We are thrilled to welcome sixth-generation Bridgeport Valley rancher and Eastern Sierra advocate, Leslie Hunewill, to our Board of Directors.

Leslie is a rancher at Hunewill Ranch in Bridgeport Valley where her family raises cattle and operates a guest ranch. In August 2020, Eastern Sierra Land Trust completed a conservation easement with the Hunewill family, permanently protecting 4,100 acres of the family’s historic ranch. After many years of supporting and partnering with ESLT, Leslie is thankful for the opportunity to now help advance our land conservation work by joining the board of directors.

“Joining the ESLT Board is an incredible honor for not only myself, but for my family as well,” shared Leslie.  “We were lucky to get to work with the wonderful staff of ESLT to get our conservation easement, and I am glad I have the chance to give back.  I’m excited for this opportunity to share my experiences and insight with such a diverse and welcoming organization and am looking forward to my time here.”

ESLT works with willing landowners who wish to permanently conserve the scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historical, and watershed values of their land – qualities of vital importance to the future of the landscape and community. ESLT offers its expertise and conservation tools to families who want to preserve their working farms and ranches, protect the region’s critical wildlife habitats, and offer the entire Eastern Sierra community the opportunity to connect with the region’s treasured lands.

Hunewill Ranch Conservation Easement in the springtime. Photo by Dwayne Leonard.

Leslie strongly believes in protecting the land for future generations. “As a sixth-generation rancher in the Bridgeport Valley, I feel that the land my family owns is held in trust by each generation and it is our job to pass it along as good as or better than it was passed to us. Part of that responsibility is also to the communities that help sustain, support, or enhance the land and the livelihoods that are made on said land. ESLT is one piece of the community that has made it possible for us to help protect and preserve our land for my children, nieces, and others in the seventh generation of the Hunewill family – and for many generations of our family to come.”

Horses crossing a waterway at Hunewill Ranch Conservation Easement. Photo by Dwayne Leonard.

Leslie helps create Hunewill Ranch’s grazing plan each year to ensure that care is being taken to sustain and support the land.  She manages the herd health, genetic selection, and records for their cattle operation. Leslie also helps with the day-to-day ranching activities as she can. She is the mother of two children, ages two and four. Leslie is raising her kids on the ranch where she grew up and enjoys seeing them get involved with every facet of ranch life.