Blog

03 May: New threat of hydroelectric comes to the Eastern Sierra!

Through a public notice and the diligence of our members and supporters, we recently learned of a proposal submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for construction of a large pump storage facility in the Wheeler Crest, Rock Creek and Owens River Gorge. Pump storage involves pumping water up-slope during times of low energy use/high energy production and then releasing it (in pipes in this case) downhill to create electricity when additional energy is required. This massive proposed project would impact the communities of Round Valley, Paradise and Swall Meadows. The project is within habitat for the endangered Sierra…

03 May: Bi-State Sage Grouse Public Comment Period

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) is soliciting additional public comments on its proposed rule to list the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of Greater Sage Grouse as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). This action follows a ruling overturning a 2015 USFWS and Department of Interior decision not to list the bird. As a result of this ruling, the agencies are required to re-analyze listing the Bi-State Sage Grouse. The notice announcing the reopening of the public comment period requires submission of comments by June 11, 2019. Comments can be submitted electronically at www.regulations.gov by searching under docket number…

Bryan holding trash

06 Feb: Making a Difference During the Government Shutdown

The government shutdown from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 was the longest in US history and its effects could be felt throughout the nation. With countless stories of its negative effects on our public lands,Friends of the Inyo couldn’t passively stand by and let that happen here in the Eastern Sierra. We organized trips to Travertine Hot Springs, Buckeye Hot Springs, Mono Lake Scenic Overlook, and Wild Willy’s Hot Springs to pick up trash and encourage others to care for these places as well. Although a simple idea, picking up trash can be a powerful tool. On the morning of…

June lake trails day parking lot

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…

Fire-prescribed fire forest understory

16 Nov: Devils Postpile Fire Management Plan

After 18 years the Devils Postpile National Monument is updating their Fire Management Plan. Managed by the National Park Service (NPS) and designated by presidential proclamation in 1911, the Monument protects 800 acres surrounded by the Inyo National Forest. 687 acres of the Monument is federally designated Wilderness. A new fire management plan is needed because the current management direction mandates full suppression and does not allow natural ignitions to be managed for ecosystem benefit. It also restricts fuels treatment projects to the northeastern 15% of the Monument that is not federally-designated Wilderness. Prior to 18th century fire suppression, lightning-ignited fire occurrence…

Coffee Outdoor Retailer

31 Aug: Outdoor Retailer as a Non-profit

How to Crush at Outdoor Retailer as a Non-profit Representing Friends of the Inyo at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market convention was a real treat. I’ve received questions from nonprofits about the experience and how to be effectively table at these type of events. Don’t be Afraid to Shine You offer value – non-profit tablers seemed timid, and I related to people tagged with “nonprofit” name badges. It feels awkward talking with industry representatives when they know you aren’t a big money buyer. Be self conscious in a good way. Be proud of your organizations work and mission. You offer a…

owens dry lake

29 Aug: Owens Lake Big Day

August 21 was the annual fall migration Big Day at Owens Lake. Big Days” are known in the birding world as days where we count as many individual birds as possible in one day. Our own board member Mike Prather organizes observers to assist Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) with these counts each spring and fall. This acts as a snapshot of peak migration numbers that help inform DWP’s management of the lake. While I’ve participated in many a spring Big Day, this year I decided to join the August event as well. The shorebirds and waterfowl…

backpacking near meadow

29 Aug: Highlights of the Final Forest Plan

The long awaited Inyo National Forest Land Management Plan was released in late July. Since then, Friends of the Inyo has been reviewing the final plan and supporting documents to understand how the plan intends to care for 1.9 million acres of Forest service lands in the Eastern Sierra. The plan includes how to manage and plan for recreation, protect at risk species, and recommendations for Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers designations. We’re finding that the final plan is a mixed bag. We remain concerned about the level of protection the plan would provide for natural resources on the…

fortune note in hand

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…