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December 27, 2017

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Alliance's Wild & Scenic Film Festival in South Lake Tahoe

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 supports the Alliance’s work to protect and restore the Sierra through our Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership.

Date: March 30th
Location: MontBleu, South Lake Tahoe

Please click here for more details.

Public Lands Alliance Convention

The Public Lands Alliance Convention and Trade Show brings together nonprofits, land management agencies and companies to learn, network and engage on public lands issues.

Date: February 25th - March 1st
Location: Palm Springs, CA

Please click here for more details and to register.

Sierra Streams Institute's Spring 2018 California Naturalist Course

Registration is open for SSI's spring California Naturalist course. Become a certified California Naturalist to gain the skills and knowledge necessary to educate your community & take part in local citizen science projects! The course will take place in Nevada City on Wednesday evenings from March 7th through May 16th, plus three half day Saturday field trips.

Date: March 7th - May 16th
Please click here for more details.

California Adaptation Forum

The biennial California Adaptation Forum gathers the adaptation community to foster knowledge exchange, innovation, and mutual support to create resilient communities throughout the state. The Forum offers a series of engaging plenaries, sessions, networking opportunities, workshops, and tours to support our transition from adaptation awareness and planning to action.

Date: August 28th - 29th
Location: Sacramento, CA

Please click here for more details.

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

Development Director - Sierra Nevada Alliance

The Development Director, working closely with the Executive Director, is responsible for the development and implementation of a comprehensive fund development program that procures financial resources for the work of the Alliance.

For more info, click here.

Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Program Director - Sierra Nevada Alliance

The Alliance Administrative Assistant provides administrative support to the Alliance Executive, SNAP, and Financial Directors to benefit all program areas of the organization. This position is part time at 20 hours per week.

For more info, click here.

Administrative Assistant - Sierra Nevada Alliance

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit is looking for volunteers to assist with our Winter Trek and Ski with a Ranger conservation education programs at Heavenly Mountain Resort from January through March 2018.

For more info, click here.

Project Coordinator - California Trout

This position offers an exciting opportunity to learn and contribute to advancing ecosystem and fisheries restoration and management. Although not limited to, a major focus for the Project Coordinator position will support meadow restoration projects primarily within the Inyo and Sequoia National Forests. Apply by 1/22/17.

For more info, click here.

Western Watersheds Project - California Director

The California Director will expand and continue WWP’s campaign to protect and restore public lands in California and parts of Nevada, particularly in the context of reining in livestock grazing and related environmental problems. The position will entail administrative and legal oversight of federal decisions, fieldwork, data collection and analysis, participation in agency planning processes, media outreach and legislative advocacy.

For more info, click here.


UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center Accepting Applications for Youth Science Institute

In the Youth Science Institute, high school students will work with scientists, conduct science experiments, take a ride on the UC Davis research vessel, experience our 3-D visualization lab, share science activities with other students and much more! TERC offers a 16-week afterschool program January through May. Apply by Jan. 12th.

For more information, please click here!

RFP: Rose Foundation's Central Valley Disadvantaged Community Water Quality Grants Program

In partnership with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB), Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment has developed a grants program to support disadvantaged communities working on water quality issues throughout the Central Valley. Letters of Inquiry due by December 20th.

To view the RFP, please click here.

Sierra National Forest Seeks Public Input for 2018 California Off-Highway Vehicle Grant Funding

Part of the grant process is gathering input or project ideas that individuals and organizations would like to have included in the 2018 submission. This feedback will be considered in development of the preliminary grant applications and as final applications are prepared for the 2019 State OHV grant funding proposal.

To learn more, please click here.

USACE Watershed Analysis Tool Available

The Watershed Analysis Tool (HEC-WAT) software developed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is a model integration tool that allows multi-disciplinary teams to perform water resources studies. HEC-WAT accomplishes this through a framework that provides the user with the ability to perform studies in a comprehensive, systems-based approach. The HEC-WAT is now available for free download.

