CBI & Governor Newsom's Executive Order
October 29, 2020 -- Alignment with California Governor Gavin Newsom’s Executive Order on Biodiversity and Climate Change


Wayne Spencer, Ph.D.
Chief Scientist | Head of Science Leadership Team

CBI is an active participant in California's “biodiversity movement”, spearheaded by several collaborative efforts and strengthened with Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent Executive Order to address the state's biodiversity and climate change crises using nature-based solutions. The order encourages a progressive approach to these intertwined challenges, elevating the role of natural and working lands as pillars of California’s climate change strategy, while also recognizing the inextricable linkage between the futures of human and natural communities.

Southern California landscape, Photo by: Jessie Vinje

Pacific fisher (Pekania pennanti), Southern Sierra Nevada. Photo by: Z. Miller.  

CBI has a long history of participating in collaborative efforts to support and advance science-informed, integrative approaches to biodiversity conservation. Our multi-disciplinary teams work with diverse partners to promote a whole-system approach to resource management. For example, we currently collaborate with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and numerous stakeholders to develop science-based methods for evaluating "forest resilience", a forest ecosystem's capacity to maintain ecologically sustainable landscape conditions for species, including humans. Understanding where forest resilience is low -- that is, where and why forests are out of balance -- is critical for planning management actions that protect species and landscape processes, and for securing water resources and sequestering carbon. We recently applied these same concepts to help the town of Paradise plan new ways to rebuild its fire-ravaged community, thus making it less vulnerable to wildfire while stewarding the surrounding natural areas. 

Quino checkerspot butterfly (Euphydryas editha quino), Southern California. Photo by Spring Strahm. 

Since 2010, CBI has been involved with the California Landscape Conservation Partnership (CA LCP, formerly the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative). CBI's Chief Scientist, Wayne Spencer, has served on the CA LCP Steering Committee, which recently completed its new strategic plan focusing on “Biodiversity +” to address issues impacting biodiversity, ecosystem services, water, landscape connectivity, and wildfire while simultaneously considering the benefits of these to all Californians. The CA LCP is coordinating with the new California Biodiversity Collaborative launched by the governor's Biodiversity Executive Order, and other multi-stakeholder collaborations to encourage and demonstrate innovative action to secure a healthy future for California's ecosystems and human communities.

Through its work with both long-standing and newly emerging state-wide collaborations, and by helping form effective partnerships that act in critical locations like the Southern Sierra Nevada, Southern California, and the San Joaquin Valley, CBI supports the advancement of science for timely decision making for biodiversity conservation.

*This piece was written in collaboration by Wayne Spencer, Deanne DiPietro, and Gwynne Nell Corrigan.

*Thumbnail photo by Jessie Vinje.

Male blunt-nosed leopard lizard (Gambelia sila), endemic to California's San Joaquin Valley

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