Stories

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…

01 May: Birds spotted at the 2018 Owens Lake Bird 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…

01 May: New Partnership with CalTrout

This summer, Friends of the Inyo’s seasonal crews will delve into a new kind of stewardship: scientific data collection. In partnership with CalTrout’s Sierra Headwaters Region, we’ll monitor greenhouse gas emissions from three meadows on the Sequoia National Forest to determine the relative rates of carbon sequestration in degraded vs. restored meadows. Meadows cover only 1.7% of the Sierra Nevada range1, but their soils may contain up to 30% of the region’s organic carbon stocks2. When meadows are degraded, preliminary research shows they transform from net sinks to net sources of carbon3. Functioning meadows sequester carbon at six times the…

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24 Apr: Full Interview with Mike Johnston

A Talk with Mike Johnston Friends of the Inyo Executive Director Wendy Schneider sat down to talk with Eastern Sierra 4WD Club President Mike Johnston to learn more about his thoughts on the relationship between the OHV and conservation communities and the best way to move forward with helping each other to protect and care for our Eastern Sierra public lands.   So, how did you get to the Eastern Sierra?   Like a lot of the people here, I’m a transplant.  I grew up in Palmdale. At that time it had one traffic light.  I decided to leave the…

Michael hiking with muffin in the owens valley

30 Mar: 360 Degrees of the Eastern Sierra

Friends of the Inyo is using a 360-degree camera to show our wild backyard in a whole new way. Google for Nonprofits donated rental of this new type of camera, and I ran to the field to test it with an enthusiastic office dog. Google’s donation allows us to create and share scenes of our favorite places and events on their Google Maps platform. Friends of the Inyo also retains full ownership of the images. To test the camera unit we set out walking to one of my favorite quirky locations near Bishop. The unit resembles an upside-down walking stick…

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29 Mar: Graffiti Removal Magic

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. 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 the graffiti. An hour later, after the Snot…

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07 Mar: Racetrack Project Recap

Below is an excerpt from Julia’s Jeffrey Pine Journal article. Pick up a copy of our Spring JPJ this April for more stories from the Racetrack Project. My first sight of Death Valley’s Racetrack Playa was like a glimpse of another planet. The ancient lakebed was the color of tahini, spread out smooth and flat between jagged desert peaks. At one end, the startling black rock pillars known as the Grandstand caught the eye like a pin on a map. At the other, the famous “racing rocks” lay scattered, each sitting in the furrow it had etched as a mysterious…

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22 Nov: 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…

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10 Nov: 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…

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06 Nov: SnowSchool Grows in Mammoth

Partner Profile: David Page of Winter Wildlands Alliance Friends of the Inyo’s Ben Wickham sat down at Mountain Rambler Brewery in Bishop with David Page, Mammoth local and Advocacy Manager for Winter Wildlands Alliance, to talk about SnowSchool, a national education program designed by Winter Wildlands Alliance with 60 sites across the U.S. that educate 30,000 youth each year. For more about SnowSchool, visit SnowSchool’s website. What is SnowSchool?  David Page: Snowschool is a program that is developed by Winter Wildlands Alliance and has expanded to about 60 sites, and reaches about 32,000 kids a year. The goal is to…