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Rare plant treasure hunters at Osa Meadows

You Won't Find Plants by Looking Up!
Award-winning photo by Rich LaShure

Calendar of Events

General Chapter Meetings and Presentations, Chapter Field Trips, Annual Chapter Events, Creosote Ring Subchapter Events, and other, non-CNPS events which may be of interest to our members are posted here, organized by date. For board meetings, click here.

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Upcoming Events:

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All events are subject to change - please check back here often for updates, additions, cancellations, etc. For trips involving traveling any distance to meet, it's also a good idea to check with the trip leader the day before to make sure nothing has changed.

We are starting back to in-person events! Wear a mask, keep physical distance, wash your hands, and get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible - let's get through this!

January 2022

January 10–12, 2022, Monday-Tuesday, online Wednesday: Northern California Botanists Symposium, California State University, Chico

Northern California Botanists is having their next symposium at California State University, Chico on January 10-11, 2022 with online workshops on the 12th. A 2-day schedule of presentations by working botanists will include sessions on: The Power of Pollination: Habitat, Conservation, and Plant Interactions, Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ethnobotany, Great Basin Restoration Approaches, Riparian Vegetation Restoration from Theory to Practice, New Discoveries, Now the Good News, and a Poster Session. Our Keynote Address by Dr. Frank Kanawha Lake is titled "Indigenous Knowledge and Ethnobotany: Tribal Understandings and Connection of Plants and the Environment." More information and registration is available at: http://www.norcalbotanists.org/

CNPS Event January 19, 2022, Wednesday, 6 pm: Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting, Bristlecone Chapter Event

All members are welcome to join. Contact our Secretary, Kathleen Nelson, at secretary@bristleconecnps.org for the Zoom link.

CNPS Event January 21, 2022: Deadline for Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant Applications

Grants are for research and projects that increase the understanding and appreciation of native plants and ecosystems in the Eastern Sierra and are primarily targeted to graduate students, college students, and primary and secondary students (K-12) and their teachers. Research projects need not be academic or scholarly but must be relevant to the native plants of the northern Mojave Desert, Sierra Nevada, and Great Basin portions of eastern California. Projects should be conducted at least in part within Inyo or Mono Counties.

Grant recipients receive up to $1,000 each for expenses and are asked to present their results to the Bristlecone Chapter either at a regular meeting or in the chapter newsletter. The deadline for submissions to the 2022 Grant is January 21, 2022. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by early March, 2022. More information and application materials may be found at: http://bristleconecnps.org/dedecker/grant/index.php

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February 2022

February 5, 2022, Saturday, 9am-3pm: Bodie Hills Winter Outing, Friends of the Inyo

Join Friends of the Inyo for a fun outing on skis or snowshoes to explore the Bodie Hills. All ages and skill levels are welcome. Meet at the Virginia Creek Settlement in Bridgeport at 9am. Bring water, lunch, snacks, camera, and skis or snowshoes. If you don’t have any, FOI will have snowshoes to borrow. Dress in warm clothing. Contact FOI if you need more information on the event, guidance on gear and/or what to bring. https://friendsoftheinyo.org/event/bodie-hillswinter- outing-2022/

CNPS Event February 15: March-April Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter Deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the March-April Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter to our Newsletter Editor, Elaine Chow, at newsletter@bristleconecnps.org. Contact Elaine with any questions.

February 26 2022, Saturday 9am-4pm: Changes in the Boraginaceae: New families, new genera, and new species, Michael G. SimpsonMatt GuilliamsKristen Hasenstab-Lehman, Jepson Herbarium Workshop (Virtual workshop hosted ONLINE)

This course will review changes in the plant family Boraginaceae, to be reflected in the December 2021 Jepson eFlora revisions. Based on molecular phylogenetic studies, the family as it was previously circumscribed, is now split into six: Boraginaceae, Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae, and Namaceae. We will briefly review the evidence that supports these new family circumscriptions.

