Elizabeth Betancourt joined the Department of Conservation as Natural and Working Lands Policy Advisor in 2021.
A trained scientist, Elizabeth has spent most of her two decades of work on California’s resource challenges in policy and planning. 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. From spearheading one of the first water purveyors’ reporting to the California Climate Action Registry (now The Climate Registry), to negotiating prioritization strategies in Integrated Regional Water Management Groups; from integrating Tribal rights and sovereignty needs into a regulatory process, to advocating for legislative allocations to upland resources commensurate with the value of these landscapes to our entire state; 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.
Elizabeth comes to the Department of Conservation from 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, old dog, four cats, Soay sheep, and 40-ish chickens up in Shasta County, where they operate educational programs for underserved youth.