Jade Stevens (Courtesy photo)

California’s only Black-led conservation group, 40 Acre Conservation League, has been awarded $3 million in funding from the state Wildlife Conservation Board and Sierra Nevada Conservancy to purchase 650 acres of land in Placer County, home to the Northern half of Lake Tahoe.

“Our vision is to create and protect spaces in nature that are welcoming, accommodating, safe, and feel good,” said Jade Stevens, president of the 40 Acre Conservation League.

“People don’t always feel this way when they are in the woods or off the beaten path, that’s why we’re working towards building a modern day Green Book.”

Related Links:



This awarding of funds is happening against the backdrop of a broader national movement to return ancestral lands back to Native American tribes. The State of California has set aside approximately $100 million for Native American Tribes to access toward purchasing land. Additionally, some state agencies have adopted policies to score grant applications higher if support or participation from Native American Tribes is included.

“It’s important for us and other diverse communities to participate in the state’s climate goals or wildfire prevention goals, and to also add our own cultural seasoning in the process,” says Blake Milton, secretary-treasurer of 40 Acre Conservation League.

40 Acre Conservation League’s vision for the site is to prepare guests to explore nearby Tahoe National Forest and create a destination where all people and cultures can go to escape urbanism and decompress.

Asm. Mike Gipson (File photo)

The awarding of these funds was led by Assemblymember Mike Gipson (D-Carson), who is an avid outdoorsman himself. 40 Acre Conservation League’s request for funding also enjoyed support from the California Legislative Black Caucus.

“I see nothing but other generations of young people tearing down doors wanting to know about conservation, about their environment, and also being a drum major for justice in this space. ” said Gipson.

To learn more about the 40 Acre Conservation League, visit 40acreleague.org.