The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) The Sierra Nevada Region is a globally significant area, including many national and state parks, the highest peaks in the 48 contiguous states, and large, pristine areas that are open for public use.
(b) The Sierra Nevada Region is an important part of the states economy, providing substantial agricultural products, timber resources, ranching, mining, tourism, and recreation.
(c) The Sierra Nevada Region provides 65 percent of Californias developed water supply and nearly all of the water supply for western Nevada. As Californias principal watershed, the region is the critical source of water for urban and rural parts of northern and southern California.
(d) In cooperation with local governments, private business, nonprofit organizations, and the public, a Sierra Nevada Conservancy can help do all of the following:
(1) Provide increased opportunities for tourism and recreation.
(2) Protect, conserve, and restore the regions physical, cultural, archaeological, historical, and living resources.
(3) Aid in the preservation of working landscapes.
(4) Reduce the risk of natural disasters, such as wildfires.
(5) Protect and improve water and air quality.
(6) Assist the regional economy through the operation of the conservancys program.
(7) Identify the highest priority projects and initiatives for which funding is needed.
(8) Undertake efforts to enhance public use and enjoyment of lands owned by the public.
(9) Support efforts that advance both environmental preservation and the economic well-being of Sierra residents in a complementary manner.