The Protection Campaign
August 8, 2023
The Protection Campaign (TPC) powers public land conservation action in support of the Biden administration’s ambitious conservation agenda to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 (30x30). Meeting the 30x30 goal will require local communities to identify public lands worthy of conservation, assemble effective grassroots campaigns to deliver new protections, and build the necessary permission and pressure for policy leaders to act on conservation. TPC is a small and nimble project with a hyper-focus on securing meaningful and durable place-based designations by identifying and seeding nascent conservation campaigns and supporting them from conception through public launch and,…
We need federal leadership on wildfire and smoke safety
July 19, 2023
In the last few weeks, the Midwest and East Coast have faced a reality the West has experienced for years: thick, sticky, and hazardous wildfire smoke settling into cities and millions of people’s lungs; cancelled school days, flights, and sports events; thousands of people becoming sick. And all against the backdrop of foreboding orange skies, like we experienced here in Northern California in September 2020. Wildfire smoke goes where the wind blows, disregarding geographic boundaries, crossing the “aisle,” and affecting everyone—but it disproportionately impacts pregnant women, people with respiratory health issues like asthma, and older, and very young people. All…
Climate Change Necessitates Stronger Safety Net for Farmworkers
March 31, 2023
On this day of remembrance for César Chávez—an advocate, alongside Dolores Huerta, for farmworker rights, social justice, and human dignity—Resources Legacy Fund would like to call attention to the critical role of farmworkers and the obligation to provide them a stronger safety net, especially in the face of worsening climate disaster. California agriculture is a $50 billion industry, which relies heavily upon the 160,000+ farmworkers who plant, tend, and harvest crops. The majority of farmworkers in California are undocumented and lack access to health insurance, unemployment benefits, and many other state and federal safety net programs. As the catastrophic impacts…
We Must Invest More in Climate Adaptation
February 15, 2023
As California communities begin to recover after a series of atmospheric rivers caused death and immense economic damages nearly state-wide, we must reckon with the need to increase investment in climate change adaptation and resilience. The Newsom Administration’s proposed 2023-2024 budget, released two weeks ago, maintains significant funding for fighting climate change and protecting communities from its impacts. Yet it still reflects difficult decisions to decrease funding for extreme heat and community resilience, nature-based solutions, coastal resilience, and other strategies that help us adapt to the climate impacts already upon us. While the Governor seeks additional sources of funding from…
September 19, 2022
Climate Mayors is a bipartisan network of more than 470 U.S. mayors demonstrating climate leadership through meaningful actions in their communities. Representing 48 states and 74 million Americans, the Climate Mayors coalition reflects U.S. cities’ commitment to climate progress. In addition to local climate leadership, Climate Mayors build political will for federal and global climate action. Hundreds of members have signed the Climate Mayors letters committing to the Paris Agreement and calling on Congress to invest in a green and equitable economic recovery. Website: https://climatemayors.org/
Let’s meet this setback with resolve: Reflections on the SCOTUS EPA decision
July 1, 2022
Note from RLF President Avi Garbow to staff and board after the Supreme Court’s EPA ruling on June 30, 2022. Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in West Virginia v. EPA, and by a 6-3 vote, severely restricted EPA’s authority under the federal Clean Air Act to control emissions from coal-fired power plants, the largest-emitting stationary sources fueling our climate crisis. This ruling deals a blow to federal efforts to address a worsening crisis that affects us all, with broad ramifications for generations to come. The lengthy opinion rests upon the majority’s view that the EPA’s exercise…
California 30×30 Initiative
May 27, 2022
The California 30x30 Initiative (C3I) advances a public-private partnership between RLF and the California Natural Resources Agency to support the state’s implementation of Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-82-20, which commits the state to protect 30 percent of the state’s lands and coastal waters by 2030 (30x30). RLF is supporting California Tribes and organizations from underserved communities to enable their active participation in implementing this directive. RLF is also undertaking communications and public education activities designed to build public and decision maker support for achieving 30x30.
Wildfire Strategies Program
May 27, 2022
Our Wildfire Strategies program aims to achieve a more wildfire-resilient California and Western United States by 2030 through better policy and significantly increased funding for forest management, community resilience and home hardening, Tribal leadership on forest stewardship and fire management, and public health measures that protect people from the impacts of smoke. The program supports research, coalition-building, budget advocacy, and tests innovative proofs of concept for broader adoption.
