It is estimated that over 100,000 gallons of paint have been used on the project, most of it donated.
"After ten years of relentless toil, Leonard and his mountain began to gain some notoriety. It was especially noticed by the Imperial County Supervisors. You see, Salvation Mountain as it had come to be known, was at the entrance of Slab City (the Slabs), a community of "snowbirds" (visitors who live in the northern United States and Canada and travel to the warmer southern states for the winter) and local squatters occupying the old dismantled and abandoned Fort Dunlap World War II Marine training base. Only the concrete slabs of the barracks and Quonset huts remain. Because the land was government owned and because so many people were camping there without paying taxes or rent, the county thought it would start collecting a user fee. They also figured that there might be a conflict with a "religious monument" at the entrance to a county campground. So in July of 1994, their solution was to hire a toxic waste specialist to come out and take samples of the dirt around Leonard's Mountain to test for "contaminants." Even before the test results were back, they cordoned off the area and labeled it a "toxic nightmare." The tests predictably came back claiming high amounts of lead in the soil. The county petitioned the state of California for funds to tear down the mountain and haul it away to a toxic waste disposal dumpsite in Nevada.
Local residents, and snowbirds alike, did not see that as an option for Salvation Mountain and their friend Leonard. Hundreds and hundreds of signatures were collected on circulated petitions. Thanks to the help of many old and new found friends, Leonard dug soil samples from the very same holes as the "expert" had used and submitted them to an independent lab in San Diego. No one was surprised when the new tests reveled that there were no unacceptable levels of any contaminants -- especially lead -- at Salvation Mountain. The mountain stands today as a reward to the determination of many and the tenacity of one."
Salvation MountainLeonard Knight