The Sierra Fund has a small but impressive presence in the State Capitol. When issues arise that directly relate to the Sierra Nevada region we are asked to meet with leaders in the Capitol to share our perspective. We continue to monitor budget proposals and advocate for funding investment in the Sierra Nevada; participate in efforts to improve investment criteria for government agencies that give out public dollars, ensuring that the funds are efficiently and effectively invested; and participate in efforts to identify and secure new funding sources for the Sierra, such as watershed improvement fees or investment of greenhouse gas funds.

The need for public investment in the human and natural resources of the Sierra Nevada has never been more pressing. Even as the region’s population grows at a rate nearly double the state’s average, the state’s dependence on clean drinking water from the Sierra Nevada has increased to over 60 percent.

The Sierra Fund works to achieve a more equitable allocation of state and federal financial resources directed to the Sierra Nevada in the following ways:

  • Educating policy makers and political leaders about the importance of the Sierra in order to increase state and federal funding to the region
  • Highlighting private contributions to leverage public conservation investments
  • Building broad public support for new public investments in the Sierra Nevada

In the past eight years, The Sierra Fund has worked to target more than $105 million in public land and water investments in the Sierra Nevada.  These funds are being used to protect tens of thousands of acres of threatened forests and meadows, many farms and ranches, miles of wild rivers, and beloved places like Mono Lake, Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and the Yuba River.

Past Advocacy Efforts

Citizen Lobby Days were an important part of The Sierra Fund’s voice in the State Capitol.

Sierra Cascade Grant Program – In 2002, The Sierra Fund served as chair of Proposition 50, which brought $30 million to this program.

Sierra Nevada Conservancy – The Sierra Fund co-sponsored legislation to establish this new state agency, and continues to advocate for its budget and sustainable funding.

Proposition 84 – The Sierra Fund’s support of this proposition secured $54 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.

Sierra License Plate – The Sierra Fund sponsored legislation to create a specialty Sierra Nevada License Plate.

Mining’s Toxic Legacy – The Sierra Fund published the first comprehensive evaluation of the legacy of California’s Gold Rush, including documentation on the environmental, health and cultural impacts, and presenting a strategic plan of action for state, federal and local governments, non-governmental organizations and property owners.

SMARA Reform Bills – The Sierra Fund sponsored legislation to improve implementation and enforcement of surface mining in California.

Suction Dredge Mining Reform – The Sierra Fund advocates to reform small-scale mining laws and regulations to protect waterways, wildlife, and cultural resources.