Save Mount Diablo’s 2023–2024 Impact Report

Late afternoon near Mount Diablo with rolling green hills in the foreground

Protecting and Defending Mount Diablo
and the Diablo Range

Download the Impact Report (PDF)

Table of Contents

Letter from the Executive Director

PRESERVE | Land Acquisition

DEFEND | Advocating for Communities

RESTORE | Stewardship

EDUCATE | Education and Outreach

ENJOY | Discover Diablo

DIABLO RANGE | Expanding to the Entire Diablo Range

GRATITUDE | Thanks to Our Supporters and Partners

FINANCIALS | Financials


Letter from the Executive Director

Save Mount Diablo staff sitting on a rock wall at our Curry Canyon Ranch property

Save Mount Diablo staff. Our community of volunteers and donors have grown, allowing us to expand our programs, boost our staff from 14 people in 2015 to 20 people in 2024, and substantially increase our capacity. Photo by Laura Kindsvater

Dear Supporters,

Mountains move me—physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. I have had a special relationship with mountains since my childhood in Vermont.

Ted Clement posing in front of the Himalayas

In my 20s, I started making a number of trips into the Nepalese and Indian Himalayas.

Those mountains elevated me and helped me grow on multiple levels.

This past year, after a near 28-year absence, I returned to the Himalayas with one of my sons.

We spent a month climbing in Nepal (finally using a good chunk of my over-accumulated vacation time), overcoming challenges, and growing together.

It was a deeply beautiful thing watching the mountains move my son physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually.

I feel immense gratitude for mountains, especially for Mount Diablo and its associated mountains in the Diablo Range because they help nourish my family and me.

Of course, a healthy loving relationship requires reciprocity. That is a major reason I am thankful for my work with Save Mount Diablo because I get to work with our terrific team to help care for and give back to Mount Diablo and its sustaining Diablo Range.

This is especially gratifying because thankfully we are successful with our work.

As we reflect on our recently completed April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024 fiscal year, we feel immense gratitude for you, our supporters, because you helped us complete another highly successful year from a programmatic, financial, and overall organizational perspective.

Together, this past fiscal year we advanced Save Mount Diablo’s land conservation mission and impact in many ways, for example:

  • Leveraged our resources and assisted East Bay Regional Park District in their acquisition of the 768-acre Finley Road Ranch next to Mount Diablo.
  • Acquired the 10-acre Balcerzak inholding within Mount Diablo State Park under time pressure and competition from others.
  • Raised the necessary monies in a community fundraising campaign, which included over 240 new donors, to acquire the Krane Pond property, which has one of the largest ponds on the north side of Mount Diablo and is contiguous with Mount Diablo State Park.
  • Paid our eighth annual payment toward the purchase of the 88-acre North Peak Ranch, next to Mount Diablo State Park, which we will acquire in 2026 after a few more payments.
  • Purchased an option agreement on the 98-acre Ginochio Schwendel Ranch, next to Marsh Creek and other Save Mount Diablo conserved land, which gives us until December 2024 to raise $1.455 million to cover all project costs.
  • Completed the fiscal year deep in the black with great fundraising and a substantial increase in our active number of donors.
  • Increased the number of volunteers helping us advance important conservation projects like our 10,000 Trees and Plants project to grow the native species and carbon sink capacity of our lands.
  • Moved into a better office, in Walnut Creek, which lowered our rent, reduced our carbon footprint, and provided other improvements.
  • Opened a new public trail at our Curry Canyon Ranch connecting Mount Diablo State Park’s Knobcone Point Road to Riggs Canyon Road.
  • Remained actively strategic with our rolling three-year Strategic Plan process, which included expanding our geographic scope to cover all of Mount Diablo’s Diablo Range.

Thankfully, because of our great team, including you, we know we will continue to successfully advance our land conservation mission to protect Mount Diablo and its Diablo Range so that these mountains can continue to move us to higher ground.

With Gratitude,

Edward Sortwell Clement, Jr., Executive Director



Land Acquisition

Through focused strategy, perseverance, and partnership, Save Mount Diablo successfully met the diverse demands of five distinct acquisition projects this fiscal year.

This year’s acquisitions have shielded the mountain’s high peaks from development, enabled trail connections, defended vital wildlife corridors, and preserved critical habitat.

