Conservation Awards Sponsors and Partners

Each year Bear Yuba Land Trust recognizes leaders in conservation including the William Nickerl Award for Conservation Leadership, the John Skinner Sierra Outdoors Recreation Award, the Young Leader Award, along with our Business Sponsor of the Year, Partner of the Year, and our Volunteer of the Year, at our annual Conservation Awards & Gratitude Breakfast.

Criteria for the Business Supporter of the Year Award 

  • Local, regional, or national business or corporation
  • Demonstrates meaningful support of BYLT and our broader mission through donations, partnership, and/or engagement 
  • Long-term or new supporter 

Criteria for the Partner of the Year Award

  • Local, regional, or agency or nonprofit organization
  • Demonstrates meaningful support of BYLT and our broader mission through donations, partnership, and/or engagement 
  • Long-term or new supporter


Business Supporter of the Year

2023 Yuba Water Agency

The 2023 Business Supporter of the Year was presented to Yuba Water Agency. Yuba Water Agency was created to reduce flood risk and ensure a sustainable water supply for the people of Yuba County. Yuba Water owns and operates New Bullards Bar Dam and Reservoir, as well as the New Colgate Powerhouse and other associated facilities. 

With BYLT’s purchase of Rice’s Crossing Preserve in 2014, BYLT and Yuba Water became natural partners. The 2,700 acre preserve, spanning six miles of the Yuba River, abuts property owned and operated by Yuba Water, and for many years now Yuba Water has been a major sponsor of BYLT’s annual NatureFest and Celebration of Trails. Last year Yuba Water joined up as Trail Sponsor for the Yuba Rim Trail at Rice’s Crossing North Preserve; and they have recently invested in meadow and fuel reduction work around the trails, as well as in another much larger forest health project, both of which they funded. BYLT couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Yuba Water supporting public health, recreation, and watershed health.


2022 BriarPatch Food Co-op 

The recipient of our inaugural Business Supporter of the Year Award is BriarPatch Food Co-op. We are recognizing BriarPatch for their ongoing support and partnership with BYLT over the years and especially as we launched our Forever Farms program.  

BriarPatch is an anchor in our community supporting our expanded local farm network and building a sustainable & equitable food system that supports healthy people, animals, and the environment. A key strategic partner with Forever Farms, BriarPatch is a visionary leader for community-based farming as well as a  major contributor and promoter of the Mountain Bounty project.

The company generously suppor

ts BYLT – along with a broad array of local nonprofits – through food donations and financial contributions. They also offer generous in-store discounts to our volunteers based on hours worked through their nationally recognized PatchWorks program.

Partner of the Year

2023 The Redbud Chapter, California Native Plant Society

The 2023 Partner of the Year Award was presented to The Redbud Chapter of the California Native Plant Society. Founded over 30 years ago, Redbud has been serving Nevada and Placer counties through their dedication to increasing the understanding and appreciation of California’s native plants, and to preserving them and their natural habitats for generations to come. CNPS has been a collaborator of the Land Trust’s from nearly their inception, and has most recently been a partner and supporter of BYLT’s bid to permanently protect the very special property of Wildflower Ridge Preserve in Grass Valley.



The recipient of our inaugural Partner of the Year Award is CAL FIRE.

When the “stormageddon” struck Western Nevada

 County in January 2022 a number of our properties suffered significant storm damage. Downed and dangling trees and limbs destroyed vegetation and posed safety risks. Looking at an overwhelming challenge, BYLT reached out to CALFIRE who responded with National Guard Crew 

CNA 23 and California Conservation Corps Crew equipped to clear the devastation across the Adam Ryan Preserve. 

The National Guard team then went on to provide vegetation management at Rice’s Crossing South and at Woodpecker Preserve. The elimination of hazardous fuels along Rice’s Crossing Road will allow for safe ingress and egress for fire safety personnel and the public, increase fire defense of the road and surrounding natural areas, and lead to reduced suppression costs. Throughout the 28-acre Woodpecker Preserve, the crew removed dead, downed, and overly dense vegetation. In the course of a few months, CAL FIRE cleared and thinned over 20 acres of forest, addressing 70 years of fire suppression, and tackling overstocked forests.