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February 7, 2018

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. New this year, we are adding a Wild Child Children's Film Session to our film festival! We will also still host our traditional evening adventure film session.

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

Please click here for more details.

Eastern Sierra Land Trust's Mule Deer Migration Corridor Field Trip

Wondering how local mule deer and other wildlife are coping with this hot and dry winter? On March 3, Eastern Sierra Land Trust invites you to join them as they explore the Round Valley mule deer herd’s migration corridor near Swall Meadows. You'll enjoy spectacular valley views, look for wildlife, and learn about the deer's migration from California Department of Fish & Wildlife expert biologist Timothy Taylor.

Date: Saturday, March 3rd
Please click here for more details.

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

Environmental Justice Community Organizer (Bilingual) - The Sierra Fund

The Sierra Fund (TSF) is seeking a bilingual Environmental Justice Community Organizer, responsible for leading the implementation of TSF’s Disadvantaged Community (DAC) Outreach Program in the Cosumnes, American, Bear, Yuba (CABY) watershed region. Apply by February 1st.

For more info, click here.

California Grant Accountant - Trout Unlimited

The California Grant Accountant will be responsible for budgeting and analyzing program and project expenses, preparing invoices and financial reports for funders, monitoring funds availability, and assisting with annual program budgets. Position open until filled.

For more info, click here.

River Policy Director - South Yuba River Citizen League

SYRCL is seeking a seasoned advocate and manager with excellent leadership, communication, community organizing and coalition-building skills. Duties will be primarily dedicated to the Stop Centennial Dam and Yuba Salmon Now campaigns as well as communications and general advocacy on a variety of current issues. Position open until filled.

For more info, click here.

Conservancy Project Development Analyst II - Sierra Nevada Conservancy

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) is seeking a highly motivated individual who has strong analytical skills and natural resource experience to join the Department’s Mt. Whitney Area unit and work in our Eastern Sierra Office. The analyst will independently perform complex work related to Subregional project and program development, planning, and implementation.

For more info, click here.

Program Officer - California Volunteers

The Program Officer (Officer) works under the supervision of the Director of AmeriCorps. The Officer is responsible for ensuring grant monitoring and compliance for a portfolio of AmeriCorps programs and assists with the implementation, coaching, and training of these programs throughout the state.

For more info, click here.

Communications Director - Tahoe Fund

The Tahoe Fund is seeking a superstar Communications Director to work in a fast-paced and lean environment. The ideal candidate will have no problem rolling up their sleeves to get the job done. We are searching for an experienced, reliable, self-motivated professional who is well connected.

For more info, click here.


Cal Fire Grant Opportunities

Cal Fire is accepting applications for their Forest Health Grant Program and their Urban and Community Forestry Program. The programs focus on restoring forest & watershed health and employing urban forestry in communities, respectively.

For more information, please click the links above!

RFP: Log Meadow Restoration Project - Assessment and Restoration Design

American Rivers has received funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Watershed Restoration Grant Program to complete baseline assessment, conceptual and technical restoration designs and environmental compliance and permitting for the Log Meadow Restoration Project (Project). Submittals accepted until March 9th.

To learn more, please click here.

Notice of Public Review and Meeting for the Draft Mokelumne River Wild and Scenic River Study Report

The California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) has prepared a draft study report to assess the eligibility and suitability of adding five segments of the Mokelumne River into the California Wild and Scenic Rivers System and is currently seeking public comment. Public comment due by February 28th.

To view the RFP, please click here.

Interactive Online Educational Platform: A Forest Without Trees

This dynamic website includes interactive information about tree mortality in the Sierra and includes shareable resources to educate others.

Check it out here.

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

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. The HEC-WAT is now available for free download.

To learn more, please click here.


Sign the Petition to Encourage Reno to Commit to 100% Renewable Energy!

Reno is ready for 100% clean energy! Thanks to the Tesla Gigafactory, Switch, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and a Tier 1 university, Reno is already benefiting from a green and entrepreneurial economy. And with 251 days of sunshine a year and abundant geothermal potential, Reno's is in a great position to attract the companies and investments necessary to grow Reno's renewable green economy. A commitment to renewable energy sends a signal to utilities, investors, the rest of Nevada, and the world that we are working toward a cleaner, healthier future.

