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January 8, 2020

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

The Sierra Club Tahoe Area Group- Outreach Meeting

The Sierra Club Tahoe Area Group is hosting an outreach meeting on January 9, 2020 in South Lake Tahoe to talk about the work the group has been doing and connect with other Tahoe Area Group members and the local community. The meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. at Unity at the Lake, 870 Emerald Bay Rd, South Lake Tahoe. Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. Please bring your own reusable water bottle or cup. We can’t wait to see you there!

This meeting will feature a presentation by Dr. Rick Hopkins, Ph.D., on two myths that have permeated the public perception of the cougar throughout its range. Has sport hunting been an effective tool for managing the cougar? Is the fact that cougars are losing their fear of humans posing a greater risk to us than in previous decades? Join us to find out!

Date: January 9, 2020

For more info, e-mail Alexis Hager at

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 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.

Date: February 4, 2019

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

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection- Water Education Workshop

Join NDEP and other Nevada water resource professionals to learn about local water resource issues and solutions. All are welcome. Educators can earn professional development hours. Attend either or both days at no cost at the Carson City/Storey County UNR extension office (2621 Northgate Lane, Suite 15). Saturday, January 25th topics focus on sustainability. Sunday, January 26th topics focus on flood awareness and other climate issues. Nonpoint source pollution prevention will be addressed on both days.

Date: May 2-May 3, 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

Forest Heath Fellow- Pit and Fall River Resource Conservation Districts

Assistant Forester: The position will provide forestry assistance, under the direction of a California Registered Professional Forester. The position will work primarily on those projects lead by the Fall River and Pit RCDs, but could occasionally help on other public benefit type projects, such as on the Lassen NP, McArthur-Burney Falls State Park, or other local benefit type projects. Work would include a wide range of para-professional forestry tasks, including unit layout, tree marking, assistance with NEPA and or CEQA document preparation, wildlife surveys, development of restoration prescription recommendations, contract administration, and other tasks under the supervision of a California Registered Professional Forester.

For more info, click here.

Forest Restoration Fellow- Eldorado National Forest and American Forests

The selected candidate would be establishing monitoring plots and conducting monitoring related to reforestation on the King Fire on the Eldorado National Forest. This will include establishing monitoring plots for different planting techniques including comparison of cluster planting and even spaced planting, and could also include identifying microsites where different planting techniques could be used to meet management objectives include setting up plots in planted areas where burning is planned to occur and taking initial and follow-up data, analyzing cost differences for planting techniques, and monitoring survival, growth, stocking, and species composition across planted areas, or other monitoring efforts connected with King Fire reforestation. The selected candidate may also contribute to this year’s reforestation efforts though identification and inspection or implementation of planting, site prep, and release activities. The candidate will be using existing literature, ArcGIS, field recon and sampling, and other technology to locate and synthesize data for comparison and future use. The candidate may use growth models and other spatially explicit mapping and visual programs to display stand development and present benefits and costs going forward using different planting and management techniques in reforestation.

For more info, click here.

Mountain Area Preservation- Membership and Outreach Director

Mountain Area Preservation seeks to hire a non-profit or business professional to fulfill the position of Membership & Outreach Director. This is an exciting opportunity to make a significant impact on the future of conservation in the Truckee-Tahoe region, by working directly with MAP members, the community and visitors to engage and educate the public on MAP’s membership program as well as regional land use advocacy efforts benefiting the conservation and environmental sector of the Truckee-Tahoe region.

For more info, click here.

South Yuba River Citizens League- Science Director

SYRCL’s interdisciplinary River Science team works to ensure a healthy and resilient watershed through diverse restoration, monitoring, and water quality projects. The Science Director develops and implements program strategies and workplans, overseeing a team of eight and working collaboratively with multiple federal, state, academic and local partners.

For more info, click here.

Mountain Area Preservation- Volunteers Wanted

MAP was selected to be the non-profit beneficiary partner of Fireside Pizza at Squaw for 2020. In order to maximize the fundraising potential, we're recruiting volunteers for the pizza cart throughout the year.

For more info, click here.

Truckee River Watershed Council- Program Manager

We’re hiring a Program Manager as one of several staff who plan and implement restoration projects to increase the amount of restored land in the middle Truckee River watershed. They also manage one or two volunteer-based restoration programs.

For more info, click here.


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

Make it a fun weekend by pairing an alumni gathering with the film festival. 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.

Alliance Member Group Spotlight: Tahoe Environmental Research Center"

In 2019, the TERC education team hosted 51 field trips for students in the Tahoe Basin and beyond. Field trips are themed by different science topics such as Geology and Plate Tectonics, Water on Earth, and the Tahoe System. Field trips were recently aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards, and this information is available on the TERC website.

The 4th annual Science of Cocktails will be held on Friday, January 31, 2020 from 6:00– 8:00 p.m. at the Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village, NV and will feature a live DJ, cocktails, food, and science activities. Guests will enjoy fare with a scientific flare from local vendors, and each cocktail or appetizer will have an accompanying theme or science lesson. To put on this event, TERC partners with other organizations and businesses in the community to provide an innovative and exciting event each year. There are around 20 different stations at the event, and each requires 1-3 volunteers to engage with guests about the scientific principle at the station. No background in science is required as we will have a training for each station before the guests arrive. This is a fun event for guests and volunteers alike and the team setup at each session allows volunteers to enjoy the event as well. Click here for more information about volunteering or to buy tickets.

