The Center for Natural Lands Management 

Our Mission

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  • To conserve native species, their habitats and functioning ecosystems in perpetuity;
  • To own and/or manage lands in an ecologically beneficial manner consistent with local, state and federal environmental laws and with science-based stewardship;
  • To promote the conservation values of such lands through education;
  • To promote and facilitate uses of lands by the public that preserve the conservation values; and
  • To cooperate with public and private entities in their efforts to protect native species and their habitats for the public benefit.

Our History

The Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM) was founded in 1990 in California and incorporated as a nonprofit tax exempt organization. We protect sensitive biological resources through professional, science-based stewardship of conservation lands in perpetuity. We assure the perpetual protection of these lands by establishing stewardship endowments, a model which was unique at the time of our founding and over time has become a best practice for land conservation.

To calculate the financial resources needed to establish adequate endowments we developed a software program, Property Analysis Record (PAR), which has become the standard for land conservation. PAR has truly changed the landscape of conservation efforts and enabled groups to effectively assess the financial needs to properly and adequately care for protected lands.

Under the direction of David Brunner, our work focuses on protecting and restoring native and imperiled species and their habitats throughout California. In 2011 CNLM expanded into Washington with the acquisition of the South Puget Sound Prairies Program. Our Washington conservation focus is on the Willamette Valley/Georgia Basin eco region, one of the rarest prairie ecosystems in the United States. By collaborating with nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, corporations, and landowners we protect imperiled species and their habitats in perpetuity. Our headquarters are in Temecula, California, with satellite offices and conservation activities in California and Washington.

CNLM has staff with the legal, accounting, administrative, and biological expertise to provide full depth-of-service for natural resources stewardship, monitoring, restoration, and conservation easement compliance activities.


Preserve Management

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve

Preserve Manager – Ginny Short

Ginny Short manages the Center for Natural Lands Management’s (CNLM) Thousand Palms and McCallum Oases Preserve and the Dos Palmas Preserve. She also conducts conservation easement compliance activities on several conservation easements held by CNLM in the Coachella Valley. Joining CNLM in 2007, she brought with her over ten years of experience in biological monitoring, habitat restoration, and GIS and statistical analysis. 

Ms. Short has particular expertise in wildlife ecology and has used educational, professional, and volunteer opportunities to focus on the science and practice of bird conservation, particularly with nocturnal and diurnal birds of prey. She has many years of monitoring experience, including surveying for least Bell’s vireo (Vireo bellii pusillus), willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii), nesting birds, Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard (Uma inornata) and rare plants such as the Coachella Valley milkvetch (Astragalus lentiginosus var. coachellae) and Mecca aster (Xylorhiza cognata). She also has many years of banding experience with terns, raptors, and songbirds. She is experienced in wildlife rehabilitation, with training as a docent at the Los Angeles Zoo and the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, CA. More recent interests include studying the reptiles and amphibians of southern California and the ecology and natural history of the Desert Pupfish (Cyprinodon macularius). Ginny has experience working with many listed and vulnerable species. She holds a Master Bander permit for Burrowing Owls and for running MAPS/MAWS stations. 

Her extensive research on the western burrowing owl (Athene cunicularia hypugaea) has informed monitoring methods and conservation plans for this species and has been presented in numerous conference presentations and publications. Through her work with this species, Ms. Short has integrated research with conservation planning, and has engaged regulatory agencies, management agencies, and volunteers. Ms. Short received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from California State University, Long Beach, and completed her Master’s degree in Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology from the University of California, Riverside in 2008.

Preserve Management

Coachella Valley Preserve

 The COACHELLA VALLEY PRESERVE is a model of cooperation between federal, state, and private conservation efforts for managing sensitive natural areas. It is comprised of three (3) separate Preserves set aside for conservation in a landmark Habitat Conservation Plan signed in 1986 (see map).  These are the Whitewater Floodplain Preserve, the Edom Hill/Willow Hole Preserve and the Thousand Palms Preserve.

The Whitewater Floodplain Preserve (not to be confused with the Wildlands Conservancy’s Whitewater Preserveis largely owned by the Coachella Valley Water District (District) and managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). This is a small sand dune conservation area south of the 10 freeway around the area of Indian Canyon. It is not open to the public. 

The Edom Hill Preserve has a diverse land ownership including the BLM, The Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy (CVMC), The US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service), The Coachella Valley Association of Governments (CVAG), and Friends of the Desert Mountains (FODM).  Additional conservation lands adjacent to the Preserve and outside of it are continuing to be acquired to complete this Preserve. It is primarily managed by the BLM and CVAG.

CNLM, the Service, the BLM, California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW), California State Parks (State Parks), the Coachella Valley Water District (CVWD) and FODM are all part-owners of the Thousand Palms Preserve unit of the Coachella Valley Preserve. Each manages its own land in concert with the others. Preserve rules, policies and procedures are agreed on by the entire management team and are enforced on all land within the Preserve, regardless of owner. Additional conservation lands adjacent to the Preserve and outside of it are continuing to be acquired to augment this Preserve.

CNLM owns the heart of the Preserve, containing the Thousand Palms and McCallum Oases. The extensive trail system starts at the Palm Log Visitor’s Center. In addition to acting as the eyes and ears for the entire management team, CNLM staff coordinates the management of the trail system on the Preserve and manages the Visitors’ Center. The Center for Natural Lands Management is a private, non-profit organization dedicated to science based management of sensitive areas ( 

The Coachella Valley Preserve has been designated an Area of Conservation and Ecological Concern (ACEC) by the BLM. This means that the rules for access to the federal land managed by the BLM here are different than what is generally accepted use of  BLM land.  In many areas,  BLM-managed land is open to the public for hiking, camping, etc. There are no approved camping areas, nor are there any approved OHV access areas anywhere on the Preserve. For specific information, contact the local BLM office (

The Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge, managed by the Service, makes up the lower third of the Preserve. This refuge is closed to public entry to protect the federally endangered Coachella Valley fringe-toed lizard.

The Department of Fish and Wildlife (formerly Dept. of Fish and Game) has declared their portion of the CV Preserve an Ecological Reserve. Hunting and fishing are not allowed on this land. The Department owns land containing sand dunes and sand field in the southern portion of the Preserve. For information on lands open to fishing and/or hunting, contact the Department at

The Nature Conservancy was one of the major forces behind the formation of this Preserve. In 1998 it began the process of transferring both their land and management responsibility to the Center for Natural Lands Management.

For more information on any aspect of the Preserve’s management, feel free to call the Thousand Palms Office of the Center for Natural Lands Management at:

(760)-343-1234  [email protected]

Coachella Valley Preserve

Land Ownership

Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve

Center for Natural Lands Management (CNLM)                                        760-343-1234 or 760-731-7790

Thousand Palms ACEC

Bureau of Land Management (BLM)                                                              760-251-4800

Coachella Valley National Wildlife Refuge

United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)                                          760-348-5278

Indio Hills State Parks

California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR)                             760-393-3059

CDFG Ecological Reserve

California Department of Fish and Wildlife                                                   760-590-5158 or 760-251-4827

Other Conservation

Friends of the Desert Mountains (FODM)                                                     760-568-9918


Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC) and

   The Coachella Valley Association of Governments                                   760-346-1127                       

Coachella Valley Water District  (CVWD)                                                         760-398-2651