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Eastern Sierra Land Trust June News and Updates


A Message from Amy Sturgill, Interim Director

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Image of ESLT Staff at a Stewardship Day, pulling invasive plants.

Dear ESLT Family,

It is with great pleasure that I step into the role of Interim Executive Director at the Eastern Sierra Land Trust. For those I’ve not yet had the opportunity to meet, my name is Amy Sturgill and since 2022 I have served as ESLT’s Land Conservation Program Director.

Prior to joining the ESLT team, I dedicated two decades to conservation efforts across a range of organizations, with over twelve of those years focused right here in the Eastern Sierra. My career has been driven by a deep passion for preserving the natural resources of the Eastern Sierra and fostering collaborative conservation. I wholeheartedly believe in ESLT’s mission and am committed to protecting this amazing place by advancing our initiatives and programs.

In stepping into this role, I am truly grateful for the wealth of knowledge and expertise ESLT staff, Board and committee members bring to our team. Their contributions not only enrich our work – they provide inspiration each and every day. Moving forward, I am eager to continue our collective efforts to protect working and wild lands, steward our natural resources, and engage with our incredible community.

On behalf of the ESLT team, we are thrilled to work closely with each of you, listening to your insights and perspectives as we navigate the opportunities that await us. Our shared dedication to ESLT’s mission will guide us towards continued success. Thank you for being an integral part of our efforts to protect and conserve the Eastern Sierra.

eastern sierra land trust

eastern sierra land trust

Amy Sturgill
Interim Executive Director & Lands Program Director
(760) 873-4554, [email protected]

Conservation News

It’s National Pollinator Week!

eastern sierra land trust

Why do pollinators like bees, butterflies, and birds matter so much to Eastern Sierra Land Trust?

We focus on protecting critical wildlife habitat and working lands. What better way to protect both, than to create pollinator habitat? These tiny creatures play a HUGE role in the health of our ecosystems and the plants that paint our landscapes. They help native plants reproduce, ensuring the biodiversity that makes our region so special. Plus, they contribute to the crops that feed us and support local agriculture.

Email [email protected] to learn more about incorporating native plants to attract pollinators into your garden. Together, we can create a vibrant and healthy Eastern Sierra for all!

Learn More!

ESLT Welcomes Two Summer Interns

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Dane Helmberger

Dane grew up in Tacoma, Washington in the greater Seattle area. He spent much of his youth exploring the Cascade Mountains, the Oregon Coast, Montana, and the Upper Midwest states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Having always enjoyed the outdoors and experiencing nature, he decided to apply this passion to his studies. He is currently a rising senior at the University of Redlands working towards his BS in Environmental Science and a BA in Management along with a minor in Spatial Studies/GIS.

He also competes as a thrower on the University of Redlands track and field team and is actively involved as a member of the fraternity Chi Rho Psi. He looks forward to learning more about fly fishing and exploring the eastern Sierra. Go Bulldogs!

eastern sierra land trust

Taysir Asberry-Blanco

Tay originates from New York, residing in both the upstate region and the city. His travels between these two homes and through Central America to visit family, ignited his passion for environmental and wildlife conservation. Having attained his associate’s degree in Architecture and project management via a dual enrollment program during high school, he gained experience as an office and field intern at a national construction firm.

Presently, he is pursuing a major in Environmental Studies and minors in Latin American Studies and Race and Ethnic Studies at the University of Redlands. He is a track and field athlete at the University, winning the conference championship and earning two all-conference honors in triple jump. In his leisure time, he plans to engage in activities such as rock climbing, exercising, and collecting rocks in the Eastern Sierra region.

2024 Monitoring Season Kicks-Off

eastern sierra land trust

It must be summer, because the 2024 monitoring season is in full swing! ESLT’s Stewardship Director, Emmie Snead, and our two summer interns from University of Redlands, Dane and Tay, are hitting the road to check in on ESLT’s Conservation Easements across the Eastern Sierra!

ESLT Handles Adopt-a-Highway Cleanup

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Image by ESLT Staff

Fresh off a successful highway cleanup last week along ESLT’s section of Adopt-a-Highway on our local Highway 395! Keeping the highway corridor clean of trash is an important way to protect our wildlife and keep the Eastern Sierra scenic.

Swall Meadows BioBlitz a Success

eastern sierra land trust
Image by ESLT Staff

What a day! The BioBlitz on the Swall Meadows conservation easements was a HUGE success! Attendees have logged 154 species and counting, made 239 observations on iNaturalist, thanks to our amazing citizen scientists and expert local naturalists! The Swall Meadow conservation easements were originally put in place to protect the local Mule Deer migration corridor. This is just one example of the power of conservation easements protecting critical habitat for hundreds of other species!

Interns at Kidzapalooza

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Our summer interns kicked off their time with ESLT helping out at Mammoth Lakes Kidzapalooza last week. This family-friendly event was hosted by Mono County Office of Education. The interns taught all of the eager kiddos about the pollinators through trivia, American Sign Language, and pollinator art.

Do you know what percentage of flowering plants rely on pollinators to reproduce?

Answer: over 75%!

ESLT Upcoming Events

Join us at some of our upcoming events!

eastern sierra land trust

Wildlife Tracking Workshop
Saturday, June 29th

Wildlife Tracking Workshops are back! Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association is teaming up with Eastern Sierra Land Trust to host these incredible workshops once again!

Join professional wildlife tracker and mountain lion researcher Phil Johnston for a day in the mountains learning to read the stories of wild animals through tracking. Phil has over a decade of experience teaching tracking and is certified as Senior Tracker through Tracker Certification North America. Come learn to identify the track and sign of the many charismatic creatures who make their living in the Eastern Sierra. Location will be in the Mammoth area. Exact meeting location will be emailed the Friday before the workshop.

Please note: This workshop is from 9am- 3:00pm. You will be on your feet for the entire time, often walking over uneven terrain. If you have concerns or questions- reach out to [email protected]


eastern sierra land trust

Volunteer Stewardship Days at Conway Ranch
Wednesday, July 10th & 24th

Join us for a day of hard work in the Sierra on Wednesday, July 10th & 24th from 9am-1pm. We’re gathering a team of hardworking volunteers to help restore native plant habitats and pull mullein weeds on this beautiful property north of Mono Lake in Lee Vining. This property is managed in cooperation with Mono County and ESLT.

Meet at Mono Basin Visitor Center at 1 Visitor Center Drive, Lee Vining, CA 93541 at 9am, carpool together to Conway Ranch. Bring: water, sunscreen, SPF clothing, gloves, sturdy footwear, and lunch/snacks. ESLT can provide gloves if needed, please inquire. Set within the awe-inspiring terrain of Mono County, Conway Ranch serves as a prime example of the region’s varied wildlife and land management practices.

We invite all who are interested to join us in this incredible volunteer opportunity. Discover and learn about the positive impact of responsible stewardship at Conway Ranch!

Please call (760) 873-4554 or email [email protected] with any questions.


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.


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


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