Save Mount Diablo’s Annual Report: 2019–2020

Cardinet Oaks at Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association

Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Supporters,

We are so grateful for your support, which enabled us to complete an extremely successful fiscal year that ran from April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020.

On the land acquisition front, we signed two agreements to protect two very strategic properties. On December 31, 2019, Save Mount Diablo and the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association signed an option agreement, 15 years in the making. It gave our organization two years to raise a little over $1.04 million to permanently protect 154 acres, one of the most strategic and important unprotected properties remaining on Mount Diablo’s main peaks.

In early March 2020, Save Mount Diablo successfully entered into a purchase agreement to buy and protect the strategic 28.73-acre Smith Canyon for $650,000. This property can become an important gateway to Curry Canyon from Morgan Territory Road.

With our land advocacy work, we also have great examples of success. After more than 14 years of advocacy efforts by Save Mount Diablo and our good partners, most of the 2,500 acres for a new Concord Regional Park were conveyed to our important partner, East Bay Regional Park District, in July 2019 as part of the Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Plan.

Also, Save Mount Diablo and our good partners helped lead a successful campaign that resulted in Magee Preserve being approved by Danville voters in March 2020. That success means that 93 percent of the 410-acre Magee Preserve property is now permanently protected as public open space. Further, we advanced understanding of the need to better protect the Diablo Range.

We saw many successes with our educational programs as well. For example, we have completed 11 Conservation Collaboration Agreements (CCAs) with local schools and businesses, with four such agreements completed in this fiscal year. In surveys of numerous CCA participants, 95 percent report they would recommend the program to other students. Our free educational public hike program, Discover Diablo, had more than 300 participants this fiscal year.

You helped us realize success with our stewardship efforts too. For example, this fiscal year our volunteers donated well over 2,000 work hours to our efforts to steward the couple thousand acres under our care.

With Gratitude, 

Edward Sortwell Clement, Jr.

Executive Director

Photo at top is of the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association land that we are working to protect.

Board of Directors
Effective April 1, 2020

Jim Felton, President
Burt Bassler, Treasurer
Liz Harvey Roberts,
Vice President &
Keith Alley
John Gallagher
Joe Garaventa
Garrett Girvan
Claudia Hein
Scott Hein
Giselle Jurkanin
Margaret Kruse
Carol Lane
Frank Martens
Bob Marx
Robert Phelps
Malcolm Sproul
Jeff Stone



Ted Clement
Executive Director
Seth Adams
Land Conservation Director
Sean Burke
Land Programs Director
Karen Ferriere
Development Director
Monica Oei
Finance & Administration Director
Megan Shockro
Director of Major Gifts & Planned Giving

Denise Castro
Education & Outreach Associate
Hidemi Crosse
Senior Accountant
Juan Pablo Galván Martinez
Senior Land Use Manager
Shannon Grover
Senior Development Associate & Events Manager
Dana Halpin
General Office Manager
Laura Kindsvater
Communications Manager
Katie Lopez
Accounting & Administration Associate
Roxana Lucero
Land Stewardship Associate
Joanne McCluhan
Executive Assistant
Ian Smith
Development Associate & Database Manager
Peter Townley
Land Stewardship Manager

Protecting Diablo’s Wild Lands

Mapping Our Area of Impact

This map shows the expansion of protected lands on Mount Diablo from 6,788 acres in 1971, when Save Mount Diablo was founded, to more than 120,000 acres that have been protected by Save Mount Diablo and our great partners.

Save Mount Diablo’s area of interest expanded in 2019. In addition to the area bounded by I-680 to the west, I-580 to the south, the Carquinez Strait and Suisun Bay to the north, and the Delta to the east, we now also work south of I-580 to the Santa Clara County line. Save Mount Diablo monitors development projects proposed in this entire area. In the area north of I-580, we also work to connect and expand new and existing parks and preserves while working with our allies to preserve, defend, restore, and promote enjoyment of these natural lands.


Save Mount Diablo . . .

