Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Wildlife Preservation & Protection

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.

Community Stories

11 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live in Tuolumne County, California. Much of the local region consists of public land including the Stanislaus National Forest, Wilderness areas, BLM land, and Yosemite National Park. There is also a lot of privately owned open ranch land.

Ranchers, loggers, developers, recreational interests and public agencies generally have strong points of view about how to manage all of this land. Fortunately, we have one organization in the region that advocates for the protection of the environment: The Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (CSERC). Without CSERC’s tireless advocacy, there would likely be more ‘leap-frog’ developments into open space land; there would be less oversight of cattle grazing on public lands; there would be little if any monitoring of water quality in our mountain streams; and there would be much less camera monitoring of rare wildlife, such as the Sierra Nevada Red Fox.

I am continually amazed at the volume and quality of work done by CSERC. The staff attends countless public meetings dealing with Forest management plans, FERC relicensing plans, OHV and over-snow vehicle plans, and Yosemite management plans. Often CSERC is the only voice at these meetings advocating for water, wildlife and wild spaces. Often, too, CSERC has done the research that other organizations haven’t done. The CSERC staff is recognized as experts on tree mortality in the region and water quality issues in the forest. While CSERC represents a strong voice for the protection of the environment, its goal is to collaborate and find middle ground with loggers, ranchers and developers. For example, CSERC believes that to promote healthy forests, a mix of thinning logging and prescribed burning is necessary to open up dense forests to prevent large wildfires. Rather than oppose all development, CSERC tries to steer developers to build projects on ‘infill’ parcels rather than exploiting the open grasslands and oak woodlands.

Another wonderful aspect of CSERC’s advocacy is its practice of organizing volunteer work parties to help out the Forest Service and BLM with projects that might not otherwise get done. These projects include meadow restoration, stream bank stabilization, fencing off of sensitive meadows from cattle, and rehabilitation of illegal OHV trails. Over the years I have participated in many of these work parties. I don’t know of any other environmental group that has so many opportunities for this sort of hands-on work. In addition to doing useful work in beautiful settings, these projects are a wonderful way to share CSERC’s vision with other people.

I feel incredibly fortunate that an organization such as CSERC is thriving in our county. CSERC’s diligent ‘watch-dog’ presence gives me confidence that our precious natural resources will be protected for years to come.

1 Patrick14

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have worked with CSERC from several different viewpoints. I have been the chair of the local chapter of the California Native Plant Society for 9 years and conservation chair for 10, and I feel they are the best source of information and resources in the region( central sierra) They constantly provide leadership for other local environmental organzations, as well as ours, in identifying and meeting the challenges we face. Good examples are the Forest Plan ( USFS Stanislaus) , the Clavey River protection, and the Stanislaus NF off-road vehicle battle. Since 2005, I have served as a commissioner on the Tuolumne County Planning Commission. CSERC always provides an important viewpoint on important issues, is consulted by the board often and is an important provider of reliable verifiable important facts that no one else has presented, including county staff. Perhaps most importantly, CSERC often manages to help bodies find workable compromise and solutions to land use problems. The combination of reliable scientific information and leadership ,provided by CSERC, has made our central Sierra a better place to live

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Robert37

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

As a Kindergarten teacher and coordinator for much of the "green activity" on campus, I was pleased to have the Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center take an active role in helping our children, grades Pre-K through 5th grade, learn about our foothill environment as well as the high Sierras. They were never "preachy" but helped the students understand stewardship to nature--our need for trees, other flora and wildlife and our duty to protect them and our earth. Their presentations were grade level appropriate and were welcomed by students and teachers alike. I've also worked as a volunteer for CSERC and had the pleasure of laboring to stop erosion by planting trees along creek sides, pulling invasive weeds up and down canyons, helping with fence construction in a fen area, helping set up a fence-building day for a local wildlife reserve that nurses young creatures back to health and releases them to the wild. I often read in our local newspaper the input from Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center regarding environmental impact studies for local development, review of every proposed logging project on private and public lands of the region, water issues, and other community planning.

Review from Guidestar

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I first became aware of CSERC's outstanding work when I served on the Calaveras Planning Commission from 2005-2008. This was during a time of unparalleled development in Calaveras, but few were watching. CESERC was! John, or one of his able associates would show up at our meetings with carefully crafted, relevant comments on the proposed project and make a clear and balanced presentation. Finally, members of our community began to wake up to the dangers of unmitigated development when we embarked on our General Plan Update. I am now a Board Member of the Community Action Project (in Calaveras County.) We formed the Calaveras Planning Coalition, made up of watchdog groups in all areas of the county. CSERC has been an active member of the Coalition and always present for Board Study Sessions on aspects of the General Plan. With such a small staff, I cannot imagine how they can accomplish such a wide range of activities, in the field, in schools and in several neighboring counties, protecting and preserving our most valuable assets. I very much look forward to their beautifully designed and illustrated newsletter each month to keep abreast of their work outside of our county. I can't say enough good about this small but powerful non profit. It deserves the attention and support of all of us!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

CSERC leads at least 8 volunteer workdays in the forest and other public lands. The group also works to develop win-win solutions to sticky environmental issues. CSERC is respected by and supported by all the local environmental groups. They do a great job protecting water, wildlife and wild places in the northern Yosemite region.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been familiar with CSERC since about 1992, when John Buckley spoke to my approx. 150 7th grade science students. He gave a presentation on wildlife and forest practices. He visited my class several times during my 23 years with Modesto City Schools. John has also given presentations to my local Sierra Club group. I have been a member of CSERC for almost 20 years, and during that I time I have volunteered on several volunteer work days (garbage clean-ups, meadow restoration, illegal road removal), and I have been a board member for the past 2 years. Additional CSERC activities include -- reviewing proposed development projects in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, submitting comments on proposed logging projects, providing local media with scientific/environmental information, doing hundreds of days of scientific data collection each year, and reaching over 100,000 students in the Sierra and the Central valley with various presentations. CSERC is one of the most effective environmental organizations that I am aware of. The small staff is very productive and they volunteer many extra hours beyond their paid work. John and staff are also very respectful of other viewpoints, and they work to build relationships with all members of the community. I am pleased to support and be a part of CSERC.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Review from Guidestar