Sarah Thomas co-manages the Pika’aya Tooveep (“tortoise country” in the Shivwits dialect of Southern Paiute) Project. Supported by a dynamic partnership between Conserve Southwest Utah, the Shivwits Band, Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Washington County Habitat Conservation Plan, Dixie State University and Southern Utah University, this project elevates indigenous conservation perspectives in southwest Utah and offers rigorous internships for local college students. Pika’aya Tooveep aims to provide a holistic understanding of the biological and cultural importance of protecting threatened Mojave desert tortoise habitat. It is funded, in part, by the Conservation Lands Foundation.
Sarah has worked for numerous federal and state land management agencies, and previously served as the Public Lands Program Director for Conserve Southwest Utah where she received the Brian O’Donnell Excellence in Conservation Leadership Award from the Conservation Lands Foundation and the Pat von Helf Recognition Award from the Desert Tortoise Council for her work in advancing the protection of the Red Cliffs National Conservation Area. She is a graduate of Utah State University with a B.A. in English, Creative Writing and is passionate about language preservation, food sovereignty, community organizing, and conservation.