Sierra Nevada Alliance

Annual Report Fiscal Year 2019-2020 SNAP Program The Alliance’s Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership (SNAP) completed its 13th year and launched the 14th year of this incredible program! The two SNAP Programs that ran during this fiscal year (2018-19 and 2019-20) consisted of fifty-six members at 20 nonprofits, environmental agencies and tribes in sixteen cities across the Sierra. Members served from Oroville to Visalia, from Tahoe to Bishop – restoring and assessing watersheds, educating Sierra residents and visitors, and building community stewardship through volunteer support. SNAP Member Spotlight: Shannon Hedge, Education and Outreach Coordinator, South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), Nevada City From a young age, Shannon felt compelled to learn as much as she could about the animals around her. While many of her friends were into things like lions and bears, she was fascinated by the creepy crawlies in her own backyard. She lived in a small suburb at the time and a developing neighborhood. The green space was all around, so the animals were plentiful. She frequently delighted in “catch-and-release” of tree frogs and lizards that lived just off her front porch. As time went by, the city grew, and her favorite creatures began to disappear. It was becoming more and more difficult to even find a tree frog, much less catch one. By this time, she was just entering high school and learning about ecology and conservation for the first time. The more that she learned, the more she began to realize that the places she used to find those species were becoming uninhabitable for them, which she concluded was why she was seeing them less frequently. Part of her wanted to justify that it was okay that the animals they were used to seeing were disappearing. They probably had another counterpart that filled the same niche as they did, so why did it matter that we lost them? It was not until college that she learned about the rivet hypothesis. The rivet hypothesis describes an analogy of species to a wing on an airplane. There are many rivets that work to keep the wing attached to the airplane. They all serve the same function, and fill the same “niche”, if you will. If you lose one, the wing is probably not really in danger of falling off. However, if you lose many, the wing will most definitely fall off and result in a plane crash. If we treat the plane as an ecosystem and each rivet as a species that fills a similar niche, we find that redundancy is not necessarily a bad thing. While many species may fill similar roles in an ecosystem, we really need all of them to keep the ecosystem from crashing and burning. Around the same time that she learned about this, she joined a student organization that focused on advocating and educating about the importance of Program administered by CaliforniaVolunteers and sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service. Since 2007, 397 SNAP Members have F Restored more than 19,100 watershed acres F Monitored more than 3,800 sites F Educated more than 250,000 individuals F Recruited more than 37,500 volunteers F Contributed more than 650,000 hours of service cont. on P12… 10