Sierra Business Council

The Sierra Business Council was founded in 1994 in the face of rapid growth and development in the Sierra Nevada region. In response to this development, Sierra Business Council was determined to demonstrate that environmental and economic interests are not always competing, but instead compliment each other. At the time, the sustainability concept was not a new one, but consider Sierra Business Council the singular sustainability organization working for the entire region. Our members are a blend of business owners, local government officials and staff, political leaders, and community members looking to manage protecting the beautiful, resource-rich place in which we live, with smart community and economic development.

Ultimately we see challenges as opportunities. Through innovation, integrity, and respect, the Sierra Business Council fosters and harnesses these opportunities by implementing and modeling proactive adaptation to a shifting environment, economy, and population. These measures will empower the Sierra Nevada to become the best place to raise a family, seek adventure, engage in community, grow a business, to learn, and find meaningful work – a place of hope and accomplishment.

We work in the program areas of ECONOMY, ENVIRONMENT, COMMUNITY, and LEADERSHIP. Current programs include: the Sierra Nevada Geotourism Project, Sierra Nevada Energy Watch, Green Communities, Eastern Sierra Economic Assesment, Northern Sierra Partnership, Sierra Nevada Carbon Cooperative, Sierra Leadership Institute, Eastern Sierra Land Tenure Project.

Read more


Latitude: 39.3278991 Longitude: -120.1856259 Elevation: 5830 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Martini Morris



SBC has conserved over 50,000 acres of forests, woodlands, family farms, and ranches in the Sierra Nevada.

The Sierra Leadership Institute has provided leadership training to over 500 people living in the Sierra Nevada.

In April of 2008 SBC partnered with an award-winning community-media making organization in order to share a radio show with over 130 radio stations nationwide titled, “Saving the Sierra: Grassroots Solutions for Sustaining Rural Communities.”

We have partnered with many individuals and organizations throughout the Sierra to create a plethora of publications containing a wealth of information about the financial and environmental health of the Sierra Nevada, including:

The Sustaining Rural Places Toolkit, a listener’s guide that leads people from all over the nation to next steps and helps them discover their role in the planning process.

The Thriving Forests Compendium, concise, yet comprehensive compilation of a body of knowledge of sustainable forestry projects in or relevant to the Sierra Nevada.

The State of the Sierra, representing the third edition of the Sierra Business Council’s indicator project to identify trends affecting the social, natural, and financial capital of the Sierra Nevada.

The Sediment Source Control Handbook, presenting a set of principles and practices for sediment source control on disturbed sites in the West.

How to Support

Become a member: Sierra Business Council remains the innovative leader in providing communities with the tools and models to link people, nature, and the economy and your membership is valuable to us. By a network of individuals, organizations, and businesses, your membership helps us make the Sierra Nevada a model of progress and prosperity.

Donate: We depend on you, the residents and visitors of the region, to keep our work going.

Intern: The Sierra Business Council is always looking for volunteer interns within a diversity of our program areas. This role may assist the following projects: Sierra Nevada Geotourism, Sierra Nevada Carbon Cooperative, SBC communications, membership and administration, and also event planning.

Volunteer: Volunteers assist with SBC programs, communications, membership and administration.


As President of the JMGC, I’m pleased to announce that the John Muir Geotourism Center in Coulterville has entered an agreement with the City of Waterford, CA to work toward the extension of the John Muir Route, Hwy J132 between Coulterville and Hwy 120 that leads to Yosemite. The resolution past last night reads as follows: WATERFORD CITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION 2015-11 RESOLUTION OF THE WATERFORD CITY COUNCIL SUPPORTING THE DESIGNATION OF HIGHWAY 132 AS THE JOHN MUIR HIGHWAY WHEREAS, the route taken in 1868 by famed naturalist John Muir on his first visit to Yosemite was parallel to today’s existing county-maintained J-132 route above historic Coulterville, and WHEREAS, the Mariposa County Board of Supervisors and John Muir historians have secured for the J-132 segment the designation of the John Muir Highway, and WHEREAS, the John Muir Geotourism Center, the nation’s first geotourism center, which is headquartered in Coulterville, is seeking an extension of the John Muir Highway designation to the full length of the State Route 132 corridor from its western connections with I-5 and I-580 to Coulterville, and WHEREAS, this designation is intended to memorialize the traditions and accomplishments of John Muir but also to provide a marketing brand for Route 132, which is under-appreciated as an alternate scenic route to Yosemite National Park, and that with creative marketing could become a popular travel option for tourists from northern California and beyond. WHEREAS, tourism is known to be a vital source of income, especially for jurisdictions that work cooperatively within a regional framework that connects areas of common values and sites of interest, and WHEREAS, the John Muir Geotourism Center is also seeking relationships with jurisdictions and institutions in the San Joaquin River Valley, as well as the Sierra, and has expressed support for the efforts of the City of Waterford to enhance its recreational assets with extension of its nature paths. THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE CITY COUNCIL OF WATERFORD endorses the efforts of the John Muir Geotourism Center to create a tourism development program for Highway 132 beginning with branding of the route as the John Muir Highway. BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT THE CITY COUNCIL encourages representatives of the John Muir Geotourism Center and the City of Waterford jointly examine means to increase tourism and recreational opportunities along SR 132 and in Waterford. PASSED AND ADOPTED by the Waterford City Council at a regular meeting held on the 19th day of February, 2015 by the following vote: AYES: 5 NOES: 0 ABSTAIN: ABSENT: 0 CITY OF WATERFORD MICHAEL VAN WINKLE, Mayor As President of the JMGC this is significant progress for the communities left out of the previous "Gateways" to Yosemite and represent the historic route that John Muir walked in 1868. Many significant historic sites can be seen on this route plus unspoiled river scenery. For further information visit our Web:

Monty J. Thornburg, PhD, President of John Muir Geotourism Center, Coulterville,, 3/6/2015

Leave a Comment