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Sierra Institute’s Center of Forestry has released its touring schedule for 2011

Feather Publishing

The season begins May 7 with one of the most popular tours, “The Maidu: their history and their way of life.” Join Farrell Cunningham, Maidu resident and historian, for an informative and relaxing day focused on the Mountain Maidu of Indian Valley.

This is the first of 12 tours scheduled for this season. Most people come to the Sierra Nevada for recreational purposes, to find solitude or to enjoy nature. But many people don’t realize how much is involved in the management of the mountains fondly referred to as the “range of light.” The Center of Forestry educational tours are available for just that: to show and teach the public about sustainability in local environments and rural communities in a fun and informative way.

Sierra Institute’s Center of Forestry offers 12 unique programs designed to introduce local residents and visitors to the challenges and opportunities in the northern Sierra Nevada. The tours cover a broad array of natural resource and rural issues, including forest and watershed management, critical bird habitat, fire ecology and local culture and history.

The educational tours offer an opportunity to get off the beaten path and explore a mix of people, places and projects in the northern Sierra. Each tour visits one or more sites where local experts share their knowledge and experience, participate in discussions and answer questions. The tours offer a space where controversial topics, such as salmon versus hydroelectric power on the Feather River, can be discussed openly with local resource management professionals and other experts.

All tours include outdoor activities, such as visiting a songbird research station, discovering native plants and animals and even camping out overnight. A tour to the Ishi Wilderness with Beverly Ogle, noted historian and author, is where we’ll learn more about the man called Ishi, last of the Yahi-Yani Indians. Spend the day biking, birding, barbecuing and boating on Lake Almanor while learning about the watershed basin and its importance locally and statewide. Travel the old Beckwourth Stage route while learning about Jim Beckwourth and the European settlers in the Sierra. Tours include bus transportation, morning refreshments and lunch, with some tours offering dinner.

For a complete 2011 schedule, or to have brochures mailed for distribution, contact Lauri Rawlins-Betta at 284-1022, or visit


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