In December of 2000, a small group of Sierra residents and local homeowners learned about impending plans to develop Tahoe’s Martis Valley, and they decided to do something about it. They quickly discovered similar threats throughout the Sierra. What they could not find, however, was an organization with the capacity and expertise to stand up to irresponsible development and effectively advocate for lasting conservation. So they formed Sierra Watch – and launched the ambitious Martis Valley Campaign.
Sierra Watch mobilized hundreds of volunteers to participate in the public planning process, commissioned biologists and planners to create an alternative blueprint for responsible development, and even filed public interest lawsuits to uphold state law. Most important, Sierra Watch sat down with our conservation allies, Martis Valley landowners, and local political leaders to collaborate on creative resolutions to pressing planning issues.
The results are unprecedented: permanent protection for thousands of acres of priority conservation land, caps on future development, and $100 million in private funding to help protect more of the Martis Valley landscape.
Our work, of course, is not done. Sierra Watch is building an impressive track record of conservation success in Martis Valley, on Donner Summit, and on Dyer Mountain. And we’re standing up to new threats to our Sierra values in places like Squaw Valley – consistently providing an effective and inspiring example of how we can work together to protect the places we love.