Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center (Twain Harte, CA)


  • Name:Julia Stephens
  • Title:Environmental Associate

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Central Sierra Environmental Resource Center
  • Address:P.O. Box 396
    18711 Tiffeni Drive, Suite F
    Twain Harte, CA 95383
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:(209)586-7440
  • Main fax:(209)586-4986

Organization Web

User Phone

  • Mobile phone:(209)840-3517

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • CSERC's mission is to protect water, wildlife, and wild places of the Northern Yosemite region. Translating those 15 words into meaningful, far-reaching actions is a challenge that stretches our Center’s capacity and creativity each and every year. A secondary supplemental mission is to raise environmental awareness (especially in young people) in order to gain support for protection of our iconic region. That, too, is a challenge that demands a huge amount of staff time, resources, and innovative strategies.

    Why is that mission so important?

    Many national and regional organizations care about what happens in Yosemite National Park, the Stanislaus National Forest, and the vast foothill region below the conifer forests. But only CSERC responds to every significant environmental threat. Only CSERC does hundreds of days of watchdog monitoring, wildlife research, water quality monitoring, and meadow and stream surveys within this vast region.

    When it comes to pivotal hearings and key meetings, again and again it is CSERC staff that shows up to testify and to speak respectfully for the needs of nature. But CSERC does not work alone. We use our locally-based expertise and years of experience to network with the regional and national groups that don't have the ability to personally attend sessions or come to the region to meet with agency officials or to do fieldwork monitoring.

    CSERC pursues our mission with a goal of excellence and of showing full respect for all points of view. The following information in this application will hopefully show why CSERC stands apart from the vast majority of organizations due to the highly effective results we achieve and the minimal costs tied to our broad range of efforts.

  • Overview:
  • What happens to the natural environment in the Yosemite region truly matters to millions of people who cherish their connections to this iconic travel destination. The Northern Yosemite ecosystem includes national forest lands, private forest lands, and the foothill region that together provides the diverse habitat needed by many wildlife species that can be found within world-famous Yosemite Park. As the key defender of this region's impressive forests, deep river canyons, and the scenic oak woodlands of the foothills, CSERC has saved thousands of acres of old growth forest groves, has gained significant improvements in hundreds of development projects, and has evolved to become a key source of information for the region’s media. CSERC staff has used fieldwork, science, and innovative educational outreach to gain respect and credibility from local community leaders, agency officials, political decision-makers, and even those who generally oppose environmental regulations.

    Over 22 years of persistent efforts, CSERC has evolved to become the main environmental force on a wide range of important issues affecting more than 2,000,000 acres.

    CSERC also has established a long history of support for small grassroots non-profit groups run by volunteers who do not have extensive experience in highly complex environmental issues. Our attendance at their meetings and our advice and encouragement have all helped keep groups afloat that otherwise may have faded away.

    CSERC’s strategic efforts are unique for many reasons. We bring an exceptionally high level of expertise to key issues because we have scientists on our staff and because of our Center’s highly experienced director. Lindsey, Julia, and Heather all hold science degrees. John, our director, served 13 years as a firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service and has been active in every major conservation issue affecting the region for nearly three decades. In addition, the staff spends literally hundreds of days of staff time out in the forest or along streams and rivers each year doing water sampling, wildlife surveys, and monitoring work. The overall field knowledge and familiarity that CSERC brings to issues is exceptional.

    Second, we are locally based, yet we are still highly connected to state and national organizations that often rely upon us for our regional knowledge and connections. Third, with over 22 years of experience and engagement with all of the pivotal interests of our vast region, CSERC has gained a high level of credibility and respect from the full range of interests that often determine the outcome of resource debates. Our talented and trained staff, our local location on the front lines of debate, and our 22 years of experience all are vital to preserving the rich biological diversity of the spectacular, world-renowned 2,000,000-acre Northern Yosemite region - with its 3,500 plant species and an abundance of wildlife.

    We are also unique in how we approach issues – always emphasizing respect for opposing views and all participants in debates. But perhaps most unique of all is the incredible diversity of issues we address. CSERC works to defend water quality, old growth forests, unprotected wild lands, and wild rivers. CSERC strives to reduce clear-cutting, mining pollution, sprawling new development, and other major threats to biodiversity and ecosystem health. We use remote camera photo-stations to locate isolated populations of rare wildlife in order to give their habitat greater protection. CSERC staff and volunteers also work to restore and rehabilitate important habitat areas across public lands of the region, rehabilitating degraded streams and meadows.

    We serve as the local region's foremost voice in environmental policy debates and decision-making. Yet even as we speak passionately and effectively for the environment, we strive to reach balanced and respectful solutions that can benefit people as well as the environment.

    Admittedly we are a grassroots, small non-profit. But even though we are small (currently a staff of four), we conduct more monitoring, research, fieldwork, restoration projects, educational programs, and policy advocacy than many larger organizations that are many times our size. We accomplish so much in part due to our dedicated and experienced staff and director who together donate over 1,000 hours of volunteer time each year above and beyond the paid full-time workload.

  • History:
  • In 1990, Forest Service firefighter John Buckley and businessman Bob Rajewski created CSERC with a passionate desire to respond to devastating clearcuts, invasive road construction, and chemical treatments that were affecting public lands of the world-renowned Northern Yosemite region. Many significant threats to water and wildlife were widespread across both public and private lands. In the Center’s first two years of existence, CSERC used science, fieldwork, and respectful strategies to convince USFS officials to stop clearcutting, protect ancient forest groves, and halt road construction into pristine roadless areas of public lands. But those initial achievements only underscored the need for there to be a science-based, respectful, and diligent conservation organization that would persistently advocate for nature’s needs at countless meetings, hearings, field sessions, and other important events each year.

    Because media matters so much, the Center has established strong relationships with newspaper reporters and some editors - serving as a key contact for the press over 100 times each year. But raising awareness in young citizens, especially in minority cultures, has been a special priority. CSERC has successfully reached out to many urban areas in the Central Valley (including Stockton, Lodi, Modesto, and Turlock), presenting free slide show programs to elementary students who seldom get to connect with nature. CSERC has now reached over 109,000 students with these popular and inspiring programs. Many of the students write us pen-pal letters sharing their interest and their thanks for us visiting their classroom and giving such exciting programs.

  • Year established:1990
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:8
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:5

Board and Executive Names

  • Board Members / Trustees:
  • Robert J. Rajewski; Jon Sturtevant; Eve Schaeffer; Roger Mueller; Rebecca Creeman; Jason; Reed; and Tom Harrington.

  • Executive Director / President:
  • John Buckley, Executive Director

Staff Names

  • Key Staff:
  • Brenda Whited, Biologist
    Tom Hofstra, Botanist
    Heather Campbell, Environmental Associate
    Julia Stephens, Environmental Associate


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:None
  • Tax ID:77-0279240

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:770279240
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:PO BOX 396
  • Organization City:TWAIN HARTE
  • Organization State:CA
  • Organization Zip:95383-0396
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:June, 1996
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):320
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc.
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:December, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:December
  • NTEE Code:Z99Z
  • Asset Amount:$135,979
  • Asset Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • Income Amount:$275,991
  • Income Code:4 ($100,000 - $499,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$275,991
  • Last Updated:2/25/2018 7:33:54 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.