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Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award

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Minerva Hoyt Mural

Minerva Hoyt Mural | Photo by NPS/Robb Hannawacker | Public Domain | Source

The 2019Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award Recipient

David Lamfrom

David Lamfrom

Photo By: David Danelski

David’s impressive list of efforts make him the perfect awardee. He joined the NPCA Pacific Region staff after spending three years as a regional vice-president for an environmental consulting firm in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Prior to that, David was employed in diverse wildlife and agricultural research biology positions including experiences in the fields of aquaculture, agricultural biology and herpetology. He volunteered time and expertise as a naturalist for the Wildlife Research Team, a non-profit organization who has had tremendous success utilizing non-mechanized mangrove restoration in Biscayne Bay, Florida. As a graduate of New College of Florida, David has had the opportunity to conduct significant study in the fields of ecology, herpetology, foreign languages, Native American studies, and art.

As the director of California Desert and Wildlife Programs for NPCA, he worked on policy, legislation, media, building community, and connecting desert voices to the administration and congress. David has run campaigns to protect tens of thousands of acres of sacred desert lands from inappropriate development. He has been fortunate to work with desert communities for the past decade to designate 3 national monuments, totaling 1.8 million acres, including a new national park service unit.

In his current position, David uses his passion and knowledge of our natural, cultural and historical resources to continue to inspire others to learn about and protect our national parks. Published both as an author and wildlife photographer in several issues of Wild South magazine, David is an avid naturalist, hiker, and photographer who spends his free time exploring wildlife and wilderness.

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.

Past Winners

Year Winner
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 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. 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.