Preserves natural lands through acquisition and cooperative efforts;

Defends Mount Diablo and its foothills from threats through land use planning and public education;

Restores habitat, wildlife, and creeks and builds trails; so you and future generations can

Enjoy Diablo’s parks and its wildlife.


Land Acquisition

Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association and Smith Canyon Acquisitions

Aerial view of CMDTRA property on North Peak of Mount Diablo

The 2019–2020 fiscal year was an exciting one for Save Mount Diablo’s acquisition efforts. During this time, our organization secured a conservation easement option agreement with the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association in Clayton and also secured a purchase agreement to acquire a strategic property, Smith Canyon in Morgan Territory.

On the morning of New Year’s Eve, 2019, Save Mount Diablo and the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association signed an option agreement that was 15 years in the making to preserve and permanently protect about 154 acres of one of the most pivotal and unprotected properties remaining on Mount Diablo’s main summits.

The property stretches across the northern aspects of North Peak from the pastoral Three Springs area, toward the ethereal and ephemeral waterfalls found on the Falls Trail, beautiful Cardinet Oaks, and upper Young Canyon.

Save Mount Diablo paid a $50,000 option payment to secure the option agreement. It gives us two years to raise a little more than $1.04 million to purchase the perpetual conservation easement on 154 acres of critical open space, which will continue to be owned by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Association. The association will keep about 47 acres, where its buildings are located, outside of the proposed 154-acre conservation area.

The proposed acreage to be conserved is surrounded on three sides by Mount Diablo State Park and contiguous with Save Mount Diablo’s conserved Young Canyon property and its North Peak Ranch acquisition project. This acquisition is highly strategic because it builds upon already protected wildlife habitat corridors, scenic views, and watershed lands.

In early March 2020, Save Mount Diablo entered a purchase agreement to buy and protect the strategic 28.73-acre Smith Canyon east of Clayton for $650,000. This incredible oak woodland property can become an important gateway into Curry Canyon from Morgan Territory Road.

Smith Canyon

Smith Canyon is blanketed by blue oak woodlands, grasslands, and a live oak–bay riparian corridor. This incredible property provides great habitat for California red-legged frogs and Alameda whipsnakes, special status species that are likely to be present on the property. With this acquisition, Save Mount Diablo can strengthen the wildlife habitat corridors that rare and native plants and animals depend upon in the Mount Diablo area.

The acquisition of these properties is paramount in the fight against climate change as well. The oak woodlands, oak savannas, and grasslands found on each of these properties serve as carbon sinks, absorbing and filtering greenhouse gases from our atmosphere.

In August 2019, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a new report, Climate Change and Land. This report focused on how land is under increased pressure from humans and climate change, but also noted that land is a critical part of the solution to climate change. With the conservation of lands like these, we can directly address the climate crisis in lasting ways.


Land Use Planning & Advocacy


Despite the challenges, we continue to defend Mount Diablo and its connections to the creeks, foothills, and wider mountain range that give us such amazing views and allow populations of native wildlife and plants to persist. This past year, we’ve continued to monitor more than 50 agency agendas, work with stakeholders and coalitions, and respond to more than a dozen project and policy proposals.


We celebrated the transfer of more than 2,000 acres of land from the U.S. Navy to the National Park Service and then to the East Bay Regional Park District as a new regional park.

Although the city of Concord’s development of the other half of the Concord Naval Weapons Station Reuse Area has been delayed, once things start again we will work with partners to ensure the community can enjoy an additional 1,000 acres of urban parks, including two long linear parks, as well as other community benefits.

The new regional park will include 28 miles of new public trails.


Because of the massive support of Save Mount Diablo and the help of hundreds of volunteers and Danville residents, in March the Yes on Measure Y campaign succeeded in defending the approval of the Magee Preserve project.

This project permanently protects 93 percent of the 410-acre Magee property—381 acres—and will provide new recreational trail opportunities and connect several protected areas together.

The new preserve will include between five and seven miles of new public trails.


In 2018, Save Mount Diablo and our partners in the Antioch Community Coalition to Save Sand Creek drafted and qualified our “Let Antioch Voters Decide Initiative” to protect three square miles of grassland, creek, and wildlife habitat in the Sand Creek area west of Deer Valley Road in south Antioch.

