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Nov 7 - Dec 31, 2019

Ventana Wilderness Alliance


The mission of the Ventana Wilderness Alliance is to preserve, protect, and restore the Wilderness qualities and biodiversity of the public lands within California's northern Santa Lucia Mountains and Big Sur coast.

The Big Idea

Here in Monterey County, we’re blessed with a vast mosaic of public land, and at its core lie the 270,000-acre Ventana and Silver Peak Wilderness areas of Los Padres National Forest. The wildness of these lands gives us so much, from ecosystem services like watershed protection and wildlife habitat, to opportunities for recreation and spiritual renewal. But make no mistake, it takes effort to keep these wild places accessible, and ,unfortunately, agencies like the U.S. Forest Service are no longer sufficiently funded to get the job done. That’s why Ventana Wilderness Alliance’s volunteer wilderness ranger program is so critical. Rangers clean up trails and camps, teach visitors “Leave No Trace” ethics and fire safety, and even provide first-aid and search and rescue assistance.

Seeking spiritual renewal, freedom, or adventure, novice hikers and backpackers—often in large groups—are flocking to the Ventana Wilderness trails. For the most part, these folks are well-intentioned, but their passage leaves a mark. The Ventana Wilderness Alliance addresses this challenge with a dedicated group of volunteer rangers who are people-friendly and deeply motivated to steer visitors toward an attitude of respect for wilderness.

- Heidi Hopkins

We Did It, Together!

Monterey County Gives! was created to support the local nonprofit community's Big Ideas (and programs). And thanks to your participation and generosity, Monterey County Gives! raised over $5.3 million for 163 local nonprofits in 2019.

MCGives! has now raised and contributed over $27 million dollars since its inception ten years ago. That’s astounding. And wonderful.

Look for the 2020 Monterey County Gives! RFP (for applying nonprofits) in the Monterey County Weekly this June/July. Monterey County Gives! 2020 campaign kicks off in early November.

Thank you to all our Partners, Sponsors, nonprofit Board Directors, staff and volunteers — and each of our 4,902 donors. We did it, together.