Since 1990, Back Country Land Trust along with our partners, donors, and volunteers have worked together to protect 4,500 acres of open space in San Diego’s East County.

History of BCLT

The Back Country Land Trust (BCLT) began with a dedicated group of concerned citizens with a common goal of saving land known as Robert’s Ranch in Descanso, California. Charged with preserving the land from development, we successfully lobbied the United States Congress through the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The result was 750 acres of recreational trails and oak woodlands protected from development. Not long after more open space land was at risk of development. Alpine citizens were determined to save Wright’s Field from the same predicament.

In 1991, Back Country Land Trust received official 501(c)(3) non-profit status. We worked diligently to have Wright’s Field added to San Diego County’s Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) Plan. We wrote public funding grant proposals for land acquisition, securing the number one, two, and three spots on the State of California’s Resource Agency Listing for EEMP (Environmental Enhancement and Mitigation Program) grant with matching funding from the County of San Diego. Thanks to hard work we successfully acquired the first section of Wright’s Field in 1995. Building on our initial success, we moved into the second and final phase of acquisition for Wright’s Field. Under the leadership of County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, efforts to preserve Wright’s Field have allowed the Back Country Land Trust and the community to leave a legacy for our generations to come. In 2014, our Mountain Empire Division was created, which owns and manages property in Long Potrero and Clover Flats in Campo. Visit our separate Mountain Empire website to learn more about these properties.

These days we keep busy by monitoring wildlife, ensuring native habitat is protected, and giving species the opportunity to thrive through our restoration programs. Wright’s Field also hosts many educational field trips, guided nature hikes, and is home to our Living Classroom program. We are grateful to be stewards of the land alongside our amazing team of volunteers and generous donors who collectively keep our community thriving. We are in constant awe of the dedication within the community and partners who keep our local open space lands a top priority.

Robert's Ranch Descanso, California

Robert’s Ranch in Descanso – BCLT’s original conservation property.

Dave and Yolain Accepting an Award

Dave & Yolaine Stout being presented with A Lifetime Achievement Award for their 25 years of dedicated service to protecting the open-space lands.