The 15th annual North Lake Tahoe Science Expo will be held March 9–13, 2020, at the UC Davis Tahoe Science Center in Incline Village. The 5th annual South Lake Tahoe Science Expo will be held March 31–April 3, 2020, in the gymnasium of the Lake Tahoe Community College in South Lake Tahoe. Family members will be invited to join the fun at the two evening public sessions on March 12 and April 2 in Incline Village and South Lake Tahoe, respectively. The theme of the 2020 Science Expo is Earth and Space Science. Local third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students will have the chance to choose their own learning experience as they engage with exciting and informative science activity stations that center on geology, climate and weather, and space science. The TERC education team looks forward to this event as much as the students do, and they would love for you to get involved too! This is a great chance to give back to local schools and the community. For parents, volunteering is an excellent way to become actively involved in your child’s learning. Sessions run for about two hours each, with a morning and afternoon shift. Each session needs about 30 volunteers to guide science activities. TERC education team members provide a brief training and instruction materials at each station, so no science background is necessary. Sign-ups are open now! Click here to sign up to volunteer at the North Lake Tahoe Expo. Click here to sign up to volunteer at the South Lake Tahoe Expo.

The TERC education team is partnering with SWEP and Tahoe Water Suppliers Association to pilot a project to reduce sourcewater plastic pollution in Lake Tahoe through education and outreach activities and exhibits on plastics and microplastics. TERC hopes to build on the success of SWEP’s work with high school Green Team clubs to help Incline High School students develop creative programs to reduce the use of single-use plastic such as water bottles, which are among the top items found discarded on Lake Tahoe’s beaches.

The Tahoe Science Center, originally completed in 2006, has undergone a much-needed exhibit equipment update over the holidays thanks to the generous support from donors and a grant from the Parasol Tahoe Community Foundation. A construction crew replaced the antiquated video equipment for the virtual research vessel and virtual laboratory exhibits including the TV monitors, DVD players, and sound systems. These updates will increase the visibility of environmental issues and the current research done at TERC. It will also help the education team better communicate with the public in engaging and informative ways. TERC has already raised more than $20,000 towards the additional $75,000 needed to update the videos in high definition. This will enhance videos and create new content with current data to highlight new and ongoing research projects. If you would like to make a donation to help update the videos, click here.

In October, the TERC education team welcomed two new Americorps members for the 2019–2020 year. The two lead field trips and assist with outreach projects at TERC. Baylee Goodwin was born and raised at Lake Tahoe where her love for nature and wildlife developed at a young age. Her passion for animals followed her to Oregon where she graduated in 2018 with a degree in Zoology from Oregon State University. At TERC, Baylee heads marketing, docents, database, and citizen science. Elise Matera is from Chapel Hill, NC and spent the first half of her life in Cleveland, OH. She graduated in 2019 from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY with a degree in Environmental Studies with focuses in Biology, Women’s Studies, and English, and is passionate about environmental and social justice. At TERC, her specializations include field trips, special events, writing and editing, and microplastics.


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.

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

Trump Rule Would Exclude Climate Change in Infrastructure Planning
Lisa Friedman, New York Times, January 3, 2020

Quick Link: Federal agencies would no longer have to take climate change into account when they assess the environmental impacts of highways, pipelines and other major infrastructure projects, according to a Trump administration plan that would weaken one of the benchmark environmental laws of the modern era.


What’s the Best Way to Save California’s Redwoods?
High country News, Becki Robins, December 20, 2019

Quick Link: Scientists debate whether controlled burns and logging are really the best way to preserve the state’s iconic forests.


California Today
Jill Cowan, New York Times, January 6, 2020

Quick Link: Yosemite, like many of the most popular national parks, is struggling with overcrowding in peak season, as the need to protect fragile public lands rises.


State Agencies Release Draft Water Resilience Portfolio
Lake County News, January 4, 2020

Quick Link: State agencies on Friday released a draft water resilience portfolio with a suite of recommended actions to help California cope with more extreme droughts and floods, rising temperatures, declining fish populations, aging infrastructure and other challenges.


California Wildlife Conservation Board Awards $2.98 Million to the California Tahoe Conservancy
California Daily News, December 3, 2019

Quick Link: Development in the 20th century destroyed much of the Upper Truckee Marsh, the largest wetland in the Lake Tahoe Basin, through dredging and filling, and channelizing the Upper Truckee River as it nears Lake Tahoe.


Californians Care about Climate Change. Democrats Vow to Act on Fires, Floods at LA Debate
Bryan Anderson, The Sacramento Bee, December 19, 2019

Quick Link: Environmental issues took center stage at Thursday night’s Democratic presidential debate in Los Angeles, with 2020 candidates highlighting the toll of California’s wildfires and debating the federal government’s role in relocating victims after natural disasters.

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.