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

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

October 1, Wednesday, 12-1pm: High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain, Eastern Sierra Land Trust (176 Home St., Bishop)

On the first Wednesday of every month between May and October, join us from 12 to 1pm for this fun and free event. This year, our theme is "People and Places: Exploring the Eastern Sierra," and we're inviting adventurous locals to share their stories about what makes the Eastern Sierra so special.

On October 1st, Christopher Langley and Osceola Refetoff will join us for “High & Dry: Dispatches from the Land of Little Rain.” Writer & Historian Chris and Photographer Osceola have combined forces for their work on High & Dry, an exhibition of thought-provoking photographs that document the many faces of California’s magnificent deserts and the people who live there. They hope to engage the public with compelling images and stories of an extraordinary region they hold dear to their hearts - the California desert.

All are invited to attend, and are encouraged to bring their own lunch. In case of inclement weather, this event will be held indoors. Hope to see you there!

CNPS Event October 4, Saturday, CNPS Field Trip: Mollie Gibson area (White Mountains), Leader: Michèle Slaton

We will walk along an old dirt road to "Prospect X," an abandoned silver mine on the east side of Westgard Pass. The walk begins in the desert wash of Payson Canyon, rises into the black sagebrush-big sagebrush of the Campito formation, then transects Deep Springs limestone and drops into the winding narrows of Reed dolomite below Prospect X. The prize is a population of rare Nevada ninebark (Physocarpus) on the canyon walls, high above views of Deep Springs Valley. We will pass giant canyon-clinging mats of mat rock spirea (Petrophyton), and see little-leaf mountain mahogany, Nevada greasewood, wild crab apple (Peraphyllum), rose heath (Chaetopappa), cactus, and plenty of perennials.

The hike ranges between elevations of 6600 to 7200’. The walk will be 5 miles round trip, with the last ¼ mi. in a steep, but walkable canyon. Bring good footwear, layered clothing, water, lunch, and other items for an all-day outing. We will meet at the corner of Highways 395 and 168 at 8:30 am, and carpool as much as possible on pavement about 16 miles east, over Westgard Pass to the trailhead.

The plant list from the trip can be found on our Checklists Page, under Payson to Prospect X, Mollie Gibson Area, White Mountains.

CNPS Event CANCELLED October 12, Sunday, 9:00am, CNPS Field Day: Highway clean-up, Leader: Scott Hetzler

Meet at the intersection of Highway 395 and Pine Creek Rd., west of 395, at 9.00 AM. We will try to be done by 1:00 PM. For more information contact Scott at (760) 873-8392.

October 13, Saturday, 8:30am: Monthly COSA Bird Walk & Census, Eastern Sierra Audubon

Audubon volunteers lead monthly bird walks on the second Saturday of each month (unless otherwise indicated). We meet at 8:30am (7:30 am in June, July, August, and September) at the trailhead behind the BLM/Forest Service Building on West Line Street, and walk from there to the Bishop Paiute Tribe's Conservation Open Space Area. We are keeping species lists and observing behavior as well as identifying birds, for the purpose of creating bird lists for the site. We hope to see you there!

All are welcome - these walks are for birders of ALL LEVELS, beginners included! We will bring extra binoculars and field guides to share. Please meet at 8:30am at the BLM/Forest Service Building on West Line Street in Bishop. Contact Hillary Behr for more information: or call (760) 920- 5287.

CNPS Event October 18, Saturday, 9:30am: Bitterbrush Planting/Indian Fire Rehab. Leaders: Martin Oliver (BLM), Julie Anne Hopkins

NEW: On Saturday October 18, 2014, the Bristlecone Chapter of the California Native Plant Society will team up with BLM Botanist Martin Oliver and the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership for a bitterbrush and sagebrush planting in the footprint of the Indian Fire - south of Mono Lake in beautiful Mono County, California. Martin has several hundred young bitterbrush, and a few grasses – many our Prez, Katie Quinlan grew from seed - to be placed and planted. Join in on this opportunity to help with this post-fire restoration project.

This project will help restore habitat for the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment (DPS) of greater sage-grouse in the Indian Fire which burned in 2012. The Bi-State DPS is proposed for listing as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Sagebrush can take decades to recover after fire, so planting sagebrush after the fire can help speed this recovery.

We'll be meeting at Mono Mills off Hwy 120 at 9:30am.
Contact: Julie Anne Hopkins, Conservation Chair (831) 566-6012

November 5-7: The Next Steppe: Sage-Grouse and Rangeland Wildfire in the Great Basin, Boise, Idaho - also available live-streamed online!

It's no secret that sagebrush-steppe habitat in the Great Basin is in trouble. There are a number of contributing factors but chief among them are wildfire and invasive species. Over time, we have seen a repeating cycle of fire followed by the spread of dominating and highly flammable invasive annual grass which leads to more fire, greater spread of invasives over an ever larger area, more fire and so on. The adverse effects on the vegetative landscape have been cumulative and severe. This conference aims to bring together the science and operations needed to provide a foundation for a strategy to interrupt the fire-invasives cycle and begin to restore critical sage-steppe ecosystems and habitat.

