Integrated Sierra Investment Strategy

Integrated Sierra Investment Strategy guides donor investments

The Sierra Fund works to leverage small action to large effect by generating new private and public conservation investments in the Sierra Nevada and strategically directing those resources to yield the greatest conservation benefit. The Integrated Sierra Investment Strategy (ISIS) represents a collective vision of how to achieve this. ISIS serves as The Sierra Fund’s blueprint, laying out a detailed set of strategies and priorities essential to securing the vitality of the Sierra Nevada.

ISIS was developed through a series of “charrettes” held by The Sierra Fund in 2003. These meetings brought together dozens of key government officials, business leaders, conservation leaders, private philanthropists and foundation representatives to explore in detail the question, “How can public and private conservation investments be organized to best protect and restore the natural resources of the Sierra Nevada?” The answer is encapsulated in ISIS.  At the heart of ISIS are six key strategies shown to be essential for the protection and restoration of the Sierra Nevada:

• Build a statewide constituency for a Sierra Nevada conservation agenda, with particular focus on urban voters and non-traditional allies.

• Strengthen regional Sierra conservation organizations by providing reliable multi-year funding.

• Fill regional gaps in institutional capacity by helping organizations to employ badly needed conservation strategies, such as advocacy, litigation, community-based organizing, media communications, and regulatory reform.

• Promote conceptual projects that solve real problems at the landscape level.

• Strengthen the Sierra voice in policy debates at the state level in both California and Nevada.

• Create state governance mechanisms to organize meaningful public conservation investments in the Sierra Nevada.

In addition to revealing key strategies, ISIS illuminates four criteria on which The Sierra Fund bases its conservation investment decisions:

• The immediacy of a threat to critical Sierra resources.

• The chances for success in responding to such threats.

• The significance of success to a larger Sierra conservation agenda. 

• The capacity to integrate a regional approach to crucial conservation issues.