How We Preserve Diablo’s Wild Lands

Save Mount Diablo preserves, defends, and restores the natural lands on Mount Diablo and its foothills for wildlife and people to enjoy.

  • We preserve property through perpetual conservation easements and acquisition
  • We care for and restore the lands we buy through stewardship prior to turning them over to a park system, protected for wildlife and future generations
  • We defend our area of interest through advocacy and land use planning to ensure that habitats and wild lands are protected when development takes place
  • We educate the public about the Diablo area’s special wildlife and cultural history
  • We host numerous events and activities on the mountain to encourage recreation consistent with the protection of natural resources

More Lands Are at High Risk

Contrary to what many think, Mount Diablo is not saved, its lands not fully protected, and there is still much more we need to do to save these wild lands in our own backyard.

  • Although two-thirds of the mountain is protected as parks, watershed lands, and preserves, more than 60,000 acres are still at risk for development north of Highway 580.
  • Maintaining necessary wildlife corridors in the Diablo Range south of Highway 580 and Altamont Pass affects even more lands.

Once the land is lost, it is gone forever.

What’s at Stake?

Imagine a Mount Diablo that was once entirely wild lands: more than 280 square miles of canyons, cliffs, woodlands, meadows, streams, microclimates, and unique habitats sheltering 900 species of plants and animals, 14 only found on the mountain, dozens rare or endangered.

Over time, these wild lands have been carved into pieces, creating a checkerboard of developed and natural lands, some publicly and some privately owned. These fragmented lands hinder wildlife survival, increase pollutants in our creeks and streams, and severely limit public access.

With community help, Save Mount Diablo can stem the rapidly accelerating pace of development and sprawl that threaten the last remaining open lands at risk, land that could be developed over the next 10 years. We can preserve unprotected land through strategic land acquisitions and stewardship that will counter the threat of habitat loss, restore connections between existing natural areas, and provide the possibility of new trails and recreation areas.

Protecting the remaining Diablo wild lands is an extraordinary undertaking. It’s our mission to continue the legacy of conservation started by generations of residents of the Mount Diablo area who had a fierce love of the mountain. Now, together, we must further protect and restore one of the most important natural areas in California.

Protected Lands

Together in Partnership

Working with partners such as California State Parks and Contra Costa County, the East Bay Regional Park District, local cities, the Coastal Conservancy, Contra Costa Water District, and others—we, together with the help of generous supporters like you, have pieced together a conserved expanse of Diablo wild lands that today is greater than 120,000 acres, an area bigger than Point Reyes National Seashore or the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Save Mount Diablo facilitates a number of programs intended to educate the public about the priceless value of preserving Diablo’s immensely rich biodiversity and majestic landscape, and works to keep you informed about the important land conservation issues affecting the East Bay area, such as climate change and development projects that threaten to destroy important habitat and deteriorate the quality of life in our community.

Visit our acquisition, land use planning and advocacy, stewardship, and habitat restoration pages to learn more about how Save Mount Diablo preserves, defends, and restores wild lands in Contra Costa, Alameda, and San Joaquin Counties through our time-sensitive, mission-critical land conservation work.

Map of Protected Lands from 1971 to 2020

Since Save Mount Diablo’s founding in 1971, the preserved lands on Mount Diablo and its foothills have been increased from just over 6,788 acres in one park to over 120,000 acres and more than 50 parks.

Area of Interest

Although we and our partners have had tremendous success at protecting a large swath of the wild lands around Mount Diablo, there is still much work to do to save the remaining unprotected lands and allow our community to grow.

Save Mount Diablo’s area of interest is from I-680 to the west, the Santa Clara County line to the south, Suisun Bay to the north, and the Delta to the east. South of I-580, we currently focus on land use planning and advocacy. Save Mount Diablo’s area of interest includes the East Bay’s undeveloped hilly lands, watersheds, and valleys east of Hwy 680 to the Byron Highway, and south across Highway 580 and Altamont Pass, areas that can still be connected to the more than 50 existing Diablo parks and preserves, or new preserves as they are developed. The organization’s acquisition, land use, and policy priorities can be described as concentric rings around those parks and preserves.

The area of interest falls into one of eight distinct geographic areas of interest with eight sub-areas, as listed below along with projects. To maximize preserved land, Save Mount Diablo has developed unique preservation strategies for each of these.

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

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