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December 26, 2019

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) Workshop

Informational workshop on Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) evaluation and assessment process, annual reports, and assistance programs.

Date: January 9, 2020

For more info, click here

California Forest Stewardship Workshops

The workshops will address management objectives and planning, forest restoration, fuels reduction, project development, permitting, and cost-share opportunities. Participants will connect with other landowners and learn how to collect information to develop their own management plans.

Date: Ukiah- January 11, 12, and 25, 2020, or Berkeley- February 1, 2, and 8, 2020, or Redding February 7, 8, and 14, 2020

For more info, click here

18th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival has unveiled its full lineup of over 140 environmental and activist films, including 16 world premieres, to be shown at its 18th annual event happening Jan. 16-20, 2020.

The five-day festival features activist workshops, music, art exhibits, youth programs as well as opportunities to meet filmmakers and special guests at venues throughout historic Nevada City and Grass Valley, California. Wild & Scenic brings together top filmmakers, celebrities, activists, and social innovators to inspire environmental awareness and action.

Festival passes and tickets for this year’s event are now available for purchase. Early Bird pricing is available through December 14th for festival passes, which allow for entry to all regular festival programing Friday through Sunday. Additional tickets are also now available for special events such as Thursday’s 3D Film session, Saturday Morning Kid Films, Wild & Scenic Gala, and Award Winner screenings.

Date: January 16-20, 2020

For more info, click here

Science of Cocktails

The Science of Cocktails is a unique evening event where mixology and science meet. This event will be held on Friday, January 31 from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village, NV.

Date: January 31, 2020

For more info, click here

Sierra Streams Institute- California Naturalist Course

Dive into ten weeks of hands-on natural history lessons and citizen science to become a better steward of the Sierra Nevada ecosystem.

Date: March 4-May 13, 2020

For more info, click here

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Member, Tahoe Environmental Research Center

Sierra Nevada Alliance is hiring a SNAP Member to Serve from 1/27/20-9/19/20 at the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC) in Incline Village as an Education Program Assistant. The Assistant will provide environmental education programs and events for students, residents and visitors through exhibits, tours, field trips, and hands-on science activities and citizen science monitoring.

If interested email SNAP Program Director, Rachel Durben at

Defenders of Wildlife- Director, California Program

The Director is responsible for supervising and providing strategic direction to California Field Conservation staff, ensuring the effective implementation of the programs for which they are responsible and efficiently and effectively managing the office.

For more info, click here.

Sierra Harvest- Events Producer

The Events Producer is the overall event organizer for the Sustainable Food & Farm Conference, and our farmer events such as soup night, farm potlucks and farmer mixers.

For more info, click here.

Tahoe Institute for Natural Science- Full-Time Education Manager

We are seeking an experienced environmental educator to coordinate and deliver existing in-school and field trip programs, coordinate and lead nature-based summer camps, and develop our education programming and strategy as a whole as the organization grows.

For more info, click here.


Visions of The Lost Sierra- Movie and Petition

After touring film festivals in two dozen cities across the country, we’re excited to share our documentary online for all to view!

Learn more here.

Prop 68 Groundwater Treatment and Remediation Grant Program

Proposition 68 was passed by voters in June 2018. The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) will administer $74 million from Chapter 11.1 for grants for treatment and remediation activities that prevent or reduce the contamination of groundwater that serves as a source of drinking water.

Learn more here.

Climate Change Research Program

The Strategic Growth Council was allocated a total of $5 million in California Climate Investments Program funds in the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget for the Climate Change Research (CCR) Program to administer a third round of grant awards.

Learn more here.

Parasol- Investing to Keep our Basin Fire-Safe!

We are excited to announce a grant to the Tahoe Resource Conservation District (RCD) to expand the strategic and tactical Wildfire Pre Attack plans on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe. “Multiple fire and law enforcement agencies, the Tahoe RCD, and the Tahoe Fire & Fuels Team have been working together for over 2 years developing Wildfire Pre Attack Plans around Lake Tahoe”, said Nicole Cartwright, Tahoe RCD Executive Director. “Through this donation the entire Tahoe Basin will now be covered with Pre Attack Plans for first responders.”

