Founded on November 29, 1992
The Advocates were formed in 1992 by Jeff Hicks, Jim Nee and Sandy Lydon. At that time they were members of the Citizens Advisory Committee for Nisene Marks which made recommendations to State Parks on park improvements but had no direct role in working on specific projects. Seeing a need for an organization which could raise funds and organize volunteers, the founders proceeded to set upon the task of writing bylaws and applying for the 501(c)(3) non-profit status.
Jeff was elected president and his future wife, Margaret, was elected secretary and treasurer. Together, Jeff and Margaret provided energy, vision and leadership for the Advocates until their retirement in 2003. Members of the Advisory Council continued their long involvement in the welfare of the park by providing strong support for the Advocates. Karl Mertz, Kirk Smith, Yvonne King, Emmett Reed, Bill Tefertiller and Diane Porter-Cooley, among others, provided the inspiration which led to the formation of the Advocates.
State Parks ranger Gerry Waggoner, who for many years provided visitors with insights into the history and ecology of the park, was a strong influence in the formation and direction of the Advocates. Also providing valuable support was Thom Sutfin, manager of the Soquel Demonstration Forest.