Southern California Mountains Foundation

  • CA

About Us

The Southern California Mountains Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that (1) supports youth development through conservation initiatives integrating environmental education, training and hands-on service projects; (2) protects our natural resources through adult and family-led programming; and (3) provides interpretive services that focus on outdoor recreation, responsible use, and stewardship of our natural environment.

The Mountains Foundation achieves its mission by raising money, organizing critical volunteer resources, and creating and managing programs focused on health, stewardship and sustainability of our Southern California mountains.

We accomplish our mission through 5 key programs:

Big Bear Discovery Center: an educational and informational portal to the San Bernardino National Forest. Our goal is to ensure we heighten visitor awareness on how to become a more responsible caretaker of a national forest while increasing their enjoyment and knowledge of California’s most recreated forestland, the San Bernardino National Forest.

Urban Conservation Corps: a workforce development program that offers young men and women, ages 18-25 and youth ages 13-17, the chance to serve on our Southern California mountains and become employable citizens through hard work in environmental conservation.

National Children’s Forest: hosts a Visitor Information Center, an Environmental Education Program, a Youth Leadership Volunteer Program, and an active reforestation program. Children’s Forest is a place where children have a voice in forest management and learn how to become stewards of the land through education and opportunities.

Fire Lookouts: over 300 fire lookout hosts donate more than 17,000 volunteer hours each year from May through November supporting 7 fire lookouts in spotting smoke, educating visitors about the history of the fire lookouts, mountain ecology, and keeping the lookouts a vibrant part of our local mountains and our communities safe.

Off Highway Vehicle Education and Safety (OHV): more than 300 OHV Patrol Volunteers contribute over 20,000 hours each year in teachingvisitors trail ethics and land and resource stewardship. In addition, they maintain and monitor trails to help OHV enthusiasts recreate safely while protecting the public lands they visit.