Though the city council adopted our initiative, we knew bad developers would try to stop us. Two of them, Zeka and Richfield, have made legal challenges that have delayed protection of the Sand Creek area considerably.

The courts threw out another initiative that was insurance for ours and told the council to immediately put ours on the November 2020 ballot. Our focus now is getting our initiative on the ballot and winning that campaign.


The beautiful hills that lie southwest of Pittsburg face a huge threat from a Seeno company proposal, called the Faria project, to build 1,500 houses literally on top of this beautiful scenic ridgeline and next to the new Concord regional park.

A proposal to extend James Donlon Blvd. would also destroy six creek canyons and potentially end a working cattle ranch. We alerted agencies to inadequate environmental review and remain ready to respond should these projects move forward.

The best way to follow updates is to like the Save Pittsburg’s Hills Facebook page and sign up for our special Save Pittsburg’s Hills e-Newsletter. We’re ramping up our efforts, so make sure you are in the loop now!

Image: Aerial view of Pittsburg, California’s southwest hills, which are threatened by Seeno’s “Faria” development proposal to build over a thousand housing units upon the ridgetop. Credit: Stephen Joseph


This past November, Brentwood voters were asked to vote on Measure L, an expansion of Brentwood’s Urban Limit Line to include 815 acres and allow future development on 590 acres next to the city.

Save Mount Diablo supported Measure L because it would have protected three times as much land (1,785 acres): 225 acres on-site and 1,560 acres of incredibly high conservation–value land next to Mount Diablo. Although Measure L was defeated at the ballot box, the trade-off we negotiated lasts for 10 years.


Defending Diablo’s Wild Lands Through Advocacy

Land use advocacy is one of our most effective and important tools to protect the natural lands on and around Mount Diablo, but each victory must be defended as threats reappear again and again. Your support makes it possible for us to continue to defend natural lands like Sand Creek or Pittsburg’s hills before it’s too late.


Stewardship & Habitat Restoration

Save Mount Diablo currently owns or manages 19 properties—nearly 2,000 acres. These properties include perpetual conservation easements on two properties, totaling 20 acres. We also have stewardship activities including restoration, monitoring, and conservation grazing on three additional properties we do not own.

Here are some of the accomplishments we are especially proud of this fiscal year:

  • The Diablo Restoration Team (DiRT) completed 21 workdays nurturing five creek restoration projects, including 11 sites spread across six properties.
  • We responded to wildfire damage from the 2018 Marsh Fire that burned three of our properties. We replaced split rail fence, re-opened restoration sites to our DiRT workdays, and replaced our water pump system, which is used to water planting sites in the dry months. Stewards designed and built an upgraded, eco-friendly, solar-powered water pump system that automatically refills the water tank at the top of the hill. We no longer need to rely on gas-powered generators to provide enough energy to push the water uphill.
  • Amidst workday cancellations because of climate change (which is causing extreme heat, hazardous air quality, and high fire-danger risks) and COVID-19, we have focused our workdays on safety trainings as well as more fire abatement year-round. We completed 18 stewardship workdays, including extra fire abatement in addition to that in May. We accomplished 12 integrated pest management workdays to remove non-native and invasive species on our properties and manage the spread of Sudden Oak Death.
  • We finished major capital projects on several of our properties. We repaired the compromised roof at Wright Canyon. We replaced thousands of feet of degraded fencing with wildlife-friendly fencing at Curry Canyon Ranch, Mangini Ranch, and Anderson Ranch.
  • All planned improvements were finally completed at the Curry Canyon Ranch field station, including a deck and pergola for shade next to the creek, and safety features like hand railing next to steps and ramps to major entrances into the field station.
  • We hosted a Coastal Cleanup workday in Kirker Creek. Students from Pittsburg High School and other community members removed all sorts of trash, finding mostly micro-sized trash this year. In total, 507 plastic pieces smaller than 2.5 cm were removed; 165 plastic bags and 160 cigarette butts were also taken out.


