About Eastern Sierra Land Trust - Who We Are

Founded in 2001, ESLT is the first and only land trust based in California's Eastern Sierra Nevada region. We began our work when private citizens and public officials in our area expressed interest in the development alternatives, mitigations, and habitat protections that land trusts can provide.

In December 2003, we completed our first two voluntary land conservation agreements (commonly referred to as conservation easements), in the migration corridor of the Round Valley Mule Deer Herd; the following year we hired our first professional staff. Today we're continuing our work to protect treasured Eastern Sierra lands, and have conserved nearly 10,500 acres thus far.

To view our most recent Annual Report, Click Here >>


Eastern Sierra Land Trust: Board of Directors

President: Bob Gardner — Bob is the retired Vice President for Administration and Finance for California State University San Bernardino. He is currently on the Mono County Board of Supervisors, and also served on the City Council for the City of Redlands. He is a native Californian and spends time at his cabin in June Lake with his wife Karen. Along with their three sons, Bob and Karen enjoy skiing and exploring the Eastern Sierra.

Vice President: Marie Patrick — Marie moved to Crowley Lake after many years of visiting the area from LA. She founded, owned, and managed the City of Los Angeles Marathon for over twenty years, prior to that organizing and promoting tennis, golf and cycling events in the U.S. and Europe. She and her husband enjoy all that the Eastern Sierra has to offer – hiking, biking, skiing, fishing and the four seasons!

Secretary: Randy Keller — As a youth, Randy visited his parents' cabin on Little Hilton Creek and spent endless hours floating around Crowley Lake. After joining the Air Force and graduating from law school, he served as a JAG officer specializing in environmental law. In 2000, Randy moved to Bishop and was hired by Inyo County as deputy county counsel. During his final four years with the County, he served as the County Counsel advising the Board of Supervisors and managing litigation and the office. He retired in August of 2013. Randy now enjoys spending his time photographing the Eastern Sierra deserts, hiking in the mountains, and skiing at Mammoth.

Director: Tim Bartley — Tim and his wife Pam moved to Mammoth Lakes in 2010.  Tim has been an active volunteer in local conservation, stewardship, and water quality projects.  He spent his professional career in biotech research at Amgen, and holds a PhD. Tim is an avid fisherman, and he frequently works with ESLT's volunteer team to advance important habitat restoration projects in the Eastern Sierra.

Director: Bill Dunlap — Bill has loved the Eastern Sierra since he began camping and climbing here in the late 1960s. He climbed with the Sierra Peaks Section of the LA Sierra Club Chapter for many years, and moved to Mammoth Lakes in 1988; today he lives in a log home in Swall Meadows. Besides belonging to the ESLT, Bill has been a member of the Sierra Club for over 50 years and several other conservation organizations. Bill's passion is for fine art mountain photography, and he now spends much of his time exploring and photographing the Sierra's splendor.

Director: Joanne Parsons — Joanne has lived and worked in the Eastern Sierra for 35 years, serving as Principal of Bishop High School, Regional Lead for the State of California Region 10 After School Programs, Director of the Lone Pine Even Start Program, and as a member of the Mammoth Lakes Unified School Board. For 17 years she also hosted a local television show, Inyo County Update. Although her background is in Education, she has been an avid outdoorswoman for most of her life.

Director: Brynn Pewtherer — As Associate Director of Conservation Programs & Science at The Nature Conservancy in California, Brynn helps align the work of conservation practitioners, scientists, and geodesign staff advancing conservation strategies across the state. Before the Conservancy, she worked in environmental health as Senior Manager for Science and Education at The Breast Cancer Fund and in the U.S. EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance measuring the human health impacts of environmental regulations. Brynn, her husband and two daughters love the Eastern Sierra and visit often from their home in the Bay Area.

Board Member Emeritus: Tony Taylor — Tony has served on the Board of ESLT since the founding of the organization in 2001. He is retired after 29 years in technical marketing and management for the IBM Corporation. He is an active community volunteer and serves multiple organizations in Mammoth Lakes, where he lives with his wife, Sherryl. He has served the University of Redlands in Southern California as president of the Alumni Association and is a member of the Board of Trustees. He also oversees family business activity in Southern California for a large, multigenerational family. Whenever possible, he and Sherryl spend time with their family, including their two married daughters, their son, and their four granddaughters. Tony's passion for the outdoors expresses itself in his love of cycling, skiing, hiking, backpacking, and fishing. He loves the Eastern Sierra for its spectacular beauty and its amazing geologic history.


