Individual land-use decisions we make today will shape the Sierra and its future. Only Sierra Watch is built to ensure that those big, lasting decisions are made for the right reasons, with the best information, and with the timeless values of the Sierra at heart.
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.
For more than fifteen years, we have pioneered an effective approach to defending our favorite Sierra places that has won lasting victories including in Martis Valley and on Donner Summit. We play a unique leadership role in the Sierra Nevada conservation community, shaping and focusing a shared commitment to the Sierra into effective conservation campaigns.
Today, Sierra Watch is the only thing standing between North Lake Tahoe and real estate speculators who threaten everything we love about the Tahoe Sierra.