Bringing the Mountain to Mohammed: Your Chance to Talk with State Agencies about Climate Adaptation in the Sierra

It’s not easy for concerned citizens in the Sierra to actively participate in state policy-making – traveling down to Sacramento and back for meetings and hearings can take a lot of time and create a lot of carbon emissions! But we have a great opportunity this Wednesday evening, Oct. 14, to share our questions and views on climate adaptation with state agencies – right here in our own back yard – via a specially-scheduled “Listening Session” from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Truckee Airport community room.

COMM BH BLog Image 2015 03Sierra Business Council and Sierra CAMP, in partnership with the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) and the Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation (ARCCA), are hosting this gathering to help the state solicit thoughts and ideas about appropriate actions to address climate impacts – particularly around adaptation, and specifically focused on the Sierra.

The good news is: California is leading the way on reducing carbon emissions. On the other hand, no matter how fast we reduce our emissions, we are still going to have climate impacts. In fact we’re already feeling some effects, such as increasingly severe fires, floods, storms and drought, not to mention the smallest Sierra snowpack in 500 years! There are things we can do to protect against these impacts – by taking steps NOW to adapt to certain effects while still working to reduce the emissions that cause those effects over time.

The Natural Resources Agency has put together a draft plan with ideas for how to make our residents, communities, and ecosystems more resilient to the emerging impacts of climate change. The draft plan is organized around 10 different sectors: Agriculture, Biodiversity, Community Development and Land Use, Energy, Emergency Management, Forestry, Ocean and Coastal Resources, Transportation, Public Health, and Water. Together the ideas in each sector represent a master blueprint for executing actions recommended in the state’s overall adaptation plan, called Safeguarding California: Reducing Climate Risk.

Wednesday’s Listening Session is one of four taking place in various locations around the state – but it is the only one in the Sierra. Agency representatives want to hear from you about your ideas for priorities, challenges, current efforts and successful models or programs. And they want to know how we can all communicate more effectively with one another moving forward. To help facilitate that discussion, we will hear first from the agencies with an overview of the adaptation policy and plan elements. Then we will showcase a few key projects and processes taking place in the Sierra, with presentations by Diana Madson, SBC Project Manager for Sierra CAMP; Tony Lashbrook, Manager of the Town of Truckee; Brandon Sanders, Legislative Affairs Coordinator for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy; John Singlaub, Environmental Planner at Ascent Environmental, Inc.; Steve Brink, Vice President Public Resources at the California Forestry Association; and possibly other guests.

Please take advantage of “the Mountain” (the State) coming to “Mohammed” (the Sierra), and join us to be sure the Sierra voice gets heard this Wednesday, at the Truckee Airport Community Room, 6 – 8 pm. If the technology gods shine on us, we will also have a call-in number (605-475-3220, passcode 1080086#) for those of you who aren’t able to make it in person. But please do your best to join us for a face-to-face conversation – the future of our region depends on it!