Bill McKibben keynote Friday at Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference |

Bill McKibben keynote Friday at Sierra Nevada Alliance Conference

Staff Reports

Conference schedule


9-10 a.m. Bill McKibben keynote address. Book signing 10-11 a.m.

3-5 p.m. Take a Walk on the Wild Side – Discover native plants with author Alicia Funk


3:30-4:15 p.m. John Muir Laws keynote address. Book signing 4:15-4:45 p.m.

6-9 p.m. 20th anniversary celebratory dinner cruise and awards ceremony on paddlewheeler Tahoe Queen


9 a.m.-noon Nature Hike with John Muir Laws

9 a.m.-noon Upper Truckee River Kayak Tour

Bestselling author and environmental activist Bill McKibben will kick-off the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s 20th Anniversary & Annual Conference in South Lake Tahoe on Friday.

Named “the planet’s best journalist” by Time Magazine, McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, including “The End of Nature,” regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change. He is a founder of the grassroots climate campaign, which has coordinated more than 15,000 rallies in 189 countries since 2009. In his presentation, McKibben will highlight his newest book, “Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist.”

Naturalist, educator and artist John (“Jack”) Muir Laws will provide the conference’s closing remarks on Saturday.

Trained as a wildlife biologist and serving as a Research Associate for the California Academy of Sciences, Laws has taught nature education for nearly 30 years. During six of those years, Laws backpacked the Sierra Nevada to research and illustrate The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada, a richly illustrated, pocket-size field guide to more than 1,700 species found in the Sierra Nevada. This guide helps visitors and residents of the Sierra understand and appreciate the biodiversity of the region.

“This year marks the Sierra Nevada Alliance’s 20th anniversary, and we are celebrating all our great work protecting and restoring the Sierra at this year’s conference,” said Joan Clayburgh, Executive Director of the Alliance. “We are excited to have presentations and book signings with renowned environmental leaders Bill McKibben and Jack Laws, and that’s just the beginning of what’s sure to be our biggest and best conference ever!”

The event features 12 conservation workshops, educational field trips, and updates from many of the 90-plus Sierra Nevada Alliance member groups working throughout the region. In addition to the two keynote addresses and book signing events, the conference will also offer two plenary sessions: one in which past and future Sierra leaders will take a look back and share ideas for shaping the future of the Sierra Nevada, while the other will explore the new climate changed reality of more uncharacteristic wildfire in the Sierra Nevada, with the massive Rim fire as a case study. A celebratory sunset dinner cruise and 20th anniversary awards ceremony on the Tahoe Queen is Saturday evening.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and walk-in registrations will be available.

For more on the conference and registration fees, visit