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San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust
Nonprofit Organization 501(C)(3)
Tax ID # 33-0700417                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

SBMLT in the News

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The ability to raise funds for a nonprofit project is uncommon. The ability to design, promote, manage and construct a monument is extraordinarily rare. Liam Gavigan of Lake Arrowhead, who officially became an Eagle Scout on March 22, raised nearly $23,000 and constructed a veterans monument dedicated to the five branches of the military service. The monument is Gavigan’s Boy Scout Troop 89 Eagle Scout project.

Liam Gavigan

Liam Gavigan


Liam Gavigan and his Eagle Scout project met the criteria for the Boy Scouts' district level Board of Review to approve his advancement to the next level. Gavigan is awaiting his official certificate from the national office.

Honoring the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy are flags and granite benches engraved with the service emblem for each branch. In the center are the United States, California and POW/MIA flags. A plaque commemorates veterans past, present and future.

The flags and benches are arranged around and upon a concrete slab in the shape of a pentagon. The finished monument far exceeds any expectations based upon the initial design and model. Dedication of the monument is planned for Veterans Day on Nov. 11.

The monument stands proudly at the San Bernardino Mountains Land Trust (SBMLT) wildland nature preserve, Eagle Ridge. Also known as Arrowhead Ridge, the preserve is located at 352 Grass Valley Road in Lake Arrowhead.

SBMLT made the location available to Gavigan after the Rim of the World Recreation and Park District board members, in August 2013, declined to approve the monument near the Twin Peaks Mountain Communities Senior Center. They decided the monument was too big for the site and would overshadow the park.

By contrast, Eagle Ridge is an 80-acre parcel, home of a southern Sierran mixed conifer forest. After hiking the loop trail around the perimeter of the preserve, visitors can rest on one of the monument’s benches and reflect on the services, sacrifices and significance of the veterans’ contributions to the United States.

“Ever since I found out what an Eagle Scout project is,” Gavigan said, “I knew I wanted to do a veterans monument. There is none on our side of the mountain. I feel there needs to be something to commemorate the veterans of the mountain.”

In addition to fundraising, Gavigan recruited approximately 72 volunteers—more than 40 adults and more than 20 youths—to help with the project, including his parents, three brothers and two sisters.

Gavigan and his father, Rick, who recently retired as the scoutmaster of Troop 89, were guests at the SBMLT board of directors meeting when the directors signed off on the project Jan. 28, certifying it was complete and satisfactory. The overage of funds ($466.11) raised for the project were donated to the Land Trust in compliance with Eagle Scout project requirements.

American Legion Post 360 Rim of the World provided the first set of eight flags. Dale Clauson, finance officer, informed SBMLT that the American Legion members are “extremely proud of Liam’s efforts on behalf of mountain veterans.” He confirmed that when the first set wears out, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9624 will provide the replacement set of flags. American Legion Post 360 and VFW Post 9624 will alternate to provide the eight flags for the veterans monument at Arrowhead Ridge in perpetuity.

U.S. Rep. Paul Cook (R-Apple Valley) honored Gavigan with a proclamation, recognizing this outstanding achievement. Gavigan received from Sen. Mike Morrell a certificate of recognition as a 2015 “Patriots of the Future” finalist. He also received certificates from 2nd District County Supervisor Janice Rutherford and 4th District County Supervisor Curt Hagman.

Gavigan anticipates graduating from Rim High School in 2017. During the next year-and-a-half he plans to continue working on merit badges to earn additional Eagle Palms.

Monument to America's Veterans