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

January 23rd, 2019

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Living the New Reality: Climate Change & Wildland Fires

Attend this event to learn adaptation and mitigation options for reducing risks of wildfires over shorter and longer time scales.

Date: January 30th

Please click here for more details.

Rivers Lab: The Book Club For River Geeks

Rivers Lab is a paper/report reading and discussion group assembled so that we can, as a community of river lovers, learn more about the systems we work in and have a chance to ask questions, discuss, and enjoy each other’s company!

Date: January 31st

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 7th-10th

Please click here for more details.

California Naturalist Course With Sierra Streams Institute

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 - May 26th

Please click here for more information.

American River Conservancy’s 2019 California Naturalist Class

This 40 hour course combines a science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips and project-based learning to explore the unique ecology and natural history of the Sierra Foothills. Evening classes will be held at the American River Nature Center in Coloma and field days will be held at American River Conservancy property near Coloma, Pilot Hill and in the Upper Cosumnes River watershed. Geared towards adults ages 18+. Local guest experts will attend classroom sessions and field trips.

Date: February 21st - May 9th

Please click here for more information.

Wildlife Conservation Science Education Seminar

Learn how to bring outdoor education into your classroom at this four-day seminar geared for teachers of all grade levels. ONLY $50!

Date: March 23rd-26th

Please click here for more information.

Wild And Scenic Film Festival Hosted By The Sierra Nevada Alliance

Sierra Nevada Alliance will be hosting the Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Harrahs at Stateline on April 27th with a matinee in the afternoon and a feature film viewing in the evening. Mark your calendars!

Date: April 27th

Please click here for more details.

American River Conservancy Invites The Public To Celebrate The 150th Anniversary Of The First Japanese Colony In America.

WakamatsuFest150 is a celebration of 150 years of Japanese-American heritage, arts, and cuisine. The festival will feature Japanese and Japanese-American food, art, music, performances, demonstrations, discussions, competitions, and more. Booths will offer Asian and other foods, information, and merchandise. Entertainment will showcase traditional and modern Japanese-American culture. Docents will guide tours and tell stories about the first Japanese colonists who established their tea and silk farm on this Placerville property. Locals, farmers, historians, and naturalists will share knowledge and experience honoring the past, present, and future of Wakamatsu Farm and surrounding El Dorado County.

Date: June 6th-9th

Please click here for more information.

Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

National Forest Foundations- 2019 Conservation Connect Fellowship

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) invites masters or doctoral students to apply to the Conservation Connect Fellowship Program, with a practicum in the summer of 2019.

For more info, click here.

Lapham Fellowship

The Anthony A. Lapham River Conservation Fellowship at American Rivers provides an excellent professional development opportunity for talented post-graduates pursuing careers as leaders in the field of conservation advocacy. Recent graduate degree (MA/MS/PhD/JD/MBA) recipients will focus on an applied research project that will make a tangible contribution to American Rivers’ mission.

For more info, click here.

Defenders of Wildlife- Senior Staff Attorney

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.

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.

Sierra Watch - Operations Manager

We seek a proven Operations Manager to join our leadership team and shape conservation success in the Sierra Nevada. The position is full-time; salary DOE with benefits. The ideal candidate has at least two years experience in non-profit management and/or organizational administration. Send a cover letter and resume to: Operations Manager Search

For more info, click here.

Sierra State Parks Foundation - Various positions

• House Museum Custodian • House Museum Tour Guide • Visitor Center Front Desk Ambassador

For more info, click 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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SNAP Program Evaluation Update


As part of the requirements of the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) program’s funding agency, CaliforniaVolunteers, the Alliance is required to develop an evaluation plan to determine program impacts and benefits. As we move into the thirteenth year of the Alliance’s SNAP program, we hope to gain more insight into how the program and its members impact their host sites, communities, and watersheds. These findings may also be used to update the 2006 Alliance publication “State of Sierra Waters: A Sierra Nevada Watershed Index” and attach metrics to the program effects over time.

