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.
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.
|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:
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.