The Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation is a grassroots environmental organization dedicated to the protection of ecosystem values and the long-term sustainability of our natural resources for future generations.
The Center for Sierra Nevada Conservation is a 501(c)3 non-profit formed by a handful of rural Georgetown, California residents in 1986, in response to a plan by the local District Ranger to create a 23,000-acre dirt bike park on Critical Winter Range for the migratory Pacific Deer Herd. Originally incorporated as Friends Aware of Wildlife Needs (FAWN), the small group soon grew to several hundred members. Our groundbreaking work fighting the impacts of off-road vehicles on wildlife and wildlife habitat has resulted, over the last 27 years, in national reform, including the ending of open off-road vehicle driving on our National Forests.
We have also worked to improve California’s fuel-tax funded Off Highway program. In addition to our ORV reform agenda, we take on other issues that may harm wildlife habitat, including Forest Planning, timber sales and development projects. We also work on weed eradication and meadow restoration projects. While our focus remains the Eldorado National Forest and El Dorado County, Sierra-wide issues get our attention also. After 28 years, CSNC is still going strong, protecting wildlife and wildlife habitat, thanks to the loyalty of our members, many of whom have been with us since our first year.
Board of Directors:
Ray Griffiths – Born on cattle ranch in Willows CA. BA Biology 1974, MS Ecology UCDavis 1977. Lived in Georgetown since 1978. Taught Horticulture at Folsom Lake College from 2000-2008.
Serves on Board of Resource Conservation District from 1994-2010, and 2016-present. Also serves on Georgetown Fire Safe Council.
EJ Kipping – I was born and raised in San Diego and lived there till I moved to El Dorado County in 1994. While still in San Diego, I trained at the San Diego Natural History Museum as an outdoor guide, a “Canyoneer,” to learn more about the natural environment and share it with the public. Birding became a major part of my lifestyle back then and remains a love of mine today, along with hiking, rafting, and enjoying nature. I love living in El Dorado County and being so close to the amazing Sierra Nevada mountains, and I feel so honored to be on the Board of CSNC to do my small part in helping restore and maintain our beautiful watersheds and forest lands that belong not only to us but to future generations.
John Kipping – John has been a resident of El Dorado County since 1982, and a longtime member of FAWN since the 90’s. He has always loved nature, grew up in SF Bay Area, and worked at Randall Junior Museum carrying for the animal collection while attending SF State College, earning a BA and MA in Ecology and Biosystematics. John’s career brought him to Strybing Arboretum and Botanical Garden in Golden Gate Park and then Audubon Canyon Ranch for total 15 years. He has taught field biology courses for Univ. Calif Extension at Berkeley, Santa Cruz, Davis and UCLA. Special emphasis on ethnobotany, ecology, marine mammals. He has been a river guide in California, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia and Alaska for 3 decades. He also became a Certified Arborist and tree service contractor from 1985-2015. John has been a Coast Guard Licensed Captain for 8 years, working small Alaska nature tour vessel in summers.
Karen Schambach – Karen and her late husband David founded CSNC in 1986. Karen is also a retired California representative of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. When not managing CSNC’s many projects, she loves sailing, camping and hiking, wildflowers and her garden.
Marty Oberlander – Marty is CSNC’s Treasurer and an enthusiastic volunteer at our restoration events. Marty is a former veterinarian technician; Home health worker; and plant nursery associate. She is grandmother to two young boys, whom she and Grandpa Jim take on frequent camping trips.