Archive for the ‘Delta & Environment’ Category

Antioch Council votes to ban oil and gas drilling in city, but owner of permits and rights can still drill, claims it won’t protect environment

Thursday, January 13th, 2022

Sunset Exploration’s drilling rigs at their Deer Valley Road site just outside Antioch city limits. Herald file photo.

“Local produced oil and gas will be replaced by foreign fuel imports which are significantly more harmful to the environment” – Bob Nunn, Sunset Exploration, owner of the drilling permits in Antioch

By Allen Payton

During their meeting Tuesday night Jan. 11, the Antioch City Council on a 5-0 vote approved a ban on oil and gas drilling, production and exploratory operations in the city in a stated effort to protect the health of residents and the environment. However, Bob Nunn, president of Sunset Exploration which owns permits and rights in Antioch, can still drill when he’s ready and says the action will actually harm the environment more. His company has the oil drilling site off Deer Valley Road south of Kaiser outside both the city limits of Antioch and Brentwood. (See related article) Antioch Oil & Gas Drilling Ban ACC011122

In addition, although he was not made aware of the council’s agenda item by staff or council members, Nunn sent an email to all five council members on Tuesday which pointed to a state report that shows importing oil and gas into California is worse for the environment by a factor of two-thirds than producing it locally.

This breakdown shows the average carbon intensity of California’s imported oil vs. what is produced by Nunn’s company on Deer Valley Road in Brentwood. GHG means greenhouse gases. According to Nunn, these figures are from the State of California’s Air Resources Board. Source: Sunset Exploration.

According to City Attorney Thomas L. Smith, “presently there are no plans for oil or gas drilling in the city. There is a complete permit to allow gas and oil exploration, but that was put on hold.” The council action “will ban oil and gas drilling in the city with no apparent impacts,” he said.

Yet, neither Smith nor any of the council members mentioned the email sent by Nunn:

Sent: 1/11/2022 2:58:11 PM Pacific Standard Time

Subject: Item 9, 01-11-22 Antioch City Council agenda

Dear City Council Members

Re:   Introduction of Ordinance of Amending the Antioch Municipal Code Sections 9-5.3803 and 9-5.3834 to Prohibit Oil and Gas Drilling, Production, and Exploratory Operations as Permitted Uses in the M-2 and S Zones.

I have reviewed the above referenced Ordinance and do not object to the prohibition of future oil and gas permits in the areas referenced therein. However please be advised that my company, Sunset Exploration, Inc., currently has valid permits both within the City of Antioch and Contra Costa County that allow for future oil and gas activities and those rights remain unaffected by this proposed Ordinance.

Furthermore, I have attached a link below from the California Air Resources Board (CARB), which conducts annual crude oil life cycle assessments that compares the environmental impacts of various oil fields in California as compared to the oil California imports. Currently California imports 90% of its natural gas needs and 63% of its crude oil needs. Any oil and gas California does not produce is imported. Ironically, the oil and gas we and others produce in this vicinity emits, on average, 1/3rd the amount of the carbon of foreign sources.

Deer Valley Road oil drilling site production vs. Top CA oil fields 011222. Source: Sunset Exploration

Prohibiting local oil and gas production does not affect the local or statewide demand, but it does increase rather than decrease the environmental impact of oil and gas production and use and does not achieve the stated goal of this Ordinance to reduce air emissions or provide any other environmental benefit.

Local produced oil and gas will be replaced by foreign fuel imports which are significantly more harmful to the environment.

Until we completely transition to 100% green energy sources, which California and the local community is not projected to do in the next two decades (and potentially far longer for heating and other utility needs), producing the cleanest fossil fuels available will have the least impact on climate change and the environment.

I recommend the City acknowledge that by adopting this Ordinance and prohibiting locally sourced oil and gas, it will result in the need to import more oil and gas, shifting the environmental impacts to other communities and causing an overall increase in impacts on the environment.

That is at least according to the California Air Resources Board.  Deer Valley Rd. oil production Comparison 011222

Bob Nunn

Sunset Exploration, Inc.

Antioch and Brentwood area oil gas wells and fields DCA SEC Map-1-22-2020. Most wells are capped and no longer in production. Source: CA Delta Conveyance Authority

Following public comments, mostly from people outside of Antioch thanking the council for protecting residents’ health and the environment, District 4 Councilwoman Monica Wilson, who proposed the ban, made a motion to approve the ordinance.

