Save Mount Diablo’s Annual Report: 2021-2022

Mount Diablo seen from Diablo Range

Download the Annual Report (PDF)


Table of Contents                                             

Letter from the Executive Director

A Unique and Intimate Portal into Nature


Land Acquisition


Land Use Planning & Advocacy

Diablo Range: A Bigger Vision

Climate Action Plan



Thank You to Our Amazing Volunteers





Moonlight on the Mountain


Education & Outreach

New Media


Forever Wild


Small Steps to Big Leaps


Land Acknowledgment




Letter from the Executive Director

Dear Supporters, 

The last Save Mount Diablo Board meeting of the April 1, 2021–March 31, 2022 fiscal year was on March 9, 2022. It was also the first time in two years that we held an in-person Board meeting. For the past two years, the Board meetings had been done virtually via Zoom.

Way back in March 2020, we were wrapping up a hugely successful fiscal year in terms of accomplishments with our Strategic Plan goals. We ended the year deep in the black with substantial revenue generated.

The pandemic was also starting to become very visible in our area by March 2020.

The new fiscal year then started on April 1, 2020, and it was clear that we would be facing some major challenges.

Those challenges grew beyond the pandemic in the coming months; they included social unrest, numerous businesses (including nonprofits) going out of business or laying off staff, and other problems.

Despite all the darkness and fear at that time, we had a clear direction, detailed in our Strategic Plan, and a positive, grateful, supporting, and can-do team environment.

When that fiscal year was wrapping up in March 2021, it was clear that our team had not only survived the first year of the pandemic but thrived—and risen above the darkness and challenges—to deliver another successful fiscal year in terms of important Strategic Plan accomplishments and another year completed deep in the black.

Starting the new fiscal year on April 1, 2021—the pandemic was still raging and loads of people and businesses were hurting. Would we have the endurance as a team to succeed again in the new fiscal year amidst so many ongoing challenges?

Despite the continuing anxieties and fears all around us, we again started a new fiscal year with good and clear strategic direction, and a positive, grateful, supportive, and can-do team environment.

We also started the fiscal year with added confidence knowing we had succeeded in the prior fiscal year amidst historic challenges.

Great and positive teams, with clear strategic direction, can do amazing things—and thankfully we have proven we are such a team. You as a Save Mount Diablo supporter are an important part of our team.

It has been such an honor to work with you all—and I will be forever proud of, and grateful for, how our team not only survived the past two fiscal years amidst historic, global challenges, but thrived and successfully advanced our land conservation mission.

So, cheers and thanks to you and the rest of our team Save Mount Diablo! 

With Gratitude,

Edward Sortwell Clement, Jr. Executive Director



A Unique and Intimate Portal into Nature

Save Mount Diablo Opens Its Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve to the Public

Hiking among green fields in a secluded preserve

On March 30, 2022, Save Mount Diablo opened its Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve to the public, the first of its kind in Contra Costa County.

People gathered at a special ceremony at the preserve during which Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan and Save Mount Diablo Board President Jim Felton cut the ribbon to celebrate the opening.

Save Mount Diablo’s Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve is now available for reservations free of charge to a variety of local schools and community groups, of all ages and backgrounds, pursuing educational purposes.

Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • environmental science classes
  • nature photography courses
  • yoga classes
  • plein-air artists gatherings
  • addiction recovery groups
  • acoustic music in nature ensembles
  • meditation classes
  • grief counseling support groups
  • church groups
  • homeowners association groups
  • hiking, trail running, and mountain bike clubs

Hiker taking a photo alongside a trail

Interested groups can submit a request to reserve the property for a day, up to six months in advance, by utilizing the online form on Save Mount Diablo’s website. The size of a group must be at least three people to no larger than 100 people.

The preserve is day-use only, so no camping. A Save Mount Diablo docent will greet and accompany any group that reserves the property.

Save Mount Diablo’s Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve is 207.8 acres situated between the Crystyl Ranch residential development in Concord and Lime Ridge Open Space in Walnut Creek. It’s near the CSU East Bay Concord Campus.

