Giant Sequoia Advocacy and Defense

Our view is that the Giant Sequoia National Monument should be protected and remain under National Monument status, which, with proper funding for the management plan and ecologically-minded stewardship, will protect both the natural heritage of the Sierra Nevada ecosystem and our rural communities from the threat of fire or environmental disaster.

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A Case for Giant Sequoia and Community Protection

The threat of fire is real, but the solution is not to allow private companies to have their way with hundreds of thousands of acres of forest surrounding and interconnected with the Giant Sequoias by removing monument designation. The solution is responsible, sustainable management of the forest, which is very much within reach. The current monument management plan contains all the tools necessary to manage forests for public safety, including prescribed fire and mechanical and hand removal of trees. If our politicians simply allocated adequate resources to the U.S. Forest Service to implement these tools, and provide tourist services such as a visitors center, we would have healthy forests and a healthy economy -- what are what everybody wants. Moving the monument in limbo means less, not more, funding for needed forest management activities. These resources are more likely with National Monument status.



Giant Sequoia National Monument Tour and Public lands Workshop

Come have a gourmet picnic lunch with us at scenic and rarely seen places within the Giant Sequoia National Monument/Sequoia National Forest! Be part of the 1% richest humans and see places that most poor souls will never see.

Lunch provided the regions best restaurants including  Monet's Wine and Bistro located in Exeter, Vintage Press, Nelson Tavern, Frank's at Springville Inn, Pandera. Enjoy free transportation from Porterville and Springville and see what the Monument means to you! We will have a variety of in-flight presentation about public lands, meadow restoration, giant sequoias and more. 

We want to help you fall in love!

We want to show you the amazing features of the GSNM and Sequoia National Forest, both of which are public lands that YOU OWN. These rare places are currently being attacked and threatened to strip critical protection for short term gains to a few. Fortunately you own it and if you own something, chances are you want to see it, right? If you haven't seen the Giant Sequoia National Monument, then step to the front of the line! The monthly monument tours may be your ticket.

Whether a hardcore outdoors person or a first time woodsman, you own these public lands and have the right (and obligation) to protect them.If something you love is threatened, you'll probably want to fight for it. We want to help you fall in love...and fight!

WildPlaces Public Lands Advocacy Program Overview 2018-19  (05/24/18)


WildPlaces is leveraging almost two decades of citizen engagement and public lands stewardship to create a new advocacy program that defends and expands public lands and wilderness protection in the southern Sierra Nevada and the region as a whole.



With the recent threat of a ⅔ reduction in the size of the Giant Sequoia National Monument and with new forest management plan revisions underway plus various threats to dismantle public lands, the critical importance of an on-the-ground advocacy program focused on the southern San Joaquin Valley and southern Sierra Nevada is vital. This is a region of critical ecological, economic, health and diverse community importance where natiural resources are rich and must communities poor, and there is a need for a dedicated advocacy program that is able to respond to immediate threats quickly and unencumbered by regional political and social constraints, while building a long-term movement that advances public lands protections and broadens the base of supporters.


Program Goals

  1. Broaden and diversify the base of support for public lands protection in the southern Sierra and southern San Joaquin Valley.

  2. Cultivate elected officials from all levels of government (from counties to Congress) to be champions of public lands protection or at least know they are being held accountable.

  3. Influence regional and statewide policies and management plans to ensure ecological integrity and community engagement over resource extraction

  4. Catalyze new and creative land  and water protection strategies

  5. Utilize and cultivate relations with existing regional and statewide conservation advocates to create a robust program


2018-19 Scope of Work

❖    Diversifying and sustaining a strategic base of support for the goals of the Giant Sequoia Defense Coalition in order to maintain the size and resource allocations for the Giant Sequoia National Monument

❖    Building a diverse and active base of support for securing Wild and Scenic designation for the North Fork of the Tule River and specific sections of the Kern River.

❖    Participating in and engaging WildPlaces' constituency in public input process where there are opportunities to weigh in on proposed local, federal or state plans, policies and resolutions that help protect public lands in the region (including the Sequoia National Forest Management Plan revision process).

❖    Engaging with the Southern Sierra Legislation Working Group to expand conservation efforts and wilderness protection through legislative processes.

