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September 6, 2017

Sierra Happenings

Events and Activities

Alliance's Annual Member Group Meeting

The Alliance is hosting our Annual Member Group Meeting to build our partnerships and strategize how to best work together to protect and restore the Sierra. The afternoon will feature Member Group presentations, annual Alliance board election, Member Group breakouts to share and network, and a program strategy session to brainstorm improvement of the Member Group program. Free for all member groups. Please note that the date and time have changed.

Date: September 8th, 3 pm to 4 pm
Location: Markleeville, CA

Please click here for more info and to RSVP.


SNAP Graduation Ceremony

Join us as we congratulate our 2016-17 Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Members on successful completion of their terms and thank them for their service. All are invited to this celebration.

Date: September 8th, 4 pm to 5 pm
Location: Markleeville, CA

Please click here for more info.


Exclusive Sierra Keeper Event

Join the Alliance's Executive Director on a cruise aboard the Garwood Boat to tour Lake Tahoe's historic Thunderbird Lodge. This unique opportunity will allow attendees to learn more about the current and future work of the Sierra Nevada Alliance while also hearing captivating stories of Tahoe's past. Attendance is limited to those who are Sierra Keepers with the Alliance. Don't worry, if you're not yet a Sierra Keeper, you can become one and join us for this event! Less than ten tickets left!

Date: September 9th, 10 am to 3 pm
Location: Lake Tahoe, NV

For more details and to purchase tickets, click here!


Markleeville Creek Day

Join Alpine Watershed Group and their partners on one of the many restoration projects throughout the watershed. All are welcome and encouraged to attend! Project choices include: Hope Valley Willow Planting and Bank Stabilization, Grover State Park - Native Garden and Weed Pull, Bear Valley Salmon Spawning protection, Markleeville Creek Heritage Park Enhancement, Storm Drain Stenciling in Markleeville. Sign up at the link below or by contacting AWG's SNAP Member, Sarah Muskin, by August 31st to participate in Creek Day. Many SNAP members will be attending!

Date: September 9th, 9 am to 2 pm
Location: Markleeville, CA

For more information about the event and to register, please click here.


Malakoff’s French Connection Celebration

The Friends of North Bloomfield & Malakoff Diggins have collaborated with researchers and local Francophiles to plan a new event honoring the French mining pioneers responsible for much of the early technological and cultural developments around Malakoff Diggins. We will celebrate the early French emigrants in the gold mining era of the Sierra. Free admission!

Date: September 9th, 11 am - 4 pm
Location: Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park

Please click here for more details and to review the agenda.


San Andreas Pioneer Day

The Calaveras County Chamber of Commerce invites you to join in celebrating the region's pioneer heritage and families.

Date: September 9th, 10 am - 2 pm
Location: Turner Park, San Andreas, CA

Please click here for more details and to review the agenda.


ARCCA's General Plan Guidelines Update Webinar

The California Governor’s Office of Planning and Research recently completed the first comprehensive update to the General Plan Guidelines since 2003. This webinar will provide an overview of the new General Plan Guidelines, with a focus on adaptation, GHG emission reduction, and environmental justice. Presenters include Michael McCormick, Senior Planner, and Elizabeth Baca, Senior Health Advisor, from the Governor's Office of Planning and Research.

Date: September 12th, 1 pm to 2:30 pm

Please click here for more details and to register.


Great Sierra River Cleanup

The Great Sierra River Cleanup is the premier volunteer event focused on removing trash and restoring the health of waterways throughout the Sierra Nevada Region. Use the link below to find a cleanup near you.

Date: September 16th, time varies
Location: Numerous locations throughout the Sierra

To find a cleanup near you, please click here.


Tuolumne River Film Festival

Join Tuolumne River Trust for a night of fun and films to celebrate the Tuolumne River and the culture that flows from it! This year’s festival will feature short films from the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, live music, and much more!

Date: September 17th, 6:30 pm to 9 pm
Location: Menlo Atherton Performing Arts Center, Atherton, CA

For more information about the event, please click here.


