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

December 28th, 2018

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Registration for the California Naturalist course with Sierra Streams Institute is now open

Join the growing number of certificated California Naturalists across the state. The 10 week course starts March 6th. This natural history survey course gives participants rich background knowledge in the areas of California forest ecology, wildlife, geology, hydrology, and much more in the context of the Sierra Nevada foothills. For more information contact Sol Henson: (530) 477-7132 Ext 207.

Date: March 6th, 2019

Please click here for more information.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival - Tickets are now on sale

Experience the adrenaline of kayaking the wildest rivers. Climb the highest peaks. And trek across the globe with adventure films from around the world. At our festival, you’ll witness how individuals and communities across the globe are taking action.

Date: January 17th-21st, 2019

Please click here for more details.

Acting with intention for the sake of our world

Learn how you can contribute to the movement for a better, more equitable, and ecologically balanced world.

Date: Jan 9th, 2019 6-8pm Lake Tahoe Wellness Center

Please click here for more details.

Living the New Reality: Climate Change & Wildland Fires

What consequences does the recent IPCC report indicate? Impacts on humans and natural systems of additional warming? Adaptation and mitigation options for reducing risks over shorter and longer time scales.

Date: Jan.30th 2019 8am-11:30am Harveys Cabaret

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

National Forest Foundations- Multiple Positions- Tahoe Area

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) seeks a to fill multiple positions in the Tahoe Area.

For more info, click here.


This position requires working knowledge of federal environmental and natural resources law and significant litigation experience. Primary emphasis is on litigating cases under federal wildlife and natural resources laws to conserve biological diversity, and helping to develop and advance Defenders’ conservation policies.

For more info, click here.

Lapham Fellowship Announcement

All of the necessary links and materials can be found within the job description, including the link to the Bamboo application. The deadline for applications is Thursday, January 31, 2019.

For more info, click here.

Sierra Nevada Journeys- Various Positions

Sierra Nevada Journeys has some exciting positions we’re hiring for at our campus, Grizzly Creek Ranch (30 miles north of Lake Tahoe). We’re seeking a Camp Director, a Summer and Specialty Camps Manager, a Challenge Course Manager, and 14 Residential Science Instructors.

For more info, click here.


Nonpoint Source Pollution (NPS) Control Program, Grants & Funding

The NPS Program administers grant money it receives from United States Environmental Protection Agency through Section 319(h) of the Federal Clean Water Act and from the state Timber Regulation and Forest Restoration Fund. These grant funds can be used to implement projects or programs that will help to reduce NPS pollution.

Learn more here.

Proposition 1 Restoration Grant Programs

Look here for funding opportunities related to proposition 1.

Learn more here.

Cooperative Watershed Management Program

The Cooperative Watershed Management Program (CWMP) contributes to the WaterSMART strategy by providing funding to watershed groups to encourage diverse stakeholders to form local solutions to address their water management needs.

Learn more here.

Natural Resources Funding Opportunities

Current Funding Opportunities: grant and loan programs within the Natural Resources Agency, and its departments and conservancies.

Learn more here.


Service+Tech, an initiative of Service Year Alliance, is an opportunity for service year corps members and alums to develop essential technology skills, discover pathways into tech careers, and leverage technology to solve society’s most pressing challenges. The initiative allows participants access to free, exclusive programming — from speaker series to career fairs — that connects them with opportunities to utilize technology-centered approaches to solving America’s most pressing problems, expands who can see themselves in tech, and recruits groups historically underrepresented in the technology sector.

Learn more here.

Action Alert: Tell Governor Newsom to Save Yuba Salmon

Wild salmon are in trouble. Drought, dams, degraded habitat, and water diversions are driving the West Coast’s most iconic fish closer to extinction. Please visit the link to sign the letter to Governor-elect Gavin Newsom.

Learn more here.

Beginning the Climate Conversation: A Family’s Guide will help you talk to your kids about the climate crisis by:

• Providing tips on when and how to start the conversation. • Suggesting what information to share with children of different ages and interests. • Giving you an interactive quiz (from NatGeo Kids!) to help engage your little ones. • Offering suggestions for moving the conversation from the dangers of climate change to things they can do to help make a difference.