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.


Sierra Day in the Capitol

Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Business Council, The Sierra Fund and the Sierra Water Work Group are joining together to sponsor the “Sierra Day in the Capitol” on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. Alliance Member Groups are urged to attend this free educational and advocacy event to help raise the profile of the benefits the Sierra Nevada region provides to all Californians.

The program includes a morning of educational presentations followed by a training session on how to speak with legislators and their staff over a “no host” lunch. Teams will visit with legislators, legislative staff and key administrative leaders over the afternoon to highlight the climate resiliency and funding needs of the region with a focus on the development of a climate resilience bond for the November 2020 statewide ballot. The day ends with an informal reception at a restaurant nearby, providing an opportunity to “down load” what everyone heard during their visits while we celebrate.

Join us at the state capitol on February 4th to speak for the Sierra. Click here to sign up to attend and receive updates.

This Giving Season Support Sierra Nevada Advocacy with a Gift to the Alliance

Do you believe the Sierra deserves a voice? A donation to the Sierra Nevada Alliance will allow us to mobilize, confront and defeat threats to Sierra Nevada ecosystems and communities.

Did you know: The Sierra Nevada range supplies 65 percent of California’s water, almost 50 percent of its timber, and supports some of the most biologically rich landscapes in the United States, but it receives only paltry amounts – historically as little as 1 percent – of state funding for conservation. To change this, we need to coordinate and mobilize large portions of the Sierra conservation community to advance environmentally-oriented plans, policies and legislation and secure funding. By increasing internal capacity, the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s Advocacy program will become that unifying network capable of building strong and successful grassroots campaigns for plans, policies and legislation that benefit Sierra ecosystems and communities.

There are several ways to give:

-Become an Individual Member. Learn more here.

-Donate to our Patagonia Page (Patagonia will be matching donations through December 31st). Donate here.

-Give to the Alliance while you do your holiday shopping. Click here to visit Amazon Smile.

Host a Half-Term SNAP Member

The Alliance is seeking Host Sites for Half-Term Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) Members. SNAP Members restore and monitor impaired Sierra watersheds, educate and outreach to Sierra residents and visitors on environmental issues, and recruit and manage volunteers for a variety of programs.

Now is the perfect time to apply to be a SNAP Host Site. The Application period for 2020 Half-Term SNAP Member Host Sites is now open. Host Sites will host a Half-Term Member for 5 1/2 months of service April 2020- September 2020. Eligible organizations include environmental nonprofit organizations, state and public agencies, land trusts, and federal agencies who work in the Sierra Nevada.

Are you interested in hosting a SNAP Member for the Spring 2020 Half-Term? Click here to learn more. Applications are due by 5pm on January 10, 2020.

SNAP Alumni Party

Save the date! January 19th, 2020, join SNAP Alums from over 14 different service years to enjoy a night of food, drinks, and music. RSVP here.

SNA Member Group Spotlight: American River Conservancy "Wildlife Habitat and Working Lands Preserved on the Cosumnes River"

Recent efforts to protect a property known as Ervin Ranch on the Cosumnes River in El Dorado County reached a notable milestone on December 5, 2019. The cooperative effort by the American River Conservancy (ARC), California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has succeeded in protecting a total of 1,737 acres of oak woodlands, rangeland, riparian corridors and salmon-spawning habitat. This most recent conservation accomplishment, spearheaded by local land trust ARC, complements the recent multi-phased acquisition of 3,157-acres of the El Dorado Ranch, just upriver of the Ervin Ranch. Both ranches, once slated for residential development, will become the first Wildlife Area in El Dorado County.

WCB provided $1,366,500 in purchase funding, while ARC raised $1,000,000 in funds from the Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Grant Program administered by CNRA. $7,183,500 of purchase funding was provided by USFWS through Wildlife Restoration Act grant funds directed through CDFW. CDFW will own and manage the property as a unit of the El Dorado Ranch Wildlife Area.

Ervin Ranch is located just southwest of El Dorado Hills and southeast of Folsom along the Cosumnes River in western El Dorado County, California. The acquisition protects nearly one mile of river frontage and spawning gravels for steelhead and winter-run Chinook salmon. Portions of the property are identified as Priority Conservation Areas for Oak Woodlands in El Dorado County’s General Plan, and the property is also a “working landscape”, preserving seasonal rangelands in the western part of El Dorado County.

