The Sierra Nevada is on Fire

If you’re lucky enough to live here, that statement likely sounded alarm bells and sent you to your window to scan our forests, canyons and rivers.  If you live elsewhere, perhaps it sent you scrambling to your favorite news feed in search of sensational news.

You can relax.

Sierrafire3What I mean is that the Sierra Nevada is on fire and it’s a good thing.  It’s a passion that comes from a growing sense of the importance of our place and an awareness of the contribution we make to California’s economy.  It’s a desire to dig in and craft prosperous communities and opportunities for our kids.  It’s a spiritual resonance that comes from a piece of America that too many think is fading: the wild, the authentic, the untamed Rural Mountain West.

This blog will celebrate the part of the Sierra Nevada that is on fire: those that are innovating and redefining who we are in a region that has inspired giants.  We’ll share our passion for the region’s natural treasures and unique communities.  We’ll capture the Range of Light and take its awe-inspiring energy straight to the urban centers where decisions are made every day that affect our lives.

Many of the issues contained herein will be tough: the growing rural-urban divide; the perceived conflict between economic growth and environmental quality; the harsh reality that too many of our kids leave the region and don’t come back. The Sierra can sometimes feel like a colony.  Of course, let’s never forget that Sierra Nevadans are 20% more likely to live in poverty than other Californians. 

On the other hand, many other posts will be beautiful: stories of the people who defend nature; families who work and play in our mountains; of companies that risk it all for the opportunity to work in a place the owners and employees love.   We will highlight visitors who find a peace born of a walk in the woods or who discover a hidden historical gem.

We live in interesting times and we want you to have a conversation with you about it. We will share stories both local and global that can help us all learn.  We want you to tell your stories and find your friends.  We want you to discuss the issues of the day and contribute a sentence, a thought, an essay or a critique. From that discussion we want you to help empower people to speak up for the Sierra, champion its causes, and drive the investments required to make change.

We love the Sierra; we won’t sugar coat it, we won’t avoid it and we won’t keep people from speaking their minds about it.  We will bring you the unique, the challenging and the inspiring.  We ask that you contribute your stories as well.

Let’s start a fire.