ESLT’s office garden in spring. © Kristen Stipanov, ESLT

We’re proud to announce that this spring, Eastern Sierra Land Trust applied for and successfully received funds through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The recent federal CARES Act created the PPP, which supports small businesses and nonprofits like ESLT in keeping workers on their payroll.

Here at ESLT, we’ve created core values to guide us through decisions and challenges. They include earning and honoring the trust of our supporters and maintaining a highly competent professional team to carry out our mission. These same core values guided ESLT Executive Director Kay Ogden’s and the Board of Directors’ easy decision to continue deeply caring for staff once 2020’s COVID-19 crisis began. While the team scattered to their respective home offices, each staff member’s wages, hours, and benefits were maintained. ESLT staff has been able to continue working at full capacity since the first moments of this crisis, thanks to the ongoing generous support of our conservation community over the years.

In this time of uncertainty, applying for the PPP was a clear and prudent decision. It covered staff salaries, health benefits, and some overhead at a significant time. We’re working hard on also seeking revenue sources to compensate for lost event income.

When the CARES Act was passed in late March, ESLT quickly applied for the PPP. Our close professional relationship with the Eastern Sierra Community Bank helped us as we applied for and received funding through the program in the first round of funding. We will continue working with the team at Eastern Sierra Community Bank as we apply for loan forgiveness.

Federal PPP funds have worked to keep supporting Eastern Sierra Land Trust’s dedicated staff this spring as we push critical land protection projects towards the finish line. We hope that soon, thousands more beautiful at-risk acres can be protected forever.

ESLT is funded by one-time donations, monthly donations, legacy gifts, private foundations, and federal and state grants. To support our work, please visit our donation page. Thank you! Together, we’ll protect the Eastern Sierra for future generations, and for mule deer, pronghorn, sage-grouse, and more.