Submit Proposals 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 Jodi Schmitz, Administrative Assistant 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 Jodi.

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please click here to contribute to our funding.


Happy New Year from all of us at the Sierra Nevada Alliance!


Sierra Nevada Alliance would like to thank all of our supporters and partners for a great 2018! We look forward to what 2019 has in store and the impact we can collectively make to help create more resiliency for the future of the Sierras.

Today is the last chance for the TAX DEDUCTIVE giving! The Alliance is a 501(c)3 non-profit helping to protect and restore the Sierras. Start 2019 off with a fresh start and new beginnings! Donations can be made online with our digital platform to contribute to our funding or give one of our staff members a call! (530) 542-4546. We wish you health and happiness for a bright 2019!
Please donate here

SNAP Spotlight: American River Conservancy


Returning SNAP member Taylor Faye Benedict majored in Environmental Science with a focus on ecological restoration from Humboldt State University in May of 2017. After graduation, she was looking to gain experience in the field and make lasting professional connections when she was referred to ARC. She reached out to the American River Conservancy to gather more information about the restoration work they do locally and ended up getting hired. Rather than the usual path of becoming an AmeriCorps member, being accepted into the SNAP program and then vying for a sport at the host site, she knew she wanted to work for ARC and then got involved with SNAP.

Taylor Faye’s favorite contribution to ARC is helping write a management plan for one of the local ranches which includes a botanical survey of native plants growing on the property. During the early spring, ARC has a California Naturalist certification course to better acquaint the community with local varieties of plants and wildlife. ARC hosts the semi-final for Nature Bowl, a California state-wide student natural science competition in late April. American River Conservancy also runs nature camp, a 4 week program during the summer where children get exposed to the natural world and are introduced to basic aquatic ecology and wildlife biology. Taylor Faye also looks forward to returning to the river for the annual summer river cleanups that she leads out on the South Fork American River and taking part in the Great Sierra River Cleanup in September.

Major projects for the stewardship branch at ARC include continually working on the Giving Garden and Native Plant Demonstration Garden out at Wakamatsu Farm, sowing seasonally appropriate produce to donate to our local soup kitchen and food bank and tending to the variety of native grasses, shrubs and trees. Taylor Faye and volunteers have been working on restoring the riparian corridor off of the emergency spillway and the ~1 mile long trail that circles the lake at Wakamatsu with native tree plantings and wildflowers. Near Pollock Pines, stewardship staff works on continual habitat improvement for red-legged frogs with volunteers, helping to remove stubborn Himalayan blackberry bushes and planting natives to help control erosion on the steep banks and to keep invasive spread to a minimum. ARC has also been in the process of creating a multi-use public trail near Salmon Falls Ranch which included planting 70 oak trees as well as preparing/ maintaining a ~1 mile long trail called the Acorn Creek Trailhead. American River Conservancy held the grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the trail opening on May 4th.

Having SNAP members hosted at American River Conservancy has allowed this small non-profit organization to accomplish more within the community both in the education and stewardship realms. With very few full time staff members, having two more competent full time people to be extra hands, voices and bodies can make a world of difference. Taylor Faye loves to work with plants and has many Wakamatsu Farm goals including creating an interpretive plant map/trail guide that would aid visitors in a self-guided naturalist walk around the lake at Wakamatsu.

New kid on the block Garrett Gust comes to ARC after completing his master’s degree on the East Coast. His studies of human and environment interactions makes him an excellent candidate to be ARC’s Education and Outreach Coordinator where he leads programs for students at Wakamatsu Farm. As ARC’s newest SNAP member, he has been very intrigued by the rich cultural history of the Farm and impressed that for nearly 30 years, the American River Conservancy has raised over $100 million dollars to protect roughly 26,000 acres.


