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Sky Mountain Outdoor Education Center

Lake Spaulding Planning Unit

Enhancement Program


Enhancement Program

In 2012, the Stewardship Council launched its Environmental Enhancement Program (Enhancement Program) to improve the quality and character of the six Beneficial Public Values (BPVs) as well as the user’s experience of those lands. Overall, the Enhancement Program is expected to result in approximately $15 million in grants being awarded for projects that enhance the BPVs of the Watershed Lands and promote productive partnerships involving landowners, conservation easement holders, local communities, youth, and other stakeholders. Examples of some of the projects funded to date include habitat restoration, recreational trails and facilities, cultural resource protection and interpretation, forest research, management plans, planning and feasibility studies, and biological surveys. 

In 2014 an Enhancement Review Committee (ERC) was established to review grant proposals, apply evaluation criteria, and make recommendations to the Stewardship Council board regarding the proposals, funding amounts, and grant conditions. The committee was formed with several board members, a representative from one of the land trusts holding conservation easements, and a Sierra Nevada Conservancy representative.  

From 2011 through 2016 the Stewardship Council awarded enhancement grants, totaling approximately $2.9 million to twelve organizations. This included: 


 ·     $2,000,000 for two major projects at Hat Creek planning unit, Shasta County for habitat restoration, trail development, and           cultural resource protection  

·     $140,000 for Merced River Riparian restoration project  

·     $400,000 for the development of land management and adaptive management plans   

·     $350,000 for planning and feasibility studies  

·     $100,000 for cultural resource protection, ethnographic and biological surveys   

In 2017 the Stewardship Council solicited concepts for additional enhancement projects and has awarded these additional grants that are in process:



In June 2019, the Stewardship Council awarded $5 million to San Joaquin County Office of Education (SJCOE) to acquire and improve Sky Mountain Camp at Lake Valley Reservoir. The camp will be enhanced beyond its typical use as a youth summer Christian camp. In the future it will function as a youth environmental and science camp that will serve school children, teachers for professional development, and other groups' team building and outdoor recreation activities. SJCOE is an innovative organization that already runs one of the oldest, largest, and most successful outdoor education programs in California at

Jones Gulch in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

At the beginning of 2020 the Stewardship Council solicited a new round of concept applications in January 2020 and received 13 applications requesting a total of $7 million. The ERC is currently evaluating these applications and additional grant awards are expected to begin in early 2021.  

  • What is the Stewardship Council?
    Stewardship Council is a California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation focused on land conservation and youth investment programs. Its mandate includes evaluating and providing recommendations for the conservation and future public use of over 140,000 acres of watershed lands spread across 22 California counties, as well as developing and implementing community-based park and environmental education opportunities for underserved youth.
  • Where are the watershed lands located?
    The 981 parcels of land cover 141,727 acres (more than 221 square miles) over 22 counties in California. These properties stretch from Shasta County in the north to Fresno County in the south, from the Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges in the east to the Eel River watershed in Mendocino County and the Carrizo Plains in San Luis Obispo County. Please see the Map of Conservation Lands for more information.
  • What is the Council's relationship to PG&E?
    The Stewardship Council is an independent, nonprofit foundation. Its funding comes from PG&E, which has one seat and is an equal voting member, on the 15-member Board of Directors.
  • Does the Stewardship Council own the watershed lands?
    No, PG&E owns the watershed lands. However, the Land Conservation Plan recommends that a portion of these lands be donated to qualified agencies or organizations.
  • Who funded the Stewardship Council?
    The Stewardship Council received $10 million per year from PG&E until 2013.
  • Who was on Stewardship Council's Board of Directors?
    The Stewardship Council’s Board of Directors was composed of a diverse group of organizations including state and federal agencies, water agencies, tribal and rural interests, forest and farm industry groups, conservation organizations, the California Public Utilities Commission, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Since the Stewardship Council's inception in 2004, eighteen different organizations appointed directors to the board.
  • Where do I get information about the Stewardship Council?
    If you would like information that you can’t find on this website, please contact us directly at (916) 297-6660 or We would like to hear from you!
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Yellow Creek Campground Restoration Project

Just 8 miles from Lake Almanor lies Humbug Valley, ancestral land of  the Mountain Maidu. In 2019, the Stewardship Council funded campground improvements. 

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Sky Mountain Outdoor Education Center Renovation

Located in the Sierra Nevadas, the Sky Mountain Outdoor Education Center  is a legacy project for the organization that will make an existing recreational camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains available to underserved youth, bringing thousands of public school students to the camp each year to participate in environmental education programs.


Hat Creek Restoration Project

The Hat Creek Restoration Project addresses three critically degraded resource value conditions:  natural habitat for fish and wildlife, outdoor recreation, and historic values and cultural resources. 

Rock Creek Meadow Restoration and Shasta Crayfish Reintroduction Project

Spring Rivers Foundation received funding to revive and re-water a channel in Rock Creek and restore the surrounding meadow to create a supportive environment for the endangered Shasta crayfish

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