The effort to safeguard California’s natural wonders and vital resources is enormous and complex. Within the Sierra Nevada and northern California Cascades region are watershed-based communities with diverse local attributes, histories, and economies. Independent land trusts were formed in these communities to work with willing private landowners on a voluntary basis to protect land they deemed important. National and statewide conservancy organizations have been working on broader landscape-scale projects for many years.
Collectively land trusts for more than 80 years have made great progress in permanently protecting and stewarding natural resources on private land, and acquiring and transferring land to public agencies – all tolled, more than 1.4 million acres to date. Nearly all of the land trusts are nationally accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission which affirms the excellence, durability and permanence of our work and binds us together with a common set of standards and practices.
Originally, these land trust came together in 2003 to strengthen voluntary land conservation of its member organizations. The first collaboration was to support the establishment of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, a California state agency created by bi-partisan legislation (AB 2600) and signed into law in 2004. Today, each of the 17 groups are inspired by common goals and practices but each are highly independent and serve local interests. Our work supports local, regional, statewide and federal land use policies. We work with policy-makers to comprehend critical and complex conservation issues and inter-dependencies.
SCLTC is a public benefit corporation organized under the laws of California and is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Our annual IRS 990 filing is available upon request.