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The Newsletter of the Eastern Sierra Land Trust

Farewell, Karen Hello, Kay!

Spring 2013

Sinnamon Meadows With a New Grant, a New Chapter for this Historical Property


or the board and staff of ESLT I am writing to share two very important matters with you. First, with enormous gratitude mixed with sadness, we say farewell to our amazing Executive Director Karen Ferrell-Ingram. Karen was one of ESLT’s founding board members. She volunteered tirelessly before we could afford staff salaries, and, with her husband Stephen, donated to ESLT our first conservation easement: preserving habitat on their property in Swall Meadows. She became our first Lands Director and finally, in 2008, she became our Executive Director. Her years of devoted service to our organization and to the Eastern Sierra community as a whole have been instrumental in shaping our success stories and in building a platform for future achievements. I am delighted to add the good news of an outstanding successor to Karen. Concluding a six month search, the ESLT board is very pleased to welcome Kay Ogden as our new Executive Director. Working for eight years with the Sierra Nevada Alliance in South Lake Tahoe, Kay has focused on program development, special events, and fundraising; her most recent position as Associate Director has prepared her well to lead ESLT in the coming years. We welcome Kay to our team, and look forward to her energy and insight as we move into this new chapter of our organization. Please join us as we celebrate both of these amazing leaders in the months ahead. ■ Tony Taylor, President

Lush meadows, pine forests, and aspen groves create a diverse mosaic of life on Sinnamon Meadows, attractive to both wildlife and humans.


ames Sinnamon knew a good thing when he arrived in Mono County in the late 1850’s as a young Irish prospector. Unlike many who came seeking their fortune, Sinnamon actually did quite well placer mining near Monoville; he then made several wise investments in ranchland property that—over 150 years later—are still thriving farms and ranches today. Like Mr. Sinnamon, ESLT recognizes a good opportunity when it comes around: we were thrilled to meet the current owner of Sinnamon Meadows, which is a large property bearing the name of the area’s original rancher. The landowner was interested in discussing conservation options to permanently preserve his land’s natural qualities while continuing to maintain the flexibility to run an agricultural operation. Based on its significance as a historical working landscape as well as a habitat for several threatened species, this site quickly became a high priority for ESLT. Sinnamon Meadows is located above 8,000 feet in elevation and includes extensive wetlands, natural springs, aspen groves, and significant reaches of two creeks. The irrigated pasture is grazed by livestock seasonally, and provides critical habitat for the Bi-State population of greater sage-grouse, Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, Sierra Nevada red fox, and many other wildlife species. The property is almost entirely surrounded by public lands; rich in history, including Native American trade routes, the Dunderberg Mill and town of Munckton, Basque carvings, and even the setting of a western film made in the late 1940’s. In March, we learned that the Sierra Nevada Conservancy had chosen this project for funding. Through a competitive grant process, Sinnamon Meadows was selected based on its compatibility with the program’s aims: to preserve working landscapes that contribute to the protection of natural habitats, regional cultural heritage, and conservation of vital resources. We look forward to securing the remaining funds and celebrating the permanent preservation of this amazing property. 1


Mountain Meadows


iddle elevation meadows (6000 - 8000') on the east side of the Sierra Nevada frequently find their way onto ESLT's conservation project list thanks to their visionary landowners. Some of these familiar places include Sinnamon Meadows, Cattle graze among the iris flowers in the 25,000 acre Bridgeport Swall Meadows, and Big Mead- Valley (formerly known as Big Meadows) where snowmelt and exows (Bridgeport Valley). Why are tensive irrigation operations keep this valley green and lush. (Photo: Rick Kattelmann). mountain meadows such as these important? Water! It may be an obvious answer but no less important to thirsty and hungry settlers, wildlife, and livestock. During European settlement of the west, meadows were the first places to be claimed and cultivated. Now many of these meadows remain as private land surrounded by vast seas of public land, critical to the viability of migration corridors, wildlife habitats, and grazing operations. Abundant water from snow melt and springs make diverse and abundant life possible in mountain meadows. Mule deer travel from their wintering grounds up into high-altitude habitats where tender shrubs and meadow grasses provide shelter and food for their fawns. Many butterfly species depend on the flowering plants found in our lush meadows. The endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep also visit mountain meadows during the fall months when the rams travel to breed with distant ewes. The Bi-State sage-grouse, another imperiled species, can be seen at these higher elevations, too; they leave the valleys in search of brooding grounds for hungry chicks after completing their spectacular springtime courting rituals. Mountain meadows are equally vital to our local ranchers, who use the lush summer vegetation to graze their livestock. Through well-managed grazing and irrigation techniques designed to maximize productivity, these ranchers maintain and extend the meadows. By partnering with ranchers and other landowners, ESLT works to preserve these lovely and important green expanses.

ESLT Greetings and Farewells


n addition to bidding farewell to our Executive Director of five years, Karen Ferrell-Ingram, and to welcoming Kay Ogden to the helm of ESLT, there are several other staff migrations. ESLT is saddened to say goodbye to Serena Dennis, who has been our Outreach Coordinator since 2009. Congratulations are in order because in two week’s time, Serena will be marrying ESLT’s Lands Director, Aaron Johnson. ESLT is pleased to welcome Marguerite Burkham as our new Membership & Communications Coordinator. Marguerite brings with her an eye for design, a passion for environmental volunteerism, and a deep affection for the mountains. Congratulations to Lesley Bruns on her recent promotion to the position of Outreach & Development Director! In her new role, she enjoys the increased opportunity to apply her extensive sales background to help ESLT grow. We would also like to welcome our new AmeriCorps member, Elise Robinette, to the ESLT office as Education Coordinator. Elise will coordinate our volunteer efforts through the 2013 season.


