Funding the protection, preservation, and restoration of Sierra Nevada lands, water, wildlife and communities

The Sierra Nevada Foundation is a groundbreaking new grant-making organization funding organizations, programs, and projects in the Sierra Nevada Conservancy region.

mission & goals

What We Work For

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Protection and restoration of land and natural resources from fire and other threats.

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Watershed health, aquatic species habitat, and water quality

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Saving wildlife and the habitat they need to thrive.

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Meeting and adapting to climate and other threats and impacts to the Sierra’s small towns and way of life for future generations.


Supporting organizations and projects for a region in need

The mission of the Sierra Nevada Foundation is to support the charitable conservancy goals of protecting, preserving, and restoring Sierra Nevada lands, water, wildlife, and communities. These goals are achieved through support of organizations dedicated to protecting resources, including but not limited to watershed restoration, water quality monitoring, air quality monitoring, forest health monitoring, land and water rights acquisition, conservation easements, land use planning, litigation, legislation (within allowable limits defined by Internal Revenue Code), advocacy, grassroots organizing, communications, environmental clean-up, and most importantly, environmental education.



Inspiration & Purpose

Dr. Sarah Pender has always had a passion for the mountains and has always felt at home in the Sierra Nevada mountains in particular. An educator by career, Sarah started a backpacking club at the high school where she taught to help foster a similar appreciation of nature within her students. Sarah’s dedication to nature and to education are what have led her down a trail of discovery over the last 40 years, searching for a way to fund projects that would have a direct benefit to this corner of the world which she had grown to love. During those 40 years, Sarah has been seeking an existing program for residents of the Sierra Nevada to support and fund projects and efforts that support the Sierras where they work, play, and live. Her goals were simple, a program or organization dedicated to protecting, preserving, and restoring Sierra Nevada lands, water, wildlife, and communities.

What she found was… nothing. She found organizations serving some of her goals but nothing of the bigger picture, funding projects through the whole of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy. No matter where she looked, nothing fit the vision that she had defined for what she intended to be her legacy, a program that would ensure a healthy, beautiful, and thriving Sierra Nevada region for future generations to enjoy as she herself had enjoyed them for most of her life.

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