Skip to Content

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

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

Return to Top

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 1, Tuesday, 7pm: Exploring Pristine Seas: protecting the last wild place in our oceans with National Geographic. Dr. Jennifer Caselle, 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 2018 schedule here.

Dr. Jennifer Caselle, Research Biologist, Marine Science Institute, University of California, Santa Barbara.

CNPS Event May 5, Saturday, 11am-2pm: GardenFest, Eastern Sierra Land Trust, 250 N. Fowler Street, Bishop

We would like to invite everyone to "Ring in the Spring" at our annual GardenFest held at 250 N. Fowler St. in Bishop on Saturday, May 5, 11am - 2 pm. This free, family-friendly event celebrations spring with plants and delicious food for purchase, a free beer tasting, live music, children's games and much more.

Blooming trees are filled with birds singing their melodies as butterflies, bees and hummingbirds bounce from flower to flower inspiring new life. In celebration of this magical time, this year’s GardenFest coincides with Take it Outside California, an annual, statewide movement held every year on the first weekend in May. Its goal is to connect Californians of all ages with outdoor places and experiences.

At GardenFest, guests can learn gardening tips and receive expert advice from local Master Gardeners. They will have the opportunity to bring their gardens to life with native plants from California Native Plant Society and vegetable starts available for sale. Representatives from Bishop Paiute Tribe's Food Sovereignty Program and Eastern Sierra Audubon Society will share their information. Folks can enjoy live music and delicious brick-oven pizzas for purchase made on site by Mark Wagner of Owens Valley Grower's Co-Op. Plus, while kids play nature-themed learning games and a raffle for a children's book on bees, adults can look forward to sampling beers offered by Bishop's own Mountain Rambler Brewery.

GardenFest will also offer opportunities to learn about ESLT's Eastside Pollinator Garden Project, and how community members can transform their yards or garden into pollinator havens. This project helps keep the Eastern Sierra blooming by enticing native birds, bees, and butterflies to gardens throughout the Eastern Sierra.

For more information, please contact Ryan, ESLT's Education Coordinator and AmeriCorps Member, at ryan@eslt.org or call (760) 873-4554.

May 8, Tuesday, 7pm: Ethical concerns in conservation of biodiversity: examples from desert fishes and mountain lakes. Phil Pister, 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 2018 schedule here.

Phil Pister, Executive Secretary Desert Fishes Council.

CNPS Event May 9, Wednesday, 6pm: CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting

Location: Eastern Sierra Land Trust, 250 N. Fowler, Bishop. All members are welcome.

CNPS Event May 12, 2018, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Field Botany and More by 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 jerryzat@gmail.com.

May 15, Tuesday, 7pm: Owens Lake: an in depth look at its past, present, future. Kathy Bancroft, 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 2018 schedule here.

Kathy Bancroft, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, Lone Pine Paiute-Shoshone Reservation.

CNPS Event May 19, Saturday, 9am: 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, ssmat@sbcglobal.net, 760-938-2862.

May 22, Tuesday, 7pm: Big bears, big lizards and little ground squirrels: The importance of comparative physiology in wildlife conservation and human medicine. Dr. Hank Harlow, 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 2018 schedule here.

Dr. Hank Harlow, Professor Emeritus Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming and Emeritus Director of the UW-NPS Biological Field Research Station in Grand Teton National Park

CNPS Event May 23, Wednesday, 7pm: Program: Discovering Mono County Plants: Making Progress Towards a Complete Checklist, with Ann Howald. Location: Mammoth Ranger Station auditorium, 2500 Highway 203, Mammoth Lakes

Botanists have been studying Mono County’s plant life since William Brewer and the Whitney Survey team collected and identified plants near Mt Dana and Mono Lake in the 1860s. Other past investigations have focused on the Sweetwater Mountains, the Bodie Hills, the Mono Basin, the Glass Mountains, the White Mountains and other locations. A checklist of the plants of the Rock Creek watershed was finished in 2017, and a study of Adobe Valley plants is in progress. This talk will focus on Ann Howald’s efforts over the past 3 years to compile an annotated checklist of all the plants known from Mono County, using the results of these previous studies, as well as her own work. Ann has studied the plants of Mono County since 1975. Since retiring 3 years ago, she has focused on plants in out-of-the-way locations in Mono County, especially those rarely visited by others. And she has reviewed thousands of Mono County plant collection records from herbaria all over California, leading to some fascinating detective work to verify which plants actually occur in Mono County. Her recent work, and that of others, has resulted in the addition of 24 species to the total list of plants known from Mono County, including two species new to California. At present, the total number of plant species known from Mono County stands at 1695, and counting!

