Permitting and Compliance

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 help address this, the Permitting and Compliance Working Group is building a network of over 40 restoration practitioners and organizations who are working 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”.

Our Work and Additional Resources

Over the past year, 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. 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.

Learn More

This working group meets regularly by phone. To learn more, contact Kellyx Nelson at


  • Reed Addis, Principal, Environmental & Energy Consulting
  • Chris Beale, Attorney, Resources Law Group
  • Hilary Beardsley, Parks
  • Karen Buhr, Executive Director, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
  • Kim Carringer, Environmental Improvement Division Manager, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency
  • Joe Caves, Principal & Founder, Conservation Strategy Group
  • Jay Chamberlin, Natural Resources Division Chief, CA State Parks
  • Graham Chisholm, Senior Policy Advisor, Conservation Strategy Group
  • Caroline Christman, Project Manger, Parks Conservancy
  • Matt Clifford, Attorney, Trout Unlimited
  • Shelana deSilva, Director of Government Affairs and Public Funding, Save the Redwoods League
  • Sharon Farrell, Executive Vice President Projects, Stewardship & Science, Parks Conservancy
  • Mark Fenstermaker, Co-founder & Principal, Pacific Policy Group
  • Lucas Frerichs, Associate Director of State Policy, The Nature Conservancy
  • Terri Gaines, Environmental Program Manager, CA State Parks
  • Darcie Goodman Collins, Chief Executive Officer, League to Save Lake Tahoe
  • Katie Haldeman, Regulatory Research Analyst, Sustainable Conservation
  • Joshua Hugg, Governmental Affairs Specialist, Mid Peninsula Open Space District
  • Beth Huning, Coordinator, SF Bay Joint Venture
  • Brian Johnson, California Director, Trout Unlimited
  • Gary Knoblock, Senior Program Officer, SD Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
  • Rosalind Litzky, Restoration Project Manager, Save the Redwoods League
  • Erika Lovejoy, Associate Director of Restoration on Private Lands, Sustainable Conservation
  • Tasha Newman, Principal, Pacific Policy Group
  • Jim Robins, Independent Consultant
  • Kyle Rodgers, Collaborative Forestry Program Manager, Sierra Institute
  • Stacey Sullivan, Policy Director, Sustainable Conservation
  • Julie Turrini, Director/Attorney, Lands, Rivers, and Communities, Resources Legacy Fund
  • Sam Uden, Manager, Conservation and Climate Policy, Conservation Strategy Group
  • Jay Ziegler, Director of External Affairs & Policy, The Nature Conservancy