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Stewardship Roundup: July 2023

Read some exciting progress notes from our Trail Ambassadors, with an introduction and post-note from Stewardship Director Lindsay Butcher. It is hard to believe, but here we are- already halfway through the Trail Ambassador season!  My how time zips by… Despite the multiple false starts of summer and the ongoing damage control from winter, our TAs have been up to some awesome work alongside our Forest Service partners. Here are some highlights from their last month of work. From Logan, TA on the Mt. Whitney Ranger District of the Inyo National Forest: My Favorite day this month- Overnight in the Eastern…

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Friends of the Inyo & No Hot Creek Mine join forces to oppose exploratory drilling for gold at Hot Creek

Emily Markstein, co-founder of, has been hired on a temporary basis by Friends of the Inyo as our Campaign Manager, No Hot Creek Mine. Emily will play a key role in organizing volunteers to monitor KORE Mining’s operations at Hot Creek, which could start as early as September 1 of this year, to make sure the company stays within the bounds of its approved projects. She is also working on developing a number of outreach and educational activities for the coming months. Read our full media release, which also gives the background of the KORE Mining saga, and has…

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Friends of the Inyo’s Pine Nuts Annual Impact Report for 2022 is hot off the press!

Pine nuts, a high-energy food, helped sustain Native peoples of the Eastern Sierra through the winter. Friends of the Inyo’s annual impact report, which we usually release at mid-year to celebrate the previous year’s accomplishments, is symbolically named thus to acknowledge the support of our donors, funders, and volunteers, whose generosity sustains our work of protecting and caring for the land and water of the Eastern Sierra.

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Second of a Two-Part Article on Cerro Coso CC’s Spanish Child Development Certificate Program

Caring for the Eastern Sierra also means caring for the people who live in the Eastern Sierra. Which is why, as part of its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion efforts, Friends of the Inyo’s column, “Amigos de Nuestras Tierras” (“Friends of Our Lands”), which publishes in local Spanish-language weekly, El Sol de la Sierra, looks to highlight news that can help improve the quality of life for members of our local Hispanic community. In the latest two issue of El Sol, our column has been focusing on Cerro Coso Community College’s Associate Teacher Certificate of Achievement Program, a 12-unit course taught online, in Spanish,…

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Fundraising Appeal: Help Us Drive Out the Ghosts of Mining from Eastern Sierra Lands!

Go to any ghost town in the Western U.S., and, if you can see beyond the romanticism of wooden mineworker shacks, company stores, hoist houses, mine trolleys and railways in tunnels that no longer go anywhere, you will see the ugly ghosts of desecrated landscapes, exploited resources, short-lived fortunes, and broken dreams. Those are the Ghosts of Mining Past, and they can teach us much about the industry’s boom-and-bust curse. That is the legacy of mining. It always has been.

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Naturaleza, Conectividad y Crédito (Nature, Connectivity and Credit) – Latino Conservation Week Event Coming to Bishop July 15!

Many national parks now require entry fees to be paid via credit or debit card. With access to nature—a costly affair—already a challenge for Latinos, cashless access to national parks represents still another barrier for ubanked Latinos to enjoy the great outdoors. In response to this, Friends of the Inyo is hosting a FREE bilingual outreach event called “Naturaleza, Conectividad y Crédito” (“Nature, Connectivity and Credit”) in Bishop on July 15, as part of Latino Conservation Week. In partnership with AltaOne Federal Credit Union, Naturaleza, Conectividad y Crédito aims to help local Latinos and others apply for credit to facilitate…

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A Burning Connection: Experiencing Personal Growth at the 2023 Burners Without Borders Summit

By Joseph Miller, Indigenous Community Relations Coordinator Introduction Burners Without Borders is a volunteer organization devoted to providing innovative disaster relief solutions, and supporting underserved communities by participating in service projects that promote resiliency. Since its inception, Burners Without Borders has grown to a worldwide organization and has become a forerunner in creative solutions to bring about positive community change. The 2023 Burners Without Borders Summit was held on May 19th through May 21st on the Burning Man Project owned Fly Ranch, located on the Hualapai Flat near Gerlach, NV. This is what I witnessed and felt as a summit…

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Friends of the Inyo Board Secretary Ellen Wehr Talks Water on Golden State Naturalist Podcast

Ellen Wehr is General Counsel for the Grassland Water District in Merced County. She has practiced water and land use law in Sacramento since 2007, specializing in Central Valley Project water issues.  Besides serving as Secretary on Friends of the Inyo’s Board of Directors, she also serves on the boards of Ducks Unlimited and Los Vaqueros Reservoir Joint Powers Authority. Listen to her talk to Golden State Naturalist Podcast Host Michelle Fullner about the geology, history and hydrology of California’s Central Valley. It’s a fascinating conversation!

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This year’s winter has FOI Stewardship Director feeling like a ‘dizzy ballerina’

By Lindsay Butcher, Stewardship Director The winter of 2022-2023 has been a doozy! As of the day I’m writing this blurb in late March, we are inching closer and closer to an all-time record snowpack, just shy of the 1952 record, with more precipitation on the way! This means we’ve had to be, well…flexible, to say the least, about managing our usual season of low-elevation Stewardship Events. Starting in November with the American Alpine Club’s Bishop Craggin’ Classic: The original project site was covered in 3 inches of snow the week before. Friends of the Inyo was able to pivot at…