Join our Alliance for Environmental Leadership team!

Leslie Warren, Chair

Believe in smart growth (not suburban sprawl) and a healthy environment?  Want to influence our local elected and appointed officials that control development in the foothills?  Join our Alliance for Environmental Leadership (AEL) by e-mailing our Committee Chair, Leslie Warren, at  Leslie will get you involved!

June 14, 2019 UPDATE:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: Phase 2 of the Citizens Initiated Smart Growth Plan for West Placer is now available!  Click HERE to review the presentation.

UPCOMING EVENT: Thursday July 11th, 6:30 pm, THE GREEN NEW DEAL Workshop –  Join us!!!!

The work of AEL is being recognized by agencies and organizations in the region.  It is very exciting to report that  we’ve been invited to participate in three multi-jurisdictional planning efforts related to the 1) future of transit,  2) expansion and industrial development the Western Placer waste disposal site, and 3) housing allocations in the six county Sacramento Area Council of Governments’ realm.

If you are able to represent AEL at one of these confabs, please contact me:

1) Placer Sacramento Gateway Transportation Plan Stakeholders Meeting (three 4 hour meetings)

2) Solid Waste Management Working Group (WPWMA) (monthly meetings)

3) Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) Housing Allocation Working Group  (undetermined)

Thank you to Chris, Jan, Leslie, California Native Plant Society, Cheryl, Larissa, Save Granite Bay, Audubon Society, Sierra Club Motherlode Chapter and others for contributing funds to pay our legal bill to Shute Mihaly Weinberger for the letter they prepared for the DEIR on the Sunset Area Plan and Placer Ranch Specific Plan. The letter also set the case for the Citizen Initiated Smart Growth Plan to be part of the Sunset Area Project EIR and be analyzed as an environmentally superior alternative to the County’s Plan. We have a funding shortfall of $800 for this legal letter. If you are able to make a tax-deductible contribution to pay off our legal expenses, please, send your check to the Planning and Conservation League, 1107  9th Street, Suite 901,  Sacramento, CA 95814.  Make a note in the memo line that it is for AEL.

That’s all for now.

Together we’re a stronger  voice.
Leslie Warren, Chair

Alliance for Environmental Leadership

April 2, 2019

Dear AEL,

FYI, below is the letter I sent to Placer County Planning Commissioners following AEL’s presentation to them on environmental and economic benefits of the Citizen Initiated Smart Growth Plan.  Our invitation to present the CISGP to the Commission was an unprecedented opportunity to walk the  Commissioners through the the logic of “smart growth,” and we feel good about the reception.

Genevieve Marsh, AEL’s Master Planner, is now at work on Phase 2 of the CISGP.  Phase 2 sets forth the economics behind our Phase 1 Zoning Plan.

Other news:

We are pleased to announce that AEL will soon have a web site.  Our URL is:  It is a mouthful – I know!, but every abbreviation was taken.  Carol Holliman is spearheading this project and will welcome your help building our web site and maintaining it,  AEL’s 14 aligned organizations will be able to link with the AEL website and we will host a combined calendar of events/meetings there.  Pls. send me a note if you are able to assist.

If you are able to commit a few hours a week to help us out, please send an email.  We need help with our news outreach, data base, website, event organization, correspondence and event publicity.

Just send a note and we’ll put you to work!

Together we’re a stronger voice.


Leslie Warren, Chair
Alliance for Environmental Leadership

Dear AEL Community,

AEL organized to 1) provide public comment on development that poses regionally significant threats to quality of life and the environment, 2) legally challenge these projects if they are approved, 3) encourage and facilitate citizen participation in local governance so that environmental voices are fairly represented.

This memo concerns #3.

A. Charter Review Commission is being formed and applications are due on March 21. 

The Charter Review Commission is formed once every five years to review policies and procedures in our County and to make recommendations to the Board of Supervisors. A more detailed description of the Charter Commission’s activities is in the link below.

Should our County divest of fossil fuels in their investment portfolio or abide by Section 84308 which aims to prohibit bidders or project applicants from making financial contributions? I am sure you, too, have thoughts about what the Commission may consider.

