Alex Ertaud

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…

twin creeks mine

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…

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31 May: Welcome our 2018 Seasonal Staff!

June is here, and we are very excited to have our Friends of the Inyo staff more than double in size! Say hello to our amazing summer staff. You’ll find them out on the trails, doing the on the ground work to keep your Eastern Sierra public lands in tip top shape. Stewardship Crew Astra Lincoln, Crew Leader Astra’s spent many seasons as a trail monkey up and down the intermountain west, harvesting plants, teaching antique tool use, and championing the silence of open spaces. She’s passionate about manual labor as a means of spiritual atonement and cultivating a sense of…

snow forest

06 May: Farm Bill HR2 Action Alert

Urge your Representative to Oppose the House Farm Bill H.R. 2 The Agriculture and Nutrition Act of 2018 (H.R. 2) is brimming with attacks on America’s bedrock environmental laws and our national forests. The House Farm Bill includes numerous Congressional exemptions for up to 6,000-acre forestry projects, including exemptions from public input and other critical environmental review. Such exemptions would prioritize logging over clean water, recreation, and wildlife. Please call your Representative and tell them you oppose H.R. 2 This bill promotes logging over other uses of public lands and creates backward incentives that would shift emphasis and funding from…

01 May: Birds spotted at the 2018 Festival

Below are the birds we saw at the 2018 Owens Lake Bird Festival: Waterfowl Gadwall American Wigeon Mallard Blue-winged Teal Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Redhead Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Ruddy Duck Rails/Crane Virginia Rail Sora American Coot Shorebirds Black-necked Stilt American Avocet Snowy Plover Semipalmated Plover Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Ruddy Turnstone Sanderling Dunlin Least Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Red Phalarope Towhees/Sparrows Chipping Sparrow Vesper Sparrow Lark Sparrow Black-throated Sparrow Sagebrush Sparrow Bell’s Sparrow Savannah Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Finches/Old World…

Mike prather at tungsten peak

24 Apr: Full Interview with Mike Johnston

A Talk with Mike Johnston Friends of the Inyo Executive Director Wendy Schneider sat down to talk with Eastern Sierra 4WD Club President Mike Johnston to learn more about his thoughts on the relationship between the OHV and conservation communities and the best way to move forward with helping each other to protect and care for our Eastern Sierra public lands.   So, how did you get to the Eastern Sierra?   Like a lot of the people here, I’m a transplant.  I grew up in Palmdale. At that time it had one traffic light.  I decided to leave the…

kids sledding at snow school

07 Mar: Two Stellar Days of SnowSchool with Mammoth Elementary School Fifth Graders

On February 13th & 14th, Friends of the Inyo partnered with the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, Mammoth Mountain Ski Area, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, and the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation to bring the SnowSchool curriculum to Mammoth Elementary School fifth graders for the second year. We were fortunate to get a quick dusting the night before our first day of SnowSchool. Perfect timing! The 2-3 new inches of snow provided a nice fluffy layer for the students to get used to their snowshoes. Though many had tried them out on the grass around campus during PE, this…

joshua trees near death valley

19 Feb: The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan is Under Attack!

***New Development*** The Inyo County Board of Supervisors will be discussing their draft letter to the BLM regarding the re-opening of the DRECP. The Board is currently scheduled to discuss the topic on March 20, 2018 at their Board of Supervisors meeting. Here are some talking points to help you prepare for the meeting: 1. Thank the Board for its stance taken at the February 27 meeting to oppose re-opening the DRECP. 2. Remind them that they wanted to insure that their letter sent a clear signal and not mixed messages, and the current letter does not clearly oppose re-opening.  The draft’s…