District 2 Councilman Mike Barbanica said, “I just wanted to note that property owners that could have been affected…didn’t show up. To me, that speaks volumes.”

“I’ve been on the front lines for many years on social justice and environmental justice and I can’t take any of the credit,” District 1 Councilwoman Tamisha Torres-Walker said. “I would just like to thank the Antioch residents on the frontline…and council members who have been working on this since before me.”

“After this then, we will be requesting and bring forward…a resolution to ask the county to no longer engage in this,” Mayor Lamar Thorpe said.

The motion passed 5-0.

Save Mount Diablo expands free Discover Diablo hikes and outings program for 2022

Wednesday, January 5th, 2022

Hikers trekking through Curry Canyon Ranch in May 2021. Photo by James Fong.

By Laura Kindsvater, Communications Manager, Save Mount Diablo  

Explore some of the East Bay’s premiere hiking spots with Save Mount Diablo in 2022, including areas rarely open to the public. The Discover Diablo hikes and outings series offers guided hikes and themed walks; mountain biking, rock climbing, and trail running events; and property tours, all free to the public. Trailblazers of all ages and skill levels are welcome.

In response to growing demand, Save Mount Diablo is offering hikes as well as new activities in the series for a total of 36 excursions. New offerings will include a plein air painting walk and a trail run.

The ever-popular tarantula walk will be offered twice, and we are offering three meditation hikes in 2022. We will also be offering rock-climbing and mountain-biking events, and bilingual hikes in Spanish and English.

Generously sponsored by the Martinez Refining Company, the 2022 Discover Diablo free public hikes and outings series will begin on January 22nd.

“Through the Discover Diablo series, people are fortunate to be able to explore and discover the beauty of Mount Diablo with experienced guides,” said Ann Notarangelo, Community Relations Manager for the Martinez Refining Company. “Our refinery has sponsored these hikes since 2017 in the hopes people will enjoy learning more about the mountain, while spending quality time with family and friends.”

The Discover Diablo program was started by Save Mount Diablo in 2017 to connect local communities with the amazing natural world of the Mount Diablo area and to build awareness about land conservation.

Hikes take place on one of Save Mount Diablo’s conserved properties or on a collaborating partner’s land that Save Mount Diablo helped to protect in years past. These include Mount Diablo State Park, East Bay Regional Park District, and Walnut Creek Open Space Foundation lands.

Discover Diablo hikes are guided by experts steeped in the natural history and lore of the region, who both educate and entertain while emphasizing the breathtaking beauty that the Diablo Range has to offer.

Save Mount Diablo hopes the Discover Diablo series will spark a passion for the Diablo Range and deepen people’s connections to the land and nature. All Discover Diablo hikes are subject to, and will honor, all applicable COVID-19–related restrictions then in place for our area.

According to Ted Clement, Executive Director of Save Mount Diablo, “It is the goal of the Discover Diablo program to build connections between people, Save Mount Diablo, and the land, helping our communities develop a strong sense of place and a deepened appreciation for our collective backyard. Most importantly, we want to cultivate a love of the land in participants, as that is what it will take to ensure the precious Mount Diablo natural area is taken care of for generations to come.”

There is something for us all to discover in the nooks and crannies surrounding Mount Diablo, so be sure to hit the trails in 2022 and find your own individual inspiration!

RSVP required. To ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to attend, registration for hikes and outings in March onward will open two months prior to each hike’s date.

See our full schedule of upcoming hikes and outings; view and RSVP online here:

You can also download and print a flyer of the schedule here:

U.S. Fish & Wildlife seeks public comment on proposed Endangered Species Act protections for Foothill yellow-legged frog

Monday, December 27th, 2021

Juvenile Foothill yellow-legged frogs look similar to adults except for their smaller size, more contrasting dorsal coloration and lack of significant yellow on their undersurfaces. Credit: Rebecca Fabbri, USFWS

Four of the Six Distinct Population Segments of the Frog Warrant Protection; comment period Dec. 27, 2021 – February 28, 2022

In response to a Center for Biological Diversity petition and lawsuit, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections for four geographically and genetically distinct population segments (DPS) of the Foothill yellow-legged frog.

“At last, these little lemon-legged frogs, who are such an integral part of our natural stream ecosystems, have gotten the protection they need to survive,” said Jeff Miller, a senior conservation advocate at the Center. “Protecting these precious creatures will also help safeguard the coastal and Sierra foothill rivers and creeks we all rely on for clean drinking water and recreation.”

