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

October 30, 2019

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Volunteer to Help with Fennel Packing-Sierra Harvest

More than 7,500 students are excited to try organic fennel as part of the Harvest of the Month Program where students taste a new local or regional produce item every month. Five volunteers needed to help process and pack organic, local fennel from Mountain Bounty on Monday, Nov. 4th from 1:30-5PM.

Date: November 4, 2019

For more info, click here

Basin Water Management — Challenges in Water Management at the Basin Scale

Sustainable basin water management will be the theme of this year’s annual International Conference on Irrigation and Drainage. The conference will be Nov. 5–8, in Reno. It is hosted by the U.S. Society for Irrigation and Drainage Professionals.

Date: November 5-8, 2019

For more info, click here

2019 Water Summit

The Tahoe Film Fest is scheduled for December 5 - 8, 2019 and will be hosted at various locations including the Incline Village Cinema, Crystal Bay Club Crown Room, and Northstar Village Cinema. All proceeds from Tahoe Film Fest ticket sales will support science education and research at Lake Tahoe through the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center.

Date: December 5-8, 2019

For more info, click here

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

CA Tahoe Conservancy- Recreation Program Coordinator

Under the general direction of the Resources and Public Access Supervisor, the incumbent serves as a technical expert in the areas of land use planning, recreation and public access projects and initiatives, and strategic advising. The incumbent coordinates and provides strategic and technical support to multiagency, multijurisdictional initiatives and projects designed to improve public access and recreation and meet the State’s climate change goals. The incumbent’s focus is steering and coordinating Conservancy programs, projects, and policies with partners primarily in the North Shore areas of the Lake Tahoe Basin (Basin).

For more info, click here.

CSERC is launching a search for a Program Director

The Program Director will be responsible for carrying the CSERC mission forward in a sustainable, meaningful manner. Put simply, this is an opportunity to join a highly effective, intensely-engaged non- profit conservation organization, to be mentored and trained for dealing with current issues and program areas, and to then transition to assume the lead role at the Center. The Executive Director will provide support as needed as he scales back and passes on the key responsibilities.

For more info, click here.

American Rivers- Associate Director of Headwaters Conservation

The Associate Director of Headwaters Conservation builds partnerships and manages projects to improve watersheds in the Sierra Nevada. The Associate Director helps develop and oversee a range of innovative projects primarily focused on meadow stream restoration, improving forest health and forest roads, green infrastructure and other conservation efforts in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River (SSJ) Basin. The Associate Director will also contribute to fundraising and other internal needs of the region, including strategic planning, and will join a team of eight staff in American Rivers’ regional office in Nevada City, California, a thriving small town in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

For more info, click here.

REI- Events & Partnerships Coordinator, Sacramento

Based in Sacramento, this job contributes to REI’s success by executing local marketing and brand engagement campaigns within their specific market as directed by the Manager.

For more info, click here.

Mountain Area Preservation - Development Director

The Development Director, working closely with the Executive Director, is responsible for the strategic oversight, development, and implementation of a comprehensive fundraising program that secures the financial resources needed to support Mountain Area Preservation’s land use and environmental advocacy work.

For more info, click here.

Tahoe Conservancy-Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative Coordinator, Senior Environmental Scientist

Under the general direction of the Landscape Forestry Supervisor, the incumbent will coordinate as well as provide strategic, technical, facilitation, and project management support to the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative (TCSI), and ensure its alignment with state and regional mandates.

For more info, click here.


SNA Member Group Spotlight: Eastern Sierra Land Trust

Photo by Tom Koerner, USFWS

We Love Speed Goats, by Susanna Danner, ESLT Land Stewardship Program Manager

Bodie State Historic Park is one of the most scenic places in Mono County, where Eastern Sierra Land Trust does much of our land conservation work. And that’s saying something, in a county as full of beautiful places as Mono County. The ghost town of Bodie at dawn is suffused with golden light on the wooden buildings, and the dusty green sagebrush steppe seems to glow. If you are lucky, and you’re there right when the park opens, you even have a fair chance of seeing Bi-State sage-grouse in the park.

