SMARA Reform Bill (SB 209) shelved until 2016 legislative session


The Sierra Fund’s bill being carried by Senator Fran Pavley to amend the Surface Mining and Reclamation Act (SMARA) got all of the way through the Senate and to the floor of the Assembly before being put on a shelf until winter. This bill aims to improve enforcement of SMARA by lead agencies (usually cities and counties). Key elements of SMARA include ensuring regular and expert inspections, adequate financial mechanisms in place to support reclamation, and a good reclamation plan that is implemented when mining ends.

Welcome Alec, welcome back Kelsey, farewell Karen!


Fall marks the end and beginning of the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership term of service.  Consequently, last month included a number of changes as we welcomed and said goodbye to the fantastic individuals who choose to dedicate a year of their lives to volunteer service in the Sierra Nevada. We said a fond farewell in […]

TSF speaks at California Water Commission hearing

The Sierra Fund CEO Elizabeth Martin addresses the California Water Commission at a hearing in Yuba City.

Last Wednesday, October 21 The Sierra Fund’s CEO Elizabeth “Izzy” Martin spoke to the California Water Commission (CWC) at their public event in Yuba City. Through this evening event, the Commission was soliciting input on how to implement the water storage section of Proposition 1, including how to invest the more than $2 billion in the bond for increasing water storage in the state. Martin spoke about the potential to improve reservoir operation, increase water storage and enhance water quality and ecosystem resiliency by removing sediment that is clogging reservoirs in the Sierra Nevada.

Victory on suction dredge mining reform: Governor Brown signs SB 637


California Gov. Jerry Brown today signed into law Senate Bill 637 to protect California’s water supplies, wildlife and cultural resources from the damaging effects of destructive suction dredge gold mining. The new law requires that all small-scale miners using motorized suction pumps obtain a Clean Water Act Permit from the State Water Resources Control Board before mining in California waterways.

21st Annual Sierra Nevada Alliance conference a success

Last week, The Sierra Fund and other conservation organizations from across the Sierra gathered for this important annual convening.  CEO Izzy’s Martin’s keynote was a conference highlight! From the Sierra Nevada Alliance On September 25-26, 2015 over 120 Sierra conservationists attended the Sierra Nevada Alliance 21st Conference in Kings Beach, California. Attendees included local, State, […]

Two AmeriCorps positions open at TSF – applications due 7/25/15


The Sierra Fund will again be hosting two full time AmeriCorps positions through the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP): one Community Outreach Coordinator, and one Research Assistant. These one-year positions begin in November 2015 and are a fantastic way to gain professional skills and experience while serving important Sierra causes. Application materials for these and other SNAP positions are available here, and are due this Saturday, July 25, 2015.

SMARA reform bills move forward


On Monday, July 13 the California Assembly Natural Resources Committee voted to approve SB 209 (Pavley), a bill sponsored by The Sierra Fund to strengthen enforcement of SMARA.  On a 7 – 1 bipartisan vote the bill was moved out of the committee and onto the Appropriations Committee, where it will be heard later in […]

Thanks to volunteers, fish consumption advisories now posted at 28 local lakes and reservoirs


On July 11, teams of volunteers organized by the South Yuba River Citizens League, The Sierra Fund and the Wolf Creek Community Alliance traveled to popular fishing locations and posted 98 fish consumption advisory signs. This was the first time these state-issued fish consumption guidelines had ever been posted at these water bodies. Anglers now have the information they need to make smart decisions on what fish are safe to eat and feed to their families.

Annual Sierra Water Workgroup Summit to be held August 10, 2015

This year’s Sierra Water Workgroup event is a full-day workshop focused on issues and tools around the theme “Protecting Our Water.” The issues will include: Quantification – how do we figure out how much we actually have; Beneficial and Reasonable Use in the Sierra – What do with what we have; Quality – source protection, legacy mining, forest planning, etc.; and How we interact with the pressures on and interests in the sierra water supply exerted by the needs of the rest of the state – particularly in times of drought and in light of climate change. The event will spend the day framing questions about how these issues can be addressed with specific tools and concrete action, including timelines and assignments, as opposed to simply doing additional planning. We will investigate the trending policies regarding these issues in California and how are dollars expected to follow those policy trends.

Presentations and posters from Reclaiming the Sierra 2015 now available online


Materials are now available online from The Sierra Fund’s conference Reclaiming the Sierra 2015: The New Gold Rush, held April 20-21, 2015. Powerpoint presentations from select speakers have been uploaded to the conference website, as well as all posters entered into the student poster session. Videos of select presentations will be posted soon.

Positions open through Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership

SNAP logo

Do you love the Sierra? Want to help restore and protect the Range of Light? Do you want to gain valuable environmental professional experience? Apply to become one of the 28 Members of the 2015-2016 Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP)! The SNAP program is seeking enthusiastic, conservation-minded people to commit to a year of service to protect Sierra natural resources and sustainable communities. During the year, SNAP members will gain skills and technical training, mentor with outstanding environmental leaders and receive an education award at the successful completion of service. Deadline for applying is July 25, 2015. Interviews will begin in early August.

Volunteer to “Post It!” on July 11 – getting fish consumption advisory information out


Volunteer to post fish consumption advisories at local lakes and reservoirs: Saturday, July 11, 2015, 9am~5pm (Ending times will vary). The Sierra Fund, in collaboration with South Yuba River Citizens League and Wolf Creek Community Alliance, is organizing a community volunteer effort to post state-issued fish consumption advisories at local lakes and reservoirs, and we need your help! Help us post educational signage to give anglers the best information regarding healthy choices on sport fish consumption, specifically which fish caught from these water bodies are best for eating, and feeding their families.