The majority of the course will focus on a review of the California genera of the Boraginaceae s.s. (in the strict sense, as newly treated in the eFlora), focusing on subtribe Amsinckiinae, the “popcorn flowers.” Using updated taxonomic keys, we present the currently circumscribed genera of this complex, including four genera previously included within Cryptantha and three genera previously included within Plagiobothrys, and one genus previously included within Pectocarya. Diagnostic features of these genera will be reviewed and major species complexes within them illustrated primarily with nutlet images. We aim to present participants with an overview of identification of these plants, often considered difficult even by professional botanists. Course Fee: $125/$155

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form and see more Jepson Herbarium Workshops here.

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March 2022

March 18, 2022, 9-3 (virtual), and March 19 or March 20 (in-person): Fern evolution and identification, with an emphasis on California taxa, with Carl Rothfels, a Jepson Herbarium Workshop (Virtual workshop hosted ONLINE and in-person at UC Berkeley)

Become fern fluent! This course will be an introduction to the ferns of the world, with a focus on native species that occur in California. We will learn the basics of fern morphology (What is an indusium? Is a frond just a leaf by another name?), fern ecology (including the spectacular desert ferns of the southwest), fern evolution (Are ferns “ancient” plants? What are their closest living relatives?), and fern taxonomy (Why did all the Cheilanthes in California become Myriopteris?).

On Friday, the workshop will begin with a review of the morphology, evolution, and ecology of ferns and a description of the major groups of ferns (worldwide). In the afternoon, the workshop will focus on the classification of California ferns and the characters that define the major families and genera represented in California.

The in-person day (Saturday or Sunday) will begin with keying species that occur in the San Francisco Bay Area. This portion of the workshop will give participants hands-on experience using microscopes and identifying and understanding the characters needed to identify ferns. In the afternoon, participants will tour the UC Botanical Garden to see the impressive fern collection there and to practice their new-found skills.

Transportation not provided. Personal vehicle required for botanic garden field trip.
Start/End: Friday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm. (virtual)
In-person session at UC Berkeley - either Saturday OR Sunday (9:00 am – 4:00 pm).

Course Fee: $275/$305

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

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April 2022

CNPS Event April 15: May-June Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter Deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the May-June Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter to Newsletter Editor, Elaine Chow, at newsletter@bristleconecnps.org. Contact Elaine with any questions.

April 28 – May 1, 2022: Flora of Northern Inyo County with  Steve Schoenig and Dana York. Based in Bishop with travel to local field sites , Jepson Herbarium WorkshopWorkshop is full! Waitlist only.

The first day of the workshop will be spent exploring the eastern Sierra near Bishop. We will climb into the Buttermilks, an area renowned for its bouldering (rock climbing) opportunities, and chase wildflowers between the glacial erratics (aka the large boulders that were carried by glaciers away from where they originated). We may also venture into Bishop Creek canyon or lower Coyote Ridge depending on where the flowers are showing off.

On the second day, it's an early start and road trip to Eureka Dunes. The Eureka Dunes, added to Death Valley National Park with the passage of the California Desert Protection Act in 1994, lie in the remote Eureka Valley. Eureka Valley is an enclosed basin at an elevation of 3,000 feet located in the northern portion of the park. The dunes cover an area only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, yet they are the tallest sand dunes in California and the second tallest in North America. They rise suddenly more than 680 feet above the dry lakebed at their western base. As tall as these dunes are, they are dwarfed by the impressive, striated limestone wall of the Last Chance Mountains which rises another 4,000 feet above the valley floor. This will be a long driving day (but worth it)!

At the top, the sweeping view seems reward enough for your efforts to achieve the summit, yet if the sand is completely dry you may experience one of the strangest phenomena to be found in the desert, singing sand. When the sand avalanches down the steepest face of the highest dune, a sound like a bass note of a pipe organ or the distant drone of an airplane can be heard emanating from the sand. If the dune is at all damp (even though it may not feel so to the touch) no sound will be made.

