GOLD2023

SEQUOIA FORESTKEEPER

Manage people, not nature

aka SEQUOIA FORESTKEEPER®   |   Weldon, CA   |  http://www.sequoiaforestkeeper.org

Mission

The mission of Sequoia ForestKeeper® is to protect and restore the ecosystems of the southern Sierra Nevada - including both Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument - through monitoring, enforcement, education, and litigation. By acting as the eyes, ears, and voice of the forest, SFK seeks to improve land management practices, promote land stewardship, enforce existing laws and regulations, implement public awareness programs, affect national forestry policy, and offer assistance to local land management agencies.

Notes from the nonprofit

As the only on the ground nonprofit watchdog and education organization in Sequoia National Forest, Sequoia ForestKeeper holds an immense and unique responsibility in the community. Our organization uses a holistic approach to protecting the watershed, wildlife, ecosystems, and citizens in the community from biased documents based solely on economics. We and our members understand that you can't make money on a dead planet.

Ruling year info

2002

Principal Officer

Mr. Ara Marderosian

Main address

PO Box 836

Weldon, CA 93283 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

91-2154817

NTEE code info

Forest Conservation (C36)

Wildlife Preservation/Protection (D30)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (N01)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

To change the paradigm that the earth is to be used and disposed of in our tiny corner of this amazing planet. Wood is not renewable in human terms. We must stop plowing down forests for temporary structures. The loss of entire ecosystems is destroying our climate and exterminating biodiversity. Sequoia ForestKeeper wants to see humanity survive and thrive without sucking all of the water and resources out of the southern Sierra Nevada.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Protect the Monument Enforcement Campaign

SFK focuses on activating and educating the public and decision makers, using the best available science, and utilizing a strategic litigation policy to ensure creation of a management plan that truly protects the Giant Sequoia National Monument. This includes: Working with scientists to study the Monument's sensitive species and their habitat; Reviewing, commenting on, appealing, and when necessary, litigating against all potentially harmful Forest Service (FS) projects; Issuing press releases, opinion pieces, and public service announcements to local and national media outlets; Working to transfer management of the Monument to the National Park Service, which has been more effective in environmentally sensitive stewardship of the land they manage; Working with other groups to collaborate on other strategies to protect the monument; Shifting the emphasis of the Monument Management Plan from logging to community-protection alternatives that use natural ecological processes.

Population(s) Served
Adults

SFK seeks to increase the available pool of data on the conditions of Sequoia National Forest and the Monument by activating citizens and student interns to intensively monitor sections of forest, both before and after management projects, in order to track forest conditions. Due to the rural nature of the Kern Valley, with a population of fewer than 20,000, it is difficult to gather enough volunteers to monitor the 1.2 million acres of Sequoia National Forest. So in 2007, SFK began our annual Summer Intern Monitoring Program, in which college students and recent graduates spend the summer monitoring forest conditions to acquire data regarding forest health. The findings are used to highlight the differences between managed and un-managed forests in our comments, appeals, and litigation against harmful projects. Monitoring provides data that documents forest characteristics, including wildlife use, canopy density, watershed health, and other conditions.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our local youth are desperate for enrichment activities due to severe budget cuts in our schools and great losses at our local high school from two suicides in one month in 2010 and an additional 5 suicide attempts since then. 20% of our local population is living at or below the poverty line, many being families with school-aged children. SFK brings activities into the classroom that focus on art, music, dance, science, and writing, and works with our local teachers to provide opportunities for more outdoor learning to complement the classroom instruction. Also, our high school has just added an environmental education elective, science course for college-bound students, where students will create their own environmental project and complete it during the school year. The teacher has expressed great interest in working with SFK to develop and implement this project. We also get students involved in volunteer projects to help them become proactive citizens through hands-on involvement.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

This program assures environmentally sound compliance with the laws through participation in management and project-level planning, commenting, appealing, and when necessary litigating proposed projects that could negatively affect the ecosystems of the southern Sierra. SFK is constantly vigilant in monitoring the conditions in the forest and educating stakeholders about the results, which we are able to translate into successful administrative and legal action. Our legal successes have occurred because we have leveraged our resources, allowing our very small group to have a precedent-setting, national impact. Many of our administrative challenges and appeals have resulted in projects being withdrawn or significantly improved. The Forest Service has responded to our administrative work by pulling or changing projects that we show to be legally vulnerable.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of free participants on field trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Youth Outreach and Environmental Education Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We lead field trips to the local natural wonders teaching how to identify birds, mammals, and wildflowers. We teach how to use the online databases to upload information in citizen science projects.

Total number of fields trips

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults, Adolescents, American Indians, People of Central American descent, People of South American descent

Related Program

Protect the Monument Enforcement Campaign

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Field trips to the forest, wildflower fields, and nature preserves.

Number of Facebook followers

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Protect the Monument Enforcement Campaign

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

We post action items and topics relevant to the health of the local environment. https://www.facebook.com/SequoiaForestKeeper

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

To protect the ecosystems of the Southern Sierra Nevada from unsustainable consumption of natural resources. To protect the flora and fauna. To protect the non-consumptive recreational opportunities from air, water, noise, and visual pollution.

To read all projects from the United States Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Wildlife Services, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Environmental Protection Agency, Kern County Water Agency, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, Kern County Parks & Recreation, Kern County Planning, CalTrans, Tulare County Parks & Recreation, Tulare County Planning, Rosedale-Rio Bravo Water Agency, CalWater, and other unnamed agencies and corporations.

Our team consists of an executive director, programs director, research associates, attorneys, and volunteers. We are the only on the ground environmental organization fighting to stop projects and educate local citizens about their stake in the forest. We spend 1/4 of our time in the field, and the rest of the time reading and researching proposed projects and their impacts to the watersheds of the southern Sierra Nevada. We are active in social media and write newsletters, maintain a website, submit comment letters, attend meetings, give public presentations, and when necessary we file suit to stop egregious actions that cumulatively harm the health of the ecosystem and the people that live within the same ecosystems.

SFK, along with four other environmental organizations, won a lawsuit against the Forest Service's first management plan for the Giant Sequoia National Monument, forcing the agency to begin again and create a management plan that would truly protect the Monument.\r\nSequoia ForestKeeper has stopped ten logging projects, protecting countless trees totaling over 900 million board feet on over 20,000 acres since we began our work in 2001.\r\nSFK helped to ensure that all Americans have the right to appeal any decisions made by the Federal Government by filing the Burnt Ridge lawsuit, which resulted in a Federal judge determining that logging-related Categorical Exclusions are not exempt from appeal on any National Forest; a huge victory for all of America's forests. \r\nSFK halted grazing permits on over 50,000 acres of sensitive habitat in Sequoia National Forest and the Giant Sequoia National Monument.\r\nSFK filed suit against the US Forest Service to stop a local rancher from diverting the entire flow of Fay Creek, a stream in Sequoia National Forest, a tributary of the South Fork Kern River, which resulted in a precedent-setting court ruling that will protect watersheds throughout the country. This was upheld in two rulings, one in 2010 and the other in 2011.

Financials

SEQUOIA FORESTKEEPER
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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SEQUOIA FORESTKEEPER

Board of directors
as of 07/06/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Danielle Fugere

Sequoia ForestKeeper

Term: 2013 - 2024

Ed Begley

Actor, Activist

Kristina Haddad

Seventh Generation Advisors

Danielle Fugere

As You Sow

Charlene Little

Retired

Valerie Costa

Freelance Editor

Alison Sheehey

Treasurer

Ara Marderosian

Secretary

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 7/6/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

No data

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data