Panel: Improving the Health of California's Headwater Forests

California’s headwater forests are at risk. Years of fire suppression, emphasis on short-term management priorities, weather extremes, and climate change have set the stage for a steep decline in forest resilience. The result is lost timber production, wildlife habitat, and recreational opportunities, and threats to our water supply. A panel of experts will explore management practices and regulatory and legal reforms that can help build resilience in these forests and prepare them for the future. Free to attend, space is limited. Advance registration requested.

Date: September 20th, 12 pm to 1:30 pm
Location: Capitol Event Center, Sacramento, CA

For more information about the event and to register, please click here.


Impact Foundry's What If Conference

A conference for anyone supporting non-profit organizations that believes in the power of what if. Join with California nonprofits, philanthropists, and passionate advocates for a full day of inspiration and practical tools. Learn from national experts. Network with your peers and business leaders who support nonprofit excellence. Bring your Board members to hear three celebrity keynotes who will ignite passion for your cause. If you join, this really will be the northern California nonprofit conference of the year.

Date: October 5, 2017
Location: McClellan Park, CA

Please click here for more details and to register.


Winter Wildlands Alliance Grassroots Advocacy Conference

Join policy makers, athletes, grassroots activists, scientists, mountain guides, local elected officials and other recreation and conservation stakeholders from across the country for two full days of engaging workshops and discussions on issues important to winter recreation and public lands. Get the latest developments in policy and planning issues, share grassroots successes, meet with public land managers, gain new advocacy tools and spend quality lodge time with colleagues, partners, new friends and allies.

Date: November 9th - 12th,
Location: Clair Tappaan Lodge, Donner Summit, CA

Please click here for more details and to register.


Job Announcements & Volunteer Opportunities

SYRCL is hiring!

The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) and is seeking to hire several positions, including an Executive Director, a Finance Manager, a River Education Manager, an Educational Assembly Presenter, and three AmeriCorps members.

For more info, click here.

Part-Time Associate Naturalist with American River Natural History Association

Immediate opening for naturalist to lead programs at the Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

Apply by Sept. 11, 2017.

For more info, please email Paul at [email protected]

CDFW Accepting Applications for Wildlife Officer Cadet

CDFW is particularly interested in recruiting applicants with a love of the outdoors and a passion for fish and wildlife conservation.

Apply by Sept. 30, 2017.

For more info, please click here.

Resources

Nevada State Parks Grant Opportunity

Approximately $1.2 million in funding is available for the 2018 fiscal year. The program funds motorized, non-motorized, and educational recreational trail projects.

Applications due: October 26, 2017

For more info, please click here.


Film Submissions Are Open For 2018 Wild & Scenic Film Fest

At SYRCL's Wild & Scenic Film Festival, environmental and adventure films are highlighted which illustrate the earth's beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment.

Open submissions run from May 15 through September 24, 2017.

For more information and submission deadlines, please click here!


CalTrans Grant Opportunity

Announcing Climate Change Adaptation Planning Grants ($20 million over three years) to local and regional agencies for climate change adaptation planning. This funding will advance adaptation planning on California’s transportation infrastructure, including but not limited to roads, railways, bikeways, trails, bridges, ports, and airports.

For more info and elegibility information, click here!


Highlights

Spotlight on Snap: Teagan Dolan of UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center

Teagan is based out of Incline Village, NV and is serving as an Education Assistant.

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Teagan educating students in an outdoor classroom.


Teagan graduated from the New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY—ESF) in 2015 with a B.S. in Environmental Policy, Planning, and Law with a minor in Water Resources. While in college, Teagan tested and mapped water quality for residents in the coalfields of West Virginia. It was here she found a passion for teaching others about water quality as a means of community empowerment. She spent her first year out of college serving as an AmeriCorps member at a land trust in Asheville, North Carolina. Once she decided to move to Tahoe, she knew she wanted to continue her AmeriCorps service in a new place.

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Teagan with YSI students as they process water samples from Lake Tahoe.


At her host site, the UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center, Teagan teaches hands-on environmental education to students, visitors, and the public at the Tahoe Science Center. Her primary responsibility is to serve as the coordinator for the Youth Science Institute (YSI) — a program for high-schoolers that allows them to explore different STEM fields. Teagan provides students with the opportunity to interact with STEM professionals in such unique activities as building drones, conducting snow surveys, testing endangered frogs for diseases, and processing Lake Tahoe water samples. Her passion for environmental education and student mentoring only grows as she watches kids fall in love with science.

