Conservation Strategy Group is a strategic consulting firm with an innovative approach to improving the sustainability of California’s natural resources, water, energy, and transportation systems.
Conservation Strategy Group is a strategic consulting firm with an innovative approach to improving the sustainability of California’s natural resources, water, energy, and transportation systems. The firm provides a full range of state and federal political consulting services for NGOs, local agencies, and clean tech organizations to advance environmental goals in California. Going beyond traditional lobbying, the firm focuses on long-term political and funding strategies for clients from inception to implementation. CSG specializes in building collaborative constituencies for legislative and budget programs, while also designing policy solutions tailored to individual clients.
Conservation Strategy Group offers a range of governmental affairs services to a diversity of environmental clients, focusing primarily on three issue areas:
Transforming water supply and demand strategies for local, regional, and state systems
Protecting California’s natural resources through collaborative policy and funding solutions
Advancing AB 32 goals through natural resources, clean energy, and clean transportation policy
"POST's land conservation work on the San Mateo Coast required deep partnerships with agencies in Sacramento. CSG was the perfect group to help us find the right people and keep those relationships on target. If you want to do your work, you can't be in Sacramento all the time -- but CSG is! What a great group to have on your team."
President Emeritus, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST)
"CSG used their deep experience in the land conservation world to make sure that we fully address all the important issues."
General Counsel, Save the Redwoods League
“Addressing invasive species is critical to protecting California’s environment, but we have encountered deep challenges to strengthening state agency response. By working with CSG we have greatly increased our capacity to negotiate the world of policy and funding in Sacramento, especially when it comes to the nuances of the legislature. Our advocacy has made significant progress with CSG on our team.”
Executive Director, California Invasive Plant Council
CSG has helped NGO’s obtain hundreds of millions in conservation and restoration funding. Projects include working with the Big Sur Land Trust to obtain more than $13 million in public funding for the protection and restoration of the Carmel River floodplain, a multi-objective multi-agency project; and assisting the Monterey Bay Aquarium to successfully obtain a $6 million grant to update and expand exhibits for educational purposes. CSG works with clients on an ongoing basis to secure conservation funding through the legislative and state budget process. For more information on conservation funding programs contact Kim Schneider at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CSG has developed ballot initiatives designed for success. We authored and ran a successful statewide ballot initiative, 39, that closed a tax loophole that provided corporations with a tax break for moving their jobs and investments to other states. Drafted the initiative's language, managed campaign consultants, developed a strong base of supporters and coalition members, executed an effective social media campaign, provided legal and reporting assistance and managed a budget of $30 million dollars. For more information on development of ballot initiatives contact Joe Caves at email@example.com.
CSG has a long history of being at the forefront of designing California’s clean energy and climate policies. CSG helped pass the original AB 32 2006 by Assemblymember Fran Pavley which has successfully capped California’s GHG emissions at 1990 levels. Additionally, CSG lead the effort to defend AB 32 at the ballot box against the industry-backed Proposition 23 to overturn it. CSG is continuing its leadership on clean energy by working to extend the GHG emission cap through 2050, increase the share of renewable energy and expand the use of demand response, energy efficiency and distributed generation to integrate renewables in to the electricity grid. For more information on clean energy legislation contact Joe Caves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Conservation 2.0 is an initiative to improve California’s climate and conservation policies by working with leading experts in a diverse range of fields to design ‘blue sky’ solutions to some of the state’s most pressing environmental problems. Key projects include: (i) exploring how the state’s Natural and Working Lands and their biomass waste streams can be leveraged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045; and (ii) increasing the pace and scale of conservation action in California through regional planning, advance mitigation, permit streamlining and ‘dynamic’ conservation. While CSG serves as Project Manager, we work closely with numerous academic institutions, conservation organizations, consultants and attorneys to develop innovative policy solutions. For more information on Conservation 2.0, please contact Graham Chisholm at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2016 Conservation Strategy Group successfully worked with key conservation partners and agencies to enact legislation (AB 2087 -- Marc Levine) that provides a statutory basis for Regional Conservation Investment Strategies (RCISs), and specific authorization for advance mitigation agreements. The result is a powerful new approach to conservation and mitigation in California that can also influence the design and siting of infrastructure as well as drive mitigation funding to high priority conservation investments. For more information on how to apply this new tool to advance your conservation work, please contact Graham Chisholm at email@example.com.