To assess these benefits, the Alliance will design an evaluation plan that addresses the following questions: 1) How many acres of watershed restoration is a direct result of the SNAP program and Members? 2) Have host sites achieved a significant increase in watershed restoration as a result of the SNAP program and Members? 3) Are the educational and volunteer programs meeting their participation goals and contributing positively toward host site success? 4) Are both SNAP Members and host sites mutually benefiting from the program? 5) What metrics should be used to track program and site changes over time?

Goals in assessing the SNAP program include:

- Ensuring the SNAP program's mission and design match the vision and objectives of host site organizations;

- SNAP and the Sierra Nevada Alliance manages and administers the SNAP program in a way that addresses host sites’ needs;

- The SNAP program identifies high need beneficiaries - watersheds, communities, and organizations in most need of help in our region;

- National Service (AmeriCorps) is the best strategy to meet the gap in watershed restoration, assessment and environmental education needs in the region;

- The SNAP program’s methods are appropriate to address the gap in watershed restoration, assessment and environmental education needs in the region;

- The SNAP program has an inclusive and effective recruitment process;

- The SNAP program has an orientation plan that effectively prepares Members for their term of service;

- The SNAP program Member Training uses service experiences to help Members achieve the skills and education needed for productive active citizenship;

- Capacity building activities (resource attainment, volunteer management) that SNAP Members perform enhance the mission and resources of host site organizations to meet community needs;

- The SNAP program reviews itself and takes feedback and advice resulting in positive changes to the program.

In creating a comprehensive, long-term evaluation plan for the SNAP program, the Alliance needs your support! To implement this project, the Alliance will be seeking funding and exploring partnerships to conduct this evaluation. If you have questions or suggestions, please contact SNAP Program Director Rachel Durben at or by phone at (530)542-4546 x 705.

SNAP Spotlight: CA State Parks, Northern Buttes District

Signature-Jenny Signature-Jenny

Cassie Corridoni and Makenzie O’Connor are the 2018-19 Field Crew Leads serving California State Parks. Cassie and Makenzie are stationed in the Northern Buttes District; the second largest of 18 districts in California State Parks. The Northern Buttes District reaches from Castle Crags State Park outside of Mount Shasta down to Clearlake State Park in Lake County. Cassie and Makenzie will be working on a variety of field projects throughout nine counties and fifteen diverse state parks; this geographic range allows them to engage in a variety of different ecosystems, from glacially fed systems to low elevation buttes.

During the first three months of their term, Cassie and Makenzie have contributed to on-going projects in beautiful natural landscapes such as: McArthur-Burney Falls Memorial State Park, Castle Crags State Park, and the Sutter Buttes. These projects have varied from planting native species on restoration sites, managing convict crews working on forest thinning operations, as well as installing a feral pig fence. In the upcoming months, Cassie and Makenzie will be using Arc GIS to track treatment areas on restoration sites, collecting data using CalFlora, and spending more time in Shasta County working on flagging boundaries for fire breaks, forest thinning and species diversity.

Growing up in the Midwest, Cassie felt a calling to the West Coast directly after college. She studied Art History near where she grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and was still unsure of her path upon graduation. Cassie then became a WWOOFer, (a volunteer for the WWOOF organization) volunteering on organic farms for two years while exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Honoring her love of travel and nature, in spring of 2017 she spent five months backpacking and volunteering on farms abroad in Europe and North Africa. In September 2018, Cassie completed a 5 month term with Montana State Parks AmeriCorps, which focused heavily on planning the interpretive campfire programs for Salmon Lake, Placid Lake, and Beavertail Hill State Parks. That experience is where she fell in love with working for state parks, and wanted to gain more experience in field work, leading her to apply to become a Sierra Nevada Alliance AmeriCorps member. Cassie is still on her journey, and ultimately wants to combine her passion for protecting the natural environment with her love of creative expression.

Like Cassie, Makenzie is passionate about the natural environment and how we interact with it. At an early age, Makenzie was piqued by the relationship that humans have on our natural landscape. She left her hometown of Sebastopol, California and went on to receive her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science and Ecology, with a minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership from Sierra Nevada College. This will be Makenzie’s second AmeriCorps term, after completing 10 ½ months with Six Rivers National Forest Fisheries in a partnership with the Watershed Stewards Program. This year, Makenzie will be serving five months with CA State Parks and the following six months with Trout Unlimited in Truckee. She is most excited to expand her existing skillset with GIS software, conduct fieldwork and broaden her understanding of restoration practices. She hopes to return to graduate school to study fluvial geomorphology.


Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Request for 2019 Half Term Program Applications

SNAP will begin a Half Term version of its highly successful AmeriCorps program in the Sierra Nevada in April 2019. SNAP will place 2 highly qualified and motivated, full-time AmeriCorps members at California and Nevada conservation organizations and natural resource agencies serving the 400 mile-long ‘Range of Light’. Members will serve mid-April 2019 - mid-September 2019. We are accepting applications from sites that would like host a Half Term Member or two, through January 25th. The application period for Half Term SNAP Members will be January 29th-February 15th.

Learn more 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.

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.

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.

Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative - Survey

For the past five years, the Capital Region Climate Readiness Collaborative has been working across the counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba to find solutions to address our region’s shared climate challenges - drought, extreme heat, extreme weather events, wildfires, and more. A crucial component of our work is to meaningfully engage community members in order to build their capacity to adapt to the impacts of climate change, and ensure that long-term plans and investments are rooted in community priorities and needs.

This anonymous survey aims to gather input from residents living in the counties of El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo, and Yuba. Survey responses will directly inform several ongoing projects and help guide future planning efforts in our region. After completing the survey, you will have the opportunity to enter a raffle for a chance to win a $200 Visa gift card among other local prizes!

Learn more here.

Recent News

Climate Change

The Climate Papers Most Featured In The Media In 2018
Robert McSweeney, Carbonbrief, Jan. 01, 2019

Glaciers Are Retreating. Millions Rely On Their Water
Henry Fountain, New York Times, Jan. 16, 2019


Living With Fire

Quick Link: in the Lake Tahoe Basin is a collaborative education and outreach program, founded in 1997 by University of Nevada Cooperative Extension and supported by members of the Tahoe Fire and Fuels Team. This website is managed cooperatively by the Tahoe Resource Conservation District and University of Nevada Cooperative Extension. Learn more about us and this collaborative program.

More Wildfires, Drought And Climate Change Bring Devastating Changes To California Wildlands
Bettina Boxall, Las Angeles Times, Jan. 12, 2019


Visitor Centers In Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Parks Open On Weekends With Partner Donation

Quick Link: This dramatic landscape testifies to nature's size, beauty, and diversity--huge mountains, rugged foothills, deep canyons, vast caverns, and the world's largest trees. These two parks lie side by side in the southern Sierra Nevada east of the San Joaquin Valley. Weather varies a lot by season and elevation, which ranges from 1,370' to 14,494'.

Joshua Tree National Park To Close For Cleanup, Repairs To Vandalism, Illegal Roads
Kurt Repanshek, National Parks Traveler, Jan. 8, 2019


Atmospheric River Boosted California Snowpack Well Above Average By Mid-January
Michael McGough, Sacramento Bee, Jan. 22, 2019

Quick Link: Snowpack across California is about 110 percent of normal for this time of year, thanks in no small part to an atmospheric river that brought heavy snowstorms to the Sierra range, the state Department of Water Resources’ most recent data show.

A Toxic Past And Present On The Spokane River
Carl Segerstrom, High Country News, Jan. 9, 2019

Quick Link: In eastern Washington, a push to clean PCBs from its namesake river faces a dirty legacy and global pollution problem.


Bighorn Sheep Are Dying In The California Desert, And Experts Aren't Sure Why
Kristin Scharkey and Janet Wilson, Palm Springs Desert Sun, Jan. 17, 2019

Oceans Are Getting Louder, Posing Potential Threats To Marine Life
Jim Robbins, The New York Times, Jan. 22, 2019

The Howl And Death Of Wolf 926F
Jacob Job, High Country News, Dec. 26, 2018

Quick Link: A researcher’s mission to document the wild records the song of a famous Yellowstone canine.


The Doctor Prescribing A Walk In The Woods
Justin Higginbottom, The Daily Dose, Jan. 18, 2019

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.