Outdoor Recreation & Activities

Each year, we invite people to enjoy the beauty of the Diablo wild lands through different types of recreational events.

We hosted numerous events on the mountain to share the area’s wildlife and cultural history with our supporters and to encourage recreation consistent with the protection of natural resources.

  • Save Mount Diablo and Brazen Racing partnered again to host the Diablo Trails Challenge, with a distance for nearly every interest: a 50K, half marathon, 10K, and 5K. More than 1,090 trail runners enjoyed a beautiful day out on the trails.
  • Cyclists put their climbing skills to the test riding up Mount Diablo’s slopes to the summit for the 38th annual Mount Diablo Challenge. Hosted by Valley Spokesmen Bicycling Club, over 550 cyclists rode 11.2 miles, climbing 3,249 feet in elevation. Thanks to the support of the Nathan M. Ohrbach Foundation, SMD added more than 145 new and renewed members to our organization who participated in this year’s challenge.
  • More than 460 guests attended our 18th annual Moonlight on the Mountain celebration, our signature gala with live music, dancing, silent and live auctions, and a gourmet dinner by Sunrise Bistro & Catering. Moonlight on the Mountain is held at China Wall in Mount Diablo State Park, a stunningly gorgeous and intimate venue that creates a special atmosphere for our guests. Over $500,000 was raised to support Save Mount Diablo.

Free Public Guided Hikes Program

Staff and volunteer hike leaders hosted a series of free public hikes for our Discover Diablo program. This year, 313 hikers attended 17 outings on Save Mount Diablo properties and partner agencies’ land. Nearly all hikes sold out. The Discover Diablo program is now in its fourth year and is proudly sponsored by the Martinez Refining Company.


Education & Outreach

Save Mount Diablo connects people to and inspires people with nature in a myriad of ways.

Here are some of our efforts and accomplishments in education and outreach between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020.

  • Save Mount Diablo granted nearly $12,000 via our Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research Program. The program supports research and discoveries about the Diablo region by awarding grants to researchers working on all sorts of topics, including niche partitioning of Mount Diablo’s scorpions, population fluxes of the invasive New Zealand mud snail, and conservation of golden eagles. Grants have been awarded to organizations such as UC Berkeley, UC Davis, the US Geological Survey, CSU Stanislaus, and Mills College. Seven grants were given between April 2019 and March 2020.
  • We hosted our sixth annual colloquium in December to present the findings of recently conducted research. This year we had special guest speakers at the colloquium including Dr. Ana Alvarez, the Deputy General Manager of East Bay Regional Park District; and Brian Richardson, a volunteer from the Kestrel Campaign.

2019 BioBlitz Survey Results

  • Save Mount Diablo hosted its 12th annual BioBlitz in Mangini Ranch, Lime Ridge Open Space, and a portion of Arroyo Del Cerro. With the help of 42 scientific experts, naturalists, and enthusiastic volunteers, we recorded 359 total species.
  • An OpenRoad with Doug McConnell episode was aired in April 2019 on NBC Bay Area featuring the Conservation Collaboration Agreement with Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School and sponsor Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling. An additional segment was also aired in April 2019 featuring an interview by Doug McConnell with Seth Adams called Imagining a Summit-to-Sea Trail.
  • We sponsored and released a new Audible Mount Diablo Guide—The Morning Side of the Mountain, about Morgan Territory Regional Preserve—and placed the next guide into production. We also held two sold-out screening events to premiere the new Audible Guide, featuring Q&A panels with special guests, and published the Audible Guide to a mobile podcast platform.
  • We held numerous speakers series events, tabled at nine events, and gave multiple presentations to the public.
  • From land management projects to supporting events, office operations, community outreach, and recreation, 374 volunteers completed more than 7,438+ hours of service.

Community Conservation

Conservation Collaboration Agreement Program

Campolindo High School students doing a Save Mount Diablo nature journaling solo at a Conservation Collaboration Agreement program

We completed four Conservation Collaboration Agreements (CCAs) this fiscal year, with a total of 150 students from Campolindo High School, Pittsburg High School, Antioch High School, and Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School.

