San Diego River Conservation

Preserve Wild Santee is an original member of the San Diego River Coalition whose advocacy work resulted in Governor Gray Davis signing legislation in 2002 creating a State Conservancy for the San Diego River initially funded at $12 million.


Recently, Preserve Wild Santee advocacy acquired a parcel in the headwaters, transferring it to the San Diego River Park Foundation and made a significant contribution to the acquisition of 73 acres of the spectacular Temescal Creek tributary.

One of Preserve Wild Santee’s earliest project’s in the San Diego River watershed was writing a small streams restoration grant for Sycamore Canyon Creek. The original $200,000 grant request was not submitted by the City. However the flooding and fire predicted by the grant eventually occurred. The need for the project was eventually acknowledged and funded at $208,000 in 2014. Progress is featured in the San Diego River State Conservancy Video Update.

Part of the city council’s indifference to the 2002 grant application was Preserve Wild Santee’s opposition to the City’s intention to pave Forester Creek as part of SR-52 construction. Preserve Wild Santee organized vigorous opposition to paving the creek and had spearheaded the defeat of the council approved Fanita Ranch project. The council majority was not in the mood at the time to work with Preserve Wild Santee even to submit a public interest grant. Eventually the City reversed itself and supported the restoration of Forester Creek with a natural channel and adjacent recreational trails. The City later touted awards it received for the project.

Preserve Wild Santee remains vigilant and engaged regarding projects that conflict with the mission of the San Diego River Conservancy.