Strategic Plan

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2020-2024 BYLT Strategic Plan

The mission guiding BYLT’s Strategic Plan for 2020-2024 is to protect and defend the working and natural lands of the Bear and Yuba River Watersheds and to empower healthy, resilient communities through nature access and education.

The Strategic Plan will guide BYLT in reaching its overarching goal for the coming years, which is to continue building a sustainable organization as we strategically grow our conservation footprint and deliver a valued public benefit to our local and downstream stakeholders.


Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) is an accredited land trust that is one of 94 community-based land trusts in California and over 1,700 land trusts nationwide. BYLT works alongside its regional, state and national allies to facilitate land transactions that conserve natural and working lands and open space, as well as create and enhance opportunities for public access through trails and outdoor recreation, for the benefit of all.

As we embark upon three decades as an organization, BYLT finds itself at an important juncture. Health, water and climate protection are no longer just environmental issues, but human and civil rights issues. With over 60% of California’s developed water supply coming from the Sierra Nevada Watershed, we must value our role in this interdependent circle of life with great care, urgency and resolve. As an organization, BYLT is essential to the success of a community that is known for its rural quality-of-life and easy access to high-quality environmental and recreational assets.

Our mission guides us to protect the natural world and create opportunities for access to nature through trail connectivity and education. But what is nature? We define nature as the phenomena of the physical world including plants, animals, the landscape, and other features and products of the earth, as opposed to humans or human creations. Climate resilience has emerged as one of the most important goals to strive for in the work we do. Resilience is the response of nature to a change or disturbance where the landscape or species maintains its essential function, identity, and structure, while also maintaining the capacity for adaptation, learning, and transformation. In the 2020-2024 Strategic Plan, we have placed significant emphasis on Strategic Focus Areas, based on the idea that protecting and restoring the most resilient lands will provide multiple benefits to our ecosystems and communities. The extended conservation benefits will further enhance those goals.

Land protection and management are inextricably linked. Our primary goal is two-fold: to protect AND defend the Bear and Yuba River Watersheds. To be in a position to address this ambitious environmental vision, the organization must transform.

As leaders and seekers of innovation, we are confident that, with your continued commitment as landowners, members and volunteers, all is within reach.

Together, we will embrace these incredible challenges and opportunities head on with optimism, strength and shared purpose. Please rise with us to Protect the Places We Love, Forever.

Erika Seward                                               Erin Tarr
Co-Executive Director                               Co-Executive Director

Click to read:  2020-2024_BYLT_Strategic Plan