The Southern Sierra Partnership (SSP) is an alliance of business and conservation organizations working to protect lands, livelihoods and communities.
Members include Audubon California, Sequoia Riverlands Trust, the Sierra Business Council, Tejon Ranch Conservancy, and The Nature Conservancy. Since 2009, SSP has served a seven million-acre region stretching from the Southern San Joaquin Valley to the peaks of the Sierra Nevada, including significant portions of Fresno, Tulare and Kern Counties. This area contains landscapes ranging from fruit orchards to giant sequoia groves, hosts some of the most productive farmland in the world, and contributes tens of billions of dollars to the state’s economy every year. It is also home to a diverse and rapidly growing human population. SSP seeks to ensure the region’s long term economic and environmental resilience through land protection and land use policy.
The Southern Sierra Partnership (SSP) is a coalition of business and conservation organizations led by SRT, with members including Audubon California, the Sierra Business Council, Tejon Ranch Conservancy and The Nature Conservancy. Since 2008, SSP has worked to protect land, livelihoods and communities in a seven-million-acre region stretching from the peaks of the Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi Mountains to the floor of the San Joaquin Valley.
In 2009 and 2010, SSP spearheaded a collaborative conservation assessment of the entire region. Combining the latest climate science with detailed mapping of biodiversity, ecosystem services and land use patterns, and incorporating the input of numerous land management agencies, SSP sought to identify conservation opportunities that would allow the region as a whole to adapt to a changing climate. The resulting Framework for Cooperative Conservation and Climate Adaptation for the Southern Sierra Nevada and Tehachapi Mountains has gained national recognition as a model of science-based conservation planning, and informed the work of member organizations as they protected hundreds of thousands of acres in key habitat linkages.
In 2012 and 2013, Adam Livingston (now Director of Planning and Policy at SRT and Coordinator of SSP) examined the connection between land use and economic outcomes in Fresno, Tulare, Kings and Kern Counties. The resulting report—Paths to Prosperity for the Southern Sierra and Southern San Joaquin Valley: Capitalizing on the Economic Benefits of Land Conservation and Compact Growth—has helped to catalyze support for more sustainable approaches to development.
Over the past decade, SSP members have continued working with willing landowners to protect critically important ranches in the Southern Sierra foothills, and made significant progress in connecting these properties with habitat and agricultural land on the Valley floor. At the same time, SSP has become a leading voice for conservation and compact growth in contexts ranging from city- and county-level general plans to regional transportation planning. SSP members continue to collaborate on both land protection and land use policy, working not only to help the region adapt to climate change, but also to preserve watersheds and other natural systems that support livelihoods on the Valley floor.
Visit SSP on the web at http://www.southernsierrapartnership.org/.