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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.

News:

The May-June 2017 Bristlecone Chapter Newsletter is online - read online or download and print.

The deadline for submitting articles for the next issue is April 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.

May 2, Tuesday, 7pm: On thin ice: Exploring global change biology in the Antarctic with art and Science. Dr. Gretchen Hofmann, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL)Spring Lecture Series.

We welcome you every Tuesday evening this spring to our free public seminars. Seminars are from 7-8 PM and doors open at 6:30. All seminars will be held in the Page Center at SNARL 1016 Mount Morrison Road. Small tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. See the full 2017 schedule here.

Dr. Gretchen Hofmann, Professor of Ecological Physiology of Marine Organisms and Chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara. With art and musical accompaniment from Lily Simonson and Henry Kaiser, National Science Foundation Antarctic artists and writers program awardees.

May 6, Saturday, 11am-2pm: GardenFest, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, 250 N. Fowler Street, Bishop

Calling all green thumbs: join us as we welcome spring at GardenFest! At this fun, family-friendly community event, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase plants (the Bristlecone Chapter will be at the GardenFest with some native plants available for purchase), learn gardening tips and tricks, listen to music, sample local beers, enjoy a brick oven pizza cooked on-site, and more.

Our annual GardenFest celebration is taking place this year on May 6 in honor of Take it Outside California, an annual day for Californians across the state to get outside, explore nature, be active, and appreciate all the great outdoor opportunities our state has to offer. Like Eastern Sierra Land Trust, organizations all over California are planning fun, free outdoor events for you and your family to enjoy.

For more information about GardenFest, including how you and your business can participate, please contact Indigo Johnson, ESLT Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member, at indigo@eslt.org or (760) 873-4554.

May 9, Tuesday, 7pm: What good is a toad? Dr. Eric Berlow, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL)Spring Lecture Series.

We welcome you every Tuesday evening this spring to our free public seminars. Seminars are from 7-8 PM and doors open at 6:30. All seminars will be held in the Page Center at SNARL – 1016 Mount Morrison Road. Small tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. See the full 2017 schedule here.

Dr. Eric Berlow, TED Senior Fellow and Co-Founder of Vibrant Data Inc. with musical accompaniment from Patrick Cress from the Yosemite Soundscapes Project.

May 16, Tuesday, 7pm: Endocrine disruptors in the wind: how persistent organic pollutants travel across California. Dr. Rebecca Lyons, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL)Spring Lecture Series.

We welcome you every Tuesday evening this spring to our free public seminars. Seminars are from 7-8 PM and doors open at 6:30. All seminars will be held in the Page Center at SNARL – 1016 Mount Morrison Road. Small tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. See the full 2017 schedule here.

Dr. Rebecca Lyons, Associate professor of Chemistry at the University of Redlands in Redlands, CA

CNPS Event May 20, Saturday, 8am Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Ainslee Spring and Round Fire Burn. Leader: Jerry Zatorski

At 5500' elevation, Ainslee Spring sits against the Wheeler Crest at the top of the alluvial fan. In the past the spring area was host to many Sierra plants, but in February 2015 all that changed as the Round Fire rapidly consumed everything in its path. Today the spring and associated wetland still shines bright green amid the devastated landscape around it. Due to the dense sagebrush that covered much of the landscape prior to the fire, this area has been spared much of the disturbances from ranching, suburbanization and heavy ORV use in past years, and as a result there are relatively few exotic weeds. Despite the meager rains in spring of 2015, the spring flowers were big and bold.

We will begin at the dirt loop road (Alison Ln. in Google maps) on the west side of Paradise and hike along the Ainslee Spring road making stops as the flora dictates. We will also visit a Bitterbrush planting implemented by BLM in October of 2016 and view the extent of the fire scar on the alluvial fan. There will be about 3-4 miles of moderate hiking at a botanist pace. Participants should bring lunch, snacks and plenty of fluids. Dress for the weather conditions, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes...

We will meet at 8:00 AM at the dirt loop road, which is 0.5 mile up Lower Rock Creek Rd/Old Sherwin Grade from where it crosses Rock Creek and the trail head (old Paradise Resort), or 0.3 mile down from the Paradise Fire House. For more information contact Jerry Zatorski, jerryzat@gmail.com.

