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Big News at ESLT

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June 7th, 2024

Dear Friends of Eastern Sierra Land Trust,

After 11 years of leadership of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust, Executive Director/CEO Kay Ogden is moving on. The staff and Board of ESLT will be working hard to maintain the momentum and success of this past decade. Thanks to Kay for building a foundation that will last. We look forward to continuing the important conservation work with all of you.

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ESLT Staff and Board at Hunewill Ranch, Fall 2023.

A Farewell Message from Kay

Dear ESLT Family,

When I started work at ESLT in 2013, I thanked Karen Ferrell-Ingram, ESLT’s previous Executive Director and co-founder, for all that she and her team had accomplished. I said that I would take the baton and carry it forward, and then pass it on at another time.

That time has come. This week was my last with ESLT.

This might seem fast, but it’s something that has been percolating for a bit and we have plans, processes and an amazing team of board members, staff, supporters and volunteers to guide ESLT into its future.

I’m proud of what our ESLT team has accomplished these past 11 years! With your support, we:

  • Permanently protected an additional 15,260 acres of our magical Eastern Sierra with 1,372 acres open to the public for recreation and exploration.
  • Brought in nearly $15 million dollars of land acquisition funding for our region supporting our local economy.
  • Certified over 170 native plant and water conservation gardens, creating critical habitat for hummingbirds, butterflies and bees through ESLT’s Eastside Pollinator Garden project.
  • Partnered with the Mono Lake Kutzadika’a Tribe on an ancestral land return project of 160 acres and, collaborated with the Owens Valley Indian Water Commission on an additional grant that will support an Inyo County ancestral land return project.
  • Secured $1.2 million dollars in funding from California Department of Conservation in support of land conservation and stewardship in partnership with tribes and tribal coalitions in the Eastern Sierra. The grant has funds to financially compensate tribal participation in conservation and to hire a new ESLT staff member to guide the work. This is groundbreaking work in land conservation, and a model for future state funding.

I’m going to continue my volunteer work supporting land conservation with the California Council of Land Trusts, California Natural Resource Agency’s 30×30 Partnership Coordinating Committee, Inyo/Mono Resource Conservation District and the 40 Acres Fire Safe Council. And I’m going to garden, can my harvest, take long walks with my dog and volunteer to help get good candidates elected in November. I’d love to keep in touch – I can be reached at [email protected].

As I exit, I hope that you are inspired to make a gift to ESLT in support of this next chapter. I love ESLT, and I know that it is in great hands.

Take care my friends. I hope that you can spend time in nature!

With love, humility and gratitude,

unnamedesltkay

 

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A Message of Appreciation of Kay’s Leadership from Tony Taylor, ESLT Co-Founder

Dear ESLT Supporters and Friends,

Over the 23-year history of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust, I have had the honor of working with three inspiring executive directors of our organization. Each of them came to us with the experience and talent that ESLT needed at that moment in time. Former Inyo County Supervisor Julie Bear brought her statewide reputation and influence to our then all-volunteer land trust; as I like to say, it was with Julie’s arrival that our phone started ringing. Next, ESLT co-founder and gifted scientist and environmentalist Karen Ferrell-Ingram took the reins in 2008 and led ESLT through years of growth and statewide recognition including our first land trust accreditation.

In 2013, Kay arrived with a bold vision for ESLT and a deep love of and commitment to the Eastern Sierra. The past 11 years of her leadership have transformed ESLT in ways that even the many acres protected and dollars raised don’t fully capture. Some of the things that stand out for me include:

  • Her tireless work and proven ability to gain the trust of landowners, local, state and national government leaders, private individuals and organizations to support ESLT’s conservation.
  • Her expansion and deepening of ESLT’s reputation and presence in our region, our state capital, and in the national land trust movement.
  • Her personal and meaningful connection with community members — young and old — through educational programs on protected properties and public lands, that reinforce the current, past and future importance of our work.
  • And, perhaps above all, her deep love of the Eastern Sierra and desire to share it and protect it for all of us.

As Kay departs from ESLT, I will always remember these exciting, productive years. We’ve come so far together. Thank you, Kay.

While big transitions are always challenging, our staff and our Board move forward knowing that ESLT will continue to build on the strong foundation that Kay has built.

Your support during this transition is vitally important. We look forward to continuing to build the future together with you.

Very Sincerely,

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Tony Taylor
ESLT Board Member Emeritus

The Road Ahead

Interim Executive Director and Lands Conservation Director, Amy Sturgill, has hit the ground running. Amy and the whole ESLT team would love to hear from you. Please reach out to learn more about ESLT or with questions or ideas about the road ahead. Amy Sturgill ([email protected])

Thank you for being a part of the ESLT family. With our caring landowners, volunteers, members, and supporters, we’re protecting a bright future for the Eastern Sierra.

Sincerely,

Amy, Andie, Darlene, Emmie, Gena, Stephanie, Ziani, and our Board of Directors

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