Ben Wickham

Inyo Register article

Progress on the Owens River Water Trail Project

Thanks to all of your support at the Inyo County Board of Supervisors meeting and the LA water commision meeting, things are moving forward on the Owens River Water Trail Project, which Friends of the Inyo will be taking the lead on the long term, annual stewardship. Check out the Inyo Register article about the great support for the Owens River. Stay posted for progress moving forward.

2nd graders 2

Nature’s Classroom

Claudia Moya-Tanner’s son Bo explored Devils Postpile National Monumental with Bishop Second Graders on a project supported by Friends of the Inyo. Check out Claudia’s editorial, published in the Inyo Register on December 6.  Nature’s Classroom Exploring public lands through the eyes of children. There’s no better way to experience a sense of wonder than through the eyes of a child. For me, that means frequent trips with my son Bo to Devils Postpile National Monument, the protected public lands in our own backyard. The Monument has long been Bo’s playground, and one of his favorite places to learn, explore,…

john muir wilderness

My Favorite Trees

My Favorite Trees: Reflections on a forest, the whitebark among us. Ben Wickham I think I first noticed the dying trees in 2010, but others had observed them before me. A friend pointed it out one day while skiing along the Tamarack Bench in Rock Creek. A ski tour can be a quiet endeavor through a forest that at times may seem to have little to say or show besides the hum of the winter wind or chickaree tracks running from one tree to another. We paused in the grove of dead trees, and, standing among the skeleton snags, we…

hiking in front of humphreys

Humphreys Basin

“It takes all of us that love the wild to keep it wild.”   By Janet Carle I will never see the wilderness in exactly the same way after a five-day service trip into Humphreys Basin, organized by Friends of the Inyo in partnership with the Sierra National Forest. I have enjoyed many backpacking trips over the years, but “working” in the wilderness took my knowledge and appreciation to a whole new level. Our group of seven intrepid volunteers from all over California joined Sierra National Forest wilderness rangers Greg Dusic and Zach Barton and Friends of the Inyo staff Tristen…

tamarack meadow bw

Golden Trout Wilderness

“I sat watching this world slowly exist around me while every trouble I had trudged up here began to fall away.”  By Jack Hereford For nine days the Friends of the Inyo Stewardship crew packed into Chicken Spring Lake above Horseshoe Meadows. This was my inaugural season of trail work and the crew’s first big trip for the summer. I had already blundered through learning how to run a chainsaw, had no idea how to set a stone step and was quite unsure how many more 10 hour days of manual labor I could muster. For me this was the…


High Sierra

High Sierra “You get to connect with others in a way that reminds you how good people are.”  By Ben Wickham My first job out of college was in the Yosemite Wilderness, and being from Idaho, I knew nothing about the Sierra Nevada. It never occurred to me that mountains existed in California. That summer at Merced Lake changed me, and I fell in love with the unique, spectacular characteristics of the Sierra Nevada High Country.          After reading that opening paragraph, you can probably connect the dots on how I ended up at Friends of the…

kay up to the top

Glass Mountain Exploration

In July, Friends of the Inyo explored the Glass Mountains with about ten participants. Unique to the Eastern Sierra, the Glass Mountains run east-west and connect the Sierra Nevada to the Great Basin. This range is home to rare plant species like the Mono Lake Lupine, and provides the opportunity for species to connect between bio regions. Also, it’s just a darn beautiful place to spend a day. We began our hike at Sawmill Meadows, and wandered up the trail to the summit of Glass Mountain.   In the summer of 2016, the Inyo National Forest received comments on its…


2016 Summer of Stewardship in Mammoth Lakes

  Once again this year, Friends of the Inyo worked with partners MLTPA, Mammoth Lakes Recreation, the Town of Mammoth Lakes, and the Inyo National Forest with funding from Measure R to put on a series of volunteer events on trails and at popular places around Mammoth Lakes. In June, for National Trails Day, we signed trails, cut logs, and did other trail work around Panorama Dome. In August, for Mammoth Lakes Trails Day, we worked on trails around Earthquake Fault. The final day, the Great Sierra River Clean Up took place in September. The Great Sierra River Clean Up…

group at lake

Bay Area high school students help way out in the Ansel Adams Wilderness

We’re always inspired when we work with Athenian High School. Each senior at Athenian must take a wilderness trip with classmates. They begin in Northern Yosemite, and work their way into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. We usually meet them around the junction of Rush Creek and the John Muir/Pacific Crest Trail- about a 10-15 mile hike from the trailhead- when they are on day 20 out of 30 days of their trip. They are always enthusiastic, and still enjoying their time and each other. Many students have not backpacked before this trip, and its impressive to hear how well they’re…

2016 Trails Day Flier_0

June Lake Trails Day

What a wonderful place to enjoy a Saturday. As usual, people in June Lake were wonderful to work with (not that people in other places in the Eastside are not wonderful to work with). This year nearly 30 volunteers came out to help out on the Parker Bench Trail, Gull Lake Trail, and Fern Lake Trail. Together we were able to maintain nearly 5 miles of trail and removed 50 pounds of trash. Check out photos of volunteers removing invasive cheat grass and brushing the Parker Bench Trail. Volunteers “brushing” the Parker Bench Trail. Brushing is cutting or pulling vegetation overgrowing the…