Reclaiming the Sierra

2017 Conference

Reclaiming the Sierra 2017: Headwater Resiliency

May 8-10, 2017

Sacramento, CA

Select filmed speakers and presentation slides are now available online! Click here to view.

The Sierra Fund Inspires Action to Protect and Restore Ecosystems and Communities at Reclaiming the Sierra 2017!

Ecosystem and community resiliency in California’s headwaters were the key topics of conversation at The Sierra Fund’s fourth biennial Reclaiming the Sierra conference held this week, May 8-9 at CSU, Sacramento. Hundreds of experts from across the state gathered each day to showcase their research and listen to technical presentations on best practices for restoring blighted forests and meadows, remediating mines, and using regional models to increase project effectiveness. Engaging speakers included the Secretary of the California Natural Resources Agency John Laird and local best-selling author Jordan Fisher Smith.

Meanwhile panelists in policy workshops, including agency leaders, scientists and representatives of rural and indigenous communities, debated topics fundamental to California’s past and future: water infrastructure, mining regulations, contaminated reservoir discharge and ethical gold, gold that is sourced from environmentally sound, economically viable and ethically managed legacy mine remediation activities.

Shelly Covert, Tribal Secretary for the Nisenan and Executive Director of the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project (CHIRP) offered closing remarks at the event, highlighting the fact that in building bridges between scientific and traditional ecological knowledge we all increase our capacity to restore resilience to the ecosystems and communities of the Sierra Nevada.

Congratulations to 2017 Sierra Crest Awardees!

At the evening reception on May 8, Assemblymember Brian Dahle presented The Sierra Fund’s Sierra Crest Awards in recognition of leadership and initiative to address California’s legacy of mining to the following:

United States Forest Service, Tahoe National Forest
Delta Mercury Exposure Reduction Program (MERP)
, and
Shelly Covert, Spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe and Executive Director of the California Heritage: Indigenous Research Project

Congratulations to Student Poster Competition Winners!

Student poster presenters participated in a competition with cash prizes for first, second and third place. Click on the links below to view the posters.

First Place: Chelsea Meddings, California State University Chico
Efficacy of California Native Drought-Tolerant Plants at Heavy Metal Removal from Urban Stormwater in Biofiltration Systems

Second Place: Alan Rhoades, University of California Davis
Present and Future Hydroclimatology of Western USA Mountains within a Next-Generation Variable-Resolution Global Climate Model

Third Place: Brandon Ertis, California State University Chico
Using LiDAR and ArcGIS to Describe Geomorphometric Characteristics of Historical Hydraulic Mining Features along the North Yuba River


Reclaiming the Sierra 2017: Headwater Resiliency provided a forum for leaders in science and policy to collaborate on a vision of headwater management to promote the resiliency of natural and human resources in California’s altered landscapes and beyond.


The Sierra Fund is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to restoring ecosystem and community resiliency in the Sierra Nevada. In 2006 we launched our “Reclaiming the Sierra” initiative to address the long term human health, environmental and cultural impacts of legacy mining in California. To learn more about The Sierra Fund, visit our website www.sierrafund.org.