Saving The Sierra: Grassroots Solutions for Sustaining Rural Communities
Attilio Genasci, conservation pioneer 1909-2008
Entire Sierra
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Urban development threatens rural communities across America. People who live and work in these beautiful landscapes face some tough decisions about the future. We traveled California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range to explore communities in the midst of struggle against the development pressures closing in on them. In each place, we met unlikely allies who came together to find grassroots solutions for sustaining both the environment and their ways of life. Most rural communities within driving distance of sprawling cities and suburbs face these issues. And most urban dwellers have been to a place just like the communities in these three stories:

Paul Hardy, Director FRLT

Download the Sierra Valley story (13 minutes)
In a remote mountain valley, both ranchers and environmentalists have begun to use conservation easements to save open space and preserve the largest wetlands in the mountain range.

Stefanie Olivieri in Martis Valley

Download the Martis Valley story (18 minutes)
In a small town north of Lake Tahoe, resort development will blanket the mountain with million-dollar luxury homes. But after a long legal battle, a deal was struck that will provide permanent, on-going funding for affordable housing, public transit, and habitat restoration.

Download the Mono Lake story (20 minutes)
The city of Los Angeles was forced to become a leader in water conservation because of a landmark legal ruling that kept them from draining an entire watershed in pursuit of drinking water.
View photo gallery of Mono Lake Canoe Tour

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Radio maker weighs in

Public radio producer Stephanie Guyer-Stevens recently listened to our  documentary and posted the following review on the Public Radio Exchange.. ..I thought I'd share it with folks visiting our site!

Saving the Sierra is a sweet hour spent in the mountains of eastern California and among the people who inhabit them. Catherine Stifter and jesika maria ross' beautifully conversational narration allows the listener to feel at home in this region. The piece builds on this with more conversations with locals of various stripes, each of whom speak to their particular concerns for the future, most of which have to do with encroaching urbanization. I'd imagine this piece could be a good handbook for rural communities around the country, all of whom face similar futures. This is such a nice example of how radio can be used to express a community's divergent voices, and ideally build the community it comes from. This is a beautifully crafted piece of radio, with plenty of beautiful sound of the mountains, and moved along by original piano music.

jesikah maria ross, Co-Project Director Saving The Sierra: Voices of Conservtion In Action

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