Volcan Mountain Foundation

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San Diego County, California

View east from Tauber Ridge; photo by Jeff Holt

Preservation Projects and Accomplishments

The foundation's Focused Planning Area (FPA) is on traditional Kumeyaay Land.  Since 1989, through facilitation efforts of the Volcan Mountain Foundation (VMF) and its partners, more than 19,000 acres of land have been acquired from willing sellers, bringing conserved land within the range to approximately 42,000 acres.

Conserved Land Within the Focused Planning Area
Agency Approx. Acres
Volcan Mountain Foundation 484
Federal Bureau of Land Management 1,800
San Diego County Department of Parks & Recreation 7,300
California Department of Fish & Wildlife 11,800
Iipay Nation of Santa Ysabel 9,500
Other conservation organizations and agencies 11,000

After two decades of facilitating acquisitions, VMF became a land owner for the first time in 2009 with the acquisition of the former Hunters’ Camp property.  VMF partnered with The Nature Conservancy and the County of San Diego to phase the acquisition which also resulted in adjacent lands being added to the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve.  With the addition of the Sky Island Trail to the ridgeline and the new Sky Island Trail Viewscope offering views from Anza Borrego to the Pacific Ocean, VMF has an outdoor laboratory supporting youth and adult education throughout the year.

In 2010, a 37-acre parcel adjacent to the former Hunters' Camp property was acquired by the Volcan Mountain Foundation, and partnership with conservation easement funds from the County of San Diego.

In 2011, a 50.06-acre piece along an easterly-facing ridgeline was acquired through a generous $300,000 gift.  Closing escrow on the same day was another 37.66 acquisition at the headwaters to Santa Ysabel Creek with a small cabin on it.  VMF's new Volcan Mountain Nature Center is the home to the Volcan Mountain Education Center honoring Keith and Priscilla Webb and Family, with full classroom facilities as well as the Watershed Trail and Native Plant Nursery.

In 2020, VMF acquired 23 acres of unspoiled wildlands on the east side of the Volcan Mountains overlooking the San Felipe Valley.  The habitat and connectivity of this property makes it an important win in the broader vision to protect and preserve the Volcan Mountains.

In 2022, VMF acquired 42 acres of oak and conifer steep canyon woodlands immediately adjacent to the Eduction Center property.  With extraordinary conservation values, this San Dieguito Watershed land includes the first waters that flow from the watershed headwaters, and with a small year-round pond, contains the highest standing water along the Santa Ysabel Creek/San Dieguito River course.