Advocacy to Increase State Investment and Smart Policy to Improve Forest Health

The accelerating climate crisis and historic scars from past land management are stressing Sierra natural processes that underpin clean air, healthy rivers, vital habitats, vibrant communities, and prime recreation. The increased severity of fire threatens our  Sierra communities’ safety, water supply, wildlife habitat, carbon stores, Native American sacred sites, recreation, and local economies.

The Sierra Fund works in collaboration with other Sierra-led organizations, including Sierra Forest Legacy, Sierra Institute for Communities and the Environment, American River Conservancy, and a hired advocacy team in Sacramento, to champion increasing state investment and advance smarter policies to improve forest health. Collectively the partnership has over 100 years of experience in forest management, prescribed burning, forest restoration, hydraulic mine restoration, and workforce development. We are working to ensure that entities in California define forest health to reflect a comprehensive approach that includes watershed resiliency, meadow restoration, wildfire protection, mine remediation, carbon sequestration, refugia protection, nature-based solutions, and species recovery, and to stimulate public and private investment in the interest of the natural resources and communities of the headwaters to the benefit of the entire state.

In 2023 we co-led with our advocacy partners a Sierra Forest Resilience and Recovery Tour, co-hosted by Senators John Laird and Brian Dahle. The tour for legislative staff showcased on-the-ground examples of problems and solutions and highlighted how state policies and budgets can best support smart approaches to improve forest resilience and support recovery from catastrophic wildfires. This helped inspire and gain new support to advance sustained, improved approaches to managing forest resilience, protecting communities, and reducing catastrophic wildfires.

In addition, The Sierra Fund was a proud partner with the Sierra Business Council and Sierra Nevada Alliance co-hosting Sierra Day at the Capitol. This event attracted over fifty Sierra leaders to advocate for resource investments, and specific budget asks to support our collective conservation and restoration goals benefiting the Sierra Nevada and the state’s water supply, air quality, carbon-storing forests, and premier recreation.

In 2023, our advocacy helped restore hundreds of millions to the state budget to fund numerous grant programs that Sierra land trusts, conservation groups, and local communities depend on to do conservation and restoration."

Joan Clayburgh
Executive Director, The Sierra Fund