More than 100 community leaders met to discuss ways to mitigate climate change last week at the 2nd Annual Nevada County Sustainability Summit at Martis Camp.
“We are here because our planet needs us now more than ever, our region needs us now more than ever, our communities need us now more than ever,” said Nevada County Supervisor Hardy Bullock, who spearheaded the event with Supervisor Heidi Hall. “All of you here today know that we are facing unprecedented threats from catastrophic wildfire, rising global temperatures, sea level rise, and a rapidly changing environment. Today is not about describing the problem statement in detail, rather it is an opportunity to thread local action with state and national policy making and global impact.”
Part of the summit highlighted regional forest health strategies. Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s Angela Avery and Tahoe National Forest Supervisor Eli Ilano discussed the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative to restore the resilience of 2.4 million acres of Sierra Nevada forests and watersheds. The plan includes everything from thinning trees so there is not as much fuel to restoring meadows which are a natural fire break.
The afternoon focused on local and regional efforts, with a panel that highlighted connections between recreation and climate resilience, local economy, and land stewardship, with Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship, Protect Our Winters, and the South Yuba River Public Safety Cohort featured. Also on the panel were Tahoe Youth Action Team and Chairman Serrell Smokey with the Washoe Tribe.
In addition, the summit included discussions about sustainable ways to finance climate resilience projects. Other participants included the Sierra Business Council, Climate Transformation Alliance, Blue Forest Conservation, and the Truckee River Watershed Council.
Hall said she appreciated the support of everyone who participated in the event. “We know that the challenges we face are big, but as Truckee Town Councilmember Anna Klovstad reflected in her closing remarks, ‘together we are bigger.’”
The summit, held September 27, aligns with the Board of Supervisors’ 2023 Climate Resilience strategic objective. The board has made it a priority to safeguard the county by adapting to, preparing for, and mitigating changing climate conditions in a way that reflects the county's rural quality of life.
The board’s five initiatives under the climate resilience objective are to protect and harden critical infrastructure, enhance carbon storage and sequestration on natural and working lands, enhance collaboration to increase community capacity and achieve climate goals, pursue funding and advocacy opportunities, and align strategies in a coordinated strategic plan.