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Teagan with YSI students at graduation


In addition to her work with students in the Tahoe Basin, Teagan also helps coordinate the Eriksson Education Center in Tahoe City. Here, Teagan has cared for the Native Plant Demonstration Garden, developed multiple field and plant guides, coordinated work days, and assisted in providing a series of public events. Her favorite program has been the High Altitude Gardening Series where members of the public come to hear a talk on a specific plant and then are able to take home multiple varieties. The hope is that participants report back which varieties grow well so information can be gathered on what plants actually grow at such a high elevation!

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Teagan with a “Beaver Lodge” variety of tomato.


In her time as a SNAP member she has interacted with and educated hundreds of people in the Sierra. Most importantly she was able to help inspire the next generation of environmental scientists, leaders, and advocates through SNAP & TERC’s education efforts. Follow the exciting adventures of current and future SNAP members at TERC by visiting TERC's webiste and Facebook page


Potent Mix of Record Heat and Dryness Fuels Wildfires Across the West

This article was published by Inside Climate News on September 5, 2017.


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C-130 pilots with the California National Guard fight the Pier Fire in Sequoia National Forest. It had grown to over 20,000 acres by Sept. 5, 2017. Credit: Tech. Sgt. Jeff Allen/146th Airlift Wing


Wildfires burned across hundreds of thousands of acres in the American and Canadian West this week, fueled by scorching temperatures that are breaking heat and fire records across the region.

In California, while temperatures have eased, at least 15 cities have seen record-breaking heat, and the state has experienced its hottest summer on record. San Francisco hit 106 degrees over the weekend, breaking its previous high by 3 degrees. Stoked by unusually high temperatures, fires burned on thousands of acres just outside Los Angeles, while firefighters in Washington, Oregon and Montana battled dozens of blazes across those states.

By the end of the day Tuesday, at least 81 large fires were blazing across 1.5 million acres of the U.S. West, from Colorado to California and north to Washington. Over the Canadian border, British Columbia has already had a record-breaking fire season—and it's not over yet. Cities including Seattle were shrouded in a smoky fog. In satellite pictures, the smoke could be seen traveling the jet stream and reaching the East Coast.

As firefighters battled the blazes, climate researchers pointed to studies finding that a warmed global atmosphere, with increasingly clear human fingerprints, will continue driving a potent mix of heat and dryness that's projected to escalate in the West.

"These unprecedented extreme events, on the daily to the seasonal scale, are exactly the types of events that are more likely due to the global warming that's already occurred," said Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA. "That's not so much a future projection, but an observational reality, and that's something we expect to increase in the future. When we get these extremes, there's a human fingerprint."


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A forest fire spread along the Columbia River Gorge on Sept. 5, 2017. Credit: James C. Kling/CC-BY-2.0


Swain co-authored a study led by Stanford researcher Noah Diffenbaugh published earlier this year that found human-caused greenhouse gas emissions have increased the chances of extreme heat across more than 80 percent of the globe's surface area.

"The increased occurrence of severe heat, and the role of global warming on the occurrence of severe heat—that's already happening," Diffenbaugh said. "It wouldn't be scientifically credible to make attribution statements without analyzing the event. That being said, we can see the odds of setting new records based on the global warming that's already happening."

While drought and high heat aren't the only factors making wildfires more intense and frequent—researchers also blame encroaching development into wild areas and certain wildfire management practices—they are key drivers.

Nine of the 10 worst fire seasons in the past 50 years have all happened since 2000, and 2015 was the worst fire season in U.S. history, surpassing 10 million acres for the first time on record. So far this year, wildfires in the U.S. have burned 7.8 million acres, but the fire season is far from over. (In 2015, 8.4 million acres had burned by early September.) The average fire season is 78 days longer than it was in the 1970s—now nearly seven months—beginning and extending beyond the typical heat of summer. By April of this year, wildfires had scorched more than 2 million acres in the U.S.—nearly the average consumed in entire fire seasons during the 1980s.

