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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…

SNFwalkingtoworklake_KenMiller

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.

Jora Fog and CLF in Washington DC

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…

trail work rock fall

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…

pleasant fire aftermath owens river

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…