The CCAs help students connect with nature in the Mount Diablo area through ecological restoration work, interpretative nature hikes, and contemplative solos in nature. These CCAs were generously sponsored by Compass Realty, Garaventa/Diablo Resource Recovery, Diamond Construction, and Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling.

We, the people, come from nature, so why are we letting (it) drift away, why are we letting it leave our grasp? . . . We must learn and take our home back. Our nature. Who we are today, how far we have come, is all because of this wonderous home. . . . we will stop our cruel nothingness and make a world, a generation, a nature full of life and love once more.
—excerpt from nature journal of Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School student, 2020

Light and shadow and breeze
glossy, dewy
first bloom, final snow
first breath, final breath
I am held in this
I’ll find love in this

— excerpt from nature journal of Campolindo High School student, 2019

Survey Results: Conservation Collaboration Agreement Participants

Overall satisfaction of Conservation Collaboration Agreement program participants since its inception

I am motivated to spend more time outdoors as a result of the Conservation Collaboration Agreement program.

I learned new information about the ecology of our area (plants and animals).

Did you learn more about the work of Save Mount Diablo as a result of the Conservation Collaboration Agreement program?

I would recommend this program to other students.

The Global Climate Strike

Aerial view of people lined up to spell SOS with American flag in front and Mount Diablo in the background

The Global Climate Strike from September 20th to 27th, 2019 may have been the largest demonstration and call for doing more to protect our natural world in the history of our planet. Save Mount Diablo and schools we partner with in our Conservation Collaboration Agreement program came together to show our support for the Global Climate Strike, our young people, their futures, and doing more to protect nature. We were part of history like that first Earth Day in 1970 when students stood up en masse.

We and our partner schools made “human banner” messages at our conserved Curry Canyon Ranch in support of the Global Climate Strike. Our “SOS” message was our urgent call for the United States to come together and help the world address the existential threat of climate change. Before Bob Marley sang about “One Love,” John Muir, the renowned father of the modern environmental movement and our National Parks, wrote about it in 1872. Climate change is a symptom of an underlying serious problem, the lack of meaningful and respectful relationships between people and nature. In this climate change crisis we face, John Muir would almost certainly counsel us that an attitude of “One Love” is required.

Mount Diablo, A Story of Place and Inspiration

cover of Stephen Joseph Mount Diablo bookCalifornia landscape photographer Stephen Joseph has published his new book, Mount Diablo, A Story of Place and Inspiration. Sponsored by Save Mount Diablo, East Bay Regional Park District, J. Rockcliff Realtors, Bishop Ranch, and Claudia and Scott Hein, it features more than 200 panoramic photos that celebrate Mount Diablo’s extraordinary lands. Accompanying the photos are inspiring essays, including one by Seth Adams and one by Ted Clement of Save Mount Diablo. Signed copies of Stephen’s new book are available on his website.

The Diablo Range

Save Mount Diablo has launched a campaign to connect Mount Diablo to the whole of the Diablo Range, a 150-mile long mountain range and biodiversity refuge that’s next door to millions of people, but that most people know nothing about.

The Diablo Range has many ridges

Seventy-five percent of the ecologically important area around Mount Diablo has been preserved, while in the full 150-mile range, only 24 percent of the landscape has any protection. Save Mount Diablo’s first step is defining the range as a whole for the conservation community and the public and educating them about its importance.

As part of this campaign, Save Mount Diablo helped to sponsor a newly published cover story and supplement about the Diablo Range in Bay Nature magazine. “The Spine of California” explores the most rugged, plant-rich stretch of California you’ve never heard of. It’s the first article ever published specifically about the Diablo Range, and it includes the first ever published map of the public and protected lands of the Diablo Range.

Also as part of the campaign, Save Mount Diablo recently expanded the geographic area in which it now does its land use advocacy; it includes the three northern counties of 12 crossed by the Diablo Range. The organization’s primary acquisition focus remains north of Highway 580 and around the main peaks of Mount Diablo. In addition to working in Contra Costa County between Highway 680 and the Byron Highway, Save Mount Diablo now also works in southeastern Alameda and southwestern San Joaquin Counties.

