Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala & Awards

Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala & Conservation Awards
Saturday, September 21, 5-9pm
Miners Foundry Cultural Center, 325 Spring Street, Nevada City
$100/Members, $125/Not-Yet-Members, includes farm-to-fork dinner, hors d’oeuvres and special gift
$800/Table for 8

Purchase Tickets
Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala and Awards
Click image for downloadable PDF flyer

Tickets are on sale now for Bear Yuba Land Trust’s biggest fundraiser of the year, Open Spaces & Wild Places Gala and Conservation Awards, taking place Saturday, September 21st at the historic Miners Foundry Cultural Center.

The elegant and rustic family style event features a farm-to-fork dinner prepared by Emily’s Catering and made from the finest ingredients from regional farms and ranches as well as a silent and live auction of one-of-a-kind items and experiences, live music, and the presentation of the 2019 William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leader and John F. Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award.

“Each year, we are proud to recognize and celebrate our local conservation heroes who are individuals that demonstrate a strong commitment to land conservation through leadership and innovation. Despite any challenge, these are community members who inspire others as poised and passionate environmental advocates,” explains Erika Seward, BYLT Co-Executive Director.

Conservation Heroes

Bear Yuba Land Trust is proud to announce the selection of Neil Robinson as 2019 Conservation Leadership Award Winner and Tim Kiser as 2019 John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award Winner.  New this year, the public was invited to submit nominations online for a Nevada or Yuba County resident that personifies these traits.  A committee – comprised of community leaders and the BYLT Board of Directors – selected the winners.  Neil and Tim will be recognized at the Open Spaces, Wild Places Gala.A big thank you to our community and BYLT members who submitted nominations for our Conservation Hero Awards.

Conservation Leadership Award Winner: Neil Robinson

Conservation Leadership Award Winner: Neil RobinsonNeil Robinson is a Nevada County native whose great grandfather, Thomas Jefferson Robinson came to Penn Valley from Ohio in 1874. The 3,000 acres under the family’s ownership in Penn Valley, called Robinson Ranch, is one of 12 original ranches in Nevada County. The Robinson family was also instrumental in helping to start the Nevada Irrigation District, which is instrumental in providing water to agricultural operations. BYLT is working with Neil Robinson and his family to protect 1,600 acres of the Robinson Ranch to establish an agricultural conservation easement on the property. This easement will eliminate future subdivisions and development of this land, and will ensure it remains in productive agricultural use. After this easement is completed in late 2019, the Robinson Family will have protected the entire 3,000 acre ranch- the largest private land holding under conservation easement in Nevada County.

John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award Winner: Tim Kiser

John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award Winner: Tim KiserIn September 2017, Tim Kiser was appointed as Grass Valley’s City Manager after working as the City’s Engineer since 2005. Kiser is a Napa County native who graduated from Sacramento State with a degree in civil engineering. He served as a senior engineer for Placer County before moving to Grass Valley in 2005. Under Tim’s guidance, Grass Valley has revitalized the downtown region and nearly completed construction of the Wolf Creek Trail between North Star Mining Museum and the shopping areas around West McKnight Way. Additionally, the City of Grass Valley has agreed to provide $30,000 of matching funding for the Litton Trail Enhancement Project. Tim provides strong leadership with an emphasis on bringing additional state dollars to Grass Valley to improve non-motorized transportation routes and our existing roads, sidewalks and local parks. All of these accomplishments greatly enhances the quality of life in Nevada County.

“There are so many unsung conservation heroes in our community. We intend to provide a platform to acknowledge this important work and promote a culture of environmental stewardship,” says Seward.

All net proceeds will support Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT), an accredited land trust and non-profit based in Grass Valley with a mission to protect and defend the working and natural lands of the Bear and Yuba River Watersheds and empower healthy, resilient communities through Nature access and education.  There is also an opportunity to directly support a priority project each year through Fund-a-Need contributions during the evening.

“We are also excited to announce that this year’s Fund-a-Need pledges will support improvements to our very first trail project, the Litton Trail,” says Seward. “Decades later, this trail has proven to be an amazing community asset that serves all ages and abilities in the heart of a busy live, work and play center.  Our vision is to provide accommodations and upgrades that meet the needs of the community well into the future.”

Since 1990, BYLT has been a conservation leader in the Sierra Nevada region, saving more than 15,000 acres of foothill forests, oak woodlands, meadows, riparian habitat, farms and ranches. This includes over 4,000 acres of critical open space protected for currently threatened, endangered or otherwise listed as a species of special concern, 6,000 of agricultural lands and over 4,000 acres of headwaters lands. BYLT has also built and maintains over 35 miles of trails that provide access to nature for residents and visitors alike.

Live and Silent Auction – Something for everyone

2019 Gala Auction Highlights

Join in the fun of our live and silent auctions!  Just a few teasers of what is being offered:

  • Sheepherding demonstration and 1/2 Lamb from Forever Farm, Kramer Ranch
  • A day with “Redhawk” ~ Exclusive antique boat excursion on beautiful Lake Tahoe and private catered lunch
  • Three-night getaway in Luxury North Tahoe Lakeside Chinquapin Condo
  • Equestrian Ride at Robinson Ranch Forever Farm and 30lb box of Beef
  • Patio Barge for 10 people at Emerald Bay on New Bullards Bar
  • Exquisite Norfolk Island Pine wooden salad bowl handcrafted by Artist Mike Snegg
  • South African Photo Safari for 2 – Donated by Zulu Nyala Group
  • Guided Fly-Fishing Excursion for 2 with Joe Byrne and Frank Rinella, Sierra Guide Service
  • 6 Day Babine “River of Grizzlies” Expedition for 2 people with Canadian Outback Rafting
  • 2 round trip flight tickets- Southwest anywhere in US and its Territories NO BLACKOUT DATES!
  • 2 Admission Tickets – San Diego Zoo or San Diego Safari Park
  • 2 weekday nights stay for 2 and one month membership – Sierra Hot Springs
  • $100 Certificate dinner for two – New Moon Café
  • 1 Night Stay In Peppermill Tower & $100 Gift Card ($350 value) – Peppermill Reno
  • Passes to Wild & Scenic Film Festival Jan 2020, In Concert Sierra, and numerous other events
  • these are just a sampling … watch for more!

6 Day Babine “River of Grizzlies” Expedition

Canadian Outback Rafting is once again offering Bear Yuba Land Trust a 6 Day Babine “River of Grizzlies” Expedition for 2 people ~ Value $6,800. An unforgettable experience!  Visit one of the few remaining pristine and untouched areas of the world. Over 6 days you will experience the thrill of class IV whitewater rafting, encounter wildlife in the most natural setting, and rejuvenate yourself in a sacred headwaters river integral to the area’s native heritage.

Checkout video to see what you could be missing!