The preserve includes grassland, stream canyons, blue oak woodland, chaparral, and oak savannas.

It’s home to rare species such as the northernmost stand of desert olive, rare Hospital Canyon larkspur, and threatened Alameda whipsnake. Deer, coyote, burrowing owls, kestrels, and lots of other wildlife live here too.

Hikers in ta secluded preserve

The preserve’s high ridgeline provides views of most of central Contra Costa County and to Marin, Sonoma, and Solano counties.

As you move away from the staging area of the preserve and into the open space along Galindo Creek and up the ridgeline, the sounds of cars and radios fade. They become birdsong and gentle breezes rustling through trees.

Here you will find you are transported into another space where senses are heightened and connecting to nature is inevitable.

Our Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve is waiting to provide you and your group an intimate and educational experience in nature. Make your reservation at Mangini Ranch today!


Land Acquisition

Panorama view of protected beautiful land

In the April 1, 2021–March 31, 2022 fiscal year, Save Mount Diablo advanced various land acquisition projects it had worked on for many years, including the following two examples. 

Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association 

Beautiful Oak Woodland of the Concord Mount Diablo Trail Ride Association

In December 2019, Save Mount Diablo and the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association signed a two-year option agreement, giving Save Mount Diablo time to raise over $1.04 million to permanently protect almost 154 acres of open space on Mount Diablo’s North Peak with a conservation easement.

Save Mount Diablo raised the necessary funds. Then on January 11, 2022, the parties closed escrow, with Save Mount Diablo successfully purchasing the conservation easement and thereby forever protecting this highly strategic land.

Oak Tree growing in protected land

The mile-wide property is part of the “Missing Mile,” a square mile of privately owned open space land on Mount Diablo’s North Peak.

The property is adjacent to Save Mount Diablo’s Young Canyon property and our North Peak Ranch project and is also surrounded by Mount Diablo State Park on three sides.

This strategic Mount Diablo open space land had been vulnerable.

More than 15 houses and other buildings had been constructed near the approximate 154 acres of open space.

A conservation easement is a perpetual legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified organization, like a nonprofit land trust or government agency.

It restricts future activities and development on the land to protect its conservation values for the benefit of the public.

The newly protected land will continue to be owned by the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association, and Save Mount Diablo will monitor its conservation easement annually.

Black Point Addition to Mount Diablo State Park

Black Point mount diablo state park

After six years of collaboration and discussion with Save Mount Diablo, CEMEX USA announced in February 2022 that it is intending to donate 101 acres  of undeveloped land to the State of California to become part of Mount Diablo State Park.

This is highly strategic land in the Black Point area that Save Mount Diablo had wanted to see acquired for conservation and added to Mount Diablo State Park.

The tract of land that is to be donated is located close to CEMEX’s Clayton Quarry in Clayton, California, and borders Mount Diablo State Park. It features beautiful chaparral and oak trees within the canyon slopes of Mount Zion and lies adjacent to Mitchell Canyon.




Rolling hills of Clayton from Black Point

Many wildlife species live there, including deer, birds, and protected species such as the Alameda whipsnake. A portion of the Black Point Trail, which has been popular with hiking enthusiasts at the park for decades, also runs through the property.

The land affords high conservation values for the benefit of our communities and can be easily seen rising above the City of Clayton.

CEMEX USA will continue to work with California State Parks to complete the donation process as soon as possible. We applaud CEMEX USA for making this conservation acquisition possible via a generous donation.

In addition to these projects, we remain busy on the acquisition front, where we are focusing on more than two dozen future strategic acquisition priority properties.



Land Use Planning & Advocacy

After two years of a global pandemic, we have not only continued our advocacy work to defend Mount Diablo—we have also expanded our area of action south to protect its connection to the larger Diablo Range and incorporated actions to confront the climate catastrophe into our land use planning efforts.

