Meet Syd Godfrey, our Project Manager

The Sierra Fund is lucky to have a staff dedicated to serving the Sierra Nevada region. Get to know the staff! Meet Syd Godfrey, our Project Manager.

What is your favorite place in the Sierra Nevada and why?

If I have to pick one…. Desolation Wilderness. I have so many great memories of backpacking there with friends. The stark granite landscape up there is amazing, and the lakes are clear and cold. 

How long have you been working at The Sierra Fund, and how did you end up here? 

I have been with The Sierra Fund for 10 months now, but we’ve accomplished so much since then it’s felt longer (in a good way!). After studying Conservation and Restoration at Sonoma State University, I was lucky enough to get to work in the restoration field and live on the Sonoma Coast for four years. While working out there I got involved with using prescribed fire to restore forest ecosystems and decided to get more experience with fire by working on wildland fire crews with the US Forest Service for a few years.  I briefly apprenticed as an arborist in Sacramento and worked on a post fire vegetation research crew out of UC Davis, before starting a master’s degree in Wildland Management at Chico State University. 

Through one of my courses, I was introduced to the work that The Sierra Fund is doing and a few months later I was working on the project we had learned about!

Projects you’re working on that you’re most excited about?

I am really excited about the work we are doing to restore abandoned hydraulic mines. The work involves fuel reduction at the sites and using that cut biomass to create biochar that will be used onsite to restore soil health at these severely degraded sites.  Utilizing material that has for a long time been seen as a waste product, and turning it into something that can benefit the ecosystem is incredible and may be the future of forest restoration work.

What do you like to do outside of work?

These days it seems like running has taken over a lot of my time outside of work. I’ve been exploring the trail systems around Nevada City, Grass Valley, and Auburn while training for upcoming races. Now that I am living in the Sierra near so many great trout streams, I am looking forward to getting back into fly fishing.

Anything else people should know about you?

While I didn’t grow up in the Sierra, it has always been an integral part of my life. I’m happy to now call it home and be giving back to the communities and ecosystems that have given me so much joy and inspiration throughout my life.