Last fall, researchers published the results of a study that found human-induced climate change accounted for about half the observed increase in fuel aridity, or forest dryness, in the western U.S. since 1979 and had nearly doubled the area of the U.S. West affected by forest fires since 1984.

During that same time period, temperatures across the West have risen. Temperatures are projected to rise further—and along with them, the tinderbox conditions that fuel wildfires.

"We know that global warming has already increased the probability of unprecedented high temperatures in the western U.S., including in California," Diffenbaugh said. "And we know, with high confidence, that continued global warming will continue to intensify those increases."

Please click here for the original article.



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

Initiative established to protect Sierra
Tahoe Weekly, 8/23/17

Sierra Link: The Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative has been formed to focus on restoring the health and resilience of the Tahoe Sierra’s forests and watersheds, it was announced at the 21st Annual Lake Tahoe Summit on Aug. 22.

Peering into the Cracks
EOS, 8/23/17

Sierra Link: A recent study looks at how climate change may impact the forces that cause rock to breakup. The Sierra Nevada mountains may be succeptible to these impacts.

Forestry

Genetic screening to speed up search for resilient pines in Tahoe forests
Sacramento Bee, 8/21/17

Sierra Link: Blister rust has hit sugar pine trees in the Sierra hard. Researchers have found that some trees are resistant to the disease so through sequencing the sugar pine genome and continued genetic screening, they are now utilizing this information to help.

Recreation

California Naturalist Advanced Training this fall: Salmon and Steelhead in the Sierra
Yuba Net 8/30/17

Sierra Link: Sierra Streams Institute is taking their much-loved California Naturalist class to the next level! This fall, Sierra Streams will be offering the California Naturalist advanced training course: Salmon and Steelhead in the Sierra. Participants in the course will gain valuable insight into the lives of these fascinating and charismatic organisms that travel hundreds of miles to complete their life cycle.

Toxic algae bloom in Tahoe Keys lagoons
Lake Tahoe News, 8/24/17

Sierra Link: A toxic algae bloom is covering a large swath of the Tahoe Keys, prompting a warning to people and pets to be wary of the water.

Water

First-ever water tax proposed to tackle unsafe drinking water in California
Mercury News, 8/23/17

Sierra Link: For the first time Californians would pay a tax on drinking water — 95 cents per month — under legislation aimed at fixing hundreds of public water systems with unsafe tap water.

Massive Sensor Network Helps Scientists Monitor Mountain Water Resources
UC Merced, 8/28/17

Sierra Link: Scientists from the Sierra Nevada Research Institute, UC Merced, UC Berkeley. and the USDA Agricultural Research Service have designed the first ever wireless sensor network (WSN) capable of accurately monitoring the hydrology of large mountain river basins. Deployed and tested in the American River basin on the western slope of the Sierra Nevada.

Wildlife

American pika disappears from large area of California's Sierra Nevada mountains
Science Daily, 8/30/17

Sierra Link: The American pika, a small mammal adapted to high altitudes and cold temperatures, has died out from a 165-square-mile span of habitat in California's northern Sierra Nevada mountains, and the cause appears to be climate change.

New flying squirrel species discovered along North America's Pacific coast
Science Daily, 8/21/17

Sierra Link: The Sierra's northern flying squirrel has a new relative, Humboldt's flying squirrel.

Other Articles

Narwhals Are Helping NASA Understand Melting Ice and Rising Seas
Bloomberg, 8/24/17

Sierra Link: The five-year, $10 million OMG study is designed to measure the seasonal ebb and flow of the glaciers using a combination of the whales, satellites, temperature and salinity probes, as well as airborne and ship-based observations of the sea floor. Ultimately, the study aims to determine how quickly Greenland’s ice will disappear. Information gained in this study may help scientists more accurately predict the fate of Sierra ice masses.

Flowers named after famous adventurer grow in Shasta County
Record Searchlight, 8/31/17

Sierra Link: A number of these unique flowers also grow in counties in the Sierra.





Sierra Nevada Alliance

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

phone: 530.542.4546
fax:530.542.4546

www.sierranevadaalliance.org

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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.