Ann Howald first visited Mono County as a child on family fishing trips. During a geology field trip while a UC Santa Barbara undergrad, she first became aware of a shrinking Mono Lake and learned about its threatened ecology. Ann finished her BA in Zoology, then continued at UCSB to complete an MA in Botany. Always a starving student, in 1975 her graduate advisor offered her a summer job documenting the plants of the new UC natural reserve at Valentine Camp in Old Mammoth. This is when her love affair with the plants of Mono County really began. Since then, she has been a summer visitor to Mono County every year. She now lives in Hilton Creek throughout the summer, spending winters in Sonoma. In addition to working on a Mono County plant checklist, Ann does volunteer work and leads field trips for the California Native Plant Society, the Mono Lake Committee, the BLM, State Parks, and Sonoma County Parks. She teaches a field seminar on High Country Plants and Habitats for the Mono Lake Committee each summer. In her spare time, she pulls wildland weeds.

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 the Saline Valley 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 jerryzat@gmail.com.

May 29, Tuesday, 7pm: Bear Essential? The past, present, and potential future of grizzlies in California. Dr. Peter Alagona, 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 2018 schedule here.

Dr. Peter Alagona, Associate professor of history, geography, and environmental studies at UC Santa Barbara, as well as the founder and facilitator of the California Grizzly Study Group.

CNPS Event June 2, 2018, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Bodie Hills, Masonic Area. Leader: Ann Howald, partnering with Dick Hihn of the Range of Light Sierra Club group.

Meet at 9am at the Bridgeport Forest Service Office on Highway 395, a few miles south of Bridgeport. Going into the Bodie Hills on the Masonic Road, we’ll make a couple of stops to look for pinyon-juniper understory plants, then continue on to do some easy to moderately strenuous hiking in the Masonic town area and/or lower Masonic Mountain. We’ll be looking for some not-too-commonly seen taxa like: Astragalus oophorus var. lavinii, Boechera bodiensis, Collomia tinctoria, Lathrocasis tenerrima, Lupinus brevicaulis, Muilla transmontana, Nemacladus rigidus, and Phacelia monoensis. We’ll return on the Masonic Road. This will be an all-day trip. High clearance vehicles needed. A joint trip with the Range of Light Chapter of the Sierra Club, but conducted at our usual botanist’s pace! For questions contact Ann: (707) 721-6120 or annhowald@vom.com or, from the Range of Light Group, Dick Hihn (760-709-5050; rhihn@skidmore.edu)

June 5, Tuesday, 7pm: Back from the Brink: Bighorns, Peregrines, and Foxes in Yosemite National Park. Sarah Stock, 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 2018 schedule here.

Sarah Stock, Wildlife Ecologist at Yosemite National Park, CA

CNPS Event June 23, 2018, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Botany for Beginners, Mammoth/Long Valley. Leader: Michèle Slaton.

The general public, including adults and kids of all ages, are welcome on this field trip to learn some basic skills to get you started in identifying plants. We will focus on learning common wildflowers, starting with common traits used to recognize plant families. You’ll learn how to identify plant parts and how to use a plant key.

Have you ever wished you knew the names of the native plants near your home or on your favorite outings? Do you ever wonder how to figure out a plant’s name? Now is your chance! We will explore places in bloom from Long Valley meadows to Convict Creek and the Sherwins, and get to know the common plants in flower. Experienced botanists are welcome also to share their skills.

We will meet at 9am at the Green Church at the intersection of Hwy 395 and Benton Crossing Road, and carpool to the extent possible. Bring everything you need for a full day in the field. All instructional materials will be provided, but bring a hand lens or magnifying glass, and plant guide/key if you have one. Contact Michèle Slaton (760-920-8693 or mslaton02@gmail.com) with questions. Michèle taught college botany for two years and has worked for the past 18 years as a Forest Service and Park Service botanist and ecologist in eastern California.

CNPS Event July 21, 2018, Saturday, Bristlecone Chapter Field Trip: Wyman Canyon, White Mountains. Leaders: Courtney Collins & Michèle Slaton

We will explore the areas in bloom from the bristlecone pine forest down into pinyon-juniper woodlands and riparian areas. We can expect to see several showy wildflowers, and also rare plants, including Dedecker’s clover (Trifolium kingii ssp. I), small-flowered rice grass (Stipa divaricata), and Nevada ninebark (Physocarpos alternans). We’ll spend time searching for the limestone daisy (Erigeron uncialis) – a treasure first seen in Wyman 30 years ago, but not documented since.

We will meet at 8:30am in Big Pine at the intersection of 395 and 168, and regroup again at 10am at the top of Wyman Canyon (the southern intersection of the Bristlecone Road with Wyman, ca. 2.5 mi. north of Schulman Grove). 4WD will be required. Bring everything you need for a full day in the field. Contact Michèle Slaton (760-920-8693 or mslaton02@gmail.com) with questions.

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

Return to Top

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!

Return to Top

Like us on Facebook!

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!

Return to Top


But Wait! There's More:

Return to Top