Joshua Tree National Park Association

Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award

minerva hoyt legacy

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.

The 2021 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award Recipient

The 2021 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award Recipient

The Joshua Tree National Park Association is pleased to announce Frazier Haney as the 2021 Minerva Hoyt Conservation Award recipient. 

A native of Joshua Tree, California, Frazier has been working to protect natural landscapes and people’s access to the outdoors for over 15 years, most recently as Executive Director of The Wildlands Conservancy based in Oak Glen, California. He grew up hiking, climbing, and camping in the California desert and the Midwest – a privilege that left him with a deep love of the outdoors. He holds a BS in Ecology and Evolution from UC Santa Cruz and an MBA from UC Riverside. Frazier has played many roles in the preservation of our deserts. As a new college graduate, he took a job with The Wildlands Conservancy, under the direction of April Sall, as a ranger at the Pioneertown Mountains Preserve. He then moved to the Whitewater Preserve when it was acquired by Wildlands. He planned and supervised Whitewater’s conversion from trout farm to preserve.

 After knowing Whitewater was in good standing, he took a position with Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) with responsibility for raising funds for acquisitions. Through Frazier’s work, MDLT protected over 100,000 acres of the Mojave Desert. He then moved his primary focus to working with multiple partners to encourage President Obama to create Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow, and Castle Mountains National Monuments. Frazier brings unparalleled expertise in land use policy and advocacy. He has testified before Congress on behalf of California desert conservation and successfully collaborated with decision-makers in the Department of Interior. He volunteers for the California Desert Coalition and serves as the Environment representative on the Bureau of Land Management Desert Advisory Council (DAC).

Frazier shares his love of the desert and the outdoors with his wife Jamie – a Pacific Crest Trail throughhiker – and his beautiful children, Lily and Owen. We are honored to recognize Frazier Haney as the 2021 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award winner.

2020 | Dr. Cameron Barrows
2019 | David Lamfrom
2018 | Robin Kobaly
2017 | Pat Flanagan
2016 | Cindy Zacks
2015 | Nancy Karl
2014 | Desert Protective Council, Terry Weiner
2013 | Dee & Betty Zeller
2012 | Steven & Ruth Rieman
2011 | Elden E. Hughes
2010 | Owens Valley Committee
2009 | United States Senator Dianne Feinstein
2008 | Mark Jorgenson, Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park
2007 | John Wohlmuth and the Coachella Valley Association of Governments
2006 | David Myers and the Wildlands Conservancy
2005 | Larry & Donna Charpied
2004 | Susan Luckie Reilly


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 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. Joshua Tree National Park Association staff reviews all submissions for eligibility, and qualifying nominations are forwarded to the Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award selection committee.

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