Who Are We?

The San Diego River Conservancy was established by an act of the California Legislature (AB 2156, Kehoe) to preserve, restore and enhance the San Diego River Area. The Conservancy is an independent, non-regulatory agency within the Resources Agency of the State of California. The Conservancy’s 17 member Governing Board consists of both state and local representatives, creating a partnership which reflects the diversity and dedication to conserving this highly valued resource of statewide significance.

What Do We Do?

As an independent government agency our mission, the restoration and conservation of the San Diego River Area, is accomplished by (1) acquiring, managing and conserving land; and (2) protecting or providing recreational opportunities, open space, wildlife species and habitat, wetlands, water quality, natural flood conveyance, historical / cultural resources, and educational opportunities. One important Conservancy goal is to build, in conjunction with our partners, a River-long park and hiking trail stretching fifty-two miles from the River’s headwaters near Julian to the Pacific Ocean.

Why the San Diego River?

The San Diego River area is an historical, archeological and biological treasure of statewide significance. The San Diego River area is the “Birthplace of California” and holds the key to the State’s heritage. With human inhabitants for over 10,000 years, the San Diego River Area boasts no less than twenty-nine State Historic Landmarks, four National Historic Landmarks, three state parks, twenty local and municipal parks and public open spaces, as well as rich cultural resources.

Today, the San Diego River Watershed is home to over one-half million people, including five Native American tribes, and at least twenty-five state and federally listed endangered and threatened plant and animal species.

The San Diego River is also of significant economic value to the state. The San Diego River Conservancy area welcomes more than twenty five million visitors, helping to support an annual tourism industry in San Diego of over five billion dollars.

Governing Board and Staff

Our governing board is comprised of 17 members, 15 voting and 2 non-voting members who are appointed or are designated by virtue of the office they hold: local, state and federal. The Conservancy has no power of condemnation or authority over city zoning laws.


Kevin Faulconer
Mayor, City of San Diego
Adrian Granda, designee

Dianne Jacob
Supervisor, Second District, County of San Diego

Scott Sherman
Councilmember, District 7, City of San Diego

Keely Bosler
Director, Department of Finance

Wade Crowfoot
Secretary, California Natural Resources Agency
Designee Josh Nelson

Lisa Mangat
Director, Department of Parks and Recreation

Benjamin Clay, Chair
Public at Large: Appointed by the Governor

Elsa Saxod
Public at Large: Appointed by the Governor

Clarissa Falcon
Public at Large: Appointed by the Governor

Cody Petterson
Appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly

Ruth Hayward
Public at Large: Appointed by the Senate Committee on Rules

Gina Moran
Department of Parks and Recreation, Colorado Desert District

John Elliott
Kumeyaay DiegueƱo Land Conservancy

Stephen Houlahan
City Council of Santee

Charlton Bonham
CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife
Designee Gail Sevrens

John Donnelly (non-voting)
Executive Director, Wildlife Conservation Board

Gary Strawn (non-voting)
San Diego Regional Water Quality Control Board


Julia Richards
Executive Officer
San Diego River Conservancy

Dustin Harrison
Environmental Scientist
San Diego River Conservancy

Wendell Taper
Administrative Services Manager
San Diego River Conservancy

Deputy Attorney General
Hayley Peterson
Staff Counsel