Stories

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.

hiking mosquito flat MIchael Cleaver

06 Aug: Families Enjoy Rock Creek with Trail Ambassadors

A Better Family Vacation! Starring Trail Ambassadors at Rock Creek Julia Runcie and the Trail Ambassadors rescued us from our fourth of July doldrums. (They can save your family vacation too!) Friends of the Inyo leads family friendly hikes and volunteer events bringing lucky folks together with nature.  This last weekend included two hikes ripe with fun, sun, and adventure (for free!) Our family planned to bounce from car rides, the Mammoth Amusement Park,  sugar highs, boredom, fights, etc… Our weekend trip with Friends of the Inyo (A Better Way) My dad and I enjoyed getting into the John Muir…

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…

Stewardship crew Zak and Tyler

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…

crosscut saw volunteers forest

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…

trail crew and volunteers lemonade

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!

Jora at Open house

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…

volunteers in alpine river

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…