Inaugural Sustainability Summit held in Truckee |

Inaugural Sustainability Summit held in Truckee

TRUCKEE, Calif. — In an effort to encourage further collaboration within regional agencies that have led the way around sustainability and climate change issues, the first Sustainability Summit was held Thursday in Truckee.

The event was co-hosted by Nevada County 5th District Supervisor Hardy Bullock and Heidi Hall, supervisor of its first district. The summit brought together a number of speakers who advocate for sustainability and all that term encompasses. Scott Bower, community association general manager and club director of grounds of Martis Camp also served as co-host.

The goal was to nurture and create relationships that provide maximum benefit for all residents and the land.

“The reason I wanted to do this is because we are facing this existential threat with wildfire and climate change,” Bullock said. “’Think globally, act locally’ comes to mind.

“People are working hard to do good things but sometimes we miss the forest for the trees; (but) put us all in a room where we could talk we could all kind of hear what we are doing and how we keep together, how we’re going to remain resilient during this rapid change in our environment.”

Hall noted that a gathering such as Thursday’s summit is key in making contacts with other agencies that are a factor in working towards the common goals of the panel.

“We’ve made all these contacts in the last two years at the federal agencies as we are talking about ‘we need more funding,’” Hall said, “and what we do with the funding we do have. We need to collaborate, determine who are the right players.”

Though Bullock and Hall serve as champions to recreation and sustainability efforts, Bullock said they went into the summit with the full support of the Board as a whole, noting that all supervisors have made efforts in the sustainability and climate change arenas.

Speakers Thursday included Angela Avery, who leads the Sierra Nevada Conservancy and Placer County District 4 Supervisor Cindy Gustafson.

“Angela Avery is bringing these counties together on bigger issues (regarding) trails,” said Hall, “and Cindy is trying to get a biomass facility, which we will need when we start pulling all of this vegetation out (of fuel areas).

“It was a perfect storm of actually coming together with the state, looking at the whole picture, the wildfires we’ve had that are impacting watersheds. We need to look at the whole deal; look at how we can use those public lands better and then figure out what to do.”

The melding of some of the more passionate sustainability proponents was ultimately a chance for them to organize and have conversations about a wide-spread concern.

“We’re really well positioned because of our initiatives and the great connections we have already,” said Hall, who added that part of the effort is determining how massive amounts of funding from both state and federal levels will be dispersed.

“Everything has to start somewhere,” Bullock said, “this was our first summit. It was a pleasure to see it start. Everyone in the summit — including Chairman (Serrell) Smokey who represents Washoe people — are committed to the understanding that we care deeply about the land. The ethos of what we are doing inspires all of us to work hard to make change.”

Jennifer Nobles is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at

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