And did we mention the plants? Well the dunes are home to numerous wildflowers especially in a good year! Besides cool wildflowers, participants will encounter the three notable Eureka Dunes endemic (found nowhere else) plants. They are shining milkvetch (Astragalus lentiginosus var. micans) CA Rare Plant Ranked 1B.2, Eureka Dunes evening primrose (Oenothera californica subsp. eurekensis) CA Listed Rare, CA Rare Plant Ranked 1B.2, and Eureka dunegrass (Swallenia alexandrae) Federal Listed Threatened, CA Listed Rare, CA Rare Plant Ranked 1B.2.

The Last Chance Range is the northernmost mountain range in the Mojave Desert and comprise a blending of Mojave and Great Basin flora. The beautiful layer cake of continuous geological strata spanning 180 million years of ocean sediments from the Cambrian to mid Paleozoic periods. By driving up Hanging Rock Canyon, eastward from Eureka Valley, we climb through many different layers but quickly top out in the famous Bonanza King formation of limestones and dolomites. Many of the plants up here are endemic to these desert carbonate cliffs and some are local endemics, found only in this region. We will see dozens of plants mainly found in Mojave carbonate substrates. We will also see rare plants such as Death Valley monkeyflower (Diplacus rupicola), Gilman's desert parsley and buckwheat (Cymopterous gilmaniiEriogonum gilmannii), Nudestem sunray (Enceliopsis nudicaulis), Shockley's prickleleaf (Hecastocleis shockleyi), Panamint Phacelia (Phacelia perityloides) and many others. Of general interest (or abhorance) are artifacts of historic mining including the largest open-pit sulphur mine in North America.

The final half-day of the workshop will conclude with a short drive and hike to the Champion Spark Plug Mine (cool Jeffrey pine forest) in the White Mountains and/or a visit to Fish Slough to see the Fish Slough milkvetch (Astragalus lentiginosus var. piscinensis) and alkali mariposa lily (Calochortus striatus).

Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trip. Vehicles must have good clearance and sturdy tires (including spare!). High clearance 4x4 with extra passenger space preferred. Carpooling is encouraged. On the second day of the workshop, we will have a long drive to and from the field site (2.5 hours one way).
Hiking: Moderate to difficult and in extreme desert conditions (e.g., sun, heat, wind).
Start/End: Thursday 6:00 pm – Sunday 12:00 pm.
– One week before there will be an introductory Zoom session.

Course Fee: $450/$480

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

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May 2022

May 13 – 15, 2020: Flora of the Northern Mendocino Coast with Teresa Sholars In-person at Mendocino Community College and in the field at local sites, organization, Jepson Herbarium Workshop

The Mendocino Coast has a diverse flora rich in rare species and rare vegetation that is largely undocumented; many of the species have not yet been recorded for this area and none of the coastal terrace vegetation has been mapped. In this workshop we will spend most of the time in the field, checklist in hand, looking at the incredible floral displays and rare forest types that occur along the north coast of Mendocino County. Part of the itinerary will depend on the winter rains but on Saturday, an all-day hike is possible.

Accommodation/meals: Not provided. (for those that wish to join, we will have a potluck dinner on Friday night).
Transportation: Personal vehicle required for field trips (carpooling possible).
Hiking: Easy, but up to 5 miles.
Start/End: Friday 9:00 am – Sunday 12:00 pm.

Course Fee: $350/$380

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

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June 2022

CNPS Event June 15: July-August Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter Deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the March-April Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter to our Newsletter Editor, Elaine Chow, at newsletter@bristleconecnps.org. Contact Elaine with any questions.

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July 2022

July 14-17, 2022: Sky Island Flora of the White Mountains, Jepson Herbarium Workshop, Jim Morefield, White Mountain Research Center, Bishop and Crooked Creek.

