• lady bug

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.

  • mike davis

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 thinking that he’d work for the Corps for a year or two, at the most.  His initial goal was to impart his love and passion for the natural environment to the young people of the Corps.  Dan quickly realized that for the young people of the Corps to appreciate and value the importance of conservation they first and foremost must appreciate and value themselves.  It was that revelation that hooked him and made me a firm believer in the mission of the Corps (Dan likes to say that he not only drank the cool-aid, he guzzled it).

At the LA Corps Dan was responsible for over $25 million in project funds.  Dan has been involved in a broad spectrum of projects including: the development of award winning environmental education programs, large scale restoration projects, the development of a residential program in the San Bernardino Mountains, innovative urban forestry programs, as well as a myriad of resource conservation and environmental justice projects and programs.  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.

Dan resides in Huntington Beach with his school teacher wife Judy.  Dan and Judy have been married for 27 years and are extremely proud of their daughters Janine and Eden.  Janine recently graduated with honors from UC Santa Cruz and Phi Beta Kappa membership and is currently working at The Nature Conservancy.  Eden is in her senior year at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo studying Geography and Anthropology.  Dan is a former competitive and lifelong surfer, ocean enthusiast and enjoys traveling (20 countries and counting).  Dan also enjoys family camping trips (average 7 trips per year), desert exploring, hiking & backpacking, training & daily walks/exercise with the family dog, reading biographies & nonfiction, crossword puzzles, cribbage, fishing, and cooking over a campfire.

  • dan Knapp

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).  He was President of NFRA from 1994 to 2000 and currently serves as one of the Association’s Vice Presidents.  Mr. Mart also serves on the Executive Committees of Board of Directors of the Southern California Mountains Foundation and the Giant Sequoia National Monument Association and on the Board of Directors of the California Parks Hospitality Association.  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).  In June of 2002, Mr. Mart was appointed to the Lake Tahoe Federal Advisory Committee by Secretary of Agriculture Ann Veneman.  He served three two-year terms.

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).  He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Cal Alumni Association (University of California at Berkeley).

  • eric mart

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. 

Recently Larry negotiated the implementation of alternative power systems for NWNA through the completion of two 1.62 megawatt wind turbines under the SGIP program in California.  The two wind turbines are located at the LEED Certified bottling facility in Cabazon.  This is the first Nestle wind power project in the world.  

Larry provides critical support for the Company’s relationships with communities, government agencies and other stakeholders with in his area of responsibility.  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 has been married to his beautiful wife Cela for 28 years.  They enjoy traveling together, visiting the natural beauty of the mountains and deserts in CA, working around the house and barbequing with friends and family.  Larry also enjoys volunteering his time with the Southern California Mountains Foundation and riding his motorcycle.

  • Larry Lawrence

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.

  • Stacy Gorin, Executive Director

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.

  • linda stamer

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.

  • amanda

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