That rare species, and other animals dependent on healthy sagebrush steppe, was the reason for Eastern Sierra Land Trust (ESLT)’s recent work in the Bodie Hills. In early September, ESLT partnered with Bureau of Land Management for two volunteer stewardship days near Bodie State Park. Pronghorn, known fondly as “speed goats”, were a main focus of our stewardship days. (Pronghorn aren’t goats, of course, but they look a little like them, as well as looking a little like African antelope. That’s why their misnomers persist.) Pronghorn are the second-fastest land animal in the world, and the fastest in North America. They can run at speeds above 55 MPH to outrun threats. The now-extinct American cheetah (more closely related to the extant mountain lion than to the African cheetah) is probably the reason that pronghorn evolved to run so swiftly.

Photo by Susanna Danner, ESLT

Let-Down Fences Are Not A Let-Down

Today, pronghorn in the Bodie Hills face different threats – some fences are a risk to their migration. To address this, BLM is modifying old fences in the Bodie Hills to make them passable and safe for wildlife to cross. Mule deer and pronghorn need different things: mule deer jump over fences, and pronghorn dive under fences – often at top speed. So we had to lower the top fence wire, for deer, and raise the bottom fence wire, for pronghorn. We also placed fence markers that will help sage-grouse see the fence wires. These markers alternate dark and light, so that whether the backdrop is vegetation, sky, or snow, the birds can see the fence. Finally, we prepared the fence for conversion from a permanent fence to a let-down fence. Let-down fences are placed flat on the ground during sage-grouse broodrearing season, to allow the birds free rein to fly through the wet meadows of the Bodie Hills. Then, when grazing season begins, and the birds are less concentrated around the wetlands, the fence is assembled. This method of fence construction is one of the safest for wildlife, and also helps ranchers by reducing the cost of fence management. Permanent fence wires, though they seem diminutive, collect snow and can break when the weight of winter snows accumulates on them. Using a let-down fence means that there is no fence wire tension during snowfall, and the fences need less maintenance.

As we modified the fence, we noticed native flowers, archeological artifacts, hawks overhead, and sage- grouse scat underfoot. On the horizon, the parade of peaks along the Sierran escarpment and the jumble of the Sweetwater mountains. The Bodie Hills are so quiet – only the susurrus of aspen leaves in the draws, the wind over the sage, and birdsong. The cattle lowing and the russet weathered wood of the Bodie townsite are reminders of the rich human history of the hills. And the generosity of spirit of the volunteers helps keep this beautiful piece of California natural and human history vibrant. Thank you to the hardworking volunteers who wielded fencing tools, loppers, and pliers so deftly in support of Eastern Sierra habitats and wildlife.

Eastern Sierra Land Trust works with willing landowners to protect vital lands in the Eastern Sierra region for their scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historical, and watershed values. To learn more about ESLT’s work, visit

Photo by Susanna Danner, ESLT


Partnership Awards- Public Lands Alliance

The Call for 2020 Partnership Award Submissions is Now Open! From October 16, 2019 to November 29, 2019, public lands professionals are invited to submit to the 2020.

Learn more here.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the EPA – Don’t Revoke Clean Water Act Protections

Stand with SYRCL & other Waterkeepers to Protect Waterways from Irresponsible Dams & Development Projects.

Learn more here.

Partnership Awards- Public Lands Alliance

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
Applications will be accepted September 12 - November 1

Learn more here.

One Less Spark- One Less Wildfire

That is why fire agencies need the public’s help to prevent them. Whether it’s ensuring a campfire or landscape debris burn of leaves and branches is completely extinguished, or keeping a vehicle well maintained to prevent sparks, following just a few simple steps can help prevent wildfires.

Learn more here.

Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs

CDFW is now accepting applications for the 2020 Proposition 1 and Proposition 68 Proposal Solicitation Notice (PDF). Proposals are due November 20, 2019, by 4:00 p.m. PDT, through CDFW WebGrants.

Learn more here.

Connecting Point: Community Services Central

Connecting Point's Volunteer Hub connects residents of all ages to volunteer opportunities in our community. Using web-based software we match volunteers' interests, skills, and preferences to opportunities in local nonprofits, schools, and public agencies.

Learn more here.

Sierra CAMP Grant Guide

This page features climate-related funding databases and funding opportunities that are ongoing or accepting applications on a rolling basis. Updates on one-time or irregular, non-rolling grant opportunities, such as cap-and-trade grant program notices of funding availability, as well as opportunities to provide feedback on state funding guidelines, are provided to Sierra CAMP members on a monthly basis.

Learn more here.

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 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

Engineers Develop a New Way to Remove Carbon Dioxide from Air
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Science Daily, October 25, 2019

Quick Link: A new way of removing carbon dioxide from a stream of air could provide a significant tool in the battle against climate change. The new system can work on the gas at virtually any concentration level, even down to the roughly 400 parts per million currently found in the atmosphere.

The Atmosphere: Keeping a Weather Eye on Earth's Climate Instabilities
Alan Buis, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, October 30, 2019

Quick Link: Sizing Up Humanity's Impacts on Earth's Changing Atmosphere​: A Five-Part Series.


California Braces for More Fires, Blackouts as Part of State's New 'Normal'
Tim Stelloh, NBC News, October 28, 2019

Quick Link: Firefighters across the state were racing to battle blazes ignited by an earlier round of powerful winds.


Campgrounds, Beaches and Forest Road Opening Dates
USDA Forest Service News

Quick Link: Find projected opening/closing dates for campgrounds, day-use areas, beaches, general recreation areas, interpretive sites, picnic sites and resorts in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Campgrounds and day-use areas typically open in mid-May and close in mid-October.

New Recreation Trends Spark Changes
Jon Klusmire, Mammoth Times, October 3, 2019

Quick Link: Nothing is quick or easy when dealing with the state of California and federal land managers. That reality is one of the reasons the latest effort to shape the future of “sustainable recreation” in the Eastern Sierra is going to take two years, dozens of public meetings and cost about $618,000.


Agencies Dismiss Concerns about Trump's Calif. Water Plan
Adam Aton, E&E News, October 29, 2019

Quick Link: One thing is keeping the winter-run chinook salmon from extinction: the cold water in California’s Shasta Dam reservoir.

World Unprepared for Impact of Climate Change on Mountain Water Supplies: Experts
Emma Farge, Cecile Montovani, Reuters, October 29, 2019

Quick Link: Since 2016, when the Environmental Protection Agency classified PFAS as an “emerging contaminant” linked to liver cancer and other health problems, the Pentagon has found the pollutants at levels above federal health guidelines in soil and groundwater at more than 90 bases nationwide.


Owl vs. Owl: Should Humans Intervene to Save a Species
Phuong Le, AP News, October 15, 2019

Quick Link: The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service experiment, which began in 2015, has raised thorny questions: To what extent can we reverse declines that have unfolded over decades, often due partially to actions by humans?

What are Wild Burros Doing to Death Valley?
Asher Elbein, High Country News, October 16, 2019

Quick Link: Wild burros, though introduced to Death Valley National Park, may actually benefit native species.


California Tribe Regains Island it Calls Center of Universe
Felicia Fonseca, San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 2019

Quick Link: Indian Island off the coast of Northern California was the site of a massacre, a place that was contaminated by a shipyard and flush with invasive species.

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 Sierra Nevada Alliance exists to elevate and support Sierra ecosystems and communities. We are a hub for stewardship of the Sierra Nevada, which we achieve by empowering and collaborating with our partners. It is our vision that every Sierra ecosystem and community is healthy, resilient, and collectively cared for through thriving partnerships, as a legacy for future generations.