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Pat Flanagan Named Recipient of the 2017 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award

Press Release

JTNPA - Date:

Pat Flanagan and the 2017 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award

Pat Flanagan and the 2017 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award | Photo by 29 Palms Inn | Public Domain | Source

The Joshua Tree National Park Association is pleased to announce Pat Flanagan as the recipient of the 2017 Minerva Hoyt Conservation Award.

The purpose of this award is to recognize individuals or organizations that have made notable achievements in the areas of leadership, protection, preservation, research, education, and stewardship leading to a significant and lasting contribution on behalf of the deserts of California.

Pat Flanagan has a broad background in desert natural history education going back to the late 1970s when she worked as a park aide and managed the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Visitor Center. This began her exemplary and unparalleled record of advocacy for the Colorado and Mojave deserts, which continues today. Her efforts to preserve the desert and promote wise land use cover a variety of conservation problems: air quality; dust control; sand transport corridors; negative impacts of industrial scale renewable energy on a landscape level; land use planning; wildlife corridors; invasive species; and water rights.

Pat is a natural educator. She developed the first place-based desert ecology/geology curriculum in Southern California, the Salton Basin Living Laboratory Field Trip Program, as well as an Ecosystem Map Graphic Organizer, which was adopted for use by the San Diego Living History Museum. In her current position as Desert Naturalist at The 29 Palms Inn, she educates an international audience on desert ecology, and also teaches a class at the Joshua Tree National Park Association’s Desert Institute.

She was a founding member and director of Mojave Desert Land Trust, and led the organization’s first acquisition effort for Nolina Peak, which was donated back to Joshua Tree National Park. Pat’s incredible leadership has increased protection and preservation of our California desert public lands overall. Recently, she participated in efforts to support designation of the three desert National Monuments - Sand to Snow, Mojave Trails, and Castle Mountains – and also participated in their defense via speaking at local rallies and traveling to Washington D.C. She was a lead contributor to the Morongo Basin Open Space group, where she assisted in developing the Morongo Basin Conservation Priorities Plan, and has done extensive research and work on the Desert Renewable Energy Conceptual Plan (DRECP), the West Mojave Route System (WEMO), and the San Bernardino County General Plan. Pat’s in depth knowledge of a broad range of matters impacting desert natural and cultural resources are in evidence in public dockets in nearly every project and plan affecting Southern California deserts in the past 20 years.

An extremely well informed citizen scientist speaking on behalf of the conservation community, Pat continues her work as a member of the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Committee, a director of the Morongo Basin Conservation Association, a member of the Advisory Board for Basin & Range Watch, and an appointee to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District’s Technical Advisory Committee. Minerva Hoyt would indeed be proud of Pat Flanagan’s achievements on behalf of the California Desert that she loved so much.

Previous recipients of Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award are:

2004 Susan Luckie Reilly
2005 Larry & 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 L. & Ruth Rieman
2013 Dee & Betty Zeller
2014 Terry Weiner and The Desert Protective Council
2015 Nancy Karl
2016 Cindy Zacks


Jacqueline Guevara - JTNPA - (760) 361-9359

Joshua Tree National Park Association is is a non-profit partner of Joshua Tree National Park. For more information, please contact us by email at or by calling us at (760) 367-5525