By working with partners and a number of coalitions, monitoring several dozen agency calendars, and responding to more than a dozen specific project and policy proposals, we are defending the wildlife, views, ecosystem services, and spiritual and mental refuge that Mount Diablo and its creeks, foothills, and neighboring landscapes provide us.

Expanding South: Del Puerto Canyon and Henry W. Coe State Park 

Henry Coe State Park

As part of our well-thought-out expansion of advocacy efforts south into other Diablo Range counties, we have reviewed, commented on, and supported legal action against the Del Puerto Reservoir, which would drown much of beautiful Del Puerto Canyon in Stanislaus County.

Similarly, we have also engaged decision makers and responsible agencies on the proposed Panoche Reservoir expansion project in Santa Clara County, which so far does not include sufficient mitigation to offset biological impacts and would negatively affect part of Henry W. Coe State Park.

As a public protected area, this land should already be protected from such projects.

Tesla Park

State Senator Bob Wieckowski and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan at Tesla Park victory party

State Senator Steve Glazer and Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan at Tesla Park victory party.

After many years of tireless advocacy, in the fall of 2021 Save Mount Diablo, our partners in the Friends of Tesla Park coalition, and other allies celebrated the permanent protection of Tesla Park through Governor Newsom’s signing of AB/SB 155.

Brandon Dawson

This law forever removes the threat of off-road vehicles, which would have destroyed Tesla’s wildlife habitat, ecosystems, and cultural resources.

Tesla is also of critical importance because it is part of a wildlife corridor that links Mount Diablo to the rest of its sustaining Mount Diablo Range.

Though we must remain engaged to ensure that Tesla receives the high level of protection and management that it deserves, passage of AB/SB 155 was a huge victory worth much celebration.

This great achievement would not have been possible without State Senator Steven Glazer, Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, and State Senator Bob Wieckowski, who have been great partners in their advocacy for Tesla Park.


aerial view of the proposed Faria project area and the former Concord Naval Weapons Station
We have achieved not just one, but two victories in Pittsburg this past year!

In 2021, the Pittsburg City Council made the terrible decision to approve the Faria project, a bad proposal by Seeno development companies to build 1,650 houses on top of the beautiful scenic ridgeline between Concord and Pittsburg, and next to the new Concord regional park.

In February 2022, we filed a legal challenge in court.

The judge agreed with us that environmental review was inadequate, and ordered that the city must rescind its approvals and redo its analyses.

Then, Seeno asked the same judge to reverse the decision the court had just made, and the judge refused. Two victories! We remain engaged and will defend against any appeal, and demand the project be canceled or changed to protect the ridgeline.


Diablo Range: A Bigger Vision

Diablo Range

This year has been one of Save Mount Diablo’s most significant in its 50-year history. We’ve dramatically expanded our geographic area down the Diablo Range. We’re on course to become an organization of statewide significance.

From the executive summary of our 2022–2023 Strategic Plan:

“It is increasingly important that we make sure Mount Diablo remains connected to the rest of its 200-mile Diablo Range stretching south across 12 counties, between Highway 101 and Highway 5. The Diablo Range includes more than 5,400 square miles, of which only 24 percent is protected, the remainder threatened by increasing urbanization, fossil fuel and alternative energy development, wildfires, and climate change. For that reason, we have begun an expansion of our activities. While primarily focused on protecting the remaining important threatened open space properties north of Interstate 580, we’ve expanded our land acquisition activities south to Corral Hollow, will consider accepting land or easements as far south as the Alameda-Santa Clara County line, and will conduct related preservation and advocacy activities in the seven northern Diablo Range counties—Contra Costa, Alameda, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Merced, and San Benito. We will continue to popularize the entire 200-mile, 12-county Diablo Range, ‘California’s Next Big Conservation Story.’”

As part of the expansion, we considered capacity—we’ll continue to focus acquisition and stewardship efforts near Mount Diablo—and did a gap analysis of areas not getting much attention. We’ll focus on partnerships and collaborations.

