Wildfire. Drought. Flooding. Species loss. The solutions to some of the most pressing threats facing California must include restoring and managing its lands and natural resources at a scale and pace sufficient to meet them.
However, under our current suite of environmental laws and regulations, projects are evaluated in terms of their potential impacts, with few tools to also consider their long-term benefits or the risk of inaction. This has had the unintended consequence of fostering a system that creates significant barriers to conservation and restoration.
To address those barriers, the Network is moving towards a paradigm shift that integrates programmatic, legislative, and cultural solutions to increase the scale and pace of restoration. One where “landscape-scale restoration is critical” and “inaction is risk”.
Shifting the Regulatory Paradigm
California Secretary for Natural Resources Wade Crowfoot and other leaders in the Newsom Administration partnered with the California Landscape Stewardship Network to hold Cutting Green Tape roundtables to improve permitting and funding efficiencies for natural resource restoration and stewardship. These meetings brought together regulatory agency staff, local governments, environmental conservation groups, and a range of other stakeholders and experts from across the state to create specific recommendations to improve on existing programs and program delivery in 2020 and beyond.
You can see these recommendations in the final report, Cutting Green Tape: Regulatory Efficiencies for a Resilient Environment, which was released in November 2020. You can also learn more about this exciting and innovative effort and see the roundtable meeting agendas and notes on our Cutting Green Tape page.
A previous white paper also describes permitting and compliance advances, remaining challenges, and next steps and has helped catalyze new conversations and strategies to reduce persistent barriers to environmental stewardship, conservation, and restoration.
To learn more, contact Kellyx Nelson at Kellyx@sanmateorcd.org.