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In This Issue

  Events  |  Campaign Updates  |  Resources   |  Funding  |  Comic of the Month  |  Recent News April 2014       

Alliance Updates

Check Out Our New Website!

The Sierra Nevada Alliance is very pleased to announce that we have rolled out a brand new website and design this week: sierranevadaalliance.org. The new website will make it easier to donate for those interested in helping the Alliance protect the range of light for years to come. It should also helpe people keep track of the work we are doing and our past projects. We all hope you enjoy the new design.

Funding

Funding Opportunity with the National Forest Foundation

The NFF is currently soliciting proposals for its Matching Awards Program (MAP), a grant program that provides matching funds for direct on-the-ground and citizen-based monitoring projects benefiting America’s National Forests and Grasslands. MAP funds can be used to support conservation and restoration projects benefiting wildlife habitat , recreation, watershed health, and community-based forestry. By pairing federal funds—provided through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Forest Service—with non-federal dollars raised by award recipients, the resources available to nonprofit partners to implement projects are effectively doubled.

Click here for more information and application.

Funding Opportunity with The Dean Witter Foundation

The Dean Witter Foundation awards grants to support specific wildlife conservation projects in Northern California and seminal opportunities to improve and extend environmental education and to stimulate learning. The Foundation makes additional grants to launch and expand innovative K-12 public education initiatives.

Click here for more information.

Resources

Position Opening: Campaign Organizer - Friends of the River

Description: Friends of the River is hiring an Organizer to build a stronger grassroots base of support for California s rivers. This is a full-time position based in either Sacramento or the Bay Area with benefits and a salary range of $30-$40K/year. Organizing in the context of a water crisis, this campaign will promote sustainable solutions to meet our water needs instead of building dams and diversions that would cost billions and destroy rivers without providing any more water to address the drought. This is an excellent opportunity to join a motivated team working to protect California s rivers for wildlife, water quality and recreation. The Organizer will report to, and be supported by, the Executive Director.

Click here for more information.

Location: Sacramento, CA

Position Opening: Scientific Aid - California Water Board

Description: Under the direction of the Senior Engineer the Scientific Aid will work with the technical staff in the South Lake Tahoe Office. Consistent with good customer service practices and the goals of the State and Regional Board’s Strategic Plan, the incumbent is expected to be courteous and to provide timely responses to internal/external customers, to follow through on commitments, and to solicit and consider internal/external customer input when completing work assignments. Review monitoring reports to determine compliance with Regional Board permits and enforcement actions. Review Self-Monitoring Reports for completeness and timeliness of submittal. Assists with technical, regulatory and administrative procedures related to report submittal and follow up. Review California Environmental Quality Act documents and technical reports and prepare comments. Conduct preliminary review of files to prepare for field inspections and permit updates. Assist with field investigations including site inspections, and collecting water quality samples for analysis. Assist in uploading correspondence and information to databases and filing reports and other documents. Summarize and compile site data and prepare graphs, charts, maps and presentation materials. Assist in preparation of Water Board orders and issuance/revocation of general order coverage.

Click here for more information

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

Position Opening: Outdoor Education Intern - Mono Lake Committee

Description: One Instructor Intern assists with the instruction and operation of the Mono Basin Outdoor Education Center (OEC) programs on-site and in the field. The position works closely with the OEC Program Manager and the Watershed Education Coordinator to lead programs and activities for youth from Southern California. The OEC is a small residential education site that hosts student and community groups at Mono Lake.

Click here for more information

Location: Lee Vining, CA

Position Opening: Forestry Aide - Tahoe Resource Conservation District

Description: Working closely with the California Tahoe Conservancy and Tahoe RCD forestry program staff, and under the direction of a Registered Professional Forester. Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:  Assisting forestry staff with project preparation and layout  Identifying project boundaries  Marking trees for removal  Forest/fuels project monitoring  Timber stand cruising  Assisting with archeological surveys  Data collection.

Click here for more information

Location: South Lake Tahoe, CA

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Please take a minute to do the 1 minute survey at the bottom of the newsletter, you will be entered for a chance to win your choice of a Alliance mug or Chico bag!

Campaign Updates

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."