Save Mount Diablo in the Media


Moving Mountains to Save the Mountain

Thanks to our outstanding community members, Save Mount Diablo is proud to announce we have raised a remarkable $13,013,000 during the Forever Wild Campaign!

Since launching this historic campaign in 2012, we have grown the number of our acquisitions, created an endowment to ensure long-term reserves for stewardship, and doubled the size of our Legal Defense Fund. With less than $2 million needed to reach our goal, we hope to see the completion of the Forever Wild Capital Campaign this year.

Thank you for sharing our vision and participating in this extraordinary effort. We hope you share our pride in all that we’ve accomplished together.

The Land Acquisition Opportunity Fund allows us to protect strategically located land before it’s lost forever to development. Since 2012, through our strategic acquisitions, we have conserved Curry Canyon Ranch, North Peak Ranch, Highland Springs, Hanson Hills, Anderson Ranch, Rideau, Big Bend, and Smith Canyon. Through the Forever Wild Capital Campaign, we have raised $10.4 million for acquisition purposes and stewardship operating costs.

The new Stewardship Endowment Fund has grown to $2,435,500, and when it’s fully funded at $3 million, we will begin to take a sustainable draw on the interest earned. That interest will perpetually support the stewardship activities on our conserved lands, including many with local school children.

The Legal Defense Fund provides resources to legally defend our conserved lands on and around Mount Diablo, and with each acquisition victory, we have an increased responsibility to be ready to defend against threats to our conserved lands. During the campaign, we have doubled the size of this fund to $100,000.

Fiscal year 2019–2020 was a banner year for the campaign, with a total of $1,962,500 received from more than 70 campaign specific supporters. Our first formal Forever Wild Capital Campaign fundraising event, in June 2019 with over 100 guests, netted more than $325,000.

We are grateful for our many Forever Wild supporters who have joined us in this extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting impact; your incredible leadership has led to our success.

We invite you to join the Forever Wild Capital Campaign with a special gift to Save Mount Diablo. Please contact Megan Shockro at or call (925) 949-4513.

If you’d like to participate in the campaign, funds are still needed to purchase a perpetual conservation easement on 154 critical open space acres on the northeast slopes of Mount Diablo that are currently owned by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association. Photo by Ted Clement.


A Special Connection to Nature and Save Mount Diablo

Jeanne Thomas’s family came to California as part of the 49er Gold Rush and eventually settled in Concord and then Oakland, where Jeanne was born. She recalls her first memorable hiking experience at age 11, when she attended summer camp in the High Sierra. Jeanne attended Mills College and went on to spend 31 years with Kaiser Industries, retiring early in 1983.

Jeanne has been with a women’s hiking group for over 35 years, covering much of the Bay Area, and Mount Diablo is one of their favorite destinations. Hiking opened up the incredible natural world of plants and birds, especially wildflowers. She began to take pictures of flowers, especially close-ups, which she makes into a desk calendar for friends and staff of Save Mount Diablo.

Mitchell Canyon is among Jeanne’s favorite places to hike. “Every time we hike there, I bless Save Mount Diablo for working to preserve it. In my worst dreams, I picture executive homes and streets all over the mountain.” She wonders, “How could I not volunteer for Save Mount Diablo? How could I not contribute to keep it strong?”

Jeanne first became involved with Save Mount Diablo as an office volunteer. When her good friend Bob Adams, an SMD board member, passed away, Jeanne decided to join the Development Committee.

As a Rossmoor resident, Jeanne became our liaison to the retirement community and has organized annual receptions for over a decade. Jeanne has also sponsored tables at the annual Moonlight on the Mountain event and participated in the Forever Wild Capital Campaign. She appreciates the many ways she’s able to help Save Mount Diablo.

When Jeanne began thinking about her dream for future generations to enjoy the land that she holds dear, she decided to include Save Mount Diablo in her estate plans by designating us as a beneficiary of her IRA and several charitable gift annuities.

“My inspiration for philanthropy came from my parents, who even at the height of the Depression always contributed to the Community Chest. I always made sure to be an active volunteer and contribute when I could. Bob Adams was a very generous person, and he was also an inspiration to me.”