May 23, Tuesday, 7pm: Snow in the Sierra Nevada in 2017: Historical context and trends. Dr. Jeff Dozier, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL)Spring Lecture Series.

We welcome you every Tuesday evening this spring to our free public seminars. Seminars are from 7-8 PM and doors open at 6:30. All seminars will be held in the Page Center at SNARL – 1016 Mount Morrison Road. Small tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. See the full 2017 schedule here.

Dr. Jeff Dozier, Distinguished Professor Snow Hydrology, Earth System Science, Remote Sensing at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California, Santa Barbara

CNPS Event May 24, Wednesday, 6pm: CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting

Conference Room, Forest Service Building, 351 Pacu Lane, Bishop. All members are welcome.

CNPS Event May 25, Thursday, (note date change!) Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Volcanic Tablelands. Leader: Ann Howald.

Meet at 9:30 am at the pullout near the intersection of Gorge Road and Old Sherwin Grade Road (west side of Hwy 395). We’ll make several stops along Gorge Road to see mainly spring annuals. There was a spectacular bloom here in 2016, and 2017 may be similar. One thing we’ll look for is colonies of Phacelia saxicola, which is known from only 7 collections in California. We’ll be walking over uneven ground 1-2 miles, and should wrap up by early afternoon. For more information: contact Ann (707) 721-6120 or annhowald@vom.com

May 30, Tuesday, 7pm: Immunity and the Environment: factors influencing disease-driven population dynamics in Mountain Yellow Legged Frogs. Mary Toothman, PhD Candidate, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL)Spring Lecture Series.

We welcome you every Tuesday evening this spring to our free public seminars. Seminars are from 7-8 PM and doors open at 6:30. All seminars will be held in the Page Center at SNARL – 1016 Mount Morrison Road. Small tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. See the full 2017 schedule here.

Mary Toothman, PhD Candidate in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara.

CNPS Event May 31, Wednesday, 7pm, Bristlecone Chapter Program: Mousetails in warming chambers at 13,000 ft: plants on the move in response to climate? Presenter: Meagan Oldfather. White Mountain Research Center, 3000 East Line Street, Bishop

Alpine plants have been identified as harbingers of the biogeographic impacts of a changing climate. However, in montane systems where population viability may be driven by fine-scale climate conditions, populations at the same elevation range limit may show variable responses to changing conditions, leading to complex range shifts across geographic space. Refining predictions of species range shifts with climate change in these complex landscapes can be achieved by pairing individual-based vital rates (e.g., germination, growth, survival) and field-measured climate variables, as well as incorporating exposure of individuals to climate variables outside of the historical range of variation and species interactions. Presenter Meagan Oldfather's research addresses this with a demographic analyses, a manipulative experiment of summertime temperature and soil moisture, and community monitoring across the entire elevational range of Ivesia lycopodioides var. scandularis (Rosaceae). Since 2013, she has monitored 16 populations (over 4,000 individuals) of this long-lived alpine plant across its range in the White Mountains, CA (3350 – 4420m). She asks the following questions: 1. How do vital rates vary across the species range? 2. How do experimental warmer, wetter conditions impact population growth in range edge and center populations? and 3. Does community composition shift with experimental warmer, wetter conditions?

Meagan Oldfather received her Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of California Santa Cruz, and is currently working to complete her PhD at the University of California Berkeley Integrative Biology Department in the lab of Dr. David Ackerly. Her research focuses on the complex relationship between topography, microclimate and demography across species ranges, and asks how this relationship shapes the rate and magnitude of range shifts of mountain flora with a changing climate. She is a graduate student researcher with the Institute for the Study of Ecological and Evolutionary Climate Impacts and the Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative. Meagan is also a dedicated volunteer for the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine (GLORIA) Environments in California. After finishing her doctoral research she plans to work on how to best protect, monitor, and manage natural landscapes in the face of a changing climate.