Principal and Founder
Joe is an attorney and registered lobbyist in California specializing in environmental and natural resources law and policy. He served in the California State Legislature for more than a decade as a committee consultant and legislative staff director. Joe has extensive experience negotiating, drafting and lobbying legislation, and working the state budget. In addition, he specializes in developing public funding sources and crafting political strategies to advance environmental and natural resource protection. Joe was the principal author of Propositions 50 and 84, and was also instrumental in the development of Propositions 12, 13 and 40. He has expertise in a wide array of natural resources areas including land use, water policy, land conservation, coastal protection, CEQA, climate change, and forestry. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara and of Hastings College of the Law. He is a member of the Environmental Law Section of the California State Bar Association. For more information on long-term political strategies to advance environmental policy contact Joe Caves at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Senior Policy Advisor
Graham Chisholm brings more than 20 years of experience working in executive and leadership positions in the land and water conservation movement. He works assisting a range of clients on conservation policy, complex land and water conservation projects, avoiding conflicts over environmental issues, renewable energy, land-use, strategic planning, securing private and public funding for conservation and supporting efforts to diversify the conservation movement. He has served as Executive Director with The Nature Conservancy (California and Nevada Programs) and Audubon California. He was a lead architect of the Tejon Ranch Conservation and Land-Use Agreement, an innovative settlement that protected over 240,000 acres. Graham served on the Executive Committee for the Proposition 84 campaign. He has led large organizations to successful results and created small and effective non-profits, and has a strong appreciation for strategic partnerships. He served as an assistant to U.S. Senator Bob Kerrey (Nebraska) in Washington D.C. Chisholm holds a BA in Political Science from Creighton University, and a MA and PhD in Political Science from the University of California Berkeley. To discuss conservation strategy projects and policy contact Graham at email@example.com.
Director, Legislation & Public Policy
As an experienced environmental lobbyist, Kim helps her clients navigate the complex legislative and budget processes in the State Capitol to achieve successful outcomes for clients. Kim has built coalitions for successful lobbying and regulatory efforts, secured hundreds of millions of dollars for clients within the legislative and regulatory processes, and helped organize and lead efforts to defend against unprecedented environmental deregulation. Kim has worked on a broad range of environmental issues including climate, land-use, water, and sustainable & organic agriculture policy. Kim has been lobbying in California for 8 years. She graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Environmental Law & Policy and a Minor in Politics.
Director, Operations & Administration
Camille oversees and manages overall office operations for the company. Her responsibilities include assisting Principal and Founder Joseph Caves; managing registration and quarterly filings for clients and ensuring compliance as CSG's Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) Coordinator; and managing the company’s social media accounts, website, advertising, and company branding. Camille has extensive experience in project management, event planning, and scheduling, and utilizes these skills to achieve client objectives. Prior to joining CSG, Camille worked for a political fundraising and events firm in Sacramento. Camille is graduate of Humboldt State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Politics and a minor in Spanish. For more information, contact Camille Morgan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manager, Conservation and Climate Policy
Sam works on major, long-term policy design projects for clients. Sam's current work is focused primarily on climate policy in California, including identifying pathways for the state to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045, developing strategies for reducing methane emissions from natural gas production, and designing incentive mechanisms under CEQA to reduce VMT and transportation impacts. Sam also works on projects aimed at increasing the pace and scale of conservation action in California through advance mitigation and ecosystem services monetization. Sam previously worked as a Senior Associate for PwC and has extensive experience working on large, complex projects for multinational companies. Sam has a Bachelor of Commerce degree with honors in Economics from the University of Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Environmental Management at the University of Queensland. Sam is originally from Melbourne, Australia. For more information on Conservation 2.0, contact Sam at email@example.com.
Associate, Legislation & Public Policy
Duke works with CSG’s clients to achieve their legislative and public policy objectives. Prior to joining CSG, Duke worked as a legislative assistant for Senator Steven Bradford where he staffed the member on Public Safety, Housing, Transportation, and Environmental Quality issues. He also spent time in the Assembly with Assemblymember Chris Holden where he staffed disability rights legislation. He has a passion for public policy and is motivated to ensure the success of sustainable and equitable environmental policy. Duke is a graduate of California State University, Sacramento and holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and a performing arts degree in Dance. Duke is currently completing a law degree at McGeorge School of Law with a focus on Trial and Appellate Advocacy. He was recognized in 2019 as the “Most Professional Oral Advocate”, and in 2020 as a “McGeorge Outstanding Oral Advocate”. For more information, contact Duke Cooney at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Associate, Conservation & Climate Policy
Amanda is committed to sustainability and developing innovative environmental policies that equitably benefit communities in California. Amanda's current work is focused primarily on researching and designing options for the state to double down on emissions reductions in the energy sector, while also scaling nature-based climate solutions for carbon neutrality. Prior to joining CSG, Amanda worked as a research assistant at UC Davis to study farmer's perspectives of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act in the San Joaquin Valley. Amanda also previously worked with the Delta Stewardship Council to assess the vulnerability of populations within the Delta in response to extreme heat. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Science with Honors in Biological Science and Chemistry from the California State University, Fullerton and most recently completed her Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of California, Davis. For more information, contact Amanda DeMarco at email@example.com.
Cynthia works with CSG staff and clients on special projects. She previously worked at CSG as a policy consultant for six years where she focused on water and land conservation policy. She represented CSG clients in the development, drafting and successful campaign in support of Proposition 1, a $7.5 billion water bond on the November 2014 ballot. She also has experience with coalition building and management, strategic planning projects with individual clients, campaign management, and planning and executing legislative advocacy events at the state capitol. Cynthia received a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Relations with an emphasis on Global Environment, Health, and Natural Resources, from the University of California at Davis.
Conservation Strategy Group focuses on long-term political and funding strategies for clients from inception to implementation. We are eager to hear about your project.
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