The Foothill yellow-legged frog, named for its yellow belly and underside of its rear legs, is found from the Willamette Valley in Oregon to the Santa Lucia mountain range in southern California and from the Pacific coast to the western slopes of the Cascade and Sierra Nevada mountains. The amphibian faces several threats, including altered waterflows related to water infrastructure; competition with and predation by non-native species; disease; precipitation and temperature changes related to climate change; high-severity wildfires; water-related recreation; and habitat conversion and degradation.

“We closely examined the condition of each DPS and the threats they face. Using the best available science, we determined which populations warranted protections under the ESA and where future recovery efforts should be focused,” said Michael Fris, field supervisor of the Service’s Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office.

To assess the condition of each DPS, the Service evaluated data collected on the frog’s occupancy of streams in its historical range. The Service is proposing to list the South Coast DPS and South Sierra DPS as endangered due to a strong pattern of declining stream occupancy, as well as rapid reductions in occupied range. The North Feather DPS and Central Coast DPS are proposed to be listed as threatened due to decreasing levels of stream occupancy and the potential for a variety of threats to cause additional declines. The North Coast DPS and North Sierra DPS are not warranted for listing after the data showed high levels of occupancy in streams located throughout their ranges, making them more resilient to environmental changes and catastrophic events.

“Our goal is to help the foothill yellow-legged frog recover across its range,” said Fris. “Ongoing collaboration with a number of partners will result in positive conservation gains and put this frog on the road to recovery.”

The Service is working closely with partners at the Oakland Zoo, U.S. Forest Service, Garcia and Associates, Pacific Gas and Electric and California Department of Fish and Wildlife to raise foothill yellow-legged frogs in captivity and release them into Plumas National Forest. The first group of captive-reared frogs, 115 in total, was released in July 2020. A second group of 36 was released in April 2021.

A copy of the finding will publish in the Federal Register on December 28, 2021, and is available for public inspection now. The Service plans to develop and propose critical habitat at a later date. The public can submit comments on the proposed listing and read supporting information at by searching Docket Number FWS–R8–ES–2021–0108. Comments should be submitted by February 28, 2022.


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. For more information about our work and the people who make it happen, visit the Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office website. Connect with us via FacebookTwitterYouTube, and Flickr.

The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit

For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page, follow our tweets, watch our YouTube Channel and download photos from our Flickr page.

Meghan Snow, Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Sacramento Fish and Wildlife Office and Herald Publisher Allen Payton contributed to this report.


Contra Costa, 22 other DA’s reach settlement with gas station owner for underground storage tank environmental violations

Monday, November 22nd, 2021

Gas station underground storage tank diagram. Source: EPA

$1.1 million in civil penalties; 113 tanks statewide, seven in Contra Costa County

By Bobbi Mauler, Executive Assistant, Contra Costa County Office of the District Attorney

Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton announced today that the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office, together with 22 other California District Attorneys and City Attorneys, have reached a settlement with the Orange, California-based Hassan & Sons, Inc., H&S Energy, LLC and H&S Energy Products, LLC (formerly known as Colonial Energy, LLC),  (collectively referred to as “H&S Energy”) over allegations that the companies violated state laws regarding the operation and maintenance of motor vehicle fuel underground storage tanks (“USTs”). The settlement includes $1,100,000 in civil penalties, and investigative costs. H&S Energy has 113 fueling stations in California, of which, seven locations are in Contra Costa County. The settlement follows an investigation by local environmental health agencies of H&S Energy stations’ non-compliance with many provisions of the UST regulations.

The companies, started in 1996, have built and acquired gasoline and convenience stores throughout the state under the Chevron, Texaco, Shell, Extra Mile, and their own, Power Market brand, including locations in Bay Point, Brentwood, Oakley, Pittsburg and Martinez.

“UST owners and operators must comply with the applicable regulations in order to prevent potential harm to the environment,” said D.A. Becton. “H&S Energy was cooperative with the People’s investigation and expended significant resources in order to bring their stations into compliance.”

Under the settlement, which includes a Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction entered in Solano County Superior Court Case No. FCS057332 by the Honorable E. Bradley Nelson, H&S Energy must implement certain compliance assurance programs including hiring an environmental compliance manager and bi-annual environmental audits and reports submitted to the People. In addition, H&S Energy must pay $900,000 in civil penalties and $200,000 in costs. $550,000 is due within five days after entry of judgment, and the remaining $550,000 is due October 22, 2022.

