Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

Rating: 5 stars   10 reviews

Issues: Animals, Environment

Location: PO Box 396 Twain Harte CA 95383 USA

Mission: CSERC''s mission is to protect water, wildlife, and wild places across the Northern Yosemite region.  CSERC also works to raise environmental awareness through educational programs that reach 1,000''s of young people each year.

Geographic areas served: the Northern Yosemite region of the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Programs: CSERC works to defend water quality and watershed resources across the vast Northern Yosemite region by engaging in all major management plans, development projects, timber sales, road projects, herbicide spray projects, water diversions, and other potential sources of pollution or degradation for water resources across this region.
2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties include an abundance of public lands, open rural areas, and small communities. The CSERC staff is a powerful local voice for the protection of this very special environment. Their level of involvement in local issues far exceeds what one might expect from a small staff. CSERC is present at public and government meetings, engages in extensive field work and research, conducts programs at area schools, and takes reasoned positions in the local media. CSERC also sponsors volunteer workdays. Priceless! Thanks John, Julia, Lindsey, and Heather, the CSERC staff.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I recently retired from teaching high school where I was also the adviser for the Ecology Club. Looking for useful projects, I contacted CSERC and the club was able to join many of the projects that they organized, such as stream bank restoration, meadow restoration, rehabilitation of illegal OHV trails, trash cleanup, and fence building to keep cattle out of sensitive meadows. The staff at CSERC was always very friendly, helpful and encouraging. They always let the students know how much their help was appreciated, and they were careful to explain the purpose of each project. Quite a few of my students have decided to pursue degrees in Natural Resources, and it is clear to me that the CSERC staff members served as excellent role models.

Over the years I have also come to appreciate the role CSERC plays as a watch-dog agency for the oversight of development and logging projects in our area. On several occasions I have attended meetings where John Buckley, the executive director, had to face very angry, contentious people who have no patience with environmentalists and who are used to getting their way. In every case, John calmly and courteously presented the facts and environmental principles behind his reasoning, whether it be the problems with over-grazing, the effects of clear-cutting practices, or the problems with unlimited OHV access to forest lands. John always treats his opponents with respect and looks for common ground and compromise. He supports logging practices that leave a healthy forest and a vibrant ecosystem. He supports housing projects that don’t contribute to sprawling sub-developments, but rather fill in spaces between existing developments. He does not oppose OHV use, but seeks sensible regulations that don’t lead to resource degradation.

Our community is truly blessed to have CSERC working for our interests. I have seen the results of unchecked development in neighboring counties – sprawling sub-developments, unregulated OHV use, clear-cut logging practices – and I am SO grateful that CSERC is here to establish a degree of moderation and a vision of sustainability.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

CSERC is very involved in not only environmental issues but also gives educational programs to grade school children. Many of these children first experience nature through these programs. They often speak before Planning Commissions and are usually the lone voice speaking to protect the environment. Their work in the local forest to protect sensitive areas from destruction has been outstanding. To sum it up, I'm amazed at their dedication and hard work to protect and nurture the environment.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the restoration project show results in new plant growth and controlling erosion.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

not change a thing.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes, there is allows something new to learn about the environment while attending their restoration projects.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It made me feel good about the work we had done. I felt like I had accomplished something outstanding.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been involved with CSERC for the 15 years that I have lived in Sonora. I really value the "local" aspect of its mission. In harder times I have scaled back on monetary giving but have prioritized my membership with CSERC. I highly value the watchdog role that CSERC plays with logging, grazing, and development in our area. I an very pro-forestry, and I know that CSERC is not anti-logging, but still waant to make sure that rules and environmental safeguards are being followed. I love volunteering with CSERC and highly value the opportunities that CSERC provides. They partner with various agencies and give citizens the opportunity to develop a bond with their environment by participating in hands-on projects. I often bring my entire family on these projects.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

CSERC staff takes on an amazing range of issues and threats to nature from development, to clearcuts, to pollution, to loss of habitat, to poorly maintained roads causing erosion, to threats to rare wildlife. The Center has reached more than 107,000 students with free educational slide show programs. Each year CSERC leads at least 8 volunteer workdays bringing together staff and volunteers to do restoration projects on public lands of the region. The Center reviews every proposed logging project on private and public lands of the region and submits detailed comments. CSERC reviews every proposed development project in Calaveras County and Tuolumne County. CSERC provides the media with nature's point of view on a weekly basis, often providing key facts and quotes. CSERC serves as a watchdog for projects and plans in world-famous Yosemite National Park. CSERC does hundreds of days worth of fieldwork each year in the Stanislaus National Forest. The Center takes water quality samples in forest streams to test for pollution such as fecal coliform that might make people sick. The Center does year-round wildlife surveys in the national forest and Yosemite Park and provides the results to agency biologists (free of charge) to help locate and protect rare wildlife species. CSERC writes back with pen-pal letters to hundreds of students each year from urban areas in minority community neighborhoods in Stockton, Lodi, Modesto, Turlock, and other cities of the Central Valley. CSERC constantly works to find balanced, middle ground solutions rather than pressing for extremes. CSERC shows respect for opposing points of view and builds relationships with industry leaders, developers, etc. CSERC's small staff donates over 1,000 hours of volunteer time each year above and beyond the paid full-time work.
We enjoy very much participating in CSERC's wilderness protection projects and respect highly its dedicated staff.

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

Was this review helpful? 
Review from Guidestar