This conference is being live-streamed so even if you can't run off to Idaho in the next day or two, you can attend virtually if you are interested. Read more about the conference on their website, and learn how to attend the conference online.

CNPS Event November 12, Wednesday, 7pm: CNPS Bristlecone Chapter Board Meeting, USFS/BLM Office Conference Room

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

November 12, Wednesday, 5:30pm: Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative (ESRC) Meeting, Cerro Coso Community College, Bishop

The Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative (ESRC) has been hosting professionally facilitated public meetings in October and November 2014 in support of the Inyo National Forest Management Plan Revision process. The final meeting of this series will take place November 12, 2014 at the Cerro Coso Community College in Bishop, CA starting at 5:30 PM. For more information, see the Eastern Sierra Recreation Collaborative website.

CNPS Event November 13, Thursday: CNPS Annual Potluck and Special Program: The CNPS Rare Plant Treasure Hunt: understanding the California flora through citizen science, with Danny Slakey, at White Mountain Research Center, 3000 E. Line St, Bishop.

The annual Bristlecone Chapter potluck begins at 6 PM. Bring food, drink and conversation to share, bring utensils and plates for yourself. Members and non-members welcome - click here for directions. We'll follow the potluck with Chapter Elections at, 7 PM, including an important vote on the new Chapter Guidelines, followed immediately by the Chapter Program at 7:15 PM, described below.

Since the publication of the First Edition of the CNPS Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants in 1974, the CNPS Rare Plant Program has been committed to tracking California’s rarest and most threatened native plants. In 2010, the program expanded to include the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt, providing volunteers with a way to make valuable contributions to the Rare Plant Program by searching for rare plants and reporting their observations. In this evening’s program, Danny will provide an overview of the rare plants from the Bristlecone Chapter Region, highlighting in particular some species for which CNPS urgently needs updated data. Danny will also cover the various ways that volunteers can participate in the program and learn rare plant survey methods. This exciting program is a great way for volunteers to learn more about the California flora while helping to ensure that California’s unique flora is preserved well into the future.

Danny Slakey works for CNPS as a coordinator for the Rare Plant Treasure Hunt project and also as assistant botanist for the CNPS Rare Plant Program. Before working for CNPS, he studied plant invasion ecology for his master’s and worked several seasonal botany jobs throughout the West.

November 13-14 (Thursday-Friday): International Sage-Grouse Forum to be Live Streamed in Lee Vining

On Thursday November 13 and Friday November 14, the International Sage-Grouse Forum being held in Salt Lake City, Utah will be live streamed at the Lee Vining Community Center located at 296 Mattly Ave, in Lee Vining, CA. The event will begin at 7am each day and is free and open to the public.

The forum will feature a session on sage-grouse conservation efforts focused on the Bi-State distinct population segment (DPS) of Greater Sage-Grouse, which are found locally in Mono & Inyo County, and adjacent Mineral County, Nevada. That session will take place on Nov 13 at 9:30am. To view the full conference agenda, please visit

Coffee, water and snacks will be provided free of charge. If you would like to attend all or part of the program, please email or call Jeff at 760-935-3960.

November 14-16 (Friday-Sunday): Re-vegetation project for Spring Peak Fire burned area, on the Nevada side

The Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest and the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) are planning to host a major re-vegetation project in the footprint of 2013’s Spring Peak Fire which burned more than 14,000 acres of sage-grouse and mule deer habitat in California and Nevada in August of 2013. That project hopes to plant 24,000 sagebrush & bitterbrush seedlings in the burn area over the weekend of Nov 14-16. For more details or to sign up as a volunteer for the project, please visit NDOW’s website.

Contact Sherri Lisius at if you are interested in participating.

CNPS Event November 22, Saturday, 9am - CNPS Work Day: DeDecker Garden Clean Up, DeDecker garden at the Eastern Sierra Museum in Independence.

On Saturday November 22nd we will be cleaning up the DeDecker Native Plant Garden in Independence. We are hoping to take out a barbed wire fence and replace it with split rail, replant a bunch of plants and do a general raking and fall clean up of the garden. If you are interested in helping we will meet at 8:00 am in Bishop, at the end of S. Fowler across from the DWP building, where people can share rides if desired. If you are coming from the south, we will meet in the parking lot of the Eastern Sierra Museum at 155 N. Grant Street in Independence at 9:00am. Bring rakes, gloves, water and hats. We will have a picnic lunch afterward.

Please contact Katie Quinlan at or 760-873-8023 to let her know if you are coming so she can have a sense of how many helpers there will be.

CNPS Event December 5, 2014Deadline for Mary DeDecker Botanical Grant Applications

Grants for research and projects that increase the understanding and appreciation of native plants and ecosystems in the Eastern Sierra are available to graduate students, college students, and primary and secondary students (K-12). 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. Applications must include written support from a major advisor or teacher.

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 for the 2014 grants is December 5th. All applicants will be notified of the committee’s decision by the end of the following January. More information and application:

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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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!

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