Allen Payton contributed to this report.


Delta Conveyance (tunnel) Project Case Study Workshop on community benefits programs Nov. 17

Saturday, November 6th, 2021

Proposed Delta Conveyance Project Facility Corridor Options. Source: Scoping Summary Report.

Learn from other projects

Haga clic aquí para ver este aviso en español.

As part of ongoing development of the Community Benefits Program for the proposed Delta Conveyance (tunnel) Project, the Department of Water Resources (DWR) is holding a virtual workshop on Wednesday, November 17th from 6:00pm – 8:00pm to hear and learn from representatives of several different example community benefits programs around the country. (See related articles here and here)

Members of the local Delta community are encouraged to attend this event and hear firsthand experiences about the development and implementation of these programs, including different organizational structures, development timing, important milestones and lessons learned.

There will also be an opportunity to ask the panelists questions and engage in dialogue about their experiences and insights. Although these types of programs are not uncommon, there are various ways to go about setting them up. This workshop gives both DWR and the local community the chance to learn more about how it could be done for the proposed Delta Conveyance Project. (See details of the proposed system, here)

The workshop panelists represent a diverse set of projects and community benefits programs from different parts of the country:

  • Oakland, California, Partnership for Working Families 
    • Ben Beach, Legal Director
  • North Charleston, South Carolina, LowCountry Alliance for Model Communities Port Authority Redevelopment and Transfer Station
    • Omar Muhammed, Executive Director, LowCountry Alliance for Model Communities
  • Morro Bay, California, Castle Offshore Wind Project 
    • Scott Collins, City Manager, City of Morro Bay

While no other project or community benefits program exactly matches the specifics of the proposed Delta Conveyance Project and what might be most appropriate for the Community Benefits Program for this project, the example projects that will be discussed in this workshop offer different and valuable perspectives and examples with varying structures, locations and challenges. In preparing for this workshop, DWR researched community benefits programs for large infrastructure projects that had long-term construction impacts, where the benefits of the project were not local, but impacts of the project were, and where location and potential for environmental justice and economically disadvantaged community concerns were also involved.

Workshop Details & Registration

  • Wednesday, November 17, 2021 | 6:00pm – 8:00pm | REGISTER HERE
  • Workshop will be conducted on Zoom with a call-in option available


  • Welcome and Introductions
  • Presentations from the three project representatives
  • Focused panelist discussion:
    • How did the idea develop in your project?
    • How did the community come together to provide input?
    • When in the project lifecycle did people come together?
    • How did you solicit priorities?
    • How did you formalize the program?
    • How are community benefit funds distributed?
    • How are you measuring and monitoring community benefits?
  • Public questions/discussion

Participation Accommodations & Additional Information

  • Closed captioning will be provided
  • Workshop materials will be available in English and Spanish, and a simultaneous Spanish translation will be offered
  • Workshop access information and materials will be sent out prior to the workshop through Eventbrite
  • If you cannot participate in the workshop but have questions, please email us at
  • A recording of the workshop will be posted on the project website, along with the background material, when available

To register, click here.

ABAG, MTC adopt final Plan Bay Area 2050 and Environmental Impact Report

Monday, October 25th, 2021

“$1.4 trillion vision for a more equitable and resilient future for Bay Area residents” in thareas of housing, the economy, transportation and the environment

“Roadmap toward a more affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant region for all”

Includes “strategies that would produce more than 1 million new permanently affordable homes” and will “Implement a statewide universal basic income” to “provide an average $500 per month payment to all Bay Area households”

The Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC), during their joint meeting Thursday evening, Oct. 21, 2021, unanimously adopted Plan Bay Area 2050 and its associated Environmental Impact Report. The unanimous votes by both boards cap a nearly four-year process during which more than 20,000 Bay Area residents contributed to the development of the new plan.

All six representatives from Contra Costa County, including Supervisors Candace Andersen and Karen Mitchoff, Richmond Mayor Tom Butt and San Ramon Councilman Dave Hudson, who serve on ABAG, as well as Supervisor Federal Glover and Contra Costa City Representative Amy Worth, Mayor of Orinda, who serve on MTC, voted to adopt the plan.

