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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.  

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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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