$300,000 for Conservation

The Sierra Fund is proud to announce that in the last six months its Board of Directors has approved grants and/or loans totaling nearly $300,000 to seven organizations working to protect the land, air, water and human resources of the Sierra Nevada. The work of all these organizations is in direct alignment with The Sierra Fund’s Integrated Sierra Investment Strategy (ISIS), which outlines the immediate steps necessary to protect the irreplaceable resources of the Sierra Nevada. The full ISIS report may be found at http://www.sierraFund.org/docs/isis_summary.pdf.

The Sierra Nevada are California’s last great reservoir for clean water, wilderness, working landscapes and wildlife. Over the coming year, The Sierra Fund will increase it ISIS grantmaking in order to bring conservation investments in the Sierra Nevada to a scale that will match the immediate risks the region currently faces.

South Yuba River Citizens League

A grant of $50,000 was made in support of SYRCL’s multi-year campaign to restore the endangered wild Chinook salmon to the Yuba River. An additional $2,000 was granted to support SYRCL’s River Teachers program, which helps students deepen their connection to the Yuba River Watershed and develop their role as stewards of the watershed and its salmon population.

Sierra Nevada Alliance

The Sierra Fund made a bridge loan to allow this Sierra-wide membership organization to initiate its Sierra Watershed Program, which will strengthen local efforts to implement non-point source controls in over 20 communities throughout the Sierra, improving both water quality and the capacity of local watershed organizations to implement ongoing pollution control measures. This loan is secured against a three-year, $500,000 federal contract under the Nonpoint Source Program’s CWA section 319(h), administered by the State Water Resources Control Board.

Michael Killegrew

The Sierra Fund awarded its Range of Light Award to Michael Killegrew, in support of his activities to address the problematic checkerboard pattern of public and private land ownership throughout the Sierra. Working in concert with the Trust for Public Land and The Sierra Fund, Michael helped to realign ownership of public and private lands in ways that improve conservation practices and enhance habitat and ecological diversity.

Sierra Watch

In support of Sierra Watch’s ongoing campaign to protect Martis Valley from irresponsible development and ensure effective planning for threatened Sierra landscapes. Sierra Watch is employing a range of strategies that include media outreach, grassroots organizing and litigation to stop plans to build up to 600,000 new homes and related commercial development in the pristine Martis Valley just outside of Lake Tahoe.

Planning & Conservation League

In support of PCL’s work to coordinate advocacy and educational efforts throughout California directed at increasing and organizing conservation investments in the land, air and water resources of the Sierra Nevada. PCL will seek to maximize the efforts of urban, suburban, minority and other non-traditional Sierran allies toward protecting and restoring the environmental health of the region. PCL will work to develop new legislative allies for Sierra conservation, with a particular focus on the successful passage of a Sierra Nevada Conservancy and the identification of bond and other funding for conservation efforts in the region.

California Wilderness Coalition
Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign

In support of a partnership between California Wilderness Coalition, Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign, and Trust for Public Land in the Sierra Checkerboard Initiative, designed to address the problematic checkerboard pattern of public and private land ownership throughout the Sierra. CWC and SNFPC will help develop a scientific assessment to support a land exchange/acquisition plan in four Sierra counties in which the checkerboard ownership pattern proliferates. The project will identify science-based opportunities where realigned ownership would improve conservation and forest management practices, enhance key habitat areas, maximize ecological diversity, and increase areas of protected wilderness or wild and scenic rivers.

In addition to its ISIS grants, The Sierra Fund made additional grants in 2003 to the following organizations:

Californians for GE-Free Agriculture

A grant of $100,000 ($50,000 outright, $50,000 1:1 match) was made to support the education of farmers and consumers in the Sierra foothills, Central Valley and coastal California about the problems associated with genetically engineered (GE) crops, along with advocacy to prevent the planting of GE crops in California.

Green Corps

A $10,000 challenge grant helped Green Corps provide strategic training and skill development to 25 new environmental organizers providing critical field support for environmental problems around the United States.

Northern Forest Alliance

To provide training and support for a seasonal intern to conduct outreach on behalf of Northern Forest Alliance’s work to achieve a sustainable future for the 26-million acre Northern Forest.