Defined by 35 strategies for housing, transportation, economic vitality and the environment, Plan Bay Area 2050 lays out a $1.4 trillion vision for policies and investments to make the nine-county region more affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and economically vibrant for all its residents through 2050 and beyond. From housing strategies that would produce more than 1 million new permanently affordable homes by 2050 to transit-fare reforms that would reduce cost burdens for riders with low incomes and paths to economic mobility through job training and a universal basic income, the goal of a more equitable Bay Area is interwoven throughout the plan. With a groundbreaking focus on climate change, strategies also are crafted for resilience against future uncertainties, including protection from hazards such sea-level rise and wildfires.

It is a long-range plan charting the course for the future of the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area. Plan Bay Area 2050 will focus on four key issues—the economy, the environment, housing and transportation—and will identify a path to make the Bay Area more equitable for all residents and more resilient in the face of unexpected challenges. Building on the work of the Horizon initiative, this new regional plan outlines strategies for growth and investment through the year 2050, while simultaneously striving to meet and exceed federal and state requirements. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission and the Association of Bay Area Governments are expected to adopt Plan Bay Area 2050 in fall 2021.

“Plan Bay Area 2050 reflects a shared vision that can’t be implemented by any single agency,” explained ABAG Executive Board President and Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguín. “To bring all these strategies to fruition will require ABAG and MTC to strengthen our existing partnerships and to form new ones — not just with our cities and counties and the state government, but also with the federal government, businesses and nonprofits.”

What will Plan Bay Area 2050 do? What won’t it do?

Plan Bay Area 2050 outlines a roadmap for the Bay Area’s future. While it pinpoints policies and investments necessary to advance the goal of a more affordable, connected, diverse, healthy and vibrant Bay Area, Plan Bay Area 2050 neither funds specific infrastructure projects nor changes local policies. Cities and counties retain all local land use authority. Plan Bay Area 2050 does identify a potential path forward for future investments – including infrastructure to improve our transportation system and to protect communities from rising sea levels – as well as the types of public policies necessary to realize a future growth pattern for housing and jobs.

Ultimately, Plan Bay Area 2050 reflects a shared vision – one that cannot be implemented by any single organization or government agency. Only through partnership with local, state and federal governments – as well as with businesses and non-profit organizations – will the Plan’s vision come to fruition. Before the Plan is adopted in 2021, MTC and ABAG, along with partner organizations, will create an implementation plan that will advance the strategies outlined in Plan Bay Area 2050.

MTC Chair and Napa County Supervisor Alfredo Pedroza acknowledged the work ahead. “Building and preserving affordable housing. Adapting to sea level rise. Getting more people closer to their jobs and more jobs closer to the people. Sharing prosperity equitably. All of these are big lifts. But the new plan can serve as a north star for the Bay Area’s journey to 2050.”

Among the features that distinguish Plan Bay Area 2050 from previous regional plans is an associated Implementation Plan that details the specific actions ABAG and MTC can take in the next five years to put the new plan into action.

“The Implementation Plan is a commitment to do hard things, not just think about them,” said ABAG-MTC Executive Director Therese W. McMillan. “Even if these steps have to be taken incrementally, they will lead us to a more equitable and resilient Bay Area.”

Housing Strategies

Costs for housing are estimated at $468 billion, with $237 billion budget to preserve existing affordable housing by acquiring “homes currently affordable to low- and middle-income residents for preservation as permanently deed-restricted affordable housing”. An additional $219 billion is budgeted for new, deed-restricted affordable housing and $2 billion to “further strengthen renter protections beyond state law” by limiting “annual rent increases to the rate of inflation, while exempting units less than 10 years old.”

Economic Strategies

The total cost for economic strategies in the plan is $234 billion. Of that amount $205 billion is budgted to “Implement a statewide universal basic income” and “provide an average $500 per month payment to all Bay Area households to improve family stability, promote economic mobility and increase consumer spending.”

Transportation Strategies

The plan projects to spend a total of $578 billion is projected to be spent on transportation over the next 20 years, with most of that, $389 billion, to “restore, operate and maintain the existing system”. An additional $81 billion will be spent to “expand and modernize the regional rail network” to “better connect communities while increasing frequencies by advancing the Link21 new transbay rail crossing, BART to Silicon Valley Phase 2, Valley Link, Caltrain Downtown Rail Extension and Caltrain/High-Speed Rail grade separations, among other projects.” The third largest budget item for transportation is $32 billion to “enhance local transit frequency, capacity and reliability. Improve the quality and availability of local bus and light rail service, with new bus rapid transit lines, South Bay light rail extensions, and frequency increases focused in lower-income communities.”

