Mojave Desert Land Trust executive director to step down

 For immediate release

August 20, 2021
Contact: Jessica Dacey, Director of Communications
Phone: 760-820-2275
Email: jessica@mdlt.org

Mojave Desert Land Trust executive director to step down

Joshua Tree, CA – Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) Executive Director Geary Hund will be stepping down at the end of October to have more time to pursue personal endeavors. Mr Hund has led the organization with distinction since February 2019.

Mr Hund served as an MDLT board member for two years before becoming executive director. During his tenure, the organization acquired over 22,000 acres and reached a conservation milestone of 100,000 acres protected across the California desert. Mr Hund led efforts to acquire Desert Springs, a rich oasis for birds and other wildlife in the western Mojave Desert, as well as private inholdings in desert national parks, monuments, wilderness areas, and habitat linkages.

Mr Hund brought extensive public policy experience to the role, enabling the Land Trust to become a driver of proposed legislation to create a California Desert Conservation Program which would bring much-needed conservation funding to the desert. He also helped initiate a current effort to establish a new national monument and expanded wilderness areas in the Colorado Desert.

As a former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service biologist, Mr Hund was able to guide MDLT’s efforts to develop a restoration plan for Palisades Ranch, a property acquired in 2018, which contains rich riparian and aquatic habitat for numerous species. MDLT’s plant conservation and restoration programs grew substantially during Mr Hund’s tenure, as did its education and outreach program, including the Women in Science Discovering Our Mojave internship program.

The Board of Directors has begun an executive search for Mr Hund’s successor. It will work closely with Mr Hund and MDLT Deputy Executive Director Cody Hanford to ensure a smooth transition.

“The Board of Directors is very grateful for Geary Hund’s exemplary service. He has been a visionary leader for the organization, helping to ensure its long-term stability, facilitating the acquisition of important conservation lands and restoration projects, driving new conservation legislation, and helping lay the foundation for new conservation designations in Riverside County. He will be greatly missed,” said John Simpson, President of the Board of Directors.

“It has been a great privilege to serve as Executive Director of the Mojave Desert Land Trust alongside a talented and dedicated team of conservation professionals. Today, thanks to them, and our board, partners, and supporters, MDLT is better positioned than ever to accomplish its mission of protecting desert ecosystems and resources.  I’m stepping down, but not stepping away. I will continue to be actively involved in the organization, assisting MDLT in its many important conservation endeavors,” said Geary Hund, Executive Director.

The Mojave Desert Land Trust (MDLT) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with the mission to protect and care for lands with natural, scenic, and cultural value within the Mojave Desert. Since its founding in 2006 the land trust has conserved 101,528 acres, conveying more tracts of land to the National Park Service in the last decade than any other organization. In addition to acquiring land, the land trust established a seed bank to ensure the preservation of native species. MDLT operates an onsite nursery at its Joshua Tree headquarters which propagates native species for ecosystem restoration. MDLT educates and advocates for the conservation of the desert, involving hundreds of volunteers in our work. For more information, visit mdlt.org.