Eastern Sierra Land Trust: Advisory Board

Bill Bramlette

Lands Committee

Ruth McFarlane

Development Committee

Dave Doonan
Farmer - Montgomery Creek Ranch

Geoff McQuilkin
Executive Director - Mono Lake Committee

Steve Frisch
President - Sierra Business Council

Ruth Norris
Organizational and Development Consultant

Ellen Gardner
Outreach and Education Committee

Victoria Ortiz

Outreach and Education Committee

Nate Greenberg

Mono County Geographic Information Systems

Duke Ostendorf
Development Committee

Rusty Gregory

Chairman and CEO - Mammoth Mountain Ski Area

Pete Pumphrey
Lands Committee

Linda Hess
Attorney at Law

Doug Ross

Rosanne Higley
Outreach and Education Committee

Orrin Sage
Lands Committee

Karen Hodges
Nonprofit Business Solutions

Brian Stange
Finance and Investment Committee

Sandy Hogan
Retired Special Operations Coordinator - Inyo National Forest

Ann Wong
Realtor/Owner - Eastern Sierra Real Estate

Dr. Rick Kattelmann

Retired Hydrologist; Lands Committee


Eastern Sierra Land Trust: Staff

Kay Ogden Executive Director: Kay was appointed to the position of ESLT Executive Director in May 2013 after working as Associate Director for the Sierra Nevada Alliance. She brings great passion for the Eastern Sierra landscape and experience in project management, strategic planning, fundraising, building connections, and leading effective programs. Kay also has extensive creative experience: she spent 18 years operating her own design and marketing firm, and two years as a board member of the Mono County Arts Council. Kay is a participant in the Land Trust Alliance’s Leadership program, and is a board member of the California Council of Land Trusts. She also enjoys gardening, canning fresh food grown in her garden, and hiking and cycling with her husband, Jeff Boone, and their rescued German Shepherd, Rush Creek.

Susanna Danner – Land Conservation Program Director: Sus comes to ESLT from The Nature Conservancy’s Idaho Chapter, where she was the Director of Protection, coordinating a statewide program to protect working lands and wildlife habitat. Before her time in Idaho, she spent fourteen years in California’s Central Coast, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and worked for Coastal Watershed Council and The Big Sur Land Trust. Though she grew up in Massachusetts, Sus and her family made frequent trips to the Sierra to ski and visit her uncle in Mammoth Lakes. She enjoys hiking with Baetis, her Catahoula leopard dog, flyfishing, bicycling, birdwatching, and poring over her Jepson Manual as she learns the flora of the Eastern Sierra.

Marguerite Merritt – Communications Director: Marguerite moved to the Eastern Sierra and joined ESLT’s team in early 2013. She brings with her an eye for design, a passion for writing, and an eagerness to channel her communications experience in a fresh direction. Though she recently relocated to Ashland, OR for her husband’s employment, she continues to work remotely for ESLT and visits the Eastern Sierra as frequently as she can. An avid hiker, she is often out exploring new trails and seeking far-flung destinations; in her "quiet" time, she enjoys creative writing, baking, gardening, and raising chickens and goats.

Heather Freeman – Philanthropy Manager: Working from 2009-2012 as Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s Membership & Office Coordinator gave Heather an understanding of the critical role that ESLT supporters and members play in conserving the Eastern Sierra's wild and working lands.  After spending several years away from the Land Trust further developing marketing and design skills, she returned to the ESLT staff in 2016. Heather is excited to use her expertise and experience to build on and strengthen the great programs in place. Having lived in the Eastern Sierra for the past 10 years, she continues to enjoy exploring the beautiful natural places we have access to by foot, Jeep, bike or snowboard.

Sara Kokkelenberg – Stewardship Coordinator: After spending two years with Eastern Sierra Land Trust as an Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps member, Sara is pleased to join the team full-time and continue her work restoring landscapes on the Eastside. She is most excited to resume work on the Benton Ponds restoration project involving the native Owens Speckled Dace. Having fallen in love with life in Bishop, she now spends most of her time outside of the office wandering backcountry trails, attempting to pebble-wrestle, and soaking in hot springs.

Ryan Delaney Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member: Born and raised in Missoula Montana, Ryan discovered his love of the outdoors at an early age. This inspired him to pursue a degree in Resource Conservation, with a minor in Wilderness and Civilization. After graduating, he served with AmeriCorps in Alaska, where he worked as a camp coordinator and taught children about wilderness survival, edible plants, and marine biology. Now entering his second AmeriCorps term, Ryan is looking forward to serving with ESLT and teaching kids in the Eastern Sierra about the wonders of the natural world. When Ryan is not busy playing freeze tag with kids, he enjoys playing Spanish guitar, studying botany, and working on his chaco tan.