The White Mountains are located at the southwest corner of the Great Basin floristic region, and their geologic and habitat diversity, high relief (spanning 4,000-14,246 feet elevation), and proximity to the Sierra Nevada and Mojave Desert all contribute to an unusually rich and well-documented flora of over 1,100 taxa. They are also known for the oldest living trees, the highest point in Nevada, and the third highest peak in California. By mid-July, the subalpine and alpine floras are coming into their peak blooming periods.

Through driving tours (up to 50 miles each day) and easy to moderate hikes (up to 4 miles), participants will have the opportunity to explore the southern half of the White Mountains, observing and identifying diverse plants and learning to recognize various geologic and ecologic settings that influence species distributions and adaptations. Thursday morning, we will start from Bishop and stop at several points up the elevation gradient to our weekend base station at Crooked Creek (10,000 feet). Friday and Saturday will be spent visiting wetland and upland sites in various geologic settings at elevations up to 13,000 feet, depending on seasonal conditions. Sunday morning will include additional field time before our final lunch stop as we leave the mountains.

Accommodations: Shared dormitories with bathrooms.
Meals: Provided by field station.
Transportation: Vehicles must have good clearance and sturdy tires (including spare!). Carpooling possible. High clearance 4x4 with extra passenger space preferred.
Hiking: Easy to difficult: If we go up any steep and/or rocky hillsides, it will be very slowly while we look at plants, and the distances will be pretty short. Participants should use their discretion if they will be able to adjust quickly to hiking at elevations above 10,000 feet.
Start/End: Thursday morning - Sunday afternoon.
Course Fee: $550/$580.

If you are interested in this workshop, please fill out this Google form.

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August 2022

CNPS Event August 15: September-October Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter Deadline

Today is the deadline for submissions for the March-April Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter to our Newsletter Editor, Elaine Chow, at newsletter@bristleconecnps.org. Contact Elaine with any questions.

CNPS Event August: Native Plant Sale - Bristlecone Chapter Event - Details TBA - check back for updates!

Participate in the Bristlecone Chapter’s Plant Sale to purchase your garden’s native plants for the fall season. Invite passing pollinators to your outdoor space and celebrate the new gardening season! Click here for a list of plants that have been available at past sales. Proceeds from the annual native plant sales provide funding for our Mary DeDecker Botanical Grants. The grant program is a fitting way to remember Mary DeDecker’s many contributions to the people and plants of the Eastern Sierra.

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September 2022

September 22 – 25, 2022: Some Like It Hot: Late Summer Flora of the Eastern Mojave Highlands, Jim André and Tasha La Doux, Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, Jepson Herbarium Workshop

The Eastern Mojave Desert represents one of the most floristically diverse regions in California. This incredible diversity is, in part, due to the region's proximity to the North American Monsoon and its prominent summer rainfall regime. Approximately 10% of eastern Mojave annuals are considered "summer annuals," species that germinate following summer rainfall. In addition, more than 25% of perennial species in this region flower in late summer/early fall. Examples of plant families that respond to summer rain include: Nyctaginaceae, Amaranthaceae, Euphorbiaceae, Polygonaceae, Poaceae, and Asteraceae. This course will introduce botanists to the ecology and taxonomy of the diverse late summer/early fall flora in the eastern Mojave Desert, with special emphasis on rare or unique species. Through field observation, lab identification, and evening presentations, participants will gain a better understanding for the major plant families that comprise the hot-season flora. This field-intensive workshop is intended for botanists with moderate to advanced taxonomic training, but also for those with an interest in learning more about this seldom-seen component of California's flora. Field trips will target the mid to higher elevations of the Mojave National Preserve, planned in accordance to optimal blooming conditions.

Note: Drop dead deadline = August 31, 2022 - workshop will be cancelled without sufficient rain.

