Building Partnerships to Secure Climate Funding for the Sierra Nevada

Picture of Kaeleigh Reynolds

Kaeleigh Reynolds

Project Manager, Sierra CAMP & Climate Programs

Building Partnerships to Secure Climate Funding for the Sierra Nevada

Sierra CAMP is excited to announce the Office of Planning and Research (OPR) has awarded a Regional Resilience Grant Program (RRGP) grant to a group of Sierra CAMP members! A partnership between Sierra Business Council, Nevada County, and Climate Transformation Alliance’s (CTA) governing partners (i.e., the Town of Truckee, Tahoe Donner Public Utility District, and Truckee Tahoe Airport District), and the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe came together to develop a comprehensive climate resiliency project with multiple co-benefits. The project, “Building Climate Resilience in the Central Sierra Region”, will accomplish the following:

  1. Develop a climate collaborative in western Nevada County
  2. Develop a Climate Adaptation and Resilience Plan (CARP) for Nevada County 
  3. Expand and support the programmatic efforts of CTA
  4. Provide unrestricted funding for the Nisenan Tribe to build capacity and climate resiliency, participate in the new western county climate collaborative, and help develop the CARP by embedding Indigenous Knowledge

Sierra CAMP is proud to have provided grant writing support on this successful project. By bringing multiple Sierra CAMP members together, this group was able to leverage the expertise, experience, and resources of each member–including combining Sierra CAMP’s two hours of technical assistance per membership year! With additional gracious fiscal support from Nevada County and CTA, the group was able to submit a strong grant application. RRGP was highly competitive, with more than double the available funding requested in applications. 

As we go into 2024, California has announced a likely state budget shortfall of $68 billion. This will likely impact state climate funding, meaning agencies like OPR and Strategic Growth Council (SGC) may provide fewer climate funding opportunities. In an already competitive and underfunded category, application processes for climate change mitigation and adaptation funding will become more cutthroat. How can we guarantee climate resilience funding in the Sierra Nevada? How can we keep momentum going when the prospects look bleak? The key antidote to the highly competitive funding landscape is partnerships. 

Sierra CAMP and CTA have doubled down on the goals of building capacity and resilience in the Sierra Nevada through partnerships and shared efforts. When we work together, we find overlapping priorities, outcomes that can support one another, and project synergies. We can combine resources to submit regional project applications like the “Building Climate Resilience in the Central Sierra Region” team did. 

Developing partnerships, shared goals, and taking collective action is a key component of CTA’s work. CTA’s public-private partnership is committed to collaboration, innovation, and accountability through shared vision. Through this format, CTA has shown that by bringing diverse organizations together, viable projects can be identified and funded. CTA has been extremely successful in the first two years of operation, and as more progress is made, CTA should be looked to as a replicable model for furthering shared visions on climate action.

To further accomplish this, Sierra CAMP intends to increase collaborative efforts by tracking member project ideas and goals, identifying project synergies, bringing partners together, and connecting partners to funding opportunities.

Together, these efforts will lead to competitive projects that have co-benefits, serve diverse and vulnerable populations, and have the capacity to implement awards. We can’t do this work in a silo, but in tandem, we can move the needle to increase resilience.

Sierra Business Council looks forward to working on the “Building Climate Resilience in the Central Sierra Region” project. Congratulations team!

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