Chapter 1 – SOME HISTORY
I am currently a member of the governing board of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) , my second term, representing the North Central Subregion (there are 6 subregions in SNC). The Conservancy, a California state agency created by the Legislature (AB2600) in 2004, has a mission “to initiate, encourage and support efforts that improve the environmental, economic and social well-being of the Sierra Nevada Region, its communities and the citizens of California.” The SNC has an excellent website where you can view information on Board of Directors, Grants that have been awarded, meeting information, minutes and much more.
Funding for SNC’s programs comes from the California Environmental License Plate Fund and Proposition 84 (Safe Drinking Water, Water Quality and Supply, Flood Control, River and Coast Protection Bond Act) approved by California voters in 2006. SNC was given $54 million of Prop 84 funds for grants and grant administration. By March of last year it had awarded over $50 million to 296 projects throughout the Sierra Nevada.
It is the goal of SNC to support the Sierra Nevada region by funding local projects, providing technical help and supporting collaborative projects in partnership with local government, nonprofits and Tribal organizations. Programs aim to accomplish the following:
Increased opportunity for tourism and recreation
Aid in the preservation of working landscapes
Reduce the risk of natural disasters, such as wildfire
Protect and improve water and air quality
Assist the economy
Enhance public use and enjoyment of public lands
Protect, conserve and restore the physical, cultural, archaeological, historical and living resources
For a number of years it seemed the Conservancy was funding mostly grants that placed land in trusts. About 4 years ago, representatives of the North Central Subregion made a push for more funding of projects to promote good forest and watershed management practices. SNC governing board agreed and recently, projects have focused on those goals.
This is the first in a series of blogs I will be writing about the Conservancy and its grant programs and focus areas of Healthy Forests and Abandoned Mine Lands. I see problems within that need to be addressed.