June 3, Saturday 10am-2pm: Pollinator Garden Tour, Eastern Sierra Land Trust (250 N. Fowler St. in Bishop)

Since Eastern Sierra Land Trust's Eastside Pollinator Garden Project kicked off in 2014, locals across the Eastern Sierra have been hard at work creating beautiful native plant gardens alive with bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators. During the Garden Tour, you’ll have the chance to see these lovely gardens in bloom, win prizes, and much more.

Prior to the start of the tour, Eastern Sierra Land Trust will be hosting a free outdoor yoga class in the ESLT office backyard, beginning at 9am. Join us for morning yoga, then hit the road as we tour local pollinator gardens!

For more information and to obtain your garden map and directions, please contact Indigo Johnson, ESLT Education Coordinator & AmeriCorps Member, at indigo@eslt.org or (760) 873-4554.

June 6, Tuesday, 7pm: A plant's eye view of climate change in California mountains. Dr. Frank Davis, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL)Spring Lecture Series.

We welcome you every Tuesday evening this spring to our free public seminars. Seminars are from 7-8 PM and doors open at 6:30. All seminars will be held in the Page Center at SNARL – 1016 Mount Morrison Road. Small tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. See the full 2017 schedule here.

Dr. Frank Davis, Professor Landscape Ecology, Conservation Planning at the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara

CNPS Event June 10, Saturday: Whippoorwill Flat Field Trip, Inyo Mountains, with Michèle Slaton

We will visit the pinyon-juniper woodlands of the Whippoorwill Flat area in the Inyo Mountains. After driving up the Death Valley Road out of Big Pine, and out on the Saline Valley Road about 12 miles, we will hike in the vicinity of 7500 ft., exploring the Whippoorwill Flat Research Natural Area. We should see a variety of annual and perennial wildflowers, including phlox (Phlox stansburyi), blazing-star (Mentzelia sp.), bitter- root (Lewisia rediviva), buckwheats (Eriogonum sp.), and rockcress (Boechera sp.). Our prize will be rediscovery of the juniper and dense mistletoe hybrid, Phoradendron juniperinum x bolleanum ssp. densum, which was visited by Mary DeDecker about every five years 1968-1995, and so will be our opportunity to carry on the trend of long-term monitoring (see Wiens, D. & M. DeDecker. 1972. Rare natural hybridization in Phoradendron (Viscaceae). Madrono 21:395-402). Delbert Wiens (expert of mistletoes; author of Viscaceae treatments, and Mary's son-in- law) is planning to join us! We will meet at 9am at the parking lot at the junction of Hwy 395 and Hwy 168 in Big Pine, and carpool to the extent possible to the field trip area. Bring everything you need for a full day in the field. Please contact Michèle Slaton (760-920- 8693 or mslaton02@gmail.com) with questions.

June 13, Tuesday, 7pm: Generating Jovian Jets in a Giant Gyrating Jacuzzi. Dr. Jon Aurnou, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Lab (SNARL)Spring Lecture Series.

We welcome you every Tuesday evening this spring to our free public seminars. Seminars are from 7-8 PM and doors open at 6:30. All seminars will be held in the Page Center at SNARL – 1016 Mount Morrison Road. Small tasters of food and drink will be provided by local businesses. See the full 2017 schedule here.

Dr. Jon Aurnou, Professor of Planetary Physics, Department of Earth, Planetary & Space Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles

June 16-18: Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua, birdchautauqua.org

Get your binoculars ready for the 16th Annual Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua coming June 16-18, 2017! We hope you’ll be here to celebrate and support the rich diversity of bird life, the legacy of avian research, and the ongoing conservation efforts in the Eastern Sierra—all while having a darn good time. Happy birding, botanizing, and naturalizing! We hope to see you at the Chautauqua!

Registration opens April 15th at 6:30am. We encourage you to register online at that time as some classes do fill quickly. The complete Chautauqua program is available online. If you didn't register early, there are often last minute openings available on trips, so don't let that stop you from enjoying this fantastic event.

