Events

June lake trails day parking lot

Ninth Annual June Lake Trails Day a Rousing Success!

Every year, June Lake Trails Day gets better and better! We love the fun atmosphere of the event, with prize donations from local businesses, a delicious free lunch, and a huge group of volunteers of all ages and walks of life. In 2018 our 44 volunteers did a dazzling job of clearing heavy brush from the Parker Bench and Yost Lake Trails, and showed off their crosscut saw skills by removing seven downed logs. Thanks to our partners, Mono County, June Lake Trails Committee, and the Inyo National Forest, and to all our wonderful volunteers for their hard work!

Michael Julia and Wendy in the car

Wilderness First Aid Certification Trip

Exploration outings are safer than ever… …after Friends of the Inyo’s road trip to our nearest Wilderness First Aid course!  Join us on this photo voyage through a weekend that prepared us for a summer of Stewardship and Exploration events. I was initially hesitant about another First Aid course filled with rounds of CPR demonstrations on a rubber torso, and lots of sitting and listening to an instructor. But the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) took a different approach with simulated patients acting out real scenarios (one was even an overzealous birder, perfect for our bird festival!)  The course touched…

Birds spotted at the 2018 Festival

Below are the birds we saw at the 2018 Owens Lake Bird Festival: Waterfowl Gadwall American Wigeon Mallard Blue-winged Teal Cinnamon Teal Northern Shoveler Northern Pintail Green-winged Teal Redhead Bufflehead Common Goldeneye Ruddy Duck Rails/Crane Virginia Rail Sora American Coot Shorebirds Black-necked Stilt American Avocet Snowy Plover Semipalmated Plover Killdeer Spotted Sandpiper Greater Yellowlegs Lesser Yellowlegs Whimbrel Long-billed Curlew Marbled Godwit Ruddy Turnstone Sanderling Dunlin Least Sandpiper Western Sandpiper Long-billed Dowitcher Wilson’s Phalarope Red-necked Phalarope Red Phalarope Towhees/Sparrows Chipping Sparrow Vesper Sparrow Lark Sparrow Black-throated Sparrow Sagebrush Sparrow Bell’s Sparrow Savannah Sparrow Song Sparrow Lincoln’s Sparrow White-crowned Sparrow Finches/Old World…

Buttermilk clean up

Graffiti Removal Magic

Flash Foxy Clean up! The third annual Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival stewardship event was an incredible success. One hundred and thirty-five women volunteered their time to pick up hundreds of pounds of trash, protect native plant seedlings, remove an old fence, and clean up campsites in the Buttermilk and the Volcanic Tablelands. Graffiti on Buttermilk Boulders One of the highlights of the day was a graffiti removal project led by our friends at the Bay Area Climbers Coalition and Touchstone Climbing. Volunteers decked out in stylish Tyvek suits used paintbrushes to apply a product called Elephant Snot (!) to…

toddler volunteer

Restoring Oak Creek

In 2007, a massive fire flared up along Oak Creek, just north of Independence in the southern Owens Valley. A catastrophic flood then scoured the creek in 2008, destroying much of the remaining riparian vegetation. Nearly a decade later, the creek is still barely vegetated and unprotected from future floods. We joined the Fort Independence Tribe, the California Native Plants Society, and the Inyo National Forest on December 14 to take a small step toward restoring Oak Creek’s streamside forest. With a troop of 20 volunteers, we worked until sundown and put over 250 locally grown native plants in the…

Ben presenting programs

1 Week in November

There’s an assumption that summer is our busy season, but in one week this past November, Friends of the Inyo’s staff illustrated how ambitious and inspiring we are at the following events: Presented about the connection between stewardship and advocacy at Winter Wildlands Alliance’s Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Lake Tahoe. Mobilized our members and the public to provide overwhelming opposition to the proposed gold mine at Conglomerate Mesa at the Inyo County Board of Supervisor’s meeting. Took 91 Mammoth Elementary students out for a Fall Field Day for SnowSchool to learn about watersheds and have fun in the Mammoth Lakes…

volunteers planting buttermilk boulders vehicles

We Broke a Record

Despite predictions of precipitation and howling winds, Sunday, November 5 was a gorgeous, sunny late fall day—perfect weather for celebrating the unrivaled climbing opportunities that grace Bishop’s backyard. As the culminating event of the American Alpine Club‘s Fall Highball climbing festival, we combined forces with the Bishop BLM to lead climbers in stewardship projects near our most popular bouldering areas. We planted native bitterbrush in disturbed areas in the Buttermilks and the Volcanic Tablelands, used local stones to delineate parking spots, trails, and campsites, picked up trash, and reduced fortress-like campfire rings to more appropriate sizes. Of course, it’s not…

Rachel monarch butterfly

Help Monitor Monarch Butterflies

Saline Valley Monarch Overwintering Opportunities: As you may know, monarch butterflies have declined by around 80% over the last 20 years. Scientists and citizens alike have been working to gather data that will help us make informed decisions about this species. Monarchs from the eastern U.S. overwinter in central Mexico while western monarchs typically overwinter on the coast of California. However, in some very unique areas in California, Nevada, and Arizona, monarchs are known to overwinter at inland sites. One of these areas is Saline Valley, part of Death Valley National Park. Starting in the 1970’s, a naturalist named Derham…

june lake trails day parking lot

Eight years in a row, June Lake Trails Day makes a difference

The iconic scenery of the June Lake Loop was the perfect background for a morning of stewardship last Saturday. A partnership between Friends of the Inyo, June Lake Trails Committee, Mono County, and the Inyo National Forest, the eighth annual June Lake Trails Day brought together 36 volunteers from as far away as Reno and Arizona. Volunteers tackled a variety of projects on popular trails, from pulling weeds, picking up trash, and repainting signs along the Gull Lake trail to crosscutting fallen trees on the Yost Lake trail. Steep trails like the one to Fern and Yost Lakes are very…