About SBMLT: A Unique Land Trust
How We Work
The San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust acts to protect one of our most precious and threatened natural resources, the spectacular lands of the San Bernardino Mountains in Southern California.
Since our founding in 1996, more than 12,000 acres of coveted open space — scenic forest, wildlife habitat, rare meadowland — in one of the world's most desirable and expensive real estate markets have been preserved.
SBMLT's unique and effective approach to land protection taps the power of both private and public sectors. Using funds acquired from county, state, federal agencies and private donors; we move quickly to purchase critical open spaces as opportunities arise to acquire, restore and preserve the San Bernardino Mountains precious natural legacy.
Applying this successful formula, SBMLT is protecting the most urbanized National Forest in the United States.
We have secured permanent protection of more than 12,000 precious open space acres. By saving these lands from development as private estates and subdivisions, we ensure their survival as wildlife habitat, public recreation areas, and places that enrich and restore the human spirit— now and for future generations.
Our Collaborative Approach
More Than 12,000 Acres Saved
Since 1996, the nonprofit San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust has been working in the San Bernardino Mountains to conserve signature landscapes and vital habitats.
Our organization prides itself on maintaining neutrality. Through the generous actions of our members, and by working collaboratively with landowners, local residents, local businesses, government entities, and other nonprofit organizations, the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust has conserved more than 12,000 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest.
From Concern to Conservation
The San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust evolved from a small group of residents in the mountain community coming together to preserve a pristine mountain area at the headwaters of Deep Creek. During their struggle, the group realized the threat to Deep Creek was part of a much larger threat to the San Bernardino Mountains and the other mountains in Southern California.
Most residents and visitors to the San Bernardino Mountains believe the mountains are in the National Forest and, therefore, protected. Sadly, huge tracts of land within the National Forest are in private hands and vulnerable to development. Members of this group founded The San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust; the organization was established as a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in 1996 to ensure lasting public benefit of the natural mountain environment within the San Bernardino National Forest.
Buying land to protect the natural habitat has been practiced for over 100 years. However, it was not until the Nature Conservancy, the largest of all land trusts, began using this methodology in the 1970's that is gained prominence. Now the practice has become widespread.
Employing this practice, the SBMLT together with the tireless collaboration of volunteers, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and the business community has protected over 12,000 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest since its inception in 1996. There is much more work to be done.
The SBMLT has identified over 50 wildland properties representing approximately 40,000 acres of the forest landscape in the San Bernardino Mountains that are privately held. As these private inholdings become available for sale, the SBMLT seeks to acquire and land temporarily using a revolving acquisition fund and ultimately transfers the land to permanent conversation ownership.
The San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust is dedicated to the acquisition of forest open space and wildlife habitat on private lands and in-holdings within the San Bernardino National Forest in order to ensure lasting public benefit of the natural mountain environment.
IDENTIFY AND ACQUIRE TITLE for future protection of forest open space in the San Bernardino Mountains.
PRACTICE LAND STEWARDSHIP by temporarily managing land prior to being transferred to permanent conservation ownership.
PUBLIC OUTREACH by educating landowners and the general public about the benefits of community based conservation planning through encouraging greater public support for the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust.
DEVELOP AN EFFECTIVE ORGANIZATION that attracts dedicated and talented volunteers, builds community support and adheres to the Land Trust Alliance Standards and Practices.
GENERATE FUNDING from private and public sources.