Stories

05 Apr: CSU Long Beach Spring Outing to Conglomerate Mesa

“Oh, wow!” With wide eyes and a big grin, the last student crests the hill and catches his first views of Conglomerate Mesa. Our group, a dozen strong, gathers at the saddle just below the Mesa’s summit. Bryan Hatchell, Desert Lands Organizer at Friends of the Inyo, squats down to point out a spring parsley in bloom. The mid-day sun is warm on our backs, but now the gentle breeze from the West convinces us to put our jackets back on. We are all happy to take a break and quietly soak in the view. On Sunday, March 31st, Bryan…

snowschool1-2

05 Apr: Spring Outdoor Programs Recap

Whew, the month of March has been a doozy for us and our stewardship and education programs! We started off with SnowSchool with the Bishop Elementary School fifth-graders up at Cardinal Village in Aspendell. In partnership with the Eastern Sierra Interpretive Association, Winter Wildlands Alliance, the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center, and the Eastern Sierra Land Trust, we engaged 150 students over three days in snow science, creative activities, and fun games. A mere week later, we headed a bit lower to our high desert ecosystem in the Buttermilk Country, for a morning of Stewardship with the Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing…

racetrack playa volunteers after

05 Mar: Spring Stewardship Opportunities Abound

This Spring, we have a trio of volunteer opportunities in our desert and high-desert ecosystems. Saturday, March 23, 2019 – Death Valley National Park Badwater Basin Effacement Volunteer Project – Our partners at Death Valley National Park are looking for enthusiastic volunteers for a day of restoring a playa in the Badwater Basin, treating OHV trespass. Space is limited to twelve people, so please RSVP to me at alex@friendsoftheinyo.org and I will send you the full details. Sunday, March 24, 2019 – Flash Foxy Women’s Climbing Festival Stewardship Day – Join us and partners as we send off the Women’s Climbing Festival…

Bodie8

01 Mar: Success! Bodie Hills Winter Outing

On February 23rd, Friends of the Inyo staff and 21 eager guests set out for an adventure in the Bodie Hills. We convened at the bustling Virginia Creek Settlement for a hearty breakfast and great company. Nearly too full to function, our entourage of adventure seekers piled into cars and set out for the Bodie Hills. We soon arrived at the trailhead in Aurora Canyon and prepared ourselves for a trek in untouched snow. Snowshoers buckled up and skiers locked themselves in. Our Executive Director, Wendy Schnieder, quickly briefed the group on safety and best practices for a Bodie Hills…

27 Feb: Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Becomes Law

Alabama Hills National Scenic Area Becomes Law On March 12th, 2019 the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management, and Recreation Act was signed into law. Several areas were awarded a congressional designation by this bill. Among them are the Alabama Hills which were designated a National Scenic Area. This is the first instance of a California Desert National Conservation Land being awarded this designation. Click the link below to read the official press release by the Alabama Hills Stewardship Group to learn more. Alabama Hills Stewardship Group – Press Release    

07 Feb: Action Alert: Encourage Mono County to Attend INF Objection Meeting

Click here to read about the background of the Inyo national Forest plan. What’s happening? After a 35 day government shutdown, the Forest Service recently rescheduled their critical Objection Resolution meeting for February 19-21 at Cerro Coso Community College in Bishop. These meetings offer our last chance to get critical changes made to the plan regarding wilderness, rivers, wildlife, and recreation. Although the Forest Service recommended some new wilderness in the plan, they didn’t recommend any within Mono County – failing to recognize the Glass Mountains and other special wild places. The plan also falls short on recognizing eligible Wild…

CM11

06 Feb: Photo Tour: A Winter Trip to Conglomerate Mesa

I’ve been on several trips to Conglomerate Mesa in the spring, but never in the winter. In Fact, this was the first winter trip to Conglomerate Mesa for all of us. Since we had just hired Bryan Hatchell as Friends of the Inyo’s Desert Lands Organizer, we planned a trip to the Mesa with the goal of further familiarizing ourselves with the area and to scope for a potential outing in the near future. Conglomerate Mesa is an approximate 7,000 acre area between the Malpais Mesa Wilderness to the south and the Cerro Gordo Mine to the north. Read on…

Bryan holding trash

06 Feb: Making a Difference During the Government Shutdown

The government shutdown from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019 was the longest in US history and its effects could be felt throughout the nation. With countless stories of its negative effects on our public lands,Friends of the Inyo couldn’t passively stand by and let that happen here in the Eastern Sierra. We organized trips to Travertine Hot Springs, Buckeye Hot Springs, Mono Lake Scenic Overlook, and Wild Willy’s Hot Springs to pick up trash and encourage others to care for these places as well. Although a simple idea, picking up trash can be a powerful tool. On the morning of…

DC

09 Jan: Friends of the Inyo’s Eastern Sierra 2018 Policy Work: The Year in Review

It was a busy year in policy for Friends of the Inyo as we worked to protect the Eastern Sierra’s public lands: Our Work to Protect Our National Forests We welcomed a new Forest Supervisor on the Inyo National Forest, and introduced her to our 30-year history of engagement with forest planning and stewardship.    The Inyo National Forest released its final proposed management plan.  We filed an objection because we believe the proposed plan does not do all it can to protect the Forest’s ecosystems.  To facilitate public involvement in the development of the best possible plan, we held…

IMG_2746

12 Dec: Installing Kiosks at the Buttermilk Boulders

At the end of November, Friends of the Inyo partnered with Touchstone Climbing, the Bishop Area Climbers Coalition, the Access Fund, and the Inyo National Forest to install two informational kiosks at the Buttermilk Boulders. The Buttermilk area has long a premiere bouldering destination for climbers from around the world. And through the proliferation of social media, the Buttermilk Country is more crowded than ever. With that in mind, Touchstone Climbing sought to help educate our visitors on some of the best ways to climb responsibly. And what better way to do that than with some eye-cathcing kiosks? Once the fetching…