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Southern California Mountains Foundation

The Southern California Mountains Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that believes connecting communities to our public lands is the key to their survival. We mobilize individuals to inspire and engage in environmental citizenship. 

Our History

The Southern California Mountains Foundation (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. 

We achieve our mission by raising money, organizing critical volunteer resources, and creating and managing programs focused on health, stewardship and sustainability of our Southern California mountains and urban “forests”.

Over the past 30 years, the use of national forests has increased while funding has dramatically declined. The Mountains Foundation works to bridge that gap and add value to our local mountains through the visitor experience. It takes the efforts of our staff and more than 700 trained volunteers to support that work.

For the past 20 years, the organization has made a critical difference, executing volunteer programs that donated 1.5 million hours of service valued at $32,685,000.00.

Mike Davis

Mr. Davis is a senior shareholder with over thirty-five years of experience representing businesses, individuals and governmental clients in complex real estate and business transactions and litigation. Mr. Davis has extensive experience evaluating water rights and resources; and in water rights disputes, with an emphasis on groundwater basin adjudications and litigation. Mr. Davis provides land use guidance for water resources management under the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, Urban Water Management Plans, Integrated Regional Water Management Plans, Water Supply Assessments, and Proposition 218. Mr. Davis has extensive experience as general counsel to numerous county water districts and mutual water companies.

Mr. Davis has extensive experience in eminent domain and inverse condemnation proceedings, organized real estate, and the organization and representation of business entities including non-profit organizations. Mr. Davis has decades of service as general counsel to numerous county water districts, mutual water companies, local associations of California Realtors® and large common interest developments. Mr. Davis’ dedication to his profession is equaled only by his civic involvement and commitment to community service.

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Dan Knapp

Dan Knapp assumed the role of Executive Director/CEO of the Conservation Corps of Long Beach (CCLB) on February 1, 2016.  Prior to joining CCLB Dan served as Deputy Director of the LA Conservation Corps.  Dan worked for the LA Conservation Corps for 19 years, the past 9 years in the role of Deputy Director.  He started working for the LA Conservation Corps as an environmental science teacher during the summer of 1996.

 In addition to his conservation corps work, Dan sits on the board of directors of the Southern California Mountains Foundation, the California Invasive Plant Council (Cal-IPC), and the California State Conservation Corps Museum.  He is an active member of both the National Forest Foundation’s Big Tujunga Treasured Landscape Coordinating Council and LA Metro’s Urban Greening Technical Advisory Committee.  Dan holds bachelors and masters degrees in Geography from California State University, Long Beach.  He is an ISA-certified arborist (WE-6295-A) and a life time member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. He currently resides in Huntington Beach with his wife Judy.

  • dan Knapp

Carol Franklin

Carol Franklin is a professor in the School of Education at the University of Redlands in Southern California. She is the Director of Educational Technology in the school and serves as a liaison to the Faculty Technology Center. In collaboration with IT professionals and librarian, she developed the integrated technology elements for the teacher education program. She has developed several professional development programs to integrate the use of Geographic information Systems (GIS) in K-12 across the curriculum. She has served as an academic adminstrator at the university level. Her Ed.D. is from Indiana University in Science Education.

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Eric Mart

Eric R. Mart co-founded the California Land Management Services Corporation (CLM Services) in 1981.  He currently serves as President.  CLM Services operate commercial recreation businesses on eight National Forests as well as for a variety of other Federal, State, and local government agencies as well as private companies.

Mr. Mart currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Forest Recreation Association (NFRA), the Southern California Mountains Foundation, the Giant Sequoia National Monument Association, the California Parks Hospitality Association, and the Cal Alumni Association (University of California at Berkeley).  He is a Charter Member of the California Roundtable on Recreation and Tourism. Mr. Mart has also served on the Board of Directors of the American Recreation Coalition (Washington, DC), the California Trails Foundation, and the Three Forests Interpretive Association (California).  

Mr. Mart holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley and a Master’s degree from California State University, Hayward (CSU – East Bay). 

