Government Affairs Director
As Government Affairs Director, Kerri works in partnership with local, regional, state and federal agencies and officials to advance sustainable communities strategies, climate action planning, energy efficiency programs and other SBC activities.
Kerri is a communications and management specialist with more than 25 years of public- and private- sector experience in community and government relations, business communications, land and water conservation, and nonprofit management and capacity building. Prior to joining SBC, Kerri spent six years with the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, where she served most recently as that agency’s Regional Policy and Program Manager. Before that, she was Executive Director of a non-profit conservation group, operated her own consulting practice where she cultivated relationships with watershed organizations, land trusts and other community groups within and outside the Sierra, and served as account executive and creative director for a community and government relations firm in San Francisco. Kerri holds a B.A. in English Literature from San Francisco State University and a certificate in Land Use and Natural Resources planning through UC Davis Extension. Kerri has also authored a number of publications addressing land and water conservation and community sustainability issues in the Sierra Nevada.
Kerri and her husband John live in the foothills of the western Sierra Nevada, where they enjoy hiking, biking, boating, camping and hosting backyard barbeques for friends and family.
No April-Fools Joke - California's Water Reality
Despite record rainfall in Sacramento on Tuesday and seemingly lots of rain during the month of March, there was no “March miracle.” Rainfall totals, reservoir levels and overall snowpack remain critically low as we head into the spring melt. For example, Sierra snowpack readings conducted on April 1 indicated that – even with the recent storms – Sierra snowpack is still less than a third of normal for this time of year, and only 23% of normal in the northern Sierra. This is no joke!
Conference-goers at the 23rd annual California Water Policy gathering in Claremont contemplated a number of possibilities for dealing with the current drought and planning for future episodes. “There’s always money to do what people want to do,” suggested Cynthia Koehler, Executive Director of WaterNow. “It’s just a matter of prioritizing and political will.”
We understand that air pollution is bad, so we pay more at the gas pump for cleaner fuel and air quality improvements; but watershed protection is 3 or 4 times removed. Until we get people to understand how upper watershed management is critical to their lives and livelihoods, and until we get policy- and decision-makers to demand source water protection as a matter of course, we will continue to suffer the effects of limited, impaired and unreliable water supply in California.
This is why SBC is working to invigorate a Sierra-based “coalition of the willing” – to more effectively make the case for why upper watershed protection is so important, now and into the future. The coalition will be working on ways to increase investment in the upper watershed through inclusion in the 2014 water bond, better access to other state funding programs, and more creative permanent, long-term funding mechanisms to support necessary conservation and restoration work in the State’s largest reservoir: the Sierra Nevada.