SNC adopts new five-year Strategic Plan, supports four forest-resilience projects

Jun 6, 2024 | SNC Updates

California poppies densely scattered across across a slope that goes to a river. SNC's Strategic Plan graphic on the lower right.
Photography: Joseph Dondelinger.

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Governing Board has approved a new 2024–2029 Strategic Plan. This plan, approved at the latest meeting, serves as a blueprint for the next five years. It will guide the development of programs, policies, and actions it takes to fulfill its mission of improving the environmental, economic, and social well-being of California’s Sierra-Cascade Region.

“The adoption of our new Strategic Plan is an important moment for the Sierra Nevada Conservancy as we chart our course for the next five years,” said Angela Avery, Executive Officer of the SNC. “Climate change, megafires, and Covid have created profound changes in the Sierra-Cascade region since our last Strategic Plan was created in 2019, and this plan reflects the ways that we are adapting, and staying the course, to serve this vital and dynamic region.”

SNC supports four forest-resilience projects

The Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) Governing Board awarded a little more than $6 million to four different projects to help with the planning and implementation of forest-health efforts. All four projects will promote recovery and resilience to disturbances, such as wildfire, in the Sierra-Cascade.

The projects, in the northern and central Sierra-Cascade will help to improve wildfire and forest resilience in and around vulnerable communities. Three of the four projects were awarded conditionally based on funding availability of the 2024 Budget Act. The projects are located in Nevada, Placer, and Shasta counties.

The largest conditional grant of $2,449,498 went to the National Forest Foundation to help protect homes and infrastructure in the wildland-urban interface around the communities of Alpine Meadows and Olympic Valley. Through mastication and hand thinning, the National Forest Foundation will work with a variety of partners, including the Tahoe National Forest, to reduce dense fuels on at least 764 acres near Alpine Meadows.

Another conditional grant for $1,280,200 was awarded to the Truckee Donner Land Trust to implement a Timber Harvest Plan for the northeast end of Royal Gorge to continue efforts to improve water quality and reduce fuels on approximately 291 acres in and around the Serene Lakes neighborhood. The work will greatly help to minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the area.

In neighboring Nevada County, the Yuba Watershed Institute will utilize $823,500 to improve forest conditions on roughly 195 acres in the Little Deer Creek watershed.

The third conditional grant based on the 2024 Budget Act was a $1,500,000 award to the Pit Resource Conservation District to help construct a new sawmill that will manufacture lumber from nearby fuels-reduction projects. Not only will the new sawmill help to increase the pace and scale of forest-health work throughout the Sierra-Cascade, but it will also help nearby communities by providing approximately 30 new jobs, depending on operational capacity.

View more information on the complete list of projects funded by the SNC board at the June meeting.