Our Story

The Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association (ESIA) has been committed to serving the Sierra for nearly fifty years. As one of the oldest nonprofits in the region, ESIA was established in 1970 by visionary citizens interested in helping the U.S. Forest Service provide interpretive education relevant to the unique surrounding landscape and to communicate with the public about the importance of public lands of the Sierra. Before receiving its nonprofit 501(c)3 status in 1971, ESIA became one of the first independent organizations in the United States to operate under a Participating Agreement with the U.S. Forest Service for interpretive services.

Today, ESIA holds Participating Agreements with three U.S. National Forests; the Inyo National Forest, Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, and Tahoe National Forest. ESIA holds one formal Vendor Agreement and two Cooperative Agreements with the U.S. National Park Service; Death Valley National Park, Devils Postpile National Monument, and Manzanar National Historic Site, respectfully. Additionally, ESIA holds a Cooperative Agreement for Visitor and Recreation Services: Education and Interpretive Projects with the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bishop Field Office.

Our Mission

Our mission is to educate and inspire people about Eastern Sierra public lands through high quality interpretive products, exhibits, and programs.

We operate outstanding bookstores, cooperate with our public land management partners to operate successful visitor centers, and provide high quality interpretive programs, exhibits, and publications throughout the Eastern Sierra. We do all this to educate and inspire people about this region, to encourage them to get to know the area better, and to enable everyone to be effective stewards of these resources.

Our Board

ESIA is governed by a voluntary board of directors representing a cross section of local businesses and professionals. Essential attributes include interests in conservation, recreation, environmental issues and education. Responsibilities include attending four to six board meetings annually, fiscal oversight, social and business interaction with ESIA partners, providing direction and guidance for the organization.

DON CHAMBERS  Chairperson

DR. CHAR MILLER   Vice Chairperson

ELIN LJUNG Secretary




Our Vision

Through our interpretive work and sales, we will create strong emotional and intellectual connections between people and the public lands of the Eastern Sierra, motivate people to protect and preserve this region through effective stewardship, responsible behavior and personal investment.

Our Staff

As a non-profit partner with the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management, the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association through its educational programs help build a strong connection between the public and the Sierra Nevada.

Jimmy Capangpangan

Climbing Ranger


Malissa Creekmore

Bookstore Manager

Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center/Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center

Alexa Flower

Climbing Ranger


Elmira Foley

Bookstore Manager

Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center

Jeff Gabriel

Executive Director



Karen Riggs

Bookstore Manager

Manzanar National Historic Site

Julie Rolfe

Sales Associate

Mammoth Lakes Visitor Center

Amy Sturgill close up

Amy Sturgill

Bi-State Sage-Grouse Data and Communications Coordinator


Myrna Tew

Bookstore Assistant Manager

Eastern Sierra Interagency Visitor Center

Molly Trauscht

Program Operations Director

CIG/Leave No Trace Trainer


Nichole Villanueva

Program Coordinator


Kirsten Whitt

Regional Manager

Tahoe National Forest/Humboldt-Toiyabe Supervisors’ Offices

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