“The Ervin Ranch purchase protects an important wildlife movement corridor and a prime stretch of the Cosumnes River for wild salmon. The Cosumnes is unique in the Sierra because it is a free-flowing river system with no major dams.” said Elena DeLacy, Executive Director of ARC. According to CDFW’s Supervising Wildlife Biologist, Jason Holley, “conserving the Ervin Ranch is a win-win for wildlife, and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The new Wildlife Area will have something for everyone to enjoy, a true multi-use area (including hunting, fishing, hiking, and bird watching). We’re hoping to open the area for walk-in public use by 2022.”

American River Conservancy and numerous funding partners have protected over 8,800 acres of habitat in the Upper Cosumnes River watershed. 2019 marks ARC’s 30th year of preserving rivers and land for life. Since 1989, ARC has worked with private landowners, public agencies and funding partners to preserve habitat, agricultural lands, recreational access and riparian corridors. ARC has protected over 27,500 acres through conservation easement and fee-title acquisition in the Upper American River and Upper Cosumnes River watersheds. Approximately 11,000 acres of land conserved by ARC since 1989 is classified as agricultural land – working farms and cattle ranches – while also serving as important wildlife corridors in the region.

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

A Methane Leak, Seen From Space, Proves to Be Far Larger Than Thought
Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, December 16, 2019

Quick Link: The first satellite designed to continuously monitor the planet for methane leaks made a startling discovery last year: A little known gas-well accident at an Ohio fracking site was in fact one of the largest methane leaks ever recorded in the United States.

U.N. Climate Talks End With Few Commitments and a ‘Lost’ Opportunity
Somini Sengupta, New York Times, December 15, 2019

Quick Link: A key United Nations meeting ended early Sunday with the United States and other big polluters blocking even a nonbinding effort to enhance their climate targets next year.


‘We are Helping the Community Steal the Fire Back’: Tribe-Driven Stewardship of Butte County Forests Gains Traction
Camille Von Kaenel, Enterprise- Record, December 11, 2019

Quick Link: The Camp Fire has prompted the Mechoopda Tribe to set in a motion a plan to improve forest management in Butte County using its sovereignty and its traditional knowledge.


Decision to Relocate BLM’s Headquarters Under Investigation
Caitlyn Kim, High Country News, December 13, 2019

Quick Link: ‘If this administration is confident the move is defensible,’ Democrats say, the Government Accountability Office ‘should have no problem confirming it.’


California Coastal Waters Rising in Acidity at Alarming Rate, Study Finds
Rosana Xia, Los Angelas Times, December 16, 2019

Quick Link: Waters off the California coast are acidifying twice as fast as the global average, scientists found, threatening major fisheries and sounding the alarm that the ocean can absorb only so much more of the world’s carbon emissions.

Costa, Cox in Pickle as House Panel Wants to Probe Valley Water Boost
Alex Tavlian, San Joaquin Sun, December 16, 2019

Quick Link: Prepping a probe to see if U.S. Interior Secretary David Bernhardt influenced a plan to deliver far more water to the San Joaquin Valley, House Democrats have placed Reps. Jim Costa (D–Fresno) and TJ Cox (D–Fresno) in a pickle.

California’s Dream has Turned into Water Nightmares
Sean McCoy, High Country News Dec. 9, 2019

Quick Link: TA new book looks at the Golden State’s history to understand its current water crisis.


California Fish and Game Commission Meets in Sacramento
California Department of Fish and Wildlife, December 12, 2019

Quick Link: At its December 2019 meeting in Sacramento, the California Fish and Game Commission took action on a number of issues affecting California’s natural resources. The following are just a few items of interest from the two-day meeting.


Loving it to Death? Lake Tahoe Agencies Working on Sustainable Tourism
Laney Griffo, The Sierra Sun, December 2, 2019

Quick Link: There is such a thing as loving a place to death, and with the growing masses visiting Lake Tahoe every year, overtourism is a top issue.

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.