California Climate Leadership Program
May 27, 2022
The California Climate Leadership Program (CCLP) aims to renew and accelerate the pace of California’s leadership on climate change. The program focuses on building strong and diverse coalitions, coordinating and launching strategic communications efforts including research and messaging to counter the fossil fuel industry narrative, and supporting organizations driving climate leadership in California. CCLP engages funders, advocates, and other partners to advance new policies to substantially reduce carbon emissions by 2030 while building social, economic, and environmental resilience to intensifying climate change impacts.
Thoughts of Gratitude and Hope
January 6, 2022
As Avi Garbow prepares to take over as the new president of Resources Legacy Fund, I find myself filled with confidence in his leadership, excitement for the future, and a profound sense of gratitude for all the people I have been privileged to work with: my RLF colleagues and board members and our partners, funders, and grantees. Without these relationships RLF’s significant impact and impressive evolution over the years simply would not have been possible. I have learned over and again from you. I am grateful for the vision of the Packard Foundation that led to RLF’s creation more than…
Proposed Funding Pathways for Adaptation to Climate Change in California
May 10, 2021
This report explores new or expanded funding sources and financial tools that state and local governments in California can use to prepare for and respond to the effects of climate change in a fiscally responsible and equitable manner. The four pathways focus on funding for regional transportation planning, extreme heat policy reform, resilience finance districts, and wildfire risk reduction. This report, released on April 30, 2021, is authored by the OnClimate Team with support from Resources Legacy Fund.
Biden’s Conservation Commitment Much More Than A Climate Solution
May 7, 2021
The United States is facing a multitude of crises: climate change, species extinction, languishing public health, racial and economic inequity, and the legacies of colonialism. These crises were destined to collide, which is why resolving them demands an integrated problem-solving approach. President Biden’s launch on May 6 of an ambitious national initiative to conserve and restore 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030 (“30x30”) is an important contribution to solving the problems our nation and world have incubated over the past two centuries. We’re at a tipping point, and that is why the ambitious 10-year goals of this…
California Coastal Program
February 23, 2021
Established in 2012, the California Coastal Program (CCP) seeks to elevate coastal conservation as a priority for California policymakers. The program works to advance funding and policies that address important threats, such as sea level rise, to coastal and marine resources and communities, promote equitable public access to beaches and other coastal resources, and ensure public agencies and officials are accountable for strong coastal management.
California Environmental Equity Initiative
February 23, 2021
California Environmental Equity Initiative (CEEI) seeks to strengthen California climate and environmental policies and increase public funding to address intersecting environmental, climate, social, and health issues that disproportionately impact low-income communities and communities of color. CEEI focuses on building capacity, power, and leadership among younger, more ethnically diverse leaders, organizations, and coalitions advocating for environmental outcomes that benefit their communities and better meet the needs of California’s most marginalized residents. The program supports community-driven efforts that increase access to parks, public lands, and safe drinking water and build resilience to climate change in ways that enhance justice, health, and well-being.
Western Energy Project
February 23, 2021
The Western Energy Project works to protect our treasured landscapes in the American West by ensuring that any development of oil and gas from our federal public lands is done in a responsible manner. We support the preservation of ecologically and culturally important areas, the adoption of common-sense protections for our water, air, land, and wildlife, and the safeguarding of opportunities for Americans to enjoy our public lands. Website: https://www.westernenergyproject.org
Center for Western Priorities
February 23, 2021
The Center for Western Priorities works to advance responsible conservation and energy practices in the West through the release of reports, polls, videos, podcasts, and earned media events. CWP encourages open, public debate and works to advance those discussions online, in the media, and throughout Western communities. Website: https://westernpriorities.org
San Francisco Bay Area Conservation
February 23, 2021
RLF has been working in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2001, when it commenced efforts to secure the acquisition of commercial salt ponds surrounding the San Francisco Bay. Current efforts support wetlands restoration around the Bay, with a focus on building a diverse constituency to support equitable, long-term funding and government policies for Bay restoration and flood improvements, including the effective implementation of Measure AA. RLF also supports a regional land conservation approach in the Bay Area that boosts ecosystem resilience for conservation and communities. RLF focuses on multi-benefit conservation efforts that protect and restore high-value habitat and…
Governor Announces Ambitious Biodiversity Targets for California
October 7, 2020
Today, Governor Newsom signed an executive order to protect 30 percent of California’s land and ocean by 2030 (30x30). This announcement makes California the first state in the United States to commit to the global 30x30 effort targeted by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. The executive order also directs California to elevate the role of natural and working lands conservation in its efforts to combat climate change. “Resources Legacy Fund congratulates Governor Newsom for taking this bold and necessary step to stem the dual threats of biodiversity loss and climate change. With this announcement, the governor demonstrates that…
Recovery with Resilience: Public Investments for a Sustainable, Equitable Future
August 21, 2020
Image: Montana Conservation Corps crews, made up of high school and college students from the Wind River Indian Reservation, helping Chicago Botanic Garden interns collect seeds for the Seeds of Success program in the BLM Lander Field Office area. As America’s COVID catastrophe worsens, inflicting a depth of social and economic distress unprecedented in modern times, policymakers have a moral duty to implement a socially and environmentally just recovery, one that rectifies past systemic harms and steers our nation toward a brighter, greener, and more resilient future. Seven months since the first case of COVID-19 was detected here, our country…
Economic Impact Analysis of California Climate Resilience Bond
May 12, 2020
A bond measure to protect California communities from wildfires, droughts, floods, and extreme heat events could create between 75,000 and 119,000 jobs statewide, and generate between $9.6 billion and $15 billion in total economic activity according to a new study by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute. The study, supported by the Resources Legacy Fund, provides a quantitative, model-based analysis of the economic and job impacts of a potential bond measure between $5 billion and $8 billion that reflects recent proposals from Governor Newsom and the State Senate and Assembly.
