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Save the Source Program

Protecting, Restoring and Enjoying the Upper Reaches of the Watershed

image Our Save the Source Program is dedicated to conserving critically important lands in the Upper San Diego River watershed.

This is an amazing and beautiful area which is largely pristine. Much of it is in the Cleveland National Forest but there is also a lot of privately owned lands.

We target acquisition of private lands which are destined for development. We manage these lands as open space areas and also conduct research to better understand the ecological health of this area and to inform our conservation efforts including acquisitions, restoration and advocacy.


Did you know we have American Badgers in the upper reaches of the San Diego River watershed? For several years we have focused land conservation efforts along the South Rim of the Upper San Diego River Gorge. It is a beautiful area which also happens to be a very important ecoystem. Over the years, we have seen evidence of badgers in an area we started to call "Badger Ridge."


To better understand the role this open space plays in conserving these badgers, the locations of badger dens need to be mapped. Fortunately, a family has offered to pay for half of the cost of mapping these areas. One of our Critter Cams will be moved to further document any badgers identified.


Sadly, badgers are a Species of Special Concern in California. Their conservation is important to the health of this amazing ecosystem.


The research project will utilize community science by training volunteers to work together, to document badger burrows. Focused mapping efforts will be completed. This information is critical to confirm the presence of badgers and their movement. If you are interested participating in the project, please send an email to the team leader, Chase.

In California, badgers are a species of special concern. They have large home ranges of 1000+ acres and can travel more than 6 miles in a day in search of food. That is why wildlife corridors are vital!

Thank you for joining with us to conserve American Badgers!

Other Donation Options:

  • Call our office at 619-297-7380 and make a gift by card over the phone
  • Mail a donation to: SDRPF; 4891 Pacific Highway, Suite 114; San Diego, CA 92110

There four primary areas where we work:

  • Southern Tributaries
  • Eagle Peak Preserve Conservation Area
  • Peutz Creek Preserve Conservation Area
  • El Cajon Mountain Conservation Area

  • Volunteer Opportunities - current

    • Trail Team - If you enjoy being outdoors, working hard and being part of a team. This is right for you! We are working on opening specific sections of trail at Eagle Peak Ranch as well as the South Rim unit of Eagle Peak Preserve. Tools and supplies are provided, but you are also welcome to bring your own. We will organize carpools or meet you at the Preserve.

    • Camera Monitoring Team - About once per month the team goes out to one of our remote cameras to download photos as well as resupply power, check camera condition and relocate cameras as needed. No experience is needed.

    • Habitat Restoration - activities are focused on Boulder Creek and Temescal Creek. This is great for individuals as well as small and large groups. You will work closely with either a staff member or a very experienced naturalist.

    • Streambed Assessments - annually we performed assessments of selected tributaries of the River. Contact Shannon, the River Ecosystem Manager if you are interested in being part of this group. or 619-297-7380.

    • General Preserve Care - sign making, equipment maintenance and other activities.

    How you can be part of Save the Source:
    • Explore the backcountry! Click here for more information about places to go.
    • Donate to support land acquisition!
    • Volunteer to be part of caring for these lands. If you are interested in learning more about any of the current opportunities, please contact our Engagement Manager to learn more or 619-297-7380.
    • Stay informed on issues and opportunities by signing up for the free monthly e-news.
    • Include the program in your Will or other estate plans. Click here fore more information



    Help us keep the River beautiful for the next generation.
    Volunteer now »

    Thank You

    to all who donated
    for Badger Research !

    Ledford Family

    Mel Howe

    Keith Larson

    Master Gardener Association of San Diego County

    Judi Ravetti

    Nancylee & Steven Friedlander

    Williams Family

    Laverne & Everett Neuman

    Rob Hutsel

    Tynan Wyatt

    Judith Alvarez

    Lara Dickens

    James Sharpe

    Lindy Harshberger

    Clarrisa Alshalabi

    Beth Ehsan

    Marty & Cindie Offenhauer

    Meghan Macdonald

    Please let us know of any errors or omissions. We will be happy to correct.

    Thank you!