Read about Sierra Institute's summer youth education and professional development programs, our Annual Round Valley Run and Walk, and our new project with the California Department of Conservation. 
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Summer/Fall 2016 Newsletter

Greetings from all of us at Sierra Institute! We hope you have had a wonderful summer and are enjoying the cooler days of the fall season.

This summer has been quite an exciting and busy time at Sierra Institute, filled with youth education programs, community involvement, and continuing old projects and starting new ones! We hope you join us in reflecting on the events of the summer through this newsletter and consider staying in touch with our work in the upcoming months by visiting the blog page on our website!

Wishing you well,

Your peers at Sierra Institute


Sierra Institute Hires High School Students to Propagate Native Plants

Greenville High School interns collect willow stems from the picturesque Willow Creek adjacent to the Moonlight Fire burn.
Through our work with the Greenville High School Natural Resources Program, Sierra Institute hired two Greenville High School sophomores to work on activities related to restoration of burned areas of the Plumas National Forest. 
Greenville High School interns collected data on a rare, endemic plant that is grown at the Greenville High School greenhouse to be planted in the Plumas National Forest.
The interns worked for eight weeks from June to August, assisting with native plant and produce production, irrigation, and greenhouse/garden maintenance. Activities included collecting willow stems with Forest Service staff in the Moonlight Fire footprint to be grown at Greenville High School, leading a group of K-6 day campers on an excursion to a local creek to learn about erosion and the importance of restoration, and building a shed to store tools for upcoming plantings! For a program recap, please check out Sierra Institute’s blog.

P-CREW Wraps Up Its Second Year

P-CREW (Plumas Conservation, Restoration and Education in Watershed) brings rural and urban youth together for a five-week summer program that provides youth with the opportunity to perform restorative work on national forest lands, receive environmental education from specialists, and participate in outdoor recreation on weekends. Two P-CREW sessions are offered per summer, each involving a mix of 12 high school students from the San Francisco Bay Area along with students from Plumas County and surrounding areas. The program equips students with skills in leadership, camping and adventure, conflict management, team-work, and knowledge about the forest landscape and how wildfires affect forests, wildlife, watersheds, and humans. 
Session two 2016 P-CREW poses for a group photo on top of a local fire engine. 
Interns assist in building an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) trail at Lassen National Park’s Volcano Adventure Camp through a grant from the Rose Foundation.
This summer, P-CREW participated in a multitude of important projects including: fuels reduction hand piles, invasive species removal, wildlife monitoring, deer guzzler installation, trail work on the Pacific Crest Trail, and work with the Lassen Volcanic National Park Volcano Adventure Camp. They received valuable education from specialists in mining, archaeology, and fire ecology and participated in recreational activities such as stand-up paddle boarding, cave exploration, backpacking in a national park, and swimming. As each session wrapped up, students expressed tremendous gratitude for the skills they acquired, the personal growth they experienced, and the friendships they formed through the program. 

Sierra Fellows Reflect on a Year of Service

Sierra Fellows are wrapping up their first year of service in rural Sierra Nevada communities in Calaveras and Plumas Counties. Vincent Rogers has worked to bring together groups of diverse stakeholders to advance shared resource management goals, which he wrote about in a three part series about his Fish Assessment (see Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3). Mary Sketch spent her year working on community and ecosystem recovery in the footprint of the Butte Fire (which was still burning when she arrived). Highlights include Mary finding her footing among the chaos, helping to start a community based tree exchange program to restore burned areas, and learning the value of collaboration.
Vincent Rogers teaches local students a few casting techniques as part of his community engagement.
Mary Sketch and her crew of high schoolers take a break from planting conifer saplings in the Butte Fire footprint.
We also welcome Bryce Henney to the Sierra Fellows team, who comes to us from University of Michigan with bachelor’s degree in engineering and master’s of management in business. Bryce will be working with Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions to help develop a woody biomass facility to create an outlet for biomass created as a result of forest restoration.

Sierra Institute Hosts the 34th Annual Round Valley Run and Walk

The 34th Annual Round Valley Run and Walk was a day of serenity and success. The race is held at Round Valley Reservoir in Greenville every year and attracts runners and walkers of all age groups and levels of fitness. Through race registration and raffle donations, Sierra Institute raised over $4,500 for two of our youth programs, Greenville Outdoor Adventure Learning and Friday Night for Teens.
Above is the group photo of all the 34th Annual Round Valley Run and Walk participants and supporters looking good after the day's events.
Some of the participants of kids' 200yd color dash are covered in colorful chalk and ready to cheer on runners of the main event.
Join us for the 35th Annual Round Valley Run Saturday, August 5, 2017. We’ll be adding a new distance to our event line-up. Stay tuned for more updates, and for more information call, (530) 284-1022.

Almanor Basin Water Trails Map now available!

The Almanor Basin Water Trails map assists paddling adventurers by showing the locations of launch sites, campgrounds, outfitters, and more around the shorelines of these water bodies.
Sierra Institute staff took time before work one morning to try out the trail!
The 22x29” full-color, waterproof and tear-proof map of Lake Almanor, Mountain Meadows Reservoir, and Butt Lake is now available for purchase by the general public. The creation of this map was supported by a grant from the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, as well as production support from the Rose Foundation and the Mountain Meadows Conservancy. This will be the first map for the basin that includes all water-related tourism businesses and sites, and will be used to promote low-impact, human-powered recreation and a greater appreciation of local ecology in the Almanor Basin. For more information please visit the Almanor Trails website.

Sierra Institute Welcomes New Staff and a New Project

New Sierra Institute staff, Lauren Miller (left) and Kaily Bourg (right), smile for a picture outside Sierra Institute's office in Taylorsville, CA. 
This summer, Sierra Institute signed a two-year contract with California's Department of Conservation to begin work on a study that assesses the socioeconomic and ecological impacts of California's Statewide Watershed Program. The purpose of the study is inform future watershed management needs by first gaining an understanding of the lessons learned from past watershed projects and watershed coordination efforts throughout the state. To fulfill the needs of the study, Sierra Institute hired a new Social Science Research Associate, Lauren Miller, who is a PhD candidate at the University of New Brunswick, and a new Natural Resource Social Science Intern, Kaily Bourg, who comes to the organization from the bayous of Southern Louisiana. (Visit our staff page to read more about them.) Lauren and Kaily, along with other Sierra Institute staff, will review documents and reports associated with the Watershed Program and visit selected watershed project sites across the state to conduct in-person interviews to gain a better understanding about what works and what doesn't work in collaborative watershed management initiatives. Check out Sierra Institute's blog in the upcoming weeks to stay connected with project updates.
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