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Larry Lawrence

Larry Lawrence is Nestle Waters’ Natural Resource Manager for the Southwestern United States, and he has primary responsibility for managing the numerous water resources throughout the region for long-term environmental sustainability.  Larry also manages the identification, siting, licensing and development of new spring sources for the Company’s brands. Larry has worked with Nestle Waters since May 2003.

Larry graduated from California State University Fullerton with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. His work as a mechanical engineer has included processing machine design, machine automation, process water reuse projects, ground water development, conveyance and remediation over the last 18 years.  Prior to joining Nestle Waters, Larry was a Senior Engineer with URS Corp in Southern California.  Larry and his wife Cela enjoy traveling, riding his motorcycle, and volunteering with the Southern California Mountains Foundation.

  • Larry Lawrence

Linda C Hecht

Linda Hecht is a Marketing, Business Development and Strategic Executive with 20 years experience driving year to year growth in the technology sector. She has experience in both global corporations and start-ups. She is a strong strategic thinker with extensive experience providing leadership and management to global teams while providing strategies for continued global growth and profit for a $1 Billion high-tech software, services and education organization with 3,000+ employees. She is noted for ability to motivate performance by fostering creativity and teamwork.

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  • Stacy Gorin, Executive Director

Stacy Gorin, Executive Director

Stacy Gorin, a 10 year veteran of the Southern California Mountains Foundation has been leading the organization since October 2015.  Stacy has been energized by nature since childhood and believes that everyone deserves the opportunity to enjoy the beauty, solitude and joy that connecting to nature provides.

Through her leadership, the nonprofit continues to win large-scale grants since her employment in 2006; and, created collaborative partnerships successfully advancing our environmental conservation, education and responsible recreation initiatives.  Stacy previously served as Deputy Director for the Southern California Mountains Foundation from December 2012 until April 2015. Stacy joined the nonprofit in 2006, then named the San Bernardino National Forest Association, as Lead Naturalist at the Big Bear Discovery Center performing student and visitor education program, training volunteers and leading interpretive programs; moving to Discovery Center Director position in 2010 overseeing all operations and staff at the Center.  The nonprofit was formed in 1992 and renamed the Southern California Mountains Foundation in concert with its 20th milestone year and celebration.  It is comprised of 6 key programs and supported by 1,000 plus volunteers.

Stacy Gorin holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Analysis and Design from the University California Irvine. Stacy connects to nature through her hobbies of hiking, biking, snowboarding, and rock climbing.

Karl Heirl, Controller

Karl Hierl was born and raised in Bavaria/Germany.  He graduated his high school in science of art, finished a 3-year apprenticeship in the architectural field and soon after received an AA degree in technology.  After he experimented with his first computer in 1983 and took his first college course in spreadsheets on an American military base, he realized his passion for numbers and technology.  He continued his education in accounting and was certified in the business field in accounting.  When he moved to California in 1990, he continued his education in accounting, worked for a few different companies as a general manager and finally started and ran his own business from 2005 until 2013.  He joined Southern California Mountains Foundation in early 2013 as an accountant and moved into the controller position in 2015.

  • Karl Heirl, Controller

Linda Stamer, Development Director

Linda Stamer majored in biology from Cal State San Bernardino and worked as a wildlife biologist performing ecological restoration for the San Bernardino National Forest for 16 years.  During that time she wrote grants for the Forest Service and developed partnerships in restoration and recreation, assisting in the development of the restoration program for the Southern California Mountains Foundation. She joined the Southern California Mountains Foundation as a restoration project manager in 2014 after spending two years on the Coronado National Forest as a partnership coordinator.  She now works as the organizations Development Director and enjoys hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, and skiing with her family during her time off.

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Sandy Bonilla, Director of the Urban Conservation Corps of the Inland Empire

A co-founder and a 10 year veteran of the Urban Conservation Corps, Sandy Bonilla has been leading the UCC since 2006.Sandy's interest in the development of young people started in the late 1980's when she worked under three mayoral administration's in the City & County of San Francisco for youth workforce development  and later for the federal government in Washington D.C.  In the late 1990's, she helped launched an AmeriCorps program at the University of Nebraska in Omaha and later returned to Southern California to work with at risk youth in San Bernardino.  Sandy's undergraduate is in Sociology from the CSU and graduate studies in public administration from the City University of New York.  She is currently working on an M.B.A. at Azusa Pacific University.  Sandy has worked for the Southern California Mountains Foundation since 2007.