We’re budgeting funds for advocacy in each of the new counties. As more than one member of our Board noted about defending more of the Diablo Range, “If we don’t do it, no one will.”

In 1930, Mary Bowerman was assigned Mount Diablo as a botanical research project, her work centered on the main peaks. When she co-founded Save Mount Diablo in 1971, its first priorities came directly from her research—protect the main peaks and canyons.

The hope was that Mount Diablo State Park would grow to 20,000 to 25,000 acres, the area covered by Mary’s original research, and the effort would end. Instead, it happened much more slowly, but we were more successful than anyone could have imagined.

Ohlone Wilderness Backpack BioBlitz

From 6,788 acres in 1971, Mount Diablo State Park has grown to 19,431 acres and is part of a system of more than 50 different parks and preserves north of Highway 580 totaling over 120,000 acres.

In the East Bay as a whole, protected lands have tripled to more than 30 percent of Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

But if Mount Diablo is cut off from the rest of the Diablo Range, it will lose many of its resources. We have long dreamed about connecting south to Del Valle Regional Park and Henry W. Coe State Park.

By 2012, we expanded our geographic area to include both sides of Altamont Pass. We also began working further south to help protect Tesla Park in Corral Hollow, part of that narrowest choke point of the northern Diablo Range.

Planning for the future

In the time of climate change, big diverse wildlife corridors like the Diablo Range will be increasingly important.

In 2019, we doubled our geographic area south to the Alameda–Santa Clara County line. This did not represent a dramatic increase in our work, we were simply focusing on a larger area.

Our March 2020 Bay Nature magazine supplement was the first publication and map about the entire range. The 396,000-acre SCU fire in August 2020 provided another opportunity to focus public education, which we began that fall with our Diablo Range Revealed project.

Diablo Range Map

The Diablo Range expansion project has been very successful. We helped stop the proposed Carnegie off-road vehicle expansion and helped turn Tesla into a new 3,100-acre state park.

We’re involved in a defense of Del Puerto Canyon from a reservoir project. We’ve heard from many donors and stakeholders about how they’ve been inspired by our vision.

This past year we took the next step, again expanding the geographic area in which we work, from the northern three of 12 Diablo Range counties, to include the northern seven of 12 Diablo Range counties.

Bobcat in the diablo rangeAdding Stanislaus, Santa Clara, and Merced gets us to Henry W. Coe State Park and Pacheco Pass, through gaps in other conservation efforts. The seventh county, San Benito, is a special opportunity.

It includes the largest portion of the Diablo Range and its highest peak, San Benito Mountain, as well as Pinnacles National Park. Affecting land use decisions there will be cost-effective and could lead to significant conservation gains.

You can help us “Save the Diablo Range.”

Climate Action Plan

Volunteers protect tree seedlings, mostly young blue oaks, at Curry Canyon Ranch.

Volunteers protect tree seedlings, mostly young blue oaks, at Curry Canyon Ranch.

Save Mount Diablo has begun to take action to achieve the goals laid out in our Climate Action Plan, which we adopted last year.

Staff, volunteer stewards, and Conservation Collaboration Agreement participants have planted, protected, and nurtured native plants and trees as a part of our goal to plant and protect 10,000 trees in 10 years.

By planting and protecting 1,164 individual plants this past year, we are off to a great start in our efforts to restore habitats, which increases carbon pulled by these plants from the atmosphere.

To keep that carbon in the soil, staff have also started to measure residual dry matter on properties that we graze. Our ecological grazing practices increase soil health, species diversity, and carbon sequestration.

We have also made climate crisis education a main theme at our Mangini Ranch Educational Preserve to inspire the public to think globally and act locally.

To reduce our organization’s greenhouse gas emissions, our staff works in the office on Mondays and Tuesdays but is encouraged to work from home the rest of the week.

In addition, reviewing how development projects mitigate their climate impact is now a regular part of our land use work.



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With the help of our volunteers, we’ve planted and protected 1,164 trees and plants to kick off our new project: to plant and protect 10,000 native trees and plants over 10 years.