Regional Climate Change Program Update

February 19th, 2014
By Gavin Feiger
Regional Climate Change Senior Program Associate, Sierra Nevada Alliance

The Alliance Helps Create Lake Tahoe’s First Sustainability action Plan

On January 29th, Lake Tahoe’s first Sustainability Action Plan was released. The Alliance Regional Climate Change Program took a leading role in developing the Plan. We drafted the Community Engagement chapter, collected public input on the Plan through the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative (LTSC), and provided our expertise in climate change planning, community engagement and outreach, and collaborative work to the team that developed this Plan and the LTSC. The Plan provides a menu of quantifiable and achievable strategies for citizens, businesses, tourists and local governments to undertake in order to make the Tahoe Region more sustainable. This is a cutting-edge and unique Plan and its “toolkit” nature makes it a model for other regions in the Sierra.

The Threat

The last six months offered a glimpse of what climate change may have in store for the Sierra. Our lungs and eyes experienced the largest wildfire on record in the Sierra, our record books logged 2013 as the driest year on record, and our feet and skies slip and scrape over the all-time low snowpack, less than 20% of normal. In 2006, the California Energy Commission predicted the 80% reduction in snowpack that we are seeing right now by the end of the century.

Lake Tahoe is warming at twice the rate of the world’s oceans and in 2012 we recorded the highest average surface water temperature ever. Climate change and warming conditions in the lake could affect the threat of wildfire and aquatic invasive species, and could alter the deep water mixing of Lake Tahoe, which keeps the lake healthy.

Globally, regionally, and locally, we all need to do our part to mitigate the worst effects of climate change while adapting to the changes that are already in motion. Lake Tahoe’s Sustainability Action Plan is a step in this direction.

Unique solution

The Alliance drafted the Community Engagement chapter of the Plan, helped establish the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative and worked with the Collaborative, Tahoe Basin Partnership for Sustainable Communities, Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization (TMPO), and Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA), and Ascent Environmental to create the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Action Plan.

The Sustainability Action Plan is unique in a number of ways that make it more than your traditional Climate Action Plan. We took a toolkit approach, recognizing that there are a number of cities and counties in the Region with their own planning processes and timelines and embracing the need to pursue sustainability actions that are difficult to measure in terms of greenhouse gases. The Plan encourages governments, agencies, citizens, businesses, and tourists to take a part in creating a sustainable Lake Tahoe Region. The Plan is designed to allow each of these players to focus on an aspect of sustainability and provides resources and guidance to lead by example, get involved with the planning processes, and make changes in your own life or business. The Plan website allows people to find the sections that most apply to them with a single click.

The Plan also uniquely addresses climate adaptation or “readiness” by providing a menu of actions that governments and agencies in the Tahoe Region can take. This is the first adaptation plan specific for Tahoe and one of the first and most detailed efforts in the Sierra.

Finally, the Plan includes the first complete greenhouse gas emissions inventory, prepared by California Tahoe Conservancy, for the Lake Tahoe Basin. This inventory includes breakdowns by state, county, and city and addresses wildfires and prescribed burns.

Alliance specific role

The Alliance is proud to provide our expertise in climate change planning, community engagement and outreach, and collaborative work to the team that developed this Plan and the Sustainability Collaborative.

The Alliance drafted the Community Engagement chapter, collected public input on the Plan through the LTSC, and provided input and advice on the entire Plan. We very much support the “toolkit” approach and look forward to promoting the Plan and further engaging the LTSC and the Tahoe community to focus on implementing sustainability actions.

The Alliance helped found the Collaborative in May 2012 with the mission to accelerate a shift toward a healthier Tahoe-Truckee community, environment, and economy. This year, the all volunteer group, comprised of over 120 members and supporters, is breaking ground from the bottom up and bringing meaning to the power of grassroots action with innovative projects.

In 2013, signature projects included the implementation of composting programs in two elementary schools, bike lane and marking improvements on Highway 50, Pioneer Trail, Venice, Black Bart, Ponderosa, and Eloise in South Lake Tahoe, Apache in Meyers, and Lakeside Parkway by Douglas county, the advancement of bike safety in the City in partnership with Caltrans, published a Sustainability Directory and Speakers Bureau, provided the community review function for a Renewable Energy Regional Planning Project, and a hosted a Regional Workforce Roundtable with 60 professionals from every workforce sector in the region. In addition to these local projects, the LTSC worked with TRPA/TMPO and the Partnership for Sustainable Communities to inform and review the recently published Sustainability Action Plan, including a unique community engagement chapter.

The Plan and the LTSC were funded in whole or in part through a grant awarded by the California Strategic Growth Council.

Please donate today to help us help the Sierra.

