Monday, October 13, 2008

Sierra Public/Private Partnership

In what is a continuing trend within public administration, state government forms a partnership with nonprofits to protect the Sierra Range, very good news from the Sacramento Bee.

It is the type of partnership we advocate for the Parkway, and it is important to remember that the Parkway is falling behind about $1.1 million annually just in maintenance, according to the American River Parkway Financial Needs Study Update 2006 (p. vii), so it is impossible to care for the Parkway up as it was intended to be cared for, let alone to improve it by adding new land and expanding its educational and recreational assets.

The solution we have proposed for stabilizing funding for the American River Parkway is to establish a nonprofit organization to contract with a Joint Powers Authority (JPA) of local government entities, to manage the Parkway and provide a supplemental fund raising capability through philanthropy, which you can read more about on our website’s news page in our press release from January 18, 2008.

This is the model being used by the Central Park Conservancy to manage Central Park in New York—and the Conservancy raise’s 85% of funding needed by Central Park—and the Sacramento Zoological Society to manage the Sacramento Zoo, which they have wholly done since 1997 under contract with the City of Sacramento.

An excerpt from the Bee article.

“TRUCKEE – From the shores of Donner Lake on Wednesday, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger praised the creation of a private, non-profit coalition – the Northern Sierra Partnership – to work with government to protect open space, forests, watersheds and step up efforts to respond to climate change.

"While we are faced with great challenges today, economic challenges ... we should not lose sight of other important issues," Schwarzenegger told a group of regional environmental and business leaders. "We should go ahead and really do everything we can to protect the environment."

“The governor said $25 million has been raised for the partnership, including commitments of $10 million each from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and the Morgan Family Foundation.

“The partnership is an alliance of five organizations – the Feather River Land Trust, Truckee Donner Land Trust, Sierra Business Council, The Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Land. Eventually, the group hopes to raise $100 million, which, combined with public funds, will protect more than 100,000 acres.”