Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program – Draft Regional Strategy

The Watershed Improvement Plan (WIP) Regional Strategy identifies key information, trends, plans, efforts, and data for major categories influencing watershed health, as well as the process and timeline for implementing the WIP.

The key activities are:

  • assessing watershed restoration needs across the Sierra
  • increasing investment in the Region
  • addressing policy issues to ensure the implementation of needed restoration projects and the infrastructure needed to support such efforts

The SNC and the USFS Region 5 will act as the primary coordinators of the WIP and partner activity. However, given the scope and scale of this program, your active engagement and participation will be critical, which is why we are encouraging you to provide your feedback on the WIP Regional Strategy. The comment period is open until March 18, 2016. You may send your comments to

Sierra Nevada Conservancy: Funding Opportunities Newsletter – Feb/Mar 2016


This month’s research memo:  Abandoned Mine Land grants

This research memo provides a variety of funding sources for mitigation of impacts from abandoned mine lands. Most of these grants have the goal of improving water quality or restoring healthy habitats. You can find this and other research memos on the Funding Opportunities Web Page. As always, if you have any additional resources to share, please contact the funding team at

Want to know what grants are coming up? The Funding Opportunities Web page has an updated calendar of funding opportunities expected over the next several months.

Upcoming grants that might be of interest:

  • Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Grant Program (deadline March 7) for planning, acquisition, development, maintenance, administration, operation, enforcement, restoration, and conservation of trails, trailheads, areas, and other facilities associated with the use of off-highway motor vehicles.
  • Healthy Watershed Consortium Grant Program (deadline March 14) to accelerate strategic protection of healthy, freshwater ecosystems and their watersheds. Proposals should focus on large-scale protection and can involve implementation, enhancing organizational infrastructure, and/or developing financing mechanisms.
  • Sustainable Agricultural Lands Conservation Program (deadline May 2, optional pre-proposals due February 16) to support the purchase of agricultural conservation easements on strategic agricultural lands to achieve and maintain greenhouse gas emissions reductions, sustainable communities, and food security.
  • Strong Foundation Grant Program (deadline February 15) grants up to $5,000 for environmental and conservation efforts, grassroots action, environmental education, capacity building, citizen participation, and similar efforts.
  • National Fire Protection Association Wildfire Community Preparedness Day (deadline February 28) grants up to $500 for to reduce wildfire risk, advance general wildfire preparedness, or minimize post-fire impacts from a recent wildfire. Funding will support activities that will be completed on Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, which is May 7, 2016.
  • Access Fund: Climbing Preservation Grant Program (deadline March 1) grants up to $4,000 for projects that preserve or enhance climbing access/opportunities, and conserve the national climbing environment.

 Get an early start on this funding opportunity:

  • Preliminary guidelines have been released for the Active Transportation Program. This funding can be used to develop bikeways, walkways, safe routes to schools, recreational trails and trailheads, park projects that facilitate trail linkages or connectivity to non-motorized corridors, and conversion of abandoned railroad corridors to trails. No match is required. The anticipated deadline is June 15. Applications for this funding require a great deal of documentation as well as coordination with local agencies, so start early!

California Water Plan ENews – 2/24/16

This week’s California Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Draft regulations on groundwater sustainability available for public review
  • Groundwater blog looks at tribal inclusion for SGMA public outreach
  • Yosemite conference will include workshop on groundwater sustainability
  • Data fair will provide access to some of water board’s datasets
  • New online mapping tool provides insight on potential pollution of drinking water
  • Direct potable reuse group set to meet in Richmond next month
  • Webinar offers details on climate change adaptation work in the Central Valley

California Water Plan ENews – 2/17/16

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • Sierra watershed strategy available for public review and comment
  • Projecting this century’s climate change impacts on the Truckee Basin
  • Stanford report turns to the electricity sector for possible water project solutions
  • California’s water policy history and conflicts chronicled in new book
  • Delta Stewardship Council to discuss 2016 priorities, performance measures
  • Fish and wildlife spells out its list of major accomplishments in 2015
  • Water quality council to get briefing on statewide algal bloom strategy

Water Planning in the Climate Change Era – 2/5/16

California’s Water Commission is in the process of creating regulations for how to spend $2.7 billion that taxpayers approved to fund new surface and groundwater storage projects. This was part of Proposition 1, a water bond, passed in 2014.

It’s a chance to set the stage for a new era of water management and infrastructure in California and Dr. Juliet Christian-Smith wants to be sure the state is using the best climate science when considering the criteria for which projects to green-light.

It makes sense. If you’re planning to build a project that lasts a century you should be using climate modeling that considers what the world will look like in a hundred years. Except so far, that’s easier said than done. But Christian-Smith hopes that is about to change, because this year is looking like it will be a crucial year in deciding the future of California’s water.

Christian-Smith talked to Water Deeply this week about why 2016 is a tipping point for water in California and how the drought has tested the limits of our 20th-century water management system.

Click here for full article.

California Water Plan ENews – 2/3/16

This week’s Water Plan eNews includes:

  • DWR releases final version of 2015 UWMP Guidebook and appendices
  • Guidelines posted for $30 million in agricultural water use efficiency grants
  • Annual State Water Project management report available online
  • CWC issues proposed regulations, begins accepting concept papers for projects
  • Taking a lesson from Wisconsin on setting up a framework for water rate stability
  • PPIC includes water management in briefing kit on California’s pressing issues
  • Registration opens for April’s California Water Policy Conference in Davis

Upper Feather River Regional Water Management Group Endorses Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program

On January 22, 2016, the Upper Feather River RWMG unanimously approved endorsement of the Sierra Nevada Watershed Improvement Program (WIP). The Sierra Nevada WIP is a coordinated, integrated, collaborative program to restore the health of California’s primary watershed through increased investment and needed policy changes.

Click here for the endorsement letter.