Essential Ingredients

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While driving from Oregon toward Indian Valley and my new position as Watershed Coordinator at the Sierra Institute for Community and Environment, I reflected on the circuitous route that finally brought me here. I thought of a childhood in the mossed, temperate rainforests of Oregon’s Willamette Valley, a handful of years pursuing degrees and mountain […]

The Way of the Future

dr. elizabeth

A feature of working with community members at the Sierra Institute is passion. People, rightly, care a lot about what happens in the natural world just outside their doors. They get passionate, to a point that someone walking into a community meeting might sometimes think we aren’t debating but in conflict. Yet the reality is […]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]