Natural and Working Lands Policy Advisor
California Department of Conservation
Elizabeth Betancourt joined the Department of Conservation as Natural and Working Lands Policy Advisor in 2021. Working with stakeholders as varied as Tribes, business, local government, and advocacy groups, Elizabeth has integrated a passion for cross-sector innovation and science-based discovery with natural pragmatism and a proclivity for community-based solutions to chart a path forward in challenging resource decisions. This is evident in her work with integrating Tribal rights and sovereignty needs into beneficial use designations for the state, building bridges between urban and rural areas for landscape investment and restoration, and co-chairing an interdisciplinary group to grow California’s woody biomass utilization sector, focusing on the low-hanging fruit of energy creation. Throughout all of these efforts Elizabeth has worked with a diverse and dedicated network of co-conspirators to move California resource policy to better reflect the reality of our interconnected world and the holistic perspective that climate adaptation demands we take. Elizabeth, now at the Department of Conservation, comes with previous posts in local, state, and federal government, as well as with private and non-profit entities. She has an MS in Watershed Science (Colorado State University) and BS in Environmental Biology and Management (UC Davis). To stay busy, she owns a small farm with her husband, puppy, cats, sheep, and chickens in Shasta County, where they operate educational programs for underserved youth.