Many of the trees and plants, including native sycamores, oaks, bay laurels, pines, and shrubs, are protected via tubes.

We identify tree saplings that are coming up on their own and provide shelter to give them the best chance at survival. We also source native plants from the Watershed Nursery in Richmond for our restoration sites.

One of the most important parts of our restoration work is watering during the dry months. Our diligent volunteer watering crews have significantly increased the survival rate of our young plants. We are grateful for the help.

Stewardship staff and volunteers have also assisted our partners at the East Bay Regional Park District, California State Parks, and the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy to protect, understand, and maintain some of the most well-loved and utilized public areas on the mountain this year.

For the second year in a row, Save Mount Diablo organized a cleanup at Castle Rock in the Pine Canyon area, a sanctuary loved by rock climbers, hikers, and birdwatchers alike.

This year we partnered again with Mount Diablo State Park, EBRPD, the Bay Area Climbers Coalition, Save Mount Diablo’s Trail Dogs, and the Mount Diablo Interpretative Association to remove graffiti from the rocks.

Volunteers also removed trash from the surrounding towers, especially shards of glass, which have a hugely negative impact on wildlife.

Together we hauled 50 gallons of water and battery-powered pressure washers and applied a biodegradable product called Elephant Snot to remove graffiti on the stronger rock.

Additionally, we hauled five gallons of paint to encapsulate the graffiti found on more friable rock. It was an amazing effort connecting many diverse partners and user groups to care for a place that we all love.

Save Mount Diablo is also working with Nomad Ecology and Phytosphere Research to study what is causing the dramatic dieback of manzanitas and knobcone pines in the Knobcone Point to Wall Point areas of Mount Diablo State Park.

We’ve secured a research grant from the East Contra Costa County Habitat Conservancy. Work includes drone mapping and soil sampling along a 10-mile strip of diverse geology to learn more about causes and guide management of the affected areas.

Thanks to Our Amazing Volunteers

Pine Canyon

6 cubic yards of waste and recycling removed

471 plantings

693 native trees and plants protected

276 stewardship volunteers

3,425 volunteer stewardship hours

5,000 stewardship staff hours focused on restoration projects

We would not have been able to accomplish so much without the help of our wonderful volunteers.

A total of 361 volunteers this past year donated 4,565.85 volunteer hours across all our programs.

Thank you so much to everyone who gave their time and skills. We look forward to providing more volunteer opportunities in the near future!



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In 2021, Save Mount Diablo scheduled 36 hikes and other outdoor events as part of our Discover Diablo program, a free, public, guided outings series.

This series focuses on providing opportunities for the public to explore different areas across the northern Diablo Range in a group setting.

Rock climber at Pinnacles National Park

COVID-19 county and state restrictions were constantly evolving throughout the year, and summer fires forced us to postpone some hikes, but we were able to safely lead 34 out of the 36 events.

A total of 392 participants attended the 34 events.

This was the first year that we added rock climbing and mountain biking to the Discover Diablo schedule.

The rock-climbing events took place at the Boy Scout Rocks in Mount Diablo State Park. Save Mount Diablo provided all the necessary equipment for the event, except rock-climbing shoes.

Participants of all ages had a wonderful time exploring and getting acquainted with the mountain in an entirely new way.

Our new mountain-biking events took place in two separate locations. The first began at Save Mount Diablo’s Mangini Ranch and continued into Lime Ridge Open Space. The second took place in two connected Save Mount Diablo conserved sites.

The ride began in Smith Canyon and went up into Curry Canyon Ranch (Lower 200). Ride leaders would stop occasionally to share the natural wonders and unique, rich history of the areas.

Diverse group of recreationists on top of Mount Diablo

We’re excited to continue providing free outdoor recreation opportunities to the public, and we’re always looking to expand our outdoor events to include more user groups.

Our 2022 schedule continues to offer 36 outings, including our first Discover Diablo trail-run event (taking place at Save Mount Diablo’s Curry Canyon Ranch) and our first plein-air painting hike.

