Southern Sierra Conservation Cooperative to Reconvene

The Southern Sierra Conservation Cooperative (SSCC) formed in 2009, moved by a recognition that climate-driven changes threatened to alter key ecosystem functions of the Southern Sierra Nevada ecoregion, including the provision of clean air and water, biodiversity, maintenance of soil fertility, flood attenuation, and sustainable provision of amenities and commodities valued by humans.

Partners, including Southern Sierra land management agencies, research organizations, and Non-Governmental Organizations, developed and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the purpose of providing a conceptual framework within which the Members could jointly establish, manage, and meet the mission of the Cooperative, to “work in concert to make the best use of each partner’s resources and efforts to conserve the regional native biodiversity and key ecosystem functions within the Southern Sierra Nevada Ecoregion in the face of accelerated local and global agents of change.” Although the SSCC ceased formal meetings in 2013, and the MOU expired in 2015, the drivers that originally inspired the SSCC continue to hold true.

In the past few years the southern Sierra Nevada Ecoregion has been disproportionately impacted by “agents of change” in the form of insect- and drought-induced tree mortality and wildfire of an unprecedented scale and frequency. Catalyzed by these events, the Sierra Nevada Conservancy (SNC) reconvened the SSCC in April 2016 to address the implications for land management, both in terms of immediate response and long-term strategies for ecosystem resiliency under a changing climate.  Participants, primarily composed of representatives from the MOU signatory agencies, agreed that there is a need for the SSCC to exist to advance novel thinking and creative management strategies necessary to preserving southern Sierra Nevada ecosystems and associated benefits.

The SNC is currently working to formalize a Phase II of the SSCC via a renewed MOU and intends to coordinate a series of workshops in 2017 to address some of the priority issues confronting southern Sierra Nevada resource managers.  This effort is supported by the U.S. Forest Service Regional Office, Sierra National Forest, Sequoia National Forest, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, and many others.

For more information, contact:

Sarah Campe

Sierra Nevada Conservancy

Area Representative – Madera, Fresno, Tulare, Kern Counties

sarah.campe@sierranevada.ca.gov

(559) 565-3727 – Office

(530) 217-8166 – Cell