Environmental Strategies

A total of $108 billion is programmed for Environmental Strategies. The largest portion of that is $30 billion to “modernize and expand parks, trails and recreation facilities”. An additional $19 billion is budgeted to “adapt to sea level rise” by protecting affected “shoreline communities…prioritizing low-cost, high-benefit solutions and providing additional support to vulnerable populations.

In addition, the plan includes $18 billion to “fund energy upgrades to enable carbon neutrality in all existing commercial and public buildings” through “electrification and resilient power system upgrades”, and another $15 billion to “provide means-based financial support to retrofit existing residential buildings.” To “protect and manage high-value conservation lands”, an additional $15 billion is included in the plan.

The adopted final Plan Bay Area 2050, the EIR, and all the supplemental reports accompanying the new plan are available online at

ABAG is the council of governments and the regional planning agency for the 101 cities and towns, and nine counties of the Bay Area. MTC is the transportation planning, financing and coordinating agency for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Committee accepting project grant applications

Saturday, October 9th, 2021

By Maureen Parkes, Office of Communications & Media, Contra Costa County

Source: CDFW

The Contra Costa County Fish and Wildlife Committee is now accepting applications from individuals and groups interested in enhancing the fish and wildlife resources of the County. Grant applications must be received by Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at 5:00 pm.

Source: CDFW

The Fish and Wildlife Committee strongly encourages applications related to public education, improving habitat, scientific research, threatened and endangered species, and resolving human/wildlife interaction issues. In addition, the Committee wishes to fund one or more projects that increase collaboration with law enforcement agencies, the court, and community cultural organizations on enforcement issues and education, focusing on communities that may be unaware of local fish and game laws. Projects that provide multilingual signage and educational materials are encouraged.

Source: CDFW

The Fish and Wildlife Committee awards grants for prospective expenditures to non-profit organizations, schools and government agencies. The Committee generally does not recommend funding for operating costs and overhead, such as benefits or utilities, or ongoing staff support for an organization. Further, projects awarded monies from the Fish and Wildlife Propagation Fund must meet the requirements of Section 13103 of the Fish and Game Code.

Source: CDFW

Funding for the grant program is generated from fines for violations of the Fish and Game Code and Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors receives the Committee’s recommendations and holds final decision-making authority over the awarding of grants.

During the 2021 grant cycle, a total of $60,830.71 was awarded to seven projects. The awards ranged from $4,973.00 to $16,000.00. Application materials may be obtained on the Fish and Wildlife Committee website or by contacting Maureen Parkes of the Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department by phone at 925-655-2909 or e-mail



Save Mount Diablo earns national recognition

Friday, August 27th, 2021

Save Mount Diablo’s stunning Curry Canyon Ranch is surrounded on three sides by Mount Diablo State Park. Save Mount Diablo currently owns and manages 19 properties and, with its partners, has protected more than 120,000 acres in 50 parks and preserves in the region. Photo credit: Al Johnson.

Strong commitment to public trust and conservation excellence

By Laura Kindsvater, Communications Manager, Save Mount Diablo

One thing that unites us as a nation is land: Americans strongly support saving the open spaces they love. Since 1971, Save Mount Diablo has been doing just that for the people of the San Francisco Bay Area. Save Mount Diablo has just earned an important recognition and distinction receiving its renewed national land trust accreditation award – proving once again that, as part of a network of over 450 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.

Save Mount Diablo provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that Save Mount Diablo’s lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts now steward almost 20 million acres – the size of Denali, Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Glacier, Everglades, and Yosemite National Parks combined.

“It is exciting to recognize Save Mount Diablo’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 450 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”

Save Mount Diablo is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census. A complete list of accredited land trusts and more information about the process and benefits can be found at

“Renewing our national accreditation shows Save Mount Diablo’s ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation in the Mount Diablo area,” said Ted Clement, Executive Director. “We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. Our strength means the special natural places we protect have a better chance of being protected forever, making the Mount Diablo area an even greater place for us and our children.”

About Save Mount Diablo

Save Mount Diablo is a nationally accredited, nonprofit land trust founded in 1971 with a mission to preserve Mount Diablo’s peaks, surrounding foothills, watersheds, and connection to the Diablo Range through land acquisition and preservation strategies designed to protect the mountain’s natural beauty, biological diversity, and historic and agricultural heritage; enhance our area’s quality of life; and provide educational and recreational opportunities consistent with the protection of natural resources. Learn more at

About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust, and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit