In 2007, a massive fire flared up along Oak Creek, just north of Independence in the southern Owens Valley. A catastrophic flood then scoured the creek in 2008, destroying much of the remaining riparian vegetation. Nearly a decade later, the creek is still barely vegetated and unprotected from future floods.
We joined the Fort Independence Tribe, the California Native Plants Society, and the Inyo National Forest on December 14 to take a small step toward restoring Oak Creek’s streamside forest. With a troop of 20 volunteers, we worked until sundown and put over 250 locally grown native plants in the ground!
Late fall in the Eastern Sierra is the perfect time to plant bitterbrush and other native vegetation. Plants require less water during this season and cooler temperatures encourage them to grow strong root systems rather than diverting energy toward leaves and stems above ground. By the time the hot and dry weather rolls around, these plants should be well established and able to withstand the East Side’s extreme summer.
If you’d like to Adopt-A-Planting by watering one of our planting sites every two weeks, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.