Sierra Day in the Capitol
This week, the Sierra Nevada Alliance, The Sierra Fund, Sierra Business Council, and Sierra Water Workgroup hosted a “Sierra Day in the Capitol.” Approximately 55 volunteers and members of the conservation community spent the day learning about important conservation opportunities in this legislative cycle and meeting with 45 Assembly and Senate representatives.
“This was the first time, in over ten years, that a coordinated advocacy day, with such a broad breadth of partners, on behalf of the Sierra, has occurred! The Alliance is truly fulfilling its mission by being a convener and facilitator of this type of collaboration!”-shared, Executive Director, Jenny Hatch.
The purpose of the event was to educate legislators about the importance of the Sierra Nevada region and the resources it provides to the rest of the state. The hope is that the Sierra will be more equitably considered for funding allocations in future conservation bonds and state budgets. In the past, funding for the SIerra has been low in relation to other areas of the state. This has been due to the regions low population numbers, and the lack of consideration for the large amount of natural resources it provides.
The morning agenda included a series of dynamic speakers (thanks to The Sierra Fund) who shared information about current political and natural resource priorities and how to effectively communicate the needs and importance of the Sierra Nevada.
-California Secretary of Natural Resources, Wade Crowfoot,
-Director of State’s Forest Management Task Force, Jennifer Montgomery,
-Director of Governor’s Water Portfolio Program, Nancy Vogel,
-President of California Forestry Association, Rich Gordon,
-The Nature Conservancy’s, Lucas Fredrichs,
-Republican Assemblywoman, Megan Dahle,
-Pacific Forest Trust’s Paul Mason,
-Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s Executive Officer, Angela Avery,
-Sierra Business Council’s Vice President of Climate and Energy, Kerri Timmer,
-CEO of the Sierra Fund, Izzy Martin, and
-Alliance Executive Director, Jenny Hatch.
In the afternoon, participants divided into 15 groups and met with 45 lawmakers and their staff to raise awareness about the Sierra Nevada and ask for recognition for the region in upcoming funding opportunities. Meetings were scheduled with Assembly Members and Senators who sit on environmental committees and contribute to environmental policy and bonds.
Participants were encouraged to ask for the following:
-Directing 40% of total bond funds to wildfire prevention and community resilience from climate impacts.
-Allocating bond funds toward fixing existing aging source water infrastructure to improve water supply and water quality.
-Recognizing that the regional nature of climate impacts by utilizing regional approaches through collaboratives, conservancies, and existing programs to develop and implement resilience strategies.
-Expanding funding for rural broadband programs.
-Maintaining rural set-asides in the Strategic Growth Council’s Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities program.
-Applauding the Water Resilience Portfolio
for the report’s emphasis on climate vulnerabilities. Suggesting that to strengthen the Water Resilience Portfolio’s impact, we would highly encourage California Natural Resources Agency, CalEPA, and California Department of Agriculture to recognize the impact that increased wildfire size and severity will have on the state’s water availability. We also ask that more emphasis be placed on the restoration of upper watersheds and the role that green infrastructure (ecologically resilient forests and restored mountain meadows) can play in helping meet the state’s water resilience goals.
Following afternoon meetings, the day concluded with a celebratory happy hour where participants shared their experiences with each other. Participants echoed a feeling of accomplishment, feeling that legislators they spoke with were receptive to the ideas that were shared. The Alliance looks forward to continued advocacy collaboration to push the needle on priorities this year and in hopefully making this event an annual tradition.
To view the Governor's budget summary, click here
Now Hiring Half Term SNAP Members
The Sierra Nevada Alliance is proud to implement the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP). Each year, the Alliance places 28 AmeriCorps members with partner conservation organizations throughout the Sierra Nevada. Beginning in April, Half-Term Members serve for 5 months. During which they restore and monitor impaired Sierra watersheds, educate and perform outreach to Sierra residents and visitors on environmental issues, and recruit and manage volunteers for a variety of programs. SNAP members gain skills and technical training, are mentored by outstanding environmental leaders, and make a real difference in the communities of the Sierra Nevada. A living allowance, loan forbearance, and health care benefits are provided during the term of service, as well as an end-of-service education award.
Sierra Nevada Alliance is looking for Half-Term SNAP members for the 2019-20 cohort. SNAP Members protect the Sierra environment and rural communities while growing as individuals and receiving tangible benefits. Members protect the Sierra environment and rural communities. They not only learn teamwork, communications, conservation issues, responsibility and other essential skills that will help them for the rest of their lives, but also gain the personal satisfaction of taking on a challenge and seeing results.
to view Half-Term SNAP position descriptions.
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.
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.
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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,
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