It’s not too late to register for the 2021 California Environmental Assembly! Here’s a sneak peek into the two virtual sessions happening this Thursday with a focus on land conservation and renewable energy. To view information about all of the sessions, click here.
A Peek into the Conservation and Energy Sessions!
February 11th, 2021
How do we conserve 30% of California’s land and water?
9:00 am – 10:30 am
Governor Newsom’s recent executive order set a lofty goal of conserving 30% of California’s land and water by 2030. Scientists have long argued that we need to set aside half of Earth’s landmass if we are to save our planet from heading into a mass extinction event. Are these goals possible and how do we go about protecting large areas of land and water from human use? This panel of experts will attempt to answer these questions and give insight into some of the work they’ve been doing.
Wade Crowfoot was appointed California’s Natural Resources Secretary by Governor Gavin Newsom in January 2019.
Secretary Crowfoot oversees an agency of 19,000 employees who protect and manage California’s natural resources. This includes the state’s forests and natural lands, rivers and waterways, coast and ocean, fish and wildlife, and energy development. As a member of the Governor’s cabinet, he advises the Governor on natural resources and environmental issues.
Secretary Crowfoot believes good natural resources management helps natural places thrive and allows communities and our economy to prosper.
Prior to leading the Natural Resources Agency, Crowfoot served as chief executive officer of the Water Foundation, a nonprofit philanthropy that builds shared water solutions across the American West. Before that Crowfoot served in Governor Jerry Brown’s Administration as deputy cabinet secretary and senior advisor to the Governor. He also previously served as West Coast regional director for the Environmental Defense Fund and a senior environmental advisor to then-San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.
Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat
California Natural Resources Agency
Dr. Norris is Deputy Secretary for Biodiversity and Habitat at the California Natural Resources Agency. She is responsible for overseeing their statewide biodiversity strategy, driving landscape scale restoration through partnerships and “cutting green tape.” Jennifer most recently served as the field supervisor for the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office at the US Fish and Wildlife Service. There, she oversaw the implementation of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and other laws for over 100 listed and trust species, across north-central California.
Climate Action Director
Andrea Leon-Grossmann is the Climate Action Director with Azul, she works with the Latinx community to protect and conserve our coasts and oceans. She has always been passionate about fighting for environmental and social justice, and has been involved with immigrant rights, juvenile justice, animal rights, and of course, environmental groups, for nearly two decades.
Born and raised in Mexico City, Andrea has lived in Los Angeles for 25 years. In 2016, Andrea co-authored a book called “Fracking: ¿Qué es y cómo evitar que acabe con México?” (“Fracking: What is it and how to ensure it doesn’t destroy Mexico”).
Jonathan (Jon) B. Jarvis was the Inaugural Executive Director of the Institute for Parks, People and Biodiversity at the University of California, Berkeley and now serves as Chairman of the Board. In 2009, he was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate as the 18th Director of the National Park Service (NPS), serving for the entire Obama administration. During his tenure, he led the agency through its Centennial, adding 22 new parks including new parks to the contributions of women and people of color, achieving its largest budget in history and raising over $400 million in philanthropic support. His most recent book, co-authored with Clemson Professor Dr. Gary Machlis, is “The Future of Conservation in America: A Chart for Rough Water”, from the University of Chicago Press.
Moving Towards Renewable Energy in the 21st Century
10:45 am – 12:15 pm
California’s ambitious climate and energy policies call for the development of significant amounts of new zero-carbon energy by mid-century. California has also set ambitious goals to combat the biodiversity and climate change crises using nature-based solutions, notably by conserving at least 30% of California’s land and coastal waters by 2030. As you will hear from panelists, these goals can easily result in conflict as many land and offshore areas have both high renewable resource potential and important conservation values. This session will frame these co-equal goals and explore challenges and pathways to achieve both while minimizing impacts. Panelists will share opportunities to get engaged in policy, planning, and implementation discussions underway that will shape California’s choices to meet clean energy and conservation goals and avoid the worst impacts of catastrophic climate change.
California Energy Commission
Commissioner Karen Douglas is serving her third term on the California Energy Commission. She served as chair from February 2009 to February 2011. Commissioner Douglas also served as director of the California Climate Initiative at the Environmental Defense Fund. Before going to the Environmental Defense Fund, Commissioner Douglas spent four years at the Planning and Conservation League. Commissioner Douglas graduated from Stanford Law School in 2001 and has a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Project Manager, Energy and Land Use The Nature Conservancy California
Maya Batres is the Project Manager for Energy and Land Use in The Nature Conservancy’s California chapter. She focuses on regulatory and policy issues related to biodiversity conservation and energy planning. She has also worked for TNC on federal climate policy in DC, and in state natural resource policy in the Great Plains. She previously held positions at the Energy Transitions Lab, which champions carbon neutral policies for MN, and at the Center for International Environmental Law where she was a Human Rights Fellow.
Kate Kelly provides land use, project management, and governmental relations consulting to conservation organizations and public agencies. Kate focuses on land use planning and policies for siting and procurement of renewable energy that balance the protection of natural and cultural resources with meeting climate goals. As a consultant to Defenders of Wildlife, Kate has been a leader on their Central Valley Renewable Energy and California Offshore Wind Programs and works to incentivize siting of renewable energy projects in low-conflict areas with low natural and cultural resource value as an essential strategy for accelerating renewable energy development and protecting vital natural and cultural resources.
Kim Delfino is the founder and president of Earth Advocacy, a consulting company that provides policy and advocacy guidance to nonprofits and foundations with the goal of protecting and restoring our lands, water and wildlife for future generations.
Previously, she served as the longtime California director of Defenders of Wildlife. She developed and directed the organization’s work across the state, including determining policy and program work in wildlife, land use, water and energy issues. Her policy expertise lies in state and federal endangered species, land use planning, water and other natural resource laws.
Climate Policy Associate
The Nature Conservancy
Sydney received a PhD in Physics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In her research, she contributed to the first detections of gravitational waves, tiny cosmic ripples that carry vital information about the contents and evolution of the universe. She most recently served as a postdoctoral scholar at Penn State University. She also holds BS degrees in Physics and Math from Utah State University. Sydney is currently a Climate Policy Associate at The Nature Conservancy.
Deputy Secretary of Energy
California Natural Resources Agency
Matthew Baker was appointed deputy secretary of energy at the California Natural Resources Agency. Baker has been a program officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation since 2012. He served as a commissioner at the Colorado Public Utilities Commission from 2008 to 2012. He was executive director for Environment Colorado from 2002 to 2008 and Colorado Public Interest Research Group from 1999 to 2002. He was hiring director at the Fund for Public Interest Research from 1995 to 1999 and organizing director with New Jersey Public Interest Research Group from 1990 to 1996.
Terry Watt brings a wealth of experience in planning and implementation efforts focused on projects that promote resource conservation and sustainable development patterns and practices. Prior to forming her own consulting firm, she was the staff planning expert with the environmental and land use law firm Shute, Mihaly and Weinberger. Terry is an expert in general and specific planning and zoning, open space and agricultural land conservation strategies and environmental compliance.