Sierra Institute Chosen for Rural Community Investment

Construction of the Biomass Boiler in Quincy, CA

Wood utilization in the Sierra Nevada got a big boost when the Sierra Nevada Conservancy awarded $400,000 to Sierra Institute for enhancing local business. The funding will help the Taylorsville-based organization increase use of low-value, small diameter wood, creating both healthier forests and better jobs. At least 10 redeveloped industrial sites will be incorporated in […]

Learning About Forest Collaboratives


Last month I attended a meeting of the Burney-Hat Creek Community Forest and Watershed Group (BHCCFWG, or BHC for short). It was held at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, a small building and an array of telescope dishes arranged seemingly haphazardly in the valley. The skeletons of burned trees on the surrounding mountains barely visible […]

Attending the International Symposium on Society and Natural Resource Management

Indian Creek

Last month, Lauren and I attended the International Symposium on Society and Natural Resource Management (ISSRM) in Utah, where we presented preliminary findings from our research with the California Department of Conservation (DOC) on the Statewide Watershed Program. ISSRM is an annual gathering of professionals and students working at the intersection of social science and […]

Getting to Work in the Woods


Ever driven down a Forest Service road toward your favorite spot in the woods, and wondered what would happen if a fire came through and changed this landscape? If you live in the Northern Sierra, it doesn’t take much of an imagination. It seems almost any summer, you can stand outside our office in Taylorsville […]

Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions


This is the third week of our series highlighting the Rural Community Development Initiative.  This week’s focus is on one of our partner organizations working toward triple bottom line solutions in Calaveras County.   Calaveras Healthy Impact Product Solutions (CHIPS) was formed in 2003 to address unemployment, wildfire, and other issues facing the community by “doing […]

Camptonville Community Partnership

camptonville road

This is the second installment of this month’s series on the Rural Community Development Initiative.  Camptonville Community Partnership has been serving the community of Camptonville since 1996. For nearly 20 years, its programs remained focused on youth and family development and providing space for the community to grow and connect. Camptonville Community Partnership (CCP) sponsors […]

Rural Community Development Initiative

woody development

This is the first post in this month’s blog series highlighting our RCDI project.  Throughout March, I will be highlighting several community projects from Sierra Institute’s RCDI network.   Through our Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI), Sierra Institute has supported nine rural communities as they navigate the complex process of developing bioenergy facilities and wood products […]

Reflecting on Work and Play


Natural Resource Education intern, Kira Miller, shares her parting thoughts as she reflects on her time with us at Sierra Institute.   “Once you learn to read the land, I have no fear of what you will do to it, or with it. And I know many pleasant things it will do to you.” – Aldo […]

Bringing wood-fired heat to forested California

06 Furnace Touchdown

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. Unlike urban areas or California’s Central Valley, communities in more remote and […]