The gap between where we are and where we need to go is too great, and time is too short, to hesitate. We need a bold vision now. Reno has the power to create that vision.

Sign this petition encouraging the Reno city council to adopt a resolution committing to 100% renewable electricity by 2030, and 100% energy across all sectors by 2050.


Click the button to sign the petition!

SNAP Spotlight:
Marina Vance and Julia Keane
of Alpine Watershed Group & River Wranglers


There are two AmeriCorps members located in the pristine locality of Alpine County working within the small non-profit, Alpine Watershed Group (AWG). This grassroots group strives to enhance and protect Alpine County’s watersheds through restoration projects, citizen science based water quality monitoring, and youth education. With the Carson River watershed making up more than 50% of the five watersheds within Alpine County, it only makes sense that one of our AmeriCorps members works with Carson River watershed on the Nevada side as well. To this end, one of our AmeriCorps member divides her time with AWG and River Wranglers, an environmental education based non-profit that focuses on inspiring youth through hands on learning. Based in Carson City, River Wranglers (RW) is a watershed education non-profit that emphasizes the importance of the Carson River Watershed by facilitating work days on the river, participating in Trout in the Classroom, presenting to schools, and encouraging students to take responsibility for their environmental impact.

Marina Vance, a California native, did not have to go too far to share her love of environmental work and mountain life for her position with AWG as the Restoration and Watershed Monitoring Coordinator. Julia Keane made the long trek across the country from Maryland for this opportunity to learn and live in California’s Sierra Nevada. Julia works with both AWG and RW as the Education and Outreach Coordinator. Their combined efforts help to sustain and create lasting impacts within Alpine County and the Carson River Basin. From projects ranging in education to water quality monitoring, the two AmeriCorps members utilize their skills to create new programs while improving upon past years’ developments within the organization.


Marina & volunteer conducting watershed monitoring.

As the Restoration and Watershed Monitoring Coordinator for AWG, Marina uses her skills and knowledge learned in school for planning restoration projects, recruiting volunteers, and coordinating water quality monitoring. One project in particular sparks an interest not only in Marina but also presents novel ideas and methods for AWG and Alpine County. This water quality monitoring project includes collecting surface water samples from wastewater effluent. The main focus of this project is to look for Contaminants of Emerging Concern or commonly known as CECs. These chemicals include pharmaceuticals like the triclosan. As this project begins to develop with the help of AWG staff and board members, Marina will work with community members, professionals within the field, and continue to learn more about water quality monitoring.


Julia & Marina with a group of volunteers.

As the Education and Outreach Coordinator for AWG and River Wranglers, Julia spends most of her time in classrooms or at community events and meetings. Youth and adult education are relatively new components of AWG’s mission, which allows Julia the creativity to develop new programs and partnerships. One of her main developments is presenting hands-on watershed focused activities once a month to AWG’s local elementary school’s Advanced Learner Program. This consistent presence at the school will hopefully allow AWG to solidify connections with local students and their parents. Another main development Julia is working on is maintaining a strong, collaborative relationship with the local Washoe native community through partnering in education programs and restoration events. On a daily basis, she works on online newsletters, event advertisements, and preparing for outreach events. On the other hand, River Wranglers has more established education and awareness programs where Julia delves into a lot of hands-on work. Every day is different with River Wranglers since daily activities can range from facilitating Conserve Carson River Work Days with high schoolers and 4th graders, presenting environmental education to science classrooms, or maintaining logistics for the organization.


Julia during an education activity.

Thoughout the remainder of the SNAP term, Marina and Julia are both looking forward to getting to know community members, creating sustainable partnerships, and increasing their own knowledge of these watersheds.

Join SNAP as a Half-Term Member!