To learn more, please click here.


Happy Holidays from the Sierra Nevada Alliance!


2017 has been a wonderful year for the Alliance, and we could not have done it without our generous supporters! Gifts from friends like you help the Alliance achieve our mission of protecting and restoring the Sierra for future generations. We invite you to renew your committment to the Sierra through making a year-end gift to the Alliance today.

Some of our 2017 accomplishments include the following:

  • We developed a new Strategic Operating Plan to guide our organization through the coming years.

  • We completed the 10th year of our Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) and launched the 11th year.

    • We more than doubled the federal investment of $363,000 and leveraged more than $835,000 towards watershed restoration and community stewardship in the Sierra through SNAP.

    • This year, SNAP members...

      • Restored more than 700 watershed acres;

      • Monitored more than 1,150 sites;

      • Educated more than 14,000 individuals;

      • Recruited more than 2,300 volunteers; and

      • Contributed more than 47,500 hours of service.

    • To raise funds for SNAP, we hosted our 12th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival - On Tour in South Lake Tahoe and our first Wild & Scenic Film Festival - On Tour in Truckee (which sold out!). These film festivals aim to ignite local action and environmental stewardship in the Sierra. (Save the date for our 2018 Wild & Scenic Film Festival - On Tour in South Lake Tahoe on March 30, 2018!)

  • We reinvigorated our Regional Climate Change Program.

    • We initiated, organized, and facilitated 5 grassroots community climate coalitions to achieve city resolutions to transitions to 100% renewable electricity by 2030 and 100% renewable energy by 2050.

      • South Lake Tahoe, the largest city in the Sierra, passed this resolution in April.

      • Nevada City passed their resolution in July.

      • Truckee became the 50th city in the nation to make this committment by passing their resolution in November.

      • We also formed grassroots climate coalitions in Reno and Mammoth, which are expected to pass similar resolutions in 2018!

    • We organized the Tahoe area's March for Climate last spring, where over 500 people came out to show their support for climate policy.

  • We hosted our Annual Member Group Meeting in Markleeville, California this fall where we collaboratively brainstormed exciting program partnerships and elected three new Board Members: Regina Hirsch, Esther Feldman, and Laura Beaton.

  • We increased our staff capacity by promoting our Program Associate, Carley O'Connell, to full-time and we have received funding to hire a part-time Administrative Assistant and contract Development Director to begin in 2018.

Additional details about our accomplishments over the last fiscal year can be found in our most recent annual report here.


Click here to make a year-end gift to the Alliance.

We are moving into 2018 with excitement, enthusiam, and big vision. We hope we can count on our loyal supporters to help us continue our work to protect and restore the Sierra. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Thank you for your support!

SNAP Spotlight: Liz Bronson of the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center

Environmental Education in the Tahoe Basin


Liz earned her B.S. in Athletic Training/Exercise Science from Ithaca College in 2009. After working in the field for several years, she became interested in focusing on sports nutrition. In 2015, Liz spent a month in the Tahoe area shadowing registered dieticians with the intention of applying to graduate school in that field. However, a month in the mountains had the unintended effect of making the environmental field more appealing. In the spring of 2016, Liz began a master’s program in Resilient and Sustainable Communities at Green Mountain College. Finding the AmeriCorps program was somewhat of a happy accident. A curiosity-fueled internet search for jobs in Tahoe led to a whirlwind move from Billings, MT to begin a year with the Tahoe Environmental Research Center (TERC).


As an Education and Outreach Assistant, Liz teaches hands-on science to students and visitors to the Tahoe Science Center. Her main responsibilities are marketing and special events coordination. Liz helps schedule guest speakers for the monthly lecture series, recruit volunteers for TERC events, and facilitate effective outreach strategies. She also assists with school field trips to the Tahoe Science Center where kids have an opportunity to learn about the lake and on-going research, as well as discover ways to become better stewards in their hometowns. Liz finds inspiration in the outreach efforts at TERC and is eager to apply her education to the experiences.

