The NALC Mission

The NALC’s mission is to acquire, preserve, and protect our sacred lands.

Focusing on aboriginal territory of tribes in present-day Southern California, the Native American Land Conservancy protects and restores sacred sites and areas, provides educational programming for Native American youth and the general public, and conducts scientific studies on cultural, biological, and historical resources on sacred lands. The organization started in 1998 with leadership from an intertribal cultural group interested in protecting off-reservation sacred sites in the Southern California desert. Today, the NALC’s work is more important than ever as development continues in the Inland Empire, Coachella Valley, and Morongo Basin.

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In 1769, more than 300,000 Indians lived in California. Today, an estimated 200,000 Native Americans continue to live in California, limited to reservations that represent less than 5% of lands that they used historically. Because Native Americans have been dispossessed of their lands since European and Mexican settlement, the vast majority of culturally- and historically-significant areas are no longer under tribal ownership or control. Present-day development further threatens these sacred sites and ecologically-significant areas. As many Native American communities cannot access or protect their own traditional cultural sites and sacred sites, groups like the NALC have formed to protect them.


The Native American Land Conservancy focuses on these off-reservation sacred areas. The NALC allows for Native American communities access to sacred sites, and works proactively to protect these ancestral sites for future generations.

Meet Our Executive Committee

Michael Madrigal (Cahuilla [Cahuilla Band of Indians])- President

Michael has served on the NALC for a number of years, most recently as President.

Note from Michael Madrigal >>

Sean Milanovich (Cahuilla [Agua Caliente Band]) - Vice President

Sean Milanovich has served on the NALC Board for a number of years, and is actively involved in organizing our Learning Landscapes program. He also serves on the Board of Directors for an NALC partner organization, Paayish Neken.

Sara Husby - Exective Director

Sara, Joins the NALC with 10 years of experiecne in land conservation. She is excited to join NALC to broaden native American voice in current issues and lead the conservancy in its mission to protect and preserve cultural lands. 

Nicole A. Johnson - Secretary

Nicole has over 10 years of experience in public policy and inter-governmental relations in Indian Country. She has worked with tribes throughout California on an extensive array of issues including cultural resource management, tribal law enforcement, public health, gaming, and economic development.

Board Members

Emerson Gorman (Diné)
Rebecca Kugel (Ojibwe)

Matthew Leivas, Sr. (Chemehuevi [Chemehuevi Indian Tribe])
Anthony Madrigal (Cahuilla)

Fay McClung
Dean Mike (Chemehuevi [29 Palms Band])
Theresa Mike (Lummi)

Bob Przeklasa
David Saldivar
Clifford Trafzer (Wyandot)



David Leon - Webmaster





The NALC’s Mission


    We innovate by pairing ecological restoration with sacred site protection. This combination protects ecological and cultural heritage in the Mojave Desert.

  • Cultural Heritage and EDUCATION

    Our Learning Landscapes program reaches tribal youth to reconnect them to the land and their culture. We also host events and lectures for the general public.


    Partnering with local universities and renowned botanists, the NALC has completed flora and fauna surveys of the Old Woman Mountain Preserves. Learn more about our scientific studies…

Our Publications

In the Land of Three Peaks: The Old Woman Mountains Preserve
In this NALC publication, Kurt Russo explores the past, present, and future of the Old Woman Mountains. This book highlights the importance of preserving the Old Woman Mountains as a sacred landscape.

Painted Rock and The Old Woman Mountain: A Learning Landscape

Learn more about experiential education in the Old Woman Mountains with this helpful guide from the NALC. If you’re looking for a companion to the Old Woman Mountains, you’ve found it!

Frequently Asked Questions


A land trust preserves and protects lands for its public benefit—including both use and resource protection. The NALC protects both natural and cultural resources through its work.


The NALC works primarily in the Colorado and Mojave Deserts in Southern California in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. The NALC also has worked with groups across California and the United States.


The NALC hosts events throughout the year that you can attend, including visits to the scenic Old Woman Mountains Preserve. We have some volunteer opportunities as well—use the contact us form to hear about these opportunities.