Pending AmeriCorps approval, the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership will soon be hiring four half term SNAP members to serve as full time AmeriCorps members from mid-April through mid-September at various organizations around the Sierra (organizations will be announced by next week). The application for Half Term SNAP Members will be released this Friday and applications will be due March 7th. The application will be posted at

Those with questions are encouraged to reach out to SNAP Program Director, Carley O'Connell, for additional information at


Current Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership Members

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

Warmer Winters Spell More Floods for Northern California
Trina Kleist, Sierra Sun, 1/29/18

Sierra Link: Floods likely will surge more often across northern California, as wintertime temperatures rise in the Sierra Nevada and snow shifts to rain, scientists predict.

Nevada Researchers Warn of More ‘Snow Droughts,’ Even in Wet Years
Henry Brean, Las Vegas Review-Journal, 1/21/18

Sierra Link: For most of the past 90 winters, snowpack within the watersheds managed by Nevada Irrigation District has held a frozen reservoir of water — about enough to supply local customers for a year. The changing climate could be altering this.


California’s Great Sierra Forests Are Dying. We All Have a Stake in Saving Them.
Editorial Board, Sacramento Bee, 2/5/18

Sierra Link: California’s forests, and in particular the massive forests of the Sierra Nevada, play a role that is as critical to California’s environment as it is misunderstood and taken for granted.

In California's Sierra Nevada, Putting the Trees to Work
Julie Cart, Desert Sun, 2/4/18

Sierra Link: As California redoubles its efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, officials are rooting around for new ways to meet the state’s goals. Included in their plan: recruiting billions of redwood, oak and pine trees to help diminish planet-warming gases by pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.


Tahoe Ski Resort Aims for 100 Percent Renewable Energy
Associated Press, Sacramento Bee, 1/31/18

Sierra Link: One of the largest ski resorts at Lake Tahoe has entered into a collaborative agreement with an area utility to identify energy resources to meet its goal of using 100 percent renewable, clean energy as soon as the end of the year.

BLM Eagle Lake Field Office Seeks Public Comments On OHV Grant Proposal
Bureau of Land Management, 1/25/18

Sierra Link: Public comments or suggestions submitted to the Eagle Lake Field Office before Friday, Feb. 23, will be used to develop a preliminary grant application to the California State Parks, Off Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Division.


7 Lessons From a California Water Leader on Managing for the Future
Ann Hayden, Environmental Defense Fund, 1/23/18

Sierra Link: Every drought we experience reveals numerous pressures on the water supplies that support this vibrant region. We have to be motivated and forward-thinking to advance the economic, social and environmental sustainability of the Sacramento Valley by enhancing and preserving its water rights, supplies and water quality.

University of Nevada, Reno study: Humidity May Increase Snowmelt
Mike Wolterbeek, Sierra Sun, 1/29/18

Sierra Link: The future of snowpack and water resources in the American West now has another variable in the equation for water managers — humidity, which can actually increase snowmelt even on a cloudy day.


Bears Burned in California Wildfires Healed With Fish Skins, Released to Wild
Amy Quinton, UC Davis, 1/24/18

Sierra Link: Two adult female black bears that were burned during the Thomas Fire in Southern California have recuperated and are now back in the wild thanks to the help of University of California, Davis, veterinarians and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Why Fish Love Fly Fishermen
Sage Sauerbrey, Moonshine Ink, 1/11/18

Sierra Link: The key to this philosophy, I was told, is that you’ve got to look at fishing from the fish’s perspective. Picture, if you will, a large wise brown trout in the Truckee River. He spends his days casually perusing the river’s bed, snacking on stonefly nymphs, and engorging himself on the occasional caddis hatch. One day, he rises up to nibble an especially juicy looking caddis fly, but to his surprise the bug doesn’t go down easy. It fights back..


Battery Storage Begins to Find a Home at Some Water Utilities
Matt Weiser, Water Deeply, 2/1/18

Irvine Ranch Water District is installing Tesla battery systems at 11 of its facilities, saving money on its power bill and helping to balance demand on the regional energy grid. General Manager Paul Cook explains the strategy.

Interior Cancels Decades-Old Protections for Migratory Birds
Elizabeth Shogren, High Country News, 1/26/18

One recent action by the Interior Department drew unprecedented protest from a bipartisan group of top officials who go all the way back to the Nixon administration: a new legal opinion that attempts to legalize the unintentional killing of most migratory birds.

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.