Meet Local Non-profit Leaders – November 9

The Yuba Bear Watershed Council will  meet on Thursday, November 9th from 10am – 12pm. This is a quarterly meeting of agencies, non-profit organizations, private companies, and individuals that work on or are interested in natural resource and environmental issues across the Yuba and Bear watersheds.

At this meeting we will hear from Executive Directors with local non-profits.

Melinda Booth (South Yuba River Citizens League), Jonathan Keehn (Wolf Creek Community Alliance), Izzy Martin (The Sierra Fund), Joanne Hild (Sierra Streams Institute) and Tom Mooers (Sierra Watch) discuss plans for their organizations in the upcoming year. We invite other stakeholders to attend and participate in the question/answer session following these presentations.

Please download the agenda for more information. Please invite anyone who would be interested to attend this meeting. Parking at the Library is limited. If you are able, please park in the overflow parking closer to the Rood Center.  We hope to see you there.


Thursday, November 9, 2017 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Gene Albaugh Community Room at the Madelyn Helling Library
980 Helling Way Nevada City, CA 95959

10:00 – Welcome

10:05 –Introductions/Calendar Sharing

10:20 – Local Non-Profit Leaders Gather, Share Plans For Future

Moderator – Stephen Allen, President, Yuba Bear Watershed Council

10:25 – Melinda Booth, Executive Director of The South Yuba River Citizens League

After six years working for SYRCL as the Director for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Melinda was promoted to Executive Director. Melinda brings more than 16 years of experience in environmental conservation and advocacy to her new position. Before joining SYRCL, she focused her career on saving iconic species like bears, wolves, and salmon in the American West. At Defenders of Wildlife, she led campaigns to keep bears alive and wild in the Tahoe basin and helped on the reintroduction of the California Condor back into the wild. As Development Manager at the California Wolf Center, Melinda led education, conservation and research on the North American gray wolf, and specifically the reintroduction of Mexican gray wolves to the Southwest. Her passion for wildlife drew her next to the Sequoia Park Zoo Foundation where she served as Development Director, securing millions of dollars for their red panda habitat and an award winning Native Predator exhibit featuring river otter, bald eagle,
and salmon.

Melinda holds a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, where she studied human-bear interactions in the wildland urban interface. Her publications span scientific journals, periodicals, and books. On a personal note, the Yuba River is central to Melinda’s everyday life. She and her husband purchased land overlooking the South Yuba. Not only is she professionally motivated to protect and restore the Yuba River watershed, she is personally invested as a Yuba River homeowner to do all she can as well.

10:45 – Jonathan Keehn, Executive Director of Wolf Creek Community Alliance

11:00 – Izzy Martin, Executive Director of The Sierra Fund

A community organizer and environmental advocate with over thirty years of experience working in rural communities to promote economic and environmental justice. She has worked with a wide diversity of constituencies, from farm workers to small farmers and rural environmentalists.

Izzy was the founding Executive Director of the California Agrarian Action Project in 1980 (renamed the Community Alliance with Family Farmers in 1990). She developed the highly successful California Institute for Rural Studies program to work with pesticide poison victims and to support organic farmers, and helped to draft and pass several pieces of landmark legislation protecting rural communities from pesticides and promoting sustainable agriculture. Izzy worked in administration and project development for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation for five years.

Izzy first entered local politics when she was appointed and served two terms on the Nevada County Planning Commission during the 1990’s. Later, while serving on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors (1999-2003), Ms. Martin led the fight in the state legislature to put the South Yuba River into the state’s wild and scenic river program. In 2004 she led the successful advocacy effort to persuade the California State legislature to establish the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, working with Assemblymen John Laird and Tim Leslie.

Izzy became CEO of The Sierra Fund in 2004. Since that time she has helped to develop more than $80 million in State funds for conservation in the Sierra, as well as building a significant and strong foundation for The Sierra Fund. Izzy was recently awarded a James Irvine Leadership Award in recognition of her long and effective work as a leader in California.

11:25 – Joanne Hild, Executive Director of Sierra Streams Institute

Joanne has her MS in Zoology from University of Massachusetts in Amherst and her BS in Biology from Tufts University. She worked as a research scientist with the Wildlife Conservancy (mountain lions) in Sacramento, with the Bermuda Biological Station (effects of oil on coral growth and limpets) and with Cornell University (pigeon navigation). She was a Biology Professor at Sierra College for 15 years, teaching various general biology, anatomy and physiology, and ecology courses. As a professor, Joanne involved her students in a number of hands-on environmental projects including a stream bioassessment using macroinvertebrates to determine the health of the Yuba River, vegetation studies using U.S. Fish and Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Procedures to be used for environmental impact, ecological studies for Sierra College land use plan, local restoration projects with Nevada County Land Trust, and a trail guide for a Nature trail at Sierra College. Joanne previously worked as a high school
biology teacher for one year.

Joanne began working at Friends of Deer Creek as a River Scientist in February 2000 and became Executive Director in 2004. In her free time she enjoys going on family adventures

11:25 – Tom Mooers, Executive Director of Sierra Watch

Tom has worked as an advocate for land conservation in California for eighteen years. Before joining the staff of Sierra Watch in 2001, Tom worked as Field Director for Greenbelt Alliance in the San Francisco Bay Area and as Assistant Executive Director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. Tom is also a graduate of the Green Corps Field School for Environmental Organizing and the University of California, Los Angeles. He lives happily ever after with his growing family in historic Nevada City.

11:45 – Questions

Question and answer session with presenters.

12:00 – Adjourn

Meeting Ground Rules

  • Use Common Conversational Courtesy
    • Don’t interrupt; use appropriate language, no third party discussions, etc.
  • All Ideas and Points of View Have Value
    • Please remember that the purpose of the forum is to share ideas. All ideas have value in this setting. The goal is to achieve understanding. Simply listen, you do not have to agree, defend or advocate.
  • Honor Time
    • We have an ambitious agenda, in order to meet our goals it will be important to follow the time guidelines given by the facilitator.
  • Humor is Welcome
    • BUT humor should never be at someone else’s expense.
  • Be Comfortable
    • Please feel free to help yourself to refreshments or take personal breaks. If you have other needs please let a facilitator know.
  • Wait Your Turn
    • Wait your turn if a participant is speaking, wait and listen to them, letting them finish then appropriately share your words.
  • Electronics Courtesy
    Most of the participants have demanding responsibilities outside the meeting room. Please turn cell phones, or any other communication item with an on/off switch to “silent.” If you do not believe you will be able to participate fully, please discuss your situation with one of the facilitators.
  • Avoid Editorials
    • It will be tempting to analyze the motives of others or offer editorial comments. Please talk about YOUR ideas and thoughts.