Alex Ertaud

03 May: Big Winter Means Summertime Snow: Tips & Tricks

Spring has officially sprung here in the Owens Valley. The Tungsten Hills have blooming wildflowers, the daytime temperature high in Bishop reached the upper-eighties last week, and the snow line is creeping up the mountains. All of these factors may conspire to create a false sense that snow-free high alpine days are right around the corner. But the fact of the matter is quite a bit different. As of May 1, there is still over 10-20 feet along the Sierra Crest, meaning that there is still a good deal of thawing that needs to be done before the high country…

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05 Apr: Spring Outdoor Programs Recap

Whew, the month of March has been a doozy for us and our stewardship and education programs! We started off with SnowSchool with the Bishop Elementary School fifth-graders up at Cardinal Village in Aspendell. In partnership with the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, and the Eastern Sierra Land Trust, we engaged 150 students over three days in snow science, creative activities, and fun games. A mere week later, we headed a bit lower to our high desert ecosystem in the Buttermilk Country, for a morning of Stewardship with the Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing…

racetrack playa volunteers after

05 Mar: Spring Stewardship Opportunities Abound

This Spring, we have a trio of volunteer opportunities in our desert and high-desert ecosystems. Saturday, March 23, 2019 – Death Valley National Park Badwater Basin Effacement Volunteer Project – Our partners at Death Valley National Park are looking for enthusiastic volunteers for a day of restoring a playa in the Badwater Basin, treating OHV trespass. Space is limited to twelve people, so please RSVP to me at alex@friendsoftheinyo.org and I will send you the full details. Sunday, March 24, 2019 – Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival Stewardship Day – Join us and partners as we send off the Women’s Climbing Festival…

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04 Jan: Friends of the Inyo’s Eastern Sierra 2018 Stewardship Work: The Year in Review

What a year it’s been! 2018 saw our Stewardship program tally some impressive numbers: We put on over 20 different volunteer events, which allowed us to engage over 400 volunteers for a whopping 1,919 hours of volunteer work! Through those volunteer events, our Trail Ambassadors, and Stewardship Crews, we picked up over 2,000 pounds of trash from our public lands front and backcountries, monitored 518.5 miles of trails, and removed 105 logs from said trails. Numbers are great, but why tell you what we did when we can show you? Here are some photos highlighting Friends of the Inyo stewarding…

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12 Dec: Installing Kiosks at the Buttermilk Boulders

At the end of November, Friends of the Inyo partnered with Touchstone Climbing, the Bishop Area Climbers Coalition, the Access Fund, and the Inyo National Forest to install two informational kiosks at the Buttermilk Boulders. The Buttermilk area has long a premiere bouldering destination for climbers from around the world. And through the proliferation of social media, the Buttermilk Country is more crowded than ever. With that in mind, Touchstone Climbing sought to help educate our visitors on some of the best ways to climb responsibly. And what better way to do that than with some eye-cathcing kiosks? Once the fetching…

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29 Oct: Member Profile: Amy King Miller & Steve Miller from Rock Creek Lakes Resort

Below is the unabridged version of a conversation featured in the Fall 2018 Jeffrey Pine Journal. In late August, Communications & Outreach Manager Alex Ertaud sat down on the deck of the Rock Creek Lakes Resort with Amy King Miller and Steve Miller, managers and co-owners of the aforementioned establishment. We touched on how they came into the role, what the place means to them, and how they came to be great supporters of the Trail Ambassador Program. Alex Ertaud, Friends of the Inyo: Sitting here at the Rock Creek Lakes Resort, right, that’s the official name? Amy King Miller,…

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23 Aug: Musings of a Trail Ambassador

by Melissa Petrich, Friends of the Inyo Trail Ambassador. As I patrolled the Horton Creek Trail I was reminded of a statement a friend made a few years back: “Environmentalists are the most selfish people.” At the time, this statement took me aback. Confused, I decided not to think about it too much, but here I am years later with that comment still in the back of my mind. His statement was quickly followed with, “Environmentalists are not trying to conserve the earth for the earth’s sake, but for the sake of humans. We are conserving it for ourselves and…

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27 Jun: Protect NEPA!

The Trump administration announced plans for the largest roll back to the National Environmental Protection Act in its 48 year old history. ***Update: The comment deadline has been extended from July 20 to August 20. Hooray! There’s still time to click here and tell the federal government that you want a say in how your public lands are managed!*** The backbone of NEPA is the public review process allowing scientists, non-governmental organizations like Friends of the Inyo and the public to have a say on federal projects that impact public lands, air, water and wildlife. We know the current administration is…

volunteers in alpine river

04 Jun: Some Thoughts on Stoke and Conservation

Last month, High Country News published an article that posited an interesting thesis; that there might not be a link between outdoor recreation and conservation. Or, as the author titled it “Your stoke won’t save us”. The piece has created some waves in our little world at the intersect of environmental conservation and public lands, as well as the outdoor industry as a whole. The article landed in my e-mail inbox a total of six times, made the rounds of social media, and even prompted a dissenting follow up letter published in this month’s HCN. These pieces come at a time when our public…

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31 May: Threats to California’s Mining Regulations

California’s State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) is under pressure from the mining industry to weaken regulations that could pave the way to expanded open pit mining—including industrial-scale cyanide heap leach mining at Conglomerate Mesa. Current California mining laws are some of the strongest in the nation and include stringent backfill requirements which result in many mining proposals being economically infeasible. The SMGB (which has no environmental representative), has issued a “Notice of Pre-Rulemaking Workshop and Public Comment period” to “review, and possibly revise, state policy pertaining to Performance Standards for Backfilling Excavations and Recontouring Lands Disturbed by Open Pit Surface Mining…