Transition Habitat Conservancy
Our mission: Transition Habitat Conservancy protects areas of critical habitat, transition zone and wildlife corridor ecosystems and their scenic, agricultural, and cultural resource values in the West Mojave Desert. We participate in programs improving our knowledge of the Mojave Desert ecosystem. We also provide education about the fragile and inspirational nature of our desert plants, animals, and ecosystems to connect people to nature.

12 years ago, 2 grandmothers living in Pinon Hills talked about the wonderful natural paradise they were riding and hiking through. Afraid that urban development would soon destroy that jewel, they decided to unite and preserve the unique pinyon pine forest and surrounding open space. As a result of this and the desire of the community to create parks for our kids to enjoy the Transition Habitat Conservancy was created. Since then many new directors and volunteers sharing the same vision have joined together.

A Vision

By 2050, we will have protected several areas of ecological significance and wildlife corridors, and facilitated the creation of several natural parks in the West Mojave. The land we preserved will allow the several million people then living in the high desert to continue hiking, biking, horseback riding, and enjoying nature while protecting endangered species and biodiversity, and will allow our children and grandchildren to see for themselves these rich resources.

How we work

Transition  Habitat Conservancy was  created to protect beautiful landscapes, to protect wildlife, and to protect the infiltration areas where our drinking water drains into the aquifer by acquiring land and obtaining preservation agreements for wildlife habitat, hiking and horseback riding, as well as educational and natural science activities.  The organization's initial project was to protect the transition habitat area adjacent to the community of Pinon Hills. Since then we added a second project to the West and a third project to the East of Gorman. These projects have been carefully selected considering their biodiversity, the presence of special status species and high levels of biodiversity, and the need to create parks near park-poor communities. To achieve our goals we will acquire parcels from willing landowners at fair market price, or assist landowners in creating conservation easements, or accept donations of land or easements to protect these natural resources. We work with consultants and other conservancies supporting our efforts and collaborate with like minded groups to further all of our missions.

Who we are

Transition Habitat Conservancy is a 501(C)(3) charitable non-profit public benefit corporation: that means that all donations are tax deductible. All directors are volunteers. Transition Habitat Conservancy is a member of the Land Trust Alliance (LTA) and the California Council of Land Trusts (CCLT), and we are working towards getting accredited by LTA within three years. We have an active training program through CCLT to achieve this goal.

Board members, Transition Habitat Conservancy
Jill Bays - President, Wendie Marriott, Jeff Olesh, Tara Matthews, Carol Hill, Bertrand Bays, Steve Olney, Ken Holbrook, Gina Charpentier, Justine Curcio

Click here for bios.

Wendy Walker, Vern Biehl, Cody Hanford, Jane Rowan, Ryan Huges


Transition Habitat Conservancy seeks to preserve the best natural resources, upstream watersheds, aquifer recharge areas, wildlife corridors, scenic vistas, unique biodiversity, and agricultural lands. Ephemeral streams that replentish our Fossil Ground Water are currently unprotected in the Mojave Desert. These need to be protected so that during the winter clean meltwater can percolate into the aquifer where all our drinking water comes from. Most of the infiltration into our overdraft aquifer occurs at or near the mountain front and sinks into the ground where it comes out later as streams, seeps, and playas that wildlife depend on.