B. AEL has been invited to take a seat on the Placer County Waste Management Authority’s Waste Action Plan Working Group

This group will provide input to the WPWMA as they consider “expansion”.  This is an important leadership opportunity for environmental community. Is expansion into vernal pool wetlands the only way forward? Has WPWMA considered advocating for a phase-out of single use plastic or instituting a comprehensive waste reduction education program?  For information on how to apply for a seat on the proposed Working Group, contact me or Julie Leimbach, consultant to the WPWMA, email address 

News Notes: 

Commissioner Wayne Nader proposed, and the County Planning Commission invited AEL to present the Citizen Initiated Smart Growth Plan at their meeting tentatively set for March 28, 2019.  When the agenda for this meeting is posted, I will share it with you  in hopes that you will attend.

We are pleased to extend a welcome the Citizen Climate Lobby to join our AEL coalition and will be sharing a table with the CCL at the upcoming April 20 Earth Day event in downtown Auburn.  If you are able to represent AEL at this family fun event, please let me know. We’re planning an Earth Day parade too – so save the morning of April 20 to make signs and parade with friends and family.  Strollers, puppies and bicycles welcome!

Together we’re a stronger voice.

Leslie Warren, Chair, Alliance for Environmental Leadership

Citizens Speak for Climate Resiliency and Fair Housing

AADC and 11 other Placer and Nevada County organizations have aligned with the Alliance for Environmental Leadership (AEL), because when all the cattle are looking in the same direction, politicians pay attention. Join us!

Aligned Organizations:

Defend Granite Bay

Placer 350

North Fork Alliance

California Native Plants Society (Redbud)

Citizens Climate Lobby

Sierra Foothill Audubon Society

Save Auburn Ravine Steelhead and Salmon

Friends of Auburn Ravine

El Don Neighborhood Advisory Committee

Community Environmental Alliance

Gold Country Wildlife Rescue

Protect the American River PARC

Placer County is “planning” to “absorb” 50% of all growth anticipated in the five county Sacramento region in the three next decades. Unchecked by AEL and citizens, Placer County’s Board of Supervisors and Cities in the County are entertaining projects from developers that will increase our current population by 55% to 220% (depends on which agency you talk to) by 2050. A single project proposed on Western Placer County farmland will generate 825,000 new daily vehicular trips on existing roadways.

The impact of this scale of growth and change; and the type of development being proposed (single family sprawl) will irrevocably alter what makes the foothills a great place to live. There is no future for our quality of life or for the species that share this habitat with us; unless we make our voices heard.

Among AEL’s founding goals is “addressing impacts of projects with regional significance” to climate, air, water, traffic and our quality of life. The County’s Sunset Industrial Area mega project’s Draft EIR, recently released, will create a great opportunity for citizens to address how they want their community to build out.

AEL is not opposing development Western Placer, we are opposing the County’s obsolete auto dependent development vision. We are opposing projects that fail to provide fair housing opportunities. AEL received grant funds to design a a future-forward alternative to urban sprawl that provides rapid transit and compact carbon neutral development and housing opportunities that reflect the Placer County demographic – where 57% of us are very low, low and moderate income.

At present, County policy is that only 10% of housing units produced in major subdivisions be priced for low, very low and moderate income households- and more often than not, developers pay a fee to the County of $4,400.00 per unit of the require 10% and avoid providing any available housing at all. Enough is enough!

AEL received funding from the Sierra Foothills Audubon Society, one of the organizations aligned with AEL, to put forward the climate-resilient, low carbon, transit-friendly alternative to the County’s proposed West Placer project. Our Citizen Initiated Smart Growth Plan needs your input. Be part of this important work – beginning on Dec. 13th!

AEL brings together existing like-minded organization and citizens for a common cause – defending natural ecosystems and advocating for climate resilient and transit friendly communities providing housing opportunities for all citizens in Placer and

AEL is a platform for citizens and organizations to defend what we love here in the foothills. AADC is organized to advance democratic public policy, analyze issues and educate. AADC aligned with AEL because together we are a stronger voice for educating voters and encouraging active citizenship.

