Conservancy Legislation Advances Amid Major Endorsements

Key labor unions representing nearly half a million California workers announced their endorsement of legislation that would create a Sierra Nevada Conservancy, arguing that the effort would create new jobs protecting the water supply watersheds of the state of California.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU), California Council of Laborers and the California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers announced their endorsement of Assembly Bill 2600 (Laird) which would create a new state Conservancy to protect the water and land resources of the region. The three labor organizations represent many rural county employees who operate water and sewage infrastructure, repair the roads, and run the landfills in counties throughout the Sierra region.

In his letter supporting AB 2600, Tim Cremins of the California-Nevada Conference of Operating Engineers stated “We believe that it will attract new financial and technical resources for local government and non-profit agencies in the region, and will be a benefit to the economy and jobs of the Sierra Cascade region.”

Meanwhile, the City and County of San Francisco voted unanimously to support Assembly Bill 2600. San Francisco joined other recent endorsers, including Attorney General Bill Lockyer, the East Bay Municipal Utilities District, the Los Angeles Water Conservation Council and dozens of businesses, including Coldwell Banker/Grassroots Realty, in its support of efforts to protect and restore the Sierra Nevada.

For a full list of endorsers, please click here.

Two bills to establish a Sierra Conservancy are expected to be heard in Assembly Appropriations Committee within the next two weeks. Assembly Bill 2600 (Laird) and Assembly Bill 1788 (Leslie) have been placed on the “suspense” file but are likely to move forward pending amendments.