Current Projects

SCALE

Sierra to California All Lands Enhancement (SCALE) brings together collaborative groups throughout the Sierra Nevada to advance initiatives that promote healthy forests, communities and economies in these regions.

P-CREW

Plumas Conservation, Restoration and Education in Watersheds (P-CREW) is a summer restoration and environmental education experience for high-school students from Plumas County and Oakland, CA.

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Sierra Institute will study a selection of Statewide and CALFED Watershed Program grants, with the goal of understanding the effectiveness of the programs and lessons learned throughout. Ultimately, this research will offer valuable recommendations to inform future watershed management initiatives.

Sierra Fellows

Sierra Fellows works to place exceptional “Fellows” into rural communities throughout the Sierra Nevada and Cascades region, assisting them in tackling their most pressing community development issues.

Woody Biomass

Sierra Institute is investigating all angles of woody biomass utilization to promote healthy forests through sustainable harvest, improve local economies by creating jobs and increasing energy efficiency through cleaner fuel uses.

Last week, we reviewed the importance of advancing wood utilization projects in rural forested communities. A significant component of Sierra Institute’s wood utilization work has been to develop a county-wide network of biomass heating systems by encouraging entities to convert to biomass heat.

Example of heating oil and propane’s price volatility. Image credit to Wisewood Energy.

Unlike urban areas or California’s Central Valley, communities in more remote and forested areas like Plumas County do not have access to affordable natural gas. Businesses and other non-residential buildings must therefore rely on fossil fuels for heat. Propane, fuel oil, and the like are subject to extremely volatile prices and can pose significant financial burdens on rural entities. …


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