciting 2017-18 winter marked by major resort enhancements and new program offerings up and down the state to enhance overall guest experiences.


Very Wet 2017 Water Year Ends in California
Tom Di Liberto, NOAA, 10/10/17

Sierra Link: Precipitation during the 2016-2017 water year exceeded 100 inches across the higher elevations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with lesser amounts, 25-50 inches, falling across lower elevations.

Watershed Conservation Key to Solving California’s Water Problems
SF Chronicle, 9/28/17

Sierra Link: In this era of a changing climate and extreme weather patterns, it is critical to repair and maintain our natural infrastructure if we are to build watershed resilience and mitigate the impacts of climate change.


Two Bear Cubs Die from Virus at Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care
Ryan Hoffman, Sierra Sun, 10/13/17

Sierra Link: Microscopic tissue testing revealed the presence of adenovirus, a family of viruses that can affect humans and animals, depending on the type. It's not unheard of for adenovirus to be detected in bears, but it is somewhat unusual. It is believed the last published account of adenovirus in bears was published in the 1980s.

Fall is the Season for Heightened Bear Activity in the High Country and Foothills
CDFW, 9/28/17

Sierra Link: California black bears are typically active and foraging between April and mid-fall, but in autumn, black bears experience changes in metabolism that drives the need to consume as many rich calories as possible. This metabolic spike is an important signal to the bear to bulk up and gain the fat that will sustain the animal through hibernation and periods of lean food sources.

Other Articles

Beyond Biodiversity: A New Way of Looking at How Species Interconnect
Jim Robbins, Yale Environment, 10/12/17

The function of species can tell us more about ecosystems than knowing which species are present — a concept known as functional diversity. This idea is not merely academic, as scientists say that understanding functional diversity can play an important role in shaping conservation programs to enhance biodiversity and preserve or restore ecosystems.

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.