The Sierra Fund has played a key role in the vision, establishment and continued support of the new Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
In 2004, The Sierra Fund co-sponsored Assembly Bill 2600, the successful bipartisan legislation creating the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. This historic legislation, known officially as the Laird-Leslie Sierra Nevada Conservancy Act, was signed by Governor Schwarzenegger September 23, 2004 on the banks of the Bear River, culminating a 25-year conversation about how best to organize public funds to protect the region’s land and water resources. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy was modeled on the successful efforts of the Coastal and Tahoe Conservancies, and its 25 million acres make it the state’s largest conservancy.
As lead sponsor of the legislation, The Sierra Fund worked to ensure unprecedented bipartisan support that was crucial to the success of the effort. Once the bill was passed, The Sierra Fund successfully advocated for more than $3 million in first-year operational funding for the Conservancy and in 2007 supported the budget for their first grant program that gave away $17.5 million for programs to protect and restore the region’s lakes, rivers and lands.
Currently, The Sierra Fund continues to serve as a leading advocate to secure ongoing funding for the Conservancy’s core operating programs.
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy initiates, encourages, and supports efforts that improve the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region, its communities and the citizens of California. SNC Region is comprised of all or part of 22 counties and over 25 million acres the Region is California’s principal watershed, supplying 65% of the developed water supply.
For more information, visit the Conservancy’s website: http://www.sierranevadaconservancy.ca.gov/.