We would also like to thank all our wonderful Discover Diablo event leaders for making these experiences possible!

Moonlight on the Mountain

In 2021, we celebrated our 20th Moonlight on the Mountain! We raised more than $300,000.

Hundreds of people participated in our virtual gala fundraiser, coming together to support Save Mount Diablo’s important conservation and education work.

On September 10, 2022, we will be celebrating Save Mount Diablo’s 50th anniversary at Moonlight, where we’ll gather in person again at China Wall in Mount Diablo State Park. We hope to see you there!


Education and Outreach


Community Conservation Collaboration Agreements Program

This year, we successfully held three Conservation Collaboration Agreements, with Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School, Campolindo High School, and De La Salle High School.

Girl sitting under tree on a contemplative solo

The first CCA was held with Joaquin Moraga Intermediate School in April of 2021. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, staff safely held a virtual class presentation. In place of field days, we provided students the option to do the environmental service project and solo at home.

They received directions during the first presentation and from a handout Save Mount Diablo put together with step-by-step instructions. The final component of the modified CCA program involved a debrief session.

This time is an opportunity for students to share what they did for their environmental service project and what they wrote or drew for their solo in nature.

Students holding a turtle

We had our first in-person classroom presentation and field experience since the beginning of the pandemic in October 2021 with Campolindo High School. The field experience was held at Mangini Ranch and attended by 50 students.

The students helped Save Mount Diablo staff build trails, protect young oak seedlings, and flag native milkweed for mapping purposes.

The third CCA was held with De La Salle High School. The field experience was held at Marsh Creek 4 and 6, where students helped staff plant natives and mulch the trail.

We’re very excited to continue partnering with local schools for our CCA program and are looking forward to safely holding more field trips on Save Mount Diablo properties.

Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research Program

Ohlone Wilderness Backpack BioBlitz

In 2021, the Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research Program held two grant rounds, one in April and the other in December.

The first round awarded four grants for research on the heritability of risk-aversion behaviors in California ground squirrels through genome sequencing, the transmission of social information among California ground squirrels, the habitat suitability of Pine Creek tributaries, and population fluctuations and reproduction of American kestrels.

The second round awarded three grants to research on the species using the Galindo Creek wildlife corridor, the continued research of the habitat suitability of Pine Creek tributaries, and the purchase of GPS transmitters to track California condors as they explore expanding their range.

We held our eighth Annual Dr. Mary Bowerman Science and Research Colloquium December via Zoom; it was attended by more than 160 participants.

New Media

OpenRoad with Doug McConnell

We worked with Doug McConnell and his team at NBC Bay Area to create two new segments on OpenRoad with Doug McConnell.

The first focused on our work to protect seven properties through our $15 million Forever Wild Capital Campaign, especially our Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association project.

The second focused on introducing people to “the big wild in our back yard,” the Diablo Range, and the incredible wildflowers blooming as a result of the land’s recovery from the 2020 wildfires.

Audible Mount Diablo Guides

Save Mount Diablo Land Conservation Director Seth Adams was featured in a new Audible Mount Diablo guide—A Brief History of Mount Diablo State Park, celebrating the park’s 100th anniversary.

We also worked with Joan Hamilton, the producer of Audible Mount Diablo, to create a new video for our Diablo Range Revealed series, Condor Country.


Forever Wild


In July 2021, Save Mount Diablo completed its $15 million Forever Wild Capital Campaign—the largest and most consequential fundraising effort in the organization’s 50-year history.

Through Forever Wild, the organization raised the necessary funds to protect 1,681 acres of land in nine different properties. The total land conserved amounts to 2.6 square miles, an area bigger than Emeryville or the San Francisco Presidio.

The strategically chosen land is rich in conservation values. For example, threatened wildlife like the California red-legged frog lives on several of the properties.