CNPS Event June 17, Saturday: Conglomerate Mesa, with Jerry Zatorski

Nestled in the southern Inyo Mountains, Conglomerate Mesa is the second most southern peak in the Inyo Mountains, and the has the most southern pinyon/juniper woodlands in the range. Unlike the basalt covered Malpais Mesa to the south or the granitic pluton of Cerro Gordo to the north, Conglomerate Mesa is composed of older Permian sedimentary rock. This part of the Inyo Mountains has great potential to hold numerous botanical treasures as much of the Inyo Mountains have not been explored botanically especially away from established roads.

We will begin at the northeast side of the mesa and hike and botanize our way up to the summit and mesa flat above 7000'. There will be about 7-10 miles of moderate to challenging hiking at a botanist pace which should take us a full day, 8 hours or so. Participants should bring lunch, ample snacks and plenty of fluids as this is a dry hike. Dress for the weather conditions, hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, appropriate clothes. Bring field guides, hand lens, binoculars, topo maps, and a willingness to hike and explore.

We will meet at 7:00 AM at the intersection of SR 190 and Saline Valley Rd. Alt. Route (34.5 mi E of US 395 near Lone Pine or 17mi E of SR 190 x SR 136), we then have a 1 hr. drive to the beginning of the hike. 4WD vehicles with clearance are required because the dirt roads can always be unpredictable. For more information, contact Jerry at jerryzat@gmail.com.

CNPS Event July 8, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Bodie Hills. Leader: Ann Howald.

This will be a driving loop trip going in on the Masonic Road and returning on the Aurora Canyon Road. Meet at 9 am at the Bridgeport Forest Service Office on Highway 395, a few miles south of Bridgeport. On the Masonic Road we’ll be stopping to look at pinyon-juniper woodland, seasonal wetlands, aspen groves, and montane sagebrush scrub. Easy walking. An all-day trip. High clearance vehicles needed. Road conditions after a snowy winter could cause rescheduling of this trip so check with Ann the week before: (707) 721-6120 or annhowald@vom.com

CNPS Event July 15, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Glass Mountain Peak and Sawmill Meadow. Leader: Julie Anne Hopkins.

We will explore the eastern flank and summit plateau of this obscure volcanic peak, following a vague hiking trail near Sawmill Meadow. Starting in lodgepole and Jeffrey pine woodland, we’ll quickly ascend a deep pumice valley passing things like Penstemon newberryiMonardella odoratissima, and Eriogonum lobbii. We’ll lunch on the wide summit plateau accompanied by dwarfed Pinus albicaulisPenstemon speciosusAstragalus monoensis, and Raillardella argentea. Stupendous 360-degree views of the Mono Basin, Adobe Valley, Long Valley, Sierra and White Mountain crests will be unavoidable. We should return to the cars around 3:00. Check back closer to the date for more logistical details and a map. Contact Julie Anne Hopkins for more information.

CNPS Event July 22, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: White Mountains / Crooked Creek. Leader: Courtney Collins.

Plant identification in the White Mountains-Sagehen Flat. Meet at Crooked Creek research station at 9 am and we will do a short hike up to Sagehen Flat. Bring comfortable shoes and water. Pack lunches will be available at Crooked Creek station. Please be prepared for high altitude conditions (3258 m, 10,698 ft). We will focus on plants from the GLORIA survey list.

CNPS Event Date Change to July 22 August 12, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: White Mountains / Crooked Creek. Leader: Courtney Collins.

Plant identification in the White Mountains-Sagehen Flat. Meet at Crooked Creek research station at 9 am and we will do a short hike up to Sagehen Flat. Bring comfortable shoes and water. Pack lunches will be available at Crooked Creek station. Please be prepared for high altitude conditions (3258 m, 10,698 ft). We will focus on plants from the GLORIA survey list.

CNPS Event August 19, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Glass Meadow. Leaders: Julie Anne Hopkins and Sue Weis.

Glass Creek Meadow is a beautiful spot about 1 1/2 to 2 miles west of Obsidian Dome. We should see lovely summer meadow flowers, a few Mono Lake lupines in sandy open spots among the pines, and some riparian flowers along Glass Creek, including Lewis' monkeyflower. The hike is sandy and uphill. Meet at the parking area next to 395 at 9:00 am and we will carpool from there. Bring lunch, water, hat, sunscreen and insect repellent.

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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