SACRAMENTO, 25 June 2009 – Yesterday, more than 30 Sierra representatives brightened the day in the State Capitol, bringing our Range of Light into each legislator’s office. The 7th annual Sierra Day in the Capitol—hosted by The Sierra Fund, Sierra Nevada Alliance, and Sierra Nevada Conservancy—presented a refreshing message to remember the Sierra amid the current turmoil in the Capitol.
Staff of Sierra nonprofits, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and others who work and play in the Sierra Nevada hit the halls of the Capitol Building after lunch. By 4pm, they had shared maps and photos, swapped stories, and underscored the importance of the Sierra Nevada region with staff from each senator and assembly member’s office. A key message of the day was the effectiveness of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy’s grant program, and the importance of supporting the Conservancy’s proposed 2009/10 budget.
Despite a high level of stress in the Capitol—the state budget was up for vote, but did not pass—Sierra advocates had an overwhelmingly positive reception. Our message was refreshing because it was one point that the Senate, Assembly and Governor seem to agree on. Staff were interested in the materials presented (available online here), especially a leaflet detailing how State investment in the Sierra Nevada has been spent since 2006.
The 7th annual Sierra Day in the Capitol revealed increasing knowledge of Sierra issues among legislators and their staff. New support this year from CA Association of Resource Conservation Districts, the CA Cattlemen’s Association and Mountain Counties Water Agency also expressed important aspects of Sierra resource management. Additionally, an excellent exhibit featuring the Sierra Nevada is on display outside the Governor’s office this week, in honor of Sierra Day in the Capitol. Many staff people mentioned stopping to look at the photos, maps and information displayed along more than 40 feet of the hallway wall. This exhibit will be up until Friday, June 26.
A reception to celebrate the Sierra Nevada completed a successful day. This reception, held at the Cal-EPA Building, attracted capitol staff people and CA Air Resources Board Chair Mary Nichols, and was also well attended by Sierra Day participants. Special thanks to The Shibatani Group, Inc. for sponsoring the reception and to former Assemblymember John Laird for use of the reception space.
A BIG thank you to everyone who participated in or supported the 2009 Sierra Day in the Capitol—your help is essential to bringing State attention to the Sierra Nevada. See you next year!