“Despite various challenges, like a long national crisis and pandemic period, we stayed strong and focused on our Forever Wild Campaign, and we cannot thank our great campaign donors enough for helping us successfully conclude this effort that will pay lasting green dividends to our communities and local flora and fauna,” remarked Save Mount Diablo Executive Director Ted Clement.

Save Mount Diablo launched Forever Wild in 2013 with a campaign target of $15 million. By the end of 2015, Save Mount Diablo had acquired the extraordinary 1,080-acre Curry Canyon Ranch—one of the most important and spectacular private properties remaining in Contra Costa County.

Since Curry Canyon Ranch, Save Mount Diablo has acquired Smith Canyon (28 acres), Highland Springs (105 acres), Big Bend (51 acres), Hanson Hills (76 acres), and Anderson Ranch (95 acres); it has also raised the funds to soon acquire North Peak Ranch (87 acres).

American Badgers

Additionally, with Forever Wild Save Mount Diablo protected the Rideau property (5 acres) with a conservation easement and now has also permanently protected the Concord Mt. Diablo Trail Ride Association property (nearly 154 acres) with a conservation easement.

Although most of Forever Wild’s raised funds were for land acquisition, the campaign also raised substantial funds to develop a robust Stewardship Endowment Fund and Legal Defense Fund.

The Stewardship Endowment Fund will generate interest that can annually support native habitat restoration, fire abatement activities, invasive species removal, and other stewardship activities that keep land healthy and safe.

The Legal Defense Fund ensures Save Mount Diablo has the financial resources, when necessary, to legally defend its conservation easements and lands acquired. Together, these funds will help sustain Save Mount Diablo’s land conservation work for years to come.

Through Forever Wild, we also developed our fundraising capabilities to better support our time-sensitive land conservation mission into the future.


Small Steps to Big Leaps

Gordon Monroe

Gordon Monroe (in blue) on a Land Tour

Gordon Monroe has been supporting Save Mount Diablo for nearly 35 years, generously helping protect Mount Diablo’s wild lands.

He and his late wife, Donna, were a reliable presence at sponsored hikes, dinner events, land tours, and Moonlight on the Mountain. Gordon continues to enjoy the Executive Director speaker series.

But Gordon’s relationship with Mount Diablo began much earlier, even before Save Mount Diablo was founded 50 years ago. Both he and Donna spent their childhood years in what was then the lightly developed landscape of eastern Contra Costa County.

“As a Boy Scout, and then later as the Assistant Scoutmaster for my son, I remember many campouts up there on the mountain,” Gordon shared.

Donna Monroe

Donna Monroe (in middle)

He and Donna graduated from Mount Diablo High School in 1951. They purchased their Concord family home in 1960 and settled into a freshly established neighborhood with a “backyard that looks out over the Concord Naval Weapons Station.”

When plans to redevelop the Concord Naval Weapons Station began, Gordon appreciated finding a like-minded partner in Save Mount Diablo. Success of the redevelopment was important to Gordon not only because his home neighbors the project, but also because Donna was born and raised in Port Chicago.

Gordon respected Save Mount Diablo’s advocacy approach—suggestions for redevelopment that were ambitious, pragmatic, and a careful balance of the need to preserve open space alongside a growing community.

Thanks to the support of Gordon and others like him, Save Mount Diablo continues that advocacy work today, promoting land conservation and sound development strategies in Concord and across the northern and central Diablo Range.

Since 1988, Gordon has generously supported Save Mount Diablo through annual gifts, contributions to the Heritage Tree and Forever Wild campaigns, as well as a memorial gift in honor of Donna.

He is inspired by the extraordinary commitment of Save Mount Diablo’s Board of Directors, and he praises the skillful leadership of Executive Director Ted Clement. Gordon marvels at Save Mount Diablo’s growing number of successful and significant projects: “They just do things right!”

In acknowledging and giving thanks for decades-long partnerships with supporters like Gordon, we are reminded that the timeline for land conservation is long and progress is incremental.

The success of Save Mount Diablo’s programs depends on resolute partners, like Gordon and Donna Monroe, who have nurtured every small step and enabled tremendous expansion over time. Thank you!

