Hi and welcome to 2004! We want to thank you for all of your support and wish you all the best for the new year!
I thought it appropriate to update everyone with many of the exciting things that are happening here at Sagehen.
1) We have established the “Sagehen Creek Community GIS Center" in the library. It is a collaboration between us, the Truckee River Watershed Council, the Forest Service, CA Dept of Fish and Game and DRI. We received $20k from the TRWC for hardware and the Library is now a powerful computing center with server, fast machines, large plotter, scanner etc. We are working with the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation (TTCF) to find donor advised funds to hire a full time GIS person.
2) One of our PhD researchers, Elise Ferree from UCSC, received a Mathias Grant from the NRS to help support her research here at Sagehen.
3) The Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation created a guide called 'Connecting People with Causes They Care About'. This is a vehicle that they will use to help donors pick causes to fund. We, Sagehen, are in the guide!
4) Jim Kirchner has secured $10k for use in stream monitoring equipment and we are working with the forest Service for permission to install some stream monitoring equipment in the Upper Independence Creek area as well as an additional site in the Upper Sagehen Creek.
5) The USGS has upgraded their stream gauging station here so it now transmits data via satellite making the data collected much more useful and timely.
6) The Forest Service has a snowcat for us! We anticipate getting the necessary maintenance completed soon for use this spring.
7) The tractor continues to be a valuable tool here; although the New Year's storm cycle which brought us about 6' of snow in 4 days has returned us to our old system of snowmobiling in and out. We were able to use it to completely remove two wrecked cabins in the Upper Camp and one in the Lower Camp.
8) With the new cabin to be built in the upper camp we have designed the area to enable us to host outdoor meetings in the summer that can seat 100 people in shade and use the side of the building to support a screen and power so PowerPoint presentations, etc. can be conducted. This will allow us to support large meetings in a wonderful setting during our great weather months!
9) The Forest Service conducted a survey of the Sierras this last summer to survey and identify fens. It turns out that the Sagehen Basin has the most fens in the sierras and fens here are totally unique. This makes this place even more valuable as a resource.
10) We are working with the Eastern Sierra Institute for Collaborative Education (ESICE) to coordinate the outreach activities with the local school district and to later expand these efforts to outlying schools. We received a $5k grant from the TTCF that went to ESICE to coordinate the efforts of the local non-profits and the school district. We have held two meetings so far and have great support from the New Truckee School Superintendent, many teachers and principals from the local schools as well as all of the interested outreach and education groups in the community. Our ultimate goal is to fund a full time outreach coordinator for Sagehen, integrate the school's needs into curricula that include "out of classroom" components that take advantage of what we have here at the station. We will be working with ESICE and the school district to craft grant proposals and they have targeted the Kellogg foundation as a potential funding source.
11) With Anita Joplin's help it looks like we will be able to hire 2 stewards full time for 6 months this summer and take on the job of doing the bathhouse, cabin, roof repair and kitchen renovation in house beginning this spring. Capital Projects has given us a preliminary authorization for this. Which mean--we hope--that we will get some direct control of these projects and actually get the work done this summer.
12) Working with the CA dept of Fish and Game and the Forest Service we acquired some interesting software that will enable us to create a "virtual 3-d Sagehen basin". Dave Weixelman with the Forest Service started the actual work in December. We are hoping that this will be a good tool for us to use to show what this place looks like now, what it most likely looked like pre-European settlers, and what it will look like with various treatments, etc. This can be an interesting effort.
13) We got Faerthen fully funded to attend two weeks of training in New Mexico for GIS and Informatics training, as well as a Campbell Scientific course in Utah for our dataloggers & software.
Things continue to come together nicely for this great place and I can confidently say that Sagehen is now realizing some of it's great potential! The VCR and great staff are playing an important role in making this whole thing come together and we appreciate that!