Lands & Legacy: ESLT Legacy Award



Our 22nd Anniversary Lands & Legacy Celebration at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area’s Parallax Restaurant is just a couple of weeks away, Reserve your tickets today!

Limited tickets are available for an inspiring in-person dinner on September 23rd, and for the exclusive, ticket-holders only land tour at Hunewill Ranch on September 22nd, don’t miss the opportunity to join us!

Register Now – Limited Tickets Available

This year at Lands & Legacy, we will be presenting the ESLT Legacy Award to two conservation heroes–Phil Pister and John Donnelly– both of whom have made a lasting impact on Eastern Sierra conservation work.


Phil Pister spent his career working as a district fisheries biologist for the California Department of Fish and Game in the Sierra Nevada. On August 18, 1969, while monitoring in the field, Phil found a remnant population of the endangered Owens Pupfish struggling to survive in a small, shrinking pond. These isolated habitats were like islands of water in a sea of sand. He and an assistant scooped them into wire cages and put them in a safer part of the marsh. He returned to check that evening, and found them struggling. In the dark, he carried two 30-lb. buckets full of fish, across the desert to Fish Slough, single handedly ensuring the survival of the species.

Submit a Memory of Phil Pister

Known and cherished by our community, many of you have fond memories of Phil. We are collecting and compiling these stories in memory of Phil Pister and the ESLT Legacy Award for 2023. We would love to hear from you–Please click on the button below to submit videos, photos, and written memories.

Submit a Memory of Phil


During his time as CEO of the California Wildlife Conservation Board (WCB), John Donnelly helped fund 7 projects that totaled 7,184 acres, bringing $11,607,000 into the region. One of the key projects that John supported is the historic Hunewill Ranch, which we will feature in our exclusive, ticket-holder only land tour on September 22nd.

As a result of this historic easement, the working ranch located in the heart of beautiful, expansive Bridgeport Valley framed by the mountain peaks of Yosemite National Park is now preserved for wildlife and sustainable ranching. The WCB protects, restores, and enhances California’s spectacular natural resources for wildlife and for the public’s use and enjoyment in partnership with conservation groups, government agencies, and the people of California.

Come join us on September 23rd as we present these awards to two critical icons of conservation in the Eastern Sierra. Register now!

Let’s toast to the wild beauty of the Eastern Sierra together.

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