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

The Big Suck: Can Atmospheric Carbon Removal Stop Climate Calamity?
Glen Martin, California Magazine, 11/30/17

Sierra Link: Even in the best-case scenario, reducing emissions may not be enough to avoid the worst consequences of global warming such as melting ice caps and dramatic sea level rise. It’s likely we’ll need a complementary strategy such as carbon capture, the active removal and storage of atmospheric CO2.

Is California Heading Back Into a Drought?
Paul Rogers and Mark Gomez, The Mercury News, 12/14/17

Sierra Link: La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean — the cooling of ocean waters near the equator that have historically increased the chances of dry winters in California — are strengthening and should last through the spring, federal scientists say.


Fire Safety Projects Underway on Upper Ridge
Sarah Brandt, Paradise Post, 12/5/17

Sierra Link: The Butte County Fire Safe Council has recently undertaken two projects, with the help of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, in an effort to decrease the consistency and severity of wildfires on the upper Paradise ridge.

Cal Poly Assistant Professor Takes on Vexing Global Problem of Dying Forests
AnnMarie Cornejo, Cal Poly News, 12/21/17

Sierra Link: Cal Poly Assistant Professor Richard Cobb, whose research is focused on forest health, recently published findings from an international research study that he hopes will help address the issues resulting from future forest die-offs and lead to better forest management.


Trout Plants Mean California Fishing Opportunities Abound Over the Holidays
CDFW, 12/23/17

Sierra Link: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has scheduled trout plants at 79 waters in 25 counties between now and January 5th. Some of these waterways lie in the Sierra.

An Alternative College Education
The Economist, 12/19/17

Sierra Link: Started in the early 1900's, a small alternative college exists in the shadow of the southern Sierra Nevada mountains. Deep Springs is committed to an education that develops its students as individuals and as members of a community in a way few other institutions can match.


Climate Change Could Decrease Sun's Ability to Disinfect Lakes
Mary Martialay,, 11/1/17

Sierra Link: Increasing organic runoff as a result of climate change may be reducing the penetration of pathogen-killing ultraviolet (UV) sunlight in inland lakes, rivers, and coastal waters, according to a new study in the journal Scientific Reports.

A Water Right for the Environment in California
Brian Gray, Lean Szeptycki, Barton Thompson, Water Deeply, 12/19/17

Sierra Link: Assigning Ecosystem Water Budgets for California’s major watersheds would provide a defined amount of water that could be flexibly allocated and could ease conflict, say authors of a new report from Public Policy Institute of California.


With Elk on Rebound, California Releases New Management Plan
Lisa Krieger, The Mercury News, 11/27/17

Sierra Link: As California’s elk herds rebound, the state has proposed a new management plan for the animals — creatures of great magnificence and caution that were once nearly pushed out of existence. Some are moving into the Sierra Nevada region of Sierra and Plumas counties.

Conservationists Lobby to Join Fray Over Frog Habitat
Nathan Solis, Courthouse News, 12/15/17

Sierra Link: Conservation groups recently lobbied a federal judge for permission to join a fight between the federal government and a ranching association over a trio of California amphibian species. The Center for Biological Diversity wants the judge to uphold a 2016 Endangered Species Act designation of critical habitat for the amphibians that covers 1.8 million acres in California across the Sierra Nevada Mountains.


How Craft Brewers Are Embracing New Water Technologies
Robert Glennon, News Deeply, 12/18/17

The exploding craft beer movement is taking on the challenges of a water-constrained world and improving conservation and efficiency in production. Some are even experimenting with using recycled water in their brews.

U.S. Reliant on China, Russia, Other Foreign Nations for Many Critical Minerals
U.S. Department of the Interior, 12/19/17

Recently the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey released a report that detailed the extent to which the United States is fully, majorly, or partially dependent upon foreign competitors and even adversaries for our supply of "critical minerals."

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.