Saving the Sierra

Urban development threatens rural communities across America. People who live and work in these beautiful landscapes face some tough decisions about the future. Saving The Sierra's producers Catherine Stifter and Jesikah Maria Ross traveled California's Sierra Nevada mountain range and explored communities in the midst of struggle against the development pressures closing in on them. In each place, they met unlikely allies who came together to find grassroots solutions for sustaining both the environment and their ways of life. Most rural communities within driving distance of sprawling cities and suburbs face these issues. And most urban dwellers have been to a place just like the communities in these three stories:

In a remote mountain valley, both ranchers and environmentalists have begun to use conservation easements to save open space and preserve the largest wetlands in the mountain range.

In a small town north of Lake Tahoe, resort development will blanket the mountain with million-dollar luxury homes. But after a long legal battle, a deal was struck that will provide permanent, on-going funding for affordable housing, public transit, and habitat restoration.

The city of Los Angeles was forced to become a leader in water conservation because of a landmark legal ruling that kept them from draining an entire watershed in pursuit of drinking water.

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