For information on active citizenship and advocacy, AADC members are welcome to join our AADC Advocacy Committee or attend our AEL meetings – the one coming up on December 13th will be a great way to get involved.

Send an email to and we’ll add you to our mailing list. Together we’re a stronger voice.


Leslie Warren, Chair
Alliance for Environmental Leadership

On future third Thursdays, our AEL will focus on key issues in the upcoming Sunset Industrial Area Community Plan/Placer Ranch Specific Plan EIR and Kenny Ranch EIR:


Citizen Initiated Smart Growth Plan Proposal

Click here to view AEL Smart Growth Plan Proposal

At a recent Environmental Workshop AEL members reviewed a presentation prepared by Architectural Designer, Genevieve Marsh, about the West Placer Sunset Industrial Area/Placer Ranch proposed development and its impact on 10,571 acres of farmland and vernal pools.  AEL’s next step is to have Ms. Marsh prepare a Rezoning Plan for that same acreage which is environmentally sensitive.  AEL will then champion this alternative plan with Placer County’s Board of Supervisors.
To better understand this disastrous proposed development below is a Fact Sheet outlining its magnitude.  Consider joining the AEL team to help us fight to protect our natural ecosystems and advocate for sustainable and inclusive community development (see our Mission/Goals and 2018 Plan below) !  Send an email to and we’ll add you to our list!

The Alliance for Environmental Leadership brings together existing like-minded organizations and citizens for a common cause – defending natural ecosystems and advocating for sustainable, inclusive communities in Placer and Nevada Counties.

The Alliance for Environmental Leadership (AEL) is a forum to:

  • Protect our quality of life through active participation in local governmental planning and policy making;
  • Recruit and train local leaders who will advocate for natural ecosystems and for sustainable and inclusive communities; and
  • Build a revolving legal defense fund to support expenses for expert witnesses and challenges to projects or policies that have significant, unmitigated impacts on the environment.


1) Register as a corporation with the State of California.

2) Affiliate with a broad base of environmental and community organizations and citizens.

3) Conduct monthly forums – location and dates, alternating between Nevada and Placer Counties.

4) Elect AEL Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary, Treasurer/Legal Defense Fund Spokesperson and Planning & Conservation League Liaison from among affiliated organizations.  These officers will work together to create Bylaws with rules of order and procedures for AEL.

5) Execute Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Planning and Conservation League to be the Fiduciary Agent for AEL. All contributions to AEL’s legal defense fund will be managed by PCLF affording donors with tax benefits.

6) Review, comment on and coordinate analysis of the Sunset Industrial Plan Area and Placer Ranch Specific Planwhich will potentially impact regional C02 levels, agricultural soils and wet lands, regional air quality, water supply, species extinction, housing prices and availability and quality of life.

7) Recruit and support the needs of local leaders seeking public offices/appointed positions.

8) Build a revolving legal defense fund to support expenses for expert witnesses and challenges to projects or policies that harm the environment or are not inclusive.

9) Review, comment on and analyze the “Sustainability Plan(s)”under development for Nevada and Placer Counties and Cities which will set long-term policy for addressing emissions from sources and activities generating climate risks.


The Alliance for Environmental Leadership (AEL) unites existing like-minded organizations and individuals to support one another, mobilize leaders and be a stronger voice together. Rather than being a “new” organization – AEL creates a forum for all of us to work together.

Send a letter of commitment or a resolution of affiliation to our e-mail (  Sample letter below.

When the Board of Supervisors say: “Who is in this Alliance?” we can then identify our members.

There’s power in numbers.  Together we’re a stronger voice.  Join us today!

Leslie Warren, Acting Chair of Alliance for Environmental Leadership

Consider donating to our AEL Defense Fund to provide the dollars we need to hire consultants and lawyers to fight to protect our rural environment here in the foothills.  Click here to become an AEL DONOR.  Please add “Alliance for Environmental Leadership” in the Comment field below your donation amount.  Thank you!