Government Affairs

Sierra Business Council’s Government & Community Affairs team advocates for the Sierra’s interests to elevate the issues that impact our communities and ensure the region’s value is recognized in legislative outcomes. We work with local, regional, and statewide partners to advocate for policies that enhance the communities, economy, and environment of the Sierra.

The Sierra Nevada is critical to the State of California.

Our priorities for the Sierra Nevada support the region’s contributions to the state, including water supply, air quality, carbon sequestration, and the economic impact of recreation and other industries.

Restoring funding to state programs that use nature-based solutions and conservation to build climate, wildfire, water, and community resilience is important not just for Sierra Nevada communities, but for all Californians.

Policy Priorities for the Sierra Nevada

Sierra Business Council's Government Affairs team in front of the California State Capitol.
SBC's Government & Community Affairs team

California’s historic natural resources investments over the last two years have resulted in significant progress on climate adaptation and forest health goals. We can’t afford to stop now. Climate and natural resources-focused programs should be a legislative priority and must not bear an outsized burden in budget cuts and funding delays.

We urge Governor Newsom and legislative leaders to protect and sustain climate, wildfire, and forest resilience investments in the following programs:

  • Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force: Landscape-level restoration grants through state conservancies, workforce development, fire prevention, and biomass solutions to support forest restoration and air quality goals
  • Community Resilience: Adaptation and planning grants through the Office of Planning and Research and Strategic Growth Council
  • 30×30/Nature-Based Solutions: Land conservation, biodiversity, and habitat connectivity through the Wildlife Conservation Board

What's at stake if we reduce investment in the Sierra?

Sierra resources critical to California are degraded and under threat.

  • Unprecedented wildfire is hammering the Sierra. Fires are moving faster, burning larger areas, and burning at far higher severity – threatening the Sierra communities and ecosystems that the state depends on.
  • Unhealthy overcrowded forests reduce natural carbon storage and increase the potential for extreme wildfires. Investing in forest and watershed restoration, forestry workforce development, and land conservation pays off, creating cleaner air, wildfire resilience, and water security for all Californians.
  • Over 140,000 acres of meadows are degraded from past management, causing erosion, compromising downstream water infrastructure, increasing flood risk, and threatening the ability to sequester carbon in forests. Investing in our watersheds is critical to protecting the state’s water supply, providing wildlife habitat, and sustaining an economy based on outdoor recreation.

Get Involved: Sierra Consortium

The Sierra Consortium is a coalition of Sierra-based conservation and community sustainability organizations focused on helping California’s decision-makers recognize, understand, and act on policies affecting the region. Connect with us at

The Sierra's forests and watersheds are in crisis.

Let's work together to build resilience.

The last three years have seen the largest wildfires in California’s history, burning over 1.5 million acres in the Sierra Nevada alone and causing public health emergencies and economic disruption across the state. Tree mortality continues to threaten forests across the range.

There is good news, though. Investments made by the state to ecologically thin forests and protect communities have made a difference by reducing the intensity of catastrophic fires. Through initiatives such as the Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force and 30×30, there are actionable plans to restore forests, protect communities, adapt to climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Members of the Sierra Consortium stand by to partner with the state to implement these plans and create resilient communities and landscapes.

To join the Sierra Consortium and learn more, please contact 

Sierra Consortium Members as of June 2023

Recent Advocacy Updates:

Steve Frisch, Stacy Corless, and Assemblymember Jim Patterson

Gov Affairs Update – Feb

SBC’s Government & Community Affairs Director Stacy Corless provides an update on what the team has been focused on and participating in over the last several months.

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SBC's Government Affairs staff at the California Wildfire and Forest Resilience Task Force Meeting in Grass Valley, October 2022

Fall Events Recap

With the return of in person gatherings, the SBC team has had a busy fall attending conferences and meetings across the state.

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Shasta Lake Hotshots looking at a map and making a plan

Good Jobs Challenge

Sierra Business Council Named Among 8 Grant Partners on $21.5 Million Good Jobs Challenge Award to Advance Forestry Careers

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Image of wildfire burn scar with text that reads, "California is Burning. We know what we need to do. To address this crisis, we need to treat one million acres per year in the state of California."


California can’t stop now. The future of our forests, our water and our well-being is at stake. We need sustained, annual funding for wildfire and forest resilience–at least $1 billion per year is what it will take to save our forests and meet the state’s goal to treat one million acres per year.

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Erica Backhus dropping a small cliff at Palisades Tahoe

Introducing our Newest Team Member

This transition, however, corresponded perfectly with the infamous 5-year California drought we experienced from 2012-2017. It seemed as though the instant I began to truly fall in love with skiing, winter stopped showing up.

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Echo Lake Cabins on Sept 1, 2021. Photo by Loren Sperber

Not if But When

It’s one thing to follow the news reports and social media videos of wildfire damage from afar, mentally preparing yourself for what it might be like to try and identify the skeletal remains of a structure as your own family’s cabin or home. Or see the tornados of fire set ablaze against a hillside you’ve traversed hundreds of times by car or by foot. Or watch a community you know and love evacuate by the thousands, their whole lives crammed into one carload.

It’s another thing entirely when it happens for real.

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Join Us In Creating A More Resilient Sierra.

To learn more about this program, contact: