2017 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award

Pat Flanagan has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award.


About the Award 

In 1930, Minerva Hamilton Hoyt created the International Deserts Conservation League to promote the conservation of desert lands worldwide. Her tireless efforts led directly to the establishment of Joshua Tree National Monument in 1936. She was perhaps the first great desert conservationist. The Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award recognizes annually individuals or organizations that have worked to further Mrs. Hoyt’s legacy by making notable achievements in the areas of leadership, protection, preservation, research, education, and stewardship of California’s desert lands. The award seeks to recognize an individual or persons whose efforts lead to a significant and lasting contribution on behalf of the deserts of California.


Any person or group is eligible to receive the award except for Joshua Tree National Park Association (JTNPA) board of directors or staff and members of their immediate families. Non-residents of California are eligible but nominations must be for conservation accomplishments in the California deserts. Candidates must be at least 18 years old.


Nominees will have made a notable achievement on behalf of the deserts of California in one or more of the following areas:

  • Provided leadership resulting in laws, regulations, public policies, or other practices that promote improved stewardship of California desert lands and resources
  • Developed scientific research leading to improved conservation knowledge, techniques or strategies
  • Fostered partnerships and collaborations that promote desert stewardship, or
  • Created a stronger public stewardship through education and outreach activities

Nomination and Selection Procedures

The Joshua Tree National Park Association oversees the annual nomination and selection process. Nominations will be accepted from any interested individual or organization, but self-nominations will not be considered. JTNPA staff reviews all submissions for eligibility, and qualifying nominations are forwarded to the Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award selection committee.

Past Winners      

2004 Susan Luckie Reilly

2005 Larry and Donna Charpied

2006 David Myers and the Wildlands Conservancy

2007 John Wohlmuth and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments

2008 Mark Jorgenson, Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park

2009 United States Senator Dianne Feinstein

2010 Owens Valley Committee

2011 Elden E. Hughes

2012 Steven and Ruth Rieman

2013 Dee & Betty Zeller

2014 Desert Protective Council,  Terry Weiner

2015 Nancy Karl

2016 Cindy Zacks