A Letter from Joan Clayburgh, our Executive Director
The Sierra Fund in 2021 went through a major transition, and simultaneously cranked out another year of impressive achievements. We continued making progress using science and advocacy to promote the health and resiliency of the natural environment and to protect public health in Sierra communities. In 2021, even with numerous restrictions during the Covid-19 pandemic, a few highlights were we:
Released “Revitalization of Mine-Impacted Lands,” the first report of its kind in California. We then held a series of workshops that provided comprehensive strategies for remediating abandoned mine lands to protect our health and environment.
We developed a trailblazing plan to use Biochar (like a Britta filter) to filter out mining toxics, store carbon for climate benefits, and restore soil health at abandoned mine sites in Sierra forests. Biochar use for mine remediation could provide a beneficial use for thin trees removed for wildfire fuel-load reduction work. This holds great potential for Forest Health work at a time where California and Nevada need to seriously up their games on forest restoration.
We created a pilot approach to help low-income residents in Nevada County get affordable air filtration for their homes during highly hazardous air quality days from wildfire smoke. With wildfire smoke increasing drastically each year in the Sierra, there is a huge void in helping ensure ALL community members have safe havens for the health of their families.
And of course, my favorite accomplishment, the organization hired me. (Some dry humor there). It is no small task to replace the highly accomplished, amazing leader of 18 years. Elizabeth Martin was a powerhouse that led The Sierra Fund to numerous accomplishments and to reach the milestone of celebrating its 20th Anniversary. To replace her, the board and staff undertook a six-month national search process. I am honored to join the team in November 2021 and am excited about the future.
Thanks to the generous contributions of our funders, the hard and talented work of our staff, and the commitment and strategic vision of our board – we made strong strides to increase the resiliency of this magnificent range. Rockin-awesome!
Joan Clayburgh | Executive Director
The Sierra Fund