Eastern Sierra Land Trust works with willing landowners to preserve vital lands in the Eastern Sierra region for their scenic, agricultural, natural, recreational, historical, and watershed values. BOARD OF DIRECTORS Tony Taylor, President Sid Tyler, Vice President Bob Gardner, Treasurer Marie Patrick, Secretary Bill Bramlette Heather deBethizy Jan Hunewill Will Richmond ADVISORS Dave Doonan Karen Ferrell-Ingram Steve Frisch Nate Greenberg Rusty Gregory Linda Hess Sandy Hogan Byng Hunt Stephen Ingram Rick Kattelmann Geoff McQuilkin George Milovich Pete Pumphrey Doug Ross Terry Gooch Ross Orrin Sage Tim Sanford Brian Stange Ann Wong STAFF Kay Ogden, Executive Director Lesley Bruns, Outreach and Development Director Marguerite Burkham, Membership and Communications Coordinator Aaron Johnson, Lands Director Elise Robinette, Education Coordinator, AmeriCorps Member EASTERN SIERRA LAND TRUST P.O. Box 755 176 Home Street Bishop, California 93515 Phone (760) 873-4554 Fax (760) 873-9277


Member Milestones

Lands & Legacy Celebration August 3, 2013 Photo by Rick Kattelmann.


lease join us for our annual celebration dinner that encapsulates the community spirit of the Eastern Sierra. This year’s speaker will be Rand Wentworth, president of the Land Trust Alliance based in Washington, DC. As the national leader and advocate for our nation’s 1700 land conservation groups, Rand will share with us his insights on preserving the important places in America in perpetuity. Hosted by Rusty Gregory and Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, this day will include field trips, festivities, and more.

ESLT’s Executive Director Honored as the 2013 Recipient of the Andrea Lawrence Award Congratulations to ESLT’s co-founder and outgoing Executive Director, Karen Ferrell-Ingram, on receiving the Andrea Lawrence Award! Established in 2007 by the Andrea Lawrence Institute for Mountains and Rivers and carried on by the Mono Lake Committee, this distinction recognizes, “passionate engagement in community and the land.” Karen is the first individual to receive the award, although, she says, "this award is for everyone at ESLT, including all our landowners and Andrea, who was a board member, who have made the dream a reality - preserving important lands forever!"

Member Spotlight: Pelago Corporation Five years ago, the co-founders of Pelago Corporation—John Reeve, Michael Payne, and Braden Jones—decided they wanted to use some of their company’s earnings to promote good works. They Pictured left to right, Pelago’s founding members: Braden Jones, chose ESLT through 1% for the Michael Payne, and John Reeve. Pelago has been partners with ESLT since 2008, donating 1% of its profits to preserving their Planet, an organization, which has beloved Eastern Sierra. inspired members of the business community to contribute 1% of sales to environmental groups around the world. Pelago’s (as in Archipelago) guiding principles were first formulated during an Eastside getaway near Tom’s Place, where the co-founders convened to brainstorm. John Reeve tells it this way: “we found our best business ideas came from letting our minds wander out loud while wading through chest-deep water to reach a secret fishing hole, awaiting the gloaming alongside the upper Owens River, and chasing browns through the gorge.” This Santa Barbara-based company, which is a leader in hosted project management, has donated consistently to ESLT since 2008. Their contributions have

In this issue, we’d like to recognize several foundations that provide ESLT with generous support. We recently received significant donations from The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation (thanks to Dr. Daniel Mazmanian’s recommendation), The Swimmer Family Foundation, The Sha/Mal’s Stewardship Foundation, and The Roger I. and Ruth B. MacFarlane Foundation. We also have a couple new foundation donors: The Weeden Foundation (thanks to Barbara Daugherty) and the Turnip Top Foundation, led by Colin Magowan and Elaine Kabala. Many of our members donated to honor someone special. Brian Clamp dedicated his gift to his wife, India Clamp; Stacey Brown and Ceal Klingler honored Quentin Klingler; Jane and David Richardson sent a donation in the name of Barbara Shelby Morello; and Frances and Jerome Rottner contributed in honor of Jim Gray and Bernard Rottner. A memorial gift that helps save land can be a gift in perpetuity. Jon Price contributed to remember Hal Christensen, Stephen Ingram and Karen Ferrell-Ingram donated in memory of Jack Ingram. Cat Steele chose to honor her parents, “in celebration of the lives and work of Alex and Trudy Saxton, long-time lovers of our desert and mountain wilderness lands.” trended upward in sync with Pelago’s success, and recently John featured their ties to ESLT on his company’s insightful Intervals blog. As John says, “we work extremely hard, but we have our values in the right place.” Here at ESLT, we like to live by that same credo. We are very appreciative of the support Pelago has given us, and we will always be inspired by their business model and generosity as we continue to grow together.


Valleys and Vistas: Preserving the Wild Side of California Join us for the premiere of this new short documentary featuring ESLT! Saturday, May 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Mammoth Arts Center. Visit for more details.

Produced by award-winning local filmmakers Bristlecone Media, this new film explores ESLT’s efforts to preserve the wild and working lands of the Eastern Sierra. Photos courtesy of Bristlecone Media.

P.O. Box 755 Bishop, California 93515 (760) 873-4554 Return Service Requested

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SierraScapes Spring 2013  
SierraScapes Spring 2013  

ESLT's bi-annual newsletter, SierraScapes, is now available online!