Connecting Protected Lands: Save Mount Diablo Opens Miles of New Trails

This year, we’ve established miles of new trails throughout the land we’ve worked to protect. Hikers can travel through these new trail connections and explore the beauty of the Diablo hills.

We’re working to permanently protect open space connections to preserve the rich biodiversity in the lands surrounding Mount Diablo.

Part of our conservation mission entails making a lot of this land accessible to the public so that the surrounding communities can forge a connection with nature.

Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve opening day. Photo by Laura Kindsvater

Building New Trails

Throughout the year, rain or shine, our stewardship team can be found working to make our properties more accessible. They’ve been leading our volunteers in the construction of trails throughout our properties and maintaining existing trails.

This work involves a lot of mulching, weeding, digging, moving collapsed trees, and much more similarly labor-intensive work. By the end of fiscal year 2022–2023 (i.e., by March 31, 2023), we plan to have established almost six miles of publicly accessible trails.

Save Mount Diablo’s Land Stewardship Associate, Haley Sutton, moving a collapsed oak tree at Mangini Ranch

Some of the locations where we’ve been establishing and maintaining trails are

students gather around an oak tree at Mangini Ranch during a Conservation Collaboration Agreement

Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve. Photo by Scott Hein

In March, Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve celebrated its grand opening with 4.2 miles of new trails. The preserve is free to reserve and enjoy for a variety of community groups.

Our volunteer docents will ensure that these trails are safely accessible for anyone interested in experiencing Mangini Ranch.

Trail Dogs mulching trails at Big Bend. Photo by Sean Burke

These trails were completed thanks to the hard work of our volunteer Trail Dogs team, volunteers, Conservation Collaboration Agreement participants, and local students.

Their commitment to establishing and maintaining these trails is providing countless people with the opportunity to explore these preserves and connect with nature.

We’re incredibly grateful to everyone who volunteered with us to make this happen. These trails would not have been completed without your help!

Anyone interested in working with the Trail Dogs should check out our Trail Dogs page for the next workdays.

Our hardworking Trail Dogs team not only establishes and mulches new trails; they work to remove invasive species and ensure that these trails will continue to be accessible.

Securing an Agreement to Protect Lands with Existing Trails

In February, the CEMEX corporation announced in February that it will donate 101 acres of land in the Black Point area to Mount Diablo State Park.

The announcement came as a result of six years of advocacy and negotiations by Save Mount Diablo. The land includes part of the Black Point trail and connects to the state park trail system.

Black Point. Photo by Bob Walker

Protecting and Defending Important Open Space Lands, next to Public Trails, Which Enhance Trail Corridor Experiences

The Missing Mile

In January, we also permanently protected nearly 154 acres of land that’s owned by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association with a conservation easement. The land is surrounded on three sides by Mount Diablo State Park.

We’ve also protected two other properties in the near vicinity: Young Canyon and North Peak Ranch.

oaks at CMDTRA conservation easement protected by Save Mount Diablo

Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association lands, part of the “Missing Mile.” Photo by Stephen Joseph

Pittsburg and Concord’s Hills

Save Mount Diablo was also the lead nonprofit in advocating for the creation of the new Thurgood Marshall Regional Park in Concord.

We’ve been working for more than 15 years on this campaign, and more than 2,700 acres of the former Concord Naval Weapons Station is now protected in the park. The new regional park will have miles of new trails.

Save Mount Diablo filed a lawsuit this year to protect the new Thurgood Marshall Regional Park. Seeno/Discovery Builders had proposed the Faria housing development in the hills above Pittsburg and next to the park.

The lawsuit demands that the proposed development comply with environmental laws and stay off the ridgeline contiguous with the regional park.

The Contra Costa Superior Court has so far given Save Mount Diablo two victories against Seeno over the Faria project, one in February and one in April.

The court ordered the City of Pittsburg to cancel its previous approvals of the project. And in August, the City of Pittsburg rescinded its approval of the Faria project because of the court order.

The San Marco neighborhood, the Pittsburg hills, and the former Concord Naval Weapons Station. Photo by Scott Hien

Magee Preserve

Save Mount Diablo led a campaign over several years to protect 381 acres of land in the Magee Preserve.

In 2020, Danville voters passed the measure protecting the land. Save Mount Diablo has been continuing to advocate for many miles of new public trails within the preserve that connect to surrounding open space and trails.

Magee Preserve. Photo by Caleb Castle

Top photo: Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve by Scott Hein

Join us to save the remaining natural lands of Mount Diablo!

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