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Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society

Spring Flower - Mojave Woodyaster

Mojave Woodyaster, Black Canyon,
Photo by Larry Blakely

The California Native Plant Society (CNPS) is a state-wide 501(c)3 non-profit organization of lay persons and professionals who share an interest in California’s native plants. The Society, working through its local chapters, seeks to increase the understanding of California’s native flora and to preserve this rich resource for future generations. Membership is open to all.

The Bristlecone Chapter covers all of Mono and Inyo Counties and northeastern Kern County, an area that includes the east slope of the Sierra Nevada, the Northern Mojave Desert, the Inyo and White Mountains, and the Owens Valley. The southern end of the Bristlecone Chapter’s geographically large territory, in and around the Indian Wells Valley, has its own sub-chapter, Creosote Ring.


The January-February 2018 Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is February 15th.

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Upcoming CNPS Events

Field Trips, Meetings, and other events of interest scheduled for the next month or so – for more events, including non-CNPS events which may be of interest to our members, see our Events Page.

CNPS Event March 13, Tuesday, 9am, Bristlecone Chapter Volunteer Opportunity: Bitterbrush planting to help with Round Fire recovery

Volunteers Needed Tuesday, March 13, 9:00 am Come help water the bitterbrush seedlings planted in the Round Fire burn areas. We meet at the corner of Boundary Road and Lower Rock Creek Road. Let Katie know before the 13th if you are coming so that we can plan for you. Contact Katie Quinlan at

CNPS Event March 14, 2018,Wednesday, 6pm, Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting

Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting Wednesday, March 14, 6:00 pm Eastern Sierra Land Trust, 250 N. Fowler, Bishop. All members are welcome.

CNPS Event March 21, 2018, Wednesday, 7:00pm, Bristlecone Chapter Program: Bishop Paiute Tribe Food Sovereignty Program Overview: Highlighting the Program’s Work with Native Food Plants. Speaker: Jen Schlaich. Location: George Lozito Conference Room, Jill Kinmont Boothe School, 166 Grandview Dr., Bishop

Food Program Specialist for the Bishop Paiute Tribe's Food Sovereignty Program, Jen Schlaich, will be sharing an overview of the program's work. Jen will highlight partnerships and educational events that have focused on native food plant establishment and use. Jen's perspective will also be shared regarding easy-to- grow native food plants for personal use around your home, how to prevent over-harvesting, and cooking ideas for a few common "weeds" (non- native plants) that are high in nutrients and can be incorporated into weekly meals! Jen Schlaich has been the Food Program Specialist since the start of the Bishop Paiute Tribe Food Sovereignty Program in 2015. She has been involved in small-scale food and seed system work for more than ten years, including two years in Senegal, West Africa. She holds a degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara and a Community Herbalist Certification from Pacific Rim. Currently, she is working towards certification by the American Herbalist Guild.

CNPS Event April 15, Sunday, Deadline for submissions to the May-June Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter

Please send your articles or information to the newsletter editor, by April 15, 2018 for the May-June issue.

CNPS Event May 12, 2018, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Field Botany and More by "De Fault." Leader: Jerry Zatorski.

In the middle of the Owens Valley, the Earthquake Fault of 1872 has a prominent mark on the landscape. There are places where the offset is an obvious drop off, others with spring-fed sag ponds, and others with elongated meadow habitats. We will explore several of these areas beginning with a fault line meadow north of Twin Lakes. There will be brief stops at Goose Lake and Billy Lake to compare the two lakes one natural and the other man made. After that we will look at two mitigation projects that have taken advantage of the Fault’s physical geography. Finally we will stop at a more classic precipice overlook as one might expect along a fault line. Naturally there will be a good dose of early season valley floor botany along with other natural features.

There will be about 5 miles of moderate hiking at a botanist pace and expect to be done by late afternoon. 4WD vehicles are recommended as the dirt roads on the Valley floor are always unpredictable. Participants should bring lunch, snacks and plenty of fluids. Dress for the weather conditions, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes.... Click here for a downloadable version of an Owens Valley plant list which can be printed out or uploaded to a smart device. We will meet at 8:00 AM at the Blackrock Reststop, about 15 miles south of Big Pine and about 10.5 miles north of Independence. For more information contact Jerry at

CNPS Event May 19, 2018, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Harkless Flat and Blake Mine. Leader: Steve Matson.

This trip takes us by car east up the Death Valley Road out of Big Pine into the Inyo Mountains. We may stop in the Waucoba Lake beds briefly, and then again at Devil's Gate before turning off on a generally well graded dirt road. We hope to take in all the shrubs and annuals along the dirt road as we cross over to an outstanding overlook of the Owens Valley. We will focus on limestone outcrops and seek out Erythrtanthe calcicola, Hecastocleis shockleyi, Eriogonum glandulosum. If time allows, we will walk down a steep rough trail to mine site perched high above the valley. Meet at 9:00 AM at the visitor Kiosk at the corner of 395 and 168 in Big Pine; Contact: Steve Matson,, 760-938-2862.

CNPS Event May 26, 2018, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Waucoba Wash. Leader: Jerry Zatorski.

Waucoba Wash drains the southeast side of Waucoba Mountain into Saline Valley. The wash doesn’t drain into Saline Valley proper, but joins others as they make their way down a long alluvial drainage to the NW corner of Saline Valley. This is fortunate as we begin our trip at just over 5,700’ elevation away from the searing weather that can plague Saline Valley can have by late May. We will explore the wash from the Saline Valley road and make our way upslope visiting four different spring and seep areas. Naturally, where there is water in the desert, there are usually interesting things to discover, especially plants and animals. From a 1973 Mary DeDecker plant list, it’s reported that there is Narrow-leaf Cottonwood, Populus angustifolia, up in the canyon, although a search on the internet was not successful in showing any records of this species in Wacouba Wash or the canyon. Nor are there any records of Black Cottonwood, Populus trichocarpa, for this location on the Calflora website either, so if there is a cottonwood up there with narrow leaves, which is it?

There will be about 5 miles of moderate hiking at a botanist pace with about 975’ of elevation gain and loss, and expect to be done by afternoon. 4WD vehicles are recommended as the dirt roads into Saline Valley can be unpredictable. Participants should bring lunch, snacks and plenty of fluids. Dress for the weather conditions, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes.... Click here for a downloadable version of an Inyo Mountains plant list which can be printed out or uploaded to a smart device. We will meet at 7:00 AM at the Glacier View Campground just north of Big Pine (US 395 x SR 168). For more information contact Jerry at

For more events, including some from other organizations, see the Bristlecone Chapter Events Page

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Conservation Updates

See our Conservation pages for updates on current issues relating to native plants and their habitats, such as Inyo National Forest Plan Revisions and Invasive Species. We will start up the Conservation Alerts emails again soon, if you signed up previously or wish to sign up - check back to the Conservation page!

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Facebook Page

The Bristlecone Chapter now has a Facebook Page! If you are on Facebook, head on over and "like" us (or click "like" in the box at left) to get updates in your Facebook newsfeed. While you are there, post a message on our wall, share photos or links of interest, let us know what you think!

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