Cutting Green Tape: Regulatory Efficiencies for a Resilient Environment
The State of California has identified “Cutting Green Tape” as a signature initiative to increase the pace and scale of environmental restoration. California has a proud tradition of strong laws that protect our environment from the effects of development and resource extraction. Unfortunately, projects that are beneficial to the environment can be slowed by the same processes and procedures that are designed to protect it. Cutting Green Tape seeks to remedy this problem. This report is the product of the insights and experiences of more than150 people who gathered at a series of roundtable workshops and others to whom the authors reached out from fall 2019 to fall 2020 about ways the state can increase regulatory efficiencies to increase the pace and scale of restoration and stewardship work.
Stewarding California’s Biodiversity: Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) for Invasive Plants
In 2018, then-Governor Jerry Brown established the California Biodiversity Initiative, setting biodiversity protection as a top state priority. The Biodiversity Collaborative is the next phase in the evolution of California’s biodiversity conservation movement, integrating and building on efforts started by the California Biodiversity Initiative launched by Governor Brown. Like California’s State Wildlife Action Plan and Climate Adaptation Strategy, the Biodiversity Collaborative identifies the importance of controlling invasive species as part of attaining a sustainable future.Indeed, hundreds of entities across California are engaged in strategic efforts to limit the scope and magnitude of the damage that these species do to the state’s biodiversity and natural resources. When possible, land managers use a strategic approach called early detection and rapid response (EDRR) that focuses on stopping new invasive plants before they become widespread. As with a raging wildfire, a surging infectious disease, or a leaking oil pipeline, the longer one waits to act, the more difficult and costly the task and the greater the damage that has already been done.
While the concept is simple, its implementation is complex. Effective EDRR requires timely data, proactive effort, landscape-level coordination among public and private landowners, and a consistent and sustained approach. In California, many pieces of an effective EDRR system are already in place, from an online network for sharing botanical information to a statewide network of land managers. But steady funding to implement EDRR systematically across the state’s 100 million acres is lacking. With the new Biodiversity Collaborative in place, the time has come for an increased commitment to invasive plant EDRR.
While technical challenges remain—such as predicting how each plant’s distribution will shift with land use and climate change—EDRR’s primary challenges are structural: How can agency missions, mandates, programs, and funding be aligned to support landscape-level conservation? This paper identifies the institutional and financial support needed for invasive plant EDRR to succeed in California.
Cutting Green Tape Roundtable, October 29, 2020
- Welcome (0:00)
- Overview of Roundtable goals and agenda (02:22)
- Introductory Remarks from Secretary Crowfoot, Secretary Ross & Chair Esquivel (09:10)
- Overview of Regulatory Efficiencies Recommendations (23:28)
- Remarks from Deputy Secretary Jennifer Norris (36:55)
- Participant Q&A with Interagency Panel (45:18)
- Concluding Remarks (01:17:46)
Cutting Green Tape is an initiative the California Landscape Stewardship Network has facilitated in partnership with the California Natural Resources Agency to help environmentally beneficial work happen more quickly, simply, and cost-effectively. Learn more about the initiative at: https://calandscapestewardshipnetwork.org/cutting-green-tape.
This roundtable, held virtually on October 29, 2020, highlights recommendations from the initiative's first phase. It was hosted by Sharon Farrell (Executive Vice President, Projects, Stewardship and Science, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and CLSN Facilitator) and facilitated by Shawn Johnson (Managing Director, Center for Natural Resources & Environmental Policy, University of Montana).
- Wade Crowfoot, California Secretary for Natural Resources
- Kellyx Nelson, Executive Director, San Mateo Resource Conservation District
- Jennifer Norris, Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat
- Joaquin Esquivel, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board
- Karen Ross, California Secretary for Food & Agriculture
CLSN Meet & Greet with Armando Quintero, Director of California State Parks 9 28 20
On September 28, 2020, the California Landscape Stewardship Network hosted a virtual meet-and-greet with Armando Quintero, newly-appointed Director of California State Parks. The conversation was moderated by Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy's San Francisco Community Programs Manager Yakuta Poonawalla.
Timeline of the recording:
Welcome and Introductions
Armando Quintero Interview (2:40)
Questions from the Audience (38:45)
Wrap-up and Conclusion (58:13)
Conservationists without Borders: Lessons from (Inter)National Partners, August 10, 2020
On August 10, 2020, the California Landscape Stewardship Network hosted "Conservationists Without Borders: Lessons from (Inter)National Partners", a virtual panel event with partners working regionally, nationally and internationally to connect our work at different scales and share lessons learned from the complex challenges we face in 2020.
As part of the Network’s ongoing Summer Series, the panel was moderated by Sharon Farrell, Network Facilitator and Executive VP of Projects, Stewardship & Science at Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. Panelists included key practitioners and thought leaders in landscape conservation and stewardship:
- Lisa Brush, Founder and CEO of The Stewardship Network
- Annie Burke, Executive Director of TOGETHER Bay Area
- Jay Chamberlin, Chief of Natural Resources Division at California State Parks
- Jim Levitt, Director of the International Land Conservation Network at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
- Gary Tabor, Founder and President of the Center for Large Landscape Conservation
CLSN Virtual Lunch with Deputy Secretary Jennifer Norris July 14, 2020
On July 14, 2020 the California Landscape Stewardship Network hosted a virtual meet-and-greet lunch with Dr. Jennifer Norris, California’s new Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat at the CA Natural Resources Agency. Th conversation was moderated by CEO of League to Save Lake Tahoe and CA Network Steering Committee member, Darcie Goodman Collins.
Timeline of the recording:
Collaborative Leadership Virtual Workshop July 9, 2020
This event was the first in a developing series of workshops and trainings focused on building and advancing practitioners’ collaborative leadership skills. It focused on raising awareness around the features of collaborative leadership, including frameworks for working across jurisdictions and sectors, the role of networks, and the importance of interpersonal and technical skills in achieving effective collaboration.
Timeline of the recording:
- Welcome and Intros
- Opening Exercise (7:50)
- Overview and discussion of systems (11:05)
- Overview and discussion of complexity (1:01:30)
- Small group discussion and feedback (1:36:00)
- Overview and discussion of networks (1:48:55)
- Break (2:15:00)
- Overview and discussion of essential skills (2:25:40)
- Wrap-up and conclusion (3:30:30)
CA Landscape Stewardship Network Regional Roundtable: Highlights from around the State 7/27/20
California Landscape Stewardship Network participants gathered online to share updates and highlights from their regional work on July 27, 2020.
Potential Actions to Increase Efficiencies in Permitting Restoration (Excel)
Excel table of potential actions to increase efficiencies in restoration permitting
Cutting Green Tape March 18 Agenda
Cutting the Green Tape
Web Café Roundtable Meeting Agenda
March 18, 2020
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Introduce CGT Initiative, including process and timeline, as one of Secretary Crowfoot’s 4 pillars in partnership with other state agencies. Provide input to develop specific recommendations and next steps to increase efficiencies for permitting restoration. Provide input to develop white paper that identifies actions and outcomes for increasing regulatory efficiencies for natural resource stewardship./details here.