Stories

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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…

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09 Jul: Senate Passes Encouraging Farm Bill

On June 28 the Senate passed (86-11) a bipartisan Farm Bill that is free of attacks on the environment. The passage of a clean Senate bill is an important step forward, but we are not out of the woods yet as a conference committee still needs to resolve differences between the House and Senate bills. The Senate’s work has just begun, as they begin meeting with the House to come to a resolution. The bipartisan Senate bill rejected numerous attacks on our national forest and public lands that were present in the House Farm Bill. That bill narrowly passed just last…

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27 Jun: Protect NEPA!

The Trump administration announced plans for the largest roll back to the National Environmental Protection Act in its 48 year old history. The backbone of NEPA is the public review process allowing scientists, non-governmental organizations like Friends of the Inyo and the public to have a say on federal projects that impact public lands, air, water and wildlife. We know the current administration is no friend to the environment, but this is a step too far. NEPA underpins the requirement for thorough environmental analyses of every federal project. Although NEPA is not as well-known as the Clean Air Act and…

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26 Jun: Mono Basin Trails Day

After a massive mudslide destroyed the beginning of the Lundy Canyon Trail in April, our Stewardship Crew has been busy repairing the damage with funding from Mono County. On Thursday, June 14, community members joined the crew in Lundy for Mono Basin Trails Day. We had a great morning learning about the rebuild process from our expert crew, and helping them solidify the new trail corridor. Afterwards we debriefed at the trailhead with watermelon and lemonade. Take a walk up Lundy and let us know what you think about our work!

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20 Jun: Open House

Food, Friends, and Fun at our 2018 Open House Thanks for making our Open House another big success!  Over 40 people arrived to ask about policy, events, and projects.  With our packed summer calendar, everyone wanted to know about how to join us to work on their favorite trails at our volunteer events. Others came to chat about our hot policy issues, like the BLM’s decision to allow exploratory drilling at Perdito Canyon on Conglomerate Mesa. And with delicious snacks on every table and frosty beverages out back, there was truly something for everyone at the event. Enjoy some photos…

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04 Jun: Some Thoughts on Stoke and Conservation

Last month, High Country News published an article that posited an interesting thesis; that there might not be a link between outdoor recreation and conservation. Or, as the author titled it “Your stoke won’t save us”. The piece has created some waves in our little world at the intersect of environmental conservation and public lands, as well as the outdoor industry as a whole. The article landed in my e-mail inbox a total of six times, made the rounds of social media, and even prompted a dissenting follow up letter published in this month’s HCN. These pieces come at a time when our public…

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31 May: Threats to California’s Mining Regulations

California’s State Mining and Geology Board (SMGB) is under pressure from the mining industry to weaken regulations that could pave the way to expanded open pit mining—including industrial-scale cyanide heap leach mining at Conglomerate Mesa. Current California mining laws are some of the strongest in the nation and include stringent backfill requirements which result in many mining proposals being economically infeasible. The SMGB (which has no environmental representative), has issued a “Notice of Pre-Rulemaking Workshop and Public Comment period” to “review, and possibly revise, state policy pertaining to Performance Standards for Backfilling Excavations and Recontouring Lands Disturbed by Open Pit Surface Mining…

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31 May: Welcome our 2018 Seasonal Staff!

June is here, and we are very excited to have our Friends of the Inyo staff more than double in size! Say hello to our amazing summer staff. You’ll find them out on the trails, doing the on the ground work to keep your Eastern Sierra public lands in tip top shape. Stewardship Crew Astra Lincoln, Crew Leader Astra’s spent many seasons as a trail monkey up and down the intermountain west, harvesting plants, teaching antique tool use, and championing the silence of open spaces. She’s passionate about manual labor as a means of spiritual atonement and cultivating a sense of…

Round Valley Earth Day

04 May: Round Valley Earth Day

On Friday, April 20, the Horton Creek Campground was alive with archaeological artefacts, bighorn sheep skulls, stream macroinvertebrates, interesting rocks, Leave No Trace flash cards, Paiute words, and sixty-two children from Round Valley Elementary School. Led by Friends of the Inyo and the Bishop BLM, Round Valley Earth Day is a chance for the elementary school students to learn about many different aspects of the place where they live, from its indigenous history, to its plants and animals, to its recreational opportunities. The students arrived at the campground at 8:30am, and the clock began ticking. Eight educational stations were set…