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 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
CSG has provided invaluable guidance. Their experience and deep knowledge of conservation has been critical to our success.
Executive Director, Land Trust of Santa Cruz
CSG has assisted NGO’s to 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 Tasha Newman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successfully managed numerous statewide bond campaigns and campaigns for and against other statewide measures including the defeat of Proposition 23 in 2010. Proposition 23 would have suspended provisions of AB 32 (Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006), the bill that established California's landmark Cap and Trade system. Developed the campaign plan, fundraised, built a coalition of supporters, oversaw a team of consultants and managed a $30 million campaign budget. For more information on political campaign management contact Kelly Solov at email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
CSG specializes in developing and coordinating coalitons to accomplish policy goals. In 2014 CSG worked with Sonoma County Water Agency to manage the Water Bond Coalition, a network of more than 40 cities, counties, special districts and non-profit organizations. Advocated for funding in the 2014 water bond that would help meet the unique challenges faced by California’s northern and coastal communities related to water supply, water quality, groundwater, water reuse and water recycling, flood protection, stormwater management and ecosystem restoration. This included providing timely information to coalition members on legislative activity, development of coalition advocacy materials, advising coalition members on messaging and organizing a coalition advocacy day in the capitol. For more information on water policy contact Cynthia Vitale at email@example.com.
Developed legislation sponsored by Environmental Defense Fund that requires investor-owned utilities to utilize “Demand Response” programs which give regulators the ability to reduce electrical demand automatically at peak times. Worked to pass legislation that caps the permitting fees local governments can charge rooftop solar customers and legislation that streamlines the process used by local governments to permit residential solar installations. Secured an extension of an important incentive program for clean, on-site generation that will help retain California's role as the center of clean technology. For more information on clean energy policy contact Bryan Early at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Successfully advocated in the state budget process for additional state funding to help protect California's fish and wildlife populations affected by drought conditions. Amended state law to streamline the permitting process for land owners who want to improve or restore habitat for fish and wildlife (AB 2193). For more information on fish and wildlife policy contact Mark Fenstermaker 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.
Director of Conservation Programs
Tasha specializes in the development and implementation of strategies for funding multi-million dollar natural resources projects. In this capacity, Tasha works with clients and state agencies to help facilitate the project funding process. In addition to her exceptional skills as a public funding strategist, she also handles all aspects of client management including priority setting, project management, reporting, and contracts. She provides consulting assistance to clients related to funding program requirements and procedures. She assists clients with grant proposal development and submission. Tasha has worked in the environmental consulting field for more than 20 years and prior to joining CSG, served the Toxics Assessment Group as manager and project assistant. She is a graduate from the California State University, Sacramento with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. For more information on conservation funding programs contact Tasha Newman at email@example.com.
Mark advocates on behalf of CSG clients in the areas of the state budget, land and habitat conservation, local government, renewable energy and climate change. He specializes in identifying opportunities in the state budget and legislative processes that help secure millions of dollars in program and project funding for conservation efforts. Most recently, he developed coalitions to advocate in the state budget for the creation of a local government program funded by cap-and-trade and focused on reducing greenhouse gases. In addition, Mark was the lead consultant on AB 2188, legislation that streamlines permitting processes for solar energy projects, and AB 2193, legislation that streamlines the permitting processes for habitat restoration projects. Mark is a graduate of the University of Arizona with a B.A. in Political Science. For more information on the state budget or climate, energy and conservation policy contact Mark Fenstermaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Legislative Policy Coordinator
Bryan works on climate, energy and conservation policy. At CSG, Bryan has worked on policies that incentivize clean on-site clean energy generation like rooftop solar, defend California’s greenhouse gas reduction program, incentivize reductions in electricity usage and reduce oceanic plastic pollution, among other issues. In the coming years, Bryan is looking to shape policy to help California achieve its stated goal of reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050 and to help design the next generation of California’s conservation policies. Bryan came to CSG with an expertise in environmental legislation, having previously worked on implementation of California’s Green Chemistry Program for Assemblymember Mike Feuer from 2010-2012 and on litter, toxics and recycling issues for Californians Against Waste from 2006-2010. Bryan graduated from Reed College in 2006. For more information on climate, energy, and conservation policy contact Bryan Early at email@example.com.
Cynthia works with clients to achieve their legislative and administrative priorities related to 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. For more information on water policy contact Cynthia Vitale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matt provides support on legislation and conservation research, researches and advises clients on political information and manages social media for CSG. Prior to joining CSG, Matt worked for the California Democratic Party, Dr. Ami Bera for Congress, and in the constituent office of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. Matt graduated from University of California, Davis in 2010 with a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in History. For more information on political analysis contact Matt Gagnon at email@example.com.
Kelly is responsible for all business operations of Conservation Strategy Group, including human resources, financial management and contract coordination. She also manages CSG’s work on statewide campaigns, including establishing campaign committees, overseeing campaign finance reporting and coalition management. Kelly has played an essential role in Defeating Proposition 23 in 2010, and the successful passages of Proposition 39 in 2012, and Proposition 1 in 2014. Prior to joining Conservation Strategy Group, Kelly worked for the California State Legislature for five years in the Office of Assemblymember Dave Jones and the City of Sacramento City Council. She has a degree from California State University Sacramento. For more information on political campaign management contact Kelly Solov at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mike manages information technology, facilities, assists in human resources and attends to other general operations duties that help our office running smoothly and efficiently. Mike joined CSG in July 2010. Prior to working at CSG, Mr. Ross was a Legislative Assistant working primarily on land use and environmental issues. Mike attended Chaminade University in Hawai’i where he majored in education. For general CSG inquiries, contact Mike Ross at email@example.com.
Crystal specializes in advising conservation clients. She has crafted, lobbied, and overseen the enactment and successful implementation of numerous policies benefiting the environment, and has extensive experience in public funding, strategic planning, coalition building, administrative lobbying, and association management. Crystal serves as CSG’s lead advisor and management consultant to the California Association of Local Conservation Corps. Her previous experience includes work for multiple conservation organizations, the California Legislative Counsel Bureau, and the California Fair Political Practices Commission. She is a graduate of the University of California at Davis and the University of San Diego School of Law. For more information on legislative work, contact Crystal Muhlenkamp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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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.