Blog

09 May: Springtime Skiing in the Bodie Hills

Potato Peak is kind of a cowpie shaped mountain in the northern end of the Bodie Hills, managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). As part of a project FOI has currently embarked upon, which includes inventorying motorized routes in BLM Wilderness Study Areas (part of the National Landscape Conservation System), I drove east out of Bridgeport on the Aurora Canyon road up to a junction that turns down toward Bodie State Park. Excellent scenery of the Bridgeport Valley, the Eastern Sierra, and down into the Bodie Basin is provided just at the top of the road here. Not…

07 May: Desert Alive in the Inyo Mountains – 5 May 2010

Yesterday, FOI Conservation Associate Andrew Schurr, Inyo National Forest Geologist Margie DeRose and I spent the day reviewing old mine shaft & adit sites along the Mazourka Canyon corridor in the Inyo Mountains that FOI’s Stewardship Crew will be fencing this season as part of an American Reinvestment and Recovery Act contract. The fencing is intended to ensure folks don’t stumble or drive into these roadside shafts while staring at red-tail hawks, limestone cliffs or GPS units. While the mines, old masonry walls and explosive views across the Owens Valley from the Inyos were great, Mother Nature’s knock out display…

27 Apr: Bodie Hills in Sunset Magazine

One of the West’s most amazing places is in our backyard. The Bodie Hills are a national treasure–read Sunset editor Pete Fish’s take on the newly proposed national monuments: http://www.sunset.com/travel/outdoor-adventure/proposed-national-monuments-00418000067445/page2.html

27 Jun: Golden Trout trip with Backcountry Horsemen

In early June we did a great trip down in the Golden Trout Wilderness, at the invitation of the Backcountry Horsemen and the Pacific Crest Trail Association, and with the Inyo National Forest. The adventure was in the middle of our gloomy June so we had great, cool, working conditions and even a bit of snow. After negotiating the lengthy drive from Bishop to the Black Rock Trailhead, near Kennedy Meadows we spent a night at the trailhead and then made the trek to Jordan Hot Springs. Some thirteen of us spent the next three days clearing MANY fallen trees…

03 Feb: 2009 Chocolate Peak Winter Expedition Successful!

Braving sunny wind-swept skies, temps hovering in the 50’s, and the possibility of missing the Superbowl, we managed once again to summit Chocolate Peak, in the Piper Mountains, on the FOI 2009 Chocolate Peak in Winter Expedition. Conditions made for easy walking – and challenging snowshoeing… Thanks whoever brought the chocolate torte! ¬†

25 Apr: Pulling Weeds

What is a weed? That’s the question I asked my group of high school students as we started a five day service learning program out at Eureka Dunes. Our work that week ranged from restoring illegal roads, helping to tune a barbed wire fence, campsite maintenance, and, yes, pulling weeds. I often wonder what the kids are expecting when they come on these trips. I the case of these kids, had they signed up only to fulfill a school requirement? Do the work, gimme my hours, thank you very much? The work done is what I think of as the…

16 Mar: More Tamarisk Bites the Dust

For the second year in a row we worked for most of a week in Saline Valley with a group from Washington State University, out of Pullman, Washington. After an impressive two day "commute" from Washington to Bishop eight WSU-ers and three FOIers drove in the south way since the north entrance is closed by snow. FOI has now helped support four trips to Saline so we know that any trip to the valley is a fairly big undertaking. It’s remote, the roads are rough and it has a distinctly backcountry feel. It’s not quite as big a deal when…

07 Jan: January storm

After a powerful and much needed winter storm things are finally starting to dry out and it has been pleasant enough these past few days to go out and walk around. One of my favorite hikes is out on the Tablelands,¬†where the attractions include lots of open space, interesting and colorful rock formations and, after a big storm, plenty of water. In such an arid land desert streams provide such a strange and wonderful sound, temporary and oddly out of place. I often wander out to the Tablelands and a few favorit haunts out there right at the height of…