❖    Engaging with CA Public Lands Defense Network and Sierra Nevada Forest Planning Coalition


Key Deliverables

With capacity provided by this grant, WildPlaces will complete the following deliverables while ramping up expertise and skill sharing with relevant partners:


I           Giant Sequoia Defense Coalition Coordination and Regional Base Building

●      Ongoing engagement (5-10 meetings) with members of this year-old coalition co-founded by Wildplaces in July 2017 and consisting of a range of major conservation players

●      Forwarding GSDC’s objectives including engagement with District 23 Congressmen Kevin McCarthy and Senators Feinstein and Harris and local officials with the aim of securing public commitments for at minimum maintaining the current size of the GSNM and enhancing protections of air, water, habitat, and climate resiliency

●      Advancement of a diverse local grassroots base with 80 new activists and 10 citizen leaders that has mobilized 150 locals towards two actions, and are set up to advocate for public lands protections through the next management plan revision (more below).

●      Support of local governments (Visalia, Fresno County, Springville, Bakersfield, Arvin) to pass resolutions of support for GSNM and a visitor’s center that further anchors tourism and recreation.


II          Advancing Wild and Scenic Status for the Tule and Kern Rivers

●      Coordination of two stakeholder meetings (in partnership)

●      Completion of a feasibility analysis to determine whether there is a potential to achieve a new designation for the river and if so to develop initial plans and local leadership


III         Sequoia National Forest Plan Revision Process and Other Public Input Processes

●      WildPlaces staff will participate in key public input processes including the Forest Management Plan Revision for the Sequoia National Forest and the California Spotted Owl Management Revision.. Additionally, we will draw in our constituent base as needed for other public-input opportunities and processes.


IV         Increase participation and expertise within regional and statewide conservation activities

●      Engage within the Southern Sierra Legislation Working Group, CA Public Lands Defense Network, Sierra Nevada Forest Planning Coalition, and Giant Sequoia Defense Coalition.

●      Maintain initial flexibility as the program establishes specific roles within these groups/coalitions.


V          Completion of Advocacy Tools and Implementation of Media Plan

·       WildPlaces will work with a production company to create a typographic video series with a 360 media plan that elevates the critical importance of the Giant Sequoia National Monument and public lands and watersheds in the Southern Sierras and Central Valley. These typographic videos will be sharable through social media platforms and be used to engage with elected officials, the media, and local communities.


Assessing Efficacy

A grant from the WildSpaces Foundation will enable WildPlaces to maintain a dedicated part-time advocacy position -  a new frontier for the organization. In order to evaluate success and lessons learned, WildPlaces will measure our progress towards accomplishing our stated deliverables both from qualitative and quantitative standpoints and assess any lessons learned through quarterly and/or bi-annual internal review processes. Additionally, WildPlaces will continue to conduct listening surveys with conservation partners to assess over-arching movement needs and to inform and guide strategy and support any shifts in focus or strategy.


Sustaining WildPlaces’ Public Lands Advocacy Capacity

WildPlaces has recognized that there are rapid-response and long-term advocacy needs for an on-the-ground organization based in the Central Valley and Southern Sierras and with capacity will dedicate the  equivalent of a half-time employee for this scope of work. This capacity will be realized either as the work is integrated into the portfolios of varying full-time and part-time staff or through a dedicated part-time advocacy coordinator in the first year. Sustaining this capacity in subsequent years will be an organizational priority and WildPlaces will dedicate focused capacity on generating new grant funding and will expand individual giving and sponsorship strategies as well. New foundations that WildPlaces will seek continued support from include: Lush Charity and the Adams Legacy Foundation. WildPlaces will also continue to seek support from the Rose Foundation for advocacy and movement building work. Approximately ten regional and national foundations have been identified as solid funding prospects for this work and additional funding prospects are being vetted through a grant strategy process that is underway and will continue in subsequent years. Prospective new funding partners include: Patagonia Foundation, Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund, Common Counsel Foundation, George & Audrey Rasmussen Family Foundation, Strong Foundation, Wyss Foundation, Clarence Heller foundation, National Forest Foundation, Conservation Alliance, Robert Miller & Catherine Miller Charitable Foundation, and others.




Organizational Structure