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ESLT Express: New Year, New Opportunities


January 2024 • ESLT Express

eslt eastern sierra land trust
© Steve Yeager

As a new year begins to unfold, my heart is filled with gratitude and anticipation.

I truly have a hard time finding words to share how grateful we are to you, our supporter, who cares so much about the Eastern Sierra and all the reasons that it is so special.

With your help we surpassed our year end fundraising goal, setting us up to step into new and exciting conservation projects quickly – thank you!

Our goals for 2024 are simple: to continue to protect important land in innovative ways and to provide opportunities for you to experience what you have protected.

To help us accomplish our  goals, we are excited to introduce wonderful additions to our Board of Directors, our Advisory Council and our Staff. Each new ESLT team member brings a unique blend of skills, experience, and dedication that will undoubtedly help propel us forward.

We are creating a fantastic lineup of fun events for 2024, each designed to engage, inspire, and bring us closer as a community. Stay tuned for updates on our annual Mule Deer Migration Field Trip, GardenFest and our pollinator garden tour and workshops, volunteer Stewardship Days on protected land, International Migratory Bird Day at Black Lake Preserve, and Conservation Art-Out – we can’t wait to share these experiences with you!

Here’s to a magnificent 2024, filled with growth, joy, and the magic of the Eastern Sierra. So buckle up – this year is going to be amazing and I hope that you will be by our side step-by-step!

With Gratitude,

eslt eastern sierra land trust

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Conservation News

eslt eastern sierra land trust

Pinyon Community Climate Action Field Internship Opportunity

Interested in a summer field internship with the Pinyon Climate Community Action project? Look no further! Stanford and Berkley will be hiring for two summer interns based in the Eastern Sierra region for the 2024 season.

Applications for these positions are being accepted through February 1st and 15th. Click to read more and submit an application.

Submit an Application Now

From the Field

eslt eastern sierra land trust
Mule Deer © Heather Freeman

Featured Animal:
Mule Deer

Curious about the Round Valley mule deer herd and their migration habits along Highway 395? This iconic species migrates annually from high elevation summer habitat in the Sierra to low elevation winter habitat in the Owens Valley.

This strategy allows them to take advantage of resources that directly influence their survival and reproductive success. Summer range habitats, largely located within USFS and NPS boundaries, provide abundant forage and habitat protection, but the availability of winter range and migration corridors is limited and often overlaps with human land uses.

Identifying and maintaining migration corridors and winter range has been a priority for ESLT since our inception. (You can find additional information and total acreage for easements protecting the Round Valley mule deer on our migration corridor page.) In our efforts to protect mule deer and their migration corridors, we are strategically protecting important lands where wilderness and developed areas interface, ensuring that mule deer have access to the seasonal resources they need to survive and thrive.

If you would like to observe mule deer in person, stayed tuned for our annual mule deer migration corridor field trip, coming this spring!

ESLT News and Events

eslt eastern sierra land trust

ESLT is excited to announce the appointment of Scott Burns, passionate land conservation advocate, to our Board of Directors.

Scott moved to Mammoth Lakes in 1984 as a planner for Mono County, and later served as Planning and Community Development director for 30 years. As a planner, he gained an appreciation of the value land conservation organizations provide in preserving agricultural lands and conserving environmental resources, especially in a region with such a limited private land base.

He was particularly impressed with the growth and success of ESLT. Mostly retired since 2017,  Scott enjoys Eastern Sierra life with his wife Barbara and a merged family of five adult children and growing number of grandchildren. Welcome to the ESLT Board of Directors, Scott. Stayed tuned for our next BOD announcement next month.

eslt eastern sierra land trust

The featured ESLT conservation easement for the month is Desert Creek Ranch, a sprawling 1,228-acre ranch renowned for its natural beauty and ecological significance, located in the heart of Smith Valley, Nevada.

Desert Creek Ranch pastures are a designated grassland of special environmental  significance and home to the Bi-State sage grouse, a species of paramount ecological importance.

The Ranch holds senior water rights and plays a pivotal role in the Smith Valley ecosystem.  Surface water from Desert Creek irrigated pastures, and the storage water in the watershed above  the property are released seasonally, both of which are essential to the ranching operation and  healthy wildlife habitats. Watch our short film to learn more and get inspired about the power of conservation work.

Visit our Website

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.


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


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