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Sierra Nevada Alliance taps Peter Van Zant as executive director

Submitted to The Union

The Sierra Nevada Alliance has chosen Peter Van Zant as its new executive director, the organization has announced in a news release.

“Van Zant, has a long history in Sierra conservation”, said SNA Board President Richard Taylor. “The Alliance recognized his leadership accomplishments with the 2011 Tissiack Award, and now he is on our team.”

Van Zant has more than 25 years of engagement with Sierra conservation groups, including two terms on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, President of the SYRCL Board, and Field Director for Sierra Watch, where he directed the successful Donner Summit and Bear River conservation campaigns.

Since 1993, the Sierra Nevada Alliance has been protecting and restoring Sierra lands, water, wildlife and communities.

Its mission is to protect and restore the natural resources of the Sierra Nevada for future generations while promoting sustainable communities.

The work is done with and through more than 95 conservation-focused Member Groups that are based or work in the 400-mile mountain range that is the Sierra Nevada.

A key service of the Sierra Nevada Alliance is the Annual Member Conference, which this year will take place in Kings Beach, on Sept. 25-26. The theme is “Back to the Roots” and will feature expert and member examination of four issue areas: Climate change, drought and water, forest management, and natural capital. For more information contact Conference Director Amber Taxiera (conference@sierranevadaalliance.org).

Also, the Alliance will continue its successful and popular Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Partnership. The program will place 28 members in local host conservation organizations where members will gain on-the-ground experience in their host communities. For more information contact Lynn Baumgartner, SNAP Manager (lynn@sierranevadaalliance.org).

Taylor also expressed the board’s appreciation for Gavin Feiger’s work as interim Executive Director for the past nine months.

“Gavin stepped up from directing Alliance policy programs to managing the entire organization,” he said. “We are grateful for his thoughtful leadership in this transition and are looking forward to working with him as our Manager of Special Projects.”

Van Zant thanked the board for the opportunity to serve with the Alliance.

“I am honored to join this great organization,” he said in the release. “The Alliance has come a long way since I attended the first meeting at Fallen Leaf Lake. From a humble beginning the Alliance has become a Sierra leader in conservation policy and projects.”

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