With every acquisition, the collective impact of our locally protected natural landscape grows.

Finley Road Ranch

View from Black Hills ridge of Finley Road Ranch east through Morgan Territory Regional Preserve toward Finley Road and Highland Ridge. Photo: Scott HeinOne of our top five acquisition priorities! We helped facilitate the project’s success by providing the option payment to the East Bay Regional Park District in 2022.

This year, we celebrated the power of partnership, the closing of this landmark conservation deal, and its plans for a future staging area on Mount Diablo’s south side.

Krane Pond

Krane Pond with Mount Diablo looming above in the background.

Krane Pond with Mount Diablo looming above in the background. Photo by Ted Clement

Our devoted Save Mount Diablo community mobilized to raise $500,000, successfully protecting one of the largest ponds on Mount Diablo’s north side.

North Peak Ranch

We made the eighth of 10 payments toward the purchase of North Peak Ranch. The final balloon payment to permanently protect these highly visible acres will be due in 2026.

Balcerzak Inholding

the balcerzak inholding on mount diabloSave Mount Diablo successfully purchased and protected one of the last remaining inholdings with Mount Diablo State Park in just 21 days.

Ginochio Schwendel Ranch

This strategic acquisition project is our first from the Ginochio family, owners of significant lands on and around Mount Diablo.

It will help further protect the Marsh Creek watershed and wildlife corridor from development. We must exercise the option to purchase the property by December 2024.



Concord Naval Weapons Station and view of Mount Diablo

Advocating for Communities

Supported Concord residents and organized a bus tour of the Concord Reuse project area at the former Concord Naval Weapons Station, a site which is otherwise closed to the public.

We’ve continued to participate in the massive 2,300-acre, 12,000-or-more housing-unit project’s planning process and to advocate for a livable, sustainable, and climate-smart community development.

rolling hills of Sand Creek area in Antioch

Praised the updated General Plan in San Ramon, which unquestionably incorporated the urban limit line and protections for the Tassajara Valley, which we have been advocating for since the 1990s.

Celebrated the decision to affirm the creek buffer in The Ranch project, planned for the Sand Creek area of south Antioch.

Advocated to Save the Ridge between Concord and Pittsburg that is threatened by Seeno/Discovery Builders’ Faria project.

The development was approved, but an informed and engaged community can still improve the project’s outcome, reduce negative impacts to scenic views and Thurgood Marshall Regional Park, and protect Pittsburg’s access to the new park.

view of Pittsburg's hills from above



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As a land trust, our long-term stewardship responsibilities are paramount.

By conducting scientific research on our conserved properties, and by opening those protected acres to partners for their research, we’re constantly learning and adding to the scientific community’s body of knowledge.

This year, we

Thanks to Our Amazing Volunteers

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Together, with help from hearty volunteers and community members, we made extraordinary progress this year.

  • 128 cubic yards of metal collected for recycling
  • 60 cubic yards of trash collected
  • 801 native trees and plants planted (1,256 native trees and plants protected or planted)
  • 460 stewardship volunteers
  • 3,625 stewardship volunteer hours



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Our outdoor education programs are encouraging curiosity, inspiring investment, and deepening our connection to nature.

This year, we successfully piloted a new third- to fifth-grade field trip program and expanded stewardship opportunities for middle and high school students.

Through field trips to Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve, we’re providing outdoor learning experiences to students, sometimes for their first time.

teenagers at mangini preserve

Our education programs are also advancing technical research, encouraging citizen science, and quenching the curiosity of lifetime learners.

Our Mary Bowerman Science and Research grants program supported graduate student work and provided experience to this next generation of experts.

These small grants also support our partners, such as the GPS tags provided to the Condor Recovery Team, and facilitate revelations that drive our collective work forward.

Building Partnerships with Educators

This year, we

  • connected 376 students to nature,
  • introduced 264 high school and about 20 college students to conservation as a career, and
  • provided programming to students from 13 public and private schools.



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This year, we created inviting opportunities for hundreds of people to enjoy Diablo’s wild spaces. These experiences connect people to nature, inspire action, and build our resolve to vigorously defend our exquisite environment.

Our Discover Diablo series offered 36 guided outings—hiking, mountain biking, yoga, plein air painting, birdwatching, meditation, and more—attracting people from all over the Bay Area.

