Resources Legacy Fund began in 2000 with a David and Lucile Packard Foundation effort to preserve at least 250,000 acres of ecologically important lands in the Central Coast, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada regions of California—and just as importantly, to develop supportive policies and organizations. In the decades since, even as RLF’s work on behalf of donors has reached across continents, we continue to champion California conservation. We have led efforts that generated more than $26 billion in new state and local funding for water, land, and ocean conservation in the Golden State.
The most recent—a $4.1 billion parks and water bond passed by voters in June 2018—devotes a greater percentage of funding to disadvantaged communities than any such bond in California history. We partnered with the state to protect nearly 17 percent of the state’s offshore waters, catalyzed transformation of the California state parks system to better serve all visitors, and helped transform the effort to restore former commercial salt ponds along San Francisco Bay into a long-term, multi-billion-dollar, regional focus on adaptation to rising sea levels. We work with communities to build local stewardship of urban rivers and marine protected areas, protect a coastal state park from a new toll road, galvanize public opposition to renewed offshore oil drilling, and supported organizations defending public access to the coast. Working with many California-based donors, through many core programs, we continue to advance climate resilience and conservation priorities and funding that better reflect the needs, values, and faces of California.