Accommodations: Shared dormitories with bathrooms. Tent camping will also be available.
Meals: Catered meals - dinner Thursday through lunch Sunday included.
Transportation: Vehicles must have good clearance and sturdy tires (including spare!). Carpooling possible. High clearance 4x4 with extra passenger space preferred.
Hiking: Easy to moderate; short hikes in sometimes rugged terrain and desert conditions (sun, heat, wind).
Start/End: Thursday 4pm - Sunday 12:00 pm.
Course Fee: $570/600

If you would like to be added to the waitlist, please fill out this Google form.

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Being Planned:

The Bristlecone Chapter normally hosts two events on alternate years – a Spring or Summer Sojourn and the Bristlecone Chapter Banquet. In 2013 we held a Spring Sojourn in Big Pine. The Sojourn is a weekend of field trips, evening programs and visiting. In 2009 it was held in July at the Crooked Creek Facility in the White Mountains. In 2011 and 2012 we did not hold a special event due to lack of available volunteers. The 2010 Banquet was held in July at the Crowley Lake Community Center. In order to continue hosting these events, we need volunteers. If you are interested in volunteering to help organize events or to lead a trip, contact any board member!

Look for future events here, including field trips, meetings, future Spring or Summer Sojourns (weekends of field trips), Banquets, Native Plant Sales, Conferences and other events of interest to botanically minded folks.

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About Bristlecone Chapter Events

Bristlecone Chapter Field Trips:

Every year the Bristlecone Chapter plans a variety of excursions to interesting and floriferous places. Our trips usually begin in late March to points in the low desert of our region, such as Death Valley or the Mojave Desert, where the flower display begins in early spring. We generally follow the flowers up in elevation as spring and summer progress, ending our quest for blooms in the highest regions of our awesome surrounding mountains in mid-summer. Our explorations usually finish with an appreciation of fall colors displayed in the extensive aspen groves found in the Eastern Sierra. We also schedule seed collecting or cleaning trips and work parties at the Mary DeDecker Native Plant Garden in Independence.

Everyone is welcome on our field trips, whether or not you are a member of CNPS, and whether or not you know a turnip from a scarlet monkeyflower!

Please keep in mind that all events, especially field trips which rely on outdoor conditions, are subject to change. Check back here often for updates, additions, cancellations, etc. Also, especially for events requiring travel, consider contacting the trip leader the day before the trip to confirm.

Field Trip Policies

Event Photos

See photos of previous field trips and events in our scrapbook, and more recent event photos may be found on our Facebook Page

Annual Bristlecone Chapter Events:

The Bristlecone Chapter hosts two events on alternate years – a Sierra Spring or Summer Sojourn, and the Bristlecone Chapter Banquet. Whether we hold these special events or not in a given year depends on how many dedicated volunteers step up to organize and help make them happen. If you are interested in volunteering to help us put on one of these events, or for any other reason, contact any board member!Our chapter members are encouraged to attend both events. The public is also welcome.

The Sojourn is a weekend of field trips, evening programs and visiting. In 2013 it was held at the end of May at the Sierra Adventure Center at Bernasconi Ranch located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains west of Big Pine at an elevation of about 5000 feet. In 2009 it was held in July at the Crooked Creek Facility in the White Mountains. Watch the newsletters and events page for when the next event is planned!

Also don't miss our Annual Native Plant Sales!

General Bristlecone Chapter Meetings and Presentations:

Membership meetings include brief discussion of chapter business, followed by a presentation by a guest speaker. Presentations are geared to appeal to persons of a wide range of knowledge of native plants, from beginners to professional botanists. The November meeting each year is a pot luck, often with a members’ slide show in lieu of a speaker.

Unless otherwise announced, General Chapter Meetings will be at the White Mountain Research Station (3000 E. Line St. Bishop).

Board Meetings

Board Meeting locations will be announced on this site and via email before each meeting, and have been held at the USFS/BLM Conference Room (351 Pacu Lane, Bishop), the ESICE office (2nd and Pine, Bishop), the Friends of the Inyo offices (819 North Barlow, Bishop), or board member's homes in the past. For information on our southern sub-chapter meetings, see the Creosote Ring Sub-Chapter page.


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