Ecosystem and community resiliency in California’s headwaters were the key topics of conversation at The Sierra Fund’s fourth biennial Reclaiming the Sierra conference held this week, May 8-9 at CSU, Sacramento. Hundreds of experts from across the state gathered each day to showcase their research and listen to technical presentations on best practices for restoring blighted forests and meadows, remediating mines, and using regional models to increase project effectiveness. Engaging speakers included the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency John Laird and local best-selling author Jordan Fisher Smith.
Meanwhile panelists in policy workshops, including agency leaders, scientists and representatives of rural and indigenous communities, debated topics fundamental to California’s past and future: water infrastructure, mining regulations, contaminated reservoir discharge and ethical gold, gold that is sourced from environmentally sound, economically viable and ethically managed legacy mine remediation activities.
Shelly Covert, Tribal Secretary for the Nisenan and Executive Director of the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP) offered closing remarks at the event, highlighting the fact that in building bridges between scientific and traditional ecological knowledge we all increase our capacity to restore resilience to the ecosystems and communities of the Sierra Nevada.