Connected circle of hands with Shepherd's Gate women

Our Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve welcomed 12 community groups, and provided an outdoor classroom for many students on school field trips.

The preserve is quickly becoming a vital community asset. It is publicly available for reservation, free of charge, for group use.

Group of happy guests at Moonlight on the Mountain

At Moonlight on the Mountain, a joyful crowd of more than 500 guests raised more than $545,000 to advance our shared conservation mission.

Mangini Reservation Groups

American Heritage Girls

Concord Bahá’í Junior

Youth Hike

Contra Costa County


East Bay Explorers

Gail’s Gals: Birding & Hiking

Rainbow Sierrans

Scout Pack 220

Trilogy Hiking Club

Thursday Hiking Club

Voyager Academy

Walking Buddies

Wander Women Hikers




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In this time of climate and biodiversity crises, long-term vision and bold action are vitally needed.

Save Mount Diablo expanded geographic area

To meet the moment, in addition to our work to develop good climate policies, Save Mount Diablo has formally expanded our advocacy work to all 12 counties in the Diablo Range.

We’re putting our more than 50 years of training to use forging new collaborative partnerships, strategically planning for the long term, thinking holistically and ambitiously, and working with urgency to protect more land faster.

Our land acquisition focus will remain on the northern section of the Diablo Range (Mount Diablo, through Interstate 580, to Corral Hollow).

The kickoff of our expanding Diablo Range outreach is an informative and inspiring feature-length film by Joan Hamilton—Fire, Drought, Flood and Hope: Three Wild Years in The Diablo Range—a spectacular introduction to the Diablo Range and the conservation opportunities present there.

We’ve also created a map of protected lands within the Diablo Range that provides a level of detail that was previously unavailable.

This map is an essential tool that will help focus and define strategy for the coalition of agency partners, grassroots advocates, landowners, and land managers that we’re assembling.

We’re spending more time in the Diablo Range, via guided land tours, Discover Diablo outings, and BioBlitz forays, and refining our sense of place.



Tidy Tips

We are immensely grateful to all of our supporters for making our work possible. We’ve seen a 13 percent rise in our number of donors compared to the previous year.

We’re also deeply grateful to all of the new donors who have begun supporting our work in recent years. It shows us that our work matters enough that thousands of community members are actively supporting what we do.

(For a list of donors, please visit

Our number of volunteers has also grown. In fiscal year 2021, we had 278 volunteers. In fiscal year 2022, we had 361. In fiscal year 2023, we had 604.

Those 604 volunteers donated 5,075 hours of work to Save Mount Diablo. And this year, 737 volunteers donated 8,211 hours to Save Mount Diablo.

We truly could not do this work without you.

Thank you!



This fiscal year (April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024), Save Mount Diablo successfully raised more operating revenue than operating funds expended, thereby achieving a large surplus with its general operating budget.

Save Mount Diablo’s total revenue for this fiscal year was just over $6.2 million. Eighty-nine percent of our funding comes from donors like you!

Operating and non-operating expenditures for this fiscal year totaled approximately $5.32 million (including Krane and Balcerzak inholding property purchases, option payment of $30,000 for Ginochio Schwendel acquisition, and eighth option payment of $100,000 for North Peak Ranch).

Program expenses other than land acquisition include stewardship projects on 22 properties and conservation easements we own, education and outreach programs, and advocacy to counter land conservation threats.

Numbers are based on unaudited financials for April 1, 2023, to March 31, 2024.

Please go to our financials page to see our most recent 990 tax returns.

Total Revenue 4/1/2023–3/31/2024           

Individual Contributions $5,521,955

Foundations & Grants $234,554

Interest, Fees, & Other $245,482

Corporate Support $204,000

Total $6,205,991

Total Expenditures 4/1/2023–3/31/2024

Program $3,539,284

Administration & Management $898,989

Fundraising $885,289


Total $5,323,562


Editor: Laura Kindsvater | Print Report Design: Andrea Hopkins Design

Contributing Writers: Ted Clement, Samantha Kading, Mary Nagle

Photographers: Sean Burke, Scott Hein, Frenchy Hendryx, Stephen Joseph, Cooper Ogden, Haley Sutton, Alexander Broom

Maps: Samantha Kading, Laura Kindsvater, and Seth Adams; Evan McWreath/Ventana Wildlife Society

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

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