Open Spaces Wild Places Campaign


In June 2018, Californians committed to something so singular in importance that it has set a course for a new era in the protection of California’s natural areas, parks and water. Proposition 68, the most progressive environmental funding for the Sierra Nevada region in the State’s history, passed—authorizing $4 billion in tax dollars to outdoor recreation, land conservation, and water quality projects— thus creating a rare and significant opportunity to prioritize public health and the environment.

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The months following the passing of Proposition 68, Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) has been on the front lines, actively seeking grants and simultaneously forging partnerships to improve and expand upon their current work.

“We should all count ourselves lucky to live in a state that recognizes our climate is changing and is taking a leadership position on innovative solutions,” explained Co-Executive Director Erin Tarr. “As a Land Trust, we have been at the center of these solutions and are seen as key partners in our local region to plan and prepare for climate change adaptation and resilience.”

Land Trusts in the Sierra Nevada, like BYLT, play a vital role in addressing threats to our state’s water supply, soil, air, plant and animal diversity, and local communities. Through land acquisition and conservation easements, BYLT helps to protect wildlife corridors, prevent land conversion in critical regions and support our local agriculture and forestry industries. Since 1990, BYLT has saved more than 15,000 acres of Sierra Nevada forests, oak woodlands, meadows, riparian habitat, farms and ranches in addition to building and maintaining 30 plus miles of public trails that are enjoyed by thousands of locals and visitors annually.  Over the next five years, BYLT plans to double its impact.

From the Sierra Nevada headwaters to the rangelands of the Foothills, the lands surrounding the Yuba and Bear River Watersheds are home to some of the richest plant and animal biodiversity in all of California. The rangelands in and around South County are home to the blue oak woodlands where over 330 species of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian live and depend on for their survival.  Wildlife need connected corridors of land for refuge and migration.

“We live in a very special place that is challenged by rising environmental, social and economic pressures.  With the Open Spaces, Wild Places campaign, our goal is to both educate the community and create opportunities for sharing the story of our people and lands so that we all may gain a deeper appreciation of what is authentic to our region and why preservation is so incredibly vital,” said Co-Executive Director Erika Seward.

Annually, BYLT’s end-of-the-year fundraising and outreach campaign generates critical funding for protection of important landscapes and enables restoration work necessary to better protect wildlife habitat and water quality.

BYLT is committed to preserving and protecting the long-term health of forests, oak woodlands, ranches, urban nature preserves and upper watershed lands. Conserving these lands provides a place for plants and animals to thrive as they adapt to a changing climate; enhances world-class outdoor recreation; and ensures the cultural and biological heritage of forests, farms and ranches is sustained into the future.

To make a donation or become a member you can go to or call (530) 272-5994.

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