• Steve Brown

Naturalist Pat Flanagan selected for 2017 Minerva Hoyt Award

Pat Flanagan has been selected by the Joshua Tree National Park Association as the recipient of the 2017 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award.

The Joshua Tree National Park Association has selected desert naturalist Pat Flanagan as the recipient of the 2017 Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award. The award is given to individuals or organizations that have made valuable contributions toward the preservation and protection of the California deserts.

Pat began her career in the 1970s in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. She has lived in the hi-desert since 2--2. Over the years, she has developed classroom curriculum on desert ecology, and was a founding director of the Mojave Desert Land Trust, helping orchestrate the purchase of the Nolina Peak land by the MDLT, with the property being transferred to Joshua Tree National Park.

A tireless advocate for the desert and its residents, Pat exudes a contagious enthusiasm for the life and beauty of California's deserts. In addition to being a contributor to Mojave Watch, Pat is a director of the Morongo Basin Conservation Association, as well as serving on the Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Committee, and on the technical advisory committee for the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District.

Pat will receive the Minerva Hoyt award during a ceremony on the afternoon of May 8, 2018, at the 29 Palms Inn. We will update this story with the event time and additional details as they are made available by the Joshua Tree National Park Association.

We would like to congratulate Pat Flanagan on being chosen for the Minerva Hoyt award, and thank her for her decades of work on behalf of the California deserts. We're certain Pat and Minerva would have gotten along famously.

Visitors to the 29 Palms Inn can join Pat for free nature walks at the Oasis of Mara. For information:

Pat, waiting to do another take for a Mojave Watch video on the DRECP and desert conservation.

See Pat Flanagan in action on The Real Desert with Steve Brown

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.


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. JTNPA staff reviews all submissions for eligibility, and qualifying nominations are forwarded to the Minerva Hoyt California Desert Conservation Award selection committee.

Past Winners      

2004 Susan Luckie Reilly

2005 Larry and 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 and Ruth Rieman

2013 Dee & Betty Zeller

2014 Desert Protective Council,  Terry Weiner

2015 Nancy Karl

2016 Cindy Zacks

17 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All