Reaching across the table for a sustainable energy future
April 2, 2020
In November 2019, RLF President Michael Mantell and Cathy Reheis-Boyd, Western States Petroleum Association President, co-wrote an op-ed published in the Sacramento Bee that suggested how thoughtful environmentalists and petroleum producers could collaborate in moving realistically toward a sustainable, non-fossil fuel-based energy future.
Responding to Climate Change in California
April 2, 2020
Climate change touches the lives of all Californians and virtually every aspect of state government. As California works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it must adapt to the climate impacts that have already begun and build resilience to face the changes to come. To help guide adaptation policies and funding under the Newsom Administration, RLF commissioned a review–including input from an advisory team of California scientists and policy experts–of California’s climate policy and approaches from the last 10 years and developed strategic recommendations for moving forward.
In Adapting to Climate Threats, Philanthropy Can Help Reinvent U.S. Politics
April 2, 2020
In a commentary published by Inside Philanthropy, RLF Vice President Peter Teague makes the case that coping with climate change, community by community, offers an antidote to divisive politics. Philanthropy is uniquely positioned to cut through the ideological noise to help communities prepare for higher sea levels, more intense heat waves, deeper droughts, and other effects of a changing climate. The December 2018 article is here.
Finding Ways to Pay for Climate Adaptation
April 2, 2020
RLF supported and guided AECOM’s creation of Paying for Climate Adaptation in California: A Primer for Practitioners. The October 2018 report describes options for investing in more resilient California communities and infrastructure and recommends ways to overcome the challenges that discourage cities, counties, water districts, utilities, state agencies, private companies, and other entities from making the investments California needs to thrive despite climate change. (Summary can be found here.)
Climate Justice Report
April 2, 2020
In 2018, RLF supported preparation of an inaugural Climate Justice Report to summarize peer-reviewed research and stimulate discussion on how California can ensure that no group of people disproportionately bears the burden of climate impacts or the costs of mitigation and adaptation. The report, available here, was incorporated into the California Natural Resources Agency’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment,which provides actionable science to guide state policy.
Ecosystem Adaptation Guidelines
April 2, 2020
In February 2012, RLF convened a panel of leading scientists to answer the question: “How can California secure its most important natural assets—its vibrant ecosystems and the many benefits they provide to society—given the future that climate change presents?” The result, after extensive peer review, was a set of guiding principles for ecosystem adaptation. You can find the guidelines here. In February 2015, the journal BioScience published an article that grew out of RLF’s 2012 report. “Adapting California’s Ecosystems” explores efforts to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining ecosystem functions and benefits.…
South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Photo Archive
April 2, 2020
In 2003, with funding from the Goldman Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, RLF helped federal and state agencies purchase more than 16,000 acres of commercial salt ponds and property ringing South San Francisco Bay and in Napa County. From 2003-2013, RLF supported the work of Pelican Media to photographically document the restoration of the salt ponds, capturing the original condition of the salt-making operations and ponds, restoration activities, public use, and wildlife.
Finding Hope in the Moment
April 1, 2020
When I sat down to write this blog, I began by reflecting on the first 20 years of RLF’s work and what the next 20 years will bring. Coronavirus had yet to upend the lives of many outside the Asian continent. Just a few weeks later, most of the country is on lock-down, the economy has imploded, nearly 10 million Americans have applied for unemployment, and the global death toll has topped 45,000, rapidly accelerating.* As devastating as this new reality is, I find comfort in the fact that we are coming together as neighbors, Americans, corporations, philanthropists, and global…