Our monthly update on projects the Regional Climate Change Program is working on as part of our effort to maintain and improve the health of our beautiful "Range of Light."
Environmental Quality Improvement Bills Advance
April 18, 2013
By Craig Breon
Regional Climate Change Program Director, Sierra Nevada Alliance
Amidst all the talk about reforming (i.e. weakening or decimating) the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), room remains for those of us who understand that CEQA needs strengthening in many ways, to both improve the public’s right to know about development projects in their communities and to ensure that those projects are thoroughly reviewed for their environment impacts. Luckily, some legislators understand this as well, and a few good bills are making their way through the halls of the Capitol.
From translating certain key documents into other languages in heavily non-English speaking communities, to electronic access for many documents, to ensuring the proper evaluation of natural hazards, good CEQA bills are out there. For a more complete list of the good, the bad, and the decidedly less than attractive, click here.
To follow the action, go to CEQA Works or stay tuned right here, where the Alliance will be covering this issue at least through September, when bills arrive on the Governor’s desk.
Will the Sierra Benefit from Cap and Trade?
April 18, 2013
By Alex Riemondy
Regional Climate Change Program Intern
The cap and trade auctions for greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions credits have so far produced a relatively small amount of funding for emissions reductions. However, as auctions proceed, the total dollars available should grow rapidly. As a result, the scramble for how to allocate those dollars continues.
The first draft of the Cap-and-Trade Auction Proceeds Investment Plan was released on Tuesday April 16, 2013. The draft evaluates opportunities for greenhouse gas emission reductions and identifies priority programs for investment to help further the objectives of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act.
Twenty-five percent of auction proceeds are dedicated to benefit disadvantaged communities statewide, and at least ten percent is to be invested directly into projects located within those communities. There is a potential for investment in the Sierra, but currently no communities in the Sierra fall under the ten percent of disadvantaged communities, as defined by the California Environmental Protection Agency’s new tool called CalEnviroScreen. This needs to be corrected.
There is a pressing need to invest in disadvantaged communities in the Sierra. There are many opportunities throughout the Sierra to help achieve 2020 GHG Emissions Reduction Targets through environmental initiatives such as water and energy conservation, renewable energy, and managing our lands to sequester carbon. We encourage you to write comments asking for dedicated investment to the Sierra Nevada Region.
To provide comments, before the next meeting on April 25, 2013 please click here
Join leading community organizations and advocates in Sacramento and help ensure state policies and investments promote effective public transit, great walking and bicycling, and affordable homes. Together we will learn about the hottest issues from leaders like the Secretary of Business, Transportation and Housing Brian Kelly and Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols as well as leading advocates like James Corless of Transportation for America.
Date: Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Place: Library Galleria, Downtown Sacramento
More Information: Visit Transportation Choices Summit
This 11th annual event continues the California Watershed Network's annual outreach program that first began in 2002 for watershed restorationists, state agency representatives and legislators. The program will examine the opportunities and constraints in obtaining funding and establishing sustainable jobs for watershed restoration activities throughout the State.
Date: Wednesday, April 24th
Place:CalEPA Building in Sacramento
More Information: Visit California Watershed Network
Seventy years ago, while Californians were experiencing the security and success of the roaring twenties, a lone mountaineer was skiing his way up the 500 kilometer crest of the Sierra Nevada from south of Mount Whitney toward Yosemite Valley. In spring 2008, Mariposa attorney Art Baggett, his daughter Allison, son Fritz and Lindsey Eilts recreated this great adventure. Join Art Baggett May 10, 2013 as he shares maps and pictures of his trips, discusses experiences and lessons learned, and demonstrates some of the gear they used and its evolution from 1929 to the present.
Date: Friday, May 10, 2013
Place: Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, 2672 E. Alluvial Ave, Fresno CA
More Information: Visit Sierra Nevada Alliance's Calendar of Events
Sierra Nevada Member Groups and local activists across the Sierra are invited to attend the 3rd Sierra Organizer Academy, a three-day training for Sierra activists to learn how to plan strategic campaigns and organize their communities to win concrete changes in people's lives and for the environment. Top trainers from Midwest Academy, a nationally recognized training institution for progressive activists, topics including developing winning campaign strategies, building coalitions, recruiting volunteers, meeting with public officials.
Date: May 16-18, 2013
Place: The Yosemite Bug, Midpines, CA
More Information: Visit Sierra Grassroots Organizer Academy or email Gavin
As part of our continued support of the Sierra Water Workgroup, the Alliance has just begun planning the Second Annual SWWG Summit. The Sierra Water Workgroup's mission is to assist regional efforts to protect and enhance water quality, water supply, and watershed health; to develop cooperative regional responses; and to facilitate reinvestment in our watersheds and water resources by all beneficiaries. Working with Liz Mansfield, the Regional Climate Change team planned and held the first Sierra-wide SWWG summit last July. When attendees started calling it an annual event, we knew we had to deliver. Following up on requests and evaluations, this year we are working with the California State Bar to provide more in-depth information on water rights, area of origin issues, and more (MCLE credits will be available). Working with the Inyo-Mono IRWM team, we will be dedicating a large portion of the 2013 Summit to issues surrounding disadvantaged communities (DACs). Visit the SWWG website to learn more about our efforts and sign up to receive information, including updates on the Summit! Early bird registration is now available.
Date: June 11-13, 2013
Place: North Tahoe Event Center, King’s Beach, CA
More Information: Visit Sierra Water Workgroup or email Gavin
Carpe Diem West
We are pleased to present Carpe Diem West's new report, New Visions, Smart Choices - Western Water Security in a Changing Climate, which spotlights successful, sustainable and economically sensible steps ten communities are taking to make sure they will have water in the decades to come.
As the climate warms and weather extremes become undeniable, having a clean, safe water supply - for our communities, our economy, our environment and our farms - is becoming a huge challenge.
The stories in this report all tell us this: yes, climate change is overwhelming and even frightening, but there is so much we can do now, together, to build a more secure water future and protect our rivers.
As you read these stories, we invite you to consider actions that you and your community could take. Actions that will ensure our children and theirs will have what we enjoy now - clean, abundant water and healthy rivers.
Seize the Day!
- Kimery Wiltshire
Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
Many California residents don't know that thousands of acres of our state's private forests are clearcut each year and then sprayed with herbicides to kill all the resprouting native plants. A recently completed video takes you directly to clearcut, denuded mountainsides and on an aerial flight over heavily clearcut forest lands in the Sierra Nevada region. Please take the time to watch this 6-minute film, and then encourage friends and family to view it as well. Spread the word that it is "time to stop clearcutting in California!" To watch the video: Click here
- John Buckley
Comic of the Month
Newsletter contents prepared by Alex Riemondy.
If you have articles, events or announcements that you would like included in this newsletter or if you have feedback, please email [email protected].