As I sit down to write this, there are phrases floating around in my head.
For example, in our cover story, Erin de Lafontaine, of the 100% Renewable Truckee Committee, says, “Doing nothing is not an option…We’re on the frontline of climate change.” And in our Q&A feature, Ann Bryant, executive director of the BEAR League, says bears are just children of the Earth, as we all are: “We all live here. This is our home. This is our planet. We have to get along.” In our recipe story, cookbook authors Joanne Neft and Laura Kenny are described as “starting a grassroots dialogue about how farmers’ markets provide us with real food…that contain no pesticides, additives or hormones.” And in our Perfect Pairs feature, chef Zach Sterner recommends lamb from James Ranch, baby fava beans from Laughing Oak Farm and wine from Pilot Peak and Gray Pine wineries—all run by Penn Valley neighbors he personally knows.
Taken all together, I’m left with the sense that here in the Sierra Nevada, we are possibly seeing something important: a growing number of people who care about our environment, care about the food we eat, care about living in line with nature. This is increasingly a place where every day is Earth Day.
Which is especially heartening, of course, after the fires last fall that devastated our friends and neighbors in Paradise, California, and the government shutdown that put our national parks at grave risk, ranging from hundreds of tons of trash to damaged ecosystems that may take centuries to recover. It is easy to get lost in the heartbreak.
But just as spring is slowly beginning to bloom outside our windows—whether we notice it immediately or not—there are environmentalists, scientists, mayors, reporters, photographers, volunteers, farmers and chefs quietly going about their important work. We are proud to cover them in every issue of Sierra Living.
And this issue is certainly no exception. In addition to Erin de Lafontaine, you can read about people throughout the Sierra working to combat climate change in “Carbon Neutral,” which focuses on the three cities that took the Sierra Club’s challenge to move toward 100 percent renewable energy in the next decade: Truckee, Nevada City and South Lake Tahoe. SL reporters Katrina Paz and Whip Villarreal also discovered green action by businesses, school districts and utility companies—as well as new legislation—that is having real impact.
In Sunset Chasers, we offer a stunning photo of Yosemite, shot during the shutdown, that shows us the park will survive—and why we should make sure it is not harmed going forward.
But we are not only focused on the serious side of life: It’s spring in the Sierra after all. So we give you good ideas for entertaining—where to buy farm-fresh produce, how to serve it, what to pair it with. Our calendar of events is also chock-full of fun things to do as the weather warms: marathons, soccer games, places to enjoy wildflowers, film festivals, art exhibits. And we have a design story by Paula Riley about a midcentury modern house in Reno that you will love as much as the homeowners do.
So please get out in our gorgeous territory and enjoy the season. It’s good for you, first off, but I’d also bet it will make you more committed to ensuring the Sierra Nevada is here for all of us, forever.
Thea Marie Rood