2017
Justine Quealy
Justine Quealy
Climate Planning Technician
December 18, 2017

To Go Real or Faux: A Christmas Tree Story


It’s the age-old question debated each year by friends and family who celebrate Christmas – do you put up a real or fake Christmas tree? The debate is often framed around which choice is more environmentally conscious, and I find myself solidly in the real-deal corner. Here’s why.

California is host to many Christmas tree farms, with a large concentration of them located in the Sierra Nevada. These growers represent a shining example of how tree farms benefit the environment, boost their local economy, and promote wonderful traditions within the community.

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Justine Quealy
Michelle Gartner
Michelle Gartner
Senior Program Manager
December 13, 2017

Net Neutrality Rollback: Will ‘The Man’ Control Your Internet Content and Costs?

Deregulation is running rampant in today’s administration. Net Neutrality, one of the safeguards of how content is delivered on the Internet, is being threatened and could potentially be rolled back on Thursday Dec. 24th. Net Neutrality was put in place by the Obama administration in 2015 to protect Internet openness.

It states that “broadband service providers cannot block or deliberately slow speeds for internet services or apps, favor some internet traffic in exchange for consideration, or engage in other practices that harm internet openness.” What does it really mean?

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Jessica Carr
Jessica Carr
Program Manager
December 05, 2017

What Makes it So Easy for Me to Come to Work?

Though Thanksgiving has passed us by, the season of gratitude remains, reminding us to reflect on what we are thankful for this holiday season. For me, the list is long and varied, but close to the top is the wonderful workplace I am lucky to enjoy. In the current political climate, I’ve found it is easy to become bogged down with feelings of uncertainty.

Here at SBC though, my fellow Sierra protectors, energy efficiency magicians, business innovators, and climate planning superheroes keep my spirits high and my gratitude abounding.

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Brittany Benesi
Communications Director

Brittany Benesi

Communications Director

Brittany Benesi is the Communications Director for Sierra Business Council, promoting programmatic work that catalyzes community, economic, and environmental vitality throughout the Sierra Nevada. Originally from Seattle, Brittany has lived and worked in the Truckee/Tahoe area for the past four years. While finishing her degree, Brittany worked as a Youth Mentor with Seattle Tilth’s Youth Garden Works Program, helping homeless and disadvantaged adolescents develop job skills through urban agriculture. Once in Tahoe, Brittany started her work with Sierra Business Council as a Communications Intern and quickly made her mark with her focus on positivity, team building, and a commitment to the triple bottom line. Brittany is a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, a specialization in Education and Communications and a minor in Psychology. 

Personal Highlights:

As a child of the Pacific Northwest, Brittany grew up with a full appreciation for the natural world and the amazing recreating opportunities found therein. As a Sierra Nevada resident, Brittany especially enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding, stand up paddle boarding, and any time she gets to be outside with her husband, Steven, and canine companion, Shasta.

November 27, 2017

More than a Job: Why the Sierra and I are Lucky to Know SBC

I know I’m lucky, and it’s not just because I love what I do. Many people love their job, (and goodness knows, many others - not so much), but my luck goes beyond that. I love not only the work, but what the work means, the impact it has and the implications it makes for the future of this region.

I don’t know that I would be so lucky if I had stayed in my home city of Seattle. There’s just something about these mountains, the communities scattered throughout them, and the people who live, work, and recreate herein. It’s hard to put a finger on exactly what it is – passion for the outdoors, bootstrapping mindsets, a culture of innovation – but Sierra Business Council gets it.

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Ben Maritato
Climate Planning Technician

Brittany Benesi

Communications Director

Brittany Benesi is the Communications Director for Sierra Business Council, promoting programmatic work that catalyzes community, economic, and environmental vitality throughout the Sierra Nevada. Originally from Seattle, Brittany has lived and worked in the Truckee/Tahoe area for the past four years. While finishing her degree, Brittany worked as a Youth Mentor with Seattle Tilth’s Youth Garden Works Program, helping homeless and disadvantaged adolescents develop job skills through urban agriculture. Once in Tahoe, Brittany started her work with Sierra Business Council as a Communications Intern and quickly made her mark with her focus on positivity, team building, and a commitment to the triple bottom line. Brittany is a graduate of Seattle University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies, a specialization in Education and Communications and a minor in Psychology. 

Personal Highlights:

As a child of the Pacific Northwest, Brittany grew up with a full appreciation for the natural world and the amazing recreating opportunities found therein. As a Sierra Nevada resident, Brittany especially enjoys running, hiking, snowboarding, stand up paddle boarding, and any time she gets to be outside with her husband, Steven, and canine companion, Shasta.

November 21, 2017

Last Chance for Public Comment on Proposed National Parks Fee Increase

On October 24th it was announced that the National Park Service would consider raising entrance fees at 17 national parks, including Yosemite and Kings Canyon & Sequoia, during their peak seasons. If the proposal is accepted entrance fees during five peak months each year would increase to $70 per private, noncommercial vehicle, $50 per motorcycles and $30 per person entering the park on bike or foot.

This represents at least a 100% increase in price. The proposal would also increase commercial tour vehicle entry and application fees.

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