California’s Sierra Nevada and Southern Cascade Region

Natural Wonders.  Vital Resources.  World-Class Recreation.

California’s Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade region spans from the Oregon border to the Tehachapis, and from the rugged eastern Sierra to the golden foothills above California’s Central Valley.

  • Enormous carbon-capturing forests, designated a global hot spot for biodiversity including the world’s largest living thing, the mythic, Giant Sequoia whose lavish crowns harbor entire ecosystems suspended 250 feet in the air
  • Dramatic glaciated and fault-carved landscapes that store and convey precious water: numerous crystalline lakes, unspoiled mountain meadows like Sierra and Martis Valleys, and deep granite-lined river canyons like Yosemite Valley
  • Oak-studded foothills where the first Californians, following the Emigrant Trail, established cattle ranches that still remain and settled a mosaic of enchanting Victorian villages that today lure visitors to experience our pioneer and Gold Rush history
  • High desert vistas dotted with the oldest living thing: bristlecone pines that grow in scattered subalpine groves; and small herds of endangered Bighorn sheep with enormous horns weighing over 30 pounds; and Mono Basin sage grouse with their elaborate courtship rituals
  • The spectacular the Pacific Crest Trail where hikers witness John Muir’s “range of light,” the highest snowy mountain peaks in the contiguous United States with Mount Whitney at 14,505 feet, and solitary but active volcanoes of Shasta and Lassen

    Dry Creek Preserve, Sequoia Riverlands Trust. Photo by John Greening

The inter-dependencies between California’s Sierra Cascades and the coastal urban and valley agricultural regions cannot be overstated: clean air, abundant water, timber reserves, productive range lands, recreation and tourism.  All of these vital natural and economic assets are facing profound threats.

Fourteen local land trusts based in the Sierra Nevada and California Cascades, together with their five state and national partners, want to make sure that our region continues to thrive. These 19 groups comprise the Sierra Cascade Land Trust Council, a network of land trusts acting as a collective voice in this diverse region to protect the natural, historic and agricultural resources for generations to come.

Yednock Conservation Easement, Mono Basin

Yednock, Eastern Sierra Land Trust

Topping Ranch, Sierra Foothill Conservancy. Photo by Thelma Valdez.