Now that 2021 is coming to a close, we wanted to reflect on some of the successes we have had in our advocacy work this year. As a conservation organization with an extensive member group network, we rely on our members and partners to achieve our goals of bringing the Sierra Nevada together in the interest of the restoration and protection of the entire region. Our Member Group Program is essential in strengthening our individual efforts and forming a region-wide force when it comes to tackling Sierra challenges.
The member group dues we receive help us pay for our annual membership in the Sierra Consortium and fund the paid lobbyist the Consortium hires. The Sierra Consortium coordinates advocacy efforts in the region and lobbies for our interests in the state Capitol.
We wanted to highlight some of the great work we have done together this year, with the help of our member groups and donors. Some of our major successes include:
- Advocated for and helped to secure $536 million in Early Action Wildfire Funding, including $20 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
- Advocated for and helped to secure an additional $988 million for wildfire resilience in the 2021-22 State Budget, including an additional $50 million for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy.
- Advocated for the inclusion and expansion of Sierra Nevada priorities in a 2022 climate resilience bond. Amidst a historic budget surplus, pivoted our focuses to securing these priorities in the 2021-22 State Budget. Helped to secure a $3.7 billion climate resilience package, including historic funding for regional climate planning, conservation, and nature-based climate solutions.
- Advocated for the creation of a new prescribed fire claims fund, which was successfully established as a $25 million fund in the 2021-22 State Budget.
- Advocated for the successful passage of policies that put into statute important forest health and wildfire resilience planning and implementation strategies, including SB 456 which put into statute the California Forest and Fire Resilience Action Plan, and AB 9 which put into statute the Regional Forest and Fire Capacity Program.
- Advocated for the successful passage of policies focused on expanding the full toolkit of forest management activities, including prescribed fire (AB 642 & SB 332), ecologically-based biomass utilization (AB 322), and the Good Neighbor Authority (AB 697).
We are a conservation organization that depends on our member groups to join together to achieve our vision of a resilient Sierra with healthy and vibrant ecosystems and communities that are collectively cared for through thriving partnerships. We are thrilled with the work that we as a network have achieved this year, and are looking forward to more successes through these partnerships in 2022.