“From sand dunes to San Jacinto Peak we marvel at species great and small, feathered and furred and flowered, amid desert washes, palm oases, and pine forests, sheltering wonders of past and present, from ancient shorelines to petroglyphs.  Who can resist the urge to conserve?  We are the Friends of the Desert Mountains.”

Bill Havert
Friends Board member
former Executive Director of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy

  • snow on Mount San Jacinto over Coachella Valley Preserve
  • Hidden Palms Oasis above Deep Canyon
  • Eastern slope of the San Jacinto Mountains, looking south
 

Who We Are – a 50,000 acre Partnership

Friends of the Desert Mountains is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation formed in 1987 by a group of passionate, concerned citizens determined to help to protect the area’s conservation land resources while at the same time be a partner in education, research and support for the Santa Rosa & San Jacinto Mountains National Monument and surrounding areas.

From the beginning, Friends recognized that the challenge of preserving many of the most extraordinary biological, aesthetic and cultural resources in California would require partnership.  We didn’t have far to look.  Working in concert with the local Coachella Valley Conservation Commission, the State of California through the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Board and federal agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and the US Forest Service, strong bonds were formed. We built upon those bonds by partnering with the state and federal wildlife agencies to form a coalition of preservation.  The result benefited not only the environment but also the development community.

But without a doubt, the greatest of Friends’ partners has been the local community who helps support our organization through major sponsorships, donations, encouragement and vital volunteer time.  All of this has resulted in the milestone 2013 realization of our 50,000th acre of conservation land either directly acquired or acquired through partnership support.

How We Work

Our approach to land protection is simple, fair and effective: we purchase land from willing sellers and we ensure that the land is protected in perpetuity.  We also recognize the importance of giving back to the community that supports us so willingly.  We are the support arm for the National Monument.  As such we run an active volunteer program, offer hikes and classes for visitors and residents alike, host programs for valley youth and provide a myriad of services to benefit the Monument and our citizenry.  We also fund scientific research, cultural preservation and community outreach programs.

Why We Work

Simply put, we work for all of us, for today and for tomorrow.  With broad support we are dedicated to preserve what cannot be replaced, to educate about what must not be forgotten and to give back to those who have given us so much.  We are the Friends of the Desert Mountains.