Culture & Conservation at Wakamatsu Farm Garrett Gust

The Upper American and Cosumnes watersheds have been the main priority for acquisition and restoration, but recently an interesting opportunity came to the ARC. In 2010 they purchased the 272-acre Wakamatsu Farm, a site on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places as the site of the first Japanese colony in the United States. These pioneers—samurai, their retainers, and common folk—bravely started a silk and tea colony, not to mention they opened up immigration to the United States from a Japan that valued tight borders. The colonists had been sent by a local lord who had recently been defeated in the Boshin War, a fierce battle which ushered the end of the traditional Edo period of Japan and paved the way for modernization agendas in the Meiji Restoration. They left their homeland to start something new—that new home was in the Sierra Foothills, just two miles from where gold was discovered in California

Said in not so many words, the strengths of Wakamatsu Farm are not in its ecosystem services, biodiversity, or its watershed contributions, although all of those things are present if not robust on site, thanks to the American River Conservancy. Its strengths are in culture, heritage, and narrative. It is this rich history that we interpret and offer to the public, alongside the natural environment at Wakamatsu. It is an essential example of the ways in which conservation and restoration are not exclusively about trees, plants, and wildlife, but also about relationships to the land. In conserving historical relationships to the land, as well as restoring the land itself, we at the American River Conservancy offer programming that weaves history and land use through time, crafting an engaging narrative and allowing us to encourage people to think about their own relationship to larger systems. In addressing complex problems like drought resiliency and climate change, it is essential that conservation and restoration organizations recognize how critical these relationships are, and work to cultivate them. During my short tenure thus far at ARC, I have found it deeply encouraging to run education programs in which culture and conservation meet.

This summer ARC is putting on a huge 4 day festival (June 6th-9th!) to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first Japanese colonists from Aizu-Wakamatsu to make their home in America. It will be a celebration of all things Japanese and Japanese-American culture! Taylor Faye is helping organize volunteers for this event, please contact
here if you are interested in signing up or check out our festival page
here We hope to see you there!

Sierra Nevada Alliance Monthly Webinar Series: Watershed Coordinator Strategic Call

As you may know, California’s Department of Conservation has issued a Watershed Coordinator Grant Program. The grant will award six Watershed Coordinator Grants in the Sierra Nevada. At Sierra Nevada Alliance, we see this an exciting opportunity to work with organizations in the Sierra to craft proposals that will complement each other, and will result in the largest possible impact for our region. To this end, we will be hosting a Watershed Coordinator Strategic Call with the California Department of Conservation's Senior Environmental Scientist, Bruce Gwynne to both learn more about the grant, and discuss how we can craft complimentary proposals. If you are considering submitting a proposal for this grant, we would like to invite you to join this conversation on January 8th from 10:30-12:00. To join please sign up here. Login information will be automatically sent to you after you sign up. If you have any question please contact Sierra Nevada Alliance’s Education and Communication Director Sara Monson.

Recent News

Climate Change

CDFW Awards $4.2 Million for Greenhouse Gas Reduction Grant Projects
California Department of Fish and Wildlife News, Dec. 21, 2018

Your Children’s Yellowstone Will Be Radically Different
Marguerite Holloway, New York Times, Nov. 15th, 2018

California Requires New City Buses to Be Electric by 2029
Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, Dec. 14, 2018


Here’s how California can use fire to solve its wildfire problem
Julia Rosen, Las Angeles Times, Dec. 20, 2018

California wildfires weren’t always this destructive
Debra Utacia Krol and Allison Herrera, ANALYSIS, Nov. 15, 2018


How to Recycle Your Christmas Tree
Steph Yin, New York Times, Dec. 28, 2018


Trump administration poised to strip protections from up to two-thirds of California streams and millions of acres nationwide
Evan Halper, Las Angeles Times, Dec 10, 2018

As Colorado river stakeholders draft a drought plan, the margin for error in managing water supplies narrows.
Gary Pitzer, Western Water, Dec. 20, 2018

Quick Link: Western water in-depth: climate report and science studies point toward a drier basin with less runoff and a need to re-evaluate water management.

California weather remains dry. Is it too early to talk drought?
Ryan Sabalow and Anddale Kasler, Sacramento Bee, Dec. 27, 2018


Tiny salamanders could complicate Shasta Dam project
Sacramento Bee, The Associated Press, Dec. 26, 2018

Can the tiny raptors adapt to irrigation changes in California’s warming farm fields?
Liza Gross, High Country News, Nov. 22, 2018.


California’s top 5 Threatened places

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.