Saving the Sierra, Voices of Conservation in Action update

from: Catherine Stifter and jesikah maria ross, co-directors

We recently completed a bio-fueled road trip to Lee Vining in order to tell the Mono Lake story as part of our upcoming documentary. We came home with nearly 2 dozen interviews recorded on, in and around the Mono Lake Basin. We also took a jaunt to LA, toured the Tillman water reclamation plant, met with folks who installed 1.6 million ultra-low flush toilets in the city, and spoke with the President of the Department of Water and Power Commission. It is inspiring to realize how passion for one rural place in the Sierra Nevada has set into motion a major public trust victory, restoring water back to Mono Lake, that also includes an entire metropolitan area coming to grips with their need to conserve water.

We did not forget to listen to those other voices of the Mono Lake Basin: California gulls, willow flycatchers, phalaropes, wind in the trees, waves on the lake, flowing creeks, and bubbling springs. All will feature prominently in the story we intend to tell on public radio next year. We'll keep you posted through our Producer's Journal blog on the project website

Meanwhile, you might have heard Richard Perrelli's story about how a mountain lion changed his life, broadcast on Weekend America September 1st. If not, head on over to the Radio page of our website, and follow the links to hear what he saw and heard in the Sierra foothills. It's the extended-play, orchestrated version of his amazing Storybooth.

We're very happy to have just begun a relationship with Weekend America from American Public Media that promises to bring more Sierra stories to the airwaves over the next year.

Or you may have heard “Holding His Ground,” our portrait of Sierra Valley rancher Attilio Genasci, featured as the closing story in the first hour of a new independent public radio series, “Stories from the Heart of the Land” produced by Emily Botein and Jay Allison. It’s coming to public radio stations across the country this fall. Check our Radio page for links and listings of airtimes for the 5-part series. You can also download a podcast of the story by visiting .

The Davis Food Co-op will benefit the regional media project Saving the Sierra: Voices of Conservation In Action at their fall wine tasting programs. Tastings are held twice a month in September, October and November. At just $1 a taste you can support Saving The Sierra's upcoming public radio documentary showcasing community-based efforts to conserve the culture, economy, and environment throughout the Sierra Nevada mountain range. Davis resident and Project Co-Director jesikah maria ross will be on hand at most of the events to share stories and answer questions.

“The stories we've collected show what happens when people become champions of the places they love,” said ross. “They become infused with a passion to preserve the land and get involved in sustaining their traditions and towns. It's inspiring to listen to and it will be great to bring these rural voices to public radio.”

The Davis Food Coop kicks off the Saving the Sierra benefits on Friday, September 14th from 6-8:00 pm with a winery located the Sierra foothills! Madroña Vineyards ( in Camino, California is family-owned operation that makes their wines by hand and uses integrated pest management and solar power to reduce their ecological impacts. Perhaps this care has something to do with the excellence of their reds, whites, and dessert wines.

Other wine tastings include:

September 28 Rosenblum Cellars, a winery reknowned for their range of Zinfandels. They also make other varietals such as a wonderful Syrah from Yolo County grapes, and a late harvest Viognier.

October 12 TBA

October 26 “Dave's Reserve Selections.” A local connoisseur shares some of the wines that he's encountered this year that are beyond the usual.

November 2 TBA

November 9 “Sweets and Bubbles.” Holiday entertaining often turns attention to dessert wines, for savoring with special seasonal sweets. Here's a chance to sample a variety to bring home for the holidays.

The Davis Food Co-op is located at 620 G Street in downtown Davis. Tastings take place in the conference room.

Saving The Sierra: Voices of Conservation In Action thanks the Davis Food Coop for its generous support. See you there!

Calling all writers, techies, photographers, and audio editors. We need help! We're up to our ears in production of our national documentary. But we don't want slack on publishing the rest of the stories we recorded for our Storybooth and we want to keep up a lively blog. So why don't you help? We can teach you to blog about your favorite Sierra issue in 4 easy steps. You can repost stories you've read online or in your newspaper. You can publish your best Sierra photo of the summer and tell us a little bit about how you captured it. If you can edit WAV audio files, we've got dozens that need to be edited and published to fill out our Storybooth pages. We can offer a small amount of tutoring on free software (PC or Mac) and give you feedback on your skills in exchange for completed 2 minute pieces. Give us a call to find out how you can help.

Stay fire safe and enjoy the turning of the seasons.

Saving The Sierra : Voices of Conservation in Action
530-478-1240 530-758-4219