For more information about how to support Save Mount Diablo in your philanthropy plans, please contact Samantha Kading at 925-947-3535 or



These pie charts include financial information for Save Mount Diablo’s annual operating results (revenue and expenses), as well as land transaction capital items.

For FYE 22 (April 1, 2021 to March 31, 2022), Save Mount Diablo successfully raised more operating revenue than operating funds expended, thereby achieving a large surplus with its general operating budget.

However, in the pie charts above the expenditures are larger than the revenues received, because on the expense side we spent over $1 million on land acquisition from non-operating Forever Wild funds we raised in the last few years.

Save Mount Diablo’s total revenue for FYE 22 was just over $3.38 million. This pie chart shows the importance of individual contributions: 80 percent of our funding comes from donors like you. Thank you!

Expenditures for FYE 22 totaled approximately $4.08 million (including operating and non-operating expenses like land acquisition).

Program expenses other than land acquisition include stewardship projects on 21 properties and conservation easements we own, education and outreach programs, and advocacy to counter land conservation threats.

Numbers are based on unaudited FYE 22 financials. Please visit our financials page to see our most recent 990 tax returns.


Land Acknowledgment

In early 2022, Save Mount Diablo’s Board of Directors approved a Save Mount Diablo land acknowledgment honoring the native peoples of the area in which we work:

“Save Mount Diablo recognizes that we are on the unceded ancestral lands of the Bay Miwok, Muwekma Ohlone, Northern Valley Yokuts, and other tribes and tribelets—peoples who have loved and cared for Mount Diablo as a sacred mountain since time immemorial. Many of these peoples continue today as thriving members of the diverse communities of the greater San Francisco Bay Area and the larger Diablo Range region. We acknowledge and honor the Bay Miwok, Ohlone, and Northern Valley Yokut tribes, as well as all of the indigenous people of the lands which Save Mount Diablo serves.”


To Our Save Mount Diablo Supporters:

Donors, Partners, Volunteers, and Advocates

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Save Mount Diablo extends its gratitude to all donors. Your generous support makes it possible to balance open space with the demands of increasing population and development pressure in our area. Together, we can preserve, defend, restore, and enjoy Mount Diablo and its foothills, and connect Mount Diablo to its sustaining Diablo Range.

  • Diablo Legacy Circle—Making a long-term gift is an act of generosity beyond measure. We give special thanks to our Diablo Legacy Circle members, those who have included Save Mount Diablo in their estate planning. Their generosity ensures Mount Diablo, its foothills, and its wildlife will be preserved for generations to come.
  • Monthly Donor Circle—This special circle of donors helps provide steady, reliable support by donating monthly. Their generosity ensures Save Mount Diablo can continue to preserve, defend, and restore Diablo’s wild lands.
  • Company Matching—Many generous employers will match their employees’ donations, thereby doubling the impact of the employees’ gifts. These companies matched donations to Save Mount Diablo, allowing their employees to help preserve, defend, and restore more land for all of us to enjoy. Ask if your company matches too!
  • 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 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, Nate Campi, Laura Kindsvater, Floyd McCluhan, Ted Clement, Cooper Ogden, Joan and Bruce Hamilton, Roxana Lucero, Denise Castro, Sean Burke, Parker Kaye, Al Johnson, and Dan Fitzgerald.

Ted Clement Executive Director
Seth Adams Land Conservation Director
Sean Burke Land Programs Director
Karen Ferriere Development Director
Monica Oei Finance & Administration Director
Tuesday Bentley Accounting & Administrative Associate
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
Britani Hutchinson Event Coordinator
Samantha Kading Assistant Development Director
Laura Kindsvater Communications Manager
Queenie Lee, Database Coordinator
Katie Lopez Accounting & Administration Associate
Roxana Lucero Land Stewardship Associate
Joanne McCluhan Executive Assistant
Haley Sutton Land Stewardship Associate

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

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

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