Golden State Naturalist

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…

Manzanar Photo - Primer Plano

FOI’s ‘Friends of Our Lands’ Column on Manzanar on the Front Page of this week’s Sierra Reader and El Sol de la Sierra!

In mid-March of this year, Friends of the Inyo’s Louis (Lou) Medina visited Manzanar National Historic Site for a private archeological tour arranged by our friends at the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest. It was truly an eye-opening experience led by Manzanar’s Cultural Resources Program Manager Jeff Burton. Lou wrote about the experience in English for this week’s issue of The Sierra Reader, and in Spanish for El Sol de la Sierra. His front-page story also reminds readers of the upcoming Manzanar Pilgrimage scheduled to take place April 29. Download a pdf version of The Sierra Reader by clicking here. Download…

Eureka Dunes

Death Valley National Park Seeks Volunteers to Help Monitor Plant Life at Eureka Sand Dunes in April!

Death Valley National Park needs hearty citizen science volunteers to help with annual monitoring of endemic plant species at the Eureka Dunes. This is a great activity for giving back to nature during Earth Day Month! Monitoring will be strenuous, requiring climbing to the tops of tall dunes and hiking up to five miles each day. Volunteers are encouraged to commit to an entire four-day monitoring period if possible. You can choose from the following dates: April 10-13, April 17-20, or April 24-27. At least two volunteers are needed for each four-day volunteer assignment. Volunteers will camp with park staff…


Big Pine Paiute Tribe Seeks Garden Manager – Apply by 5 pm (PST) Thursday, March 9!

The Environmental Department of the Big Pine Paiute Tribe of the Owens Valley is looking to hire a Garden Manager to care for and expand its garden and farmers market, as well as to conduct community outreach. This is a 32-hour per week position with benefits. Click here to view qualifications, salary range based on experience, and other job details, as well as to download an application. Applications will be accepted until 5 pm (PST) Thursday, March 9. Please help spread the word.

Snow School

What a Year for kids to learn about snow: At SnowSchool with Friends…of the Inyo!

By Lindsay Butcher, Stewardship Director SnowSchool is the nation’s largest on-snow winter ecology education program, with more than 30,000 annual participants at 60 sites across the United States. Developed by Winter Wildlands Alliance (WWA) to introduce underserved K-12 students to snow science and the wonder of winter landscapes, SnowSchool combines hands-on science education with snowshoe-powered outdoor exploration. The kiddos learn what the water cycle is and the part humans play in it, what our local watershed looks like and where we get our water from, where it goes, winter adaptations of animals/humans/plants, water-snow equivalency, and how to dig a snow…

Infographic_ FOI-Reframing Community-Based Conservation

Friends of the Inyo’s Community Engagement Work Featured in multi-state, 58-county report commissioned by Conservation Lands Foundation`

“Reframing Community-Based Conservation: Public lands advocacy in a changing cultural landscape” is the name of a recently published extensive report commissioned by Conservation Lands Foundation with a goal “to investigate the ways in which western communities are changing, the impacts that these changes may have on land management priorities, and how local conservation organizations can adapt to continue to fulfill their missions.” Friends of the Inyo is one of just five organizations featured in the report from among CLF’s extensive Friends Grassroots Network. “We chose FOI as a case study because of the steady increase of the Hispanic population in…

Bishop Senior Center

FOI Brings Community Cheer this Holiday Season by Highlighting Bishop Senior Center in El Sol de la Sierra & The Sierra Reader!

Friends of the Inyo is spreading local community goodwill and cheer leading up to the Holidays by partnering with Spanish weekly El Sol de la Sierra and English weekly The Sierra Reader. In both papers’ Dec. 22-28 edition, you will find FOI’s Lou Medina’s contributed column “Amigos the Nuestras Tierras” (“Friends of Our Lands”): on the cover of El Sol and on page 11 of The Reader.  Read all about Bishop Senior Center’s hot meals and home-delivered meals program, plus the many other services the center offers to Inyo County seniors. Happy reading…and if you like what you read, happy…

Whitebark pine 3_Credit Diana Tomback-2

Whitebark pine receives Endangered Species Act protection as a Threatened species

(Photo by Diana Tomback) In a December 14 press release, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service announced a final action to list the whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The Service has concluded that the whitebark pine is likely to become endangered in the foreseeable future throughout its range. Service Regional Director Matt Hogan said, “As a keystone species of the West, extending ESA protections to whitebark pine is critical to not only the tree itself, but also the numerous plants, animals, and watersheds that it supports.” The final rule to list…

Louis Medina Headshot

Listen to Friends of the Inyo’s Lou Medina talk from the heart on KMMT Radio about the importance of #GivingTuesday

Why is it important to give to charities on #GivingTuesday, and why, specifically, should you give to Friends of the Inyo at this time? If you don’t listen to KMMT’s John DeMaria’s interview with Friends of the Inyo’s Communications and Philanthropy Director Lou Medina, you’ll never know. Have a listen – then, if you get inspired, please go to and give to support our mission: To protect and care for the public lands of the Eastern Sierra. Your donation will be doubled thanks to a matching gift of $21,000!