If you’ve included Save Mount Diablo in your estate plans, please let us know. To learn more, please contact Megan Shockro at or (925) 949-4513.

“My inspiration for philanthropy came from my parents, who even at the height of the Depression always contributed to the Community Chest. I always made sure to be an active volunteer and contribute when I could. Bob Adams was a very generous person, and he was also an inspiration to me.” —Jeanne Thomas


Financials Report: April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020

Fiscal year 2019–20 results include financial information for Save Mount Diablo’s annual operating results (revenue and expenses), as well as land transaction capital items. Land acquisition includes escrow deposits for the purchase of the Smith Canyon property and conservation easement purchase from the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association. The full programmatic purchase price expenses for these two transactions will be in future fiscal years after the closings.

Save Mount Diablo’s total revenue for April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 was just over $4.7 million (including restricted and unrestricted funding). The information in the tables below shows the importance of individual contributions: 86 percent of our funding comes from donors like you!

Expenditures for April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 totaled approximately $3 million. Program expenses other than land acquisition include stewardship projects on the numerous properties and conservation easements we own and help steward, community education and outreach, and advocacy to counter development threats. Our cost to raise each dollar of revenue for the year was 16 cents.

Numbers are based on unaudited April 1, 2019 to March 31, 2020 financials.

Please visit our Financials page to see our most recent 990 tax returns.

REVENUE 4/1/2019–3/31/2020
Individual Contributions $4,066,277 86.33%
Foundations & Grants $229,778 4.88%
Interest, Fees, & Other $114,991 2.44%
Corporate Support $299,347 6.36%
$4,710,393 100.00%


EXPENSES 4/1/2019–3/31/2020
Program $1,644,638 54.78%
Administration & Management $589,656 19.64%
Fundraising $768,193 25.59%
$3,002,487 100.00%


To Our Save Mount Diablo Supporters:

Donors, Sponsors, Volunteers, and Friends of the Mountain

Save Mount Diablo extends our gratitude to all donors.

Your generous support makes it possible to balance the essential conservation of open space with the demands of increasing population and development pressures in the Bay Area. Together, we can preserve, defend, restore, and enjoy Mount Diablo and its foothills, and connect Mount Diablo to the 150-mile Diablo Range . . . now, and in perpetuity.

  • Monthly Donor Circle—this special circle of donors helps provide steady, reliable support by donating monthly. Their generosity ensures we can keep up our mission-critical work up and running from day to day.
  • Diablo Legacy Circle—Making a donation is generous. Making a bequest is an act beyond measure. We give special thanks to our Diablo Legacy Circle members (those who have included Save Mount Diablo in their estate planning). This group of special supporters help us to maintain our work long term.
  • Company Matching—Many charitable employers will match employee donations, thereby doubling the impact of the employees’ gift. To the companies that matched donations to Save Mount Diablo in 2019 and 2020, thank you!
  • Young Friends—Our young friends (students and people under the age of 21) are stepping up to become a part of the next generation of future conservationists and activists who will help preserve Diablo’s natural lands for years to come. We are especially grateful to you.

We also thank the many foundations, sponsors, and partners who help make all that we do possible. We couldn’t do it without you!

Special thanks to the following contributing photographers and artists whose work is featured in this digital publication: Scott Hein, Stephen Joseph, Michael Amorosa, Al Johnson, Laura Kindsvater, Caleb Castle, Michael McSherry, Cooper Ogden, Roxana Lucero, Susan Andrews, Brad Newsham, and Sean D. Johnson.

Our amazing 374 volunteers contributed 7,438+ hours of service this fiscal year!

Volunteers are the life force of Save Mount Diablo. From setting up tables for Moonlight on the Mountain once a year to dedicating dozens of hours stewarding our properties, we can’t do it without our talented and generous volunteers. Our volunteers not only work side by side with us, they give us an extra dose of inspiration to continue our work to preserve open spaces right here in the Bay Area for people and wildlife to enjoy. We thank all of our volunteers from the bottom of our hearts.

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

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