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15 Aug: A Week in the Wilderness

What a blissful five days of restoring our treasured alpine landscape with the Sierra National Forest and funding from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance! Stay tuned for stories from the trip. For now, enjoy these incredible photos by volunteer Ken Miller. Thanks to our stalwart volunteers, to the Sierra National Forest staff who helped lead the trip, and to a generous grant from the National Wilderness Stewardship Alliance that made this project possible. If you’d like to join next year’s wilderness volunteer work week, email info@friendsoftheinyo.org.

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06 Aug: Families Enjoy Rock Creek with Trail Ambassadors

A Better Family Vacation! Starring Trail Ambassadors at Rock Creek Julia Runcie and the Trail Ambassadors rescued us from our fourth of July doldrums. (They can save your family vacation too!) Friends of the Inyo leads family friendly hikes and volunteer events bringing lucky folks together with nature.  This last weekend included two hikes ripe with fun, sun, and adventure (for free!) Our family planned to bounce from car rides, the Mammoth Amusement Park,  sugar highs, boredom, fights, etc… Our weekend trip with Friends of the Inyo (A Better Way) My dad and I enjoyed getting into the John Muir…

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02 Aug: DC Trip to Protect Public Lands

Desert Lands Focus of Washington Visit Last month, the Conservation Lands Foundation sent a coalition of public lands groups to Washington DC. I was fortunate to join, and meet with our congressional offices about public lands. Friends of the Inyo has a long history working to protect the California desert. With recent administrative attacks it was a perfect time to meet with congressional staff and touch on current threats and opportunities. From hearing rooms to hallways to cafeterias, our meetings took place just about everywhere. Our packed three-day agenda consisted of a visit to the Senate building to meet Feinstein…

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01 Aug: Narrow Escape from Piute Pass

by Zak Keene, Friends of the Inyo Stewardship Crew Member On the last day in July, Friends of the Inyo’s Stewardship Crew and Trail Ambassadors headed out to Piute Pass, where a recent landslide had covered sections of the trail with debris. The overcast weather, while pleasant for working conditions, caused some trepidation among the crew as to what the rest of the day would look like. Nevertheless, there was work to be done, so we set about leveling the trail tread and moving rocks to prepare for building steps and check dams. After breaking for lunch, we began working…

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31 Jul: Halfway Point for the Trail Ambassadors

Thanks to YOU, we reached our fundraising goal this spring and were able to fully staff our 2018 Trail Ambassador Program with four incredibly talented individuals: David, Melissa, Lauren, and Robin.  Their beat extends from Cottonwood Pass to Lundy Canyon, and since June 12 they’ve been hard at work maintaining trails throughout the Inyo National Forest. The Trail Ambassadors also lead regular service projects for volunteers and teach interpretive programs on topics ranging from alpine lake ecology to mushroom ID. We’re blown away by everything the Trail Ambassadors have accomplished so far this summer: 1202 visitor contacts 736 hours of volunteer time…

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31 Jul: Watch Out for Washouts

Major storms in July devastated Eastern Sierra roads and trails. A 40-foot-high mudslide across 168 West stranded hikers in the Sabrina Basin, and severe washouts made the Pine Creek Pass and Piute Pass Trails nearly impassable. Another mudslide closed the Lundy Canyon Road and destroyed a portion of the trail reroute our Stewardship Crew spent three weeks building in June. Luckily, Friends of the Inyo’s Trail Ambassadors are poised to address exactly this type of emergency. With extensive experience, flexible schedules, and great attitudes, they can act as first responders for trail crises throughout the region. On short notice, we…

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27 Jul: Wildfire: the New Normal?

by David Wieland, Friends of the Inyo Trail Ambassador One of the great pleasures of backcountry trail work is disconnecting from the world for eight days at a time. News of new policies from Washington, family drama, and notices of late payment must all patiently wait for me to return to cell range. I distinctly remember leaving a project in the summer of 2015. The crew spilled out of the cramped van like a ripped open box of noodles, a cascading mess of torn sweatshirts, dirty hands, and sweaty faces all competing to get in the buffet first. We proudly…

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17 Jul: Join us to Protect Conglomerate Mesa

Support Conglomerate Mesa ***Update 8/2/2018: It seemed when SSR withdrew their application for exploratory drilling that we were in the clear. But  the mining claim holders have requested to transfer the approved plan of operation, and BLM granted the claimants 60 days to complete the transfer requirements. The fight continues! Help us protect Conglomerate Mesa by becoming a member today!*** Picture this: a gold mine on Conglomerate Mesa. A dusty cyanide heap-leach mine where there is now a quiet, culturally rich, open space filled with Joshua trees. All on Death Valley’s doorstep. It almost happened. In mid-May, Silver Standard Resources Inc. (SSR)…

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11 Jul: Pack it in, pack it out… Woof!

It was day one of my first hitch with Friends of the Inyo’s Stewardship Crew, and the energy level was electric. Stepping onto the job site for the first time is like stepping off the plane into a new land where everything is fresh and you can simply soak it up like a parched sponge. Each of my coworkers’ resumes boasted a wealthy history of trail work to supplement my own and I was positively giddy with anticipation for our first project together in Lundy Canyon. The spring snowmelt had loosened the soil on the mountain slopes, resulting in a…

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10 Jul: “There’s Strength in Numbers!” Bridgeport Trails Day 2018

Thanks to volunteer Wendy Marcus for sharing this brief piece about her experience at Bridgeport Trails Day… “We’ve had a house at Twin Lakes for three years, but this is the first time I’ve had the pleasure of helping out Friends of the Inyo with Bridgeport Trails Day (June 30, 2018). I brought along my friend Beth, and we got to work with Astra Lincoln and Dylan Welcome (and Dylan’s mom’s dog, Lady Jane!) and three other volunteers on the Upper Twin Lake Trail, clearing trees from the path as we came across them, improving creek crossings, and trimming brush…