  • Sandy Bonilla, Director of the Urban Conservation Corps of the Inland Empire

Juli Goss, Restoration Program Manager

Juli Goss, a Southern California native, began her career on the San Bernardino National Forest in 1996 as a Wildland Firefighter with the Forest Service. After spending 3 seasons fighting fires, Juli began working in the Forest Restoration Program where she gained experience in greenhouse management and ecological restoration. Juli began working for the Southern California Mountains Foundation in 2011 as the Restoration Program Manager and she also manages the AmeriCorps program. Juli enjoys spending time outdoors with her family and attending her children's many sporting events.

  • Juli Goss, Restoration Program Manager

Amanda Schwab, Restoration Project Coordinator

Amanda Schwab is a Southern California native. She grew up in Dana Point and has been living in the High Desert for the past five years. She has always had a passion for nature, the outdoors, and the preservation of our natural resources. She let that passion guide her education at California State University San Bernardino, and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in geography as well as a certificate in Geographic Information Systems in 2015. She got her start in restoration after interning with the National Forest Service in 2014, and has been with the Southern California Mountains Foundation since 2015. She loves continuing to learn from her coworkers and always looks forward to gaining new skills and experiences on the job.

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Wendy Craig, Big Bear Discovery Center Manager

Wendy moved to Big Bear in 2004 from rural Palomar Mountain where she was on the board of a volunteer fire department and worked on community fundraising. She and her family originally joined the Mountains Foundation as volunteers.  In 2012, Wendy began working as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Discovery Center. Her passions are photography, art, fundraising, and spending time with her family.

  • Wendy Craig, Big Bear Discovery Center Manager

Rick Lavello, OHV Program Director

Rick is the Southern California Mountains Foundation Off highway Vehicle Volunteer Program Director. He was raised in Southern California and graduated from college in Long Beach. He has been an avid off highway vehicle enthusiast all of his life and enjoyed the sport immensly. My vehicle of choice is the four wheel driven all-terrain vehicles also known as ATV’s. Although that is my first choice in vehicles I also enjoy riding dirt bikes and driving side by sides. I own a four wheel drive truck and someday might be interested in owning a Jeep. My other interest are camping, hiking, and fishing in the Eastern Sierras. The OHV Volunteer program is an education outreach program that promotes responsible recreation in the national forest.

  • Rick Lavello, OHV Program Director

Pam Morey, Fire Lookout Volunteer Coordinator

Pam Morey moved to Cedarpines Park with her husband George from the San Gabriel Valley in May of 1993. Shortly after moving to the mountains they visited the Strawberry Peak Fire Lookout and were inspired. The San Bernardino National Forest Association (now the Southern California Mountains Foundation) was just forming a volunteer group to staff the three lookouts on the mountain top and they needed volunteers. The Lookouts need constant maintenance and with Pam and George’s construction background so they were a perfect fit. Pam enjoyed staffing the Lookout so much that she decided to become the program coordinator and has spent the last 20 years training, staffing, maintaining, and enjoying the Fire Lookouts on the San Bernardino National Forest, Angeles National Forest and Cleveland National Forest.

  • Pam Morey, Fire Lookout Volunteer Coordinator

Bennett Rossell

Bennett is a Glendale, CA native and grew up recreating in the Angeles and San Bernardino mountains. After earning a BA in philosophy from UC Riverside, he pursued opportunities in the south where he gained experience managing people and projects- the highlight of which becoming a professional trail builder. Trained by IMBA, Bennett used equipment and crews to build east Tennessee's first mountain bike park. Now, seeking to make a bigger impact promoting trail stewardship and improving trails in his native land, Bennett leads the Non-Motorized Adopt-A-Trail Program and is the Valley wide contact for "all things trails" in Big Bear. Both he, his wife, and three kids are avid cyclists and climbers.

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