Events

2014 Sierra Water Workgroup Summit

Over the past seven years and across the Sierra Nevada, diverse groups have been coming together to create model Integrated Regional Water Management Plans (IRWMPs) to ensure reliable water supply, protect water quality and restore Sierra headwaters. While in various stages of pre-planning, planning and implementation, IRWMPs now cover almost the entire Sierra region. The Sierra Water Workgroup 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.

This two-day event is an occasion to raise the profile of the Sierra, discuss issues specific to disadvantaged communities, inform stakeholders of state and federal water policy issues, and share accomplishments, challenges, and resources among Regional Water Management Groups throughout the Sierra Nevada. This year’s Summit will feature speakers and panelists from IRWM Groups, lawyers, state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations, tribes, and public officials. The Summit will bring together IRWM stakeholders from all over the Range of Light and will feature informational workshops, great food, networking and interactive discussions. We hope you can join us for this event and we look forward to seeing you in June!

Date: June 12-13, 2014
Place: North Lake Tahoe Event Center, Kings Beach, CA
More Information: Click here for more information

Watershed Day At The Capitol 2014

This 12th annual event continues the California Watershed Network's annual outreach program that first began in 2002 for watershed protectors, restorationists, state agency representatives and legislators. Confirmed speakers include Natural Resources Secretary John Laird, State Water Board Member Steve Moore and water bond wizard Alf Brandt!

Date:Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Place: Cal-EPA's Klamath Room, 10th and I Street, Sacramento, CA
More Information: Click here for more information

Stewardship Showcase, Activating Healthy Communities - Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative

The two year anniversary of the Stewardship Showcase sponsored by the Lake Tahoe Sustainability Collaborative will feature some very inspirational speakers highlighting current and future projects. The event is a great opportunity to share community stewardship strategies. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

Date: Monday, May 12th 1:00-5:00 pm, 2014
Place:Lake Tahoe Community College in the Aspen/Board rooms, South Lake Tahoe, CA
More Information: Click here for more information


Recent News

Sierra News

California looking to recycled water to ease drought concerns
Sacramento Bee, Hudson Sangree 04.14.2014

Sierra Link: Recycling waste water has some critics in the state but towns like Eldorado Hills and their recycling programs are opening the eyes of a lot of people thinking about water conservation in the state. Other cities in the Sierra could benefit from recycling programs like that of Eldorado Hills.

Near record-low California snowpack measurement warns of water supply challenges
Water Technology 04.10.2014

Sierra Link: DWR's April snowpack measurement showed the lowest snowpack since 1988 and the 5th lowest since 1930, when records first began to be collected. The last couple snow storms to hit the Sierra obviously increased the snowpack, which was looking to be the lowest snowpack on record. With 95% of the state in exceptional drought conditions and this small of a snowpack the state may have to look to outside the Sierra for water.

State News

Merced Irrigation District working on water deal with state
Merced Sun star, Rob Parsons 04.13.2014

Sierra Link: Lowering the minimum reservoir levels for a lot of surface storage reservoirs around the state may be the only potential short term fix for farmers in the central valley. Without the water they need to grow our food we will most likely see a rise in food prices in the Sierra, California, and the Country very soon.

New California drought plan -- more questions
The Fresno Bee, Mark Grossi 04.11.2014

Sierra Link: Caifornia officials have come up with a plan that is supposed to help the state economy and people survive the ever present drought as well as prepare for a future drought potential in 2015. Planning ahead for the future assuming this drought is the new normal may help the Sierra become more important when it comes to water conservation in California.

National News

Study shows climate change disrupts natural relationships between species
Phys.org, Ally Catterick 04.15.2014

Sierra Link: The complexity of ecological relationships should be taken into account when considering the effects of climate change on native species. Warming weather might not kill a bird but if it kills off a birds prey the species will obviously suffer. Just one species being negatively effected by climate change in the Sierra could have a negative effect on a collection of other native species, predicting and controlling these effects is the challenge for managers.

Major steps needed on climate change, U.N. panel says
Politico, Andrew Restuccia 04.13.2014

Sierra Link: The U.N. Science Panel came out and said that a large number of countries need to make drastic changes in their energy consumption to avoid the worst effects of climate change. The good news in that statement being that there is still time to avoid some of the worst effects of a rapidly warming planet. Even if the State and the Sierra were changed everything they did with regards to energy consumption for the better if no other states or countries followed suite we would still see the effects of climate change. With that said small changes at the bottom can help inspire massive change at the top levels. .


Sierra Nevada Alliance

P.O. Box 7989
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96158

phone: 530. 542. 4546
fax:530. 542. 4570

www.sierranevadaalliance.org

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.