The buildings that now comprise Black Mountain Retreat Center were built in 1964 by the California Department of Forestry as part of their network of conservation camps. The minimum security ‘Black Mountain Camp’ was opened in October 1964 to house an 80-man crew that was assigned to work with local fire services on land clearing, telephone line maintenance and road-work.
The actual name ‘Black Mountain’ comes from the hills of these names around the property, although its origin is uncertain. The local forests underwent much logging and milling, and native flora has often struggled to stay dominant with the introduction of some very aggressive invasive species. We have been working to replace invasive or recently-introduced species with native plants, which is also key to effective safety.